★☆★ ONE WEEK TO GO ★☆★
Bones, Rebel Wayfarers MC #10
Raised in a hellhole echoing with the sounds of conflict, Bones most profound childhood memory is of the day he died.
Decades later, he has built an empire where he is king. His brothers have his back, and life is good.
So good, he doesn’t realize what’s missing until he meets her.
Ester seems to be the one woman capable of looking beyond his mask and seeing … him.
From Chapter 17: Waking the monster
Sitting back in his chair, Bones slung his elbow over the back, kicking one leg out in front, heel of his boot to the floor. At ease in a way that was not pretend, not playacting, and screamed a discrediting of any threat Chismoso or his men could bring to the meet. “I can wait.”
Chismoso didn’t respond, didn’t react, and offered Bones no insight into the workings of his mind in this moment. They sat like that, stalemated, for a minute, then two, men behind Chismoso growing antsy, boot soles scuffing the bare floor as they moved. Bare for easy cleanup, and surely every one of them knew that as fact. Leather creaking, shoulders shifting, hands shoved into and pulled quickly out of pockets, not wanting to give an appearance of threat.
Finally, Chismoso leaned forwards, jutting his chin at Bones. “You are weak.”
“You. Are. Wrong.” Bones infused certainty into each letter. Into each pause. Into each breath that it took to push out those words. “Because I am diplomatic now, do not mistake me for someone incapable of taking care of business. I do not want to fight. But if you force my hand, I will not fight fair.” The heel of his boot dragged across the cement as he sat forward, the sound loud in the stillness of the room. Scratching the side of his nose with a blunt thumbnail, he stared at Chismoso. Elbows again resting on his knees, Bones said, “I will not quit, and there is nothing sacred to me. Do not ever think that the reason I am treating with you peacefully is because I fear violence. I do not.”
Bones sat back again, still at ease. Lifting one hand, he pointed two casually curled fingers towards Chismoso’s chest. “You fight, not for someone or something you love more than breath, but because you are instructed to do so. Do not mistake my principles for yours. Do not mistake my motivation for what drives you forwards. I battle to protect the things and people I will die for. Such a vast difference and the true measure of a man. Fighters and warriors are not the same thing.” He paused, and just as Chismoso opened his mouth to speak, put those thoughts to rest. “Do not wake the monster in me.”
© MariaLisa deMora