Aria Taylor has always been told she wasn’t good enough. After one horrible night, Aria has had enough. She’s determined to lose the weight that people find so ugly.
Grant has proven himself time and time again, but his brother has placed his ass far away from the club. When he’s suspended as VP from the Chaos and Carnage MC, Grant is pissed. He knew Bull didn’t want him at the club anyway.
He likes the receptionist at the veterinary practice where he visits the dogs from the animal shelter. And pursuing Aria is a much more worthwhile use of his time. Everyone sees Grant as the playboy. He's considered a waste of space. Aria sees him differently though.
When their contact within the Cartel turns up dead, and the bodies start mounting, it's not just a threat to the club, but the town. Someone wants Carnage.
Grant is given a chance to take his brother’s place, to have the ultimate power, but will he take it? Will he sacrifice everything to finally have control? Is that what he wants? Will the town of Carnage burn like the club?
“What time is it?” she asked.
“A little after eight.”
She gasped and got to her feet. “Crap. Shit. Crap. I was supposed to be at work an hour ago. Where’s my cell phone?”
“You left your bag in the sitting room,” he said.
She rushed out of the kitchen and he couldn’t help but look at her ass. She wore the pair of jeans he’d seen her in yesterday. He had left them on her last night, even though it had upset him to put anything on her body. Aria shouldn’t be hidden away. Not from him. Never from him.
Picking up his coffee, he moved to the doorway and listened.
“I’m so sorry, Andy. I was … time got away from me. I’ll make it up to you, I promise.”
He doubted Andy would care. The other woman was nice and cared about Aria. He also knew that Aria was always at work earlier than needed most mornings, if not all of them. If Andy and Phil caused her any trouble, he’d deal with them. Simple as that.
Aria finished her phone call and returned to the kitchen. Grant had already moved back toward the stove. Picking up his toast, he walked toward the table and sat opposite her.
“What did your bosses say?”
“They’re happy that I’m fine.” Aria rubbed at her temple. “I’m so sorry for crashing here last night.”
“I invited you back, don’t you remember that?” he asked.
“There’s a lot about last night I don’t remember.”
“Like telling me you’re a virgin?”
She groaned. “Could we stop?”
“Why? It was very sweet.”
“I didn’t, like, beg you, did I?”
“To … you know?”
He wanted to ask her to say it, but seeing as she looked so embarrassed already, he decided to save her the trouble.
“You didn’t beg me to do anything. You told me a statement of fact.”
“How is it that I can’t remember anything from last night but you do?”
“I can handle my drinks. Last night was your first time and you had three or four shots of whiskey and I have to say it’s very powerful stuff. Very, very powerful.”
She blew out a breath. “Yep, you’re right. I’m sorry.”
“Stop saying sorry. I enjoyed the company.”
Aria nodded and took a bite of toast, and he watched as she sipped her coffee.
“You know, you’re wrong. You’re beautiful and there are plenty of men who’d love to have you, myself included,” he said.
“Grant, you don’t have to say that.”
“I know I don’t have to say anything. I’m not just saying it, either. I’m serious. I know I want you as mine. I’ve been asking you to date me for months.”
Aria nibbled her lip and he stared at her.
“Is it the patch?” he asked.
“I’m part of the Chaos and Carnage MC. I know it puts a lot of people off.”
“I don’t care about that.” She sighed. “I … this is … I…”
“Go out with me tonight,” he said.
“I’ve got the gym.”
“You don’t need it,” he said.
“I want to do it. I need to do this, for me.”
He wanted to ask if it was really for herself or for her mother. He couldn’t even remember what her mother looked like but he fucking hated her.
“As it happens, I’m also working at the gym tonight. I’ll be there and then afterward we can go to the diner, or wherever you want to go,” he said.
“Er, if you’re sure. If you’re not too busy.”
Fucking hell. He was trying to date this woman and it was impossible to even convince her that was what he was trying to do.
“Aria, babe, I’m trying to go on a date with you, not make an appointment. Tonight, you and me, the diner. How about that? It’s a date. A date where at the end of the night, I’m going to take you home and then I’m going to kiss you.”
“Oh,” Aria said.
“Yeah, oh. Now, I’m going to let you finish your toast, your coffee, I’ll drive you home, and if you need it, I’ll drive you to work.”
“You don’t have to do that,” she said.
“Trust me, Aria. I want to do that.” He didn’t know how he was going to convince her of what he wanted to do. She was a stubborn woman.