Ink knows Darcy has a “little girl” crush on him, and he finds it sweet and cute. However, when Darcy becomes sick, it brings back memories of a past he doesn’t want to remember. Put in an impossible position, he hands in his leather cut and leaves Fort Wills, never intending to look back.
For three years, Darcy has been filled with guilt. She knows she’s the one responsible for losing Ink. She never meant to force him away, but she did. So when Ink returns, she wants to put everything right.
Ink now has a fresh purpose in life. With the aid of her parents, Ink is going to help Darcy move forward, to live her life, to be independent. Ink wants to be her friend.
But jealousy isn’t something he expected to feel with Darcy. She’s younger than he is, and he shouldn’t fall for her, and yet, he can’t live without her.
For Darcy, having Ink to herself is a dream come true, but how long can it last? He left once. Will he leave her again? There’s no way she’d be able to live with that kind of heartache—should she even take that chance?
He saw Darcy clearly.
The guy she was with wasn’t someone he recognized. Whatever he’d said to Darcy had made her laugh though. Her head was thrown back, and she looked so incredibly happy. He stopped, watching her. She looked happy. She’d pinned her short locks up, and she wore a pair of jeans and a large shirt.
This Ward was making her laugh, and giving her happiness, and it bothered him. He’d never been like this with anyone else, so seeing her like this, happy, it was hard for him to go and interrupt.
You’re also jealous.
He remembered how she’d try to make him laugh or talk to him. When she had a crush on him, she’d always tried to make him happy.
This Ward, he didn’t know who the guy was, but he wasn’t going to let Darcy get hurt.
He stepped around the building and walked with purpose toward them. Darcy saw him first, and the smile on her lips vanished. Now that hurt. He’d done nothing to hurt her in all the time he’d known her.
“Ink,” she said.
“Darcy, if I knew you needed to have lunch brought to you, I’d have dealt with it.” He was being a grade-A dick, but once he started, he couldn’t seem to stop.
“Is this a friend of yours?” Ward the prick asked.
“Yes. He’s friends with my mom and dad.”
He clenched his teeth together, hating that she’d made that distinction between them. She’d never once referred to him as her parents’ friend.
“Lunch is pretty much finished, and I think I should start heading back. It has been a pleasure, Darcy. We must do this again sometime.”
“You have my number.”
Now Ink wanted to destroy the bastard’s phone. Was he the only one that cared about her safety? Right now, it fucking felt like it, and it was pissing him off.
The picnic table was wrapped up, and he reached for Darcy.
“She’ll call you when she wants to see you again.”
Ward didn’t take a hint and leaned in, kissing her cheek.
Ink wanted to hurt that pretty face. To mark it up so the fucker knew never to touch her again.
Finally, Ward left, and he and Darcy were alone.
“What the hell?” Darcy asked. “What was that?”
“What do you even know about that guy?”
“How did you know I was even here on a date?” she asked. She stared at him and laughed. “Wow, Tabitha. She was the one who encouraged me to go on this date, and yet she’s telling you all about it.”
“She should tell me, especially when you put your life in danger.”
“Danger? There was no danger. I didn’t go back to his place, nor did I go somewhere in his car. I had a picnic lunch with him close to where I work, surrounded by people. I’m not stupid, Ink. I know what I’m doing!” She yelled at him.
“You’re so determined to date. That guy could be a serial killer. You ever thought of that?”
She gasped. “So you’re saying the only kind of guy I could possibly get is the kind that goes around killing people. There is nothing wrong with wanting to date. It’s a perfectly logical thing to want to do. I don’t want to be alone and miserable for the rest of my life.”
“Guys are not just going to want to date, Darcy. They’re going to want a whole lot of other things.”
“I know, and I want them too.”
“You want sex.”
“Yes!” She yelled, getting into his face. “I want to experience everything. Do you want me to spell it out for you, Ink? I want everything. I want sex. I want to be desired, needed, craved, loved. You name it, I want it all, and it has to start with dating. With finding a guy who is not afraid of the club or my family.” She shoved him hard. “Now leave me alone.”