Avery (The Phoenix Club Girl Diaries #3) - Addison Jane
The loud bass rattled the walls, the music blasting from the speakers inside only dwarfed by the eighty or so people who were trying to talk over it.
The Brothers by Blood MC knew how to throw a party, though I was still unsure of exactly what they were celebrating. My friend Holly’s ‘don’t ask questions’ lecture on the way there had been all the explanation I needed apparently. Her friends, Dakota and Meyah, from school, had welcomed me with open arms. And their men, while both reasonably quiet, had made it quite clear to the rest of the club and their visitors that I was there as a guest and not a piece of ass—despite my protests that maybe that was exactly what I was looking for.
I took another sip of my drink, my nose crinkling as the liquid hit my tongue, the harsh bite of alcohol not quite as tasty when it was warm. Guess that was a testament to how long I’d been sitting out there, staring at the stars, trying to ignore the constant buzzing of my cell by digging my fingernails into the palm of my hand. That small action stopped me from pulling the offending device from my pocket and reading what I knew would be flooding in, not just from my friends but also from her friends and people I didn’t even fucking know.
Though this year, they were quite different.
The excitement now poisoned.
Happy birthday! Hope you’re okay.
Happy birthday! I’m here if you need me.
Happy birthday! I bet Micah is prou—
“You’re not meant to be back here.”
The harsh order was like a sharp prod in my ass, my entire body leaping off the ground, my glass and what was left inside flying from my grasp. It shattered on impact, the collision with the concrete sending tiny shards of glass scattering around my feet. “Shit,” I cursed, unable to stifle the sharp, bitter laugh that escaped with it. Tilting my head back, I squeezed my eyes shut and shook my head, ignoring the couple of rebellious tears that escaped.
“Feels like that sometimes,” I murmured to myself with a heavy sigh.
The sharp voice from the darkness let out a deep, gravelly chuckle, immediately drawing my eyes to the shadows of the building. My heart rate increased, my mouth going dry as he stepped from the darkness into the small patch of light the single bulb outside the kitchen door created.
How the hell I managed to keep my jaw from hitting the floor alongside my drink, I didn’t fucking know.
The guys in this MC, they bred them different.
“I meant right now,” he clarified in amusement, leaning his shoulder against the wall and folding his arms across his chest. Like magnets, my eyes snapped to his biceps and the way they stretched against the crisp white shirt he had under his club colors, the ink that decorated the length of his left arm drawing me in like some kind of world-famous painting. It was a welcome temptation, my hands itching to reach out and examine every twist and turn of the beautiful piece of art, forgetting incredibly quickly about how badly they wanted to scratch at my skin.
“You drunk or just emotional?” The sides of his head were shaved, a strip of long black hair running down the center, the loose, wispy strands falling across his eyes.
I narrowed my eyes, meeting his menacing gaze. “I’m not looking to share my problems.”
“And I’m not looking to hear them,” he quipped, shoving off the wall and tapping at the patch on his chest as he took a step toward me. “But this just so happens to be my clubhouse, and I like to know what the fuck is going on inside it.”
Squinting a little, I struggled to read the tiny letters in the dull light.
He was the club president.
I shouldn’t be surprised.
The tiny smirk at the corner of his mouth was daring me to challenge him just so he had the chance to put me in my place.
And boy, did I want him to put me in my place.
The man demanded respect. It was in the way he carried himself, his shoulders square, his chin up, and with a mischievous sparkle in his eye that made me feel like maybe I should run. The only problem? Self-preservation wasn’t exactly my thing. So instead, I took a step forward. Maybe it was because I was feeling so weak, so out of control. Perhaps I was searching for just a