Beautiful Soldier – E. M. Moore Page 0,1

fumble with the window until it opens. It’s difficult with the damn cast on my arm, but I manage. I can’t wait to get the damn thing off.


“Shh!” the lady scolds behind us, casting a worried glance toward the main door of the room.

Finn rolls his eyes, and then moves to the side, revealing his brother, Jax, who looks far less pleased to be here.

“What are you two doing here?” I whisper, unable to hold back the smile at seeing familiar, friendly faces.

“We’ve been jonesing to see you for a month.”

I search Finn’s face for the lie automatically. No one has wanted to see me for a month. I’m not talking about Brawler, Oscar, Magnum, or Johnny, I’m talking about at the shithole place I’ve been staying in. No one likes anyone there. No one here likes me either.

However, in Finn’s face, all I recognize is raw honesty. It’s nice to be around people who actually like me.

“You’re not scared of me?”

Jax snickers. I guess if he thinks I’m a murderer, he’s not intimidated by that fact.

“Only of your right and left uppercut.” Finn winks.

I curl the fingers in on my right hand, testing how my bone is healing. It actually feels fine. It’s been four weeks since the accident, and they said it could take six to eight weeks to heal. My money—and hope—is on six.

My former trainers don’t make a move to come in, so I hop up on the spacious windowsill in front of me, pulling my knees to my chest. I bite down on my lip. So many questions come to mind, but I’m not sure where I want to start first. Images of my guys flash in front of me. Yes, my guys. Just because I haven’t seen them doesn’t mean they’re still not mine. Shit must be serious if they haven’t contacted me before this.

Finn reaches through the window and places his hand on my shoe. “I didn’t realize how fucked up things were for you, Kyla.”

I give him a wobbly smile, but Jax’s ticking jaw says he doesn’t have the same caring thoughts as his brother. Hell, I know I got myself into this. The Heights isn’t for the faint of heart. Shrugging, I put on a brave face. I’m well used to it by now. I’ve been making this same face since I was twelve. “It’s all good.” I glance between the two brothers and hold my breath. “You know I didn’t do it, right?” I like these guys. I hope the fact that they came here means they like me too and that Johnny didn’t have to threaten them to do it. With Jax’s reaction, I can’t be sure though.

“You’re kidding, right?” Finn asks. “Of course we know you didn’t do it.”

Jax scoffs, and Finn glares at him.

“Out with it,” I sigh, eyeing Jax. There’s nothing he could say that would make me feel less about myself than I already do.

“Not sure that’s a good idea…” Finn starts.

But Jax has been bottled up since they got here, or before, it seems, so he doesn’t give a shit when his brother warns him off. “It’s what you get, I guess.” Jax shrugs. A smug, tight-lipped grin covers his face, making his condescending ass look even more condescending.

“Oh, I know. Holier than thou Jax has entered the building,” Finn mimics, glaring at the brother who looks so unlike himself. One taller and leaner. The other a bit shorter and stockier. The only attribute they share is the muscles from fight training.

I place my hand on Finn’s to stop him from retaliating.

“Go on,” I tell Jax, squaring my shoulders for the worst of it. It was my decision to come here. It was my decision to get into the Crew. It was my decision to fall... Actually, that wasn’t a decision at all. Falling for the guys in the Heights wasn’t planned, but there’s no way in hell I would ever take it back.

“What did you think was going to happen when you got yourself mixed up with them?” His hands ball to fists at his sides. “Nothing good comes from being mixed up in their shit. The fact that you’re here is testament to that. You fucked up your body,” he sneers, dropping his gaze to my cast. “You fucked up your life.”

I hug my knees tighter as the onslaught of Jax’s words wash over me like a gray sky. I totally get it. Everything he says is correct. “I have reasons,” I