Niro (Henchmen MC Next Generation #1) - Jessica Gadziala
Also by Jessica Gadziala
About the Author
Henchmen MC- Next Generation #1
Copyright © 2021 Jessica Gadziala
All rights reserved. In accordance with the U.S Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without permission of the publisher is unlawful piracy and theft of the author's intellectual property. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for brief quotations used in a book review.
"This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places and incidents are products of the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental."
Cover image credit: Shutterstock .com/Dmitrijs Bindemanis
Andi's first year of college
My phone screamed through the quiet in my room. It was well past three in the morning. Whatever was on the other end of the call couldn't be good news.
I reached for my cell on the nightstand, sliding to accept the call without glancing at the screen. Eyes still closed, a part of me still chasing sleep, hoping this wasn't some sort of club emergency when I'd only gotten an hour of sleep after being talked into staying up all night having a party at the clubhouse with the other next-generation guys not old enough to hit the bar yet.
"Yeah?" I rumbled into the receiver.
Andi was calling at three in the morning, her voice shattered splinters of sadness all around.
My stomach knotted as I folded up in bed, reaching to turn on the light. "Andi? What's the matter? What happened?"
Andi was pure softness. She kept her bleeding heart right there on her sleeve. I'd once caught her sobbing over a wild baby bird that had drowned in a bucket of water it had likely been trying to drink out of.
Her crying didn't necessarily mean catastrophe.
She could have been driving, and tried to avoid hitting an opossum, but accidentally killed it.
She could have witnessed a couple having a break-up fight.
You never knew with her.
But she felt it all.
And she felt it down to her soul.
It was one of her most endearing traits, something I envied at times, something I felt deserved to be protected at all costs. Hell, I damn near applied to her college just to go with her, to be able to keep protecting her.
Two things stopped me.
One, my future didn't involve a college degree. Bikers tended to get by just fine without one in our neck of the woods. And I needed to prospect, make my bones, get myself patched in so I could start making a living for myself.
Two, it wasn't my place to protect her. It wasn't my fucking place. I'd been trying to tell myself that since we were still kids, since I realized my feelings for her were more than just friendly. It wasn't my place. I had to start acting like it.
I had to let her go. Go to college. Go away from me.
I simply had to let her go.
She wasn't mine.
She would never be mine.
I had to live with that.
Even if accepting that seemed like jumping into a dark well with unknown depths of hopelessness, a prison of sorts that I could never hope to climb back out of.
"Tell me something happy," she demanded, sniffling.
That was her favorite phrase.
Tell me something happy. Or Tell me something that made you smile today.
Sometimes she wanted to hear it because she was trying to get you—or in most cases, my grumpy ass—to see something good in your life. But just as often, she wanted to hear it because something had upset her, and she needed the pick-me-up.
This, clearly, was the latter.
"Your mom took in seven baby bunnies. Someone's dog brought them to the owner one by one, and she couldn't find the nest to put them back. So now she's raising them. I saw them when I went to pick up Nugget from his play date. They still have their eyes closed."
Andi's mom was our town's resident crazy animal person. She was known for rescuing and adopting out, rehabilitating and releasing, or giving sanctuary to every sort of animal in need. And because her husband was one of my biker brothers, the clubhouse was often full of some creature or another. A cockatoo that liked to chew on