Until Harmony Page 1



AS I EXIT THE HOSPITAL with a smile on my face, I spot Harlen tossing his denim-covered leg over the seat of his Harley. I haven’t seen him since I took him home from my cousin June’s house a few weeks ago. He had been shot by a guy named Jordan, who was part of an MC out of Nashville. Jordan’s motorcycle club was trying to infiltrate the Broken Eagles motorcycle club and take over so they could expand their business. And by business, I mean selling women, drugs, and guns.

Lucky for Harlen, his wound was clean, through and through, so he was released from the hospital after one day. I didn’t know him before I saw him leaning against the wall at my cousin’s house, not really talking to anyone, but I did know just by looking at him that he was in pain. When I saw that, I went into nurse mode and insisted on taking care of him. I’m pretty sure he thought I was a little nuts, but somehow I still convinced him to let me take him home.

After I got him to his place and settled with some of his pain medication, I left, and I haven’t heard anything from him since. That’s not to say I haven’t thought about him more than a few times since then. He’s been like a constant itch in the back of my mind that I can’t get rid of, no matter what I do.

“Harlen!” I shout his name as I hurry in my heels across the parking lot, watching him kick up the stand on his bike and plant both his boot-covered feet on the asphalt.

His dark eyes come to me over his broad shoulder, and just like the first time our gazes locked, my lower belly pulls tight and my blood sings through my veins.

God, he’s gorgeous, just not in the traditional sense. He’s too scary looking to be handsome. He’s too big, his eyes too dark, and his jaw too hard. The thick stubble covering it makes him appear dangerous. Only, he looks like the kind of danger you want to tame so you can see it up close; like a lion or bear in the wild. You know if you ever got a chance to experience the thrill of touching an animal like that, you’d never forget it. Ever.

“Hey.” I smile once I’m close, feeling my skin warm and prickle as his eyes wander over me in a lazy way before he lifts his chin. Taking that for a familiar scary guy hello, I grin. He didn’t say much to me the last time I saw him either. Mostly, he looked at me like I was amusing.

“Were you here to see the doctor?” I ask, settling my purse higher up on my shoulder as I study him. He looks good; his color is back, and there is no sign of pain in his eyes, which is a relief.

“Not sure why else I would be at the hospital, darlin’,” he rumbles, leaning deeper into his seat and planting his long legs farther apart.

“They take semen all hours of the day,” I reply, watching his lips twitch in amusement, and that same amusement shines in his eyes.

“What did the doctor say?” I ask after a moment of enjoying his expression.

“It’s all good, wound’s healed. Stitches are out.”

“Good.” I reach out and touch his muscular, tattooed arm just under the sleeve of his black tee. His eyes drop to my hand resting on him then lift to meet mine and fill with something that makes me feel off-balance. Dropping my hand away, I take a step back. “I’m glad you’re doing okay,” I say, and he lifts his chin once more.

“What are you doing here?” he questions after an awkward pause.

I smile. “I just had an interview for an RN position.”

“Did you get the job?”

“I did.” I smile brighter. I’ve wanted to move home for a while now, but knew I couldn’t until I graduated, passed my state test, and got a job in town. I love my parents, but there is no way I would lean on them or move into their house after being free to do my own thing for so long.

“Feel like celebrating?” he asks, catching me off guard, and my stomach does a flip at the idea of celebrating in any way with him.

“Yes,” I agree without thinking about my answer, and he starts up his bike, the loud rumble making my whole body vibrate.

“Hop on.”

“Hop on?” I repeat as he hands me his helmet.

“Yeah, hop on.” He nods to the seat behind him and my eyes go there briefly.

“Maybe I shouldn’t.” I shake my head, trying to hand his helmet back to him, but he doesn’t take it. Instead, he crosses his arms over his broad chest, making his already huge arms look even more intimidating.

“Are you scared?”

“No,” I lie. I am scared; I’m always scared of taking chances. Every decision in my life is planned out. I don’t take risks. I do not jump the gun or do things on a whim. My twin sister, Willow, does that, but not me. I’m careful with every single decision I make. Maybe even too careful.

“Then what’s the problem?”

“I have my car.” I point across the lot toward my red Audi A6. “It’s my baby. I can’t leave it here.”

“All right, then follow me,” he suggests.


“I…” I look from him to my car then back again. “I can’t,” I whisper regretfully. Yes, I want to hang out with him. Yes, I want to be the kind of girl who does crazy shit like get on a bike with a guy she hardly knows to celebrate her new job. And maybe that celebrating happens with a few shots of cheap alcohol and a few—hopefully—really great orgasms. I want to be that girl, but it’s not who I am. “I’m sorry. I can’t.” I hand him back his helmet, and he takes it this time while studying me intently. “It was nice seeing you, Harlen. I’m glad you’re doing better.” I back up a step. “See you around.”

I turn on my heels and head across the lot. Getting in my car, I toss my purse onto the seat next to me then start the engine. I look out of the windshield, expecting Harlen to be gone. He’s not. He’s still straddling his bike, but now his torso is turned and his eyes are locked on me with his brows pulled together.

Dragging in a breath, I remind myself one more time that it’s for the best that I didn’t go with him. I click my seat belt into place, put my car in drive, and take off without looking his way again, even though I really want to.

Arriving home in Nashville an hour later, I pull up and park outside my building then get out, carrying my purse with me toward my apartment that’s on the first floor. I live in one of the older housing complexes in the city. It’s a nice area that’s safe, with mostly older residents as my neighbors. I’ve called this place home for a few years, ever since my twin sister, Willow, and I decided it was time for us to part ways and live alone. We needed to have some separation between the two of us to build our own lives.

Don’t get me wrong; I love my sister. She’s my best friend. But I’m my own person, and sometimes people, including my family, forget that. It’s almost like they think that because we look alike and share the same birthday, we are the same in every other way. Which might be the case for some twins, just not for me and Willow. She’s always been wild and free, whereas I’ve always been more conservative and cautious.

Hearing Dizzy, my rescued five-year-old Maltese mix, barking on the other side of the door, sensing I’m home, I place my key in the lock and open the door an inch so he doesn’t have a chance to escape. Something he will do if I’m not careful. Bending at the knees, I scoop him up against my chest and take two steps inside, where I drop my bag to the floor and grab his leash hanging on the wall.

“Hey, Dizzy boy.” I kiss the top of his fluffy white head and rub behind his ears. “Did you miss me?” I ask, kissing him again, and he licks my chin. I laugh while hooking his leash to his collar then set him on the ground and let him lead the way back outside. Not surprisingly, he takes us down the block, straight to his favorite park. Watching him sniff the trees and the grass, I silently promise myself and him that our next place will have a fenced in backyard, where he can run free anytime he wants.

On that thought, I pull my cell phone out of the pocket of my slacks and send a text to my cousin Ashlyn’s best friend, Michelle, to let her know I’m ready to start looking for a house since she’s a realtor. Then I dial my mom’s number.

“Honey, hold on a sec,” Mom answers, sounding out of breath, and I hear her tell my dad to stop doing whatever he’s doing. Rolling my eyes, I wait for her to return to the phone. My parents might be old, but they are seriously still grossly in love with each other. “Okay, I’m back. How did the interview go?”

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