Home > State (Diamond MC, #1.5)(3)

State (Diamond MC, #1.5)(3)
Author: Lila Rose

His jaw clenched, but he nodded. He leaned over the counter and snapped up a bottle of water, handing it to me. The gesture was sweet.

“Thanks.” I smiled and undid the bottle, taking a sip. It was then I realized he still had his hand against my back. My skin was warm under his touch. The urge to press back against it was a persistent whisper in my ear. I held strong, though. The last thing I wanted to do was embarrass myself further. There was little doubt in my mind that he was only being nice.

Only my heart didn’t get the memo. It fluttered to life.

It was totally inappropriate to want that hand to travel down to my big ass. I wasn’t a slim girl like a lot of the women in the room. I had curves in what I liked to think of as all the right places—hips, tits, ass, and belly. The men I’d previously dated hadn’t agreed, though, being turned off by said curves.

But I loved who I was and how I looked.

All it meant was that those men weren’t for me.

And I doubted the one beside me could be for me either. With that in mind, I decided I’d simply enjoy the moment, the feel of his hand on me, while I could.

“Court,” Isla muttered as she got close, swaying slightly. She had acted tipsy when I’d picked her up for the night, but now she seemed a little more gone, and she hadn’t even had a drink yet. “You mind if I disappear for a moment?” She nodded back to her man.

She was going to leave me alone.

She’d told me she wouldn’t.

She’d promised me.

My throat closed over as a wave of nerves gripped me.

“Come on, you’ll be fine.” She nodded toward State, who was watching the young guy bring my new drink over.

What she didn’t seem to care about was that I’d only just met the man. State seemed nice, but… this place was new to me, these people were as well, and sometimes my anxiety got the best of me in unfamiliar situations.

It was a bad idea to come with her. I shouldn’t have. Lately, she’d been so different, but she’d talked me into going out with her, complaining that we hadn’t done it in a long time and she missed me. The guilt had gotten the better of me, which was how I ended up here.

“Isla, we’ll hang out here for a while,” Country said as he hooked the back of her skirt and dragged her close to him.

“But—”

“You can’t leave your girl in a place she’s not used to,” State put in, handing me my new glass. I sent the prospect a smile, and he nodded at me.

Isla’s laugh sounded fake, and so did her follow-up smile. She was annoyed, but I wasn’t about to give in. She’d wanted me to come with her because, apparently, she hated the distance that’d grown between us. But since all she wanted to do was ditch me, I was no longer buying it.

Honestly, it reminded me why I’d stopped spending time with her. She was headed in a different direction than I was. She still loved to party every weekend and spend all her money, while I wanted more in life than dealing with a hangover after a weekend of getting drunk. Why had she wanted me to come here in the first place? To show off that she hung out at a biker club?

Maybe I’d be better without her company for the night. I could have a couple of drinks and talk to whoever took pity on me. My heart skipped a few beats at the thought. But I also didn’t want to come across like I was worried about being alone in a clubhouse.

My hand shook a little when I lifted the glass and took a sip of courage. “Actually, Isla, you go do what you have to do. I’ll be fine.”

The change in her was instant. “Really? Are you sure you don’t mind?” She bounced on her feet.

I didn’t care now as I’d never let her put me in this position ever again. Though, from the way Country’s upper lip raised as he looked at Isla, I had a feeling he was seeing her in a new light.

I nodded. “Go for it.”

She turned to Country but stumbled and fell into him. He quickly grabbed her arms, steadied her, and tipped her head up with fingers under her chin. My brows dipped in confusion as he studied her face.

“You high?”

My back shot straight, my eyes widening.

Was she?

Isla laughed like he’d said the funniest thing, playfully slapping his chest. “What? No, I’m just happy.” She went onto her tippytoes to kiss him, but he pulled his head back.

“Don’t fuckin’ lie to me, Isla. Are. You. High?” His tone had me taking a small step back.

“Country,” she whined. “You’re ruining my buzz.”

“Coke? Heroin? Ice? What did you take?”

She snorted, shaking her head. “I’m going to dance.”

She must have taken it just before I got to her house. The thought made me feel ill.

Country grabbed her upper arm, and he focused on State. “I’m takin’ her to lie down.”

Isla cheered. “Bedroom fun.” She curled herself around Country as he led her off.

I highly doubted she was going to get the fun she thought she was. Would it be better if I took her home instead? I was supposed to be her friend and save her from a ranting Country in the morning, right? I couldn’t help but think she deserved a good talking to, and I doubted I’d be the one to get through to her.

When State rested a hand on the back of my shoulder, I jolted. “She’ll be fine. Country will make sure she sleeps it off. He won’t do shit to her. We aren’t—”

“I wasn’t thinking that,” I quickly said. “I just wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be the supporting friend and save her from an argument in the morning with her guy or leave her and let her suffer.”

His lips twitched. “I’m guessin’ you’re goin’ with the last one?”

Sighing, I nodded. “Does that make me a bad friend?”

“Nah, darlin’.”

“Are you sure? I mean, we kind of drifted apart recently, and when she asked me to come out with her, I caved because I knew it was my fault we’d been distant…. Why am I telling you this?” I took a heavy mouthful of my drink and swallowed. “Sorry.”

“She was ready to leave your ass in a place you’ve never been, and around a bunch of bikers, just to get it on with her man. If I were you, I wouldn’t feel bad over leavin’ Country to deal with her shit in the mornin’.”

Well, she definitely was going to do that.

“I suppose.” I nodded.

“Who drove here?”

“I did, thankfully.”

“Smart. But now it’s up to you if you want to leave, or you can hang and shoot the shit with me while you finish your drink. No pressure.”

Even if he hadn’t said no pressure, I’d already known there wouldn’t be.

Drawing in a breath, I said, “I’d like to finish my drink.”

The smile he shot my way brought the fluttering to life in my belly.

“Wanna grab a seat with me?” He nodded toward a spare table. When I bobbed my head, he led us over there with his hand warming my lower back again.

My pulse raced, and I shivered. This man was too attractive for his own good.

But I wouldn’t believe there could be anything between us. It would be easy to get caught up in the fantasy of the hot biker. Still, I wanted to enjoy his company, even if it was only for the night.

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