Home > State (Diamond MC, #1.5)(4)

State (Diamond MC, #1.5)(4)
Author: Lila Rose

When we sat, I took another sip of my drink. Since I was driving, one would do, but I wanted to make it last.

“Do you have any family?” I asked. “I mean, besides the group here.”

He grinned. “They’re my brothers here. But other than them, I don’t have anyone. My mom and dad passed away a few years ago. Only a couple of months apart. When Dad lost Mom to cancer, I knew he wouldn’t be far behind. She was his world.”

That kind of love was what I wanted in my life. I smiled softly. “Sorry to hear you lost them.”

He shrugged. “Shit happens.”

“That it does. My parents are that in love too. I could see the same thing happening with them.”

“You’re close with them?”

“Yes.” I nodded. “I see them every Sunday for family dinner. My brothers try and make it, if they’re not busy.”

“How many are there?”

“Three. Carter, Calvin, and Casper.”

His dark brows shot up. “Your parents must really like the letter C.”

A laugh fell from my lips. “I guess they do.”

He took a pull of his beer, and I watched his throat work. It was unfair how good-looking this man was. He made my body come alive. I wanted to offer myself up as a sacrifice, but I couldn’t be his. There wasn’t a chance that would be happening.

Not only were we worlds apart, but he was probably only looking for a one-night stand. I couldn’t give in to even that. If I did, I’d become addicted.

Instead, I’d admire him for the night while we chatted. He was good company.

One night of talking. I could allow myself that.

And hope it didn’t leave me wanting more.









* * *


As I twisted the pen in my fingers, I leaned back in my office chair and waited on Lisa. But my mind wasn’t on the stalker cop. It was on the woman who’d ditched me the previous night when I’d gone to the bathroom.

I’d thought we’d been connecting.

I’d thought there could be something there that could grow.

So why did she walk out?

We’d been getting to know each other.

We’d been laughing.

All my attention had been on her and hers on me.

Even when brothers tried to get in our damn bubble, she smiled politely, said what she had to, but her gaze kept coming back to me.

What changed?

What had she been thinking to run out of there?

The door opened, and Country stepped in. “Tech told me what’s happenin’. I’m here to see what Lisa’s got to say. She’s got to be the connection.” He took a seat on the couch on the far wall. We shared this office with Wreck, another brother, while the fourth co-owner, Saint, had his own office on the ground floor. One of us was always on hand to deal with any complaints or troubles, but it didn’t surprise me that Country wanted to be involved in this. He was a good prez.

“That was my thought too. How’d it go this morning with Isla?”

He shot me a glare. “Shit.”

I whistled long and low.

“Her friend didn’t seem to be high.”

“From what I gathered, they hadn’t hung out for a while. Drifted. But Court felt bad when Isla begged her to go out, so she did.”

He grunted and ran a hand over his face. “Isla’s changed. Somethin’s goin’ on with her, and I’m gonna get to the bottom of it.”

“Let me know if you need help.”

He waved me off. “Isla’s girl stay long while I dealt with her?” He started chuckling. “That smile says a lot.”

I shrugged. “We talked. Thought it was cool until she left while I was takin’ a piss.”

Another round of laughter. “Brother, she ghosted you?”

“Yeah, and I don’t get it.”


“Huh what?”

He eased back further and placed his arm across the back of the couch while resting his ankle on his other knee. “You into her?”

I pushed my hair back and nodded. “Hard not to be. She’s sweet, funny, smart, and got a fuckin’ bangin’ body.”

“Wasn’t around her long, but I got the idea she liked the look of you. How long she stay for?”

“About two hours.”

“Fuck, brother, that’s a good amount of time to get to know each other. Hell, maybe what she was feelin’ was scarin’ her, so she took off. Did you get her number?”

“Didn’t get the chance to.”

“What you gonna do?”


He smirked. “Never thought I’d see the day when State’s ready to chase.”

I shot him the middle finger. “She’s worth it.”

His brows shot up. “You’re sayin’ that after one night? Shit, I’ve been with Isla for nearly a month, and I’m not even sure she’s worth it. ’Specially now.”

“Then she ain’t.”

“That simple?”

“That simple. You know who is special—”

“Shut the fuck up.”

“Just sayin’—”

“Not another word,” he clipped with a glower.

Christ, when was he going to get his head out of his ass about Dusty?

Luckily for him, or probably myself, because if I’d said more my life would be on the line, there was a knock on the door.

“In,” I called.

The door opened, and Lisa poked her head in. “You wanted to see me?”

“Yeah, babe. Come on in.”

She did and shut the door. When she walked over to the seat in front of my desk, she kept glancing from me to Country and back again. “Am I in trouble?”

“Not at all. Just gotta ask you some questions about a client.”

Her shoulders slumped, tension draining out. Hell, Country and I weren’t that intimidating, were we?

Lisa nodded. “Okay.”

“Ray Bond.”

Her long sigh said a lot.

“You had problems with him?”

“Well, no, not really. He’s a little obsessed. Tells me he loves me, wants me to quit here and marry him. Is he causing trouble with the business? I swear I haven’t encouraged him. I even told him I have a boyfriend who would kill him if he found out Ray was asking me to marry him.”

“Did you give Ray the name of your boyfriend?” Country asked.

She nodded and went a little pale.

“Lisa?” I pressed.

“I only said I was with you because you’re my boss. Well, the one who deals with me on my shift, and I panicked when no other name came to me. I’m sorry.” She dropped her gaze to her lap.

“You told him I’m your man?” I asked, to be clear.

“Yes. Look, I can set him straight, but if I do and he finds out I don’t have a boyfriend, he’ll start pestering me about being with him. I don’t want him like that. Sometimes he pays me extra. I know you guys don’t mind if that happens with clients. But the bonus he gives me is the only reason I haven’t said anything or got you involved.”

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