What do you do when the one person you’ve loved since you were seventeen years old, cheats on you? Not only does he cheat, but he gets the girl pregnant!
You do what all women do when they have a broken heart that needs fixing, you move out, you get a new job, you make a new circle of friends and you plaster a smile on your face to show everyone that you’re okay. You keep the hurt inside; the tears stay hidden and you change who you were so that you can pretend your life is good again.
Well, that’s what Brook does, but loving Tanner was so intense and she’s finding life without him and the Hammers MC club, hard. So, she does all the above and tries her best to be strong, only occasionally letting the cracks show.
Tanner’s spent the last eight years watching Brook and now she’s telling him he must leave her alone! Not easy when he needs to see her just to feel alive. The stubborn stalker inside of him won’t give up and so he stays in the shadows, watching, waiting, because he loves Brook, he regrets everything he did, even though he can’t remember it. The only evidence of his infidelity is the nineteen-year-old pregnant girl that is fast becoming a pain in his ass and a drain on his wallet.
Ghosts from Tanner’s past re-surface causing all kinds of painful memories and to get the thing he wants most in the world, he must face up to the past!
Will Brook and Tanner find their way back to each other? After all, everyone believes they were meant to be together.
Brook & Tanner’s story is the third book in the Splintered Hearts Series, to understand this story you will need to read book two in the series, Kain & Harper’s story.
There are subjects in this book that some readers may find upsetting, therefore this book comes with a trigger warning.
“We’re too young Brook, what the hell?” Tanner stared down at the two white sticks I produced just minutes ago. I knew he’d take the news bad, after all, we hadn’t been together very long. I watched with tears in my eyes as he paced back and forth, he was completely naked, but for once it didn’t distract me. I pulled the sheets around me tighter and remained quiet. I was scared, I hadn’t been expecting it and I’d only done the tests to shut my friend up after I’d told her my period was four days late. “I’ll call the club doctor now and get it sorted.”
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“I mean we get rid of it. I can’t share you yet Brook, I haven’t had enough time with you.”
Tanner was intense, so intense that sometimes I wondered what I’d gotten myself into. He’d bugged me relentlessly for a date after spotting me in the street one day, since then he’d hardly left my side. Sometimes, I’d catch him just staring at me. Friends thought it was weird but after years of growing up in foster care, it was nice to have someone like me so much that they didn’t want to be apart from me. “Shouldn’t we discuss it a bit more?” I asked. I felt the least we owed this poor unborn child, that we’d made together, was a discussion.
“Brook, we aren’t ready for a baby. You’re seventeen for starters and what hope does a kid have with me for a dad. My dad’s a drunk, he blames that on having me so young!”
“You’re not a drunk,” I muttered.
“Look at your parents, you’ve spent most of your life in foster care, we can’t look after a kid.”
I sighed, maybe he was right. We didn’t have the best track record for families. Tanner pushed me back onto the bed and lay over me, placing a kiss on my lips. “Trust me baby, the times not right, I’m not saying it’ll never happen, I’m just saying not now, okay?”
I nodded, letting him run kisses along my jaw and down my neck. “Let me get established in the club, get some cash behind us so I can buy us a home and then we can get married. I have a whole future planned for us and babies don’t happen yet.”
“Tanner I need you on this, where the fuck are you?” demanded Cooper, Club president to the MC I was an enforcer for. “I’m sick of having to track you down, you don’t answer my calls, you don’t check in.”
I sighed, I was starting to think Cooper sounded like a nagging wife. It was understandable, that I was off radar lately, I’d lost the love of my life and the last thing I felt like doing was collecting debts for the Hammers MC.
Movement from the apartment caught my eye. “Look Pres, can I call you back, I’m in the middle of something,” I whispered.
“No Tanner you can’t fucking call me back. Get your ass back to the club, we need a chat.” He disconnected the call and I shoved my cell back into the pocket of my denim pants. Fuck Cooper, I had other things to do right now.
The apartment door opened, and I slid back into the shadows, if she saw me, she’d call the cops.
“I swear you do it on purpose,” her voice rang out in the empty street, she was smiling, I missed that smile. Brook, my ex, my world. She looked amazing in the tight fit denim pants, low cut white shirt and a leather jacket. She wore her hair different these days, it was longer, and she was growing out her bangs.
“I do not, it was a last-minute decision, James was feeling low and I thought to myself, what’s the best way to cheer him up. You could have said no!” Henry Edge, owner of Edgy Cuts hair salon. Gay, single and thirty years old. Brooks new boss and from the amount of time they spend together, I’d say best friend.
“Me, turn down a night out, erm, as if,” she laughed again, and my heart ached.
I followed them, staying back in the shadows until they reached their destination. A small wine bar just around the corner from Brooks new apartment.
My cell buzzed in my pocket, but I waited for them to go inside the bar before answering. “You’d better be on your way Tanner,” came Coopers pissed off voice.
“I told you, I’m busy right now. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
“Are you watching her again?” growled Cooper. I kept quiet, not wanting to lie to my President but not wanting to reveal the truth either. “You know what, don’t even answer that because it’ll make me want to kick your damn ass. Melissa has turned up here and unless you want my old lady to start hunting you down, I suggest you get back here, the old ladies are already staring Melissa down, it’s like a damn witch hunt in here.”
“Cooper can’t you have a word with them, I can’t be there just yet.” Melissa could handle her own, she wouldn’t be upset by the old ladies being bitchy, but she wouldn’t be happy having to wait around for me; especially as I’d been avoiding her calls all week. I needed to make sure that Brook got home safe first, there was no way I could leave now.
“No, I can’t, get back here or I’ll tell Melissa exactly where you are and what you’ve been doing and then I’ll tell Mila that you’re still stalking one of her best friends.”
“Great, thanks for nothing brother.” I disconnected the call this time. I could just about make out Brook inside the bar. Since she’d started her new job, she’d made new friends, pushing the Hammers MC firmly out of her life. Most of the old ladies held me responsible for that, I didn’t blame them, it was totally my fault, I’d gotten drunk and I’d cheated on Brook with Melissa, a nineteen-year-old club whore, and then to add insult to injury, Melissa turned up a few months later announcing that she was pregnant. Brook wanted a child so badly, but she was told by doctors that she couldn’t conceive naturally. So now here we were, she’d moved on. Left me, left the club and started a new life, one that didn’t involve me.
By the time I reached the club, Cooper was waiting outside, Melissa by his side. Her hands rested on her small bump, the sight repulsed me. I hated myself for what I’d done, and that bump was a constant reminder. Putting my motorcycle into park I swung my leg off and made my way over to Cooper, fist bumping him in greeting and then turning to Melissa. “Hey,” I muttered.
“Shit Tanner, you can look at me yah know, I ain’t that disgusting,” said Melissa.
“What are you doing here?” I asked.
“I need money. I’ve tried calling you and you never answer. What if something happens to the kid and I need you?” she demanded. I wanted to tell her that I wouldn’t care which makes me an ass but it’s how I feel. “I even messaged Brook on social media and the cheeky cow deleted it and then blocked my profile.”
“You contacted Brook?” That pissed me off. The last thing Brook needed was Melissa contacting her to track me down. I’d have to make sure I answered her calls from now on. “Don’t do that again.” I pull my wallet out and pulled out a bunch of twenties, stuffing them in her hand. “What do you need it for?”
“Baby stuff, obviously.” She rolled her eyes and then marched away, flicking her hair over her shoulder as she went. We stood in silence, watching as a black car slowed outside the gates. Melissa got inside and it drove away at speed.
“Aren’t you worried about who she’s with, what she spends the money on?” asked Cooper.
“Nope.” I headed on inside where a few of my brothers were playing a game of cards in the bar. Real money was piled in the middle, something I’d usually take part in, but right now I needed to shower and get back to Brook. Mila stepped in front of me, her expression hard. Since becoming Cooper’s old lady she’d really toughened up, keeping us guys in order. “Not now Mila, I don’t have the time.”
I knew instantly it was the wrong thing to say because her hands went to her hips and her eyes narrowed, she wasn’t budging out of my way until she’d said what she needed to and so I dropped down onto the nearest stool and sat back, waiting for the lecture to begin.
“Sit up straight,” she snapped. I did it, mainly because it’d just make her speech longer if I didn’t. “Brook knows you follow her still. She moved to a new place and you still showed up there. You have to stop Tanner.”
“I’m making sure that she’s okay,” I muttered feebly.
“She doesn’t need you to do that, she’s moved on.”
“What does that mean?” I sit up further, suddenly interested in the conversation.
“It means you need to stop following her, it’s weird now. I mean, it was weird before when you were actually with her but now it’s just stalkerish.”
“Has she met someone else?” It’d kill me but I needed to know.
Mila didn’t meet my eye, instead she fiddled nervously with her fingers. “Not yet, but she’s talking about it. It’s been three months now, it’s time she got back out there.”
“Three months is fuck all, she loves me, she’ll never be able to move on from that!” I was angry and shouting, it got the attention of some of the guys and Kain, the clubs VP; stood, slowly making his way over.
“It doesn’t matter if she loves you, she will never be with you now and so getting back out there will help her move forward. Stay away from her Tanner.”
“Things good brother?” asked Kain. I didn’t have the energy to answer. I took myself off to my room, I’d shower and get back to Brook. We needed to talk.