Home > State (Diamond MC, #1.5)(6)

State (Diamond MC, #1.5)(6)
Author: Lila Rose

“It is. It really is,” Dad commented.

“What did he say?”

“When I told him I saw our neighbor kiss his wife goodbye when he goes to work, I asked him why he doesn’t do that. His reply,” she bit out, “was how could he? He doesn’t know her.”

I groaned. “Mom, I’ve seen that joke online, and besides, Dad’s retired.” The door to the lunchroom opened, and Danielle stuck her head in.

“Ah, Courtney, your appointment is here.”

“I’ll be right there,” I told her and saw her look over her shoulder and back to me before she nodded and stepped back out. “Mom, I have to go. My client’s here early.”

“Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow, and if your father jokes like that again, don’t expect him at the dinner table. He’ll be buried in the backyard.”

Laughing, I shook my head. “See you soon.” I slipped my phone back into my pocket and straightened my clothes on the way through the double doors.

When I looked up with a smile, I froze.

State stood near my table.


A big biker guy was in a salon.

The man I’d ghosted like a weirdo now stood not far away.

He was also surrounded by other clients and some work colleagues.

“Your hair is amazing. I’d love to get my hands on it,” Rina, the owner of the salon, said, placing a hand on his forearm and smiling coyly up at him.

That was what got me moving.

I stomped over and gently pushed my way through the crowd to stand opposite my table. “State, hi.”

He hadn’t heard my approach because of all the damn hussies trying to talk over one another for his attention, but over all the noise, he’d heard me. When his gaze shot to mine, I gripped the back of my chair because his wide grin had me swooning. “Darlin’, how you doin’?”

All the women glared at me, and I waved my hand toward them. “I’m sure you all have to get back to what you were doing.”

They mumbled and muttered but at least went away. When I lifted my eyes to State again, I watched him pull out the chair opposite my table and sit down.

My mouth dropped open, but I quickly closed it. “Ah, what are you doing?”

“I’m your client.”



“You want your nails done?”

He shrugged. “Sure.”

Why was he here?

Why, after I’d gone and left while he was in the bathroom?

Already my heart, my pulse, and my belly were acting up, as if all of them wanted to reach out to this man and kidnap him.

At least my head was still screwed on.

Well, I thought it was, but I couldn’t get over the fact he’d come to find me at my workplace. Not after what I’d done.

This was dangerous.

If he wasn’t careful, I would kidnap him and keep him forever.

Clearing my throat, I sat and stared down at his tattooed hands resting on the table. My face heated as I took one of his big palms and started filing his nails. I opened my mouth, closed it, and then managed to blurt, “I’m sorry for leaving like I did.”

His hand twisted in mine, and he gripped my tiny hand in his large one. The pitter-patter in my chest intensified. His thumb brushed back and forth over my wrist, and I couldn’t look away from it.

His tone was rough, low, and mouthwatering when he asked, “Why did you leave?”

Because I was feeling too much, which scared me.

Because I didn’t want you to take pity and offer me your number.

Most of all, because you’re way out of my league.

“I, um, felt it would be better.” God, that sounded lamer aloud than in my head.


“Well, you see, you got stuck with me that night, and I didn’t want you to feel you had to, ah, offer any more than what it was.”

His jaw clenched. “What was it?”

I glanced around and noted people were trying to listen in. I leaned over the table more and whispered, “A night of good company and conversation.”

A tick started at his temple. He shifted closer, his gaze running over my face before he locked onto my eyes. “Do you have a problem with me being in a club?”

“No,” I said instantly, my hand tightening around his. “Never.”

“I didn’t get stuck with you, little mouse. I wanted to get to know you. I wanted to spend time with you. And fuck, I wanted to get your number to text and talk to you whenever we could, because I’d enjoyed the hell outta our time together.”

I stilled and blinked up at him.

He had wanted my number. He’d also liked spending that time with me.

“Are you sure?” I asked before I could stop myself. I grimaced, knowing I sounded completely insecure, but my past hurt made me wary.

State cocked a brow and smirked. “Woman, where am I?”

I looked around and back to him. “In a salon.”

“Yeah, darlin’. In a salon. I’ve never stepped foot in one since I was a kid. What does that tell you?”

I bit my bottom lip and hummed.

He chuckled. “I’ll let you know, Courtney. It means I’m here for you because you didn’t give me your number, and I wanna take you out sometime.”

Wide-eyed, I parted my lips. “Me?”

“Yeah, little mouse. You.” His brows dipped. “Why you findin’ that hard to believe?”

Snorting, I waved my free hand his way. “Because you’re you and I’m me.”

Quit it, Courtney. You sound like you want compliments.

“We’re gonna get to the bottom of that another day.” He shifted closer over the table. “But let me be clear on this: as soon as I saw you walk into the compound, I knew I wanted to get to know you because, darlin’, you took my whole attention like no one else has.”

“Yes,” I blurted, cheeks warming.

“Yes what, Courtney?”

There wasn’t a chance in hell I was going to let this man walk out of there without agreeing to a date. He’d come to find me. He was obviously even willing to get his nails done. Most of all, he’d wanted to know me when he first saw me.

And damn if that wasn’t a game-changer.

Swallowing, I pressed my finger against my lips and glanced around quickly. Both clients and staff were watching. How could they not when it was State? “I’d like to go on a date with you.”

He showered me with another bright smile that got my blood pumping harder.

“Good to hear, little mouse. I got somethin’ on tonight, which will probably take me until tomorrow, but are you busy for lunch Monday?”

“This Monday?” That was only two sleeps away.


“No. I mean, I don’t work Mondays, so I’m free.”

“Good. You like steak?”

“Steak is nice.”

“I know a place. You gonna give me your number this time?”

Heat hit my cheeks. “Yes,” I whispered. “Do you have your phone on hand?”

He let go of my palm to pull his cell out of his jeans. “Hit me.”

I rattled off my number and then bit my bottom lip to stop my crazed smile from scaring him. I couldn’t believe he was here, at my work, to get my number and ask me out.

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