Home > Smoke and Steel (Wild West MC #2)

Smoke and Steel (Wild West MC #2)
Author: Kristen Ashley

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE

 

 

Author’s Note about the Wild West MC Universe

 

 

The Wild West MC series are romance novels written about three motorcycle clubs: Aces High, Chaos and Resurrection.

The Chaos MC was introduced in my Dream Man series and had their own series that is now concluded. It spanned six books and three novellas.

Interspersed in this series will be a lot of lore that refers back to the stories of Tack and Tyra (Motorcycle Man), Tabby and Shy (Own the Wind), Hop and Lanie (Fire Inside), Joker and Carissa (Ride Steady), Millie and High (Walk Through Fire), Hound and Keely (Wild Like the Wind), Rush and Rebel (Free), Snapper and Rosalie (Rough Ride), Dutch and Georgie (Wild Fire) and Jagger and Archie (Wild Wind).

The Chaos series is set in Denver, Colorado.

Important to note, not only was the Chaos series a spinoff of my Dream Man Series, Dream Man was a spinoff of the Rock Chick Series.

The Aces High MC was introduced with Clara and Buck’s story, Still Standing. Buck’s sister, Sheila, is the old lady of Dog, another member of the Chaos Motorcycle Club.

Aces High is situated in Phoenix, Arizona.

Resurrection, which was previously a motorcycle club called Bounty, was referred to in the Chaos series, but first took center stage in Rough Ride. Their decision to become Resurrection was explained in Free. That book also contains the love story of Beck and Janna.

Although Resurrection is based in Denver, they do their work anywhere it’s needed.

The Wild West MC universe will bounce among these three clubs.

Smoke and Steel is the first novel dedicated to the Resurrection MC.

I write this note because, as much as I might try to make each story a standalone for readers, in this particular series, there’s so much that went on before, it’s impossible not to refer to it. Not to mention, my loyal readers will expect the easter eggs so they can see characters they spent time with in previous novels.

However, I’m well-aware that new readers might think, “Tack who?”

That said, I don’t want to bog the narrative down with a lot of information about history that has spanned, essentially, over twenty books.

I hope new readers will go back and discover all of these stories.

But I didn’t want to let you down with the one you have in your hands. I wanted you to know I’ve considered where you are with this story, and I did my utmost to keep it clipping along in a way you won’t get lost, without covering you in information that doesn’t have to do with the telling of Core and Hellen’s story.

I hope it worked.

Thank you for reading!

 

Rock on!

 

-Kristen

 

 

AUTHOR’S CAUTION

 

 

In a previous book in the Chaos series, an event occurred that framed who the Resurrection MC is today. All the brothers of that MC are struggling with past actions, specifically this event. These actions might be distressing for some readers. If you have issues around violence against women, I hope you find someone to provide help and support. But if you choose to read this book, I hope you view Core and his brothers with an open mind and an open heart as they work for redemption.

 

 

1

 

 

COOKIES

 

 

Hellen

 

 

I heard my front door open.

My first thought was, Maybe the cookies were over the top.

“Babe!” he called. “Cookies! Awesome!”

Or perhaps the cookies were just cruel.

I’d put on his second-favorite blouse (it could be his third, he didn’t rank them, I just paid attention to him, unlike the other way around) and had my makeup two steps down from fuck-me-hard.

So I wasn’t being totally in his face.

But my hair was loose, and although he didn’t have the balls to claim it like he meant it (his tepid tugs were a bit of a turn off, and I’d learned to try to keep his hands out of my hair), still, he loved it down, mostly because I gave great hair.

And my ass in the jeans I was wearing sprung men on a glance.

He loved my cookies, all of them, no matter what variety I baked, because I’d perfected each version to the point most people told me to start my own shop.

Like I was going to waste my time on that.

Not a chance.

“What the…?” I heard him say.

He’d seen the box.

And here we go.

I turned to the doorway.

He wandered into my kitchen.

“Babe—” he began, wearing his remorseful face.

And I was glad.

Because that pissed me off.

And it did because, if he knew to be remorseful, he knew.

He knew.

I launched in.

“You don’t have HBO Max. I have HBO Max. You asked to come—”

“Hell—”

“—over with your buds so you could watch some boxing thing, and I said yes. I was going out with my girls, but I said yes. All you had to do was tidy up after they left. I didn’t ask you to vacuum and scrub the baseboards with a toothbrush. I asked you to tidy up. I came home to you passed out in my bed and beer bottles everywhere, leftover pizza congealing, a stain on my couch—”

“That’s why I’m here now. I was going to—”

I wasn’t listening, yet again, to what he was “going to” do.

“So when I left this morning, I asked you to take care of it before you left. You didn’t. I came home to it. By then, every inch of my apartment smelled like stale beer and pizza.”

“Like I was going to say,” he stated with forced patience. “I’m here now to do it. You just did it before I could get to it.”

I did a lot of things before he could get to them.

“It’s my house, Bryan. And when I say you can hang here, and all I ask is you throw away some fucking bottles and put away some pizza, shove some plates in the dishwasher, toss some napkins in the trash, it’s not a lot to ask. Hell, you’re a grown man. I shouldn’t have to ask. And I wouldn’t ask if it didn’t mean something to me.”

He was giving me the “whoa” sign with his hand.

“Okay, I fucked up, but—”

“I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.”

He shut his mouth and tried not to let me see his smirk.

But I saw the smirk.

And, oh yeah.

Oh yeah.

Now I was pissed.

“Is something funny?” I asked quietly.

“No.” He sounded choked because he was trying not to laugh, which meant he was lying.

“What’s funny about me slamming my head into the cabinet door you left open over the toilet, even though I’ve asked you to close it probably thirty times, because last night wasn’t the first time I slammed my head into it? Which means, I don’t only want you to close it because cabinet doors should be closed. That’s the reason the cabinet has a fucking door, so you can close it and not see all the crap inside. But also, because, when I slam my head into it, it hurts like fuck.”

Me putting it that way, he looked remorseful again.

“Is it amusing to you to cause me pain?” I asked.

“Babe, I’m sorry. I’d had a few. I wasn’t paying attention.”

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