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About the author:
Geri Glenn writes alpha males. She’s best known for writing motorcycle romance, including the internationally bestselling series, the Kings of Korruption MC.
She lives in the Thousand Islands with her hubby, two young girls, one big dog and one terrier that thinks he’s a Doberman. Before she began writing contemporary romance, Geri worked at several different occupations. She’s been a pharmacy assistant, a 911 dispatcher, and a caregiver in a nursing home. She can say without a doubt though, that her favorite job is the one she does now–writing romance that leaves an impact.
She loves homemade cookies, copious amounts of coffee and Diet Coke by the case. You can connect with Geri on her website http://geriglenn.com where you can sign up for her newsletter to find out more about her less than glamorous life, and what she’s working on now.
What inspired you to write your book?
This book was a mash-up of inspiration for me. I have been an MC lover for a long time, but when my Grandpa passed away from lung cancer, I had all these feelings I just needed to get out. This is what it became.
Here is a short sample from the book:
“Not MUCH new to report since you were in yesterday. There's a new patient in room 239. He just got here this morning, and he likely won't be with us long. His file’s there for you to read over. Fifty-eight-year-old man in the end stages of lung cancer.”
I look up at Ellen as she finishes her shift change report. I've only been working at the nursing home for about a month now, and have settled right into their palliative care ward. The home itself is clean and basic; not at all fancy. This is not a home for rich people. Someone had once made an attempt to make it homier, but that attempt was an epic fail. It still looks drab and institutional. The corridors are long, with beige walls and dull, beige tile flooring. Depressing, really. There are paintings along the walls and fake potted plants dotting different areas of the floor. The air inside smells of disinfectant and cheap lemon cleaner. The staff here are nice though, and the job itself is exactly what I’ve been looking for. There's something rewarding about making the last few days of someone’s life more comfortable for everyone involved.
I pick up the file she's talking about, and flip through the pages. Harold Harvey, fifty-eight years old, stage four lung cancer. He’s still so young. I'm looking it all over and familiarizing myself with his plan of care when Ellen speaks again.
“There’s one other thing.”
I glance up from the file. “What's that?”
She leans toward me and lowers her voice to a whisper. “He's a member of a biker gang.” Even though I try to hide it, my body locks tight. “Ever hear of the Kings of Korruption?”
I shake my head while a ball of dread forms in my stomach. Bikers? This is not good news. My sister had been involved with a biker gang just before we moved here. It was why we’d moved in the first place – so she could break ties with them. They scare the shit out of me. The good news is, the gang I'd helped my sister run from was not the Kings of Korruption.
“They're a pretty big gang.” She tilts her head slightly, a frown creasing her forehead. “Or should I say motorcycle club?” She waves her hand dismissively. “Whatever. Anyways, there's a chapter here in town, but they tend to keep to themselves.”
Her face breaks out into a grin. “Mind you, after seeing some of Mr. Harvey's visitors, I wish they wouldn't.” She wags her perfectly shaped eyebrows at me. “There's a whole lotta hot biker down that hall. Enjoy your shift.” With those parting words and a wink in my direction, Ellen grabs her stuff and leaves.
I look over at the other two girls working this afternoon, but they aren't even paying attention. They're both leaning over the counter, peering down the hall towards room 239, trying to get a glimpse of the previously mentioned, hot bikers.
With a roll of my eyes, I head off down the hall to start my rounds. Checking in on my first three patients, I find all of them doing well and resting comfortably. Taking my time, I wander to each room, dealing with each patient. My dread grows as I get closer to the room where our new patient lays. I can do this. They aren’t the Devils. There’s no way they’ll know who I am. Will they?
My fear of all men on motorcycles is one I’d developed when my sister got herself tangled up with the Devil’s Rejects MC in Toronto. My sister, Anna, has always liked her men bad, and the Devils are about as bad as it gets. After meeting a few of them at the bar one night, she started hanging around their clubhouse on a regular basis, and became what I believe is called, a club whore.
They’d used her up and passed her around, with Anna loving every minute of it. She’d been in a rough place in her life and had allowed them all to treat her like shit. This went on for about a year, then something happened with them and she still won’t tell me what that something was. All I know is, she stopped going around and the Devils started showing up everywhere we went. The store, our home, my job. We never went to the police because Anna was worried they’d retaliate even worse. Apparently, bikers don’t like rats.
One day Anna came home with a broken arm, two black eyes and a bloody lip. Again, she wouldn’t tell me what had happened but I knew then, it was time to get the hell out of there. We packed up whatever we could fit in my beat up old Toyota Echo, and skipped town. I’d found this job online and that’s what led us here, to Ottawa. We’re a five-hour drive from the Devils, and I can only pray that it’s far enough. We’ve been here just over a month, and so far, there’s no sign that the Devils are even looking for us. I’m taking this as a good thing.
I continue my rounds, checking on my next patient. He needs his catheter emptied and another blanket and I happily do this for him, giving myself the chance to deliberately stall.
When I get to Mrs. Evans’ room, I take a deep breath, then open the door. Mrs. Evans is a thirty-year-old mother of two young children, dying of cervical cancer. Every time I come into her room, she greets me with a smile. She never complains or gets upset about anything. Her bravery and acceptance of her impending death humbles me.
Her husband never leaves her side and her children come in each day to visit. Watching this family, knowing their mother is about to leave them, makes my heart bleed. I’ve been that kid – watching my mother die. I know how devastating and scary it is. I was older than the Evans’ children when my own mom passed away but losing a parent at any age is traumatic. This is especially true when you have to watch them wither away in a slow death that steals them from you day by day, right before your eyes.
They don’t notice me when I first enter the room. Mr. Evans lays comfortably beside his wife, reading a novel out loud. She has her eyes closed, smiling softly, a peaceful look spread across her face. I clear my throat softly. Mr. Evans stops reading, marks the page with his thumb and looks up. Mrs. Evans opens her eyes and smiles in my direction. Her face is serene – peaceful.
“Well, hello there.” I approach the bed with a smile of my own. “Just wanted to let you know I’m on shift now, and will be your nurse for the evening. It’s your lucky day.” I wink at them both.
“Lucky indeed.” Mrs. Evans’ smile widens. She holds her arm out for me to place the blood pressure cuff on her so I can take her vitals. “Jeff was just reading to me.” She uses her free hand to lace her fingers with her husbands. Her voice is weak and husky with fatigue. “I have a to-read list a mile long, but I can’t seem to keep my eyes open long enough to read anymore. You should stick around for when he gets to the sexy parts.” She smirks. “His face turns red as a tomato.”
“Now that I would like to see.” I chuckle with her. Mr. Evans is blushing furiously – already looking like a whole lot like a tomato. “Ah. There it is.” I look to her and can’t help it when my face breaks out in a wide smile. For a mountain of a man, he is quite adorable. “I see what you mean.” I don’t know how it’s possible, but his blush deepens and Mrs. Evans grins at him. “Is there anything I can do for you folks at the moment?”
“Nope. We’re going to lay here and read some more of this book, then I think I may take a little nap.” She yawns the last three words, turning to snuggle back into her husband. They are such a sweet couple. My heart clenches in sympathy for them. The love they share is obvious and beautiful. It makes me wonder what it’s like to have someone love you like that.
“Sounds like you might need that nap.” I reach down and squeeze her hand, then turn to leave. “Push the call button if you need anything at all. I’m at your service.” Smiling at them again, I leave the room.
I’m only a few steps down the hall when a giant man comes barreling out of room 239. My heart stops. He is absolutely terrifying – exactly the type of biker that stars in my nightmares. He’s huge, hairy and covered in tattoos. The leather cut he wears tells me that he’s a member of the Kings of Korruption. His dark hair hangs just past his shoulders, a long beard hiding most of his face.
I quickly look to the floor as I pass, not missing the scowl he has aimed in my direction. “Hey.” His voice is gruff and gravelly, like he has been smoking a pack of cigarettes a day since he was born. “Hey!” Oh, God. He’s talking to me. “You Smokey’s nurse?”
I look up at him but quickly avert my eyes. He’s staring at me, intense blue eyes trying to bore into mine. “Smokey?” My voice sounds shaky and unsure even to my own ears.
“Yeah. Smokey. Room 239. You his nurse?”
The annoyance in his voice causes my face to flush and my heart to pound erratically in my chest. I clear my throat, attempting to sound more in control. “I am. I’m just headed that way now.”
He gives me a quick nod of his head. “Good. He’s… just… take care of my brother.” His order is gruff and sharp, startling me. It takes an astounding amount of self-control to stay put, and not run screaming down the hall like a lunatic.
“I will definitely do that, sir,” I manage.
He stares at me a moment, nods again before stalking off down the hall. I stare after him and wait for my racing heart to slow. That was intense. I don’t know many bikers but the ones I’ve had the horror of meeting terrified me. If that man was any indication of who was in room 239, my worst fears were about to be tested. Something to look forward to. Taking a calming breath, I mentally beat back my panic attack and continue down the hall to finish my rounds.
The next two patients are settled and don’t need anything. This left only our newest patient to check in on. I stand outside the door, taking a deep breath in an attempt to collect my courage. Let’s just get this over with.
Giving the door a quick knock, I push it open and enter the room. A sigh of relief escapes me when I see only the patient, who is asleep, and one visitor in the room. When the visitor looks up, my sigh catches in my throat becoming a silent gasp. Holy. Shit. He is breathtaking.
He's sitting in a chair at the side of the room, cell phone in hand. Even though he's seated, his size is massive. He's wearing a leather cut over a white t-shirt, but it does nothing to hide the fact that he’s ripped. His chest muscles strain the white cotton material and his heavily muscled, tattooed arms bulge out from under the sleeves.
I drag my eyes from his impressive body up to his face, my cheeks flaming when we make eye contact. He smirks, clearly noting the thorough eye fucking I just gave him, but I still can’t seem to tear my eyes away.
His hair is dark and in need of a cut, curling a little at the nape of his neck and around his ears. An unruly lock falls across his forehead, into his eyes. Those eyes are incredible; deep blue with long dark lashes. His nose and chin are chiseled, as if made from granite, and his jaw is covered in stubble. He’s gorgeous. Rugged and masculine.
I blink quickly, praying that I’m not drooling while I remind myself that not only am I working, but also that this man is a biker. A dangerous, likely criminal biker, who’s here because his biker buddy is lying in my palliative care unit, dying of lung cancer. Giving my head a quick shake, I force a polite smile onto my face.
“Hi. I’m Charlotte. I’ll be Mr. Harvey's nurse this afternoon.”
“Smokey.” His voice is gruff and his eyes are boring into mine, causing my heart to skip a beat.
“Pardon?” God. That voice.
“Smokey. Mr. Harvey likes to be called Smokey. He'll tell you that himself, once he wakes up.” He gives me a small smile, and I see a hint of a dimple on his stubbled cheek.
“Okay then.” I nod. “Smokey it is.” I move to the bed, look down at the patient in question and begin taking his vitals. While I'm working, he continues to speak.
“My name's Ryker. If you're curious.” I glance up in time to see him smirking at me again. Oh, yeah, he’d definitely noticed the eye fucking. Once again, I find myself blushing, and this just won’t do. I have no business getting flustered over this guy.
“Well, Ryker, how is Mr. Har – er… Smokey feeling today?”
“Much better now that he's here.” He frowns. “Smokey's been suffering a long time with this. The pain was getting to be too much and he doesn't have an old lady at home to take care of him. We told him, at least here, they have good drugs and hot nurses.” He looks me up and down, making it obvious that he means me. “Nice to see we were right on both counts.”
My breath catches in my throat and my eyes shoot to his. He's smiling now. And there's that dimple I'd seen a hint of earlier. It's deep, and if at all possible, just adds to his beauty.
“Right. Well… his vitals are good, and he seems comfortable, so I'll be back later to check on him again. If he needs anything, just push that button over there to page me to the room.” I say these words in a rush, then turn on my heel, hurrying out of the room. Bikers scare me, but this one in particular scares me on a whole other level. This is not good.
I'm sitting in a chair, thinking about the hot as fuck nurse that just took my breath away when Smokey wakes up. Shaking off those thoughts, I lean over and pat his skinny arm. “Hey brother.”
“Hey.” He raises his hands and rubs the heels of them into his eyes, trying to wake himself up. He's been sleeping a lot lately but this past week, his sleep has been troubled. That's what made us decide to bring him here. Everybody deserves the right to die at home, but there's only so much pain that can be cured with weed and Tylenol. The man was in desperate need of prescription medicine and professional care. “You been here long?”
“Nah. 'Bout an hour. Just happy you can finally sleep brother. Be thankful you're awake now though. You should see your nurse, man. She's fuckin' fine.”
Smokey snorts and smirks at me. In the last couple weeks, he's really gone downhill fast. His skin is pale and pasty. His eyes, sunken and dark. I barely recognize him as the man he once was. He's fading away right before my eyes. I know he doesn't care about any hot nurses, or anything else for that matter, but fucked if I know what to talk to him about. The man is dying. This is not something I know how to deal with. I'm far from my comfort zone, but I volunteered to sit here with him because he’s the closest thing to a father I've ever had. I’m going to miss the crazy son of a bitch.
His breathing is ragged and labored. Smokey hasn't spoken a whole lot lately because talking takes air, and he doesn't have much access to that anymore. “Ryk, if there’s one thing I’ve learned while this fuckin’ cancer has eaten away at my lungs, it's that life’s short.” He lifts his tired eyes to meet mine. “I don't have a whole lot of regrets, but one I do have is, I fucked around my whole life and never settled down.” He coughs, his lungs wheezing as he tries to catch his breath. “Never had an old lady. Dying alone fuckin’ sucks, man.” He clears his throat, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “Pussy is fun. Bein' bikers, we don’t even have to work for it, but thinkin' back, I wish I hadda found me a classy lady and tied myself to her. Someone to love, who loves me back, ya know?”
His words hit me. I know what he's saying and it's something that’s crossed my mind before, but I’ve shoved that shit down deep. I’ve seen what happens when someone in our world hooks himself to another person. An old lady just complicates things and I don't do complicated.
“Holy fuck, Smoke. Those meds they put you on earlier make you grow a fuckin' vagina or somethin'? That was some deep shit. Since when do you do deep shit?”
Smokey laughs softly, which abruptly turns into a cough and shortness of breath. I instantly regret my attempt at humor, but I’d needed to change the subject to something less heavy.
Once he catches his breath, he throws a small grin my way. “Nah, no vagina. Just reflectin' on life now that my time’s getting' closer. Seriously, Ryk.” He puts a hand to his chest and winces. “You’re a good kid. You deserve a hot woman, warmin' your bed and lovin' you 'til your last breath.” He pauses again, attempting to fill his lungs. The pain on his face is like a knife in my gut. “I may sound like a pussy, but I want to be sure you don’t die with the same regrets I am.”
I swallow down the lump that’d formed in my throat while he was talking and nod my head. “Yeah man. I hear ya.”
Smokey just winks at me. “Good. Now, enough of that shit. Let's get this sexy nurse in here and see if I can't get her to give me a sponge bath.”
Crazy son of a bitch.