Often (Iron Orchids Book 4)

By: Danielle Norman



Two weeks ago…

“Calling Ian.”



I should have guessed that it was going to be one of those days and just gone home and gone back to bed.

First, I decided to swing by Starbucks, which I never did but I was dragging. Apparently, “just fuck me up” did not translate to large coffee in their fancy barista language. Things only got worse when I pulled into work to see Tommy, he was from another Harley-Davidson shop and would come by sometimes to help us out for the day. He drove me crazy, it wasn’t the fact that he thought that he was God’s gift to women it was more that he couldn’t understand why women didn’t agree with him. When I looked at him I couldn’t help but think, how in the hell out of one-hundred-million sperm was he the one that won out?

“Hey, Leo, did you order from Snap-on Tools?”

I opened my toolbox and grabbed a ten-millimeter socket for disconnecting the bike’s battery. “That’s original, female mechanic, I’ve never heard that one before.”

Unfortunately, he didn’t let up…by the end of the day, I was ready to leave or commit murder—I didn’t care which.

“Hey, Leo, you know why women are supposed to cook, right?”

I rolled my eyes and didn’t answer as I cleaned up my workstation so I could get the fuck out of there.

“They already come equipped with milk and eggs.”

“Wow, I guess that Viagra is really working for you because you seem like twice the dick you were last time. But, keep this in mind, maybe your woman stays in the kitchen because you have no clue what to do with her in the bedroom.”

I turned to pick up my helmet and caught Mike’s eyes. My boss was giving me a thumbs-up. What was wrong with this world when it became near impossible to fire asshats like that guy?

“I’m headed home.”

“Have a great weekend,” Mike hollered back. “And tell Kayson congratulations from all of us.”

“Will do.”

Most of the time, everyone thought of me as one of the guys, but I had my girly side and tonight it was doing the Sex in the City thing and heading to Club Bed. Only I wasn’t going to be drinking. I had a hot date with DJ Pillow and ZZ Blanky. Then I’d be showing my sheets some ass and giving my pillow some head.

I needed sleep if I had any hope of making it through another wedding. There was a wedding in April, a wedding in July, and this one. Fuck, I was something old and something newed out, if there was such a thing. I was sure in the list of phobias there had to be one that was against weddings.

Starting my ignition, I turned the throttle, and twenty minutes later, I was whipping into my apartment complex. After unlocking my door, I was greeted by one pissed-off cat. “Mewwah.”

My cat Throttle hated that I had a job, and everyday when I got home, she made it a point to let me know her feelings on the matter.

“Oh come on, you have water, and if I don’t work then you don’t eat.” I bent and picked up my calico fur-baby, nuzzling her under my chin, and she let out another annoyed meow. “Listen, cat, you can stop your bitching right now.” But she was having none of that, not until she was done meowing her entire temper tantrum.

After dropping my keys and helmet onto the kitchen counter, I put Throttle down and moved through my tiny apartment. When I had first started looking for my own place, I had been excited. I was getting away from my mother, so I was willing to take anything. To me this place was as grand as Caesar’s Palace, mainly because it was mine. I was sure anyone would be happy to be away from my mother and her religious Hell, fire, and brimstone lectures. Ten years later, though, the apartment was nothing but a claustrophobic space.

It was still mine, though, and it was home.

When I finally did move out of here, I was going to miss the sirens at all hours and not be able to sleep, kind of like New Yorkers when they go to the country or country people in the big city.

By seven o’clock, I was in cutoff jeans and a T-shirt, and was curled up on my couch, doing the one thing I’d never admit to doing…watching a Hallmark movie. This one always tore me up. It was about a woman who lost the love of her life when he went off to war and never returned home, and the last thing she’d given him was a homemade card. I’ll never understand how Hallmark always knew just how to get you, but they did—each and every time. Right there in the heart. They always made you ugly cry.

I was in the middle of dabbing my eyes with the tissue that I clutched in my hands when my phone rang. Fumbling for the remote control, I turned down the volume before I answered. I’d never hear the end of it if anyone heard the mushy talk coming from through the line. I was Leo, they expected me to be tough.


“Yo. Whatcha doing?”

“Hey, Soph, not doing much just watching Sons of Anarchy.”

“Haven’t you already seen every episode a gazillion times?”

“Yeah, but Jax is hot.”

“Are you crying? There’s no crying over bike gangs.”

“Nah, it is just one of the emotional episodes. Plus, I think that I’m getting my period. I’m feeling a little bit like a whiney weak-ass bitch. Anyway, what can I do you for?” I trailed my fingers through Throttle’s soft fur. Her rumbling purr was soothing.