Home>>read Sirens in Bliss free online

Sirens in Bliss(9)

By:Sophie Oak

“Then you have to make it happen. He’s not abusive, right?” He would have to step in if he found out Laura was hurting.

“Of course not. Rafe is the sweetest. He’s just sad and I can’t stand it. And I can’t stand the thought of choosing between this town and my family. What am I saying? This town is my family. I’m choosing between Rafe and my family. Why can’t he see it?”

Why couldn’t Leo see that their family was complete until such time as they chose to add to it? Wolf wanted kids so bad it hurt, but he wasn’t going to force Leo or Shelley to move any faster than they wanted to. “I don’t know, sweetheart, but you need to work it out. That’s your only option.”

And he had to talk to Leo. There was no other choice.

* * * *

“So you regularly go to jail.” It wasn’t a question. Leo was pretty sure it was just a simple truth of Max Harper’s life.

“He spend so much times in the jail that we have his orders for food on file. We provide the dinners. I think he get taken in because it be the only time he gets Buffalo wings.” The big Russian bartender put two beers in front of them and a big basket of the aforementioned wings.

Max’s eyes narrowed, and he looked around the bar. “There might be some truth to that, and let’s keep this little fried bit of joy between the three of us.” Max looked back at Leo. “My baby is serious about my cholesterol. I made the horrible mistake of actually following through with the physical, and apparently there’s some difference between good and bad cholesterol and I have the bad shit. So Rach has decided I should be a bunny rabbit. Men need food. Men need meat.”

Leo wasn’t sure Buffalo wings qualified as meat, but Harper seemed to think so. He dug into the fried treats with gusto, stopping only to enjoy his beer. “How do you usually get incarcerated?”

He shrugged. “The normal way. I punch someone and Nate gets pissy about it. I rarely stay overnight. Rye comes and gets me out most of the time. Let me tell you, I like the hell out of Gemma. I don’t care that she’s a lawyer. She’s easily bribable. Callie and Hope used to call Rach no matter what I did.”

“Do you think your violent tendencies come from your childhood?” He would far rather conduct this interview in his office. It would be quiet and serene there. The jukebox was screaming out something about crashing a party, but Harper seemed to enjoy the chaos.

Harper’s expression turned thoughtful. “I think my violent tendencies come from people being assholes.”

“All right, I’ll rephrase. What was your childhood like?”

“Awesome. Rye and I had the run of the mountain. My momma made the best cookies. Me and Rye and Stef, we were mountain men when we were kids. We used to take a tent and sleep up on the mountain. There’s nothing better.”

“What about your father?”

Harper sighed. “He shouldn’t have stayed as long as he did.”

Leo frowned. “That’s an odd statement.”

Harper stopped for a moment as though he was deciding what to say. “He wasn’t cut out to be a father, you know. I think he tried his hardest, but it would have been better for all of us if he’d deserted our momma.”

Leo was deeply confused. “You’re happy he left you?”

“No. I was pissed as shit at the time. But I’m an adult now and things look differently from this side. I loved my momma. She was a good woman. She stood by her man even when she shouldn’t have. Don’t feel sorry for me. It’s not like I didn’t have male role models. I had Hiram and Mel and Bill. Sure, Hi thinks bears are out to get him. Mel hunts aliens and Bill is always naked, but they helped a boy out. I just think Momma could have found someone who would have loved her better.”

“So you knew your mother and father weren’t in love?”

Harper sucked the juice off a wing. “I don’t know that anyone could really love my daddy. It’s not that he was a complete ass, he just was closed off. I think he cared about my momma, but he didn’t know how to really love someone.”

“Your mother died when you were young?” He’d heard a couple of stories.

“I was barely eighteen. When Momma died the man who called himself my dad left. He left me and Rye with my sister, Brooke. She was just seven at the time. We had to work real hard because we couldn’t let the state come in and take her. But then I met my Rach. Lots of things changed after I met my Rach. Love, really loving a woman and being loved back, that’s the most important thing in the world. My momma was a good woman. She deserved to be some man’s whole world.”

Why the hell was this man insane? He made total sense. He had all the working parts to be a functional man. So why did Max Harper insist on being an asshole?

Maybe he just chose to be.


Leo turned his head, following the sound that came from his left. A man stood there. Leo would peg him somewhere in his sixties. He was well dressed, though the clothes were of middling quality. He stared at the man trying to figure out who the hell he was.


“Leonardo, I’m your father. I thought we could talk.”

Harper pointed a wing his way. “Now we’re getting to the drama. Nice.”

Leo shook his head, hoping he was hallucinating. Maybe the strong odor of Harper’s superhot chicken wings was causing him to see things. Because this shit just couldn’t be happening right before his wedding. He had enough to deal with. He didn’t need a long-lost father.

“What do you want?” He stared at the man who had supplied half his DNA. The man didn’t look anything like the father he remembered, but then a young mind could play tricks. Memory was a fragile thing. The man who stood in front of him was so much older than he remembered, his face showing decades of hard living.

A deep frown crossed Robert Meyer’s face. “I told you in my e-mail. I just want to talk to my son.”

“I find your timing deeply interesting,” Leo replied.

Max watched the byplay like he was invested in a tennis match. His eyes went from Leo to Robert and back again as he munched down on his precious hot wings. “Do you find it interesting because he doesn’t show back up in your life until you’re just about to get married so it’s at the worst possible time?”

Did he really need Max’s input? “Yes. That was what I meant.”

Max smiled and nodded as though giving them permission to continue. “I found that interesting, too. He’s probably here to blackmail you.”

“I am not.” Robert shook his head, but there was something in his father’s eyes that made Leo think he was lying.

The fucker.

“I just want to talk, Leonardo. I think your mother has been lying to you about me for a long time. Isn’t it time to put the past behind us and be a family again?”

Max pointed a wing at Robert. “You found out how much money he’s worth, didn’t you?” His brow furrowed as he looked to Leo. “You are worth a lot, right? I mean you work for that crazy rich Julian fellow so you’re bound to be loaded.”

“You work for Lodge? I’ve heard of him.” Robert’s face turned thoughtful. “He’s an interesting man. Your job must be fascinating, Leo. You’ve done so well for yourself.”

“Cut the crap.” He didn’t feel like playing around. “What do you want? Look, I have no idea what you’ve been doing or where you’ve been. If you have some misconception that Wolf and I have spent our lives wondering about you, you’re wrong. We grew up just fine without you. If you have a deep need to reconnect, try me again after the wedding.”

His father’s cheeks flushed a slight red, a sure sign of irritation. This obviously wasn’t going the way he’d planned.

“I think the shrink is trying to tell you to get lost or he’s going to hire me to shove a baseball bat straight up your rear.” Max nodded. “I’ll give a real good rate on that. He was married to Cassidy, right? Real fine lady. Crazy as fuck, but nice.”

“Are you threatening me, you asshole?” His father’s pleasant mask dropped. Ah, now Leo remembered him.

“Go away, Robert. I don’t want to talk to you. I’ve moved on with my life. I suggest you move on with yours. Otherwise, I might have to take Mr. Harper up on his offer.”

Max let out a long sigh. “Please do. Rach won’t let me kill anyone anymore. It’s been months.”

Robert moved back, his mouth a stubborn grimace. “Don’t think this is over, Leo.”

Max leaned over. “So he just e-mailed you? I don’t believe in e-mail. It’s just one more way for people to try to get you to do shit for them. You should be like me. Just get rid of it and don’t reload it again.”

Leo felt like growling. His father might have walked away long ago, but it looked like Leo couldn’t delete the fucker.

Chapter Five:

Aidan, Lexi, and Lucas

Lucas waited patiently as Aidan rode in. He was sitting on top of a gorgeous brown and white mustang, his spine straight, sweat on his brow.

Working man. Cowboy. Sweat and leather. It should disgust him, but his cock just sprang right up.