From the Ruins
by Janine infante Bosco
A Satan’s Knights MC Novel
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Cover Designer: JB’s Cover Obsession Design
Model: Michael Joseph
Photographer: Reggie Deanching, R+M Photography
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, MC, Bikers, Romantic Suspense
In every man’s life there comes a day of reckoning. It’s the day darkness is exposed and sinners are punished for their trespasses.
A day when loyalty is destroyed and a man is left in ruins.
When he walks away from his club and loses his religion.
Whoever said from the ruins they will rise again never walked a mile in my shoes or the pair of red ones I was left holding.
He’s bitter, cold and angry.
He’s seen his share of heartache.
Lived through tragedy and despair.
He’s my neighbor.
The man I know should stay away from.
The man who will destroy what’s left of me if I get too close.
He’s Lee Jameson, and I’m Layla Milano.
This is our story.
The story of two people left in ruins forced to rise again.
From the Ruins
© Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved by Janine Infante Bosco.
Running after Lee, I forget my kitchen resembles a small pond or that I’m soaking wet myself. Hell, I don’t even have a chance to process his actual name before he’s folding his large frame into my car. Shuffling down the steps, I hurry toward him making sure I don’t wind up taking another flop in the mud.
Finally reaching the car, I splay both hands over the hood and lean forward.
“Get out of the car,” I demand.
About to switch gears, he turns his attention toward me and narrows his eyes. The thought of him possibly judging me sets me off into a frenzy.
“You’ve done enough damage,” I tell him, smacking the palm of my hand against the hood. “I wouldn’t be in this mess if you could just keep your dick in your pants, but no, you had to go and pick possibly the two dumbest people on the planet to sleep with and now I’m the one paying with a broken car.”
“I didn’t actually sleep with them,” he mutters.
My anger doesn’t seem to quell and the more he sits behind the wheel staring at me, the more my hands tremble. Lifting them from the hood of the car, I applaud him sarcastically.
“Congratulations, you’ve spared yourself the risk of getting gangrene. Me, on the other hand, has to still suffer the consequences of your poor choices,” I spit.
“Jesus Christ, woman, I’m trying to make it right,” he shouts angrily, slamming his fist against the steering wheel. Seeing the frustration radiate from his features, I drop my arms to my side and narrow my eyes in disbelief.
Since the moment I met this man he has been nothing but nasty to me. Even when I apologized to him he acted like a dick. Now he wants to be helpful and I’m supposed to believe he grew a conscience over night?
“Why?” I blurt. “Why all of a sudden do you care?’
Clearly annoyed, he rubs his hands vigorously across his face before putting the car in park and stepping out of it. With one arm braced on the door, he pins me with those incredible eyes of his and I temporarily forget what we’re doing.
“Would you rather I didn’t? That change could be arranged,” he hisses. “Your car is fucked, Layla, and fuck me if I know why, but I feel responsible. Now, the man upstairs didn’t give me a whole lot of blessings but he gave me hands, and I’m damn fucking good with them.”
Unsure how to respond to his confession, I remain silent. I quickly learn giving him the floor is a mistake because what he says next breaks the little resolve I have.
“For crying out loud, haven’t you ever had a man help you before?”
His words slam into me with force and the weight of every burden I’ve been carrying drags me down. Willing myself not to let my emotions get the best of me, I swallow down the lump lodged in my throat and shake my head.
“Not without wanting something in return,” I confess. It’s a truth I didn’t realize until I was already on my own. I can’t say for certain that my ex-husband was the exception. He dangled that fucking house of his in my face for years. It didn’t matter that I was the one who made it a home, in his eyes I should’ve been grateful he put a roof over my head. I never felt as though it was ours. It was his and I was the woman who lived there.
Suddenly, it’s not about the car but about everything that has ever gone wrong in my life. Every single hole I’ve had to dig myself out of.
“Let me fix your car,” Lee says, dragging me away from my head.
Staring at him blankly, I shake my head as I give into the tears.
“I have insurance…shit,” I cry, wiping at my eyes. “I mean, I think I have insurance,” I amend, unsure if I paid the bill. I suppose it’s a good sign I don’t remember getting a cancelation notice in the mail.
“Oh God,” I moan, lifting my hands to my face. “I’m sorry,” I sob. The tears fall freely and I can’t keep up. Realizing it’s a wasted effort, I drop my hands and unload all my grief. “I’m overwhelmed,” I admit. “You’re right, this is the last thing I need right now. I have three kids who basically hate me since I left their father, a son whose favorite pastime is getting into trouble and a shit job that doesn’t pay the bills. Let’s not forget a house that’s falling apart at the seams. I’ve never felt more out of control than I do now, and every time I think I’m getting ahead, something else happens that sets me back. And now I’m standing in front of a man who is basically a stranger and I’m crying. I’m fucking crying and I don’t cry.”
“Shit,” he hisses, stepping awkwardly toward me. Lifting a hand, he seems to debate on what to do with it until he pats my shoulder uncomfortably. “There, now,” he mutters. “Pull yourself together, killer.”
If I wasn’t falling apart I think this would be funny. I mean we make quite the pair. He’s fighting a hangover and I’m having a nervous breakdown. While I’m dressed in pajamas, he’s wearing the same clothes as the night before and we’re both drenched from the waterfall inside my house. I have diarrhea of the mouth and he has no idea what to do with me as we play tug of war with my car. Not to mention my kids are on the front porch watching the whole exchange. Yeah, we look like a bunch of clowns.
A laugh flies past my lips and I cover my mouth with my hands to stop the fit of giggles that insanely erupts.
“Oh good, we’ve moved onto laughing,” he says, dropping his hand from my shoulder. Taking a step back, he shoves his hands into his pockets and stares at me like I have three heads.
“Oh my God,” I say, chuckling. “You should see your face right now,” I comment, grabbing my stomach. His eyes narrow at me.
“You playing me, girl?”
“No,” I hiccup, shaking my head. “I swear.”
Having had enough of me, he blows out an exasperated sigh.
“So, do we have a deal?”
“Wait,” I say, sobering up. “There was a deal?”
“Yeah, the deal is I fix the fucking car.”
“And what do I do?”
“Oh for fuck’s sake, stop. Let me do this. It’ll make me feel better and like your son, my favorite pastime these days seems to be getting myself in a shit ton of trouble. If I’m busy fixing your car then I’ll be too busy to make the next bad decision and it’ll keep the whores off the front lawn, both yours and mine.”
“I don’t have any whores.”
“Feeling better?” he questions, lifting an eyebrow.
My situation was hopeless, and no, I wasn’t feeling better about any of it but for some reason I wasn’t feeling weighted down by my life.
“I’m not sure,” I admit as I cock my head to the side and study the faint lines in the corner of his eyes. After a beat, I shake my head and break away from the hypnotic spell they seem to have me under. “I’ll pay you back. I’ll call the insurance company and put a claim in.”
“Whatever makes you sleep better, killer,” he replies. “Or you can make me a pot of coffee and we’ll be even. Either way, get out of my way and let me get started.”
“There he is,” I start. “I was starting to mourn the asshole I’ve come to expect.”
“Have no fear, I’m an asshole first and foremost,” he says.
We both grow silent for a moment and I swear I see his lips quirk ever so slightly.
“Thank you,” I murmur softly.
“Get on, girl,” he says with a nod.
Hesitantly, I step around him and glance up at my house. Three sets of eyes stare back at me and I’m reminded of the busted pipe and the list of things I was supposed to do today. Things I’m not sure how they’ll get done now that I don’t have a car.
“Jesus Christ, what is it now?” I hear Lee say behind me.
Turning around, I watch as he lights a cigarette. Taking the first long pull, he leans against the side of the car and waits for me to deliver my next blow.
“I don’t have a car.”
“Is this a delayed reaction type thing?”
“It’s just, well, I mean we’re not in the city. I can’t hop on a bus. I’ve got a busted pipe I need to fix and I was supposed to go into town today. And then there is school. How am I supposed to get my kids to school every day?”
“Lay it on me, killer, what do you need to do,” he says, pushing off the car. He ashes his cigarette before taking another long pull and leveling me with those eyes of his. “Aside from the pipe thing because I doubt you can fix that thing on your own.”
“How would you know? I happen to be very handy,” I defend.
“I bet you are,” he says with a smirk.
I’m not blind and as brief as it is, I watch his eyes scan the length of me.
“How handy are we talking?” he adds.
“I have a pink tool belt,” I blurt, feeling the slightest blush creep across my cheeks. In that instant, I remind myself that he’s the same man from last night, the guy who spent the night with two women. The man who yelled at my son. The man I threatened with a pair of brass knuckles.
The thing is, right now, he doesn’t seem so angry. In this moment, he’s not the rancid devil menacing his way through life. He’s just another guy, someone who may just have a heart buried somewhere deep inside.
“I can take you into town,” he says with a grunt.
“That’s nice of you to offer but after last night, I’m not letting my son out of my sight and I didn’t see a side car attached to your bike.”
“I’ve got a truck, killer,” he retorts, jutting his chin toward his garage. “You and your posse can fit in the back. I reckon there ain’t any school on a Sunday, aye?”
“Aye?” I repeat.
“You need to go into town, I’ll take you and your tribe into town. We’ll figure out the rest—”
“Jesus Christ, please just shut up,” he interrupts as he clutches the sides of his head. “Go get your kids ready or whatever it is you need to do and let’s get a move on,” he growls. “But first, go change out of that wet t-shirt,” he adds, turning toward his house.
Embarrassment floods me and I glance down at the sheer shirt molded to my breasts. Crossing my arms in a feeble attempt to hide my nipples from him, I look back at him.
“Where are you going?” I call out as he reaches his steps.
“To down a bottle of Advil,” he says over his shoulder. “You got five minutes to get your ass out here.”
Does he have any idea how long it takes to get everyone ready? It takes us five minutes to find our shoes.
“Thanks,” I shout.
He replies by slamming his front door shut.
And there he is.
FROM THE RUINS PLAYLIST
Here we are again, off the heels of one epic ride and ready to embark on the next one.
Pipe’s story first came to me as I was writing Eternal Temptations and it’s taken some time to figure out who the woman that heals him should be. As it turns out, I didn’t have to look very far. All I had to do was look in the mirror.
Seems easy enough but when you’re telling a story that focuses on your own truth, you need to dig deep and find the courage to say what you’ve kept under wraps.
This story isn’t just about Pipe.
It’s about me.
It’s about Janine Infante Bosco telling you her truth.
It’s about finding a way to tell my story and move on when I’m still not certain I’m ready to.
Truth, I have been separated from my husband for two years.
Truth, divorce or in my case, separation—is ugly.
Truth, the children hurt just as much as the parents if not more.
Truth, it changes the way you interpret love.
Truth, it changes you.
It brings you down but you rise up and become better than you were before.
Stronger than you thought possible.
You learn to appreciate the little things and accept change.
My story isn’t over because one chapter has ended and you’ll find neither is Layla’s.
As always, I promise to give you a beautiful love story full of healing and unexpected surprises.
I will restore your faith in brotherhood and teach you family isn’t always about blood.
We’ll all be Property of Parrish in the end but first I’m going to torture you all a little.
Saddle up, the boys in leather are back!
The motherfucks will fly, people will die, you will cry and curse the day you ever heard of me.
The men are crass. They’re vulgar and they’re not scholars.
The Satan’s Knights are street guys who use slang and the grammar won’t be on point.
Some of your old favorites are back but if you’ve never read any of my books you will totally be fine. However, if the word fuck offends you—well, then this book isn’t for you.
If you’re cool with it then, let’s fucking do this!
Become part of this unconventional family.
See you on the other side,
ABOUT JANINE INFANTE BOSCO
Janine Infante Bosco lives in New York City, she has always loved reading and writing. When she was thirteen, she began to write her own stories and her passion for writing took off as the years went on. At eighteen, she even wrote a full screenplay with dreams of one day becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Janine writes emotionally charged novels with an emphasis on family bonds, strong willed female characters, and alpha male men who will do anything for the women they love. She loves to interact with fans and fellow avid romance readers like herself.
She is proud of her success as an author and the friendships she’s made in the book community but her greatest accomplishment to date would be her two sons Joseph and Paul.