Rock's Redemption(Insurgents MC Romance Book 8)(6)

By: Chiah Wilder

“Take your fucking hand off her!” Roche clenched his fists, the red stains of embarrassment replaced by streaks of anger.

Peter threw her backward, his nostrils flaring. “What did you say to me, you fucking scum?”

“You heard me.” Roche breathed heavily.

Clotille brushed her fingers against his arm. “Let’s go.” She narrowed her eyes at Armand. “If you don’t stop right now, I’m going to tell Dad.”

Before he could answer, the cemetery groundskeeper rushed toward them shouting, his arms flailing, and they all scattered. Roche grabbed her hand and pulled her along as they ran, leading them behind a large cypress tree with Spanish moss that hid one of the large mausoleums. They both gulped for air as her brother and his friends looked for them. Grasping her shoulders, Roche pulled Clotille flush against him as he leaned against the large tree, obscured from sight. Clotille’s back pressed against him, his jeans tightened as he held her closer to him, his arms snuggly around her waist.

“I think the dirtbag went this way,” Armand shouted, pointing to the cemetery’s exit. His friends grunted and followed him, taking them farther away from him and Clotille. As the boys’ voices dissipated, Roche rubbed against her slightly to get some relief from the ache in his pants. It felt so good. As he moved against her lower back, she stiffened before turning around and tilting her head back, her green gaze locking with his dark one. A funny look crossed her face and her cheeks were a deep red. He dipped his head down and kissed her. A jolt of desire shot through him and he brought her closer to him, his lips moving against her soft ones. Then she sighed and when her mouth opened slightly, he slipped his tongue inside. She tasted of cherry bubble gum and he pushed in deeper, losing himself in her warmth and softness. Then she jerked away.

“Why did you do that?” Clotille unwrapped his arms from her.

“You’re so pretty. You didn’t like it?” Roche’s body was humming. He didn’t want to stop kissing her.

Looking at the ground, she wiggled from one foot to the other, twirling a strand of hair around her finger. “It felt funny. I don’t want you to do it anymore.”

“It’s natural to do it. Don’t you like me?” He laced his fingers with hers.

She pulled away. “I do. I have to go.” She whirled around.

“Let me walk you home.” He pushed away from the tree trunk.

Panic laced her eyes. “No,” she said too harshly. “I can go by myself.” She ran from him but then stopped, waved, and yelled, “Bye!” Then she dashed between the graves. He watched her until she was nothing but a mere speck in the distance; then he sighed and walked in the opposite direction to his home.

In bed that night, his body racked with pain from the beating, he stared at the darkness, remembering how soft Clotille’s lips were on his and how warm and wet her mouth was.

For several days after their kiss, she avoided him and when they finally got together, she made sure her other friends were with her. He noticed that she didn’t want to be alone with him anymore, and a part of him wished the kiss never would’ve happened so they could go back to hanging out, just the two of them.

Something had changed between them after they’d shared their first kiss, and he felt like she was slipping away from him. When she entered high school the following year, she began hanging around girls who were considered the popular group in the school. All of a sudden she didn’t have time for him. Their long walks along the Vermillion River ended, as well as their afterschool sodas at the local hangout. Soon she stopped saying hello to him in the school hallways, only offering a slight smile or nod.

He didn’t understand why she’d pulled away from him; he only knew he missed her and thought about her too much. Fearing rejection, he kept his distance, and his heart broke the first time he saw her holding hands with Luc, a football player who was in his class. Roche had lost her, and he mourned the end of what they had shared for the past four years. If it bothered her, she certainly didn’t show it, which made the cracks in his heart even deeper.

And so Roche went his own way, as Clotille did hers. Roche’s family situation worsened, the only respite being when his father went to the bayou for several weeks to make some money from fishing and trapping. His mother still worked for Clotille’s family, and his brother Henri had begun to take on the role of his father while he was gone. Henri tried to boss him around, but Roche wouldn’t let him do it even if Henri was two years older and stronger. He mostly ignored Henri, but whenever he’d bully their sisters, Isa and Lille, or their mother, Roche would stand up for them and even fight his brother over his disrespect. His mother would pull them apart and tell Roche that his temper was going to get him in trouble one day.

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