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The Way to Steel

Paxton is the daughter of the local sheriff. Connor is the leader of the Red Riders Motorcycle Club. Their lives collide after Paxton returns home to the small town she grew up in. Will sparks fly or will their romance bring the whole town to a fiery ruin?

Age Rating: 18+

 

The Way to Steel by Tinkerbelle Leonhardt is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.

 


 

The app has received recognition from BBC, Forbes and The Guardian for being the hottest app for explosive new Romance, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense novels.
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Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

1

Summary

Paxton is the daughter of the local sheriff. Connor is the leader of the Red Riders Motorcycle Club. Their lives collide after Paxton returns home to the small town she grew up in. Will sparks fly or will their romance bring the whole town to a fiery ruin?

Age Rating: 18+

Original Author: Tinkerbelle Leonhardt

PAXTON

Three failed relationships, a miscarriage, a failed suicide attempt, losing my dream job, losing my house… oh yeah, and my cat ran away.

Ten years and that was all I had to say for myself.

Ten years of failures and misfortunes and fuckery.

This was where I’d wound up, driving back to Mom and Dad’s in Gatwick County, home to some of the largest haystacks, smallest minds, and religious homemakers in all of West Texas.

Ten years since I had sworn to myself I would never come back, and yet here I was.

I’d just hit twenty-eight, and life was looking anywhere but up.

Evan, the last guy that I’d been unfortunate enough to cross paths with, had managed to emotionally maim my life.

He fit under the failed relationship category—number three. He seemed like a nice guy at first, way nicer than I typically went for, and we even got engaged a year in.

But eventually, the frequent texts turned possessive, I couldn’t leave the house without his approval, and the yelling matches turned to blows that finally landed me in the hospital.

I let him buy me out of the house we’d purchased together for nearly nothing just so I could leave. Doctors said the stress on my body and mind was what led to the miscarriage and I shortly downed a bottle of painkillers for one final check-out.

And of course, I failed at that, too.

Then there was Nadia. Oh, vindictive and batshit-crazy Nadia.

Not only had she chosen to destroy a decade-long friendship, she had been my boss and fired my ass after I confided in her that her douche of a husband propositioned me.

As if that weren’t enough, she chose to destroy my career.

So now? No publishing company would touch me with a ten-foot pole, and I couldn’t find an editing gig to save my life.

Even the cat realized what a loser I was and beat it.

Finally, I pulled up to my parents’ country home a couple of miles south of town.

“My baby’s here!!!” Christine Bradbury, my mother, cried out as I stepped through the door.

She was the epitome of “country wife.”

She and my father had married young, straight out of high school. She never said it was because she was pregnant, but after six and a half months, I came along.

“Hey, Mom,” I said flatly, far from enthusiastic.

“Baby, I can hear that tone. You best remove that attitude before your father hears it.” I’d been here five fucking seconds and I was already in trouble.

“I just drove for thirteen hours and you’re already on my case?”

I loved my mother, I truly did, but we had always had a somewhat undernourished relationship.

My dad, however, he and I used to see eye to eye on everything…

Keywords: used to.

We would get back to that later.

The place hadn’t changed. The same antique plates stacked on their stands in the china hutch, hardwood floors, and the plush antique furniture. No one ever actually entered the ironically titled “living room.”

“Where’s Dad?”

“In his office. Drop those bags off in your room before you say hi, okay?”

And with that, she headed back to the kitchen in her pretty white knee-length dress and floral apron.

I trudged upstairs, my heart beating out of my chest.

The last time I saw my father, the words “I will never be back here again” had graced my lips, and ten years later, look where I was.

As I shrugged off my jacket and deposited my bags into my childhood bedroom, I took in the remnants of my former self.

The room was exactly as I had left it. Posters, old CDs, and mocking me from the vanity was the crown I’d been given at homecoming.

“Face it, Paxton,” a little voice in my head muttered. “You peaked.”

Finally, too sick to my stomach to stay in that room a moment longer, I knocked on my father’s home office door.

“Come in,” I heard his gruff voice say.

The room smelled the same. Of cigar smoke and repression.

“Hey, Dad,” I said, popping my head in, hoping to find a quick exit.

“I said come in, Paxton-Rose.”

I rolled my eyes. Eyes that were the exact same blueish gray as his.

He sat in a leather chair in front of his mahogany desk, his hands folded in front of him, his salt and pepper beard nicely trimmed, and his eyes—my eyes—staring at me, full of judgment.

He gazed over my bare arms, covered in full sleeve tattoos, disapprovingly and leaned forward.

“I distinctly remember the last time we saw each other you were set on never stepping foot in this town again.”

“Dad, I came to visit. Is that so wrong?”

So I left out the part about my life collapsing upon itself, so what? He didn’t need to know that. Not now. His expression softened a bit, and I was reminded of the man I used to love.

“I’m sorry. It’s just a surprise is all.”

“You’re telling me,” I said. “Anyway, I’ll see you later.”

“Not too late, all right?”

“Yes, Dad.” I cringed as the words come out.

Hurrying down the stairs, I saw my mother busying herself, and all I could ask myself was: How could she stay with him? After everything he had done? She was a fool then and a fool now, I guess.

I’d just gotten here and already felt claustrophobic. I needed to get the hell out of the house.

Without giving it a second thought, I stepped back outside, got into my car, and started driving. Nowhere in particular because in a small town such as this there really wasn’t a place to go.

I drove aimlessly past a small one-story building that used to be my old elementary school, where grades kindergarten through fifth grade were all in one classroom.

Made my way past the cemetery where my me-maw and pa-pa were buried.

Then finally, while sitting at the town’s one stoplight, I saw the neon beer signs of Ollie’s, a local watering hole.

It was like a beacon calling to me.

Hell yes.

After waiting five more minutes for the red light to change, I parked and walked through the door.

Yep, nothing like a drink to wash down the taste of ten wasted years and an unhappy reunion.

***

CONNOR

It wasn’t every day you see a girl that fine in Ollie’s. I was sitting with my MC number two, Patch, and his old lady, Trixie, taking a break from our Red Riders duties. Never mind that we had perfectly good booze back at the clubhouse. Trixie had wanted to go out.

Patch was your typical biker—leathers, tattoos, and one hell of a tough man in the ring, though, when it came to Trixie, he was an obedient puppy dog.

But from the moment I saw her walk back up to the bar for another drink, I was glad Trixie had dragged us out.

Black heels, ripped skinny jeans that cupped her tight ass, a flowy top that looked like it could be torn off with nothing but a pinky, and dozens of tats covering her bare arms.

She downed and ordered drinks like she was on a mission. Within five minutes, she was already on her third shot.

Clearly someone with baggage.

To say I was turned on would be putting it fucking lightly.

“Well, look who it is. Paxton-Rose Bradbury!” Ollie, the hick bartender, said in his West Texas accent, which was stronger than most. While most seemed to find his twang endearing, I found it annoying as fuck.

Regardless, the mystery girl now had a name.

“Hey, Ollie.” She nodded, disinterested.

“What brings the sheriff's daughter back to Gatwick County?”

The sheriff's kid? It would be just like that asshole to have a smoking-hot daughter. The bastard had been watching my every move since I got out of lockup ten months ago.

Yes, I knew I’d fucked up my life big time, but, hey, everyone deserved a chance at redemption, right?

And who better to keep me on the righteous path than a tasty morsel like this Paxton-Rose Bradbury?

“C’mon, Ollie,” she said. “Can’t a girl visit her parents once in a while?”

She grabbed a bottle from behind the bar and filled her glass to the brim a fourth time. Ollie didn’t protest.

“Darlin’,” Ollie said, “a girl like you doesn’t return to a place like this unless shit’s gone sideways. So. Who was he?”

She lifted an eyebrow, surprised, downing the drink in one gulp.

“Let’s just say…he isn’t worth wasting this nice little buzz I got going on.”

She was starting to slur. I couldn’t believe any man would let this fine piece of ass go. What was the dumbass thinking?

She was the right kind of confident. I mean you had to be to show up here and drink on your own.

And she was the right kind of vulnerable.

“So, what ya doing here instead of at home with the folks?” Ollie asked.

Good question, Ollie. Ten points, son. You’re not as dumb as you look.

“Oh, you know, every family’s gotta have the resident alcoholic…figured it might as well be me!”

“Now that’s a non-answer if I’ve ever heard one. When’s the last time ya saw ’em?”

“If fingers were years, I’d say this many,” she said, holding up both hands.

“Ten years?” Ollie said, surprised. “Whoa! Not that it’s any of my business…”

It’s not.

“But shouldn’t ya be spendin’ time with ’em? Seeing as how ya haven’t seen ’em in such a long time?”

She shrugged. “What’s the point? I don’t even know them anymore. And I don’t plan on sticking around here long enough to find out.” Her voice started getting louder as she began gesturing more with her arms.

“Everyone thinks my father is this wonderful man…” she said, trying to tap the end of her nose twice but missing. She was well past tipsy. “But if only they knew the truth, his pristine fucking reputation will be blown to smithereens.”

Daddy issues. I can work with that. I said to myself while putting out my cigar. Law says we’re not supposed to smoke in public, but Ollie knew better than to say anything.

“Hate to break it to ya, darlin', but ain’t a parent out there who’s 100 percent,” Ollie replied.

“Yeah.” She waved him off. “But anyway, what about you? Besides the bar, what else have you done? Wife? Kids? Husband?” She threw back a fifth shot.

Why the hell isn’t he cutting her off?

Ollie let out a laugh. “No, darlin’. I was waitin’ on ya to roll back into town, and look at that, my patience has been rewarded. You and me can start that relationship I always wanted.”

The fucker was after my woman. Okay, I knew she wasn’t my woman, but she was going to be. And this asshole needed to stay away.

“Con… you got this round?” Patch interrupted my recon mission.

“Yeah, in a minute.” I continued to observe the two.

“Ollie, as flattering as that is”—Paxton stood up and wobbled slightly—“I should get back before I drink you out of business.”

“All right, I’ll let you go this time.” Ollie grinned. “But just so you know, I’ll just keep comin’ until ya give this man a chance.”

“Goodnight, Oleander MacDermot,” Paxton said, swaying her tight body and sauntering out.

But not alone.

No, I was gonna make sure she got home safe. She was way too far-gone to be driving.

“Patch, grab the bikes and follow me,” I ordered. “You ride mine. Trixie, take Patch’s.”

Stepping outside, I approached the girl they called Paxton-Rose Bradbury as she was trying to open her car door.

“Hey, honey,” I said. “Why don’t you give me the keys and I’ll take you home?”

She turned and looked at me. And for the first time, I saw her eyes up close.

Gray, blue—fuck, I didn’t know what they were. All I knew was they were mesmerizing.

She considered me, then my two friends, and frowned.

“I don’t even…even know you guys,” she slurred.

“Well, let’s fix that,” I said, smiling. “My name is Connor, Connor Steel. And you are?”

I knew her name, of course, but I wanted to give her the chance to introduce herself. Instead, she just smiled with those pink pouty lips and inched closer to me.

“Connor Steel,” she said. The sound of my name on her mouth was enough to drive any man nuts. But she was drunk, and I wasn’t about to take advantage.

“I’m Paxton, Connor Steel. And I can assure you that I am…quite fun—fine, I mean, to drive.”

Fun and fine, I had to agree, but I snatched the keys out of her hands.

“You’ll thank me later. C’mon. I’ll take you home.”

And with that, I walked to the driver’s side. Paxton gave me a curious look just then.

“Who are you, Connor Steel?”

 

Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

2

Mom
Paxton, baby. Where are you?
Mom
We’re worried sick!
Mom
Don’t you remember what your father said?
Mom
Not too late!
PAXTON
Mommmmm stahp. Im omw
Mom
You’re what?
Mom
Paxton-Rose. Are you drunk?
PAXTON
PAXTON
Mom
What does that mean?
PAXTON
Mom
Just hurry home! Please!
PAXTON

I snorted, lowering my phone. Torturing Mom was one of my favorite pastimes. It didn’t hurt that I was positively tanked.

I turned to consider my mysterious savior…this Connor Steel. His sculpted, tat-covered arms, driving my car. His hooded black eyes, reflecting the lights of the road ahead. His jaw, clenched with severity.

I knew we’d just met, and maybe it was the liquor talking…

But, Lord, did I long to know him better. In more ways than one.

“So, Connor Steel,” I said. “You never answered my question.”

“Who I am? That one you mean?”

“Ex-exactly,” I hiccuped.

“Well, Paxton Bradbury, I own the garage down on Govern Drive. Which actually means I’m the only guy in town that can service your car.”

“Mechanic, huh?”

I noticed two bikes roaring behind us.

Remembering his two friends, I asked, “And why are they, those, uh, bikes following us?”

I found the words slipping from my mouth. Was it getting harder to talk, or was it just me? Not that it mattered.

It wasn’t like Connor Steel was treating me any different. I appreciated that. Nothing was worse than someone talking down to you when you were drunk.

That always made me lose my shit.

But Connor was patient, nodding into his rearview.

“Those are my friends. They’re following us until we drop you off safely. Then I’ll head home on my bike.”

I smiled, lifting an eyebrow. A biker. Nothing like a bit of danger.

“You ride?”

“Or die. Better believe it.”

He winked, and I practically melted on the spot.

Jesus, was this the whiskey? Or was this man really as hot as he looked?

But as I looked back out at the road…everything seemed darker. Maybe there just weren’t as many lights out here in the country. Or maybe I was…just getting…tired. So tired.

If I were to rest my head…just for a second…

CONNOR

“You still with me?”

I gently shook her shoulder to check, and she just slumped to the side. Yup, passed the fuck out. Well, that was all right. I was gonna make sure she got home safe and sound. No problem.

I chuckled a little bit, imagining how her father was going to react.

The sheriff.

The man already hated my guts. But this?

Showing up at his doorstep with his passed-out-drunk daughter in my arms?

This was really gonna make me public enemy number-fucking-one.

As a streetlight illuminated Paxton, I couldn’t help but gaze at her. On the one hand, she looked so innocent while she slept.

But on the other…that body. Those long luscious legs hanging out the open window. That chest rising and falling with each breath.

Making me hungry. A shame she’d had to drink so much. We could’ve had a fun night.

Maybe next time.

Finally, we pulled into the driveway of the old country house, and sure enough, there he was, the pompous ass, waiting. I’d never seen the sheriff on his home turf.

He was wearing his sidearm over elephant print pajamas.

Does he really sleep in the fucking thing?

When he saw the two bikes behind Paxton’s car, I saw his expression go from shock to boiling rage. The man hated bikers more than Catholics. And that was saying something.

“Stop that car!” he barked, pulling his Glock.

“I’d put that damn thing down if I were you,” I shouted back. “Precious cargo, understand?”

I saw the message compute, and he holstered the gun, still staring with murder in his eyes. I parked, got out of the car, and pulled his daughter out of the passenger seat. She lay comatose in my arms, her head flopping back, her body limp.

“What did you do to my daughter, Steel?” Sheriff Bradbury hissed.

“Saved her damn life, that’s what.”

Holding her tight, I walked up to the front door.

“I may have been locked up, Sheriff, but I’m not an asshole. She was too drunk to drive. She could have killed someone or herself.”

I handed her over, and I saw his eyes reeling. He didn’t want to say it, but he’d be a dick not to.

“Thank you,” he managed through clenched teeth.

“Anytime, Sheriff. I may be responsible for fucking my own life up, but if I can save someone, you better believe I will.”

He nodded, about to step inside, and a wicked idea crossed my mind.

“Oh yeah, and, Sheriff?” I asked.

“What?”

“When she wakes up, tell her…next time.”

With that, I turned on my heels and walked back to my bike. Patch disembarked and joined Trixie.

I could feel the sheriff’s eyes boring into my back. I knew he was going crazy, wondering what the hell “next time” meant.

Sure, I was a cruel bastard. But, after the way this pious sonofabitch had treated me, he deserved it.

We got on our bikes and left the property.

And I wondered if the girl…if Paxton-Rose Bradbury would even remember me…

Paxton

My throat.

It was so dry it felt like someone must’ve poured sand down my throat while I was sleeping. No, I could thank the liquor for that.

I groaned, blinking open my eyes, asking myself what the hell I did last night. Last thing I remembered was shot after shot at Ollie’s. Then…

But before I could continue to probe my murky memory, a very distinct, pungent smell of heaven drifted past my nose…

Coffee. Thank fuck.

I dragged my feet to the dresser and threw on some sunglasses.

God, mornings are the worst…

Shuffling down the stairs into my parents’ kitchen, I swore it felt like there were bulls running continuous circles in my head.

This was the hangover of the century.

“Here, baby.” Mom handed me some pain meds and water.

“Thanks,” I croaked out. I downed the water and pills then went to the coffee pot to get myself a cup. Then I heard a less pleasant voice from the doorway.

“You were passed out drunk in the arms of a criminal!” my father snapped.

“Do we have to do this now?” I groaned. “I’m not feeling too great at the moment.”

“He’s an ex-convict, Paxton-Rose. An ex-con at my house. How do you know Connor Steel?”

“Who?”

“And what does ‘next time’ mean? That was his message for you.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Don’t play dumb with me. He and his motorcycle cronies drove you home while you were out cold… You brought a convicted felon onto my property!”

“Careful, Dad, can’t have the public hear you losing your temper.”

“I’ve had enough of your attitude. You can’t just roll up here after all these years and expect us to bend over backwards for you.”

“You won’t bend over backwards for me, but you were more than happy bending that slut over and shoving your dick in her!”

I screamed it out before I could help myself. Then I stormed off upstairs.

I hated him.

I hated him for ruining us.

I hated that I was the one who walked in as he was cumming in her. I could never erase that image from my head.

I hated that I blamed him for destroying my trust in all men, for being the reason I picked the wrong men to this day.

Suddenly, I felt an unmistakable, sour lump in my throat.

I was going to puke my guts up.

I ran into the bathroom and let it all go into the toilet. The smell of vomit and whiskey permeated the air, and it kept coming up until all I could do was dry heave.

I spent the rest of the day in my childhood bedroom with the door locked.

Mom tried to talk to me, but under no circumstances was I allowing her in. I only snuck into the bathroom to drink water from the faucet when I was sure she was downstairs.

After I’d slept off my hangover on and off throughout the day, a particular character returned to my memory bank, a rather handsome stranger who I presumed was the elusive Connor Steel my father was so fired up about.

I remember saying his name to commit it to memory.

Connor Steel. I wonder what you’re up to now, Mr. No-Good-Criminal?

CONNOR
target, yo
Target
Whats up boss
CONNOR
i want everything you can find on a girl named paxton-rose bradbury
Target
Background check?
Target
Can do
CONNOR
thx man

I lowered my phone, looking out the window at our sprawling property on the edge of town. The place used to be a Highway Inn. Now? It was the official clubhouse for the Red Riders motorcycle club.

I knew what people would be thinking. Thugs. Criminals. What’d Sheriff Bradbury always call us? That’s right.

Filth.

Sure, we dabbled in illegal shit from time to time, but most of our profits came from legitimate business.

Now, especially, I felt I had to be careful. I wasn’t ever going back to prison. That didn’t stop the sheriff from trying to pin shit on me, though.

How had this all started? It was a long story. Let’s just say we had an accountant who cheated us and fixed the books. Of all the things to get busted for?

Fucking tax evasion.

Needless to say, that accountant didn’t make it to his next birthday.

Yeah, I looked scary with my bulky build and tats. I was intimidating, and thankful for it. Otherwise, I would have ended up someone’s bitch in lockup.

But it was my dark hair and black-as-night eyes that sent the men pissing their pants and the girls creaming.

But in that moment, I knew the only girl I was interested in making cum anytime soon.

In the ten months since I’d been out of prison, not to mention the seven years I was in, I hadn’t been laid. It wasn’t that I hadn’t had the opportunity, but it honestly just hadn’t felt right.

The old me used to fuck anything with a short skirt and tight ass that moved, but since getting out, I’d wanted something more. I was done with the one-night stands.

In all the time I was behind bars, not a single one of those bitches from before came to see me.

Made me realize I wanted something more meaningful. A real relationship with someone who cared about me just as much as I cared about them.

I stripped my clothes and stepped into the shower. I stood naked, water cascading down my body, gripping my thick girth, imagining my hand was hers. Imagining she was in the shower with me right now.

Begging for it.

Paxton.

I could almost hear her voice right now.

“I want you inside me, Connor Steel.”

I began stroking my hand up and down my hard dick, thumb gliding over the tip, conjuring images of taking Paxton from behind.

That soft but firm ass slapping as I slipped in and out of her.

Tight.

Moaning.

Soaked.

I jerked harder, imagining her screaming now. Slamming inside her. My release building.

Even the imaginary Paxton was pushing me over the edge.

I could see her moaning with uncontrolled pleasure, about to climax right then and there.

“Ooooohhhhhh,” I howled.

Sweet release.

I shot my cum onto the shower floor.

What a waste. To think, I could’ve done that in real life inside her. Fuck me, I would do just about anything to take her now.

I swore then and there I’d do whatever I needed to make that happen.

 

Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

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