Welcome Birthday Guest Aja Foxx!

“Roses red, violets blue, sugar sweet and so is you, but roses wilting, violets dead, sugar lumpy, and so is you head. So is you head. You head. You head. Lumpy you head.”
“No lumps this time, Bug.”
“Eeep!” I jumped back, pressing a hand to my heaving chest. A man who stood six and a half feet tall should not be able to sneak up on me like that. I pointed a threatening finger at Bear. “You no scare Bug!”
Bear chuckled as he drew me into his arms. “I wasn’t trying to scare you, Bug. Promise.”
“What you want?”
“I can’t just come to see you because I want to?”
I thought about it and then shook my head. “You working. Bug no bother you. Boss man get mad.”
“Well, I just so happen to be done working and thought we could go for a ride.”
“Mate ride or club ride?”
There was a difference.
“It’s not a club ride because it will be just you and me, and if it was a mate ride, we’d be headed upstairs.”
I wasn’t opposed to that.
“Mate ride good.”
Bear chuckled again. “How about we go for a ride on my bike now and then come home for a mate ride?”
I didn’t even have to think about that one. “Okay.”
Bear leaned down and brushed his lips across mine then gave me a little swat on the ass. “Go get your gear.”
I hurried upstairs to our room and grabbed my heavy riding jacket, gloves, and helmet. Bear never let me ride without them, not even in the summer time. Something about not getting road rash or a broken skull if we crashed.
Considering how much I loved being on the bike behind Bear, it wasn’t worth arguing, even when it was so hot I felt as if my skin was going to melt right off.
Bear was waiting for me out back, straddling his bike. It wasn’t until I climbed on behind him that I realized Bear’s bike was the only one in the garage. “Where everyone?”
“Oh, Ryder took them for a ride,” Bear said. “I wanted to ride with you.”
I was pretty good either way. I enjoyed the rides Ryder, the Soldiers of Fortune road captain organized, and I enjoyed the rides I took with just Bear. I just liked being on the back of Bear’s bike. I didn’t care who else was along for the ride.
Once we were on the road, we had to make it through weekend afternoon traffic before we reached the outskirts of the city and then it was nothing but hills and valleys and trees. Lots and lots of trees.
When we stopped at a four way stop and Bear turned right and started following the road that went along the river, I smiled. I knew where we were headed. “Bear play chase?”
It was one of Bear’s favorite games. He’d bring me up to this spot in the woods, I’d go hide, and he’d track me down. If he found me within a certain amount of time, he got to do whatever he wanted with me. More times than not, I purposely made noise so he’d find me.
Still, it was a fun game for both of us.
“Not today, Bug,” Bear replied through the comm. unit built into our helmets. “I have something else planned for you today.”
I was intrigued.
But I was also confused when Bear pulled onto the dirt road that led to the camp spot used by the club and not the one he usually took me to when we played chase. That was a little farther up the road.
“We miss meeting?” It was the only way I could think of to explain all the bikes parked in front of the trail that led down to a large wooden park pavilion where we had our outdoor meetings and get-togethers. “We in trouble?”
Bear parked next to the other bikes then turned the engine off. He grabbed me and pulled me around in front of him.
One of my favorite spots.
“No, Bug. I promise we’re not in trouble.”
“We miss meeting?” I asked again.
“There is a meeting, but we didn’t miss it.” Bear lifted me up in his arms and climbed off his bike. I groaned when he released me and I slid down his hard body. “In fact, they are waiting for us.”
“Why?” Yes, technically, I was a member of the Soldiers of Fortune MC. Butch had given me the patch right off his own cut. That didn’t mean I was involved in every aspect of the club. There were some things Bear didn’t want me involved in. Other things I just didn’t understand.
“How’s your tummy?” Bear asked.
I frowned. It acted up when danger was about. Since it wasn’t acting up, I figured I was safe. “Tummy okay.”
Shouldn’t it be fine?
Bear grinned. “Good.”
“You being weird.” Considering I was talking to a bear shifting biker, that was saying a lot. “What wrong?”
“Nothing is wrong, mate. I promise.”
Promises were important.
Bear gripped my hand and gave it a little tug. “Come with me.”
I’d follow him anywhere.
He led me down the trail that led to the through the trees to the wooden pavilion. I loved this spot. Not only was the pavilion right next to the river so we could go swimming, but it was set in the middle of a small field. Bear and the other members of the MC could shift and lay about in the sun or play in the river or just hunt for berries.
I could hear music playing and people talking before we reached the field. When we broke through the trees and I saw the small crowd of people, I could help feeling a bit apprehensive. “We not in trouble?”
“No, babe.” Bear’s arm settled on my shoulders. “We’re not in trouble.”
“What meeting for?” I don’t remember anyone saying anything about there being a meeting.
“Soldiers of Fortune,” Butch shouted out. “Front and center.”
Uh oh.
I swallowed tightly when every patched member of the club lined up next to Butch. Tex even stepped into line, and he was still a prospect.
Bear stopped me several feet in front of the line of men and stood behind me, his hands on my shoulders. “We don’t know exactly when you were born, Bug, so Butch and I decided to pick out a birthday for you, and that day is today, so happy birthday, Bug.”
One by one, the men standing in front of us brought out a present they had been hiding behind their backs. They all had grins on their faces, even Tex.
“Bug birthday?”
I didn’t remember ever having a birthday.
“Yeah, baby. This is all for you.”
It was good to be me.

To learn more about Bug, Bear, and the Soldiers for Fortune, check out their story in:

Soldiers of Fortune 1
His name was Bug. I assumed it was because he was nuttier than a bed bug until he saved me when I was attacked. For reasons known only to him, Bug thought it was his duty to keep me safe. I was the sergeant-at-arms of the Soldiers of Fortune MC. I didn’t need saving, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell him so, especially not after I discovered he was my mate.

His name was Bear. It fit. He was tall and scary and built like a bear. He was also my savior, even if he didn’t know it. When I saw someone attack him in an alley one night, I knew I had to save him. When everyone brushed off my concern for his safety, I knew I was the only one who could save him. But, when he started talking about mates and bear shifters, I had to wonder if he was even crazier than I was.

When troubles comes for the Soldiers of Fortune MC, convincing Bear and his club brothers to listen to the whispers I hear from the shadows might be harder than accepting the fact that shifters are real and I’m mated to one of them.


~ Bear ~
“Roses red, violets blue, sugar sweet and so is you, but roses wilting, violets dead, sugar lumpy, and so is you head. So is you head. You head. You head. Lumpy you head.”
I cracked an eye open and looked up at the man softly singing as he stroked his fingers through my hair. I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on. The world around me was a bit fuzzy, all except the man hovering over the top of me.
Pale skin, a thin face with high cheekbones, hollow, sunken eyes, and a wicked looking scar that went from his cheekbone back into his hairline. Long, stringy hair that might have been blond if it hadn’t been so matted and dirty. But it was the pale moss green eyes that held my attention the most. There was a world of pain and anguish in those little green orbs.
I frowned when a flower was placed on my cheek. When I went to reach for it, the grungy little man gasped then scurried back several feet. He stayed crouched on the floor, hunkering down as if trying to make himself as small as possible and covering his head with his arms.
“Lumpy, lumpy, lumpy,” the man whispered, but maybe he was more of a boy.
I couldn’t quite tell.
I started to sit up then groaned when shards of pain sliced through my skull. When I reached up and felt the nice sized egg on the back of my head, I suddenly understood what the man had meant by lumpy.
No wonder my head ached so damn much.
I sank back down onto the cold concrete and closed my eyes. I breathed in through my nose then out through my mouth, trying to calm myself enough to get through the pain slamming into me.
I opened my eyes again when I heard a scraping noise. The man moved closer, once again placing flowers on my face and down my neck, then over my chest as if the last thirty seconds had never happened.
He started chanting that stupid rhythm again.
“What is your name?” I asked.
The man froze. He didn’t even blink. He might not have even been breathing.
“What is your name?” I asked again, in the softest tone I knew how to make, which wasn’t easy. I didn’t exactly have a soft tone, but I didn’t want to scare him.
“Bug. I’m Bug. I scurry around and hide in dark, so yeah, I’m Bug. Not bad Bug. Not cockroach Bug. Good Bug.” He held up a handful of flower petals. “Maybe ladybug, but not lady. No, no, not lady. Boy Bug. Boy Bug. So, I’m Bug.”
Okay then.
“Bear.” Bug nodded and started with the flowers again. “Bear. Bear. Big, bad Bear. Teddy Bear.” Bug patted my chest just open the collar of my shirt. “Furry Bear.”
Okay, apparently he knew who I was.
“Where are we, Bug?” It was dark and all I could see were shadows cast by a sliver of light coming in through a crack in the wall.
“Hole. Hidey hole. Small little hidey hole.” Bug’s brow flickered. “No bad guys here. No. No. Safe here. Bug keep Bear safe.” Bug shot up and hurried over to the corner. I watched as he dug into a pile of stuff stacked on the floor. It looked like garbage, but what did I know.
When he came back, he set a gun down on my chest then held his closed fist out. When I opened my hand, he dropped a handful of bullets into my palm. “Safe. Yes, Bug keep you safe. No more wilting flowers. No more lumpy.”
I moved slowly when I sat up, trying not to scare Bug, but he still scurried out of arm’s reach. I checked over the pistol. It wasn’t mine. I had no idea who it belonged to.
“Is this your gun, Bug?” For some odd reason, it didn’t sit well with me thinking that Bug needed a gun to protect himself.
“No, no.” My eyebrows shot up when Bug laughed. “Bug no like guns. Guns hurt. Guns loud. Guns make people go away. Guns bad.”
All of that was true.
“Where did you get the gun, Bug?”
“Mmm,” Bug hummed to himself as he tapped the side of his head with his fist. “Bad man, bad, bad, bad man. Hurt Lumpy. Hit Lumpy. Make Lumpy bleed. But Bug got him, yes he did. Bug make bad man go away. Bug keep Lumpy safe.”
Holy shit!

The vicious bite of an enemy, a shout, a cry in the dark. A lover’s touch, the whisper of a kiss. A sigh, a groan, heart beating faster, desire surging through a body. Love words spoken in the shadows. The yearning for a soft caress. I’m a writer of fiery passion in all its glorious forms. Paranormal, Contemporary, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, MM Romance books.
There is no limit to my imagination.


12 thoughts on “Welcome Birthday Guest Aja Foxx!

  1. I loved this story waiting patiently for #2. Enjoyed all you and sister stories. I follow you on Amazon and buy as soon as they come out. Thanks for all the good times!!!!

  2. Thanks for giving Bug a birthday party. I love Forgiveness and can’t wait for next book in the Soldiers of Fortune series.

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