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Low Sided

Sacred Hearts PNW Chapter - Book IV

Andrea Downey

Contents

BOOK FOUR

COPYRIGHT

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Epilogue

Also by A.J. Downey

About A.J. Downey

Published 2021 by Second Circle Press

Text Copyright © 2021 A.J. Downey

All Rights Reserved

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by an electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

This is a work of fiction. The names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner and are not to be construed as real except where noted and authorized. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events are purely coincidental. Any trademarks, service marks, product names, or names featured are assumed to be the property of their respective owners, and are used only for reference. There is no implied endorsement if any of these terms are used.

The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with or sponsored by the trademark owners.

Editing & book design by Maggie Kern @ Ms.K Edits

Cover art by Dar Albert at Wicked Smart Designs

Dedication

To Jared, I literally could not have done this one without you. Seriously.

Prologue

Mace…

“Another?”

I looked up, squinting at the plucky bartender chick that was serving ‘em up.

“Yeah,” I murmured and nodded. She gave me a look that was somewhere between empathetic and sympathetic.

“Okay, but this is going to have to be your last one, man. I don’t need to get busted for overserving you, no matter how good looking I think you are.”

I gave her a watery smile and swayed a bit on my barstool and nodded as she poured me another whiskey.

I was at this shithole bar in White Center, probably a quarter mile or so from the club. I honestly needed a fuckin’ break from the fuckin’ lovefest going on over there. Guys were gettin’ girls and settling down left and right, and shit if I didn’t want that.

I was a jealous bastard. Weren’t no bones about it.

“What’s your name?” she asked me as she tipped the bottle back up and set it just out of reach.

“They call me Mace,” I said, and took a sip of the smoky amber liquid in my glass.

“Oh, yeah? Why’s that?”

“Not supposed to ask me that, sugar.”

“Well, I apologize then.”

“’S no worries, you didn’t know.”

She was quintessentially Pacific Northwest – her clothing organic, a mix between steampunk and hippy tree freak. Her top was a tank top looking thing with lacing like a corset in the front. Her shoulder was tattooed with a Raven, the rest of her arm crawling with lush ivy vines.

Her hair was a brownish blonde, and in thick, ropy dreads down past her waist. Wood and metal beads with runes on them decorated her thick locks in irregular intervals.

Her skin was on the pale side, a scattering of light freckles over her nose and cheeks, barely there and almost unnoticeable in the dim light of the bar. She was thin, but wiry. I didn’t think she was weak, but she certainly was willowy – almost looked vegan, but that could have just been the Burning Man style she had going on.

Burning Man was popular up here, even though it was a big musical festival, rave, party thing that happened down in the California – or was it Nevada? desert. A lot of people from up this way went down there and partied hard for like a week or two every year – pitching tents, a bunch of crazy art installations – you name it.

“What’s your name?” I asked her and she smiled at me with a wry twist of lips.

“Most of my friends call me Raven,” she said.

“Nice to meet you, Raven.”

“Nice to meet you, Mace.”

A few guys came into the bar. Frat types. Asshole types, and Raven gave me a wink.

“Duty calls,” she said with a breezy sigh. She moved away from me, carrying her herbal scent down the bar with her. I smiled and thought through the haze of my drunk that she probably used essential oils for all the things.

She was pretty, and I liked the sparkle in her light eyes, but she probably wasn’t the girl for me. I mean, she was a lover-not-a-fighter type and probably couldn’t hang or go my speed. Her speed was probably saving the spotted owl on the weekends or something, spending forty-nine days camped in a tree so the man couldn’t cut it down.

I chuckled to myself and shook my head. I could respect sticking it to the man every which way, but I needed somebody that could stick with me. This life wasn’t for everyone. Still, I thought to myself, looking down the bar where she was at the opposite end talking to some old barfly regular; I could tap that.

Her legs were encased in tan leggings that looked like leather, a bunch of bronze zippers along her hips and thighs, but there were definitely no pockets. The way the material clung to those long stems of hers left nothing to the imagination. Her tank boots finished off the look she had going quite nicely.

I heard laughter and muttering behind me and turned a bleary eye on the three frat-lookin’ motherfuckers. They were sizing me up, and I turned back forward.

Little shits could fuck off into oblivion for all I cared. It happened a lot, two or even three guys getting it in their heads that they

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