Our Secrets by Erin Osborne

Prologue

Victoria

TOMORROW I START work at Blazing Ink. I’ve been in town for a week now, and haven’t seen anyone. I don’t allow anyone in my house or around me. Instead of going to the clubhouse or out in public, I’m a hermit in the apartment. There isn’t a single person I can see right now who won’t know something is going on with me. Something dark I want to keep all to myself.

While I’m happy to work around Tags, and be closer to my brothers, my entire life is imploding. After losing my baby, and Scott turning into an asshole, I have no clue what to do or which direction to turn. My head is so fucked up with doubts. My self-esteem and confidence vanished.

I’m nothing more than a fuck-up who can’t carry a baby.

The only time I feel semi-normal is when I’m drinking. Not just starting to drink or when I have a buzz going, when I’m drunk off my ass, and the voices in my head stop—Scott’s words saying I’m not a woman aren’t playing on a constant loop. This is the only time I feel like half a human or if I’m a woman. I can pretend I’m someone else when the shit isn’t surrounding me. That I didn’t lose the one thing in my life I loved more than my own life. A baby who never had a chance to take their first breath or live their life.

It wasn’t even two days after I miscarried Scott kicked me out of the house we shared. I was given less than twenty-four hours to pack my belongings and be out. Scott left the house, having one of his friends there to ensure I didn’t ruin any of his stuff or take anything that didn’t belong to me. I could barely move, and there was no way I could stop crying. He didn’t give a shit, though. All Scott cared about was me leaving his life as quickly as possible.

It was the loneliest time of my life— and didn’t allow me any time to grieve.

I haven’t spoken to my brothers since coming home. At this point, I don’t care if I see them. My family is overbearing, to say the least. They don’t know my secrets— no one does. About the baby or the drinking. Instead of going to the bars to get drunk like I did at home, I sit inside and drink alone.

This is a new low for me because it’s the first time I truly feel like an alcoholic. Drinking alone is sad and depressing, so it fits my mood completely.

Yes, I know I could talk to a counselor, but it seems impersonal and not something I’m interested in. If someone hasn’t been in my shoes, they won’t understand what I’m feeling and how I’m coping. No one can help me anymore. I don’t deserve anyone to come to my rescue.

I’ve been here almost a week, and not a single thing has been done in the apartment. My boxes still fill every room. If I’ve gone through anything, the contents of those boxes litter the surfaces surrounding them. I’ve never lived like this but, I can’t bring myself to give a shit about what the place looks like or if I ever unpack my belongings.

I’m so far gone; I can’t pull myself out of this darkness seeping into my body. It consumes every aspect of me— even Tags. For a while after Scott, I dated Tags. No one knows, but he actually made me feel like a beautiful, sexy, woman again. He’s the only one who has made me feel alive since losing the baby. Unfortunately, it’s not enough anymore. Nothing is enough to fill the void I that’s pulling me down into the new abyss that’s my life.

I’ve pushed Tags away. He’s called, sent messages, and stopped by the apartment on several occasions since I moved in, leaving takeout outside my door. The only reason I’ve pulled them inside is because he messaged me to let me know they were there. They’re still uneaten in my refrigerator along with the untouched box of pizza on the counter. It smells like shit after days of sitting there, I just can’t bring myself to walk to the dumpster to get rid of it.

Instead, I sit in the dark, drinking, and thinking about all the ways I’ve failed— not being able to carry a baby, not keeping Scott happy. Instead of grieving for our baby, he lived his life as if I quit existing, and I sunk into a pit of despair.

Tags wants to make us a permanent thing, but it’s not going to happen because I’m not good enough for the amazing man he is.

He’s sweet, loving, and cares about how I feel and what I think. I’m the one he cares about when his body is in mine. If I’m not close, he does whatever it takes so I find my release before he does. Scott didn’t even do that. Tags wants to talk to my brothers to claim me in the eyes of the club. A club that’s been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. The same one I’ve turned my back on and refuse to have anything to do with since coming back to town.

Now, Tags is just one more who doesn’t need my kind of mess in their life, while I descend further into madness. I haven’t even grieved the loss of my child. It’s still an open wound, left to fester because I don’t know how to grieve.

Honestly, Tags is going to hate me by the time I’m done with things. I’m on such a destructive path, no one can remain intact if they’re near me for very long. I don’t deserve to be with anyone or have the happiness the club members are finding. What I deserve is to be alone to wallow in my own self-pity and destroy myself because that’s obviously all I’m good at.

Hopefully, Tags finds his happiness. It’s something he truly deserves because even though he’s a biker with blood on his hands, the man is the most loving person I’ve ever met. He wears his heart on his sleeve and wants to do right by everyone. Especially the men of the Blazing Outlaws MC— his family because he doesn’t have one to call his own— not by blood anyway.

This is our story. It’s not pretty, but it’s the one we have. The one we must fight through to reach the other side. I’m just not sure if it will be with our family at our backs, or if we’ll be in one piece by the time we get there.

Only time will tell.