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Beautiful Moves(Shifting Steel Book 3)

By:Stephanie West

Beautiful Moves(Shifting Steel Book 3)
Stephanie West

       A Motorcycle Club, Shifter, Romance

Shifting Steel Book 3



Preface




Ella was desperately trying to hold her life together, and take care of  her sick sister. She was jobless, about to get evicted from her new  apartment, and at the end of her rope. Add to that, she was cursed. Or  maybe she was a witch. Ella didn't know, and it really didn't matter.  All she knew was that whenever she got happy, sad, or anything in  between, things got wild.

That's when Ella met the tall, dark and handsome biker next door. The  man was bad news. He riled her up, and forced Ella to feel the emotions  she painstakingly safe guarded.

Wolf wasn't sure why he struck up a bargain with the Ice Princess. He  was the pack alpha. The last thing he needed was some chick walking all  over him, in her ridiculously high high-heels. He had more than enough  to deal with, between his beta's juvenile antics, and the other weird  crap going on.

Little-Miss-Straight-Lace was so put together, and repressed. So why did  she send his wolf into a tailspin? It's not like he hadn't been with  hot babes before. But for some reason, Wolf couldn't repress the urge to  ruffle Ella's feathers. Maybe it was the occasional glimpse of the  beauty that lay beneath her polished veneer that moved him.

Ella and Wolf called a truce, and miraculously the world didn't cease  turning. For once in her life, Ella thought things were finally going  her way. Then the other boot dropped, and everything was cruelly ripped  away.





1 Bringing the House Down




Ella

"Sorry I couldn't help you move," Ella's sister apologized, remorse filling her voice.

"Sabine," Ella admonished.

It had been a pain in the ass, but Ella really didn't mind.

"I know, but we're supposed to be roommates," Sabine coughed.

Ella held her breath, as her sister groaned through a coughing fit. This  was a particularly bad one. Sabine's moods always seemed to affect her  spells.

Ella glanced at her sister's bed, sill in pieces, propped against the  living room wall, wondering if it would ever be used. For the  millionth-time, Ella prayed the experimental drugs her sister was on  would turn things around.

Nope, can't get mired in fear. Sabine would have her miracle. God  couldn't be so cruel as to bless one of them, while cursing the other.

Ella debated hopping on the Metra to head into Chicago, but it was  getting late and she still had to prep for her interview tomorrow. Ella  nibbled her lip wondering what she should do. Was she being paranoid?

"Hey, Ella!" Sabine groused into the phone.

"Sorry." Ella realized she had drifted, then smiled at Sabine's  indignant tone. She loved it when her sister got spunky with her. It  helped her forget the disease that plagued Sabine. "Just thinking about  that interview."

"So, this design firm's pretty nice, huh?"

"Yeah. I'm excited they called."

"You have a ton of stellar references. They'd be foolish not to call you in."

Ella was more than just excited, she was nervous. She was banking on  this job. She and Sabine had nearly burned through the money their  father left them, along with the last of her student loans. If Ella  didn't land this position, she would probably have to whore herself out  to cover living expenses, and the bills Sabine racked up.

Just kidding.

But things were getting dire. Not that Ella would ever breathe a word of  that to her sister. She'd sooner die than lay that burden on Sabine's  shoulders.

"Something's bothering you Bella Bear. I can hear it." Ella smiled at  the nickname. Her given name was Bella, but only her family called her  that. "Come on tell your big sister."

"Big sister, my butt," Ella snorted.

Sabine liked to call herself Ella's big sister, because she'd always  been taller, taking after their father. Ella was actually the older one,  though not by much. They were what people referred to as Irish twins.

If we were twins, then maybe Sabine would be freakishly healthy, like me, instead of suffering her whole life.

Ella clenched her fists, frustrated with fate. She couldn't understand  why life seemed to look favorably on some, while kicking others in the  teeth. Ella forced herself to relax when she noticed the glass of wine  rattling on the counter, sloshing her merlot about.

"Whatever. I can still hear you stewing about something. So, fess up," Sabine choked out, as she coughed again.

"Just nervous," Ella sighed.

"Bella Bear, stop stressing. You're going to nail your interview tomorrow."

"Thank you for having faith in me. Hey, Sabine, I gotta go. I still need to get my portfolio in order."

Talking to her sister brought a certain measure of comfort. But the  longer Ella talked to Sabine, her sister would eventually drag the whole  truth out of her. And life was too short to argue about finances.                       
       
           



       

"Okay. I love you Bella Bear," Sabine sighed.

"Love you too, Sis. Kisses," Ella said before hanging up.

Ella hated hiding things from Sabine, like the fact they might already  be getting evicted from the cheap little apartment, Sabine had yet to  set foot in.

Ella recalled her visit with the apartment manager, Char, earlier that day.

An uneasy feeling overwhelmed Ella, as she walked into the apartment office. She was dreading this conversation.

"Hello, Ella. How are you settling in?" Char stood as she greeted her.

Char was gorgeous and intimidating, in a badass sort of way. She was  sporting a black bob, smoky eyes, glossy, bee-sting lips, a skin-tight,  black skirt, and a white, button-down, dress shirt stretched across her  voluptuous boobs. Char didn't fit the landlady mold at all.

Ella envied the woman. She doubted Char had begged for anything a single  day in her life. Ella wished she had the same confident air. Instead,  she worried everything was going to come crashing down on her head, all  the darn time. It made what Ella came to do twice as difficult. Was Char  the type to cut someone a bit of slack?

"Well, that's what I'm here to talk to you about. I'm going to be late  on next month's rent. I'm willing to make it up to you," Ella quickly  added.

At least I didn't chicken out, letting the first of the month come and go without a word.

Ella might be lacking in a lot of ways, but she owned up to her  mistakes. She hoped if she was straightforward, the woman would work  with her. But Char put a hard stop to that notion, looking at Ella with  an equal mix of pity and hardness.

"It's not really my call. You'll have to talk to my brother. He owns this place," Char informed her.

The news was disheartening. It meant she'd have to work up the courage to do this all over again.

Ella huffed as she tried to push aside her rising panic. Even if she got  the job with the design firm, it would be several weeks before she saw  her first paycheck. Ella took a gulp of her wine, followed by a few deep  breaths. She couldn't let herself get worked up, or things would get  hairy.

The wet nose that brushed against Ella's hand grounded and calmed her.

"I know. I'm okay." Ella smiled at the little mutt jumping frantically  at her feet. She swooped down and snatched him up. "You're spoiled,  aren't you, Wright? Who wants a treat?"

Ella grabbed a milk bone from the box on the counter, then set Wright on  the floor. He bounded like a jack rabbit, shaking with excitement.

"Go get it."

She pretended to toss the bone, then giggled as the fur-ball scrambled  on the kitchen tile, taking off toward the living room. Midway, Wright  came to a halt, and turned back around. She'd done this to him one too  many times; Wright was starting to catch on. The brown fluffy pup gave  an expectant look and wagged his tail happily, despite her mean trick.

"Sorry. I'm such a bad mommy to my sweet fur-baby."

Ella tossed the treat, delighting in how Wright jumped up and snatched  it out of the air. Wright's tail whipped back and forth with such  unrestrained enthusiasm, that his whole body swayed from side to side.  Ella chuckled harder seeing the tail wag the dog.

The sound of a motorcycle rumbling in the small parking lot, drowned out  her mirth. There seemed to be a lot of bikers around Manhattan,  Illinois. Ella moved to close the window of her first-floor pad, then  paused.

"There he is," Ella whispered to the pup, as she watched tall, dark and handsome throw his leg over the Harley.

Ella had only met her neighbor briefly when she checked out the  apartment. She didn't even catch his name. He'd been out of town ever  since she moved in. Not that she'd been watching for him, or anything.  Okay that was a lie.

Char had just given her a tour of the one-bedroom apartment. It wasn't a  dump, like most of the places in her price range. Thank god.  Unfortunately, it was in a town, at the far end of the Metra line,  making the commute into Chicago a little rough. But Ella couldn't afford  to be picky.

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