Authors: Samantha Leal
A Forsaken Riders Standalone MC Romance
Copyright ©2016 by Samantha Leal. All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic of 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.
Although the Forsaken Riders Series of MC Romances can be enjoyed as Stand-alone stories, they are also part of a larger steamy narrative that transpires in the small town of Slate Springs, and so for maximum enjoyment you may wish to read them in order. All six stories are available from Amazon…this is the proper order
Book 1 – King
Book 2 – Lynx
Book 3 – Steel
Book 4 - Gunner
Book 5 - Hawk
Book 6 - Bull
Table of Contents
She sat in the car and looked over the wheel towards the back door of the club. She had been going there every day for a few months, but she still couldn’t get her head around the fact that she was in so much danger, and what she was putting herself through for these men.
When she had come to town, she hadn’t expected to be swept up under their wing… But it had kind of just happened… And now she was paying the price.
She swallowed and looked down at her hands and realized they were shaking. They hadn’t told her anything, but she could sense that something big was about to happen… Something so big, she almost didn’t dare go back inside.
“Pull yourself together,” she coached herself. “There is no other way now… You’re in too deep.”
She clicked open the driver’s door and stepped out into the dusty night. Her heels were high and she tottered on them as she made her way to the back door. She’d been in there for hours already, but she’d had to take a break. She couldn’t face having another one in the dressing room, pretending to enjoy the environment that came with strip clubs, it just wasn’t for her. And now Candy had disappeared on her, she was the one having to do the majority of the stage shows. She’d only agreed to go and work there as a fucking barmaid… And now she was up shaking it for a room full of bikers and truckers. It made her feel sick.
She clip clopped down the dark hallway to the dressing room and went inside. She sat down and looked in the mirror. Her hair was glossy and so were her lips, but she slicked on more red shimmer anyways.
“You can never be too pretty,” she joked with herself.
The music was rumbling through the floorboards and she knew Marv would come back there and kick her ass if she didn’t get out front soon… But it was so quiet… And the only man in the audience happened to be someone she knew quite well… And someone who was making her nervous as Hell. She wanted to give him a good show, but she knew that the fact he was there only meant one thing.
Tonight was the night.
She bit the corner of her nail, looked up at the ceiling and sighed. She was going to have to get on with it.
She stood up tall and proud, shook out her shoulders and marched out of the changing room and towards the door to the bar. Whatever was coming her way, she would have to handle it…
Around half an hour later, she dashed back down towards the dressing room and grabbed her purse. Her heels were hurting her and she couldn’t bear to wear them anymore. She kicked them off and they clattered across the floor and hit the wall on the other side. It made her jump, but nothing as much as what came next…
As she grabbed the last bits of her belongings and turned to head back towards the hallway where she would run out to her car, she heard the shouting from the club room. She heard Marv asking what the hell was going on and then she saw them… They were walking sternly towards her, they’d come in through the back door… She hadn’t locked it after her break, like she’d been coached to do… But now it was all unfolding, she didn’t want to be here. She shouldn’t have been a part of this.
“Get out of here Destiny,” Cody snarled at her as he passed by… A huge shotgun clamped between his hands. “Go back to the house, NOW.”
She was trembling and her mind was a blur. She ran past them all and out of the back door, into the parking lot at the back of Red X and into the night. Her car was waiting and as she scrambled for the keys she heard the first shots go off. Her heart was hammering and she screamed as the shots got louder and the panic set in.
She had to get out of there.
People were dying.
She slammed the door behind her and started the ignition. As she tore out of the parking lot and down the highway back toward Ironhill she knew that nothing was ever going to be the same. Now she was in debt to two clubs… And the question was, who was going to destroy her first…
The memories of that night still haunted her, even now. Sometimes she would wake in a cold sweat at night and sit bolt upright and look around, checking herself all over to ensure she wasn’t full of bullet holes and covered in blood.
Ever since she had been dragged into this mess, she had been longing for a way out. She wanted someone to find her, to storm into the house in the middle of the night, pick her up, throw her over their shoulder and run away with her. But that was never going to happen. Because no one knew what a state she was in. No one knew what was happening to her within those four walls of the Iron Riders Club House.
She looked up at the moon through the skylight as she lay back on her bed and prayed. If she hadn’t been so desperate for a place to call home, maybe she would have never gotten herself in so much trouble in the first place. But there was no going back now. She was wanted… If she left Ironhill… She was sure to be killed.
It was a ridiculous thought even to her, but she was safest where she was. She had to pick the lesser of two evils. And even though she was still trying to figure out which ultimately posed more of a threat, at least she could try and stay out of harm’s way in the meantime.
She kept on staring at the moon and her vision started to go blurred. The white ball bled out and fuzzed into nothing. She blinked and wiped her eyes. She knew there was no chance of sleep. Even though she was exhausted, she had spent most nights lying awake and worrying since it had all happened. She always felt on high alert, as if at any moment something bad could happen. Even with the bikers in the same house, she knew the men of the Iron Riders were no match for the Forsaken. She had seen the honor that ran through
men… and she knew that in some way, all of the people connected to the gang in Ironhill were done for. The Forsaken would be out for blood.
She rolled over and sighed. The clock on her nightstand told her it was approaching 3am. Elsewhere in the house she could hear the dull chatter of growling men’s voices and, she was sure, the odd grunt and groan of one of them with a woman. At least she was being left alone. Levitt was out somewhere and would no doubt be too drunk to trouble her when he got back. She pulled her pillow on top of her head and around her ears. It was going to be a long night. But hopefully, somewhere along the line, she would find some sleep.
Her alarm blasted to life at 7am sharp and Destiny jumped up, covered in a slick film of cold sweat. She had been dreaming again. She had no idea what time she had finally drifted off, but the birds had been singing and the sun was rising. She could have only had around an hour’s sleep, max. She rubbed her forehead. A dull headache spread out across her temples and around to the base of her neck. She had been having them more regularly. She had begged Levitt to take her to the hospital but he’d refused. One afternoon it had been so bad that her vision was blurred and she had almost passed out. When Lev finally took her, the doctor had said they weren’t migraines, but rather stress and anxiety related. She had wound herself up into such a tight coil, her own body was now trying to destroy her.
“Oh great,” she’d smiled with a sigh.
The doctor had told her to get plenty of rest and for Lev to wait on her hand and food. Destiny had smiled and nodded, even though she knew that that would be the last thing he would have on his mind. There was no way he was going to look after her… Her job was to look after him, or so he said.
“Fucking quack,” he’d said through a billow of smoke as he climbed onto his bike and pulled her onto the back behind him. “Who needs rest…” He started the engine and Destiny had wrapped her arms around him, just like she did every time, and then they had flown off down the dusty roads and back to Ironhill MC.
As she sat in bed and listened to the country drawl of the singer coming out of the radio, she remembered back to that day at the hospital. Things had been so tense for her, it had made perfect sense when the doctor had told her it was stress and anxiety. Ever since
when the Iron Riders had stormed Red X and changed everything, she had been getting gradually more stressed and frightened. She had been put in an impossible situation and guilt was wracking her bones. She regularly thought back to the people she had met in Slate Springs, and she felt as if she had betrayed them terribly, even if it had been against her will.
She yawned and rubbed her temples again. She used the breathing technique she had found on the internet to help reduce tension and a possible anxiety attack, and then she swung her feet over the side of the mattress and stepped over to the window.
The day was already bright and hot, but on the horizon there was a dark gray cloud rolling in. She watched it for a moment and found herself drifting into a trance. The air was thick with humidity, so maybe a storm wouldn’t be such a bad thing, it would be good for their little spot in the desert to have a good cleanse. It would help her feel refreshed and ready to start the day.
She grabbed a towel and wandered over to the corner of the bedroom where, through a door, was a small shower room. As she turned on the faucet and stepped under the ice cold jets she gasped and then laughed as it began to warm up. It wasn’t until then as she lathered her hair that she realized there was still no sign of Levitt. She rolled her eyes and just hoped he hadn’t been out all night getting so steaming drunk he would be in the mood for fighting or loving… She just needed to be left alone.
She dressed quickly, applied her make-up and twisted up her hair in a ponytail. As she headed out of the bedroom and out into the hallway she could hear the buzz of the men downstairs and already the smell of bacon and booze drifting up to meet her.
As she reached the bottom floor she waited for a moment and looked into the darkened front room. The shutters were drawn and in the half light she could see him there, dozing with a bottle of beer still being gripped by his rough hands.
It was Lev alright… Passed out drunk as always…
She stood there in the doorway and watched him. She had almost expected him to wake up the second she had arrived, but he didn’t move a muscle… except for the slow rise and fall of his breathing, it was as if he was dead to the world. She bit her bottom lip and willed herself to do it so hard that it would bleed.
It hadn’t always been this way with Levitt… there had been a time when she at least thought that she may have loved him. She had met him the same week she had come to town and he had seemed like a gentleman at first, but as soon as he had his hooks in her, the cracks started to show. He’d refuse to let her out of his sight, and started to let the other guys of the motorcycle club talk down to her. She felt like she was there to serve them, often finding that she would be catering to them all, and if she didn’t, he would become even nastier. There was no way he was going to let her get away either. He had moved her into the clubhouse, set her up as his girl, but then he had spiraled into drinking more and more and rather than neglecting her, he had turned evil.
When she had been roped into being a part of the plot to take over Slate Springs, she had been so nervous she almost couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. But there was no way Lev was letting her get out of her duty. She was bound to the Iron Riders now… As far as Lev was concerned, she owed them, and this was the perfect way for her to show her dedication.
They’d told her to play dumb, to gain their trust and to slip amongst them without suspicion. She told everyone from Red X that she was from Ironhill, almost as if she was wishing that they would ask her if she had any affiliation and she could confess it all, beg Marv and the boys of the Forsaken to save her. She wanted to get out of there so badly, but she never would have had the nerve to make a go of it on her own.
But now… Now she was stuck.
After what had happened at Red X
night, she knew there was no way she could ever set foot in Slate Springs again. She had driven out of there as fast as she could, her heart hammering in her chest and the tears streaming from her face. She knew someone had died there… And when the Iron Riders returned, they said that it had been, not just the owner, but one of the boys from the Forsaken too.
Destiny couldn’t stand the guilt.
She cocooned herself inside the clubhouse and didn’t want to see or speak to anyone. She had never liked Marv, but she hadn’t wanted anything bad to happen to him… And then she had heard whispers that it had been someone named Tanner who had fallen as well… She had met him before, and she had liked him. That made the guilt even worse. He hadn’t deserved to die like that… so young, and with so much ahead of him… She had been a direct catalyst in his downfall and she would never be able to forgive herself.
She stood there and watched Lev sleeping, the memories of that fateful night washed over her and made the tears prick the corners of her eyes. One of these days, she would have to let herself move on from it all. It had been over six months, and the Forsaken Riders hadn’t come back with anything in retaliation. But she felt the noose tightening, she could sense the tension in the air, and she knew that it wouldn’t be long before something went down. But she tried to push it as far out of her mind as she could. Her nightmares regularly reminded her of what could be and what had passed, but she just hoped that one day she would be able to forget it all and move on.
Lev snorted and jerked in the chair and the bottle dropped with a loud chink onto the wooden floor. Destiny jumped and waited for him to open his eyes. She had seen this sight plenty enough times to know how it was about to unfold.
She crossed her arms over her chest and smiled. She would have to put on a brave face, she would have to pretend as if she was happy.
Happy to be there with him, and happy to be alive.
She wasn’t ashamed to admit to herself that she was neither.
She deserved this pain.
“Lev?” she braved as she took a step closer.
His breathing was still heavy and ragged and his skinhead reflected the small crack of light that was filtering in through a break in the shutters. His thick neck was sturdy and covered in a snaking tribal tattoo. Even when she had met him, she had hated that thing. And yet it was always there, right in her face… He never covered it, and it was practically impossible to hide, but Lev liked that fact. It was part of him, it showed who he was… a badass who didn’t give a fuck.
She stepped further into the room and approached him. She could smell him, the stale booze and the hot sweat was leaking out of him, and he must have been out all night and only just fallen in.
“Lev?” she whispered again as she stopped and stood in front of him. She let her eyes trail over the bulges of his muscles and the tattoos winding their way up his biceps. He was built like a tank, and even when he was asleep and at his most vulnerable, he looked terrifying.
He jerked in the arm chair again and this time his eyes slowly opened.
He glared at her, as if she was a stranger and she had caught him off guard, but then his face relaxed slightly and he stretched his arms high over his head. Destiny kneeled down by his feet and rested her head on his knee like she knew he would like.
“I was wondering why the bed was so cold,” she purred, trying to keep him sweet rather than angering the beast inside of him.
“Urgh,” he grunted.
He pushed her head away and got to his feet. He was unsteady, but he didn’t stumble as he took a few steps into the center of the room. She looked up at him and at how the top of his head almost skimmed the ceiling. If she ever wanted to fight him, she wouldn’t stand a chance.
“Can I get you anything?” she asked him sweetly. “Coffee? Another beer? Something to eat?”
“Yeah,” he said with a scratchy voice as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a packet of cigarettes. “I’ll have all of that.”
He still had barely acknowledged her, and so Destiny got to her feet and walked silently past him. She scurried to the door but a hard, heavy palm came down flat on her shoulder.
“Don’t I get a kiss good morning?” he said, his boozy breath hitting her right in the face.
She turned and smiled meekly before she let him wrap his arms around her and kiss her hard on the mouth. He tasted stale, and his mouth was warm and furry. She couldn’t push him away, but oh how she wanted to. When he pulled back and looked at her dead in the eyes, Destiny smiled and kissed him lightly on the cheek. Lev wrapped his big, meaty arm around her shoulder and walked with her out of the room and into the hallway.
She could hear sounds of life drifting through from the kitchen and when they entered they saw that some of the men were up still drinking. She smiled and Lev laughed.
“At least I’m not the only one,” he roared as he slapped the edge of the kitchen table and sat down with one of the chairs between his legs, as he rested his arms along the back.
“Destiny’s making breakfast for us all,” he said with a wink.
Even though the majority of the time he repulsed her, she couldn’t help but smile and laugh. Nothing ever changed. She rolled her eyes and shrugged.
“Okay guys, what do you all want?” she leaned against the counter and waited for them all to bark orders at her.
A few of them weren’t even listening, but Levitt watched her intently, as if he was proud of her for a moment. Even though she knew that his mood could change in an instant, she savored these moments of softness, they were the only things that stopped her from going entirely mad.
“Okay,” she shrugged again as no one answered her. “I’ll cook up some eggs and bacon and then if you all want any you know where it is…” she turned and reached for the refrigerator.
“Beers!” one of the guys called from behind her. “That’s all we’re interested in right now Sweetheart.”
She looked at him over her shoulder and smiled.
“Yeh, we don’t want no fucking bacon,” another drawled.
Destiny flicked her eyes down towards Lev. He was watching her with an amused smirk on his face and she realized that he was loving every second of watching her squirm. He had thrown her to the wolves, knowing that they would be drunk, lairy and ready to give her a rough time. She brushed a strand of hair out of her face and nodded.
“Okay,” she said cheerily. “Beers it is!”
She slammed the door to the refrigerator closed and turned on her heel. As she walked toward the back door which led out into the back fields, she willed herself to stay strong.
She had known that the day was going to start badly… Most of them did… But at least with Lev being up for the majority of the night, maybe he would crash in a couple of hours and she would have the rest of the day to herself.
The heat hit her as soon as she stepped outside, but the dark cloud was still curling its way towards them. She heard the rumble of thunder in the distance and could see the blur of rain falling over the mountains. The whole world seemed dark and even though she couldn’t wait to feel the air fresh again, she also couldn’t help but feel as if it was some kind of omen… She felt that she could potentially be on the verge of another storm… Something much rougher than she had ever experienced before.
She kicked open the door to one of the out houses and wafted the dust that fluttered down out of her face. It was dark and cold in there and it felt like she was stepping into an igloo. She rubbed her arms to try and get some heat into them and tip toed across to the huge, free standing refrigerator in the corner. She opened the door and pulled out two crates of Budweiser. It would probably only last them half an hour, but it was better than nothing, and she was hoping she would be able to disappear back upstairs and have some time to herself.
As she walked back to the house, the sky darkened overhead and the heavens opened. The storm was well and truly on its way.