Authors: Evelyn Glass
“Maybe I should get some juice,” muttered Tasha. “She should eat or drink something.”
“Should we take her to the doctor?” said Willow in a worried voice. “What happened?”
Gabby attempted to sit up. “I am fine.”
Nick put his hand on her shoulder. “Relax. You need to rest for a while. Scared the life out of me when you fainted.”
Gabby felt immensely guilty about the party. “What about everyone else?”
“We’ve served the food so people are digging in, but of course, they are concerned about you. What happened, Nick?”
So he didn’t tell them. Gabby’s eyes sought his. For some strange reason, tears welled into them. She pushed them back, but stubbornly they slipped down her cheeks. “I’m sorry. It’s all my fault.”
“It’s not your fault. The man who is threatening you is at fault. He should be arrested and put behind bars,” said Nick. “Why the hell didn’t you tell me that he was threatening you?”
“Who is threatening her?” said willow.
Ronald cracked his knuckles. “Who is the bastard? We’ll beat the hell out of him.”
They didn’t have a clue what the situation was, but the lot of them would fight for her in a moment if the need arose. This was love. This was loyalty. And she didn’t deserve a bit of it. More tears poured out of her eyes. She swiped them away with the back of her hands. “It’s nothing. You shouldn’t concern yourself. I’ve got it all worked out.”
“So what’s the grand plan? You were going to run away so that he would never get you. Is that why your bags were packed? You were going to leave us?” Nick’s voice was calm, friendly even, but his eyes shot accusations at her. “Were you going to leave me, Gabby?”
“Of course, she wasn’t planning such a silly thing,” Willow spoke in protest.
Grateful as she was for the support, Gabby nodded. “Yes, I was. It’s the only way. He knows where I am.” Her hand crept on his, squeezed, as she tried to draw comfort from his touch. “He knows where I am,” she repeated. “And he said that he wouldn’t leave me alone. He would kill me, and if you’re there with me, he would kill you too. Please, Nick. It’s the only way. I’ve to leave, go somewhere, and start all over again.”
He held her hand to his lips. “Gabby, nothing is going to happen to you. I will protect you. We all will.”
Panic licked her insides like a flaming fire. “You don’t understand. He knows where I am. He can come here anytime he wants, and if he finds me, he will kill me. And if you stand in his way, he will hurt you too.”
He grasped her hands and squeezed them. His eyes bored into hers, making promises that she wasn’t sure he could keep. He didn’t understand the depth of her fear because he didn’t know what Joseph was capable of. Nick never saw the man hit her. She’d once seen him whack a prostitute until she started bleeding from her nose, and she heard tales of his cruelty. He wasn’t just a pimp, he also took on occasional hits for the mafia. She wasn’t sure if that was true, or if it was merely gossip, but she was astute enough to realize that the man had a cruel streak that was a mile wide.
Whatever happened, she didn’t want Nick to get into the line of fire. She would protect him at all costs – and the only sure way of doing so was to get as far away as possible.
“Gabby,” said Nick in a voice that brooked no argument. “You’re not going anywhere, not now, and not ever. If you try to get away, I will come after you and if I don’t find you, I will go and find that bastard Joseph and kill him.”
She clutched his shoulder in a hard grip. “No! You can’t go to him.”
“If you ever go away, that’s exactly what I am going to do and it’s a promise. So think about it before you make up your mind.”
Gabby couldn’t stop the tears that flooded down her cheeks. She didn’t want to appear like a wimp. Oh, God no! But it was impossible to stem the flow that wet her face. If something happened to Nick, she would never be able to forgive herself.
“Please don’t do this.”
“Promise me that you’ll never try to get away.”
She didn’t want to say the words. Once she said them, she would be bound, but Gabby was absolutely certain that he meant every word, and she couldn’t take the risk that he would do what he said. She stared at him, beseeching him with her eyes to not make her do this, but he didn’t budge. “I promise.”
With those two words, her fate was sealed. For better or worse, she was staying at Hell Brigade – and only time would unfold her future.
They lay in bed together as silence reigned in the room. With much effort, she pulled herself into a sane state of mind. After Willow and everyone left them alone, Nick went down to tell everyone that she wasn’t feeling well. He came back up soon enough and told her that Willow was serving the food. Although she felt terrible about ruining the party, Gabby was glad that it was just the two of them.
Nick held her hand while her head was cushioned on his arm. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
It hurt him that she didn’t inform about this sooner. Although she felt terrible, she wished that he didn’t know at all. She could have been far away by now, and he would have been safe. But now everything was changed. They were in this together, and she wasn’t as yet sure as to how she felt. “I didn’t want you to stop me, and look what happened…the very thing that I feared. You managed to stop me from putting my plan in action.”
If he didn’t come in, she would have gone away. Her life would be miserable without him, but she would have done the deed to save her life, and also to keep him away from this mess. But now he was in it, and they would have to deal with it in one way or another.
He sighed. “I should confess one thing…I thought you were having an affair.”
She shot up. In all the commotion and excitement, she had forgotten that he followed her into the pantry for another reason. Gabby wasn’t sure if she was amused or insulted. Or another day, she might have taken offense, but tonight, she was just grateful that she was still in the same room as him. “How can you think like that?”
He winced. “All those phone calls, and you hiding stuff from me…I knew something was up, and that was the logical conclusion.”
“You’re a pig,” she said. “Why do men have to jump to the wrong conclusion?”
“And why do women have to think that they know best?”
She caressed his cheek. Perhaps she should be enraged that he suspected her, but damn it, she simply couldn’t muster up the strength to get angry. “You’re crazy.”
“About you, yes.”
Gabby bent to kiss his soft lips. As always, desire awakened with the speed of lightning. “I would never cheat on you. Never. That’s my promise. Do you believe me?”
His arms tightened around her like bands. “I do.”
Emotions, wild and stormy, twisted in his eyes and a desire to run her hands all over his hot, sexy body spiraled inside her. Need and lust exploded in her gut and the vibrations of it careened down to her moist, warm pussy. Moisture leaked down her thighs and she pressed her legs in an attempt to stem the flow but it was a useless endeavor. Sensations, wild and raw, gripped her in their fiery grasp.
As if recognizing the signals she gave, his lips lifted in a tiny smile. She didn’t know which one of them made the first move, but within a few seconds, their clothes came off and were thrown on the floor in a large heap. Gabby’s tongue darted out to moisten her lips as her gaze traveled down from the gorgeous beauty of his face to the rippling muscles on his chest and down to the dark hair that enveloped his hard, proud cock. All she desired was to feel his hard body pressed against her and to have him pound into her with a vicious, hungry need that matched hers. It was obvious that he thought along the same lines because his gaze traveled over her face, down to the smooth column of her throat, and settled on her creamy, firm breasts. A sigh of pleasure escaped her lips at the sweet, gentle touch. When he lay down beside her, she turned to face him.
It was so good to stare into his eyes and see love reflected back.
Nothing was more precious, more wanted.
When his lips claimed hers once more, her arms tightened around his back. His tongue swept over her lips, dove in to stake a claim, and he nipped her with his teeth. Slowly, almost reverently, his mouth nibbled down her throat and his tongue swirled over her engorged nipple. The waves of desire that rippled through her were intense, unrelenting. As he paid homage to one breast after another, she squirmed underneath him. The exquisite torture slowly drove her mad. It banished all thoughts from her mind until all she was a bundle of frayed nerves. His tongue invoked a fire with each stroke and she writhed under him.
This wasn’t enough.
She wanted more.
While he played with her body, she ran her hands all over his back. When he shifted away, she slipped her fingers around his cock that nearly vibrated with sheer need. Enjoying the way his pulse beat at the base of his throat, she ran her hand up and down the hard shaft. Slithering down, she kissed the tip of it. Her fingers caressed his balls that were hard with need. Her tongue licked over his cock, and she opened her mouth to take it in. She rubbed and fondled the blood-engorged organ until he began to moan. The scent of his arousal was strong and served to enhance her pleasure. His hands settled on her hips and squeezed as if he was urging her to move harder, faster. She increased the rhythm. Just as she thought he was about to come, he pulled his penis out.
“No!” she groaned, secretly marveling at the way he controlled everything.
He knew exactly what he was doing.
Pulling her up, he rolled her on the bed and straddled her. The tip of his cock pushed against her velvety center, and she opened her legs, willing and welcoming him in her scented depths. Need burned in her blood. He took his time, rubbing his shaft up and down her moist opening until she clenched the bed sheets in desperation.
Hurry, hurry, hurry! She wanted to scream, but nothing escaped her lips except for low moans.
The yearning for precious release burnt in her veins, and when he thrust in his cock, she arched her hips in a bid to receive him. His pelvis ground into hers, and she could feel the muscles in her sheath expanding, stretching, to accommodate him. She wrapped her legs around him and moved. Over and over, he pounded into her. The ride was wild and fast. Coils of desire and passion looped all over her body and held her prisoner.
For a long, long time, they rocked in unison.
Higher and higher, she spiraled upwards until she swung on the edge of the deep precipice. Just as she thought she couldn’t take it anymore, release, blessed and stormy, crashed through her veins. A short, loud scream burst out of her mouth as she skidded far below. The orgasm made her toes curl. As she shuddered in the aftermath of the storm that rocked her body, he spilled his seed inside her.
For some time, they lay still, each of them lost in the glory of the moment.
She pressed her face into his shoulder. “I love you,” she said so quietly that Gabby wasn’t sure if he heard.
He didn’t respond. She wasn’t sure, but then he shifted away. His hand caressed back her hair from her face and his lips hovered over hers. “I love you, too, Gabby. A lot. More than a lot, actually. Don’t ever leave me.”
She closed her eyes as his lips closed over hers. What a beautiful moment this was, what a glorious day. She couldn’t wait to live the rest of her life with Nick. He was the man she never expected to find, and now that he was hers, she didn’t want to ever let him go – but Gabby wasn’t sure if her troubles were over yet.
But tonight was theirs – and for now, it was enough.
CHAPTER TWENTY ONE
Her life certainly couldn’t be any better.
It was an ordinary, normal day. Gabby set the chicken in the oven and switched on the timer. Nick was due to come home soon, and she wanted to present him with a lovely meal. It was hard to believe that she’d been with him for a month already. Although she had moved a bit reluctantly to his house, now it felt like home. She loved being the queen of the house, doing chores, and waiting for him at times when he was away doing club work.
In all her years of slavery as one of Joseph’s prostitutes, Gabby never imagined that one day she would live a quiet, mundane life. It was one of the biggest blessings in her life.
Now that the investigation against her former pimp, Joseph, was in full swing, she was a little more relaxed. She’d contemplated running away, but when Nick discovered her plans by accident and forbade her to make any such move, she discarded the idea. He assured her that if she did any such rash thing, he would come after her and failing that, he would confront her ex-pimp and fight the man. She didn’t want him to get into trouble on her behalf. If he fought with Joseph, he might end up going to jail or else getting hurt. Nick meant the world to her and she couldn’t bear it if anything bad happened to him, so she put her plans on the backburner.
Already, things were getting better. It was more than a month ago that she received her last threatening call from Joseph. Maybe he was too busy hiding from the police to put his plans regarding her into action. Or perhaps, he’d given up the idea knowing that she was well protected. Nick hardly ever left her alone, and even when he did, the house contained enough security measures to prevent any intruder from walking in.
Nick and the Hell Brigade, the motorcycle club to which he belonged, weren’t taking any chances with her safety. With each passing day, she felt more secure, a little freer. And soon, when the police officially filed a case against Joseph, she wouldn’t have to worry about anything.
The doorbell rang. Even though she knew it was Nick, Gabby checked the peephole and then the video feed that came from the camera mounted over the front door before she opened the lock. The handsome man who stood at the doorstep was all hers.
Joy coursed through her veins as she greeted him with a smile. “Hey, darling!” His kiss on her mouth was friendly, and yet she felt the fission of desire that always overtook her whenever he was around. “You look good enough to eat,” he said.
“In that case, I will take the chicken out of the oven.” When he picked up the large carton he’d put on the floor, she raised an eyebrow and moved aside to let him in. “What’s that?”
“Patience is a virtue,” he said.
She wrinkled her brow as she followed him to the study. Nick was once a financial guru. He made adequate money to buy a house and set aside enough investments to not worry about making a living. The work he did for the club was mostly pro bono even though all the club members got a good cut from the profits that came in from their various borderline-illegal activities. Nick was slowly converting the club’s policies and setting up their cash flow streams to come from legal work. He didn’t want any more of their people to end up in jail. It was a noble venture, and yet it was taking time as there were some members who were resisting the shift, despite the obvious benefits.
The kitchen timer went off, and rather than see what he was up to, she got busy with dinner preparations. After lighting a candle, she dimmed the lights in the dining room and set things up on the table. The white and yellow roses she’d set in the vase added the perfect, sweet touch. For tonight, she’d even baked a cake, one of her first attempts. It didn’t turn out as well as she hoped, but with practice, she would become better.
“Wow!” said Nick as he entered. “What’s the occasion, babe?”
A little disappointed that he didn’t remember that it was their first month anniversary of her official move into his house, she pouted. Unreasonable expectations were the bane of every relationship. She shouldn’t hold him to such high standards. “It’s our one month anniversary. Not a big deal, but I thought we should celebrate in a special way.”
He wrinkled his brow, looking a little flustered. “Ah! You should’ve reminded me. I would’ve gotten a gift.”
Gabby tried to keep the petulance out of her voice. She didn’t want to be one of those women who expected the man to read their minds and then got enraged when he failed to do so. Nick was the most loving, generous man, and there was nothing else that she wanted other than what he was already giving her. “Don’t worry about it. Why don’t you sit? I will bring the food.”
“Wait a minute.” He grabbed her arm. “I’ve got something to show you in the study.”
She rolled her eyes as she marched along. “Can’t it wait until after dinner? I am starving.”
“This won’t take long.”
When she entered the study, Gabby couldn’t tell what he referred to. The empty carton stood on one side against the wall. “What?”
He pointed at a sleek, white laptop that sat on the desk. Gabby’s eyes widened. “No!”
“Oh, yes. Happy Anniversary, babe! You didn’t think I’d actually forgotten, did you?” He laughed, took her in his arms, and deposited a kiss on her mouth. “It’s yours.”
“Oh no, I can’t accept that.”
He nuzzled against her neck. “Yes, you can and you will, and I don’t want to hear another word about it.”
She’d mentioned once that it would be so much easier if she could do her assignments on computer, and he’d offered to her that she could use his. She did so occasionally, but secretly, Gabby was saving to buy one of her own, but it would have taken her years to get enough cash to buy the beautiful machine that stood on his desk. Sometimes, he was way too generous, and she didn’t know how to respond when he showered her with gifts. Since Gabby wasn’t the sort who took pleasure in too many clothes and jewels, he indulged her love for sleek gadgets. “It is way too expensive, Nick. I really can’t accept it.”
“In that case, I will have to throw it in the garbage.” He moved towards the laptop. “What a waste of money that would be.”
“Wait!” She held his hand. “You’re just saying it to make me take it.”
“You want to see me throw it?” he questioned.
The man was obstinate right down to his bone. She knew him too well. If she didn’t accept it, he would probably do what he threatened. She tugged him back. “Fine, fine. Oh my God, Nick. That’s just too fantastic a gift. I could do all my research on it and write papers, and I will have to learn to use all these programs.” Overwhelmed by joy, she hugged him. Raising her chin, she glanced at him. Her sweet, handsome man, he just knew how to push her buttons and how to make her happy beyond her ability to express it. He hadn’t forgotten after all, he was merely toying with her. “Thank you. I love you.”
“And I love you.” He hugged her close. “And don’t you forget it, ever.”
Resting her head on his shoulders, she gazed at her laptop. Although she was dying to try it out, there were other things she’d planned. “Let’s eat,” she said.
Together, they moved into the dining hall. She brought out the food and he served. For tonight, she opened a bottle of wine and soon conversation flowed, as it always did so easily when he was with her. “The meeting was a fiasco,” he declared.
She cut the chicken. It was delicious and juicy. “Why? Did Matt create some other problems?”
The animosity between Matt and Nick lessened to a large degree, but that was only after Matt became sure that she wasn’t the snitch who gave away their details to the police. Even now, though, he kept his distance from her. Whereas Nick was cool minded and organized, Matt boasted a fierce temper, but he was loyal to the club, a quality that couldn’t be ignored.
“He doesn’t want to take on steady work,” complained Nick. “I’ve assured him and others that if we run our own warehouses, legally, we wouldn’t have to deal with the police ever. Sure, it would take some time to set up the project, but once it’s done, we can all sit back and relax and reap the rewards from our labor.”
“They don’t understand your vision.”
“Ronald comprehends the general idea, but none of them have ever started anything from the ground up, and of course, it’s not easy to set up something in the club’s name. We’ve to get licenses, registration, and there are mounds of paperwork.”
“I could help,” she offered. Although Gabby was not an official member of the club that only accepted men, she was just as good as. Whereas Hell Brigade was once a group of punks who rode fast bikes and dated hot girls, they were slowly and steadily settling into a more staid pace under Nick’s guidance. Their first love always would be a penchant for fast driving, but they sure could start a few legal businesses and become more respectable. It wouldn’t change the way they operated, but it would give them legitimacy and keep their members out of trouble. That was Nick’s vision. Not everyone agreed with it – and yet he worked hard to make them see what he planned.
“Thanks, babe, but for now we’re all set.”
The conversation moved to other topics. Gabby was nearly finishing her second year of high school. Since she was working from home, she could finish the curriculum at her pace, and with Nick’s help, she was doing it faster than anyone ever before. In fact, she was already harboring dreams of joining a college. She’d wasted ten years of her life confided under Joseph’s rule and now wanted to make the most of these opportunities.
Nick finished his dinner and set the fork on the plate. “Tomorrow is Sunday. Maybe we could do something interesting?”
“Define interesting,” she said.
“We could take a boat out for sail,” he said. “Miles, the artist and gallery owner, whose paintings you like has his own boat, and he wants us to come along for fishing.”
She pouted. Although she liked Miles and was quite a fan of his work, this little idea didn’t appeal to her all that much. “Fishing? That sounds like a man’s endeavor.”
He opened his eyes wide. “You don’t like fishing?”
“The idea of catching innocent fish and reeling them in doesn’t appeal to me.”
“But it’s alright if you cook and eat them, right.” He laughed as she squirmed. “That’s hypocritical.”
She stuck out her tongue at him. “Fine, maybe it is but I also don’t want to sit in a boat in hot weather while you guys swap fishing stories. I could just stay at home and you can do this with him, and perhaps you can invite him later for dinner.” Nick picked up their plates and took them in the kitchen. She followed behind to get the cake. “I’ve made chocolate fudge cake, and I’ll be honest enough to admit that it didn’t come out exactly as I planned, but I think the taste should be ok.” She showed him the cake that was a little lopsided. “What do you think?”
“It looks good enough to me.” Loyal to a fault, he didn’t bat an eye at the weird shape. “Let’s just cut it and see. Now that you’re cooking every day, I think I’ve put on five kilos of weight. Maybe it’s time to join a gym.”
It was true that she was trying out new recipes. Although Gabby went to the clubhouse during the day to cook and clean, she came back after lunch and had enough time on her hands to indulge in all the things that she never got to do before. Despite her school work, she was learning not only how to cook and bake but was also taking gardening classes once a week.
“We should start running together in the morning,” she suggested as she carried the cake to the dining room. He picked up the dessert plates and followed her.
“That’s a good plan,” he agreed.
She served him and sat. He took a bite and swallowed. “So how is it?”
Narrowing her eyes, she took a bite. Gabby spat out the cake. Looking at her, he took another bite. She snatched away his plate. “Have you gone nuts? It’s salty.”
“Doesn’t taste all that bad. It could be a new invention.”
Laughter sputtered out of her. Getting up, she strode over, and plopped on his lap. “Don’t tell me that you love me so much that you can eat a salty cake and pretend that it’s yummy.”