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Authors: Zoey Parker

Bounty: Fury Riders MC (2 page)

BOOK: Bounty: Fury Riders MC
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I don’t know why I did it. It had to be shock. I was shocked by what I was seeing. I had never seen a person getting stabbed.


I screamed. I couldn’t help it.


The injured man fell to the ground, and the man with the knife looked around. I was still frozen, shock making it impossible for me to move.
Run, dammit!
I thought. My heart was thudding in my chest. All I could think was that it had to be a nightmare. A surreal nightmare. But I could smell the blood. I could feel the cold bricks under my hand as I leaned on the wall for support.


He saw me just before I ducked behind the corner. I heard his feet moving toward me. He knew I saw everything.


Chapter Two





Finally, my feet could move. I jumped up, turning around to run just as the man with the knife reached the end of the alley. I didn’t know where I was running to. I just had to run.


Why had I come here? Nothing was worth this! My life flashed before my eyes as I ran down the dark street. This was a residential area. I should have turned in the direction I’d come from. There were people there. Here there were only boarded up houses and locked doors. No one came out at night. Even if they heard a girl screaming for help. Maybe especially if they heard it.


What would my parents do when they found out? They’d probably blame themselves for letting me do something like this, even though they didn’t know I was coming here. It would kill them. I was sorry to put them through the pain.


My days of running cross country paid off, even though they were years earlier. My feet flew over the concrete. If only there was a passing car or pedestrian! But no one, no one at all. There were lights up ahead, and I knew it was a major intersection. Someone would help me there. There might even be a cop car parked at the corner. I prayed there was.


I heard my pursuer behind me, but he wasn’t very close. I just had to keep up my pace.


I still held my camera, its weight heavier the usual in my hand. What had I seen? I couldn’t take the time to think about it as I fled in terror.


My foot got caught up in a broken bit of pavement, and I stumbled, almost going down. I caught myself before falling and kept going, but I was slower now. He was catching up to me.


My hat had fallen off at some point, and I felt my ponytail swinging behind me. That ponytail was what did me in. He caught hold of it, yanking me back.


At first, all I felt was pain. Searing pain in my scalp. My head was jerked back and I lost balance. More pain as I fell to the ground. A crashing sound. My camera. The overriding feeling of terror.


It all happened at once. I was on my ass, crawling backward to escape the knife-wielding maniac who loomed over me.


“What’d you see?” he snarled.


I blinked up at him. There was a street lamp just over his head, casting his face in shadow. My hands skittered over bits of broken glass and jagged shards of concrete as I backed away from him.


“N-nothing,” I stuttered, my eyes darting around. Wouldn’t someone see us?


“Nothing? You always scream at nothing?”


“I had tripped,” I said. “I tripped and fell.”


“Try again.” He kicked at my leg—not hard, just enough to frighten me even more.


“I swear!”


“So if I look at this camera of yours, I won’t find any pictures of me on there?” He kicked the now broken camera with the toe of his boot. He wouldn’t find anything on there now.


“I swear you won’t,” I said. It wasn’t a lie. The camera was toast. He wouldn’t know what to do with it. I couldn’t feel worried about the camera, or upset that it broke. I’d never use it again anyway. I was about to die.


He came closer, about to crouch down. I flinched back, covering my face with my arm. I was too scared to scream. I squeezed my eyes shut, waiting to die.


Then I heard a grunt and a surprised cry. I opened my eyes to find a second man, one who hadn’t been anywhere near us before. He was fighting with my attacker.


I curled into a ball, still too scared to move. I wanted to run, to scream for help, but I couldn’t. All I could do was stare at what was happening in front of me.


My attacker swung at him, but the blow was easily blocked. My “savior,” or whoever he was, was a head taller and much more muscular. I saw his biceps ripple as he rained one punch after another. Now the man who’d followed me looked much weaker. Anyone could look strong when they were menacing a woman, I guessed.


They were both wearing leather vests, with different patches covering the back. The one the attacker wore had a picture of a wolf and said
Vicious Wolves
. The other had a motorcycle and said
Fury Riders
. Gang members. Jesus, what had I gotten myself into? Some sort of gang war?


I bit my lip, watching them fight, hearing my attacker’s grunts as the other man made contact with his face, his stomach. Blood poured from his mouth. He was staggering on his feet, unwilling to go down, but hardly able to stand. One eye was swollen shut. I was sure I’d throw up from either fear or disgust. It was an ugly scene.


Then he went down. But the other man, the Fury Rider, wasn’t finished. I crawled further away, still too shaky to stand. I didn’t want to see what would happen next, but I couldn’t keep my eyes off them. I watched in fascinated horror as the Fury Rider kicked the Vicious Wolf in the ribs. When the bloodied man rolled onto his side, curling up defensively, the Fury Rider kicked him in the back. My kidneys nearly hurt for him.


The man on the ground stopped moving. The man on his feet was clearly tired out, or tired of fighting someone who was no longer fighting back. He stopped kicking, towering over his foe with his fists clenched. Breathing heavily, but not hurt in the least. I couldn’t remember seeing my attacker land a single blow.


Conflicting emotions rushed through me in the span of a few seconds. Horror at what I’d seen. Relief at being saved—if that was what I was. And a strange sort of victorious feeling that made me want to jump to my feet and pump my fists. That son of a bitch had gotten what he deserved.


My eyes flickered down to him, then up again to the man who’d beaten him. I was breathless, grateful to him and afraid of him. My dark savior.


He looked at me, our eyes meeting for the first time. I had been an afterthought to him, I realized. He wasn’t fighting for me, so much as he was fighting an old fight. I remembered the conflicting patches. They were from opposite sides. If I was the prize, if the Fury Rider was trying to save me, he could have done that with one or two blows. The pummeling was personal.


His eyes were dark, but it could have been the shadow in which he stood. Still, I felt an electricity in them. It flowed from him into me. I’d been breathless already, but he nearly made my heart stop. I froze again, this time because I was taken aback by him. He had a strong presence. He would have been intimidating even if I hadn’t just watched him beat a man nearly to death.


We were connected through our eyes until he looked away. He then looked around, as if just remembering that we out on the street. He looked back at me.


“Come on.” He extended a hand down to me.




“Come on!”


No way was I going with him. I had no idea who he was or what he wanted with me. He might not have saved me at all; he might have been out to hurt me, just the way the man on the ground had been.


“I just want to go home!”


He glanced at the ground, then at me. “Right now, you need to get out of here and go anywhere else. You have to come with me. Now. Before they find you.”




“I’ll tell you, just come now.” He was pissed now, and not taking no for an answer.


It was either wait here to die or go with him. I could go under my own power or let him drag me bodily. I swiped the broken camera from the ground and gave him my other hand so he could pull me to my feet.


I wanted to ask who he was but was too afraid to speak. I wanted to know where he was planning to take me. Wherever it was couldn’t be worse than the trash-strewn street I could have lost my life on.


I had to jump over the body of the man who’d nearly attacked me. He wasn’t moving. I wondered vaguely whether he was still alive—and I knew I didn’t care.


He had stabbed and maybe killed someone, and could easily have killed me. I wished I had the time to hit him myself, but I was being dragged away by my savior…who seemed just as dangerous as the man on the ground.





This was what I got for not being able to mind my fucking business.


I was only out for a ride, trying to clear my head. Anything was better than the tension at the clubhouse.


It had been a tough week after three of my guys were killed. The clubhouse was like a morgue. I knew everybody was trying to keep their spirits up and be brave for each other, but it wasn’t easy. The strain was heavy, always there.


And all of them were looking at me, wondering what to do.


I didn’t know what to do, besides killing every one of the men who killed my guys. I wanted revenge. So did everybody else. But running blindly into revenge was the last thing we needed. One of us had to be cooler than the rest. If we went straight into it, angry, wanting to make them pay, we would be sloppy. Against the Vicious Wolves, we had to be smart. They’d have a plan in place. We needed one, too.


So I rode to get my head on straight for a little while. Riding always helped me focus. As I rode, I remembered the stories my dad used to tell about the neighborhood. It used to be working-class, clean and respectable. Families moved there because they thought it was desirable, and it was back when Dad was a kid. Factories supported the community, and nearly everyone living there had a job at one of them. Kids played on the streets. Mothers scrubbed their front steps on Saturday afternoons. Nobody locked their doors. Sure, times could be tough—when the factories started laying off employees in stages, everyone had hope that things would pick up.


They never did. The factories shut down, and the neighborhood turned into a slum. It was still that way, ugly in the daytime and a war zone at night.


Somehow, I felt comfortable there. More comfortable than anywhere else. Maybe because my dad grew up on those streets. When I looked around, I saw what used to be. Happy Christmases and kids playing stickball and going door to door on Halloween. Families growing and living together. The families living there in the present, few though they were, tried hard to make it a good place. But too many other people were working against them. Many abandoned buildings were used as drug dens, or as places for homeless people to sleep.


I got to the main strip, pulled up at the pizza place to get myself something to eat. They knew me there and had my normal two slices ready in just a minute. I folded them both over and ate standing by my bike.


A few people said hi, and I nodded when my mouth was too full to respond. Most were too afraid to look at me, much less say hello. They knew my club, and they knew our rep. We weren’t people to fuck with. They would rather ignore me. I was all right with that. I didn’t want to have anything to do with them.


I’d been away long enough. I didn’t want the rest of the club to start wondering if I was avoiding them. They needed to have their leader in front of them so they knew I was taking care of things.


Only I didn’t feel like I was. Three guys—three—had died. I felt like I was losing my grip, and the tighter I held on the more out of control I felt. It seemed like all I could think about was Rick…Lance…Jake. All of them dead. My friends, my brothers. I couldn’t afford to lose any more of my men. I couldn’t even afford to lose them.


It was a dangerous time. I couldn’t make a wrong move. Onyx was my right-hand man, my second. I relied on him. He kept me centered, and he felt the same as I did about laying low while we put a plan together.


I got on my bike, wanting to be back at the clubhouse before the card game started. It was what we always did on Friday nights, and Onyx agreed with me that things needed to stay as normal as possible.


I was only a block or two away when I looked further ahead and saw a familiar patch on the back of a kutte. My blood boiled. The Vicious Wolves. I knew they were behind the murder of my men, but hadn’t been able to prove it yet. What the fuck was one of their guys doing in our territory?


Part of me wanted to mind my own business. No sense starting a fight—I didn’t see one of my guys on the ground, so it wasn’t up to me to step in. Besides, we didn’t need any more trouble with that club. Things were bad enough.


Then I saw that it was a woman on the ground, and she was cowering in fear. If there was one thing that pissed me off, it was a man hurting a woman. My good sense still told me to keep riding, but there was no way. I was already dying to hurt one of their members, and this was just another reason to go for it.


The bike was barely parked before I jumped off and ran to them. He was just about to bend down to the girl, and she had her eyes closed with an arm over her face. I got there just in time.


I shoved him away. He spun toward me with surprise on his face. I only gave him a split second before I lunged at him.


He threw a punch, which would have connected with my eye if he wasn’t so slow. I ducked, then hit him with three solid jabs to the ribs. He doubled over and my knee connected with his face.


He staggered back, hitting an old fence. When he bounced off it, I caught him by the lapels of his kutte. I steadied him before hitting him with a roundhouse to the face, connecting with his eye. Another one, this time to his nose.


He fell on the ground and I had the satisfaction of kicking him. I kicked him for every one of my guys. When he rolled over, I did it again.


Finally, he stopped moving. I knew he was alive, but didn’t care either way. I was tired of fighting. He wasn’t going to hurt anyone now.


I stood over him and felt victorious. Like an animal standing over my prey. My heart was thudding hard, and I smelled his blood in the air. It smelled good to me.


Then I looked down and saw her.


The first thing I noticed was her hair. It was long and blonde, and it shone in the light from the street lamps. Then her eyes. Wide, blue, scared. Her lips were parted slightly, and she breathed heavily through them. She was tiny, like a little doll.


I wanted her.


More than that, I wanted to get her out of there. Not to mention myself.


My eyes locked onto hers and I didn’t want to look away, but I had to. I looked down the street, in both directions. Someone was going to come by soon enough.


I reached down to her. “Come on.”


“What?” Her voice was high, shaky. She looked like I just asked her to eat a bug.


“Come on!” I was louder this time. She had to get the idea I was serious. We needed to leave, immediately.


She was still cringing away from me like I would burn to touch. Part of me wanted to leave her there if she was going to be that way about it. Screw her. Let her find her out way out of this hell hole. I wouldn’t be there for her the next time she got into trouble.


“I just want to go home!”


I just bet she did. I kinda wanted her to go home, too. She was already more trouble than she was worth.


I looked around again, half expecting to see a motorcycle speeding toward us. We had to get the hell out—odds were slim this asshole was by himself. “Right now, you need to get out of here and go anywhere else. You have to come with me. Now. Before they find you.”




“I’ll tell you, just come now.” I was starting to get seriously pissed. I wouldn’t ask her again. A few more seconds, I’d be on my bike. I didn’t owe this girl anything. Especially when she looked at me like she thought I was less than nothing.


It was fascinating, watching her face as she changed her mind. She wasn’t stupid. I saw her take something from the ground out of the corner of my eye, then she was up and running behind me.


“This?” she asked, pulling up short when we reached my bike. I rolled my eyes, climbing on and starting the engine.


“It’s this or your ass. So get your ass on it.” She got on behind me, clumsy like she’d never ridden before. I wasn’t surprised. She was a princess.


“Around my waist,” I barked, shoving her arms down from where she’d grabbed me around the chest. “Not too tight. Try not to kill me.” Then we took off. I heard her squealing behind me, where she pressed herself against my back. I didn’t hate the feeling.


Who the hell was she? What had I gotten myself into when I picked her up off the ground? And why did that asshole want to hurt her? I hoped it was something as simple as him wanting to rob or rape her—not that rape was simple, but it would mean she was a stranger.


Otherwise, she was fucked, because the Vicious Wolves didn’t back down once they got their teeth into someone.


I wasn’t sure where to go. If they were following us, the clubhouse would be the safest place. It would also be the worst. I didn’t want a war tonight.


My eyes went between the road in front of me and my mirrors. I needed to know if there was any chance of being followed. I couldn’t lead anyone to the rest of my club. They knew where our headquarters was located, but leading them there after I beat the shit out one of their guys would be a bad move.


After five or six blocks, I could see there was no one, and I dropped the speed a bit. The last thing I needed was to get pulled over with blood on my knuckles.


“Where are we going?” She sounded panicked. I didn’t blame her, but she could have at least sounded a little grateful. I didn’t have to help her. I didn’t answer. She’d find out soon.


BOOK: Bounty: Fury Riders MC
5.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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