Authors: Kati Wilde
Tags: #motorcycle club romance, #novella, #erotic romance
• • •
Heaven is finally having Saxon Gray in my arms. Hell is knowing that I might lose him.
After I spent years loving him from a distance, the president of the Hellfire Riders MC is finally mine. Every day he’s at my side; every night he’s in my bed. It would be everything I’d ever wanted, except my dad is sick, and trouble is brewing now that Saxon’s club is taking over my father’s. Because bad blood between the two MCs still lingers, and an old rule requiring Saxon to share me with the other club members is being used as a weapon, forcing him to choose between me and the Hellfire Riders.
And I don’t know if he’ll choose me…or how far I might go to keep him.
THE MOTORCYCLE CLUBS • THE HELLFIRE RIDERS #2
The Motorcycle Clubs Series
His Wild Desire by Ella Goode
Off Limits by Ruby Dixon
Wanting It All by Kati Wilde
Her Secret Pleasure by Ella Goode
Packing Double by Ruby Dixon
Taking It All by Kati Wilde
Their Secret Need by Ella Goode
Double Trouble by Ruby Dixon
Having It All by Kati Wilde
Saturday evening at the Wolf Den, yet the Hellfire Riders’ favorite watering hole is as quiet as a Sunday morning. I know the club isn’t out on a weekend ride, and considering how hard its members like to drink and play, there’s only one possible reason for their absence now.
I belly up to the bar and sling my bag onto an empty stool. “The club’s meeting isn’t over yet?”
“Nope. And a good thing, too, because Marie was sick today and none of the prep was done.” Behind the bar, Anna glances up from a pile of lemon wedges. A brunette with delicate features, she often looks sweeter than she is. She has a pixie’s face but a harpy’s temper, and that dark side makes its appearance now when her eyebrows shoot together in a frown. “You look like shit, Jenny. Are you all right?”
Damn it. After spending a good part of the afternoon crying, my eyes are still puffy. I slathered on concealer, but Anna’s been my best friend since we were little. Makeup might fool some people, but it can’t hide anything from her.
I can’t hide this from her any longer, either. “Not really.”
“Why? Is it Saxon?” Her expression tightens. “Or the Eighty-Eight?”
“No. To both,” I say, but it’s no surprise those are her first guesses. Less than a week ago, Luke Reichmann—who leads the Eighty-Eight Henchmen MC—attacked me while I was out dancing with Anna at a local bar. Saxon Gray, the president of the Hellfire Riders, almost killed him for it before handing Reichmann over to his men. I don’t know how badly they fucked him up. Probably pretty bad. Saxon told them to leave Reichmann alive, but there’s a lot of hurt that can be dealt out before hitting the line between living and dead. Eventually the Eighty-Eight will probably retaliate. I haven’t heard anything from them yet, though. Reichmann’s probably still licking his wounds.
And Saxon…just thinking of him makes my heart tighten. I’ve wanted him for so long, but we’ve only been together since the night of the attack. Only a week. It doesn’t feel real yet. Almost like a dream. But if it is, it’s the best dream I’ve ever had.
Except for one thing.
“My dad’s sick,” I tell Anna on a shuddering breath.
Her lips part as her gaze searches my face. “You don’t mean the flu.”
All at once my eyes fill with tears. “No.”
“Oh, Jenny.” She puts her knife down. I know she’s going to come around the bar and hug me, but if she does I’ll just lose it.
I hold up my hand, stopping her. “Don’t.” My voice is hoarse. “If you do, I’ll start bawling.”
“Maybe you need to.”
“I already did.” More than once over the past few weeks. I take the glass of water she gives me and try to get my emotions under control. “It’s cancer.”
Two little words, and she suddenly looks almost as devastated as I feel. Anna’s known my dad forever.
She reaches across the bar and grips my hand. “I’m so sorry, honey. You know I’m here.”
Nodding, I squeeze her fingers. “I know.”
“You want something stronger than water?” she offers. “It’s on the house.”
I don’t really want anything, but I know she needs to do something for me. “A shot would be great.”
After pouring two shots of tequila, Anna lifts hers with a solemn “Fuck cancer” and we pound them back together. At least now I have another reason for the burning in my eyes.
Knife in hand, Anna starts in on a bowl of limes. “So what’s going to happen with the Titans? Has he told them yet?”
The Steel Titans. My dad is co-founder and president of the club—and has been since he had a fallout with the Hellfire Riders’ previous leader and turned in his colors. That blowup happened before I was born, and long before Saxon Gray had been voted in as the Riders’ prez. For years, the bad blood between the clubs meant that I could look at Saxon, but never think about touching him. Even coming into this tavern was off-limits to me. Saxon owns it, and the Wolf Den is Hellfire Riders’ territory. My dad and the Titans have their own territory, and the center of it is on the ranch spread where Dad and I live. The Titans’ clubhouse sits at the opposite end of the property. It used to be, Saxon wouldn’t come out there, either.
But for the past week, we’ve both been crossing territory lines. He’s been coming out to my brewery; I’ve been staying nights at his place. Anna hasn’t asked me about that, though she must be wondering. But it doesn’t matter. The answer to the question she’s asking and the reason I’m comfortable coming into the Wolf Den now is the same.
“The Titans’ club meeting is tonight, too.” And for the same reason Saxon and the Riders are still at their own clubhouse instead of here. “I don’t know if Dad’s going to tell them how sick he is—but I know he’s going to propose folding the Titans and the Riders together into one club.”
Anna suddenly looks up at me, wide-eyed and disbelieving. “What?”
Sometimes I can hardly believe it myself. “My dad went to Saxon. He knows that Uncle Thorne can hold the Titans together after he’s gone, but the club isn’t as strong as it was. And once Thorne is gone—”
“Then it all goes to shit,” Anna guesses. “And you’ve got a rowdy bunch of bikers on your property without anyone to reel them in.”
I tap my finger against the end of my nose, because she’s right on it. “And he’s worried about the Eighty-Eight coming after me when he’s gone. But Saxon wants the clubhouse, and if the Riders are out there, there’s not so much to worry about. He’ll keep everything in line.”
“Yeah, he would.” Anna laughs and makes a circling gesture, as if to indicate the bar around us and everything Saxon keeps in line here. “He doesn’t put up with any shit, that’s for sure.”
“No, he doesn’t.”
And he’s mine. Big, sexy, mean as fuck—and by some miracle, all mine. Just thinking of Saxon Gray makes me feel warmer, lighter, helping to ease the solid ache that an afternoon of worrying about my dad left in my chest.
But Anna is giving me an odd little hesitant look. “So is that why you two finally hooked up—because Saxon will be taking over the Titans?”
“Kind of.” We hooked up because I wanted him and he wanted me. Merging the clubs just opened up the opportunity. But now Anna is biting her lip, which means she wants to say something but isn’t sure she should. I frown at her. “Why are you looking like that?”
She heaves out a heavy breath. “I thought you both gave in
the club rivalries and shit. I mean, you’ve been crazy about him forever. And anyone who ever saw him look at you knew it wasn’t one-sided. But doesn’t it bother you that, for all these years, he always chose the Riders over you?”
That’s like a punch to the throat. I stare at her, hurting so much it takes a few seconds to answer. “He didn’t.”
“What would you call it, then? He never made a move because it would have caused trouble between the clubs. But if he’d just quit the Riders, there wouldn’t have been any trouble. He chose to stay with them instead of coming for you.”
Just quit the Riders.
I know she’s only saying this because she’s worried for me, but I’m still getting pissed. “That’s like saying that
should have told my dad to go fuck himself. That I should just toss any loyalty I have to him into the trash, because he’s president of the Titans and my relationship to him was getting in the way of my going to Saxon. Screw that. Just because I didn’t go to Saxon doesn’t mean that I wanted him any less.”
“Okay, okay.” Her mouth pulls into an apologetic grimace and she quickly holds up her hands. “I’m sorry. You’re right.”
“I know I am.” And I can’t freaking believe that she thought otherwise for even a second. “What the hell, Anna?”
“I’m sorry. I just… Okay, this is my shit. Not yours. I shouldn’t have laid it on you.”
“Laid what on me?”
She just shakes her head. I’ve got a sudden inkling, though. We haven’t seen each other much this week, but when she came out to my brewery the day after the attack to check on me, she seemed a little down. I assumed that she was still rattled, or feeling guilty because she’d left me alone for a few minutes—just long enough for Reichmann to corner me.
Now another reason occurs to me. Saxon carried me out of the bar, but as we left, he ordered one of the Riders to make sure Anna got home all right. That escort was Zachary Cooper—also known as Gunner, the Hellfire Riders’ sergeant at arms…and who’d shot her down once before.
Oh, shit. “Did something happen with Zach?”
Her jaw works before she answers. “I kind of kissed him. He pushed me away and said I was drunk.”
“Yeah, but—” She shrugs. “He sees me a lot when I’m not.”
So he did—here at the Wolf Den and at the house Anna shares with her brother. Stone and Zach have been tight since serving together in the Marines, tighter now that they’re both Riders, and I assume that friendship is what’s holding him back.
“And you think that he’s choosing your brother over you?”
“I don’t know. I just know he’s not choosing me.” She braces her hands at the edge of the counter and meets my eyes. “It’s nothing. I’ll get over it. I’m just sorry that I said anything about Saxon not choosing you.”
“I mean, he’s gotta be in love with you, right? He almost killed someone for you. Right in front of everyone.”
“Yes,” I say, though in truth, that doesn’t mean much. I know that better than anyone, because fourteen years ago, Saxon
kill someone while trying to protect me…and I was a stranger to him then. I was just a girl unlucky enough to stumble into the Eighty-Eight Henchmen’s territory at the wrong time. Saxon was unlucky enough that the kick he aimed at the head of the man trying to rape me—Luke Reichmann’s brother—fatally injured the bastard. He spent five years in prison for manslaughter, and told me that he didn’t regret a second of it.
Protecting someone didn’t mean that Saxon loved them. It just meant that he wouldn’t stand by while a man hurt a woman, and that he’d accept whatever consequences came afterward.
So what really mattered wasn’t that he’d been ready to kill Reichmann last week, but that he stopped when I asked him to. Because the whole nightmare was unfolding in front of me again, and with so many witnesses, Saxon wouldn’t be spending five years in prison; chances were, he’d be going away for much longer. But he stopped when I told him I loved him and that I couldn’t bear to lose him—and because he’d promised not to hurt me when I’d told him that being with him risked my heart.
He kept that promise, and
means something. I don’t know if he loves me. He hasn’t said so. But I know that he’ll be with me in every way I need him. We burn up the bed together—and there’s a hell of a lot of admiration on both sides.
One day, he’ll love me. He has to. I can’t bear forever if he doesn’t.
Forever is a long way away, though. Until then, even if I don’t have Saxon’s heart, I have
That’s enough for now.
• • •
“To look at these bastards, you’d think they feel worse about Zoomie’s chopper getting trashed than they did when her dad busted his brain bucket on a semi’s radiator grille,” Spiral comments as he passes me a beer. His easy tone says he’s joking. The flat look in his eyes says he’s not.
I twist off the cap and wet my throat, watching the brothers return from the garage. The meeting is running long, so when we broke for fifteen minutes, most everyone filed out to cry over the damage the Eighty-Eight’s prospect did with the sledgehammer he took to Zoomie’s custom bike. Now they’re heading back in to grab a drink before settling down to conclude our business.
Spiral’s not wrong. To look at them, you’d think Zoomie’s bike mattered more than Zoomie’s father—even though he was the prez and founder of the Hellfire Riders. Lucifer used to sit where I am now, and when word came down that he’d been killed, a lot of club members were just quiet. Either in shock or disbelieving. Others sat and drank themselves stupid. There wasn’t any of the rage the Riders have been showing since Zoomie first rolled her bike in.
But Spiral’s not right, either. Losing Lucifer stabbed the Riders more deeply than seeing Zoomie’s bike trashed did. The difference is, no one could have done a damn thing to help Lucifer after he rode straight into that truck. Nothing could change it.
We can do something about the Eighty-Eight. And every one of the Riders is ready to. Even now, Picasso catches one of our prospects in a headlock and mimes a punch to his face—showing Knucklehead how he’d have taken care of the Eighty-Eight’s little shit.
He won’t need to. Zoomie already handled it. A week ago, I stood under the moonlight in Hamilton Quarry and watched while she held a sledgehammer and let the prospect choose which part of his body she was going to hit. The prospect chose a forearm. He should have asked for a thigh—thicker bones, more muscle mass. She’d have broken his leg but probably not shattered it. At least he had the brains to choose his left arm, but he’s not going to be a problem again.
The rest of the Eighty-Eight won’t be, either. Because I’m not going to stop until they’re gone.
Spiral eyes me. “How’s your girl doing?”
My girl. My woman. Finally,
The fierce possession swelling my chest is only matched by the burning rage, remembering how Reichmann shoved Jenny into the corner of that booth a week ago. Remembering the fear and anger on her face. I’d sworn to protect her but that motherfucker still got his hands on her.
Swallowing the anger with another icy swig, I say, “She’ll be doing better after we run off the Eighty-Eight.”
“Word is, we might have some help with that. That we’re bringing in the Titans. There’s rumors flying.”
“Are there?” Unconcerned, I finish off the brew and toss the bottle into the empties bucket. I asked my enforcer to start those rumors so we could get an early gauge on the brothers’ reactions. “I think we’ve got a second half of a meeting coming up and those rumors might be addressed.”
His eyes are flat again. “I’ll be glad to see some of our brothers back. But you know this will stir up that old shit between all of us. I’ll stir some myself, if I need to.”