Published by Changeling Press
Cover Art by Bryan Keller
Releasing July 22, 2022
Dessa — I’ve always known Sonja, my foster sister, thrives on chaos. It never occurred to me she’d go so far as to buy children, then use them as leverage against a club of bikers. When armed men burst through the door, I’m terrified — not only of them, but of losing little Junie and Judd. Those kids mean everything to me, but they’re not really mine. I know I can’t keep them. And when the bikers walk out with the children, I don’t even try to stop them. Without Sonja and the kids, I’m alone. The darkness I’ve held at bay starts to close in on me, and I have to wonder… how much longer before I join my family on the other side?
Savior — I only wanted my daughter. When I find her, I didn’t count on a sweet angel keeping watch. I should walk away. But Dessa loves my little girl as if she were her own. I feel like a monster taking Junie away from her. There’s a sadness in her eyes. It tugs at me, makes me want to protect her. So I give in to my instincts, and I take Dessa with me. I didn’t count on falling under her spell. She’s wrapped me around her finger, and I’m not sure I really mind.
WARNING: Savior is part of the Dixie Reapers MC series and contains graphic language, adult situations, and violence. It’s intended for adult readers age 18+.
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Available July 15, 2022 at Changeling Press
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Harley Wylde
I didn’t know where my sister had found the children, but little Junie and Judd were the sweetest kids. They weren’t hers. No matter what she implied, I knew she’d never been pregnant. Not to mention, she didn’t have a maternal bone in her body. Of course, I’d seen plenty of parents who didn’t have what it took to take care of children. Which was why I’d ended up in foster care, along with Sonja.
It bothered me, not knowing where the children came from. Did they have parents searching for them? Had Sonja stolen them to try and give them a better life? I had too many questions, and she never offered any answers. Not that I’d seen her lately. She usually stopped by every other week with some cash and would buy groceries. Until the day she’d walked out and not returned. Had she grown bored with the kids? It wouldn’t have surprised me.
I rolled my chair forward and scooped Junie onto my lap. She giggled and clapped her hands, always enjoying a ride. To her, it was a game. For me… Well, it was a reminder of the life I’d never get to have. Jeremy had made it clear no one would want a woman like me for a wife. The accident hadn’t been my fault. He’d walked away, and I hadn’t. Thanks to the drunk driver, and nerve damage, I’d never walk again.
I could have wallowed in self-pity, or let depression drag me down. It had been close for a while. Once Jeremy dumped me, I’d spiraled. I’d barely been existing when Sonja found me. She’d asked for my help, even though she hadn’t explained what she needed. I’d agreed, as long as it wasn’t illegal. She’d smirked and said I’d be fine. Then she’d vanished again, only to show up about five months ago with two kids in tow.
The first two months after the accident had been rough. Adjusting to life in a wheelchair hadn’t been easy. Hell, most days I still struggled. I wondered if I always would.
“How’s my sweet girl today?” I asked, kissing her cheek.
I glanced at the kitchen and knew I’d have to order supplies soon. The money Sonja had left was long gone. She should have returned months ago. Part of me worried she’d forgotten about us. Or worse, she’d gotten into trouble. Being unable to drive made life a little difficult at times. Even if I’d had a car, I wasn’t sure how I’d manage. I hadn’t had insurance when the accident happened. If the drunk driver hadn’t covered my medical expenses, I’d have never gotten my wheelchair. The damn things cost entirely too much.
Thankfully, there were apps for nearly everything these days. I could have groceries delivered, as long as I had money. Maybe someday I could afford a car and figure out how to drive without the use of my legs. It just wouldn’t happen anytime soon.
Chasing the little ones didn’t give me much time for work, and my job barely covered our expenses. If Sonja didn’t return soon, we’d be in trouble. I had enough for some groceries, as long as I bought cheap things like macaroni or spaghetti. I knew the kids needed healthier options, but it was better to feed them than to make them starve.
Judd held his arms up, and I lifted him onto my lap as well. They both curled against me, and I knew they were ready for a nap. Wheeling us into the living room, I picked up their favorite book off the coffee table. We’d read Goodnight Moon so many times, I had it memorized. And yet, the kids wanted to listen to it every day. Sometimes more than once.
We were on page four when someone pounded on the door. I clutched the children to me and stared, too scared to open it. It rattled on the hinges, and I knew it had to be a man on the other side. I’d never met a woman with that much force behind their fist. Didn’t mean there weren’t any. I’d just never known any.
“Who’s there?” I called out.
“You have to the count of three to open this damn door or I’m breaking it down,” a deep voice said from the other side.
My heart leaped into my throat, and I started backing my chair toward the hall. I knew if they really wanted in, there wasn’t any way I could stop them. The way he beat on the door made me fear not only for my life, but the lives of the children. When he made it into the house, we’d be helpless.
I whispered to the kids, hoping they’d listen. “I need you both to go hide. Don’t come out unless I call you. Understand?”
Junie blinked at me and didn’t say anything. Judd stared and refused to move. I whimpered, not wanting anything bad to happen to them. Stuck in my chair, I knew I wouldn’t be able to fight off whoever was trying to break in.
“Lady, you let me in or I swear to Christ it won’t be pretty when I get my hands on you.”
I backed up even more. The door nearly exploded off the hinges as a group of large men came barreling into the house. I screamed, and the children started crying. I held them tight, hoping to soothe them, but I was just as terrified. What did these men want?
“Please, we don’t have anything valuable. Take whatever you want. Just don’t hurt us,” I begged. More men came into the house, and the breath in my lungs froze when I recognized one of them. “Johnny?”
He blinked, and his eyebrows lifted. “Dessa?”
“What’s going on?” Some of my tension eased. It had been a long time since I’d last seen him, but unless he’d drastically changed, I knew he wouldn’t hurt us. Hopefully, that meant the other men wouldn’t either.
“I go by Saint now,” he said, coming farther into the house. “I think the better question is why are you here and with those two kids?”