Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Release Date: June 14, 2019
Luciana — All I’ve known is pain and suffering at the hands of men — even from my father, a man who was supposed to love and protect me. I’ve survived, nothing less and nothing more. When I’m dropped off with a club of bikers, I figure it’s more of the same. I’ll do as I’m told, make sure I please them, and hope one day I’ll find a way to escape. There is only one thing that could ever break me, and I’m scared of what will happen when the club learns my secret. Will they return me to my father? Or will I be used to broker yet another deal?
It never occurred to me the President of Hades Abyss would be my salvation, or that I would fall in love with him. I never knew men could be honorable and kind. He’s all gruff and domineering, but under that rough exterior I can see the heart of gold he tries to hide.
Spider — Assassin Casper VanHorne, Picasso of wet work and pain in my ass, has asked my club to take in two Colombian princesses. Well, he didn’t use the term princesses, but I have no doubt they’ll be spoiled little bitches. The first time I see Luciana and her sister, I think I’ve got them pegged just right — until I look in Luciana’s eyes and see the fear she’s trying to hide. Something isn’t right. I know it deep in my gut.
I never once thought a woman nearly forty years younger than me could ever captivate me, but the more I get to know her, the more Luciana holds me spellbound. I didn’t want to fall in love, didn’t want a woman in my life… but sometimes the Fates know better than a mere mortal man, and Luciana is exactly what I need. When her father demands her return, I vow to keep her safe. No fucking way I’ll let the sick bastards who hurt her get their hands on her again. Now that she’s mine, I’ll march into hell if need be in order to keep her by my side.
WARNING: This book contains bad language, graphic sex, violence, a heroine who has been physically and sexually abused, and an alpha male who will get vengeance at any cost.
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Copyright ©2019 Harley Wylde
I had shit to do, business to handle for the club, and where the fuck was I? At the airstrip outside of town, waiting on Casper Fucking VanHorne, and the little Colombian bitches I’d agreed to take in — temporarily. I’d left out that last part, but no way were some rich little princesses going to stick around my club for long. I’d do everything in my power to run their asses out of here. I understood Casper’s reasoning behind the major favor he’d asked of my club, but it didn’t mean I had to like it.
The jet touched down and moved down the runway. When it came to a stop, I folded my arms over my chest and waited. Rocket and Fangs were with me, along with a Prospect who’d brought the SUV to transport the little divas. It seemed to take forever before they were on the ground and heading toward us. The younger one looked terrified, her eyes wide and her hands clutched in front of her. She looked around, almost as if she worried someone would jump out at her. The eldest held her shoulders back, her chin lifted at a defiant angle, but her lips were pressed tightly together. Neither appeared to be the overly confident young ladies I’d expected. Despite the bravado of the eldest, they both seemed a few seconds away from running in the opposite direction.
What the hell had I gotten myself, and my club, into this time? Rocket had agreed to house the younger one. We didn’t exactly have a bunch of women running around to help care for them, nor was I going to leave them unattended. Since his younger sister had lived with him until she’d passed, he’d seemed like the best choice. At least he knew how to handle a teenage girl. Rocket pushed off his bike and walked toward them, stopping in front of the youngest.
“Violeta, right?” he asked.
She nodded, her lip quivering.
“I’m Rocket. You’ll be staying with me. Do you speak English?”
“Yes.” Her voice was soft and slightly accented. “I will be good to you.”
Rocket frowned and looked at me, but I didn’t know what the fuck she was talking about. Maybe her English wasn’t as great as she thought. I just shrugged and waited on the older one to reach me.
“Luciana, I’m Spider,” I said.
“I know who you are. I’ve been informed I’ll be living in your house.”
“Yes. I have a room set up for you. Where’s your shit?” She stared at me blankly. “Your clothes? Shoes? Jewelry or whatever the fuck else women pack when they move?”
She shrugged a shoulder. “Our father didn’t deem it necessary to send us with more than an overnight bag. We each have two changes of clothes.”
“Casper,” I said, a bit of growl to my voice as I stared at the man responsible for this shitstorm. “What the fuck?”
“I’ll provide each of them with a shopping allowance to buy the necessities. After that, they’re your problem.” Casper arched a brow, as if daring me to utter a word of complaint. “Once my jet is refueled, I have someplace to be.”
There was a flash of fear in Luciana’s eyes, but I tried to dismiss it, and the tightening in my gut. There was something incredibly wrong, but I couldn’t quite figure it out. I would in time, but right this moment, I needed to get these two home and settled. Rocket curved his arm around the smaller of the two and led her over to the SUV, leaning down to speak to her. If Luciana needed coddling, she’d have to get it elsewhere. I waved my hand and she started to follow Rocket and her sister. The Prospect grabbed their small bags and loaded them into the SUV.
Fangs folded his arms and watched them. “Something’s off. Like really fucking off.”
I completely agreed, and I didn’t like it. Casper hadn’t made it a secret that he had plans for Mateo Gomez and was merely playing nice. Didn’t mean I wanted my club mixed up in this shit, but with the promise of a favor from the notorious assassin, I couldn’t exactly say no. With some of the shit my club dealt with, having a guy like Casper VanHorne at your back could mean the difference in coming back home on your own two legs or in a body bag. But as I watched the two young women get into the SUV, saw the haunted look in their eyes, I had to wonder just what the fuck was going on.
The Prospect climbed into the SUV once the women were secure, and he waited while the rest of us mounted our bikes. I took point with Fangs, and Rocket pulled up at the rear. I didn’t expect trouble, and yet I was always cautious, even in my own damn town. The compound was just outside the city limits a few minutes down a two-lane highway. This part of Missouri didn’t get a lot of traffic, but after my son was in an accident, along with a Dixie Reaper and the Reaper’s woman, I’d learned not to trust even those who lived near the compound. Anyone could be bought for the right price, except my officers. I’d trust them with my life, along with the other patched members of my club.
As we approached the gates to the compound, our newest Prospect, a kid who was quickly proving himself, let us in with a wave. Teller Reed was a good kid, once you got through the tough skin he’d grown in order to survive. I had high hopes for him, and since he asked to prospect, I’d seen a lot of improvement. We’d make a man of him, eventually.
The Hades Abyss compound had changed a bit over the years. After seeing the setup at the Dixie Reapers and Devil’s Boneyard, I’d decided to improve a few things. Most of the homes had been small before, but now all officers had large houses. We’d also added a pool and picnic area, even though none of us had families. I’d seen the look in a few of the men’s eyes and knew they’d settle down if they found the right woman. We’d all been hardcore bachelors long enough. Not to mention, the family-oriented area was nice when my son visited with my grandson.
Fangs went straight to the clubhouse, but the rest of us continued farther into the compound. We took the winding road toward my home and I pulled into the carport. I shut off my bike and waited as Luciana got out of the SUV. The Prospect, Marcus, grabbed her bag and waited for instructions. He’d only been with us about eight months, but he showed promise.
“Put her bag in the guest room,” I said with a nudge of my chin toward the front porch. Marcus hastened to obey while I studied Luciana.
Her hair was pulled up on top of her head in a messy knot, and she didn’t have so much as a speck of makeup on her face. She was young. Really damn young, even though I’d been assured she was twenty-one. That made her forty years younger than me. I was old enough to be her fucking grandfather. It was complete insanity to have agreed to this nonsense.
“Go on inside, girl. One of the club girls picked up some bedding she thought would be appropriate. Just look for the purple room and that one’s yours.”
She gave a slight nod and hurried inside.
When Marcus came back outside, I held up a hand to stop him. He watched me, but his gaze flicked to the SUV a few times. I knew he was curious about the girls and wondered why they were here. While every patched member of the club knew the score, the Prospects only knew the girls would be staying here for a bit.
“They say anything on the way here?” I asked.
“No. The younger one cried a lot. I’ve never questioned the club, or you, Pres, but this doesn’t feel right.”
“Something is strange with this deal for sure, but I don’t know what just yet. In the meantime, treat the girls like guests. Not like club whores. Spread the word to the other Prospects too. These two aren’t a damn thing like what I’d expected.”
He gave a quick nod, then rushed over to the SUV. Rocket led the way, and I sighed as I looked at my house. It had been a nice quiet sanctuary, and now there was a woman inside. A stranger. A girl I’d thought would be entitled and spoiled, but seemed more scared than anything else. It made me wonder exactly what their father had told them. Or Casper for that matter. Did they have any idea why they were here?
I made my way inside and went straight to the kitchen. I shook my head as I looked at the damn fancy coffeemaker Laken had insisted on giving me this past Christmas. It had taken me weeks to figure the fucking thing out. If I hadn’t worried about hurting her feelings, I’d have stashed it and just used my simple one with an on/off switch. Who needed all the bells and whistles on a coffeemaker? Although, I had to admit being able to set a timer was nice when I had a set schedule in the morning. I liked walking downstairs to a fresh pot of coffee.
I brewed a pot, then sat at the table to enjoy it. I had a feeling I might need something a lot stronger if I was going to tackle the issue of Luciana and Violeta. Had the third girl arrived at the Dixie Reapers’ compound yet? I wondered what Torch thought of all this. I could call and ask, or I could wait out Luciana and ask her myself what the fuck was going on. As fearful as Violeta seemed, and her odd comment, made me think things were about to go sideways with this deal.
I finished my cup and poured another. As I reclaimed my seat, Luciana came downstairs, her tread soft on the staircase. She froze in the kitchen doorway when she saw me. I waited, wondering if she’d run the other way, or be brave enough to come closer. I had my answer a moment later when she came farther into the room and looked at the coffeepot with longing.
“You can have a cup. They’re in the cupboard over the coffeemaker. I don’t keep creamer, but there’s regular sugar in the canister on the counter and some milk in the fridge.”
She wordlessly walked to the coffeepot and got down a mug. She filled it, then opened the fridge and pulled out the milk, staring at it a moment. Her questioning gaze met mine. Had the kid never seen milk before? Or maybe it was the fact I had to use the watered down shit.
“I’m an old man, darlin’. I can’t stomach whole milk anymore. Even the two percent is too rough, so I only stock one percent. If you’ll give me a list of things you need, I’ll have someone pick up a few groceries.”
She added the milk to her coffee and put the carton back in the fridge. After looking around the kitchen with confusion etched on her face, I pointed to the drawer next to the stove. She walked over and slid it open, pulling out a spoon. Luciana sat next to me and stirred her coffee.
“Guess it’s a little stressful and weird to leave your home and go somewhere new,” I said.
She just stared at her cup and didn’t say anything, but I noticed her lower lip trembled a bit.
“Your dad probably has a big mansion in Colombia. I know this place isn’t a palace, but hopefully you’ll be comfortable.”
I honestly hadn’t given a shit. Until now. The more I watched her, the more certain I became things weren’t as they seemed. That fucker! Casper hadn’t made a deal with Gomez for his own merit. He’d been trying to get these girls out of Colombia. I just didn’t know why, but I would. And soon. If shit was heading my way, I wanted to know now.
She sipped her at her coffee and still didn’t say a word. I noticed her body was tense, and her hand shook a little. The girl was scared. Was it because of being somewhere new? Leaving her only home? Or was it something else, something that would likely piss me the fuck off? I shouldn’t have offered to keep her here. Anyone else would have been a better option. Hell, the girls could have shared a room at Rocket’s place, or Luciana could have stayed with Shooter or Knox. Both were a fucking lot younger than me. Maybe she worried I’d try to take advantage? She’d likely be disgusted if I made a move on her, not that I planned on it.
“Luciana, I don’t know what you think of me, and I honestly don’t give a shit. But I can assure you that I don’t take unwilling women, so if you’re worried I’ll force myself on you while you’re here, you’d be wrong.”
She audibly swallowed, and the coffee sloshed over the rim of the mug and onto the table.
“You won’t have to force me. I know my place and what’s expected of me.”
What. The. Absolute. Fuck.
“Come again?” I asked.
She finally met my gaze and held it for longer than a few seconds. “I’ll do as you ask. Do you want me here?”
She stood and started to unfasten her pants, and it felt like my heart was about to stop. A picture was forming in my mind, and it wasn’t pretty. I reached and placed my hand over hers, halting her movement. Not fast enough that she hadn’t already started to shove her pants down her legs, and not before I saw the marks.
With a growl, I stood fast enough my chair fell over. Fury filled me as I stared at her lower belly, right above the delicate lace trim on her panties. Slowly, I reached for her and lifted the hem of her shirt a little. Enough to see not only more marks, but to notice there was a slight roundness that was too firm to be fat. I worked her jeans down her thighs and took in the roadmap of pain that was etched into her skin.
“Who did this to you? And whose kid is in your belly?” I asked my voice harsher than I’d intended.