Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Release Date: June 17, 2022
Amity — I knew people could be cruel. I never thought the entire school and town would turn against me. And why? Because I trusted the wrong person. I thought Evan loved me. How could I have been so wrong? He used me. Humiliated me. Then my parents threw me out. I’d hit rock bottom when Thunder found me. He didn’t just get me off the bridge that night. He saved me in every way that counted. He’s my rock. My hero. My everything. I only hope one day he’ll come to love me as much as I love him.
Thunder — My club is my life. My family. And I’ll do anything for them. But I’ve kept a secret. Something from my past. Before I became a Dixie Reaper. When Portia asks for help, I can’t deny her. So I go out into the storm. I didn’t realize the impact it would have on me. Seeing Amity on the bridge, ready to jump, brought it all back. Now I’ll save her because I have no other choice. I failed in the past. I won’t this time. One look in her eyes, and I know she’s meant to be mine. I will lay her demons to rest. Get revenge for her and our baby. Every man who’s touched her, hurt her, will answer to me. And I’m sending them all straight to hell.
WARNING: Thunder is part of the Dixie Reapers MC series and contains adult content some readers may find difficult to read. Bad language, adult situations, bullying, teen suicide, attempted suicide, and other dark content. Please proceed with caution.
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Harley Wylde
I leaned against the porch post in front of my house and watched the storm. Lightning streaked the sky as the rain poured down. I’d always loved weather like this, which was only a small part of how I’d gotten my name. Torch had once commented that when I lost my temper, it was like the thunder booming. Needless to say, when it came time for me to patch in, they’d given me the name Thunder. Couldn’t complain. It could have been worse.
Normally, I’d be at the clubhouse on a Friday night. As much as I liked to party with my brothers, some of the club sluts were getting a little too clingy. Veronica, in particular, couldn’t seem to take a hint. I let her suck me off once, and now the bitch thought she meant something to me.
A shadow moved through the dark, and I had a feeling Merlin was making his way over. He lived two houses down, and lately, he’d been hiding from the President’s daughter. Portia had her eye on Merlin, and the poor bastard didn’t know how to let her down gently. He’d found her infatuation cute at first. Now that the girl had been chasing him for months, he did his best to hide every chance he had. Although, why the fucker was lurking in the shadows in the middle of a damn storm, I didn’t understand. Surely Portia wasn’t out in this mess.
“Would you get your ass on the porch and stop creeping along like a serial killer?” I called out.
The figure darted closer, and I realized the shadow was far too small to be Merlin. What the fuck? Portia came onto the porch, rain dropping off her, and panting for breath. “What the hell are you doing here?” I demanded. “Does your daddy know you’re running around?”
“I need help.” She stared up at me with wide eyes. “Well, not me. It’s someone I know. She’s in trouble, Thunder. I tried to find Merlin, but he didn’t answer his phone or the door. I don’t know what else do to.”
“Talk to your parents?” I suggested.
She shook her head. “You don’t understand. Amity needs help. I’m grounded and Daddy took my keys. I got a voicemail from Amity that’s freaking me out. I tried calling back and she’s not answering. I need to find her!”
She pulled out her phone and pulled up the message. She put it on speaker and hit play. The first thing I heard was someone crying as if their heart had broken into a million pieces. She sobbed and tried to catch her breath a few times before finally speaking.
“Portia, I’m sorry. I know I promised, but I can’t do this anymore. Thank you for being my friend for the past three months. None of this is your fault. I just can’t… can’t –” The message cut off, and I stared at Portia.
“Who the fuck is Amity and why does it sound like she’s about to kill herself?” My heart pounded against my ribs. I’d never tell Portia, or anyone else, but hearing about that woman just now took me back to a dark place. One I’d never told a soul about.
“How do you not know?” Portia asked. “Her name has been all over town. Remember the guy at school who recorded himself having sex with his seventeen-year-old girlfriend?”
“The asshole who sent a sex video to the entire senior class?” I asked. “Are you telling me that girl is the one in the video?” Shit. I’d seen her picture in the paper, and I’d heard people talking. I’d eavesdropped on a few conversations, but I hadn’t realized she and Portia were friends. Hell, if the Pres knew, he’d have been busting some heads around town. From what I heard, the punk who sent the video and screwed the girl over would be spending the next ten years in prison for child pornography. He’d put in a request to be tried as a youth. The judge had declined. And fuck if that hadn’t made me smile.
It didn’t matter if he’d willingly broken the law. He’d known taking that video, then sharing it, was beyond wrong. Some assholes thought the rules didn’t apply to them. I might not walk the straight and narrow, but I’d never do something like that. Hurting women and kids went against everything I believed in. Same for abusing animals.
She nodded. “Amity didn’t know he was playing a cruel joke on her. And she sure the hell didn’t know he’d recorded them. People whisper when she walks through town, or outright call her a whore or a tramp. Her parents…”
“What about them?” I asked, pushing away from the porch post. I knew there were some shit parents in the world, but surely hers hadn’t turned their backs on her. If I’d ever had a daughter, I’d have treated her like a princess. Hell, I was still young. Plenty of time to find my one and only and start a family.
“They’re awful, Thunder. You should have heard some of the things they’ve said to her. They blame her for all of it, and only care how she’s made them look to their friends. She turned eighteen last week, and they threw her out.” Portia hugged her arms around her waist. “She didn’t have anywhere to go. They didn’t give a shit.”
Sounded like her parents needed their asses kicked. But the longer we stood here talking, the worse our chances of finding Amity before she hurt herself.
“Where would she go, Portia?” I asked.
“She’s been living on the streets. I have no idea where she is, Thunder. But she’s alone, and she’s hit rock-bottom. I think she really means to end it all.” Portia sniffled and I could tell she’d be crying any moment. “I should have asked my dad to help her. I don’t know why I didn’t.”
I cursed and pulled my keys from my pocket. “I’ll find her. Go home, Portia. If your parents start looking for you, this is the last place you need to be. Since you didn’t go to them first, I doubt you want them on my doorstep when I get back with Amity.”
She placed her hand on her lips. I saw the sheen of tears in her eyes and knew the waterworks would start any moment now. “If you find her in time. That message is an hour old. What if it’s too late?”
I didn’t even want to contemplate not making it. I ran down the steps and around the side of the house to the carport. Didn’t matter that I’d barely be able to see my hand in my front of my face. I couldn’t let Amity end her life. Her situation wasn’t anything like the other girl I’d known, but it didn’t stop me from comparing the two.