Forge said she could help in the kitchen tonight. All she had to do was direct the women, and they’d do as she asked. It sounded like a recipe for disaster, but Forge assured her she was in charge, and her vision for the dinner was going to be perfect. She wanted him to be proud of her … to love her.

She found herself humming, smiling at nothing more than the evergreen of the forest against the contrast of the blue sky. Beth had never been more at peace. She was free from her father, his wife, and walking on eggshells every day. As she lost herself in thought, she did wonder when Forge was going to make the big move. They’d been very sexual with each other, but they’d never consummated their relationship. Was he old-fashioned? Was there something wrong with her? Every passing day made her more and more paranoid and insecure.

There was no way she’d refuse him at this point. Some days, she’d come close to begging for his cock. When he’d go off on how he planned to breed her and fill her with his seed, she had to stop herself from asking him when it was going to happen. His body was hard and imposing. All she wanted to do was touch him, to run her lips over every inch of ripped muscle.

The faintest sound caught her attention. She got to her feet and wandered farther down the long, winding road. It was definitely a kitten. The crying got louder as she neared a dilapidated shed on the edge of the forest ahead. Maybe Forge would let her keep one. Beth loved animals, but her father insisted on a cold, sterile home. It reminded her of a hospital. Or an asylum. The idea of pets was never entertained.

She cautiously pushed open the door, only hanging on by one hinge. The last thing she wanted was to spook it. She clicked her tongue softly as she peered inside.

“Looking for something, honey?”

Beth gasped and stepped away, the door squeaking back into place. A woman was leaning against the side of the shed, her arms crossed. She didn’t know the woman’s name but recognized her from the club. This was one of the few times a woman had spoken to her. It took her by surprise. Maybe they were warming up to the fact she was Forge’s other half.

“I heard a kitten.”

She shrugged. “I have bigger things to worry about.”

Beth pursed her lips, feeling out of place and unsure of what to say.

“Do you know who I am?”

Beth shook her head.

“I was supposed to be Forge’s old lady. Did you know that? The right was practically mine … until you showed up.” She smirked without humor. “Now I’m outcast, a single mother with no education and no way to support herself or her kids. My future was all mapped out but he traded me for a young, virgin pussy.” She chuckled. “He’ll do the same to you, so don’t think you’re fucking special.”

“I didn’t—”

Beth had never known her own mother, and the last thing she wanted to do was tear a family apart. This woman made her out to be a monster, but she was a victim in all this too.

“Don’t worry about it,” she said, walking a partial circle around Beth. “The best woman got the honor, I’m sure. I just hope you can handle a beast like Forge. He’s no ordinary man.”

She ran a finger along Beth’s shoulder. The woman gave off a sinister vibe. A shiver rolled up Beth’s back, her fight-or-flight response growing stronger by the second. “I should go,” she whispered.

“Why? Not allowed to leave the club? Did you wander too far from their protective grasp?”

Beth began to back up. The woman was tall and skinny. Maybe she could take her if it came down to that. She’s never been in a fight, but she wouldn’t just stand there and become a victim. Forge told her he was going to teach her how to use a gun. The fact wasn’t going to help her now.

“You’re just a little girl. Barely able to call yourself a woman. But you’ve ruined so many lives. Are you going to apologize to my kids? Tell them you’re the reason they’re on the streets? Not having dinner tonight?”

“I never wanted to cause trouble,” said Beth.

As she continued to back away, she heard the rumble of a motorcycle coming from far down the treelined road. The satisfied look on the woman’s face filled Beth with dread. She turned to run, but the crazy woman grabbed her by the wrist and fought to keep her in place until the bike rolled forward, a white van pulling up behind it.

The biker got off this Harley and walked toward them. “This the one, Romy?”