“What do you think, Blade? Would you keep pussy like this at your club?”

He laughed. “A bit too much cushion for me, baby.” Blade slapped Romy’s ass and came face to face with Beth. He looked down at her, his blue eyes cold and hard.

“I was going to do what you asked and sneak in if Forge wasn’t there, but this little bitch came right to me like a stupid little puppy.”

“You did good. She’s exactly the leverage I need. If he traded for her like you said, she’s important. The ballgame just changed.”

He reached for her Beth’s cheek.

“Don’t touch me,” she said, leaning away.

Blade chuckled, but it turned into a cough. “You don’t call the shots, sister. And where you’re going, it ain’t going to be a vacation, I promise you that.”

“I’m not going anywhere with you.”

Beth’s heart raced, the rush making her unsteady on her feet. She was well aware how ruthless bikers could be. She’d witnessed a lot of things she probably shouldn’t have at Forge’s club. This was the last position anyone would want to be in.

“Put her in the van,” he called out before walking toward his bike. The door to the white van opened and a heavy-set man struggled to descend. Adrenaline spiked through her veins. As soon as he turned his back to her, she bolted. Beth ran back down the road. She thought the gates were just ahead until she realized how far she’d wandered earlier. There were only trees everywhere with no sign of the club. She could have walked for miles and not realized it.

Beth crashed to the dirt road, the breath knocked out of her lungs, and her palms scraped. The heavy weight on her back rolled off and yanked her up to her feet. “Stupid fat bitch. We’re going to have fun with you tonight.”

She choked for air, holding her neck as he pulled her along.

“Forge,” she tried to call out. Her voice was hoarse. He smacked her upside the head and told her to shut up.

Fear tainted every fiber of her being. Would Forge even want her once she was violated in every way? He’d bought a virgin, after all. Beth kept dragging her heels, but they were at the white van within minutes. The last sound she remembered was the van door sliding shut.

****

“Is that for her?”

Forge stopped examining the piece of metal in his hand and turned to the voice. Dog smirked when they made eye contact.

“Mind your fucking business,” said Forge, slipping the little treasure into his pocket.

Dog shrugged. “She’s your old lady, no?”

“Yeah, but this kind of shit isn’t something I share with the club.”

“It’s just me,” said Dog.

He’d been through a lot with his VP. The old bastard had stuck with him through heaven and hell over the years. Forge trusted him more than any other, but his trust was never unconditional. He’d experienced too much shit growing up to believe otherwise. Deep down, even the most upstanding man had hidden demons. Anyone could be bought for the right price and used to betray those closest to them.

It was smart to keep his armor tight, to trust no one but himself. Weakness wasn’t tolerated in his world. He wouldn’t have been prez if he had a weak stomach or wore his heart on his sleeve. Being a cold motherfucker was part of the job. He got shit done. Protected the Hell’s Slaves MC with his life every day. It was the only life he knew.

Now his world was thrown off its axis because of one little girl. He briefly closed his eyes. Forge swore he could smell her sweet scent and see the blue of her eyes.

“Boss?”

He snapped back to the present. “You want something?”

“Tomorrow’s the day. We haven’t made a move for weeks. It’s not too late to negotiate.”

A rival club wanted to share some connections. They claimed it was a give and take, a mutually beneficial relationship. Forge was no fool. They wanted to move in on his turf and eventually wipe them off the face of the earth. Only Forge didn’t plan to negotiate. He planned to color the ground red and light them up tonight. They’d meet up with so much fucking firepower strapped to their backs that any peace talks would end before they started.

“No, I’m not handing over what’s mine. You think that’s a good plan, don’t you, Dog? Since when do you bend over for our rivals?”

“They had some good points. They have connections we need to expand in the east. Can’t hurt to hear them out.”

Forge scowled. He grabbed his hammer and slammed it down on the anvil. “No negotiating.” He tossed the tool and stormed out the forge. What he needed right now was Beth’s sweet innocence. She was the only thing that made him happy. Before her, he’d been existing, coasting through life with nothing left to make him human. His reputation was earned, and every single man in his club knew that firsthand.

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