“Forge, come on. Don’t be an asshole.”
He ignored Dog and bound up the steps to his room. She’d probably be hiding away again, if he knew her at all. He’d been pushing her to become more independent around the clubhouse, and she’d been trying, but it always felt forced.
His control was wavering lately. When he’d come upstairs, she’d often be sprawled out on his bed, reading or daydreaming. She was so fucking tempting, all those soft curves to squeeze, huge tits to suck, and he could live between her legs. What he wanted was to claim her, to breed her, to fuck her so long and hard that she’d never doubt who owned her.
But she was innocent. Precious. The complete opposite of the women he’d lived around all his life. For the first time, ever, he wanted to do things right, and taking her virginity before she loved him would make him worse than a bastard. She was only twenty-four. And it was bad enough he was never letting her go free.
He pushed open the door.
“It’s your call. I was only giving you another perspective.” Dog was behind him in the doorway.
Beth wasn’t in the bedroom.
He pushed past his brother, not in the mood to discuss business. Forge preferred his men to follow him without question, to do what needed to be done to keep them on top. It was a dog-eat-dog world, and he didn’t plan to become Mother-fucking-Teresa now because they wanted ties in the eastern cities. He’d get new turf like he always had—without selling out.
“Beth?” he called out when he reached the yard.
Dog kept shadowing him when he entered the kitchen. Some of the women were peeling vegetables in the dim light. “Any of you seen Beth?”
One shook her head.
“I asked you a damn question,” he shouted.
“No, Forge. I haven’t seen her today.”
“I saw her earlier walking in the yard,” said another one.
“When? What time?”
“Hours ago. When she never came back, we started prepping for dinner.”
Beth was supposed to orchestrate the meal tonight. She’d been nervous but excited. She wasn’t in the room and not helping in the kitchen. He whirled around and stared directly at his VP. “Find her. Now.” His tone left no room for argument.
As much as he wanted to believe she was somewhere on the clubhouse grounds, there was always that doubt flickering inside him that she’d run away. No matter how much connection he believed they had, her affection could be all an act until she had her escape. He’d bought her and kept her prisoner, so she had every reason to want to run.
Anger, fear, and anxiety fueled the beast in him. And a sense of insecurity he’d never known. He stormed out of the kitchen, looking in every direction. Dog was already gone in search of her.
Dog found him a while later as he searched through all the storage sheds at the perimeter of the main yard. Part of him expected to find a body. If anyone hurt her, he’d fucking kill them.
“Zero saw her this morning leaving the club,” said Dog.
“Where the fuck is he?”
“He said she wandered off. He didn’t say anything because you told everyone not to mess with her.”
She’d left. Willingly. Forge told her not to leave the club grounds, and she’d taken off anyway.
“Where the fuck is he? I want to talk to him.”
Dog pointed to the firepits.
Zero looked five shades whiter than normal. “I didn’t know she wasn’t allowed to leave,” he said before Forge opened his mouth.
Forge grabbed a handful of Zero’s shirt, pulling him close. “If anything fucking happened to her, it’s your ass on the line.” He pushed him away, pacing back and forth. “And you didn’t think to keep a tail on her?”
“What did she have with her? I want every detail you remember.”
Zero rubbed behind his neck, his Adam’s apple bobbing. “She didn’t have anything, not even a purse. She was humming and smiling, so I didn’t think anything was up.”
Humming and smiling?
If she was trying to escape, she would have been sneaky, not trying to garner anyone’s attention. His insecurities faded, replaced by a twisted rage when he imagined anything happening to his old lady.
He turned to Dog. “Get Hound and every available body on a bike now. No one rests until she’s found.” Before Dog rushed off, he grabbed the sleeve of his leather jacket. “Make sure everyone’s carrying.”
Dog nodded. “We’ll find her. Anyone who fucks with your woman is a dead man.”
The yard bustled, men running from the club, bikes roaring to life. A couple of shots rang in the air. The distinct energy of his club snapped in the air.
He swung his leg over the side of his Harley, but before he could kick it to life, his phone vibrated in his pocket. Any distraction irritated him at this point, but he quickly took a glance at the screen. He did a double-take when he saw a picture of Beth.