I’m a fucking idiot. He smashed his fist against the table. He’d been more worried about the club thinking he was pussy-whipped than using his damn head. Beth would never betray him. She’d been a fucking angel in his life. There was no reason to question or accuse her. Next time anyone questioned his judgment, he’d handle it much differently. He wasn’t Prez because he kissed ass.

As he left the clubhouse, some bikes were already leaving the gates. He loved the purr of the engines. He felt the rumble in his chest, and the ground vibrated beneath his boots. Before he joined his brothers, he had to at least try to make peace with Beth. If he kept thinking about her, he wouldn’t be able to focus, and he needed to be on his game.

“Baby?” He pushed open the bedroom door.

She wasn’t on the bed or on the window bench. He stepped into the room and did a quick sweep. There were so many places she could be, but what if she wasn’t anywhere? Deep down, he knew she’d run away. Why wouldn’t she? He’d made her feel like a breeding vessel, like some common whore. He clenched his jaw hard, still pissed off with himself.

Why did he have to sabotage everything good in his life?

Forge rushed down to the yard and stopped the first bike he came across. Old Boy put his foot down and pulled off his helmet. “What’s up, boss?”

Someone would have to pass her on the road leading to town.

“I can’t find Beth. Keep your eyes out on the road. If you see her, bring her to me.”

He nodded and filed out with the others.

There was no point sticking around. He’d have a better chance of finding her on his bike. And he had a job to finish. Maybe putting her father six feet under would redeem him in Beth’s eyes. He’d do anything for her. Anything to make things right.

Forge did a visual sweep of the yard, hoping to catch a last glimpse of Beth before he mounted his Harley. Still nothing.

He didn’t want to own her. No, he wanted her to choose him. Any chance of that happening was likely gone when he broke her heart. He knew the moment it happened—he could see it in her eyes.

As they rode out toward Peterson’s place, there as no sign of Beth. He nearly ended up in the ditch a couple of times while scanning the woods. The club split up when they hit the main roads, but there was only one place he wanted to be.

The drive took a while, but his mind never stopped racing. For the first time in his life, he looked forward to peace rather than conflict. Once this was handled, he wanted to get home to his woman and make things right. Dog stopped beside him once they arrived at Peterson’s mansion. “He’ll have security. We’re in earshot of neighbors, so the cops are only a call away, too. This can’t be sloppy.”

“We won’t take long. I’m not here to negotiate or play games. He’s had this coming a long time.”

“Can I interrogate him before you do your thing?” asked Dog.

He trusted Dog, so he didn’t hesitate to nod his approval. What were Dog’s thoughts on this? He didn’t like his men second-guessing Beth. Whoever did betray the club wasn’t going to have a good night.

Several boys went ahead of them, their guns at the ready. They would have already been picked up on security, so they needed to move fast. Peterson’s men came rushing out the side entrance and down the narrow walkway. Redneck and Slash took them down fast, blood splattering the stone walls of the house. He stepped over the bodies as they made their way inside. There were footsteps running upstairs and dogs barking.

“Fan out. Find that motherfucker and bring him to me,” said Forge.

The interior of the house was impressive, but not the kind of place he’d want to raise a family. Everything was white with sharp, modern lines. The wide-open spaces had hard, clinical-looking furniture. He tried to imagine Beth living here as a kid. She’d told him it was cold and love wasn’t something she was ever offered. Seeing it firsthand was like a blow to the chest.

He was supposed to protect her, to give her the family she never had.

Forge’s rage built as he searched the house, kicking open doors and checking every room. He wanted Peterson to suffer, to feel the same fear and humiliation he’d put his daughter through. He could beg for his life, but Forge wasn’t a saint. Once he decided a man was going down, he always followed through.


He rushed to the voice, his heavy footfalls echoing in the hallway. Redneck held open a door and used his gun to point inside a room at the end of the hall. Forge stepped inside, scanning the second-story room. Peterson sat behind a large oak desk centered on an ornate carpet.

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