It was a beautiful fantasy while it lasted.

Beth opened one of the refrigerators and looked for a snack. She felt like crap. All she wanted to do was hide and never be found, but running from Forge would be pointless. He’d find her and make her suffer. Maybe she’d get thrown in a cage next to Romy.

She’d have to learn to turn off her emotions and become the toy he’d paid for. Or maybe her usefulness was up now that he’d taken her virginity.

“Are you cooking tonight?”

Beth turned and saw one of the women leaning against the counter. She couldn’t remember her name but knew they all hated her. After dealing with Romy, Beth didn’t trust any of the women. She was done trying to make friends or fit in. They were all gorgeous, making her feel fat and frumpy in comparison. Right now, her confidence was at an all-time low.

“No, not tonight.”

She closed the fridge. Forge didn’t even realize or care how much he’d destroyed her. He was off with the guys, like nothing happened. Must be nice not to have a conscience.

Before she left the kitchen, she hesitated then stopped in her tracks. She had nothing to lose now. Beth turned to the woman. “Why do all of you hate me?”

“I don’t hate you,” she said.

“Then you’re a rarity.”

The woman chuckled. “They’re just jealous. Ignore them.”

“Easier said than done,” she said. “And they have nothing to be jealous of. I’m nothing special to Forge.”

“Are you kidding me?”

“What?”

“He’s a different person now. Most of the club is on edge, wondering which way he’ll fall.”

“I don’t understand,” said Beth.

“You’re not too bright.” The woman winked and came closer, sitting at one of the long dining tables. “He’s crazy in love with you.”

She didn’t believe it. Not anymore. “Then he has a funny way of showing it.”

“He’s the Prez. Trust me, he’s never been on such good behavior. Before you came, he was brutal. No one dared even tiptoe around him. With you, I don’t know, it’s like you made him come alive for the first time.”

Beth smiled to herself but it quickly faded when she remembered the things Forge said to her. “No, he’s good at playing games. I’m just another number to him.”

“I heard some of what went down in church before they left. He told the boys you’re going to be his old lady. Nobody is supposed to fuck with you. It was pretty intense.”

“Where’d they go?”

“You don’t know?”

She shook her head.

“I probably shouldn’t say, but they’re after Peterson. Forge is going to kill him to clear your name.”

“I told Forge I didn’t do anything. I didn’t sell out the club. I wasn’t lying.”

“He knows,” she said. “The club demands he handle his shit. If they smelled you were betraying him, they’d try to force his hand. He was protecting you.”

“Protecting me?”

“I swear to God, he’d choose you if shit went down. The boys wouldn’t want to believe that was possible. Hell’s Slaves aren’t known for falling in love.”

“You know a lot.”

Beth knew the women weren’t supposed to know too much. Forge liked a tight club.

“Well, one day, I hope Dog will pick me. He opens up to me more than the others. And I’m one of his favorites. A girl can dream.”

Beth swallowed hard. It disgusted her how the men shared all the women, leading them on, and using them every day. “You like this life?”

“The club? I was born into the club life the same as Forge. I could never do your kind of normal. This is what I know. The guys complain about Forge bringing in a civilian. You judge what you don’t understand. But he can’t help who he falls in love with—that I can understand.”

She wanted to say she’d grown to love club life, but now her world had soured. She didn’t know what to believe or what to think. Part of her wanted to talk to Forge, the man she’d grown to love, hoping he’d talk to her and explain away everything. But she was terrified he’d be the same man who’d attacked her today.

“You’re right. Maybe I don’t belong.”

She laughed. “Try telling that to Forge. He’ll never let you leave.”

Beth didn’t want to leave, but she also wanted the Forge who told her all those sweet lies, not the man she’d run from today.

“What’s your name?” asked Beth.

“Sable.”

“Thanks for being nice to me. It’s lonely being me.” She’d spend her entire life watching the world from behind protective glass.

“It’ll be okay. You’ll see.” Sable slipped off the table and swung her dark hair behind her. “Forge will be in a great mood after tonight.”

After he killed her father.

She shouldn’t care, but death was something you didn’t come back from. It scared and fascinated her. But it still made her sad that her own father had sold her. He’d never wanted her. For once, she wanted to be number one in someone’s life. In Forge’s life.

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