The first time she saw a naked man was on a television screen with her father right beside her and his men. It had been so embarrassing. She was sure if there had been more time, he’d have even forced her to practice. The humiliation washed over her.

“Now, are you hungry?”

She nodded her head. It was easier not to talk. To just nod her head. Be the quaint little submissive everyone wanted her to be. Not to put up a fight or to pretend she wanted her own life.

Forge took her hand and she tried to ignore the heat coming from him. Even as he’d brought her swiftly down to the real world, he still felt safe and warm.

They left the bedroom, walking down the long corridor, going toward the stairs. There were several rooms on the floor, and they were on the third floor. Forge had told her on the way up. They went to the main clubhouse floor. Men and women were singing, dancing, laughing, drinking, having a good old time of it.

Forge didn’t linger. He pulled her toward the kitchen where the counters were laden with food.

Her mouth watered.

He let go of her hand but didn’t walk away. He handed her a plate and she took it, staring at the food.

She had always been on a diet at Peterson’s house. The family cook had to prepare her meals and she never felt full. Of course she never went hungry but she’d never been satisfied and if Peterson’s wife felt like it, her rations were often cut in half.

Just another reminder of the whore’s daughter she was.

Pushing those feelings aside, she walked with Forge and put food on her plate.

“You can have whatever you want.” Forge turned toward the women in the kitchen. “She belongs to me. You give her any trouble, you answer to me. I won’t have you fucking with her. Understand?” His voice filled the space of the kitchen. He was so loud and commanding.

The women nodded and within seconds, they were gone. They’d rather clear out of the kitchen than risk being near her.

Nice.

No, she felt miserable. No one would ever take the risk to be her friend.

Once her plate was full, she took a seat beside Forge, but her appetite had disappeared. She grabbed her fork and began to work through her food. Her hand shook and she tried to stop it. She didn’t want to draw attention or anger him.

“Those women, they’re club pussy. You don’t need to get mixed up with them. They’ll never be your friends.”

“I didn’t … why did they leave?” she asked. Could he read her mind?

“Because they know not to be around me unless I want them. Don’t ever be alone with club pussy. I’ll introduce you to some of the old ladies. They will more than likely be your friend.”

Did she even want a friend right now?

Chapter Two

For the better part of the morning, Forge had been hammering out a new blade. Working with metal, creating something from nothing, had been his therapy for as long as he could remember. Right now, he needed to be alone, his head invaded with a multitude of thoughts.

Uncomfortable thoughts.

Thoughts of Beth Peterson.

She was in his bedroom, and he honestly wasn’t sure what the fuck he’d been thinking by taking the deal with Peterson. He owned Beth, and he could do anything he wanted to the girl. Then why wasn’t he taking her right now? Fucking her so hard that her virginity became nothing but a memory?

He continued hammering out the steel, his mind a fractured mess. What was it about Beth? She made him think of things like settling down and starting a family. He never expected to have an old lady of his own. Everyone thought of him as a recluse, one of the rare men who even stayed away from club pussy. He couldn’t even touch them. Forge’s mother had been a whore, and he didn’t have a single good memory of the bitch.

Beth wasn’t anything like her. She was pure and innocent and needed him to protect her. It felt good to care about something other than the club for once. He barely knew Beth, but she made him feel complete. He felt like he had something to wake up for.

He wanted to leave behind a legacy bigger than stories of death and destruction. He wanted an heir. Someone to carry on his name. He’d fill the curvy virgin with his seed and raise his kid right.

His son would never wake up with nightmares.

Forge tossed his hammer on the wooden bench and used his forearm to wipe his brow. He couldn’t keep avoiding Beth. He’d already decided her fate, and there was no way in hell he’d hand her back to her father or set her free. Forge deserved her. She was his prize for living through one of the most fucked-up lives imaginable.

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