“Then you tell the club that from now on they’re not to look at me sideways because I have their Prez’s back and they should look to themselves. I will never betray you, Forge, ever.”

“Does this mean I’m forgiven?”

“Yes, but you have to start teaching me properly and straightaway. I don’t want to wait around for another attack.”

He cupped her face and kissed her hard. Even if she said the words, he knew it was going to take him some time to completely win her over.

Chapter Twelve

Beth twirled the ring on her finger in slow circles. The ring Forge made from scratch with his own hands. It was more valuable than the biggest diamond, in her opinion. She could imagine him in the forge, working away at the tiny piece of metal with her in his thoughts. No one had cared about her like Forge.

Life around the clubhouse the past few weeks had been tense. Everyone seemed to keep their distance or avoid eye contact with her. She knew Forge must have threatened them all, warning them to play nice or else. But she wanted to fit in, to belong to the club without everyone being forced to accept her.

She sighed. There was nothing she could do about it now. Forge was waiting for her out back. He’d been giving her lessons, teaching her how to clean and disassemble every type of firearm, over and over again. By now, she could do it all in her sleep. What she needed were actual lessons, which he promised her today.

After Hound’s death, the club went to visit their rivals. From all the whispers, Forge had made it crystal clear they were to keep away from her. She didn’t ask for details because she knew what he was capable of. All the threats in the world didn’t mean they were safe forever, which was why she had to be ready for anything.

Her hair was still slightly damp from her shower as she walked around back to the forge. She pushed open the wooden door with the whiny old hinges leading to Forge’s private domain. He was leaning against a support pillar, his arms crossed.

“You’re late.”

“I took a quick shower. Sorry.” She smiled teasingly as she approached him, running her hands over those big biceps. He looked good enough to eat. Ever since the ordeal with Hound, he’d kept his hands to himself. He was trying to prove she meant more to him than sex. She appreciated the gesture and truly believed he was sorry about everything. But after three weeks, all she wanted was Forge between her legs.

The irritation on his face faded away and he stepped away to grab one of the handguns laid out on the wooden table. “We’ll start with something basic.” He handed her the gun. “Remember what I said?”

He’d drilled her in safety until her ears were ringing. “Keep my finger off the trigger until I’m ready to kill.” He’d told her than one line about a million times by now.

“Right. Come on.”

She followed him farther down the back where he had a makeshift range and targets set up. He set her in place then moved behind her, his hands on her hips. She took a deep, cleansing breath to try to ignore how much his touch affected her.

“You never told me your real name,” she said.

“Pay attention.”

“No, really. Tell me,” she said. “Please.”

There was a long moment of silence before he answered her. “Pierce.”

She snickered but stopped herself just as quickly. He whirled her around to face him. “What?”

“Nothing. Sorry.”

“You don’t like my name?”

“I love your name. It’s just not what I expected from such a big, bad biker.” Her entire body thrummed as his heated stare warmed her from the inside out. He didn’t scare her a bit. In fact, he’d been going above and beyond the past few weeks.

“And what did you expect?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess I like Forge. It suits you.”

He twirled her back around, all business. The gun still in her hand. “Arms out and focus.” He abruptly changed the topic back to shooting.

When she pulled the trigger for the first time, she squealed.

“Again,” he said.

She caught her breath and aimed again. Her aim was way off and her nerves were on edge. Guns were definitely not her thing, but she needed to be experienced just in case.

After going through countless clips, she stepped away, her shoulders feeling heavy. “I’m done.”

“You said you wanted to learn. You only learn through practice and repetition,” said Forge. He sat on a stool and began filling the empty magazines with new rounds he had in a bucket on the table.

“I wish I could leave all this killing stuff in your hands.”

He scowled. “You can. I told you I wouldn’t leave you unprotected. That bullshit with Hound, it won’t happen again.”

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