Book 6- Damaged & Dangerous

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She’s Damaged…

Dani Broussard never imagined that her life would turn out like this. She always thought that her grandfather would be there for her into adulthood and that her high school sweetheart, Jared, would be the man she would marry. That isn’t what happened though. Instead, her grandfather got sick and passed away before Dani saw the age of nineteen. It was just her and Jared until he hooked up with a local MC, The Suicide Kings… Then it was just her. Pig-Pen claimed her body, rules her life, but he would never hold her heart. Kept because of her looks and a particular set of skills unique only to her, Dani has been with The Suicide Kings for the last three years… three long damaging years. She hates it, all of it, the pain the humiliation, the fear… and as strong as Dani is, as clever as she can be, she is quickly finding that death may be the kinder, gentler option rather than live through any more of this hell.

He’s Dangerous…

Red-XIII is, and always will be, a Sacred Hearts man. But for now, he’s a Suicide Kings prospect. Tasked with providing intelligence on the King’s inner workings to his real club, Thirteen has been slowly, quietly and carefully dismantling the King’s operation from the inside out. The situation is dangerous, good thing Thirteen is a dangerous guy but even he can’t be everywhere at once and a couple of missteps have cost the Sacred Hearts dearly. Doubly determined to finish this with no more wreckage or damage to the SHMC, Thirteen is blindsided by his heart when he lays eyes on Dani. A pretty, little thing with long black hair and striking blue eyes. She slays him with one look from her damaged soul and now Thirteen has tasked himself with two missions… Take down The Suicide Kings and get both Dani and himself out alive.

For now those missions run parallel to each other but what happens if they ever end up at odds? The bigger question is, how can he get close to the VP’s Ol’ Lady as a Prospect and not get them both burned?

Red-XIII

I leaned back in an old, tired recliner, and watched Raccoon move behind the bar. Girl was getting sick. She looked wrung-out, just exhausted. She was deathly pale, and she had a dry cough coming on. I got up, went to the very end of the bar, and took a seat there. She drifted over after the patched members were all served, and her so-blue eyes lifted slowly from the bar-top up to meet mine.

“What can I get you?” she asked. I tilted my head, considering her. She had on a tight, long-sleeved black top that accentuated her curves. The material was cut in front, over her chest, to create an asymmetrical window pattern, giving glimpses of the pale skin beneath. It was sexy as hell, not because of what it showed, but more for what it didn’t. Small peeks, the illusion of mystery. I liked her style.

My eyes fixed on a necklace below the hollow of her throat. It was a crown. White gold ‒or maybe silver? ‒ nope, gold, by the way the dim light of the club was reflecting off it, I was pretty sure. The piece was wide, the necklace chain attaching to points at either end of the crown. It was made to look like the real deal, set with diamonds in a marquis cut at regular intervals. Between each set of diamonds was a blue stone – something super-light, maybe sapphire, in round cuts. The crown sat on the flat of her chest, beneath her graceful throat. But the piece de resistance was a sword, thrust up through the circle of the crown, at an angle, just like the Suicide King on the playing card.

“Hey, Prospect! My eyes are up here.” She snapped her fingers in front of her chest and my eyes jumped to them. She brought her hand up and, of course, I followed her fingers, up to her equally-snapping blue eyes.

“What’s your name?” I asked. She frowned, her dark brows crushing downward.

“You know my name,” she said thickly. “They call me Rac on a good day, Coon the rest of the time.” She shrugged. “Now, what do you want?” It was one of the things that impressed me about Coon. She still stood up for herself.  Even to Pig-Pen, on occasion. But, looking into those blue eyes of hers, I could see it was pretty much all bravado. The glint of fear was always there, just beneath the surface.

“Now, we both know that ain’t your name, Gorgeous.” I gave her my best smile, which made her frown more.

“What does it matter? It’s who I am now. You drinking or not?” Her irritation was clear, but I wasn’t easily deterred.

“Jack and Coke. And that’s what they call you, not who you are.”

Dani

They believed him. The knot of anxiety in my chest eased.  I frowned, and hoped they would mistake it for concentration on my part as I cleaned Thirteen up. I was trying to decipher why I’d feel concern for a club prospect. I mean, most of them didn’t survive to patch in and when they were patched, it seemed to give them an even shorter life expectancy. At least lately, with the war going on. I was a little horrified to realize that secretly pleased me. Maybe the Sacred Hearts weren’t such a bad lot after all? I caught myself thinking.

I was an absolute study in concentration as I worked to patch Thirteen up, carefully washing the blood away, closing the wound in his cheekbone with steri-strips. Skid helped me wrap his bruised and battered ribs with an ACE bandage and I had to admit, Thirteen had a spectacular physique. His body was sculpted to perfection beneath his plain tee.  He laid back without putting his shirt back on and I honestly think I must have been blushing, because when he noticed we were free and clear of being overheard, he asked me, “Like what you see, Rocket?”

I searched his face, which I would never describe as ‘pretty’, but certainly was handsome. He was a true strawberry-blonde, the shortness of his haircut barely kissed with the reddish tint of a newly-minted copper penny. His jaw was dusted with the same burnished color in his few days’ worth of beard growth.

“Who’s Rocket?” I asked softly, and met his eyes with mine. His pupils were the size of saucers, which was a shame. I liked the green-blue of his eyes. There wasn’t a single gemstone, either precious or semi-precious, I could think of to compare it to and it seemed to change with his mood. What I could see right now of his eyes, they were more of a stormy grey-blue, but it was hard to tell, and I wondered if he was in much pain.

“You are.” He tweaked my nose with a blunt fingertip and I jerked back, wrinkling it. He was high, alright, and I don’t think he was feeling much of anything.

I sighed, “I’m Raccoon, Coon… not Rocket.”

He chuckled deeply.

“You’re Rocket now, babe.” He murmured and closed his eyes. I think he was asleep in a matter of seconds.

Text Copyright © 2015 A.J. Downey

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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