Authors: Rie Warren
With a Heart Forged
Carolina Bad Boys, #4
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Chrome: With a Heart Forged in Steele
Copyright © 2015 by Rie Warren
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations.
Chrome: With a Heart Forged in Steele / Rie Warren – 1
1.Contemporary Romance—Fiction. 2. Alpha Male—Fiction. 3. Bikers—Fiction. 4. Erotica—Fiction. 5. MC Romance—Fiction. 6. Thriller—Fiction. I. Title
By Jada D’Lee
By Gilly Wright
Welcome back to the Carolina Bad Boys. Many of you have been asking questions with the series finale of Bad Boys of Retribution MC, and I want to put your minds to rest. Don’t fret, y’all! Yes, that four book series is complete, but we will be continuing with the Retribution dudes under the CBBs banner.
Boomer first, obviously. Then Handsome, and I hope Tail as well as possibly others. The world will continue to grow even when I branch out from it to give you a little sumthin’ sumthin’ extra.
—the Bad Boys of Retribution MC books finished one year plus into the future after
(Brodie’s book) ended. So, the timelines and certain story details between the two series will overlap with this and upcoming books. Yay for new insight into certain events!
I tried not to give away very many details about Boomer and Rayce’s story while writing the
series. The last time we saw Boomer and his kickass MX chick in Carolina Bad Boys was at the end of Brodie’s book, November 2014. The last time we saw the sexy badass couple together in Retribution MCs was in
in December 2014. And that night is where this book picks up.
Does that mean you need to read
first? Heck, yes! Why not? And
, too. In fact, read them all.
Ready for another wild ride?
THE NIGHT HAD BEEN nothing short of shitty. Scratch that. More like motherfucking hellish and scary as
. A bunch of Cuban cunts raided my Retribution house looking for a little retri-damn-bution of their own. One bad dude named Vicente Valderas had led the cartel. But he wasn’t as bad as we were.
Valderas seemed to think Hunter owed him because of the undercover X-Ops takedown last spring of his one-percenter MC, the Tampa Bay Outlaws.
And he’d traveled all the way to Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, with his new crew, the Miami Muerte, seeking said payback.
Not gonna happen.
Only one good thing had come from the night’s disastrous events. A potential few moments alone with Rayce, thanks to Hunter’s savvy. He was a good man to have in your corner, with a cool head in action and a steady gun hand. Even if he had just committed murder in my MC barroom.
I’d have done the same damn thing if anyone dared harm Rayce. And she wasn’t even my woman.
Goddamn Rayce. She’d flat out refused to leave Retribution when Vicente had let all the innocent bystanders go. She would
leave while he held her best friend JB at gunpoint.
Not that I could blame her.
Brodie, Frankie, Tail, Handsome, Cole, Tuck, and I had made our stand with Hunter instead of letting him face the threat alone.
, that woman.
Rayce was a spitfire. A sexy badass. She always tangled with me.
And that was fine.
When she blatantly tangled with danger?
Not fucking fine.
As the action went down—Hunter getting jumped, aka basically beaten until it seemed like he was half dead even though he never fell to his knees—I kept Rayce in my peripheral vision.
All I wanted to do was shove her behind my back or out the door to safety. But I knew the woman. Fucking stubborn.
Then all hell broke loose. Valderas lost the plot when an explosion from outside the building rocked the clubhouse on its foundations. Action erupted on all sides, and my heart about leaped into my throat. Serious protective urges rushed through my body, making my muscles hard, my skin tight. I had a single goal: keep Rayce and my brothers safe amid the hail of knives, guns, fists, bullets.
I was right there in the middle of the lethal brawl. Throwing punches, slamming bodies, trying to get to Rayce. I’d barely looked over in time to push Cole out of the way so a fast flying slug didn’t plug him in the chest.
He slapped me on the back and headed straight back into the fray of windmilling arms and hard-kicking legs.
The total mayhem only came to a dead stop when Hunter point-blank shot Vicente in the head.
I sagged in relief when I saw Rayce rush JB behind the bar. Both of them were unharmed.
My fucking heart could not take much more of this shit.
I had no chance to check on Rayce. Not that she’d want me to. She blew hot and cold, mostly hot with a follow up of step-off like she was afraid of getting attached.
Yeah. I knew that feeling. I’d been there enough times. I didn’t want to deal with all this crap either.
My folks were dead.
My sister had nearly OD’d.
I hadn’t had a lot to smile about for a long time.
But Rayce made me smile.
Fuck that, she made me hard.
She got in my grill and never backed down—at least not when we were verbally sparring.
She got to me in places no other woman could.
And her dirt bike? With her on it? Hot as hell and hell on my nerves all at the same time.
While we rounded up the rest of the Muerte MC members, huddling them together like a herd of cowering animals, Hunter sent Rayce to take JB home. I locked my eyes on her as she led her girl out the door, Hunter briefly following them to the parking lot.
When he returned, we started cleaning up the mess.
equaled Vicente’s dead body with a bullet bored through his brain.
His crew was dispatched, not to the graves they deserved but with a warning a cemetery would be their next destination should they ever show their
colors on South Carolina turf again.
Frankie—grumbling while sheathing his sword in the cane he carried everywhere—did the honors of escorting the latest threat not just from the building, but also out of the city and far away from the state. No one with half a brain or an ounce of self-preservation fucked with Frankie the Tailor, otherwise known as Frankie the Butcher.
A couple hours later, with the floors freshly mopped, all signs of the beatdown scrubbed away, and Vicente’s corpse carefully disposed of by Hunter and his ex X-Ops partner Walker, I did the honors of pouring out shots at the bar.
Tail lit a cig.
I gave him a pass for smoking inside the building. This once.
Fuck, I almost asked for a nicotine stick for myself.
Cole joined him as they clouded up the room.
The dude had almost been shot. Another free pass from me. Besides, Coletrane wasn’t a prospect anymore but a full-fledged member well on his way to making officer rank eventually. Even if Brodie still gave him ten tons of shit on a daily basis.
Cole also created killer tats at Inksanity downtown.
And gave all of Retribution the bro-rate.
Hunter kept checking his phone while he downed his first shot, plus one more after that.
“Hey, man. My truck is toast. You want to give me a lift to JB’s house?” he asked, those gold-toned eyes as piercing as the sharp tip of a blade.
I immediately got on board with that, knowing Rayce had offered to wait up with JB until he got home.
Yanking on my leather jacket, I grabbed my keys.
The club was sound. We’d survived one more Jesus-Fucking-Fuck moment. Brodie would close up or maybe not. Tail would probably sleep there. And Cole would be found in the morning making sure any last traces of the raid were invisi’d.
Hunter and I drove to JB’s neighborhood, me behind the wheel, him staring out through the windshield.
“This is some serious metal,” he murmured, his hand skating across the dash.
“Chrome and Steele for you, I guess. Into engines anyway we can get them.” I steered with my hand draped over the wheel even though my nerves were still strung tight.
“Yeah. Too bad my truck is DOA.” He chuckled.
“I’ll get it towed to the junkyard later. Walker really blew it up?”
“Yeah, he did. That was the big
that shook up Vicente’s shit.”
. That’s kind of funny.” I tried not to laugh my ass off, but it was the one moment of amusement from the whole totally fucked up night.
Walker torching Hunter’s Tahoe.
Although I’d have to kill anyone who touched my TopKick.
I hit the brakes outside JB’s sweet yellow house. “I’ll wait here ’til you send out Rayce.”
“Right on. Thanks for tonight, man.”
“Well, you’re one of our own and so is JB. She’s a good one, you know?” I stared out the windshield like he had before me.
Desperate to show no emotion.
I was the President of Retribution MC after all.
And I’d been taken by a honey just like him. Except mine gave me the arctic freeze just about every other time I saw her, whereas his old lady was absolutely into him, no matter what had gone down tonight.
I watched Hunter lope inside. He’d looked like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders until he unlocked and opened the door. His head lifted. His spine straightened. A man on a new mission. To make sure his lady was all right.
I knew that feeling.
Midnight had come and gone by the time Hunter ushered Rayce outside, and I stood up from lounging against the pickup.
She was so fucking gorgeous. Even after the night she’d survived, she made my heart knock around inside my chest.
Rayce lifted her beautiful hazel eyes, and her short black hair, streaked with electric blue, shivered across her forehead.
She skidded to a stop on the walkway. “I don’t need a ride.”
Hunter hustled back into the house, leaving me to deal with the strong-headed woman who was always on my mind.
“Considering what happened tonight, I’m not about to let you go off on your own. So get in the truck before I put you in myself.”
I guessed I’d missed the how-to-romance lessons. I stood before her, my shoulders tight, my arms crossed over my chest, a scowl on my face.
“Why should I?”
Everything came back to me in a flash like a nightmare I’d never outrun, like the night my mom and dad had died. Rayce in the middle of the Muerte takedown. Rayce hugging JB. Rayce crying big tears of relief.
Rayce, who was too strong to give up any control or show any weakness.
I swiped both hands over my face, breaking up a little bit and not afraid to show it in front of her. “Because I’d like to see you home safe instead of staying up all night worrying about you.”
Before she could protest again, I opened the truck door and hoisted her inside.
No more discussion.
I was driving her home whether she liked it or not.
She huffed when I got in beside her and turned the key.
“Barbarian,” she slung at me.
, big words for the guy with the big truck.” Rayce gave me a half-hearted smirk. “One might begin to think you’re overcompensating.”
“I know you can’t possibly be questioning the size of my cock. You’ve already felt it against you.”
For a moment her cheeks heated. The small silver hoop of her nose ring twitched. She smiled.
“No comment.” She pursed her lips shut.
Then she slumped in the seat, chewing on her thumbnail as I followed her directions to the outskirts of Mt. Pleasant and beyond.
She started shaking. It was cold, the dark depths of December outside, but another darkness seemed to fall over her.
I turned up the heat and pulled over. Taking off my leather jacket, I added it to hers around her body. She barely acknowledged me but curled up on her side after I buckled her back up.
“Where to now?” I tried to keep her talking.
For the first time Rayce was vulnerable. Pale. In shock.
I kept one hand on her thigh, the other on the steering wheel while I continued to drive where she told me.
Taking the road to 41, I passed over a long low bridge that skimmed close to the water. We entered the outskirts of Cainhoy, a small town on the Wando River where there was nothing but silvery woods and inky water on either side of us. The moon above was cool and bright white, shining down from the black sky.
Rayce nodded to the left at a bumpy looking dirt track. “That way.”
The truck grinded over deep ruts that made the struts bounce, and I gunned down the rocky lane.
Flickering lights glanced off Rayce’s face when she told me to stop. “Here we are.”
It was a trailer in the forest. Nothing pretty, that was for sure. Rusted. The steps rickety-looking. One faintly glowing bulb inside a cracked globe shed light on the frozen dirt patch and dozens of jacked-up, half-raped old cars.
Vines covered everything like long fingers from the grave come to life.
Shifting into park, I cut off the ignition. I rubbed a hand over my mouth for a moment as I took in the dilapidated scene. This did not look like a good place, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to leave Rayce here at all.
When she started unbuckling, I jumped out and got to her door before she could open it.
“You live here?”
, I didn’t mean to sound insulting, but Rayce deserved better than a rusted-out land-boat in the middle of a yard filled with straggly weeds and junkyard pickings.
She drew back with a short laugh. “Yup. Ain’t it funny, l’il ol’ tomboy-tough-girl me lives in a trailer with her alkie daddy who hasn’t worked a single damn day for the past seven years? Who woulda thunk it?”
I didn’t think it was funny at all.
Spreading my big booted feet apart, I got in her path. “Look. You’ve had a shit-fucker of a night. And you almost gave me a goddamn heart attack staying in the club during the fight.”
Her huge hazel eyes suddenly sparked to life.
She looked just about pissed off enough to lay into me as she poked me in the chest and hissed, “Boomer Steele. Don’t you even start with me.”
So maybe telling her off was not a good approach.
I rushed on. “What I’m trying to say is I’ve got a spare room or two at my house. Big house, on the river, quiet, you could just stay the night, have a bath, relax. No expectations.”