Authors: Kathryn Thomas
This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons--living or dead--is entirely coincidental.
Devil’s Sin copyright @ 2015 by Kathryn Thomas. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles or reviews.
Book 3 of the
Hellhounds Motorcycle Club
Cain Rodgers opened his eyes and focused on the familiar surroundings of his bedroom. His arm and side were aching, but not as much as they had been the night before. He twisted his head to his right and looked at the clock. Seven-sixteen, though he couldn’t tell from the light through the blinds if it was AM or PM. He rolled over, looking for Alex, but she was no longer in the bed with him. He felt a rush of panic and sat up quickly, grimacing as the stitches in his side reminded him to move slowly.
“Alex!” he called as he swung his legs to the floor and got to his feet. He felt an enormous pressure on his bladder, but he had to find her first.
“You’re up,” she said as she pushed the door open just as he reached it. “How are you feeling?”
Cain let out a great sigh of relief. “Better. When you weren’t in the bed I thought…”
“I can’t lie in the bed all day. You’ve been asleep for over sixteen hours.”
hours?” No wonder I have to pee so badly,
He hurried to the bathroom, a shiver passing over him as the pressure was relieved. After what seemed like an eternity of running water, he wandered into the front of his apartment.
“You want something to eat? I’ve already eaten. The doctor stopped by and left these.” Alex rattled a small bottle with some pills in it. “They’re for pain. Do you need one? She also left an antibiotic that you are supposed to take twice a day for the next week.” Alex twisted the top off a different bottle, shook out a capsule and handed it to him before drawing him a glass of water.
He moved his arm and, though he could feel the stitches pulling, it didn’t hurt too much unless he stretched too far. “No. I think I’m okay – at the moment anyway. Jesus, what did she give me? And how did I get home?” He took the capsule and water and downed them.
Alex smiled. “A couple of the guys helped get you into my car and then I helped you up the steps and got you into bed.”
“I remember going to bed and you joining me, but that is about it.” He sat the glass down in the sink then started to rub his face with his right hand, got a jolt of pain that made him grimace, and switched to his left. “I must have been really out of it.”
“Thank you,” he said with a gentle smile, and he really meant it.
“For getting me home, to Dallas. For taking care of me. For…staying last night.”
Alex smiled and looked down in that way she did when she was feeling guilty. He thought that was one of the most endearing things she did and it made him want to take her into his arms and hold her until she was all better. “I’m sorry you were hurt because of me. All of this is my fault. All of it. If you had never gotten involved with me —” she said softly, still looking at the ground.
“Then I wouldn’t have gotten to know the mother of my child,” he said, cutting her off. “I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, except getting shot. I would change that.”
She giggled and looked up, her smile making him feel warm and silly, and totally out of sorts like no other woman had ever been able to do. “By the way, Thad called. He said he needed to talk to you as soon as you could ride. He wants you to come to the clubhouse.”
“That’s not a good sign.”
“No. He didn’t sound happy at all.”
“Did you call your grandparents?” Cain asked as they climbed into his truck. They were taking his Dodge because he didn’t feel like squeezing into that shoebox she called a car.
“Yes. This morning. I told them I was okay. I called my boss, too. I told him I would be gone for a couple of weeks. We made the news, so he understood.”
“I’m going to introduce you as my old lady when we get to the clubhouse,” he said as Alex drove them along. “That will cut down on the questions and problems and places you off-limits to the rest of the club, okay?”
“Doesn’t that mean I’m your wife?”
“It could. But mostly it means that you’re mine and not available to anyone else. By extension, it also means I’m no longer available, as well.”
“Does that mean you were still playing the field?”
“It means that I was available to play the field. But I wasn’t.”
“Because, Alex, I didn’t want to. I want you. Not some club girl.” He watched her draw her lips tight. “What?”
“I’ve made no claim on you.”
“I know. But I keep trying.”
“Why? I’ve been nothing but trouble.”
“I know. But I always get what I want. Sometimes I just have to work a little harder for it.”
“Not this time you don’t.”
He didn’t want to start a fight so he let it drop. But he
got what he wanted, and sooner or later, he would have her…or he would die trying.
They walked into the clubhouse. Most of the guys and their old ladies, along with a sizable percentage of the club girls, were there. As they entered all eyes turned first to Cain, then to Alex, making him smile. He was about to shake up the club.
“Everyone…this is Alex Bernhardt…my old lady.”
A twitter started around the room. “You have an old lady? Since when?” Jacks asked.
“Since about three months ago. She lives in New Orleans. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me,” he added just to embarrass her. “Toni, Lexus, can you show her around? She’s not into the motorcycle club scene so be gentle with her. I have some business to take care of.”
A couple of the club girls swayed over to take charge of Alex.
“I’ll be back in a while.” He decided to take the risk that she wouldn’t reject him in front of the rest of the club and kissed her softly on the lips. “Toni and Lexus will take care of you. If you need anything, just ask. You’re part of the Hellhounds now.”
I sat alone in a large comfortable chair, lost in thought. I had spent the last two days in the company of the Hellhounds as Cain worked with the other members, trying to sort out the Bulls problem. I still kept my distance, but they didn’t seem like the murdering type.
Yesterday, while Cain worked the phones, one of the club girls, Cherie, discovered that I left New Orleans with little more than the clothes I had on my back and had organized a shopping trip. Myself, Cherie, Toni and Eva had gone shopping under the watchful eyes of a pair of the Hellhounds.
I found it humorous that the three women ordered the men around, giving them packages to tote, and they meekly complied. Not what I expected from big, bad, bikers. When I asked about it, Toni giggled and whispered into my ear that the men knew they would be well rewarded later that night if they pleased them today.
“Alex, mind if I join you?” Cherie asked, pulling me back to the present.
I waved at a matching chair.
“I thought I would talk to you a few minutes, if you don’t mind.”
“Not at all. What do you want to talk about?”
“You and Cain.”
“What about us?”
“I just wanted talk to the woman that managed to snag Cain. Anyone that can do that is someone I want to get to know.”
“Because, Alex, I never thought he would take an old lady. He was too much the ladies’ man. Having you show up explains a lot.”
“How so?” I asked, leaning in slightly, curious now.
“He’s changed. He used to have a club girl, or someone else he picked up, every night. But over the last couple of months…I thought he had gotten tired of us and was getting it from somewhere else. I guess he was, but not like I thought. How did you do it?”
“Get him to make you his old lady. I tried to get him to make me his…hell, all of us tried at one time or another, but we couldn’t do it. What’s your secret?”
I couldn’t explain why, but I felt inordinately pleased with myself. If she only knew, but I wasn’t going to tell her the real reason. “I can’t say. It was his idea,” I said with a shrug, keeping it close enough to the truth that it wasn’t an actual lie.
Cherie gave me a long appraising look. “Well, if you decide you want to let a sister know your secret, look me up first. Cain may be off the market, but there are a couple of others around that I wouldn’t mind being their old lady.”
“What can you tell me about Cain?” I asked, deciding if she was going to dish out news, I wanted to hear it all.
“Nothing much to tell that you probably don’t already know. Great in bed. Sweet when he wants to be. Charming as hell. He used to spread it around, but not since you. I know he has made this club a
of money.” She smiled. “One of the perks of being a club girl for the Hellhounds. They take care of you.”
“You like being a club girl?”
“Yeah, I do.”
“Don’t take this the wrong way, but what does a club girl
She grinned at me. “Probably not what you think. I have a job. I work at
Hermès, but I like to hang out here. The parties are fun and the perks are nice.”
“Yeah. The guys don’t mind spending money on you and once you are known as a Hellhounds girl, just mentioning it is enough to make most guys stop hassling you.” Cherie leaned in a little closer. “And those that don’t….well, a phone call is all it takes. The Hellhounds, they take care of their own. Then there is the sex. Some of the guys know how to please a woman. You got the best.”
“And you’re not expected to…” I began, not sure how to ask what I wanted to know. I had to admit, the Hellhounds weren’t exactly the way I thought a motorcycle club would be.
“Put out?” she asked with a grin.
“Well, yes, to be blunt.”
Cherie thought about it a moment. “In a way we are. But most of the time, we are not coerced. The guys respect us and know that it is a lot more fun if we are willing and engaged. And when they don’t take no for an answer, you just have to suck it up. I guess if we just flat refused, they wouldn’t
us, but you won’t be a club girl for very long if you did that very often. It’s a give and take relationship and you know that going in.”
“Give and take?”
She snickered and looked around conspiratorially. “Yeah. We give them some pussy and they take care of us.”
I couldn’t help but giggle. “But since I’m Cain’s old lady?”
“Then you are strictly off limits.”
“And Cain?” I asked.
“Cain less so.”
“How does that work?”
“If Cain were to ask for…my favors… then I could decide if I wanted to or not. I could refuse because you are his old lady and that would be okay. Or I could go, and then it becomes his problem if you get pissed off. But I’m no longer allowed to try to seduce him because I want him for the night.”
“And if I wanted to pull one of the other guys?”
“They won’t go for it. Not until they checked with Cain first.”
“So I’m protected is what you are saying?”
“That’s what I’m saying.”
I thought about it. “If Cain were to ask you to go to bed with him now, would you?”
“Would it matter?”
I wanted to say it wouldn’t, but I knew that would be a lie. “Yes. Probably.”
“Then I wouldn’t.”
“Because I wouldn’t want someone else doing that to me. What goes around comes around, you know?”
I smiled at Cherie. “Thank you. What about the other girls?”
“Most feel the same way. A few you have to watch out for,
with Cain because he’s so yummy.”
I giggled again at her comment. “But I don’t have anything to worry about so long as Cain doesn’t start it?”
“No. We girls, we police ourselves. If anyone were to try to put the moves on Cain without you knowing about it, we would kick her ass out on the street. That’s the kind of stuff that ruins it for everyone. We have it pretty good here and we don’t want someone shitting in our nest.”
I thought about all that Cherie has said and what I had observed over the last two days. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but the Hellhounds aren’t like I imagined at all.”
“What did you think we were like? Go on, I would love to know. Most of my friends are into bikers and know the score. I would like to hear an honest opinion from someone on the outside.”
“Well… I thought there would be a lot of fighting, orgies, drugs, drinking…and maybe killing of people. Especially with the 1% patch that everyone wears.”
Cherie grinned at me. “You didn’t have a very high opinion of us. And now?”
“Well, there is some drinking, but I worked in a bar so I have seen that before. The rest, not so much. Everyone seems so…normal.”
Her grin grew even wider. “Because we are. The Hounds aren’t into the drugs like some of the clubs are. Orgies would be cool. I would like to try one sometime, but none of that either. As far as killing people? That stuff doesn’t happen nearly as often as it does on television.”
“But Cain said you lost three guys just the other day.”
Cherie’s grin disappeared like someone flipped a switch. “Those
Bulls. I hope they get what’s coming to them. All the clubs in Dallas get along, except for the Bulls. They are always starting shit and screwing it up for everyone else, and they seem to especially have it in for the Hounds. There is some long time bad blood between our two clubs.”
“I don’t know. Nobody knows. But they are always trying to fuck us, but this is the first time they have killed anyone…the bastards.”
“So this war, whatever, with the Bulls is out of the ordinary?”
“Yeah. I have been in the club for almost eight years, and this is the first time anything like this has happened. Most of the time it is like a high school fight. There is some pushing and shoving, and some name calling, and then it’s over. But not this time. They bloodied us, and I hope the Hounds cut their nuts off.”
I was taken aback by the vehemence in Cherie’s voice. “Do you mean that?”
“Hell yes. These guys here are my friends. They were good to me, and now they are dead for no reason other than the patch on their leathers. We didn’t do
to the Bulls. I would pull the trigger myself on every fucking Bull I could find.”
I was still trying to get my mind around what Cherie said when Cain approached. He looked like he was in a foul mood. “Are you okay?” I asked as I stood.
“Yes,” he snarled. “Well, no. My fucking arm is killing me and the Bulls…those bastards are going to have to be dealt with.”
“What’s happened?” Cherie asked, also standing up.
“They told New Jersey that we had gone bad and the reason for the sweetheart deal we offered them was because we were setting them up with the feds to take a fall.”
“They wouldn’t believe that, would they?” Cherie asked.
“They don’t know what to believe, and I don’t blame them. I need to go home and think. There has to be something we can do to straighten this shit out, but I’m fucked if I know what it is.”
I stepped in close and kissed him warmly. This was the first time I had kissed him since we had arrived in Dallas. At home he had respected my space and at the clubhouse, he had always kissed me. “Come on. I’ll take you home and maybe we can figure something out.” He looked at me in surprise and I smiled at him.
“Okay. I need a break anyway.” As we turned to go I could see Cherie’s face, a mixture of one part envy and three parts resignation.
“What was that all about?” he asked as we climbed into his truck.
“Just reinforcing my claim and making sure everyone knows it.”
Cain started the vehicle and put it into gear. “I’m surprised you even care.”
“I don’t know what I think anymore. The Hounds are not like I expected. But then, just before you came out, Cherie was telling me how she wanted to kill all the Bulls herself. It’s stuff like that that worries me.”
“That’s just talk. Haven’t you ever said you were so mad at someone you could kill them?”
“Well, yes, but that’s different.”
“It is? Why?”
“Because I wouldn’t actually do it.”
“And you think Cherie would?”
“I don’t know. She sounded like she might.”
“If someone were to kill your grandparents, do you think you might be willing to kill the person that did it?”
I thought about it a moment and I realized that I would. “Maybe.”
“That’s the way we feel. The Bulls killed three members of our family. We can’t let that slide. But we haven’t gone out and killed anyone over it.”
“But you will?”
“It depends. If the Bulls give up their killers, then no.”