Authors: Kathryn Thomas
“What do you mean, ‘give up their killers’?”
“If they take care of the killers themselves, if they do the dirty work, then it ends there.”
“In other words, if they kill the killers, then you won’t hit back at them?”
“That’s right. It’s how wars are prevented.”
“Did they do that?”
“Not yet. It’s a hard thing to kill a brother. We’re giving them some space. But they are going to have to step up, and soon, or we’ll take care of it ourselves.”
“And the rest?”
“The rest is just business. I’m sure they are screwing us, and New Jersey, over. I just can’t figure out how. Once I do, though, then I will fuck them good.”
“Then why are they attacking you?”
“I don’t know. It’s like they want this war. I can’t figure it out. It has to be related, somehow, but I can’t find the connection.”
We rode in silence for a time. “Come back to New Orleans with me! Please! Leave all this behind. Cain, I want to be with you, but I can’t live like this!”
He took my hand. “I can’t. Not now. I have to see this through.”
“Why?” I cried and gave my eyes a vicious swipe with palm of my hand.
“Because, Alex, the Bulls made two plays on you already. They have killed three of my brothers. If I don’t deal with this, we will never be safe. We need the protection of the club, now more than ever. But I promise you, I will leave the Hounds if that is what it takes to be with you, as soon as it is safe to do so. I’m just asking for the time to get us set for the future.”
“But what about the baby?”
“That’s all I have been thinking about! The safety of you and the baby. But I’m thinking long term, beyond the current crises. I need to get us a safety net, something to catch us until we can get on our feet again. Alex, I’m trying to do this for you, for all of us.”
“But I’m afraid of what might happen.”
He squeezed my hand. “You have the whole club watching out for you now. You’re safe. Every one of the guys would give their life for yours just like I would give my life for any of theirs. We take care of each other and you’re part of the family now.”
As we rode along I thought about how I had been treated. The club was tense, but they had still been welcoming. The girls especially had gone out of their way to be warm and welcoming, and had helped make me feel comfortable in the club. I thought about our shopping trip and how the Hounds had been our shadows as we wandered through the stores, the women without a care in the world. They had trusted the men to watch over and protect them from harm. The more I thought about the shopping trip, the more I realized that the two men had created a bubble around us, walking in front of and behind us, not letting anyone get in too close. I hadn’t picked up on it before, but, thinking back, I realized how they were always scanning the area. At the time I had thought they were bored and were just looking around, but I now realized they were
“What happens if the Bulls don’t give up the killers?”
“Then, if we can find out who it was, we’ll kill them.”
“And if you can’t?”
“Then we kill three of theirs.”
I pouted, not liking the sound of that.
“I know. It’s a nasty business,” he said softly. “I hope we don’t have to go there. But we may have to. If we don’t handle this, the other clubs will see us as weak and we will have even more trouble.”
“Will you do the killing?”
“I don’t know. Probably not. If I am asked, I will go, but the three that were killed? They had some brothers they were really close to. They will probably want to handle it.”
I had to ask. “If it were me?”
His face went hard and he refused to look at me. “I would kill them all. I would be the fucking angel of death.” He stopped the truck in the parking lot of his apartment and switched it off, but didn’t open the door, allowing me to decide if the conversation was over.
“You’ll leave the Hounds when this is all over?”
“If that is what it takes, yes.”
I unbuckled my belt and leaned over, reaching out for him as my lower lip quivered. He met me halfway and held me, kissing my face with butterfly kisses. We sat in the very awkward embrace until I began to hurt, but, even then, I didn’t want to release him. I was so confused. I wanted him, and I began to understand the attraction of being in the Hounds, but I couldn’t forget what they had done to my parents. Or had they? None of those I met had struck me as the type to kill on a whim. None seemed to relish the coming conflict with the Bulls. Maybe I was just overreacting again. Maybe the Hellhounds were just as Cain said.
I finally broke the embrace and Cain gasped as he sat up.
“My side,” he hissed as he opened his jacket. I saw a spot of blood where he had been shot. “Shit,” he muttered.
“Why didn’t you say something?” I cried.
“Because I wanted to hold you as long as you would let me.”
I don’t know why, but that touched me. “Come on…let’s go see what you did. Dumbass.”
“Not so bad,” I said as I placed an adhesive bandage over the wound. He had popped a stitch, which had caused a little bleeding, but it didn’t appear to be anything serious. “Next time, say something.”
He lowered his arm over my head, his other arm coming around my back. “I didn’t have anything to say. I already had everything I wanted.”
“What was that?”
“You, in my arms.”
I leaned into his chest. “Can we start over? Can we go back to the beginning and try again. Pretend the last couple of months haven’t happened?”
“No. I don’t want to give up even one memory of you.”
I whimpered. “Can you forgive me then?”
“Nothing to forgive. I’m sorry I dragged you into this. You had every right to be concerned. I’m glad you were worried over the baby. But now that you’ve seen the club, will you trust me?”
“Yes. I trust you.”
I expected him to pull my lips to his, but when he didn’t move, I looked up at him. He was smiling down at me and moved to offer me his lips, but he gave me the choice to kiss him or not. I stretched up and closed the remaining distance.
As we stood in the bathroom, Cain naked to the waist, my desire for him surged. I knew I had misjudged him from the beginning. He was a good man. All the Hounds appeared to be good men. To have Cherie tell me so plainly how the club interacted made me feel more comfortable with them. They had a certain... honor... about them.
I stepped back from the kiss and took his hand. “Are you able to perform tonight?” I asked as I continued to walk backwards, pulling him along.
“Does this mean I don’t have to sleep on the couch again tonight?” he teased as he followed along in my wake.
I felt guilty that I had let him do that for the last few nights. “So long as you don’t disappoint me,” I teased.
He took two quick steps forward and pinned the back of my legs to the edge of the bed. “I will never disappoint you,” he said, the seriousness of his eyes making it clear that he wasn’t answering my teasing come-on.
“No,” I said as began unbuckle his pants. “I don’t believe you will.”
He let me pull his pants down, his breathing speeding up. I nudged him back a half step to give me room to kneel before him. He was already impressively hard as I kissed the head of his cock with slow, delicate, touches of my lips. He stood perfectly still, allowing me to play, and play I did as I licked down his shaft, moaning and cooing, trying to drive him wild.
As I kissed my way from his balls back to the tip of his manhood, I began to prepare myself. As I reached the top I plunged him as deep into my mouth as I could. While not huge, he was almost too big for me to take all the way. I fought my way down the rest of the way and held myself there for as long as I could, looking out from under my eyebrows as I did. His head was thrown back, his face a mask of ecstasy as his hand found the back of my head and held me. I pushed back against his hand and he let me pull back, but I wanted to see that look again, and as soon as I had my breath, I plunged down on him once more, watching him.
“Fuck…” he growled as I worked him down the last little bit, the word like a match to gunpowder.
My desires roared and I could feel an orgasm lurking even though he hadn’t even touched me yet.
“Fuck… I’m going to come,” he growled and I quickly pulled back.
“Don’t you fucking
come,” I snarled back. I stood up and began to undress as he stepped out of his pants. I removed my shirt and bra, then took his penis into my hands and stroked it slowly as we kissed, our tongues engaged in an intimate dance.
As he leaned into the kiss, I could sense he was still teetering on the edge of orgasm so I eased off on the pressure. “Don’t you come,” I warned again as I continued to caresses his cock, my hand slick with his lubricant.
“Stop,” he begged softly.
I smiled as I continued to slide my hand along his length, before stopping and removing my pants. The moment I was undressed I stepped in close again and, holding his lips to mine, stroked him hard and fast.
He grunted once and thrust his hips into my hand and I decided he had enough. I stepped back and eased myself onto the bed, pulling him along by his cock. The irony of leading him around by his manhood wasn’t lost on me, but I didn’t care. As he joined me on the bed, I released him and rolled onto my side.
“Like last time,” I murmured as I moved my leg.
He straddled my thigh and I draped my upper leg across his and clamped down as he entered me. I twisted around so I could see his face as he began to thrust. “Hard. Ram it into me hard.”
He moved, slowly at first, and as I watched he closed his eyes and bared his teeth. “Ah! I can’t!” he gasped as he twisted and hunched over slightly. “Fuck.”
“I can’t…it hurts too much. I thought I could, but I can’t.”
We gently disentangled ourselves and he lay down on the bed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you,” I said. I felt terrible that he had hurt himself trying to make love to me.
“I wanted to. I still want to. But I need another day or two. I’m sorry.”
“Shhh…” I whispered as I kissed him softly on the lips. “It’s okay. Can you just hold me?” He wrapped me up loosely. It wasn’t the snug embrace he normally gave me, but it would do. “Can we try again in a couple of days?”
He kissed me on the shoulder. “Yes. I will always want you, Alex.”
I didn’t know if he meant it, but his words made me smile. I backed into him a little tighter and he moved his arm so the sore spot wasn’t resting on anything as he held me. I took a couple of deep, contented breaths, enjoying the feel of being in his arms again, until I slipped in a deep and restful sleep.
“Do you have to go?” I asked.
“I do. I have to find out what is going on. This is the only way,” Cain replied. “Garrett is going to watch after you.” He kissed me and I warmed, pulling him into the kiss. “Watch out for her. She’s feisty,” Cain said as he pulled back from the kiss and softly stroked my face.
“Yeah, looks like it,” Garrett said without emotion, but then grinned.
“When will you be back?” I asked.
“Late tonight or early in the morning. Don’t worry. The Bulls won’t even know I’m there. I’m just going to collect a couple of samples. New Jersey has given me safe passage.”
“I still worry.”
“Don’t. I’ll be fine. If you need anything, tell Garrett or one of the girls, okay?” He kissed me once more and then turned to go.
I watched him step out of the clubhouse and then, a moment later, I heard his Harley start. It had been three days since we made up, and the days had been as happy as any I could remember. I didn’t know how I knew, but I
it was going to work out between us.
“So, tell me how you did it,” Garrett said as I turned away from the door.
I giggled. “Why does everyone ask me that?”
“Because nobody can believe it. Come on, you can tell me. I won’t tell a soul.” I could tell by the gleam in his eye that if I told him, the entire club would know in ten minutes.
“As I told Cherie and Toni, it was his idea. I didn’t really do anything.”
“Well, some guys have all the luck,” he said with a mischievous grin. “Is he really as good in bed as all girls say?”
“Better,” I teased, dropping my voice down and drawing the word out. “He’s insatiable. He can go all night. That first night, we
go all night. I was hoarse the next morning from him making me scream.” That last little bit was a bald faced lie, but it served to elevate Cain, so I didn’t mind telling it. Besides, if I were a screamer, I
have been hoarse.
Garrett stared at me and I had to turn away before I lost my straight face. “I hate that fucker,” he muttered and I snickered to myself. He meandered in the direction of the bar. “Would you like anything?” he asked as he walked.
I followed and cut him off as I moved behind the bar. “No. Still a little early for me. But what would you like?”
He looked at me a moment. “Ever heard of a
“Vodka, Coffee Liqueur, and Club Soda?”
“Coming up.” The Hellhounds’ bar wasn’t very well organized, and it took a little digging to find the Coffee Liqueur, but once I found it, I was set. I didn’t really go for the razzle-dazzle, but a couple of simple spins later, I parked his shot in front of him.
“What?” I asked with a grin.
He was staring at me with his mouth slightly agape. “That was some shit. What was that? Hey, Macole! Come watch this shit!”
A good looking guy that I had been introduced to before wandered up. Garrett giving me his last name was enough for me to remember the rest. “Clyde. Can I get you something?”
“Sure. Just a beer.”
“Nuh-uh,” Garrett said before I could even move. “Order a drink.”
Clyde looked at the other man. “Okay. Jim Beam, straight up.”
“Show him,” Garrett said with a grin. “Watch this shit.”
I had to look again for proper bottle. “Your bar isn’t very well organized,” I teased when I finally located the bottle. “Why aren’t all the drinks grouped by type so you can find them?”
Clyde shrugged. “We each bring in what we like and just stick the bottle where we can find an open spot.”
I sat the shot glass in front of him and poured a splash.
“Impressive,” Clyde said as he took the drink.
“Give me that,” Garrett growled playfully as he pulled the drink from Clyde’s hand, popped the pour spout out of the bottle, and dumped the contents of the glass back into the container. He then grinned at me. “Now, sweetheart,
I sighed. “Nothing to show really,” I said as I flipped the bottle up behind my back and caught it. “I’m just a bartender,” I continued as I gave the bottle a
spin, the bottle becoming a spinning blur as it arced into the air. I caught it behind my back, and flipped it up again to give it an elbow bump. “Nothing out of the ordinary,” I added as I stalled the bottle on the back of my hand. “Shit!” I snapped as I dropped the bottle, caught it on my toe, and then kicked it back up into another stall. “Whew…that was close!” I gave the bottle an easy spinning toss, caught it my other hand, gave it another spin to catch in my pouring hand and finished by poured the splash back into his glass.
“Fuck me running…” Clyde said quietly, not moving to pick up the glass.
Garrett burst into laughter. “Ho-ly… shit! How the fuck do you do that?”
I grinned. Damned it felt good to do that. “It just takes practice.”
“Has Cain seen you do that?”
My grin widened. “Yeah. I took him for two hundred dollars in tips.”
Garrett tossed his drink back and slammed the glass on the bar as he snarled. “Fuck!” he roared then shook his head. “Whooo! Hit me again!”
Two hours later I had the bar organized and was strutting my stuff to a significant portion of the club as I ran though my routines while they tried to play
stump the bartender.
They were losing, stumping me only on an
, but that didn’t count because they didn’t have any jalape
o peppers anyway.
About ten o’clock, Thad stepped behind the bar with me. “It’s not nice to get my club totally shit-faced just so you can show off.”
I felt a rush of fear. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”
He grinned at me. “Relax. I’m not going to feel sorry for their asses in the morning.”
“I thought I was in trouble,” I admitted.
“Nah. They’re big boys and girls. I noticed you’re not drinking. They won’t mind sharing.”
“It’s not that. I can’t do this if I’m not sharp,” I said. That much was true, but there was another, more important reason, I was not imbibing.
Thad chuckled. “I can see that.”
“Thad, can I ask you a question?”
“About twenty years ago, my parents were killed in a car wreck in Dallas. My Dad was a cop and he was…”
“Investigating the Hounds for running guns?”
“Cain asked me about this. I wondered why the hell he was asking, and now I know. What did he tell you?”
“That nobody knew anything about it.”
“That’s the truth. Cain shouldn’t have told you about what we do —”
“Don’t be mad at him,” I interrupted. “I promised him I wouldn’t tell a soul, and I have kept my word.”
“I’ll overlook it since you’re his old lady, but he needs to watch his tongue. Loose lips and all that. Anyway, the Hounds have been around since the sixties. We started our little business in the late seventies. Before that, we were muscle for hire, but then the President at the time, the founder of the club, decided to take the club in a different direction. I was in the club when your parents were killed, but we had cleaned up our act by then. I think your information is wrong. As far as I know, we haven’t done more than kick a few asses in thirty years. Maybe more.”
“But my Dad said —”
“I didn’t say he wasn’t investigating us. Maybe he was. Dallas gets a new chief who wants to come in and prove how big his dick is, and we go through the same sort of shit each time. But we run a tight ship. The cops probably know we’re running guns. But we don’t sell local and being able to prove it is whole different matter. There is no
to kill a cop. That just brings on a lot of heat that we don’t need. I’m sorry that you lost your parents. But really, Alex, I don’t think we had anything to do with it. I think it was just a terrible accident.”
“Okay,” I mumbled. I wanted to believe him, but my grandparents had seemed so
“Alex, listen to me,” Thad said kindly. “We’re not like you think. We provide a service, that’s all. We have contacts that were developed years ago and we provide… merchandise… that is difficult to obtain. That’s all we do. We don’t go riding around town gunning down innocent people. It’s bad for business.”
“And the Bulls?”
“The Bulls are nothing but a pile of shit. Rejects and dregs that can’t find homes somewhere else. When someone can’t join one of the other clubs, they usually end up in the Bulls. We had a few of our rejects join them.”
“So why the bad blood with the Hellhounds?”
“I wish I knew, Alex. I wish I knew.”
I spent another two hours serving drinks and entertaining the club. This was the first time I had ever really interacted with them, and I found that they were a lot like Cain, and nothing at all like I imagined them being.
As the club began to pair off and leave, Cherie escorted me to my room. I would be bunking in the clubhouse tonight for my protection.
“Bath is here,” she said as she opened the door. “Towels are in the cabinet. The linens are fresh so you should be good. If you need anything, I will be just across the hall tonight.”
“Will you be alone?” I asked. “I don’t want to interrupt anything.”
Cherie smiled. “No. But that’s okay. Just wait until the bed stops squeaking. You’re still new.” She grinned at me. “I think you are going to fit in just fine and I want your stay at Hellhound Resort to be comfortable. Like I told you, we take care of our own.”
“Thanks, Cherie. I mean that.”
She gave me a smile then she slipped out and shut the door. I heard a man’s voice then she giggled. A moment later a door banged shut and I felt a longing for Cain. We hadn’t made love since before the first attempt on my life and I wanted him. A few days ago he hadn’t been in any shape for bedroom calisthenics and I was hoping that would change, and soon.
I got myself ready for bed and, as I tucked in, I heard the faint moan of a woman in pleasure. Yes…I hoped that Cain would be ready soon.
I was eating a banana that I found in the kitchen for breakfast when Cain came into the Clubhouse. He looked haggard as he toted a canvas bag in each hand.
I rose and went to him, molding myself to him and holding him warmly as he sat the bags down. “I missed you,” I whispered before I kissed him softly.
He smiled down at me. “I missed you, too. Where is everyone?”
“The lazy shits,” he growled. “It’s almost nine.”
“They had a hard night last night.”
His face hardened. “Oh? What happened?”
“Nothing to worry about. I tended the bar for them last night and they got a little carried away.”
He snickered. “Oh. Now I see. Well, in that case, I’m going to grab a couple hours of shuteye before I figure out what game the Bulls are up to.”