Authors: Debra Kayn
Tags: #may december romance, #crime, #carnival, #Older man younger woman, #mob, #romantic suspense, #organized crime, #erotic bikers, #action and adventure, #biker series, #outlaw motorcycle club, #biker gang, #Motorcycle Club romance, #montana, #Russians
She never expected the club members to
at the house when they arrived.
Battery stopped the motorcycle and revved the engine. She startled and plastered herself against Battery's back before he shut off the engine. Her body continued to vibrate, leaving her uncoordinated and off balance.
The front door opened, and music blasted the air and men dressed similar to Battery with black T-shirts and jeans, black vests, poured out of the house. Women came with the bikers, tottering on high heels and in skimpy dresses. Everyone cheered and raised cans and bottles in the air in Battery's direction.
Battery laid his hand on her hand, holding onto his belt, and turned his head. "Hop off, carny-girl. This is Ronacks Motorcycle Club. Your family."
She only moved because she had no other choice. Battery's large body shifted, and his hand reached behind him to help her off. The moment Battery stood alongside the motorcycle, she plastered herself to his side and reached for his hand, feeling every bit like a sixteen-year-old out of place, scared, and wanting to go home. Except, she had no home. Not anymore.
Battery held her tightly, and she gazed up into eyes that no longer looked at her softly or warmly, but possessively and scary.
She'd made a bad mistake.
week after Battery returned to Montana after bringing Bree to his home, he stood outside the old abandoned miner's cabin set high in the Bitterroot Mountains in Montana. Every month, for more years than he could count, he'd made the long trek in his truck to deliver a months' worth of supplies for one man to survive alone with no contact with the outside world.
And, every month, he dreaded the visit.
The man inside barely existed. Only to Battery who made sure he continued to bring food, supplies, and some items of comfort. But, it wasn't Battery who fed the man's insane strength to keep living in squalor conditions without a living soul around to enrich his life. The man had a personal will to live and would allow nothing to divert him from his plan.
Battery raised his hand, knocked on the door, and said, "Open up."
The aged wood creaked, and the solitary man peeked outside, then swung the door open. "You're a day late."
"Yeah, well, something came up." Battery set the sack of canned goods in front of him.
The years had taken their toll on the man. He'd given up shaving or cutting his hair. Words were difficult, and the simplest sentence came out harsh and bitter with the lack of everyday conversations with others.
"I'll unload the rest of the shit." Battery turned around, anxious to get out of here.
The longer he stayed, the bigger chance a hunter or hiker would take notice of his vehicle and investigate. Then, he'd need to find another secluded location to hide the man.
Battery grabbed two more sacks of supply.
Battery couldn’t remember when he stopped calling the man by his name or giving him any sort of identity. None of it mattered. The man no longer existed to the outside world. Only one thing kept him tied to living, day after day, hidden away from society and it was a subject he rarely brought up.
It took Battery six trips from the truck to the cabin to unload the supplies. The last, a box full of ammunition which the man would stockpile, sat at Battery's feet.
"I'll be back in thirty days. If I'm delayed, don't fucking shoot me when I do make it up the mountain." Battery peered at the supplies without meeting the man's eyes.
"Our plan?" whispered the man.
The conversation Battery reluctantly knew would come came. He gritted his teeth. Nobody would be the wiser if he walked away without answering. Let the man believe what he wanted. He'd done what was required of him. More than what was asked.
"Battery, our plan?" The man stepped forward into the light.
Battery's fingers curled into a fist. "Plans have changed."
The man rocked back a step and grabbed onto the frame of the door. "What do you mean?"
"I changed the plan." Battery kept his hands loose at his sides in case he needed to grab the loaded pistol tucked into the back of his belt. "I brought Bree home. She's living with me."
"You, motherfucker," rasped the man.
Battery reached out and slammed the man against the door before he could attack. "You have no opinion on the matter anymore."
"Bring her to me," said the man, glaring at Battery.
"Over my dead body," said Battery on a growl.
He pushed the man away and stalked to his truck, waiting for the bullet that never came to hit him in the back.
wo and a half years later ~
Loud music blasting in the downstairs of the house for Bree's birthday party sent the empty glass on the counter vibrating along the surface toward the edge. Battery nudged Jana, one of the local women who hung around the Ronacks members, out of the way and grabbed the glass before it could topple to the floor.
Jana's body leaned with his. She hadn't left him for the last hour, and he needed to check up on Bree. His girl still hadn't opened her presents from the club.
"Take a stroll and go make someone else feel good for a while," said Battery.
Jana shook her blonde hair, pushed her breasts out against him and held on tighter. Battery grabbed her upper arms and set her away from him and walked away without looking back. He'd already got what he wanted from her an hour ago in the spare room downstairs and before her, a chick named...hell, he couldn't remember what she called herself—Trini, Trixie, Tina—spread her legs for him.
For a couple of hours, the women distracted him from what the day meant for Bree.
Battery caught Rod's gaze and lifted his chin, mouthing Bree's name at his vice president. Rod held up his bottle of beer and pointed to the door. Battery weaved through the crowd of partygoers comprised of every member of Ronacks MC and some local women who enjoyed a good time.
Outside, he waited for the door to shut and a break in the noise to settle over him so he could hear again. He'd had a smaller party three days ago with Bree, Duke and Raelyn, an MC brother and his wife, but today was special. The whole family came together for one reason. Bree.
"Quick. Snuff it out," said a male voice from the side of the house.
Battery walked around the corner and found four young men fanning the air trying to rid the pot fumes from his detection. His gaze went right to Bree sitting on top of the picnic table looking out to the pond, unaware of her friends trying to hide the evidence that they were smoking pot like all kids their age do at a party.
The rules Battery had stated before the party meant anyone under twenty-one stayed out in the yard and weren't allowed inside the house. Except Bree, she lived here. His home was her home.
"All of you need to go to the door and tell Choke to get the women and bring out all the presents so that Bree can open her gifts." He walked between them, knowing they'd follow his orders if they wanted to keep coming around the house.
Bree never looked his way at his approach and continued to gaze out at the water. Her wet bikini bottoms soaked through her cutoffs, and he wasn't surprised she'd gone swimming. She spent most of her summer at the pond, usually by herself.
He sat beside her on the picnic table and looked where she looked. He never understood how she could spend hours gazing out at still water.
"Those boys aren't giving you any trouble, are they?" he asked.
Bree turned her head toward him and then looked away. "Would it matter?"
"Damn right it would, carny-girl. You're too good for them." He leaned forward and put his elbows on his knees. "It's your big day. You're nineteen years old, and you got your GED on Friday. Isn't this what you've been waiting for?"
He'd kept her out of public school, and she was more than happy not to go. Smart for her age, she'd taken an online course for her GED.
She shrugged. "It doesn't matter anymore."
"What's this bullshit you're talking about?" He leaned toward her and bumped her shoulder. "You've got your whole life ahead of you, and you've done a good job getting your certificate. You're starting out right. That's better than most of your shithead friends at the party have done with their lives."
"Don't call them that," she mumbled. "You're the one that wanted me to invite them."
"They're your friends."
She looked at him again, and it always squeezed his heart when he recognized the old soul inside of her that saw beyond the fakeness and insignificant personalities of others. "They're not my friends. They come because they like the weed they get from the Ronacks members and the boys hope to talk me into getting stoned so I'll take my clothes off."
He growled. "That ain't happening."
"Oh, it would." She flipped her hair over her shoulder. "If you didn't scare every single one of them away by never giving me any space. You just don't get it, do you?"
He stood from the table, grabbed her hand, and pulled her to her feet. "What I get is you've got presents you need to open and cake to cut. Let's get a move on, so maybe we can have the house empty before morning comes."
She held on to his hand when he made to let her go. "Did you get me something?"
He walked with her toward the front of the house. "What do you think?"
Her face lit up, and she smiled, skipping a step to get in front of him. "What is it?"
He raised her hand, kissed her knuckles, and shook his head. "I guess you'll have to get your ass in gear and go open the presents to find out."
She let go of him. He stopped and watched her run off to the others. She'd turned into a beautiful woman. Her long legs, always hurrying in a long, confident stride, she pranced around the place in a bikini top and cutoffs, not even aware of every fucking one of his men admiring her. Not a self-conscious bone in her body, she hadn't lost her innocence she'd held onto when he'd brought her home on the back of his bike.
She gave him a headache and made him lose more and more sleep the older she got. One day, she'd be his carny-girl and the next he failed to recognize the woman staring at him from across the dinner table.
Her moods often went from extreme highs to new lows that he worried about bringing her out of, and yet he couldn't figure out what kept her devoted toward him. She'd look at him as if she wanted him to fix all her problems, and he tried, but there was something missing lately. A feeling he had that she wanted something from him, and he had no idea what it was.
Everyone broke out into singing Happy Birthday. He walked over, grabbed a bottle of whiskey from Mel, one of the young prospects that maybe shaved once a month if at all, and found his spot against the pine tree beside the driveway. From his view, he could watch everyone and have a straight shot to Bree if she needed him.
Though lately, she'd gone out of her way to show him she was capable of handling herself, he still looked out for her. He drank from the bottle. It wasn't Bree he worried about, but the others. Having her underfoot all day long and hanging around the parties and meetings, he had a bad feeling some of the other members would try to get closer to her.
Bree opened several presents. A sweatshirt. Socks—she loved crazy looking socks. Perfume. His chest tightened. She enjoyed what others gave her and maybe he went overboard with his gift to her. He could hold off a couple of years until she was older before he gave her the present he'd bought last week.
He wasn't ready for the changes his gift would bring.
She wasn't ready for the responsibility.
It wasn't too late to change his mind.
He carried Bree's present in his back pocket. If he decided to wait, she'd never know what he'd planned for tonight. He still had time to switch it out for one of those pre-paid MasterCard's she liked using to order shit off the internet. He had an extra one or three in his wallet for when she ran out of money.
The whiskey burned his throat, soothing his aching chest. He glanced away from her and caught Mel watching Bree and smiling.
"Hey, knock it off. Get your fucking eyes off her and find something else to do," said Battery.
Mel almost broke his neck, turning around and going back inside the house. Battery lit a cigarette, squatted on the back of his boots, and pressed his spine against the tree. He wondered when he'd gotten so damn old he had to parent every God damn member of the club. There were enough women around to keep the men busy. From the prospects to the vice president, they had no reason to be looking at Bree as if they'd like to fuck her.
Bree stood from the picnic table and thanked everyone. He took another drink and wondered if Bree would ever open up enough to hug others. Shaking his head, he wasn't too concerned about the distance she kept from those in Ronacks. For what they missed out on, he received in abundance from her. Her and her damn hugs. Out of the blue, she'd wrap those thin arms around him for no reason. Every time she had, he knew he'd made the right decision bringing her home.
At least with her being of legal age now, the threat of the Washington State Social Services Department and every cop in the area coming after him was gone.
Now, he only worried that she'd want to leave him.
He inhaled on his cigarette. The thought of her wanting her freedom burned in his gut. He couldn't let that happen.
Bree jogged over to him, unmindful of the way her breasts were loose and moved with each step inside her bikini top. He stood, wanting to take off his shirt and cover her up from the eyes that stared at her. Hell, he wanted to throw away every bikini she owned and burn all the cutoffs she'd made. But knowing her, she'd only use another one of his pre-paid MasterCards to buy more.
"Your turn, Batt." She stopped in front of him, using her hands on his chest to stop her forward movement. "What did you get me?"
"Don't be greedy, carny-girl." He smiled, taking in her excitement. "Happy?"
She nodded. "Did you see all the presents I received?"
"Yeah." He exhaled the tension out of his body. "You made a killing."