Authors: Rosalie Stanton
Tags: #Erotic Romance Fiction
A Totally Bound Publication
©Copyright Rosalie Stanton 2014
Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright December 2014
Edited by Rebecca Douglas
Totally Bound Publishing
This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Totally Bound Publishing.
Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Totally Bound Publishing. Unauthorized or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.
The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.
Published in 2014 by Totally Bound Publishing,
Newland House, The Point, Weaver Road, Lincoln, LN6 3QN
This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
She’s the only thing good about his former life, and he’s been asked to end hers.
Serenity Jones never expected her homecoming to be heralded with a double-murder, or that she’d be the lone witness. Yet when she points the finger at the president of the Lucifer’s Legion Motorcycle Club, she finds herself the target of more than just an investigation—she’s a liability, one Lucifer’s Legion is determined to erase.
Dash Denyar owes everything to Lucifer’s Legion. A decade prior, he set himself on a path of self-destruction, and would have crashed and burned were it not for the motorcycle club. His loyalty was bought and paid for—he just never expected the price of loyalty to include ending the life of Serenity Jones, the only woman he ever loved.
Serenity has dreamed of her reunion with Dash ever since she left her hometown behind. Never did she imagine it would be on the other side of a blindfold, or with her life in the balance. As she tries to work out what happened to her childhood friend, she finds herself battling more than just survivor’s instinct. Ten years of unspoken feelings, regrets, and what-ifs threaten to break her, if Dash doesn’t do it first.
Thanks to Rebecca Douglas for her insight and mad editing skills, to Sarah Smeaton for asking me to participate in this project, to my husband for understanding that I had a deadline, and to the wonderful ladies and gents of Ozarks Romance Authors for their support. I love you guys.
Dedicated to Tish Beaty, Terri Meeker, and Sarah Ballance.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:
Victory Cruiser: Polaris Industries, Inc.
Sam Adams: Boston Beer Company
Chevy: General Motors Company
Prius: Toyota Motor Corporation
The Dark Side of the Moon
: Pink Floyd
The welcoming roar of the Victory Cruiser, for the first time since Dash Denyar had discovered the joy of riding, failed to kick-start his heart. The warm rush of belonging that had become his steady drug over the years denied him its comforting buzz. Instead, all that remained was the cold.
It was a small thing, really. For the past ten years, Dash had practically lived on the back of his bike, and each time he’d revved the engine, he’d felt that same rush. That old magic. The spark. It had never become routine for him. Honestly, he hadn’t thought it possible…until now.
If the others noticed, they didn’t let it show. The usual grunts followed the usual retorts, the same insults following just as tired rejoinders. Like everything was normal, when it was anything but. They were leaving Gunner behind, and even though the visits to the county jail had become frequent over the past few weeks, there was no getting used to seeing the President of Lucifer’s Legion on the wrong side of bars.
But that was set to change tomorrow, when the star witness in Gunner’s trial was scheduled to take the stand.
The star witness that Dash had been asked to silence. It was the most important task he’d been given, and demonstrated not only Gunner’s faith in him, but his respect.
And all Dash felt was numb.
Dash had experienced this particular sensation before—the strange detachment from the world around him, the way familiar places and faces now seemed foreign, how the comforts of home felt hollow. How he could straddle his beloved Victory Cruiser with the wind whipping his face and the familiar view of the men he’d come to view as family ahead, and feel none of the familiar warmth.
Jax. Hunter. Pete. Butch. Sawyer. All family. All counting on him.
And he was scared shitless.
Gunner hadn’t given him much warning, though Dash reckoned that was by design. The less notice he had, the less chance there was that he would talk himself out of it. The fact that Gunner had never asked anything like this of him was irrelevant—he’d always known it was possible. It didn’t matter that Gunner had historically respected Dash’s reluctance to get involved with the messier side of club business—all that mattered was he’d been given a task, and he was expected to follow.
“I know I’m askin’ a lot, Dash,” Gunner had said, looking as contrite as a man could while in prison orange. “But this is it, you know? I don’t trust no one to do this but you.”
Which made fuck all sense, but Dash couldn’t very well tell Gunner that. Lucifer’s Legion had made people disappear before. It wasn’t frequent, but at times it was the price of doing—and staying in—business.
Usually, Jax and Pete assumed the role of pest control. Not this time, and there had been no explanation. None was expected. Gunner issued orders, not requests, and defying him was hazardous to one’s health.
Dash rode on autopilot. The freedom of the open road had never felt so stifling.
He had to put on his game face. The others might not notice out here, but they certainly would back at the clubhouse. It wasn’t until they made the turn off Highway 71 and their destination was in sight that he managed to redirect his detachment. Lucifer’s Legion had saved his life after his brother’s death—Gunner had saved his life—and had given him a ticket to utter liberation in the process. Nothing could take the road from him, even when it was stifling.
Not even Rennie.
Just the thought of her had his throat tightening, and the rush of cold uncertainty returned without censure.
Fucking fuck fuck.
Why did it have to be her? Of all the goddamned women Tanner-fucking-Wilcox could have brought to the clubhouse that night.
Dash gave himself a mental shake as he pulled his bike into the dank belly of the clubhouse garage. As always, he parked opposite Jax. Not as always, he sat for a moment, even after the others began to dismount. It took the heavy weight of a hand on his shoulder to draw him out of his thoughts, and even then, the journey was a slow one.
“You all right, man?”
Dash shook his head slowly, blinked, and pulled off his helmet. “Yeah…just…”
“Surprised?” Hunter guessed, cocking a blond eyebrow. “No shit. I still think it’s a mistake.”
Yeah, Hunter had been the only one with the balls to voice his objection to Dash being given control of this particular assignment. The others seemed to think it was high-time he got his hands dirty.
“Whattya talk?” Pete demanded as he rounded them, heading for the clubhouse door. He spoke with a thick fake New Jersey accent—one that had become more or less his signature over the years. He got a lot of shit for it, but anyone who saw the gleam in his eyes knew Pete loved the attention. “Dash’ll do just fine. You like red, doncha, Dash? Color goes nice with them eyes of yours.”
Dash felt a ghost of a smile tug at his lips. He dismounted his bike then began stripping his gloves. “Didn’t know you paid attention to my eyes, Pete. What’ll Rita think?”
Pete pulled a face and grabbed himself. “I’ll let you know when she’s swallowin’ my load later t’night.” He laughed, turned back, and had disappeared inside before Dash could get in another word. Not that there were words to get in after that.
Were it not for Hunter’s probing stare, Dash figured he would have been just fine pretending from that point out. He could have shrugged and carried the weight of Pete’s
until he had to leave for his errand.
But Hunter knew him too well. Aside from Gunner, he was practically the closest thing Dash had to a brother.
A living brother, anyway.
“We can’t do nothing about it now,” Hunter said, falling into stride beside him. There was no use in hoping the man would drop it—he was like a dog with a bone when it came to sniffing out uncomfortable topics. “You made a promise, Dash. You gotta deliver.”
“I said I would, didn’t I?” The words had more bite more than they should. “Don’t think I don’t appreciate the concern, but I got this.”
If he sounded as confident as he felt, he was in deep shit.
Hunter grabbed his shoulder again, and this time Dash couldn’t stand the invasion. He shrugged him off angrily, whipping around to glare at him head on. “What the fuck is your problem?”
Hunter glowered. “Do you really think I’m fucking stupid?”
“Serenity Jones,” he said, poking a finger at Dash’s leather-clad chest. “Every goddamn time someone says the bitch’s name, your eye goes all twitchy.”
“Why the fuck is everyone looking at my fucking eyes all of a sudden?”
“Don’t bullshit me, Dash,” Hunter all but snarled. “What is she to you?”
Dash swallowed and hoped to fuck his goddamn eyes didn’t betray him. “Nothing,” he said, his stomach somersaulting. “A girl I knew in high school. Before.”
“What, so an old fuck? Is that it? First girl who touched your dick? You gotta soft spot for her?”
“No,” he barked, though he felt himself burn with the lie. While it was true he’d never gotten to any base with Rennie, he sure as fuck had a soft spot for her. If he had any softness left in him, she was the reason. “Not an old fuck. Just someone I knew.”
Hunter’s jaw tightened, his cold blue eyes hardening. “Fuckin’ knew it. I knew it.”