Soulless:MC Biker Romance (Black Thorns, #2)(2)By: Franca Storm
The day of the crash.
I lost control of the truck. Me. I shoulda been able to find another way to shake those Mavs tailing us. I shoulda been able to protect us.
Instead, she got hurt real bad and we lost our kid.
Then I had to walk.
To keep her safe and to make damn sure she wouldn’t never be in a situation like that again. To protect her from my life. Thorns club life.
In that split second when I lost control of the truck, I fucking knew.
I was ‘bout to lose everything.
And time ain’t made it no better.
That’s why I’m working on the shit I am.
For the last six months, I been on it secretly. None of the boys know. Don’t wanna drag the club into it, cuz we’re operating legit all ‘round now.
I’m getting my girl back.
Just gonna take some time, cuz I gotta do it right. Keep her safe.
The door scraping open jolts me outta my thoughts.
I look up to see Smiter walking in.
I take a drag of my smoke and lift my chin at him.
“You all right?” he asks, eyeing my hands.
I look at ‘em. Yeah, my knuckles are shredded all right.
Looks like he wants to say something more.
But he don’t. Knows me well by now.
But then his eyes stray to the tattoo on my chest. My Rox tattoo. Black angel wings cradling a rising sun. Between ‘em is one word: Rox. Used to call her my sunshine. My light in a world full of dark.
The regret in his eyes cuts into me and, before I can stop myself, I snap, “Stop fucking looking at it, yeah?”
I put my smoke down on the bench and snatch up my shirt, pulling it on over my head and hiding the tat. Smoke’s back a second later and I’m taking a harsh drag.
Nah. We ain’t going where he wants to. I cut him off, “We got a situation?”
Something’s gotta be up. Smiter’s Sergeant-at-Arms. Him walking in here so suddenly is a hell of a sign that we got some security issue. Or, we got a visitor.
“Dealer’s here,” he tells me.
Great. The last person I wanna see. Rox’s dad. Like I need any more brutal reminders of her. But I ain’t gonna show it to Smiter; not to any of the boys. I’m Prez now. Can’t be showing any weakness.
“Yeah? What’s he want?” I ask as I stub my smoke out on the concrete and cross to the door where he’s standing. I reach behind him and lift my cut off the hook there.
As I shrug it on, he tells me, “Didn’t say. Just wants a one on one with you.”
“Got him waiting at the bar. Him and Mullet are catching up on old times.”
Shit, yeah. Mullet came up under him when Dealer was Prez. I heard that Dealer was the one who’d brought him into the club.
“Get one of the prospects to hook me up with something for these, yeah?” I say, gesturing to my knuckles. “Gauze or some shit.”
“Sure. You want me to sit in on this meet?”
“Nah. I’ll let you know if any of what he’s gotta say touches on security.”
I made Grit VP a few months back, so normally I’d have him in with me. Same with Smiter. But I got no idea why Dealer’s even here, so no point bringing ‘em in on it ‘til I know if he’s here to talk club business, or just personal.
“Nah. I got this. I’ll see why he’s here first.”
“All right, Prez,” he says before walking out.
What the hell does Dealer want? If he’s come all the way up here to the clubhouse, it can’t be good. Coulda just called me if it were something small.
“Ax. Long time,” Dealer says, shaking my hand.
“Yeah, been a while.” I smile and walk ‘round my desk and slump into the old leather chair. He sits down opposite.
“Club looks good.”
Big compliment coming from him, as former Prez. “Thanks.”
“Had your work cut out for you with morale and shit after Trig’s betrayal. Boys are lucky they got you as Prez now. Coulda fallen apart without you at the helm. Took a good leader to pull it back, Ax. Not any guy coulda done it.”
“Guess it really is in my blood then,” I respond bitterly.
He flinches at my words. “I know you didn’t want it, but—”