Another look around the table, and yet again I can taste my own blood. I’ve been using the inside of my cheek as gum for the last hour or so. ‘What the hell was I thinking?’ keeps flowing through my brain. It really doesn’t fucking matter now though, because the problems I took on need to be handled, and I’m gonna damn well take care of them.
“This is how it’s gonna be. Marcus, you’re with Barlow. Maximus, you’re bunking with Quill. Morgan, Beecher is going to be your shadow, and last but not least…Michael, you’re with me.” I give the four young boys a stern look.
The two youngest of the four brothers, Marcus, who’s twelve, and Maximus, who’s fourteen, both have their heads down and nod. Morgan, who’s sixteen, glances around the room, curiosity written all over his face, while the oldest of the bunch, Michael, is shooting a deadly glare at me. Go ahead, buddy, glare all you like, ‘cause in the end…it’s not going to make a lick of difference.
These four brothers are now my responsibility. When I woke up this morning, I had a whole other day planned, but there it is; plan all you like ‘cause life has its own way of stirring shit up. This time a gang called the Eastside Posse is doing the stirring. Their leader, Nero Mills, tried to dig his claws into these young kids.
He wants them on the streets, selling his drugs and running his errands. The guy thinks he’s smart to use these youngsters, because they can saunter through town unnoticed to distribute or bring in new customers.
I have an instant hatred for people who taint our turf with drugs and other gang related bullshit. Needless to say, I want the streets of our town clean and safe. And that means for everyone, including Maci. The one Nero wants as his woman; whether she wants to be or not.
Shit. Maci. Maci Meyer, the hot as sin older sister of these four brothers. She was taking care of them all on her own but the little punks are proving to be more than a handful to bring up, especially when a piece of slime like Nero is added to the mix.
I need to cut out my wicked thoughts concerning Maci, because I need my head, the one on my shoulders, fully functional. Not the one underneath the table that’s trying to rise up. I’ve been sporting a raging hard-on ever since I met her a few weeks ago. Painful, believe me, but I’ve tried to get rid of it. Nothing seems to work because her image is burned into my brain.
The image of her almost naked and slick, dripping even. Dammit, see? That’s how she was when I met her. She was a stunning sight; barely dressed because she was working out. Tiny as shit, skin slick with sweat, dirty blonde hair wrapped up in a high ponytail. Strands fallen loose, cradling her face, sitting atop a tight and toned body.
Every woman I’ve met has some kind of flat ass syndrome, but not Maci. That ass…it’s something to grab hold of with both hands. It’s like a juicy pear. She makes me all hungry and horny and…shit. What was I sayin’? Hard-as-a-fucking-rock.
Forcing an image of Nero Mills through my head has my blood pressure spiking a whole different way, transferring my horny desire into full blown hatred and a hunger for bloodlust. I need that fucker dead.
Maci put up a good fight trying to keep her brothers’ noses clean. But in order to do that she needs to keep a roof over their heads. She works as the admin at an art and antique restoration company. She deals with all the paperwork and customers so that the conservators can repair and or restore what comes in. It’s a good job but it’s nine to five, so she can’t keep an eye on her brothers all the time.
She pays for everything for all of them and it’s a struggle for her. Using her struggle to his advantage, Nero has tried his hardest to come out on top. Meaning he gave the brothers money and expensive gifts behind Maci’s back trying to lure them into his lifestyle and evolving those boys into gang members.
There is no fucking way I am ever going to allow that shit to happen, not when I can do something about it. My VP’s Old Lady owns a fruit and veggie store in town. Even though she’s been known to gift Maci and the boys groceries, two of them decided to try and rob and trash the store. When Maud’s employee Eugene caught them, the call for assistance worked its way to me.
I was three minutes away when I got the call and was one of the first to get there when it happened. I saw two of Maci’s brothers on their knees, detained by Eugene. All signs were there that Nero put them up to it, as it was clearly written all over their faces. From the corner of my eye I caught movement behind the bushes near the store. When I took one step forward, I saw a third brother making a run for it.
Since I work out twice a day, I didn’t even have to put in an effort to grab Maximus by the shirt and push him down next to his two other brothers, Michael and Morgan. That’s when Maci got to the scene, the youngest brother trailing behind her. I’m sure it looked like I was assaulting her brother because she got right in my face about it.
And fuck. It was the second time we collided in an ‘in your face confrontation’. The first time we met? Corban and I went over to her house, coincidently also because of her brothers acting out at the store. We got physical, meaning I had a very hard time defending myself because this girl can fucking move. I might not be right in the head, because her punching my eye shut was a huge turn on.
As the president of Wicked Throttle MC, a motorcycle club that’s basically known for our claims, I am very aware of the fact that there’s an old legend of love and claiming at first sight. A Wicked Throttle heart connects only once and beats solely for that woman.
Either she knocked my brain into overdrive, or it’s the legend, or both for that matter, but since that day I’ve been sketching like never before. I’d been stuck for months but now the creativity is flowing freely, just like the craving to have her and make her mine.
A few weeks ago I would have laughed it off, all that love at first sight shit, but then I watched it happen to my VP, Corban. All this time I thought the legend was bullshit. Until I saw her. Maci. It was as if I could see and feel the bolt of electricity that sparked between us. Like we connected at first sight on a whole different level. There’s no way around the righteousness that flows through my veins when I’m near her, and yet…I’m not ready to surrender.
Because her being my Old Lady means pulling her into my world that’s filled with rough guys, and incidentally some serious fucked up shit. Being the president’s Old Lady isn’t a fluffy title; it demands a strong, stable, and reliable female that can live up to it. My gut tells me she fills the position to a T.
How come I’m not ready to claim her? Because if someone would come after the club, I would be putting her at risk. My heart feels like it’s ready to be torn out of my body at just the thought of her getting hurt.
Except, she’s already at risk due to this Nero fucker. He’s got the DEA so far up his ass, he’s either numb from the pain or the fucker is enjoying playing with them a little too much. Either way, I’ve got so many things going on that I need to divert what’s between Maci and me. Oh, and shall we add the fact that she seems to hate my guts? Remember her giving me a black eye the first time we met? Yeah, complicated is stating it kindly.
Beecher’s voice pushes me out of my thoughts. “How long do we need to put up with this? I don’t like sharing my room with a teenager. Or can I lock him up in the closet when I need to fu…”
“There will be no fucking around minors,” I snarl at the idiot.
Beecher glances over at Morgan then back at me. “It’s all part of educating them. You did bring them into our club. Taking them in means they’re gonna be prospects, and eventually they get patched in, right?”
Great. The four boys’ faces do a one-eighty, wide eyes and excitement radiates from their faces. Come to think of it, this might be just the thing to keep them straight. Give those little stray cats something to look forward to; a home, a family, a commitment.
“That’s only if they do their time and follow the rules,” I state.
It’s a give and take thing. I need for them to visualize a future and give them a promise to ensure it, leaving said future in their hands; making it their decision, their responsibility. Being responsible means making sure there is no one else to blame but yourself for the mistakes and sins you make in life. They need this and so does their sister. She’s done enough for them, now they need to step up and be there for themselves.
I rise and place my hands on the table in front of me. “Take a good look at the guy you’ve been partnered up with. That’s the one who will take action if you slip up. And believe me, you don’t want to test them if you’re not up for the consequences. Now, I’ve got…”
“You can’t leave my sister unprotected,” Michael snarls beside me.
I gotta appreciate the rebel in this one, especially since he reminds me of myself when I was that age. If only I had a sister like he does, or anyone else for that matter, who would have stepped up for me when I needed it back then.
Slowly, I guide my head to the left and stare him down. “We’ll either be living with her or she’ll be here too. I’m going to leave that choice to her.”
Michael snorts. “Seeing I owe you one tiny favor for stepping up for us, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret…you can never give my sister a choice. She hates it, and never gives someone else the pleasure of a choice either.”
“Noted,” I snap and turn my attention back to the table. “I’m going to head over to Maci’s house and get her up to speed. Ryland, take my truck and bring Michael over to his sister’s house when I send you a message. Make Nancy follow you in your SUV so you have a ride back.”
Ryland’s beard tips down a few times. “Sure thing, Prez.”
“Okay, that’s it for now. Oh, no wait…one more thing. Beecher, make sure the new prospects get their cut.” I slam a flat hand on the table. “I’ll be back tomorrow. Call if something’s up. Otherwise your VP will handle shit.”
Leaving church, I head for my room. I take out a large green backpack and stash a few changes of clothes in there. After that I add my pencils, a sketch pad, and my glasses. I only use those if I’ve got a headache, or if I’m fully consumed with sketching. When I’m about to leave, I see the youngest of the Meyer brothers standing in the doorway.
Marcus swallows before his eyes drop to the floor. “What’s going to happen now?” Worry is a loud presence in his timid whisper of words.
“Now we’re going to handle one thing at a time, prospect.” I make sure not to use his name, as a reminder he’s part of an MC where we look out for and take care of each other. “You and your brothers are under the protection of the club. It’s my job, and all of your new brothers’ to keep you guys safe. That extends to your sister. Your family just got a whole lot bigger.”
I tighten my grip on the backpack that’s slung over my shoulder, before I reach out and ruffle the kid’s hair. “Don’t overthink it. I stepped up because we all feel you guys deserve better. Together we’re gonna make damn sure nothing interferes with the chance at a good future for every single one of you.”
The kid sighs in relief and gives me a tiny smile. “Thank you.”
When I pass him to head for my bike, I hear his voice trailing after me. “Don’t let my sister’s mouth scare you off.”
I look over my shoulder and shoot him a wink. “I’m not easily scared, prospect,” I add, before I stroll out of the hallway, heading for my bike.
I’m about five minutes out from Maci’s house when my bike tells me to walk the rest of the way. I don’t know what the hell is wrong with it, but it’s now parked alongside the road, and there’s not a spark alive in the damn thing. I pull out my phone and message Barlow to come get the bike and get it fixed.
That leaves me to walk the rest of the way to Maci’s house. Walking up the driveway, I decide to go around back. I check my watch for the time. She got off from work over two hours ago and I’m hoping that she might be working out in the backyard. Her brothers told me that’s something she does a lot to blow off steam. With the confrontation she had with her brothers and the stress that goes with it? Yeah, I’m guessing she’s punching the bag. ‘Cause that’s exactly what I would do too.
Every house on the block has their backyard lined with a fence. Except hers. There’s nothing marking off her terrain. When I come near her yard, I see the path behind the property switch to grass. My blood boils when she comes into view. Maci is indeed punching the bag. Tight black shorts are molded on her toned body topped with a gray shorts bra. Her skin is glistening with sweat and her hair is bouncing in a ponytail high on her head.
“What the fuck?” I growl.
Her glove covered hand connects with the bag in a solid thud as she spins around at the sound of my voice. Maci’s gaze connects with mine for a few rapid breaths before she brings her right hand to her mouth and rips off the strap. Placing the glove between her arm and the side of her body, she rips it off before discarding the other one.
“Go away,” she grunts before she strides inside the house, clearly dismissing me.
I follow her inside and drop my backpack on the couch. She heads for what appears to be the kitchen. When I step inside, I feel the need to brace myself because she’s bent over with her head in the fridge. Dammit. Her tight ass is thrown back, just pulling my eyes in. All I need to do is slide that spandex down before I can bury…
Rapid knocks on the front door rip away my very vivid daydream, switching it into a new one when she turns around, giving me a view of her perfect rack that’s bundled tight in that sports bra. She strolls past me, ready to open the goddamn door wearing close to fucking nothing.
Ripping off my cut, the leather hits the floor at the same time I have the shirt I was wearing over my head and in my hand. I throw it over Maci’s head. She wrestles her arms through the holes because I don’t give her a chance to push it away. Cursing loud, she opens the door before checking the peephole. Lo and behold, it’s Nero himself standing on her fucking porch.
My fury seems to add to hers that was already running through her body. “Go away,” she seethes.
A chuckle slips from my mouth before I lean in next to her ear and murmur, “You greet everyone the same way?”
Maci doesn’t react to me, she only puts her hands on her hips. My chest is a few inches away from her back. I can basically lean my chin on the top of her head; she’s the perfect size woman for me.
Nero glances up and down, taking in the fact that it appears she’s only wearing my shirt while I’m standing behind her, bare chested.
His mouth pinches like he ate something sour. “Screwing around and rubbing it my face.” Nero shakes his head and his whole demeanor seems to suddenly morph, a smile taking root. “I’m going to forgive you for this tiny slipup, Maci. But you either kick him out, or I will.”
It takes only a split second before Maci’s head rears back and she glances over her shoulder at me. Her eyebrow raises as if she’s voicing my thoughts ‘Is he fucking kidding?’. Who the hell does this guy think he is? I’m about to sidestep Maci and throw this guy in the dirt, face first, before I kick the ever-loving-shit out of him.
Except I’m prevented from doing just that when I feel Maci’s hand on my chest. A jolt goes through my body as her fingers spread out, nails digging in. Fuck. That feels good.
“Okay, you know what?” Maci addresses Nero. She doesn’t even add something like ‘you have no right coming here’, nope, nothing else, before she pushes me back into the house with her and slams the door shut in his face.
I have to reign in my laughter at the way she just cut him off. It’s a fleeting feeling though. “You know that will only piss him off more, right? It’s bound to blow back. This guy is straight out of the loony bin, and comes with guns and the fucking DEA trailing behind him.”
I grab my phone and shoot a message to my VP, Corban. When my eyes leave the screen, I find Maci glaring at me.
“What are you doing here?” she snaps.
Ignoring her question, I decide to admire the vision before me some more. “You look good in my shirt.”
It’s a light gray T-shirt with the Wicked Throttle patch printed on the right breast and there’s a large version on the back.
“I know.” She glances down and takes the fabric that’s draped over both shoulders into her thumb and index finger, pulling it slightly up. Did she just sniff it? Fuck yeah, she did.
Her hands fall away. “That’s also the reason you’re not getting it back. Now, tell me why you’re here, so you can run along. I have things to do.” She waves her fingers dismissively in front of her while she strolls toward the kitchen.
Maci grabs a bottle of water, twists open the lid, and gulps it down. My eyes trail a drop of water that slips from her lips and finds its way down to her neck, going for her goddamn breasts. But I can’t see because it’s being absorbed by my shirt. Can someone be jealous of a shirt? Yes. The answer is hell yes, ‘cause I sure as fuck am.
I’ve still got my gaze pinned on her rack when I hear someone knocking on the door…again. Bet that Nero fucker is still standing on the porch. This time I’m faster than Maci. I grip the doorknob and swing it open, while my other hand tightens into a fist, ready to pounce.