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Saving Scout (Charon MC, #5) by Khloe Wren (1)

Prologue

21st March 1992

Marie

As I fought and screamed at the two men who were trying to pin me down, I wondered why the hell I’d been so excited to come to this damn place. When Sarah had scored us an invite to a party at the infamous Iron Hammers MC clubhouse, we'd both thought we were so cool. At eighteen we were going to go have our first taste of adult freedom. No foster parents to stop us from having a drink, or anything else we wanted to do or try. Everyone knew you could get whatever you wanted at the Iron Hammers MC clubhouse.

It had all sounded so good in theory, but I should have known better than to believe it was going to be all sunshine and rainbows.

The moment I was on the ground, I was pinned down with my arms out flat. I felt the prick of a needle at my inner elbow, then everything went foggy on me. My limbs grew heavy, like someone had tied weights to my hands and feet... Why was I pissed off again? I couldn’t remember, but I knew I was angry for some reason. I frowned as I tried to figure out what had happened.

“Fuck, I hate the ones who fight. Put these two in the back of the room, they'll need a few doses before they'll be any good to fuck.”

Unable to make any sense of his words, I grinned up at him. Suddenly, I was feeling very friendly, but it seemed I couldn't talk. My dry mouth refused to move. Maybe I needed a drink. My gaze landed back on the man who'd spoken. He was kinda hot in a rough, biker way. I scrunched up my nose when he picked me up and I landed over his shoulder. He needed a shower, and I needed a bucket. At the first retch, he threw me down onto a mattress and rolled me to my side so my face was in a bucket. Eww. I hated being sick. Once I was done, he released me and I flopped back onto the mattress. I had a really good, happy, buzz going on, and I hoped it wasn’t going to fade anytime soon.

I was only kind of tracking what was going on around me when my shirt and bra were suddenly gone and rough hands began tugging at my bare breasts and nipples. At the jolts of pain I tried to push the hands away. It was interrupting my high, but my arms were so heavy I couldn't be sure I managed to move them, especially with the way my eyes were playing tricks on me. A deep chuckle filled my ears, too loud. I winced and groaned as I rolled away.

“Yeah, another shot or two and you'll be so much more fun, bitch. I'm looking forward to breaking you in.”

His words floated in and out of my haze-filled mind but I didn't really understand them. Nothing mattered. Only this blissful happy place I was in, that I could enjoy now he’d quit hurting me.

Sometime later, my brain started to track what was going on around me. Grunts and groans of men having sex filled the room along with feminine whimpers. Where was I? What the fuck had happened? Carefully, I opened my eyes and when all I saw was blank wall, I rolled so I faced the other way. I bit my cheek to stop myself from reacting, from crying out at what I saw. Sarah was beside me and we were at the back of a small room. Between us and the door were about half a dozen other women. No, these were not women, but girls. Fuck, every female in this room looked to be around my age. And all of them were at least partially naked. One girl near the side wall was groaning and thrashing her head. A man came over to her and made short work of jabbing a needle into her arm. Once the girl relaxed, he tossed the needle into a bucket before going for his pants. I watched in horror as he pulled his stiff dick out, and lifting one of the girl’s legs, he thrust in and began to fuck her. A glance around the room showed three other men fucking equally unresponsive girls. Bile rose up my throat and I closed my eyes against it, focusing on swallowing it down. Someone took my hand and squeezed it. I opened my eyes to see Sarah's scared face. Fuck. We had to be smart to get out of this.

“Pretend to still be high.”

I mouthed the words to her and she gave me a nod, before she released my hand. I forced myself to look relaxed. I half closed my eyes and smiled just a little, hoping like hell I looked like I was blissed out. I didn't want them to drug me again. I also fought the urge to pull my shirt closed. It had been ripped up the center and my bra had been opened. It had a front clasp so I hoped it was just open and not broken. If we did get out of here, it would be nice to not have to walk home with my boobs out. Thankfully my pants were on and intact. I just needed to suck it up and accept that for the moment, my boobs were on display. Whenever one of the men glanced our way, we'd hum and grin a little wider. Relief washed over me when they made comments about us being lightweights and that they’d deal with us later.

We kept our act up, eventually feigning sleep as we listened to the endless rapes that went on around us. There were two other girls at the back of the room with us. When they'd each woken, they'd cried out for help. The help they got was another dose of drugs and more of their clothing removed. Part of me couldn't believe they were falling for my and Sarah's act but I guess with so many girls in the room, they either didn't care or weren't keeping track of which girls had been drugged when. From what I could tell, the men delivered the drugs on an as-needed basis. No one was writing anything down or looking at watches.

Eventually the room grew quiet, and the lights were turned off, save one small lamp in the corner. Well, it was quiet of male voices. The other girls still moaned and groaned... and threw up. But after a while it became clear we'd been left to our own devices for the night―or morning. I had no idea what time it was and this room had no windows. Locking my gaze with Sarah’s, I reached for my bra and fastened it back up before I took hold of her hand and gave it a squeeze.

“We need to get out of here. Are you able to move?”

I wasn't sure what they'd given us, I guessed heroin. I'd never had it before so wasn't sure what to expect as far as what happens when you come down off it. I felt a little foggy in my head, but physically I seemed okay. I wouldn't know for sure until I tried to stand up, but I knew better than to even try that while there were still bikers in the room.

“Yep, arms and legs all move. Let's get out of here. Do we try to take the others with us?”

I shook my head. “I wish we could, but they're all too drugged up. We'd just end up all getting caught. No, it's better if just us two escape. We can let the cops know what's going on and they can come save the others.”

In the dim light I saw Sarah nod and take a deep breath. Still holding hands, we rose slowly from our mattresses and began to move around the other girls. I tried to not look at them, their faces and bodies. The smell was bad enough. I knew if we did manage to make it out of this hell-hole, I was going to be having nightmares for a very long time.

By the time we made it to the closed door, my stomach was churning and bile was rising up my throat. I couldn't hold it back. Thankfully, there were several buckets around the room for just that purpose so I leaned over and retched into one of them. I felt like shit. I leaned against the wall for a moment and Sarah rubbed a hand over my back.

“We need to keep moving. We can't get caught.”

She didn't need to say that someone might have heard me retching and be on their way to drug me. I gave her a nod and forced myself to get moving. Taking the lead, I slowly opened the door and peeked out. The hallway looked clear and the whole place seemed quiet. We both slipped out and Sarah shut the door, cutting off the moans and groans. The silence was almost spooky, but neither of us stopped to think about it. On light feet, we dashed toward the front of the building. We passed several sleeping men and a few women on our way, but no one stirred awake to catch us as we made our way out the front door and away.

Without releasing my hold on Sarah's hand, I patted my pockets. The cash I'd stuffed in my back pocket was still there, and my house keys were in the front pocket. Maybe we'd get lucky and find a cab.

Twenty minutes later, because the clubhouse was way out of town, we finally made it home. Unlocking the front door of the dark house, I slipped through first, tugging Sarah along with me.

“And where in the hell have you two been?”

I froze on the spot. Dammit, our foster father had stayed up waiting for us. I couldn't think of a lie that would get us out of trouble, and clearly neither could Sarah as she began stammering about what had happened. It took her a good ten minutes to get her story out as she stood behind me, pressed up against my back. I tried to see our foster father's face, to gauge his reaction, but the room was too dim. When Sarah finished, the room fell into silence.

I held my breath, unsure what his reaction would be. I'd had been living here since I was a toddler. Sarah had come to live here when she was ten. Ron and Sue had always taken care of us, and when we aged out of the system, they didn't boot us to the curb like many foster families did to their kids. However, we'd seriously pushed our luck tonight. Which is something neither of us had ever done before, so I had no idea what his reaction would be.

Slowly he moved toward the wall where he flipped the light switch on. Then he ran his gaze over us.

“You should have told me your plans. I could have told you what would have happened, could have warned you. Are you sure no one saw you leave?”

Sarah buried her face against my back. She was shorter than me, so I felt her tears wet the back of my shirt.

“I'm sure. They would have stopped us if they'd seen us outside. We were on foot, it wouldn't have been hard for them to pick us up.” I paused to clear my throat. “We got lucky.”

“Damn straight you did.” He paused to rub his hands over his face. “This isn't good, girls. The Iron Hammers won't just let you two go. If they see you in the street, they'll grab you. If you try to go to the cops about the other girls, you'll end up back there. You're both young, you don't understand how this town works yet. But the Iron Hammers own this town. We tried to shelter you two from it, thought we were doing the right thing. Guess not. I should have told you what they do, how they have cops in their pocket. The way runaway girls disappear.”

The longer Ron spoke, the more lightheaded I felt. I still had Sarah's hand in mine and I clung tightly to her. We were so screwed.

“What can we do? I don't want to ever go back to that place. Be used like those other girls are.”

With a shake of his head, Ron came over to us and pulled us to him for a hug.

“Ah, my dear girls, there is only one place you can go I'm afraid. And we can't wait. You both need to go shower, change and pack your bags. I'll get the car ready to take you.”

“Where?”

I needed to know where we were going, even though I knew I wouldn't know where it was. I'd never left the Galveston area my whole life. Never needed, or wanted, to.

“Bridgewater. It’s about an hour northeast from here. The Charon MC runs that town and they are the only ones that can keep you two safe. I've met a couple of them in my travels before. Good men, a little rough around the edges, but they're good men. They won't do to you what the Hammers will.”

My tears started to flow as I led Sarah back to our rooms. How the hell had a simple night out ended in such turmoil? For the sake of a little rebellious fun, we'd both just lost everything.

Except each other. We'd always have each other. We might not be blood sisters, but over the past eight years, we'd bonded as though we were.

Scout

While it wasn't unheard of to have someone knocking at my door at five in the morning, it wasn't exactly the norm. So on my way to answer it, I grabbed my gun and checked it as I walked. A peek through the keyhole had me lowering the weapon and opening the door.

“Hey, Ron, what's going on?”

Ron was a bank manager working down in Galveston now, but he'd been at the bank here in Bridgewater for years before he transferred down there. He'd always taken good care of me, as he had my folks before they’d moved to Florida when they’d retired. If I recalled correctly, he used to commute up from Galveston each day so it had made sense when he took a job closer to home. None of that helped clue me in as to why the fuck he was standing on my porch with two girls looking scared out of their minds at five in the fucking morning, though.

“Can we come in? I need your help.”

With a nod, I moved to allow the three of them to enter my home. I was still getting used to this big old house being mine. I'd come home after leaving the USMC last year and my folks had promptly told me now I was back, I could take over the shop and they were retiring down to Florida. Suddenly, I'd found myself with a bike shop to run and a big old house to take care of. So far it was working out all right, except for this house that felt so empty with just me rattling around in it. It was also handy that I liked bikes, liked them so much I was part of the local motorcycle club, the Charon MC. I'd prospected in when I'd turned eighteen, and now nine years later, which had included my four year stint in the USMC, I was an enforcer for the club and was working my way to hopefully one day becoming president.

Flicking on the safety, I tucked my gun into the back of my pants as I led my unexpected guests into the kitchen where Ron ushered the girls to sit at my table before he stood behind them. The pair sure were pretty. One blonde, one brunette. The blonde seemed rather subdued, as though life had kicked the shit out of her and she wasn't sure if it was worth the effort to keep going. The brunette on the other hand, she was a fighter and had caught my attention from the moment I'd looked into her eyes when she’d walked into my house. Her chin was up and she had her jaw clenched. I could tell from her eyes that she'd been crying recently, but her gaze had a glint to it that said she was not going to lie down and take whatever the fuck it was that had just landed in her lap.

“So, Ron, care to tell me what has you in my home at five in the morning with two pretty girls in tow?”

“These are my foster daughters, Sarah” he nodded to the blonde, “and Marie.” He nodded at the brunette. “And they screwed up last night. Bad.”

I ran my gaze over the pair again. I doubted either of them were over twenty-one. “They don't look old enough to have fucked up enough that you need my help. What happened?”

“The Iron Hammers.”

I groaned at those three words. The Iron Hammers MC were a bastard of a club that ran out of Galveston, and they were the type of club that gave MCs a shitty rep. I could only imagine what the girls had been through with them. I focused on the two, zeroing in on the brunette, Marie.

“What'd you do?”

“Ah, we got invited out to a party at their clubhouse. Soon after we arrived, we got cornered. Um, they held us down to drug us up.” She cleared her throat. “We managed to escape later, after they'd all passed out. Dad says we can't stay in town now, that they'll come for us if we do.”

I wasn't fucking born yesterday. I knew there was a whole lot more to that story than what she was telling me. But they both looked like they'd been through enough already and Ron was right. They couldn't stay in Galveston, the Hammers would find them.

“He's right. It's no longer safe for you to be anywhere near the Iron Hammers. Good news is your pops here knew where it would be safe for you. Those fuckers won't step foot in Bridgewater. You'll be safe here. And you can live here with me until you find your feet. My folks moved out and left me this huge fucking house to live in. If the pair of you help me keep it clean and tidy, maybe cook a meal or two for me, we'll call it even. Two things I need to know― do the Hammers know your names and do either of you have jobs?”

“We didn't have ID with us, and they never asked our names. And I'm a waitress at a small family-owned diner in the center of town and Sarah's a cashier at Kroger.”

At least they wouldn't need new IDs. That made things simpler. I ran a palm over my head, trying to think of work options.

“I'm not sure what we can offer you for work. I'll have a chat with my prez in a couple hours and see what we can come up with to fit your skills.”

Ron moved from where he stood behind the girls toward me.

“Thank you for this, and you let me know if they need anything at all.”

I took the business card he held out. I could see in his expression this was breaking his heart. These girls might be foster and not his by blood, but he clearly loved them and to have to send them away like this was tearing him up.

“I promise I'll take good care of them for you. You did the right thing getting them out of Galveston immediately.”

He nodded, then cleared his throat. “They've got a few bags in the car. I'll just go grab them, then I need to head back to Sue. She's a mess over all this.”

“I'll come give you a hand. Girls? Stay in the house.”

I doubted the Iron Hammers had followed their vehicle, but it was always better to be safe than sorry. That, and I wouldn't mind a couple minutes alone with Ron. As I closed the door behind me and followed him to his car, I spoke up.

“You and Sue are welcome to come visit whenever you like. It's not safe for the girls to go back to Galveston, but considering the Hammers don't know who the girls are, you and Sue should be safe enough to come and visit.”

He nodded absently as he opened the trunk and leaned in to grab one of the bags inside.

“They're good girls. Both of them. They've never caused us any trouble.”

“Until now.”

He chuffed a laugh as he handed me a suitcase.

“Yeah. Until now.”

A thought occurred to me. Neither had mentioned school when I'd asked about employment, but just because they weren't at school didn't mean they were over eighteen.

“How old are they? Are they’re adults? I don't want to get accused of kidnapping or some shit with this.”

“Yes, they're legally adults. Both have had their eighteenth birthdays in the last six months. You won't get in any trouble with the authorities for having them in your home.”

That was a relief. I was more than happy to help out Ron with this shit, but it was a fucking relief I could do it legally.

After we both loaded up with their bags, we headed back inside. I called out as we passed the kitchen.

“C'mon, girls. I'll show you your new rooms.”

Thankfully, my folks had left a lot of their furniture behind so the spare bedrooms had beds and wardrobes in them. The girls and Ron followed me as I led the way toward the back of the house. The two guest rooms were separated by a bathroom, and I showed them all three rooms.

“Pick whichever room you like. Take your time getting settled in and maybe try to catch some shuteye. You've had a shit night by the sounds of things. I need to head over to the shop in a couple of hours, but I'll drop back for lunch and we'll chat some more then about what's gonna happen from here on out. Okay?”

They both nodded, but before they could even enter a room, Ron spoke up that he needed to head off, so we all followed him to the front of the house. Both Sarah and Marie were crying when they hugged the man. I shook his hand then he was gone. And I had two new housemates. Including one that had my cock twitching for her. Fuck.

“Will we have a say in what we're gonna do for work?”

Marie had wiped the tears from her face and was glaring at me like I was going to suggest she eat nails or something.

“You're both adults and are free to live however you like. However, Ron was right when he said that you can't stay in Galveston. Unless you want to end up with the Hammers?”

I cocked a brow as the color drained from both their faces.

“Yeah, didn't think so. The only reason I'm suggesting I ask my prez about work is to make your move here easier. If you gotta go through interviews and shit, without references, it could take you a long fucking time to find something. Ron brought you here so I could keep you protected and take care of you both. Let me do what I just promised I would.”

“Thank you.”

They both whispered the words at the same time.

“You're welcome. We've all made shitty choices in life. I'm just glad you both got out of that shit hole in one piece. Now, go on back and pick a room and settle in for a nap. I'm gonna go get ready for work and head out. I'll bring some food back with me for lunch so you don't need to worry about making anything.”

I stayed standing in my hallway, hands on my hips as I watched them walk back to their rooms. My gaze lowered to Marie's ass as it swayed with her movements, and my cock hardened and throbbed for some attention. With a shake of my head I made my way to my own room. She was nine fucking years younger than me. And about as innocent as you could get. No way would she ever want some fucked up veteran like me. I needed to keep my hands off, and hopefully before too long both girls would have jobs and move out into their own places. Remove the temptation so I wouldn’t cave and go after what I shouldn't want.