The brother known as Hound has a reputation. He"s all about cracking heads, having a good time, and when the Chaos Motorcycle Club needs someone to do the tough job, they call on him.
But Hound has a secret. He fell in love with a woman years ago. She"s untouchable. Unattainable. And even when her status changes, for Hound, it remains the same.
Keely Black had it all early and lost it all not long after. Thrown into an abyss of loss and grief, she"s faced a life of raising two sons alone and battling the rage at all that had been ripped from them.
Words spoken in anger open Hound"s and Keely"s eyes. For Hound, he sees he"s wasted his life loving the wrong woman. Keely sees she"s wasting her life not opening herself to the love of a good man.Books by Author:Kristen Ashley Books
You"ll Never Be Alone
Seventeen years ago . . .
"Do you have anything to say""
Hound stood in the line with his brothers of the Chaos Motorcycle Club, staring at the man kneeling before them, waiting for him to say something just so they could end this.
There were four drums of fire dancing at the corners of the grouping. Outside of the moon, that fire was the only thing lighting the clearing. It danced on the man in front of them and on the pine trees surrounding him.
There was nothing but nature out there for miles all around.
And no sound but the fire crackling and the men who were talking.
"Go fuck yourself," the man on his knees spat, literally. The words coming out of his mouth included spittle that Hound could see, even by firelight, was tinted with blood.
His face was a mangled mess because he"d been held with his arms behind his back while each brother took a one-two punch, every one of them packed with power, all the power they could muster.
And with their motivation, they"d each been able to pack a lot of power.
Hound was the only one who"d snuck in a third punch, right to the kidneys.
It was the first but not the last time the man had chucked up blood.
His eyes were swelling shut, his mouth dripping blood, the flesh on his cheeks opened up.
His condition meant he was listing. On his knees because he was forced there, keeping his position probably because he didn"t have the strength to get up.
This wasn"t about the beating he"d taken from his ex-brothers.
It was that he"d taken the slice of each brother"s blade carved deep through his back.
This was Tack"s idea, and Hound and every brother that stood with him supported it.
It was about obliterating their mark on his back that claimed him brother.
In the rare event a man renounced the Club, he blacked out the Chaos tattoo inked on his back.
If a man played traitor to the brotherhood, by the brothers" hands that tat would be scorched off.
This man in front of them had not renounced the Club.
He had not simply played traitor to it.
He"d betrayed it in a way none of them would have expected.
A way none of them could allow to go unavenged.
He"d stabbed a brother in the back, figuratively.
But that brother was gone all the same, because the man right there on his knees had ordered the hit.
Therefore he"d taken their blades for two reasons.
An eye for Chaos was not for an eye.
It was for your pound of flesh.
Stab Chaos in the back, that"s returned.
And then some.
The man kneeling before Hound and all the brothers of the Chaos MC now had a mangled face and a back that was nothing but opened pulp of bloody flesh.
And very soon he would be what he"d made Black.
Hound shifted on his feet, impatient, when their new president, Tack, pushed, "That"s all you got to say""
"Suck my dick," the man on his knees replied.
He was known as Crank.
He"d been their president. Their leader. The man who had sworn to honor his brothers. Respect them above all else.
Protect them, even if it meant giving his life to do it.
And for his own greed and pride, not one fucking thing to do with the brotherhood, he"d brought Black low.
Hound"s eyes shifted to Tack as he moved closer to Crank.
"You were Chaos, we were you," Tack said quietly.
It took some effort, but Crank hocked up a loogie and spat it at Tack"s boots. It didn"t hit its mark but it said what he wanted to say.
Hound shifted impatiently again, feeling his jaw tighten.
"You were Black, he was you," Tack continued, speaking low.
Hound felt that in his throat and swallowed hard to wash it away.
"Fuck you," Crank whispered.
"You ordered your own death by ordering his," Tack told him something he had to know, but even if they hadn"t made that clear in the proceedings, he knew it before.
What he did could not stand.
Not even out there in the other world, the world not owned and run by Chaos.
But in their world, retribution for what he did was not swift and it had only one end.
"Motherfucker," Crank hissed. "You killed Black, and you fucking know it."
Hound growled, his eyes cutting to Tack to see his jaw go hard, which meant his brother took that in.
All the boys started to get restless.
"Order the fire!" Hound bellowed.
"You"ve been gagging for the gavel since you were a recruit," Crank bit off to Tack. "It was you that put Black where he is."
"We are not what you made us," Tack replied.
"We"re outlaws," Crank shot back.
"We are not what you made us," Tack returned.
Crank swung his torso back and asked sarcastically, "Yeah, right, so I"m gonna walk away from this""
"No. You. Are. Not," Tack stated deliberately, his face changing from pensive to hostile. "Because we"re," he leaned in toward Crank, "outlaws. But we"re also," he leaned farther forward, "brothers." He leaned back and took a step away, ordering, "Get to your feet."