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Duke (Fallen MC, #1)
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Nicole’s life had never been easy. It was a mess. It doesn’t help that her Father uses her as a bargaining chip in his illegal deals. Now, she finds herself as collateral for the Fallen Motorcycle Club and in more danger than ever before. Will she ever catch a break and finally get the happy ever after she’s always dreamed of?
Duke is the VP for Fallen MC. His life is the club and he likes it that way. His brothers and his bike are all he will ever need. Women come to him easily and he likes variety. He’s got no intention of changing anything until the new collateral, a dark haired beauty, takes up residence in the compound.
Stand-alone read. For ages 18+ Contains violence and sexual content.
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Nicole woke, drowsy with her shoulders aching. Her eyes were heavy and her mind was foggy like she had the flu. She was totally disorientated. She recognised the feeling. It wasn’t the first time she woke feeling like this. These numb, achy and bruised sensations marring her body were not alien to her. Nicole knew with certainty that she’d been drugged, the question swirling in her mind was why this time?
Trying to clear her head, she took a deep, cleansing breath only to be assaulted by the smell of smoke and mould in her airway. Well, she could rule out being at home in her rinky dink apartment then. A flash of a program she’d watched recently on the Crime and Investigation channel came to her. She was sure there was a warning about not allowing yourself to be moved to a secondary location or you’d be up shit creek without a paddle. She couldn’t remember if she’d fought or not. Hopefully, she’d managed to at least kick a few asses before whoever had her put her down.
She took stock of her body next. She was sat upright in what felt like a metal chair, her arms restrained behind her back with handcuffs securing her wrists. Her ass ached so she’d obviously been here awhile. Would have killed them to have put a cushion under her? Keeping her mind calm and far away from the encroaching panic as possible, she made sure not to move even though she was desperate to. Part of her brain was pushing at her to scream, thrash and cry with the injustice of it all but she kept reminding herself to play it cool. It would be just another crook, just another deal gone awry, nothing she hadn’t dealt with before. She had to get her mind set right before she revealed her wakefulness.
She longed to lift her arms skyward and do a full body stretch like she did every morning when she got out of bed. Then switch on her ancient TV, snuggle into her threadbare couch with a milky coffee and if she had the opportunity she would casually punch her Dad in the eye. This wasn’t her first rodeo with her Dad’s ‘associates.’ She wished this was the first time she’d found herself this way but she didn’t have that kind of luck. No luck at all if truth be told.
This had been a part of her life, on and off, since the day before her seventh birthday. She remembered walking by herself to school and a large, white truck pulling up beside her. The driver rolled down the window and asked her name. She didn’t answer – the week before Officer Hodds had been in her classroom talking about ‘stranger danger’. The man got out of the truck and she’d tried to run as fast as she could, just like Officer Hodds had told her to, but she only got a few feet away before he grabbed her. She screamed as loud as she could but a sudden pain in her head stopped her and she blacked out. She awoke terrified and crying for her Daddy until her captors silenced her again with a hard slap to the face. After that her tears stayed silent. Fear always came but she never let it turn into fright. Fear made her wary, fright made her rash and unstable. She had no control in this situation so she had to have control of herself.
Nicole forced herself back from her memories to the here and now when she heard a door click open and became aware of heavy shuffling feet and murmurs. She tried distinguishing how many people were with her by listening for different voices and which directions they were coming from. The more she could find out now while they believed her to be unconscious would make it easier to get a handle on the situation when it came to a head. Unable to glean much, she squinted her eyes open trying to see through the base of her lashes. This didn’t help. There was only a dim, single lightbulb hanging above her. It was the only source of light in the entire room and cast everything but herself in shadow. She let her eyes open fully, there was no point in delaying the inevitable anymore.
A large man walked into the light and the room instantly quieted. Nicole wished she could rub her eyes to clear them. Trying to focus, she concentrated on his face to see if she recognised him. She knew whoever he was, he’d be the boss; there was never a second chance at a first impression. It was always the same. The guy who she’d be dealing with would be the first to confront her.
He was certainly imposing just by his sheer height. She looked further up towards his face and her neck cracked. Yep, she’d definitely been here a while. His expression was menacing yet his features had been softened with age. He looked about fifty years old, if he was younger he’d definitely lived a hard life. He had short salt and pepper hair and brown eyes and a thick scar that ran from the corner of his eye diagonally to his neck. It pulled at his skin, distorting his cheek. This was his defining mark and although they’d never met, she knew instantly who he was. He was known as Reaper and he was the President of Fallen MC. Nicole knew instantly she’d have to show strength and respect. Bikers didn’t respond well to weakness, she’d be chewed up and spat out by the club if she gave them a chance.
“Hey bitch, you with us?” He had a gruff voice that sounded like a boom in this silence of the room.
She forced her eyes to properly focus and met his stare. She wasn’t submissive in nature and by holding his look and giving him a respectful reply, she would show that. This way the brothers knew not to try to take advantage of a weak personality suddenly in their midst. She knew her place but wouldn’t be pushed around. Her tongue was so dry it felt stuck to the roof of her mouth. She’d really like a drink before she spoke but that wasn’t going to happen.