Read Forging Steel (Steel Riders MC Book 3) Online
Authors: Carmen Faye
This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons--living or dead--is entirely coincidental.
Forging Steel copyright @ 2014 by Carmen Faye. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles or reviews.
Monday morning, the fifth Monday of rooming with Daphne, Cynthia’s fevered and agonized eyes were looking deeply into Daphne’s fevered and agonized eyes. Their foreheads came together and their legs gripped each other a little tighter. Breath, hot and hungry, heated each other’s panting breasts. The rhythm of her hand on her clit was now wild and fast, as was Daphne’s. Then Daphne’s body trembled in what was now a very familiar way, and Cyn’s body answered automatically. Their voices mixed together, climbing, rising toward anguish.
“Oh shit, Cyn!”
“Sweet fucking mercy!” Cyn cried in response.
Then orgasms took them both, convulsing hips and clenching abs, until the agony receded, leaving only the afterglow.
They rolled away from each other, breathing hard, and contemplated the nothingness between the bed and the ceiling. It was just past dawn, and the golden light coming in through the windows of the small apartment above the general store in downtown Lakeside was warm and promising.
After both had showered and dressed in over-sized t-shirts (Daphne’s pink and Cyn’s red), they made breakfast together: bagels and cream cheese with sausage cooked in the microwave. Hank would gag at the food they ate together, but this was a girl thing and he wasn’t allowed to join anyway.
Daphne’s cellphone rang at 7:30 with a ringtone that sent the long legs of the gorgeous blond skipping from the kitchen into the living room to answer. Cyn knew it was Boston — not just from the unique ringtone which Daphne had set to be his, but also the time. He was calling before he rode into work, another milepost in what had become a morning routine.
Cyn brought Daphne’s plate into the living room for her and then sat down at the little table. They had purchased it together two weeks ago and gotten rid of the old, rusty, worn table. Cyn took stock of Daphne’s apartment, and it was much more
now than it was hers and Derrick’s. Most of Derrick’s things were gone. They had been given away, or sold or trashed. There were three plants and a new coffee table in the living room, and the couch is new to them; it was a great deal they found at a yard sale, brown leather and overstuffed. Two Navajo rugs decorated the floors, which were clean, vacuumed, and nearly spotless due to the nervous energy fits Daphne still suffered from.
Cyn’s own place had been cleaned and set to rights from the blood and damage from the invasion, but she was still afraid to be there alone. She was thinking seriously of either moving Daphne in with her, or giving the place up. The odd days when Hank was around, they were always at his house anyway — he had a tub, after all.
She finished her breakfast and went into the kitchen. She washed her plate and set it in the rack. Daphne suddenly asked Boston on the phone, “Excuse me, but did you just ask me to be your
Cyn turned around at these words, her anger rising. Boston seemed like a really good guy, so what the fuck was this?
But then Daphne was laughing and telling him she was just teasing, and that yes, she would ride with him this weekend with the club.
Cyn relaxed and laughed at herself. How very protective she had become over this sister of hers.
Daphne’s call ended while Cyn was still in thought. Cyn was leaning back against the counter when Daphne sashayed in with her plate, looking so much better than she had a few weeks ago.
“About time he made a move,” Cyn told her with a smile. “Any longer and I was going to keep you for myself.”
Daphne stopped and her smile disappeared. “Please don’t tease me like that.”
“Cyn, I know that you aren’t serious and that you don’t get out of our togetherness what I get out of it. For you, it is just taking the edge off until Hank can rock your world again. I know that, and I accept that, alright? I’m so fucking grateful that you love me enough to stretch your boundaries a little for me. But…”
Daphne sighed. “It’s like your ghost stories. Remember what you told me about what Hank did to you that night? How it becomes so real for you. Your imagination is just too strong to be stimulated like that?”
“Yes, I remember,” Cyn said, paying close attention.
“Well, I can blink and see you and me living together ten years from now with perfect clarity. We have guys, but it’s you and me. And Cyn? It’s really good. And when I blink again to shoo it away, its leaving leaves a hurt in me, because I know that it’s never going to be like that. This is not going to last forever. So, please, it hurts when you tease like that. I’d be your bitch in a second if you asked. But you never will. And I’m very okay with that, really. I love you living here.”
Cyn stepped to her and pulled her into a loving embrace, then kissed her cheek and then her neck. “I am sorry for hurting you. I really am. But that vision isn’t so far off, you know. It’s always going to be—”
And then she remembered. No, it was not always going to be
her and Daphne
. Hank's hunt was coming to an end, and all the pieces were moving into alignment just as he had planned. He had been playing a deadly game for the riders, a very deadly game, that so far he was winning, even with his own brothers stabbing him in the back seemingly every chance they got.
In the end, though, after the endgame with Ruiz and his cartel, after he lowered the vengeance of the Steel Riders on the cartel for the vicious murders of Howey and Margaret, Hank had to die. He had to disappear. At that moment, she will have to choose whether to go with him or wait for awhile and maybe come later — but when would she be ready to leave Daphne?
All of this rushed into her heart, which pumped tears into her eyes. She tried to think of something to end the sentence with that wouldn’t be a lie, because she can’t give Daphne a lie after she bore into her heart like that.
And what the fuck had she been thinking? Just moments ago, she was thinking happy thoughts of them moving together into her cute little place in rural Lakeside and playing house together, with Hank just across the road. And how cool would that be?
Well, it would be very fucking cool if it was ever going to happen! But it’s not!
Daphne was looking at her. She had pulled back and was searching Cyn’s eyes. “What’s wrong?”
“I just got ambushed by a memory,” she tried.
“A bad one from the looks of it.”
“Yes and no,” she said, and wiped her eyes. “But the really fucked up thing about it is that I can’t talk about it. Hush hush, secret squirrel business from Knight.”
Daphne searched her eyes, and then, very calmly, said, “You’re going to leave me.”
Cyn looked at her, her mouth and brain aching for something to say, something to deny it with, but nothing was there except a big hole. She burst into tears and ran from the room. She fell into bed, sobbing.
Daphne came in and curled around her protectively, keeping the world at bay — now who is mothering who?
When Cyn calmed down, she turned and snuggled into Daphne.
Daphne asked, “Can you tell me when?”
“A month from now, two months from now, six months from now — does it matter? When would it be right? I want that ten-year vision too, or at least something close to it, something with you in it.”
Daphne ran her fingers through Cyn’s hair. “So, you wouldn’t even be coming back, then. Just, gone.” Her voice was hollow and empty. “Like, dead.”
“Oh god, Daphne! Please don’t think of it like that. Please!” Cyn cried and kissed her neck, then caressed her shoulders and hips.
“Hank’s doing this, isn’t he? Why can’t I have something without him fucking with it? Why? What have I done to him? What? Did I get drunk and offer him a blow job and didn’t pay up or something? What?”
“Oh god, Daphne, that is so fucking unfair!” Cyn burst out. “If you fucking
you would puke at how you are feeling right now,” she added with a snarl. She forcefully got out of bed, her eyes drying up fast.
“Knew what?” Daphne demanded, following her, her voice rising. “What could I possibly know that makes what he’s been doing
? Huh? He’s gone all the time. He rides without colors. Look at that fucking truck he has now! He’s selling us out! Everyone fucking knows it, too.”
Cyn slapped her.
Daphne fell back against the wall, wide-eyed and shocked.
“Listen to me, and listen good,” Cyn told her in a threatening voice. Daphne was unsure about Cyn’s sanity at the moment, so she listened. “Right now, right this fucking instant, Hank’s risking everything for this fucked up club that can’t wait to crucify him. One false step, one fucking whisper, and he dies. He’ll be murdered, and it won’t be fast, either. He hates that fucking truck, hates everything about that fucking truck! He would like nothing more than to take that truck to a chop shop and let them have it for free! You know what he sees every time he sees that truck? He sees me, raped, tortured, and dead in a pool of my own blood. That’s what he sees in that truck.”
“Oh god,” Daphne whispered. “You’re serious. That truck was your attackers’?”
Cyn suddenly realized that she had gone too far and said far too much. “Shit!” she spat, and stalked toward the kitchen.
“You can’t say any of that to anyone. Do you understand? Let them curse and witch-hunt and all that other fucking crap they are doing. Do not breathe a word of this to anyone, or Hank is dead. And so am I.”
“Those attackers weren’t random, Daphne. They knew exactly who they were after. If even a whisper of what Hank is doing reaches their ears, they’ll kill me in front of him, just to make sure he suffers as much as he can. That’s not a boast or a game, Daphne, that’s cold hard facts. So if you’re okay with me being raped and killed, spread the word.”
“Cyn! How can you even think that?!” Daphne cried. She fell on the couch, bawling.
“Ah, shit,” Cyn said, defeated, and came over to sit with her. “That was so fucked up to say to you. I’m so sorry. Want to slap me back? I deserve it.”
Daphne sobbed, “I love you Cyn. I did everything for you. I asked if he meant you too, and he laughed and said you were a whore and yes, you too.”
Cyn’s mind puzzled through Daphne’s words. She was stunned at what she came up with. Softly, she asked, “Daphne? Baby? What are you saying?”
Daphne stiffened, and a look of shock froze her face. Her voice was slow, barely there. “Oh god. Oh god. Oh dear god, no.”
“What is it?”
Daphne looked at her. “I can’t” she whimpered. “Oh, please, don’t leave me now! Don’t hate me!”
Cyn brought her into an embrace and rocked her. “It might hurt me, Daphne, but I won’t hate you. I’ll always love you. And I’m pretty sure of what you need to tell me already. Let it out, baby, let it out and we’ll deal with it. I promise I won’t leave you, not like this. Not ever like this.”
It took several false starts. The words choked her, and for a moment, Cyn was sure she’s going to puke on them.
“I did it,” she said in a hoarse voice.
“In the clearing. Derrick took you with him,” Cyn pressed gently.
Daphne shuddered. “You knew?”
“No,” Cyn told her in a soft voice, “not until you said what you said about doing it for me. But then all of the puzzle pieces Hank described about the crime scene made perfect sense. I still love you. I’m still not leaving you.”
“Are you going to tell the police?”
“Oh, fuck no. You saved my life. Hell, you saved the lives of most of the people in the club. On top of that, the man who attacked me was the man you would have met, and he would have killed you both. There is no doubt about that. Derrick was dead either way. The only one who had a chance of living was you, and you took it. I thank god you had the strength to do it, too.”