Authors: Jenika Snow
Tags: #Romance, #erotica
Adrianna jolted up with a start. Her heart raced, sweat dotted her forehead, and she couldn’t catch her breath. The dream that had woken her had been horrible, because it had been too real. In fact, it had felt like she was still living it, like she was back at Phillip’s house, fighting for her life, yet knowing she was going to die. But then she had seen that razor blade go into his neck, felt the gush of sickening warm blood cover her, and then fled because she hadn’t been able to stand the sight of him dying at her feet. She rubbed her hands over her face, felt the sweat that coated her skin, and breathed out. Dropping her hands to the bed she was on, she looked around. Everything was still so fresh in her mind concerning Phillip, but after that everything was a slight blur. She remember leaving his house, of the rain coming down fast and hard over her, and then of seeing a man standing there watching her. The man’s face eluded her, but she remembered his presence, and this sense of danger, but also protection that came from him.
Her face throbbed, her ribs ached, and her feet stung. After pushing away the blanket that covered her, she glanced down at herself. Her clothing was still a little damp, and she was at least thankful that whoever had taken her to this place had at least kept her clothing on. She had a few bruises on her legs, and a look at her feet showed that the bottoms of them were pretty torn up. She grabbed the edge of her shirt and looked at her side, and a nasty bruise covered her ribs. Adrianna knew her face was probably one ugly sight given how painful it felt. Looking around the room didn’t help her in gauging where she was, but she didn’t feel fear from being at this unusual place. At least that was something to help somewhat ease her already rampant emotions. The room she was in was pretty basic.
There was the two person bed she was currently on, a small scarred and old looking desk and chair in the corner, a dresser that also looked like it had seen better days, and a few posters that showed motorcycles and half naked women on them.
She shifted on the bed
, and her bare toes touched the cold floor. It would hurt like a bitch to walk, but she couldn’t stay in bed when she didn’t even know where she was. A glance over her shoulder showed a small window and the darkness that still covered the sky. She needed to get to the bank, withdraw what she had, and then get as far from Fairview as she could. But she hurt pretty badly, and every little move she did had her muscles screaming. There were loud, deep voices right outside of the closed door, but they were too muffled for her to tell what was being said. She braced her hands on the mattress and pushed up so she was standing. The pain was excruciating, but she gritted her teeth and pressed through it. Grabbing the thin blanket that had been covering her, she wrapped it around herself and glanced to her left. There was a partially opened door, and she could see the edge of a toilet right inside. Walking caused even more pain to radiate all the way up her legs, but when she was finally in the bathroom she braced her hands on the counter. With the light now on she stared at herself in the mirror and grimaced. One side of her face was slightly swollen, and a nasty purple bruise was already forming. Her lip was busted, and there was some dried blood on her chin. After turning on the faucet and washing off the copper colored smear, she turned and grabbed the small hand towel that hung on the rack.
When she heard the knock at the bedroom door everything in her stilled. She didn’t move
for a few seconds, but then leaned to the side slightly so she could see into the bedroom and at the front door. It was pushed open a second later, and she saw a woman come in with a set of clothing, and a bowl on top of that. The woman stopped when she saw the bed empty, and then she glanced around the room.
“Hello?” She moved closer to the bathroom and smiled when she saw Adrianna. The woman had
to be in her early thirties, and her clothing suggested she might have been a stripper. “I’m Pam.” She held out the stack of clothes and bowl she held. “I was told to bring this to you.” When Adrianna didn’t answer right away the woman looked at the bed. “I’ll just set these things here. I know the doctor was going to come in and check you out once you were awake.”
Adrianna swallowed and moved out of the bathroom, but couldn’t help but wince with every step she took.
The woman didn’t cause any red flag to rise inside of Adrianna.
“You need to sit down and have Doc Harley check on your feet.” The woman glanced at her face very intently. “And other parts of you.” She gestured toward the bed once more. “It’s okay.
You’re safe here.”
Before Adrianna could say anything the woman was walking
back toward the door. Adrianna wasn’t going to sit and wait, and instead followed after her as quickly as she could. The woman had left the door ajar, and when Adrianna pulled it open the rest of the way and leaned out so she could see outside she saw a long hallway that opened up into some kind of great room. She couldn’t see anyone, but the voices were even louder now that there weren’t any walls closing the noise off. She tightened the blanket around her and moved down the hallway Adrenaline pumped through her veins and dulled some of the pain in her body. Adrianna knew she should be afraid, but she reasoned that surely if they meant to harm her they could have done it already. Besides, she had nowhere else to go, and had no one else to help her. She needed to trust someone, right? She heard the woman start to speak to someone just around the corner, and all other noise seemed to cease. No one spoke once the woman was finished talking, but then there was the sound of several chairs scraping across the floor. Adrianna stopped, her heart now in her throat, and her hands feeling as though she was going to rip through the blanket for how tightly she held it.
As if her body was working without her
control, she took a step back, and then another one when she saw three men round the corner. They stopped when they saw her, and although she felt lightheaded, as if she might pass out, Adrianna did not meet the floor. She drew upon her reserve of strength and pressed forward. Instead, she looked into the almost savage face of the biker that was in front of the other two. She could see other men move behind the bikers currently blocking her only way out, but for some reason she didn’t feel fear, like she assumed she would have. She was apprehensive, and of course endorphins pumped through her body as she tensed, but that was a natural and automatic reaction. The man in front, only a few feet from her, was possibly the biggest guy she had ever seen. He wore one of those leather vests that she had seen the local biker gang have on when they rode through town. The patch on his left side stated he was the Sergeant at Arms, whatever that meant. She didn’t know him, but what she did know was that he was dangerous. That she knew without a doubt.
He took a step closer
, and she moved one back. When he held up a hand, almost in a nonthreatening manner, she stopped. “Easy now. You’re safe here.”
His voice was so deep that a slight shiver worked its way through her body. She glanced over his impossibly wide shoulders and saw there were now five men standing behind him. They all watched her with this hard composure that didn’t give anything away, and when she glanced back at the biker right in front of her it was to see he wore the same stoic expression.
“What’s your name?” His voice was deep and low. He might be trying to appear nonthreatening, but given his size and the fierce look on his face, it just wasn’t working for him.
He had to be at least a foot taller than her
five-foot-three frame, and the muscle he was packing under the leather, cotton, and denim had her throat tightening. God, the size of his hands alone had her thinking that he would have no problem crushing whatever was in that massive grasp. His arms, holy hell, his arms were thickly corded with muscles, too. And why was she checking him out like this?
he asked again.
She snapped her gaze up to his face, one that had dark, trimmed scruff covering his jaw, and looked into his eyes. Even from where she stood she could see that his eyes were this odd shade of grey. “
Adrianna Carmine.” She breathed out and then licked her lips. She saw him run his gaze down the length of her body, stop when he got to her feet, and he stared at them for a suspended second. “Who are you?”
him several seconds to answer her, and the longer he stood there staring at her, the more nervous she became. “Malice.”
What kind of name was that? He must have seen the confused look on her face because he answered her unspoken question.
“Trevor Mason, but I go by Malice.”
Adrianna didn’t want to know how he could get a nickname like that, because it seemed violent and dangerous, and implied he probably had done some pretty bad things. She nodded and licked her lips again.
“You’re going to cause more harm than what has already been done.”
Before she could respond he was right in front of her. She had to crane her neck back just to look in his face, and the scent of leather and something dark and spicy filled her nose. Her heart was beating this fast and hard rhythm at having him so close, but for some reason she couldn’t move away. And then he had her in his arms as if she didn’t weight anything at all, and was striding back into the room she had just come from. She should have kicked and screamed for him to let her go, but all she could do was stare at his face and keep her mouth shut. She hated that he had this strange control over her, but she also couldn’t deny the instant relief she felt now that she was no longer standing.
“Marx, send the doc in.” He called over his shoulder
without missing a stride. Once back in the room he set her on the edge of the bed and took a step back. He was staring at her face, and she noticed he seemed very tense. Another man came in a minute later carrying a black nylon bag. He didn’t look much older than thirty, and although they hadn’t said who he was, Adrianna knew he was the doctor. He was too clean cut to be in this biker club; that much was clear by his button down oxford that was this weird shade of green, his cream colored Dockers, and his brown leather penny loafers. He looked like he should be teaching in a university, or giving consultations behind his desk. What he didn’t look like he should be doing was hanging out with a bunch of these rough and tough motorcycle men that were twice his size.
“Hi there. I’m Preston.” He grabbed a chair that one of the other guys handed him, and set it down in front of her. “Could you help hold up her leg
?” He spoke to Malice, and the biker was down on his haunches and holding her leg up a second later.
The feel of his big, calloused hand wrapped loosely around her ankle shouldn’t have had her feeling
this weird kind of nervousness. Adrianna couldn’t help but stare at the long, strong length of his fingers, at how her leg looked so small in his hold, and how she had never thought that part of her body—or any part for that matter—could be considered small. But this man made her feel that way, made this feminine part of her stand up straight and take notice in some kind of primal recognition. This was a man, and she was a woman, and that was what her body and mind were screaming at her.
“These cuts are only superficial, but they will be pretty painful,” the doctor looked up at her, “especially if you don’t keep your feet up and let them heal.” He looked back down at her feet and started cleaning them with various things he grabbed out of his bag.
The room stayed silent, and she glanced up. Not all the men that had been out in the hallway had come into the room, but there were still three standing by the door. They all had on the same identical hard expressions. She slid her gaze to the guy currently holding her ankle and was surprised to see he was staring right at her. His grey eyes watched her intently, as if he could read what was going through her mind.
Good luck with that because I don’t even know what is going through my mind.
“I’d suggest staying off your feet as much as possible for the
next day or so.” The doctor leaned back in his chair and stared at her. “But I know lying in bed for an extended amount of time will probably start to get a little uncomfortable, too.” He had put some bandages on the soles of her feet, and the man holding her legs gently lowered them to the ground. “Although most are superficial, there are a few lacerations that are a bit deeper. You don’t need stitches, but adding too much pressure on them will delay the healing process. So, just take it easy.” He smiled, and when he lifted his hand she flinched back. It had been an automatic reaction, but it was clear. The doctor stopped, knitted his brows, and then glanced at the guy beside her.
,” she mumbled out. These men were trying to help her, for whatever reason, and she was letting her emotions take control. Tightening her hands in her lap she straightened and nodded. “Sorry,” she said again. “It’s just been a bad night.”
doctor nodded and took hold of her chin in between his thumb and forefinger gently. He turned her head to the left, and then to the right. For several seconds he kept her head stationary as he clearly looked at her busted lip and bruise. Maybe she should have felt awkward having these strange men check her out like this, but the truth was she had never had people—much less strangers—help her. Adrianna knew that in time they would want to know what was going on, and of course she would tell them. There was no sense in lying, but maybe they could help her get to someplace else where Phillip could not reach her. Honestly, she didn’t know if he was even still alive, and if he was she there was a good chance he’d come after her for payback.