Ryder: MC Biker Romance (Great Wolves Motorcycle Club Book 8) (7 page)

BOOK: Ryder: MC Biker Romance (Great Wolves Motorcycle Club Book 8)
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He handed me a tin
mug. He had packed camp gear for one and to a fault, he offered things to me
first. I noticed everything about him.

“Today’s the day,”
he said, and I knew what he meant.

“Packing up?” I
stated the obvious.

“Yep. I have
responsibilities with my club to get back to.”

“Is there a bus
stop nearby? Maybe that’s my next best move?” I said, and the idea of getting
on a bus and traveling away from him made me sick.

“I’m going into
town to say bye to Mom. But how about this? You come with me on my bike to
Grand City? Catch a bus there?” Ryder’s eyes were hopeful. I was sure that
doubt and fear filled mine.

This, whatever
this was, had to end. I knew it, and he knew it. Even though every single cell
in my body screamed to stay with him. Devil’s Hawks were looking for me. I
needed to disappear. And I needed to put distance between me and everyone my
Dad perceived as helping me. The thought of Ross and what he must have endured
came crashing back.

I wasn’t going to
make a scene, and I was going to put my big girl panties on and get out of
Michigan.

“While that’s
really sweet of you. And I want to spend more time with you. More than I
should. We just met. But I have to go. I need to get far away.”

We locked eyes. He
knew I was right. He’d hidden me. Protected me. And even loved me the last few
days. That couldn’t last. I had to go. Ryder knew it too. He turned away and
got busy around our small camp.

“Okay. Let’s pack
up.”

Ryder didn’t ask
what my next step was, he just efficiently broke down his camp and too quickly
our little home was on a roll on the back of his bike. So was I. Leaving Ryder
had to be like pulling off a band-aid. I needed to do it fast. It was only
going to get more painful if I road with him to Grand City.

My road with him
had to come to an end.

I went down to the
camp shower. I repacked my bag. And I got a gruesome reminder from Daddy.

A message. One
that meant I needed to start lying to a man who’d loved me more in two days
than any other had my entire life.

Chapter Eight

 

Ryder

 

I wanted to pull
her into my arms and tell her she wasn’t leaving my side. Which made zero
sense. She was running when I met her, and she needed to keep running for a
while. I didn’t know much about Devil’s Hawks but what I’d seen so far was as
bad as it got.

I’d helped throw
them off her scent. I’d given her a head start. But that wasn’t going to last.
If I could have her on my bike a little longer, get a few more miles between
her and her The Hawks maybe I could help her break free for good. That was my
hope.

But she wasn’t
listening to me anymore. She didn’t want to visit mom’s shop or talk about her
plans. She barely talked at all.

And I knew she was
right about one thing. Getting out of Michigan. Jules Moldonado had to keep
going. As much as it hurt to let her.

She fit perfectly
behind me as we rode back into St. Joseph. I drove slower than I normally
would. All too soon we were at the bus stop.

I watched her go
in and buy a ticket. I didn’t ask where. Though the Devil’s Hawks goons would
have cut off more than my finger to get me to give up her location. Still, it
was probably best I didn’t know.

The bus depot at
St. Joseph could take her anywhere. I hated the thought of it.

I wrapped my arms
around her and tucked her in for a hug. She had the beginnings of tears. What
had happened between us in such a short time? I kissed her.

“You have my
number?”

“Up here.” She
tapped her temple.

“Safe travels Princess,”
I said and stepped back. She stuck out her lower lip and pouted.

“I’m not a princess.”
I smiled. What an amazing fucking woman. I felt scared for her but also
confident. She was tough, smart, and took care of business.

“This isn’t the
end for you and me Jules. I’m going to find you again when it’s safe.”

“Okay. Thank you,
Ryder.”

I kissed her again.
This sucked worse than anything I could imagine, and it had upended my life out
of the blue.

But getting away
from here was the best plan if she really wanted to be free of her Daddy’s club.
Their reach was almost as long as Great Wolves and their tentacles slithered
into much darker places.

I left her at the
bus depot. I hoped it wasn’t forever, but it felt like forever. I wasn’t a man
who prayed. But I was a man raised by a woman who believed in auras and lights.
I put a request out to the universe for Jules Maldonado.

“Keep her safe,” I
said out loud as I rode away.

I felt a tear in
my chest.

Oh, this is what
it feels like to have a broken heart? It actually physically hurts?

It was a new
sensation and one that would settle in and become familiar.

Chapter Nine

 

Ryder

 

Six Months
Later

 

“You have a
winner.” Sawyer, my club president, had called me in before the officers’
meeting.

“Yeah, money
coming in and there’s a waiting list,” I replied.

I’d spent the last
six months burying myself in work for the Great Wolves Auto Body Shop. When
thoughts of Jules came into my head I’d fix something, I’d make a call, I’d
organize something. I did everything I could to forget how she felt and how I
felt without her.

My mom told me Julery
was selling at her shop, and new designs were coming in. It made me happy to
hear it. But I didn’t ask for details. Jules had gotten on that bus and gotten
far away.

It was the best
way to break free of a club, clean, permanent, and with a lot of geography
between you and the bad blood. I hoped she was in California somewhere or
Oregon. I could see her there. With her SCAD t-shirt and mussed up hair. When I
went too far into those thoughts, I headed into the body shop.

She could have
called. She didn’t. I texted. She never responded. What we had was incredible.
For me anyway. For her? I had no idea.

I channeled my
obsession with Jules into the shop.

And now my
mechanic idea was turning into a big money maker for the club. Everyone was
happy. And I was proud of it. And about to get richer.

“I’ve got some
good news. We’re going to have you do for the auto body shop what I did with
the Great Wolves MMA Gyms. Except there’s a little catch.”

“Really?” Sawyer
had started Great Wolves Gyms in several cities with Great Wolves MC Charters.
That’s how he’d come to our club. When they brought him in to set up an MMA gym
business for us.

“You’re going to
have to be on the road like I am, that’s one catch. It can be a bitch. Old ladies
aren’t big fans of it. That’s the way we make sure the other charters know what
the fuck to do.”

It was a great
deal for me and the charters I could help. Each MC would get the profits of its
own business but the founder, me in this case, got a percentage of all.

“Southwood is your
first stop.”

“Outside of Detroit?”

“Yeah, I’ve got a
struggling club. That’s the catch. They lost the Great Wolves name a while ago
when we tried to pull em out of drug trade, and they wouldn’t budge. Well, they
finally saw the light after a bunch of their guys wound up getting hit for drug
trafficking. The ones that were left, well, they either defected to other clubs
or they hung on and tried to follow our Great Wolves plan. So they’re back in
the fold but just barely.”

“So they’re a ragtag
bunch of bikers?”

“Yeah, sounds
about right. They’ve got a pocket of decent guys. But no income. We’re going to
lose them to Devil’s Hawks if they don’t get stronger. I want to throw them a
lifeline. They’re a provisional Great Wolves MC. The town itself is struggling
too. I paid ‘em a visit, and I don’t think they’re a lost cause. They also happen
to have the space and talent for a little auto body shop.”

“A few mechanics
in the bunch?”

“Three to be
exact.”

“I’m in.”

“You’ve got the
system set up here. Now go help our brothers in Southwood. I’m sending Ridge
with you too.  I don’t want any of my guys riding alone there you understand?”

“Will do boss.”
Ridge and I got along well. He was quiet, similar to Stone, my closest brother
in the MC. Ridge was an officer too. He’d earned it with muscle, blood, and
doing what had to be done.

“And Ryder, be
careful, Southwood is a lot closer to the Motor City than Grand City. It could
get rough. But I’m sending you and Ridge because it’s going to take my
strongest brothers to pull this off.”

“Understood.”

“We’re a text
message away.” Sawyer put a hand on my shoulder. He was closer to a father
figure than anyone I had in my life. It made me feel good to know he trusted
me. First with a spot at the officer's table. And now with helping the Great
Wolves expand.

Southwood. Devil’s
Hawks. That was Jules’s dad’s territory. I’d already fucked up three of those
assholes. I should have told Sawyer my history with that club. But I didn’t.

If I couldn’t have
Jules, I could enjoy pissing off her Daddy by helping the Great Wolves in his
town. I liked this assignment more and more.

Southwood was just
south of Metro Detroit. It was a three hour or so drive for us so Ridge and I
set out early. We got to Southwood before noon.

Southwood was
tough looking, it had a small downtown. It reminding me a lot of my own
hometown except it was right next to Detroit and the troubles that plague that
city had hit Southwood, a working class suburb, just as hard.

Great Wolves MC
Southwood charter was set up like most of our clubs. There was a bar that they
were trying to make work as a business. But that was far as they’d gotten.

“Sawyer says
Southwood MC is out of drugs and whores. But just barely. If they don’t start
making legit money soon, they won’t be legit for much longer.” Ridge told me.

“So while I focus
on the auto body you’ll be doing security?”

“Yeah, they’ve got
a half-assed security operation going.  I’m going to see if we can get more
businesses on board for them. And tighten up the way they do things.” Ridge was
6’4” and wide as a truck. Only an idiot would mess with him. He was a one-man
security firm.

We rolled into
Southwood and decided to hit the local diner first. Ridge’s intimidating
physique depended heavily on significant portions of pancakes I discovered. The
man ate a frightening amount and somehow then defied physics and turned it into
iron muscle.

“Thanks, darling.”
I saw Ridge wink at the waitress and turn his head to follow her to the coffee
pot. She was cute. But the truth was I hadn’t been with a woman since I’d put
Jules on the bus. No one looked right, smelled right, or talked right. No one
was Jules.

“So they’re
expecting us after lunch.” I had texted the Prez of the Great Wolves Southwood
MC. We were going to be ruffling feathers. Coming in and taking charge. I hoped
he wasn’t a dick. Change is hard, and we were going to change things.

“I hated the Mohawk,
but this isn’t any better.” Ridge motioned to the hair I’d grown out. It fell
around my shoulders these days.

“You don’t like it
shaved, you don’t like it long? What are you, my mother?”

“There are curls
that come out of the back of your helmet. It’s embarrassing.” Ridge said as he
put a forkful of pancakes in his mouth. Ridge kept his head shaved. It was like
a bullet.

We finished our
food and drove to the MC. We were told it wasn’t too far off the main street.

Southwood had a
downtown. It wasn’t big, but you could tell they were trying, but it had a
beaten up look. We passed a shop that was busy, then the next one had boarded
up windows with profanity spray painted across it in bold yellow.

A blonde and a
brunette, gorgeous from far away, caught my eye. They were headed to a coffee
shop that was trying to be hip. Something about the blonde though had me
craning my neck. I turned to try to get a better look, but she’d disappeared
into the coffee shop before I could really see her.

I was still
looking for Jules around every corner. It was fucked up. I’d come in partly to
stick it to her Daddy. I supposed imagining seeing her was my love sick
bullshit brain making crap up.

I’d never get laid
again if I didn’t stop thinking about a woman who I hadn’t heard from since
last summer. She’d left this town behind, good for her, but she’d also left me behind,
and I hated her a little for it. Even though it was the right thing. I knew it
was the right thing.

I was glad
Southwood was going to be a big job. I needed a big job to keep my head from
wandering into Jules territory. I needed things to distract me from thinking
about her skin under my fingers and her soft moans when I was inside her.

Southwood’s problems
were fine by me. Anything to keep me away from my own.

BOOK: Ryder: MC Biker Romance (Great Wolves Motorcycle Club Book 8)
7.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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