**Please be aware that this excerpt contains some strong language and a pretty HOT - and graphic - sex scene!**
Have you ever loved someone so much you physically can’t breathe when they’re not with you? A love so strong your entire world revolves around them? Have you ever been so crazy about a person that just thinking about them not being there anymore knocks the breath right out of you? So when it happens; when they actually do walk away, when they leave it’s like a kick to the gut, it side swipes you. It hurts so bad that living isn’t something you want to do anymore, because your only reason for existing was them.
I loved someone that much.
And I hurt that bad.
But I didn’t stop living. I just went someplace else, a place – a world – where other people’s pain was way worse than mine. And that changed me, that place. That world. It made me stronger, harder, the things I saw there made my pain seem insignificant, trivial. Wrong. And when I left that world I stayed that changed man. I don’t feel shit now. I’ve been stripped of emotion, had my heart hardened so much there isn’t anything getting through.
I have one loyalty now. The Death Knights. The club. My brothers, they saved me. I was damaged goods, fucked up, but you need to be, in this world. Fucked up is good. Necessary. Staying fucked up means no-one gets too close. It’s not safe, I’m not doing that shit no more. No bitch is ever gonna bring me down that low again, that’s a goddamn promise I made to myself, and I ain’t fucking breaking it…
Two fucking days it’s taken us to ride here, and I’m pissed. I’m not in the mood for a fucking wedding. But when it’s the President of the Mother Chapter making a not-so-honest-woman out of his old lady, then club protocol really kicks in, all chapters are required to attend, no matter how far we gotta ride. And Vanni Colletti, he’s not a man you disrespect, he’s one crazy son-of-a-bitch, so we’re here, in Mountain Springs, Nevada, whether we want to be or not. I’m the latter, although, as a rule, I’m a fan of Vegas. I’m usually all in when we do club runs here, which is often. ‘Cause I’m not the only brother who’s a fan of this place. But these family weekends, man, this kinda shit isn’t what I do. But I’m looking at it this way – I got myself a weekend of whiskey and beer and my pick of the club girls, yeah. I’ll take that. I got no fucking choice.
“Man, I’d forgotten how much I love this shit.”
I throw Bullet a look, taking off my helmet and hanging it from the handlebars of my bike. He throws me one right back as he drags a hand through his hair.
“What’s up with your face?”
“Sentimental shit isn’t my thing.”
“It’s a fucking biker wedding, Logan. The only time anyone gets sentimental at these things is when the beer runs out.”
He slaps me on the back of the shoulder, which in itself is an instruction to get my game face on, ‘cause we’re not just here to party. We got business to sort out, and Vanni, he isn’t stupid. He organized this wedding to tie in with this meeting; to get all these chapters together in one place, and I gotta give the guy kudos for that. He wouldn’t be running the whole set up if he didn’t have brains, it’s just that, if you didn’t know Vanni; didn’t know what he was capable of, you’d be mistaken for thinking he wasn’t all that threatening. He is. Like I said, he’s one crazy son-of-a-bitch, just like his dad before him, his granddad before that, and his great-granddad, Jesus, crazy sons-of-bitches is an obligatory trait in the Colletti family. The family who founded the Death Knights MC. So we all just kinda run with it.
“Go make sure the crash truck’s here,” Bullet says, a lit cigarette now dangling from his bottom lip. “My old lady’s driving still makes me nervous but, man, I tell Della that and she’d break my balls.”
Bullet strides off toward Vanni’s huge, red-brick house, and I lean back against my bike, light up a joint, and look out across the impressive grounds surrounding Vanni’s home. A whole mess of brothers and their old ladies are already here, kids running round all over the freakin’ place, this party’s already started, and Vanni, he’s spared no expense. He’s got a beer tent, barbecues all fired up, the smell of charred meat fills the air and, shit, there’s even face painting for the kids. Jesus freakin’ Christ, I’m in hell!
I glance over toward the beer tent and catch sight of Dragon carrying his kit into a nearby trailer. Dragon’s our chapter’s go-to brother for ink. Runs his studio out of our club compound back in Burbank, makes us a lot of money, he’s one talented kid. He’s also Vanni’s cousin, which is why Vanni’s given him this gig. He’s not gonna let just anyone loose on his turf with a set of needles. Pistols, rifles, yeah, he’s just fine with all that shit. He’s not even averse to bringing out the rocket launchers, but he’s having no strangers on his land with a tattoo gun. And what Vanni Colletti wants, he gets. No fucker argues with him. Again, like I said, one crazy-son-of-a-bitch.
I draw deep on my joint, toss it to the ground and head over to Dragon’s trailer, grabbing a beer on the way, taking a chance to check out my entertainment for the weekend but, shit, it’s not easy picking out the mamas from the untouchables, ‘cause I don’t want no trouble. I’m not touching no-one else’s property.
“I’ll give you the heads up, brother.” Dragon sits down on the steps of the trailer and lights up a cigarette. “I got a fair idea who’s up for anything, and who to steer well clear of. Make it my business to know all the important shit, when it comes to these kinda gatherings.”
I lean back against the trailer and take a long draft of beer, staring out ahead as a steady stream of bikes, trucks and cars continue to arrive at Vanni’s estate. Yeah. The guy lives on a fucking estate, owns a home big enough to house most of the crowd here this weekend, yet we’re all sleeping in tents out in the grounds. And I’ve slept in worse, so that side of things doesn’t bother me. I just hate fucking weddings, is all. And I’m supposed to be over there, making sure Bullet’s old lady’s arrived with the crash truck, but she don’t need checking. Della’s tougher than Bullet, she scares the shit outta me sometimes. And there’s nothing wrong with her driving. But Bullet got one thing right – she could break his balls pretty damn easy. Wouldn’t be the first time.
I look down at the cigarette Dragon’s offering me and I take it, lighting up and drawing deep. “You met the future Mrs. Colletti yet?”
Dragon nods and blows a steady stream of smoke up into the air. Air which is still filled with the smell of barbecued meat, combined with a faint hint of marijuana. “She’s pretty. Real pretty.”
“That why he’s been keeping her hidden, huh?”
The corner of Dragon’s mouth twists up into a smirk. “Maybe. But most of us are smart enough to know that if we touch his old lady, if we even look at her in a certain way, shit happens.”
I chuckle quietly and drop my gaze, flicking ash onto my battered army boots. “You know much about this meeting he’s called?”
“It’s a territory thing, as far as I know. I might be family, Logan, but he don’t tell me shit. I’ve only just been patched in, so…” He shrugs and takes another drag on his cigarette. “You’ll know more than me, I reckon.”
I know as much as he does. Vanni likes to play his cards close to his chest, doesn’t like too much information out there, until it has to be.
Stubbing my cigarette out on the side of the trailer I drag a hand back over my head. “I’m gonna go check out the scenery.” I throw Dragon a knowing grin. He returns it.
“Look at the ring fingers, brother. You don’t wanna be playing with just anyone’s toys.”
No. No, I fucking don’t…
“Baby girl, do you have any idea how beautiful you really are?”
I close my eyes as Vanni’s fingers lightly trace my collarbone, his breath warm against my neck as his mouth brushes my ear.
My breath hitches as he drops his other hand, slides it up underneath my skirt and pushes my panties aside, and when he slips his fingers inside me I bite down on my lip, and I hear him laugh low and dirty as his thumb circles my clit.
I love Vanni Colletti, I do. I love him, in a way most people will never understand. He keeps me safe, won’t let anything hurt me, he’d kill, for me. And he might need to, one day. I don’t know. But marrying him, it’s something I need to do, to keep him as my protector. Just in case.
“Get naked,” he murmurs, his mouth almost touching mine and I swallow down his breath, gasping quietly as he withdraws his fingers and steps back from me. “Come on, darlin’, let me see what you got.”
I walk back over to him, grasping his jacket collar and pulling him against me, my mouth barely touching his, and I feel his cock already standing to attention. He likes these games, he plays them so well. “You already know what you got, baby.”
“Still gotta see it, sweetheart.”
He thrusts a hand back up under my skirt, tearing off my panties, they were barely there to begin with. And then he grabs the hem of my skirt and hitches it high over my thighs, at the same time twisting me around and pushing me up against the wall, pulling my hips back as his knee shoves my legs apart. And I hear him unzip himself, feel his hands on my ass pulling me open, and I get ready to take him, I want him, inside me. So when he finally enters me, it’s almost a relief.
His hand rests on my stomach, and he pulls me up and back against him, his thrusts strangely slow and gentle, but it won’t stay like this. Vanni’s preference is hard sex, he likes it fast, likes it dirty and raw and I’m with him, on all of it. I’m his whore, he’s my soldier. This is who we are. Who he made me? No. I won’t have him blamed for that, he doesn’t deserve it.
“I still need you naked, Piper,” he murmurs as his cock slams into me that little bit harder, causing me to cry out quietly, his hand pressing against the side of my neck, he’s letting me know who the dominant one is now. But we share that role, which is strange, for a man like Vanni. But I guess I see a different man to the one he shows his club brothers.
He pulls out of me and I turn around, lean back against the wall, lift a leg and kick him away and he laughs, his eyes burning into mine. And he keeps them there as I slowly nudge my short leather skirt down until it hits the floor, and I step out of it, reaching up to yank off my T-shirt, and only then does Vanni’s gaze drop. He loves my tits, loves looking at them, loves touching them more, and I raise my arms up above my head and close my eyes and wait, for him to touch them.
“Baby, baby, baby, you fucking kill me, darlin’. Every freakin’ time.”
Another quiet gasp escapes me as I feel his palm press against my nipple, feel his mouth touch mine, his other hand grasping my wrists, keeping my arms raised. And as he kisses me I feel my stomach jolt, my heart beat faster, and I can hear the noise of the party outside from here in our bedroom. The windows are open, I can hear people laughing, music playing, the roar of more bikes arriving for our wedding. Tomorrow… Tomorrow I become Mrs. Vanni Colletti, old lady to one of the most respected, feared and envied outlaw bikers in the country.
I’ve been his property for only a short time, it’s been just a few months since Vanni Colletti found me in that bar just off the Strip. His bar. He found me, sitting on my own, nursing the same glass of vodka I’d been trying to make last all night because I couldn’t afford another one. Vanni bought me a bottle, shared it with me out in the parking lot as I sat astride his Harley Roadster with no clue at all as to who he really was; how dangerous a man he could be. I just knew that he’d bought me vodka, spoke to me like I was human; fucked me like I wasn’t just some random whore. I’m his whore. I was from the second he touched me outside in that parking lot. And that hasn’t made me popular, amongst the other club girls; the other old ladies. I was cutting in line as far as they were concerned, this stranger he picked up in a bar and moved into his home overnight. They still feel that way now. They feel like I don’t deserve to be with him, he’s too important, and I hadn’t worked my way through the ranks, so to speak. I didn’t have to be a club girl, do my time as a mama, work my way up to old lady, of any biker, never mind the man in charge of the entire Death Knights MC. Every chapter. In every country. Vanni oversees them all. They all answer to him. His family created this club, it’s his. As am I. Now. He’s powerful and terrifying but he loves me. I love him. So they can say whatever they want, I’m marrying this man. Tomorrow.
© Michelle Betham 2017
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