Five men, a club, and a serial killer...
Erin Harper has a secret. She’s not who she says she is. As the daughter of a drug mule looking to sell her out, Erin would do anything to disappear, including working for a club notorious for sheltering all kinds of criminals—Absolution.
Jacolbi Stewart has spent much of his life alone. After leaving SRT, he spent time between Los Angeles and Texas, however when a call comes in from a friend of his, Luca Trapani, he leaves everything in L.A. to help his friend.
The Rebel Kings rule over El Paso. Anything that happens there, they know about it. However, when a beautiful woman with curves for days and a mysterious past shows up at Absolution, all four of them want her for themselves. Nothing will stand in their way.
Only when they learn the truth about Erin, it might be too late.
In a game of cat and mouse, time is fleeting. Can Erin trust her men to protect her, or will she be the killer’s next victim?
Felt fucking good for a change.
“Are you busy?” Luca asked, his voice somber and tired. Nothing like the man I knew for over a decade. The first time I’d met the enigmatic man, I was a snot-nosed twenty-two-year-old kid who thought I knew everything.
I was wrong. Learned that lesson the hard way.
“Never when you’re concerned, Mr. Trapani,” I said, taking the proffered water bottle from Handsome, my Chaos MC brother. Guy was gorgeous. Big blue eyes rimmed in dark lashes that framed his sharp, angular features. He had perfectly tanned skin covered in intricate tattoos. He earned that fucking name for sure, and I wasn’t ashamed to admit we fucked a few times, too. “What’s going on?”
“I know this is short notice, but I was wondering if you could come to El Paso and help me at the club. There’s a situation I believe your expertise could be of some use helping me sort out. Obviously, you’ll be compensated.” Luca’s words dripped with indecency and double meaning.
We’d never had sex, but I’d seen him in all his glory. There was something innately erotic when a man of a certain age fucked like a champ and enthralled the small gathering of his peers. Freeing, too. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever take him up on the offer of playing together, but I’d become accustomed to never saying never.
“Sure,” I replied. “Can you give me a couple of days? I’ve been working a job for Axel.”
“Of course,” Luca said. “Tell Axel I send my regards.”
In the years since I had left GIP (Gang Intervention Program) and SRT (Strategic Reinforcement Team), I’d gone home to start my life over. I knew my father would never accept me. I learned a long time ago my old man had meant for me to take the fall that day DEA caught me couriering drugs. Had an inkling the job was a trap the second I picked up the bag and drove out to the meet spot. The fact no one from Vagos MC had my back was another indicator of how my life would turn out.
Family didn’t mean shit to me. Family could stab you in the back just as quick as your enemy. I’d gotten good at discernment over the years. The only people I let my guard down with, let me down the minute I needed them most. Even if I took responsibility for my actions. It wasn’t even the fact they drop kicked me out of the closet either.
Instead of understanding, there were accusations. They teased me. Tempted me. Yeah, maybe I had been down to fuck if they asked me to join them. But I also saw myself as a vulnerable person in a messed-up situation, searching for replacement love. I did things I wasn’t proud of. I’ll always regret kissing Alex like I did. What I regret more is not using my voice and shutting down on everyone.
I was ashamed.
The whole situation brought me back to when I was ten years old, asking my dad why it was gross seeing two men kiss, since my dad enjoyed the fuck out of watching women eat each other’s pussies. That’s when he started calling me the F-slur. Even now, thinking about that moment, my stomach tightened and pitched at the disgusting term.
Stop picking at old wounds, dumbass.
It hadn’t all been bad, though. Once I got out of prison, I had the chance to try again. In the last ten years, I’d been all over the world helping people of all ages, ethnicities, and religions. I was there for the elation of bringing a family member home and again when someone sought vengeance—the right way—through the courts. The one thing I’d never done, unlike everyone else, was settle down.
Bex, Alé, and Bronx were a happy family of five now, with another baby on the way. Alex and Eito were content with Sergio. The entire team didn’t need my single morose, jealous ass around them. So, when Asher and the federal government signed off on my GIP release and pardon, I was out of there.
Freedom never tasted so fucking good.
Obviously, if Asher ever needed me for anything, I was there, ready to work, but at my age, fitting in with teenagers didn’t work anymore. “I will. I’ll call you when I’m on the way. Is my apartment still available?”
Luca chuckled. “Silly boy. I’ve told you this several times, now. You’ve always had a home here. I’ll air your apartment out before you arrive and change the linens on your bed.”
I grinned. “You pamper me too much, Luca. I appreciate you.”
“Yes, I know,” he murmured. “You can show me how much you do later, when you’re working this case.”
There was the duality again, but I kept my mouth shut, instead, focusing on the area surrounding the apartments where we were helping the mom and her son. They were my priority right now, not Luca and his libido.
Even if I couldn’t quite put my finger on our relationship.
We were more than work buddies. Luca understood me better sometimes than I did. Where I might’ve shut down with Mateo and Noah, Luca opened his arms wide to me. Luca afforded the opportunity to explore myself without feeling the guilt or shame I’d always experienced days after doing something crazy—at the time—like sleeping with two guys and a girl or two girls and a guy.
I’d even had a brief relationship with a trans man.
He was incredible.
Unfortunately, for me, my job meant keeping secrets and if any of us learned anything from Jake, it was this: keeping your loved ones out of the loop killed any chemistry you could have with your partner. After about a year together, I knew it wasn’t fair to my partner anymore. Sneaking around at weird hours of the day and night. Pretending to be people I wasn’t. So, I broke things off before they got too deep. Then I disappeared into the night. It was also the same day I went to back to California for a handful of years to work with Axel and Chaos MC.
“Thanks, man,” I said. “See you when I get there.”
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