A Secret Ride: A Biker Erotic Romance (Karthadossian Riders MC)

BOOK: A Secret Ride: A Biker Erotic Romance (Karthadossian Riders MC)
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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.

 

A Secret Ride @ 2014 by Emily Stone. 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.

 

A Secret Ride

 

Manny Pershing looked down at the unconscious young woman lying on the ground at his feet. He had to get her out of there and fast, before the conversation playing in his ear stopped. Grabbing her under the arms, he dragged her around to the back of the nearest outbuilding and propped her up against the wall. Running back, he grabbed her bag and the cell phone she
              dropped when he popped her on the jaw.

 

He really wished there had been some other way to get her out of there without hurting her, but the fear in her eyes as he approached—there was no way she was going to come quietly.

 

George was finishing up his meeting with Xander. Once they were clear of the area and heading to the West Side Club, Manny would take Ellie somewhere safe. He checked her phone to see who she’d been talking to. Rex. He should have known. No doubt his son was flying back right now, ready to rescue the damsel in distress.

 

The call to his son would have to wait. If Manny were to get caught on Karthadossian property with the daughter of their President—well, there'd be no need to wait for Xander to plot his demise.

 

***

 

Rex was breaking several traffic laws in his rush to get back to San Bernadino. He didn’t care. The entire State Police force could be on his tail and it wouldn’t matter. He had to get to Ellie.

 

Frustrated, he slammed his fist into the handlebar. What had she done? She was upset earlier after their conversation about Manny and her Dad. It was clear that she felt responsible in some way for what her Dad had done. No matter how many times he repeated that she wasn’t, he could see that she wasn’t buying it. Then she went cold, shutting him out and asking him to leave.

 

He didn’t know where to go. Ellie had obviously been warning him to get to Manny, but then someone had done something to her. Manny could die if he didn’t stop him from going near that storage unit tonight. Ellie was in just as much danger but he didn’t have a clue where to begin looking for her.

 

Manny knew that what he was doing was dangerous but he was choosing to do it anyway. Ellie was innocent in all this and didn’t deserve to be hurt or killed for trying to be a good person. There was no doubt whom he needed to get to first.

 

***

 

As soon as everyone was clear of the back lot, Manny started trying to wake Ellie. The minute her eyes opened and focused on him she started fighting. She didn’t slap and scream like many women. No, Ellie balled up her fists, took a fighting stance and began to swing. She almost got him too, he was so distracted by the sudden swell of pride for the woman that the little girl he remembered had grown up to be.

 

“Ellie, you have to stop. Give me a chance to explain. Please?” Manny had to dodge to his left to avoid the nice hook she threw his way.

 

“You knocked me out. I’m not in the mood to listen to explanations, Manny.” She rocked back on her left heel and came at him again with her right fist. He blocked the punch easily but it had hurt him. It was a small victory.

 

“If I let you punch me, will you drop this and listen to me?” He had his arms wide open, trying to be as non-threatening as possible.

 

Ellie eyed him warily. He might look contrite at that moment but who was to say he wasn’t luring her in so he could knock her out again? “Can I punch you the same way you punched me?”

 

“Absolutely.” Manny moved closer and stuck his chin out, making it easy for her.

 

Ellie looked at him and realized she wouldn’t be able to do it. Rolling her eyes at her own weakness, she lowered her fists. “What the hell were you doing, Manny? You’re on Karthadossian property. You assaulted me. Are you asking for a quicker death sentence?”

 

Looking around, Manny came closer. “I didn’t want to hurt you. I really didn’t but I couldn’t let you get caught and your Dad was only minutes out. You weren’t going to cooperate and I was out of time.”

 

“Out of time for what?” Ellie crossed her arms across her waist, impatient and still aggravated.

 

“Look, Ellie, I promise to answer every question if you’ll come with me somewhere safer than this back lot. I can’t leave you here. It isn’t safe for you.” Manny was genuinely worried, eyes darting around as if he expected someone to jump out of the darkness any second.

 

“No, Manny, you’re the one in danger. Xander is planning to--”

 

He held up a hand, cutting her off. “Yeah, I know. He’s planning on blowing me up tonight. Too bad I’m here with you, huh?”

 

A slow smile spread across Ellie’s face. “Yeah, too bad.”

 

***

 

His phone started vibrating in his pocket. Going so fast there was no way he could take it out and check it without killing himself. Still, it could be Ellie. He pulled off on the shoulder and dug the phone out. It was a text message from his Dad. He didn’t even know Manny knew how to text.

 


Ellie’s safe with me. Come straight to her house. Will explain everything when you get here.’

 

Relief that both of them were safe overwhelmed him and he felt a little lightheaded. Why on earth were the two of them together—and at Ellie’s house? He was only about fifteen minutes from her place. He got back on the bike, and at a slightly more sedated pace, headed for her home.

 

He pulled into her drive and walked up to the door, hearing the sound of laughter coming from inside. He took a deep breath. For the past hour he’d been so upset and worried that his system was on overload. Hearing the two of them laughing had the last of the adrenaline draining from his system and his head starting to pound.

 

He didn’t knock, opening the door and walking in like he’d been doing it forever. They were in the kitchen, sitting at her island and drinking beer. He looked from one to the other, feeling like he’d stepped into some alternate universe.

 

“Rex.” Ellie stood first, came close and wrapped her arms around his waist, hugging him tight.

 

Rex hugged her back, leaning in close and whispering, “I am so glad you’re okay. I’ve never been so scared.”

 

She nodded her head against his chest, tears welling up in her eyes. When she looked up at him, his eyes were soft. Until they focused on the ever darkening bruise on her jaw. “Wait, I can explain.”

 

“What the hell happened, Ellie? Who did this?” He turned her face towards the light, examining the area closely.

 

“I did.” Manny said, standing and coming around the island to face his son. When Rex pulled away from Ellie and took a threatening step his way, it was Ellie who stepped between them and with her palms flat on his chest, pushed him back a couple of feet.

 

“Rex, don’t. He was only doing what he had to do to keep me safe. Hear him out.” Her voice was firm, confident. There wasn’t a trace of fear or censure in her tone.

 

Rex moved a little further back and leaned against the wall, fists clenched. He wanted to hurt Manny. How could he have put his hands on Ellie? How could she be so forgiving?

 

“Come sit down, Rex. Let me get you something to drink, okay?” Ellie reached out to take his hand but he moved his hands away. She tried not to let the move hurt her feelings.

 

“I need to stay right here for a couple of minutes. Until I calm down.” He managed a small smile for her but it wasn’t easy.

 

“I’ll talk, you listen.” Manny returned to his seat and his bottle of beer. “A couple of years ago, one of Xander’s guys was placed in the same lockup as I was. He was a strung out piece of trash with a chip on his shoulder over being kicked out of the Karthadossians.”

 

Manny watched Ellie settle back into her chair, pushing the bag of frozen peas she’d set down earlier at her with a contrite smile. “For a little bit of blow the guy spilled his guts about being one of Xander’s 'elite' guards. Said he had helped set me up for the loss of the two clubs down by the county line and the bogus drug running charge.”

 

“After a couple more scores he started telling this story about Xander using the smaller clubs he’d stolen from me for gun running. Not petty stuff either. We're talking high dollar military-grade weapons, just about every kind of explosive money can buy, and plenty of ammo for everything.”

 

Ellie felt sick at her stomach. Manny was watching her closely and she knew that he understood how much this was hurting her. It didn’t make his information any easier to deal with, especially added to what she heard with her own ears tonight.

 

“Rex, I had to keep you out of the loop because of Ellie. I wasn’t sure if it was coincidence that you and Ellie had hooked up so soon after me getting out or if Ellie was in on some plan of her Dads to get close to you.” He shot Ellie a sheepish look. “Sorry, kid.”

 

Smiling, Ellie saluted him with her beer bottle. “No problem. I’d be suspicious of me too. Although I’m still dying to know how you found out about all—this.” She gestured at herself and Rex, curiosity causing her to cock an eyebrow his direction.

 

“One of the new guys at my club saw you two leave a bar together. He’s trying to get in good with me so he rushed back to tell me that Rex left with Xander’s daughter.” Manny shrugged. “He wanted to know if I wanted you followed but I wanted to wait to see if he’d tell me about you.”

 

“And when I didn’t you decided to send me away on a fake errand.” Rex was finally relaxed enough to sit on the stool next to Ellie, but he avoided looking at her face.

 

“Yes, I thought it best that you not be around since I couldn’t exactly tell you what was going on.” He pinned his gaze on Ellie. “Then this one shows up and almost ruins everything.” The words were said with an indulgent smile.

 

“I guess I went a little crazy, thinking I could just walk into Dad’s office and demand he tell me the truth.” Ellie shook her head, the lump in her throat growing again.

 

Rex and Manny looked at each other, faces serious. They needed to convince her of how dangerous her Dad could be. It was Manny who decided to speak up. “Ellie, honey, your Mom tried so hard to keep the truth about you Dad from you. Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea, but she thought it was the right thing. I had a lot of respect for your Mom. She stood up to Xander and got you out of that life, even after he had her beat half to death. He’s a psychopath, Ellie. He likes hurting people, even people he claims to love. You have to stay away from him.”

 

Ellie looked confused. “He beat my Mom? When?”

 

“When we were about six, I guess.” Rex said, his eyes full of sympathy. “Dad found her out on the path between our old houses. She didn’t want us to tell you. I think you went and stayed with an Aunt for a couple of weeks, in Arizona, maybe?”

 

She stared at the counter, tears spilling over and dripping onto the surface. “Everyone knew, didn’t they?”

 

“Yeah, pretty much.” Manny reached across the counter and patted her hand, never much good at dealing with female tears. “It’s part of the reason why our club hates your Dad so much.”

 

Ellie nodded, suddenly so exhausted that she couldn’t think straight. “All this time she let me believe that he was the one who didn’t want me involved in the club. If I’d gotten in with him, there’s no telling what he might have done to me the first time I screwed up.”

 

“That lie might have very well saved you a lot of pain.” Manny got up and threw his bottle in the trash can.

 

“I’m sure you two can manage the rest of this without me. I’m going to take a hot bath.” Ellie didn’t wait to see what they would say about her announcement. She got up and escaped to her master suite.

 

***

 

Rex got up and grabbed a soft drink from Ellie’s fridge. He wiped the top off with his shirt tail, popped the ring and drank straight from the can. He sat back down across from his Dad, rolling the can between his hands. “Think she’ll be okay?”

 

“Your Ellie is pretty tough.” Manny smirked, remembering how she’d stood up to him.

 

“She’s not
my Ellie
, Dad. We slept together. That doesn’t mean we’re going to be a couple or anything. After what she found out tonight, she might not want anything to do with any of us.” Rex took another long drink, pushing the disturbing thought of not being with Ellie again to the back of his mind. He had other things to worry about right now. “You need to tell me what else happened tonight.”

BOOK: A Secret Ride: A Biker Erotic Romance (Karthadossian Riders MC)
8.9Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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