Authors: Olivia Rigal
An Iron Tornadoes
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her amazing support during this ride
Zirconia Publishing, Inc.
And the entire crew of the
You can still get the bundle with
Safe House - Dez Burke
. An outlaw biker. A gentle veterinarian. Flint knows she would never fall for a bad guy like him. Or would she?
Rage - Christa Wick
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Outlaw Kind of Love - Nicole Snow
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A curvy nurse finds herself caring for a motorcycle club vice-president with a shady past.
Marian Tee (NYT/USAT).
Aloof bike racer billionaire does everything not to fall for a tomboyish camera-wielding college student.
Stone Cold - Olivia Rigal
. A curvy student suspects the motorcycle club of her former lover to be responsible for her brother's murder.
Fearless Curves - D. H. Cameron
A curvy, uptight lawyer learns to live fearlessly when she must defend a rowdy biker.
Worthy of the Billionaire Biker - Krista Lakes
He once saved her from a biker brawl, but now this CEO demands more of her. Much more. Will she prove herself worthy?
Bear Biker Love - Harper Ashe
He’s an Alpha bear shifter. She’s a feisty BBW. Will they take a ride with destiny?
City Girl, Country Wolf - Aubrey Rose
A curvy city girl stranded on the side of the road finds her wilder side on a motorcycle.
Soon also available in paperback
This book is a work of fiction.
Even if some locations depicted do exist
and some collective events did occur,
this story is totally fictitious
The names, the characters, and the events described
have been imagined by the author.
Any resemblance to reality would be a coincidence.
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Everest is early. It's 9 o’clock at night, and The Styx doesn't open before ten on Fridays.
"How are you doing, brother?" I ask as he enters the small rooms that serves as my office since I’ve become the manager of this MC ran sex club. I stand up, and we hug. Whoever came up with his nickname had a stroke of genius. Everest is indeed built like an impressive mountain. He even makes me feel small, and I'm anything but a miniature.
"Better than you," he says, looking very serious. "Seriously, Brian, you look like shit."
"Yep, and I feel worse than I look. That's why I asked you to come over tonight. Sledge is out of commission, and Mirror is away. Our crew is good for watching over the video feeds, and the bouncers are ready to intervene, but just in case something tricky happens, we need a Dom with brains and muscle. I'm too tired to play referee tonight."
"Yeah, yeah." He shrugs. "I'm not working before Monday anyway. Since they pulled me out of the task force, my schedule's been pretty relaxed."
"Why don't you quit and come work with us?" I ask out of force of habit as we walk toward the locker room.
We've had this conversation a thousand times already, but for some strange reason, despite having lost all his illusions about the force, he holds on to his police job. Obviously, he isn’t there for the money. If he only worked here as Dungeon Master every third weekend and carried out a few missions a month for our Friendly Persuasion Agency, he could double his income.
"You're wasting your skills with those two-bit assignments they give you. With your talent for reading people, you're just what we need—"
"Save your breath," he says, interrupting my sales pitch. "Just know that lately, I've been giving it some serious thought, and I think you're right. It's about time I come into the family business."
I'm so surprised by his answer that I'm suddenly at a loss for words. He laughs—at the expression on my face, I guess—and he takes advantage of the situation to add, "Now that Cracker is thinking about stepping down, we'll both need someone to have our backs, and I can't think of anyone better suited to do that than a real brother."
"You're right." As I give him the answer he wants to hear, the face of another brother comes to my mind. David used to have my back, too. Through childhood, high school, and our Army years, I knew I could count on him. Always. I wonder if I’ll ever be as close to Everest as I was to David. I miss his sorry ass and his wicked sense of humor.
"Thinking about David again?" Everest asks, looking a bit sad.
That man is perceptive. Sometimes he's so right on the money, it's scary. Not that I have anything to hide from him, but still, it's unsettling to be an open book, even to a trusted brother.
"Would you please get out of my mind and close the door behind you," I tell him as I playfully punch his shoulder. I laugh, but he doesn't even smile. I guess I need to explain. "He's on my mind because I got a postcard from him today.”
"You what?" Everest almost shouts, stopping in his tracks.
"We had this joke that the first one who kicked the bucket would send a message to the other," I explain as I open my locker to retrieve my helmet and backpack. "Funny how I was kind of expecting it, and yet, it was a shock to get his postmortem card."
"I'm sure." Everest looks at me thoughtfully.
"I figure that at some point, probably before a crappy mission when we were in the service, he must have given the card to someone to send me for the anniversary of his death."
"Has it been a year already?" Everest frowns, probably trying to remember the date of David’s death.
"Not yet," I say.
"I see. So what did he write?"
"That hell was just like Florida. Hot, humid, crowded, and infested with mosquitoes." I pause, and since Everest can read my mind anyway, I think aloud, "I wonder to whom he gave the postcard."
"Where was it sent to?"
"The Tornadoes clubhouse."
Everest raises a questioning eyebrow as he opens his own locker to change into his leathers. I consider the choice of mailing address and shrug.
"It makes sense," I say. "The only other stable address I ever had was my mother's house, and sending it there was not an option. She would have recognized David's handwriting and freaked. The clubhouse was a logical choice."
"Maybe you're right." Everest’s tone doesn't match his words.
"Spit it out, bro. What's eating you?" I ask.
"I can't help thinking there's something fishy about David's death."
"What do you mean?" This is the first I’ve heard about this.
"First, there's the fact that his case should have been given top priority." He plops onto the bench to remove his riding boots. "The unspoken rule is that a cop's death never goes unpunished. It sends the wrong message to the perps, and it's bad for morale. So yeah, normally, there's almost no limit to the number of man hours spent on that type of case. No one stops until it's solved."
"And they didn't do that for David's case?"
"No. The top brass let it go cold, and no one except me seems to give a damn. Hell, even the captain, who's now married to David's mother, doesn't seem to care. So that started me thinking, and I asked around. You know what? No one has seen the corpse. I asked the captain, and no, Steven didn't see the body. He just took the medical examiner’s word for it and took for granted what was in the report… David had been too badly beaten for an open coffin."
He stops talking as he removes his T-shirt and stretches to drop his boots on the bottom shelf of the locker. He must have been seriously hitting the gym lately because he’s fitter than ever. A moving mountain of muscle.
"I thought that was weird, so I went to talk to our ME, and guess what? He didn't see David's body, either. The examination was carried out somewhere up north, in Okeechobee or Indian River—I can't remember."
"That makes sense. David's body was found north of Palm Beach County. The ME offices are probably territorial about the bodies found in their jurisdiction."
Everest nods to concede that point, but he continues, "Since there were no pictures in the file, I reached out and got zilch. Nothing—no picture of the crime scene, no picture of the corpse, no investigator notes. Not a thing. When I first called, I was told to put in the request through official channels. I did and waited, and when nothing came after a month, I called back. That's when I was told that the file had been misplaced."
I shrug. "That’s not that unusual. Shit does happen. Files get lost. It shouldn't, but it does happen, even in the best run places."
"So I went to the funeral home and spoke with the manager. The man never saw David's body either. He got a sealed body bag from the ME and put it in the box that Lisa had picked without asking questions."
"And you kept this to yourself until today?" I ask, trying to hide my feelings from my voice. I'm not sure what those feelings are anyway, a mixture of anger and surprise, but mostly a sense of betrayal.
"Hell, yes! I didn't see the use in getting your hopes up. I know how close you two were. How old were you when your mother married his uncle Tony and you moved in next door to him? Five or six? He’s been in your life forever, and I didn't see the point of cracking that door open in your mind if my suspicions were without merits. Today, this postcard sent to the clubhouse at your attention is the final nail… out of the proverbial coffin, so to speak."
I can't help but smile at his reverse image. Who else would pull nails out of the coffin? And he's right—since he's cracked the door open, I can't help but wonder. Now I have to get back into my room to look at the postcard again, to see if I missed a hidden message between the lines.
I'm exhausted, but I won't fall asleep during the short ride between The Styx and the clubhouse. The conversation I just had with Everest jolted me awake, that and the rain that is starting to fall.
My mind travels back to the week before I left the academy. The placement office was setting up interviews for Internal Affairs and task force units. Could David have been recruited by two departments? It's possible that IA thought the biker task force unit needed investigating. And it sure did. Could things have gone so wrong that the department had to pull him out and fake his death?
Some days, I wonder how far IA can go to blur the lines. I'm not sure the police should be allowed to do that. Their excuse is that life isn’t black and white, and they exist in the acceptable shade of grey. Hell, I should understand the need for the grey area—I live in that color spectrum.
As I park in the new barn of the clubhouse compound, the rain intensifies. The rainy season is early this year. I run from the barn to the main house. Living in the world capital of lighting-strike deaths is a major downside for bikers in Florida.
I step into a smoked-filled room, where my father is holding court, telling some story about his good old days, when he was Pain's sergeant at arms. His large gestures emphasize his every word. As if any story about the club founder needs emphasis. The man was the most fucked-up sadist I’ve ever met. Compared to him, my father's just a little twisted, and the kinkiest members of The Styx are regular choir boys.
He runs a hand over his shiny shaved skull. He started shaving it last year, when it began to fall out because of the chemo. He always had such a lot of hair, and seeing him without any is strange.
He looks in my direction, nods slightly, and goes back to studying the faces of his audience. He's such a good storyteller; everyone seems mesmerized, especially two young girls sitting next to him. If hearing about Pain, the founder of the MC, doesn't freak them out, they're seriously messed up, and that's just the way he likes them. Maybe we'll have a pair of extra sweet butts in house soon. If there's one thing to admire about the man, it's his stamina. I hope I'm still that green when I'm his age.