Authors: Samantha Leal
A Forsaken Riders Standalone MC Romance
Copyright ©2016 by Samantha Leal. All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic of mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Although the Forsaken Riders Series of MC Romances can be enjoyed as Stand-alone stories, they are also part of a larger steamy narrative that transpires in the small town of Slate Springs, and so for maximum enjoyment you may wish to read them in order. All six stories are available from Amazon…this is the proper order
Book 1 – King
Book 2 – Lynx
Book 3 – Steel
Book 4 - Gunner
Book 5 - Hawk
Book 6 - Bull
Table of Contents
Candy looked into the mirror and adjusted the pink fur around the collar of her sheer, teeny-tiny robe. It was one of her favorites and the moment she slipped it on she stepped into her recent preferred persona of ditzy, dumb blonde.
She was sucking on her trademark red lollypop and curling her hair into tight little bouncy twirls. She was, as far as she knew, the only dancer working at the beginning of the night. Even though she knew it wouldn’t be busy, she still wished she had some back up. Marv wasn’t exactly the easiest man to work for, and ever since he had fired his top girl Lexi, things at the club hadn’t been the same.
Candy strapped on her clear platforms and stood shakily to her feet. Even though she had been stripping for almost two months, she still couldn’t get used to the sky-high heels she was expected to wear. At five-foot-two, she needed all the help she could get to make her look more leggy and model-esque, but every time she stepped into them, she feared she would slip and break her neck.
“That would be just your luck, Candy,” she said to herself.
The changing room was unnaturally cold, especially considering it was the height of summer in Slate Springs. She looked up and noticed the dull thrum of the AC unit ticking away in the corner, and she pulled a chair underneath it.
“Death wish,” she whistled as she climbed up, barely able to stand in the ridiculous shoes. As she flipped the switch and turned it off, the room seemed to instantly warm as the hot outside air seeped in from the small crack in the door leading out into the hall.
Candy carefully climbed down and returned to the mirror. Even though she hated working the earlier shifts on her own, she was always glad of the peace and quiet when she was getting ready. On busy nights there could be five girls working at Red X and that meant a frenzy of make-up, hair spray, perfume and lingerie all exploding across the room as they all fought for their place around the mirror. At least Candy could take her time and listen to some music to calm her nerves. She knew she had to do it, but there was still a part of her that hated the fact she took her clothes off for money. While she loved feeling empowered and thrived on the effect she had on the men who watched her, she always thought that things would have been a little different at this point in her life. Throughout her childhood and all of her training as a dancer, little did she know that she would be using it this way.
“But at least I can have some fun,” she smiled to herself. “Most girls would love to do this, if only they had the nerve.”
She pouted and slicked a hot pink gloss over her lips, smacking them together and slipping the lollypop back between her teeth. Underneath her feet she could feel the vibrations of the music; Marv must have started up the sound system. She took another look at herself in the mirror. She was wearing head-to-toe baby pink and looked exactly as her name suggested.
“Sweet,” she winked at herself before she undid the robe so it fell loosely around her matching bra and heaving breasts.
Candy had only been in Slate Springs for a couple of months, but she had already managed to carve out a role for herself among the people of the town. It was a close-knit community and when she had arrived, she had been instantly welcomed. Although she usually kept mostly to herself, she had made a few friends with other girls who worked at Red X. As she arrived in town as someone completely unknown, she took advantage of the situation and decided to completely reinvent herself. There, she wasn’t prim and proper Candace… She was innocent little Candy. Nobody in Slate Springs knew that she had a master’s degree, or that only six months before she was almost a married woman. When she turned up there and saw its small town ways, she realized it was the kind of place she could disappear, and so she decided to be someone else entirely. She took advantage of her sweet and innocent looks and played up to her image… She let everyone in town think she was ditzy and dumb. Even though it couldn’t have been further from the truth.
She left the changing room and let the door swing lightly closed behind her. The dense air from the desert outside filtered through the fire escape, and she could hear the thunder of trucks powering down the highway. She wondered how many of the customers in there would just be passing through. Sometimes she even enjoyed talking to them. It was as if she was studying them for a project, storing up all the information that came her way for a rainy day.
She wandered along the dark hallway towards the main room of the club. She could hear Marv calling to the new girl to take over the bar and she was scattering around trying to stock the shelves as he barked orders to her from across the room.
Her name was Destiny, or so she said… And Candy couldn’t help but feel as if in some way it was ironic… No one’s destiny should have taken them to a place like Red X. And certainly not to be ruled by a guy like Marv. Candy was lucky she was smart and knew how to handle him. He loved to think that he was in charge and that Candy was some ditz he could order around. She’d even let him for a while, until she convinced him it would be a good idea to take on some extra staff. She’d taken the overtime, even though he’d been reluctant to pay for it, and then she’d made him feel as if it was his idea to make her life easier.
Candy smiled. She was pretty sure no one had figured her out. She was so cute looking and she had the act down to a fine art. There was no way anyone would suspect that she was really a well-bred girl with a stellar education… She pushed up her boobs, glossed her lips, flicked her hair and perfected her doe eye. She had all of the men eating out of the palm of her hand, and she was loving every second.
It was just what she needed to make sure she could start again without anyone asking too many questions, or figuring out why she had turned up in Slate Springs in the first place… Because that was a conversation she was sure she never wanted to have.
“Candy!” Marv hollered to her from on top of the stage. He had his hands on his hips and his beer gut swelled out between them.
“What’s up, Marv?” she asked with an eye roll.
“Destiny here doesn’t seem capable of restocking the bar,” he snorted. “Give her a hand, will you?”
If she didn’t feel so bad for the girl, she would have flipped Marv the bird behind his back and told her to figure it out. But she knew what she had coming, and it wasn’t pretty. The newest girl at Red X always had it the toughest, and because she was recently relieved of the role, she felt as if she owed it to the newbie to be kind.
“Sure,” she smiled sweetly, still sucking on the lollipop.
She turned to Destiny and shrugged, and Destiny chewed her bottom lip.
“Sorry Candy,” she sighed. “You’re all done up and spritzed and everything.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Candy smiled. “I don’t mind.”
She walked behind the bar and opened up all of the refrigerators. It really wasn’t rocket science, but the way Marv liked things was so meticulous she remembered herself how nervous she was of getting something wrong. And if anything went missing…even just one bottle, there would be hell to pay. Candy remembered back to how Lexi had been fired… She had been drunk and helping herself to free liquor, and it had been the beginning of the end of her stripping career.
“How are you finding it so far?” Candy asked as she heaved a crate of beer up onto the bar top, making sure she didn’t snag her lingerie or break a nail.
“It’s certainly, um, different,” Destiny shrugged. “I mean I’ve worked in places like this before, just not in Slate Springs… I’m from Ironhill,” she said.
Candy nodded. She had never been over to Ironhill, but she knew it was about ten miles away. Another small town full of secrets from what she had gathered from the locals who drifted into the club and from what she overheard at the diner.
“How come you’re down here then?” Candy asked, more just for something to say rather than actual interest.
“Well, I didn’t really see eye to eye with my old boss,” she said. “And when I saw the ad for a barmaid, I just thought, hell, it’s about time I had a change.”
Candy nodded and smiled. She knew that feeling.
“Well, it’s nice to have you here,” Candy smiled as she loaded the last fresh bottles of vodka into the optics and wiped her hands on a dishcloth.
“Thanks,” Destiny grinned. “And thank you again for the help.” She motioned to the fully stocked bar and then chewed her bottom lip again.
“It’s no problem.” Candy walked back out the other side of the bar. “Always ask me ahead of Marv.”
“Trust me, it’s not worth the hassle,” Candy winked. She slipped the lollipop back into her mouth and turned on her heel before power-walking back towards the stage.
The music was booming and the doors were now open. The night was just beginning, and she was ready for anything. Even though Candy was the kind of girl who could have been anything, there she was in a small town, twirling around a pole and flashing her body for cash.
It should have made her sad, but it didn’t… She knew where she was going in life, and she knew what she wanted out of it. Things should have been different, but she had plenty of time to change that…and she had a plan. Candy might play dumb, but she was switched on and ready to take charge of her life.
As she hooked her leg around the pole and made eyes at one of the truckers who had just sat down in front of the stage, she could have roared with laughter. She was exploiting them all for her own benefit, and it felt damn good.