Read Storm (Devil's Hornets MC) Online
Authors: Kathryn Thomas
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.
Crush copyright @ 2016 by Kathryn Thomas. 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.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
“Is this all you got, bitch?” said the man with dark greasy hair and wild eyes as he straddled her on the sidewalk. He was going through her purse, and she didn’t know if she should answer that question or not.
Natalie Harper knew that she shouldn’t have been out at this time of night in a neighborhood like this. She’d run Harper’s Fantastic Florals long before her mother gave her the store, but this was the first time she’d let an order keep her downtown this long. The McGowan wedding was tomorrow, and with the delivery person coming in early, she’d had to finish tonight. It hadn’t taken long for this street thug to zone in on her. She’d seen him when she stepped out of the store, but had hoped he was too zoned out to notice her. Drugs were evil, and they seemed to make zombies of the people who used them, and this man was past caring about anything but the money he needed to support his habit.
She’d tried to walk fast on the nearly empty street, but the man she’d noticed had stealthily moved in the shadows, and he’d knocked her down as he grabbed her purse and straddled her. Natalie rarely carried money on her and hoped he wouldn’t know enough to make her go back to the shop because there was no money in there either. She’d dropped off the cash in the bank’s drop box just a few hours earlier.
He’d asked her a question, but it seemed like her mind was moving slow, and her hip that was still on the hard concrete was throbbing. She could only nod to answer the question as she watched to see what he’d do next. What the hell was she waiting for? Natalie knew she’d better do some type of defense instead of just lying there looking shocked if she was going to make it out of here alive. She used her arms to start swinging on him, and he was so surprised by her sudden movements that he almost toppled over.
“Oh, I see I’ve got a lively one here,” said the man who looked like he’d not had a chance to shower… ever. He was probably over six feet, but he was thin and wiry. The smell of drug use and desperation filled her nose, and she damned every drug dealer in town for this animal loose in the streets probably looking for money to acquire his next fix. His lips curled up in a smile, and he exposed yellow teeth with dark brown spots in between.
Great so this guy liked chewing tobacco as well?
She closed her eyes and prepared to give this asshole all she had. Lifting her upper body off the sidewalk, she swung and connected with… nothing. The weight had been removed from her chest, and she swung so hard she hit her fist on the hard cement ground.
Damn that hurt.
What is going on?
Looking toward the noise on her left it appeared the man who was intent on getting something from this late night crime was getting a taste of his own medicine, but the man who was beating the shit out of him was much bigger and more powerful. If she wasn’t terrified and wanting to witness a little justice on the scumbag who was just roughing her up, she’d have tried to stop the fight. Not that she’d call this exchange a fight, but more of a beat down.
Suddenly the large man stopped hitting her attacker and stood straight up. He had to be at least six foot three and was built like Paul Bunyon or any other stereotypical lumberjack. He was either that or he did a job where he worked out his body. Physically toned was the phrase that came to mind when she looked at him. She couldn’t make out his eye color, but he had dark hair and a handsome face. He didn’t look like he was going to say anything when she noticed his bike was running near the curb.
“Thank you for your help.” Natalie said, getting up off the ground. She wanted to be a woman who could walk over and say something provocative and witty, but she knew her limits. She was a florist who had naughty thoughts but was way too chicken shit to act on them. Looking like a prude librarian who would probably frown on someone throwing up her skirt, bending her over, and fucking her by her cash register didn’t help either. She wished she could find someone who would make her more comfortable with the bad girl who was buried so deep inside she was suffocating. This beautiful man brought out such whimsical thoughts and right after getting off the ground from an attack. She would have laughed at herself, but the lumberjack man was already looking at her like she’d lost most of her marbles.
The man just nodded at her words of gratitude, but he didn’t say anything else, and she really wanted to hear what his voice sounded like. Staring contests had never been her thing, but she knew people, and she knew if she looked at him long enough he’d say something unless he was mute.
“It’s not a safe place at this time of night for a woman like you to be walking around.” His voice was deep and brought a thrum of awareness that moved through her body. Those weren’t the words she wanted to hear, but she did get what she wanted.
“A woman like me?” She questioned.
“That’s what I said.” His voice was authoritative, and for some reason that turned her on even more. Maybe she’d hit her head on the concrete. That would explain why she was feeling so different with this man. He made her want to see if she could seduce him; it was a long shot, but she’d never been with anyone who made her want to try, but she also didn’t like the scolding it seemed he wanted to give to her.
“Well, a woman like me doesn’t have to answer that.” Natalie turned to walk away from this man who was making her question if she’d hit her head harder than she hit her hip. She was the boss of herself and her domain. There was a temporary snag as she found herself in the need of some assistance, but she wasn’t going to stand out here and answer to this large mysterious man, who looked sexy but more dangerous than her attacker.
The chuckle she heard behind her was a raspy sound that should be packaged with each and every sex toy. It practically reached into her pants and stroked her quickly warming parts. She turned around just because she wanted to see if that awesome sound came with an equally devastating smile. It did.
He walked toward her with the slight smirk being the only reminder of the smile she’d seen a few minutes ago. “I’m sorry. Seeing that man attacking you seems to have made the badly behaving man in me come to the forefront. What I should have said was ‘Are you alright?’.”
He was a charming one, she could tell. Thankful that she had good intuition when dealing with people, she felt like this man wasn’t dangerous as he seemed at first, but there was something about him that was off. “I’m fine, thank you.”
“Can I give you a ride home?”
She must have taken too long to respond, but in truth, she was giddy. Natalie had always wanted to ride on the back of a roaring motorcycle, feeling the thrum of the motor between her legs and the wind in her hair. Just the thought of having the thrum of the motorcycle along with the mystery man between her legs left her practically short of breath.
“Really, I’m safe,” he said, “I’m sure it didn’t look like it a minute ago, but I hate to see a man raising his hand to a woman, and that guy had you on the ground. It looked like he was preparing to do way more than lay hands.”
“Shouldn’t we call the police?” She asked, looking over at the man who was still moaning and rolling on the ground.
The man of mystery walked past her on his way to his bik,e and she could smell the scent of clean man and leather. Mmmm, that was a great combination. “Fuck ‘em. He doesn’t deserve for anyone to call for help.”
“I wasn’t thinking of helping him. I just thought the police should be notified,” she said following behind him.
“If you’d like to call go right ahead, but the ride offer expires in the next few seconds.”
She looked around and figured she didn’t want to be on the street alone. The devil she knew, she hoped, was going to be better than the devil she didn’t know.
He helped her with a helmet that he’d retrieved from the back of the bike. Placing it on her head and then fastening it beneath her chin, she found out what color his eyes were, and they were a little bit of everything. She saw a blue center with brown, green, and gold flecks around the edges of his iris. It made her mind think of how she could bring the beauty of his eyes to a floral design.
“What?” He asked with a question in his voice and that sexy smile in place as he watched her study him.
She was alone way too often, and it was easy for her to slip into her fantasy fairly quickly. “I didn’t say anything.” It was like a flash back to when she was in school. The cool kids or a hot guy would talk to her, and she’d be so wrapped up in the daydream she was having about the current situation she’d miss out on real life. She’d worked on that for years afterwards, and she would be devastated if she had not overcome it like she thought she had.
“You didn’t say anything, but you’re thinking something.” He held on to the strap of the helmet like he thought she was going to move away, but this was the closest she’d been to such a vital male for such a long while. Little did he know, there was no danger of her going anywhere.
“What color are your eyes?” She asked trying to focus on the present and get as much information from him as he would give.
He gave her a dazzling smile that changed his whole face. Handsome is what she would have called him before, but with the addition of that smile, she would have to say that he was stunning.
“They’re categorized hazel, so they’ve got a little bit of everything in them. My mother said when they asked what eye color I wanted, I said yes.” He chuckled a little, and she thought it was cute how she could feel how much he loved his mother just on how he talked about her.
Looking at the love this man had for his mother made her feel much more secure in letting him take her home. How could a man quote his mother with that tone and that look on his face and be a menace? She would take her chances because this man made her feel comfortable, and because this was a high drug area and she didn’t want to walk home alone.
He released her, put his helmet on quickly, and jumped on the bike. She didn’t know what to do with anything. Her hands, her feet… how did she get on? Did she wait for him, or did she just jump on like he did? It was just then that realized that the man on the street had her purse. Motorcycle man must have read her mind because he had the purse with the torn strap in his hand. She watched as he put it in a pouch on the side of his seat.
Her heart was beating so fast it was a wonder she didn’t have a stroke right there in front of him. The hot man, the motorcycle ride… it was more excitement than she’d had in the last five years. Who knew how long it would be before something like this happened to her again? She threw her leg over the bike and slowly wrapped her arms around his midsection. He felt sturdy and dependable like a hundred year old oak tree. There were times she would consider getting on a motorcycle, and she would wonder what would happen if the person couldn’t keep it up or if they lost control, but she didn’t have that fear with this man.
“Where are we headed?” He said before they took off, and she realized she didn’t even know the name of the hero who’d saved her.
“I live over in Rainwood by the park. With all of the ruckus I didn’t even get your name. My name is Natalie.” She didn’t know if he’d heard her or not since he just took off after she stopped speaking. She’d find out his name when he dropped her off. It wasn’t that she thought he’d be a big fan of flowers, but maybe she could give him something for his trouble. Boom-chicka-wow-wow. That sounded like the beginning of a cheesy porn movie, but that’s the way her mind was working.
The ride was exhilarating, and she was right about loving the hum of the bike between her legs and the feel of a big man to hold on to. There were times during the ride she wanted to touch the cock that she knew was near her hand. Would that be sexual assault? She wasn’t sure, but that was the only thing that kept her from trying it even though her hand got really close. An accident, that was the only reason that her hand would have kept straying.
He pulled up right around the corner from her house, right where she told him to go. “Which house is yours?”
“I’m good here.” She had taken him from whatever led him to find her this late at night, and she was feeling a bit guilty about not only keeping him occupied for so long but for the naughty thoughts and touches she’d copped on the way here. He’d been nothing but considerate, and she’d been like a sex starved mad woman… not that the sex starved part was incorrect. Hopping off the bike, she took off her helmet and tried again. “Thank you for all you’ve done for me this evening.”
He cut the engine, retrieved her purse, and got off the bike handing the tattered fabric bag over. “You’re welcome. This may be a good time for you to look into getting some protection or staying out of areas like that after dark.”
“You’re right. I’d like to repay your kindness… maybe lunch or dinner my treat.” She hadn’t ever asked anyone out before, and she could see why men were so upset when a woman turned them down. It was frustrating working up the courage to say something only to wait for the person to make a decision while you stood there wallowing in self-doubt and praying there is no rejection. She was going to remember this moment, and she’d make sure that the next time someone came up to her and had a question or just wanted to make small talk, she’d not be as dismissive. “My name is Natalie, by the way.” She stuck her hand out and waited for him to take it.
Slowly he took her hand, but his eyes never left her face. The hand that engulfed hers felt like the hands of a man who used them well. Rough, firm, and so different from her own. How would they feel on her skin? Touching her breasts, rubbing her thighs, smacking her ass… she gasped like he’d done it, but it was just her overactive imagination again as she looked back into his eyes and saw the smile on his face. It was like he knew what she was thinking.
He let her hand go just as slowly as he took it, but she didn’t want to let him go just yet. “What about coffee? I can make some before you go.”
“No, thanks. Keep yourself safe. You are way too beautiful to walk these rough streets alone.” He got back on his bike, and she stepped over to him, but didn’t know what to say when she got there. “Just start walking.”
She was such a fucking coward. A chance like this may never happen again, and she knew she’d be kicking herself for the rest of her life if she didn’t take it. Closing her eyes, she leaned over and kissed whatever was closest. When she opened them, she was looking into his eyes and she saw that she’d found his cheek with her kiss, a cheek that was wrinkled with a smile. This was just embarrassing. She backed up, turned away, and got a few steps of distance between them before he caught her arm and spun her back toward him. He was really good at getting off of his bike quickly, she didn’t even hear him, but that could be because her heart was going triple time. When she looked up at him, his kaleidoscope eyes were bright with what she hoped with interest and not amusement, but since there were no words coming from him, she really didn’t know.
“Didn’t anyone tell you that pretty girls shouldn’t kiss rough looking strangers who are trying hard to do a good deed?” He sounded calm, and she hoped that he wasn’t as disaffected as he let on. Her insides were churning with humiliation.
She couldn’t do anything but shake her head because being this close to such a virile man was shorting her circuits. He had such a serious face, but his smile changed it so drastically.
“I’m guessing you were trying to reward me for my good deed with a meal or a kiss?” He asked.
She nodded her head. If he gave into the kiss, she’d be happy now or if he wanted to go out for the date, then she would have a chance to see him again, but she didn’t know what he was going to do.
“Then I guess I’ll accept the kiss.” He tilted her face, and his lips touched her in a simple kiss. The softness and warmth of his lips made her want to crush their mouths together, but she could be patient. After a few seconds, he still hadn’t gone any farther than the lightly sucking kisses, and she was so upset she almost wanted to cry. He treated her like she was spun glass, and there was nothing wrong with spun glass, but she had the heart of a lion and she wanted to be treated as such. Passion. That’s what she was looking for… a passionate kiss to take her breath away. Was that too much to ask?
Damn. She thought he’d be different, she wanted it to be different, but it seemed like he thought she was the same kind of girl everyone else saw. It was such a shame. One day she’d find the man who saw the wild child in the tame shell she wore daily, but today was not the day. He let her go, and she sighed.
“Not what you wanted?” He asked, and she could hear the chuckle behind his words.
Screw him is what she wanted to say but of course, as always, she was way too nice for that. “That was perfect. Thank you for your assistance.” She knew she sounded like an old time school marm, and that was a private joke for herself.
She tugged a bit to free herself, but he didn’t let her go. “I do know a little about women, and I know when one isn’t satisfied.”
This time, he took one of his large hands on the back of her head and turned her to fit with his mouth. He looked down into her eyes as he came back at her slowly. The growl she heard before he reached her upped the butterflies in her belly. This kiss was nothing like the first one. He kissed her as if she was a buffet, and he’d not eaten in months… tasting, savoring… Ravaging. That would be the word she would use for what he was doing to her mouth and she loved it. She clung to him, not wanting to let him go. Putting her hands into his thick dirty blond hair, she gripped two handfuls and moved him like he was doing to her. He had one hand on the back of her head and the other on her neck, like he wanted total control of her mouth, and she loved it. The only thing she could think of was that she didn’t want this to stop.
When he pulled back, she wasn’t done, and she tried to bring him toward her again using her hands that were in his hair, but he wasn’t moving. She opened her eyes again and was relieved that at least there was not a smirky smile on his face, but that didn’t stop the desire she had for more. Her heart was beating like she’d had one of those energy drinks, and she felt like she could move a house full of furniture all by herself; it would be one piece at a time, but she’d still move it.
“You are ripe to pluck aren’t you, darlin’?” His breathing was a bit harsher, but he still had the calm expression on his face. Who was this man, and could she have more of him?
She hoped that meant he was coming up to her apartment. “Does that mean you want coffee?”
“Sorry, Natalie, but I appreciate the offer.” He declined, but he looked as if he didn’t want to. That didn’t make any sense, and it didn’t make it any less painful either.
Natalie wanted the earth to just open up and create a time warp for her. She didn’t do things like this anyway, but now that she had, she felt so foolish. This man had her emotions all over the map, or maybe it was just the way her night was going. She’d been scared, attacked, aroused, excited, exuberant, horny, and now dejected. What she needed to do was to find her bed and get into it to sleep. Then the emotional see saw may not feel as serious when she opened her eyes to a new day.
He didn’t want to tell her his name; she got that, so it was evident that the man wasn’t interested in her in any way. She should be happy for the kiss and move on with a bit of her dignity intact. The problem was that she really didn’t want to. She wanted to see what this instant attraction that she’d never felt for someone she’d never met before was about and find out if the heat she thought she saw in his eyes would pan out to be something spectacular, but it didn’t matter what she wanted. He didn’t want the same thing.
“Well, goodnight, sir,” she said as she turned around preparing to powerwalk to her apartment in her fastest time. Around the corner was her place, and she felt safe with the short distance she had to go, but she felt vulnerable and wounded. She hadn’t gotten what she wanted from the no named lumberjack man on a motorcycle, but her second best choice was she wanted to get home, have a glass of wine, shower, and sleep… in that order. Wrapping her arms around herself she picked up her pace and missed being next to the man on a bike, because he was like a furnace… toasty warm without being too hot.
She heard him power up his bike, but he didn’t take off like she thought he would. Powerwalking wasn’t getting her where she wanted to go fast enough, but she refused to run. The deep rumbling purr of the motorcycle seemed to follow her idling slow but remaining a constant low thrum at her back. Natalie turned around, walked backward for a few steps to check him out, and found the man who wouldn’t give her his name or his cock riding slowly behind her. What the hell was he doing? Maybe she should count herself lucky that he wasn’t coming in. She knew that was sour grapes, but she didn’t have much else to suck on this night, so it may as well be regret and anger since that would be riding her hard until the time she could get some sleep.