(Salvation’s Bane, #1)
Published by: Changeling Press
Publication date: May 29th, 2020
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Lucrecia: All I have in the world is my sister Mae. We were adrift, on our own until a guy from Black Reign, one of Lake Worth’s most infamous MCs, spotted us and took us in. Ryks isn’t cruel, but he’s hard on us. We have to earn our keep, but then everyone does. Me? I dance for the club. I get a secret thrill from it — until Mae is kidnapped by enemies of Black Reign, and Ryks sends me to Palm Beach — straight into the hands of Salvation’s Bane.
Vicious: It all started with some MFer stole my F’in’ pizza and two cans of beer. I went looking for the SOB. What I found was a raven-haired spitfire too sexy for my own good. Her sister’s in trouble, and wouldn’t you know it that bastard El-Diablo’s at the very center of yet more trouble. It’s his club Mae’s been taken from. His club Lucy was sent away from. Now, we have to get her back. Because I might be falling for the little dancer in my care. Not that I’ll ever admit it. We’ll have to call out all the stops for this. Bones. Shadow Demons. Hell, even Black Reign. If we’re going to rescue Mae, nothing is out of bounds. But busting her out of some rich banker’s estate will be a piece of cake. No worries. Yeah. Right…
“Don’t think I’m letting this go, brother,” Vicious said. “I’m findin’ out who stole my fuckin’ pizza and I’m gonna nail someone’s balls to the fuckin’ wall.”
“So, let’s talk about Mercedes.”
“I just won a fuckin’ million dollars, you cocksucker.” Vicious tried to snarl at Havoc, but it only came out a sigh.
“Oh? How’s that?”
“I bet myself a mil that was why you brought up Mercedes’ name in the first Goddamned place. What the fuck did she do now?”
Havoc raised his hand in surrender. “Not a fuckin’ thing, brother. Just wondering where we stood with her. You know as well as I do — great lay aside — the girl don’t belong here. She needs to go back to wherever she came from before she gets hurt.”
“I know. Thought assigning her stuff to do, outside of fuckin’, would help her realize just how much she wasn’t ready for this, but I think she’s got it in her head she’s gonna be Thorn’s ol’ lady. You know. Get some clout in the club and have the girls all submitting to her every whim.”
Havoc shook his head. “Yeah. Figured. Girl ain’t smart enough to figure out a brother doesn’t take an ol’ lady from the club girl population, especially if everyone in the fuckin’ club has already screwed her.”
“She’s a spoiled little rich girl, trying to thwart her daddy or some shit. I’d hoped she’d leave on her own but I’m afraid I’m gonna have to get Thorn to go with me and help her come to the decision.”
“Well, I ain’t seen her in a couple days. Maybe she already bailed.”
“Maybe. I’ll check her room in a while. You know. Soon as I find the motherfuckin’ cocksuckin’ son of a bitch who stole my fuckin’ pizza.”
Havoc snickered then pushed off the counter to leave. “Let me know what you decide. I’ll tell the guys to back off for a while.”
Vicious waved Havoc on, not sparing him a glance as he continued to stare into the fridge like the stupid pizza would just appear in front of him. He wished it would cause it was a seriously good pie. Which was when he noticed two of the six beers he’d put in the fridge next to the pizza were also gone. Someone was getting a beatdown like never before.
“Mother fuck,” he bit out. “Mother Goddamned fuck.”
He stalked into the common room. It was a perfect day for riding, so it didn’t surprise him no one was there. Carnage, the road captain, had organized a ride for that evening, but, true to form, no one wanted to wait that long. Likely, the whole club had taken off in pairs for a little free time on the road.
With a growl he clenched his fists. No use getting angry right now. His wrath would be waisted with everyone gone. Might as well go check Mercedes’s room. If the girl was gone, he’d need to make sure it was cleaned out and any personal belongings she left behind bagged and stored in case she came back for them. He hoped she was in her room because he was dying to confront someone. While protocol demanded Thorn be with him if he evicted a non-club inhabitant, it wasn’t strictly necessary. His job was to see to the wellbeing of the club and anyone living with them. Mercedes’s behavior was self-destructive. She needed to go home.
He stomped up the stairs. Club members were on the first floor. Women not ol’ ladies were on the second floor in the middle rooms. Officers took the rooms on the outside, so the women were protected on both sides and below. Mercedes was no exception. In fact, Vicious had been careful to put her as close to the center as he could because he’d known sooner or later someone would come looking for her, and he wanted to be able to tell the girl’s father she’d been as protected as any woman in their club. Of course, he’d neglect to mention she’d fucked nearly every single patched member in Salvation’s Bane. Cause, yeah. No.
He was surprised to find the door wide open and stripped bare of anything other than the furniture. He sighed. Well, it was one less thing he had to deal with.
Again, that prickly sensation on the back of his neck had him rubbing it before scrubbing a hand through his hair. His years as a SEAL had him refusing to ignore the feeling. It had saved his life more than once, but what the fuck? Danger? In his own clubhouse? No fucking way.
Still, he gave the room a visual once-over. The longer he stood there, the louder his senses pinged. He wished he had a better idea of how the room should be, but with the recent departure of its occupant, all he had to go on was immediate visual clues. He moved around the room slowly, looking at the windows, the bathroom and windows there, the walls, and the ceiling. He was about to chalk it up to him being a paranoid son of a bitch when there was a muffled sneeze from the bathroom.
“What the fuck?” His muttered question seemed loud but was met with silence. Once again, Vicious checked the bathroom. Nothing. It wasn’t exactly like there were a ton of places to hide. The place was pretty small. Wide enough for the bathtub/shower at the far end, the toilet beside the tub, and the sink beside the toilet. The window was in front of the sink with a small, wall-mounted cabinet for towels and washcloths beside the window. The only other closed-in space was the vanity under the sink.
Before he thought about it, Vicious opened the door under the sink and shut it again. Did a double-take. He opened the cabinet door again to find a small girl tucked in the limited space, folded with her knees against her chest. Her eyes were enormous. A vibrant gold framed with coal-black lashes. Jet-black hair tumbled around her in tight curls. Cutoff shorts and a black tank revealed snow-white skin. Skin that looked like it had never seen the sun a single day in her life.
“What the everlastin’ fuck?” Vicious tried not to raise his voice too much. This girl didn’t look like she could take the shock of a six-foot-seven, three-hundred-pound man roaring at her. She looked like it would be nothing for him to break her in half. “Get your ass outta there, young lady!” Great. Now he sounded like an old man.
The girl hesitated until he tilted his head, giving her his best “so help me…” expression. Then she squeaked her distress as she tumbled out of the cramped space to stand in front of him. Good thing he was between her and the door because he was certain she’d have tried to make a run for it otherwise.
“Wanna tell me what the fuck you’re doin’ in here?”
Romance author by night, emergency room tech/clerk by day, Marteeka Karland works really hard to drive everyone in her life completely and totally nuts. She has been creating stories from her warped imagination since she was in the third grade. Her love of writing blossomed throughout her teenage years until it developed into the totally unorthodox and irreverent style her English teachers tried so hard to rid her of. Now, she breathes life into faeries, space hunters, werewolves, vampires, shapeshifters, and a few just plane ole ordinary people. She loves to see the awkward, self-conscious band geek get the captain of the football team and make him beg for it.