“…truly unpredictable and absolutely excellent.” – Love Romances and More
Mila Stone has been betrayed by her own motorcycle club. After a late night package delivery goes bad, the club president wants her head. With every member of the club out looking for her, she seeks help from the last place they’d suspect: behind enemy lines.
Cooper Nolan was supposed to be a one-night stand. Now he’s her only hope of survival. But the Vice President of Satan’s Army has secrets of his own, and war between their clubs is inevitable if he doesn’t turn Mila over to her president.
As connection after connection unravels, Cooper and Mila’s days—and lust-fueled nights—become a race against time. Will she and the one man she doesn’t trust choose love over duty? Or will murder, corruption, and lies turn Mila and the best night of her life into nothing more than a memory?
Some people are cursed with the ability to remember every object and scent in their surroundings for the rest of their lives. Sherlock Holmes, Sean Spencer from Psych, and even Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory share this predicament. They possessed something called Eidetic Memory.
Mila Stone, however, did not.
Which would explain why she didn’t remember how she’d ended up cradling a broken nose on Las Vegas Boulevard at eight in the morning.
Oh, wait. Yes, she did.
“What the hell is wrong with you? Do you just randomly hit people in the face with skateboards?” she asked the blonde bitch in front of her.
Blondie was a whole lot of woman complete with tattoos and a set of Double D’s. And the total opposite of her five-foot-six gangly frame. Along with the fact she’d never been the kind of person to hit someone in the face with a skateboard as they walked down the Las Vegas Strip.
She tried to inhale the hot, dry air through her now-broken nose, but the sounds of passing cars reverberated too loudly in her head to concentrate on one simple task.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
The amount of pain coursing through her head was nothing compared to how much it’d hurt for her to deflate Blondie’s chest, but anger management taught her to evaluate first, then react. She coddled her nose, wincing as waves of pain filled her skull. Blood dripped into her mouth, the salty liquid working its way down her throat. She tried to spit it out, but the damage had already been done. She could practically taste the wood in the blood. Like a good wine, flavors tended to reveal themselves the longer you savored.
“You really think you can hide from me?” Blondie asked.
She pushed herself off the ground, wiping some of the blood away with the back of her hand. The sight of that much blood didn’t bother her as much as getting a pretty decent view up Blondie’s skirt. Yikes.
“I don’t even know who you are, you stupid bimbo, but you should seriously consider wearing some underwear.” She ran her tongue over her teeth. Everything intact. Thank God.
Blondie’s face contorted, her lips drawing back into a snarl.
She might die on Las Vegas Boulevard at the hands of an oversized Barbie, but if she happened to leave her alive, her own club would finish the job. She was supposed to be back at the shop over an hour ago, and if she’d learned anything in the past two years, they wouldn’t grant leniency just because she was a woman. With hands raised in front of her, she backed away from Big and Blonde, unsteady. Not only was Blondie twice her size, but the woman obviously didn’t have reservations about hurting random people. This wasn’t someone she wanted to tussle with. “Listen, I don’t know what the hell your problem is—”
Blondie burst into tears. “I can’t believe you! Why’d you have to sleep with him?”
She searched for a camera, Bob Saget, or something to make sense of the bawling woman in front of her. Candid Camera had to be hiding around the corner. She wasn’t famous enough to get Punk’D. “Are you all right?”
Wait. Shouldn’t someone be asking her that? She was the one with the possibly broken nose.
Blondie dropped the skateboard.
Mila watched it roll down the sidewalk, distracted.
“I’m sorry!” The blonde stumbled toward her, hands outstretched. Her arms wrapped around Mila as she buried her face in her shoulder. That chest of Blondie’s squished against her B-cups. At least the woman wore a bra. “My therapist says I need to work out my frustrations in a safe place and I—” Something slimy dripped down her shoulder. “I can’t believe him!”
“Okay.” She had to get out of here.
Blondie pulled away, snot and tears clinging to her T-shirt. Her baby blues darted to Mila’s chest. She covered her goods. No popping of her balloons. “You’re with the Outriggers Motorcycle Club?” More sniffles.
“Uh huh.” Behind Blondie, a man nearing thirty crossed the street toward the black Harley Fat Boy parked about fifty feet away. Her thighs tightened as flashes of last night flickered across her mind. Cooper, bartender extraordinaire, and the reason she would be late for her own crucifixion, didn’t seem to have the same afterglow she did this morning. “Glad we’re caught up. I’ve gotta get going.”
Long, red-tipped, slender fingers gripped her arms as she watched her one night stand drive off. “You can help me.” What?
“I don’t think so. You just hit me in the face. With. A. Skateboard. What makes you think I want to do anything for you?”
Those angry eyes settled on her once again and a chill sped down her spine. She hitched a thumb over her shoulder and stepped back out of Blondie’s reach. “I have a meeting I was supposed to be at an hour ago.” She backed up another step, her mid-calf boots scuffing against the sidewalk. Luckily no one saw the incident, so the coast was clear to bolt. She had to get Blondie here off her back. “I have to wash my hair. Go to the grocery store. Kill myself.”
“No, no! You’re perfect,” Blondie said.
Her teeth rattled as Blondie locked her hands around her thin arms and shook her. Her head snapped back on her shoulders.
“We can do this! All you need to do is come with her,” she said, her blue eyes distant as if she were scheming something terrible.
Dread churned her insides. She batted her hands away. “Stop shaking me!”
Blondie froze. Her mouth snapped shut at the outburst. Served her right. People just didn’t shake other people and demand them to go with them for no good reason. Not at least without offering candy. Blondie’s gaze became glassy again.
“Oh, no.” She hated crying women. They made her uncomfortable and tore down every defense she had. She scanned down the street, searching for an escape. Her bike was parked about twenty feet away. If she ran fast enough, she could outrun the waterworks. “Please don’t cry again.” She couldn’t handle this. What did this bitch think would happen after she broke her nose? Tears streamed down Blondie’s cheeks a second time. “Are you seriously doing this to me? You hit me in the face!”
Time to get to that meeting. The deal with Satan’s Army would redefine the club’s status. As Vice President, she could not miss it and she couldn’t be caught dead on the Strip either. The rules were clear: stay out of Satan’s Army territory. Besides, she’d had these types of encounters before. Wives wanted revenge for their husband’s cheating ways. All she had to do…blah blah blah. Nothing this double-D blonde said would surprise her, but no matter what hare-brained scheme she had in mind, Mila didn’t have the time. “Listen, I—”
“I need you to kill someone up for me, Mila. But you have to make it look like an accident.”
That was new. “How do you know my name?” She could barely bench fifty pounds the one, and only, time she’d stepped into a gym. Spying? Sure. She always liked a good conspiracy. Picking up a miscellaneous package to deliver? Depended on the compensation. Fighting? Well, skateboard Blondie’s face crush was the most action her nose had ever seen. She wasn’t a fighter and she could hardly handle a gun. She looked down at her thin, small frame. Strands of bright red hair skidded across her clothing as she connected with Blondie’s gaze again. “You’re kidding, right?”
Blondie reached inside that big bra of hers and pulled out a wad of cash. A hundred dollar bill rested on the outside and the anxiety in her chest grew two times stronger. “Doesn’t matter how I know you. Two thousand bucks. I’ll give you half now and half when it’s done.” She shoved the cash into Mila’s hand and her fingers closed around it automatically.
She could use the extra cash. Vegas wasn’t exactly the ideal place to live, especially for someone who didn’t dance, sing, whore around, do drugs, or party. She’d been planning on leaving some day. The two grand would help. A lot.
“Who’s the mark?” Her voice hitched on the last word.
Blondie stepped closer. Her eyes dried up and darted from left to right. She handed her a photo. “Make it quick and dirty. And make sure nothing can be traced back to me.”
She looked down at the photo. Her heart plummeted into her stomach.
Cooper. Her bartender. “You want me. To kill. This guy?” She could imagine exactly how her attempt to rough anyone up would go down: with her on the floor. But attack Cooper? A smile pulled at one corner of her mouth. She’d certainly attacked him last night. “He’s three times my size.”
“Well, I can’t do it!” “Why do you want him dead?” she asked. “He cheated on me.” Blondie twirled a platinum
strand of hair between two fingers. She shook her head in disbelief. Aside from the stab of pain in her stomach thinking about Cooper and Blondie together, the ache from her nose exploded when she winced. Her eyes stung with tears, but not pain tears. What the hell was wrong with her? He was a one-night stand. She wasn’t supposed to care.
“I have to go.” Mila shoved the cash into her back pocket and jogged toward her own bike. Just take the cash and run.
“How do I get a hold of you?” Blondie yelled across the street.
She didn’t answer, carefully setting her helmet over her head to avoid her nose. She threw one leg over her pride and joy and started the ignition. Thoughts of the hit she’d just been paid to participate in disappeared as she focused keeping her breathing even. Not knowing what would happen to her once she stepped inside the clubhouse set her on edge. Less than ten minutes later, she drove into Outrigger territory. Anxiety clawed its way up her throat. She’d been a member for more than two years, but her status as Vice President wouldn’t cushion the punishment waiting.
She’d screwed up. Big time.
She’d be surprised if the club didn’t burn off her membership tattoo for letting one of the largest shipments of cocaine out of her sight.
Her bike rumbled beneath her as she shifted down and pulled into the shop’s parking lot. Other members of the crew avoided her gaze as she parked. She threw the kickstand down, pulled off her helmet, and stepped onto the asphalt.
The garage employed every member of the Outriggers Motorcycle Club on paper and served as headquarters for meetings. The cinderblock walls, plywood doors, and oil-stained cement gave cops the impression of a mechanic garage, but that end of business had died out long ago. If a biker needed his bike fixed, he had to do it himself.
A bike she didn’t recognize had been parked on the other side of the lot, another behind it she couldn’t see. Looked like Satan’s Army had already arrived, which meant the meeting had started without her. Great.
She pushed her way through the side door, and was immediately confronted with the long, oak table surrounded by her brethren. As the only female member, she’d gotten plenty of lusty, offended, and confused looks in her day, but now? The Grim Reaper himself stared out through her president’s eyes. Yeah, she was in trouble.
“What the hell happened to your face?” Ryder Branson, President of the Outriggers, stood. He walked over to her then cradled her face with both hands.
His touch washed warning throughout her body. Not only had he taken what was once a good, honest, and family-oriented club and turned it into his personal shell company for dealing blow, but also he gave her the creeps. “Skateboard accident.” No point in telling them some Double-D’d hoodlum had paid her to kill someone.
“Have Nadia look at it when we’re through.” He motioned for her to sit. “Mila, you’ve met Vasquez, President of Satan’s Army, Nevada.”
She maneuvered around the standing members to her reserved chair and sat. Her gaze connected with Vazquez and she nodded curtly. She was sure the embarrassment running rampant in her body showed through the new bruises on her face. Nothing like a Vice President showing up late to a members meeting.
“And this is his VP, Cooper Nolan,” Ryder said.
Every cell in her body froze. Blondie should’ve killed her when she had the chance.
Slowly, she directed her gaze to the man whose apartment she’d left this morning in a hurry. Her fingers curled into fists in her lap. Cooper. Her one-night stand. Shit.