I peeked up and over the bench to see Horse dragging the shooter to his feet by the front of his shirt before punching him hard in the face. I heard panting nearby, and a girl I hadn’t even realized was crouched next to me gave a squeak of fear. It was Miss Double Penetration, and she wore a streak of dirt across her cheek and a look of total shock on her face.

I imagined my own held a similar expression.


I reached out and took her hand. She squeezed it back as Horse methodically beat the shit out of the shooter, yelling at him between blows.

“You don’t f**king shoot a gun at my woman!” he shouted, taking a final shot at the guy’s gut as the man collapsed in the dirt. Horse stood over him, panting, furious, and I had another of those eye-opening realizations that seemed to happen so often lately.

Horse was capable of violence. Terrible violence. I wasn’t sure if this guy was going to survive. I’d known it intellectually, seen him with a gun, but this was different. This was right in front of me, real and visceral and scarier than anything I’d ever seen. The girl next to me started crying shocked tears. I felt them running down my face too. The guy was definitely down, but Horse rolled him over and kicked him again in the nuts with enough force to dent metal. The horrific scream he gave tore through my soul.

Horse stood back, chest heaving, glancing around in disgust. Everyone seemed frozen.

“This cocksucker missed my girl by about six inches,” he announced, looking around at the crowd. “I should put him in the ground, but it’s not worth my f**king time. Next time I won’t be so forgiving, you got me?”

Around him men nodded, murmuring their agreement. I heard someone throwing up off to the right, back in the darkness. I hugged the girl next to me and she hugged me right back, all differences between us forgotten. Horse left the circle of firelight, reaching out to take the now-unloaded gun from the man who’d grabbed it before. Then Horse grabbed the clip, slammed it back into the gun and pulled back the slide with purpose. He turned and carefully aimed the gun at the man’s head.

“Not so f**king fun now, is it?” he snarled. The man gibbered, whimpering and shaking. Lightning fast, Horse tilted the gun to one side of the man’s head and pulled the trigger. Dirt exploded next to his face.

“Marie, get your ass over here.”

I didn’t want to move, but I really didn’t want to piss Horse off even more. I gave the girl a quick hug and stood shakily. I realized about a second later that the stripper heels just weren’t going to work, so I kicked them off and scuttled over to Horse. He tucked the gun into the back of his pants, grabbed my hand and dragged me back through the clubhouse. Boonie caught up to us, but Horse just snarled at him when he tried to talk. Darcy followed behind, eyes darting between us.

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Horse pulled out the gun again when we reached his bike, letting the magazine drop and clearing the slide. Then the entire thing went into one of his saddlebags. We climbed on the Harley and took off into the night.

I didn’t notice the cold at all on the ride home. Go figure.

We got back to the house way too fast. I wasn’t ready to deal with Horse or what I’d witnessed. That guy had to be hurt, bad. I hoped to hell they got him to a hospital, although that might make things worse for us—the cops would come after Horse. Where would that leave me?

Safe, a little voice whispered deep down inside.

We pulled up to the house and he killed the bike. Silence fell between us and I had no idea what to do or say. Wasn’t the first time I’d felt this way either. We seemed to be following a pattern. Outstanding sex. Violent outburst. Cold war.

At least I wasn’t the one who’d pissed him off this time.

Horse didn’t say a thing to me as we walked into the house. But when the door shut behind us and he slid the bolt home he turned to me, eyes burning with something dark and terrible. I froze, pinned by that gaze, understanding what it must feel to be a deer at the moment the hunter pulls the trigger. He shook his head and pulled me into his arms.

“I can’t f**king believe he almost shot you,” he muttered, gripping me so tight it hurt. Then he picked me up and carried me over to the couch, falling back on it and draping me over his body. I collapsed against him, a rush of tears bursting out of me. I don’t know what it was, relief maybe? Horse rubbed my back, making little soothing noises, and eventually I stopped crying. Then I realized my skirt had ridden up and my bare ass was hanging out. I tried to pull away from him but he wouldn’t let me. Instead he took my face in both his hands, forcing me to meet his eyes.

“I’m so sorry, babe,” he said. “I can’t believe that f**kwad. Boonie should be ashamed of himself, letting that shit happen in his house. He wasn’t even a member of the club. You almost got shot by a goddamned hangaround.”

“But I didn’t,” I whispered. “I’m fine, Horse. Really. It scared me but I’m okay.”

He shook his head.

“I scared you too,” he said. “I’m sorry, babe. But it had to be done. I couldn’t let that guy get away with that any more than I can let your brother off the hook. This is my reality and it’s ugly sometimes. Dragging you into this, I should be sorry. But I’m not. I’m not gonna let you go, Marie. I’m keeping you and I don’t care if I go to hell for doing it. I don’t care about anything but f**king you.”

With that, he pulled my mouth down to his, kissing me hard, tongue thrusting in and taking command. He sat up slowly, swinging his legs off the side of the couch so that I had to straddle him. He thrust his lower body up at me, hands holding my hips as he rubbed the ridge of his jeans-covered c**k against my bare clit. In all the excitement I’d forgotten I was naked under my skirt. Now his fingers reached between us, dipping into my wet opening and sliding around. Suddenly he pushed me up and lifted his hips. I grabbed his shoulders to steady myself as he slid his jeans down, freeing his cock. He took it and rubbed the tip through my wetness, then lined it up with my slit.

“I meant what I said,” Horse told me, his face tight and cold. “You belong to me. Nobody else gets in this pu**y. You got that?”

I nodded quickly, biting my lip.

“Give me the words.”

“I belong to you,” I whispered as he took my hips, gripping them firmly.

“All of them.”

“Nobody gets in this pu**y but you, Horse.”

He held my eyes as he pressed my hips down, forcing his c**k deep as I cried out. Even though he’d f**ked me once that night, this new angle hit me deeper than he’d ever gone. I screamed when the tip of his c**k hit my cervix and spasmed around him. I don’t know if it was pleasure or pain or what, but as he slid me up and then down again, hard, I exploded around him with a cry.

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