Home > Bayonet Scars #4 - Crush

Bayonet Scars #4 - Crush
Author: J.C. Emery


J.C. Emery - Bayonet Scars #4 - Crush

Crush (Bayonet Scars #4)
J.C. Emery

romance/new adult/erotica

 

PROLOGUE

July

21 months to Mancuso’s downfall

I NEVER FEEL more at home than I do right here on Forsaken land. The black vinyl inserts in the high-as-hell chain link fence that surrounds the compound have the word FORSAKEN painted across them in ten-foot high white lettering. Everywhere they can, the club’s marked this property. Even if one day Forsaken no longer calls this spot home, their mark will remain. After a small fire that was started, due to no fault of my own, Dad and Jim had to repair and repaint one of the picnic tables. They knew how it started, and instead of laying into me, Dad gave me a knife and told me to mark that table as my own. Beneath the table top, in the fucked up scratch marks of a seven-year-old’s handiwork, is JEREMY WAS HERE. I don’t get to come by as often as I’d like, but every chance I get, I sit at that table. In a way, it makes me feel closer to my dad. I’d go there now, but there’s a crowd around my table watching two of the brothers fight it out.

Nobody’s paying attention to me, which is the way I like it. People pay too much attention and they start asking questions. I slip past the crowd and around to the line of Harleys backed up against the fence. There’s really no order to the way the brothers park in the lot except that they try to make it as easy as possible to get out in a moment’s notice. I don’t recognize all the bikes here. Some of them are familiar, like Ryan’s bike that he’s had custom painted with obsessive detailing that nobody else seems to see but him. Next to Ryan’s bike, on the very end, is Duke’s. Duke patched in before Dad went to prison, and he’s always been good to me. I like the guy and all, but his bike is boring as shit.

I scan the crowd and find the fight is still going on. Taking advantage of the moment, I run my hand along the gas tank of the black Harley. I’d really like to get my hands on Ryan’s bike, but he has this thing about people’s asses and his dick, so I’ll just stay over here with Duke’s. Duke won’t say it because he’s Forsaken and he’s not a fucking pussy, but I know he lets me hang around the clubhouse because of my sister, Nic. Even before they hooked up, he let me do shit I know Dad would beat me for. Usually I’ll just casually ask him if he’s seen Nic anywhere like I’m there for her. I think he caught on that I was full of shit at some point, but as long as I feed him information, he lets me hang out. He even had a Lost Girl show me how to properly feel up a chick once. That was pretty badass.

The seat of Duke’s bike is worn. Its cracks show a seat that has seen a lot of miles with its rider. Dad says when he gets out he’s going to hook me up and get me a bike. I can’t wait. More than anything, I just want to learn how to ride. I want to earn my cut and sit in Church with these guys. Dudes like me, who don’t know shit about books and fucking hate math, only got a few choices in life. But even if I was book smart, I’d still want this. The brotherhood is deeper than family and survives shit most relationships never could. I know my sister loves me, and she does the best she can, but I don’t think I’ll ever really know my father and feel like I belong somewhere until I’m one of his brothers. I lower myself onto the seat of the bike and lean up against it. I know better, and I don’t care. For just a moment, I want to know what this feels like.

There’s noise from the crowd. Grady, the club’s sergeant at arms, is breaking up the fight. After a few choice words, he zeroes in on Nic. I can’t hear what he’s saying, but I regret trying to figure it out the moment she eyes me on Duke’s bike and gives me that parental chin nod she’s been practicing, telling me to get off. I stand from my position on the bike and take a step forward to appease her. Shit. She’s not going to let this go later. She never lets anything go.

People are walking away from Diesel and Duke. Both men are heaving in anger just feet away from one another. Everybody seems to be disinterested in what’s happening now that Grady’s broken up the fun. Everybody but the skinny blonde with a bad attitude who vaguely resembles my sister who’s staring at Duke like he’s dying or some shit. Crap. I knew Nic had a thing for him, but she’s looking at him in a way I’ve never seen her look at anyone.

Content that her focus is elsewhere, I lower myself back against the bike and indulge in this feeling. Just leaning up against it, I feel powerful. It’s not very large, but this close I can see the small Forsaken symbol shining back at me from the top of the gas tank. The Nordic warrior isn’t a logo. It’s more than that. The warrior is powerful and fierce. He’s indestructible, and nobody fucks with him. At least that’s how I’ve always seen him. Placing my hand over the warrior, I let out a heavy sigh. If my dad was here, he’d tell me the warrior’s history. He’d make sure I understand what it means to be Forsaken and to be allowed to have this symbol on your bike. It means brotherhood. It means family. It means never having to be alone.

When I lift my head and meet eyes with Duke, I square my shoulders and try my best to not look like a fucking baby. We’ve always been cool, and I’m just admiring the detail work. He’ll understand that.

“Are you on my fucking bike?” he yells. His voice is deep and scratchy and so much fucking scarier than it’s ever been before. I keep my jaw set and try to keep my breathing steady as he unhooks his arm from around my sister’s waist and walks toward me.

Forsaken doesn’t like weakness, they don’t like mistakes, and they fucking hate apologies. So I don’t apologize, and I don’t move. I go for the truth, pat the gas tank, and say, “I like the paint job.”

“Off,” he says, gesturing for me to get off. “Before I break your fucking kneecaps.”

“Chill.” I don’t finish that comment with what I really want to say, which is a string of nonsensical curses mixed in with some good old-fashioned begging. Because, I remind myself, Duke won’t respect begging. As I push off the bike, the chain of my wallet clanks against the perfect black paint job. It startles me, and I move quickly—too quickly—causing a horrible fucking scratch on the gas tank. It all happens so fast, even though he’s moving really slowly, but the next thing I know he’s shoving me away from the bike and holding my shirt by its collar.

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