Bitter kind of love: prairie devils mc romance (outlaw love)

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Bitter Kind of Love: Prairie Devils MC Romance

By Nicole Snow

Table of Contents

Title Page

Bitter Kind of Love: Prairie Devils MC Romance

I: Shades of Betrayal (Alice)

II: It Always Catches Up (Alice)

III: Herding Cats (Stinger)

IV: Freedom Is a Lonely Business (Alice)

V: Cold Blooded (Stinger)

VI: White Knuckle Loss (Stinger)

VII: Passions Unsheathed (Alice)

VIII: Storm Clouds (Stinger)

IX: Tarnished Hearts (Alice)

X: Hellbound (Stinger)

XI: Smoldered (Alice)

XII: Outlaw Kind of Party (Stinger)

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Content copyright © Nicole Snow. All rights reserved.

Published in the United States of America.

First published in November, 2014.

Disclaimer:The following ebook is a work of fiction. Any resemblance characters in this story may have to real people is only coincidental.

Description

BITTER LOVE: DEFIANT, SEETHING, AND UNSTOPPABLE...

Alice James tried like hell to forget soul killing tragedy. Running from her gun runner father's murder and dark days with the Prairie Devils MC was pure survival. But escaping nightmares is never easy. Neither is erasinghimfrom her memory.

Lucas “Stinger” Spears can't forget the walking mystery with the killer body who shared his clubhouse for a few glorious weeks. Too bad Alice rebuffed his wild charms like no woman has, and nobody – nobody! – says no to the VP of the Devils Montana crew. Now, his own dark memories and raw passions are perfect fuel for a midnight ride to find his woman and stake a claim.

She can't remember what love's supposed to be. He can't live another second without her on his bike and between his sheets, screaming his name and wearing his brand. And neither of them knows a dead man's secrets are about to drive a terrifying wedge between their hearts, threatening their fragile love and the entire club...

Will Alice and Stinger's bitter love turn sweet – or will it become pure poison?

The Prairie Devils MC books are stand alone romance novels featuring unique lovers and happy endings. No cliffhangers allowed! This is Stinger and Alice's story.

I: Shades of Betrayal (Alice)

When I felt the knife against my throat, I knew I'd fucked up bad.

Stinger wasn't coming to pull me feet from the fire either. Not this time, not when I'd run away from him and his club like the terrified girl I was.

He'd offered me the world, and I'd forsaken him. Now, I was going to pay the price.

“I'll ask you again, little bitch.Where. Is. It?” My interrogator's eyes were pitch black.

God, how many times had I seen eyes like that before? They were as black and dead as the last few months of this new life, lost to the world, abandoned in the deep cold darkness.

“I...I can't remember. I already told you that. I'm not lying!” I spat at the floor and looked up, trying not to shake.

My eyes passed over the patches on his cut: NERO, PRESIDENT, 1%, WRECKING CREW, SLINGERS MC. Skulls wearing cowboy hats and smoking pistols menaced their way out of the leather. Above it all, his black eyes devoured me, darkness set in a bald head and cheeks pocked with scars.

Sick irony twisted my stomach. I'd fled to Idaho to get away from biker gangs intruding on my life, only to have a truly feral MC threatening to make sure I never had to worry about intrusions ever again. And all because I couldn't give him something I didn't know I had, that fucking map my father hid before they murdered him.

“Bullshit!” Nero lowered the knife and gave me a good shove against the wall.

Behind him, another man laughed, giggling like a hyena while he scratched his arm. Nero's head whipped back and he gave the psycho an evil eye.

“Shut the fuck up, Hatter.” He drew in a heavy breath before turning back to me, bathing me in those inverted spotlights he had for eyes. “Your amnesia act's not pulling the fucking wool over my eyes, girl. Maybe it worked before, getting every fool from here to Missoula to swallow your shit, but I'm not biting. I know the Rams kept you for days in that shitty clubhouse after we killed your old man and ripped through his fucking truck. Don't tell me the Feds took it. I won't believe that shit for a second.”

I looked up at him, hatred swirling in my veins. My fiercest look didn't faze him. All it got me was the knife at my throat again, cold and threatening as ever.

“Who the fuck took it, slut? Did you bring it out here when you decided to move West and shake your pussy on stage? Should I rip apart this whole fucking house looking for it?” Nero looked up at his men and snapped his fingers.

His crew moved behind us, stomping into my tiny kitchen. Crashes blasted my ears as they turned over the table and started to open every drawer and cabinet they could find, hurling out the contents, killing the grim silence with a ferocious clatter.

Shit.He knew damned well I wasn't hiding anything in plates and cups, didn't he?

Maybe it was a new, sick form of torture. I didn't give a damn that they were destroying what little I had. It was the noise that got to me, the thunderous explosion of dishes, silverware, glass, and food hitting every surface within striking distance.

The one called Hatter added his high, insane laugh to the chaos too, a soulless cackle that drummed into my bones.

“Okay! You fucking win! I'll tell you everything I know. Just please...make themstop,” I screamed, jumping in his arms, wishing I could get his gross hands away.

I nicked my neck on the knife while I was thrashing around. Nero tucked it away, satisfied with my surrender, but not before I felt a warm trickle of angry blood pooling in my cleavage. He blinked, his eyes wide, allowing me to hold one hand to the wound while he clapped his hands and yelled at his men.

“All right, boys! Keep your peckers down and stop ripping shit to kingdom come. Our little raven's gonna sing...”

He smiled, reaching up to run the back of his hand through my black hair. I twisted away, stopping just short of slapping his stupid hand. Jesus, it was tempting, but I knew I'd get pure hell if I laid a finger on him.

The crashing stopped, replaced with wintry silence. Hatter's sick laughter faded into their heavy, excited breaths. They came tromping back to their boss, surrounding us in a cruel circle that would've made the biggest badass in the world sweat bullets.

My memory gathered itself while I stared into Nero's cold eyes, collating all the terrible things I'd forgotten for months. Everything I'd tried to escape forever.

I was an idiot to think I could run from it. Evil things always caught up with me, no different than this pack of vicious murderers.

“I watched Dad die in their clubhouse. The Rams kept me prisoner,” I said, remembering the worst days of my life. “I couldn't have been there more than a few days...”

“You gotta do better than that, little lamb. That shit's the first thing I learned through the Grizzlies grape vine, and it's fucking useless!” His last word exploded in my face like a bomb. “I want those fucking routes. I need your old man's map. Don't give a shit hearing about the Rams' escapades while you were chained down like a bitch.”

Don't shake. Don't cry. Don't give him anything except stark, bitter truth.

“The Prairie Devils picked me up. I was with them for...damn, it must've been several weeks. They held onto me while their drama with the Rams dragged on. This man, Stinger –“

It hurt to say his name.

Stinger repulsed me, fascinated me, and stirred more conflicting emotions than any man I'd ever met in my life. I couldn't handle him. I ran, as fast and as far as a bus ticket and a little cash could get me, hoping I'd never have to say his name again.

Nero held up a hand, hissing through his teeth. “I already told you, bitch, I don't need to hear all these little details. I don't give a fuck about hearing how many times they used your tight ass. If you don't spit out something useful in the next two minutes, Hatter and Wasp here are gonna use your holes instead. And I can guarantee they'll give you a pounding a whole lot harder than anything those Prairie Pussies gave you...” He turned the blade in his hands, bored beneath his rage.

I shouldn't have said his name. I'm not worthy to even think it.

My heart sank, thinking about the only man who gave a single crap about me since these demons killed Dad.

Stinger was a total angel, a guardian, handsome as he was strong, determined to keep the brutal world off my back. He protected me, the total opposite of what these idiots thought about the Devils, and I repaid him by fucking off without even saying goodbye.

“It doesn't matter,” I whispered, the worst lie I'd told all night. “I didn't see much. The Devils had their own crap going on – one of their brothers almost went to prison. They barely told me anything about their business. Just asked me a bunch of questions until the Rams hit them that night.”

“Yeah,  yeah. Poison,” Nero grunted. “I know all about what those sloppy motherfuckers did. Didn't off a single Prairie Pussy, did they?”

I shook my head, remembering my last night with the club, nearly all the men laid up and suffering. The tainted whiskey did a number on their stomachs.

But it wasn't the club that mattered. It washim,and I was right by his side, holding his hand while he writhed in pain, then laying next to him – repaying the same favor he'd done me the first night I left hell.

Then there was the kiss the next morning, when he was still delirious...

I closed my eyes. It was too damned much.

I was an idiot, and the world didn't offer second chances.

“You're right. None of them died,” I said, reluctantly forcing my eyes open.

“Fucking amateurs,” Nero growled. “So, what, then? The Pussies cut a deal with the Feds, I know that much. How did the Rams die? That fucking thing had to be at their clubhouse. I know they fucked us over. And I know the Feds didn't tear them a new asshole. Their dicks are too limp these days for massacres and media spectacles. Who killed them?”

I swallowed the painful lump in my throat. Nero stepped closer again, catching the glint in my eye that told him I was holding back.

“You coming clean, or what? Fucking tell me, bitch! You got one chance, and you're losing it by the second.” He grabbed my shoulders and pressed me to the wall, hot breath spilling onto my face, carrying the faint and sickly stink of whiskey. “We're not gonna do this same old song and dance all night, girlie.”

My feet dangled off the floor as he lifted me higher, hanging my face just a few inches over his repulsive mug. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't look away, knowing if he wrung out the next bit, it would seriously fuck over the people who'd saved me.

And Stinger too – especially Stinger!

I'd already stabbed him in the back by running. I couldn't twist the knife by fucking over his club – could I?

“I get it.” His voice went cold, the anger doused to smoky rage. “Cutting up that pretty skin or having a dick inside you doesn't rustle your panties too much. Hell, you're probably already fucking guys in your off hours at the strip joint, yeah? You got a body worth a few dimes, bitch, and having us steal what you're selling doesn't get you in a fucking twist.”

I refused to answer. I had to keep my lips sealed, had to stay quiet. No, my memory wasn't perfect, but I'd be damned if I let it go.

“Let me tell you something.” He let my shoes drop to the floor with a shove. “You've never fucked the way we do. You see my bro, Hatter, over there?”

He grabbed my face and twisted it in the right direction. I was forced to look at the skinny, nasty freak behind him, the man who couldn't stop twitching and giggling like a lunatic.

“Show her your goods, brother!” Nero ordered.

Hatter laughed louder as he rolled his leather cut down his arms and pulled up his shirt. I gasped.

Crazy emblems lined his body like every biker, but they weren't tattoos. They were deep red scars, gouges in his skin. Several long lines of flame were deep red, nearly bleeding. The smoking gun on his chest was lined with thousands of little cuts designed to look like thorns.

The other two men laughed. I felt the blood draining from my face.

“This is what he does for fun,” Nero said. “Likes to carve shit up like it's Thanksgiving dinner three hundred and sixty five fuckin' days a year. Not just his own skin neither. Fuck, you oughta take a good look at his dick...this man's the only bastard I've known in all my years who takes razors to his pisser.”

The demon grinned and reached for his jeans, squeezing his crotch. Then he reached into the holsters near his waist and pulled out two matching daggers, holding them across the lump in his pants, giving me a smile straight from the darkest corner of hell.

Nero knew what he was doing. The bastardknewI'd take damage to keep my secrets, but notthis.I couldn't fight the monster leering at me with his knives and manic evil, drool slipping down his chin.

No, no, Jesus Christ, no.

I couldn't let this sick animal have his way with me. I wouldn't survive.

Right then and there, I broke. My cowardly mind spun, ready to cough up anything to get me out of this. Anything to take away the pure fucking evil circling me in this room.

Hatter reached up, began to unzip his fly. I couldn't even stand to see it. Terror hit me like lightning, and I flinched in Nero's hands.

“Stop it. Stop. Call him off,” I whimpered. “I know where the stupid map is.”

“Okay,” he said softly. “I'm gonna give you one more chance, bitch, and only one.Whokilled the Rams? Who the fuck was there before the Feds rolled in? Who took it?”

“The Devils. The whole club combed the place over good before they gave it up to the cops. If anyone's got my Dad's stuff, it's them. The map's at their clubhouse, stuffed up in some office. Now, please...let me go.”

Nero never smiled. He just nodded and did as I asked, letting me fall to the floor. He coughed once, watching me collapse in a sobbing heap on the ground.

Cold. Satisfied. Happy, maybe.

And why shouldn't he be? The bastard just watched me sell my soul.

“Come on, Shark,” he said to the larger man in the corner. “Bitch finally gave us a gold nugget we can use. We'll call it in to the rest of the club and figure out the best plan of attack.”

The man with the VP tag and the silver teeth nodded, and began to follow him out. I looked up, staring through my tears, wishing I could see through the walls, straight to the dense gray winter sky.

I'm sorry, Stinger. I'm sorry.

God, I'm so fucking sorry!

I saw it in my mind already. These assholes weren't going to waste much time. They'd show up not long after Christmas if they had to, a sneak attack. Nero and his men would burst in with guns blazing, brandishing their blades. They'll kill, torture, and burn anyone they had to for that damned map.

The Missoula boys would never see it coming. Blaze, Tank, Moose...Stinger.

They'd all fight like mad until their last breath. But it wouldn't be enough. They'd be flattened on the ground with holes in their chests.

I'd watched the club nearly get slaughtered in one ambush while I was there, and the Slingers promised hot lead instead of half-assed poison.

I thought about Stinger's strong face, lifeless and pale, a neat dark hole through his head.

Fuck. This couldn't be happening!

I couldn't let him or any of his guys die because of my screw up.

My hands stretched across my face and just kept going, pulling on my skin. I wanted it to hurt. My surrender was going to get a lot of good men killed, and probably their old ladies too. I might as well have put a gun to Stinger's temple and pulled the trigger myself.

I stopped stretching my face to total hell and looked up. The other two demons, Hatter and Wasp, lingered. I wanted them gone like yesterday. I wasn't sure there would ever be a way to bleach their evil presence out of my rental.

After this, I had to leave. I had to get out and go far, far away.

Maybe I could leave the Devils an anonymous tip, a letter or a call to tell them what was coming...but first, I needed these killersgone.

Shit, why weren't they moving, following their nasty leader out the door?

“Hey!” I screamed, my life returning. Nero stopped with his VP at my front door and turned. “We're done here, aren't we? Take your guys and go. I gave you what I promised.”

At last, I saw his smile, evil and crooked as the rest of him. “There's a special place in hell for traitors and cunts who can't keep their lips sealed. Don't worry, baby, your friends from the Prairie Pussies will be joining you down there soon. Daddy's waiting too. Old Mickey's paying for some seriously fucked up sins on Satan's bench right now, I'd wager...”

My eyes bulged. My lungs felt like they'd been filled with cement. I couldn't even shake my head or ask him what the hell he was talking about. It was all there in his savage face.

“I'm gonna give you boys an hour with this bitch. Have your fun and then clean up the mess. We'll dump her body off on the way to Montana.”

Nero was out the door, his VP behind him. I took one look at the two smiling assholes closing in on me fast, trying not to let my knees turn into mud.

Run. Get away. Fight.

I hurled myself downstairs, heading for the basement, listening to their heavy boots clomping behind me. The last thing I thought before my screams pierced the darkness was Stinger.

I hurled my frenzied wishes, my prayers, my everything high into the cold, indifferent winter sky. I would've given anything for a miracle, anything for him to hear it and come for me.

Yes, I prayed, even when I saw what a total, undeserving bitch I'd become, the last girl in the world who deserved a rescue by the man who haunted her dreams.

But I wasn't stupid. The universe never, ever worked like that. I didn't believe in coincidence or miracles, and I definitely didn't deserve one after what I'd done.

Shit! It was so fucking dark down here, and I didn't dare turn on the lights and give them an easier time. I ran into the washing machine, its cold metal slapping my hands. When I looked up, the bikers' dark shadows blocked the hall, boxing me in.

When Hatter lunged, pulling at my hair, I lost it.

The screams, the prayers, and everything else went numb. He whirled me around, slapping me against the wall before I lost my balance and began to fall. Nothing broke it. Nothing caught me. Nothing except brutal regret as I hit the floor and they started tearing at my clothes.

That thing they say about your whole damned life flashing before your eyes right before you die? I thought it was crap – until it happened.

I remember everything, past and present flashing like strobe lights, colliding jigsaws in my head. Every piece of Stinger, I tried to cling onto, but I couldn't. It was all coming in a blizzard, churning too fast, the few good pieces always out of reach.

I'd lived on a merciless ledge, and I was an idiot to think there'd be anything different at my life's sudden dead end.

One second, I caught a fragment. Just one.

I remembered Stinger's warmth, his strength, his powerful arms wrapped around me, so real my heart stopped shaking to tatters in my ribs. And then it was gone in a wink, replaced with the savage wolves behind me, grabbing me by the ankles and ripping at my clothes.

II: It Always Catches Up (Alice)

Months Earlier...

It was a run like any other. Or that was the way it started, anyway.

I was perched in the big truck's passenger seat next to my Dad, quietly humming to himself as classic rock blasted over the radio. On the lonely highway cutting West through Bozeman, we looked like any other truck hauling freight, and that was his goal.

Nobody would've guessed Mickey James was anything more than an ordinary trucker unless they'd done business with him. If they could've seen the way he lived, they quickly would've realized the lie...

I never knew how much my Dad made running guns and contraband over the years, but it must've been millions. Too bad the long stays we had in Vegas and Reno always managed to take his latest fortune. The odds never cared how big a man's fortune was. The hungry casinos devoured it just the same.

I'd been on the road with him since I was seventeen and he took me out of school for the very last time. Whoever my mother was – some junkie whore, he said – I doubt she'd have approved of the way we lived, if she was a decent soul.

And there was some serious doubt about that.

I was almost asleep when we pulled into the rest stop. Dad's humming stopped and he held his stomach, popping the door and quickly running to the bathroom. I straightened up, staring into the night, hoping it'd be morning soon so I could enjoy the familiar mountains heading into Missoula.

The stress was killing him. After years of wheeling, dealing, and killing when he had to, his lucky star was fading. I'd overheard him bitching to contacts about business being down ever since the Grizzlies and Prairie Devils, two warring motorcycle clubs, cut some kinda truce. In the blink of an eye, two of his biggest clients no longer needed to stockpile weapons to point at each other's heads. Worse, the Devils were running their own supply lines through Grizzlies territory into Canada, and Dad was just one of many suppliers vying for his tiny cut.

He came back wiping his mouth, shirt reeking like he'd just spat up his stomach. His eyes were bloodshot. I breathed the sickly smell deep, making sure he hadn't taken to drinking on the road. I didn't think he'd completely lost his mind yet, but I had to be sure...

No, he was dry. The foul scent was too gross to be whiskey. Thank God.

“You okay?” I whispered, reaching over for his hand.

He jerked it away. “One day, I'm gonna teach you to drive one of these rigs, Alice. I'm fine. Just a little older for wear and a bad hotdog back in Bismarck or something. Fuckin' gas stations...”

“This wouldn't have anything to do with the deal that's about to go down, right?” My eyes narrowed.

So did my father's. For a minute, I thought he'd chew into me for sticking my nose where it didn't belong. Instead, he started up the truck and chuckled as we got onto the road.

“Nah. Nothing like that. The boys we're going to see won't refuse the shit we've got in the back. We can do business with the Grizzlies. They're our ticket to making some bucks without having Throttle's little stamp of approval on fucking everything.” He growled the name of the Devils' national President. “You're turning into a curious little cat, ain't you?”

I looked away. His tone sounded half-impressed and half-mocking. I could never be sure which feeling won out in my Dad's weird mind.

“That's okay, hon. If I can get a few things stitched together right, then maybe we can figure out some college or something for you after you get your GED.”

“Yeah.” My lips twisted sourly. How many times had I heard that? “Maybe if it doesn't all get pissed away at the casinos this time.”

Dad's friendly expression melted. The sickly, grayness on his face returned. I turned away from him, staring out the passenger window and into the deep, dark Montana night. If I didn't know any better, I almost thought he was ashamed.

I couldn't blame him for wasting his money on games. Learning something practical sure as hell didn't interest me, and sending me to an art school I'd probably flunk was barely better than losing thousands at the tables. My fingers pinched the bag with my sketch book, all I had for company on these long, miserable trips, not counting the man next to me.

Dad kept his maps in there too. He left me in charge, knowing I never misplaced anything.

I closed my eyes and tried to sleep. Growing up was nothing but disappointment and feeble promises that never materialized into anything better. Time had done nothing but grind us down more, and I doubted it would change now that I was old enough to drink.

It was hard to imagine how it could be any worse. A shame, really, because if I'd seen the blackness coming, maybe I would've been prepared for the tragedy that came next.

“Alice? Honey, wake up.” Dad pressed a cold bottle to my cheek.

I opened my eyes and sat up. A knot in my neck burned, always the same spot. Too many years spent sleeping in screwed up positions on the road with him left little quirks youth couldn't heal.

Like always, I snatched the cold orange juice out of his hand and popped the cap. We'd just left another gas station and the sun was high overhead. The mountains made me smile as I sipped on pure acid.

The cheap OJ was fake as hell, but at least it was familiar, the same as the rolling peaks closing in fast as the truck rumbled down the road.

“How much longer?” I asked.

“Just another hour or two. The Rams' place is up near the Idaho border, wedged between a couple little towns. Keep an eye out for toothless fucks with banjos and shotguns in them hills. From what I understand, these boys keep their clubhousewayback.” He winked.

I managed a weak smile at his lame ass joke. Good thing a life of dealing with criminal buyers meant neither of us was truly likely to be rattled by some backwooded mouth breathers.

An hour later, the wisecrack took on a grim reality. Dad had to shift gears several times to force our heavy load up the narrow unpaved road, cut up the side of a mountain flanked with trees.

The place looked even dingier than I imagined. It was early afternoon when we rolled in, and nobody came out to greet us. Dad and I were in their clubhouse, taking seats at the bar, before anybody stirred.

A muscular man with gray hair and a beer belly came out of a room down the hall twenty minutes later, rubbing his eyes.

“Hello, Block,” Dad greeted him. “You ready to talk business?”

The Rams' President eyed us warily. He looked gross, shirtless except for the cut draped on him, potbelly sticking through the opening.

“I'll be ready soon, but the other guys aren't. Hold your horses. I need the whole club in on this so we can vote. You know how this shit works. Nice and democratic.” He picked up an open bottle of whiskey on the counter and chugged it down. “Make yourselves at home, you two. Must be a bitch and a half barreling all the way here from Michigan on such short notice.”

“Desperate times,” Dad said darkly. “Gotta do whatever it takes to drum up business. You got contacts who are interested in buying bulk at a good price. Can't do that with the Devils blocking the old routes going East to West.”

“Fucking Devils,” Block snarled, clanking the nearly drained bottle on the counter. “Those pussy bitches are supposed to show up here next week. Bastards want us patched over quick as a support club since this state's their territory now – otherwise they'll disband us.”

Dad's face tightened up. I waited for an explosion, but I should've known I'd be waiting an eternity. He rarely let his real emotions out.Veryrarely.

“Don't worry,” Block said, settling an uneasy hand on Dad's shoulder. “I'm not gonna double-cross you. Those fuckers won't be keeping too close an eye on us out here as soon as things are settled. I got plenty of ways to hook you up with the right guys.”

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