Raised in a motorcycle gang, tough and beautiful Arianne Wilder has always dreamed of a normal life. But no sooner does she escape her father's domineering grasp than she wakes up to find herself in a rival gang's clubhouse-at the mercy of the dangerously sexy Jagger Knight.The alpha leader of the notorious Sinner's Tribe, Jagger Knight is all muscle, all biker, and all man. But somewhere inside this hard, tattooed outlaw, Arianne senses a kindred spirit-and she can't ignore their tempestuous attraction. Can she beat him at his own game in a revved-up blaze of glory? Or will their passion spark a war that's the end of the road for them both? Contains mature themes.
About the Author
Chandra Skyye loves bringing characters and stories to life through voice acting and singing the blues. A lover of life, she spends her spare time being creative, appreciating nature, and sharing fun times with nice people and good dogs.
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Sinner's Tribe Motorcycle Club
By Sarah Castille
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2015 Sarah Castille
All rights reserved.
The name of the club shall be the Sinner's Tribe Motorcycle Club.
Jagger skidded his sleek Harley chopper to a stop as incandescent chunks of steel arced across the night sky. Clouds of black smoke engulfed the flaming skeleton of what had once been his clubhouse, now a crumbling beacon at the edge of town.
"Looks like someone wants a war." Zane, his Vice President and closest friend, dropped the engine of his V-Rod Muscle to idle and pulled his .38 Special double-action revolver from inside his cut, the leather vest bearing the three-piece patch that identified him as a member of the Sinner's Tribe Motorcycle Club. "I know my fires—and that one was accelerated. Hope our arsonist is still around."
Not likely with fifty angry MC brothers buzzing around the fire. Jagger parked his bike curbside, and stepped onto the paved lot that surrounded the burning building, converted from a run-down garage into the heart of his outlaw MC. He drew his own weapon, gripping the handle so hard, his knuckles blazed under the streetlight, burning as fiercely as the rage pumping through his veins.
"I'll find him and bring him to you." Zane's words were a small comfort for Jagger's pain. If the arsonist were stupid enough to stick around and watch the fireworks, he'd never get away alive—not with Zane on his tail. Lean and dark, with the sharpest eyes this side of Montana's Bridger Mountains, Zane was the best tracker in the MC, with the uncanny ability to hunt down even the most elusive prey.
Glass shattered and the flames roared higher into the air, fanned by the dry autumn breeze. The converted warehouse had been a second home for many of Jagger's biker brethren, and its senseless destruction stirred a protective fury in him. As president, Jagger was responsible for his MC brothers. Their pain was his pain. Their loss was his loss. And their revenge ... When it came, he would make sure it was the sweetest fucking revenge they'd ever tasted.
"Jag, over here, I found Gunner."
Jagger walked across the parking lot, following Wheels' voice through the thick, acrid smoke to the forest that bordered the east side of the clubhouse. He spotted the MC's newest prospect crouched under a tree, his golden-blond hair gleaming in the moonlight. The kid needed a haircut bad. Paired with that soft babyish face, the long fringe made Wheels look like a boy band singer instead of an MC pledge. Jagger already had doubts about whether the kid would survive the trials every prospect faced to prove worthy of wearing the Sinner's Tribe full-patch.
Propped up against the tree trunk, one leg stretched in front of him, Gunner grunted a greeting as Jagger squatted opposite Wheels. As a member of the MC's executive board, Gunner could have used his real name instead of the road name chosen by his brothers, but "Gunner" suited him so well he'd decided to keep it. A weapons expert, with detailed knowledge about the construction and use of almost every weapon legal or illegal, he never carried fewer than four guns at any time.
"Took one in the leg?" Jagger's field training kicked in as soon as he saw Gunner's blood-soaked jeans, and he tugged off his bandanna and twisted it into a makeshift bandage for his sergeant at arms.
"Just a flesh wound. Bullet tore the muscle when it grazed my calf. I've had worse. Just need a hand to my bike." Gunner took the bandanna and tied it around his leg. An inch taller than Jagger, and with a shaved head and pierced ear, Gunner was a slab of solid muscle with strength unmatched by any of the brothers in the club, making him a shoo-in for sergeant at arms at their biannual executive board elections. The man hadn't taken a bullet yet that could put him out of commission.
"What happened?" Jagger helped Gunner tighten the bandanna. Damn lucky. He'd seen men lose their legs from a bullet. Hell, he'd seen just about everything a bullet could do to a human body.
"We smelled smoke out back." Gunner bent his leg, testing his weight. "Cole went to investigate. I heard a coupla shots, so I ran out with a fucking AK-47. Couldn't find Cole, but I saw four guys in cuts in our yard—definitely bikers, but it was too dark to see their patches. One of them was carrying a gas can, and was pouring gasoline along the north wall of the clubhouse. Another was in the woods, and the other two were at the weapons shed unloading our new shipment of AKs into a truck."
"Fuck." Jagger scraped a hand through his hair. Could this night get any worse? Not only had they lost the clubhouse, they'd lost the weapons that would have cemented their new relationship with a powerful Mexican cartel who had been looking for an arms supplier in the northern states.
Dry leaves crackled under Gunner's hands as he tried to push himself up. "Yeah, I hear you, brother. And I did my fucking best to save those weapons. I headed into the trees, planning to come up behind the two at the shed. By that time, there was nothing I could do to save the clubhouse. The flames had already spread across the south and west walls. But damned if one of them heard me. He got me in the leg before I could get off a shot."
"They're gonna be dead twice over when we catch them." Wheels paled and checked himself when Jagger shot him a warning look.
"I mean you ... Jagger ... no ... the Sinners. And me ... I'll be doing what you tell me to do. For the club. Like always."
Jagger gritted his teeth against the urge to berate the hapless prospect, and gestured for Gunner to continue. Always enthusiastic and eager to please, Wheels had his strengths. Unfortunately, understanding the nuances of biker politics wasn't one of them.
With Jagger's help, Gunner stood, bearing most of his weight on his good leg. "The bastard near the clubhouse finished up with the gas can." He winced as he tried to take a step. "He was on his way to the truck when a dude on a piece-of-shit Kawasaki Ninja raced into the yard. I heard tires skidding, and then a crash near the weapons shed. I grabbed my gun and just fired blind in the direction of the noise. Then the truck blasted outta here."
Jagger sent Wheels to the shop to investigate, and then helped Gunner to his bike. The firefighters would be on their way soon, and the cops wouldn't be far behind. Although Jagger had the sheriff on his payroll, not all the local law enforcement were happy to have an outlaw MC in Conundrum. He had to get his men out of here.
Gunner's chromed-out Harley Softail Classic rumbled to life, and Jagger pulled Cade, the club treasurer, from the enraged crowd and told him to lead Gunner and the rest of the brothers to the club's emergency base, a run-down country house on the outskirts of town. From there, they would do a head count, reorganize, and start planning a counterstrike.
"Jag—Jag—Jag—" Wheels raced toward him, his pale face almost translucent in the semidarkness. "Half the weapons are gone, but they caught him. The guy on the Ninja. They're at the weapons shed. Zane's trying to stop Axle from shooting him in the head."
Fury coiled in his gut as he stalked toward the weapons shed, tucked away in a small copse of trees and far enough away from the heat of the flames that the remaining weapons weren't at risk. His ire wasn't directed just at the Ninja rider whose life he now held in his hands, but at that goddamned son-of-a-bitch, Axle.
He tensed, preparing for a battle that had been festering for over a year. After gaining the support of a small group of dissident brothers, Axle had made no effort to hide the fact that he wanted Jagger's position as president. The fact that he'd dared to draw his weapon on the arsonist, despite knowing Jagger was nearby, was a challenge to Jagger's authority, and even the legitimacy of Jagger's five year run as MC president.
Jagger rounded the corner of the small cinder block shed just as Axle wrenched himself away from an infuriated Zane. With a speed that belied his heavy frame, Axle vaulted across the pavement, skirted the fallen Kawasaki Ninja, and then ground to a halt beside a leather-clad figure sprawled unconscious on the cement.
"Bastard's gonna die." Axle pointed his .45 ACP semiautomatic Colt pistol at the motionless body and slid his finger through the trigger.
"Drop it." Rage tinted Jagger's vision red. "Now."
Axle didn't waver. Violent and vicious, with sharp features and dark eyes, he was a crack shot and always the first to draw his weapon in a fight. And although Jagger shared Axle's need for vengeance and retribution for the wrong done to the club, he couldn't in good conscience condone the execution of a man when there was, as yet, no evidence of his guilt.
"We have to make a statement." Axle's face twisted in a snarl, and he glanced over at the gathering crowd of angry bikers. "Everyone will expect it—our mother chapter, rival MCs, the Russians, the Mafia, the Mexican cartels, even the Triads. We do nothing, and they'll smell weakness. He's gotta pay a blood price for what he's done to our club, and I'm willing to collect it." He gave the unconscious biker a hard kick in the ribs, drawing murmurs of encouragement from the crowd.
Jagger cursed under his breath and holstered his weapon beneath his cut. He maintained his leadership position by using coercion and power to impose his will on his brothers. Drawing his weapon on Axle, as he was tempted to do, would suggest he could no longer control Axle by force of will alone—an admission of weakness that could cost him his presidency, even his life. He fisted his hand at his side and glared "My club. My call. If you shoot him, it'll be the last fucking thing you ever do."
Axle stood motionless above the fallen biker, sweat beading his brow as he toyed with his gun, no doubt weighing the chance to be the club hero against the very real possibility Jagger would make good his threat.
Jagger's pulse pounded out each second of delay. Axle had been a thorn in his side far too long, but until now, he'd been smart enough never to openly defy Jagger, preferring instead to skulk resentfully in the shadows, making underhanded attempts to erode Jagger's power base. Tonight, however, the emotionally charged situation was clearly an opportunity Axle couldn't pass up. He had finally shown his hand. But Jagger hadn't held the presidency for five years without knowing how to deal with snakes like Axle.
"Step away. I'll deal with him." Pointedly ignoring Axle's weapon, and without waiting for Axle's compliance, Jagger crouched down beside the unmoving figure. Small for a Ninja rider and thin ... almost delicate. He carefully rolled the unconscious biker to the side, and his fists convulsed with suppressed rage when he saw the Black Jacks MC patch, a jack from a deck of playing cards with a skull for a face.
Zane muttered a curse. Wheels let out a long, low whistle. Even Jagger startled. The Black Jacks and the Sinner's Tribe had been engaged in a feud over territory for years. But two years ago, the high death toll had drawn the attention of federal authorities and the national media, driving away the illicit underground black market that was the bread and butter of Montana's outlaw MC operations. In the interest of self-preservation, Jagger and the Black Jacks president, Viper, had called an uneasy truce. The Black Jacks took control of Montana's drug trade, and the Sinner's Tribe took over the more lucrative contracts in illegal arms trafficking. With both clubs claiming dominance of the state, the occasional skirmish was unavoidable. But for the most part, the truce had held.
Axle cocked his gun and gestured at the two-piece patch on the fallen biker's cut. "He's wearing fucking Jacks colors. Outta my way, Jagger. The feud is back on."
"He's not a full-patch brother." Wheels shot Axle a pleading look and then slid his gaze to Jagger. "He's missing the bottom rocker. He might only be a prospect doing what he was told to do. You can't just kill him." Wheels edged closer to the fallen biker. "We don't even know if he's the one who set the fire."
"We can do whatever the fuck we want." Axle shot Wheels an irritated glance. "The Sinners are one-percenters. You know what that means, prospect? It means we're the one percent of bikers who don't follow fucking civilian law. We make our own rules, follow our own codes, and administer our own justice. And the penalty for burning down our clubhouse is death."
Jagger pushed himself to his feet, taking advantage of his six-foot-two-inch frame as he loomed over Axle. "Last I heard, I was the president of the Sinner's Tribe. That means administering justice is my call. And after talking to Gunner, I'm not convinced the Ninja rider is the man who torched our clubhouse."
Axle's face lit with bitter triumph, and he offered his weapon to Jagger, an insulting gesture, since he knew Jagger was carrying a gun. "Doesn't matter. He's a Black Jack. In a matter of honor, one Jack is as good as the next. So do your duty. Give us justice. Revenge. Show us what you're made of, Oh great leader."
Jagger took the offered weapon, removed the magazine, then stepped forward and smashed the butt of the gun into Axle's head. Axle dropped to his knees, then slumped on the ground.
"Zane, he's yours for tonight." Jagger's voice cracked through the silence. "But make sure he's fit to attend the executive board meeting in the morning to answer for his disrespect." He tossed Axle's gun to Zane and glowered at the crowd. "Anyone else got a problem?"
Without waiting for a response, he bent down and removed the fallen biker's helmet. Long, dark hair spilled over the pavement in a silken wave.
"Well, damn." Zane exhaled his words in a shocked whisper. "He's a she. We've been disrespected by a fucking girl."
No, not a girl. A woman. An angel. From Black Jack hell.
Jagger pressed his fingers to her neck, feeling for a pulse beneath her soft, cool skin. She moaned and her eyes fluttered open, startling him with an emerald-green brilliance like nothing he had ever seen before.
For an instant he couldn't speak, and then her thick, dark lashes drifted over creamy cheeks and her head drooped to the side. Beneath the pads of his fingers, her pulse beat steady but faint. Reassured, he removed his hand. Only then did he see her injuries—long, thick, finger-shaped bruises around her neck.
With a light touch, he traced along the fine line of her jaw. Mottled black-and-blue marks extended from her temple to her chin. His eyes slid to the helmet and then back to her pale face. Definitely not injuries from the accident. For some reason he couldn't name, he wanted to hunt down whoever had hurt her and pound him into the ground.
Ironic, really, since he might have to kill her.CHAPTER 2
Club first. Club only. Club always.
The dream was always the same: soft bed, dim light, fluffy pink duvet, homework on her desk.
Leo on top of her.
Screams and shouting. Her arms pinned. His hand yanking down her jeans. Her thrashing on the bed, a wail escaping her lips.
"Wake up." A rough hand stroked her cheek and wiped away a tear.
Arianne's eyes fluttered open and she squinted to adjust to the dim light, trying to make sense of her surroundings.
She tried to push herself up and then fell back on the pillow when her stomach heaved.
Panicked, Arianne froze and peered in the direction of the deep, rich voice. She blinked to clear her vision and he came into view, leaning back on the chair beside her bed, long legs stretched out in front of him, thick arms covered with tats and folded over a massive chest. Under his cut, a Harley-Davidson T-shirt stretched taut over toned pecs and a washboard stomach. Black jeans hugged his narrow hips, and thick dark hair brushed the top of his wide shoulders. Rough and weathered, he sported at least a day's worth of beard over his square jaw.
His sheer presence drew her in. No. Not presence. Power. Raw and untamed.
"Who are you?" Her voice wavered despite her best efforts to slow her pounding heart. Running and screaming would do her little good if she knew nothing about her situation.
"Jagger?" The name was familiar, but with her brain still fuzzy she couldn't place him. In fact, she couldn't place anything. Not even herself. She forced her mind backward, trying to pinpoint her last memory.
"Maybe this will help."
He removed his cut and spun it around, holding it up to give her a good view of the back. She recognized the three-piece patch at once: a winged skull set above flames, with two stars on either side and two curved rockers above and below, proclaiming the name of his club and the chapter.
Excerpted from Rough Justice by Sarah Castille. Copyright © 2015 Sarah Castille. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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