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Banger’s Ride

By:Chiah Wilder


Prologue





Lakeview, Colorado

Harold Dermot lay in bed watching her take out his rapid-acting insulin vial, rolling it in her hands to minimize the air bubbles. He leaned his head back on his pillow, waiting for her to give him his daily shot. Her light jasmine perfume wafted around him, and Harold’s groin pulled as he imagined tugging her into his arms and kissing her before they made love. Harold was in love with her, and he hoped that his dalliance with Megan had been forgiven. It was a moment of weakness. He was sixty-one years old, and when his pretty, sexy secretary had flirted with him, he’d succumbed to a passionate affair. He never meant for anyone to find out, and even though he’d broken it off with Megan, she still called him, threatening to expose their relationship.

Harold was a self-made, successful businessman, who owned a large textile company. He’d been married for fifteen years and had one adopted daughter and a son with his wife. He also had a son and daughter from his first wife, who’d died sixteen years before. Harold loved his wife, but when the fresh, twenty-three-year-old employee cozied up to him, he felt flattered, excited, and young again.

He’d never wanted anyone to find out, especially his wife, but somehow she’d become suspicious about his weekly late nights, and too many out-of-town business trips. Harold knew he was being careless, knew his wife would be devastated if she found out, but the lure of firm flesh and unbridled passion was the youth elixir his aging body craved. When he was with Megan, he wasn’t a sixty-one-year-old father and husband; he was a youthful, invincible man. Megan offered him youth and new sex—a powerful aphrodisiac.

Harold heard her soft padded footsteps as she approached him. He fluttered his eyes opened and smiled at her, loving the way her dark hair fell softly around her face as she bent over to give him his shot. He normally gave himself his injections, but when she was around, she wanted to do it for him. She’d told him she loved spoiling him. A smile whispered over his lips before his teeth bit his inner cheek, preparing for the burning sting of the shot to course through his body. She pushed the needle into his abdomen. He waited for the burn. Nothing. His eyes widened.

“Did it hurt?” she asked as she brushed his forehead.

“No, just a small sting. None of the burning. I wonder why.” As Harold looked into her eyes, a shiver shimmied up his spine when icy contempt glared back at him. Before he could ask her what was wrong, she walked back to the dresser, leaned against it, and faced him.

Within seconds, Harold realized he had trouble moving his eyes and fingers, followed by his arms and legs. All he could do was stare at the steely gaze boring into him. What the hell is going on? As hard as he tried, he couldn’t open his mouth. I can’t cry for help. He summoned all his will and tried to move his finger. Come on, finger! Why won’t you just move? I can’t move. I can’t yell out. I’m paralyzed!

Panic set in as Harold’s lungs tried in vain to work, to breathe. Swallowing was becoming more and more difficult. As he watched her lips turn up in a satisfied grin, he knew he was going to die. How could she do this to me? I told her I loved her. How cunning she was to pretend she’d forgiven me. Harold wasn’t ready to die; he had a lot more living to do. He had so much more to accomplish.

She crept over to him, leaned down, and whispered in his ear, “No one fucks me over, asshole.”

Black spots blurred his vision and as he slipped into unconsciousness, he realized that with a prick of a needle, his life, his essence would be snuffed out.

What a foolish way to die.





Chapter One





One year later

“Why’re you so adamant about going to Ruthie’s for dinner, babe?” Hawk asked Cara as he turned the SUV into the diner’s parking lot.

“Because I know chicken fried steak is one of Banger’s favorites.” Cara looked over her shoulder at Banger, who sat in the backseat, fiddling with his phone. “Am I right?”

“Yeah. I fuckin’ love a good chicken fried steak. I like Ruthie’s too, but I haven’t been there in a while since the food hasn’t been so good. Hope tonight’s better.”

“It is. Ruthie hired a new cook, and the food is excellent.”

“You don’t happen to know this cook, do you, Cara?” Hawk probed.

When Hawk shot a hard glance at her, Banger laughed. Judging by the way Cara was acting, he knew she was up to something, and from Hawk’s expression, he knew it too. Banger didn’t give a damn what she was up to; as long as the chicken fried steak kicked ass, he’d be happy.

Ruthie’s diner was a landmark in Pinewood Springs. Opened in 1942, the establishment boasted tasty, home-cooked meals. Ruthie had inherited the place from her dad after he died. She was in her mid-fifties, had thrown out three husbands, and had a heart of gold. Her second husband and Banger were good friends, and that was how Banger became friends with her. She always had a good story to tell, and her tough exterior made her endearing to a lot of the bikers in the area, especially the Insurgents MC.

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