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Damon:A Bad Boy MC Romance Novel

By:Meg Jackson

Damon:A Bad Boy MC Romance Novel
Meg Jackson

Prologue





James Whitley couldn't believe his luck. He'd always felt like things  never went his way, that he'd been dealt every bad hand in the deck. And  then, on one sunny morning, as the warm Atlantic tide beat against the  sand, he got a call.

The man who called James needed his help. He was broke, he said, when  James asked for reasons. He needed some quick cash. Could James help him  out? He didn't care who James got on the other end of the ring, as long  as the money was good. James said he'd be happy to help. In fact, he  had someone in mind already. The man thanked James and hung up.

James Whitley grinned as he found the second man's number in his phone.  The second man was pleased to hear from him. The second man said  definitely  –  he was still after the same thing he'd been after all those  years ago. James Whitley said he'd be needing some extra green to set  it all up. The second man asked if he wanted cash or check.

James Whitley called a third man. The third man was just as pleased to  hear from James as the second man had been. James was making a lot of  people very happy, and in the process he was making himself a tidy sum.

He told the third man he would take his reward in cash  –  a Moneygram  would be fine. And did this third man want to pay a little extra to keep  James on as a go-between of sorts, a pair of boots on the ground? The  third man said yes, that would be good, as long as James was  trustworthy. The third man made sure to explain what would happen to  James if he wasn't trustworthy. James promised he would be. The third  man seemed satisfied. He hung up.

James Whitley looked down at his hands and saw himself holding a royal  flush. For once, he'd been dealt the good cards, the ones everyone  wanted. He gave himself a pat on the back for always having his finger  dipped in so many pots. He thought of what his mother always told him;  don't keep all your eggs in one basket. He'd followed her advice, and  kept his eyes and ears open. And now it was all paying off. The Atlantic  tide beat, beat, beat against the white sand. The sun was shining. It  would be a good day for a nice big breakfast, with lots and lots of  eggs.







Chris "Roper" Callahan couldn't believe his luck. How long had he and  the sad remains of his crew been searching for this guy? For all intents  and purposes, Damon Volanis had dropped off the map. They couldn't go  after him in his town. Kingdom was overrun with cops who knew what they  were looking for. Ever since that mess last autumn, they had to give the  little town a wide berth. So they'd tried to get him at one of his  fights. But it looked like he'd retired early.

And then that little rat-shit tweaker, Jimmy Whitley (who hated to be  called Jimmy), had called up, acting like the fox in the henhouse. One  of Roper's connections up and down the Atlantic coast had finally paid  off. Damon would fight, down in Miami. Why? Who knew. Who cared. All  Roper and his men cared about was giving the gypsy scum what he had  coming. No one got away with killing a Steel Dragon. Especially not  shit-for-brains, trailer-trash gypsies.

Roper hollered for his men. Their numbers were decimated by that Kingdom  bullshit, but there were still ten or twelve good men lingering in  Baltimore, and some new recruits; enough make a formidable threat. Now  they knew where he'd be, and what he'd be doing. Now, they needed a  plan.







Damon Volanis believed far too much in luck to be amazed by his own. And  what kind of luck was this, anyway? Not the sort he would wish on  anyone else. Luck was just the way the universe made things happen the  way they were supposed to happen. Damon hung up the phone and looked at  it for a moment before tossing it aside.

How many years? He was 28 now. He'd been in the rings since he was 18.  And the reason he'd gone into the rings at all … that had happened when he  was 8. Twenty years he'd known this would happen, that it had to  happen. And it still didn't feel like the right time. Now, when he  hadn't fought in five months.

He listened to the sound of children playing outside. Twenty years he'd  waited for that call, five months since his last time in the ring, and  one year since the gypsies had moved to Kingdom. His older brother was  married, his younger brother probably dawdling on his way to engagement.  Damon was alone with his secrets. In the drawer beside his bed, there  was tape for his knuckles, anesthetics and ointments, protein powders.  Out back behind his trailer: his weights, his dummy, sand for the  slippery grass. He had everything he needed to fight again.

He'd made a promise to his brothers that his last time would be his last  time. But there were things he owed even deeper than a promise kept,  between brothers or not. He got up and pulled on a pair of sneakers.  There was a gym down the road. That would be a good place to start.         

     



 





1





"I'm at my car," Tricia said. "I'm at my car. I'm supposed to go to the  police station. I don't want to go. I'm crying again. I feel stupid. I  feel stupid and weak, for what I let Paul do to me. I'm distracted. I  don't see them until it's far too late. And I … I couldn't do anything,  anyway, I don't think. There were three of them. Big men."

Tricia lay on her back across the couch. The words came easy these days.  The memories came without feeling. Mostly without feeling, anyway.

"The big one is holding a black thing. I don't know what it is. Not yet.  I back away. My keys are still in the car door. I ask what they want  –   who they are. But then he's on me, and I feel the black thing against my  side, and then  –  spectacular, awful pain. Like my blood is made  of … razorblades. My teeth hurt from clamping  –  I don't think of anything.  Can't think of anything. There's nothing, then. And that's better than  the pain."

Tricia's body tensed, a cringe on her face, from the memory of it. The  pain is gone, but the memory isn't, and the body knows things long after  the mind has tried not to know them anymore. The body rarely forgets.

"When I wake up again, we're somewhere, inside. I can hear them talking.  Not a lot. And it's like  –  I can hear them, but they're speaking  another language. But I know it's English. I just can't understand it.  And then, slowly, I do. They're talking about me  –  about what they're  going to do to me if … if … "

"If their demands aren't met?" Sheila, the therapist, eventually said,  picking her words carefully. Tricia swallowed hard and nodded.

"They're going to kill me," she said. "Shoot me through the head and  dump my body in the Delaware River. And I think  –  well, that's that. I  don't know what they want. I don't know why it's me. But I know  –  my  parents are away. And they're not rich. So that's what's going to  happen. I'm going to die. I'm going to die. That's all I can think. So I  start screaming. And that's when I realize I'm tied up  –  I can't move.  And I can't scream, either. The thing  –  the thing in my mouth, it hurts  my cheeks and my lips. Everything at once. That's how I realize it. I  realize everything at once."

That moment caused another jerk throughout her body, as though she was  still struggling against the ropes that kept her wrists and ankles tied  together. Her mouth opened in a wide grimace. Her lips had been cut,  when they'd examined her later. The ends of her lips were swollen and  cut by the rough fabric they'd used to gag her. It took a long time for  that to heal.

"They're unhappy that I'm awake," she said, continuing. "They say  they're going to take me outside, that they're going to punish me. And  they do, because I can't stop. I try to stop  –  try to tell myself that I  need to calm down. But I'm going to die, either way I'm going to die,  and I'm not … I'm not going to go quietly."

Here, her brow set in a straight, firm line. This was the part of the  retelling  –  the reliving  –  that hurt the least. Because in that moment,  in those moments of struggle, there was courage. There was an acceptance  of her vulnerability, and a refusal to accept it, existing  side-by-side. She still had strength, then.

"You're a fighter, right, Tricia?" Sheila prompts. The remembering  wasn't just about facing what had happened. It was about remembering who  she was when it happened, and before. That was the hardest part of it,  in fact.

"I could be," Tricia said, the determination fading from her face. "I  want to be. But then the pain comes again  –  buzzing, electric, awful  pain. Enough to take it all out of me. I mean -- when I feel the metal  against me again, I think they are going to kill me right then. I kind  of hope they do. But I wake up. I don't know how long I was out  –  I  don't even know how long I'm awake before … hours and hours … "

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