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Copper (Hell’s Handlers #3)
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Enormous, muscular, commanding, and hotter than sin, Copper is the only man Shell has ever wanted. Even as a young teen, when it was impossible and taboo to capture the attention of a grown man, she longed for him. For years, Shell clung to the dream of turning eighteen and finally being noticed by the Hell’s Handlers’ rough and gruff president. But the universe had other plans, and she was forced to make a horrible choice. A choice that altered the course of her life forever, sealing her fate and ensuring the dream of being Copper’s ol’ lady would never materialize.
Sixteen years his junior. Daughter of his MC’s former president. Single mother whose deadbeat sperm donor doesn’t provide an ounce of support. Loved as a younger sister by every man in the club. The list of reasons goes on for Copper to stay away from Shell. Problem is, he’s been hot for her for years. Copper finally gets some relief when she moves out of Tennessee for a few years, but once she’s back, all those reasons to keep his distance grow weaker by the day.
Unable to fight against his own judgment any longer, Copper finally claims Shell for his own. But once again the universe steps in, revealing secrets with the power to destroy them both.
Shell will do anything for Copper, even tear out her own heart and confront the most agonizing parts of her past. But will she be too late to save her dream? Will she be too late to save Copper?
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If they caught her, there’d be hell to pay.
Michelle didn’t even want to imagine the level Copper’s anger would climb to if he discovered her trailing after him and his men in the dark woods behind the clubhouse well after midnight.
The fury would be epic.
She may be a fifteen-year-old kid, but she wasn’t an idiot. Sneaking out of her home, pedaling her bicycle across town to the clubhouse, and lurking in the shadows until the men emerged was not only dangerous, it was reckless—and probably pointless as well.
She wouldn’t be able to see a damn thing when the guys finally stopped trekking. But she had to be here. Had to find out if the club had really captured the man who murdered her father.
Four sets of heavy-booted feet tromped through the woods, making no effort toward stealth, thankfully. Shell wasn’t exactly mouse-quiet herself, but the noise from the determined group drowned out her leaf-crunching steps.
She shivered despite the down jacket engulfing her body. Mid-January at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains was pretty freakin’ cold. Lucky for her, it hadn’t snowed in the past few weeks.
“Fuck, it’s dark out here. Wouldn’t be able to see my own damn dick. We almost done with this romantic stroll through the woods?” That was Maverick’s voice. Easy to distinguish because ninety percent of the nonsense out of his mouth was laden with snark and sarcasm. As one of the newer patches, he was making a name for himself with his wit and constant inappropriate humor.
“We have a fucking flashlight, you big baby. Suck it up and keep walking.”
Zach. Another new patch.
Clenching her teeth in a fruitless effort to stem the chattering, Shell stole on after the men she considered family. Loved them like family as well. Loved them more than the majority of her flesh and blood relatives, if she was honest.
The further into the woods they ventured, the more confident Shell grew in her guess of their destination. The guys had to be headed to The Box. Thoughts of what that meant sent a different kind of shiver racing down her spine. Growing up in the MC, Shell had heard countless rumors about The Box. How the club kept a giant underground torture chamber filled with hundreds of Handlers’ enemies from years back. How it was about a mile out into the woods behind the clubhouse. How the walls were coated with blood and faded screams echoed through the dungeon. The Honeys loved to gossip and guess precisely what went on down there, and each tale was more gruesome than the last. By the time she was twelve, Shell had heard stories of prisoners having limbs sawed off, eyeballs plucked out, and dicks clamped in a vice. Half of what the club girls said couldn’t be believed. At least that’s what her mother told her when she was nine and asked what a blow job was and why she overheard a Honey using it in reference to her father. Since that day, she’d always tried to take what they told her with a grain of salt. It’s not as though the men actually shared any club business with the women who were little more than whores.
The truth was probably a watered-down version of the legends, even if the Honey bragging about blowing Shell’s father had been telling the truth. Turned out the man had been with nearly all of them at one point or another. Something every fifteen-year-old girl wanted to think about. Regardless, The Box existed and wasn’t a place anyone wanted to find themselves.
After another five minutes of wordless journeying through the woods, the men suddenly came to a dead stop.
Michelle darted behind the nearest thick-trunked tree. She held as still as possible, not even daring to breathe. Too bad her heart was pounding so loud it could be heard a mile away.
Had the guys noticed her? Did they suspect they had a stowaway? Could they hear the rattling of her frozen and terrified bones?
This was by far her stupidest idea ever.
“Bring him out to me,” Copper said.
Shell would recognize that voice anywhere. That Irish brogue belonging to the six-foot-five, tatted biker who starred in every teenage fantasy she’d ever had. His name decorated a diary hidden deep under her bed, scrawled over and over with spritzes of cheap perfume and lipstick kisses. If anyone ever found it, she’d die on the spot, but so far, her secret was safe.
“You sure, brother? Wouldn’t it be easier to do this shit down in The Box?” Rusty asked.
Shell frowned. Younger by ten years, Rusty was Copper’s brother and a huge jerk. There was no other word to describe him. Okay, there were a few others, but despite their extreme sailor-enviable mouths, the guys got on her case every time she swore. Sick of them always nagging about ladies not cussing, she avoided using any kind of foul language in front of them. Kinda like she avoided Rusty at all costs.