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Gunner Satan’s Fury MC – Memphis
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Some risks are worth taking.
Gus wasn’t just my president. He was the father I never had. He was steadfast and strong. I looked up to him and trusted him without question.
I’d never seen the man show a single sign of uncertainty until the day August James showed up at the Satan’s Fury clubhouse. None of us knew why the beautiful brunette had come knocking at our door, but we’d soon learn she was in need of help—the kind of help only a man like Gus could give.
When he didn’t turn her away, it became my job to watch over and protect her. I tried to keep my distance, but she drew me in with her soulful, dark eyes and sultry curves.
I wanted to make her mine, but August had secrets—secrets she wasn’t even aware of.
In our world, there are some lines you just don’t cross, but for her, I was about to cross them all.
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When I joined the Marines, I didn’t have any preconceived notions about being in the military and going to war. I’d seen and heard enough to know it wasn’t going to be easy—far from it. It was one of the hardest, but greatest, things I’d ever done. I worked my ass off, fought for my country, and learned just how far I could be pushed without breaking. But it came at a price. Every waking moment I’d wondered if my time was about to run out, if I’d seen my last sunset or had lain my head down on my pack for the very last time. Even if I’d managed to survive long enough to see the sunrise the next morning, there’d been little consolation in knowing I’d just have to go through that same hell all over again.
I thought I’d find peace once I was finally back in the States with my family and friends and able to sleep in my own bed or walk down the street without feeling like I was under a constant threat—but I’d been wrong. I never realized just how wrong until a shotgun wound forced me to go home.
* * *
When I got off the plane, I found my mother waiting for me at the gate. As expected, she was alone and still wearing her green Food and More grocery smock. Her tired eyes filled with tears the second she spotted me walking in her direction. “Cade!” she called, rushing towards me with her arms opened wide.
She was just about to reach for me when she suddenly stopped and looked down at my arm. After getting shot in the shoulder, I had to have reconstructive surgery, which meant wearing a sling for the next couple of months. “I’m okay, Mom.”
She eased up on her tiptoes and carefully wrapped her arms around my neck, giving me one of her famous mom hugs. Damn. I was a grown man, and her hugs still got to me the same way they did when I was a kid. “I can’t tell you how good it is to see you, sweetheart.”
“Good to see you too.”
“I’ve been worried sick about you. Your father has too.”
“I know.” I gave her a quick squeeze, then said, “I’m sorry I worried you.”
“I’m just glad you’re home where we can take care of you.” She gave me a little pat as she stepped back and smiled. “Have to fatten you up a bit.”
I was six-four and weighed about two hundred and forty pounds. Before I was shot, I worked out every day and knew what condition I was in. I glanced down at myself and told her, “I’m not exactly skin and bones here, Mom.”
“Well, you look like you’ve lost weight to me … and you’re a little peeked.”
“Yeah, well … you’d look a little peeked too if you’d just spent the last sixteen hours on an airplane.” Before she could respond, I added, “Let me grab my bag, and then we can get out of here.”
As she followed me over to the baggage claim area, she explained, “Your father wanted to come tonight, but you know how he is around crowds. We both figured it would be easier if he just waited at the house for us.”
My father was a brilliant man. There wasn’t a mathematical problem he couldn’t figure out, which made him one of the best accountants in town. But he’d always been a little different. He wasn’t a fan of crowds or loud noises. He’d fixate on things from historical facts to the changes in weather, obsessing on every detail, and he wasn’t exactly big on showing affection—except for when he was with my mother. He’d always been different with her—touching her, holding her hand, and even hugging her. I’d always hoped that some of that would rub off on me, but it never did. “It’s fine, Mom. I wasn’t expecting him to be here.”
“Well, he’s really looking forward to seeing you.”
Even though I knew that wasn’t true, I replied, “I’m looking forward to seeing him too.”
“Oh, and Brooklyn is planning to come by the house tomorrow.”
As I lifted my duffle-bag off the conveyer belt, I asked, “She been making it okay?”
“You know your sister … she’s always on the go.” Mom shrugged. “But I guess that’s a good thing. It keeps her out of trouble.”
We headed outside to the parking garage, and once we got to Mom’s car, she popped the trunk and I tossed my bag inside. I slammed it shut and then we both got in the car and started home. We hadn’t been driving long when I heard her let out a deep sigh. I glanced over at her, and even in the dark, I could see the dark circles under her eyes. “Have you been working double shifts again?”