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Rocket (Hell’s Handlers #5)
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Logan “Rocket” Carrera has a history he prefers to leave buried under prickly layers of standoffish personality. He’s seen and done things that would make most people lie awake at night. A master of compartmentalization, he’s never had trouble moving on until the night he rescues the redheaded Chloe from a sadistic gang.
Kidnapped, beaten, and abused by criminals, Chloe has a difficult time assimilating back into the world after the most traumatic experience of her life. With each passing day, her anxiety builds until she’s forced to find an outlet. Finally, Chloe discovers her own way to make sense of the world and steal a few moments of peace. There’s just one problem: she can’t tell a soul what she’s doing. Who could ever understand the risk she’s taking?
Unable to stay away from the fascinating woman who’s screwing with his head just by breathing, Rocket tails Chloe as often as he can. His curiosity over her actions borders on obsession. Before long, and despite the MC president’s orders to keep his distance, Rocket succumbs to the urge to approach her.
Logan, the handsome man Chloe meets in a bar, gives her exactly what she needs. He’s accepting of her unusual requests in a way she hadn’t thought possible. The fantasy unravels, however, when she discovers who he really is, the outlaw biker who saw her at her very lowest moment. Will Chloe be able to accept Logan as the biker, Rocket, and allow him into her life enough to help her heal? The answer won’t matter if his violent past sucks him away before she has a chance to try.
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WAS IT FINALLY over?
Could she dare to take a breath? To release some of the tension in her coiled, ready-for-battle yet exhausted muscles?
Not that any of her vigorous struggling, foul-mouthed screams, or hostile threats had made any impact. From the second the two flea-ridden thugs nabbed her in the parking lot of a Subway restaurant of all places, Chloe had been as helpless as a baby lamb. One needle full of God knew what and some duct tape ensured she hadn’t been able to do more than wiggle in vain.
The moment she’d woken, bound and stuck in the trunk of a car, she’d known she was in deep trouble. Before she even had time to assess just how screwed she was, an itch had sprouted up on the tip of her nose. With her arms secured behind her back, and unable to alleviate the problem, the annoyance had turned into a full-fledged drive-me-crazy itching. What she’d have given to have had that insignificant irritant be her biggest problem. She’d trade full-body intense itching over what she currently felt any day of the week.
A strangled laugh left her, causing her chest to lurch up and down in a painful spasm. “Uggh,” she groaned as the movement brought her back to the present and reminded her of the agony she’d endured in the hours since they dragged her from that car.
Fifteen minutes ago, the four men who’d made her last two days a living hell had exited the dingy motel room they’d delivered her to, and all had been quiet ever since. Well, if she discounted the incessant noise in her own head. One of the men, a vile piece of shit in a filthy wife beater with a red bandana tied around his head, seemed to be the ring leader. Wasn’t too hard of a deduction to make. Each time the action-movie wannabe opened his mouth, the other three, his minions, jumped to do his bidding.
They’d called him Lefty. The way they used his name freely should have been a clue that she was in seriously hot water. The first time she’d watched them scramble to complete his orders, she’d snickered. Bunch of no-balled weaklings unable to do anything more than follow a Rambo-look-a-like’s demands. Then the sadistic bastard gave her some insight into why they all rushed to do his bidding. That snicker had won her a first taste of true, all-consuming fear.
Sure, she’d been afraid when they stuffed her in the back of her trunk—damn her for being too lazy to cook dinner that night. But after she let that tiny laugh escape, the very second it had tumbled from her lips, she’d received her first nightmare come to life.
Lefty’s grimy hand had closed around her throat in a move so quick her brain didn’t catch up until her air supply disappeared. With her arms flailing about, her eyes bugged, and her mouth uselessly flapped open and closed. In what felt like only a second, blackness had encroached in her peripheral vision. The darkness had closed in until Lefty’s face was a pinpoint, and the room loop-de-looped. Just as her body began to fall limp, he’d slackened his hold. She’d sucked in air like it was water for a parched man in the desert.
For about forty-five seconds there, she’d been certain death was coming for her. But the torment hadn’t stopped there. The next forty-eight give-or-take hours had been full of enough trauma and terror to alter the entire course of her life.
They’d planned to sell her. Her! A twenty-seven-year-old redhead who was too tall, and too vanilla to be desirable by any man who’d be in the market for a plaything. None of that seemed to matter to Lefty or his crew. She knew because she’d tried every tactic she could drum up to get them to release her.
She’d told them she’d only slept with two men in her entire life.
She’d told them she was boring.
She’d told them she had six burly brothers, all SWAT cops who’d be hunting them within hours. A stretch, but what could it hurt to try? Besides her body, that is. Each time she’d tried to manipulate them, she’d been hit with fists, a belt, or sometimes a boot.
Despite her efforts, nothing had worked. Hell, she’d been so desperate, she’d told them she was HIV positive. All that tall tale got her was the men’s laughter and a particularly brutal kick to her ribs. Once, when one of the men had leaned in to whisper how they’d break her, how when this was all said and done, she’d be so used up she’d be good for nothing but sucking and fucking, she’d bit him.
His earlobe to be precise. It was the only thing she could reach being tied to a chair and all.
He hadn’t liked that one bit.