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Touched By The Devil (The Devil’s Riders #7)
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It takes a lot to rile me up. From the moment I meet the young widow, she gets under my skin. I want to kiss her. But only to shut her up.
My name is Maccabe Donahue, but everyone calls me Mac. Just out of the Navy and current Devil’s Rider, the inner circle of the Sons of Satan motorcycle club, I’m known for keeping a cool head. But all that changes when I take the job of managing the build of a new development outside of town.
A development that is right next door to a tiny cottage, formerly in the middle of nowhere. That’s where Suzanna comes in.
The woman is going to drive me insane.
She’s the best-looking woman I’ve ever seen. Long legs and long, dark hair, with big green eyes and a curvaceous figure that defies gravity. She’s all fire and vinegar wrapped up in a package that makes my hands itch to touch her.
When those sparks combust, it sets off a chain reaction neither of us saw coming.
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five years ago
“Mac! Heads up.”
I looked up just in time to catch the package. I was lying on my cot, trying to ignore the heat that invaded the ship at this time of day. I was sketching to distract myself. Stuff I saw around the ship. My fellow shipmates. Trying not to think about things I’d heard about going down on the shore.
The devastation was hard to take, no matter that our countries were at war. The people were just people. They had families. They had dreams.
I reminded myself of that every single day. It became far too easy to get trigger happy when you thought of the people as ‘others.’ Not that I was going to shoot anybody out at sea.
Just people. They were just people.
Of course, some of those people absolutely did want to fucking kill us, so I never dropped my guard, either. We weren’t out here to weave baskets or sing Kumbaya. We were here to keep the peace and keep the good old US of fucking A on top.
The package hit my chest with a thud, making me drop my pad and thin charcoal stick I clutched in my soot-covered hand.
“Your fingers are always dirty, man. It’s nasty.”
I waved my fingers at Poughkipsie Dave. We had a couple of Daves in our unit, so we used their home towns to tell them apart. “Your mother likes them just fine,” I said with a straight face. “I guess she likes it nasty.”
“Fuck you,” he said mildly, coming to sit on the cot next to mine. “What’d you get?”
Care packages were a big deal around here. Just last week, someone’s old lady had sent a handheld fan and a whole mega-pack of batteries. That thing had been passed around until it broke. It barely made a breeze, but in this heat, even the tiniest whiff of fresh air was kind of amazing.
And we were lucky. At least we got to sleep on the water. There were plenty of grunts out there in the desert twenty-four seven.
The batteries had made poker a whole lot more interesting for the past seven days, even without the fan. Batteries were like gold here. They trumped just about everything.
Books, magazines, candy, and cured meat were also easy to trade. Basically, any creature comfort or anything that reminded us of home was in high demand.
Of course, I didn’t have a sweetheart or a wife like lots of the guys. I didn’t even have a mama to send me anything. Thankfully, I did have my cousin Donahue and his mama. She’d taken me in when I was a teen. I would have ended up in foster care if it weren’t for her.
And my cousin Donnie was the older brother I’d never had, probably better than most big brothers because we skipped the ‘fighting over toys growing up’ part. By the time I came to live with them, Donnie and I were both more interested in grownup toys.
I fucking loved that sonofabitch. I’d learned all about motorcycles from him. Women too. I’d joined his club right before I shipped out. I was still probationary member, but apparently, they were letting me do some of that probie time on this rust bucket.
Devlin, the club Prez, said I was serving our country in the Navy and that was good enough for him. I fucking loved that sonofabitch too. I loved all the guys, especially the crew we called the Devil’s Riders.
For someone who was technically an orphan, I had a big ass family. Blood and oil. Both were thicker than water in my book.
I sat up and straddled my cot, putting the box between my legs. The writing said it was from Mrs. Donahue. I grinned and tore open the package.
On top was a big flat Tupperware full of cookies. I opened it and inhaled deeply. It smelled like Sunday afternoon in her kitchen. It smelled like home.
More guys gathered around, practically drooling. I handed the cookies over, grabbing one and popping it in my mouth.
Next was a package of plain white tank tops. I clutched them to my chest. We had our uniforms, but it was so damn hot and we did so much physical activity that we were almost always soaked in sweat. These would come in handy for a quick change when we weren’t on patrol.
There was a big bottle of hand sanitizer, a six-pack of extra-strength antiperspirant, and a bunch of non-perishable snacks. I stared at the little box of single-serve packages full of electrolyte powder. We sweated so much, dehydration was a constant threat.
Mrs. Donahue really did think of everything.
There was a beautiful sketch done by my cousin, whom I considered a little sister.
I lifted the artwork and saw that there was something from Donnie too. I rolled my eyes as the sailors around me started to whoop and holler.