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Zach (Hell’s Handlers #1)
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Toni knows what it means to make mistakes. She has experienced firsthand how walking down the wrong path can send life spiraling out of control. Fortunately, she had someone in her life to pull her from the gutter and help set things right again. As penance for her past, she pledges to suppress her baser desires and focus on finding a steady, dependable connection with a man, even if that means embracing a boring lifestyle.
Zach is anything but dull. As Enforcer for the Hell’s Handlers MC, he embodies the outlaw lifestyle, rife with violence, women, and motorcycles. When Toni moves next door, Zach can’t resist the possibility of a quick, hot, fling. He discovers, however, that she’s not the easy conquest he’s used to.
While Zach works to convince Toni she belongs in his bed, a tenuous relationship with a local gang blows up and threatens his MC family. Zach’s world is turned upside down when he’s unable to keep the danger from touching his club. As Toni fights to resist Zach’s pull, her own peace is shattered by demons from her past. With enemies both old and new barreling down, Toni throws out her rules and turns to Zach for aid.
Before she can help it, Toni finds herself entrenched in Zach’s outlaw world. Is it possible for her to curb her desires, or is she doomed to repeat the mistakes of her past?
None of it will matter if Zach can’t keep the enemies at bay.
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It was finally fucking over.
Or maybe it was just beginning.
Either way, years, years of busting his ass, taking shit, and being treated like a worthless maggot were finished.
The vote was unanimous.
He was finally a brother.
Well, he was ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the way in. They couldn’t just vote him in and chuck him the patch he’d been salivating over for the past two years. No, they had to throw him one last challenge, and a bitch of a test it was.
A branding. The Hell’s Handlers Motorcycle Club emblem. On the left forearm. It was as important as the patches on the leather cut each brother wore. So important, if a man was tatted on his left forearm he couldn’t even prospect. No, the emblem had to be seared into clean skin, so anyone and everyone would know who belonged to the motorcycle club.
And if being branded wasn’t bad enough, there were rules that went along with the barbaric ceremony.
Every brother had to be in attendance. Heckling, ribbing, waiting to see just how much the new member wanted to be a part of the life. Waiting for them to crack.
No passing out.
A grunt of pain was allowed, but beyond that, any outward show of weakness would null and void the unanimous vote to end the prospecting period and make him a fully-patched member of the Hell’s Handlers MC.
He wouldn’t make a peep. They could cut his fucking arm off and beat him with it and Zach still wouldn’t utter a sound. That patch was his, and the only way he’d give it up was if some lucky motherfucker managed to pry it from his cold, dead hands. Even then, he’d haunt the bastard and wear the thing as a spirit.
A shrill whistle cut through the raucous laughter and drunken male partying around a huge bonfire. The fire was necessary because the night air was barely butting up against forty degrees. And, of course, the guys made him stand around shirtless while he waited for his fate.
Usually, the sound of fucking made up much of the party’s noise, but not tonight. This was just for the men, brothers in all but blood. At least this early part of the night. After Zach got his patch, they’d bring in the club pussy and he’d have his pick of the litter. One, two, hell even three women if he wanted. He’d earned it, watching brother after brother partake in the sweet privilege that was not bestowed on prospects. Club pussy was for patched members only.
And now he was one.
His dick twitched in his pants but died the moment his president spoke. “Okay, fuckers, listen up.”
All around him, his soon to be new brothers lowered their drinks and gave their leader, Copper, their full attention. At twenty-nine, Copper was young to be in the role of club president, and since he’d been at it for almost four years, he was officially the youngest leader in the club’s near fifty-year history.
“We’re just minutes away from welcoming another brother into the club. Shit, Zach’s been one of the best prospects we’ve ever had. Tough as fuckin’ nails, pulls more than his own weight, never runs his mouth, loyal.” A puff of steam drifted from Copper’s mouth as he spoke to the group.
The prez wasn’t one to be fucked with. A good few inches over six feet, with a beard the color of a dirty penny, and plenty of hair to match, he was mean as a starving pit-bull. But Copper had the respect of every man in the club. Not just because he held the title of president, but because he’d earned it, dragging the club from the brink of disaster and making it a thriving brotherhood once again.
Zach blew on his hands, trying to infuse some warmth into the frozen digits. Damn, it was colder than a witch’s titty and standing around shirtless for the past half hour hadn’t helped anything.
“Just one more test of this asshole’s strength before he gets to be one of us. Ready, boys?” Copper waved Zach over to the mountain of wood crackling and spitting sparks. Sticking out of the bonfire, a long branding iron roasted away, just waiting to scorch some of Zach’s skin.
Shouts of encouragement and a few hecklers betting on how much of a pussy he was and what octave his scream would hit reached him as he made his way to the fire and his waiting president. Careful to keep his expression neutral, Zach drew up next to his prez and paused. Wasn’t that the whole point? Act like he wasn’t scared. Wasn’t about to shit his pants in anticipation of what would probably be the worst physical pain he’d ever experienced.
Fuckin’ Copper’s facial hair split and his teeth gleamed in the flickering fire. Prez lived for this bull. And if he didn’t, he sure acted like he did with that shitty grin of anticipation. “Anything you want to say first?”