Two Weeks Later
My lungs felt like they were on fire as my arms pumped and my legs ran as fast as they could go. The slap slap slap of my shoes hitting the pavement filled the air around me, along with the huffing of my breath. I didn’t dare take a moment to even look over my shoulder as I charged through the darkened streets. I was in Nowhere, Alabama, some small town my supposed boyfriend had brought me to, promising an awesome party. Little had I realized, I was the entertainment. Thank God I hadn’t swallowed the pills he’d given me! If I had, I might not have survived what they had planned for me.
I seemed to be on the outskirts of town, with hardly any businesses or homes surrounding me, but I could see lights and a neon sign in the distance, and I prayed that I would find help when I got there. When I’d taken off, I’d heard them running after me, the charge of their steps spurring me on. Thankfully they were too stoned or stupid to realize they’d catch me faster in their cars, and in their bumbling attempts to catch me, I’d managed to get away. Or so I hoped. They could still be there, coming for me in the darkness, waiting until I weakened.
A huge gate came into focus with what looked like a bar behind it. I’d never seen a bar behind a fence topped with barbed wire before, but I didn’t much care what the place looked like, as long as they would help me. Maybe let me make a call, even though I didn’t know who to reach out to. It wasn’t like I had an abundance of friends, and I had no family that I knew of. I collapsed when I reached the gate, my hands sliding down the bars as my knees hit the pavement. My breath sawed in and out of my lungs, and spots danced across my vision.
“What are you doing here, sweet thing?” a male voice drawled from behind the fence.
I tried to look up, but I was too damn exhausted. Whatever adrenaline rush I’d experienced, it was waning, and intense fatigue was settling into my body, making it damn near impossible to stay upright. I didn’t know how far I’d run, but it had to have been several miles or more, and for someone who wasn’t very athletic, that felt like a ton. My hands slipped from the bars, and I fell onto my back on the pavement of the driveway and stared up at the starry sky. The man cursed, and the gate opened, then booted steps came my way. The face peering down at me was obscured by the darkness, but he’d sounded young. Maybe late teens or early twenties? Old enough his voice had already changed. Whoever he was, he made no move to touch me.
I heard the roar of an engine from down the road, and soon a single headlight washed across me. I turned toward the light, straining to see whoever was there, my eyes squinting at the brightness. The headlight shut off, and I blinked a few times, trying to focus.
“What’s going on, Johnny?” a deeper voice asked, sending chills down my spine. There was something about that voice, something I liked. It was powerful, commanding.
“I don’t know, Bull. She came running up here like her life depended on it, then just fell on the ground. She won’t talk.”
I heard an engine shut off then heavy footsteps came toward me. The first thing I saw was long, blond hair, then a darker beard came into view. Piercing eyes peered down at me, with concern etched on the stranger’s face. In the dark, I couldn’t guess his age very well, could barely make out all his features, but he was close enough I caught his scent -- leather with a hint of something warm and spicy. And what kind of name was Bull?
His touch was gentle as he brushed my hair back from my face, my long locks close in color to his. With infinite care, he scooped me up into his arms and rose to his full height. The world spun a moment, and when I looked around, I realized I was really far off the ground. He was incredibly tall, definitely over six feet. I looked back up at the man holding me, wanting to speak yet not knowing what to say. I should say something. I knew that much. He was a stranger, and for all I knew, I was in more trouble than earlier. His gaze left mine to settle on the guy he’d called Johnny.
I felt bereft without him looking at me, as if something had been taken away that was rightfully mine. Maybe I was losing my mind and going crazy. The run must have scrambled my brains as well as my insides. I definitely wasn’t thinking rationally. Never in my life had I reacted to a man like I was reacting to Bull.
“Bring my bike through the gates. I’ll come back for it later,” Bull said.
So the rumbling engine had been a motorcycle. Wait. Come back for it? Where were we going? I should have panicked, but all I felt was this soothing calm. It was almost like being in his arms was enough to make me feel safe. That’s ridiculous, Darian. He’s a stranger. What if he’s a rapist or a murderer? But ridiculous or not, that was how I felt. Even though I didn’t know where I was, or who he was, I felt like I could trust him. There was this feeling deep in my gut that the man holding me would never hurt me. I’d trusted that instinct often enough over the years, and had I listened to it when Leo had asked me out, I wouldn’t be in this mess now. It had never steered me wrong before.
He didn’t say anything more, just started walking down what appeared to be a road. Had they fenced off part of the town? Why was there a road behind that massive gate? The building we passed, the one I’d assumed was a bar, said Dixie Reapers across the top in neon lights. That still didn’t tell me anything. The road he was walking on wound around the building, and soon I saw houses. There had been a row of motorcycles parked outside the bar, and I saw more in the driveways of the homes we passed. I was getting more and more confused. Why would there be a business and a bunch of houses behind a fence topped with barbed wire? Where the hell was I? Were they some kind of cult? And what was with all the bikes? Did they not believe in vehicles with more than two wheels? It almost like being on a set from that show… what was it called? Sons of Anarchy?
We passed quite a few homes before he walked up the steps of a one-story house with a wide front porch. The color looked gray, but without a porch light on, I couldn’t tell for certain. He somehow managed to open the door without dropping me, then carried me inside, kicking the door shut behind him. He didn’t bother to lock it, but I doubted anyone was getting past their guarded gate. I just didn’t know if that gate should make me feel safer or more afraid. Despite Bull’s gentle touch, I had no idea who he was or what kind of place I’d landed in.
Bull didn’t hesitate when he entered the house but strode into the living room and eased me down onto the couch. He flicked on a lamp, and as the room flooded with light, I was surprised to see that he seemed much older than my twenty-one years. There were lines at the corners of his eyes, but he was a very handsome man. As I took in the details of his face, I felt this intense pull toward him. I’d seen attractive men before. Well, mostly boys. But there was something about him, something different. The look in his eyes said he’d seen shit I couldn’t even fathom, and yet the way he watched me… it made me feel all warm and gooey inside.
He pulled off his leather jacket and tossed it onto a chair, and I felt my eyes widen as I took in his broad chest and large biceps. There was some sort of leather vest over his T-shirt, but I couldn’t read the writing. Even if the lines on his face hadn’t belied his age, there was no mistaking his body for that of a boy. He was definitely all man. The T-shirt he wore was stretched tightly across him, and my fingers itched to see if his chest was as hard as it looked. I could understand now why they called him Bull. The man was huge. My gaze dipped down below his belt, and my cheeks flushed when I saw his cock straining against his zipper. Yeah, he was big. Everywhere.
“What’s your name?” he asked, drawing my attention away from what was hidden in his jeans.
“Darian. Darian Crosse.”
“You don’t sound like you’re from around here.”
I shook my head. “I’m from Georgia. The guy I was seeing told me about this awesome party and brought me here.”
Bull’s eyebrows rose. “And where is he now?”
“Probably still looking for me.”
Bull rocked back on his heels, shoving his hands into his pockets. I was too busy admiring him again to say anything more. I couldn’t say he was beautiful, but I’d never met anyone like Bull before. I felt like I could look at him all day.
“Is he the one you’re running from?” Bull asked.
“Him and the others,” I murmured, still admiring him.
His eyes narrowed. “What others?”
I tipped my head back and closed my eyes a moment. Their faces, with their leering smiles, flashed in my mind. Bile rose in my throat as I thought about the words I’d heard, their intentions toward me, and their complete lack of humanity. Fear and revulsion rolled through me, and I knew I was damn lucky to have gotten away.
I focused on him again, trying to shake free from the horror of what had nearly happened to me. “The party Leo took me to expected me to be the entertainment, even though I hadn’t known that at the time. I’d confessed to Leo a few days ago that I was a virgin and was waiting for the right guy and the right time. I thought he was understanding and might be the one. I didn’t realize he was excited about my virginity for another reason.”
“That doesn’t explain the others you mentioned. Who were they?”
“Leo tried to drug me earlier, but I didn’t take the pills. When we got into town, we drove to some rundown place. I think it’s a few miles from here, but I honestly don’t know how far I ran. It was a house full of guys. Some looked younger than me and some looked older. Maybe late twenties or early thirties. When we stepped into the house, I realized quickly I was the only girl there. The guys weren’t quiet about their plans. They were going to take turns with me. All twelve of them and one said he was willing to pay Leo to be the one to take my virginity. Thankfully, it looked like they’d already been partying pretty hard, and they were either drunk, stoned, or both.”
A chill entered his eyes, and his hands clenched at his sides. Suddenly the protective man who had been so tender with me looked more like a Viking warrior about to go off to battle. With his long blond hair and beard, I could easily see him with a sword, or whatever Vikings had used in times of war.
“They were going to gang rape you?” His voice sounded calmer than he looked. Anger poured off him in waves.
My throat tightened, and I swallowed as tears filled my eyes. I hadn’t admitted to myself yet that that’s what they’d planned. Oh, I’d run the moment I’d realized what they were going to do, but then I’d pushed it to the back of my mind and not used that word. Instead, I broke it down into pieces I could stomach instead of looking at the whole picture.
Bull noticed my distress and sank down onto his haunches in front of me. Some of the anger had faded from his eyes, and the tender guy who had picked me up off the pavement was back. He reached for me slowly, brushing tears off my cheeks that I hadn’t even realized I’d shed. That was enough to make the dam break, and I started crying in earnest. Bull gathered me in his arms and sat on the couch, settling me in his lap. Cradled against his broad chest, I felt like nothing could harm me. I clung to him, my hands twisted in the fabric of his shirt as I soaked him with my tears. He didn’t seem to mind, though, murmuring words of comfort to me.
Despite my distress over what had nearly happened to me, I felt completely safe in his arms. Being held by him was almost like coming home. That sense of rightness, of belonging. I’d never had that before, and it startled me that I would feel it now, with a complete stranger. I’d tried to always trust that inner voice, though, and mine was saying that Bull was different, special.
“If they come here, will that guy at the gate tell them I’m here?” I asked as I got myself under control again.
“No. Johnny won’t say a word to anyone about you being here. Except maybe to Torch.”
I sniffled. “You all have weird names.”
Bull chuckled. “They’re road names. I’m part of the Dixie Reapers MC. Bull is what they call me.”
“MC. Like in Sons of Anarchy?”
He snorted. “Not exactly. Oh, our hands aren’t clean, but most of that show was strictly drama meant to entertain people.”
“So, if Bull is your road name, what’s your real name?” I asked.
I could see the hesitation in his eyes, and I wondered if it was taboo to ask him that. I didn’t know anything about the way of life in a MC. I hadn’t even been around bikers up close before, except watching them pass by on the freeway. He was the first one I’d ever spoken to.
“Michael. My name is Michael, but outside this house I’m Bull and only Bull.”
I nodded. “I understand.”
He softly caressed my cheek. “But you can call me Michael if you want. When we’re here, by ourselves. No one’s used that name in a really long time.”
I felt the bulge in his pants pressing against my ass, and I didn’t think it was possible, but it felt like it was growing even larger. Holy hell! My breath caught in my throat at the unmistakable desire in his eyes. No one had ever looked at me like that. Oh, boys had told me I was pretty and said they wanted to fuck me. But the way Bull -- Michael? -- looked at me… it was like he wanted to devour me. My nipples pebbled, and as his hands shifted, I felt a sudden jolt in my core.
This is wrong, Darian. What the hell is the matter with you? You were almost raped and now some stranger is turning you on? Are you just going to give it up to some random guy?
Despite my inner pep talk, my body didn’t seem to be listening. Desire curled through me, heating the blood in my veins. Even if his arms hadn’t been around me, I wouldn’t have gotten up and walked away. I’d waited so long to feel like this. Was the timing all wrong? Oh yeah. But I couldn’t ignore the way I felt, didn’t want to ignore it.
There was a reason I was still a virgin. No one had ever turned me on, especially not like this. An ache began to build, and I squeezed my thighs together, but it didn’t seem to help. The way Michael looked at me, I could tell that he knew what was happening to me, and that look said he was enjoying the effect he had on me.
“I’m not the right man to deflower a virgin,” he said, his voice thick and rough. “But damn if you aren’t tempting as hell. I’m probably old enough to be your father. I should take you to Torch, let him assign someone to help you. But I don’t want to.”
“What do you want?” I asked.
His gaze skimmed over me, resting on my breasts a moment. “I want you in my bed. I want to see you spread open and begging for me, your wet little pussy aching for my cock. I want to fuck you so thoroughly that you’ll never want another man ever again.”
My breath hitched at his words.
“But what I’m going to do is show you to the guest room and let you get some sleep. We can work on your problem tomorrow.”
Disappointment hit me hard. He helped me stand, then led the way down the hall, passing a closed door, a bathroom, then stopping at a bedroom. Michael flipped on the light and motioned for me to step inside. The walls were a pale blue, and there was a full-size bed with a navy comforter taking up most of the space. The room wasn’t very big, but it was adequate. It was actually nicer than any room I’d ever had. The furniture looked new, even if it was sparse with just the bed, a nightstand with a clock, and a dresser.
“If you need something to sleep in, there are some shirts in the top drawer. They’ll be big on you, but it’s the best I can do for tonight,” he said.
“Thank you,” I said softly. “For everything.”
He stared at me a moment, and I wondered if he was going to change his mind about hauling me off to his bed, but he sighed loudly, then turned and walked away, closing the door behind him. I pulled off my shoes and clothes, even removing my panties before I pulled out a soft T-shirt from the dresser. I held it up to my nose and breathed in deeply, smiling because it smelled just like Bull.
I pulled the shirt over my head and turned to look at the bed. If he wasn’t going to take me to his room, then I might as well get some sleep. He was probably right. We didn’t need to complicate matters, but it didn’t stop me from wanting him. It scared me, how intensely I felt about a man I’d just met. But there was an undeniable connection between us. Maybe I had daddy issues, or maybe I was just a woman craving the touch of an incredibly sexy man.
Turning off the light, I padded across the room and pulled down the covers, then slipped into bed. As I stared up at the ceiling, I felt the throbbing between my legs and knew I wasn’t going to sleep anytime soon. I wasn’t a complete stranger to sex, even if I was a virgin. Oh, I’d never undressed in front of anyone before, but my high school boyfriend had talked me into giving him blowjobs, and he’d tried to stick his hand down my pants a few times. And on my eighteenth birthday, I’d gotten curious enough about sex to buy a small vibrator. I was wishing I had it with me. It was nowhere near the size of Bull, but it had always made me feel good.
With the covers pulled up to my chest, I reached under the blankets and jerked the T-shirt up to my waist, then planted my feet on the mattress and spread my legs. The house was still and quiet, and I bit my lip in hopes I wouldn’t make any noise. I would be mortified if Bull caught me masturbating. My hand slid between my legs and over the smooth lips of my pussy. I parted the lips and plunged a finger into my channel, then brought it up to circle my clit.
My eyes closed, and I pictured it was Bull between my legs. If anything, the ache grew worse. I rubbed my clit slowly so I could savor the sensations. The build-up was always the best part. My thighs trembled as I pictured Bull between my spread legs, naked, his hard cock pointed toward me. My finger rubbed faster and a whimper escaped me.
I slid my finger back into my pussy, jerking my hips as I tried to fuck myself, but it wasn’t enough, not nearly. I felt so damn empty, and for the first time, I cursed my virginity. If I weren’t inexperienced, Bull would likely be in here now fucking me into the mattress. I couldn’t stop the sounds that spilled from my lips as I chased after an elusive orgasm that seemed always just out of reach, alternating between plunging my finger inside me and playing with my clit. Normally, I’d have gotten off by now, but I was too wound up from the things Bull had said, and the way his cock had felt pressing against me.
I was getting frustrated and almost stopped what I was doing, thinking it was pointless, when the door flew open. My eyes went wide as I saw Bull standing in the doorway, shirtless, barefoot, and his jeans unfastened. My finger stilled, and my chest rose and fell as I waited to see what he would do. As he stepped into the room, I knew that things were about to change. I just hadn’t realized how much.