Reapers MC - 2
After writing Reaper’s Property (the first book in this series, although Reaper’s Legacy stands alone), the most common questions I heard from readers were about my research and the characters’ names. Specifically, how accurate are the books, and why do some of the names sound almost silly? The answer is that I started my career in journalism and researched outlaw motorcycle club culture extensively for my stories. This included talking to people in club life, many of whom answered questions for me throughout the writing process. The Reaper’s Legacy manuscript was reviewed and corrected by a woman attached to an outlaw MC.
Many readers have questioned the accuracy of the road names I chose, feeling that they aren’t fierce or intimidating enough (Horse, Picnic, Bam Bam, etc.). Some have suggested that no real badass would be called “Picnic,” but they don’t realize that road names are often whimsical or flat-out funny. Not every biker has a name like “Ripper” or “Killer.” The “Picnic” in my book is named after a real man—although his name wasn’t just “Picnic.” It was actually “Picnic Table.” The majority of the names in my book were taken from real life.
Ultimately, this book is a romantic fantasy, which means I didn’t let the reality of MC culture get in the way of the story I wanted to tell. If you are interested in learning more about real women living in MCs, I highly recommend the book Biker Chicks: The Magnetic Attraction of Women to Bad Boys and Motorbikes by Arthur Veno and Edward Winterhalder. The book explores stereotypes about women and motorcycle clubs by allowing real women to tell their own stories, rather than drawing conclusions based on secondary information provided by male sources.
EIGHT YEARS AGO
COEUR D’ALENE, IDAHO
“I’m gonna stick it in now.”
Zach’s voice was rough and full of urgent need.
I smelled him all around me, sweaty and hungry and so beautiful I could die. After tonight he’d be mine for real. His hand reached down between us, guiding the round, rubbery head of his penis as it nudged my opening. It felt weird. He pushed at me and I guess he missed, because it hit me too high and—
“Ouch! Shit, Zach, that hurts. I think you’re doing it wrong.”
He stopped immediately and grinned down at me, the gap between his front teeth teasing. Holy crap, I loved that grin. I’d had the biggest crush on Zach since we were freshmen, but he never noticed me, not until a couple of months ago. My folks didn’t let me out much, but in July I’d managed to get permission to stay with Lyssa for a night and we’d snuck out to a party. Zach had homed in, and we’d been a couple ever since.
I’d gotten really good at sneaking out.
“Sorry, babe,” he murmured, leaning down to kiss me. I softened immediately, loving the feel of his lips ghosting across mine. He adjusted himself and started sliding into me again, slow and steady. This time he didn’t miss, and I stiffened as he stretched me open wide.
Then he hit a barrier and paused.
I opened my eyes and looked up at him. He looked back down at me and I knew right then and there I’d never love anyone half so much as I loved Zachary Barrett.
“Ready?” he whispered. I nodded.
He shoved into me and I squealed, pain ripping between my legs. Zach kept me pinned with his hips as I gasped, shocked. Then he pulled out and I tried to catch my breath. Before I could, though, he’d thrust back into me. Hard. Ouch.
“Holy shit, you’re tight,” he muttered. He pushed himself up on his hands, throwing his head back as he pumped into my body, over and over, eyes closed and face straining with hunger.
I don’t know what I’d expected.
I mean, I wasn’t stupid. I knew it wouldn’t be perfect the first time, no matter what the romance books said. And it didn’t hurt that much. But it sure as shit didn’t feel good, either.
Zach moved faster, and I turned my head on the couch to look across the small apartment. His brother’s, apparently. We had it for the night—it was supposed to be our special, perfect time together. I’d expected flowers or soft music and wine or something. Stupid. Zach had pizza and some beer from his brother’s fridge.
“Ouch,” I muttered again as he paused, face twisting.
“Shit, I’m gonna come,” he gasped. I felt his penis throb deep inside, almost twitching. It was weird. Really weird. And nothing like I’d seen in movies—not even a little bit.
Was that it?
“Oh, fuck that’s good.”
The apartment door opened as Zach collapsed between my legs, oblivious to the world. I couldn’t do anything but watch in horror as a man walked in.
I didn’t know him, but he couldn’t have been Zach’s brother. He didn’t look anything like Zach, who was taller than me, but not by a whole lot. This guy was really tall, and muscular in the way men who work with their hands get from heavy lifting on the job.
He wore a black leather vest with patches over a ratty T-shirt and jeans that had streaks of dark motor oil or grease or something. A half rack of beer dangled from one hand. His hair was short and dark. Almost military. His lip was pierced and he wore two rings in his left ear and one in his right, like a pirate. Eyebrow was pierced, too. His features were bluntly handsome, but nobody would ever call him pretty. Big black boots covered his feet, and the chain from his wallet hung low across his hip. One of his arms had a full-sleeve tattoo. The other had a skull with crossed blades behind it.
He stopped in the doorway and looked us over, slowly shaking his head.
“I told you what I’d do if you broke into my place again,” he said quietly. Zach popped up and his face went white. His entire body—with one notable exception—stiffened. I felt that exception slither out of me, along with some fluid, and realized we hadn’t even bothered to put a towel down or anything.
But how was I supposed to know we’d need a towel?
“Shit,” Zach said, his voice a tight squeak. “Ruger, I can explain—”
“Don’t fuckin’ explain,” Ruger said, pushing forward into the room. He slammed the door shut behind him and walked over to the couch. I tried to hide my head in Zach’s chest, more ashamed and embarrassed than I’d ever been in my life.
Flowers. Were flowers too much to ask?
“Jesus Christ, what is she? Twelve?” Ruger asked, giving the couch a kick. It shuddered under me, and Zach sat up, pulling away from my body. I shrieked and pushed my hands down between us, trying to cover myself from his brother’s gaze.
Then it got worse.
The brother—Rooger? whatever the hell kind of name that was—looked right at me as he leaned across my body, grabbing a folded blanket from the back of the couch.
He tossed it over my crotch.
I moaned and died a little inside. My legs were still spread wide, my skirt up high around my waist. He’d seen everything. Everything. This was supposed to be the most romantic night of my life and now I just wanted to go home and cry.
“I’m takin’ a shower and by the time I’m done, you need to be gone,” Ruger said, getting in Zach’s face. My boyfriend flinched. “And stay the fuck outta my apartment.”
With that, he walked down the hall to the bathroom, banging the door shut. Seconds later I heard the shower come on. Zach jumped up, muttering.
“Asshole. He’s such a goddamn asshole.”
“Was that your brother?”
“Yeah. He’s a prick.”
I sat up and straightened my shirt. Thank God I hadn’t taken it off. Zach loved to touch my breasts, but we’d actually moved pretty fast once we got started. I managed to get to my feet, holding the blanket in front of me while I pulled down my skirt. I had no idea where my panties had gone, but a quick look around didn’t reveal them. I leaned over the couch, digging in the pillows, hunting. No luck, but I managed to stick my hand in the disgusting wet spot we’d left behind.
I felt like such a whore.
“Fuck!” Zach yelled behind me. My head jerked up—how could things possibly get any worse? “Holy fuck, I cannot fucking believe this!”
“The condom broke,” he said, eyes wide. “The fucking condom broke. This has got to be the worst night of my life. You better not be pregnant.”
The air froze in my lungs. Apparently things could get worse.
Zach held the broken rubber out toward me. I stared down at the nasty thing, not quite believing my bad luck.
“Did you do it wrong?” I whispered. He shrugged, not answering.
“It’s probably okay,” I said after another long pause. “I mean, my period just ended. You can’t get pregnant that soon after your period, right?”
“Um, yeah, probably,” he said, flushing and looking away. “I didn’t really pay attention to that shit in class. I mean, I always use a condom. Always. They never break, not even—”
My breath caught and I felt hot tears well up in my eyes.
“You told me you’d only done it once before,” I said softly. He winced.
“I’ve never done it with anyone I loved before,” he said, dropping the broken rubber and grabbing for my hand. I tried to tug away. The mess on his fingers grossed me out, but when he pulled me in tight and wrapped his arms around me, I caved.
“Hey, it’s gonna be okay,” he muttered, rubbing my back as I snuffled against his shirt. “It’ll be fine. We’re fine. And I’m sorry I wasn’t honest with you. I was afraid you wouldn’t stick with me if you knew I’d been stupid before. I don’t care about any other girls and I never will. I just want to be with you.”
“Okay,” I said, pulling myself together. He shouldn’t have lied, but at least he owned up to it. Mature couples worked through hard stuff all the time, right? “Um, we should probably get out of here. Your brother looked pretty pissed. I thought he gave you a key?”
“My stepmom has an emergency key,” he said, shrugging. “I took it. He was supposed to be out of town. Grab the pizza.”
“Should we leave some for your brother?”
“Screw him. And he’s my stepbrother. We’re not even really related.”
I found my shoes and slipped them on, then got my purse and the pizza. I still didn’t know where my panties were, but just then I heard the shower stop.
We needed to get out.
Zach glanced over at the bathroom, then winked at me as he grabbed the half rack off the counter.
“C’mon,” he said, taking my hand and pulling me toward the door.
“You’re stealing his beer?” I asked, feeling a little sick. “Seriously?”
“Fuck him,” Zach said, narrowing his eyes at me. “He’s a total dick, thinks he’s better than everyone else. Him and his stupid fucking motorcycle club. They’re all assholes and criminals, and he is, too. Probably stole it in the first place. And he can buy more anytime he wants, not like us. We’ll take it to Kimber’s. Her parents are in Mexico.”
We jogged down the apartment complex stairs, then crossed the parking lot to his truck. It was kind of old, but at least the full-size Ford’s king cab had plenty of room. We’d take it out sometimes, just the two of us, and spend hours lying in the bed under the stars, kissing and laughing. Other times we packed three or four couples in, all sitting on each other’s laps.
Zach hadn’t done such a great job tonight, but that wasn’t his fault. Sometimes life just didn’t follow the plan. I was still crazy about him, though.
“Hey,” I said, stopping him as he opened the driver’s-side door. I turned him around and popped up onto my toes, kissing him long and slow. “I love you.”
“I love you, too, babe,” Zach said, smoothing my hair back behind my ear. I melted when he did that—made me feel all safe and protected. “Now let’s go kill some of those beers. Shit, fuckin’ crazy night. My brother is such a dick.”
I rolled my eyes and laughed as I hauled ass around the truck.
So losing my virginity hadn’t been perfect and beautiful and all that. But at least it was over and Zach loved me.
Too bad about the panties, though.
I’d bought them special and everything.
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