Sarah Castille

Rough Justice

Rough Justice

Sinner’s Tribe Motorcycle Club #1
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (February 3, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1250056608
ISBN-13: 9781250056603

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From bestselling author Sarah Castille comes a scorching new series featuring red-hot, hard-riding bikers and the women who can’t help but love them…

IT TAKES A GOOD, STRONG WOMAN

Raised in a motorcycle gang, tough, beautiful Arianne Hunter has always dreamed of a normal life. But no sooner does she escape her father’s domineering grasp than she wakes up to find herself in a rival gang’s clubhouse—at the mercy of the dangerously sexy Jagger Knight.

TO TAME A MAN WHO’S HELL ON WHEELS.

The alpha leader of the notorious Sinner’s Tribe, Jagger Knight is all muscle, all biker, and all man. But somewhere inside this hard tattooed outlaw, Arianne senses a kindred spirit—and she can’t ignore their tempestuous attraction. Can she beat him at his own game in a revved-up blaze of glory? Or will their passion spark a war that’s the end of the road for them both?

Read an Excerpt

“Don’t move.”

Panicked, Arianne froze and peered in the direction of the deep, rich voice. She blinked to clear her vision and he came into view, leaning back on the chair beside her bed, long legs stretched out in front of him, thick arms covered with tats and folded over a massive chest. Under his cut, a Harley-Davidson T-shirt stretched taut over toned pecs and a washboard stomach. Black jeans hugged his narrow hips, and thick dark hair brushed the top of his wide shoulders. Rough and weathered, he sported at least a day’s worth of beard over his square jaw.

Delicious.

His sheer presence drew her in. No. Not presence. Power. Raw and untamed.

“Who are you?” Her voice wavered despite her best efforts to slow her pounding heart. Running and screaming would do her little good if she knew nothing about her situation.

“Jagger.”

“Jagger?” The name was familiar, but with her brain still hazy she couldn’t place him. She couldn’t place anything. Not even herself. She forced her mind backwards, trying to pinpoint her last memory.

“Maybe this will help.”

He removed his cut and spun it around, holding it up to give her a good view of the patches on the back. She recognized the three-piece patch at once: a winged skull set above flames, with two stars on either side and two curved rockers above and below, proclaiming the name of his club and the chapter: The Sinner’s Tribe.

She was going to die.

And on the very day she had planned to escape this life forever. Gritting her teeth, Arianne forced back a whimper. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of begging for her life. Death with dignity. She would make her mother proud. And her father, too, if he was even capable of that emotion.

Jagger grimaced and shrugged on the cut, his fingers brushing over the patch identifying him as president. “Looks like you know who we are.”

Blood pounded in her throat and she dipped her chin. Who didn’t know the Conundrum chapter of the Sinner’s Tribe, the dominant outlaw MC in Montana, and one of the top outlaw MCs in the country? The club boasted nine hundred members across the Northern United States alone. Archenemies of the Black Jacks MC in which she had been born and raised, the Sinner’s Tribe were unequaled in size or power. And Jagger was their king.

A sickening wave of terror cleared the fog from her brain. Everything came back in a rush. All her hard work to save enough money to procure false passports and new identities for her and Jeff. Favors pulled to arrange for them to get to Canada under the Black Jacks’ radar. The excitement of knowing they would finally be free from their father, Viper; the Black Jacks; and the biker world. And then Jeff’s text: he wasn’t coming. Viper had caught him on his way out and sent him with a team of Jacks to torch the Sinner’s Tribe’s clubhouse and steal a shipment of weapons.

She swallowed dryly as she remembered racing through Conundrum on her Ninja, desperate to stop Jeff from making a mistake that could cost him his life. Hope and desolation. Flames flickering. The crack of a gun. And then darkness.

Jagger leaned forward, his hand outstretched as if to steady her. “You’re lookin’ very white. You gonna pass out?”

“No. I’m fine.”

Fighting back an almost overwhelming urge to run, she made a quick assessment of the room: king-size bed, night table, and wooden chair. Bare and functional. Her .38, still in its leather calf holster, sat beside a black gym bag on a low, wide dresser. A window with no curtains. Moonlight casting shadows on the floor. Handsome-as-fuck executioner. No Jeff. Small mercy. Maybe he’d escaped.

Maybe she could escape, too. She had to escape. If Jagger found out her father was his mortal enemy, he would shoot her on the spot.

“Where are we?” Her voice was thin, almost unrecognizable, and raw in her throat.

Jagger tilted his head and gave her an amused smile. “Too far to run, if that’s what you’re thinking. We acquired this old house from a double-crossing dealer who thought he could play us. Nothing around for miles except mountains, trees, and the odd wolf. And if you did get it into your head to go for a hike, there are one hundred angry Sinners and support club members outside who think you burned down our clubhouse. They want blood. Right now, this is the safest place for you to be.”

Okay. Not good odds. But staying here was certain death. Squaring her shoulders, she dropped her arms and pushed herself to sitting, grimacing as pain sliced through her head.

With a soft, admonishing grumble, Jagger clasped her arm and helped her back down onto the pillow. “Doc said you had a concussion and shouldn’t get out of bed for a coupla days.”

She stared at him in surprise. “Why didn’t you just kill me? Why bother with a doctor? Or do you like your prisoners healthy before you torture them?”

He shifted in his chair, and a shadow crossed his disturbingly attractive face. “Innocent until proven guilty. I added it to our bylaws. Keeps the boys from becoming vigilantes and delivering instant retribution for imagined slights.”

“Maybe in your club. Not in mine.”

She clamped her mouth shut. Damn. Even the smallest bit of information could reveal the identity of her father, although save for the dark hair, she and her father didn’t look much alike. And despite the fact that she’d been wearing her Black Jacks cut, she wasn’t a Jack. Not by a long shot.

Jagger studied her in silence, unnerving her with his steady stare. But damned if she would . . . could look away from those warm brown eyes. Deep. Fathomless. For a second her mind unmoored and she was floating in a chocolate sea.

Safe.

Protected.

What the hell was she doing? When had anyone ever protected her? And he was the enemy. Their clubs had been fighting over territory for years, trading brutalities the way young boys traded insults. Even the old ladies weren’t safe.

Or their daughters . . .

She pushed the memory away. Her mother hadn’t died because of the feud but because of the biker culture at the heart of it. A culture that considered women to be property and nothing more.

“You got a name?” He leaned back and spread his legs in the irritating way men often did, taking up the space of three people in an effort to exert dominance.

Except Jagger didn’t really have to try. From the authority in his voice to the power oozing from his pores, he was every inch the dominant alpha male. A natural leader. She doubted anyone ever challenged him. And that traitorous lick of heat deep in her core? Simply an instinctive primal response. Easily rationalized away.

“Arianne.” The name dropped from her lips before she could catch it. Almost immediately, she realized her mistake. She’d given him her real name. Her birth name. The name she hadn’t used in the biker world since her mother died. What the hell was she thinking? “I mean, Vexy.” She firmed her voice. “Vexy is my road name.”

His rugged face softened. “Arianne is a beautiful name. Soft. Pretty. Suits you. Vexy, not so much. Makes me think of a sexy woman who’s got a temper.”

She gave an exasperated sigh. As if she didn’t know what the word “vex” meant. But bikers didn’t get to choose their road names; those names were bestowed by the club. And although women weren’t allowed to be an official part of the Black Jacks, she had status, a road name, and a cut simply because of who she was.

Jagger lifted an eyebrow. “That you, Arianne? You got a temper?”

Her cheeks heated. Was he teasing her? With his face an impassive mask, and his tone cool and even, she couldn’t tell. But she liked the sound of her name on his lips—his soft rumble over the second syllable—so much that she didn’t correct him. The temper part, however… Folding her arms across her chest, she narrowed her eyes. “Try me.”

Jagger tilted his head to the side. “I didn’t see a property patch on your cut. You got someone to keep you in line? You a mama or a sweet butt? Or did the Black Jacks change the rules and allow women in their club?”

Arianne glared. Nothing rankled her more than the misogyny that permeated the biker world. Wives and girlfriends were supposed to feel honored to be deemed a biker’s “property” or “old lady,” the equivalent of a civilian wife. “House mamas” and “sweet butts” who looked after the bikers’ needs, both in and out of the bedroom, and took care of the clubhouse in return for housing and protection were considered communal property, but usually hooked up with one biker at a time. And the “hood rats,” “hang-arounds,” and “lays” who came for the parties and the thrill of a one-night stand with a badass biker were free for the taking.

“I’m nobody’s property and I’m no sweet butt.” She straightened her posture and met his gaze full-on. “I was born into the Jacks. My dad is . . . a biker.” She caught herself just in time. What the hell was wrong with her? She wasn’t a talkative person at the best of times, and now, when keeping her mouth shut mattered the most, she was about to tell him the one thing that could get her killed, no questions asked. And yet, perversely, there was something about Jagger that put her at ease even so. Maybe she’d hit her head harder than she thought.