Sinner’s Tribe Motorcycle Club #3
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (October 6, 2015)
HE’S HELL ON WHEELS.
Tall, dark, and dangerously handsome, Zane “Tracker” Colter is the strong, silent type of tattooed muscle biker who drives women wild. But as a master of strategy for the outlaw MC club, Sinner’s Tribe, he doesn’t have time to play around with groupies and biker chicks-especially when he can’t stop thinking about Evie, the girl who got away…
SHE’S PLAYING WITH FIRE.
Evie’s been in love with Zane ever since they were children-until he broke her heart and disappeared. Now he’s back in her life, bigger and badder than ever. Zane is stunned by how beautiful and confident Evie’s become, using her artistic talent to customize motorcycles. He wants her so bad, he’d ride through fire to win her back. There’s one problem: Evie is dating his deadliest rival-the leader of the Black Jacks-and if Evie and Zane hook up, there’ll be hell to pay…
Read an Excerpt
Zane flicked the throttle on his Harley and the bike surged forward, forcing Evie to tighten her grip around his waist.
He could do this.
The distance between Evie’s house and Bill’s shop couldn’t be more than twenty miles. And look. He’d already made it to the highway. If she would just stop wiggling on the seat behind him…and if she didn’t hold him quite so tight with her breasts pressed up against her back…and if her fingers weren’t dangling over the bulge in his jeans, which was getting more pronounced the closer she pressed her body against his….then he might actually make it to Big Bill’s shop without either crashing the bike or spilling in his pants like a teenage boy.
He couldn’t remember feeling lust like this since the night he’d left Stanton. Sure he’d had women. The sweet butts were always warm and willing, and if he wanted to keep things discrete, the Sinners owned several strip clubs in town. But he rarely felt the need to take advantage of the opportunities the cut provided. And when he did, every woman morphed into Evie. She had been burned onto his brain for eighteen years, ruining him for other women forever.
And now her soft, sexy body was pressed up against him, her thighs brushing his thighs, her hips firm against his ass, and her damn fingers resting on his fly.
His groin tightened and he swerved the bike.
Fuck. Concentrate. But it was so damn hard.
He wondered what Mark would think about his wife riding on the back of Zane’s bike, holding on to him, legs parted, cheeks flushed from the wind. If she’d been his, there would be no way he would allow her on the back of any man’s bike. Hell, he wouldn’t let her near another man. Look how he reacted to her, despite the stain of her betrayal still tainting his heart.
By the time they reached the shop, his cock was rock hard and his body thrummed with need. Shooter pulled up beside them and Zane prayed for Evie to dismount quickly so he would have time to get himself together and calm the fuck down so she wouldn’t see the evidence of his desire.
He wanted her. She’d hurt him and he wanted her. She was with another man and he wanted her. She’d slapped him and damned if seeing Evie come into her own hadn’t made him want her more. And back there on the porch, when she’d brushed her breasts against his chest, the way she’d touched him when they were young, telling him with her body what she couldn’t say out loud, he’d almost taken her.
“Gotta talk to Shooter,” he said after she slid neatly off his bike. “I’ll meet you inside.”
“I’ll go check out the damage.” She gave him a wink and then walked to the door, making his groin tighten all over again at the sight of her beautiful ass perfectly outlined in dark denim.
After the door closed behind her, he briefed Shooter on surveillance techniques, which basically meant find somewhere to stand where you aren’t visible and don’t fall asleep. He sent Shooter to the picnic table across the street, and then walked around his bike and tried to get his fucking lust in check. He considered the various bike parts, how they fit together and how easily they came apart, and how hard it had been to replace his stock exhaust with a longer, harder, thicker pipe, and how he had to fight with Sparky to get an upswept ball-end megaphone muffler.
When he realized the direction his thoughts were leading, he gave up the fight, made a careful self-adjustment, and headed into the store.
Rows of motorcycles gleamed under the overhead lights. Bill had a lot of stock for a small shop, mostly new models, but a few bobsters, and some custom pieces. The walls held parts and supplies, racks of leathers, helmets, and boots. Although half the stock was used, the scent of new leather and fresh paint permeated the air.
He found Evie in the garage spraying primer on a gas tank perched on an A-frame stand. She had stripped down to a skintight tank top and tied her hair back in a messy pony tail. Loose strands framed her beautiful face. Damn she was hot, standing in that gritty shop, surrounded in motorcycle parts, and with a spray gun in her hand . . .
Christ. Was everything going to make him think about sex?
“Thought I’d get a head start on my work for tomorrow while I was waiting. My portfolio is over there if you need to look at it under more legitimate circumstances, or if you’ve brought a design, just leave it on the bench and I’ll take a look.”
Zane walked along the wall beside the benches filled with paint supplies and air brush guns. He had already checked the place out, trying to find clues about her life from the personal items in her workspace: a handbook from Conundrum College; a parenting magazine; a coffee cup from a restaurant in Stanton; a motorcycle magazine; and the charcoal drawing of him, Jagger, and Evie on the wall—a rendition of the picture he had given her. Even now, seeing it again, a lump welled up in his throat—not just because of the memory, but because she’d kept it, and made it larger than life.
“Find anything in the portfolio?” She came up beside him, and he couldn’t stop himself from brushing one of the loose strands of hair back from her face. The sharp scent of primer took the edge off his desire, and he was finally able to untangle his tongue.
“No. But your work is exceptional.” She’d always been artistic, which was why he was so unsure of the gift he’d made for her the night of Jagger’s going-away party. Although he knew her as well as one person could know another, he still worried it wasn’t good enough . . . that he wasn’t worthy. Just like her father had said as he beat Zane by Stanton Creek after finding him with Evie.
“You’re nothing and you come from nothing. You’ve got nothing to offer my daughter. No future. No skills. Hell you couldn’t even finish school. All you got is a trailer full of drugs, an addict for a father, and your shit for brains.”
Perversely, he’d been happy for Evie, thinking at least her father cared, despite the fact that he spent very little time with her. But then Zane said the words that started the whole devastating chain of events. Angry words. Four words he wished he could take back the moment they dropped from his lips.
I know about you.
Zane had known that Evie’s father was on the take for years. Once a month, Sheriff Monroe showed up at his dad’s trailer to pick up a few kilos of coke and then transport them across state lines in his cruiser. And it wasn’t just drugs. He had his hands in the underground arms trade, too, not to mention all the nights he spent in the massage parlors in Stanton’s red light district.
But Zane had never told Evie about her dad’s extracurricular activities. Not because he felt any loyalty to his old man, and not because he was scared of Sheriff Monroe. But because Evie adored her father. She thought he was a hero. An honorable man. She forgave him all the nights he left her alone with her alcoholic mother because she thought he was out protecting Stanton’s citizens and saving the day. Zane couldn’t take that away from her, couldn’t bear to hurt her by shattering the illusion.
It was only the night Sheriff Monroe showed up at his trailer with a gun, that Zane realized his mistake. A man without honor or compassion wouldn’t understand that Zane would keep the secret from his daughter. Desperation drove a man who was afraid.
“Thanks.” She put down the spray gun. “I never made it to college, and I sort of fell into custom painting when one of my friends asked if I could paint something on her husband’s motorcycle as a surprise for his birthday. He recommended me to his friends and it sort of spiraled from there. I never thought about it as a career until I went to a motorcycle show in Helena with a couple of my pieces and met Big Bill. He offered me a job in Conundrum, and . . .” She bit her lip, hesitating. “It was the right time for me to leave Stanton.”
“Ever think about setting up on your own?” Zane leaned against the table, all thoughts of a paint job disappearing when she pulled out her elastic and rubbed a hand through her hair.
So beautiful. He wanted to run his fingers through those red-gold strands, feel that silky softness in his palm. And then he wanted to twist her hair in his hand and hold her head still so he could ravish her mouth, or better yet, her body. She had curves that could bring a man to his knees.
Her cheeks flushed and she looked down as if she knew what he was thinking. “Um . . . no. I’m comfortable where I am. This set-up gives me a good source of customers. Plus, now that I’m a part owner, it’s my shop, too.” Pride shone in her eyes and Zane smiled. She had never been one to hide her emotions.
“So what do you think happened to Bill?” He gripped the table top behind him to keep from walking toward her and enacting his fantasy right here right now. What the hell could he talk about that would keep his desire at bay?
Her smile faded. “I’m not sure. Connie and I thought maybe the Jacks scared him away. He was—” She cut herself off with a grimace. “Never mind.”
Zane filed that one away for later. Only way the Jacks would scare a man away from his business was if he’d done something to piss them off. Was he paying them protection money or had he got something going on the side? Damn stupid if he did, and even more stupid if he had put Evie in danger. The minute Bill showed up again, Zane would be taking him out for a little talk about keeping Evie safe.
“You got a bike?” He was scrambling now, trying to avoid the real reason he’d brought her here, and it wasn’t for paint.
“No. Can’t afford it. One day though. Maybe when I make it big I’ll buy myself a present. Mark has a Harley Fat Boy, which is a pretty sweet ride.”
Ah. Mark. Now that effectively killed his desire. Zane released the table and folded his arms. “What does he do?” Middle manager? Sportscaster? Or was he still a coach after all these years?
A pained expression crossed her face. “I wouldn’t know.”
“You don’t know what your husband does?”
“Ex-husband. I left him a few years ago to move out here.”
“You’re not married?” His voice cracked and he drew in a ragged breath. She wasn’t married. His Evie was . . . free. “What about his boy? Doesn’t he come to see him?”
Her voice tightened. “No.”
Their eyes met and the air crackled between them, as if her last word had been the spark to fan the flames that had been smoldering since that moment on the porch when all he wanted was to drown in her arms.
“What kind of father doesn’t want to see his son?” For all that Zane hated his father, and for all the abuse he had taken, when Zane needed him most—the one and only time in his life— his father had been there for him.
Evie tilted her head to the side and stared at him, considering. Then she twisted her hair around her finger. Around and around and around. Zane remembered that little quirk—something she always did when she was anxious.
“A stepfather,” she said, finally.
“He’s not Mark’s boy?”
A gunshot cracked the silence, and then another. Zane’s heart pounded and he slid his hand into his cut, closing his fingers around his gun. “Stay here until I come back for you. Hide.” He ran back into the store and spotted Shooter just outside the front door, firing his gun into the trees.
“Who is it?” He shouted from the cover of the doorway. “You see Axle? One of the Jacks?”
“Squirrel.” Shooter yelled. “Red tail. Tricky little bugger but I got him trapped in that bush.”
“Jesus fucking Christ.” Zane ran over to Shooter and grabbed his wrist. “Put the weapon down.” He unleashed all his tension in a volley of curses directed at Shooter, his mental state, his mother, and his dubious parentage. “This is a surveillance mission. That means you don’t draw attention to yourself. You don’t shoot things. Gunfire has a nasty tendency to rile up civilians and then they call the cops. And right now the ATF are camped out in the sheriff’s office. You want to explain to the fucking ATF why you’re shooting squirrels on private property?”
“He was on your bike, gnawing on your seat.”
“Gimme that gun.” Zane grabbed the weapon and fired three shots into the bush. “Take that you goddamn fucking bastard,” he hollered. “You wanna eat my leather? Now you’re gonna be eatin’ crow.”
Zane handed him the gun. “You got a new job now, prospect. Clean my seat, fix the leather, then bring me that fucking squirrel’s hide.”
Adrenaline pounded through his veins as he returned to the store, whether from the shoot-out or finding out Evie had split with Mark he didn’t know, but damned if he could get himself under control. He took a few deep breaths as he crossed through into the shop, clenching and unclenching his fist by his side.
“Here.” Her voice was faint. “Can I come out now?”
He followed her voice to a storage closet at the far end of the shop and found her reaching for a tube of paint on the top shelf.
“I figured I’d tidy up while I was in here and I saw a box of paint I’d forgotten about. Could you get it down for me?” Half in the shadows of the small, musty room, she looked back over her shoulder. “I’m not quite tall enough.”
Zane walked up behind her and grabbed the box. His body brushed up against her, his hips against her ass, his chest to her back, his chin brushing over her floral-scented hair.
Walk away. Walk away. Walk the hell away.
He slid his free hand around her waist and pulled her against his body. So perfect. So right.
“Zane.” Her voice came out in a choked whisper.
“You’re not with Mark?” He leaned down and pressed his lips to her ear, inhaling her scent of jasmine as the adrenaline streamed through his veins, straight down to his groin.
His hand splayed over her stomach, pulling her close, and he nuzzled the hair away from her neck. “You got a man, Evie?”
“No.” Her voice wavered. “But . . . I kinda . . .”
He shoved the box onto a lower shelf and reached around to catch her jaw in his hand, pulling her head back against his shoulder, exposing her neck to the heated slide of his lips. Somewhere, in the foggy recesses of his mind, he knew he was being too rough, but he was barely in control and rough was as gentle as he could be. “So no one’s gonna shoot me between the eyes if I do this?” With his thumb he gently stroked the underside of her breast.
Evie sucked in a sharp breath, trembled. “No.”
His hand slid higher, tracing over her ribs until he held the full weight of her breast in his palm. “You gonna stop me from touching you, sweetheart?” He feathered kisses along the column of her neck, praying she didn’t deny him because he was already so far gone he didn’t know if he would be able to stop.
“Zane.” She shuddered, her nipples peaking beneath her thin cotton tank top. He circled one taut nipple with his thumb and she groaned and wiggled her ass against his erection, nestled tight in the crack of her cheeks.
“Stop me, Evie,” he whispered. “Because I can’t stop myself.”
She melted against him with a sigh, her body softening. For the briefest of moments he soared, higher and higher, soaking in her light, her warmth, her essence . . .
He should have known what would happen if he flew too close to the sun.