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Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Chapter 10

This is the final chapter of Dance with the Devil. I should get the next story polished up next week, and be able to start posting it either then or the following week(once I get a cover figured out for it). But, for now, here’s the beginning of the end of Dance with the Devil:

I woke to Hawk’s bare chest right in front of me. I traced the Marine tattoo covering one side of it. I had a similar one on my arm. Hawk shivered, and his hand ran up my back. “We have to get up, Devil,” he said, and I heard the regret in his voice.

I already was. Unfortunately there wasn’t time for that this morning. I still pressed my mouth to his chest, but he hauled me up so our lips met. “Later,” he promised, “when this is over.”

I rolled away from him and found the clothes I’d stripped off the night before. “I’ll meet you downstairs,” I told him. His eyes were hot on me, even as I headed for the door. We had to get the job done, to keep the club and everything we stood for safe, but when that was taken care of, I’d be right back here with Hawk, and we could figure out where this would go.

As long as we both made it back. That was something I couldn’t bear to even think about. I pushed it away as I headed back to my room to get ready for this mission.

I was downstairs fifteen minutes later, just behind Hawk. I did not mind taking that position. I saw the slight bulge of one gun at his back, right at the bottom of his vest. I knew he’d carry another in the inside pocket of his vest. We all did that. Except Trace if he could help it.

I was pretty sure that was only one reason Icarus planned to leave him here to protect the ladies. Not that most of them couldn’t take care of themselves. I didn’t dare even insinuate that. But, I knew Icarus’ Cassie couldn’t. Birdie could protect herself, but she’d been abducted once before. Icarus wouldn’t want to take the chance it would happen again.

I rested my hand on his back right outside of the dining room. He glanced back over his shoulder and smiled at me. That look held a whole lot of promise for later. I wasn’t sure how to act now.

Hawk took care of that as we grabbed plates from the side table. He took my hand and pulled me in for a quick kiss. It was as simple as that.

And you can read the rest of the chapter here. I hope you’ve enjoyed it.

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Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Chapter 9

Well, we’re almost to the end. I have Chapter 9, the next to last chapter, of Dance with the Devil today. I’m about to start revising the next in the series, Staring at the Sun, Cassie & Icarus’ story. So you shouldn’t have to wait too long for me to stat posting that. For now, here’s the beginning of Chapter 9.

When we pulled up to the garage at the clubhouse, I was surprised to see how empty it was. “I thought everyone was sticking close until this thing with the Crows is over,” I said to Hawk as we put our bikes away.

His gaze coasted over the bikes still in the garage. “Icarus wanted to increase patrols until we’re ready to move on it. The two of us and Dive are to stick close, since we’ve been the ones targeted by them directly.”

Damn it. That was not what I wanted to hear. “I don’t need to be protected. I can take care of myself.” Hawk stood there and stared at me. “Okay, so they caught me by surprise the last time. Doesn’t meant it will happen again.”

He took a step toward me, his leather-clad thigh pressing against mine. “You know what it would do to me if it did? They wouldn’t have to come after me, because I would be utterly destroyed. You might think you aren’t important, but you have to see how much you are to me. I’d do anything to make sure you don’t stop breathing. Don’t forget that, Damon.”

I didn’t think I could breathe now. No one had ever made it so clear how much they cared for me. I leaned forward and pressed my lips to his. “Let’s get inside,” I said when I finally pulled back.

Hawk’s lips curled up, then we were both stripping off our chaps and rolling them back up to store in our saddlebags. We left the garage, and he closed the door behind us, pulling me in for another kiss before heading up to the house.

To my surprise, we didn’t run into anyone on the way up to the clubhouse. Usually there was at least one or two people wandering around the yard. It was still a little chilly out, so maybe everyone was inside.

I stopped thinking about that when Hawk snaked an arm around my waist as we neared the porch and pressed a kiss to the back of my neck. I wanted him so bad right then. But, there was no way we could do this right here. The guys might be okay with us being together, but I couldn’t imagine them caring to witness it.

Inside. We just had to get inside. And up to one of our rooms. Hopefully no one would stop us on the way. I might keel over if I had to wait much longer.

We barely even made it through the doorway. His mouth was on mine again, and he pressed me to the wall right next to the door. Holy shit. My engine was revving so much I was about to overheat. I moaned against his mouth then his fingers were in the loops of my jeans, pulling me away from the wall and toward the stairs.

If you want to read the rest of the chapter, you can check it out here. I’ll have the final chapter next week.

Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Chapter 8

I’m here with Chapter 8 of Dance with the Devil. Only two more to go after this one. Here’s the beginning of the chapter.

I started to think I’d never be able to move without some kind of pain. I wasn’t out of bed for more than using the bathroom for two days. Even then, someone had to accompany me in case I fell. It was humiliating. I should be able to at least handle that myself. The guys had to be looking down at me for my weakness. But, none of them acted all that different around me.

Except for Hawk. He’d been avoiding me since I’d first woken up. Sure, I saw him around the clubhouse from time to time, but he hardly spoke to me. I thought back to what Icarus told me. Was I hurting him that much? Didn’t he know he’d be better off without me anyway?

It didn’t matter. I had my arm out of the sling, and Medusa said it was strong enough I didn’t have to do the exercises she’d given me every day anymore. My ribs were all healed up, and I could run up and down the steps with hardly getting winded.

Now we were finally planning to go after the Crows. We’d been trying to avoid it. Even after they’d shot at Trace several months back. Icarus had wanted to hit back at them, but he didn’t want to bring more trouble down on us. We’d been taking things slowly, carefully.

They’d decided enough was enough. I hadn’t been involved with that meeting, since I had still barely been able to make it up and down the stairs without help. It didn’t matter. The vote had been almost unanimous. It was nice when the club came together like that.

I stepped out onto the porch. I could finally walk outside without having to have anyone help me. To not have to ask anyone if they can help me to sit out on the porch. I wasn’t going to take that for granted. It had been the most lowering thing.

At least that’s what I kept telling myself. This hollow feeling inside me didn’t have anything to do with Hawk. I didn’t miss him every day he wasn’t at my side. And whose fault was that anyway?

Mine. It was all mine. I’d pushed him away again and again. Why would I think he’d choose to stick around? He wasn’t some toy I could keep on a string, pulling him back when it suited me. He deserved so much more than that.

I stepped down off the porch, trying not to think too much about that. I had a new bike, and I’d finally be able to ride it. Waiting for Medusa to give me the all clear for that had been worse than anything I’d ever waited for before.

You can find the rest of the chapter here.

Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Chapter 7

I’m back this week with another chapter of Dance with the Devil. Getting closer to the end. Here’s the beginning of Chapter 7.

I barely remembered the ride back to the clubhouse, but I did stay conscious, though I’m not sure how. My arms stayed clamped around Hawk’s waist, on his stomach. If I’d been more with it, I might have at least thought about sliding them a little lower.

I didn’t.

When we were in front of the garage, my hands slid away. Hawk grabbed them like he was afraid I would fall. Maybe I would have. I didn’t want everyone to see us sitting there like that.

I heard Bull and Icarus talking to Hawk, even though I couldn’t make out all their words.

“Gavin,” I groaned his name. He shivered against me. That had to be wrong.

“Relax,” Hawk told me. “No one cares, particularly right now. Hold on to me a little longer.”

The buzz of another voice sounded. Hands lifted me. I fought against it, an instinctive response from me. Another voice—Icarus?—said, “You’re fine. We’ve got you.” Then, the darkness finally swept over me.

***

The next time I woke up, I lay in a familiar bed. My bed in the clubhouse. I didn’t even remember them carrying me up here. Or into the house. The fact I was still here had to be a good sign.

Maybe they wouldn’t kick me out for yet another screw-up. I tried to sit up, but I couldn’t move my left arm. I nearly panicked but a hand rested on my other shoulder. “Relax,” Hawk said.

I wet my lips before looking at him. I could just make out his outline in the darkness. He leaned in toward me. “What happened?” I croaked.

“I hoped you could tell me. I told the board what I could, but it wasn’t much.”

I groaned, but it wasn’t from the pain I was in. Hawk must have taken it that way, because he pushed back from the bed. “I’ll get Medusa. Let her know you’re awake.”

I reached out for him with my right arm. “No. I’m fine. What happened in the meeting? Am I out?”

I saw the hesitation in his eyes, and I hated it. “They haven’t made a decision yet,” he finally said. “They wanted to talk to you before they do.”

“What do you mean ‘they’?” I asked, catching how he kept saying that. “You’re part of the board, too.”

“They all know what my decision will be. No matter what you did or didn’t do, it would be the same. I offered to sit it out, knowing I can’t be unbiased.”

“The good of the club, right?”

Hawk stared at me for a moment then shook his head. “Sometimes you can be such an idiot, Damon. I’ll go get Medusa.”

I stared after him as he left the room. What the hell had that meant? Did he think I was stupid? No, that couldn’t be. Whenever I said something along those lines, he lectured me. He wouldn’t be saying it to me now.

But, he had, hadn’t he?

And if you want to read the rest of the chapter, you can find it here.

Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Chapter 6

I’m here with the next chapter of Dance with the Devil. Going into the second half now. Here’s the first part of this chapter.

I slammed my fist into the punching bag in the basement of the clubhouse. No one else was down here so late at night. Which was about the only time I visited the little gym. When I couldn’t sleep, when things I’ve seen wouldn’t stop haunting me. When I couldn’t stop thinking about Hawk.

I kept punching the heavy bag even as sweat dripped into my eyes, adding in a few kicks between some of the punches. The bag stopped its slight swing, and I brought my arm up to wipe the sweat away from my eyes.

Hawk stood on the other side of the bag. He wore a pair of sweats hanging low on his waist. Nothing covered his chest. Which left his tattoo- a large depiction of the eagle, globe, and anchor – standing out. I wanted to reach out and touch him, so I clenched my fists inside the boxing gloves. Sweat beaded on his face, but his skin looked cold. Like he’d just come inside.

Knowing him, he’d probably been out running, despite the dropping temperatures. That never bothered him.

“What are you doing?” he asked, his breath puffing out.

“I could ask you the same thing.”

“Could feel a storm rolling in. Cut my run short, and figured I’d finish it out in here. Your turn.”

I shifted away. “Just couldn’t sleep.”

“Again? You’ve barely slept this whole last week, Damon. What’s going on?”

Yeah. Ever since we put Brad in that stupid apartment. I don’t know why that triggered the insomnia. I hadn’t suffered from it much in the last few months. Someone would probably say I had PTSD from my time being deployed. The insomnia went back farther than that. It cropped up whenever Dad was being particularly harsh with me. Most people when they get depressed tend to sleep more.

Apparently, I’m the opposite.

Not, that I would admit that to Hawk. It would only make him worry more. That was the last thing I wanted. “It’s nothing,” I insisted. “It’s not like…before.” He’d know what I meant without having to say it. “I just can’t sleep.”

I wouldn’t look back up at him as I started past, so I didn’t know if he believed me or not. He grabbed my shoulder before I got by him. I stopped but kept my gaze between our feet. “Damon,” he said, his voice low and husky. “Please look at me.”

I knew why. It wasn’t the same reason as in the old barn. He wanted to see, make sure for himself I told the truth. The problem was, I wasn’t. Not completely at least. It wasn’t the same as before. I wasn’t staying up mulling over ways I could end my life. That stopped sometime after I got out of my father’s house. I couldn’t say none of that depression had come back.

“Damon.”

Where will this moment take them? Read on here to find out. I’ll have the next chapter up in a week.

Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Chapter 5

I’m back with more Dance with the Devil this week. This will put us about halfway through the story. I have the whole thing polished up and ready to post, so at least I don’t have to worry about that. And I’ll start revising the next story soon, so I may not have to wait too long in between them this time. Anyway, here is the beginning of Chapter 5:

It didn’t take me long to catch up to Hawk. He refused to respond to any of my attempts to get his attention. I was forced to follow behind him, steaming at how easily he ignored me.

I’d never been able to ignore his presence.

When he took a turn away from the clubhouse, I was surprised, but I followed anyways. We needed to have this out. Maybe we couldn’t go where he wanted us to. I wasn’t willing to lose the family I’d come into over it. I wasn’t willing to lose my riding partner, either. I’d known Hawk since before that was the name he went by and before I was Devil, before I was even a Marine. He was more than the guy I went out on patrols with for the club. So much more. Even if I didn’t usually let myself think about that.

Because I didn’t want to think about it, examine it, talk about it, I might be losing the one thing I would allow myself to have with him. It would kill me to lose that, too.

The sky darkened above us, and I looked up from under my helmet. Heavy clouds were rolling in. I flashed my headlight at Hawk, hoping to get his attention finally. His head moved, as if taking in my signal and the clouds above when I pointed up. But, he didn’t stop.

I really didn’t want to be getting wet while on the bike, but the only other option was turning around and abandoning Hawk, which would give him the idea I didn’t think he was worth it.

I couldn’t let him think that.

I kept following. Even when the first drops of rain hit the backs of my hands. Hawk didn’t react at all. He had his leather jacket on under his cut already. I hadn’t bothered to grab my coat before running out of the apartment. I had no protection save for the long-sleeve shirt I wore under my own vest. It wouldn’t take long for it to soak through if the rain continued.

Hawk turned down yet another road, and I swore a little. This wasn’t even toward the place he kept away from the clubhouse. Where was he taking me? No, that wasn’t fair. He hadn’t asked me to follow him. This was all my own fault. And it was too late to go back now.

The rain came down harder, pounding against the top of my helmet and soaking right through my shirt and jeans. He turned again, this time down what seemed little more than an overgrown trail. Maybe it had been a driveway once, but it didn’t look like any vehicles used it in some time. There was a barn at the end of it. Probably a miracle it was still standing, yet Hawk headed right for it.

I did, too, idiot that I was.

He rode straight into the barn, since the door hung open anyway.

I did, too. Sometimes, I thought I would follow him anywhere. Even into Hell. Or an old ramshackle barn.

If you want to read the rest of the chapter, you can find it here.

Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Chapter 3

I’m back this week with the next chapter of Dance with the Devil. You can check out Chapter 2 if you missed it last week. And for now, here’s the beginning of Chapter 3.

I probably shouldn’t have gone to town. It’s not like we’d been told to stay away, but I was already in quite a mood. From that messed up vote, to that last altercation with Hawk, and everything else that always mess up my mind.

We were supposed to do patrols together. They hadn’t said anything about not coming to town by ourselves. Still, it probably would have been a smart thing to buddy up even for that.

No one ever accused me of always, or ever, doing the smart thing.

I pulled my bike into a space in front of the Iron Heart bar. I should go down to the diner and grab something to eat. I needed something to calm me down. Hawk’s words were still bouncing around in my head, and I couldn’t take it. Still, as I walked down the sidewalk toward the door of the bar, my gaze took in everything. Three bikes sat in spots a little ways down from mine. My stomach twisted up tight at the sight of them. One of them had a decal of a white-ish bird in the corner of the windshield. A dove, I told myself. Except its wings were spread out, just the way the Ivory Crows’ patch looked.

I stood, frozen for a moment, fighting with myself. Part of me wanted to go barging right into the bar and calling them out, making a scene, taking them down. The other part wanted to ride back out of town. Icarus told us not to approach any of them, not to start anything. But, God, did I want to start something with them.

No. I had to be careful and watch my step. I was never good with that, though. Still, I headed down to the diner after all. Hopefully by the time I came back out, they’d be gone, and I could get a drink in peace before heading home.

I hated feeling like I was tucking my tail between my legs and skulking away. But, I didn’t want to disobey a direct order less than an hour after it had been given. Sure, I had a history of that, a full file of disciplinary actions during my time in the Corps. But, even that would be extreme for me.

I almost reached the diner when the door swung open. Three men in heavy boots stepped out. My gaze slid up their bodies. Two wore chaps, but the third just had on a worn pair of jeans. Before my gaze even reached above their waists, I admit my attention snagged longer there than it should have–Hawk had gotten me stirred up, and I couldn’t seem to help it–a glob of saliva landed in front of me. I didn’t need more evidence, still I kept looking up.

If you want to keep reading, and find out how Devil reacts to this, you can check out the rest of Chapter 3 here. And I’ll be back next week with the next chapter.

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