Fate is a fickle mistress. No matter a man’s desires, she tends to give with one hand, and take with the other. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter to her, as long as there’s balance.
Ralph Lewis, otherwise known as Po’Boy, made one decision that changed the trajectory of his entire life. On the losing end of a schoolyard fight, he’d been on his back in the dust, glaring up at the boy who’d flattened him. Had watched unbelieving as that same boy stretched out his hand, offering to help Ralph to his feet. Against every instinct, he had accepted.
In that instant, he went from friendless pariah to having a partner and ally. For the first time in his life, he was respected … and feared. Po’Boy spent the next decade defending his position at his best friend’s side. Life was good. Fate has a way of taking back the reins, though.
A long-ago action places him directly in the crosshairs of their enemies, and circumstances force Po’Boy’s hand. Members of motorcycle clubs, men like him who live an outlaw’s life don’t treat kindly with traitors, and in their world, that is what Po’Boy has become.
With events threatening to pull him away from everything he holds dear, he’s made to walk a careful line to keep those he loves safe. Bound by silence, for his brothers’ sake, he’ll suffer through the worst thing that can happen to a man who lives and breathes the brotherhood. Out Bad.
From Chapter Five
Po’Boy opened his eyes a slit to see a figure looming over him in the darkness. The flaring light from the bonfire was barely enough to let him recognize an ally, Wrench. A CoBo member who had known Penny her entire life. One who had a thing for her once, giving way when Twisted staked his claim. Wrench was looking down at Po’Boy, and he was about to sit up and greet him when the expression on the man’s face caught his attention.
It was avid. Hungry.
Wrench’s gaze was trailing along Po’Boy’s form, pausing at his chest, then moving down to his crotch. His nostrils flared, and the muscles in his jaw tensed, jumping as he ground his teeth together.
Po’Boy’s cock twitched, and the movement must have been visible because he watched as Wrench’s tongue came out in a languorous swipe across his bottom lip. What the fuck?
A sound from by the bonfire pulled Wrench’s gaze away, and he took a step backwards, then two, before turning and stalking into the darkness.
What. The. Fuck?
Copyright © 2017. MariaLisa deMora. All Rights Reserved.
Po’Boy waited in silence, or as much silence as he could manage. It was hard and becoming more difficult by the second as the pressure on his hand increased. Twisting his neck, he looked, even as he told himself not to, and saw the balloon-like swelling of his fingers, skin stretched taut. Purple with pooling blood, he didn’t know how much more strain his flesh could take without bursting. For a moment he reconsidered the silent thing, because while screaming wouldn’t help, it couldn’t hurt.
The trap was simple, and elegant. Noose around his ankle, tight and secure, positioned where he couldn’t reach. It had been laid in a hallway, rag rug tossed over it to conceal the presence of the rope. All it took was him creeping through the darkness looking for Deuces, and a step in the wrong place. Snap, the trap tripped, and he’d been dragged down the hallway like a rabbit lure at hound races.
The one on his hand was harder to explain, but he remembered reaching out for something, anything to slow his terrifying rush up the hallway. Pulled to a jolting stop, his shoulder joint stretched to near breaking, anchored to a point somewhere along the path. Once the shock wore off, he’d looked up to see a thin wire wrapped around his hand and wrist. But the motor pulling on his leg hadn’t stalled. Oh, no. That bitch is quality machinery. Fuck. Hadn’t stopped and was actively pulling, whining as it worked overtime to continue its job. The wire around his wrist was small, thin, and looked disturbingly like a cheese slicer against his skin.
Images from text books ran through his mind, of men suspended from ropes, tied to four horses, one for each appendage. Drawn and quartered, but in his case he figured it was halved. The sound of the motor changed, nearly stalling, and he hoped this meant the clutch was giving out. Fucking finally. Then another sound rattled through the hallway, and he twisted his head to look towards the front of the building. Standing in the opening was a man. He wasn’t moving, was just standing there quietly. From the tilt of his head, Po’Boy knew he was looking down at him. Not moving, not jumping to help, not saying anything.
Not friend, then. Can’t hurt to ask. It did hurt like a motherfucker just to lay there, so asking was where he’d head.
“Little help?” Rough and hoarse from holding quiet for so long, Po’Boy watched as the man’s head swung back and forth, slowly. “Oh, come on, man. You can’t be fuckin’ serious.”
“As a heart attack,” the man told him, stepping forwards and into the light shining through a window in a room opening onto the hallway. Slender, with long red hair pulled low on his neck into a simple queue, the man looked like anyone you might pass on the street. Nondescript, dressed in clothes which wouldn’t pull someone’s gaze twice. He was everybody, and nobody. “You’re in quite the pickle, Po’Boy.”
Well, fuck. If he knows who I am, then I’m screwed. The motor whined and stuttered, then caught, and at the resulting yank, Po’Boy felt the cable around his hand break the skin, finally.
Copyright © 2017. MariaLisa deMora. All Rights Reserved.
Legends are born from moments like these. Folktales spun around a single point in time so perfect, you can almost hear the click resonating through the universe as things align.
George Bell, aka Twisted, knows the odds are against him. Have been all his life. Born in a Louisiana bordello, raised around the rough and rowdy men of a motorcycle club, he’s never been the lucky type. But he believes luck can change, so when fate gives him a glimpse of breathtaking beauty, he’s more than willing to roll the dice. Chancing upon what could be the woman of his dreams, he’s prepared to push this streak as far as he can.
Penny Dane’s background gives her an edge in the life she’s chosen to lead. Raised in a can-do family, she’s resilient, rolling with life’s punches and landing on her feet. But, when the past holds painful secrets—when a single misstep can turn deadly—can she trust the passion this man stirs in her?
On the surface, Bell and Penny don’t work. Their mismatched worlds are too different. But like a backwater bayou, what you see is not the whole story, there are mysteries buried underneath. Penny is the red-haired beauty caught up in a web of lies. Bell is like no one she’s ever met before. The problem is, he knows it.
18+ due to explicit content.
Raised in the south, MariaLisa learned about the magic of books at an early age. Every summer, she would spend hours in the local library, devouring books of every genre. Self-described as a book-a-holic, she says “I’ve always loved to read, but then I discovered writing, and found I adored that, too. For reading … if nothing else is available, I’ve been known to read the back of the cereal box.”
A hockey fan, hiker, gamer, and single mom of a special needs son, she embraces her inner geek and has been working in the tech field for a publishing company for a couple decades.
Music is a driving passion, and she says, “I love music of nearly any genre — jazz, country, rock, alt rock, metal, classical, bluegrass, rap, hip hop … you name it, I listen to it. I can often be seen dancing through the house in the early mornings. But I really, REALLY love live music. My favorite thing with music is seeing bands in small, dive bars [read: small, intimate venues]. If said bar [venue] has a good selection of premium tequila, then that’s a plus!”