Zoann Donovan ignored the stares of the bikers at the compound of the Death Dwellers, raising her chin and barreling toward the entryway that led to the hallway and the private rooms reserved for members. Since she’d called to blast Val for giving her shit about seeing their son and then not showing up, she was expected.
“He not available to come to the phone. You wanna see him, bring your ass to the club.”
She wasn’t sure who she’d spoken to, but she believed it had been one of the other bikers she’d met during the last Christmas her mother was alive. Before Christopher had gotten her killed.
The biker hadn’t thought Zoann would set foot here to confront Val, but…she had. She knew how much Val cared about Megan. And, if she was being honest, she cared about her, too. But Zoann was just angry. Christopher had changed somewhat thanks to his wife, but he’d never allowed their mother any peace.
He’d done more for Megan than Val had ever considered doing for Zoann. The thought pierced her and she wished she’d brought Ryan. No. Never. It would be weeks before she allowed Val the opportunity to see their son again.
Just as she reached his door, a half-dressed girl stepped into the hallway, giggling and licking her lips. Val’s oh-so-masculine laughter floated to Zoann and resentment flared in her. She tossed her hair over her shoulder, glaring at the slut who widened her eyes when she saw Zoann. Without a word, she scampered down the hall.
Zoann pushed the door opened, surprised at how clean the room was. It was dark, though, with no window and no light except the dim hallway one.
“Coming back for more already, Bob Sue?”
The low rumble of his voice made Zoann’s belly tingle. She knew that tone. Knew he’d had an orgasm not long ago.
Furious tears rushed to her eyes and betrayal sliced through her. She slapped her palm on the wall, searching for a light switch.
“Babe?” he prompted just as Zoann found flipped the switch and lit the room up.
“It’s Zoann, you bastard,” she snarled, the fight whooshing from her body when she saw the condition of Val. Blackened eyes. Swollen lips. Bandages wrapped around his ribs.
Cock glistening with…with her…Bob Sue.
She tightened her lips. “What happened to you?”
His turquoise eyes widened in surprise then narrowed and he leaned back, wincing when he attempted to put his arms behind his head. Zoann stiffened, determined to stand her ground and not rush to his side to look after him. None of them knew the tears she’d shed when he’d been brought in so grievously wounded seven months ago. The prayers she’d said.
The admission she still loved him.
“Sorry couldn’t visit Ryan,” he said lazily. “As you can see, I’m a little indisposed.”
He couldn’t even pretend curiosity behind her visit. He just rumbled a blasé explanation and ignored Zoann’s question.
She looked at her toes, then focused on the posters on his ugly brick walls. Posters of naked girls hung everywhere. “Cover yourself, Matthew,” she demanded.
“Nothing you haven’t seen before, Puff.”
He didn’t just call her Puff, did he? And, even worse, she wasn’t blushing…was she?
She reminded herself she hated him and he hated her and they hated each other. So she shouldn’t blush and he shouldn’t have such a sexy tone with her and his cock shouldn’t be stiffening and—
“Pig,” she flared, charging forward, intending to slap him senseless but he grabbed her wrists, heat and power in his hands. “That girl…Bob Sue…or whatever her name is,” she added when he smirked at her and flashed his dimples. “Whoever just sucked your dick and fucked you and you’re getting an erection for me?”
A thoughtful gleam entered his eyes and she braced herself for insults and mockery. Her grandfather had been so mean. Whenever she’d shown any emotion. Whenever she’d cried for Christopher because she’d missed him and she hadn’t known who he’d become.
“I jerk off to memories of you,” he said with the unerring honesty she both detested and appreciated. He released his hold on her and she massaged her wrists. Not because he’d hurt her but because his touch branded her. “You not giving me pussy any more, Zoann. I gotta get it from somewhere.”
She glared at him and sniffed, not wanting to admit she was trying to detect the scent of sex. “Even when I was giving you pussy, it didn’t stop you from getting it from somewhere.”
He scowled at her. “A man get tired of your judgmental bullshit. I told you I wasn’t leaving my club and you wouldn’t shut the fuck up. I just needed a girl to enjoy my company for a little while. Didn’t think you’d give a shit.”
“It doesn’t matter. I don’t care. You’re a biker. My brother’s a biker. My cousin’s a biker. And you’re all amoral assholes.”
The cold dislike she brought out in everyone dropped into Val’s features and she died a little inside.
“Get out,” he told her and she shivered at the lethal softness in his tone.
His face was so battered and bruised, she barely saw his teardrop tat beneath his left eye.
Instead of leaving, she reached out and touched his discolored, swollen cheek. “What happened to you?” she whispered, her body betraying her as usual where Val was concerned. She wanted him so badly. She hadn’t been with a man since the last time she and Val had made love…er, fucked. No, made love. That was the night he’d given her their son and she refused to debase his conception in such a way.
“Does it matter, Puff?” he asked.
The name brought all sorts of memories rushing back to her.
He tried to smile but grimaced instead. “You still have your powder puff, babe?” he asked, nodding toward her crotch.
The question sent her pulse soaring and made her blood heat. The tips of her nipples hardened and she groaned. He caught her waist and scooted over, so he could pull her next to him.
“Well?” he pressed. “Do you? If you don’t fucking answer me, I’m gonna have to feel your pussy myself to see if it’s still covered with all that hair.”
“You’re incorrigible,” she complained, her body softening against his. “I told you I didn’t keep down there that way. I’d just been really busy at the hospital so I hadn’t had a chance to get rid of all that.”
And that was the truth, although he’d never believed her.
“Ummhmm. So why the fuck you kept all that pussy hair once I started fucking you?”
Because you liked it. “Let me up,” she demanded when the thought popped into her head. He did and she forced herself to a sitting position, shoving aside the memory of when he’d asked her to keep her pussy like that and then had given her the nickname of Puff because she had the best powder puff of pussy hair in the entire world. “I have to go. You’re nothing but a fucking pig. A liar and a cheat and a womanizer and…and…and a killer.”
He shoved her so hard she landed on the floor on her ass.
“Get the fuck out, bitch. And don’t come to my fucking club no more.”
She hurt because she cared, and she wanted him to hurt and show that he cared. “You’re not welcomed to see Ryan ever again. I’m going to find a decent man to raise him. He deserves better than a father who’ll fuck any girl who opens her pussy to him.”
“Bob Sue didn’t open her pussy. She opened her fucking mouth.”
Nausea churned in her at the cold, cruel words.
“As to you stopping me from seeing my son, think the fuck again. Bad enough you don’t let me see him as much as I could. You on duty at that fucking hospital a lot and I know this, bitch, but you told Ophelia you wouldn’t let her watch him if she didn’t consult with you first. Fuck you. That’s my kid. My cum made him. And if you want to get some poor fuck fucked up go ahead.”
“You’re disgusting!” she screeched, jumping to her feet.
“If you say so, Zoann. But if I hadn’t run into your brother’s fists and shit, I’d show you how fucking disgusting you think I am. If I wasn’t in so much fucking pain, you’d open your pussy to me with just a flick of my finger.”
“You wish. There’s no dick in the world good enough to make me lose my dignity and just drop my panties without consequences.”
His laugh was evil and Zoann flinched even before he spoke. “You did and it’s done and Ryan is the proof.”
The door suddenly burst open and Zoann jumped. She expected to see Bob Sue or some other girl.
“Oh, fuck me,” a very familiar growl came. “What the fuck you doin’ in my club, Zoann?” Christopher growled.
She drew herself up and willed all her different emotions away. These men steamrolled weakness. “I came because Val skipped out on seeing Ryan.”
Christopher scratched his chin, the dark stubble on it making him look like the criminal he was. “Ain’t like the motherfucker can ride? You ain’t noticin’ how fucked up he is?”
She glared at him. “Very funny,” she spat when Val snickered and then moaned in pain. Dumb ass. “You did it to him, which is despicable. Just shows how little regard you have for your boys.”
Christopher drew in a deep breath and rubbed his eyes. He looked so very tired and her heart went out to him. Her earliest memories of her big brother was of a beautiful boy whom their grandfather absolutely despised. Zoann had just adored Christopher, couldn’t wait to get old enough to follow behind him.
She rubbed her hand. It still hurt from the way their grandfather had injured it. Most of all her pride hurt because he’d called her all kinds of names. The same names he’d always called Christopher and Zoann knew she never wanted to hear him disparage her or hurt her ever again.
She realized silence surrounded them now. Val and Christopher didn’t want her around them anymore. She’d overstayed her welcome.
Absently, she rubbed her hand. “How’s Megan?”
“You the fuckin’ nurse. Go fuckin’ see and judge for yourfuckinself.”
She lifted her chin. “If I get a chance.”
Christopher rolled his eyes. “What the fuck ever. If you through fuckin’ bitchin’ at Val, get the fuck outta here. I don’t need your humpy fuckin’ face pullin’ me down further.”
She knew he meant grumpy but to her his words brought to mind her depression and how she felt her moods affected other people, and not in a good way.
Without another word, she bowed her head and hurried out of Val’s room, not bothering to make eye contact with anyone, just needing to get away from the two men who’d once meant so much to her.
And who now viewed her as just a mean, hateful bitch. When neither of them realized there was so much more to it than that.