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Patriot
Author: Fiona Davenport

 

Patriot

 

 

Patrick “Patriot” O’Bannon never expected to be struck with the urge to claim a woman on the way home from a run. Let alone in a biker bar on territory belonging to a rival club. Laying low wasn’t an option when another man cornered the red-headed beauty who was meant to be his.

 

 

Erin Cabot wasn’t interested in becoming the old lady of a Devil’s Jesters. But with her sister pushing her to pick a man before she’s pressured into becoming a club bunny, Erin didn’t have a lot of options. Until Patriot offered her a way out on the back of his bike.

 

 

1

 

 

Erin

 

 

I often had to remind myself that my sister was my only living family. We didn’t have a lot in common and hadn’t been close when I was younger, but Alice had stepped up when our parents died. If she hadn’t taken me into her home, I would’ve been stuck in foster care for the past five years. Sometimes I wondered if foster care wouldn’t have been the better option.

Alice never let me forget what she’d done for me. Never wasted an opportunity to point out the huge sacrifices she’d made to put a roof over my head whenever I got upset because she was being crappy to me. I’d quickly learned to keep my mouth shut if she or her old man did something I didn’t like because the only thing talking back earned me was being locked in my bedroom—or a slap on my cheek if Razor was around.

I’d been so shocked the first time Alice had slapped me, only a week after I’d moved in with her. Our parents had never even spanked us, and I hadn’t been in a fight before, so it was my first experience with being hit in any way. I had happily gone into my room when she grounded me and had cried for an hour before she’d come in to explain that she’d slapped me for my own good. Razor wouldn’t accept back talk from any woman, and she represented him as his old lady. Disrespecting her meant disrespecting him, and my punishment would’ve been much more severe if she’d waited for Razor to handle the situation.

That was my first lesson in how little respect the Devil’s Jesters, the motorcycle club he belonged to, had for women. But it definitely wasn’t my last. The day my parents died, I had stepped into the brutal world my sister had chosen, and I’d been dreaming of when I could get out ever since. Only she’d just ripped all my plans away from me with one sentence.

“I don’t understand. What do you mean, there’s no money for me to go to school?” I wrapped my arms around my torso, trying to comfort myself as my world fell apart around me. “What about the college fund Mom and Dad set up before they died? I’ve never so much as touched a penny of the money they put in there.”

Alice rolled her eyes and circled her hand in the air. “All the stuff we’ve bought for you since you came to live with us wasn’t free, Erin.”

My parents had known we’d be on our own if anything happened to them, and they’d planned for that eventuality. I might’ve only been thirteen when they’d died, but I’d understood enough to know they hadn’t left us penniless. “Didn’t their life insurance policy cover all that?”

“Why are you asking all these questions?” She planted her hands on her hips as she shook her head. “It sounds like you think I tried to screw you over or something. After all I did for you, I can’t believe you’d act like this just because you can’t get what you want. You’re eighteen now. An adult in the eyes of the law. It’s past time for you to quit being a brat.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to imply that you’d done anything wrong.” I’d sure as heck thought it, but I knew better than to say anything like that out loud. Alice wasn’t going to give me any straight answers, and if I kept questioning her, I was only going to piss her off more. “I just didn’t understand how I didn’t know any of this until now. Like you said, I’m eighteen now. You don’t need to keep tough stuff from me anymore.”

“I’m glad you said that because I’ve been meaning to bring something up to you.” I had a feeling that the insincere smile she aimed my way didn’t mean good things for me, and she proved me right when she said, “Now that you’re not jailbait, your role in the Devil’s Jesters is going to change.”

I swallowed down a lump in my throat, my stomach tying itself into knots. “How so?”

“You’ve lived in our world for five years, Erin. You’ve seen for yourself that there are only so many places for a woman inside the MC.” She walked across the room and grabbed her leather vest off the hook next to the door, turning it around to point at the patch on the back that identified her as belonging to Razor. “If you’re not blood to a brother, then you’re either an old lady or a club bunny.”

I was tempted to pinch myself to see if I was in the middle of a nightmare, but I never would’ve dreamed up something this awful on my own. I knew where this conversation was headed. I was still a virgin, but my sister was getting ready to push me toward sleeping with someone in the MC, whether I was interested in him or not. “But I am family. I’m Razor’s sister-in-law.”

“Being my blood isn’t enough.” She shook her head as she dropped her vest back onto the hook. “I’m not a member.”

My legs were so shaky, I almost didn’t make it over to the couch without falling to the floor. Dropping onto the cushions, I buried my face in my hands and tried to come up with some way to make my sister understand how messed up this whole situation was. When I finally gave up, I lifted my head and cried, “There has to be some other solution. Doesn’t working for one of the club’s businesses offer me some kind of protection?”

“You have to be kidding.” Alice laughed at my question, finding it so funny that she slapped her palm against her thigh. “Any woman who works for the Devil’s Jesters is either banging one member exclusively because that’s the way he wants it, or she’s doing all of them. Old lady or club bunny. Those are your choices, and someone is going to force you to make a decision soon. It’s not like you have anywhere to go. You wouldn’t last five minutes in the real world.”

My stomach churned, and I felt as though I was going to throw up. “What’s the rush all of a sudden? I turned eighteen last week.”

“The only reason the guys who’re interested have held off since your birthday was out of respect for Razor. They were waiting for him to get back from the club run, and he sent me a text about half an hour ago letting me know he’s back in town,” she explained.

I swallowed another lump in my throat, but this time I was pretty sure it was actually my lunch trying to come back up. “He’s at the clubhouse right now?”

She nodded as she sat down in the chair across from me. “Yup, and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone’s already talked to him about you.”

“I’m supposed to be at the bar in less than an hour,” I whispered, tugging at the hem of the tiny shorts the club made all the girls wear when they were working.

My sister waved off my fear. “You’re making way too big of a deal out of this. Just pick one of the guys who’ve been panting after you for the past year or two and convince them that they don’t want to share you with their club brothers. You’re young and pretty. It shouldn’t be too hard to do.”

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