Wild like the wind, p.1
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       Wild Like the Wind, p.1

           Kristen Ashley
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Wild Like the Wind


  Wild Like the Wind

  Copyright © 2018 by Kristen Ashley

  Cover Art by:

  PixelMischief

  Interior Design & Formatting by:

  Christine Borgford, Type A Formatting

  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

  All rights reserved. In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher is unlawful piracy and theft of the author’s intellectual property. Thank you for your support of the author’s rights.

  For Jizzo . . .

  Otherwise known as Jason Bombardier.

  Thanks for being a good one and

  giving me the perfect inspiration for Black.

  But just sayin’ . . .

  Rosary beads would have been nice.

  Many, many thanks to the fabuloso Jillian Stein for being with me along Hound’s journey and helping me to give him Jean as she needed to be. To the point of asking your rabbi all my annoying questions.

  You rock . . . and I’m not just saying that because I’m still crushing on Darth.

  Contents

  WILD LIKE THE WIND

  Dedication

  Acknowledgements

  Prologue

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty-One

  Chapter Twenty-Two

  Chapter Twenty-Three

  Epilogue

  Enjoy an Excerpt of Free

  Discover the Other Titles in the Chaos Series

  About the Author

  Books by Kristen Ashley

  Connect with Kristen Ashley

  You’ll Never Be Alone

  Seventeen years ago . . .

  “Do you have anything to say?”

  Hound stood in the line with his brothers of the Chaos Motorcycle Club, staring at the man kneeling before them, waiting for him to say something just so they could end this.

  There were four drums of fire dancing at the corners of the grouping. Outside of the moon, that fire was the only thing lighting the clearing. It danced on the man in front of them and on the pine trees surrounding him.

  There was nothing but nature out there for miles all around.

  And no sound but the fire crackling and the men who were talking.

  “Go fuck yourself,” the man on his knees spat, literally. The words coming out of his mouth included spittle that Hound could see, even by firelight, was tinted with blood.

  His face was a mangled mess because he’d been held with his arms behind his back while each brother took a one-two punch, every one of them packed with power, all the power they could muster.

  And with their motivation, they’d each been able to pack a lot of power.

  Hound was the only one who’d snuck in a third punch, right to the kidneys.

  It was the first but not the last time the man had chucked up blood.

  His eyes were swelling shut, his mouth dripping blood, the flesh on his cheeks opened up.

  His condition meant he was listing. On his knees because he was forced there, keeping his position probably because he didn’t have the strength to get up.

  This wasn’t about the beating he’d taken from his ex-brothers.

  It was that he’d taken the slice of each brother’s blade carved deep through his back.

  This was Tack’s idea, and Hound and every brother that stood with him supported it.

  It was about obliterating their mark on his back that claimed him brother.

  In the rare event a man renounced the Club, he blacked out the Chaos tattoo inked on his back.

  If a man played traitor to the brotherhood, by the brothers’ hands that tat would be scorched off.

  This man in front of them had not renounced the Club.

  He had not simply played traitor to it.

  He’d betrayed it in a way none of them would have expected.

  A way none of them could allow to go unavenged.

  He’d stabbed a brother in the back, figuratively.

  But that brother was gone all the same, because the man right there on his knees had ordered the hit.

  Therefore he’d taken their blades for two reasons.

  An eye for Chaos was not for an eye.

  It was for your pound of flesh.

  Stab Chaos in the back, that’s returned.

  And then some.

  The man kneeling before Hound and all the brothers of the Chaos MC now had a mangled face and a back that was nothing but opened pulp of bloody flesh.

  And very soon he would be what he’d made Black.

  Gone.

  Hound shifted on his feet, impatient, when their new president, Tack, pushed, “That’s all you got to say?”

  “Suck my dick,” the man on his knees replied.

  He was known as Crank.

  He’d been their president. Their leader. The man who had sworn to honor his brothers. Respect them above all else.

  Protect them, even if it meant giving his life to do it.

  And for his own greed and pride, not one fucking thing to do with the brotherhood, he’d brought Black low.

  Hound’s eyes shifted to Tack as he moved closer to Crank.

  “You were Chaos, we were you,” Tack said quietly.

  It took some effort, but Crank hocked up a loogie and spat it at Tack’s boots. It didn’t hit its mark but it said what he wanted to say.

  Hound shifted impatiently again, feeling his jaw tighten.

  “You were Black, he was you,” Tack continued, speaking low.

  Hound felt that in his throat and swallowed hard to wash it away.

  “Fuck you,” Crank whispered.

  “You ordered your own death by ordering his,” Tack told him something he had to know, but even if they hadn’t made that clear in the proceedings, he knew it before.

  What he did could not stand.

  Not even out there in the other world, the world not owned and run by Chaos.

  But in their world, retribution for what he did was not swift and it had only one end.

  “Motherfucker,” Crank hissed. “You killed Black, and you fucking know it.”

  Hound growled, his eyes cutting to Tack to see his jaw go hard, which meant his brother took that in.

  All the boys started to get restless.

  “Order the fire!” Hound bellowed.

  “You’ve been gagging for the gavel since you were a recruit,” Crank bit off to Tack. “It was you that put Black where he is.”

  “We are not what you made us,” Tack replied.

  “We’re outlaws,” Crank shot back.

  “We are not what you made us,” Tack returned.

  Crank swung his torso back and asked sarcastically, “Yeah, right, so I’m gonna walk away from this?”

  “No. You. Are. Not,” Tack stated deliberately, his face changing from pensive to hostile. “Because we’re,” he leaned in toward Crank, “outlaws. But we’re also,” he leaned farther forward, “brothers.” He l
eaned back and took a step away, ordering, “Get to your feet.”

  “You take out a man down on his knees, it’s as pussy as you’re gonna make my Club, so I’ll make that statement for you since you’ll be taking me out on my knees.”

  “Face your death on your feet,” Tack urged.

  “Blow me,” Crank clipped.

  Tack took a moment to study him.

  Then he muttered, “Your call.”

  After that, he walked back, taking his place in the line.

  The men went from restless to wired.

  Tack felt it and didn’t waste any more time. He couldn’t. If someone jumped the gun, this would not be what Tack needed it to be, what the brothers needed it to be.

  For Tack, it wasn’t about one man taking the right to vengeance from the others.

  For Tack, it was about one man shouldering the burden of the end of a human being, even if that being was a man as lowdown dirty, useless and an absolute waste of space as Crank.

  They would do it as one.

  They would do it as a band of brothers.

  That was who Kane “Tack” Allen was.

  That was where he was guiding Chaos.

  “Brother Crank,” Tack called out. “You’ve been found guilty of a crime against the brotherhood, the worst of its kind, the betrayal of a brother. Your patch has been stripped. You’ll rot without the mark of Chaos on your back. Your final sentence is execution. You’ve had your chance to speak. You’ve got five seconds to take your feet before you meet your maker.”

  In the end, unable to do it on his knees, Crank struggled up to his feet.

  “Ready!” Tack shouted.

  All the men lifted their guns and pointed them at Crank.

  But when Hound took aim, his focus was not on Crank.

  He was looking at Crank, but everything he had in him was focused on Tack.

  So the minute the first sound from the first letter came out when Tack boomed, “Fire!” Hound was already squeezing the trigger.

  It was a nanosecond before any of his brothers, all who did the same, pulled theirs.

  But Hound knew it was his bullet that was the first that penetrated Crank.

  And it did this right through his eye.

  This made Hound happy.

  Later that night, which was the early hours of the morning, Hound was with Tack when they went to the house. He was one of five men with him—Hop, Boz, Dog, Brick, and Hound. They were all, Hound knew, in consideration for being Tack’s lieutenants.

  For Hound, who was young, this consideration was an extreme honor.

  Still.

  Hound did not want this.

  He had another position in the Club, now more than ever.

  And he needed to be free to focus on it.

  But he went anyway.

  He had to.

  For him, there was no other choice.

  Tack knocked on the door and she didn’t make them wait. She probably hadn’t slept in weeks. But she’d know to be waiting for this.

  Because she was Chaos.

  When she opened it, Hound felt the sight of her hit him like a punch in the throat.

  It wasn’t about her beauty, which was extreme.

  A sheet of black hair that glistened like silk. Lush features that stamped plain her American lineage was either native or seriously exotic. Body, long and lean. Tits, firm and high. Ass, round and sweet. Skin, smooth and tanned.

  Hound had rounded the Compound years ago in order to dump a spent keg back there and caught Black fucking his then fiancé, now widow, against the back wall. Before he’d backed away silently, he’d seen that beautiful face in orgasm and he’d never forgotten it.

  But it was before that when he’d taken the fall for Keely Black.

  So now it was not about her beauty, that punch in the throat.

  Now it was about the dead in her eyes, the grief carved in her features in a way each brother knew, Hound especially with the attention he’d given her, she’d not put the effort in to smoothing it out.

  She’d met, fallen in love with, married and given two sons to the only man on earth that was good enough for her.

  Now he was dead.

  And she might be breathing, but she was the same.

  “Where are the boys, honey?” Tack murmured.

  “Asleep,” Keely replied, her unusual, low, smooth voice even on that one word slithering through the air like a ripple of velvet.

  She knew the drill and moved out of the way as Tack moved in.

  Hop, Boz, Dog, Brick and Hound moved in after her. Each man took time with her, stopping, touching her, pressing lips to her forehead, stubbled cheeks to her smooth one.

  Not Hound.

  He stopped in front of her and looked down into her dark-brown eyes.

  She stared up in his.

  I’d take his place if I could, he thought.

  But he said nothing.

  He just followed his brothers and walked into her living room.

  Keely followed him, and after Hound stopped by Brick, Tack spoke.

  “It’s done.”

  For a second, Hound didn’t know if she heard him.

  Then she asked, “It is?”

  “It is, darlin’,” Tack said gently. “Black has been avenged.”

  He hadn’t, Hound thought. Not yet. Not fully. But he will be.

  “Now what?” Keely asked, and Hound reckoned he was giving her all of his attention, but at that question he realized he was wrong.

  “We—” Tack started.

  “I don’t care about Chaos,” she cut him off.

  He felt the men beside him draw in breaths, shuffle their feet uncomfortably, because this wasn’t just said about the brotherhood. This was said by Keely, who was an old lady but she was so much a part of Chaos, through Black but also just on her own, she’d loved her place in it so huge, it was also like a punch in the gut.

  But Hound narrowed his eyes at her, taking in every inch of her, his lungs on fire, his palms itching, his need to go to her, draw her near, pull her close, absorb her pain, make it all okay so overwhelming, he felt his energy leaking out of him with the effort it took to contain it.

  “What I wanna know is, now what? Now what for me? For my boys?” she asked.

  “We’ll take care of you, Keely. Like Black was still with us, until your last breath, Chaos will have your back. You’ll get his cut of everything at the store, the garage. The brothers will—”

  “You gonna take out the trash?” she asked.

  Yes, Hound thought.

  Brick waded in. “If that’s what you need, baby.”

  She looked to Brick. “Okay, so who’s gonna make my boys chocolate chip and peanut butter pancakes every Sunday morning?”

  I will, Hound thought.

  “Keely, darlin’—” Tack began.

  “And who’s gonna drag Dutch’s ass outta bed when he’s bein’ a pain. He’s in kindergarten and he hates school so much, I know I’m gonna have a fight on my hands for the next twelve years until he can see the end of it.”

  I will, Hound thought.

  “We’ll be there for your boys,” Dog said.

  It was like Dog didn’t speak.

  She kept at them.

  “And who’s gonna bring me a shit ton of ibuprofen when I get period cramps so bad it makes me sick to my stomach and I can’t move?” she pushed. “Who’s gonna make up the hot water bottle for me and rub my back until they’re gone? Who’s gonna do that? Tell me, who?”

  I will, Hound thought.

  No one said anything.

  But she still wasn’t done.

  “And who’s gonna fuck me breathless, make me come so hard I think the world is ending? Who’s gonna give it to me again and again and again, night after night after night, just like I like it? Exactly like I like it,” she bit out.

  I will, Hound thought.

  “Keely, honey—” Hop tried gently.

  “It’s not done,” she spat, leaning toward T
ack, her gorgeous face twisting with an agony no woman should be forced to bear. “It’ll never be done.”

  “I used the wrong words, darlin’, I’m so sorry,” Tack whispered.

  “How done is he?” she demanded to know.

  “Very done,” Boz answered firmly.

  “Who did it?” she asked Boz.

  “We all did,” Hop answered.

  But her eyes went right to Hound.

  And he looked right into them.

  She knew.

  There was a reason he was called Hound.

  It started out as a joke, the guys digging into him about his unusual first name.

  But with the hell Crank had thrown them into, it became other things.

  Loyalty, one.

  Stubbornness, another.

  Difficult to rein in, and when he got the scent, impossible to hold back, yet another.

  Not giving up and going the extra mile until the job was done, the last.

  She was an old lady and she’d been around a long time.

  But she was Keely, her heart as open and giving as her mouth was smart. She was Black’s and she was Chaos’s and she loved it like that. She knew every brother down to his soul. Even if they didn’t give her that, she watched, she looked after them in any way she could.

  She knew.

  Because the first part that made Hound a hound was the most important.

  “We’ve lost Black, but you, Dutch and Jagger haven’t lost Chaos,” Tack told her, and she turned her attention to him.

  Hound felt his entire frame tighten when the change started coming over her features, and he felt his brothers experience the same as the air in the room went flat.

  “I can’t do it,” she said quietly.

  “You can,” Tack said firmly.

  “The boys are lost,” she whispered, the agony of a woman who’d lost her man melting into something far more difficult to witness.

  The anguish of a mother whose boys lost their father.

  “We’ll keep them steady,” Tack vowed.

  “I’m—” she cut herself off and swallowed.

  “We got you,” Tack said gently. “We’ll always have you. We’ll always be there.”

  Keely said nothing, she just stared in Tack’s eyes like she was waiting for him to clap his hands, she’d wake up, and the nightmare she was living would be over and she could rest in the knowledge it was all a bad dream.

 
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