Creed, p.1
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       Creed, p.1

           Kristen Ashley
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Creed


  Creed

  Kristen Ashley

  Published by Kristen Ashley at Smashwords

  Copyright 2012 Kristen Ashley

  Discover other titles by Kristen Ashley:

  Rock Chick Series:

  Rock Chick

  Rock Chick Rescue

  Rock Chick Redemption

  Rock Chick Renegade

  Rock Chick Revenge

  Rock Chick Reckoning

  Rock Chick Regret

  The ‘Burg Series:

  For You

  At Peace

  Golden Trail

  Games of the Heart

  The Colorado Mountain Series:

  The Gamble

  Sweet Dreams

  Lady Luck

  Breathe

  Dream Man Series:

  Mystery Man

  Wild Man

  Law Man

  Motorcycle Man

  The Fantasyland Series:

  Wildest Dreams

  The Golden Dynasty

  Fantastical

  The Three Series:

  Until the Sun Falls from the Sky

  The Unfinished Hero Series:

  Knight

  Other Titles by Kristen Ashley:

  Fairytale Come Alive

  Heaven and Hell

  Lacybourne Manor

  Lucky Stars

  Mathilda, SuperWitch

  Penmort Castle

  Play It Safe

  Sommersgate House

  www.kristenashley.net

  Smashwords Edition, License Notes

  This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

  *****

  WARNING

  This book is an ADULT EROTIC romance featuring a (kind of) anti-hero and anti-heroine. This novel contains explicit erotic scenes that include elements of control and bondage as well as anal sex. The heroine, especially, in this novel lives life by her own rules with no apologies. In an effort not to spoil it for you, I will not explain further about the heroine but she is most definitely not your (or my, in my other books) “normal” heroine. Please read the Author’s Note. There are also scenes of torture and rape in this novel so if you are squeamish about either or you do not enjoy the above sexual situations or characters, I would suggest that this novel is not for you.

  Author’s Note and Acknowledgements

  Creed, as was the first novel in this series, Knight, is a departure from my usual novels. It is more erotic, exploring the building of trust and connection between two people in love.

  This series was meant to explore anti-heroes, or men who are not your traditional hero. In other words, they do bad things, break the law and live by their own code which is not the normally acceptable code by which most of society lives.

  When they came to me, the characters in this book threw me for a loop. Instead of an anti-hero, I got an interrupted hero and an anti-heroine. My Creed may skirt the law but Sylvie breaks it and makes no apologies for it.

  Therefore, Sylvie is not soft, sweet, giggly or flirty. She is also not sassy. Sylvie is badass, kickass and makes no excuses. Life has led her to develop a hard shell with sharp edges in order to keep distant and protect herself from life’s hurts but when she lets someone through… watch out. It’s a love like no other.

  I adore her.

  I adore her so much, no kidding, I wanted to switch gears while writing this and call this book Sylvie. Alas, Creed came through just as strong and the beauty of his connection with and adoration of Sylvie wouldn’t allow me to make that change.

  That said, this is your warning that my Sylvie is not your usual romance novel heroine. She’s one of the boys. She is, in a sense, like the female version of all my alphas from my novels all the way down to the language she uses.

  I hope you give her a chance and, if you do, I hope she’ll have you eating out of her hand.

  Last but oh so not least, I want to thank my posse who again had my back in a lot of ways near and dear to my heart while I wrote this novel.

  You know who you are and you know all you’ve done.

  To the moon and back, girlies.

  For my readers, here you go…

  Creed and his Sylvie.

  * * * * *

  Chapter One

  Black Expedition

  I drove fast because she sounded tweaked.

  Tweaked in her business was not good.

  Tweaked in my business was not good either.

  It was worse. She wasn’t calling Knight. This meant bad things because it meant bad things were happening. Not bad, bad.

  If Knight knew something bad was going down, he’d lose his mind which meant someone might lose the use of an appendage. She knew, if I hit the scene, I’d have a mind to carpet stains.

  Shit.

  I screeched to a halt on the road outside her house in my blue 1968 Corvette Stingray then reversed, parallel parking expertly between two cars. In a second, I was out, hand to the gun under my leather jacket shoved in the holster attached to my belt at the small of my back. I shoved my keys in my pocket and approached the front door of her tiny house, my eyes peeled and scanning.

  No noises, no sound.

  It was late, after three in the morning. Her neighborhood was quiet. It was a nice neighborhood, not flashy, not family. Just a neighborhood if a bit rundown.

  I hadn’t run Serena’s check. Another of Knight’s team did it. I didn’t know much about her, though I’d taken her to a few of her early appointments and stuck around until they were over. This was a service Knight provided to his new girls. Strike that, it was a service Knight insisted his girls have.

  I pulled up what I knew about her and remembered she was an art student, earning cash to go to some fancy school in France. Parents gone, a car crash. If she wanted it, she had to do it on her own.

  Fucking whacked, that shit. Sure, you couldn’t pull together money to buy a plane ticket, pay tuition and living expenses in a different country by waiting tables unless you had a decade to do it.

  But shit.

  Each girl had their own story. Most of them were way worse than Serena’s.

  Which meant Serena might not be all there upstairs.

  Please God, I thought, do not let this bitch be seeing clients at her house.

  I checked in the window first, seeing light coming around the blinds but they were closed. I couldn’t get a lock on what was happening inside.

  I moved to the door, stood to its side, reached out a hand and knocked hard twice.

  “Serena!” I called. “It’s Sylvie.”

  I heard the locks open immediately.

  Shit, she was waiting at the door.

  It was thrown open and I saw her.

  Fuck.

  I heard the blood roaring in my ears and didn’t move except to speak.

  “You need a doctor?” I asked.

  She shook her head.

  Then she whispered, “Sylvie –”

  I cut her off, “You report this to Knight?”

  “I… he’ll…” she shook her head again, “no.”

  “You call someone other than me to help you out? Get you cleaned up?” I pressed on.

  She nodded. “Cher. She’s on her way. She’ll be here soon.”

  Good. Cher. That bitch was smart, had her shit tight. She’d see to Serena.

  I nodded back then, “Who was he?”

  “He was… he was new.”

  I nodded again then,
“Tell me you didn’t see him here.”

  She shook her head. “Never.”

  At least there was that.

  “He do more than what I can see?” I asked.

  She closed her eyes. I held my breath. She opened her eyes.

  “No,” she whispered.

  I studied her, not getting it.

  She’d been worked over, eye swelling, lip fat and busted open but only a small tear. It didn’t look like she needed stitches. It looked like it hurt like hell but it wasn’t that bad. Unacceptable but not that bad.

  Why didn’t she call Knight? For this, Knight would make a statement then cut the asshole off, he wouldn’t lose his mind.

  She had to be lying.

  “Serena, you gotta talk to me,” I pushed. “Why’d you call me direct? Why haven’t you reported this to Knight?”

  “The girls say he gets angry,” she replied.

  “He does and babe, he should. Your face is messed up. He does not offer protection so his girls can get messed up. He does not like that shit one bit. A statement needs to be made.”

  “He’s scary when he’s angry,” she whispered.

  That was the God’s honest truth.

  “Uh… just sayin’, Serena, some asshole worked you over. He’s a new client. You wanna tell me why you’re protecting him from Knight?”

  “I don’t want Knight to get in trouble.”

  God. Serena was relatively new. This had never happened to her.

  Right.

  “That is not yours to worry about,” I educated her.

  “But –”

  I leaned into the door and dropped my voice. “Serena, babe, it’s not yours to worry about. It’s what he does. It’s who he is. That’s why you’re with him. If someone works you over, you report it to Knight. Immediately.”

  She held my eyes for a beat then nodded.

  I went on, “Now, you meet this guy at his place, a hotel, what?”

  “Hotel,” she answered.

  I nodded. “Where, when, how long you been home?”

  She gave me the details.

  I nodded again. “I’m paying him a visit, Serena, and I’m reporting this to Knight.”

  She bit her fat lip on the side where it wasn’t as fat, then she stopped doing that and nodded back.

  “How long before Cher gets here?” I asked.

  “She said ten minutes and that was about ten minutes ago.”

  I gave her another nod.

  “Ice,” I whispered, dipping my head toward her face. “Take some painkillers. Lie down.”

  She nodded again then whispered back, “Thanks, Sylvie.”

  I caught her eyes and locked my gaze with hers. “Anytime. Know it, babe.”

  She nodded yet again.

  “Lock doors,” I ordered. “I’ll check in tomorrow.”

  “Okay, Sylvie.”

  “Ice,” I repeated.

  “Okay.”

  I looked meaningfully at the door, she closed it and I didn’t move until I heard it lock.

  Then I moved quickly to the car but I didn’t jog. I didn’t run. I kept it controlled.

  When I got in my car, I called Rhash, Knight’s right hand man.

  “Yo,” he answered.

  “Yo right back at ‘cha,” I replied. “Got good news and bad news. Which do you want first?”

  “Good,” Rhash replied, a tremor of humor in his voice.

  “Right, I’m in an ass-kicking mood and I’m already in my car so there are no delays in going out to kick ass.”

  “Fuck,” Rhash muttered, humor gone. He knew what this meant. “What’s the bad news?”

  “Serena got worked over and she called me.”

  “Fuck,” Rhash clipped.

  “Yeah,” I agreed.

  “How bad? She need Baldy? What?” he asked.

  “She says not bad. Just beat up. Cher is coming to look after her. I need an address on her client tonight.”

  I waited for him to find it, he gave it to me and I programmed it into my GPS then he asked, “There a reason she didn’t call me or Knight?”

  “Worried you’d lose your minds, get in trouble.”

  “Stupid,” he muttered, sounding more than a little annoyed. “What’s she think we get that ten percent for?”

  This was a good question and one I didn’t have an answer to. In my experience, ladies of the evening didn’t protect their protectors. If they were lucky, it was the other way around. They usually avoided them, if they could, or sought them out for not so good reasons, such as getting their fix.

  Knight’s girls weren’t like that. I knew why, hell, I definitely knew why.

  It still was stupid.

  “Got an ass to kick, Rhash,” I reminded him.

  “Need back up?” he asked.

  “Feeling like kicking ass?”

  “How bad was she?”

  “Fat lip. Swollen eye,” I told him.

  “Then… fuck yeah.”

  I grinned.

  That was why Knight inspired loyalty in his girls. Because he employed people like Rhashan and me who gave a shit.

  “I’m starting at the hotel,” I shared. “Meet me there.”

  “It’ll take me about ten, fifteen. Wait for me. I don’t want to miss anything.”

  I grinned again. Rhashan and all the guys thought it was hilarious to watch me work. This was because I was five foot two and cheated the gods by drinking a lot and eating whatever I wanted and still, I was thin. I had tits and nicely rounded ass. Neither in overabundance so, no doubt about it, I was slender. I wasn’t girlie but I wore my honey blonde hair long and wild and I also had a not to be messed with, once a week schedule of getting a manicure and pedicure.

  Still, I could take down a man over a foot taller than me, with over a hundred pounds on me and have him whining like a baby.

  The guys thought this was hysterical, watching a man go down at the hands of a petite woman wearing nail polish. Sometimes, when I’d get the callout, two or three of them would show just to watch.

  I never disappointed.

  “See you there,” I said to Rhash.

  “Yeah, later,” he replied.

  I flipped my phone shut, started up my girl, she purred for me while I waited the thirty seconds before I saw Cher pull up and park. Then I gave her a chin lift through the windshield and waited while she walked to Serena’s house. After that, I waited until the door closed behind Cher.

  Then my girl and I took off.

  * * * * *

  I had my back to the wall at the side of the door when I heard the elevator beep. I turned my head and watched Rhash walk out.

  Rhashan was a huge, midnight skinned black man. Handsome. Fuck, they made few of them as good as Rhashan from head to toe. Smooth with a kick, like a good bourbon. You sucked it back then sucked in a breath to ease the warmth on its way down.

  He’d recently married a woman I liked unreservedly, which was rare. It was known he liked to dominate which was why I didn’t dip my toe in midnight before he made the ultimate hook up with his new wife, Vivica.

  No one controlled me. Not anymore.

  That didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the view immensely as he walked his muscled bulk my way.

  When he got close, I lifted up a keycard between two fingers.

  “Boss owes me a hundred, fifty,” I noted.

  Rhash’s full lips quirked. “You get a receipt?”

  I shot him a grin and jerked up my chin.

  His eyes went to the door. “He in there?”

  “According to my boy downstairs who’s one hundred and fifty dollars richer for handing me a keycard, he’s not checked out,” I told him.

  He looked me up and down before he remarked, “This hotel, I don’t get away without shelling out at least two fifty.”

  “You don’t have tits,” I pointed out the obvious and his lips again quirked.

  Then his face got serious. “You lead?”

  “Uh… am I Sylvia Bissen
ette?” I asked.

  “Last time I checked,” he answered.

  That got him another grin.

  He positioned and so did I, both of us unholstering our guns.

  I slid in the keycard, got the green light, slid it out, carefully turned the handle and cautiously moved into the dark room with Rhash at my back.

  Within a minute, we’d ascertained the space was clear.

  Rhash turned on a light and we both scanned the wrecked room with our eyes.

  When I was done with my scan, my gaze went to Rhash and I noted his strong, square jaw was hard.

  “She put up a fight,” I remarked.

  His eyes cut to me.

  I was a loose part of the Knight Sebring team, not an official member. I was freelance. I had other jobs. But I was always on-call for Knight.

  Being freelance didn’t mean much to Knight’s boys. For them, I took assignments, I took call, I was a member of the team. This meant we knew where each other lived. We drank together. We watched the Broncos together, usually at a bar. I was invited to Rhash’s wedding. If I needed help on another one of my jobs, all I had to do was make a call and they had my back.

  The fact that, outside work, our time spent together usually included alcohol meant we’d all shared.

  So I knew Rhashan Banks had grown up rough. His Mom had him when she was sixteen. He had two sisters and a brother by the time his Mom was twenty-one. Each Banks kid had a different father and none of the dads stuck around.

  Rhash was in a gang by twelve, his best friend got whacked during a turf war and died in his arms when Rhash was fifteen. Still, it took three more years and getting his girl pregnant before Rhash started to pull his shit together. She put the baby up for adoption, wanting nothing to do with it or a Daddy who was destined for dead or incarcerated. She dumped his ass, had the baby, got rid of the baby then promptly went back on her grand schemes and got involved with another gang member, this one about seven huge steps down from Rhash. Her new guy didn’t mind sharing. In fact, he passed her around to all his buds.

 

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