He never meant to hurt her.
Levi “Painter” Brooks was nothing before he joined the Reapers motorcycle club. The day he patched in, they became his brothers and his life. All they asked in return was a strong arm and unconditional loyalty—a loyalty that’s tested when he’s caught and sentenced to prison for a crime committed on their behalf.
Melanie Tucker may have had a rough start, but along the way she’s learned to fight for her future. She’s escaped from hell and started a new life, yet every night she dreams of a biker whose touch she can’t forget. It all started out so innocently—just a series of letters to a lonely man in prison. Friendly. Harmless. Safe.
Now Painter Brooks is coming home… and Melanie’s about to learn that there’s no room for innocence in the Reapers MC.
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You know, I write these fuckin’ letters to you, but they’re fake. I ask about your friends and your school and whether you’re meeting people. It’s bullshit, Mel.
Here’s my reality.
Yesterday I stabbed someone before he could stab me. Puck and I sold some shit to a bunch of white supremacists and we turned around and sold the same damned thing to some Mexicans. We had pudding with our dinner for dessert.
Then I jacked off three times thinking about you. Those are the highlights. Like a fairy tale, right? Remembering you keeps me going, which makes no fucking sense at all. I hardly touched you. I still think about what you smelled like when you sat next to me on the couch, though. You were just this little thing and you shivered under my arm. I know you were scared of the movie and I could’ve picked something else, but I wanted the excuse to hold you.
That’s when I started thinking seriously about us fucking.
I had this vision of shoving you into the cushions face- first, then ripping down your jeans and pushing so deep you’d feel it in the back of your throat. That’s the kind of guy I am, Mel, and that’s why you should stay the fuck away from me.
You give me the chance, I’ll pin you down and keep pumping no matter how hard you try to get away. I dream about it every night, I jerk off to it, and today I gave serious thought to killing a man because he has the same fantasies about you as me. That first night, I promised London I wouldn’t touch you, but my cock had already been hard for hours. Good thing she showed up when she did—saved your ass. How’s that for luck?
When I took you to dinner, I was going to be good. Tried to be good. I know you didn’t understand why I asked you out or what it meant. They needed you out of the way, Mel. That was my job—to keep you busy. And I promised London I wouldn’t pull shit on you but she’d been lying to us all along and I kept wondering if that meant my promise didn’t count anymore.
Pretty damned sure it hasn’t counted for a while now.
You were talking and smiling and blushing. My dick was so stiff it nearly snapped in half when I tried to stand up. Took everything I had not to throw you on my bike and ride off with you . . . I want to tie you up and come in your ass and shove my cock down your throat until you choke. I want your hair in little-girl pigtails so I can hold on tight while I fuck your face. I want you to cry and scream and give me everything. I want to fucking OWN you. How’s that for reality, Mel? You still want my advice about boys?
I’m coming home soon. You should run away while you still can, Mel. I’ll make you dirty, so dirty you’ll never be clean again. I’ll make you pay me back the hard way. You think you’re all grown up, but you’re not. There’s so much I could teach you . . . do to you. Jesus, if you only knew, you’d never write to me again.
You should move to Alaska. Change your name. Good luck, though, because I’ll find you and take you and--
I dropped my pencil, wondering why I’d thought this was a good idea. I wasn’t going to send it, of course. I’d send her some friendly little note and tell her she should be dating and having fun. But some part of me thought writing my real thoughts out might fix my obsession. Instead my dick was like a rock. Again.
“You’re not going back to the party.”
She cocked her head, and I saw the confusion in her alcohol- glazed eyes as she wrinkled her nose at me. All cute, like a rabbit.
“You look like a bunny.”
“You look like an ax murder,” she said, frowning. “And I thought London was looking for me. Aren’t we going the wrong way?”
“I lied. I do that a lot,” I told her, staring at her lips. I reached out, catching her chin in my hand, running my thumb across her lips. Our eyes locked, and I don’t know if her pulse started to rise but mine sure as fuck did. What the hell had I been thinking, writing to this girl? She was so pretty and perfect and had this amazing, magical life just waiting for her and all I could think about was dragging her down into the dirt and shoving my cock into every hole she had.
She’d scream while I did it, too, the same sweet screams that played in my head every night while I jacked off.
I hated myself.
“Why did you lie?” she asked, her voice a whisper.
“To get you away from Taz. It’s not safe with him.”
Mel’s forehead creased in confusion, her brain moving so slowly I could practically see the wheels turning behind her eyes. She might be smart as fuck most of the time, but she’d transitioned to drunker than fuck tonight. Kit. Kit and Em. They’d done this to her.
I leaned in closer, catching her scent. For an instant I swayed, so tempted . . .
“They told me all about you,” she whispered.
“The other girls. Kit, Em. Jessica. I know how you operate,” she continued. One of her hands rose, touching my chest. Fire burst through me, because if I’d wanted her before I was desperate for her now. She was so soft, so sweet . . . so perfect.
Then her words sank in.
“What did you just say?”
“They told me all about you,” she said, eyes dropping to stare at my lips. “They told me you have a Madonna-whore complex.” I froze.
“A Madonna-whore complex,” she repeated, her voice earnest. “You like to screw dirty girls and you put clean girls on pedestals, where they can stay perfect and pure. That’s pretty messed up, Painter. There’s no such thing as Madonnas and whores. We’re all just people.”
The words stunned me. What the hell was she talking about? Just because I didn’t want her dragged down in the drama and bullshit of this life didn’t mean I had some sort of fucking complex. And who the hell were the Hayes sisters to have an opinion? I couldn’t tell what pissed me off more—the fact that they’d talked to Mel about me or that they hadn’t done a better job of scaring her off.
She wasn’t supposed to be here.
“Kit and Em are crazy, and that friend of yours—Jessica? She’s like a car crash. You don’t belong here, Mel.”
“And where do I belong?”
“With some nice kid who’ll treat you like a queen and work his ass off to give you everything perfect for the rest of your life.” The words were practically a growl.
Her eyes widened.
“What if I don’t want perfect?”
“Too fucking bad, because that’s what you’re getting.”