Home > Ride Hard (Raven Riders #1)

Ride Hard (Raven Riders #1)
Laura Kaye

CHAPTER 1

To say that Haven Randall’s escape plans were not going as she’d hoped was quite possibly the understatement of the century. Especially since she wasn’t at all sure her current situation was any better than the one she’d run from three weeks before.

But today could be the day she found that out for sure.

Staring out the window through the slats of the blinds, Haven watched as another group of motorcycles roared into the parking lot below. They’d been coming in groups of four or five for the past hour or so. And, God, there were a lot of them. Not surprising, since she was currently holed up at the compound of the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club. A shiver raced over her skin.

“Don’t worry,” Haven’s friend Cora Campbell said. Sitting on the bed, her back against the wall, and her choppy, shoulder-length blond hair twisted up in a messy bun, Cora gave Haven a reassuring smile.

“I don’t know what I’d do without you,” Haven said. And it was the truth. Without Cora’s bravery, encouragement, and fearless you-only-live-once attitude, Haven never would’ve put her longtime pipe dream of escaping from her father’s house into action. Of course, those actions had landed her here, among a bunch of strange bikers of questionable character and intent, and Haven didn’t know what to make of that. Yet.

But it had to be better than what would’ve happened if she’d stayed in Georgia. She had to believe that. Had to. If nothing else, for the first time in her life she could begin to consider what she wanted. Even if she didn’t yet know what that was.

“Well, you won’t ever have to find out,” Cora said, flipping through an old gossip magazine that had been on the nightstand. “Because you’re stuck with me.”

“I wouldn’t want to be stuck with anyone else,” Haven said in a quiet voice.

Outside, the late-day sun gleamed off the steel and chrome of the motorcycles slowly but surely filling the lot. The bass beat of rock music suddenly drummed against the floor of their room. Now the Ravens’ clubhouse, the building where they’d been staying for just over two weeks had apparently once been an old mountain inn. Their rooms were on the second floor, where guests used to stay, and though Cora had been more adventurous, Haven had stayed in her room as much as possible since they’d arrived. And that was while the majority of the guys had been away from their compound on some sort of club business.

Men’s laughter boomed from downstairs.

Haven hugged herself as another group of bikers tore into the lot. “There are so many of them.”

Cora tossed the magazine aside and climbed off the bed. She was wearing a plain gray tank top and a pair of cutoff shorts that Bunny, an older lady who was married to one of the Ravens, had lent her. Haven’s baggy white T-shirt and loose khaki cargo pants were borrowed, too. They’d run away with a few articles of clothes and cash that Haven had stolen from her father, but they’d lost all of that—and their only vehicle—two weeks ago. Haven and Cora literally had nothing of their own in the whole world.

Haven’s belly tossed. Being totally dependent on anyone else was the last thing she wanted. She was too familiar with all the ways that could be used against her to make her do things she didn’t want to do.

Standing next to her at the window, Cora said, “We’re not prisoners here, Haven. We’re their guests. Remember what Ike said.”

Haven nodded. “I know.” She hadn’t forgotten. Ike Young was the member of the Ravens who had brought them there, who’d told them they were welcome to stay as long as they needed to, who said that no one would give them any trouble. Who said the Ravens helped people like them all the time.

People like them.

So, people like someone who’d grown up as the daughter of the head of a criminal organization? Someone who’d been homeschooled starting in tenth grade so her father could control her every move—and make sure she never saw her first and only boyfriend again? Someone whose father used her for a maid and a cook and planned to barter her off in a forced marriage to another crime family to cement an alliance? Someone who, after managing a middle-of-the-night escape, ended up being captured by a drug-dealing gang seven hundred miles away—a gang that had apparently received notice of a reward for capture from her father? Someone who was then rescued by soldiers and bikers at war with that gang?

Because that was Haven’s reality, and she really doubted the Ravens had helped someone like her before. Or, at least, she hoped not. Because she wouldn’t wish the life she’d lived so far on her worst enemy.

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