Home > Ride Hard (Raven Riders #1)(3)

Ride Hard (Raven Riders #1)(3)
Laura Kaye

Finally, Dare tossed back a gulp of whiskey, savoring the biting heat as it seared down his throat.

“Hey, Dare.” A woman with curly blond hair, a deep V-neck, and huge heels stepped up to the counter beside him. She ordered a drink from Blake, one of the prospects working the bar tonight, then turned her big smile and a generous eyeful of her cleavage toward Dare.

“Carly,” he said, giving her a nod and already considering whether he was interested in what she no doubt was about to offer. He’d been with her a few times, though not much lately, since it had become more and more clear she was holding out hope to be his Old Lady.

“I’m sure glad you all are back,” she said, sidling closer until she was leaning against him, her breasts against his arm, her hand rubbing his back. She was pretty, but she was also a sweet thing, the club’s nickname for the attractive women who partied at the clubhouse and hung out at their track on race nights, seeking attention from and offering themselves to the brothers. Dare didn’t mind having friends like Carly in the community, but he knew her interest was as much in being a part of the MC scene as it was in him. At thirty-seven, he wasn’t sure he was ever going to settle down with one woman, but if he did, it certainly wasn’t going to be with someone half his brothers had enjoyed, too.

And, anyway, he wasn’t looking.

Dare just nodded to Carly as she pressed her way in closer until the whole front of her was tight against his side. Her hands wandered to his chest, his ass, his dick. Her lips ghosted over his cheek. “I missed you.” Her hand squeezed his growing erection through his jeans. “Missed you a lot.”

“Did you, now?” he said, taking another swig of Jack. The friction of her hand was luring him out of his head, out from under the strain of being responsible for so many people. It was an honor, one he’d built his life around, but he felt the weight of it some days more than others. Losing Harvey and Creed almost two weeks before, he felt that weight like a motherfucker. Hell if every new loss in his life didn’t whip up his guilt from the first two . . .


Carly combed her fingers through the length of his brown hair, pushing it back off his face so she could whisper into his ear. “I did. Would you like me to show you how much?” Her fingers slowly worked at his zipper, tugging him from his thoughts.

Exactly what he needed. “What is it you have in mind?” He peered down at her, really appreciating the easy, lighthearted expression on her face. Nothing too deep, nothing too heavy, but full of life all the same.

Her fingers undid the button on his jeans and slipped in against his skin, finding and palming his now rigid cock. Fuck, that felt good. Warm and tight and full of promise.

Smiling, Carly slid herself in front of Dare, pinning her body between his and the hard wooden counter. Her eyes were full of heat and need. “I could drop to my knees right here. Suck you off. Let you fuck my face. Or we could go upstairs, baby. Whatever you want.” She wrapped her other arm around his neck, her fingers playing with the long strands of his hair. “You seem . . . tense, upset. Let me make you feel better?”

And now, on top of everything else, he had a warm, willing woman wanting to make him forget all his troubles. So, yeah, he should’ve been content.

Dare emptied his glass and slammed it down on the counter. Fuck it. Grasping her face in his hand, he trailed his thumb over her bottom lip, stroking, dipping inside so she could suck on his flesh. “Always did love that mouth,” he said.

She grinned around his thumb and nodded, then she slowly slid down his body.

Dare closed his eyes, wanting nothing more than to lose himself in the moment, the sensation, the physical. But his gut wouldn’t stop telling him that some part of their recent troubles was going to come back and bite them in the ass. The past had a way of doing that. Which was why Dare always kept one eye trained over his shoulder. But this particular past was only weeks old and way bigger than their typical fights. The Ravens had just played a role in taking down longtime enemies and Baltimore’s biggest heroin dealers—the Church Gang. In the process, they’d exposed an international drug smuggling conspiracy involving a team of former soldiers turned hired mercenaries and at least one three-star, active-duty general. The Ravens had initially come into the fight as hired help, but they’d taken up the cause as their own when Harvey and Creed had been killed.

Given all that, Dare had a really fucking hard time believing the dust would just settle and life would go back to normal without any blowback.

As Carly got into a crouched position at his feet, Dare opened his eyes and tried to shake away all the churn and burn in his head. But then his gaze snagged on a girl in the doorway across the room. Clarity stole over him, pushing away the fog of lust and the haze of troubled thoughts. The girl had the longest blond hair he’d ever seen, like some fairy-tale princess, or a fucking angel. Pale, small, almost too beautiful to look at. She stood out so starkly that it was almost as if she glowed in the dim room. Like a beacon. Bright and shiny and new.

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