Maniac: A Bad Boy Biker Romance (Winter Cobras Book 1), page 1
A Bad Boy Biker Romance
(WINTER COBRAS MC)
by JADE KUZMA
Copyright © 2018 Jade Kuzma.
All rights reserved.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. All persons appearing on the cover are models and being used for illustrative purposes only.
MANIAC: A BAD BOY BIKER ROMANCE
(WINTER COBRAS MC)
First edition. October 17, 2018
Copyright © 2018 Jade Kuzma.
Written by Jade Kuzma.
Jade Kuzma Romance
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Table of Contents
The New Devils MC
The Black Reapers MC
I never understood the appeal of dingy, hole-in-the-wall dive bars. The lighting was so dim, you couldn’t see anything. The music was always so muffled, you couldn’t hear it. The bartenders acted like it was an inconvenience to get you a drink. And then there was the crowd. The dirtiest dregs of the city always came out. If they weren’t a DUI waiting to happen, they were loud and boisterous, flaunting themselves around like they were the king of the world.
Then again, alcohol was the only reason anybody ever needed to act like a fool. And tonight, I was in the center of a room full of jesters.
Where is this guy?
I narrowed my eyes and scanned the bar, doing my best not to draw too much attention to myself. There were the usual drunks telling their stories about how amazing there were. There were the women who were eating it all up because it meant they were getting a free drink. Then there were the scumbags who acted like they were better than everybody else.
Must be one of them…
I stared at a group in the corner of the bar. They were crowded around in a booth with enough bottles on the table to get the entire city drunk. Dress shirts unbuttoned. Hair greasy. Outfits probably cheaper than they looked. Yeah, he was here.
There was one man in particular who caught my eye. Hair slicked back over his head. A thin mustache that didn’t look good no matter how much he groomed it. And a cocky smirk that you just wanted to wipe off with your fist.
He pressed his hand up against the wall while he tried to charm some demure girl who was listening to him. It was hard to tell if she was interested or terrified. Probably some combination of the two.
That’s him… Must be my lucky night…
It didn’t take me very long to find him. Not with how much he stood out. Now I just had to get what I wanted.
I moved away from the bar toward him, just to make sure he could see. I stared at him, waiting to finally get his attention.
Over here, big boy… Come on…
I kept staring until he finally looked in my direction. A double-take. Then his eyes widened. That cocky grin on his face made it even more obvious what he was thinking.
Yeah, that’s it… I’m right here…
He sauntered over to me. He wasn’t even that close but I already got a whiff of his cheap cologne.
“Say there, pretty lady. I haven’t seen you around here before. You new in town?”
“I’m new. I’ve been having some trouble lately though.”
“Trouble? What kinda trouble?”
“Well, a girl can get lost in the city. It’s hard for me to find where to have any fun.”
“Oh… Well, I think we can do something about.”
“I hope so.”
I gave him a wink.
From his fake tan to the gaudy chain around his neck, everything about him was so slimy. Not surprising, considering what kind of record he had. It wasn’t enough to stop me from keeping my focus.
“Maybe you and I can have some fun right now,” he said.
“Right now? What about your friend?”
“Her? Don’t worry about her. There’ll be plenty of time for her.”
“I don’t wanna steal you away from anybody.”
“Relax, honey. There’s plenty of Burt to go around.”
Burt… He’s my man…
“What do you say we go around back and I can show you some of the best places in this city to have some fun?”
“That sounds like a good time, Burt.”
He was positively giddy. I had to remind myself what kind of piece of shit he was to keep my focus. We headed to the back of the bar and stepped into the back alley. As soon as the door closed, he was on me. He pressed his hands on my arms and pushed me up against the wall, nearly knocking the wind out of me. He moved his lips to my face but I turned my head and looked away.
“What’s wrong, honey? Lost your nerve.”
“I didn’t lose my nerve. Just wanted to have some fun. My way.”
“I see… All right. Show me what you got.”
I took his hands in mine.
I grinned at him as I took a finger between my hands. He was smiling at me, the anticipation growing in his eyes.
“I need some help,” I said.
“You help me, I’ll help you…”
“I’m looking for someone. His name is Oliver Pearson. Do you know where I can find him?”
The look in his eyes changed. The anticipation gone, he furrowed his brow.
“Who the fuck are you—”
I bent his finger back on his hand. The bastard squealed in pain and fell down to a knee.
“Oliver Pearson,” I said. “Where is he?”
“I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about—Ahh!”
He groaned against as I held his finger back.
“You’re Burt Randle. Twice convicted of second-degree rape. You sure don’t know how to keep your hands to yourself so I’ll help you.”
“Please!” he begged. “Let me go!”
“Oliver Pearson,” I repeated.
“I can’t… I can’t…”
“Where is he?”
The confidence he had just a few moments ago was gone. Now he was practically sobbing.
“I-Ivory,” he pleaded. “He went down to Ivory, okay?”
“Gimme your wallet.”
“Gimme your wallet.”
He fumbled into his pocket and stuck his wallet out. I grabbed it then took a few dollars out before dropping it to the ground.
“I know who you are, Burt. If you’re lying or you
“Y-yeah, I got it…”
I finally let his hand go. He stayed hunched over in pain.
“Crazy bitch… You fucking broke my finger…”
“It’ll heal,” I sighed.
I stepped back into the bar and found the poor girl who had to endure Burt’s flirting. I held the money out to her.
“What’s this?” she said, a confused look tattooed on her face.
“Leave this bar,” I said. “Go find a better place to drink. Somewhere with a nicer crowd.”
“Burt insists. Trust me.”
I gave her a wink then left the bar as fast as I could. I stepped into the cab waiting for me. The driver looked at me through his rearview.
“Ivory? That’s a long drive south. You sure you’re up for it.”
“I’ll do whatever it takes to get there.”
The glass in front of me splashed full with enough whiskey to get a bear drunk. I kept my focus even though everybody around me was laughing like schoolgirls.
“You know, there are times when I wonder what the fuck I’m doing here.”
He sealed the bottle up then pushed the glass toward me, that smug little grin on his face.
“You’re here for the same reason every other man is here,” he explained. “You’re a brother.”
“A brother, huh? Is this what brothers do?”
“You’re a brother, not a sister. Unless you got something hiding underneath your skirt we don’t know about…”
“Cool it with the tough talk. Ain’t no need for that.”
“Not yet anyway…”
He raised his eyebrows at me, egging me on like only he could.
You didn’t have to know Rex for very long to figure out what kind of a man he was. The guy was every bit as confident as the next man. There wasn’t a day of his life when he rolled out of bed thinking he wasn’t the man. The way he combed his hair. The way he groomed his beard. Even the way the bastard stood there was filled with the kind of arrogance that made you think he was either worth a billion dollars or he just got away with killing somebody. The latter was probably true in his case. Kinda strange how someone like him was the vice president of the club but I didn’t question it.
He leaned up against the bar in front of me and looked me dead in the eye.
“Have a drink,” he said.
“What’d you do to this shit?” I replied.
“Nothing. You above having a drink?”
“Having a drink is one thing. Pounding half-a-glass of whiskey in the middle of the afternoon is something else.”
I stared back hard at Rex. It’d take a lot more convincing than some look on his face to make me go through with it.
“Knock it off, Rex.”
I felt a sudden hand on my shoulder and turned toward the man next to me.
“Ignore him, Micah,” he said. “Rex here is just busting your balls.”
“Hey, it’s a special occasion,” Rex said. “The man just patched-in. I think he should celebrate.”
“There are other ways to celebrate than getting drunk off your ass.”
“I already tried getting him to smoke. The man spends all day in the gym. He eats clean. This ain’t the Army. He’s gotta do something to have a little fun now.”
“Figure it out later. We got a meeting.”
“A meeting? Since when?”
“Since Jordan called it.”
“Shit, man… That’s news to me—”
“Just get in the fucking chapel already.”
“All right, all right.”
Rex put his hands up and started walking away.
“Hey!” the man next to me called out. “You gonna drink this shit or what?”
Rex chuckled to himself as he took the glass and sipped on it. He smacked his lips with satisfaction then headed toward the meeting room.
I looked at Doc and he rolled his eyes in response.
“Don’t worry about, Rex. The guy’s just bored.”
“I don’t take it personally,” I said.
“Good. You’re a patch. There’s nothing you gotta worry about from any of us. We got your back, a hundred percent.”
“Yeah… Thanks, Doc.”
It was easier to talk to Doc than any of the other patches. Hell, it was easier to talk to him than anybody else. It was probably because he was older than everybody else in the MC. His hair was a mixture of black and gray and was just starting to recede. The wrinkles on his face were becoming more pronounced every time I looked at him. But there was always some kind of wisdom in his eyes. He had an honesty you couldn’t find in anybody else. Figured, considering he was one of the longest-tenured members of the club.
“We got a meeting,” he said. “Let’s go.”
I headed toward the back with all of the other members who were in tow.
The Bone Pit was home to the Winter Cobras. The place was quiet during the day but at night, it could get as rowdy as any other spot in Ivory. It was only the middle of the afternoon though, so when we headed into the meeting room, we didn’t have to worry about any outside disturbances.
The chapel of the Cobras where the meetings were held was plastered with photos of every past member who had any clout. Along with a banner hanging on the wall, you didn’t need any more evidence to know this was Cobra territory. The table had our emblem carved into it, a cobra that stood as a symbol for the MC long before I was even born.
I took a seat at one end of the table while the other members gathered around. Doc took the spot right next to me. He looked as calm as he always did.
Across from me was Teddy. If he wasn’t wearing the kutte, it would’ve been hard to tell he was a club member. What Rex lacked in charm and grace, Teddy had it in spades. The guy was so nonchalant about everything. But there was a quiet intensity somewhere deep inside of him. Behind his cocky demeanor, there was a man who was just as volatile as anybody you’d ever meet.
“Rex pulling that shit on you again,” Teddy asked.
“What?” I said.
“The whole glass of whiskey to celebrate. He did the same shit to me when I patched-in.”
“And you were just as much of a pussy,” Rex said as he took another loud sip of his glass.
“Right,” Teddy said with an eye-roll. “You know drinking that shit doesn’t make your dick bigger.”
“Maybe not. But it does mean I’ve got a pair.”
Teddy and Rex laughed at one another. I didn’t have to worry about them taking it too far with their banter. I hadn’t been a patch for very long but I knew enough that was just the way they did things. I figured they were just bored.
The last man to walk into the room was Jordan. Jordan Harris was the president of the MC. He never took any shit from anybody and nobody ever gave it to him. He was younger than most men you’d see leading a club but he carried himself with the kind of dignity a man twice his age had. But he an arrogance about him, too. I figured spending time around men like Rex and Teddy had that kind of effect on people.
Jordan stood at the head of the table, his face emotionless as he looked around at one of us. It was hard to tell if he was upset or in a good mood or somewhere in between.
“Ash? Grant?” Jordan said.
“Work,” Doc replied. “Couldn’t get out of it.”
“What those motherfuckers need to do is open up their own garage,” Rex said. “Having to work for someone else… That’s bullshit. Nobody’d be able to touch ‘em.”
“And where would they get the money to do that?”
“I don’t know. You’re the treasurer, Doc. Why don’t you help ‘em out with that?”
“It takes money to make money. This isn’t that im
We all turned and looked toward Jordan. He shook his head and finally took a seat.
“Not that important,” he said. “Just figured we’d talk because of all the shit going down.”
“What shit?” I said with a shrug.
“The DA is gonna be snooping around. No doubt feds can’t keep their snouts out of the dirt. Emerson and the Devils left a big mess. Somebody’s gonna be taking a closer look.”
“We didn’t have anything to do with that,” Rex said with a shrug. “Emerson. The Devils. The drugs. That all happened in Old Town.”
“Old Town is still a part of Ivory,” Doc said. “Jordan’s right. We might’ve been out of the blast radius but Ivory is still irradiated.”
“After everything that went down with the Reapers and now the Devils, it might seem quiet but it’s not. We gotta keep our heads down for a bit. Nobody do anything crazy.”
Jordan eyeballed Rex. Rex looked around the table like he was surprised but he knew why everybody was staring.
“What?” he said with a laugh. “What the fuck are you all looking at me for?”
“Just making sure you got the message,” Jordan said.
Rex took a sip of his whiskey and the smile left his face.
“I got the message,” he said, his mood suddenly changed.
“There’s no need for any drama,” Jordan continued. “We break bread with the Devils and we make peace the Reapers.”
“Never thought I’d see the day,” Doc said. “Being straight with the Reapers. The Devils are back in Ivory. Shit’s changed.”
“Ivory’s changed. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for the Cobras.”
“Sounds like you got a plan,” Teddy said.
“No plan. Not with how hot everything is. We keep our heads down and ears open and we’ll find our hustle.”
“Actually, there might be something,” I said.
I got everybody’s attention.
“My neighbor,” I said. “Mrs. Solomon. Her son went missing a few weeks ago. Ivory PD just found his body a few days ago on the riverbank.”
“Damn shame,” Doc said.
“Mrs. Solomon’s a good woman. A sweet lady who minds her own business. For some shit like that to happen to her… It makes me sick.”
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