Home > Shade's Fall (The Last Riders #4)

Shade's Fall (The Last Riders #4)
Author: Jamie Begley

Prologue


“Shh… baby, you’re going to be fine.”

Shade stood in the corner with his brother, Razer, from The Last Riders, standing tensely by his side. He knew Razer had come to care a great deal for his sister-in-law.

Both of them were watching with grim expressions as Lily tried again to get out of the hospital bed. Beth, her sister, prevented her with a soothing voice, murmuring words over and over again that neither men could hear over Lily’s cries.

The doctors had relieved the pressure on her brain last night, saving her life. Her broken hand was put in a cast that morning. The trauma combined with the pain and medication left her disoriented.

Every cry and whimper that passed her lips increased his resolve to take his vengeance out on the two men who were responsible for her injuries. The police had them in custody and they wouldn’t be getting out any time soon, but Shade had every faith the judicial system would release them on parole. He would be waiting for them when it happened, just like the biker who had dared to touch her and the deputy from Treepoint. Both had disappeared just as Joker and Dale would.

Lily finally slipped into a fitful sleep, tossing and turning on the hospital bed while Beth continued sitting by her side, holding her hand.

Shade stepped forward. “You should both go and get some sleep. I’ll stay until you get back.”

“I’m not leaving her,” Beth protested.

“Go and get a couple hours’ rest at Sex Piston’s parents’ house; it’s just a few blocks away. I’ll call as soon as she wakes.”

It was another hour before exhaustion had Beth leaving reluctantly with Razer.

After they left, Shade sat down in the chair by Lily’s bed, looking at the woman who had been on his mind since the moment he had seen her come out of the diner across from the sheriff’s office. He and Razer had gone there to get their bikes inspected and the sisters had both appeared eating ice cream. Shade had taken one look at the stunning woman and known that he was going to have her.

His lips twisted wryly. He hadn’t known then that he was going to have to wait, but patience was his one and only virtue. He waited, planned and plotted to attain his prize, and Lily was a prize. He hadn’t been in her company for more than a few seconds before he’d realized she was perfect for him; however, Lily and her sister both had dreams for her, and Shade wanted her to have that time of freedom before he took it away.

His control had almost broken twice. Once when they had gathered for the Fourth of July picnic and he had looked across the backyard to see Lily holding a toddler while Charles, her high school boyfriend, stood close by, touching her. They had looked, for all appearances, like a happy, young family. If his brothers hadn’t held him back, he would have ripped the dumbfuck apart. He could tell Charles thought he was staring into his future with Lily. Shade had planned to show him once and only once that Lily would never have anyone other than him. She would never carry anyone’s child but his. Charles still remained to be a thorn in his side, though Shade had a plan to deal with him when the time was right.

No one was going to stand in his way when it came to claiming Lily.

The night of Razer’s bachelor party had been another time he’d lost control. She had come to Rosie’s bar to talk to Razer; she wanted to protect her sister so badly that she had faced her fear of being around alcohol. He had been in the back of the bar with Bliss on his lap, trying to convince him to let her and the stripper take turns later that night, when one of the brothers had given him the heads-up that Lily had entered the bar. Half drunk, he had barged forward, tired of trying to fuck her out of his mind, but Knox had held him back when he had come close enough to hear her true age. He had gone ape-shit.

He was just drunk and horny enough not to care anymore what anyone said. If he could have gotten to her, Lily would have been the one in his bed that night. Of course, he would have had to lock her in and barricade the door against his whole MC, but he wouldn’t have had any compunction about doing either one.

Unfortunately, they had managed to hold him back; however, he’d had the satisfaction of his fists pounding out his frustration on each of them, especially on Razer because Shade still didn’t trust that Razer had told the truth of not knowing Lily’s true age.

After last night, when Lily had coded, there wasn’t anyone who didn’t know that he had reached his limit. He was done waiting. He had sworn that if Lily survived, she would be his. No more waiting, no more fucking around. He planned to get Lily the way he would have taken on one of his missions in the SEALS. It was why, behind closed doors, he was known as the deadliest sniper in the US armed forces with over two-hundred–and-twenty-six confirmed kills. Those were just the ones they knew about, not the privately contracted ones by the government that he’d still carry out when the price or the reason was motivating enough. He had been given the nickname Shade because of his ability to blend into the shadows, hitting his targets with cold-blooded precision that others considered impossible.

Part of what made him so successful in taking out his target was learning everything about them, knowing their strengths and weaknesses. Especially their weaknesses.

To gain Lily’s trust, he had to find out her weakness. She and her sister had secrets that they hid from everyone, refusing to talk about Lily’s past. No woman had as many anxieties and fears as Lily without a reason. To reach her, he would have to overcome those fears.

Each time he had tried to find out about the cause of her panic attacks, he had been thwarted. Neither had she confided in Razer or Penni, his sister, who he had managed to bribe into transferring colleges to become Lily’s roommate, and not even the therapist Beth had hired. He had broken into her office several times, searching, but each time he had read her chart, none of the reasons had been addressed. The therapist was trying to build Lily’s trust slowly. Fuck that. She was for shit as a therapist, something else Shade intended to change. The only thing the woman had done was put a rubber band on Lily’s wrist, teaching her to give herself pain as a way to relieve her anxieties. Shade had every intention of teaching Lily the same thing, except in a more enjoyable way.

Shade sat by the bed, watching Lily sleep as the day slipped into night. When the nurses had checked on Lily and tried to get him to leave the room, his cold gaze had intimidated them into silence, sending them scurrying.

When the outside had been completely swallowed by night, Shade got up from the chair, going to the door and closing it after the nurse. Determined to find out Lily’s secrets, he only had one option left. Razer had let it slip that Lily slept with her bathroom door open, depending on a nightlight. Twice since Razer had moved in with Beth, their electricity had gone off because of storms during the middle of the night. Both times, Lily had become hysterical when she had awakened in the dark. Beth had to go in both times to calm Lily down.

Lily was beginning to wake; he had noticed she had begun to move about beneath the covers. He prayed the drugs would keep her disoriented enough that, when he was finished, she wouldn’t remember what he was about to do. Shade’s fingers flipped the light switch, plunging the room into darkness.

 

 

Chapter 1

 

Lily slid the tape across the top of the box, sealing it closed. Her eyes went to the clock on the wall across the large expanse of the factory, and she swallowed hard. It was almost lunchtime; a time of day she had begun dreading each morning as soon as the metal door closed behind her. The same door that was opening now with Evie carrying in a lunch tray to the main office.

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