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A Secret Vow - Zoey Parker

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Parker

A Secret Vow: Inked Angels MC (Book 4)

By Zoey Parker

I wanted safety. He wanted a baby.

AN ABUSIVE FIANCÉ HAD me trapped in a life I hated.

He hit me often. Hurt me plenty.

I knew one thing: I had to get away.

I took the first chance I had to escape:

With a mysterious biker I hardly knew.

He promised to protect me.

But when I hear what he wants in return,

I freak.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

I’m just praying I don’t get burned.

Growing up on the streets taught me one thing: when you want something, take it.

I play fast and loose, not nice. My job running street races for the Inked Angels MC isn’t for the lighthearted.

The women are just a perk. I’m with them for one night only — then they’re in my rearview mirror, never to be seen again.

Until Kendra.

There’s something about her.

Something fragile. Royal. Worth protecting.

Lucky for me, that’s just what she wants.

I make her a deal: protection for a baby.

I’ve spent my whole life untamed and racing time.

But when it comes to Kendra,

I’m ready to do things slowly...

One f*ck at a time.

Chapter 1

Mortar

ENGINES. SMOKE. GIRLS in skimpy bikinis and high heels like skyscrapers, waving checkered flags in the air. It’s the exact picture of a midnight street race, everything you could imagine, like we pulled it straight out of a movie and brought it to life in the middle of Galveston, Texas.

But this isn’t a movie. This is my business. My life.

Call me a stereotype, but it’s the only life I’ve ever known. When both your parents kick the bucket before you’re old enough to feed yourself, there aren’t too many options. If you’re like me and you enjoy this whole living thing, then you get street smart real quick. Once my folks were dead, that meant finding a new family. The Inked Angels MC took in my brother and me. They clothed us, raised us, made us into men. They brought me here.

I take the last drag on my cigarette and crush it under the heel of my boot. I lean over the barrier. Straight ahead, one of the bikini girls is standing between two souped-up sedans painted in the ugliest neon colors I’ve ever seen. Fuckin’ drivers. It takes a special breed.

As I watch, she raises two hands. Her hips jut out to one side. I eye her body appreciatively. The way that ass swoops around and jiggles with every motion, the smooth tan that never ends—my kind of broad. It wouldn’t be hard for me to take her home. I’m a known face around here. People see me; they acknowledge me, respect me. Girls are suckers for a man in power.

She drops her arms and the cars scream to life before shooting down the road like bats out of hell. Tire marks on the road leave the smell of burnt rubber leeching into my nostrils. As soon as the cars are gone, the girl turns towards me.

I take a good look at her face. She’s got dark hair, short, curling in around the sides of her jaw. Her teeth are pearly white. Her skin is flawless. They don’t take just anybody to be one of the bikini girls. I’ve seen some beautiful bitches get rejected. You gotta have that special something, that it factor that makes people want to look at you. Only the best should bother applying.

When you’re running the biggest drug operation in the southern United States, you can afford to be picky.

The second she sees me, she bats her eyes and gnaws at her lip. Right on cue, Jose comes huffing up to hand me the cash take from the first heat of races in the night. I take it from him coolly, calmly. This ain’t my first rodeo.

The envelope is overflowing with crisp hundred dollar bills. I take a big inhale. The only thing sweeter than burnt rubber is the smell of money. That, and pussy, but I’ve found in my thirty years on this planet that where one goes, the other is not far behind.

Take it easy, Jose, I tell him. No need to blow a gasket. Leave that to the drivers.

Sorry, boss, he wheezes. His hands are on his knees. He’s hunched over, trying to draw in breath.

What’s the big rush, anyway?

Jose points towards a raised patio on the other side of the road. I follow his finger. Seeing what he’s pointing at, I sigh.

Croak told me to sprint.

I pat Jose on the back and press a hundred into his hand. Go rest, buddy. You’re good for the rest of the night. I’ll pick up the next cash round from the bookies myself.

Jose thanks me and wanders off to find a seat. I flag down a passing girl and tell her to get the man a drink and a pretty lady to keep him company. She nods and takes off to do what I said.

Croak. I shake my head again.

For the president of the Inked Angels, he’s sure been acting like a damn fool these last couple months. I look over to where he’s sitting on the patio. There’s a massive white couch, shaped like a semi-circle. He’s plopped in the middle. His arms are spread wide around two half-naked girls, like he thinks he owns the damn place.

As a matter of fact, he does own it, but that’s not the point. When you’re running a pretty conspicuous and not exactly legal operation like these races, it’s not a good idea to draw more unnecessary attention, like he’s doing. As I watch, more bottle girls bring him massive containers of champagne with sparklers fizzing in the top. The sparks light up the whole area. I see Croak’s face shining in the night. He looks happier than a fat kid with his hand in the cookie jar. He’s also drunk as hell.

It’s bad enough that we’ve got retrofitted speedsters doing two hundred miles an hour down the middle of the street, pumping enough nitrous oxide accelerant into the air to kill every seagull on the whole damn boardwalk. We’ve also got two dozen guys working drug deals for us all along the race barriers. Everywhere you look, there are Inked Angels swapping out vials of coke and ecstasy for stacks of green so big they make your neck hurt just looking at them. The district attorney would have an aneurysm if he could get just one look at all the princes and princesses of the criminal underworld who are hanging out here.

This is a profitable business, and it’s been good for us. But Lord knows we pay enough in protection to keep every cop in the entire Galveston precinct more than well off. And, speak of the devil, there is the man himself.

Grady Freeman. The crooked cop. The key to the kingdom.

We pay the motherfucker forty G’s a month just to get his blessing on the dirty business that takes place out here. He loves nothing more than to come out and watch, to sit on that free couch and drink free liquor while he laughs in our faces. He knows we need him. If he decided to pull the plug, this whole thing would go down the toilet faster than you could say so much as a fuck you. For now, we’re at a quasi-stable understanding, but he’s a temperamental bastard. The latest word coming out of Croak’s office said that Grady’s been itching for a raise. We gotta keep him fat and happy. Our livelihoods depend on it.

Personally speaking, I can’t stand the bastard. Despite my being Croak’s right-hand man and the number two guy in the club, I go out of