Title: Lion: Southside Skulls MC
Author: Jessie Cooke
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: September 29, 2019
The man all of Boston loves to hate, his beautiful daughter and a sad, lonely biker come together in this explosive tale of secrets and lies, respect, betrayal, and complicated adult relationships. They all have a lot to learn about love, but first they’ll have to learn a lot about each other, and forgiveness.
When Madison first met Lion, the incredibly hot muscular biker, she couldn’t deny how badly she wanted him or how strangely connected she felt toward him. But most of all, Madison was unable to deny that he was the most rude, insufferable introvert that she’d ever met, and that he was not at all interested in anything she had to offer.
When Lion met Madison he tried to deny his desire for the doe-eyed beauty, and the strange connection he felt toward her. Lion had spent so much of his life alone. He had lost all the people he’d loved the most and he had no reason to believe that Madison would be any different…especially since she was the daughter of the man who had hurt him most in life, a man he was sure he could never forgive.
Grant “Hawk” Benning gave up one of his kidneys for his daughter when she was two years old. He was at Lion’s mother’s side the day the boy was born. Hawk loved them both but he lived his life in a way that most people didn’t understand, and he found out the hard way that sticking around for either one of them was going to be easier said than done. When Hawk gets a second chance to bond with his daughter, he grasps it with both hands. But secrets from his past and even those in his present just won’t stay buried…no matter how hard he tries.
While Lion and Madison grapple with their feelings for each other and Hawk struggles to keep the past at bay, an old enemy returns to stalk Lion and one fateful night will bring twenty-two years of pain, suffering and anger to a head. The fallout will reach far and wide, and it will be one that none of them may survive.
The shadows of the two teenagers danced off the walls of the rotting wooden planks as shafts of the last light of day streamed through the jagged gaps in the wood. The place was crudely built with what looked like recycled materials that had not been “gently” used. The floor was dirt, and tufts of dust swirled around their feet and up onto the crudely built desk, sitting at an angle, held up by the wall. The top of the desk was covered with a dusty old sheet, and Linc, the ringleader of the trespassing duo, lifted it up and snorted out a laugh.
“Told you this fucker was as messed up as the old lady.”
Walt looked over his friend’s shoulder. Walt was much bigger than Linc…but that hadn’t kept Linc from being the dominant personality since the day they met in the fourth grade. Walt’s mother spent years kindly telling her son he was just a “big boy.” But the kids at school had been calling him things like “Whale” and “Pig” since he was five years old. Walt also knew he wasn’t smart. He barely held onto passing grades at school, and sometimes suspected the teachers just passed him because they were tired of having to look at him. He was fat, stupid, and ugly, and Linc was the only person who was willing to be friends with him. Of course, Linc told him daily that he was fat, stupid, and ugly, and Walt wasn’t so stupid that he didn’t know their “friendship” was about Linc’s dominance and control…but somehow that was better than absolute loneliness and despair.
“They’re not bad,” Walt said, without thinking. Linc turned quickly and slapped his big friend on the side of the head. He had to reach up to do it. Walt towered over him and outweighed him by at least forty pounds, but Lincoln O’Leary was not the least bit afraid that Walt would be stupid enough to hit him back.
“They’re pictures of men. I told you he was a pussy.” Walt glanced down at the drawings on the table again. They were drawings of men and motorcycles. Some of the men looked familiar and Walt recognized the Skulls emblem. He’d lived in South Boston his entire sixteen years of life, so he knew full well who the Skulls were. He wondered if the artist knew them. He was still admiring how detailed the sketches were when Linc used his arm and wiped the drawings off the desk and down onto the dirt floor. Papers and charcoal pencils flew around the tiny room and Walt swallowed hard when Linc chuckled and said, “Lots of kindling.”
Walt knew before they’d walked the six miles from Walt’s house out to the isolated property that evening what his friend had in mind. He knew Linc…knew him well, but he’d still been hoping that his friend wouldn’t be able to go through with it, or that something else would come up to stop him. But Walt knew now that wasn’t going to happen. Linc had pulled a glass bottle out of the backpack he was wearing, and he popped open the latched, ceramic top. It was the kind of bottle that Walt’s uncles sometimes used to store their moonshine in. Walt had been the one to steal it out of their garage at home and bring it to Linc…who filled it up with kerosene.
Linc smiled while he generously poured the kerosene all over the papers on the floor, splashed some against the dilapidated walls, and sprinkled what was left across the crooked little desk and stool. With eyes watering from the fumes, Linc turned to Walt and said, “Out the door.” Walt backed outside, looking around to make sure they were still alone. As much as he was terrified of getting caught…he almost wished they would be, so this would end.
Linc followed him out, grasping a handful of the kerosene-drenched drawings off the floor on his way. He shoved them in Walt’s direction and said, “Light her up.”
Linc had been intent from the beginning that Walt be the one to light the fire. Linc told him to bring a lighter, and he also told him, “Just you wait, lighting that fire is going to make you feel like a powerful son of a bitch.” So far, Walt just felt sick.
“Linc, are you sure about this?”
“Are you wimping out on me? It’s not like anyone’s in there, you stupid fuck. This motherfucker and that old lady both need to be taken down a peg or two. They need to remember they’re nothing but white trash and they can’t go around breaking up families. Now fucking do it!”
Walt looked over toward the house. There was a garden between the little shed and the back porch of the little white house. Small windows dotted both sides of the red door in the center, and light wafted out from them both. Walt didn’t mind so much burning down the shed…he supposed he could see why Linc hated them so much. But he did worry about the fire spreading to the house. He didn’t want anyone to get hurt…not like that.
“Fucking do it!” Linc said, through his teeth. Walt knew if he didn’t do it, Linc would. Either way the shed would burn and if Walt didn’t take part, Linc would whoop his ass later. He slid his shaking hand in his pocket and pulled out the lighter he’d stolen from his mother earlier that day, and then took the papers from Linc. Grateful for his long arms, he held the papers out in front of him as far as he could, and he lit one corner. For a second the dancing and twirling of the blue and orange flames mesmerized him. It was only when he realized that the tips of his fingers were burning and his face felt like it was melting that he knew he was on fire. “Throw it, fucktard!” Linc yelled. He was already running away, toward the dense line of trees that surrounded the property. With a yelp of pain, Walt tossed the papers through the doorway of the little shed…and the drawings on the floor were instantly engulfed in flames that licked at and tried to climb up the walls. A wild surge of heat that burned through Walt’s body caused him to take off running. Linc was so far ahead of him that he’d never catch up, but Walt continued to run, faster than his pudgy legs had ever taken him before.
Jessie Cooke writes hot romance novels about tough guys, bad boys, bikers, fighters and lovers and the women of strong character who tame them.