By: Violet Blaze
One month earlier …

The night my mother gets shot is the night I lose my virginity. Willingly. To the monster I'm in love with.

I storm across the polished hardwood floors of the Alpha Wolves Clubhouse, dashing tears from my eyes and trying to stop my breath from coming in panting gasps. Growing up in the life is hard, but I've never had to go through something like this before, this frantic waiting and pacing and wondering.

My fingers rake through the long blonde strands of my hair as I hit one end of my mother's bar and turn back, boots loud and clomping, droplets of icy rainwater sliding from my skin to the floor. The absolute worst part of it all is that I'm trapped here like a bird in a cage.

Mom got shot; Mom got shot; Mom got shot.

My palms slide over my face as the tears run hot and easy. I'm not even embarrassed to be caught crying in the bar by a group of men in leather vests, glancing up as they walk in and hardly give me a second glance. I'm a fixture in this place, just Jack's little girl. Not a woman. Not even a person. Still a kid.

I dash my arm over my eyes and smooth my red midriff top into place, hating that there's nowhere around here to grab a moment of privacy. It's much easier to be alone than it is to be ignored.

Walking as quickly as I can, I head back into the hallway toward the front door, pausing when the president of the club walks in, face drawn, eyes flicking over to mine for a brief second before he passes by, hair dark and expression darker.

I have no idea what exactly happened tonight, but the chance of getting one of these assholes to tell me anything is slim to none.

I swing around the newel post at the bottom of the curving staircase and pound my way up, leather boots loud against the wood as I head off in search of an empty bedroom. There're a good dozen of them between the second and third floors, with beds and attached bathrooms for members that need a place to stay when they're visiting from out of town—or for local guys to fuck the groupie girls. I might be seventeen, but even I know how it works around here.

The first door I come to is unlocked and I shove it open, slipping inside and slamming my back against the wood to close it, my eyes sliding shut as I breathe in deep and smell freshly laundered blankets, mothballs, and … blood.

My eyes flash open and my breath explodes from my lungs in a rush.

There's somebody in here. And just not just anybody, but him.

“I …” I start, tears pouring from my eyes unbidden as I stare at the heavily tattooed and pierced blonde man sitting perched on the edge of the bed. He glances over at me, blood staining his shirt, his leather vest, the perfect white-gold color of his hair. A row of silver earrings winks back at me from the curve of his ear as my hands start to tremble and I wonder why, why the hell of all people I could bump into, it had to be him.

“Serenity,” Glacier says with zero inflection in his voice, watching me with a blank expression, a crossbow sitting on the floor by his boots. “If you're looking for Jack, he's not here.”

“I know,” I manage to say, despite the violent trembling in my lips and the salty tears on my cheeks. I should turn around and leave—now—because my dad's already warned me several times about this man.

“He's dangerous, Serenity. Cold. There's something seriously wrong with him.”

Only … I don't care because when I look at the man everyone calls Glacier, I don't see that at all. I see a hot fire buried beneath ice, a heart frozen and covered with snow, a bright vibrant spirit that's so sharp and clear that everyone else just looks right through it and pretends it isn't there.

“What are you doing in here?” I ask as he continues to look at me with white-blue eyes, running a tattooed hand over his stoic face. The man is … gorgeous beyond gorgeous, with full lips and long lashes, big eyes and a straight nose. He'd be pretty, almost too pretty, if it weren't for the tattoos that curl up and around his neck, his shoulders, down his arms and fingers. Other than his face, I'm not sure that there is a spot on Saint Nordin that isn't covered in ink.

“Decompressing,” he says with a dangerous lilt to his voice, like a warning to me to get the fuck out of there. I sweep red-streaked blonde hair over my shoulder and ignore that. What will happen if I do? I want to know.

“Rough night?” I ask, but right now, Saint isn't acting like he usually does, that goofy over the top personality he uses to hide his true self. He's all Glacier in this moment and idle chitchat isn't going to work. He just stares at me and then pulls a pack of gum from his pocket, slowly unwrapping the silver foil with his inked fingers. He pops the piece in his mouth and tucks the trash in the pocket of his cut. Oddly enough, Glacier's the only one of the guys who doesn't smoke. No, he paints his fingernails black to hide the blood and lets the president and his officers lock him away in an abandoned house by the cemetery to do their dirty work.

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