Iron Tzars MC, Book 10
Motorcycle Club Romance
Date to be Published: January 12, 2024
Scarlet -- I left Florida and Grim Road, my father’s club, with Hammer, believing he loved me. But Hammer turned out to be a monster, brutalizing me at every turn. He’s using my sisters as leverage to control me. I’ve got to find a way out, even if that means sacrificing myself to save them. Though I’m eighteen, and still in high school, there’s no one I can tell. Except my friend Lemon, whose dad is in the Iron Tzars MC. When the club comes to rescue me, it’s almost too late. But then there’s Mars, holding me tight and keeping my nightmares away. He’s everything I’ve ever wanted. He makes me feel safe. But he has his own demons… and I’m not sure which of us needs saving most.
Mars -- l have demons from my past I can’t overcome. Mostly I’m reasonably sane, but if I have a flashback, the likelihood of someone getting hurt is more than I can stomach. But when I see Hammer terrorizing the young woman he claims is his, I know I can’t stand by and watch. I’m not what she needs, but when her daddy’s club comes in hell bent on taking her home, I realize just how much she means to me, and I will never let her go. She’s mine to protect. Mine to hold. And maybe, just maybe, she’s the one to save me from myself.
WARNING: Mars includes scenes of graphic violence and adult situations including suicide and graphic description of torture that may be triggers for some readers. There’s also a protective hero, a determined heroine, and eventual happy ending. No cheating, as always.
Copyright ©2024 Marteeka Karland
“What the fuck is goin’ on with Hammer’s old lady?” I leaned against the bar with my finger curled around the neck of a bottle of Bud Light. “She’s right-handed and hasn’t used her right arm to do anything while she’s been here. Almost looks like her shoulder’s dislocated. Look at the set of her shoulders.”
“Really, Mars? The woman’s a knockout and you’re paying attention to how much she uses her dominant arm?” Rage shook his head as he chuckled before taking a pull from his own beer. For some reason, the man had been pushing me toward this girl since the second she walked into the compound. Despite her belonging to another man. Which wasn’t like Rage. Or anyone in Iron Tzars. Poaching on another man’s territory wasn’t something we ever did. That being said, he was right. The woman was a fuckin’ knockout. Long, chocolate brown hair laying down her back in springy waves, creamy skin. She had a waif-like build and looked like she needed a good cheeseburger, but I definitely saw her appeal. “Besides, how do you know she’s right-handed?”
I shrugged. “When she reaches for something, she tries to use her right arm, then stops and uses her left.” I watched as she crossed the common room. Her smile looked forced to me and there was a set to her jaw and a stiffness in her gait that made me think she was in pain. But that couldn’t be right. “Are you sure they’re married? I mean, she ain’t wearin’ a property patch. She’s supposed to be Claw’s daughter. As the daughter of Grim Road’s vice president, I’d have thought her daddy’d insist she wear her man’s patch.” A property patch was as much for protection for the woman as it was to prevent anyone from hitting on her. I couldn’t imagine Claw would allow her to not wear her vest with the club colors on it and the rockers telling anyone who saw her who she belonged to. Not only was she Hammer’s, but she belonged to Grim Road MC.
“Maybe she ain’t his woman. Maybe they’re just fuckin’.” That came from Breaker. He was an easy going member of the Tzars, but also one of the deadliest. He’d just earned his patch and we all knew he’d make a great addition. He’d had my back more times than I cared to think about.
“You honestly think Claw, badass that he’s supposed to be, is gonna let his baby girl be a club slut or even a steady lay to one of his patched members? He’d kick the kid’s ass and ask forgiveness from his daughter after the fact. Besides, she might be legal, but the girl’s still in high school. I’m surprised he let her go this far away from Grim at all, let alone without the protection of her man’s property patch.”
I studied Scarlet intently as she spoke briefly with Winter. Roman’s old lady had pulled her aside and was chatting with her. Scarlet looked like she wanted to be anywhere but where she was. Lemon and Apple had mostly stayed by her side the whole time she’d been here, but she seemed way too uncomfortable with the whole scene. I knew Grim Road was different and preferred not to cross family with club like some did. Hell, the Tzars hadn’t either until a bunch of the members and officers had acquired old ladies who were determined to take their roles seriously and help their men in any way they could. But she still shouldn’t look this uncomfortable. Not if she’d been raised anywhere near that MC. Scarlet kept glancing at the door like she expected trouble, which was one more thing odd about her.
Rage grunted. “Point taken. Which raises more than a few questions.”
“And makes me wonder what the fuck is goin’ on.” That last comment had been more a musing to myself than anything else. Again, Rage grunted, his eyes narrowing at the girl in question. Apparently, he had a few musings himself.
As if Scarlet had summoned him, Hammer walked in from where he’d no doubt been pestering Sting and Brick. Hammer had aspirations of joining Iron Tzars though he’d yet to give anyone a good reason why, at least none that Sting or Brick cared to share with anyone. In fact, I wasn’t even sure Hammer knew Sting was aware of his ties with Grim Road until he’d spoken with Roman earlier today. It was why he and Scarlet had been invited over tonight. So Hammer could meet with our president and vice president. Sting and Brick would have Wylde thoroughly vet Hammer, as well as discuss it with Rocket and Claw, the president and vice president of Grim Road. He may or may not have told Hammer that, but it was standard practice. Which might have something to do with Hammer’s bad mood.
“Come on, Scarlet,” he snapped. “We’re leaving.” He glanced around the place like he was looking for someone in particular. Then he muttered seemingly to himself, but I was pretty sure he meant for me and Rage to hear. “Fuckin’ bastard wouldn’t know a good member if one nailed him in the ass.”
Rage and I looked at each other. Apparently, Sting hadn’t immediately taken him on. I could have told the asshole he wouldn’t. Being a member of Iron Tzars wasn’t a trivial thing. We had blood on our hands. Literally. And as long as there were people who needed killing, we were up for the task. Also, becoming a member was a “for life” deal. No one left the club. The only member I knew of who had was our former president. Warlock had been accepted into Black Reign MC at the requested demand of their president. No one said no to El Diablo if he really wanted something.
“I’m just about finished,” Scarlet said softly.
“You’re finished,” Hammer snapped. “We’re leaving.” He took a hold of her right upper arm and yanked her after him. Scarlet winced and gasped in pain, but quickly covered it with a blank expression. Instantly, both me and Rage were on our feet moving in their direction. Breaker was hot on our heels.
“Take it easy there, hoss.” Atlas beat us to him. He had a smile on his face, but I could see the anger inside Atlas simmering underneath the surface. Mainly because I felt much the same way. Only I didn’t bother to hide behind a thin veneer of civility.
“You’re hurting her.” I couldn’t stop the growl as we advanced.
Hammer stopped and glared at us but didn’t let go of Scarlet’s arm. He was an intimidating man, but from what I’d seen of him, he was more bluster than action. He might talk a big talk, but he wasn’t going to be anxious to take on me, Rage, Breaker and Atlas all together. “She got a fuckin’ flu shot today. If she’d take some acetaminophen and ibuprofen like I fuckin’ told her to, she wouldn’t be sore.” He jerked Scarlet’s arm again. This time, she schooled her features, not seeming to mind the way he manhandled her.
“Bye, Winter. It was so wonderful to meet you.” Scarlet waved at Roman’s woman with a smile.
“It was nice to meet you too, Scarlet. I hope you can join us this weekend for girls’ night out.”
Scarlet glanced up at that shit, Hammer, as if his decision dictated whether or not she go with the other old ladies. Hammer gave her a hard look and a slight shake of his head and Scarlet’s face fell.
“I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to make it. Please tell Lemon and Apple I’ll see them at school.” Hammer tugged her arm again and nearly pulled Scarlet off her feet. She winced slightly but held in her cries when I knew she was hurting. “Bye, guys.”
Hammer didn’t slow down or give her time to catch up. Scarlet stumbled after him and more than once I was sure she’d fall on her face. Each time, Hammer held her up by that arm. Each time he did, she winced in pain. I could see her jaw clench. That bastard didn’t acknowledge she might be hurt. Rather, he shoved her onto the back of his bike. Scarlet didn’t look the least bit steady, or able to hold on to him. When he took off, she nearly tumbled off the back before gaining her balance. Judging by the way he smirked back at Scarlet, Hammer had done it on purpose.
“What the fuck was that all about?” I muttered my question, not really expecting an answer.
“Not sure, but I think someone needs to tell Claw about this.” Rage had an expression on his face as hard as I knew my own expression was.
I snorted. “You gonna do it?” Yeah. I could imagine how that conversation would work. Given that Claw was the vice president of a club rumored to be full of black ops soldiers, his temper had the potential to get more than a few men killed. My guess was it probably wouldn’t bode well for the messenger.
“I’m not telling Claw.” Me and Rage still watched the bike speeding off into the night.
“You’re afraid to tell Claw.” The barb was automatic when I wasn’t in the teasing mood. Rage and I always threw shade at each other. It was just how we rolled.
“Damned right I’m afraid to tell Claw. If it were just a guy from his club mistreating a woman, I wouldn’t give a shit. But I ain’t too chickenshit to admit I was being a coward. I tell the vice president of Grim Road I think the man who’s fuckin’ his daughter might be abusing her too? And we just let him roll right on out of this fucking compound with his daughter on the back of his fuckin’ bike? Yeah. I’ll be part of any group you want to take to go after this bastard, but no fuckin’ thanks. Get Sting to tell him. Or Brick or Roman. Above my fuckin’ paygrade.”
“Point taken.” I moved toward my bike, climbing on and readying to take off. “Go talk to Sting, so he can give Claw the heads-up.”
“You goin’ after her? I’ll back you up and worry about the other later.”
“I can’t let this go on. We’ll need more than two of us if he’s not alone. I don’t think I’ll have a problem with him, but he’s a big fucker. Get Roman to send me some more backup before you follow.” I started my bike and rolled out.
About the Author
International bestselling author Marteeka Karland leads a double life as an erotic romance writer by evening and a semi-domesticated housewife by day. Known for her down and dirty MC romances, Marteeka takes pleasure in spinning tales of tenacious, protective heroes and spirited, vulnerable heroines. She staunchly advocates that every character deserves a blissful ending, even, sometimes, the villains in her narratives. Her writings are speckled with intense, raw elements resulting in page-turning delight entwined with seductive escapades leading up to gratifying conclusions that elicit a sigh from her readers.
Away from the pen, Marteeka finds joy in baking and supporting her husband with their gardening activities. The late summer season is set aside for preserving the delightful harvest that springs from their combined efforts (which is mostly his efforts, but you can count it). To stay updated with Marteeka's latest adventures and forthcoming books, make sure to visit her website. Don't forget to register for her newsletter which will pepper you with a potpourri of Teeka's beloved recipes, book suggestions, autograph events, and a plethora of interesting tidbits.
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