Reign (Skulls Renegade #1), p.1Elizabeth Knox
A Skulls Renegade Novel
coming soon from
Redemption(Skulls Renegade #2)
Tough as Steele
This work is a book of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are all products of the author's imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblances to persons, organizations, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Reign. Copyright © 2017 by Elizabeth Knox. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author, except in the case of brief quotations used in articles or reviews. with the exceptions of quotes used in reviews. For information contact E. Knox.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products have been referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication and/or use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
Cover Design By CT Cover Creations
Editing & Formatting By Cordially Chris Author Services, www.cordiallychris.com
Becca – Thank you for being the first to read this, I was shocked when you fell in love with the MC romance world, but don’t worry, I’ll have plenty more for you soon.
Kait – I can’t express how your honesty helps me make these books bigger and better than I could’ve ever imagined. Thank you for listening to my crazy plot ideas, time after time.
My lovely beta readers – You are so amazing! Each one of you has stepped up to the plate and have given me such valuable feedback.
My amazing cover designer, Clarise Tan – You see my vision and transform it into something real. You’re so talented, and I’m so lucky to have you working with me.
My editors, Nora Benedetto & Christine Bortner – Thank you so, so much for working with me!
My Readers – Enjoy the ride guys because it’s about to be a crazy one. I hope all of you fall in love with Elena and Reed’s story like I did when I was writing it.
Dedicated to Christine
You’ve dealt with my every question and nagging concern through the development of Reign and Corrupted Love.
Thanks for being the best surrogate mom, writing coach and all around amazeballs person and supporting me in my big dreams of becoming an author.
I don’t know how I would’ve gotten this far without you!
This content contains material that may be viewed as offensive to some readers, including graphic language, dangerous and sexual situations.
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It was absolutely freezing in Cincinnati that day as I headed out in my black trench coat. I'd say it had never been colder, but I just happened to be in a state of undress that allowed the cold to chill me to the bone in a way it usually wouldn't.
I was going to surprise Rich, my fiancée, at the office. He had just got promoted to being a full partner at the law firm, and things had been a little tense with us. Hell, things had been shitty to be totally honest.
We hadn't had sex in months. He had been working late a lot, and yeah, I knew it was because he was working so hard to make partner, but I am a bit of a selfish person when it comes to romance. I just wanted to get back to the way we were. We were getting married in three short months, and I just felt it was time to get back on track. We had admittedly both been too busy with work; me with the FBI, and him trying to make partner.
I was sure it was really a great moment to make up for lost time.
I had the whole thing planned. I was going to bring him coffee in just a black trench coat. Literally. That coat was the only thing covering my birthday suit.
I strolled into Starbucks right around the corner from his office and ordered us both a coffee. A peppermint mocha for me and a café latte for Rich. The smell of peppermint made me so excited for Christmas next week, Rich and I were getting two uninterrupted days together, which rarely ever happens.
I walked into the law firm, and Shirley, the receptionist, was the first to greet me. “Miss. Elena, what a surprise!” I had come to love the older woman who manned the desk; she was the epitome of grandma with the curly white hair, adorable glasses, and she even has that overly concerned voice.
“Hey Shir,” I walked around the desk and gave her a hug, “How are you?”
“Oh, I’m just great. I can’t wait to see the grandkids next week!”
“I can only imagine, I’m sure you’re going to spoil those kids rotten,” I told her. Shirley giggled at my comment. “Anyways, I was going to pop by to see Rich for a moment and give him some coffee. Is he in his office?”
“Let me check.” Shirley tapped away on her computer, the sound of clicking entrapped me. I should’ve called first and made sure he was available. How stupid of me. He was going to be busy since he was a partner. Dumb Elena, dumb.
“Oh yes, he is available. He should be in his office. It was nice to see you dear, and if I don’t see you, I wish you a very Merry Christmas.”
“Merry Christmas, Shir.” I smiled at her, walking back the long hallway where Rich’s new office was. The law firm he worked at was one of the biggest in Cincinnati, and he’d been fighting since he was a first-year associate to get that coveted promotion. I was glad he finally got what he deserved. Rich was an extremely hard worker, and I couldn’t be prouder of him.
I came up to Rich’s office, opened the door and walked in.
“Oh yeah…baby just like that!” was the first thing she heard upon entering his office. Rich was slamming his dick into some blonde woman over his desk, and she moaned as he pounded into her.
I was frozen. What was I supposed to do?
Am I the woman who runs out of his office crying? Or am I the woman who tells him to go fuck himself?
I was watching him fuck this girl, thinking about the five years that I invested into our relationship. Was this the first time? It probably wasn’t.
I couldn’t believe I had been that naïve.
“Dick.” The moment my pissed off name for him came through the room, he stopped, staring right into my eyes. The shock written all over his face almost made up for the thick betrayal I was just handed. “Oh – Shit El, it’s not what it looks like.”
“Well, it looks like you have your dick shoved up someone who is
He slid out of the woman, putting his trousers back on. She scurried off into his attached bathroom, escaping from the screaming match she thought we were about to have.
“I cannot believe you,” I ground out. “You’re such a piece of shit; you know that? I didn’t complain about you working late hours; I supported it because I knew how much you wanted this.”
I moved my hands around the room. “I knew how much you wanted to be a partner. Now, all I can think is that you were fucking other women this whole damn time.” I took off my engagement ring, throwing it at him. “You may be a partner, Dick, but you sure as hell don’t have one.”
I march out of his office, leaving him gaping at me. Maybe he thought I’d forgive him; I wouldn’t. I can forgive a lot of things, but I will not and never will forgive a cheater. Once you destroy trust, you don’t get it back.
There’s only one thing I could do now. I didn’t want to go back to our condo. I knew I had to go and get my things, but after that, I would do the one thing that would help me.
I was going to bury myself in work.
“Are you sure you want to do this? You haven’t been in the field in six years. I’m not just your handler; I’m your best friend. I’m worried about you.” Kristie was my best friend; we had met at Quantico and went through the same training program. It was a pleasant surprise when we both were assigned to the Cincinnati field office. Kristie loved being a handler, but I didn’t. I took the job when things with Rich got serious because he expressed how worried he was for me if I was on the field. So, I made that sacrifice, for our relationship; I stopped doing what I loved and became a desk jockey.
I loved being in the field, the rush, the thrill of it. The adrenaline pumping through my veins gave me the best feeling in the world. I felt invincible, and I was. I was until I got shot in the shoulder. The docs said I would never be able to return to field duty, but I never was one who liked to be told what was or wasn’t going to happen. So, what did I do? I proved all the docs wrong and came back stronger than ever.
“Kristie, I need this. I gave up so much of myself for Rich, and then that bastard lied and cheated, throwing everything I did for him in the trash. I need to go back to being Elena, the kick ass field agent. I need to take down some bad guys. I need to feel like myself again.” It was the absolute truth. I was beginning to realize that over the past five years I had felt like a robot. Like I had only been here to please Rich, not to do anything for myself, but everything for him.
“I can’t condone that your shitty love life is the reason for going back in the field. But as your handler, I know what type of asset you are to the bureau.”
Because I’m kick ass, she doesn’t have to say it, but we both know it.
I leaned back, slightly sinking into her couch, pulling her fluffy blanket closer to my chest. “So, what’s my assignment?” I grinned like a kid on Christmas morning. Ironically, it was Christmas Eve, but still. I was experiencing the same effect.
Kristie handed me a folder, and I opened it, skimming over the documentation and photographs. “Skulls Renegade MC, huh?” I flipped through the rest of the paperwork, looking at the photographs of the main members, plus some history on each of them. There wasn’t much intel, just birthdates, socials, where they were from. “They’ve kept quiet,” I muttered. Kristie took a sip of her bottle of wine.
“Yes, they have. But not quiet enough. We have an informant saying they’re doing some major drug trading and they’re in a prostitution ring. You’re going in to find out what’s really going on. Gather enough intel, issue warrants and get out. These are brutal criminals, El. Taking them down would blow up both of our careers.”
Like I needed to know what kind of men are in the MC lifestyle? I didn’t need a reminder. “I’ve got it covered.” Kristie handed me another folder.
“This is your cover story.”
I opened it up, looking at the profile they’d created for me. Kristie knew me well enough to know I wouldn’t use it, so what was the point in even showing me? On every assignment I’d ever been on, I’d been given a profile to study: dates, times, life events, other crap. I had to make my cover real. I understand the important of that, of course, but it had always been easier for me to alter my own profile. That way I didn’t slip up. The bureau never did like the way I operate, but they didn’t say a damn thing anymore because I always got the job done.
Kristie handed me a burner phone. “You’d better call me every Monday at ten in the morning with updates. I mean it.”
I smiled at her. “You got it, boss.”
I left the next morning; Christmas Day. There wasn’t a point in staying around now that there was nothing tying me down. Plus, I needed an outlet for my anger and pain, and quick. This was going to be my redemption job. My way to being the Elena I could recognize when I looked in the mirror.
I packed two duffel bags full of necessities; clothes, shampoo, and makeup. I hopped in my 2017 Ford Mustang and hit the road.
It took me six hours to get there; the MC was located right in the mountains in the small town of Gainesville. It was truly a small town. There’s a bank, a couple restaurants, a grocery store, law office, daycare, school, and not much else.
I found a half-way decent room at the only motel in town. From the looks of it, it probably had roaches. The sooner I could get into the club, the better. I wouldn’t be getting an ounce of sleep in that shit hole.
I took a quick shower, cringing because the white tile was yellow. They had a ‘cleaning service,' but I doubted it had been properly cleaned in years.
I dried my hair, applied some makeup, and dumped all my clothes out on the bed. My plan? Go to the biker bar, get a few drinks, and make my presence known. My tactic? Easy.
I was going to dress like an Ol’ Lady, not like some stupid little skank who comes to the bar just to suck their cocks. I learned from my mother how to dress the part. Ol’ Ladies aren’t there to service the men. I sure as hell would not be there to do that either. I was going to be walking in like I owned the place because I did.
These bikers were going bow on their knees when I walked in because I bet you no bitch had ever dressed as I was about to.
I grabbed a pair of black leather leggings and black heels; the heel so thin that stepping the wrong way could crack it. I found a thin, jersey type tank top and paired it with my emerald green leather jacket. I pulled my hair out over my jacket, the loose curls bouncing over my breasts. I went into the bathroom, applied a little more eyeliner and touched up my neutral matte lipstick. I slid on my metallic aviators and went for the front door.
I was good to go.
“Where the hell did that fine piece come from?” Enzo grumbled, staring right into the doorway of Bubba’s.
“She’s gotta be new,” Max added.
She was. I’d never seen her in Gainesville, and I know every single person. It was my job to. If I’d seen this hot siren come into my town before, I’d fucking know.
She was no club whore; that was a fact. She was dressed in head to toe leather, her perky breasts visible from the low scoop of her shirt, and that fire red hair of hers was intoxicating. My cock was already twitching.
“No one touches her,” I growled at the men around me, making them all nod in accordance. I was the Prez, and whatever the fuck I say, goes.
“Why you gotta always call dibs on the hot ones?” Seamus asked, and I shot him a death glare. He just laughed it off. He may have been the strongest member of my club, but he was also the stupidest.
I turned back to the woman who was blowing my mind and watched her for anothe
I looked on her leathers for patches, but there weren’t any. That was good; it meant she wasn’t an Ol’ Lady. She wasn’t committed to a club, or a man. At least not yet.
That was about to change, and I was going to make damn sure of the fact.
She may not have known it yet, but she was mine.
Bubba’s was the only bar in Gainesville. I thought the biker bar would be harder to find, but it wasn’t. They really made it easy for me. I slid out of my Mustang and walked into the bar. Before I even went through the doors, I noticed eyes on me; my plan was working.
I pulled my aviators off walking into the bar, sliding them into the small black leather fringe purse I brought with me, completing my biker chick look.
I glanced around the bar, looking for that empty barstool I wanted. Instead, I saw my target.
Reed Michaels, President of the Skulls Renegade MC.
The pictures didn’t do him justice. They had to be old because he wasn’t the muscular man I was looking at now. His tribal tattoos came out from his fitted tee. His stare was on me, as were the rest of the men’s.
I walked straight past him, getting a whiff of sandalwood and old tobacco. I’m not a fan of the smell of cigarettes, but that wasn’t it. It reminded me of chewing tobacco. Now that always smelled good despite the bad habit that came with it.
“What can I getcha, lady?” A tall woman with jet black hair asked me. She struck me as a lifer with a get up as close to mine as I saw in the place, though it was a little skimpy for my tastes. It was probably part of the job, though.
“Jack n’ Coke, please.” I handed her a twenty, urging her to keep the change.
She walked away, coming back a few minutes later with my drink. I took a sip, and it was pure perfection. “You look like a woman on a mission,” the women commented. “I’m Daisy.” She extended her hand. and I shook it.
Reign (Skulls Renegade #1) by Elizabeth Knox / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes