Shattered & Scarred:The Sacred Hearts MC

By: A.J. Downey

Sacred Hearts MC book I



Prologue





I was entranced by the rush of pavement beneath the luxury car’s tires. My high heels, abandoned and forlorn on the passenger side floor board where I sat, had my feet sighing with relief. I watched the darkened landscape pass by the tinted glass in a blur. It was warm in the car and I was grateful. The nights were cool if not downright chilly and my dress wasn’t made for the weather. It was made to make me look good, and by extension, make him look good.

“I mean are you trying to start with me?” he demanded. I blinked long and slow and watched the reflection of his hand move off of the gear shift in the darkened glass. I flinched and turned wide fearful eyes in his direction. My hands remained clasped primly in my lap the skin on my knuckles mottling white, the harder I gripped the more they started to shake and he hated it when I shook but I couldn’t help it… I was scared and rightfully so.

Chadwick Granger was a beautiful monster and most definitely something I should fear. I took in his profile. Short wheat blonde hair and hazel eyes that penetrated the soul. His jaw was square and strong the angle leading to a generous mouth that had, at first, said the sweetest things until I had found, much too late, it had the capacity to say things infinitely more cruel.

“I’m not… I didn’t… I…” I closed my mouth resolutely on my murmured words that were meant to appease him when I saw the spark of victory in his eyes. The generous mouth that had long ago been sweet twisted into all too familiar cruel lines.

“So now you want to argue?” I swallowed convulsively… He was a master at manipulation, at twisting how things were to meet his own ends and I had walked right into it… again… I should have just remained silent.

“Answer me!” he snarled.

“No. I’m not trying to start with you, I’m not trying to argue… You’re absolutely correct Chadwick, you’re always correct. I don’t know what I’d been thinking.” I forced a smile but I knew it was heavily watered down and halfhearted at best. I had never been good at lying with my expression or, for that matter, of lying with my eyes and truthfully I think that was partially why he’d chosen me in the beginning, all those years ago.

He took his eyes off the road and looked at me. He returned his gaze out the windshield and I relaxed marginally, but then he looked at me again, and any semblance of warmth seeped from his gaze and desolation crept into my heart. His hand shot off the gearshift and knotted in the back of my hair. I cried out but willed my hands to remain in my lap.

I’ve earned his correction… I thought bitterly as he wrenched my head to the side and back. Searing pain went up the side of my neck behind my ear, down to my shoulder as the muscle cramped.

“Just remember darling. You’ve earned my correction.” He said, pulling the car off to the side of the lonely highway. Tears poured from my eyes, down my face, hot and slick as panic seized in my breast making it hard to breathe.

“What do you say!?” he shouted into the small space, shaking my head by the fistful of hair he had ahold of. I cried out, fire alighting along my scalp. My eyes burned with the fresh sting of tears.

“Yes sir!” I screamed and covered my mouth with my hands.

“How many times do I have to tell you, Ashton?” he demanded, turning the wheel sharply onto the shoulder. Gravel and debris pinged the underside of the car and I closed my eyes, sobbing. His voice had taken on the frozen steel quality that I had only heard a time or two before, the times he had hurt me bad enough I really thought I was going to die.

“How many times do I have to tell you, you stupid whore, that you don’t raise your voice to me!” he stomped on the emergency brake and flung open his door, I shrieked in pain and terror as he dragged me across the center console and into the still cold night by my hair…

Please God… don’t let him kill me this time… I silently begged.





Chapter 1





Trig…

The thrum of the bike beneath me, the open road in front of me, I was a little disappointed that I was coming in early from my solo run. This was fucking freedom and I loved it. I gently twisted the handlebars to guide my bike into a curve when the sweep of my headlight caught on something moving up ahead along the shoulder. I took a drag off the cigarette pressed between my lips and cursed under my breath letting out a cloud of that vapor shit instead of the smoke I so seriously craved.