Davis Mason grew up dirt-floor poor in the rolling hills of rural Kentucky, escaping that life only to find himself adrift on the hard streets of Chicago in his teens. Determined to never again feel the sting of poverty and hunger, he is willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure he has enough power and money to make that happen.
Introduced to what seemed a perfect brotherhood within a motorcycle club, Mason is shaped and honed into a deadly weapon by their sadistic president. As he slowly works his way up the ranks to gain control of the club, he’s resolved to make it better…stronger, able to withstand any challenge.
Betrayed by his bloodline, he cuts all ties with family and begins the process of building a new one. Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of the club he destroyed, he founds the Rebel Wayfarers MC and surrounds himself with loyal, trustworthy brothers. Mason throws himself headlong into the hard job of making certain his brothers have everything needed for themselves and their families, and he works to balance those needs within both the well-mannered citizen world of business, and with the anything-goes biker world of the MC.
Flirting with happiness time and again, just when Mason believes it’s finally within his grasp, he’s torn between what he wants…and what he knows he should do. He finally has the security and family he’s always wanted, but will Mason ever find the love and passion he craves?
“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” – Nelsen Mandela
Call me Mason
“Davy, hon, you don’t have to do this.” DeeDee’s soft voice came from behind him, but he ignored her, because as he stared at the man who stood across the rude ring from him, he knew she was wrong. He did. He had to do this, because he couldn’t keep going the way he was…the way things were now. He needed to get off the streets, and this was the fastest way for him to accomplish his goal.
Deacon, the club president, had been clear: Beat a member in a no-holds-barred fight or accept a beating with unyielding strength and courage, and he would win the right to a place in the Rebel Fiends. He rolled his shoulders, pushing her words away with his actions, silently communicating he needed her to shut her mouth and stop undermining his determination. He needed this, needed it to move away from the brink of barely surviving. He had to do this, had to beat the club’s champion, had to become a member, had to…
In his escape from Kentucky, he had stayed two months in Fort Wayne with his cousin and her old man, Winger, but Chicago was where he needed to be; he knew it in his gut. So he headed up here weeks ago, only to find less of a welcome than he had naively expected. He had managed to endure so far, but only narrowly, always sleeping with one eye open, whether it was in shelters when he could find an open bed, or under bridges when he couldn’t. Surviving. Clothes dirty, pants ripped, belly empty. Alive and breathing, barely existing. But not living.
Drawn to the bikers gathered in bars and homes he had seen around since his first day free, he found himself lusting after the machines they straddled as they rode down the streets. Drifting closer to the fringes where their lives bordered on the rest of the world, he found the idea of the clubs to be a gripping attraction, luring him in. Winger had introduced him to the compelling culture shared with his men in Fort Wayne, and he recognized the bond the men in that club had between them, the tight brotherhood, and Davy hungered for the connection nearly as much as the bikes themselves.
Sauntering into the uneven space that had opened between the two men, Deacon looked first at the member selected to face Davy, a man about five years older than him called Ripper, who nodded, and then at him. Setting his jaw, he dipped his head once sharply and, taking a deep breath, settled himself more firmly into a ready stance. He hadn’t grown up wrestling the boys in the family compound without learning a few things; this kind of harsh competition sat firmly in his wheelhouse. He was born for this. His daddy told him so frequently as he pocketed the earnings from Davy’s bouts. As he shifted his gaze from Deacon to his opponent, he easily recognized the bunching and shifting play of muscles under the other man’s skin, a glaring signal the man was expecting to come at him explosively, trying to take him off guard.
Outwardly, he didn’t react, but inwardly, he snorted, because, clear as if he were holding a flashing sign, the man was telegraphing his intentions. I’ll have to teach him how to handle himself better. He had time for the thought before Deacon’s hand came down in a sharp knife movement, signaling the start of the fight. Ripper’s head went down and he charged across the ring, arms pumping to give him greater speed. Davy sidestepped the rush, turning with him and hitting him three times over his left kidney, hard but quick, each fisted blow finding its mark. Twisting aside, he danced away and across the open circle of men to the other side before Ripper could slow and turn.
His opponent went down heavily on one knee, a pained and surprised sound bursting from his lips. With his size advantage, he probably wasn’t accustomed to taking the brunt of the punishment in a fight. Davy stilled, but didn’t shift his focus. If the fight were over, someone would let him know, but he couldn’t afford to be taken by surprise because he was distracted or overconfident.
Surging to his feet with a grunt, Ripper approached him more guardedly this time, reaching out a long arm to try and grab one of Davy’s hands. Scowling, because the man was taller than him by four inches and had a longer reach, Davy batted away his hand three…four times, patiently waiting for the moment when the big man would overreach, be off-balance…now.
He seized Ripper’s wrist and pulled him close, bringing up his other fist and battering at his ribs until the man bent over, reflexively trying to protect himself. Davy saw an opportunity and seized it, shifting his hands up, grabbing onto the sides of Ripper’s head. With a roar, the only sound he had made during the fight, he brought the man’s face down onto a bare, bony knee as he lifted it, inwardly wincing when he felt the distinctive crunch of nose cartilage.
Releasing the suddenly lax body, letting it slump down, he backed to the edge of the circle again. Settling into his waiting and ready pose, he kept his focus solely on the man lying motionless on the floor. It didn’t escape him that he was unmarked from the fight. The only time Davy had allowed Ripper’s flesh to touch his had been when he was taking a punch from Davy’s knuckles, or on the man’s face, when brought down onto his knee. He knew simply dominating and controlling the fight didn’t imply his rival wasn’t still a threat. It also didn’t signify he wasn’t still in danger. These were men living a life bound only by their own rules; while honorable in their own way, it didn’t mean they wouldn’t jack him if it mattered to them.
“Jesus fuck, boy.” Winger muttered the curse in awe from behind him. Huffing out a short breath, he felt more secure with the reminder his friend was at his back as he flexed his fists and relaxed minutely, watching as avidly as the spectators as Ripper lay there, still unmoving.
Deacon spoke from across the circle. “Damn it. Ripper, you just cost me fifty dollars. Gonna take a bill from your next envelope, boy.” He pulled out his wallet, twisted the chain attaching it to his belt out of the way, and dragged out a small wad of bills, handing them to the man next to him. “Under a minute, too, goddammit. Too fast to even be entertaining. Jackson, you motherfucker, how the hell did you know the boy could fight like that?”
Grinning, Jackson accepted the money, folding and tucking it into the front pocket of his jeans. “You’re a city boy, Deacon. Y’all get raised a lil different from us country folk. I took a chance he’d be a tough bastard. Didn’t know the boy’d whup ass like he did, though. Owned the fight, man. Flat out owned it. That’s purely a bonus, a joy to watch.” He looked down at Ripper, beginning to stir on the floor. “Not a joy for Rip, though. Motherfuck, our boy took a lickin’.”
Taking several deep breaths, Davy rolled his shoulders and watched Deacon through narrowed eyes. No one had addressed him directly yet, and he was beginning to wonder if the fight was a set-up for their entertainment, rather than initiation into the club. He felt DeeDee’s palm settle onto his spine, the small patch of warmth silently telling him she had his back, too. He gave an inward snort again, because there wasn’t a fat lotta good her support would do him. She was a woman, and he knew women only had one place in this rough world, and it wasn’t in a fight ring defending a man’s back. She was only here on sufferance, because when Winger set the match up, he had vouched for her presence, promised she wouldn’t interfere.
Deacon finally met his eyes, and Davy raised his chin, giving the man his full attention. Being the singular focus of his stare made some men nervous, but it brought a grin to Deacon’s face. “All right, boy, you’ve earned your chance to be a member. Get a vest and we’ll give you a prospect patch. What’ll we call you?”
“Mason,” the sixteen-year-old boy said curtly and nodded. “Call me Mason. Much obliged, Deacon.”
Copyright © 2015 – MariaLisa deMora