Home > Raven (Hell’s Bastards MC #3)

Raven (Hell’s Bastards MC #3)
Author: Sam Crescent

 

Prologue

 

 

Pain was easy.

It came and went, or stayed, sucking you down into its vortex.

“It’s good to see you awake,” Ava said.

“Thanks.”

“Can you ask Smokey when I get out of here? I can’t stand hospitals.”

“I know. Thank you.”

“For what?”

“For protecting me and Umberto.”

“Umberto? Why the fuck would you call your kid that?”

“Smokey told me it was important. Ugly Beast helped to bring him into the world. I don’t think he’d like the name Raven, but if I have a little girl, I’m going to call her that. Thank you. You didn’t have to do that.”

“I did.”

“No, you really didn’t. I forgive you, Raven. Don’t ever put yourself in danger for me again.”

“I care about you, Ava. It wasn’t out of guilt that I did what I did. You’re Smokey’s woman, and you’re one of my friends. I fucked up. I wasn’t a good friend.”

“Then let’s agree from this day forward, what happened in that basement stays in it. You and I, we’re good. We’re friends again.”

“I’d like that.”

Raven pulled herself out of the memory from several months ago and stared at her reflection in the mirror. She’d been in the hospital after taking one of the worst beatings of her life. Pain was easy for Raven to handle. Fists striking her flesh. The heel of a boot. None of it mattered to her.

She could eventually get over it.

Like now, there was no evidence of what went down that night. No more bruises. A couple of scars that would tell the tale, but in time, they would also fade.

Raven would take the pain over the guilt any day. Ava forgave her. Raven still couldn’t believe it was possible.

She had hurt that kind, sweet woman because of a stupid, fucking, piece-of-shit picture. Everything that had been manufactured by fucking Creed.

Raven’s hands clenched into fists as she stared at her reflection.

Abriana had gotten hurt and lost a child because of her. She had assumed the Prospect didn’t lie, and she’d been wrong.

Then … Ava.

What next?

What would she fuck up next? Who would get hurt because of her?

Tears filled her eyes as she stared at her reflection. “You don’t deserve to live!” She was sickened by the sight of herself. “You are a worthless piece of crap and should have died … long ago. Your disgusting taint should never have met Smokey, should never have been in this club. You disgust me.” With each word she spoke, the tears fell down her cheeks. “You have no right to be here!”

Gritting her teeth, Raven looked down at the bathroom counter and saw the revolver she always kept on her. It was the same one she had bought on the streets years ago. The one that had served her well, and now, her life was in its hands.

She picked it up, her stomach twisting, and she looked in the mirror, hating everything she saw. Staring at herself had always been difficult because of what stared back at her. A distant memory she tried so hard to forget but often found its way back when she least expected it. If that woman could see her now, she would be so fucking disappointed.

The best thing for her to do was to end her miserable existence and to make sure those who had suffered because of her didn’t suffer another moment. It would be so easy. All it would take was a single bullet.

Abriana would never have to look at her. Ava would never have to cry out in fear. The few times she’d been at the club at night, she knew the other woman still got nightmares. So did Raven. In her dreams, she wasn’t there in time to save Ava. Creed knocked her down always, and she couldn’t save her.

The same dream on constant repeat. No matter what she did.

She hated it. There was no way to run or escape.

Raven returned to the mirror as someone knocked on the door.

“Raven, dinner’s ready, and by dinner, I ordered takeout. I don’t think your stomach can handle another meal cooked by me.” Abriana’s voice traveled through the wooden door. What the hell was she doing? “Raven? Are you okay?” There was an edge to her voice. “Raven?”

“I’ll be right out. I was just splashing water onto my face and drying it.” The lie slipped out, and that added to her guilt, but Abrianna didn’t need to know what she’d been about to do.

Glancing down at her revolver, she quickly placed it back on the counter and gripped the edge.

Another selfish act.

Abriana would have been the one to find you.

How fucking selfish can you get?

“No problem. I’ve also ordered some hot chocolate. Ugly Beast is on the way with it,” Abriana said.

“Sounds lovely,” Raven said and cringed. Did she sound like she was hiding something?

She heard Abriana walking away, and Raven dropped down, pressing her head against the edge of the counter as she took several deep breaths in an attempt to control her racing heart. She’d never be Abriana or Ava’s problem. No making them clean up her mess. Ava had said they were friends, but Raven was going to make sure the other woman never had to worry about seeing her again.

She’d give the other woman the peace and quiet she required until the time came when her life would matter no more.

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

“Since your judgment call got my woman hurt. Think hard, Raven. If you hadn’t sent her off with a prospect that wasn’t even one of ours, my wife wouldn’t have lost our first child. She wouldn’t have had a concussion, and she wouldn’t wake up screaming some nights, terrified.”

“One mistake that anyone could have made.”

“Yeah, but it was you who made it. No one else.”

“And you still bought a house near a town with one? Are you fucking stupid?”

“Then why are you still here? You’re a club brother as far as I’m concerned, and that means I can beat the shit out of your ass.”

“You’ll do what you can, won’t you? To save her. Be good to him. Do whatever he wants…”

The last memory made Raven jolt as she came out of her trip to memory lane. That wasn’t happening. She refused to think that far back. Long ago, she’d closed the doors on those particular memories.

Tears filled her eyes, and she quickly closed them, willing them to stop. Gritting her teeth, she counted to ten and attempted to get herself back under control. Her heart pounded, and her breath was difficult to gain power over.

It’s fine.

Stop it.

It’s fine.

You’re here now.

With the Hell’s Bastards.

No one can hurt you.

Time ticked on by. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Seconds turned to minutes, and when she finally could breathe without the weight of the world crushing her chest, she opened her eyes. Once again, she was back to who she was.

No one knew of the panic attacks. Whenever she felt one occurring, she always had enough time to get the hell away from people.

Tonight, she was all alone in her room at the clubhouse. No different from any other night.

Raven glanced around the room that had been hers for so many years. There were not many personal items. She loved to shop, but most of the time, she often gave away what she bought, apart from the clothes. She loved clothes and shoes, not that she wore half of the stuff in her wardrobe. There were also the dresses that Abriana had bought for her while she’d been staying with her to heal.

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