Violet: From The Colt Universe - Book cover

Violet: From The Colt Universe

Decide Your Destiny

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Summary

🏍️DECIDE YOUR DESTINY🏍

Betrayal. Pain. Love? From the depths of the Colt universe comes a romance as dark as the soot on a biker's fingers. When her mother is kidnapped by a rival MC, Violet is left to be raised by her abusive father in a one-horse town controlled by two rival clubs. When you live in Destiny, you’re either a Crow or a Viper, and neutrality isn’t an option. But when the mysterious prez of the enemy club rides into town, Violet’s allegiance is tested. Will she sacrifice all for this mysterious and enigmatic stranger? Or will the brewing club war tear her apart from the inside?

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Chapter 1: Where Violets Bloom

VIOLET

Bang.

The sound was deafening, louder than anything I’d ever heard. Momma’s arms tightened around me, pulling me closer to her.

Bang. Bang.

The noise echoed again, seeming to come from above us, from the forbidden area.

Momma’s eyes darted towards the ceiling of our playroom as the angry voices of men filtered down.

I could see the fear etched on her face.

“What’s that noise?” I asked, clinging to her.

Momma was never scared. She was always composed, even when Daddy was furious.

But these sounds, they terrified her more than Daddy ever did.

She stood up, leaving me cold without her warmth.

“Come with me,” she commanded, her voice stern like when I misbehaved.

She grabbed my hand and we dashed across the vibrant playroom to a small closet tucked in the corner.

She yanked the door open and pushed me inside.

“What’s happening?” I asked, tears stinging my cheeks.

“No matter what, stay here,” Momma instructed, her eyes filled with an intensity I’d never seen before.

Bang. Bang. I jumped, my body trembling.

Momma held my hand, but I could feel her shaking too.

The chains Daddy and his friends made her wear were clanging together, louder than ever.

Hearing that sound, a fire ignited in my belly. The tears stopped.

Whatever was scaring Momma, I had to be brave.

I nodded, feeling Momma’s hand on my chest, pushing me further into the darkness.

“I love you, my sweet Violet,” she whispered, pressing a piece of paper into my hand.

“You’re destined for greatness. The cards have shown me,” she murmured before shutting the closet door, leaving me in darkness.

I heard her footsteps retreating, followed by the sound of shattering glass. Then, the sliver of light under the closet door disappeared.

I pressed my ear to the door. All I could hear was frightened breathing.

Could that be Momma?

Clunk. The sound of Daddy’s trapdoor to our playroom opening.

“Hey, Scorp…uh, you need to see this,” a voice called out.

I shivered. That wasn’t one of Daddy’s friends.

The ladder creaked, boots hit the ground, and the sound of clinking glass followed.

Why wasn’t Momma speaking? What was happening?

The only voices were the two men, whispering to each other, the clinking glass indicating they were getting closer.

“Momma,” I whispered, remembering the sound of her chains. I bit my lip. No more tears. I had to make her proud.

“Who the hell are you?” one of the men demanded. They had to be talking about Momma. There was no one else in the playroom.

Then I heard Momma’s voice, and it was the most terrifying thing I’d ever heard.

She sounded weak, defeated.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” was all she said.

The men muttered amongst themselves, then I heard the sound of dragging, followed by heavy breathing as if they were hauling something up the ladder.

And then… silence.

No more banging.

No more voices.

No more Momma…

After what felt like an eternity, I pushed the closet door open.

The playroom was a mess. Glass was scattered everywhere. The lights were shattered. Daddy’s trapdoor was open. But the worst part…Momma was gone.

I wiped a tear from my cheek and felt something rough in my hand.

The piece of paper Momma had given me before she locked me in the closet.

Trembling, I unfolded the paper.

It was a card, one of Momma’s tarot cards.

On it was a symbol I’d never seen before.

A flower entwined with a blade.

***

THIRTEEN YEARS LATER

I turned over the last tarot card, laying it face-up on my bedsheet.

“The Lover,” I announced to the empty room, not surprised in the least.

For the past few weeks, every time I’d tried to read my fortune, it had been the same. The Lover.

Great, so I’m supposed to find love soon… Yeah, right.

Right on cue, my dad’s slurred voice drifted up the stairs.

“Girl, get down here and make me breakfast. I’ve got a shift soon.”

With a sigh, I picked up the card and slid it back into the deck, then placed the deck back in its box. I couldn’t help but notice the thin line of decay creeping up the box’s edge.

This deck was the only thing I had left of my mom.

But I guessed nothing lasts forever.

Sighing, I stood up and walked to my dresser.

I placed the deck on top of the glass box that held my most treasured possession: the card my mom had given me before she pushed me into that closet all those years ago.

I traced the fading symbol of the blade entwined with what I now recognized as a violet.

It wasn’t a standard tarot card, which meant my mom must have painted the symbol herself.

But why? Why did she think this card was so important for me?

“Violet!” My dad’s voice echoed from downstairs, pulling me out of my daydream.

I turned from my dresser, crossed the room, and made my way down the stairs to the kitchen.

“You sure took your sweet time,” Dad grumbled as I entered the kitchen.

“Sorry, Dad,” I replied, heading to the stove to start breakfast. I tried to hide my distaste at his disheveled appearance.

He was in his mid-fifties, his beer belly protruding under his stained tank top as he lounged in his chair, legs propped up on the kitchen table, cigarette hanging from his lips.

I tossed some bacon into a frying pan and started the coffee.

My dad was supposedly this tough-as-nails biker, but he relied on his daughter to cook and clean for him. He couldn’t even brew his own coffee.

Not that he was genuinely tough. He just wanted people to believe he was.

From what I could piece together from his self-glorifying tales, he’d been a low-ranking member of the Crows MC thirteen years ago when they were ambushed by their arch-enemies: the Vipers.

The Vipers had blown up the club and killed every man brave enough to stand against them.

Obviously, my dad wasn’t one of the brave ones. He hid in the bathroom until the gunfire stopped, then emerged to find the Vipers gone and all his so-called brothers dead while he’d been cowering like the coward he was.

He found me waiting in the playroom, where Mom had been taken. With no one left to care for me and the MC in ruins, he’d been forced to flee.

The Crows were done for back home, but that didn’t mean there weren’t other chapters he could turn to.

Since he’d ridden for the MC, even if only briefly, he would be welcomed into any chapter in the country as a brother (as long as he kept his mouth shut about his cowardice).

He ended up in Destiny, Oklahoma, a tiny town in the middle of nowhere.

We had one bar, one rundown motel, and two rival clubs constantly at each other’s throats over our tiny patch of land. It was absurd.

By some twist of fate, the rival club in Destiny was the Oklahoma chapter of the Vipers MC, the very club that had taken my mom.

But no matter how much I begged my dad to talk about her, he refused. If I pushed too hard, I’d usually get a slap across the face for my trouble.

So for the past thirteen years, my dad had been drinking himself into oblivion, waiting for his so-called brothers to discover his cowardice and blaming me for all his problems.

Wait…thirteen years?

I paused, an egg halfway to the frying pan. I’d completely forgotten…

“What’s got you grinning, girl?” my dad growled, his beady eyes glaring at me through the haze of his cigarette smoke.

“Nothing,” I said quickly, and cracked the egg. But as the egg sizzled in the pan, I felt a surge of joy.

Because I’d just remembered that today was my eighteenth birthday.

***

The bruise looked worse in the daylight.

No matter how I adjusted my scarf, I couldn’t seem to hide the dark mark on the left side of my neck.

I was standing in front of the door, ready to leave for work, but nothing I did could conceal my bruise.

Of course, it was all my dad’s doing. He’d given it to me last night, a sort of early birthday present because I’d overcooked his steak.

Finally, I managed to arrange the collar of my bomber jacket to adequately cover the bruise.

I took a quick look at myself in the mirror. I liked the way I looked. It was the one thing I had control over in my life.

I had long, dark hair that I usually wore in a ponytail over my left shoulder.

I had a bit of a baby face, and my body wasn’t as curvy as some girls’, but I didn’t mind.

My favorite feature, though, were my eyes. They were a bright purple with flecks of gold in the pupils.

People often said they seemed to glow in the dark.

“Girl, fetch me a beer,” my dad slurred from the living room.

Rolling my eyes, I opened the front door and hurried down the steps before he could follow me.

I knew that probably meant another bruise tonight to keep the first one company, but it was worth it.

My small acts of defiance were what kept me going, and I considered it a birthday gift to myself. I knew I wouldn’t be getting one from anyone else.

***

The walk from my house to No Man’s Land, the bar where I worked, took about half an hour. I didn’t mind the walk.

My dad and I lived in a rundown house on the outskirts of Destiny, and No Man’s Land was right in the center.

But the walk gave me some time to think. It was my time, time that couldn’t be tainted by my dad or his awful biker buddies.

Eighteen years old, I thought. ~I wish Momma could see me now.~

A wave of sadness washed over me. I wished I could have known her, or at least that my dad would talk about her sometimes.

The only times he mentioned her were to call her “the meth whore” or say “she’s the Scorpion’s problem now.”

I wished he’d tell me what that meant.

Some days, I thought about stealing his truck and leaving Destiny. Just driving until I ended up at the mother charter.

Maybe then I could find this Scorpion at the Viper’s MC and finally learn who my mother was.

The sound of an engine behind me snapped me out of my thoughts.

I looked around. The quiet country road had been deserted when I left home, but now a white van was trailing behind me.

They were keeping their distance, but my heart rate still quickened.

Everyone knew that my dad’s club, the Crows, had started trafficking girls for extra cash.

Usually, they only came around at night, but lately they’d been getting bolder, snatching girls off the street in broad daylight.

I quickened my pace, pulling my jacket tighter around me.

No Man’s Land was just two blocks ahead and to the right.

My stomach tightened when I heard the engine grow louder. They were speeding up.

I picked up my pace to a light jog. The engine’s growl behind me morphed into a high-pitched whine.

Just one block until the turn.

The crunch of gravel echoed in my ears. The heat of the car nipped at my heels.

They were going to catch me any second now.

I pushed myself harder, veering sharply to the right into the back parking lot of No Man’s Land.

The van screeched to a halt behind me, but I didn’t stick around to see if it was turning around.

I bolted through the back door of the bar like a bat out of hell, skidding to a stop in the kitchen.

I doubled over, hands on my knees.

“Good Lord, Vi, you’re panting like the devil himself is on your tail,” Anna, my boss and the bar’s manager, said in her thick Southern drawl.

I straightened up, catching my breath, and met her gaze. Her face was framed by fiery red hair. “Maybe he is,” I replied with a shrug.

She chuckled, giving me a playful slap on the arm. “Funny girl. By the way, I heard it’s someone’s birthday today,” she said, her eyebrows wiggling suggestively.

I rolled my eyes. “I can neither confirm nor deny that,” I said. “How’s the crowd today?”

Anna glanced over her shoulder through the door into the bar.

“Not too rowdy yet. The Vipers have the Oklahoma City VP in town today, a tweaker named Blade, so that’s got the Crows on edge.

“Just keep the Coors Lite flowing and remind them about the no weapons rule. We’ll be fine,” she said, patting me on the shoulder.

No Man’s Land was the only bar in town, and the two rival clubs had agreed to make it a neutral zone. Members from both clubs were welcome to drink here, as long as they left their guns at the door.

It was one of the few places in town where a woman could feel truly safe.

***

Anna wasn’t exaggerating about the Crows being on edge tonight.

During my five-hour shift, I caught no less than six club members from both sides sneaking in weapons.

The usually laid-back bar was so tense, it felt like a bomb could go off at any moment.

This Blade guy must be something else.

Skinner, the VP of the Destiny Crows charter, spent the night scowling into his glass at every Viper who walked into the bar.

When I politely asked him to remove his Glock from the bar, he just glared at me.

“Why don’t you leave the thinking to me, sweetheart?” he snarled, looking me up and down.

A shiver ran down my spine under his gaze. I couldn’t shake the image of Skinner being the man in the unmarked van tonight.

Even though I should have been protected as the daughter of a Crow’s brother, I’d seen the way Skinner looked at me.

I knew he’d love nothing more than to rip my skirt off and have his way with me.

I tried to meet his challenging gaze, but his anger was too intense, and I finally had to look away.

My shift ended, but the bikers were still going strong.

Finally, around one in the morning, Anna kicked out the last Viper stragglers, who were swapping stories about this mysterious Blade character.

“Alright, sweetheart,” Anna said once the bar was blissfully empty, “you head on home now.”

I thanked her and shrugged on my jacket before walking out the back door. But the moment I stepped outside, a shiver ran down my spine.

The town was eerily quiet. Not a soul in sight.

Damn, I didn’t realize how late it was.

I pulled my coat tighter around me and started the long walk home, trying not to imagine the sound of an unmarked van creeping up behind me.

Every gust of wind sounded like the rumble of an engine.

Every twig snapping was the jingle of keys in the ignition.

I hurried down the dark street, passing the massive shells of abandoned warehouses. Once upon a time, Destiny had been a bustling industrial city. Now it was just full of washed-up bikers trying to relive their glory days.

Suddenly, I was blinded by the glare of headlights from a side alley between two warehouses.

A quick glance to the left confirmed my worst fears. It was the unmarked van again.

Without a second thought, I broke into a run.

My feet pounded against the pavement. The roar of the van’s engine echoed in my ears as it peeled out onto the street behind me.

My lungs screamed in protest as I sprinted down the street.

But I was too far from home. I knew it. I wouldn’t make it in time.

Not with the glare of headlights closing in on me.

Any second now, they were going to catch me. And then they’d take me.

And I’d end up in chains just like my mom.

Then, without warning, the light died. The sound of the van faded.

I stumbled to a halt and looked around.

The van was gone. I could hear the rumble of its engine moving away from me along a nearby alleyway.

Why did they leave? Were they toying with me? Was this some kind of game?

Suddenly, there was a roar from ahead of me. A motorcycle burst onto the street and skidded to a stop right in front of me.

Astride it was the most attractive man I’d ever seen. Despite my fear, I felt a pull in my core when I looked at him.

He was tall and muscular, with messy black hair and piercing green eyes.

His leather jacket strained against his bulging muscles.

“Who…who are you?” I asked, my unease growing, even as I found it hard to tear my gaze from his chiseled face.

He gave me a stern look, cold and calculating, but not angry.

“There’s no time for that,” he said finally. “Get on.”

He gestured to the seat behind him, and I swallowed hard.

What? He wanted me to get on his bike?

What if he was working for Skinner?

What if he was one of the men in the unmarked van?

As if reading my thoughts, he said, “They’re going to come back any moment. I said get on.”

Under his intense stare, I felt a sudden surge of rebellion.

Who did he think he was, bossing me around?

Just as I was about to tell him where he could stick his orders and bolt for home, something on his bike caught my eye and deflated my defiance.

There was a symbol, painted on the side of his bike.

It was a blade, identical to the one on the card my mom had given me.

Oh, God… Do I trust this stranger? Or do I make a run for it?

[POV: CHOOSE YOUR PATH 17bb44ef-af0b-4f07-9c4f-e0dc128c0ee3]

Should Violet hop on Blade’s bike or should she make a break for it?

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