Sweet submission (devil's sons motorcycle club book 3)

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This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons--living or dead--is entirely coincidental.

 

Sweet Submission copyright @ 2015 by Kathryn Thomas. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles or reviews.

 

Book 3 of theDevil’s Sons Motorcycle Clubtrilogy

CHAPTER 1

 

The Sunday night Rayan ran into trouble started like any other weekend night. The olive-skinned Iranian playboy stepped out of a phantom white Camaro and threw the keys to the valet. “Take care of my baby for me. Don’t hurt her. She’s the only woman I’ve ever been in love with,” he said, as he laughed in a raspy tenor voice.

 

The uniformed valet nodded and murmured, “Of course, Mr. Amini,” knowing Rayan. It felt good to be known. It felt great to be respected.  A saxophone solo spilled out into the night when the door opened. Rayan strolled into the upscale restaurant dressed in a thousand-dollar black suit, looking every inch the consummate businessman. He brushed past women in cocktail dresses with perfect hair and men who looked like him.

 

The slate gray shirt he wore beneath the black blazer was opened at the collar to reveal thin strands of gold chains, and gold rings were on each of his hands, an opulent watch around his wrist—the spoils of a gambler. They were things he’d have today, maybe not tomorrow, but he looked good for the night. Rayan knew it, and other people noticed it, which made him smile the debonair, charming smile of a gambler betting it all on a bluff.

 

“Reservation for Amini,” he murmured in fluent, slightly accented English to the maître d’.

 

An attractive, petite, blonde hostess wearing a black dress materialized next to the stiff dining room attendant and smiled seductively at Rayan. “Right this way, Mr. Amini.”

 

His thick black hair fell in loose waves across his high forehead above his chocolate eyes, and he flicked it back with a casual dismissive attitude at her appreciative once over. He was used to beautiful women fawning over him, but Rayan wasn’t there for pleasure. He was there for business. She had a nice tush though, and the black sheath style dress hugged her curves, exposing her voluptuous bosom.

 

The hostess led him to a discreet table set for two tucked in a quiet corner. Rayan’s stride was the self-assured swagger of a man who had everything in control. He was a master of illusion. What was less apparent was the nervous tremor of his hands, as he pulled out the swoop back chair and murmured his gratitude to the hostess as he sat down, a sheen of perspiration faintly visible along the bridge of his nose. Rayan desperately needed a drink, but he had forced himself to refrain. When the server in a black tuxedo appeared to take his order, Rayan asked for water.

 

He was meeting someone. A vein along Rayan’s temple throbbed painfully, but he gritted his teeth and forced himself to appear calm and assertive.  In the back of his head, Rayan was running calculations and coming up short. Always short. Short on money, short on friends to borrow money from, short on time to come up with the money. He cursed soundly and sipped the insipid water with a scowl at not having anything stronger. Within a few minutes of Rayan’s arrival, the young doctor pushed through the doors and was led to Rayan’s table. “Have you got it?” Dr. Jabar Pahlavi got straight to the matter at hand, as he hurriedly sat down.

 

“Friend,” Rayan said with a bright, false smile. Extending his hand in welcome, he gestured to the seat across from him. “Sit. Drink with me, eat with me. Then, we talk business.”

 

Jabar cut the air with his hand. “Don’t fuck with me, Rayan. I didn’t come here to play games with you. We had a deal, and you didn’t hold up your end of the bargain. Now, I want my money!”

 

Jabar, Afia’s former potential fiancé, waved away the server who returned to take his drink order. He wasn’t there to be wined and dined. He glared at Rayan, ignoring the posh surroundings and the patrons of the restaurant who were gawking at him for raising his voice. Struggling for aplomb, Jabar visibly steeled his jaw and sat back. He crossed his arms and watched Rayan fumble for a response.

 

“Um, technically, I have it,” said Rayan. “But, you should give Afia more time. I can get her to come around!”

 

“That’s what you said before,” Jabar fumed quietly.

 

Rayan threw up placating hands and said, “Yes, yes, I know what I said. She’s proving more…difficult…than I expected but—”

 

“Precisely. I don’t need a difficult wife. I need a docile, compliant, levelheaded woman who knows her role.  You promised me she’d be an asset, and now you’re telling me she’ll be a struggle. When I first met Afia, I admit I saw promise in the match, but the more I learn of her, the less I like what I hear. You can keep your fickle sister. There are plenty of other good Muslim girls who will do for what I need.  The deal is off. I want my money.”

 

Rayan gulped, eyes skating to the left and right. The jazz band played on, mellow and smoky under the amber lights of the restaurant, but the music did less to soothe him, rattling his nerves even more. The crystal chandelier overhead and the marble floor beneath his feet offered no answers to his problem. His gaze skittered back to Jabar’s pissed off face.

 

He didn’t have the money, and there was no chance of getting it. No matter how much money he borrowed from Baba and Maman, the itch to gamble it away was too persistent to ignore, and the alcohol was starting to be a problem, too.  Rayan had always struggled with the two vices. When times were good, he could ignore the cravings. When times were bad, not so much.

 

Rayan owed Jabar over ten thousand dollars in gambling debts racked up over the course of the year they had known each other.

 

Inwardly, he cursed Afia’s rebelliousness. If she had only played her part, he would be out of this mess already! Jabar had initially agreed to absolve the debt if Afia married him. Rayan was well-aware of the doctor’s reasons for needing a speedy marriage, and he understood Jabar wouldn’t wait much longer for Afia to come around, but all Rayan needed was another month, maybe two, to either convince her to do her duty or come up with the money.

 

Leaning forward, Rayan countered, “I can get you the money, but you’ll have to give me more time…Don’t forget I have dirt on you, too, friend.”

 

“Rayan, you’re a drunk, a thief, and a swindler. I’m a doctor. Which one of us do you think people are going to believe? Don’tyouforget, unlike you, I actually have the money to make my problems disappear. You have two weeks.” Jabar calmly placed a few fifties on the table. “You look like you need a drink. This one’s on me. I know you can’t afford it,” he sneered. Then, he rose to his feet and breezed out of the restaurant, leaving Rayan to stare after him with growing fear.

 

He had messed up. Rayan was adept at calling a man’s bluff, but Jabar had too much to lose to make idle threats. He would make good on the promise.  “How am I going to fix this?” Rayan whispered, dropping his head into his hands. He shoved his thick fingers through his wavy black hair and looked around with wild eyes, seeing no answers.  He felt like he was coming apart at the seams. He angrily snatched up the money and shoved it into the inner pocket of his blazer, not wanting to take it but not having a dime to his name.

 

Things had looked so promising. When he had met the young medical student, Rayan had thought he’d found an easy mark. Jabar was wealthy and had no qualms about spending his money on Rayan, loaning him cash when he needed it, supplying him with alcohol, and giving him a chance to hang out in the type of lavish environments where Rayan imagined he belonged.  Rayan had eventually realized Jabar’s interest in spending time with him was more than platonic and tried to get out of the friendship, repulsed by Jabar’s homosexual inclinations. However, by that point, he owed the man too much money to extricate himself completely.

 

But, Jabar wanted a wife to keep his dirty secret from his family, and he didn’t really need the money; Jabar was merely pressuring Rayan to pay him back out of spite for being rejected. Afia had seemed the perfect solution to both of their problems…until that damnablebishourbiker had come along. Rayan punched his fist into his open palm, swearing vehemently.

 

“Can I get you anything else, sir?” asked the server.

 

Looking up, Rayan patted his pockets, feeling Jabar’s money, and mumbled, “Stoli. A bottle.”

 

After that, his memory of the night blurred. He had gotten so shit-faced in the restaurant that the establishment had called the authorities. Rayan had awakened in a holding cell at the local precinct. Irritated by the frivolous charge of public drunkenness, he had shoved an officer and gotten another charge: Assault. Rayan had sat in jail through Monday and Tuesday, and they’d denied him his one phone call. He couldn’t even get in touch with Rashad to beg his father to come bail him out.

 

Thus, when the police officer ambled to the locked gate and unlocked it, calling his name, Rayan thought it was some type of mistake. “Lucky day, Amini. Some guy just bought your sorry ass a ticket home.”

 

Trudging behind the portly man in the blue uniform, Rayan made his way through the several locked doors that had stood between him and his freedom and burst out into the lobby of the county jail. He was handed a plastic bag full of his belongings and ushered out the doors to the foyer where his brown eyes locked with Sam’s. “You!” Rayan spat. Embarrassment sent color to Rayan’s cheeks. The fact that he would have to be seen wearing an orange jumpsuit by the man who had seduced his younger sister was a shame.  Rayan growled and dropped his head, fuming.

 

“You’re welcome,” said Sam Elison. The biker turned away from Rayan and headed out of the precinct, feeling like he’d done his good deed for the month—hell, the year. 

 

“Don’t think you’re doing me any favors. I would’ve gotten out on my own,” Rayan spat ungratefully, as he pushed past the man who had just gotten him out of jail. 

 

Sam chuckled mirthlessly. “Well, I’m not doing this for you. I’m doing this for Afia and your parents. She told me your father’s already paid an arm and a leg to put you through rehab once before. Mr. Amini doesn’t deserve to have to keep getting you out of mishaps.” Sam ambled out into the night behind his girlfriend’s alcoholic elder brother.  Rayan spun around at his comment and jabbed a finger at Sam’s chest.

 

“You don’t know the first thing about my family, so don’t act like you did this for Rashad or Fatima. They’d sooner spit in your face than take hand-outs from you, swine! You want to do us a favor? Why don’t you stay the fuck out of my sister’s life? You! You are the reason I’m stuck in this hole and can’t climb out!” Rayan stepped threateningly towards Sam, who pointedly glanced back at the precinct behind him.

 

Sam sighed and bit back an expletive, taking a step back with his hands up.  He didn’t want a fight. It was late, and he had to go to work in the morning.  “Look, I care about Afia—whether you like that or not. You’re probably not going to take my suggestion, but if you care about her too, as much as you claim, then get help for yourself, brother.”

 

Rayan scoffed. “You’re no brother to me.”

 

“Cool. Get home safe.” After everything Rayan had done to keep Sam and Afia apart, Sam knew he should’ve let the bastard rot behind bars and saved himself some trouble, but when Afia had called him to tell him she needed his help, Sam hadn’t hesitated to post Rayan’s bail. Now Sam strolled to his bike and picked up his helmet, giving up on expecting Rayan to play the gentleman. He watched Rayan arrogantly march to the edge of the sidewalk to hail a cab.  “Just try to stay out of trouble, Rayan,” he called after him.

 

Rayan flipped him off and flagged down a ride home. Sam stared after him and dug his cellphone out of the front pocket of his shirt. “Yeah…I got him out. He just took off. Hopefully he’s headed your way.”

 

***

 

Afia sat at the kitchen table, staring at the cellphone after hanging up with Sam. She was flooded with contradictory emotions—relief that he had somehow managed to get Rayan out of jail, anger that he’d had to do it, embarrassment at the situation, and love for the man who would do anything for her. Most of all, she felt love, and she was finding it harder and harder to understand why it was that she wasn’t supposed to be with him.

 

Her eyebrows lifted as she sighed and gave up pondering the questions that had been plaguing her from the moment she realized she was falling for Sam Ellison. Earlier in the night she had brought Rayan’s drinking problem to her mother’s attention, and Maman had turned on her, accusing Afia of frequenting the wrong sorts of establishments if she was running into Rayan drunk. Fatima made it clear she thought Afia was the one up to no good.  All Afia had been trying to do was get help for her brother. Yet, Fatima had rebuked her and forbade her from telling Rashad.

 

Now, she wondered if she should brave her mother’s wrath and go back to the bedroom to tell the resting matron of the household that Rayan was on his way home. “Better not,” Afia mumbled to herself. Chances were, Rayan would stop at a bar or liquor store before coming home.

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