Book One in the Glory MC series
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Nineteen year old, India Beaumont has bipolar II disorder. Living in a world where solar flares have reshaped society, she must fight to survive in Ward Four where the only people thriving are part of an exclusive motorcycle club. Glory MC don’t play well with strangers but when Indy manages to land a job as a bartender at their clubhouse, she gets the fresh start she’s always dreamed of. While everyone else is focused on the flares, no one will be paying attention to her or the disorder she means to keep from everyone.
The president’s son, Ian Haste, is the first to zero-in on her, seeming to sense the kindred spirit that she desperately hides. As secretary and treasurer of Glory MC, Hastie is exactly who Indy needs to avoid, but the reckless lifestyle he lives may also be the one thing that helps him understand her better than anyone else.
As tensions rise between Ward leaders, Indy’s secret threatens to be exposed before she is ready, and with only pieces of the puzzle, Hastie doesn’t know what to believe. When he finally discovers the secret she’s been hiding, will Hastie still be able to love her or will he deem her too crazy even for him?
It wasn’t everyday that you walked into hell. Today the doors were wide open, encouraging people foolish enough, like me, to enter. The sound of heavy metal music poured from unseen speakers and much like I’d expected it to be, it was hot in here. Scorching, really. But so far, there was no brimstone or devil in sight.
“Can I help you?” a voice called out. I turned to face the woman behind the bar, eyeing her golden skin and shock of bright red hair. If word on the street was right then she had to be the owner of this little dive bar. “Hellooo,” she said as I stared at her. “Are you lost?”
Lost? I wish I were. But I’d actually come here on purpose. “Are you the boss around here?”
“Depends on who’s asking.”
“I’m India,” I said, holding out a hand. “But people call me Indy.”
A brow shot up to her hairline. “You got a last name, India?”
Crap. This was why I hated meeting new people. They always asked too many damn questions. When I took too long to answer, the owner started walking away.
“Hey, hold on.” I quickly jumped into the nearest stool at the bar. “Can I get a drink?” The owner paused, turning slowly. Sharp eyes assessed me from head to bust. By her body language and the way she moved cautiously around me, she clearly didn’t trust me. “Are you just going to ignore a customer?” I asked when she continued to analyze me.
“You aren’t a customer.”
Reaching into my pocket, I slapped enough credits on the bar to cover a drink. “You sure about that?” Despite my cool words, my spine was ramrod straight. I forced my body to relax inch by inch, slowly loosening up tight muscles that would give away my nervousness.
Thankfully, the redhead took the bait and tipped her chin at me. “What do you want?”
Anything really. I didn’t care. “Why don’t you surprise me?”
In record time, a drink was placed before me. I sipped at it, nodding as my taste buds did a little dance. At least now I had the liquid courage to do what I came here to do. No more excuses.
The owner leaned into the bar, now more comfortable with my presence. “Well, Indy. Now that you have your drink, why don’t you tell me what brings you to this fine establishment?”
Fine was a relative word. The dive bar we were in had seen better days. Sunlight poured in through the open windows, illuminating the bar instead of electrical lights. Four hours ago, another solar flare had hit us, knocking out all electrical power for an unknown period of time. As heat swarmed over us, everyone ran for cover, staying indoors where the lethal rain of radioactive sun sparks couldn’t reach us. With no electricity though, people had to make do with the harsh sunlight. Many opted to remain in the dark for the sake of cooling off when things got too hot to handle.
Six years ago, the first set of solar flares hit us, purging the world of buildings, land, and people. The human population thinned considerably as several waves hit us without warning. The world as we knew it had ceased to exist. There was no government. No ruling queen, no power structures, which left big opportunities for new rulers to take control and new societies to form. It would’ve been nice to have a little democracy, but who was I kidding? That would never happen. We lived in a greedy world and the more you had, the better off you were. Those who survived the initial blasts were forced to acclimate to the dry, humid air and learn a new way of living. Every so often another solar flare would occur, making us worry if this wave would be the one to take us all out.
I wiped a bead of sweat that gathered on my forehead with the back of my palm. These days, the desert heat was so thick it was like breathing in sludge. “I’d like to apply for a job,” I said, meeting the woman’s gaze head on.
She paused in the middle of wiping down the bar top to gave me a suspicious look. I stared right back. I wasn’t going to be deterred. I needed this job too much to give up simply because she was using her kung-fu intimidation tricks. Blue capable eyes examined me from head to torso as if she was totaling my worth right there on the spot. “Are you even old enough to work?” she finally asked.
“More than old enough,” I assured her. “I’m nineteen.”
“You don’t look like it.”
With a slim build and a heart-shaped face, most people thought I was younger than I really was. “Trust me, I am. And if I wasn’t, you’d have just given alcohol to a minor.”
The look she gave me told me that probably wasn’t the best move. Especially considering that I was asking her to hire me. But all she did was shrug her shoulders. “Who’s going to punish me?”
“You’ve got a point there,” I said on a laugh. Without government, there was no police. And since there was no police, there weren’t many people who cared about who you sold alcohol to. “So what do you say, are you looking to hire?”
As the owner leaned into the bar, the low V of her top dipped low to reveal some cleavage. “Do you know what kind of bar this is?” she whispered.
“I know this place has the best collection of alcohol in Ward Four.” But Neptune’s wasn’t just any old dive bar. It was widely known that the most badass and dangerous of all motorcycle clubs, Glory MC, used Neptune’s as their clubhouse.
Redhead snorted. “No need for the compliments. I already know that. I’m asking you if you know what you’re getting yourself into.”
My smile disappeared. “I know the risks.” I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t already aware. Glory MC weren’t just wannabe bikers. They were the real deal. And they didn’t mess around. And yet, here I was, hoping to land a job that would put me in the line of fire on a daily basis. Live fast. Die young. Be stupid enough to put yourself in a dangerous club’s way? Yup, that was me. Desperation kind of made you stupid.
“And you still want to work here?”
I laughed at the clear disbelief in her voice. “Look, I’m young and have a lot of energy. I’m willing to clean up after people and I can start right away. I need this job.”
Redhead leaned back, still eyeing me like we were in the midst of a staring contest. Game on. If this is what was needed of me to get this job, I could lock eyes with her all day.
Seconds passed and when she blinked, I knew I had won. “So?” I prompted. “Think you can take me on as a bartender? I’ve got the experience.”
The woman rolled her eyes. “God, you’re a pushy one. Do you ever take no for an answer?”
“What can I say? I’m persistent.”
“Annoying is what I would call it.”
Good. The corners of my lips tipped up. She was bantering with me now. I was making some ground. I could feel it. “Most people like a little initiative from their employees,” I shot back. “Come on, when’s the last time someone came in here to offer some help?” My guess? Never.
On a sigh, Redhead nodded. “Fine. You want a job, you’ve got it. Glory MC is riding in in fifteen minutes. Let’s go on back and we’ll see how well you can handle yourself.” The smile she shot me was all teeth.
Momentarily taken aback that my tactic worked, I mentally high-fived myself as I followed her through to the back of the bar and into a small office. “Wear this,” she said, tossing something at me over her shoulder.
I looked down at the fabric she gave me and blinked in surprise. “What is this?” Balled up, it looked like a rag.
“It’s a shirt, darling.”
“You call this a shirt?”
She laughed. “It says Neptune’s on it, doesn’t it? You wanna work here? You wear that every day and learn how to work the bar.”
I probably couldn’t even fit one arm let alone my entire torso in the thing, but if that was what it took . . . “Aye aye, captain,” I muttered. Removing the tank top I wore, I slipped into the tight T-shirt. The fit was snug and accentuated my boobs to its fullest, which was a big deal since my rack was not packing the same heat as Redhead over here.
She eyed me down, her satisfied smile telling me what she thought of my appearance. Her hand shot out. “Name’s Hanna by the way.”
“It’s a pleasure to work with you, Hanna.”
She snorted. “You won’t be saying that after your first shift.”
“When is that anyway?”
I frowned. “Aren’t there some papers I need to sign first or something?”
“That’s later. You’re on clean up duty for the rest of the day. Once your shift is over, come by here later to sign your papers.”
Wait. Clean up? “But I thought I was hired for a bartender gig!”
Red tendrils danced around her face as she shook her head. “Nope.”
“No.” Hanna stepped forward, shooting me with a look that silenced me. “I’m the boss so I’ll decide when you can work the bar, got it?”
“Fine,” I gritted. Something suddenly told me this wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought.
Shooting me another smile, Hanna flipped her hair up into a high ponytail and swept out of the room. The sudden deep rumbling of engines sounded outside and I froze, knowing what that meant.
Glory MC had arrived.
Bio: Ana Jolene is the author of the Glory MC series, a New Adult Dystopian and the Contemporary Romance series, Moonrise Beach.
Growing up as a rebellious kid didn’t allow for much reading time. It wasn’t until she was in university that she found her passion for books and has since then devoured every book placed before her. Ana holds a B.A. in Psychology and has worked in both IT and Administration. But she’s had the most fun in the bookish world, working as a reviewer, columnist and assistant to multiple sites and authors.
Ana currently lives in Toronto with her family and an extremely lazy Shih Tzu whom she adores. To learn more about Ana and her books, please visit www.anajolene.com and subscribe to the newsletter to be notified of the hottest new releases and giveaways!