Blackwater Deceiver: Maxine and Blu
All Maxine needs is a name.
Just one piece of information could help Maxine mend a past mistake and let go of her broken past. That name she needs? Her father's murderer. Not because she harbors any tender feelings toward the bastard who beat her mother into a coma. She's desperate to know his last words.
She's steadily clawing down obstacles one lie, one trap at a time … until she encounters a brick wall without a single chink in it. Blu, the enforcer guarding the Blackwater Renegades MC's front door. A tattooed, mohawked mountain of muscle whose ice-blue gaze sets her belly on fire.
Blu's past shadows his future.
After fighting for his freedom in an underground fighting pit, Blu traded wrapped knuckles for a Blackwater Renegades cut. Now he puts his bruised fists to good use against rival gangs.
When he's tasked with seducing Maxine, the enigmatic newcomer, to uncover her motives, Blu discovers there's more to this dagger-glaring, snark-spewing beauty than meets the eye. They share a deep well of unresolved pain that could make him drop his guard … and question his loyalties to the only people he's ever known as family.
The night was hot and not even the breeze from the cracked window in the living room offered any relief from the mid-August heat. Virginia’s weather offered an array of seasons—all in the middle of summer—and while right now it was hotter than the depths of hell, last month it rained for two weeks straight, the temperature struggling to move past the mid-sixties. Then, a week ago there’d been freezing rain falling from the sky dead in the middle of summer. And Gypsy, in the midst of a hot flash, had crept from her bed late at night to make her way outside. The dark alley behind her house that doubled as a meeting place for her jailer’s dealer stood empty save for trash and an overturned bottle of beer. She, in her ratty nightgown, had padded into the middle of the alleyway, lifted her arms to the sky as her unnaturally hot body cooled taking in the freezing rain. The cold deluge had soaked her night gown and Gypsy hadn’t cared. Her skin felt as if it were on fire, her body betraying her at every turn as it grew larger—rounder. Placing her hands on her budding belly, she imagined the little baby growing inside. She closed her eyes to count each finger and toe of the little bundle of joy, pictured a cute little button nose, dark curls and big brown eyes. The baby moved inside of her as her skin chilled and her teeth began to chatter. Normally, she would have stayed out longer, but now she was caring for more than just herself. A cold or pneumonia could do some serious harm to her baby.
“Don’t worry, Mama’s got you,” She whispered, her voice catching on the wind only to be carried far away. Glancing up at the darkened sky, she wondered what her life would be like if she could escape the prison she found herself in. A child was supposed to be a blessing, a miracle of sorts. Sure, she was only fifteen, but she’d created a precious life. A kick fluttered in her belly and a tear escaped her lashes. She couldn’t give this baby anything more than the prison bars that were her own. Her mother’s eyes had lit up in fear when she’d announced the positive results, but Gypsy had also seen the joy there. A baby, a child a way to start over … if they ran. But how and with what money? Their jailer would never let her mother work, and that kept what little money they did have in his hands. That understanding dashed any hopes of running away. This was her life, but what of the child she carried?
Gypsy came back from the memory as a pain shot up her back. Sharp and strong it pulled a gasp from her throat. She bit her lip. The small, one-bedroom apartment had paper thin walls and her storage closet of a room held no privacy. If she woke the beast and he came in there again, he’d no doubt beat her. Thrusting her fingers through her tangled hair, Gypsy closed her eyes and breathed through the pain. Was this labor? She had no clue. Her jailer had refused to take her to a doctor, so she and her mother had to guess at a due date for her. She racked her brain trying to remember the date when it popped into her head. Wait, she was one week early. Surely, babies arrived on time, didn’t they? The movies had shown her that a woman’s first pregnancy was quick and easy. Two pushes and she’d be done, so there was no fear there, but what if something was wrong with her baby and that was why it was early? At fifteen, she had no true idea of what to expect with childbirth other than what the girls standing on the corner on Saturday nights had told her about the babies they’d had and given away. And that hadn’t been much at all. Shifting on the pallet beneath her, she rolled into the fetal position and took in a few deep breaths.
There’s no way I’m going into labor because— And just as the denial sprung in her mind, a warm gush of liquid dampened between her thighs. She sat up—slowly, as to not cause any more discomfort—and removed the blanket. Had … had she just peed? More liquid flowed from her, yet her bladder felt empty. Damn, if only her jailer had signed the papers to let her take the sex education class, she would have known what the hell was going on with her body, but no. As he’d said, “Only whores take that class. You ain’t no whore, are you?” Closing her eyes, she forced the tears back, as she stood and made her way to the door. She’d have to change and run her sheets down to the corner wash early in the morning so the jailer wouldn’t find the mess she’d made.
Another sharp pain, this one so deep and hard it wrenched a scream from her throat. “Oh no,” she muttered as she fell to her knees. “I think this is it.” She spoke to her child. She’d named the baby, even though no one knew the sex, she’d believed that it was a mother’s intuition, and she knew she was giving birth to a precious baby girl. Her excitement waned as her jailer’s light came on and he raced from the room. He smelled of cigarettes and what her mother called cheap whiskey and regret.
Hard black eyes took her in. “What’s all that noise, child?” Though she figured he knew as his eyes widened and he turned from her to yell at her mother. “Call them, it’s time.”
Great, they were gonna call an ambulance and get her and her baby to safety. Gypsy fell to her hands and knees in relief and pain as the sudden urge to push ripped through her.
“Mama!” she called as her body convulsed and her arms refused to hold her up right. She was there in seconds, turning her over and directing her to lay back. Her mother’s mournful eyes [II5] caught hers and she smiled, the smile she gave when there was bad news coming and nothing her mother could do about it.
But everything will be okay, she thought as she waited for the sirens that never came.
Her first childbirth was not easy nor was it quick. The pain had nearly torn her in two and as she lay with her daughter in her arms, Gypsy smiled down at the chocolate drop in her arms. Ten fingers and ten toes, a head of soft jet-black curls, a round little nose, and almond-shaped eyes. She’d created this.
I did something right, she thought as the baby girl cooed in her arms. In the distance she heard her father answer the door and invite someone in. Her mother cried, her sadness evident, but Gypsy ignored them all, solely staring down at her perfect baby girl. The baby girl she’d named—Maxine.