Maverick (Grim Sinners MC Originals #2) - LeAnn Ashers

Prologue

Bell

I clench my eyes closed as the social worker comes and takes away my baby. My stomach is hurting so bad, my heart aching to the point I think it’s going to burst.

I just gave up my rights to my baby, my second baby.

I am nineteen years old, I can’t have another baby and face this again. River starts crying as they take her from my arms and out the door without a backwards glance.

My only ray of sunshine, my only type of hope I had in my life is gone in a split second.

I turn away from the door, knowing that I will never see her or my other baby girl again.

I was forced into this life. I got married when I was fourteen years old to a man twice my age.

He seemed nice at the time. I was hoping that this was my way out of poverty and that I would actually be able to eat three meals a day.

That hope lasted all of three seconds on our wedding night when my worst fear, one I never knew that I had, became very real.

Everything changed in a heartbeat and I would have gone back to starving to death rather than live a second in his presence, but my life was not my own.

What awaited me when I got home was going to be very bad. In my world the women are a prize because we are paid for.

My husband Michael paid my family for me. He paid for my purity and that I would serve him the rest of my life, or that’s what the church tells us. They are behind everything.

The older I get, the more I realize how messed up this thinking is.

I gave up my daughters to protect them. I would die before I’d let them live the way I have lived.

They would be pretty much sold in slavery, and that’s not even considering the fact that Michael is mean and I’m reminded of that fact every single day, either by his fists or other means of his.

I close my eyes, letting the tear drift down my cheek. I’m alone in my room, the quietness piercing.

Maybe he’ll be enraged enough that he will just end the suffering? One can hope.

Many years later

I sit on the edge of the couch staring out of the window in case he comes early. He does that sometimes because he wants to make sure I’m not cheating on him or being lazy.

My mind drifts to my daughter River, who found me. I’m not sure how she even did that, but I will never forget seeing her standing outside of my battered door.

The second I saw her, I knew she was my daughter. For the first time since I gave her up, a little piece of me didn’t hurt.

Then the absolute fear of him coming home and finding her almost crippled me. I bit it back and let her come inside. Seeing my daughter was more important than him ever finding her.

She told me about her life and how she is a computer genius. Then she grew serious, telling me she’s going to find Jessica and get me out of this life.

I smiled at her, knowing that a life like that is out of the question. I stopped dreaming a long time ago, but knowing that she is safe, she is healthy and beautiful, soothes me.

Every single punishment I endured over the years because I gave them up was worth it.

“I love you so much, River. I wish things could have been different. I would have given everything to be the mother you needed. I did it to protect you. I’m sure that’s hard to wrap your head around, but it’s true.” I reach down and pull my sweater closed around me so she doesn’t see my ribs through my shirt.

Her soulful eyes fill with tears, looking at me deeply. “I know that. I saw a lot of things when I searched for you, Mom.”

I close my eyes, letting the word mom wash over me—how I love hearing her call me that.

I reach out and touch her hand. She holds mine, and I want to weep because this is the first kind touch I have had in many years. “He’ll be here soon. He can’t find you, honey.” I reach out and wipe her tears from her face.

She sniffs and stands up, wrapping her arms around me. I don’t hesitate to return the hug. “Be safe, honey.” She slips out the door,