Home > Desired by Doom_ The Last Rider

Desired by Doom_ The Last Rider
Author: Jamie Begley








“Are you joking?” Arden stared at her younger brother in disbelief. Usually, she knew when Luc was joking around. He was notorious for pulling pranks and filming their reactions as he grew up. What made her hesitate that he was serious and not joking was the change she had seen in him over the last year.

Luc had become more withdrawn. Her carefree baby brother had become a recluse, preferring to stay in his room instead of hanging out with their family or friends.

His jaw jutted out stubbornly. “I’m serious.”

Looking toward her mother, whose face was pale as she stared back at her, she pleaded with her eyes to change Luc’s mind.

Their mother took a seat on the couch next to him. “Why in the world would you give up a scholarship to one of the most prestigious schools in the country to join a motorcycle club?”

“I hate school. I’ve been telling you, but none of you have been listening to me.” Dragging his hand through his brown hair, he gave her an exasperated scowl.

“We’re listening now.” Attempting to calm the tension between Luc and her mother, Arden stepped into the familiar role of peacemaker.

In hindsight, she had noticed his behavior had gone through a change since entering Skyline Conservatory. She had thought it was just the high expectations of the grades that were required to keep the scholarship awarded to him.

“Why do you hate Skyline?” she asked calmly.

“Why wouldn’t I? Everyone makes fun of me for riding the bus at my age instead of driving, that my lunch is free, my clothes aren’t designer. I don’t belong at Skyline, and the rest of the students know it.”

“You deserve to be there as much as they do,” their mother protested. “I told you that they’re just jealous. You’re smarter than them, schoolwork comes easier to you—”

A sarcastic laugh came from him, which had her inwardly cringing, seeing the pain beneath the laugh.

Arden gave him a sympathetic glance. “I’m sorry, Luc. We’ve not been listening to what you’ve been trying to tell us. I didn’t know not having a car was a big deal. You can take my car, and I can take the bus until I figure something else out.”

“I don’t want your car! Do you not get that their cars are status symbols to them? A Civic would have them laughing before I could park.”

Not offended at having her car insulted, Arden sought for another alternative. “Then I’ll pick up another few shifts and lease you a car. Which car would make you happy?” She would figure out the finances later. Right now, the most important part was keeping Luc in school.

“I don’t want you to buy me a fucking car!” Luc shouted at her.

Cringing at the use of profanity directed toward her, she kept her cool. Anger wouldn’t resolve what was making Luc determined to throw away his scholarship.

“I have a job. I’m going to buy a motorcycle when I have enough money and can get a license.”

Him having a job was news to her. Glancing at their mother, she saw the same confusion on her face. Arden glanced back at her brother. “Where do you work?”

“The Last Riders are going to let me be a prospect until I earn my patch when I’m eighteen. Until then, they pay me to guard the door of the club or do any other jobs they want done.”

“Like buying their drugs for them or stealing something?” Their mother started crying. “Are you trying to kill your father?”

“Calm down, Mom. Getting this upset won’t do your heart any good either.”

“Where is Dad?” Arden asked.

Luc threw himself down on the couch next to her. “He’s at a doctor’s appointment. I waited until he left before telling Mom.”

“He wants me to be the one to tell Carter.” Her mother’s voice was shrill. “Carter has worked sixty-hour weeks to keep a roof over our heads, and this is how you’re going to repay him? By joining a motorcycle gang instead of finishing school and becoming a doctor?”

“The Last Riders aren’t a gang; they’re a club,” Luc protested, rising from the couch heatedly.

Arden broke into the heated exchange between her brother and mother, “Don’t you want to become a doctor anymore?”

If her brother truly didn’t want to become a doctor, then she would back his decision to drop out of school—as much as she hated the thought.

A quick flash of pain before Luc could compose his expression told her the truth that he was trying to hide either from himself or them. “No, I don’t.”

Why was he lying to them? Arden had a sinking feeling she knew.

“Luc, I don’t mind working the extra shifts to help Mom and Dad out until they get back on their feet.”

“When are you going to realize this is our new normal? Dad’s doctor told him that he won’t be able to go back to work after this last heart attack. How can Mom work, tied to that oxygen machine? You expect me to pretend everything is okay and spend hours studying instead of pulling my own weight? Fuck, Arden…”

“Is this the behavior The Last Riders are teaching you? To curse at your sister?”

Arden winced at her mother’s shrill voice. “It’s okay, Mom,” she attempted to calm her mother.

“No, it’s not okay!” Her mother wailed. “You’ve been too good to Luc for him to speak to you this way.”

Luc’s face twisted in self-recrimination. “I need to get out of here. Tell Dad anything you want when he comes back, but I’m not going back to that school.” Luc agitatedly walked toward the door and jerked it open. “I’m going to work. I’ll find somewhere else to live if you can’t accept my decision,” he threatened over his shoulder as he went out the door.

Arden rose to try to stop him from leaving, but he slammed the door shut before she could reach him. Turning back to her mother, she hurried to kneel next to where she was sitting. “Catch your breath, Mom.” Arden checked the oxygen machine to see if it was positioned on the right setting.

“You have to change his mind, Arden. This will kill your father.”

“I’ll talk to him when he calms down.” Arden grabbed tissues from a side table and gently patted the tears coursing down her mother’s cheeks.

“Tonight. The headmaster is planning on expelling him tomorrow. Luc hasn’t been going to school like I thought he was. He lied to me… He’s never lied to me before. Those Last Riders are a bad influence on him. This is going to kill—”

“Don’t say anything to Dad. I’ll get Luc to change his mind, and I’ll straighten things out with the headmaster. There’s no need to get Dad upset.”

Her mom gave a sniffling nod. “I knew I could count on you. I’m going to take a nap. I don’t want Carter seeing me cry.”

Arden helped her mom stand up; it’s becoming more difficult each day. Carrying the oxygen tank to the bedroom, Arden then helped get her mother into bed and situated.

“I’m going to leave, Mom. I’ll call you in the morning after I talk to the headmaster.”

Her hand was caught in a frail grasp. “All I ever wanted was for Luc to be happy. I thought he was. What have The Last Riders done to him?”

Hot Books
» House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)
» A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
» From Blood and Ash (Blood And Ash #1)
» A Million Kisses in Your Lifetime
» Deviant King (Royal Elite #1)
» Den of Vipers
» House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2)
» Sweet Temptation
» The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)
» Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6)
» Wreck & Ruin
» Steel Princess (Royal Elite #2)
» Twisted Hate (Twisted #3)
» The Play (Briar U Book 3)
» The War of Two Queens (Blood and Ash #4)