Ava is a lone wolf bounty hunter after the most dangerous biker in Northern California. But when circumstances force her to team up with Bjorn, a gritty and gorgeous modern-day viking from the Riders of Tyr MC, she can’t fight the fire sparking between them. Will Ava let herself fall for her bad boy beau, or return to the open road alone?
Age Rating: 18+
Riders of Tyr by Adelina Jaden is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.
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Ava is a lone wolf bounty hunter after the most dangerous biker in Northern California. But when circumstances force her to team up with Bjorn, a gritty and gorgeous modern-day viking from the Riders of Tyr MC, she can't fight the fire sparking between them. Will Ava let herself fall for her bad boy beau, or return to the open road alone?
Age Rating: 18+
Original Author: Adelina Jaden
I never knew what love was until he tried to kill me.
I’d been running for so long.
Trying to escape my demons so much that I forgot how to feel.
How to live.
Then he walked into my life and held me at gunpoint.
…And fucked me so hard that I saw the world in color again.
I know I don’t deserve a life, after everything I’ve done.
But, for the first time in a long time, I’m starting to hope…
A FEW DAYS AGO…
Izzy wasn’t kidding when she said this guy would be dangerous.
The usual bounties from my bail bondsman are for smaller chunks of change.
Assholes who forgot to pay their parking tickets and decided to skip bail.
Hardly satisfying to catch.
But this one?
I peruse the link that Izzy sent, reclining in the seat of the white Toyota Prius I’m renting.
I’m parked across the street from a massive estate in the heart of San Leandro, California. The place is impressive, with its soaring white pillars and a front lawn straight out of Better Homes and Gardens.
Geometric topiary lines the edge of the property, in addition to a low brick wall.
Shockingly tasteful for a man who deals in guns and narcotics.
I’ve heard of the Toltecs before. Anyone who lives in the Bay Area knows about these guys.
They showed up in San Leandro a few years back.
A bunch of dudes on Harleys from Mexico City, with guns strapped to their backs and cash pouring out of their pockets.
This guy, this Pasado character, is not somebody to fuck with.
He’ll be heavily armed. Nearly impossible to get alone.
And I need him alive.
I haven’t had a real challenge since back then…
Stop thinking about it, I command myself.
Stop being weak.
I sit up again, flipping down the mirror to readjust the two Japanese hairpin blades sticking out from my sleek, black ponytail. Keepsakes from my past.
My skin is paler than usual, making my green eyes look like they’re popping out of my skull.
I usually do most of my work at night. Always have.
Today is an exception—this guy is too dangerous to tail after nightfall.
As I trace the sleek silver of the hairpin blade, I accidentally prick my finger.
A tiny drop of blood springs from the tip.
I stare at it, lost in thought.
Thinking about how much blood I’ve spilled with these knives.
Thinking about everything they’ve seen.
Thinking about him.
STOP BEING WEAK.
I grit my teeth, pushing the dark thoughts from my brain.
And that’s when I see him.
He pulls his Harley into the end of the driveway, flanked by another Toltec biker, and they both dismount.
Pasado looks nothing like his mugshot.
He’s handsome in a kind of grimy way.
Dark features. A few colorful neck tattoos sticking out from his leather jacket.
I can tell just from a glance that this guy is a total scumbag.
I watch him walk up the driveway toward his house, followed by his toady.
I can’t believe how lucky I am.
While Pasado might not be completely alone, this is the closest I’ll get.
As I start to get out of my car, I stop suddenly, watching a guy on a Harley pull over to the side of the road ahead of me.
Something in my gut tells me to wait.
I watch an impossibly tall man climb off of the bike and my breath catches.
This guy is ripped!
He wears black boots, black jeans, and a tight-fitting T-shirt, which clings to every contour of his statuesque body.
Covered in tattoos.
His long, dark hair is tousled in a deeply intoxicating way.
Oh my God…did my nipples just get hard?
As the man turns to look over at Pasado’s house, I sink low in my seat, glimpsing a sexy beard that matches the unruly mane.
Who is this guy?
I know all too well that when my marks are being followed, it’s either by the feds or a rival gang.
And he definitely doesn’t look like a federal agent.
The man cautiously crosses the street with his eyes glued to the house, and I notice suddenly that there’s something in his hand.
A black box.
He approaches the edge of the property, looking between the hedges and over the wall to see if the coast is clear.
What is he doing?
A feeling of dread is slowly starting to form in the pit of my stomach.
Pasado emerges from the house, his back turned. I turn to the bearded guy, watching him freeze and deliberate.
And then he’s racing from the cover of the wall, crouching below the hedges, and approaching Pasado’s bike.
He carefully attaches the black box to the back tire of the bike, tinkering with some sort of mechanism on it.
What is that thing?
Looks like some kind of homemade explosive.
And that’s when it dawns on me…
He’s trying to kill my bounty!
I hurl myself from my car just as he turns to make a break for it.
I don’t care that this guy looks like he could rip me in two with his little finger.
I don’t care that he’ll see me.
As much as it pains me to save the life of a piece of shit like Pasado, nothing’s standing in the way of my bounty.
Not even this sexy-as-hell man in black…
Before I have time to process my next move, I’m racing across the street at lightning speed, past the hulking guy with dark hair who just made my day a thousand times harder.
He stiffens when he catches sight of me, his eyes widening in surprise as I pass.
And then his massive hand latches onto my wrist, yanking me back.
Stumbling backward, I spin to face him, just barely keeping my balance.
He twirls me into his chest, wrapping another massive arm around me and pulling me into a bear hug.
“Fucking…hell!” I shift my weight, attempting to slip out of his hold. He has me pinned.
And that’s when I notice it.
This strange current that seems to flow from his touch, leaving goosebumps in its wake.
I can feel them springing up across the back of my neck, my arms, my chest, my…
Jesus fucking Christ!
Get it together!
Craning upward, I dive head-first into his sea-green eyes, which stare at me with fascination.
As much as I want to, I can’t stop the next thought which pops into my head.
Like some sort of god, every inch of him carved out of marble. Those broad shoulders, those arms…which are covered in some rune-like tattoos.
One in particular on his forearm stands out:
And below it, the head of a wolf, its teeth bared.
I rack my brain…where have I seen that symbol before?
My subduer watches me with a similar fascination, like—
Cut this shit out!
I throw an elbow into his ribs and he momentarily loosens his grip, sucking in a breath.
Slipping through his arms, I manage to free myself from his grasp, bolting away like a bat out of hell.
I don’t even bother to glance over my shoulder. There’s no time to lose.
Pasado and his man are at the edge of the driveway now, about to round the gate and come out onto the sidewalk.
As they catch sight of me, I watch Pasado’s guy reach for the pistol at his hip. But I’m faster.
“What the—” Pasado cries out as I dive head-first into him, knocking him backward, just as the bomb detonates behind me.
My ears are ringing like crazy. Feeling my head spin, I peel my eyes open and sit up slowly.
I blink a few times, trying to bring everything into focus.
Debris is scattered all around us. One of the bikes is on fire. The other’s completely destroyed.
I glance down at my bounty.
Pasado lies beneath me, completely limp, like a rag doll.
Checking his pulse, I heave a sigh of relief and fall back onto my elbows.
Unconscious. Not dead.
Probably knocked out from hitting his head against the pavement.
Surveying the scene, it looks like his buddy wasn’t so lucky…
As the shrill tone in my ears subsides, it’s replaced by something else. A wailing noise that sounds like it’s miles away. Hard to make out.
But with each passing moment, the sound grows clearer.
Police sirens—lots of them, from the sound of it—getting closer with every second.
The Toltecs’ dirty cops.
They’ll probably shoot me on sight, no questions asked.
Or frame me for this botched assassination attempt.
I gulp, my eyes flying back down to Pasado’s limp form.
How am I gonna lug his ass to the car all alone?
Maybe if I had more than thirty seconds…
But I don’t.
They’ll catch me.
I’ll have to get Pasado later.
But it’s going to be harder now…
Now that the fucking RoT—whoever they are—just alerted the Toltecs to the target on Pasado’s head.
If I thought he was difficult to access before…
I curse again.
I’ve never fucked up on a job before.
It was his fault.
The man in black.
I’m fuming—desperate to know who he is.
And how the fuck he managed to get me so hot and bothered…
Without another play, I pull myself to my feet and make a break for my car.
If I ever see him again, I’ll slit his fucking throat.
Right after he plays with my—
The second bike explodes behind me.
I clamber into my Prius, putting it into drive just as a fleet of cops turn onto the other end of the street.
As I pull away, glancing in the rearview mirror at the fucking mess behind me, all I can think about are those sea-green eyes…
And the RoT tattoo.
I would give anything to know what it stands for…
To know when I can see him again.
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I’m so screwed, I think for the thousandth time, as I scrub the grime from the back tire of my bike.
I’ve been hiding out all night in my workshop, in the garage across the street from our clubhouse.
I hear the music across the road. Colliding pool balls. Girls’ laughter.
My brothers, my king, all hungry for the story of Pasado’s death.
A death that hasn’t happened yet.
I say a silent prayer to Tyr, the god of war and justice, that King Haf won’t mount my head next to that moose he shot in Sweden.
I had one job:
Kill that sonofabitch Javier Pasado.
The Toltecs are our only gun-running rivals in town, apart from the Russians—who pretty much leave us alone as long as we keep to the Bay Area.
But the Toltecs…those fuckers are greedy.
Six months ago, they started crashing our deals and trying to shoot down my brors—my brothers. Stealing our shit.
Nobody fucks with the Riders of Tyr and lives to see the sunrise.
The Toltecs remain very much alive.
It all was supposed to end today.
I was supposed to murder the motherfucker who’s spearheading the raids, in hopes that we could finally start making some dough again.
Except the sexiest woman I’ve ever seen ruined everything.
My thoughts return to those emerald-green eyes. That tight little body. The way her shirt hung off her shoulder…
“You look like shit, bror,” says a voice, and I snap my head up to see Tor standing in the doorway of the garage.
My earl—what we call our vice president.
Tor and I are the only two Riders who grew up in the club—raised in the traditions of our viking ancestors.
Well, not all of them.
His father founded the American chapter of Riders of Tyr, and his grandfather still runs the mother chapter in Sweden.
If Tor hadn’t insisted on cropping his hair short, he would actually look like a viking. Golden hair, pale blue eyes. A herd of females following his every move.
“Haf’s looking for you,” Tor adds, taking a seat on the bench beside me and pulling off his boots.
“Haf knows where to find me,” I mumble, returning to my work.
“You alright, bror?”
I sigh, abandoning my project to take a seat beside my best friend. He hands me a cigarette.
“Is this about Lily?”
I stiffen at the sound of her name.
She was the only bright light in this bleak world we live in.
It’s been almost two whole years since…
My phone buzzes in the pocket of my jeans. I pull it out, thankful for the distraction.
But the phone freezes in my hand.
“Shit. It’s Haf.”
Now it looks like the body count will be two for the price of one…
How am I supposed to find her?
I rise, digging my hands into my leather jacket, searching for a lighter.
“And where are you going?” Tor asks.
“To see about a girl,” I mutter.
“I wish you were serious, bror,” Tor replies, following me as I wheel my Harley out of the garage. “Might do you some good.”
I’m tired of everyone looking at me like I’m some kind of wounded goddamn puppy.
I say nothing, turning my key in the ignition.
The engine roars to life and drowns out anything else Tor can say.
As I ride off into the night, I can’t help but feel guilty.
Guilty because…I’m excited.
I get to see her again.
I mean, I have to kill her, but…
The White Rabbit.
I stand in the center of the strobe-lit floor, amid the mass of swaying dancers covered in body paint and black leather, trying to remember what I’m doing here.
The techno club is dark, massive, and humid—like a jungle at night.
The place feels familiar…have I been here before?
I can’t decide.
And then I see him.
Sitting in the back corner of the room behind a red velvet rope—the VIP section—with two massive guys in suits flanking him.
He’s conventionally handsome. Clean-shaven. Gray-flecked, dark brown hair slicked back from his spray-tanned face. A lot of women probably fall at his feet.
And just like that, I remember why I came here.
Tonight’s lucky guy.
As I approach him, feeling his dark eyes gravitate toward my scantily clad body, I retrieve a tube of lipstick from my purse and let it slip through my fingers.
The tube rolls across the grimy floor, coming to a stop just before his feet.
Smiling, my hero bends down to pick it up and approaches me.
“I believe this is yours,” he says in his smooth English accent, leaning into my ear.
“Oh! Thank you!” I take the tube from his hand, feeling his fingers linger over mine.
He leans his head back to get a better look at me, his dilated eyes crinkling.
“Please tell me you’re here alone,” he ventures.
“Looks that way.” Now it’s my turn to whisper in his ear. “But hopefully not for too long.”
“This place is tired,” he replies, toying with my dangling, silver earrings, which match the hairpins sticking out of my high ponytail. “I’m staying at the Ritz. What do you say we…”
“I know somewhere much…closer,” I cut in, winking. “If you’re brave enough.”
Before he can even give it a second thought, I lean in and bite his bottom lip, sucking on it.
He moans, pulling me into his body, and I feel him stiffen through his pants.
Suddenly he whips around, whispering something to one of his goons. And then I’m pulling him through the packed dance floor by the hand…
Back down the rabbit hole.
I guide him down a darkened hallway, a narrow staircase…
Then everything shifts.
I’m no longer in the club, but on the deck of a yacht, leading a clueless billionaire away from the party inside.
A preppy, blond-haired money launderer with a bad habit of rounding numbers.
The ocean is still—like it’s holding its breath.
I throw him up against the exterior wall of the cabin, my hands moving to unbuckle his belt.
He grabs my sleek, black ponytail, yanking my head back.
The blanket of stars above me fades away, and my surroundings shift again.
I’m standing inside an airplane bathroom, wearing a tight-fitting stewardess uniform, while Moscow’s second-largest cocaine dealer kisses a trail down my neckline.
He slips a hand into my blouse, massaging my nipple.
“I love a girl in a ponytail,” he murmurs, pushing me against the sink.
His hands trace down my back, firmly grasping my ass.
“Fuck, baby, I can’t wait to be inside of you,” he gasps.
“Then do it,” I tease.
I bring my hands up to his neck, stroking both sides.
He groans, trying to pry one of my hands from his neck and bring it down to the unimpressive bulge in his pants.
Close your eyes, baby,” I tease. “I’ve got a surprise for you.”
He does as he’s told, licking his lips.
“Do you trust me?” I ask.
I can’t stop the satisfied grin from spreading across my face.
“Wh-what?” His puppy-dog eyes fly open as I pull the hairpin blade from my ponytail.
I clamp my other hand around the back of his head.
“Dmitri Vasiliev sends his regards.”
And then I slit his throat.
As the life drains from his eyes, everything shifts once more.
I glance around and realize that I’m standing in my parents’ living room.
Rain hammers against the roof. The entire room is filled with an eerie bluish light.
I turn back to the man on the floor.
And when I catch sight of his face…
That’s when the screaming begins.
I sit up with a start, my chest heaving.
It was just a dream, I tell myself.
It’s easier to pretend that nothing I saw was real.
Wiping the cold sweat from my forehead, I glance around my shitty motel room.
It’s light outside.
Morning already? I could’ve sworn I just closed my eyes…
Then again, I’m not exactly what you’d call a heavy sleeper.
Not since I left home, anyway.
I check my phone and see three messages waiting for me.
“Please. Don’t do this!” A pudgy, middle-aged man in a Battlestar Galactica T-shirt with Cheetos dust on his fingertips crawls across the gravel parking lot on his hands and knees.
He’s trying to escape me.
Sometimes it’s entertaining to watch them try.
But this guy, this thirty-seven-year-old slob who skipped bail last month after robbing a fucking Dunkin Donuts…I’ve had enough of him.
I’ve already taken out his knees, and the guy is still trying to run…
I clamp my boot down on his back, and he collapses finally, resigning himself to his fate.
“Hands behind your back,” I instruct, and he does as commanded.
Cuffing him, I shove the idiot into the back of my car.
It only took me a few hours to track the guy down. He was staying in his mother’s basement.
The coward tried to sneak out the back door, then made me chase him to the Starbucks down the street. What a sniveling little bitch.
Another day, another dollar.
I’m just biding my time until my real payday.
And I’m not talking about the fifty grand.
After all the bullshit that went down with Pasado yesterday…
This one’s fucking personal.
Bringing him in is going to be sweeter than a goddamn Unicorn Frappuccino.
I climb into the front seat of my car, pulling out onto the main road.
“Please! I didn’t do it!” my bounty wails from the backseat. “I swear to God!”
I roll my eyes.
As we pull up to a red light, I turn on the radio to drown out his whimpering. I scan through the channels, finally finding some halfway decent disco.
A dark figure on a motorcycle pulls up beside me in the left-hand turning lane.
As I tap my fingers on the steering wheel, humming to the sweet seventies melody, I casually glance at the motorcycle’s rider.
The sexy biker who tried to kill Pasado!
My eyes trace up his tight, black jeans.
The dark T-shirt clinging to each sculpted muscle of his torso.
He’s really got a thing for black.
Good lord, this man is a tall drink of delicious.
And I’m not talking about another Frappuccino.
I’m so distracted that I don’t even hear the horns beeping behind me.
“Um…lady?” says my bounty from the back seat. “You know it’s a green light, right?”
Just as I come to my senses, the man in black turns his head…
…and looks directly at me.
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