Hold Firm (Biker Daddy Bodyguards #1) - Sue Brown Page 0,1
deep blue. It was a striking combination alongside his Slavic cheekbones.
Connolly worked hard and played harder. Rumor had it that Connolly and his band, Daysance, were about to hit the big-time. Correction. They’d already hit the big-time. Now they were about to go stratospheric, thanks to their charismatic lead singer. Quinn was more a blues guy, but even he’d been known to hum along with Cade Connolly if the radio was on.
Connolly glared at him, fire and ice in a black-clad leather package. Quinn stared back coolly until Connolly dropped his gaze and looked away, his lips pressed tightly together.
“This is Quinn Ryder. Quinn, this is Cade Connolly and his attorney, James Standish III,” Dominic said.
“This is ridiculous,” Connolly snapped. “I don’t need him.”
Quinn sighed inwardly. One of those clients. The ones who denied they needed a bodyguard right up until they got their brains blown out by some crazy guy.
“Now, Cade, you know that’s not true,” Standish began.
Quinn ignored him and sat opposite Cade, holding his gaze. He could see the anger and humiliation pouring like waves from the younger man. Whatever was going on, Cade was hurt and embarrassed.
“Tell me,” Quinn ordered.
Connolly glowered at him. “They think I’m being stalked.”
“Yes.” The word sounded as if it was dragged out of him over broken glass.
“Is it a man or woman?” He’d met both over the years. They operated differently so it was important to know from the start.
“Man. He was…my boyfriend.”
Dominic handed Quinn a folder. He flipped it open to see a thirtysomething bear staring back at him with one arm wrapped around a younger, more innocent version of the man sitting opposite him. Connolly looked barely legal in the photo although this had to be in the last two years. To anyone else this would be a cute moment between them. To Quinn it looked possessive, dominating. He’s mine, the bear was saying to the world. Hands off.
Quinn read the couple of paragraphs. Eric Strada, thirty-seven, boyfriend for two years. Broke up three months ago. Alleged to have killed Connolly’s cat on his way out. Nice. Quinn had zero tolerance for anyone who hurt innocent animals. He frowned as he stared at the picture. He knew Strada. They mixed in the same circles, but they’d only spoken maybe once or twice.
He read the list of incidents. It followed a familiar pattern.
Social media abuse
Contacting Connolly’s family and friends, begging them to make Cade take him back.
Assaulting Cade outside a nightclub
The list went on. Strada was a nasty piece of work. Quinn gritted his teeth. The fact he’d not heard that Strada was an abusive piece of crap meant something was seriously wrong.
“He was violent to Cade,” the attorney said. “He—”
“No!” Connolly ground out harshly. “Ryder doesn’t need to know.”
“Yes, I do,” Quinn said, holding Cade’s gaze. “I need to know what he did to you.”
“I can’t,” Cade wrapped his arms around himself, rocking backward and forward.
Geez, the man had done a number on the kid.
Quinn looked at Dominic and Standish. “Get out.”
Standish looked shocked, then shook his head. “I can’t leave my client.”
“You’re gonna pay me to look after your client, so you can leave him,” Quinn pointed out. He glanced at Dominic who nodded.
“Let’s leave them alone for a few minutes, Standish.”
The attorney went reluctantly, Dominic closing the door on the protests.
In the silence of the room, Quinn waited for Cade to speak. He was prepared to wait all day if necessary.
When Cade looked up, his eyes wrecked with pain, Quinn spoke. “What did he do to you?”
“He raped me.”
Cade slumped in his seat, hiding his face from Quinn. “No.”
Cade, not Connolly. Quinn knew he was going to take the case. Knew he had to take it.
The boy didn’t move, didn’t look up.
“Cade, look at me.”
Quinn put the full weight of his authority in his voice. He expected to be obeyed.
Slowly, Cade raised his head. Unshed tears brimmed in his eyes, but his cheeks were dry. He was holding onto his control by a thread.
Quinn nodded, showing he was pleased. “Strada wasn’t your boyfriend, was he?”
Cade wrinkled his brow. “Yes, he was.”
Quinn shook his head. “Maybe to the outside world. But you and I know better. He was your Daddy.”
A single tear ran down the boy’s cheek.
“And he abused you.”
Quinn gave a satisfied nod. “Good boy.”
“I’m not your boy,” Cade burst out. “I’m not your boy. I’m not your boy. I don’t… I won’t do that again. I don’t need a Daddy.”
Poor boy. He probably had