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Authors: Susan Fanetti

Tags: #Romantic Suspense, #Family Saga, #Mystery & Suspense, #Romance, #Sagas, #Suspense, #Genre Fiction, #Literature & Fiction

Leave a Trail

Leave a Trail
Susan Fanetti
Susan Fanetti (2014)
Tags: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Family Saga, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Sagas, Mystery & Suspense, Suspense

The Night Horde was once sure of their place in this world. Now, following a harrowing confrontation with the vicious leader of a notorious drug cartel, they are weakened in body and spirit, and they no longer have the unwavering support of the citizens of Signal Bend. They must fight to reclaim the goodwill of their town and their own sense of purpose.

Justin "Badger" Ness is struggling both physically and mentally with the price he paid for his place in the brotherhood of the Night Horde. That which gives him the most strength is becoming his personal demon. He is in danger of losing sight of what is good and real in the world.

Adrienne Renard is lost between the life she thought she wanted and an endless world of possibilities. The stepdaughter of Showdown Ryan, the club VP, comes to Signal Bend out of concern for her friend, worried about Badger's increasing distance, but she stays to find her own place in a life she never knew she wanted.

Together Badger and Adrienne learn that trust—in each other and in themselves—is where strength truly lies. Without trust, there can be no atonement, no forgiveness. It’s a lesson the Night Horde and the town of Signal Bend must learn, as well.

Leave a Trail is the final volume in the Signal Bend Series. It is a story of struggle and recovery, of loss and gain, of hope and perseverance, and of the abiding power of real love.

Also included in this volume: The True Seed, a novella and epilogue to Leave a Trail and to the Signal Bend Series itself.

Note: explicit sex and violence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LEAVE

A

TRAIL

 

 

The Signal Bend Series

Book Seven

The Conclusion

 

By

Susan Fanetti

 

 

THE FREAK CIRCLE PRESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Trail © Susan Fanetti 2014

All rights reserved

 

Susan Fanetti has asserted her right to be identified as the author of this book under the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Shannon—The day we committed to write something original, and to share between us what we wrote as we wrote it, was one of the best days of my life. Sharing this with you since then is always the best part of every day. Some days, I write just for you.

 

To Jess—without your insight, this one would probably still be trapped in a tangle at the bottom of my brain. You saved this story. And probably me. Thank you, my friend.

 

To Sarah, Lina, Elena—you are great readers and writers and even better friends.

 

I’m so glad that we’ve all hopped this runaway train together.

 

I love you.

 

 

And to everyone who has traveled to Signal Bend with me and come to love the Night Horde family, thank you. I hope your stay in this little town has been worthwhile.

 

xoxo

s—

 

BONUS SHORT STORY

 

Note:
This is a little short that I wrote a few months ago and posted on the Freak Circle Press blog. Because it develops the story of the day Badger and Adrienne met, I’m including it here, in case you missed it on the blog. This story occurs during the timeline of
Into the Storm (Book Three)
—thus, several years before the beginning of
Leave a Trail (Book Seven)
. Badger and Adrienne are in a very different place now. But if you’d like to see where their connection started, here’s a peek into their past.

 

There are other Signal Bend Shorts posted on the blog, as well. If you’re interested, you can find them at: http://tfcpress.wordpress.com/category/signal-bend-shorts/

 

 

ADRIENNE GETS A TOUR

 

Badger waited on the porch of the B&B, feeling nervous—more nervous than usual, even. Although he got laid whenever he wanted to, he still had trouble talking to girls, and the prettier they were, the harder it was. He hated it.

It was probably just lingering high school horseshit, when his face was a fucking mess and, no matter how hard he’d tried, he couldn’t even hit a buck fifty at six feet tall. Girls laughed if he even made eye contact.

So, yeah, he got the yips around them all, even at the clubhouse, when he knew they were there to fuck him, and they didn’t care much about anything other than the kutte. Even then, he waited for them to come to him—which they did. But civilian girls? No. And if they looked like the kind of girl who could have anybody they wanted, then he just didn’t fucking bother to even look.

Adrienne was the kind of girl who could have
anybody
. Holy Christ, she was pretty. She looked so much like Shannon it was crazy, and Shannon was so unbelievably hot Badger had trouble being in the same room with her for too long.

He thought about Shannon way too much. Especially since she was Show’s old lady, and Show could wad him into a crumpled ball and toss him in a dumpster. With one hand. But she was so beautiful, and smart, and nice, and she had those tits that didn’t quit, and she wore those skirts with the slit up the back…

Way too much.

Which was probably why his heart was in his throat at the thought of following her daughter—her daughter?!—around today. The gorgeous, age-appropriate,
not
taken by his VP daughter of the woman he was kinda in love with. Basically in love with. Pretty much totally in love with.

He felt sick.

At that moment, the front door of the B&B opened, and Adrienne came out. Badger swallowed and steadied his spine. He was a fucking patched member of the Night Horde MC. He was not some squirrely little pussy, to be brought low by a pretty face. Plus, his skin was cleared up, and he’d been working out. Pushing one-sixty-five now. And ink. He had his Horde ink, across his chest, and a couple of smaller pieces on his arms. And the motherfucking kutte, motherfucker. He was Horde.

No reason to act like a dork.

Except she smiled, and he totally felt like a dork. Fuck, she was pretty. Long, curly mass of bright red hair, her mom’s eyes and face almost exactly, with the added bonus of freckles. Badger thought freckles were totally hot. He wondered if she had them on her shoulders, too—because freckled shoulders? Damn. But the lace of her top was too dense to be able to see.

She was dressed in that loose, short, lacy top and little denim shorts. With cowboy boots over firm, long legs. And a shit ton of jewelry, everywhere—wrists, fingers, neck, ears. She had a little suede bag, with fringe or something, across her chest, the strap between her tits, which drew his attention right there. They were little and pert. She was pretty little, just in general, not much more than five-three or five-four. She was like a fun-size version of Shannon.

It was probably weird that he kept thinking about how she was as hot as her mom. That was weird. Was that weird?

“Hi. You’re Badger, right?”

…And a phone-sex voice, all soft and sweet.

Drawing strength from the leather on his back, he pushed away from the railing on which he’d been leaning and stood straight. In a proactive move to avoid his voice cracking, he cleared his throat and said, “Yep. That’s me.”

“Badger—that’s like a nickname, right?”

“A road name, yeah. Only name I care about.” That was true. He knew Len had given him the name because of the way his face had looked, but he didn’t care.

He’d made the mistake of complaining about it once, while he was prospecting, and Len had hauled off and socked him, rings and all. Then he’d picked him up off the ground and growled, “Make it mean something else, then, scrub.”

Badger had taken that to heart. He was working on that.

The gorgeous little redhead held out her silver-laden hand, her bracelets tinkling gently. “Okay, well, I’m Adrienne. Shannon says you’re my bodyguard. I’m not sure what you’re guarding me from, but I don’t mind hanging out.”

He took her hand and shook it. “Just making sure everything’s cool after the shi—stuff that guy stirred up.” It felt weird to cuss in front of her. “Don’t want you to find trouble.”

“I was thinking I’d drive around and see the town. Maybe get a coffee—is there a Starbucks?”

Badge laughed, and with it, he felt less freaked out. “No. No Starbucks here. There’s a 7 Eleven and an A&W. There’s a tea shop on Main Street. And Marie’s has great coffee—but it’s not, like, flavored or whatever. Just coffee.”

“That’s fine. I’m just looking to kill a couple of hours.” She tossed her keys at him, and he caught them without thinking about it. “You want to drive?”

“I thought I’d just follow you.”

“Why? Wouldn’t it be easier just to come with, and then you could show me around?”

That made sense, though it meant they’d have to talk. He’d rather ride—no talking then—but she was wearing those tiny little shorts. And besides, it would probably be obnoxious to even ask her to ride with him. At least she hadn’t expected him to ride bitch with her through Signal Bend. He’d never have lived that shit down. It was going to be tough enough to be seen driving her tiny little chick car. Convertible Beetle. Yellow. Jeez.

So weird, though, that both Adrienne and Shannon drove Beetles. Like a fondness for little, bulbous girly cars was genetic.

“Okay, let’s go, then. I’ll show you the sights. Not sure what we’ll do for the other hour and fifty minutes, though.”

She laughed—a full, sincere laugh, like she really thought what he’d said had been funny—and followed him down the porch steps.

When she settled in the passenger seat of her car, she pulled a clip out of her bag and caught her mane of hair back from her face. Then she pulled a pair of sunglasses out. Sliding them onto her face, she turned and gave him a brilliant smile. “Onward, Jeeves.”

She didn’t seem fazed at all by the bizarre scene that had happened earlier, the reason he was with her now—Show turning that lawyer guy into ground chuck—and all the weirdness about meeting her real mother and…well, everything. Badger thought that if it had been him in her place, the last thing he’d want to do is tool around town with a stranger.

As he turned the engine over and put the car into gear, he decided to ask.

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