Savage Rhythm

By: Chloe Cox

“You didn’t.”

Adra cackled. “I did. And he lost. No, he didn’t just lose—I destroyed him. Completely. Like, made him my little cookie bitch.”

Molly clapped her hands with glee. Somehow the image of Declan wearing an apron and a frown, getting his baking ass handed to him, was delightful. And made him seem a whole lot less intimidating.

“What’d he do?” she asked.

Adra shook her head. “That’s the thing. He kept baking cookies. Multiple times per day, every day. The Volare kitchen smelled terrible. It was like a cookie war crime in there for at least a week. And then…he got really, really good at it.”

Molly thought about this for a second. She couldn’t deny she was attracted to driven men, but she also knew exactly what happened if you got in the way of a driven man’s plans: you got run the fuck over. She still had tire tracks on her back from Robbie’s getaway. But that didn’t seem to be the most pertinent part of the cookie story.

“So he’s persistent,” Molly mused. She imagined all the things he might be persistent about and squirmed a little.

“Yeeeeaaah,” Adra said. “It’s a big part of who he is. And so is his sexuality. If you want to get to know him, you could probably do worse than to give in to an attraction that’s already driving you nuts. On the other hand, you know what’s best for you. But you are probably gonna have to talk to him about it all.”

Adra looked at Molly’s face and laughed.

“C’mon, creampuff, toughen up. I hired you because you’re a fantastic writer and a baby badass. Go in there and show him the badass part.”

chapter 4

Declan sat in his makeshift dressing room and brooded over his phone. The rest of the world might as well not exist until he got this text. Same as every night, except this time he had a show. First time in six months. And this time, there was the image of Molly Ward, teasing at the edge of his thoughts.

He shook his head, not willing to compromise his vigil. He couldn’t think about whether he would carry this guilt and worry on stage right now, and he damn well shouldn’t be thinking about Molly Ward. Not until he got the nightly text.

There was a knock on the door just before it opened. Gage, Savage Heart’s drummer, popped his head in.

“Dude, are you gonna make it?”

“It’ll be fine.”

“You heard yet?” Gage asked, his fingers toying with the disks in his ears.


“Dec, man, you don’t have to do this. None of it was your—”

“I know that, Gage, that’s not the fucking point. I’ll be ready. Just give me a minute.”

That was a lie, though. Gage knew it, too, but shrugged and closed the door quietly behind him. Declan had never been this messed up before a show. Normally the idea of getting on stage zenned him out, gave him clarity, let him feel—the same way dominating a sub in a good scene would. He hadn’t gotten to do either of those things in months and he was about ready to explode.

And now he was waiting on a goddamn text.

He knew it wasn’t his fault, but it didn’t change anything. He still needed to know that Bethany was ok. And, just in case he wasn’t torturing himself enough already, he’d texted Soren, too: “Just let me know you’re ok, man.”



He stood up and stretched his body out, running a hand over his newly shorn hair. Took some getting used to, just like everything else. But then his mind drifted back to Molly Ward and he smiled; he wouldn’t have to get used to her, ballbuster or no. That was one bright spot, at least. He was definitely looking forward to being around that woman for the next two months.

In fact, the closest he’d come to feeling like his old self was arguing with Molly. Threatening that asshat on the dock, for Molly.

That was some batshit insane chemistry right there, like nothing else he’d ever seen, like she just fit. Some kind of animal, pheromone-type science behind that, no other explanation. And Declan hoped to God that Molly was sane, because she could be a black widow and that probably wouldn’t stop him from trying to get her into bed.

He grinned. Actually it might make him more determined to dominate her. Wasn’t that some twisted shit?