River Reapers MC Quarantine Chronicles: “More Than I Can Hold”

“When I’m dead and gone, I want to matter,” I say, my turn for confessions. This pandemic has turned me inward, put me more in tune with my emotions. Rather than cower from it, I’ve leaned into it.

“More Than I Can Hold”
A River Reapers MC Short Story

Author’s Note: Have you been wondering how the River Reapers would handle social distancing? I have! So I wrote a few very short stories, just for fun, just for you and me. The following is unedited, so please excuse any typos or errors. Please also be aware that it may contain spoilers for the series.

This short is NSFW.


She lies with her head pillowed on my chest, strands of blonde streaked with gray and brown trailing across my skin. When she turns, her hair slips from my chest, leaving me cold in its wake.

“I feel trapped,” she admits with a sigh.

I can’t remember the last time Shannon was ever so still. We’ve been following social distancing protocol for weeks—before the governor even started signing executive orders. Many of Shannon’s clients have health issues, and some of our staff at The Wet Mermaid, too. Then there’s Olivia, living with her sister and newborn niece. If there’s one thing I can be proud of about myself, it’s that I take care of my family. I’d take a bullet for any of them—even if it was one of their fingers poised on the trigger.

Shannon would, too—that’s why she’s so restless.

“You’re not trapped,” I assure her, gathering her into my arms. I pull her into my chest, pressing her breasts to my skin, relishing the sensation. I’m not a religious or spiritual man, so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about, but even the briefest of skin to skin contact with her is heaven. “You’re doing everything right,” I murmur into her ear, and kiss her lobe.

“I’m lying in bed while a skeleton version of my staff runs the house,” she says, brown eyes blinking rapidly.

I thumb away her tears. “Everyone is safe. That’s what matters—not how much you’re doing.”

Even as I say the words, I feel her frustration. While the virus sweeps through our state and country, with thousands of people dying, thousands more struggle financially. The Wet Mermaid—as much as people around town think it’s disgusting—gives Shannon’s clients, my club, and all of the staff we’ve accumulated over the years a living. The governor doesn’t see strip clubs as essential businesses, though, and as much as I’d like to strangle him for his lack of action and weird decisions, I know he’s right about that. A bar full of barely clothed women and horny patrons is hardly a safe environment.

Still, I worry, because that’s what I do. It makes me reconsider our business practices. We should be running something that will always be needed—like a grocery store.

I snort.

“What’s so funny, Mr. Harris?” Shannon’s fingers flutter back and forth between my nipples, and immediately my cock hardens.

Even after all these years, she’s the only woman I want, the only person I want to spend my life with.

I just have one regret.

“I’m picturing a bunch of bikers wearing grocery clerk vests,” I say, and haul her on top of me. I find her slick and ready against my shaft, and with slight rolls of each of our hips, we’re connected.

Her hair cascades over her breasts and I push it aside, closing my hands around her soft pink flesh. “Are you still thinking about bikers?” she asks.

“Nope.” I thrust up into her, watching her belly shudder with each stroke. I can’t help but stare, mesmerized by the possibilities gone and buried.

“Hey,” she says, stretching a hand out and cupping my face. “Where are you?”

“Sometimes I wish we had children,” I blurt, locking eyes with her. “Call me greedy, but I want more with you. I want a legacy.”

“Todd.” She stops moving, her brown eyes soft. “We’ve built a legacy. Olivia is as much ours as she is Mercy and Bree’s. And Cliff—we helped shape him, too. We have Shannon’s Place, the MC, The Wet Mermaid . . . And we have us. That’s enough for me. It’s everything.”

“When I’m dead and gone, I want to matter,” I say, my turn for confessions. This pandemic has turned me inward, put me more in tune with my emotions. Rather than cower from it, I’ve leaned into it.

“You matter to me,” Shannon says, leaning forward until our chests touch. She captures my lips with hers, wrapping them in her warmth. “You matter to your family—and it’s a big ass family.”

I laugh into her mouth. “It sure is.”

Wrapping my arms around her, I hold her there on top of me, every inch of us connected, my awareness stretching, encompassing every single one of them—my family. I never knew it was possible to hold so much love in my heart, certainly not for a nobody who served in the military, did time, and took over his club when shit hit the fan. Yet this life turned on a dime and gave me things I learned to appreciate. I’ll never take them for granted again.


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River Reapers MC Quarantine Chronicles

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Author: Elizabeth Barone

Elizabeth Barone is an American novelist who writes contemporary romance and suspense starring strong belles who chose a different path in life. Her debut novel Sade on the Wall was a quarterfinalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. She is the author of the South of Forever series and several other books. When not writing, Elizabeth is very busy getting her latest fix of Yankee Candle, spicy Doritos chips, or whatever TV show she’s currently binging. Elizabeth lives in northwestern Connecticut with her husband, a feisty little cat, and too many books.

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