River Reapers MC Halloween Special: Part II

We’re seen as bad and dirty because we prefer another way of life. We live for freedom and family, and not the cultish, biblical, nationalist bullshit so many people spout. It’s about the freedom of the road in front of you and the one at your back. It’s about the freedom to ride as a woman alongside men, as equals. They don’t like that I’m not a possession. They don’t like that I wear what I want and fuck who I want, just like my brothers do.

While you wait for the next book in the River Reapers MC series, here’s a special treat. This spooky short story can be read as a standalone whether you’re new to the MC or a longtime member (trigger- and spoiler-free)!


I’ve got one hour to get rid of a rat and get into costume, and my bike won’t start.

It’s my fault. I put it off too long. It’s just that this rat is my brother, someone like family even though I barely know him; being away for so long stripped me of that privilege. If we let him live, he’ll just cause more problems. It’d be stupid to let him hang around. One rat could bring down our entire club.

I’m not going anywhere if I can’t get my bike started, though. And if I’m late to this party, nothing will make it up to Olivia. She’s stressed the fuck out, scared that she’ll fail Shannon and Ravage. My job is to wear the dumb costume and host by her side, pretending we’re the cool couple who opens up our home to a town that doesn’t trust us on a good day. Shannon’s Haven is one of the positive things our club does that people actually see, and it’s what keeps the town from driving us out. It’s what keeps the police from raiding us. Because of all the people Shannon saves, we’re untouchable.

Another motorcycle pulls into the gas station, and I exhale in relief when I recognize the rider.

“You good, brother?” Donny calls out as he swings off his bike.

“Won’t start.” I throw up my hands. “Battery’s good and I just filled the fucking tank. I’m late,” I add.

“You take care of Ravage’s rat problem?” he asks, inspecting the bike.

“Not yet.”

“Better get on that.” He flips the kill switch back to off. “There ya go. Must’ve bumped it.”

I whistle. “I’m a fucking wreck.”

“If this is you on Halloween, I gotta see what you’ll be like on your wedding day.”

I look away. “It’ll never happen, brother.”

“Oh, I got a good feeling it will.” He claps me on the shoulder. “As long as you take care of that rat.”

“Why’s it gotta be me?” I ask him. “That’s usually your department.”

He chuckles. “Not in this case. That fucker’s chewed through everything in the dry storage, and he’s evaded all my traps.” His dark eyes meet mine. “Mercy said he heard you made friends with the rats in Lewisburg seg.” He holds a straight face for a moment, then busts out laughing.

“Fuck you,” I say, but I laugh too, only for a second. “It just seems cruel, to kill a guy who’s just trying to eat.”

“That guy bites one of the kids tonight, you’ll be singing a different tune.”

“My buddy doesn’t bite. I’ve hand-fed him cheese, for fuck’s sake.”

“That’s exactly why you gotta be the one to take him out. Fucker don’t trust no one else.” He pats me on the back again. “Clock’s ticking.” Turning, he goes into the gas station.

I ride over to the Mermaid and slip in among the chaos of a dozen club girls setting up. From somewhere I hear Pru delegating Olivia’s orders, and I grin with pride. Despite what Olivia thinks, my girl is running this; Shannon will be more than proud when she and Ravage walk in tonight, fresh from their mini getaway.

I close myself in the storage room, flipping on the light and standing still. A few seconds of silence pass, then I hear the telltale squeaking. A fat rat streaks out from the shadows, standing on his hind legs, nose sniffing the air.

This rat does not have any disease. He’s the cutest, friendliest little dude I’ve ever met. Maybe that makes me dirty and weird, the guy who makes friends with the lowest of the low. But it wasn’t that long ago that guys like him and me were equals, scraping by with whatever crumbs we could find, hiding in the shadows and biding our time. If I could, I’d take him home with me, but I’m pretty sure my landlord wouldn’t see him as a pet.

“Hey, buddy.” I hold out a hunk of cheese in my hand and, like usual, he comes right up to me. While he nibbles away, I scoop him into a rescue box and secure him. He scrabbles around inside, his squeaks accusing. “I know it, man.”

Swinging open the door, I pass him to the wildlife removal agent that I had meet me here. He’s a friend of Mark’s, so this’ll never get back to OSHA.

“I’m so sorry,” I tell the rat.

“Oh, don’t worry,” the agent tells me. “We relocate all our catches, unless there’s a reason not to.”

He carries the box to his van and I wish the little guy good luck. Then I go change, before I’m really late.


I stand in the guest bedroom, staring into the framed mirror leaning against the wall. Even this spare room has Shannon all over it, cozy and dreamy with just the right touch of gloom. I’m so out of place in this costume.

I should’ve added this to the list. I don’t know what Lucy was thinking, giving us these relics from her years with her baby daddy. She probably thought it was hilarious, and normally I would, too, but tonight’s not the night. We’re trying to show the town we are the good guys, even if our methods are a little—okay, a lot—questionable. This just feels like we’re rubbing it all in everyone’s faces.

The whole town knows what Cliff did. It’s why our business slowed when he got out—and our clientele is always down for a drink and lap dance. It’s why people give us dirty looks when they see us in public. The benefit rides we do every month help, but only so much. That’s why the Halloween bash is so important. It’s a yearly way for us to change how the town sees us. They can’t hate the club that shelters half the town’s women when their own men drink too much.

People hate us because we’re up front about who we are; all of us have committed crimes. The only difference is, none of our men have ever beaten a woman. The only woman we’ve ever touched was Esther’s mother, and she had it coming. We’re seen as bad and dirty because we prefer another way of life. We live for freedom and family, and not the cultish, biblical, nationalist bullshit so many people spout. It’s about the freedom of the road in front of you and the one at your back. It’s about the freedom to ride as a woman alongside men, as equals. They don’t like that I’m not a possession. They don’t like that I wear what I want and fuck who I want, just like my brothers do.

And they definitely don’t like what Cliff did to his own father.

They didn’t like what Bastard was doing to Lucy, either, but every one of them looked the other way.

Taking a deep breath, I smooth my sexy police uniform. At least the handcuffs will be fun, later—if Cliff actually shows up.

He’s vowed never to wear orange again, and I’d hope that means not even for me—on Halloween or any other circumstances. He’ll probably just come in his standard hoodie and T-shirt, proudly wearing his cut over all of it. Even though I don’t blame him, I’m a little bummed that we won’t be in matching costumes. I know it’s one of those dumb, sickeningly cute things that dumb, sickeningly stupid people do, but just for once I want to be those people so deliriously in love, they dress up together. We have so few normal things. I’ll never admit it out loud, but I secretly enjoy when we do them.

“Let it go,” I tell myself. “It ain’t happening.”

I slip on my thigh-high boots just as the doorbell rings. I hear Esther open the front door below, letting in the first wave of ticket holders. Their gasps of delight at the fog machine and spooky music drift up to me, and I smile. If nothing else, I did a damn good job of arranging all of Ravage’s Halloween decorations. It’s not what it usually looks like, but that’s because I’m not Shannon. I’m me.

And I did it my way.

Joining everyone downstairs, I realize I am a little worried Cliff didn’t show. It’s not like him, and the last time he disappeared, I let Stixx set a building on fire when we found him. I get a little crazy when my baby’s in trouble. He, on the other hand, becomes totally unhinged if anyone even breathes wrong in my direction. I’ve seen him go from sweet and sensitive to protectively violent in zero seconds flat. I’ve never seen him blow me off. Even when we were broken up, he showed up for me.

I’m torn between concern and scorn when the door opens and he steps inside, his face blank while I take in what he’s wearing. He’s dressed in an orange jumpsuit, with “inmate” stamped across his back. With his long black hair down and the scar on his face, I can see the angry, lonely man he must’ve been when he was inside. He had every right to be. It destroys me a little every time I think about him ever being unloved and secluded, this sweet man who’s helped me shower when I was too shellshocked to move, and cuddles our tiny niece while singing to her—after changing her diaper, and no one even asked.

I’m supposed to say something, to lighten the moment somehow, but I’m struck speechless by how much it must’ve taken him to put on his “costume.” Even if he doesn’t talk about it, I know that being in prison for two decades did a number on him. He pretends he’s okay just so that Lucy, I, and everyone else don’t worry about him. I also know when he doesn’t sleep at night because he’s dreaming of Lewisburg again.

So I don’t crack a joke. I just close the distance between us, throw my arms around his neck, and pour everything I’m feeling into the kiss I breathe into his lips. “Thank you,” I whisper in his ear. “You didn’t have to do this.”

His palms cup my ass. “You have handcuffs,” he says with a grin, appreciating my sexy cop costume. “I definitely had to do this.”

“Get a room,” Esther says with a wink. A second later, Donny grabs her ass, and it looks like a pair of Converses are making out, because each of them is wearing a giant shoe.

The girls—vampire Cierra, witchy Abril, and the cutest ghost ever, Ximena—pretend to be disgusted, but they wear matching smiles. It’s so good to see them happy.

Lucy and Stixx shuffle in, with Bunny in the costume I ordered her months ago. I told them they had to match her, and holy shit, they actually did it. She’s wearing tiny boxing gloves and a matching red headband and shorts, with a white onesie. A spot of red still stains one of her legs. Stixx is dressed as her coach, and Lucy is a ring girl.

“I didn’t think you’d actually go for it!” I laugh. “I fucking love you guys.”

No one else in our club is sharing a theme. Beer Can is a dwarf from Lord of the Rings. Mark has a pair of vampire fangs in one of his pockets. Skid is dressed as one of the Men in Black. Vaughn and Cami came separately, but they’re both Boba Fett. Abraham must’ve lost a bet with Vaughn, because he’s wearing a rainbow tutu and a scowl.

Bree and Mercy come late, but their cheeks are flushed and she’s wearing the same witch costume she’s been rocking since I was a kid. Occasionally he steals her hat and pretends he’s her wizard.

Dozens of people come through the house, and between the ticket sales and baskets raffle, I’m pretty sure we’ve made at least what Shannon pulls in every year. I sneak into the kitchen for a celebratory drink, finally feeling like I can let loose.

The back door opens and Shannon steps inside. “Honey, we’re home.” She engulfs me in a hug, her witch costume almost identical to my mom’s.

They’re so similar, yet one stayed and the other left. “Thank you for doing this.”

“Any time. Did you have fun?”

“Yes,” she says, her eyes misting a little. “It was good to spend some time together. I missed him, crazy as that sounds.”

“I know what you mean,” I say, peering through the passthrough at all of my family together.

Ravage steps in through the back door, and I hug him hello. His face is painted as a skull.

“Seriously?” I tease. “How’s this any different from every other day? You did a good job, though.”

“You did good, kid,” he says, one arm still around me. “I knew everything would be safe in your hands. Both of your hands,” he adds as Cliff ducks into the kitchen.

Ravage steps away and Cliff’s arms take his place. It’s almost as if I’ve been passed from father to groom. Ravage and Shannon stand arm in arm, smiling over at us. A dreadful sort of deja vu locks my limbs for a moment, and then the Halloween playlist changes tracks and the ghoulish laughter grounds me in the moment. I have the whole night to look forward to, hours in Cliff’s arms, surrounded by the kids’ laughter and the wash of voices as everyone talks at once. I lean back into him, content.

I ignore the way everyone is looking back at me, because if I look too closely, I’d realize none of this is real.

The End

More books in the River Reapers MC are coming…

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Catch Up

Book 1 | Book 2 | Novella | Book 3

She’s a criminal when it comes to sex

The following is a NSFW excerpt from A Disturbing Prospect.


“Hold on,” she says, glancing up and down the street. There’s a dangerous look in her eyes, one that simultaneously draws me in and makes me pause. This woman might look harmless, but she’s a criminal when it comes to sex. She grabs my hand and tugs me forward, trying car doors as we walk.

She’s dead serious.

“Olivia, what the fuck are you doing?” I mutter. “I’m on parole. You know that, right?”

She tosses me a challenging look. “Is your probation officer here right now?”

“No, but—”

“Relax,” she says, pulling the door of a station wagon open. “We’re not technically breaking in if it isn’t locked.”

There are so many technicalities wrapped up in this night.

She climbs into the back seat, shedding clothing. “It’s roomy in here,” she purrs, beckoning me inside.

With one more glance at the street, I climb in after her, shutting the door behind me.

Our breath steams up the windows. She peels off garments, flinging them onto the passenger seat. Within seconds, she’s naked.

“Your turn.”

So much for savoring this.

I yank off my jeans, shirt, and coat. My cock stands at full attention. Olivia regards me with an amused expression on her face. Heat flushes my cheeks. “What?”

“You were commando?” she asks, crawling into my lap.

I laugh. “I ran out before, and didn’t get a chance to change after we did laundry.”

Olivia smiles back. A wisp of hair falls into her eyes. I brush it back gently, my eyes roving over her face. Suddenly we’re shy teenagers who thought they were ready but don’t really know what to do next.

My hands drop to her hips, fingers caressing the soft flesh. “You really want this?”

She nods. Her arms encircle my neck, those eyes locked on mine. It could be a trick of the light, but she looks truly happy. Maybe she’s one of those people who really, really like sex. Whatever the reason, I’m honored to be the one to make her feel good—in multiple ways.

Soft lips tug at mine, her tongue flitting across my bottom lip. She sucks me between her teeth while her hands trail to my shoulders. The heat radiating from her warm center is so inviting.

My tongue plunges into her mouth, a growl escaping my lips. I should be gentle with her, but I don’t want to. I want to consume her until I’m completely intoxicated, neither of us able to walk.

Her legs wrap around my waist, her hips thrusting her soft wetness against me. Fingers from one hand pluck at my nipples, while her other hand wraps around me.

In just a few seconds, I’m going to throw back the bars of the cage. “One more time,” I growl into her mouth. “Do you really want this?”

She rubs the head of me against her slit in response.

Her slick wetness makes me come completely undone. In one motion, I twist our bodies until she’s flat on her back. Her legs wrap around me, and I lower myself until I’m throbbing at her entrance. Olivia gives me a final nod, and I slide in.

Her warmth envelopes me, and I almost come halfway through my first thrust. “I’m not going to last long,” I choke out.

“Shh,” she soothes into my ear. “It’s okay. Just give me all you’ve got, baby.” Her arms lock around my neck and she clings to me with her whole body. I sheath myself in her, embedded deep inside.

Slowly, I slide out, until just the tip of me is in her. I caress the side of her breast and each rib with my fingers as I make my way down to her. I want this to be just as good for her as it is for me.

Stroking her with my fingers, I plunge into her again with slow precision. With each thrust, I get more into a rhythm, two knuckles grinding against her. She shivers underneath me, tiny moans tumbling from her lips. Hard nipples rub against my chest, a complete parallel to her soft breasts pressed to my pecs. Our hearts pound against each other, blood boiling, edging us closer and closer.

My cock surges, the fire of the orgasm blowing through me.

“Fuck,” I growl into her ear. “No.”

She gasps, shouting out. “Just fuck me,” she pants, and I do. I plow into her, rubbing her, begging her. This will all be for nothing if I can’t take her with me.

Olivia arches into me, her back coming straight off the floor. A moan ripples through the station wagon, her nails raking down my back. “Yes, baby, yes,” she breathes as she shivers against me.

The last twenty years rush out of me, pulsing into her. I feel her tighten and expand around me, driving us both into the abyss.

It’s the best I’ve ever had.

I collapse, rolling to the side so I don’t crush her. A stream of hot liquid gushes down my thigh. Resting on my back, I stare at the ceiling, my breath ragged. Beside me, she exhales and turns onto her side.

“Wow,” she says, grinning. “Thank you.” She dips her chin. Our eyes meet for a second, then she reaches into the front seat for her cigarettes. The flash of bare skin exposes a twin stream running down her leg.

My heart just about stops.

“Fuck,” I say, scrambling to sit up. “We need to get to a store. We didn’t—I mean, I didn’t—”

She glances over her shoulder. Now she really does look amused. “Relax,” she says, handing me a cigarette. “I’m on the pill.”

I fall back, relief rushing through me. I smoke in silence, and decide I’ve had enough thrills in one night to last me a lifetime. From here on out, I’m keeping my head down and playing it straight.

This can never, ever happen again.

A Disturbing Prospect

Whose secret is more disturbing, his or hers?


Someone’s slashed my tires less than a week after I screwed ex-con Cliff back into society. I knew it was a bad idea, but with his dark hair, gentle eyes, and disturbing secrets, I was dying to unlock him. As much as I don’t want to believe it was him, he’s a killer, so what’s a little stalking? With a whole biker club at my back, normally all I’d have to do is say the word, but he just became their latest Prospect.

I’ll just have to handle it myself.


After two decades in prison, I might as well be on another planet. Everything is different now, including me. I’ve fallen for the first woman I met, and I’ll do anything to prove to her that I’ve changed, too. There aren’t many prospects for a felon, so I have no choice but to take the first job I’m offered. Becoming a Prospect for my father’s MC comes with all kinds of strings, especially since I’m the one who killed him.

And now, thanks to Olivia, I’ve got one more body to bury.

A Disturbing Prospect is the first book in the River Reapers MC series, a dark romance with a body count. Some content may be disturbing to some readers.

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River Reapers MC Halloween Special: Part I

While you wait for the next book in the River Reapers MC series, here’s a special treat. This spooky short story can be read as a standalone whether you’re new to the MC or a longtime member (trigger- and spoiler-free)!

Before You Read…

Guess everyone’s costumes! Just save the image, then draw to match each character to a costume. Then tag me on Instagram with your guesses!

Part I


“We’re throwing a Halloween party, and Olivia’s organizing,” Ravage, the President of the River Reapers MC says, casting me the quickest of glances. “We’ve also got a bit of a rat problem—”

“Back up a sec.” He’s not getting off that easy. It’s bad enough I have to clean up after their drunk asses as their bartender. It’s bad enough they pranked the shit out of me as their Prospect. These pains in my ass want me to plan their Halloween bash? The one that requires tickets, because so many people come, from all over?

“It’s not a big deal.” Ravage leans back in his chair at the head of the table, stretching lazily like he didn’t just hand me his baby.

This is the party. He and Shannon host a haunted house at their place every year, with music, food, and booze back at The Wet Mermaid, the MC’s strip club. It goes well into two in the morning, sometimes later, depending on how the police department feels about us at the time. All the proceeds from the ticket sales and raffles go to Shannon’s Haven, a shelter for survivors of rape and domestic violence. This is the fundraiser that sponsors everything Shannon does for another year. And Ravage is just giving it to me?

I’m one of Shannon’s strays, in a way. I washed up here every time my mother Bree disappeared, because before DCF got their hands on me, I belonged to the club. They were my family. Because of Ravage’s record, they weren’t allowed to foster or adopt me, so I was ripped from their leather-clad arms and placed with even worse people. As soon as I turned eighteen, I came back to the Mermaid for a job, and I’ve been family again ever since.

Now I’m one of the River Reapers, for real. Me—the little girl without a family. Now I’ve got more family than I can handle. Just like a standard suburban family, they drive me crazy.

I’d do anything for them, anyway.

“Is this one of those things where you surprise me with a little responsibility now because later you’re gonna drop the whole thing in my lap?” I slide a smirk over to Cliff. He knows exactly what I’m talking about, even if neither of us knows exactly where our complicated relationship stands.

“Sure seems like it,” Cliff agrees.

That’s just how Ravage rolls. He has his secret, all-knowing, father-knows-best agenda, and nine times out of ten, the fucker’s right. That’s what makes it infuriating. He knows what the ten of us sitting with him at this table are capable of before we even do. I always think he’s insane, and he always proves me wrong. Like the time he taught seven-year-old me how to shoot a gun. Way fucked up, but it saved my life later.

I know he loves me like I was his own daughter, but sometimes it’s so creepy, the way he just knows things. I bet the fucker even knows when he’s gonna die, and everything he’s doing is just to prepare us for that day.

Which is why I narrow my eyes at him.

“You love Halloween, and there’s no way Shannon just agreed to put all of her funding in my hands.”

“Actually, it was her idea.” His ice blue eyes are firm. “She wants to go away for a few days, and I want you to run everything so smoothly, she doesn’t feel guilty.”

In that case, I can do this. Shannon’s been like a mother to me over the years, in ways I never even realized. The least I can do is take over so she can take a break.

“Then I only have one question,” I say, lifting my chin.


“Can we still do the haunted house at your place?”


I stretch fake spider webbing across the front bushes, my memories as real as the October chill in the air. Growing up, I wasn’t allowed around the club. My mother made sure that I was kept in the dark. Halloween was the only exception, and that was only because Bastard took me to the haunted house and straight back home. I gotta give Ruth props, because I had no fucking clue my old man was the President of a biker club. He came home for dinner every night just like all my friends’ dads. Until I found Ruth in the tub, I had no idea we weren’t like every other family.

A lot of the time, I’m angry. I try to hide it, but it comes out anyway. I’m Frankenstein, a big dumb brute barely holding it together.

I stick the little plastic spiders into place, envisioning the yard lit up by strobe lights like it used to be. This is the house that goes overboard every year, the house everyone wants to see. Shannon’s decor is already dreamy boho goth, so all it needs on the inside is a few fake spiderwebs and some mood music. Halloween is when it’s cool to show off the animal skulls she collects.

Olivia pokes her head out the front door. “You almost done with that? I’ve got another job for you.”

“All done.”

She steps onto the porch and I join her, wrapping an arm around her to keep away the chill. For a brief moment, her warmth seeps into me, and I close my eyes. Peace is so fleeting for us. Even before we met, our lives were a mess of chaos and hurt. She’s the home I’ve been aching for, but she has yet to invite me in. Not all the way, anyway. After all she’s been through, she guards her heart, and I can’t blame her. It’s my job to prove to her that she can trust me, time after time.

“What do you need?” I kiss the top of her head, breathing her in. Just her nearness sets my senses on fire, my hands longing to touch her.

But she pulls away, stopping me with a serious face. “I need you to get our costumes.”

I blink. “Costumes?”

“We’re the hosts. We have to dress up.”

“I’d rather get us undressed.” I settle my hands on her hips, drawing her back in.

“Yeah well, no one’s getting any ’til I’ve outdone every party Ravage and Shannon have ever thrown.”

“Tall order.” I stroke her cheek. “You’re doing great, you know.”

“I’ll do even better if you get us some cool matching costumes.”

I chuckle. “The day before Halloween? No problem.”

“That’s the spirit.” She unties her nest of curls and shakes them out, wafting the warm, slightly spicy scent of her shampoo my way.

“Anything I should avoid?”

She drops her hair, smirking. “Hmm. No bikers.”

I laugh. “Can’t make it easy for me, huh?”

“No photographers.”

“Is that even a costume?”

“Definitely no rockstars.”

I sober. She’s listing all the real-life monsters we’ve buried. “Probably no football players, then.”

“Definitely not. I’ll wear anything else. I’ll even go as a half-naked maid.”

“You promise?” I’m not usually a fantasy guy, but the thought of Olivia half naked in any form gets me instantly hard.

She gives my ass a swat. “Only if you go get those costumes.”

“I’m on it.”

Before I go, I pull her in for a kiss. I don’t give a fuck how much a hurry she’s in. Every moment could be our last. Too many people want us dead. There’s always time for kisses.

“Be safe,” she murmurs just as our lips touch. I nuzzle across hers, savoring the slow sweet burn. Darting my tongue against her lower lip, I tease her open. The inside of her mouth is hot and sweet, and the glide of our tongues is too quick. I capture her face in my hands for just a moment longer, feel her body slow and melt into me, tell her I love her with my tongue instead of the words she won’t let me speak.

Then, just as she surrenders, I break away with a wink.

“No one’s getting lucky ’til I get costumes,” I remind her. Her eyes flash, her face so comically disappointed, I chuckle. I kiss her hand, then hop off the porch. Just before I turn the engine of my motorcycle, I hear her mutter a single word.



Every single store is sold out of costumes. I knew it’d be slim pickings, but they’re all cleaned out. There’s no time to order anything, either, so I’m screwed. I might as well not even go back to the house, not empty-handed.

There’s only one person who might be able to help me with this. Before I can call her, my phone buzzes with an incoming text.

<< Ravage: Don’t forget to take care of our rat problem. >>

Fuck. I tip my head back. I didn’t forget—no way I could. I just wish I didn’t have to be the one to handle it.

<< Ravage: I mean it. There’s a rat in the clubhouse and I’m counting on you to get rid of him, son. This could earn you a new patch. >>

This is exactly “one of those things” Olivia was talking about in Church. Sometimes Ravage drops little jobs on us, all while making this face like he knows something the rest of us don’t. He’s never had me do anything like this, though.

But he left this to me, right after putting Olivia on party duty, and if I want to stay in this club, I better make it happen. It’ll never leave the table. It won’t violate my parole. It shouldn’t bother me. But it’s brutal and cold, and despite the time I did in max, it’s not my style.

<< Ravage: Take care of it before the party tomorrow night. >>

Every kill is a stain on my soul, a soul I wasn’t even sure I possessed until I met Olivia. When I stood outside that motel and she offered me a cigarette, she lit up the parts of me that were dark for two decades, maybe longer. I want to give her a good, clean life, but there’s no such thing in this life we lead.

If nothing else, I can at least give her a costume.

I call my cousin Lucy. I’m ten years older than her but she’s the one always saving my ass. She picks up right away.

“You must be psychic,” she says, breathless.

My pitch for last-minute help dies on my lips. “Huh?”

“I need you to get over here, right now.”

I don’t think. I don’t ask questions. I just go.


I fall back onto Shannon’s chaise lounge, enveloped by the emerald velvet and pile of throw pillows. The house is decorated, her cats are fed, and everything at Shannon’s Haven is running right on schedule. Tomorrow there’ll be late-afternoon trick-or-treating for the kids, then the haunted house will kick off the party over at the Mermaid.

Esther tosses the last goody bag into the box and stretches out on the floor. “You did it, girl.”

“Thanks to you.” No way I could’ve put together two dozen goody bags and care packages, while decorating and making sure the menu’s all set. Not by myself. I’m never alone, though, not with Esther. She comes with an army of little sisters eager to help, because even teenagers love free candy.

“Any time. I’m really excited about this party. I always heard about it, but thought it’d be all bad stuff, like drugs and violence.”

“That’s the afterparty,” I say, kidding. Biker family parties are just like any other family gathering. There’s booze and weed, of course, but no one would even think of lighting up in front of the little ones. The liquor is kept out of reach and the party stays family-friendly ’til the babies are all in bed.

I missed a lot of Halloweens after I went into the system, but I remember slow dancing on a slightly drunk Beer Can’s feet, eating plates of food made by Mark’s flavor of the week, and going home with my own care package for Bree. In each box, there’s a new set of clothes for each mother and child, plus all the fixings for a spaghetti night, and some necessities like deodorant and toothpaste. This year, I had Esther add one more thing: a fall wreath made by her little sisters. Bree and I never had decorations. I figure the wreaths will brighten up everyone’s doors, even if only a little.

Esther’s fourteen-year-old sister, Cierra, unplugs the hot glue gun she’s been in charge of for the past few hours. “Can we go to the movies now?”

“You good here?” Esther asks me.

I nod, too tired to speak.

“All right, we’re out, then.” She collects Cierra, Abril, and little Ximena, and then the house is silent.

The quiet hits me hard. Somewhere, a grandfather clock ticks, but other than that, there isn’t a sound. With Esther and the girls gone and nothing left to do, I’m trapped by all of my insecurities. Esther says Shannon would be proud, but I can’t help but feel like I’ll never measure up. Shannon gives without even a second thought. She makes so many lives better, never once complaining. I don’t know how she does it without collapsing. If anyone deserves a to get away, it’s her. I picture her and Ravage strolling down the Maine beach, and smile.

My smile drops when I think of the way Ravage looked at me. He had that gleam in his eye, that calculating one that tells me someday I’ll be running Shannon’s Haven, whether I think I’ve got it in me or not. His faith in me scares me more than anything else, because I can’t bear the thought of letting down the two people who’ve looked out for me my whole life every time Bree couldn’t. Shannon gave me a job as a bartender when I wasn’t even old enough to drink or confident enough to hold a man’s stare. She taught me how to be boldly me, just by showing me how to mix drinks I’d never heard of and banter with customers I’d never met.

Ravage is always saying things like “This club is your birthright,” because Cliff and I are second generation; we were supposed to be River Reapers but then we got taken away by two sides of the same system. I owe Ravage and Shannon everything, but I’ve always had my own plans, and I don’t know how those fit into who they want me to be.

After coming up in the system, I swore I’d become the kind of social worker I needed as a kid. I can’t take care of my clients and run Shannon’s Haven at the same time. If that’s truly what Ravage wants, I’ll let someone down no matter which way I go.

I’m good at my job, even if I break the rules at times; I’m good at my job because I’m willing to bend them. The one time I asked for help, my social worker was too busy to do even the bare minimum for me. The system needs people like me, foster kid alumni who wanna be the change or whatever. No one else cares enough.

But no one else cares enough about rape and domestic violence survivors, either. It’s the broken people who save other broken people. The problem is, I can’t save everyone, no matter how hard I try.

“It’s me,” Cliff calls as he steps inside.

I sit up, letting my worries fall away for a moment. Just hearing his voice eases the tension in me. Cliff is a constant reminder that I am enough. I know he loves me, even if it terrifies me to hear him say it. Hopefully he knows how I feel about him.

He bends to kiss me hello, and I rise onto my knees, stretching out the kiss. When he breaks away, I sigh happily.

“Did you get the costumes?” I ask, peeking at the big paper bag he holds in one hand.

It’s then that I notice the blood staining his hands and face.

“What happened?” I ask, standing.

In our world, there’s always blood. Every life we save is paid for with another life. Each monster we remove deserved it, but the lines in Cliff’s face tell the story of the toll it takes. It weighs heavier on his soul than it does mine. Looking at the stains on his skin, I know exactly why they called him Red Dog in prison. He’s a terrifying sight with his towering frame, broad shoulders, and dark hair, blood dried into his beard and under his fingernails. His name might be Clifford, and he might be a gentle giant with me, but he’s no docile puppy.

He glances down at his hands. “It’s not real,” he says quickly. “Lucy was doing this Halloween photo shoot with Bunny and it got out of hand.”

I sag back into the chaise, relieved. There’ll be no bodies to bury tonight. He sits beside me, pulling up a video. I watch my adoptive sister scrub her baby, covered in fake blood, in the sink. “I swear I didn’t mean to Carrie prom my baby,” she says in the video, and I snort softly.

“Lucy and Pinterest fail, in the same sentence? My eyes must be lying.” I fight another wave of yawns. “Please tell me you got costumes,” I murmur.

“I did,” he says, “but you’re not gonna like them.”

Cracking an eye open, I take in what he’s holding up. He’s right.

To be continued…

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Catch Up on the River Reapers MC Series

Book 1 | Book 2 | Novella | Book 3

“It’s Blood I Want” | Excerpt From A FATAL PROSPECT

I take the weight that’s pitted in my belly, wrap it in a kerosene-soaked blanket, and drop a match in. This pain has to have a purpose. I can’t let anything like this happen to Bree, or Bryce, or anyone else, ever again.

Even though the air is crisp and cool, sweat soaks through the back of my shirt, the fabric sticking uncomfortably as I crouch in the back of the van. My pulse thumps in my throat in time with the swirl of fury in my heart.

Abraham signals a right turn, and Vaughn plants a hand on the metal wall for balance. Mimicking him, I place my palms on the floor. Lucky Stixx gets to ride up front, where there are actual seatbelts. I didn’t even say goodbye to Cliff.

We pull onto Bristol Street, a spur off of Platts Mill Road. The old Platt Brothers factory is just a short walk over.

“Let’s creep up on them, watch for a minute,” I tell the men with me, passing around the ski masks.

“Rui’s gonna fucking kill me if I get arrested,” Abraham says, but yanks his mask on anyway.

We jump out of the van, closing doors gently so the sound doesn’t echo over to the factory. The night presses down on us, lit only by the orange glow of old street lights. Out here, I can make out some of the stars.

“Let’s get this over with,” Abraham says.

“Olivia, you take point. This is your kill,” Stixx tells me.

“Now, now,” I remind him with an exaggerated wink he probably can’t see. “Ravage said no blood.”

Yet it’s blood I want.

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I’m Breaking All of My Rules for Him | A DISTURBING PROSPECT Snippet

Cliff has me breaking all kinds of rules.

I throw on sweats and my high top Nikes, then toss my hair into a frizzy bun. With such wild curly hair, I’ll never have one of those cute messy buns that straight-haired girls rock. But I’ve managed to make it my own.

I’m supposed to work tonight, but I’ll come home and shower first. Still, just in case, I wing my eyeliner and dab on mascara. Looking at my reflection, I shake my head at myself. The odds of me running into Cliff today are pretty low. This is totally absurd. After another moment, I shrug and add lip gloss.

My hand is on my bedroom door knob when I hear a door slam. Frenzied shrieks and Spanish gush from my roommate’s mouth. I throw my door open and Esther barrels into my room.

Between high school and my roommate, my Spanish is pretty good, but she’s talking way too fast. Tears streak her cheeks, and she clutches her phone in her hand. I lead her to my bed and sit her down. After bringing her an ice cold glass of water, I calm her enough to talk.

“My car,” she gasps, her hands shaking. “Someone slit my tires.”

I bolt up straight. Eyes narrowing, I stomp toward the front door as if I can still catch the motherfucker. Right outside our front door, Esther’s car slumps pathetically. All four tires have long gashes in them. My jaw hangs open even as fury rips through me. Esther is a nice person—someone so quiet, she wouldn’t disturb a librarian. Cutting tires is never random, always personal. This doesn’t make sense.

I light a cigarette and Esther joins me outside. Red rims her eyes and blots her nose.

“Who would do this?” she whispers, hugging herself.

I shake my head. “No one followed you home?”

“Not that I saw.” She holds her hand out for my cigarette. I give it to her and light another for myself. Taking a drag, she grimaces. “I haven’t smoked since high school.” Still, she visibly relaxes. Once a smoker, always a smoker.

“Anyone you might have . . . annoyed?” I can’t imagine Esther ever pissing anyone off enough to make them want to slit her tires, but I have to cover all the bases.

Her head swivels from side to side. “No. Last night was actually a really good tips night.” Dainty eyebrows knit together. “Donny even asked me out.”

My eyes narrow. “Who’s Donny?”

Lips softening into a smile, Esther practically swoons. “This guy at work. He’s one of the chefs. I’ve been waiting for him to make a move forever.” She sucks on the cigarette, still smiling.

“He’s nice to you?” I’m losing hope. Walking around the car, I examine it again.

“Very,” Esther says. “He’s one of the ones who hold doors open and all that. He’s even brought me gifts—little things like chocolate. He brought me a rose last night.”

I blink at her.

Rolling her eyes, she puts her hands on her hips. “Valentine’s Day?”

I halt in my tracks, groaning. “Fuck,” I mutter.

Esther rushes to my side. “Did you think of something?”

“No.” I sigh, lighting another cigarette. “I kind of did something last night, without realizing what day it was.” Wrinkling my nose, I hope Cliff didn’t think it was all supposed to be some romantic bullshit. Or, even worse, that I was so desperate for a Valentine, I begged him to come home with me. I rub my temples. God, I’m pathetic.

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It’s finally A Fatal Prospect cover reveal day!

I wanted this cover to have an “us against the world, we’re going to war” feel, since everything is about to be turned upside down for Cliff and Olivia. I’ve been working with cover designer Natasha Snow for a few years now, and one of my favorite things about working with her is how I can give her a general idea and she runs with it.

See what I mean? 😍😍😍

Our enemies of past and present are uniting to put us in our graves. Not even death would destroy our love, but death isn’t the only thing that’s fatal…


I’ve finally got Olivia, but she can’t give me the two things I want most: three words so I know I’m not in this alone, and a family so I can redeem all the horrible things I’ve done. My past is still chasing me, and the only way I can let it go is if I stop running and face it. I can’t allow the monster in my blood to take over, but it’s rising to the surface and I can’t fight it much longer.


After all I’ve been through, I’m never giving away my heart, even if my heart has other plans. War strikes before Cliff and I get a chance to figure it out. When a teen football player is unspeakably violated, only my club can avenge him. A rival motorcycle club from the past is also looking for revenge, just as I realize my true feelings for Cliff.

When someone betrays us, we’ll pay the ultimate price, in both blood and love…

A FATAL PROSPECT is the third book in the River Reapers MC series, a dark romance with a body count. Some content may be disturbing to some readers.


A Fatal Prospect releases April 28th! Pre-order your copy now!

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Catch Up on the River Reapers MC Series

A Disturbing Prospect
River Reapers MC, Book 1

Our violent pasts brought us together. One night entwined us forever. We’re not falling in love, we’re just hanging onto each other while everything falls apart.

Read now for only $0.99!

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/adisturbingprospect

A Risky Prospect
River Reapers MC, Book 2

If we can’t keep each other from the dark, we’ll have to be each other’s light, even if our revenge blackens everything we love.

Read now!

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/ariskyprospect

Her Mercy
River Reapers MC, Spinoff Novella

The last time Bree ran away, she put Mercy in prison. Now he’s got to find her and convince her they belong together so they can both be free.

Read now for FREE!

Download: https://BookHip.com/MRDJJFQ


While reading A Fatal Prospect, there might be some terms you aren’t familiar with, or places you need a refresher for. I’ve put together a glossary of biker slang and club roles, as well as terms special to the River Reapers MC, plus locations.

Looking for the character guide? Click here!

Bastard Brothers MC: The half of the club that split in ’97. This story is told in the FREE standalone novella Her Mercy.

Cara’s: A diner on 63 that Donny and Esther work at. Many of the River Reapers frequent Cara’s.

Colors: A logo of sorts that adorns the back of MC members’ cuts. Usually embroidered onto the leather. The River Reapers colors is the Sludge Specter—a sludge-covered reaper that is a nod to the polluted Naugatuck River.

Cut: The leather jacket or vest that members of a club wear, usually with the club’s insignia embroidered onto the back, and various patches sewn on.

Enforcer: Sort of a bouncer for the club… or the guy who sorts things out when talking doesn’t work.

Hangaround: A non-member who hangs out with the MC, often at The Wet Mermaid. Usually other motorcycle enthusiasts and even non-rival bikers.

House Mouse: A woman who is unaffiliated with but hangs out with the club.

Holeshot: When someone in a motor vehicle rips up gravel. It’s also the fastest driver during a race. Not a biker term, but a reader asked about it, so I figured I’d include it. It also used to be my dad’s CB handle.

Ol’ Lady / Ol’ Man: Girlfriend/boyfriend, usually serious.

One-kicker: In A Disturbing Prospect, Cliff mentions that he isn’t a one-kick wonder yet; this means that he can’t start his bike with just one kick of the starter.

One-percenter: A club that is involved with illegal activity.

Lewisburg: The prison that both Cliff and Mercy served time in.

MC: Motorcycle club

Naugatuck, CT: The dying industrial town where the series takes place. Also a real town near where I grew up. Sometimes referred to as “Naugy.”

Naugatuck River: A river that cuts through Naugatuck and Waterbury. Known nationally in real life for its chemical pollution. More recently, there was an oil spill. Some say the river is cursed.

Patch: This can refer to the patch on a biker’s cut, or the verb—as in, getting patched in, meaning being accepted as a member.

President: The member who oversees club activities, duties, and operations.

Prospect: A potential member.

Pussy Pad: The seat on the back of the bike, usually where a biker’s ol’ lady rides.

River Reapers MC: A fictional motorcycle club named for the Naugatuck River.

Rocker: A curved patch that is usually placed on the side or back of a cut. Usually designates the club’s name.

Sergeant-at-Arms: The member who handles club rules, patches, etc. Also sometimes weapons. (In some MCs, the SAA and Enforcer are interchangeable terms for the same role.)

Shannon’s Haven: A shelter for women who are survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, run by Shannon. Most of the women are employed by the Mermaid.

Sludge Specter: A patch awarded only to members willing to do anything for the MC, who have actually gone above and beyond member duties. Also refers to the MC’s colors.

“Take them to the river”: A River Reapers phrase referring to killing someone—usually determined by a club vote. Example: When the original members voted to kill Bastard for molesting Lucy, they voted whether to take him to the river. Bodies are often buried on the Naugatuck River front, making it a more literal phrase.

Treasurer: The member who takes care of funds. Also organizes activities, fundraisers, and other club events.

Vice President: Second-in-command, usually coordinates Church and other events, and also takes over President roles in case that member can’t perform his duties.

The Wet Mermaid: The strip club owned by the River Reapers. The business is under Treasurer Mark’s name. Sometimes referred to as “the Mermaid.”

Catch Up on the River Reapers MC Series

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A FATAL PROSPECT Character Guide

As the River Reapers MC series grows, I thought it’d be handy if you had a reference sheet for who’s who. The following is an appendix of all the characters and their relationships as of the beginning of A Fatal Prospect. This book is the third in the series and continues Cliff and Olivia’s story.

  • Abraham: Non-officer member of the River Reapers MC. He is a barber and is in a serious relationship with his boyfriend Rui.
  • Bastard: Cliff’s deceased father, and the former President of the River Reapers MC. Lucy’s uncle.
  • Beer Can: The Sergeant-at-Arms for the River Reapers MC. He works at The Wet Mermaid (strip club) as a bouncer.
  • Bree: Olivia’s mother, whereabouts unknown.
  • Bryce: Survivor of a brutal sexual assault who goes to the club for help. Ex-football player for Naugatuck High School.
  • Cliff: The hero of our story. Ex-con and fully patched member of the River Reapers MC. He is a machine tools worker in a machine shop. Lucy’s cousin. Olivia’s ol’ man.
  • Donny: A non-officer member in 1997. The current Enforcer for the River Reapers MC and Esther’s ol’ man.
  • Esther: Olivia’s best friend, Donny’s ol’ lady, and older sister and legal guardian of Cierra, Abril, and Ximena.
    • Cierra: Esther’s fourteen-year-old little sister.
    • Abril: Esther’s eleven-year-old little sister.
    • Ximena: Esther’s five-year-old little sister. AKA Jimmy. Pronounced She-may-na, anglocized “Jimena.”
  • Gavin: Enforcer in 1997.
  • Lucy : Cliff’s cousin and Olivia’s adoptive sister. She teaches first grade.
    • Leigh: Lucy’s infant daughter, nicknamed “Bunny” by Olivia.
  • Mark: The Treasurer for the River Reapers MC. He works at The Wet Mermaid (strip club) as a general manager.
  • Nora & Collin: Lucy’s parents, Olivia’s adoptive parents, and Cliff’s aunt and uncle.
  • Malcolm: Non-officer member of the River Reapers MC in 1997.
  • Mercy: The previous Vice President of the River Reapers MC, and Bastard’s ex-best friend. Currently serving time in maximum security at Lewisburg. Considers Ravage his best friend.
  • Olivia: The heroine of our story. Lucy’s adopted sister. Cliff’s ol’ lady. Bree’s daughter. She is a social worker, bartender at The Wet Mermaid, and the first fully patched female member of RRMC.
  • Ravage: The current President of the River Reapers MC. Mercy’s best friend. Was the Sergeant-at-Arms in 1997.
  • Rui: Abraham’s boyfriend and an ER APRN at Waterbury Hospital.
  • Ruth: Cliff’s deceased mother, and Lucy’s aunt. No affiliation with the MC, other than Bastard’s ol’ lady.
  • Shannon: Ravage’s ol’ lady. She runs a non-profit for sexual assault survivors.
  • Skid: A Prospect in 1997. The current Vice President of the River Reapers MC. Half of his body is covered in road rash due to a motorcycle accident, hence his nickname.
  • Zed: Non-officer member of the River Reapers MC in 1997.

Please note that I excluded a few characters and details from this list in order to keep the book spoiler-free. Did I miss a character or a (spoiler-free) connection? Please email me and let me know!

Is there a glossary or guide you’d like to see for the River Reapers series? Leave a comment and let me know!

Catch Up on the River Reapers MC Series

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Where did the River Reapers MC name come from?

I grew up in Waterbury, a small city nestled in the Naugatuck Valley of Connecticut. One of our landmarks here is the Naugatuck River, infamous for nothing good.

In 1955, the river flooded, killing 47 people and resulting in millions of dollars of damage. My great-grandmother—my Biz Noni—used to tell me stories from that time, about how people stood on top of houses and factories while waiting for help. Thankfully my family’s home was safe, being on the top of a hill. But South Main Street—which is on lower ground and runs right along the river—completely flooded over. If you look closely, you can still see watermarks on some buildings.

These days we have flood control structures throughout the area, so it’s hard to imagine losing everything to nature’s wrath. But now we have a problem that is much more sinister.

Along the river are many factories. Some of those factories illegally dump their sewage and waste into the river. Growing up in the South End of Waterbury (which was built around the river), I can remember many, many days when the air smelled of sewage. We always joked that we knew we were home when the smell hit.

The river cleanup has been an ongoing process, mostly because people keep dumping into it. It seems like there is never, ever justice, and so the river is known for being dirty. We also used to joke that you should never fish in that river, and there were even rumors of mutants.

Of course, there aren’t any mutants, but that stuck with me. When I started fleshing out the River Reapers MC series, I needed a name for my club. Immediately the image of the Sludge Specter popped into my head. It’s a sludge-covered reaper that haunts the river, its eyes glowing with a thirst for revenge.

It’s also the patch that very few RRMC members earn when they prove they’ll do anything for the club—anything.

I decided to set the series in Naugatuck, another small city. Its city line hugs the end of the South End neighborhood. Like Waterbury, Naugatuck used to be a thriving industrial hub. Naugy just did a better job of reinventing itself. You can walk along Church Street, which is a super cute “main street” type stretch that hugs the Green and is lined with some great shops that took over vintage buildings.

There are some MCs in Naugy, but they aren’t quite as notorious as the ones in Waterbury, so it made sense to set my story there. (The first rule of writing MC romance is to never write about real life MCs, especially not one-percenters.) It also amused me greatly to stick a strip club in a town that would probably never approve one in real life.

Even though I grew up right next door to Naugy, I wasn’t too familiar with the area and had to do a lot of research, which I’ll talk about in another post, if you want me to.

And so the River Reapers MC was born, burying bodies along the Naugatuck River since sometime in the mid-Nineties. 😏

Binge the River Reapers MC Series

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Photo by fotografierende on Unsplash

Trigger Warnings for A FATAL PROSPECT

Here are the potential triggers for A Fatal Prospect.

  • Drug and Alcohol Use: Some characters use drugs and drink alcohol.
  • Childhood Sexual Assault: Several characters have a history of being molested as children.
  • Guns and Violence: My vigilante bikers use guns to fight the bad guys, as well as other violent means of taking out the trash.
  • PTSD: Multiple characters experience flashbacks, anxiety, anger, and other symptoms of PTSD.
  • Sexual Assault of a Minor: A character under the age of 18 is sexually assaulted (off page).

This book will break you. Have tissues ready.
(I promise, Cliff and Olivia get their HEA in the fourth and final book!)

If you feel that you won’t be safe reading A Fatal Prospect, please don’t risk your health. As a rape survivor and someone with PTSD, I wish many books came with a list of trigger warnings. No book is worth your well-being.

Please also note that I don’t necessarily condone or endorse the themes contained in this book. I do, however, wish it was legal to kill rapists.

If you’ve read A Fatal Prospect and feel that I may have missed something, please email me at elizabethbaronebooks@gmail.com.

A Fatal Prospect
River Reapers MC, Book 3

Cover Reveal: April 14th
Release Day: April 28th
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Our enemies of past and present are uniting to put us in our graves. Not even death would destroy our love, but death isn’t the only thing that’s fatal…


I’ve finally got Olivia, but she can’t give me the two things I want most: three words so I know I’m not in this alone, and a family so I can redeem all the horrible things I’ve done. My past is still chasing me, and the only way I can let it go is if I stop running and face it. I can’t allow the monster in my blood to take over, but it’s rising to the surface and I can’t fight it much longer.


After all I’ve been through, I’m never giving away my heart, even if my heart has other plans. War strikes before Cliff and I get a chance to figure it out. When a teen football player is unspeakably violated, only my club can avenge him. A rival motorcycle club from the past is also looking for revenge, just as I realize my true feelings for Cliff.

When someone betrays us, we’ll pay the ultimate price, in both blood and love…

A FATAL PROSPECT is the third book in the River Reapers MC series, a dark romance with a body count. Some content may be disturbing to some readers.

Pre-Order Now
Kindle | Kobo | More

Catch Up on the River Reapers MC Series

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Photo by Aline de Nadai on Unsplash