I needed to call London. Or maybe I should just show up at her place, because she probably wouldn’t take a call from me. This sucked. All of it. I liked one-night stands—clean and simple, not some high school bullshit where we danced around each other instead of getting down to business. Couldn’t help but wonder what other complications there might be, either. Would she even be able to handle me in bed—the real me? I wasn’t used to holding back, and if women couldn’t take it, I cut ’em loose.
If I got my hands on London, I’d be damned if I’d let her go just because things got intense.
I turned around the final bend and spotted the cleaning service van in the driveway. What the fuck? I had a brief, intense fantasy that she’d decided she couldn’t go one more day without my cock deep inside, and that I’d find her naked and waiting in the bedroom.
More likely she was in there injecting my toothpaste with strychnine. I parked my Harley next to her vehicle, studying it. She only had the one rig, and driving it had to suck. Like piloting a particularly shitty barge. I wondered if she’d ever been on a bike before, whether she’d like it. There was something about her—the restraint, the sense of duty that never seemed to fail … She didn’t take much time for herself, and I’d be willing to bet she didn’t get to let go often enough.
Get her on the back of my bike, bet she’d cream her panties.
Well, that or run screaming. Either could be worked … Yeah, I definitely needed to take her for a ride, and now was the time. I’d just gotten it up and running again that morning after way too long stuck in the shop. Huge relief, because when I couldn’t ride, I couldn’t breathe. Winters seemed to last forever some years, and by spring we were all a little crazy.
Nothing quite like that first ride of the year.
I pulled out my phone—sure enough, she’d called. Fucking great, must’ve missed it during church. These days all we talked about ’round the table was the cartel, which had been moving in on our territory for close to a year now. They’d hit several of our clubhouses and killed the president of the Devil’s Jacks six months back. For a while we skated the edge of a full-on shooting war, but things had quieted down recently, at least on the surface.
I knew the Jacks had been down south taking out select targets.
The Reapers had been doing their part, too, because nobody fucked with us and got away with it. All the houses had full security systems now, and we’d been rolling up select probationary members from the support clubs.
Sooner or later, that shooting war was gonna hit.
We’d be ready for it.
The weekend coming up would be a huge part of that getting ready—patch holders from the Jacks, the Silver Bastards, and the Reapers were coming from all over the region to talk strategy, hopefully put together a joint offensive. We couldn’t just sneak around forever, or wait for them to bring the fight to us.
I flipped through my phone, finding the text she’d sent when I hadn’t answered the phone.
LONDON: Change of plans. I’ll be out at your place this afternoon. Something came up for tomorrow.
Something was comin’ up for today, too. My dick.
Christ, next I’ll be making fart jokes.
Juvenile as fuck.
Standing outside my front door, I smelled that acrid, horrible stench I remembered from her house last weekend. I turned the knob and stepped inside to find London standing on a stool in the living room, angrily dusting the weapons collection over the fireplace. She wore cutoff shorts and a black tank top—straight out of a wet dream … except for that god-awful stink filling the air.
She rose onto her tiptoes, one hand braced against the mantel as she reached higher. Her shirt pulled up, exposing a narrow band of skin, and I held back a groan.
God damn. I needed to either fuck her or fire her, because this in-between shit was not workin’ for me. ’Course Gage wanted her crew working out at The Line permanently, so I guess that meant firing was off the table.
Okay, then. I’d take one for the team and fuck her. “I’m cleaning your oven,” she announced loudly, turning to face me, hands on her hips. The stance was pure challenge. Spoiling for a fight. Why, I couldn’t imagine, but it was a good look on her—fire in her eyes and all that shit.
I’d screw the fire right out of her. My cock took note, tightening just enough to be uncomfortable, and I decided what the hell. No time like the present.
“What crawled up your ass?” I asked. London scowled.
“I’m just trying to do my job. I was supposed to come tomorrow, but I’ll be at the airport instead. Jessie is coming back home.”
“You don’t seem too happy about that,” I said, sauntering across the floor toward her. I came to a stop about three feet away, which put my eyes level with her boobs. She sniffed, then turned and lifted her arms to reach one of the higher knives with her duster. It made her tits jiggle under the tank, a sight my cock appreciated greatly.
“My cousin’s boyfriend is apparently some kind of criminal,” she said tightly. “I guess the place is crawling with scary goons. A couple of them cornered Jess last night, terrified her. She says she’s safe until tomorrow, but I wanted her to come home tonight. She said she’d text me but she hasn’t.”
“You know anything about these guys?”
She turned back toward me, shaking her head. A smudge of dirt ran across her forehead and her bright red hair flopped around like she’d just gotten out of bed.
Not a bad look on her at all.
“Nothing, but I know I want to hurt them. She said I shouldn’t fly down there. Probably a good thing, because I don’t need to spend the rest of my life in jail and that’s where I’ll end up if I get my hands on these assholes.”
“So you came out here instead? Not sure how to take that, sweetheart.”
She put her hands on her hips.
“I won’t be around tomorrow, and I don’t want you accusing me of backing out of our deal.”
“So you think I’m such an asshole I won’t let you off the hook to pick up your cousin from the airport?” I asked, trying not to smirk because I had her cold. She’d come here because when shit hit the fan, she wanted to be near me. Might not be ready to admit it, but that didn’t change what was really going on.
“You’re enough of an asshole to have sex in front of me.”