Authors: Catherine Johnson
Even without the tether of the truck to follow, the men from Texas kept to the speed limit on their return journey. An early finish was always welcome, but they didn’t need any hassle from the law if they could help it. Ravensbridge was too small to warrant any police presence of its own; it came under the jurisdiction of the wider county area. That was both a blessing and a curse. The eyes that might have looked their way had a lot more ground to look at, but they also had more authority behind them.
Dizzy didn’t quite have a sense of homecoming as they pulled up at their clubhouse, not yet, but he was glad to be back. It wasn’t yet home to him, but it was his place.
Cage spoke up as he backed his bike into place and cut the engine. “I heard Samuel mention the Perdidos. How worried do we need to be, boss?”
Dizzy, still astride his stationary bike, ran his fingers through his hair as he sagged back on the seat. He could hear people moving about inside the clubhouse, but they were the only bodies outside it. “I’d say very. We’re closer here, and they have Samuel’s son’s blood on their hands as far as I’m concerned; plus the blood of a lot of townsfolk after they blasted a crowded park with semi-automatics.”
“Christ! They don’t give a shit about collateral damage then?” Easy had locked up the van and wandered over. Concern clouded his blue eyes, and he was rubbing the scruff of his red-brown beard.
“No, they do not. Keep your eyes and ears open and watch over anyone close to you. These guys have no morals at all. Last time they got ‘pesky’, they boiled two of Eduardo’s men alive.” Dizzy had no illusions about their ability to stay off the Perdidos radar; they were certainly already well on it, they needed to be alert.
“Boiled alive? How do you even...?” Shaggy shook his head without finishing his thought.
“I don’t know, but I damn sure know I don’t want to find out.” Dizzy finally dismounted, retrieved and donned his Stetson, and led the group into the clubhouse.
The people he’d heard moving around were the sweetbutts. Scooby and Shaggy broke into wide smiles as they headed to the bar to help themselves before commandeering themselves some female company. Dizzy briefly considered the release of a fast fuck, but decided that the offerings simply weren’t all that appetizing. Instead he opted to crash for a couple of hours in one of the dorm rooms to sleep off the ride.
His rumbling stomach woke him. He showered quickly in the adjoining bathroom and made his way into the main room. It was empty of people. The sun had set, but only about half of the lights were turned up. He wondered about the whereabouts of his brothers. He didn’t like not knowing where everyone was, or should be, given the threat from the Mexican cartel. He spotted a pile of pizza boxes on the bar. He initially thought to check if anyone had left a slice, as unlikely as that would be, but he found a note in Ferret’s cramped scrawl inside the top box, which was empty of pizza. Ferret had left the note to let Dizzy know who had opted to stay at the clubhouse and who had gone home. Dizzy added a line to inform whoever found the note that he was headed home, and trapped it under a half-full bottle of tequila that hadn’t been returned to its shelf. He was going to have to call everyone in to the Chapel tomorrow. They would need to start being more organized, watching each other’s backs and keeping track of where everyone was or should be.
He could have remained at the clubhouse and ordered takeout, but he wanted the comfort of his house and he had a desire to eat something that had once mooed. He still had the majority of the bottle of Jack Daniels that he’d purchased on Friday night, or rather, Saturday morning, but stocking up on whiskey wouldn’t hurt either, and he would enjoy it more in the privacy of his house. He kept his drinking steady in the clubhouse. It was not a good example for the President to be seen stumbling around or turning his stomach inside out in the john. Years of drinking his liquor straight had given him a high threshold even for tipsy, but he didn’t want to even approach that level in front of his brothers so he kept his pace sedate and careful. He preferred to have a couple of extra drinks in the privacy of his house before sinking into bed.
The brief rest had eased most of the kinks of the long ride out of his body, so he was able to enjoy the short ride in the darkness from the clubhouse to the convenience store. He wondered if Thea would be on shift, and berated himself for the thrill that coursed through him at that thought. He was old enough to know better.
He truthfully hadn’t thought about whether he’d dirtied the floor inside the store until he’d heard Thea cursing. He’d emerged from the aisle stocked with the booze to see her furiously swishing an old fashioned mop across vinyl flooring which was way past being worth anyone paying attention to it. Truth be told, he’d been quite impressed that she was so adamantly proud about the condition of her workplace. When he’d glanced across to the door and noted the lack of any other muddy prints he’d figured he was either the first person in that night, unlikely, or she’d been mopping repeatedly. He’d felt bad so he’d apologized.
And then something in her face had changed subtly. Her eyes had widened before the lids had dropped low. Then that little pink tongue had slipped out to lick her lips. He was sure she hadn’t even realized she’d done it, but his cock had turned to steel in his jeans at the way she was responding to the sheer proximity of him. He’d wondered again about those roses inked on her arm and had wondered if it was the night he was going to find out how far they trailed over her body. He hadn’t meant to back her up against the shelves; he’d been responding to a simple but urgent desire to... to... what?
Belatedly he’d realized that there was a good chance of a security camera recording the whole show. But he was drawn to that long neck with the wispy tendrils of black hair stuck to it and she’d smelled fresh and warm and just... female. He’d been drawn in, and she had fucking trembled when he’d gotten close, not out of fear, he could tell that it wasn’t fright causing her limbs to shake. That she would let him do what he wanted, or even nearly, was almost too powerful an aphrodisiac to ignore, but he wasn’t going to fuck her there, not on the chance that he’d be providing jerk-off fodder for whoever might see the security videos, which also had the potential to end up all over the internet. Not to mention they were in full view of the wide glass doors, so he’d let her make her escape.
But he was still intrigued, and the memory warmed his blood as he made his way through the juddering doors. He’d enjoyed getting some revenge for her smart-ass teasing the previous week. He wanted to see her again and see how she’d react, if at all.
He looked over to the register as he usually did, and she was there, but he was distracted from his thoughts of the previous night by the fact that she had her hand down her jeans and was, not dancing, but jigging in place. He didn’t know what she was doing, but he wanted to find out. His feet were already taking him in her direction instead of through the aisles. When she spotted him, she flushed bright red, which made him smile, and whipped her hand out as fast as the tight denim would allow before shoving it into her jeans pocket.
“Whatcha doin’ there darlin’? Scratchin’ an itch?” His smile widened. Surely it wasn’t possible for someone to blush more than she already had been doing, but the color in her cheeks flamed a couple of notches brighter.
Her eyes darted from side to side. It was plain that she didn’t want to answer, but he wasn’t moving until she came up with some explanation. He didn’t know her well, but his guess wasn’t that she’d had an irresistible urge to rub one out in full view of potential customers, but he couldn’t come up with any other plausible reason for her to be fishing around down there. She huffed, obviously seeing no means of escape.
“I’m trying to sort my... my... my underwear out.” Her exasperation at the offending garment, and at him, was crystal clear. “The fuckin’ elastic has snapped and it’s all gone loose.”
“Any way I can help you with that?” He’d been wrong, she could blush harder, and he found it adorable. This hot looking woman with the sexy ink was blushing like a schoolgirl.
He decided to save her from answering, since she was unlikely to say anything encouraging. “You should take ‘em off.”
The blush faded, dialed down by frustration. “I would, but I can’t leave the register.”
“I could watch it for you.”
“No offense. It’s not that I don’t trust you, but it’s more than my job’s worth. You can bet if I did that the manager would come by. Fuckin’ Murphy’s Law or some shit.”
“So you’re just goin’ to keep playin’ with yourself for the rest of the night?” He’d meant it as a joke, but suddenly the idea of Thea with her hand between her thighs was no laughing matter. He was going to need to do his own bit of rearranging once he was out of view of the counter.
Thea cocked her head to one side, as if studying him. All traces of the red had gone from her cheeks now, and her eyes glittered. She seemed to have taken his question as some sort of personal challenge.
“No, I am not.”
He stayed where he was and watched, curious and rapt, as she stalked to the other end of the counter. She bent at the waist to fish around in the cupboard or shelves or whatever underneath. Dizzy didn’t think she’d bent over intentionally to give him a show, but her ass in its second skin of denim was quite the sight. When she straightened, she was holding a pair of ancient, metal scissors that were almost the length of her forearm.
She came back to her spot at the register, defiance still flashing in those brilliant blue eyes. Curiouser and curiouser. Surely she wouldn’t.... And then, with a little toss of her head to send the loose ponytail of hair over her shoulder and her bangs out of her eyes, she undid the top button of her jeans. That got Dizzy’s attention, and he didn’t even give a shit if he was staring at that sweet spot down low under her belly button revealed by the partially open fly. There was just the hint of dark hair and... he managed to stop himself leaning over the counter to see if that was white lace just peeking out there. And then the mammoth scissors came into view and his brain stuttered as she slipped them into her jeans at her hip and snipped at something.
Dizzy couldn’t tear his eyes away. He’d have liked to have met her bold gaze, but the show was too good to miss. He vaguely noticed her placing the heavy scissors on the counter with a clunk, before those slim fingers delved behind the unfastened front of her jeans and, with a little tug and pull, emerged with a scrap of, yes, white lace. There wasn’t enough of it for it to have been anything other than a thong. As she stuffed it into her back pocket, Dizzy’s brain put the pieces together to show him the picture of how one side had snapped so she’d cut the other side to be able to pull the flimsy material from between her legs without actually taking her jeans off.
His mind was running riot on that visual as Thea fastened her jeans.
“You actually come in here to buy somethin’? Or just to harass a lady in distress?”
As adorable as she was in the middle of mortifying embarrassment, the sass was unbelievably sexy. He liked that she would stand up to him, that she would give as good as she got. He liked that a lot.
“I definitely need a drink after that little show. Maybe a smoke, too. Grab me a couple of packs, sweetheart.” He refused to feel any shame for staring. The view had been worth a dropped jaw or two.
With just the hint of a grin playing on her lips, she turned to get his cigarettes. Dizzy took the opportunity, while her back was turned, to scoot down the aisle towards the booze. He took a moment or two longer than he needed while he was out of sight to arrange his solid cock into a more comfortable position. He was going to need to take that in hand when he got home, or he’d have a bad case of blue balls.
He brought the bottle he’d chosen back to the counter. Thea began to ring it and the packs of cigarettes up as if their little scene had been a figment of his imagination. His imagination was now running full tilt on the knowledge that she was bare beneath her jeans. He wondered if her little act of challenge had turned her on as much as it did him. Christ, the thought that she was wet and basically naked... Dizzy did his best to concentrate on finding his wallet and fumbling out the required bills.
“You ever come to the clubhouse, darlin’?”
He wanted a taste, and the only way he was going to get that was if he got her out of this fucking store. She paused; he was reading it as a reluctance to answer, which piqued his interest.