Authors: Laramie Briscoe
Tags: #Suspense, #motorcycles, #Kentucky, #Love, #outlaw, #MC, #Romance
She wrapped her arms tightly around his waist and hung on as they sped off into the night. As with many times in her life, this night hadn’t exactly turned out the way she’d planned.
ianca sighed deeply. She wasn’t used to sitting still and she was bored, even if she was using the time to study. Without a car, she had no mode of transportation, and since she had no mode of transportation, she wanted to go everywhere. Beside her, her cell phone rang, Jagger’s name flashing on the screen.
“Hey.” She could hear the smile in his voice, see the dimple in his cheek as clear as day.
“I’m just lettin’ you know, your car’s done. I can drop it by for you if you can bring me back to the shop.”
“Not a problem. I’ll be waiting.”
Quickly, she got up from her couch, closed the textbooks she’d been studying, and hurried into the bedroom of her small apartment. Noting that there was still ice on her window, she grabbed a large hoodie and a warm pair of jeans along with a pair of boots. She heard a car pull into her parking space and ran a brush through her hair before grabbing her purse and bounding down the stairs.
He didn’t get out of the driver’s seat, so she went around to the passenger side and got in. “I don’t even get to drive my own car?”
“This thing is really nice when it’s been taken care of,” he grinned, backing out into the street.
A sinking feeling took root deep in her stomach. “What did you have done to it?” Her funds were very limited. She didn’t know if she could actually afford what he’d done to her car.
“Don’t worry about it.” He waved his hand at her.
“No really, what did you do to my car?”
He could tell by the look on her face that she wasn’t happy about what he was going to say. “I did what needed to be done to it. You drive this car back and forth to work late at night. It needs to be safe.”
In the passenger seat, she fumed silently. “I appreciate it,” she managed to get out between gritted teeth.
“No you don’t,” he laughed.
That deflated her anger just a little. “No, I really do, but I don’t like that you did it without asking me. I’m used to taking care of myself. I had planned to get it taken care of with my living stipend that gets mailed to me in February.”
Crossing her arms over her chest, she explained. “I’m an education student at Western on a very small scholarship. That’s why I work such a shit job with shit hours. Education is a hard program. I want to teach and it’s expensive.”
That was a surprise. He had assumed she had the same type of background as the other girls that worked at the bar. He would never have guessed she wanted to be a teacher. “Really?”
“Don’t look so surprised. Many women have done what they’ve had to do in order to go to college. I’m damn smart.”
He didn’t doubt that. Just the way he had seen her handle herself showed just how smart she was. “I know you are. I’m just surprised.”
She snorted. “I always get that when I tell people what I want to do. They assume that just because I came from the proverbial wrong side of the tracks and I work at a strip club that I won’t do anything with my life. Go ahead, be like everybody else in this ass-backwards town.”
The rest of the ride to the shop passed in complete silence, and Jagger wanted to smack his own mouth. He pulled up to the shop and put the car into park, turning it off. “Look, I’m sorry, okay.”
Bianca refused to look at him. She picked at her fingernails, which sported a dark red color, and stared out of the passenger-side window. “Don’t be sorry. You had a thought, you voiced it.”
“But I apparently hurt your feelings in the process. I’m not good at this kind of stuff. I thought I was doing something nice for you.” He ran his hands around the circle of the steering wheel and cursed himself for being so damn dumb in situations like this. He wanted to impress her, not piss her off and make her run away.
“You did,” she relented. “But I take care of myself. That’s just the way it’s always been. Please tell me how much I owe you. I don’t care if it’s how much it really cost or not, just give me an amount to pay you back. Please, I don’t like to owe people.”
“Maybe I did it out of the goodness of my heart.”
She knew he was trying to be cute, but in her experience no one ever did anything out of the goodness of their heart. It was hard to explain the way she thought, to someone who hadn’t grown up the way she had. Most people gave others the benefit of the doubt, she couldn’t remember a time when she ever had. “And maybe you did, but please, let me pay you something back.”
It hurt his pride that she wouldn’t accept this gift from him, but he realized that maybe it was a pride thing for her as well. “Three hundred. Whenever you can get it to me will be fine.”
Bianca closed her eyes. That was a lowball quote if she’d ever heard one, but she appreciated that he’d not said something any lower. “Alright, I’ll get it to you a little bit a week.”
A thought popped into his head. “Only if you let me take you out to dinner once a week. No place fancy, but just let me spend some time with you.”
“Okay, but only until I pay you back.” It was important to her that he didn’t think she would take him for his money. It was important to her to pay her own way.
“Who knows, after you pay me back, you might just want to spend time with me.”
She laughed, flashing a bit of her straight teeth. “In your dreams.”
He got out of the car and handed the keys to her. It was on the tip of his tongue to say she didn’t know how deep in his dreams that went, but he didn’t want to play his hand so soon.
“I’ll call you later on in the week and find out when a good time is for you,” he offered.
“I’ll be waiting.” She winked.
With that, she was gone, leaving him to watch the car disappear from view.
“You got it bad.” Tyler clapped his hand on Jagger’s shoulder.
“And you don’t?” If there was anyone that loved his mate, it was the man standing next to him. Tyler had been through hell with Meredith and they stood together now – stronger than ever.
“Yeah, but at least mine has the sense to love me back.”
Bianca watched in her rearview mirror until she could no longer see him. She had wanted to tell him that no one had ever done anything like this for her before. No one had ever cared if her car worked well enough to get her from point A to point B. It was disconcerting to someone who had always only had to rely on herself. Pulling up to her apartment, she made her way up the stairs and inside.
She had so much work to do if she wanted to keep up with school, and it felt like she was getting deep in over her head. Girls from her family didn’t go to college. They found men, popped out babies, and ‘drew a check’. That had never been what she wanted for her life. At 19, she had started taking classes, sometimes only able to do partial hours, but always doing something. Sighing, she had a seat on the couch and checked the time. It was four hours before her shift started at
. If she was lucky, she’d be able to do some of her required reading and finish a paper that was due next week. Maybe then she would feel a little bit more on top of things and more in control of her life. Maybe then Jagger wouldn’t make her feel so out of control.
Mind made up, she set the alarm on her phone and dove headlong into her assignments, not letting up until that alarm went off and she had to get ready for work.
was bursting at the seams with patrons, and Bianca’s feet were killing her. The number of people that had gathered into the small space swelled until it was over capacity. It was always this way when Jagger came out to play. Leaning against the bar, she took a breather and gazed out at the sea of people that had crammed themselves in every nook and cranny available.
Her gaze landed on a group of people near the stage, all wearing the red and black colors of Heaven Hill. They had been regulars since Jagger had begun performing. It was nice to see the camaraderie that the group shared. There was never a night he performed that they didn’t pack the place. She’d noticed recently there were more women coming with them. She knew that two of them belonged to Tyler and Liam, but the rest she just knew came for Jagger.
“Why are you shootin’ daggers at all those women over there?” Jasmine asked, an all-knowing grin on her face.
“Bullshit. If you like the man, why don’t you just go for it?”
It was hard to explain, even to herself, why she didn’t feel like she could just make a move on this man. Something kept holding her back. In not wanting to be one of those women who drew a check, she had somehow managed to shut herself off to every available avenue towards romance there was. “We’d never work out.”
With those words, she pushed away from the bar and went back out into the crowd. There were people who needed beer, and she had a job to do.