Authors: Jenika Snow
Tags: #Romance, #erotica
She stared at him for several seconds, and although she wasn’t saying anything he could see her mind working. “Phillip Montrose.” She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply. “He lives over in the bungalow cabins off of Winchester and Broadman.” When she opened her eyes there was this stark fear that had nothing to do with what had happened to her. “You’re not going to kill him
, are you?” She said that last part softly.
He stared at her for a moment, and he was going to say that he pla
nned to do just that, and that he would make sure that Malice’s face would be the last one Phillip saw. “Does it matter, Adrianna?” He liked saying her name, liked the way it soothed him in a sense, and the ease at which it rolled off his tongue. This whole situation was not something he was used to. He had helped plenty of women, given the life he led with the MC and the fact their main source of revenue was selling pussy. This, whole situation was not something he was accustomed to. For one thing the first moment he had seen her something in him had halted, and he was forced to take note. And now talking to her, hearing her story, and wanting to hold her close and make sure no one every messed with her again after just meeting her… He shook his head. This was fucked up in every possible way.
“Yeah, it does
Malice shifted back on the bed so he was facing the door now. His instincts told him to just go a
nd fuck this guy up without even caring if he died in the end. A brutal and ruthless attitude to have, but that was the kind of man he was, and the kind of man he had to be in his position within the MC. Malice didn’t do anything half-assed, and especially not when he felt this passionate about something. “Why wouldn’t you want a man that beat you up to have his life ended?” He turned just his head and looked at her.
She stayed silent for a few seconds, stared at her fingers, and then finally looked back at him. “
I might have already ended his life, and although he deserved it, the very idea that I could have killed someone makes me sick. If he is alive, I don’t want his blood on anyone’s hands, least of all yours.”
If he did this to you, chances are he has done it before, and will continue to do it.” He knew his voice was hard and unyielding, and he didn’t mean to make her uncomfortable, but he had no softness when it came to shit like this.
You’re right.” She licked her lips, glanced at the clock, and then looked back at him. “It’s late. Would it be okay if I stayed here until the morning?” He didn’t miss the fact she averted the conversation to something far more neutral. She looked at her feet that had bandages around the soles. “I just need to rest for a little bit. My feet and face are killing me.”
And just like that his anger faded to the back as his concern rose up. “
I wouldn’t have had you stay anywhere else. The club is the safest place you could be right now. Lay back. I’ll get you something for the pain.” He stood and took a few steps toward the door, but stopped and glanced over his shoulder. She was on her back now and reaching for the blanket. “And Adrianna?”
She paused and
looked at him.
“You’re no trouble. If it wasn’t okay for you to be here you wouldn’t.”
She slowly nodded. “Thank you, and please tell everyone else I said that.”
He gave a brisk nod, faced forward once more, and went to get her something to help her discomfort.
The following day Adrianna sat at the scarred wooden table in the great room of what she had found out was The Brothers of Menace clubhouse in Fairview. She didn’t know much about the motorcycle lifestyle, but after listening to the bikers in this club talk, she had learned quite a bit in a very short amount of time. Some might have said she was living under a rock by not realizing where she had been right off the bat, but to be honest her life hadn’t given her much freedom to think about other things that didn’t involve staying alive, figuratively and literally speaking. Malice sat beside her, but he had his chair positioned so it was at an odd angle, with his body facing her. He rested an elbow on the stained and chipped wood, and stared at her. His position was a bit intimidating.
“You’re feeling better?”
She looked back at Marx, the president of this MC, and nodded in response to his question. “Yes, thank you. The pills Malice gave me last night helped me sleep.” She shifted on the chair and took note that the five guys that were currently seated at the table with her were big, scary looking, and had their attention solely on her. The doctor had also given her some medicine, and whatever they were had helped her feet feel a lot better. Of course there was still discomfort when she walked¸ but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it had been yesterday. Or maybe she had just needed a really good night’s sleep? She had certainly gotten that last night, too. “I should have thought before just running out of there, but I just reacted.”
What had happened wasn’t a secret. She had told Malice, and then when she
had woken up over an hour ago and sat down in front of all of them she had repeated the same thing. She also hadn’t missed the way they looked at each other after she had told them everything Phillip had done to her. Well, most of what he had done. She hadn’t gone into detail about her relationship with him over the last several months. Some things were just better left in the past, and, besides, she’d only had one good month with him. Truthfully she was ashamed that she had been such an idiot to fall for his manipulation in the first place.
I’m glad you’re feeling better, but that prick and what he did need to be put in the past. Let’s focus on the future.” Marx leaned back in the chair, and it creaked slightly from his weight.
All of these men were huge,
scary, and didn’t take shit from anyone, that much was clear. It wasn’t just the bulk of denim and leather that they wore, but the strength and power that came from them.
what are your plans after you get your money out of the bank?”
She looked at the clock. The bank wouldn’t open for another hour, and although she only had a few hundred dollars in there, she was glad she had at least been smart enough to
start an account years ago. There wasn’t much money in it, because anything she had earned had gone to support her, and her brother when he had been alive. “I don’t know honestly. All I know is I want to get as far away from Fairview as I can with what little money I have.”
Marx glanced at Malice, and she watched some kind of silent communication going on
between them. She had heard a small bit of conversation where she pieced together that Malice and a few other men had come up here from Colorado to take care of some kind of business. What that business was clearly wasn't known to her, and Adrianna didn’t know if she even wanted to know. There was a banging noise that came from the other side of the clubhouse house in one of the backrooms. She glanced down the hallway at where the sound came from, but Marx speaking again drew her attention.
“And how much are we talking about that you have to work with?” Marx asked.
“Not a lot, less than five hundred dollars, but that’s enough to get me a good distance away.” At least she hoped. She had no clue what the cost of a bus ticket would be, but surely it wouldn’t be that expensive, especially given the fact it was one-way.
Marx started tapping his fingers on the table. “You have any skills?”
“No.” Everyone turned and stared at Malice. He had said that one word so forcefully that her heart started beating faster
because of it.
“No what?” Marx leaned forward and braced his arms on the table
as he addressed Malice.
“You know exactly what I am refusing, Marx.” The two men stared at each other for several seconds after Malice spoke.
“The way I see it we put her up for a whole night, gave her some of our narcotics, and had to make a call into the doc to come and check her out. I think we are owed.”
Adrianna felt this frigid blast slam into her
, and she realized it came from Malice. She had no clue what was happening, but she didn’t want these guys fighting over her. “I can pay you for letting me stay here.” Even though she had little to her name, they
helped her, and she knew better than anyone that things in this world didn’t come for free.
“Honey, this club makes money a different kind of way
,” Marx said and grinned at her.
“I said no
,” Malice said again, but this time it was harder, and fiercer.
Marx held up his hands in surrender. “All right,
all right. No need to get possessive, Malice. I was just putting that option on the table.” He looked over at her, braced his hands on the table, and then pushed himself up so he was standing. “I was only teasing you about paying, honey.” He looked over at Malice. “Everything’s all good, brother.” There was a tense moment that passed, and then Malice nodded and seemed to relax marginally. “You’re taking the shipment with you at nightfall?”
Malice nodded, and Marx grunted in response.
“We’ll keep shit on the quiet while everything is getting set up. No need to alert the cult fanatics to what’s going on. They’ll have their signs and be shouting that we are cruel and immoral motherfuckers.” He glanced at Adrianna, winked, and turned to leave. The other man that had been sitting beside him got up and left, too.
They left out of the front
, and then it was just her, Malice, and the two bikers that she knew were with him. The silence stretched on, and finally she spoke. “I’m sorry if I caused any problems.” Marx might have acted like he was teasing, but Adrianna knew that Malice hadn’t liked whatever he had been getting at.
Malice said something low to the men sitting beside him, and a second later they rose and disappeared down the back hall where she had heard the noise come from. Keeping her gaze locked on them, she watched as they pushed a door open, and she swore she heard women talking.
She felt the hair on the back of her neck standing on end, and she turned to see Malice staring at her. She didn’t know why she had felt that way just then, because it wasn’t like there weren’t women walking around in barely there clothing and cleaning up, but something about the women she had heard in the back made her a bit unsettled.
“You’re not any trouble
,” he said, breaking up the weird vibe that was filling the room.
“Are you sure
? Because I know I kind of created this whole big shit-storm by intruding in on your lives.”
corner of his mouth kicked up, and she felt this warmth fill her. It started at her toes and worked its way up her whole body. He shrugged and braced an arm over the back of his chair. “Believe me, this is one of the smallest inconveniences we have ever had.”
Adrianna swallowed and nodded, but she couldn’t get Marx’s words out of her head. “Can I ask what exactly he was saying about payment?” There was a part of her that didn’t want to know, but then again there was another part that already had an idea of what Marx had been referring to. The sound of glasses clanking had her looking to her right and seeing a woman drying dishes behind the bar.
Another one, a bit younger than the barmaid, came out of a back room with a crate of beer. She wore a cutoff tank, had teased bleached hair with dark roots, and looked the worse for wear. When she looked back at Malice it was to see him wearing that same hard expression. He looked pissed, but before she could say anything he started speaking.
“I’m sure if you think about it hard enough you can come up with what Marx was implying.” He ground his teeth, and she saw that his hands were in tight balls on top of the table.
“Sex.” She didn’t phrase it like a question, and Malice didn’t respond, but he did clench his jaw even harder. This reaction from him was odd, but maybe there was more of a history between the two men?
Sex, and more.”
“More?” She sat up straighter, and her mind worked on all that “more” could mean.
“More, Adrianna. As in spreading your legs for a john and making the club money.” He stood suddenly and started pacing. “Willingly of course, because the club doesn’t force women to have sex with men. We can be bastards, but we aren’t sck fucking men that like to see women hurt.” He seemed so off kilter, and she may not know him very well, but for some reason Adrianna had a feeling this wasn’t how he normally was.
Her pulse pounded faster, but she wasn’t surprised by this revelation. In fact, this wasn’t even a new topic for her. She had seen her mother whore herself plenty of times to the men that came and went through their shack of a house. It had been a part of
her life, and how sad was that? “Malice?”
He stopped packing and stared at her, and for a second that
was all they did. “Yeah, Adrianna?”
The way he said her name shouldn’t have had this tingle moving around in her belly. She opened her mouth, not exactly sure what she was going to say, but the sound of glass breaking on the ground saved her from saying something monumentally stupid.
Adrianna looked over at the young woman that had dropped the glass. She smiled and waved at Adrianna
, and she found herself smiling back. She felt so weird when a stranger showed her any kind of kindness.
“If you’re ready
I can take you to the bank,” Malice said, and she looked back at him. Leaving right now sounded like the best thing to do, especially considering the offer of having sex with random men. She stood, smiled to soften the situation, and waited for him to say something else. Maybe he was going through personal problems, and having her to deal with, and this need to handle Phillip was just the straw that broke him? It seemed plausible, and the sooner she got away the sooner they could both get on with their lives.
Yeah, okay,” she said in this weird tone.
tilted his head toward the bedroom she had stayed in last night, and she made her way back there. She didn’t get far limping to the room though. A second later Malice had his arm wrapped around her waist and was supporting her weight as they moved forward.
“I can walk, Malice. My feet do feel better.”
“You’re good like this,” he said gruffly and kept moving forward. “But I don’t think rushing off is the best thing to do right away.”
She tilted her head back and looked into his face, but he was leading her around the corner and into the room before she could say anything.
“I think that is actually the
plan.” He put Adrianna on the bed, but stayed back. He moved over to the wall and leaned his big body against it and crossed his arms. He took on this very confrontational position, but she didn’t let it get to her. He was dealing with his own shit clearly, and so was she.
“What if I could get you a job in Colorado?”
That statement had everything inside of her and around her stopping. “What?” She had heard him right … right? “A job?” Adrianna shook her head in puzzlement. “You don’t even know me, and I have more emotional baggage than even I can carry.” To think that he would offer her a job just because he wanted to make sure she was okay had tears forming in the corners of her eyes. But of course the cynical and wary part of her, the one that had kept her alive this whole time because she relied on it, told her that this man had a lot of darkness in him, too. He might be dangerous, but underneath that tough exterior she had experienced a gentler side of him.
“Yeah, Adrianna, a job.” He pushed away from the wall, and stopped when he was a few feet from her. “But before you say anything, I want you to know what you’d be getting yourself into if you agreed to it.”
And there was the ball being dropped, because whatever Malice had to tell her most likely wasn’t anything good.