Bounty:Fury Riders MC(10)By: Zoey Parker
“Hey,” he said. His voice was softer now. “I didn’t mean to scare you. It was mean to say that. I’m sorry.”
I shook my head. “No, you’re right. I’m being a bitch. I’m the one who should be sorry—you saved me.”
“Yeah.” He chuckled bitterly. “I’m a real saint.”
“You’re my rescuer. You were sent to me.” I was for real, too. I didn’t believe in consequences, never had. There was a reason he was riding by at the right moment. “Anyone else might have kept going without stopping to help.”
“True. Not everyone hates the Vicious Wolves like I do.”
“I thought it was personal,” I murmured.
“Not totally, but it was the reason I stopped,” he said. “I recognized the patch, which got me to look twice.” He leaned back in the swivel chair, looking up at the ceiling. For a long moment, the only sound in the room was that of the ceiling fan whirring above us.
“So are you gonna tell me what you were doing out there alone? Or do I have to beat it out of you?” He looked at me out of the corner of his eye, and I knew he wasn’t serious. Not entirely, anyway.
“I don’t even know you,” I blurted. “I don’t know where I am. Why should I tell you?”
A strange look came over his face and he laughed. “God, you’re right. I’m an idiot. I forgot not everybody around here knows who we are. We’re what you would call…a specialty organization.”
“Like the Knights of Columbus or the Rotary Club,” I said, drily. To my surprise, he laughed.
“Something like that,” he said. “My name is Vince Baldoni. I’m the leader of the MC.”
“Motorcycle club.” My cheeks burned in embarrassment. Obviously, that was what he meant. “We’re the Fury Riders. This is our headquarters, clubhouse, whatever you wanna call it. Our territory stretches far out into town, past where you were tonight. When I saw one of the Vicious Wolves in my territory…well, you can see why I stopped.”
“So it’s really like that? Turf stuff, I mean?”
He wrinkled his nose. “You make it sound like a kids’ game. Let me set you straight. It’s not a game.”
“No, you already showed me that earlier.” I shuddered without meaning to. In my head, I could still hear the sound of a nose breaking.
“Yeah, you got an eyeful. So you should know better than to insult the club, or what we do.”
“I wasn’t trying to be insulting.” I heard the volume of my voice rising and saw Vince’s face darkening. I pulled it back, fast. “I’m sorry. I just don’t know the lingo. I was clumsy.”
He assessed me, saw that I was sincere, and nodded. “Now, to make it even, who are you?”
I debated on giving him my real name. My brain raced, trying to come up with a fake one. All I could think of were names from TV characters. My luck, I’d pick his favorite show.
“What’s wrong? Forget your name? Or trying to come up with a new one?”
I blushed again. Damn it! I had to learn how to control that, somehow.
Instead, I lifted my chin. “So what? Why should I give you my name?”
He scowled. “Stop acting like a fucking baby. If you didn’t act like a baby, you wouldn’t have been out tonight, and you wouldn’t have gotten yourself into trouble. Now you’re afraid to give me your name when you weren’t afraid of what you were going to get into earlier. That makes a lot of sense.”
My chin quivered. “Thanks, asshole.”
“It’s true. You’re just mad because it’s true.” He turned to the wall, brooding. I got the feeling he didn’t like seeing emotion. He was about to see and hear a lot of it because I was on the verge of a breakdown. Everything I had seen and felt that night came rushing at me like a speeding train.
“I’m not used to this!” It was all I could get out before the dam burst, and I held my face in my hands as I sobbed. I shook from head to toe, heartbroken sobs ripping from my chest. I cried for what I saw him do, for what might have happened to me. I had been so afraid, so sure my life was over. I cried at the memory of my last thoughts, about my parents and how I’d let this happen to myself and how much they would suffer because of it. Yes, in that last moment, I had known it was all my fault. Vince had called it, and that pissed me off, too.
“Calm down,” he muttered. I looked at him through my fingers and saw him push a box of tissues toward me. “You don’t have to cry.”