Bounty:Fury Riders MC(8)

By: Zoey Parker

We were moving out of the city, into the outskirts near the river. My instincts went into overdrive. This was even sketchier than the blocks I’d been walking on earlier. It was darker, more rundown. Empty warehouses and factories stood out against the cloudy sky, their windows long since broken. Empty docks stretched out to our left, lining the river. This used to be a thriving port, but the advent of air travel slowed things up considerably. Now it was more of a hangout for homeless people and drug dealers. What the hell were we here for?

The air was damp, chilly, especially with the river so close by. He wasn’t going to dump me here, was he? Or worse? Was I wrong all along? Was he only taking me for himself?

Then we pulled up to a lit building, with a row of bikes like his lined up in front. The building didn’t inspire much hope, but there were at least signs of life coming from inside. Was this his hangout? I didn’t want to see what awaited me inside.

As it turned out, I didn’t have a choice in the matter. He pulled up at the end of the row of motorcycles and turned off the engine, pushing down the kickstand before resting the bike on it. I was stock still, frozen in place. I didn’t want to move for fear of what would happen next.

“You have to get off if I’m gonna get off,” he said, his back still turned to me.

“Huh?” My eyes were going in all directions. His words weren’t sinking in.

“I said get the hell off the bike so I can get off, too.”

The tone of his voice cut through my shock, and I put down one shaky leg to balance myself as I swung the other over. I watched him do the same thing, though he looked considerably more in control of himself than I was.

“You okay?” he asked. He took my arm, shaking me a little.

I thought about the blood that had to be on his hand, and I remembered what I’d seen him do and what might have happened to me. I ran to the side of the building and bent over, throwing up as quietly as I could.

When I finished, my knees shaky and weak, I thought I might burst into tears. None of this was supposed to happen. I wasn’t supposed to be here. I was a nice girl, a good girl, never mixed up in anything even remotely shady. This building, the bike I’d ridden, the man I held onto, was all part of a different world. I wanted to go home and pretend none of it ever happened.

“Finished?” He was behind me, and I could have died from embarrassment. Nothing like a stranger listening to you throwing up to make you feel about two inches tall.

“Yeah, I think so,” I said.

“At least you managed to wait.” His voice wasn’t totally unkind, and I appreciated it. I stood, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. “Come on,” he continued. “I’ll get you something to drink inside. Maybe we have some ginger ale or something.”

What a parental thing to say, I thought. I remembered all the times my mom gave me ginger ale for an upset stomach. Strangely gentle for a man like him.

I had no choice but to go with him, or stand outside and catch pneumonia in the cold dampness. I walked through the door, dreading what I would find inside the warehouse. My jaw nearly fell to the floor when I saw what was there.

It was gorgeous. Totally renovated, completely modern. Hardwood floors and a bar that polished to a deep, rich shine. Leather sofas and chairs. A pool table, a row of old-fashioned video games and pinball machines. A beautiful jukebox, playing old R&B songs. A strange choice, I thought, but then what did I know? I’d expected a rat’s nest when I walked in, and I was in the middle of a high-class boys’ club. It wouldn’t have been out of place in a mansion, some sort of expensive man cave.

“Come on,” he said, leading me to the bar. “I’ll pour you a ginger ale.”

“Thank you,” I mumbled, still looking around as I walked behind him. The room was empty, with several rooms leading from it. I heard noise coming from behind one of the closed doors. It sounded friendly enough, telling me there wasn’t anything scary happening.

My savior went behind the bar, and under the brighter lights, I saw a lot more of him. First, I noticed the blood on his knuckles. He noticed me looking, and his own eyes followed my gaze. He winced, then went to the sink to wash up. He didn’t speak, just washed thoroughly up to his mid-forearms. Then he turned, pulling out a glass and pouring ginger ale from the drink gun. He handed it across the bar.

I watched him as I sipped, and he watched me just as openly. Drinking the soda gave me something to do. Otherwise, I would have been ogling him.

He was gorgeous. Flat-out, no-holds-barred gorgeous. I hadn’t gotten a great look at him in the darkness, and from what he’d done, I’d expected him to be nasty and scarred and rough-looking. Just the opposite. His features were fine, balanced. He had a firmly chiseled jaw, his mouth was full and sensuous. His eyes were a striking light hazel color, but they burned into me. His hair was thick, long-ish, dark brown. It flopped over onto his tanned forehead.

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