Crossroads(7)

By: Chantal Fernando



Faye picks up her phone and starts typing out a message. “I’ll get Jo on it. Maybe this is even bigger than we thought.” She sighs heavily, presses SEND, and then turns those eyes on me. “Just what are we getting into here, Ranger?”

Her phone beeps almost instantly. She reads it, then says, “You’re going to have to meet the cop. I have to be at Clover’s school in thirty minutes. I’m going to text you the address.”

My jaw tightens at the thought of meeting and working with a fuckin’ cop without having Faye there as a buffer. “Can’t we go after your school thing?”

“No,” Faye says, amusement flashing in her gaze. “You don’t have to sit there and have a deep and meaningful conversation or anything. Just hand over the video footage. And we don’t want to bring a cop to the clubhouse, hence a random meeting place.”

“Probably a police station,” I grumble, crossing my arms over my chest. “Where they proceed to arrest me afterward.”

“You’re not going to get arrested,” she says, rolling her eyes. “There’s only room in this clubhouse for one drama queen, Ranger.”

With that parting line, she grins, waves, and exits the room.

My phone beeps with the address to meet this cop.

Better get this shit over with.

• • •

I don’t know why this dude wants to meet at a café. Not very inconspicuous if you ask me. I’d have chosen a parking lot, or a dark alley. Fuck, maybe Faye is right—am I overdramatic?

I arrive ten minutes late, because I had to find the fuckin’ place, then glance around the café. I don’t even know what this Joe looks like, probably something I should have asked Faye but forgot to. I can usually sense a cop a mile away—I just look for someone who gives off an air of entitlement. I’m not wearing my cut, because that would just be stupid, and I have no idea if he knows what I look like either.

I’m scanning the café when something catches my eye, or should I say someone. When our eyes catch and hold, and she continues to stare at me expectantly, I walk over and sit down opposite her, hoping I’m wrong.

I have to be wrong.

“I thought you were just going to stand there all day staring at me dumbly, because that’s not obvious, right?” she says dryly, pressing her plump pink lips together. Even her voice is appealing, husky, and sensual.

I open my mouth, then close it.

Why does she have to be the one working on this? And she’s Elizabeth’s cousin?

Her short blond hair is slicked back today, but it suits her. Fuck, she’s beautiful. What a shame. A waste of beauty. There’s no way in hell I’d date a cop. Hell fuckin’ no.

“I had no idea who I was meeting today,” I say, finding my voice. “So you have me at a disadvantage.”

“You didn’t know that was me next to you at the biker bar?” she asks, raising her brows. “Why exactly do I need your help again?”

Of course she’s rude.

A rude cop. Are the two mutually exclusive?

I grit my teeth and reply with, “Probably because you still haven’t found her.”

Her eyes narrow, and she looks down into her coffee. “Tell me what you have.”

That must have been hard for her to ask, after her previous comment, or maybe she has no pride at all, who knows. I pull the disk out of my pocket and slide it over to her side of the table. Just as I pull my hand back, she reaches for it, causing our fingers to briefly touch. I retract my hand as quickly as I can without knocking over the salt and pepper shakers in the middle of the table.

Fuck.

I rub my fingers together, feeling as if I’ve been zapped. What the fuck was that? I want to be near her yet as far away as possible at the same time. What is it about this woman? She’s a cop, for fuck’s sake. And she can’t stand me either. I can see the contempt in her pretty blue eyes. She doesn’t look anything like Elizabeth, but they do have the same coloring with the blond hair and blue eyes.

Right, Elizabeth.

I need to fuckin’ concentrate, because she is the real reason I’m here. Not anything to do with the woman sitting opposite me. She is nothing to me.

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