Home > Bayonet Scars #2 - Thrash(6)

Bayonet Scars #2 - Thrash(6)
Author: J.C. Emery

“I’ve been around,” I say, trying to bite back my anger. “Where have you been?” I may be intimidated by Diesel, but Duke doesn’t scare me. No matter how big and tough he is now, I remember the days when he was just the awkward kid whose face hadn’t grown into his personality yet. And damn it to hell—I had a crush on him even back then.

“Yeah, you been around, all right, but you ain’t been where you should have,” Duke says. My entire body tenses, and I shoot a questioning glare at Diesel. He lifts his hands and shrugs his shoulders like he doesn’t know what’s going on, either, then turns and stares curiously at Duke. At least I’m not the only one not caught up.

Darren lets out a sigh, and the very reminder of his presence has me taking a step closer to Duke. His eyes narrow in Darren’s direction and move between us. Though my movement was subtle, or so I thought, Duke’s caught on, and well, shit.

“Who’s this guy?” Duke asks, looking down at me. We’re barely two feet apart now, and, this close up, his question comes across more like an accusation than anything. Suddenly, it feels like I’m back in high school and Darren’s caught on that I hooked up with Ryan while we were broken up—and he isn’t pleased. And unfortunately, that actually happened. I wish I could say that Ryan was a horrible lay, but even back then, that bastard knew how to move.

“Darren Jennings,” Darren says as he steps forward and introduces himself to Duke and Diesel. Diesel’s playing on his phone and couldn’t care less about what’s going on. I keep shooting him sideways glances to beg him for help, but the few times he’s looked over at me, there’s nothing but amusement on his face. Asshole.

Darren reaches his hand out, brushing against me, but Duke sneers down at it like Darren’s trying to shake his dick or something. Duke leans in just slightly toward Darren and hooks his arm around my waist, pulling me back, and says, “Too close, dude.”

Darren raises an eyebrow at that comment. Even though he was born and raised in this town, and the club’s been here longer than he’s been alive, Darren has never understood the fine art of dealing with the outlaw biker club. The more distance Duke puts between me and Darren, the more I’m able to relax, and the more comfortable I feel.

“Pardon?” Darren says with a raised eyebrow. He drops his hand and takes half a step back. “I’m speaking with an old friend, and who might you be?”

My eyes widen as Duke chuckles heartily from behind me. Oh, maybe if I’m lucky Duke will beat the crap out of him.

Diesel strains his neck, curses, and then shoves his phone back in his pocket. He looks at Darren with a flat expression and says, “Dude. I’m in the middle of level ninety-nine of Candy Castle. Now I gotta stop what I’m doing and deal with your mouth. Not cool.”

“I feel like I’m missing something,” Darren says with a confused look on his face. I bite my tongue to stop myself from telling him to give up the act. He knows damn well who the Forsaken are, and he knows damn well what they can do. But even in Duke’s grasp, where I feel braver than I have in a long time, I don’t have the courage to mouth off to Darren.

“You see our patches, your hear our bikes, you know who we are,” Diesel says. He lifts his chin at Duke and nods his head toward the back door.

From behind me, Duke bends at the waist and places his mouth right beside my ear, whispering, “Clubhouse. Ten minutes. You don’t show, and I’m going to hunt your ass down, you got that? It’s been a damn long time, and I’m tired of waiting for your sweet pussy.”

As much as I want to light into his ass like there’s no tomorrow, I can’t. I have to work here, and that’s assuming Eileen doesn’t fire my ass for all of this shit anyway.

“Whatever,” I say. I can’t bring myself to agree, and I can’t argue here. Without another word, Duke turns and leaves the shop out the back door. Diesel raises an eyebrow and shrugs his broad shoulders, then follows Duke.

I’m tempted to say something to Darren, whose eyes are fixated on the back door. Something snippy like ‘Well, it was nice seeing you, jackass’, but I’ve had enough drama for the morning and I’m not up to invite any more. I move quickly around him and slip out of the door. A large hand wraps itself around my upper arm, holding me in place. My chest constricts painfully. For just a moment everything stops. Even my breath.

“Wait,” he says. “Do you want to have a drink later or something?”

Darren turns me around, giving me a curious look. My eyes travel down to his hand wrapped around my arm and narrow instantly. Even after all this time, I still don’t like the feeling of him touching me. I pull my arm back and shove my hands in my pockets.

“Listen, Nic, I didn’t know you two were together,” he says. It takes me a moment to catch on, but when I do, I’m annoyed for a whole other reason. Of course Darren would assume I’m with someone and that’s why I’m less than thrilled about his presence. Never would he consider that I’d like for him to die in a fire. Slowly.

“I...,” I say and trail off. I don’t know what to tell him. I certainly don’t want to tell him the truth, but denying that anything is going on would be my best bet. Letting Darren think I’m hooked up with Duke would be a convenient excuse to get out of having a drink with him. Because it’s never just one drink with Darren and it’s never easy to tell him no.

“I don’t want to step on any toes, or get mine broken, but I want to run something by you,” he says. There’s nothing he can run by me that I want to hear. I fold my arms over my chest, which, incidentally, shoves the tops of my exposed tits farther out of my tank top. Darren’s eyes dip to my chest before he lifts his eyes and gives me a flat stare.

I clamp my mouth shut before I say something I’ll regret.

“I’m kind of busy,” I lie, “but can I take a rain check?” I take a few steps back, unfold my arms from my chest, and dig around in my purse for my keys.

“It’s important,” he says. He reaches up and pinches the bridge of his nose and takes a deep breath. When he lowers his arm, he smiles apologetically. “What I came here to tell you is that I’ve had a lot of time to think about the way things ended between us. We can’t go back, but I want to make it right.” If I could find the person who told him where I work, I could choke the life out of them. Finding my keys I grab a hold of them and give Darren my full attention. I shake my head and clutch the keys with all my might. How dare he think there is any way he can make that shit right? Because he can’t. “I talked to my dad, and he agreed to review your dad’s case and see if he can help get some of the charges dropped, or at least the sentence reduced.”

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