Bounty:Fury Riders MC(9)

By: Zoey Parker

“Whatever,” I said. “I’m not like that.”

“Oh, I can tell what you think you’re like,” he said. “Believe me, it comes through loud and clear.”

I narrowed my eyes. No matter what he had done for me, it didn’t give him the right to talk to me that way. “Oh? Illuminate me.”

“You’re a princess,” he said, shrugging, before taking a seat behind the paper-strewn desk. I wondered what all those papers contained. This was hardly a legit business.

“A princess?” My laugh rang through the room. “Hardly. I work for everything I have. And I have a clear conscience when claiming it on my tax return. Can you say that?”

“What’s a tax return?” I glared at him, and he laughed. “All right, all right, truce. Stop biting my head off. The last thing I remember, I was saving your ass. Unless you’ve already forgotten about that. I’d be more than happy to drop you back off where I found you.” He rubbed his temples. “You’re already more trouble than you’re worth.”

“Oh, I am? Nobody told you that you had to come in and ‘save my ass.’” I regretted saying it as soon as the words came out. I should have been apologizing to the man, and instead, I was antagonizing him. He was pushing my buttons. I was allowing it to happen.

“You’re right. Nobody did. Lucky for me, it wasn’t too hard to do. And lucky for you, too.” He winked.

“Lucky for me?”

“Yeah. If he had beaten me, he would have been in a much…feistier mood when he got back to you.” My mouth went dry at the thought, and my eyes went round. I felt the blood drain from my face. He nodded at my reaction. “You see what I’m getting at.”

I sighed and pointed to a chair as a way of asking permission to sit. He nodded. I arranged myself in the chair. It was a struggle to keep from falling into it. I knew I had a thousand-yard stare going on, looking right through my anti-hero, through the wall, back to that street where my attacker could have raped me.

“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.

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