Shade's Lady
Page 4

 Joanna Wylde

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Then I’d gone to the bathroom and found pee all over the floor.
Bone was slammed at the bar, Sara was running her ass off just trying to get everyone water, and I didn’t feel like wading through piss to get to the toilet, so I’d found a mop in the back and gone for it. Then I’d taken out the garbage (because it was disgusting) and things kept going from there.
Half an hour later, Bone noticed and offered me a job.
Now I worked here about thirty hours a week, which was almost enough to pay the bills, but not quite. On the other hand, the Pit had the distinct advantage of being fun while not being my old job at the gas station. The gas station where my sister’s ex, Handsy Randy the drug dealer, was the manager.
(Don’t even get me started on that one.)
The bar might be rough and tough, but I felt safer here because I didn’t have to worry about Randy’s wandering fingers. Oh, and Bone wasn’t a passive-aggressive cheating fuckwad who’d abandoned his family.
That was a big plus, too.
“How’s your night?” I asked Rebel. He leaned down and gave me another quick kiss. I pulled away from him because I’d already pissed Bone off once.
“Good,” Rebel said. “But I’m horny as hell. When’s your next break?”
“Why, you think I’m gonna blow you in the parking lot or something?”
“I’d settle for a hand job,” he replied, grinning.
“Mandy!” Bone shouted. “You got customers waiting in the back. Move your ass.”
“Boss man is calling,” I said, giving Rebel a wink. Rebel frowned.
“Who’s in the back room?”
“Really?” he asked, perking up. “Is Shade with them? He’s got a bike for sale that I’m interested in. I’ve given up on mine.”
“Oh, it would be great if you got something new,” I said, trying not to sound too excited. Rebel’s bike had been out of commission for nearly two weeks now, which meant no riding for me. We still hung out with his biker friends, but showing up in a battered pickup truck to a motorcycle rally felt sort of weird.
“Yeah, it looks really good,” he said. “You think I can go back there, maybe talk to him?”
“Don’t pay you to play with your boyfriend, Mandy!” Bone yelled, and I pulled away from Rebel.
“No idea, I just carry the drinks,” I told him. “I gotta run.”
Back at the bar, Bone shoved three more pitchers of beer at me, scowling across the pass-through as I grabbed a tray to carry them.
“You can do better than him,” he said, jerking his head toward Rebel.
“We’re just having fun,” I told him. “Got distracted, though.”
“Keep your focus,” Bone said, then his face softened. “The Reapers are important customers, babe. They own this state. You piss them off and I really will have to fire you, no matter how much we like having you around.”
I turned away, then remembered Rebel’s question.
“Hey, Bone,” I said, catching his attention again. “Not to push, but Rebel’s interested in a bike that Shade’s selling. Do you think it’s okay if he goes back there and tries to talk to him?”
“Don’t get involved,” Bone replied, his tone final. “Bring them drinks. Take away empties. That’s it. Trust me on this.”
I raised a brow because that sounded ominous, especially since Shade was trying to sell something. Wouldn’t he want to talk to a potential buyer? Then again, what the hell did I know? I’d been dating Rebel all of two months. Before that I’d never been on a bike in my life, let along hung out around a real motorcycle club like the Reapers.
“Okey-dokey,” I said, carefully balancing the sloshing pitchers as I headed down the hallway. The prospect knocked on the door when I arrived, poking his head in and then nodding for me to go through. The men were more relaxed now, lounging around the table while they laughed and talked. There weren’t any women with them tonight. This was unusual. I set one pitcher on each end of the table, then started snagging empty shot glasses. Shade’s eyes followed me, dark and hungry.
I tried to ignore him but it was hard.
His sandy hair was pulled back in a ponytail streaked blond in places from the sun. His arms were tan, and while I spotted the hint of a tattoo peeking out from under one arm of his ragged T-shirt, he wasn’t as marked up as most of the bikers who came in. His face was craggy, with just the faintest of lines at the corners of his eyes. They looked good on him. Shooting him a sideways glance, I tried to guess his age.
Early thirties, maybe?
A few years older than me, but still well within my range.
You’re not interested in him, moron, so stop thinking like that.
Avoiding his end of the table, I filled my tray and started toward the door.
“You missed one,” Shade said, his voice a low rumble. I looked over to find an empty tumbler sitting in front of him, remnants of a whiskey on the rocks I’d served earlier. To grab it, I’d have to either lean across the table and show off my boobs or squeeze in next to him. Neither option was comforting.
Not that he’d cop a feel.
Nope, not Shade.
He was above those kinds of games. But just being in the same room made me feel all weird and unsettled. It was one thing to joke with one of our usual customers or brush a hand across his shoulder. That was just casual flirtation—it didn’t mean anything. Shade made promises with his eyes, though. Promises I was afraid he’d keep.
You’d be welcome on the back of my bike any time, babe.
“Tray is full,” I told him, offering a tight smile. “Give me five and I’ll be back to take care of it.”
Turning away, I decided that I needed some air. Wasn’t it time for my break? Yeah. I’d tell Bone I needed a break, maybe go make out with Rebel in the parking lot for a few minutes. That’d set me right. Not that he’d be getting his hand job, because I had standards.
Low standards, but they still existed.
I stepped back out into the hallway to find Rebel standing next to the prospect, looking all eager.
“I’ll check and see if he has time,” the prospect told him, passing me as he ducked into the room.
“Is he in a good mood?” Rebel asked me hopefully.