Shade's Lady
Page 5

 Joanna Wylde

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“Shade,” he replied. “Who else?”
Jesus. He really did have a man crush on the guy.
“How would I know?” I said, annoyed. “Hey, I’m gonna go talk to Bone, see if I can take my break now.”
“Wait for a minute,” Rebel said. “Until after I finish talking to Shade. I’ve missed you.”
He glanced down at my chest pointedly, and I flushed. He had this thing for fucking my boobs, squishing them together around his dick. It wasn’t as much fun for me as some of the other games we played, but I loved watching him come. I also loved it when—nope, don’t go there.
Still, thinking about crawling into bed with my sexy (if annoying) boyfriend was enough to improve my mood. Orgasms will do that for a girl. Balancing the tray against my side with one hand, I ran the other down his chest, glancing down the hallway to make sure we were really alone before giving his dick a quick squeeze. He groaned and I felt tinglies run down my spine. The door opened and we jumped apart.
“Shade says he’ll talk to you,” the prospect told him. Then he turned to me. “He also says they’re good on drinks, at least for now. You can check back in about half an hour.”
Rebel pushed past me so fast I nearly dropped the tray of empties. So much for his boob fetish. The tinglies evaporated and I sighed, heading back down the hall. Rebel might be fun to hang out with, but the guy was never gonna be my soul mate. You don’t have to marry the man to enjoy each other, I reminded myself, mentally adding “find soul mate” to Future Me’s list.
Then I mentally crossed it off, because fuck soul mates.
My sister and I had both struck out once already, and that was enough. Future Me would probably do better to stay single. I should add that to her list.
Bone put me to work washing glasses. The bar crowd had thinned out and Sara had already gone home for the night. Suz was doing surprisingly well handling the customers on her own. I’d just finished draining the sink when I saw that the garbage was getting full. I decided to be proactive and go dump it. Lifting it out of the can, I ducked through the side door and jogged down the steps and across the gravel toward the dumpster. I caught a flash of motion from the corner of my eye and looked over to see three men standing next to the building.
One leaned casually against the wall toward the back of the bar. Next to him was a second, his stance vigilant, while a third stood in front of them, waving his hands and talking. Then I caught a familiar voice in the breeze.
Holy shit, that was Rebel out there. Was he talking to Shade? I squinted my eyes, thinking I really needed to get myself some new contacts. Yup, that was Shade, and another one of his biker buddies whose name I couldn’t quite remember. I made a point of letting the dumpster lid slam down hard after tossing in the garbage. That way they’d know I hadn’t been trying to spy on them. Then I went back to washing dishes, hoping Rebel wasn’t getting himself in trouble.
He came back inside about ten minutes later, looking distracted but pleased. I caught his gaze and raised a brow, silently asking him how things had gone. Rebel grinned and gave me a thumbs-up. I wasn’t quite sure what that meant in practical terms, but at least he was happy.
“Can you grab Bone? Shade needs to talk to him.”
I looked up, startled to find the prospect standing in the open walkway at the end of the bar.
“Um, sure,” I said. “Give me a sec.”
Bone was at the far end of the bar, flirting with a very drunk, very friendly girl whose tank top was so tight it might as well have been painted on. I caught my boss’s arm. He turned to me, frowning.
“Sorry, but Shade wants to see you in the back.”
“Won’t be long,” he told Drunk Girl. She pouted as he started down the hall, then narrowed her eyes at me.
“Are you with him or something?”
“With who?” I asked, confused.
I burst out laughing, then shook my head.
“Nope, I don’t think I’m his type.”
She looked me over, and I couldn’t help but notice that she didn’t look so drunk now. Interesting. Someone was playing games, trying to catch Bone’s attention. “And what’s his type?”
“Drunk and pretty,” I said, offering her a smile. “Keep up the good work and he’ll be all yours.”
That seemed to make her happy, which felt nice. It’d be interesting to see if Bone went home with her. He lived in an apartment right over the bar, but I’d never seen him take a woman there. I’d asked him about it once and he said it was too hard to get rid of them when he was done.
Yeah, my boss was classy like that.
One of the regulars shouted for beer, and I’d just finished pulling his pint when Bone showed up again, looking pissed. He stomped over to me, glaring.
“You’re done for the night,” he said. I stared at him, confused.
“What do you mean?”
“Grab your shit and punch out,” he replied. “Your shift is over.”
This made no sense.
“You’re going to close by yourself?”
“Suz is here,” he snapped.
“But Suz has never closed before.”
And I need the hours…
“Not your problem. Leave. Now. And watch your ass, okay?”
The warning confused me even more.
“What’s going on?”
“Not a Goddamned thing,” he muttered. “Just me running my bar all by my fucking lonesome. Christ.”
He ran a hand through his hair, obviously frustrated as he glanced toward Drunk Girl, then sighed. Okey-dokey. Whatever was happening here, it was way over my pay grade. I turned to leave, then thought about my poor drowned cell phone. Turning back, I asked, “Can you give me an extra shift this week? I mean, since you’re sending me home early?”
“We’ll see,” he replied, looking even more frustrated. “Depends.”
“On what?”
“On how many more fucking questions you ask.”
Well, that was confusing and bizarre all mashed together. Great. Trying not to scowl, I headed for the office, untying my apron as I walked. The prospect was gone and the back room had been abandoned. Had the Reapers gone out the back door? I stepped in, looking at the table. It was covered with empty glasses but no money to pay for their booze. Not even a tip.