Shade's Lady
Page 9

 Joanna Wylde

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Mandy! Pull your shit together!
“He told me that he’s buying a motorcycle from you,” I said hesitantly. “He wanted to pick it up tonight. He said you were giving him a bargain, and that if he waited you might change your mind. I’m just here to drive the truck back after he gets the bike.”
Shade stared at me, his expression unreadable.
“Are you fuckin’ stupid?”
“It’s not stupid to help out my boyfriend!”
“It is when your boyfriend sets you up. If you were just comin’ to pick up a bike, why didn’t you ride with him?” Shade asked, the words slow and steady. Like I was a particularly dim child.
“Because he has a bunch of shit loaded in the truck cab. He didn’t come to the bar expecting to buy a bike tonight. He asked me to ride with you because there wasn’t room with him.”
But as soon as the words were out, I could see his point. Rebel’s excuse to get me on Shade’s bike was weak. Really weak. But it wasn’t like I went around expecting my boyfriend to…do what? Something wrong, but I still had no clue what the hell was really going on here.
“I’m gonna kill him,” Shade said slowly, running a hand through his hair. This gave it a sexy, tousled look that would’ve been very attractive if I hadn’t been so busy trying not to pee my pants. “Piece of shit needs to go down.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Rebel traded you to me.”
The words were blunt.
Impossible to wrap my head around. I opened my mouth to ask a question, then snapped it shut again because I wasn’t even sure what question to ask. I mean, I’d heard what he said, but it didn’t make any sense.
“He traded you to me,” Shade repeated without a hint of compassion in his eyes. “For the bike. He was short on cash and he knew that I wanted you, so that’s what he offered. I asked if you were okay with it and you said yes. So here we are.”
“I…” My mouth wouldn’t work right. It was like the muscles had gone into shock or something. “H-he traded me?”
“Like a baseball card.”
Words failed me. Oh my God. This isn’t happening, is it? Thoughts swirled through my head, along with about a thousand different emotions, but one slowly won out.
Raw, unadulterated fury.
Shade wasn’t going to kill Rebel. Oh, no. If anyone slit that fucker’s throat, it’d be me. But first I’d amputate his balls with a very rusty spoon. Maybe make him eat them.
“What the hell is wrong with you people?” I finally managed to ask. “You can’t trade a human being! Rebel’s my boyfriend, not my fucking owner! And who the hell accepts a person as a trade for a bike?”
Shade gave me a twisted smile.
“A Reaper.”
That sent a chill down my spine because, crazy as it sounded, the man was dead serious.
“In the MC world, you’re property,” he added bluntly. “How the hell did you spend so much time with his club and not pick up on that?”
This was a good question.
I’d seen the vests some women wore, saying property of and their boyfriend’s names… It’d always seemed kind of weird. Maybe even cute, in a very politically incorrect way. I hadn’t taken it literally, let alone given it serious thought.
Truthfully, I hadn’t given much of anything about Rebel a lot of thought.
That’d been one of the chief benefits of having him as a boyfriend, given the train wreck my marriage had been. I didn’t have to think about him or worry or plan for the future. We were just having fun together. No stress, no expectations. Just him and me hanging out, riding his bike and occasionally getting drunk and going down on each other. After all the shit I’d gone through with Trevor, I wasn’t sure I ever wanted a “real” relationship again.
“Okay,” I said, my brain spinning. “Okay, we need to figure this out. Is Rebel coming here?”
“No, he’ll pick you up tomorrow, assuming you still want to go with him. And don’t worry—he’ll show up. No bike until he brings the cash.”
“Wait, I thought I was the payment.”
Shade cocked a brow, a mocking smile twisting his mouth. “It’s a three thousand dollar bike. He was short five hundred. You didn’t actually think I’d give him a fucking motorcycle worth three grand just to bang his girlfriend, did you?”
I blinked.
What he’d said wasn’t exactly flattering, but it was hard to argue. Would I pay three thousand bucks to have sex with someone? Hell, no. Not even David Beckham, and I’d loved him fiercely ever since I’d learned there was a difference between girl parts and boy parts. I shot a glance at Shade, realizing he looked more than a little like Becks, come to think of it. There was just something about him…
No. Just no.
“I wouldn’t have thought you’d need to pay women to sleep with you,” I said, then gave myself a mental kick because that was way too revealing. Shade smiled and took another step toward me. I swallowed. “That came out wrong. I don’t suppose there’s any chance we can just forget this happened? I mean, obviously I’m going to kill Rebel, but that doesn’t really have anything to do with you…”
Well, aside from the fact that he’d been the one on the other end of the trade. Five hundred bucks. I couldn’t tell if that was a flattering amount or not.
“I’ll take care of Rebel,” Shade said, his voice casual but his eyes all business. “If you wanna leave, feel free.”
I reached for the door, opening it to find two women making out in the hallway, complete with hands on each other’s asses and tongues down each other’s throats. A couple of very drunk-looking men watched, one with his hand down his pants. I slammed the door shut and turned to find Shade watching me closely.
“Change your mind?” he asked, cocking a brow. “Not like you’re a prisoner here.”
Yeah, right. Nobody but Rebel knew where I was. I didn’t even have a phone. Even if I made it back through the clubhouse safely, I’d still have to walk miles before I reached town.
“Um, can I borrow your phone? Mine fell in the toilet this morning. I’m pretty sure it’s dead.”
“No service out here,” Shade said, a slow smile spreading over his face. “Of course you could use the landline. Assuming you can find one of the officers and convince him your phone call is more important than whatever—whoever—he’s doing.”