I was just stepping out of the shower when I heard the first knock on my bedroom wall. At first I thought it was someone knocking on the door to my room so I tossed on a robe and wrapped my hair in the towel as I hurried to answer it. But when I got into my room I heard the knock come again and it definitely wasn’t from the door.
The third knock was so loud and forceful that it made me jump. A curse followed the knock and then a steady rhythm started up. My eyes widened and I suddenly felt sick to my stomach. Gross. Gross. Gross. Tasha was having sex with some guy. In the middle of the day. While our dad was in the same building.
Did Duke know? Did he care?
My gut told me he probably did and no, he probably didn’t give a shit. Mom had told me that Duke pretty much let Tasha do whatever she wanted. Always had. Always would. She wasn’t daddy’s little girl or anything like that. Actually Mom was sure that Duke and Tasha didn’t even like each other very much—too much alike, she had said. Tasha was just wild and Duke didn’t care enough to rein her in.
I rushed to get dressed, trying to block out the sounds coming from the room next door. The rhythm increased and I was actually gagging by the time I pulled my still wet, unbrushed hair into a messy ponytail and picked up my running shoes. I didn’t care if I was without makeup or that my top didn’t match my shorts. I just wanted out of that room and away from the erotic noises coming through the wall.
Shoes still in hand I rushed downstairs and then paused at the bottom step before putting them on. Muttering to myself, I went in search of my father. The men I had seen follow my father into the back room were playing pool once more. Seeing me they paused and nodded their heads in greeting, but otherwise didn’t give me another look. The two women were still in the kitchen cooking and I had to admit whatever they were fixing smelled amazing.
When I heard Duke’s voice I headed toward the back room where the door was now wide open. “He knows that he’s here to solve my problem, right? Not to just lie in bed screwing her brains out.”
I stopped at the entrance and glanced inside. My dad sat at his desk, a cigar in his mouth and a glass of rich-looking whisky sitting on the desk in front of him. Two men sat in front of the desk. Raider was in the first chair leaning forward, blocking my view of the second man’s face. He was huge though, that much I could tell. Wide shoulders, long legs stretched out in front of him. I got a glimpse of long, curly, dark brown hair.
Raider shrugged his shoulders. “I’m sure he just needs to work it out of his system. Besides, we’re going to be here for a few weeks, Duke. Not like he has to rush this.”
“The sooner we start cleaning up this mess the happier I’ll be, boys. I…” He broke off when he saw me standing in the doorway. Putting the cigar in a glass ashtray he waved me in. “Hey there, girl. Get settled in?”
I took a step forward. “So far.”
“I’m almost done here, Willa. You can go help the ladies finish up lunch… Or I can have someone give you a tour of the place. Though there isn’t much left to see.” He nodded his head at the men sitting in front of his desk. “You know Raider already, but that’s Spider.”
The man stood and I turned my head to get my first look at his face…
Damn! I sucked in a breath as I took all of the big man in. His hair was longer than I had first thought and I was a sucker for long hair, but on this man it was like a shot of pure lust went straight between my legs. He had a strong jaw, with no facial hair marring the ever so slightly tanned flesh. The bullring in his nose drew my eyes and I noticed he must have broken it at least once because it was crooked. A dimple in his chin caught my attention and I had the sudden urge to lick it—what the fuck?
I had never had a thought like that in my life. Sure I’d had crushes on the random hot guy at school and a few musicians that could make my panties wet with just the sound of their voice. This though? This was full-on lust in the blink of an eye and my mouth fell open as I let my eyes roam over his chest—damn, really? How can one man be that wide? His shirt was tight underneath his cut and let me know that he worked out regularly. Faded, battered old jeans hung low on his hips and I saw just a fraction of skin between the hem of his gray T-shirt and jeans. Smooth skin. Skin I wanted to caress and lick…
I blinked at the sound of my name and heat instantly filled my cheeks. He was standing there with his hand out, but there was a grin on his sexy-as-sin face and a dark heat in his black eyes. Black. Eyes. They reminded me of licorice, which instantly made me wish for a Jägerbomb, the only alcohol I actually liked.
Biting my lip, I finally put my hand in his. Electricity fired up my arm as if I were being electrocuted. His hand was hot and huge, his fingers wrapping around mine, completely swallowing my hand. My heart jumped and took off racing as if it were in the lead for an Olympic gold medal. A gasp escaped me before I could think to stop it and I lifted my eyes from our hands to find those black eyes watching me closely.
“Is Spider your real name?” The question left my mouth without permission from my brain and I immediately snapped my mouth shut. Smooth, Willa. Real smooth.
He laughed, but not in a way that made me think he was making fun of me. “It’s James, actually.” Tossing back his hair I was presented with something that I had only seen on the National Geographic channel and in my nightmares. The black spider with the red spot on its back climbed up his neck and if he hadn’t still been holding on to my hand I might have taken a few steps back. Instead I just stood there, feeling safe with his warmth seeping into me, and I decided that while that tattoo was scary as hell, it was also beautiful. “I used to keep tarantulas as a kid and so my Uncle Razor was always calling me spider boy. Eventually the boy was dropped and I became just Spider.”
“Oh…” I didn’t know what else to say and my cheeks darkened even more with embarrassment. Damn, I had never been so tongue-tied in my life. Normally I was the outspoken girl, the one who didn’t care to make an ass out of herself or to sound like a bitch. It made me popular in school for some strange reason that I was still trying to figure out. Who wanted to be around a bitch like me that often?
“Spider.” Raider only said his name but there was something in the other man’s tone that had Spider dropping my hand and taking a few steps back. But the dark heat remained and I nearly bit my lip in half as I contemplated that.
“Why don’t you go help the other women and make me some of that lemonade of yours? No one makes it as good as you, girl.” Duke stood and grabbed my hand, giving it a gentle squeeze before practically pulling me out of the room. Out in the hall he stopped and practically shoved me in the direction of the kitchen. “He’s not for you, Willa.”
“Wh-why not?” I whispered, trying to look around him into the office. My heart was begging for just one more glimpse of the scary yet beautiful beast inside. Less than ten minutes. That was all it took and I was infatuated.
“He’s older than you,” Duke began and I snorted. I knew for a fact that Tasha had been screwing around with men in their thirties when she was just fifteen. No one but our mother had had a problem with that. I was just a few months away from my eighteenth birthday and still a freaking virgin. And Spider didn’t look all that older than me. Maybe early twenties, definitely younger than Raider. “He belongs to a different MC. Not even in our charter…”
“It’s your charter, Daddy. I don’t have anything to do with this MC,” I reminded me.
Duke let out a frustrated sigh. “Just take my word on it, girl. Stay clear of the Angel’s Halo boys, and especially Spider.”
If only I had heeded his warning…