Authors: Christine Feehan
Tears spilled over, but she hadn’t made a sound when he’d spanked her. “That hurt.”
“You weren’t supposed to enjoy it, angel.” It took effort not to take her tears right off her face with his tongue. He wasn’t going to be able to resist for long. He waited for condemnation. A screaming, deserved temper tantrum.
“You do realize you’re being a first-class dick?”
“I realize I’m saving your life and you aren’t thanking me. As I recall, I went out of my way to thank you. In fact, I risked going to hell and jail for lying when I told Ms. Prune I was your fiancé.”
She hadn’t screamed for help. She hadn’t run away. She wasn’t condemning him. She just regarded him with those liquid sea-blue eyes. She was beyond anyone he’d ever imagined.
Seychelle shook her head and then those fantasy lips curved into a smile and his heart clenched hard in his chest. He wanted to be closer to her. He couldn’t help stroking his fingers down the marks Joseph had put on her neck. No one put marks on her skin but him. No one. He wanted to kick the shit out of the little dick.
“Hand the pack over, Seychelle.” He didn’t give in for one minute. He couldn’t. If she belonged to him, she had to know what she was getting into. What the hell was he thinking? But he couldn’t stop himself.
She heaved an exaggerated sigh. “I suppose since you went to the trouble of announcing you were my fiancé, I should give you a pass.”
I’m saving your life.” He held her gaze captive, refusing to look away.
Another exaggerated sigh. Another flash of that little
heart-stopping dimple. “Fine. You’re probably saving my life as well. I’ve been wanting to quit, but I’m so addicted.”
“Addiction is meant to be overcome.”
He took the pack from her and crushed the remaining cigarettes.
“Even you?” she demanded. “Are you addicted to something as well? Or are you above the rest of us?”
“Even me.” He looked her in the eye. “You have any more?”
She shook her head. “What are you addicted to?”
“You.” He put it out there, uncaring if it freaked her out. “You should run while you have the chance. It won’t do you any good, but you can at least try.”
“Maestro and Keys just asked me to join their band. That’s what started this.” She gestured toward Joseph on the ground, where two members of her band crouched to make certain the scout was still able to get to his feet. “There’s no doubt you can track me down.”
“Hell, man, you nearly killed him,” Hank, the lead guitarist, accused.
Savage ignored him, unconcerned if Joseph was alive or dead. He’d made certain to take a photograph of Seychelle’s neck and the finger marks there. The asshole tried to strangle her right there in the alley. Savage probably wouldn’t let that shit go. More than likely he’d slip into the man’s hotel room and break his fuckin’ neck.
He took Seychelle by the arm and walked her back down the alley, away from the others and toward the bar. “No doubt I will track you down.” He snapped his fingers. “Address.”
She lifted her chin. “Do you think I’m crazy? You’re so far out of my league I can’t even consider encouraging you.” Her gaze once more drifted over him from head to toe, once again giving him that strange feeling that she was physically touching him. “You’re dangerous to women. I’m
not the type to live dangerously, Savage. A man like you never sticks around. You don’t, do you?”
He might not be her type, but she was definitely his. She was exactly what he was looking for, she just didn’t know it. He liked that she knew he was dangerous. He liked the way she was sure of herself. He liked the way she sacrificed herself for others. Her parents. Him. The little kid. “Nope. Don’t fuck them either. Just their mouths. Don’t buy them meals or take them out. We don’t converse either.”
“Sounds so wonderfully tempting.”
Her sarcasm stroked his cock like fingers whispering over him. He grinned at her. “I don’t kiss them or get all cozy in bed with them. And I don’t spank their asses when they don’t hand over cigarettes in order to save their lives.”
a catch.” That damn dimple of hers was going to keep him up all night.
His grin was suddenly genuine, shocking him. He hadn’t known he could actually feel amusement, let alone smile. “I guess you’re forgetting I kissed you, conversed and got all cozy in your bed as well as spanked your ass to save it.”
Her smile lit up the shadowy alley. “I guess you did.”
“That deserves something.”
Hank stood up and nudged the drummer, who had come out with him looking for his singer, worried now that he knew a scout was after her. “Is he bothering you, Seychelle?”
“No, Hank, we know each other. We go way back.”
“I’m her fiancé,” Savage announced.
Seychelle tried to muffle her laugh against his shoulder. He wrapped his other arm around her waist and pulled her in close to him.
“The hell you are,” Hank snapped. “Who is he?”
Savage turned his head slowly and met Hank’s eyes. He didn’t mind Hank seeing the killer in him. He let his stare go cold and flat. Hank and the drummer both backed up
and nearly tripped over Joseph, who had staggered up and nearly fell over again.
“I’m Torpedo Ink,” Savage announced. “And Seychelle’s fiancé. You have anything to say to her in that fuckin’ tone of voice, you say it to me first.”
Hank swallowed visibly and cast around for something to say that wouldn’t make him look like a pussy but wouldn’t get him into trouble. “We’ve got a show to put on.”
“She’ll be right in,” Savage said. “A few more minutes.”
Seychelle waited until Hank and the drummer got Joseph between them and helped the scout back into the bar. Savage knew Maestro, Keys, Player and Master were right there in the shadows. Absinthe was somewhere, probably inside, keeping a pulse on the bar.
“Seriously, Savage? You’d better stop saying things like that. Torpedo Ink is news to a lot of people now. You’re going to find that little rumor sweeping through the clubs.”
“I could give a fuck what other people say. I don’t live my life by gossip, and neither do you. Am I right?”
She gave him that smile again, and his lungs burned for air.
“No, I don’t pay much attention to gossip, although when everyone warns a woman about a man, she had better listen.”
“Someone warned you about me?”
“Not me specifically, but I hear rumors and you’re considered hot and sexy, so yeah, you get mentioned. They say you don’t stick around. At. All.”
“And I don’t fuckin’ kiss them, converse or cozy up with them in a bed.”
She laughed again, just like he knew she would. That sound was shockingly beautiful, the golden notes scattering like tiny little crystals around them.
“Since you’re no longer smoking, there’s no reason for you to frequent alleys and get your sexy little ass in trouble. I mean it, Seychelle. Don’t go where it isn’t safe. That man who is supposed to be a scout sounded like a stalker.”
“How would you know what a stalker sounds like?”
“I’m stalking you, aren’t I?”
She shrugged, amusement climbing to her eyes, lighting them. “I suppose so. Since you’re such an expert, I’ll follow your advice. I really do have to go back in.”
He stood there blocking her path, knowing it would be a mistake to kiss her again, but the craving was there. She just waited, not in the least concerned that she was seemingly alone with Savage, a Torpedo Ink sergeant at arms. He leaned in to her deliberately, wrapped his palm around the nape of her neck and put his lips against her ear.
“You aren’t nearly as safe as you think.”
Her blue eyes stared directly into his, and there was a hint of laughter that sent his cock into a frenzy of urgent need. She wrapped her hand around his upper arm, or tried to, but her hand barely made it halfway around his biceps. That didn’t deter her. She put her lips against his ear, going on her toes to do it.
“You’re so full of shit.” She pulled back immediately. “I have work to do, my darling fake fiancé. Step aside.”
He’d never wanted to kiss a woman more. Okay, he’d never wanted to fuck a woman more. He stepped back from the temptation. She was pure sin and he needed her. He wasn’t comfortable needing anyone, let alone a woman. She had a smart mouth on her. He loved that about her. She also wasn’t afraid of him when everyone else was. He didn’t know how to take that. She even appeared to think he was amusing when he was seriously warning her. She didn’t believe he was attracted to her. That much was clear. He found himself wanting to smile again.
He let her go around him. She didn’t look back when she went inside. His brothers immediately came out of the shadows.
“What the hell was that, Savage?” Maestro demanded.
“I told you I know her,” he said.
“Yeah, you know her. You said she wasn’t one of your weird fucks. I want that woman singing in our band.”
Master nodded. “Shocked the hell out of me, but she’s damned good.”
“You can’t fuck this up for us because she’s got a nice ass,” Player said.
Keys just looked at Savage and then shook his head. “You might as well pack it in, brothers, he’s gone on this chick.”
Savage didn’t deny it. He just gave them the death stare. What was there to say? It was true, but he wasn’t sure what he was going to do about it. He wished she were one of his weird fucks. It would make life so much easier for both of them. She was far more than that. She’d never be just another one of his weird fucks.
“She’ll sing for you. Preacher needs another bartender. You said so yourself, Maestro. She can fill in when you’re not singing. She lives in Sea Haven, so that’s a plus.”
“It won’t be a plus when you kick her to the curb,” Maestro said. “Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find a real singer? One like her? It’s nearly impossible.”
“She isn’t kick-to-the-curb material, is she, Savage?” Keys asked.
Savage didn’t answer him. He had no idea what he was going to do with Seychelle.
“If she joins the band,” Player said, “we have an obligation to her. She’d be under our protection.”
Savage turned cold eyes on him. Inside, all the unfamiliar amusement, all the fun he’d had sparring with Seychelle, faded away to be replaced by that ice-cold rage. “No one interferes with her. She’s under
protection. What happens between the two of us is ours alone. You’re my brothers, but she belongs to me and I expect you to respect that and have my back.”
There was absolute silence. It wasn’t as if he could blame them, and worse, deep inside, he had no idea what the hell he was doing. He had no business claiming a woman. He knew it. They knew it. Half the time he couldn’t
be in anyone’s company. Violence rode hard on his shoulders when the devil was on him. The death in his eyes was real. He was barely civilized, and most of the time he hung on to sanity by a thread.
It wasn’t as if Seychelle was a biker bitch who knew the rules of the game. She was no patch chaser, wanting the protection of the club and some man to take care of her. She didn’t even appear all that interested in him or the club. If anything, she was more amused by him than attracted to him. He pulled back, thinking about that kiss they’d shared. The one he still tasted in his mouth. Now he wasn’t going to get her out of his mind. Not that he’d been able to before.
“Savage,” Maestro said, caution in his voice. “This woman. I don’t know that much about her, just the little that Code gave me before we came here, but she seems to be someone we ordinarily would consider off-limits.”
Savage shook his head. “She’s going to say yes to singing with you, but you just remember what I said. Seychelle belongs to me. That’s the bottom line.” He turned on his heel and stalked back into the bar. Already she was interfering with their club. That was the kind of woman she was. Shit.
He faded back into the dark, where he could watch Joseph Arnold drink and glower at Seychelle from a chair close to a wall. Joseph should have gone home. He was beat all to hell. His face practically caved in. His nose was swollen and one eye was closed. His ribs had to be bruised, but he was staying, his eyes on the singer, his cell phone out, recording or taking photos.
By midnight the place was so packed the dancers could only hold on to one another and sway. Word had gotten out that the singer of the band was damn good, and the locals—and bikers—had dropped by to see if it was true and stayed. The bar was still packed at closing time.
Seychelle caught up her jacket from behind the bar, waved toward the bartender and left before the band had
broken down the stage. She didn’t stay to help, which indicated to Savage she wasn’t happy with the way Hank treated her and she wanted to avoid Joseph. He followed her at a distance, needing to make certain she got home safely. The road was very dangerous and took an hour for her to drive even without fog. He hung back, but he followed all the way to her cottage and waited until she was safely inside before heading back to Caspar.
She knew better than to allow Savage anywhere near here. Seychelle still felt every single smack of his hand on her bottom. There had been heat spreading through her body. Fire. Her sex had clenched and throbbed. Every nerve ending in her body had leapt to life, just the way it did when he came near her.