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Authors: Candice Owen

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Thrillers & Suspense, #Crime, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Crime Fiction

Riding Danger

BOOK: Riding Danger
12.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons--living or dead--is entirely coincidental.

 

Riding Danger @ 2014 by Candice Owen. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles or reviews.

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

The bus let Blaine out a
t a tiny little intersection near Highway 40. He stepped off the last stair, his boot heel scraping loudly as he did so. Black fumes belched out of the bus’ exhaust tailpipe while the afternoon sun shone down, brutally reminding him that it was August.

 

So, here he was—free.
What the hell did that mean?
He had clothes that were almost a decade old on his back, the seventy-five bucks that they gave every convict leaving the joint tucked into one pocket of his worn-out jeans, and no plans.

 

Those bastards had kept him on the inside for eight years. It was long enough for him to pretend to be rehabilitated and long enough for them to be satisfied that the best part of his life was behind him. He had gone in barely old enough to drink. Now, he was damn near thirty with no prospects and no clue as to what the hell he was supposed to do.

 

There was a mid-sized city a few miles up the highway. The driver had refused to stop there because he had more stops to make, and he did not get overtime. His job was to, as he put it
, truck ‘em and dump ‘em
, and it seemed he was satisfied with dumping Blaine out there in the middle of the emptiness.

 

Blaine did not blame him. Hell, if it had been him, he probably would have barely touched the brakes as they approached the highway. A determined man could tuck and roll after all.

 

He stood there, contemplating the possibilities. The mid-sized city lay one way. The other way would take him to a larger city, but it was nearly fifty miles away. There were no options really, so he started to walk toward the closest one.

 

They had given him a yellow envelope, holding all of his possessions: the battered jeans, the washed out t-shirt, socks, and a pair of underwear that had faded from black to a non-descript gray over the years. The boots had been issued to him in jail, and he knew better than to ask where the extremely expensive biker boots he’d worn the night he’d gone to prison had disappeared to.

 

He started walking. There was nothing else to do anyway. His shadow stretched out long and lonely beside him. A few jet-black crows cawed at him from the telephone poles that tilted sideways along the sandy desert and the endless loop of gray ribbon that was the highway.

 

How far have I come? That wasn’t the real question though, was it? The real question was, where am I going?
His misspent youth had wound him up in prison, caged up like a common animal. Now that he was free, he found that just walking along the highway — the long empty spaces and the ability to answer to nobody — was exactly what he needed.

 

In prison, he had to ask for everything, even the right to take a piss when he was not in his cell. He stopped, unzipped his fly, pulled out his enormous cock and began to water a tall, green cactus. Too late he heard the rumble of an approaching engine; but, before he could zip up and put it away, a scarlet-red Mustang convertible flew past him.

 

The woman behind the wheel looked like a late-night dream. Her long blonde hair fluttered behind her like a flag. He stared at her over his shoulder, getting just enough of a glimpse to know that she was wearing a pretty white top that showed-off her abundant breasts and gloriously tanned skin. Then, she was gone, and he was alone again with only the crows for company.

 

Her car left a long plume of dust hanging in the air, and he had to pull his shirt up over his mouth as he walked along to keep from sucking it into his already scorching lungs. As he walked, he allowed himself a brief fantasy about the woman in the car, dreaming about her coming back and picking him up. Maybe she had a fetish for convicts and no strings attached sex with total strangers. She never turned around, but it was a pleasant way to pass the half hour between when he saw her and when he spotted the outskirts of the city.

 

There were a few guys in lockup who’d come from that city; so, he knew that the bar that he was walking up to was not a great place for a fresh-out con to stop for a beer, but be damned if he wasn’t going to stop anyway.

 

There was a row of gleaming bikes parked out front, chromed out beauties that made his gut squeeze with longing. He spotted a ’74 Panhead, a ’47 Chief, and a few custom jobs in and among the mix. Rolling thunder, highway dynamite.

 

He thought,
What happened to my bike?
Some fat-assed cop is probably riding it around his suburb with three snot-nosed kids hanging off the back.
He did not want to think such a thought because it made his rage boil up higher than he could contain.

 

When he put his hands on the heavy metal door, he could feel a quiver under his fingertips. He already knew what he would find in there, and he was asking for trouble. It didn’t matter though, not really.

 

What else is there for me?
I would’ve liked to say that I was going to get out of prison, change my entire life and my way of thinking. It would have been nice if I’d become a better man, someone far different from the one who had gone into that jail cell to start with.

 

But that is bullshit.

 

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

Blaine had just spent eight years in jail. Living in one of the hardest prisons in the country wasn’t like a day camp or a finishing school. They didn’t teach skills, not unless you counted pressing out license plates and cutting grass in public cemeteries as a skill. He knew that as he stepped into the bar; consequently, maybe that is why what happened – happened.

 

The bartender was an older woman, around forty. She’d seen better days. On the other side of that, she’d probably seen worse, too. Her frizzy, red hair hung about her thin face, and the lines carved on her skin screamed out meth-head.

 

The jukebox played out 80’s music and was now blaring an anthem about girls, girls, girls. The smell of yeast hung all over everything, as it mingled with cigarette smoke. Most of the men in the bar huddled around tables, laughing and talking. They pawed at the girls that wove their way through the bar. Their bare breasts bounced, and their thongs were highlighted by glitter and sequins.

 

“What can I get for you?” asked the bartender. Even her voice was tired. He almost told her to get off dope, take a nap, eat a burger, and try to find a real job. He said none of those things though.

 

All he said was, “A beer, on draft.”

 

“Cool,” a bleached out blonde said, as she passed by. “Big spender...maybe I should hang out with you.” She batted the nearly three-inch-long eyelashes affixed to her lids, as she spoke.

 

Blaine said, “No, you’re first instincts were right. Keep it moving, that is if you want to eat later tonight. I don’t have that kind of cash flow.”

 

The blonde tilted her head while her eyes traveled down his trim and erect body. Blaine knew he was still good-looking as all hell. He had jet-black hair that had grown a little bit longer than it should have in prison, a set of piercing, and light-blue eyes the contrasted quite nicely with his coloring. Plus, he had not gained a single pound in eight years. If anything, he had gotten in better shape.

 

“Maybe I don’t need that much after all. Maybe I like simpler stuff.”

 

“I can’t afford anything you want.” Blaine knew trouble when he saw it, and this woman was trouble. “I’m just here to have a beer and I’m moving on. How about you move it on, too?”

 

“You heard him, Mercy. He doesn’t want no company, get your ass out there and make some money.” The frosted mug that the bartender slammed down on the bar had very little foamy head on it and a lot of beer in the glass. Blaine knew a favor when he saw it, and he put a two-dollar tip in with the cost of the beer as a thank you.

 

Mercy walked away, her pert little rump twitching as she went. Blaine could not help but watch her go. It had been eight years since he has seen a real live woman, other than the few guards that worked in the offices at the prison and the ones who came into the visitor’s center to see their men.

 

“Mister, a word of advice. Mercy there, she’s a good girl and she makes a damn good bunch of money here when her crazy-ass old man isn’t in here fucking with her. He’s here today. The only reason they put up with him is because he’s too scared to fuck with the guys that really matter.”

 

“I guess you are trying to tell me that I don’t matter.” Blaine smiled wryly as he said it. “I understand everything you just said to me. I’m going to drink this beer, and then I am out of here. You got my thanks; unfortunately, that’s about all I got to give you.”

 

“Hell, I could have told you that. You think you’re the first ex-con to come walking up in here?”

 

She had sharp eyes, and he respected that. Keeping a sharp eye open could be the difference between life and death, and it often was. He was keeping his eye open, which was why he saw the guy coming toward him with murder written all over his face long before he ever reached him.

 

“What the fuck did you just say to my girl?”

 

“I do believe I told her that I don’t have anything to give her, and then she moseyed on her way.”

 

“You don’t got shit, huh?”

 

It would not matter what Blaine said right then, and he knew it. This guy was itching for a fight, and he was determined to have it. He took another long sip of his beer, almost draining the mug dry but not setting it down.

 

The guy got closer, his bloodshot eyes staring into Blaine’s. His hair was long and greasy. He had the look of a guy who drank too much, smoked too much, slept too little, and thought the entire world had robbed him of something.

 

“I asked you a question.”

 

“I believe I answered it.” Blaine had yet to set down the mug. He wasn’t clenching the handle, but rather, he held it almost lightly. Mercy’s drunken lout of a boyfriend swung first, but he only swung once. Blaine decked him with the mug, and then he gave him a few hard punches to the face. When he fell, Blaine added in a few solid kicks to keep him down. It all happened so fast that almost nobody noticed until it was over.

 

But Greg Pasquale noticed. “Who’s that guy?”

 

Bennie, his second-in-command, looked over at the little scene at the bar. “Some hard case from up the road. Looks like that jackass boyfriend of Mercy’s picked a fight he couldn’t win this time.”

 

“Go get him.”

 

Bennie did not argue. When Pasquale told him to do something, he did it, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Blaine set the empty mug down, and as he did, the bartender hissed, “Get out of here. Get out now— before it’s way too late.”

 

It was already too late, and Blaine knew it. Nobody was moving toward him in a way that said they wanted to fight him. In fact, the big guy walking toward him had an almost amused smile on his face. Mercy was ignoring the fact that her man was sprawled out on the floor — probably because she was in the middle of giving a lap dance and could not have cared less.

 

Bennie said, “The boss wants to talk to you.”

 

BOOK: Riding Danger
12.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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