Reaper's Property(5)By: Joanna Wylde
The big man studied me, his face cold and expressionless. I couldn’t be entirely sure he was human, I decided. More like a Terminator. Unwilling to hold his gaze, I let my eyes drop to his vest. Beat to hell, black leather, lots of patches. One of them caught my attention in particular, a bright red diamond that had a number one with a percent sign next to it. I didn’t know what it meant, but I was pretty sure I wanted to get into the house and put on some more clothing.
Maybe a burkha.
“Sure thing, babe,” he said, straddling the table’s bench and taking a seat. His friends sauntered over to join him.
“How about a drink, girl?” one of them asked, a tall man with short dark hair and startling blue eyes. I nodded and walked quickly toward the trailer, using every bit of my self-control not to break into a run. I heard them laughing behind me. Not a friendly laugh.
Thankfully, Jeff actually answered his phone on the first try.
“There are some guys here to see you,” I said, peeking out through the kitchen window, careful to keep the faded curtains decorated with pictures of little flying vegetables closed. “They’re bikers. I think they might be dangerous. They look like murderers to me, but I’d like to think I’m crazy on this one. Tell me I’m being paranoid, please.”
“Fuck…” Jeff replied. “That’s the Reapers MC, Marie, and they don’t fuck around. Do what they say, but don’t get too close to them. Whatever you do, don’t touch them or talk to them unless they talk to you first. Don’t even look at them. Just stay the hell out of their way. I’ll be home in twenty minutes.”
“What’s an MC?”
“Motorcycle club. Stay calm, okay?”
Jeff hung up on me.
Now I was really scared. I’d expected him to laugh at me and tell me they were just harmless guys who liked to ride their bikes and play badass. I guess this was the real thing. I ran into my room and pulled on a baggy t-shirt I liked to sleep in. I dropped my shorts and put on a pair of capris, pulling my long, dark-brown hair back into a messy bun. A quick look in the mirror was enough to convince me that I was worrying too much—they might have been crude and suggestive toward me, but I was no man’s dream girl. I had dirt smudges on my face, my nose had burned bright red and I’d somehow gotten a giant scratch across my cheek. It contrasted nicely with the fading yellow and purple of the bruise Gary’d given me.
My hands trembled as I poured three big plastic tumblers of iced tea, wondering if I should put sugar in them. I decided to bring some sugar in a cup and stuck a spoon in it. Then I wedged two of the tumblers between my right arm and my torso, grabbing the third with my hand. I snagged the sugar with my left and managed to get through the door with some careful maneuvering. They were talking to each other in low voices when I came out, watching me as I walked to the table. I pasted a bright smile on my face, just like I used to wear when I waitressed back in high school. I could do this.
“You call your man?” the big one asked. I glanced at him, forgetting I was supposed to avoid his gaze because his eyes were so deep and rich and green.
“My man?” I asked.
Shit, I forgot about that. They thought I was Jeff’s girlfriend. Should I tell them? I couldn’t decide. I studied the biker, trying to figure out the safest answer. He met my gaze without giving anything away. His hair was pulled back in a rough ponytail and his chin was covered with thick, dark stubble. My stupid body came alert again as I wondered what that stubble would feel like if I rubbed my lips against it slowly.
Probably pretty damned good.
“Girlie, answer the fuckin’ question,” said the blue-eyed man. I jumped, splashing some of the tea against the front of my shirt. It drenched my right boob, of course, and my nipple came to instant attention when the icy drink hit it. The big guy’s eyes followed it, his eyes darkening.
“Jeff’s coming,” I said, managing not to stutter. “He said he’d be here in twenty minutes. I’ve got tea for you,” I added inanely. Big Guy reached out and took the cup from my hand. That left me in a bind because I couldn’t unload the other two glasses without my other hand free. I could either give him the sugar or I could lean past him and put it on the table. I was pretty sure I didn’t want to do that.