Home > Faking it All (Hellfire Riders MC #10)

Faking it All (Hellfire Riders MC #10)
Author: Kati Wilde

1

 

 

Duke

 


You’d think a man would learn. Wednesday night, I’m riding along the road toward the Hellfire Riders’ clubhouse without a care in the damn world. The last time I can remember feeling this good, I was fourteen years old—and that was when my whole world went to shit. One minute, not having a care and being so fucking careless…and the next minute, losing everything.

So you’d think I’d know better. Feeling this fine, I should have known something was coming for me.

I should have known it wouldn’t be long before I lost everything again.

But that’s how it always starts. Some stupid fucker doesn’t open his eyes and recognize what’s in front of him. This time that stupid fucker is me. Because when Bull and I ride into the clubhouse lot and I spot the two black Mercedes-Benz SUVs parked near the entrance, I assume it’s business as usual.

I know Bull assumes the same, but he’s not being stupid. For that big bearded bastard, the world is all unicorns and roses—and has been ever since he hooked up with his girl, Sara. Nothing’s coming for him. Mostly because he put a bullet in the head of the last man who did.

Now he cuts his engine, eyeing the SUVs. “Looks like someone’s delivering your baby.”

“Looks like.” And I hope like hell it doesn’t whine as much as the last one did. “You hear any word about who it is?”

He shakes his head. “Nothing aside from Widowmaker’s email.”

That’s all I got, too, and those messages are about as helpful as snot on ice. Every Wednesday before the Hellfire Riders’ executive board meeting, Widowmaker sends out an agenda to the attending brothers. Today we got two emails, and the second included a last-minute addition—“Babysitting”—which told me a job had abruptly come up. And that single word was all the information given about it.

But the meeting starts in two minutes so I’ll find out more soon enough. I head across the lot and Bull falls in beside me.

“Did you read the rest of the agenda?” he asks while pulling his fingers through his black beard. On a weekend ride a few years back, a bumblebee got caught in that thick bush and he nearly took down the whole goddamn club swerving and trying to get it out. I doubt there’s any bugs in there now but there’s a reason I shave every day. “Item number three was ‘A DUMBSHIT ASSHOLE.’ So whose skull do you figure the prez is going to crack?”

“Could be any of us.” We’re all assholes. But some of us are dumber than others. “I’ll put my money on Burnout.”

Bull’s snort says he’s got no argument there. But my mind’s quickly changing, because standing at the clubhouse entrance is—or is supposed to be—one of the brothers. Everyone works security for the club now and then, though truth be told, there isn’t much need for it. The clubhouse sits in the south corner of an old ranch spread, twenty miles outside of the nearest town and about a mile off the main road. A few pine trees grow along a stream behind the clubhouse, but beyond that, there’s no real cover. The landscape’s flat and there’s little chance of anyone sneaking up on us. Securing the clubhouse usually just involves giving directions to civilians who got turned around while trying to find the brewery on the opposite side of the ranch, or holding back pissed-off old ladies who suspect their men are inside screwing other women.

But a job is a fucking job. And the dumbshit who is not standing at that door deserves a fine, an asskicking, or both.

Luckily for Bottlecap, he’s only a few paces away from the entrance when we walk through. No one can say the kid wasn’t at his post. But judging by the slack-jawed way he’s gazing deeper into the clubhouse, he apparently got real distracted.

One hard look sends Bottlecap hauling ass back to where he should be. As the prospect passes Bull and me, he says to us, all goddamn giddily, “Did you see who’s hanging out in our clubhouse?”

No one I give a fuck about.

Not until someone’s paying me to give a fuck, anyway. By the time I leave the executive board meeting, I’ll probably give all the fucks. A lot of motorcycle clubs run drugs or guns or hookers to make their money, but the Hellfire Riders prefer not to get mixed up in that shit. Not because we’re goody-goody—we’re far from that—but because that shit brings in a whole lot of trouble not worth dealing with. We just want to ride and fuck and fight. So a good portion of the Hellfire Riders’ income flows in from fighting, in the form of the security a few dozen bikers can provide. Sometimes that means escorting cargo along the highways. Sometimes that means guarding a building or standing in line, forming a wall of muscle that anybody with a brain won’t dare to cross. And sometimes that means providing personal protection—babysitting—here on club property or at another location.

Me, I’m the head babysitter. Which gives a lot of people a chuckle, the first time they hear it.

When they see what happens to anyone who comes after our clients, they stop laughing.

And it doesn’t matter to me who I’ll be sitting. All that matters is doing my job, because fucking it up will smear shit on the Hellfire Riders’ reputation.

A single glance deeper into the clubhouse tells me this job’s already a little different. The club’s property sits on an old dude ranch, and the guest lodge was renovated into the clubhouse. Most of the brothers hang out in what used to be the big open lobby, lounging on the leather couches and watching sports or playing video games, or shooting pool. Farther back, the former dining room is a big open bar with more seating.

Everything’s mostly empty now. Wednesday nights are board meeting nights, and most brothers have work in the morning. By the weekend it’ll be loud as hell, with brothers drinking and partying and fucking the girls they bring. But except during the summers, the weekdays and weeknights stay quiet.

And the half dozen people waiting in the bar area aren’t patchholders. Instead of kuttes, most are wearing black suits—and most look like hired muscle.

Which is damn strange, if someone’s here to hire the Hellfire Riders’ muscle.

I can’t tell who put the stars in Bottlecap’s eyes. There’s two standing at the bar who probably aren’t muscle—which means they’re most likely the clients. One’s a slick-looking fucker in a gray suit who eyes Bull and me as we start up the open staircase to the second level. The other’s a blonde. Her back’s to me, her elbows on the bar, honey-gold hair hanging past her shoulders. She’s wearing a short white dress, and I can’t see much of her except for a pair of long, long legs and a sweet ass, but my immediate impression is that she sure as hell doesn’t belong here. Girls with knockout figures that harden your dick, we see plenty of. Girls with the kind of money she and the slick fucker obviously have, they aren’t so common.

Hell, girls who end up with that kind of money, the first thing they do is hightail it out of places like this. She won’t be staying, either. As soon as this job’s done, she’ll be gone.

So I don’t know why the hell I take another look. Her body’s worth a second and third glance, easy. But that’s not what I’m looking for. Instead I’m hoping for a glimpse of her face. As if her face matters.

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