Home > Cash's Fight (The Last Riders #5)(5)

Cash's Fight (The Last Riders #5)(5)
Author: Jamie Begley

“Payne Macy.”

“Oh.” Lily shuddered.

“Yeah. He only said it because he knew I wouldn’t touch him with a ten-foot pole. It would serve him right if I started dating him.”

“You wouldn’t.”

“I might. They are being big jerks right now.”

“Not as big as Payne.”

Payne Macy was the town’s confirmed bachelor. The gossip-mongers had always tried to find some dirt to dish on him but had been unable to find a speck. He attended church regularly, dated within reason, and never bought weed off her brothers; thus, they considered him the perfect man for her. The big problem for her was that he and anyone who had met him quickly realized he was an asshole. A mean asshole. Rachel was happy she didn’t come into contact with him very often.

As their food arrived, they changed the subject, neither wanting to hurt their appetite by discussing the rude man.

Because the restaurant wasn’t busy, Rachel heard the low voices of Stud and Cash in the background. Yet, before she could discern what was being discussed, Lily’s phone rang just as they finished eating.

“I’ll be right out,” she said into the phone then explained, “Shade’s here to pick me up.”

“Go ahead. I’ll take care of the ticket,” Rachel offered.

“No, I’ll pay.” She reached for her purse.

“My treat. You can pay next time.”

“All right,” Lily accepted, getting up from the table. “See you Sunday in church.”

Lily left as the waitress brought the ticket. Rachel took it, going to the cash register as she felt the men’s eyes on her. Self-conscious, she was glad to escape their scrutiny after paying, leaving through the door as other customers were about to enter.

Jared and one of his friends stopped, blocking the doorway. Rachel knew it wasn’t a good sign when, instead of letting her pass to go outside, they backed out of the doorway, keeping her pinned between them.

“I want to talk to you.” Rachel stiffened at his harsh voice, unsurprised by his statement.

“What about?”

“Did you tell my wife it was my fault she couldn’t have a kid?” Jared was so angry his face was flushed red, and his beady eyes were narrowed, waiting for her answer.

“No, but I did tell her you should be checked out before she spent any more money on expensive doctors,” Rachel answered in a calm voice. How some women fell in love with certain men was hard for her to understand. There was nothing nice or attractive about Jared.

“How much money did you con her out of?” Jeeringly, he called into question her motives.

“None.” Rachel had dealt with enough. She didn’t have to put up with his bullshit; she wasn’t the one stupid enough to be married to him.

“Stay the fuck away from my wife and keep your advice to yourself.” Jared blocked her path again as she tried to move away from him. “I’ll make sure everyone in town knows you’re a phony if I catch you near her again.”

Rachel wouldn’t have been able to call herself a Porter if she allowed the man to continue. Her temper soaring, she reached out, grabbing his arm. Jared tried to pull it out of her reach, but Rachel needed only a minute to find out what she needed to know. When Jared pushed her away from him, Rachel was sickened by what she had found out. His anger had lowered his guard, blasting the knowledge she needed through his consciousness into hers. Rachel was easily able to read what he was hiding.

“You should be ashamed of yourself.” Rachel made no effort to hide her disgust, attempting to go around him again.

“What the fuck do you mean by that?” Jared took her arm, propelling her away from the door to the side of the restaurant.

Unwisely, she didn’t back down. “I mean, you know you can’t have kids, but you haven’t told Cheryl, letting her take the blame. Does it make you feel like a big man, Jared, keeping her pinned under your thumb?”

Her rash outburst brought out the ugliness inside of the overbearing man. “You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.”

“Yes, I do. You made sure you couldn’t get any of the women you fool around with pregnant, so don’t act innocent, Jared.”

A sharp smack to her face had her almost falling down. The only reason she didn’t was because Jared kept a firm grip on her arm, holding her in place as his hand went back to strike her again. Her face already numb after the initial burst of pain, Rachel braced herself for another strike, but then found herself thrust back against the restaurant wall as a body knocked Jared away from her, throwing him to the ground.

Rachel watched as Cash punched Jared repeatedly in the face. When his friend would have tried to help, Stud held him back. Wisely, the man took a good look at Stud and quit trying to intervene.

“Cash, stop! That’s enough!” Rachel reached down, grasping Cash’s t-shirt and tugging him away, aware he was releasing Jared only because he was finished.

“Go on home, Rachel,” Cash said, getting to his feet.

“I’m going to press charges!” Jared whined from the ground, holding his bleeding nose.

“No, you’re not, unless you want me to press charges against you. You hit me first!” Rachel yelled down at him. “Get up and go on home, Jared, before I call my brothers and you leave here in an ambulance.”

After Jared managed to get to his feet, he and his buddy took off to their car.

“Are you okay?” Cash asked, staring at her cheek.

“Yes.”

“Gotta go, Cash.”

“Thanks, Stud,” Rachel said before he could leave.

He gave her a nod. “Later.”

Rachel began walking to her car, which she had left across the street at the church.

“I don’t get a thanks?” Cash asked mockingly, falling in step beside her.

“Thanks,” Rachel said ungratefully as she came to a stop beside her car, staring at it in dismay.

“I guess the restaurant wasn’t Jared’s first stop.”

All four tires of her older than dirt car had been slit. The tires would cost more than the car was worth.

“Dammit.” Rachel reached inside her purse for her phone.

“Come on. I’ll give you a ride home.” Cash took her arm, leading her back across the street to the diner’s parking lot.

“I’ll call my brothers. One of them will come and get me.” She didn’t get inside his truck when he opened the door.

“If you call them, then they will go after Jared. You can calm them down if you’re home when you tell them.”

He was right, but it would be just as bad for them to see her getting out of Cash’s truck.

“Get in, Rachel.”

“I still think I should—”

Cash lifted her up, placing her on the bench seat in his truck, then slammed the door closed, effectively cutting off her protests. Sliding into the truck, he turned the motor on.

“I can have you home before you make up your mind.”

Rachel sat back against the seat, closing her mouth.

“So, why was Jared so pissed off at you?”

Rachel turned sideways in her seat to stare at his profile. “I can’t tell you. It’s private.”

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