Home > Viper's Run (The Last Riders #2)

Viper's Run (The Last Riders #2)
Author: Jamie Begley

Prologue

“Touchdown, and the Bulldogs pull ahead six to zero!” A cheer went up from the crowd as the first half ended. Winter and Emily braced themselves for the flood of customers that would take advantage of halftime to buy a snack.

“Here we go,” Emily said as the fans began to arrive.

“We might get lucky and set a record crowd tonight,” Winter said, hoping her words proved correct. The money they earned in the concession stand would go towards buying a new scoreboard. As principal of the high school, she was expected to be at home games, but typically as a spectator. Tonight, she had volunteered to work the concession stand so one of the parent volunteers would be given an opportunity to watch their son play in the game. Emily, her secretary, had also volunteered, but her reasons hadn’t been so altruistic. Emily was determined to pursue the football coach.

They worked steadily until the game finally resumed, then the customers returned to being sporadic.

“What are you doing after the game?”

“Going home and putting my feet up,” Winter replied. “You?”

“I plan on asking Mr. TNT for a ride home, then asking him to come inside and show me his play book.” Winter rolled her eyes at Emily’s reply. The football coach had quickly been given the nickname TNT. Winter laughed the first time she heard the nickname, but after she had been introduced to the new coach, she had to agree with their assessment.

“May all your fantasies come true,” Winter joked.

“You’re not seeing Loker tonight? Is he still out of town?” Emily asked as she scooped popcorn into a bag for one of the students.

“Actually, he’s here somewhere watching the game.” Winter bit her lip, wishing she was brave enough to be as assertive with men as her secretary. She had been seeing Loker James on and off for the last two years. Unfortunately for her, he didn’t seem to want to fulfill any of her fantasies.

They had met during a school committee meeting and developed a casual friendship. When he was in town and needed a date, he would always call her. Winter had never turned him down, always hoping each time that their friendship would develop into something more. But it never did, he had barely tried to kiss her.

“I bet it’s hard on him having to constantly fly back and forth between Kentucky and Washington.”

Winter nodded her head, “I told him he needed a vacation, that he was looking tired, but he said now isn’t a good time. His business is keeping him busy in Washington, then when he flies back to Kentucky, his father Ton is always in some kind of trouble.”

“I heard about his father hitting Beth Cornett’s car when he was drunk,” Emily said, taking a handful of popcorn for herself.

“Loker said he wasn’t drunk and that her sister Lily was actually driving the car,” Winter corrected her. She was used to gossip being more fiction than facts and she usually didn’t respond to it, but Ton was Loker’s father. She didn’t want anyone to think that he had been driving under the influence when it wasn’t the truth.

“So if he’s in town, why not hook up with him tonight?”

Because she had been trying to put some space between them, Winter thought to herself. He had called earlier, offering Winter a ride to the game, which she had politely refused, but now she was regretting her decision.

“I’m tired of beating my head against a closed door. He just sees me as a friend.” Winter had even considered the possibility of him being gay. Treepoint was a small town with old-fashioned morals. He was on several school committees and was even thinking of running for a soon to be vacant seat on the school board. If anyone found out he was gay, he would find himself ostracized.

“Maybe you just haven’t used the right bait.”

“There’s not a lot here to bait a hook with,” Winter said wryly. She was under no illusions about her looks. She was average height, neither pretty nor coyote ugly, with brown hair and eyes and a body that was so thin that her friends would bluntly ask if she was anorexic. Even when she loaded herself with carbs, she barely weighed a hundred pounds.

“Don’t put yourself down like that, you’re really striking,” Emily responded.

“For a middle-aged high school principal,” Winter finished for her. Emily began to disagree with her, so Winter decided to change the subject. “Since we haven’t had a customer in a few minutes, do you mind if I take a break?”

“Not at all, I’ll start doing the cleanup so we’ll be ready to close as soon as the game ends.”

“Okay, I won’t take long.”

Emily nodded, already starting to clean the grill.

Fixing herself an order of nachos and taking a bottle of water, she left the concession stand. Seeing a small table with a view of the game, she sat, picking at her nachos. Watching the crowd more than the game, she spotted Loker talking to Ben Stiles, a member of the school board. She wondered what they were talking about that had them looking so serious. Winter saw Ben say something before going to the restroom a few feet away, leaving Loker standing alone.

She rose from the table carrying her empty containers to the trash can, stopping in her tracks when the Last Riders walked by Loker. The motorcycle club had moved into town three years ago. Since then it had become a familiar sight to see them riding throughout the town on their motorcycles. Every so often, a group of them would attend a sporting event in town. They had so far, to Winter’s knowledge, never caused any trouble other than nailing every female that threw themselves their way.

It was the look that Loker was giving one of the women in the group that had Winter coming to a full stop. His usually cold expression changed into one of predatory intent and the slight smile on his lips left no doubt as to what he was thinking. The woman was everything Winter was not. She had short spiked blonde hair and was wearing tight jeans with high heeled biker boots. Her white shirt was low cut, showing an abundance of cleavage that Loker seemed unable to keep his eyes off. Any doubts she had about his sexual preferences were laid to rest with that look. The woman gave Loker a provocative smile, but continued to follow behind her friends. Loker continued to watch her until Ben returned, and then his expression once again became an impassive mask.

Winter went back to the concession stand sick with jealousy. Loker had never looked at her the way he had looked at the seductive blonde. She helped Emily finish cleaning up, and laughed when she left with a determined look on her face. Winter turned off the lights, locked the door, and began to walk towards her car when she saw Loker standing in her path.

“Busy night?”

“Yes,” Winter responded nervously as she started walking briskly towards the parking lot. Loker, calm like always, leisurely followed by her side.

“Would you like to get something to eat before you go home?”

“No thanks, I’m not hungry,” Winter answered.

“I have to go out of town tomorrow, but I’ll be back in a couple of weeks. Your cousin Vincent is having his birthday party the fifteenth, isn’t he?”

“Yes.” Loker gave her a sharp look at her curt reply.

“Do you need a date?” Her cousin was president of the local bank and a member of the local school board. Loker was constantly asking to go to the various functions that Vincent invited her to, but she couldn’t stand Vincent. She often only attended because of Loker’s insistence.

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