Home > Reaper's Fire (Reapers MC #6)(4)

Reaper's Fire (Reapers MC #6)(4)
Author: Joanna Wylde

“Um, twenty?” she asked, turning it into a question. That was perfect—enough work to make me look busy and explain my presence, but not enough to get in the way of my real job. “But I haven’t even had you fill out an application yet, and I need to put away the chocolate.”

“Show me the AC,” I replied, figuring I might as well take charge. “I’ll look it over and see if I can fix it while you do that. Sound good?”

She glanced around, and I had to bite back a snort of laughter. She obviously didn’t feel comfortable giving me free rein of the place, but at the same time she wanted that AC fixed. Bad. Couldn’t blame her, either. Shop felt like it was a hundred and ten in there, and the day wasn’t over yet.

“It’s up on the roof,” she said finally. “Come on through the back. I’ll show you where the stairs are.”

Excellent, although as I followed her up the stairs—eyes glued to her ass—I couldn’t help but think she was a little too trusting for her own good. Any other guy might take advantage of the situation. I sure as hell wanted to.

Focus, I reminded myself. She’s not the target.

Fucking shame.

• • •

An hour later my dick had calmed down, leaving me alone with a piece of shit air conditioner that should’ve been put out of its misery ten years ago. The old building was three stories tall, with a fake facade and a black tar roof that had to be at least a thousand degrees, maybe more. Either way, it was so hot that melted tar had coated my knees, ruining my favorite pair of jeans.

Christ, but I was a moron.

Yes, I needed cover to stay in Hallies Falls, and the thought of working for Tinker Garrett appealed greatly. But there were less complicated covers that didn’t involve broiling myself alive on a roof that screamed “structurally unsound.” Fucking AC unit wasn’t much better. Damned thing was held together with duct tape—okay, that wasn’t entirely fair . . . some of it was electrical tape—and I couldn’t figure out how it’d kept running this long. My best theory was animal sacrifice. I’d found five dead squirrels inside. Little fuckers had chewed through the wiring, probably in some kind of satanic ritual.

Now their fluffy little corpses had bloated in the sun—just waiting to explode all over me—because kneeling in hot tar wasn’t shitty enough. I needed to cut my losses and the get the fuck out of there. Life was too damned short.

“Hey there.”

I turned to find Tinker stepping out onto the roof from the raised stairwell. She walked toward me, hips swaying in her cropped jeans with the cuffs rolled up. She’d tied a red bandanna around her head, and with her fitted shirt and generous curves she looked just like a Harley pinup girl.

A pinup girl carrying a tall glass of iced tea.

“Thought you could use a drink,” she said, raising a hand to shade her eyes from the sun. I took the glass, chugging down half of it in one swallow, then considered pouring the rest of it over her boobs, because God made those tits to be seen and appreciated.

Instead I thanked her.

“So how’s the AC looking?” she asked, catching her bottom lip and chewing on it mournfully.

“Squirrels ate your wiring,” I said bluntly. “I can probably get it running again, but it needs to be replaced.”

“It’s August already,” she replied, sighing heavily. A better man would’ve made sympathetic noises, but I didn’t give a shit about her AC. I was too busy imagining her tongue licking my cock, because what can I say? I’ve always been a simple man with simple needs. “You think you can keep it running for another couple weeks? That’ll give me enough time to figure out what to do.”

Christ I wanted to fuck her. Seriously, it was like the bitch had been made for me, all perfect and put together but just a little dirty.


Small enough I could control her every move if I wanted to, but lush and soft and—

Opt out, asshole. You don’t want a complication like this. Tell her you changed your mind about the job.

“I’ll need to get some parts in Omak,” I said instead. “I already called to check. Trip should take an hour and a half, maybe a little longer, which means I’ll still have plenty of daylight to finish the repair. Assuming I’ve got the job, that is.”

She looked up me, green eyes wide with relief, although she was trying not to show it. I had the job, and we both knew it. Too easy.

“Cooper Romero . . . How long have you been in town?”

“Less than a week.”

“And how long are you planning to stick around?”

“For a while,” I said, which was a damned lie. I had a mission to accomplish—then it was home to Coeur d’Alene, because fuck this little shithole of a town. “My old lady and I decided to end things. I needed to get away for a while, and wanted to be somewhere I wouldn’t run into her but close enough to still see my kids.”

Her eyes caught mine.

“Boys or girls?”

“Boys,” I said slowly, knowing I had her. “One’s ten and the other’s twelve.”

“You must miss them,” she said softly. Um, yeah. I’d totally miss them if they existed. You’re a fucking asshole, lying to her like that.

Hell, at least I was consistent.

“Every day. If you want me to get that part, I’d better leave soon.”

She glanced back down at the ancient unit and nodded her head.

“That’d be great. How much cash do you think you’ll need?”

“Shouldn’t be too much—it’s more labor than anything. I’ll bring you a receipt.”

• • •

Fixing the AC took longer than I’d expected. It was nearly seven that night before I screwed the access panel back on, packed up my tools, and started down the stairs to the shop, reeking of sweat and tar. My jeans were ruined, but I’d stripped off my shirt early on, so it was okay. It’d still been hot as fuck up there, but at least I’d been able to catch the occasional breeze on the roof. I felt tired in a good way—not so much that I wouldn’t be able to make my assigned “date” that night, but enough that I felt like I’d accomplished something. Sheer boredom had been the hardest part of the last couple days. You can only sit in a hotel room for so long before losing your fucking mind.

The stairs landed in a narrow hallway outside the main shop. There was a small bathroom in the back—shared with the storefront next door—although it looked to me like nobody had used the space in a long time. I stepped inside to clean myself up. Pointless. I’d have to pick up some Orange GOOP on the way home, otherwise I’d never get this shit off.

Of course, I had a feeling my real target was into dirty hands. Not that I knew Talia Jackson all that well, but I’d seen enough of her in action over the past week to get a feel for her. She was young, stupid, and had a crazy sense of entitlement, all because her brother—Marsh—was the president of the local motorcycle club. Talia was everything I hated in a woman, but the little bitch was my ticket into the Nighthawk Raiders.

None of this should’ve been necessary. They were nothing more than a support club, and they owed a percentage of everything they earned to the Reapers MC—a percentage that had fallen by more than half in the last three months.

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