Authors: Lexie Davis
“Will you do me a favor?” Scarlett popped the trunk. “Will you help me carry in the books in my trunk?”
“Sure.” He went to her car to help and she was grateful for it.
“So you think you can just boss the prospects around now that you’re fucking Joker?” Lauren stared at her with a level of hatred in her eyes that Scarlett didn’t understand. “They’re not your servants. I don’t care if Joker is the secretary of the club.”
Scarlett frowned. “I just asked him to help me. I didn’t force him to do anything against his will. He could have said no.”
“They’re not going to say no because of who sticks their dick in you. They want a patch. They have to please. It’s part of the game.”
The guy came in and stopped where Scarlett stood. “Where do you want them?”
“Joker’s room.” Scarlett waited until he left before turning back to Lauren. “Maybe he’s just a nice guy.”
“None of these men are nice guys.” Lauren pulled out a cigarette and lit it.
“Then why hang around? Don’t you have a better life to get to?”
Lauren narrowed her eyes. “When Joker gets tired of you, he’s going to come back to me. We’ve been doing this dance for nearly five years.”
“If he wanted you, wouldn’t he stay with you?” Scarlett didn’t understand her. But then again, there was a lot that Scarlett didn’t understand. “Why would he need other women?”
Lauren didn’t like that. “Why are you talking to me? Get the fuck out of my face.”
Scarlett moved away from her. The guy she enlisted to help her stopped in the hallway. “Do you need help with anything else?”
“No. Thank you. I appreciate it.” She went in the room and shut the door. She wanted a hot shower and she planned on reading until she fell asleep.
Scarlett ate her dinner quickly and took her shower. When she was through she combed her hair and pulled it back before grabbing a few books and climbing on the bed. She propped herself up on the pillows and started reading one of the books she’d checked out from the library.
Sometime later, Joker woke her up as he shifted the books aside. Scarlett groaned and rolled to her back.
“Are you awake?” he asked.
“Now I am.” She sat up and closed her book.
“Did you talk to Lauren?”
Scarlett stared at him. “She spoke to me first.”
He blew out a breath and crawled in beside her. “She called me tonight. Told me that you were cheating on me with one of the prospects.”
“I did not!” Scarlett shot up out of the bed. “She’s lying.”
Joker reached for her. “Calm down. I didn’t believe her.”
Scarlett’s eyes filled with tears. “I just asked him to help me carry my books in. I was tired.”
Joker sat on the bed watching her. “Honey, it’s okay.”
“It’s not okay.” She glanced away trying to keep her emotions in check. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
All the emotions of the day started to take their toll. Joker stood and tried to comfort her and she pushed him away. Scarlett swiped underneath her eyes as she turned away from him.
“Sweetheart, what do you want me to do? What will make you feel better?”
“I want to get away from here.”
Joker propped his hands on his hips. “Put some clothes on and we’ll go for a ride.”
“I’ll take you to my house.” He sat on the bed and pulled his boots on. “I think you’ll like it.”
She grabbed a pair of short and the T-shirt he gave her to wear that morning. After changing, she followed him out to this bike. He got on first and started it up. He helped her on the back of it and let her get settled. She held on to him as they took off.
Resting her cheek against his back, she watched the city pass them by as they rode through. Scarlett tried to stop thinking about the day and tried to focus on what they were doing now.
He wound through the city and then turned off on another road. A beautiful house sat at the top of a hill and he turned into the drive. Scarlett blinked a few times with the moonlight giving her a clear view of the outside. He parked and killed the engine.
“I love it. Why don’t you live here?”
He shrugged. “Parts are unfinished. I still have to do the majority of the upstairs. I just haven’t had a lot of time to do it. Money doesn’t stretch like it used to either.”
She climbed off the back of the bike. “The house is amazing.”
“Let’s go inside.” He led her up the walk and to the front door. Opening the front door, he stepped inside and turned the lights on.
“Oh, wow.” Scarlett walked in the foyer and took in the scenery. Hardwood floors covered the entire downstairs. The walls were painted a light gray color and it looked so clean and elegant. A chandelier hung from the high ceiling with the stairs leading to the second floor to the left.
“Go in. Look around.” Joker closed the door behind them and locked it.
Scarlett followed the hall to the main great room. It was empty but done beautifully. The large room had large windows and a beautiful fireplace. Scarlet turned around staring up at the ceiling. The kitchen was to the left of the house and she went that way next, loving the dark cabinetry minus appliances. There was a breakfast nook and bay window in the back that she loved. It looked so cozy. Homey.
A mud room led to the garage and she turned around to go toward the other end of the house. Joker simply watched her go crazy over the design. Down the main hallway on the first floor was a small powder room. She opened the next door and it was closet. Closing it, she went to the next door which led to a huge master bedroom.
“Oh my goodness.” The tall ceilings were vaulted with an expensive-looking light fixture in the middle. The hardwood flooring was beautiful and she could picture it being a beautiful room when it was decorated. She went into the bathroom and saw a huge, free-standing bathtub with a separate shower that could fit at least four people. All of it seemed to be complete and livable.
“Well?” Joker came up behind her. “What do you think?”
“I want to take a bath in that tub.”
He smiled. “You can but the hot water heater isn’t hooked up so it’d be a cold bath.”
“You really need to hook up the hot water heater.”
Joker laughed. “Noted.”
She smiled. “I love it.”
And she did. His house was beautiful. Joker leaned against the door frame. “Upstairs isn’t complete. I still have drywall to hang and a lot of other stuff to do.”
“It’s amazing.” She came to him and hugged him. “You’re amazing.”
He kissed her. “I like smiles better than tears.”
She closed her eyes. “You always bring about the smiles.”
He held her and she welcomed it. Her body was tired and her mind was exhausted. Joker smoothed his hands down her back.
“You okay?” He kissed the top of her head. “I want you to talk to me about the Lauren situation. What happened and why were you crying?”
She pulled away from him. “I didn’t do anything. She gave me crap about asking one of the guys to help me carry my books in. Then she made comments about them only helping me because of who sticks their dick in me and that none of you were nice. Then she made some comment about how you’re going to go back to her when you get tired of me. That was what you’ve been doing with her for five years. I made a point that you didn’t want her if you were with another woman and she told me to get the fuck out of her face.”
He licked his lips. “I’m going to take care of Lauren. You don’t have to worry about that.”
“I didn’t cheat on you.”
“I never believed you did.” Joker brushed his fingers along her chin. “The only competition I have for your attention is with your books. They’re pretty badass, but I can handle them.”
He gave her a smile that made her knees weak. “That makes me sound really boring.”
“Not boring. Respectable.”
Scarlett turned toward the bathtub. She’d debated as to whether or not she should ask him about Eddy. She wanted to know if her life really was in danger or if Ollie was simply spreading bullshit like before. She didn’t know where she stood in this game or what cards she had to play. She trusted Joker, but she didn’t know how much he really trusted her.
“Something is still on your mind. I can see it.” Joker leaned against the door frame. “Spill.”
She pursed her lips. “I don’t know if that’s a good idea.”
She went over to the tub and rubbed her finger along the edge. “I got a text from Ollie today.”
“What did he say?”
She thought about it. “I don’t know where I stand in this game. Ollie says one thing and you say another. I know things about your club, not so good things. I know what happens to people that get mixed up in the crime.”
“You’ve lived with me less than a week. I seriously doubt you know much about the club.”
“It’s a gang. You traffic drugs around the city. You’ve all got a record.” She finally met his eyes. “I didn’t do anything wrong and here I am mixed up in this environment.”
“What did he say to you?” Joker asked, not budging. “Everything. Verbatim.”
“Promise me that stuff beyond my control is not going to rain down on me.”
Joker’s jaw was set. He was pissed and she didn’t know why. The cotton shirt he wore stretched over the hard muscles of his body. He was intimidating.
“Nothing is going to happen to you while you’re with me.”
Scarlett nodded and pulled her phone from her pocket. She unlocked it and handed it to him. He glanced at it and handed it back, not saying a word.
“I’m holding you to your promise.” She stuffed the phone into her pocket, not really looking at him.
“Sweetheart, I don’t back out on my word. I said it and I meant it. If it weren’t true, you wouldn’t be here and I sure as hell wouldn’t give one fuck about you crying tonight. Got it?”
She cleared her throat. “Not one fuck, huh?”
He almost smiled. “Nope. Not one fuck. And you sure as hell wouldn’t motivate me to hook up the water heater so you can take a fucking bath in my house either.”
“What made you want to build this house?”
He scratched his chin the hard lines diminishing. She didn’t know what pissed him off, but she didn’t want him to dwell on it all night.
“I don’t know. My dad was a carpenter before he retired and I always worked on houses with him growing up. It was my summer job from the time I turned fifteen all the way through college. I got my degree and entered the corporate world and hated every fucking minute of it. I actually started this house when I worked as a CPA for a bigwig firm in the city. I thought, one day, I’d find someone to marry and we’d build a family here. At the time I wanted four kids. I grew up with three siblings and to me that just seemed like a good number to have. So I made this five bedrooms.” He shrugged. “Marriage seemed less and less important as the days went on. I never really had a desire to get married or take that step with any of the women I’ve been with.”
She folded her arms over her chest. “What’s your deal with Lauren?”
He rubbed a hand over his face. “I met her when I first joined the Charming Bastards. Her sister was with the guy that used to be president of our charter and she hung around with the club with her. We hit it off the first night.” He didn’t quite meet her eyes. “I started doing drugs with her. Not to the point I was addicted, but definitely recreational.”
“Do you still do drugs?”
“No.” He shook his head. “I haven’t touched the stuff in four years.”
Scarlett licked her lips. “So why did you keep going back to Lauren?”
“She was easy.” He shrugged and walked into the bathroom. He went to the vanity and lifted himself up. “Once I became a Charming Bastard full patch member, I never really had to look too hard for a good time. If some other girl wasn’t there to fuck me, then Lauren always was.”
“And that’s it? There’s nothing else between you two?”
He shook his head. “I told you, I wasn’t looking for a wife or anything. Just a good time.”
“What about me?” Scarlett met his eyes. “Am I a good time too?”
He snorted. “You know the answer to that.” He paused for a moment. “If there ever was someone I’m meant to be with, you fit her description pretty fucking well.”
Scarlett didn’t know what to think about his admission.
He smiled and glanced around. “I can see us living here a few months down the road. I know I want to wake up next to you every morning even if you’re completely focused on everything you need to do for the day and don’t want to engage in morning sex.”
Scarlett shook her head. “I will always be hyper focused in the morning. Sex just isn’t on my list of things to do before breakfast.”
“Oh, I know.”
“Yes, you’re so sex starved.”
“I haven’t had sex for almost twenty-four hours.”
She walked toward him. “You poor, poor thing.”
She stood between his legs and leaned in to kiss him. Joker made all the bad stuff from the day better instantly.
He cupped her cheeks and stared into her eyes. “Let’s go back to the club. I want to fuck you properly on a bed.”