Authors: Lexie Davis
Joker pushed her off him and she stumbled back into the pool table. “Stay the fuck away from me and Scarlett.”
She stared at him. “You think she wants you? That she really loves you? She’s a drug addict. Look at her twitter profile. There are pictures of her partying with Eddy Grier. Plenty of pictures of her showing her boobs and cunt to the world. How can you really trust someone that fucked around with one of your enemies?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Look it up.” She grabbed a cigarette and lit it. “She was brought here to take you down. Take this club down. You just let her pussy get in the way of your good judgment.”
He left the room and went back to his apartment. The computer sat on the desk in the corner and he fired it up before logging into Twitter. He typed in her name and found the profile with her picture. Scrolling through the photos, he saw Lauren was right. Plenty of pictures were of Eddy doing rows of coke off Scarlett’s body. There were pictures of his face buried between her thighs. Joker scrolled through more of him squeezing her bare breast and posing. He studied the pictures and Scarlett’s smiling face. She looked like she was enjoying what Eddy was doing. She looked like she had more than a casual relationship with the man.
She stirred on the bed and he glanced over at her. Could she really be lying to him? Maybe his club was right for not trusting her. Maybe he fucking opened them up to unnecessary chaos by letting her into their world.
“Hey.” She yawned and stretched on the bed. “What are you doing up? And why are you dressed?”
“I need to know about you and Eddy.” He licked his lips. “You said he came on to you at Marrow’s house. Is that all?”
She pushed up from the bed. “Why? What happened now?”
“Tell me the truth, Scarlett.”
“I met Eddy that night. I didn’t feel comfortable around him. I resisted him the best I could and then he poked me with something and I blacked out.”
“So you’re not working with him? To try and get information from me?”
“What are you talking about? Of course not. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Look at these pictures. It makes it look like you and Eddy had a fun time together.”
She stood and walked over to where he was. Her eyes widened in initial shock. She grabbed the computer and scrolled through them. Tears welled in her eyes.
“I didn’t do any of that.” Her hand shook as she covered her mouth. “Oh, my God. I didn’t … they took advantage of me!” She turned away from him clenching her fists at her side. He watched her. “They used me in some sick game they’ve got going. Clearly for their own disgusting deeds.” She clutched her arms over her stomach.
Joker closed the laptop and went toward her. He tried to reach out and she jerked away from him. “Don’t touch me.”
He swallowed and pulled his hand back. “Why are you smiling in them? If you were drugged, why does it look like you’re having the fucking time of your life?”
She turned toward him, her face a mixture of disbelief and disgust. “You think I would do that? That I would let some guy do drugs off me or take pictures of him …” She didn’t finish the sentence. “If you think I did that, then get out of my face. I can’t be around you.”
“I’m saying you don’t fucking know what you do when you’re high.”
“Did we do that?” Scarlett asked him. “You were with me the entire time.”
She had a point. From what he knew of her, she wasn’t the partying type. She called a good time reading in bed, surrounded by numerous books. She spent her time at the library and enjoyed it. But he couldn’t shake the feeling that it could all be a lie. She could be faking it so he wouldn’t suspect her.
“Oh my God. You don’t believe me.” Tears filled her eyes. “After everything we’ve talked about and shared, you don’t believe me? You said you loved me and you think I’m spying on you!”
Joker reached out to her and her jerked away from him. “Scarlett, would you calm down?”
She didn’t bother changing her clothes as she grabbed her bag and keys from the table. “Stay the fuck away from me. I mean it. I don’t
want to see you again.”
He grabbed her arm before she could get out the door. Pushing her up against the wall, he crashed his mouth against hers. He held her arms above her head and forced her legs apart as he pressed his entire body against hers. He didn’t know what to believe. She could very well be playing him, but it didn’t really change any of the facts. He did love her. He did care about her. He wanted her here with him and in his arms at night.
“Let me go.” She pushed against him as tears leaked out of the corner of her eyes.
“Not until you listen to me.” He shifted so his hips pressed into hers. “Eddy Grier is a bad man. I feel strongly that he took advantage of you. But you have to understand that because of your connection with him, I have to ask those questions. He’s bad news for you and me. He’s especially bad news for the club.”
She moved beneath him and it only rubbed her pussy against his cock. “Let me go.”
He shifted so she couldn’t move anymore. “I meant what I said, Scarlett. I do love you. I love you so fucking much that I don’t really care. It fucking hurts to think that you could walk out that door and out of my life forever.”
“I’m not a spy.” She stared into his eyes. “I’m a good and decent person. Things keep happening in my life that I did not consent to. I did not do anything with that man. It disgusts me to even think about what he photographed and what else could have happened. It disgusts me even more that you think I would do that.”
She shoved at his hands and almost broke free. “Let me go.”
“I had to ask, Scarlett.”
“Oh yeah? You should be pissed off. You say you love me … well, they hurt me. Where’s the loyalty? You’re standing there like I fucking wanted it.” She shook her head as more tears leaked from her eyes. A soft sob escaped her throat as she tried talking. “I didn’t want any of this to happen. I just wanted to do my paper and get a good grade. I wanted to get a good internship and maybe get hired at a good job. Now none of that’s going to happen.”
Not one single ounce of him believed that she was planning something with Eddy. God, every part of him hurt for her.
“I love you.” She sobbed uncontrollably. “I thought you loved me too, but it was just a lie.”
Joker forced her to look into his eyes. “I do love you. More than you’ll ever fucking know.” He pressed his face against her neck. “For the record, I am pissed off. I will take care of it too.”
“Oh, yeah?” Her voice was scratchy. “You going to beat the shit out of him? Kill him with your bare hands?”
“Don’t worry about how.” He pushed away from her. “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I know you don’t understand the position I’m in but I know I can ask you the hard questions and get an honest answer.”
He pushed off her and ran a hand through his hair. “Fuck this mess.”
“Yeah.” She sat her bags on the floor. “I don’t really feel like going to class today.”
“Okay. Do you want to stay here?”
“No.” She still looked so vulnerable. Fragile. Like she’d break any minute if he wasn’t careful. “I want to go back to your house. Maybe paint some walls or something. I don’t know.”
She nodded. “I’ll take a shower and we can leave.”
He nodded. “I’d planned on getting us some breakfast but we can get something on the way.”
She nodded again. He hated this mess. He hated that these asses made her feel violated. God, he wished he’d beat Marrow when he had the chance. He wasn’t sure if he ever saw that punk ass again that anyone in his club would be able to pull him off.
He opened the door and stepped out into the hall. He walked to the main area where several of the others were.
“You heard all the bullshit?” Joker asked.
Tank nodded. “Kinda hard not to when the two of you were screaming at each other.”
“You didn’t see the pictures.” Joker shook his head. “Eddy took pictures of him with her. Sexual pictures. Pictures of them doing drugs. He made it look like she enjoyed it when she was fucking passed out from the shit he pumped into her veins.”
“Fuck no I’m not going to calm down.” Joker clenched his fists. “If that were Layla you wouldn’t be saying anything to Torque or Silver. Don’t fucking say anything to me.”
Torque walked into the room. “If that were Layla, I’d be spending the rest of my life in prison.” He glanced over at Joker. “Don’t do anything stupid. We’ve got this unfolding the way we want. If you go in there guns blazing to defend your chick, then it’s going to fuck up my hard work. Leave this to us and go take care of your girl.”
“I fucked up.” Joker rubbed his forehead. “Lauren messed with me, trying to make Scarlett look bad. I let it all go a little too far and now I don’t think I can fix it.”
“She wouldn’t be here if I thought she were working with Eddy.” Torque glanced over at Tank. “And everyone in this club warned you about Lauren causing trouble. Scarlett is her main threat and she’ll do anything to try and shake her.”
Scarlett came around the corner. “Please stop talking about me.”
Joker stared at the floor. “I was venting.”
Her red hair was pulled back in a tie and she didn’t bother with her contacts or makeup. He’d only seen her wear her glasses when she worked on the computer and she looked completely adorable in them.
“Are you ready to go?”
He nodded. She went first and he followed her outside. He figured she planned on taking her car. She handed him her keys. “I don’t want to drive.”
He took them from her. “Hey. It’s going to be okay.”
“Yeah? Did your girlfriend think that you enjoyed some sick bastard’s idea of fun? Until then, you have no right to tell me it is going to be okay.”
He stared at her. “I made a mistake.”
“Trust doesn’t come easy for me and I trusted you. That came in question when I found out about your history and Lauren. I believed you again when you explained some things. Now it’s all up in the air over the next chapter in this bullshit.” She paused a moment as if she were trying to collect her thoughts. “I thought you were on my side. You took care of me for fuck’s sake. Was all of that just to see what I knew? What info I could tell you about your enemy?”
He didn’t say anything because there was nothing to say.
“You never loved me.” She glanced away from him. “You just used me like you do all your other whores.”
Everything inside him didn’t want to give her a reason to leave. He wanted a way to fix everything. He had doubt. He accused her when it was wrong of him to do so. He needed to get back to the way they were before and it scared him that he didn’t know how.
“You don’t believe that.” He opened the car door, staring at her over the hood. “If you were really pissed off at me then you wouldn’t want to go to my house instead of your class. You’re pissed off at the situation.”
“I’m pissed that you think I’m even capable of doing what was in those pictures willingly. Of course, I love showing my boobs to the world. I’m so fucking proud of my cunt. Why not show that too? I have been working so fucking hard toward an internship that I’m just going to blow it all away on heroin and dick. Yes. That is who I am. That is what I do. It was in my plan all along.”
He saw the hurt. And she was right. It wasn’t hurt that Eddy or Marrow put there. It was hurt he put there.
“I’m sorry.” He didn’t know what else to say. “If I could take it back, I would. If I could make you feel better I would. What do I need to do? Tell me what to do and I’ll do it.”
“If I don’t have you on my side who do I have? You’re the only ally I have in this mess. And I’m not even sure that I have that now.”
He walked around the car to her. “I love you and I’m going to prove it to you. Somehow. I trust you and I need you to know that.”
He pulled her into his arms. “I’m sorry I doubted you. I’m sorry I let Lauren get in my head. I know who you are and you are right. You are a good person. You’re not part of this scene or this crowd. You didn’t deserve any of this and I’m going to make it all better. I promise you that.”
“I don’t know if you can.” She looped her arms around him.
He held her close. “I’m sure as hell am going to try.”
And he would. He would make it all better. He just had to figure out how.
Scarlett spent most of the day laying tile with Joker. She didn’t have much construction knowledge but she had become a pro within a few hours’ time.
“You okay?” Joker asked when they stopped to eat. He ordered a pizza and a bottle of soda for them.
“Just peachy.” She pulled out her phone and clicked on an email from her professor to show him. “I’ve barely got a C in the class since I’ve missed so much of it. If I don’t get a good grade on my paper, I fail it completely.”
He wiped his fingers on his shorts and took her phone. She didn’t know what she wanted to do anymore. It seemed like getting a degree in psychology was a joke. The internship didn’t happen. They picked another student in her class for it and she knew that person was no where near worthy enough grade-wise. She wouldn’t cry about it though.
He handed her the phone back. “Where was the internship that you wanted?”
“Bryer, Riggs, and Moore Psychology Center.” She sat her phone aside and picked up her pizza. “They’re really big. I mean if you get their prestigious internship then you’re basically guaranteed a job in the field when you graduate. It was for an entire summer and I worked so damn hard to try and get it. They only interview for a week and I was high as a kite the fucking week they interviewed.”
“Let me see your phone.”
She frowned and grabbed it, handing it to him. He didn’t say anything as he punched in a number and held it to his ear before biting into his pizza. She watched him, curious as to what he was up to.
“Hey, Mom. It’s your favorite son.”
Scarlett lifted her drink. He called his mom?
“I need a favor. Do you still talk to Dr. Riggs?” He nodded. “Good. I know you got Julie a job working at her center. Can you possibly talk her into letting someone intern there?”
Scarlett’s eyes widened. His mom knew one of the doctors that owned the center? Scarlett waited while he avoiding her eyes.
“Her name is Scarlett Dawson. She’s at the top of her class and she missed the week of interviewing. She’s a damn good student and a damn good person in general.” He paused and grinned. “Yeah, she’s my girlfriend. Probably my future wife and your future daughter-in-law. She’s probably going to be the mother of your future grandkids so use that for leverage.” He laughed. “I know it’s a huge favor but she really needs this. It’s the least you can do for your favorite son.”
He laughed at something she said. “I’m at the house if you want to come by and meet her … Yeah. I love you too, Mom.”
He clicked the phone off and handed it to her. “Well, an unexpected meet the family visit is about to happen.”
“Your mom knows Dr. Riggs?”
“Yeah. They’re best friends. She got my sister a job there by just telling Dr. Riggs that Julie needed a job. Granted, my sister is highly educated, but Dr. Riggs and my mom are pretty close friends. My mom wants to meet you though before she calls her. She said she wanted to make sure you were worthy of her son.”
Scarlett chewed on her lip. “Of course you pick the day I look my worst.”
“You look beautiful.” He got up from his spot and bent to pick up his drink. “Plus my mom is easy to impress. She’s just thrilled I mentioned marriage and grandchildren with you.”
Scarlett stood. “You’re not off the hook yet.”
“I’m working in the right direction, though, right?”
Scarlett nodded. It hurt her that he didn’t believe her. She wanted to understand his reasoning, but ultimately decided in the moment that he should have stuck up for her no matter what. If the tables were turned, she would have believed him. If there were pictures of him with Lauren in the same manner, she would like to have thought he would have told her the truth. Maybe it was unreasonable to some extent not to question it but the fact that he thought she wanted it still hurt.
He wrapped an arm around her. “If you don’t get the internship are you going to be mad at me?”
“No.” She hugged him. “I’m not mad anymore. I was hurt that you thought I was capable of those things but the pictures did look bad. They happened to me so I know what I didn’t consent to, but I guess I can understand how you would question it. Don’t make a habit of doing that though.”
“I won’t.” He kissed her temple. “I love you.”
She smiled. He turned and she pillowed her head on his chest. Despite everything, he felt right against her. She felt right in his arms.
“I’m surprised that in this entire house, you didn’t plan on making a BDSM playroom.” Scarlett glanced up at him. “What’s up with that?”
He kissed her lips. “You want that?”
“Yes.” She smoothed her hands along his back to his ass. “I’m sure there are all kinds of things we can do in the privacy of our own home.”
He backed her up against the wall as he kissed her. Scarlett gripped his ass, squeezing. “Baby, I’ve got skills you’ve never seen.”
She grinned. “Why are you holding out on me?”
“We’re playing in the play room tonight.” He smacked her ass and she giggled. “God, I love your smile. I live for it.”
She smiled at him. “You’ll see it a bunch more if I get that internship.”
He kissed her. “I think you’ll get it. She’d be stupid not to hire you.”
Scarlett bent to clean up the mess from lunch and carried it into the kitchen. Even when she was mad at him, it didn’t last long. What they had felt different than anything she’d ever experienced. If felt better than she hoped for.
Someone knocked on the door and Scarlett went to answer it. A polished woman stood on the other side, lifting an eyebrow at her. “So you’re going to be the mother of my future grandkids?”
Scarlett swallowed. “Uh, that’s what he said.”
His mother laughed. “It’s nice to meet you. I’m Katrina Wiley.”
Scarlett’s jaw dropped. “The Katrina Wiley? The famous interior designer? I mean you’ve remodeled a long list of celebrities’ homes.”
“Yep. That’s me. I take it Jack didn’t get around to telling you about his family?”
Scarlett didn’t know what to say.
“Mom, leave her alone.” He hugged his mom and kissed her cheek.
“You didn’t tell her about us?”
“No.” He glanced over at Scarlett. “I didn’t want to scare her off.”
His mother shook her head. “You are so much like your father it scares me sometimes.”
She walked in and glanced around. “You still haven’t progressed much from the last time I was here. If you’re getting married and popping out babies they need a place to stay. I’m ready to retire anyway. I’ll babysit.”
He draped his arm over Scarlett’s shoulder. “Yeah, nobody’s popping out babies yet. Scarlett needs that internship first.”
Katrina folded her arms over her chest. “I’m having lunch with Gail tomorrow. Why don’t you meet us at the restaurant?”
“I can do that.” Scarlett smiled. “Thank you so much.”
Katrina smiled. “You’re welcome. If my son vouches for you then you must be something special.”
Joker pulled her to him and kissed her temple. “She is, Mom. She’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”
She smoothed her hand along his stomach. Scarlett felt her cheeks heat as he talked about her.
“Well, I’m happy for you. Your father will be thrilled to learn that you’ve found someone. How long are we going to have to wait for grandkids?”
Joker turned toward Scarlett. “That’s all on you. I just need to know the date and time to be there.”
Scarlett smiled shaking her head.
They spent a while talking with his mother and getting some input about the house design. Scarlett learned that she helped with the layout design when he first started the project. His father was retired from carpentry but she promised Joker that she’d make him come out to help him get this place in livable conditions sooner.
After she left, Scarlett turned toward him. “Are we really getting married?”
“Someday.” He glanced at the stairs. “We have another issue to fix before we even think about walking down the aisle.”
She swallowed. “What are you going to do about that?”
He blew out a breath. “It’s a club issue but I’ve been instructed to stay out of it. Especially after Tank had to pull me off your little friend Marrow.”
She stared at him. “You went after Ollie?”
“Damn near busted a lung running after him.” He smoothed his hand along the unfinished staircase. “I need to stop smoking.”
She laughed. “Yeah, you do.” She rolled her eyes. “What did he say?”
Joker glanced over at her. “Honey, I can’t tell you that. Plus, trust me when I say that you don’t want to know.”
“Did you hit him? At least once?”
“Yes.” He smiled. “More than once.”
She sighed. “You get violent with your temper, don’t you?”
“It can get pretty bad.” He turned toward her. “I’d never hurt you though. You know that right?”
She nodded. “I didn’t mean to insinuate that.”
“You didn’t. I’m disclosing it.”
She laughed. “Duly noted. Let’s work on the upstairs. I think the last bedroom would be a great playroom.”
They worked on the floors together with him laying the hardwood and her finishing up the tile in the bathroom. She was sweaty and dirty from the grout. He looked completely annoyed with the hardwood.
“Let me help.” Scarlett went over to him and helped him put the floor together. It seemed to go smoother and his frustration eased a bit.
“What the hell? My entire family is here.” Joker stared out the window in the bedroom while Scarlett came back from using the bathroom.
She stared at him. “Are you kidding me?”
“Nope.” He glanced up at her. “Looks like you get to meet everyone today. You want to call your folks and make a party out of it?”
“No.” Scarlett came down the stairs. “I look like crap. This is not the time to meet everyone.”
“You looking like crap is pretty damn good. You look beautiful with the grout and all. If Mom likes you then everyone else will too.”
Scarlett was introduced to his family. His father Jim and his brother Johnny. He had several cousins that worked with his father in construction. His uncle came over along with his aunt. All of them pitched in to finish up what was left of the house without so much as asking a question. They simply volunteered.
Scarlett was amazed at the sight. His family was a great group of people which helped to explain how he became such a great man. She couldn’t believe he was related to Katrina Wiley or that she knew Dr. Gail Riggs. That still boggled her mind every time she thought about it. His sister Julie also stopped by to meet her. From what she learned, Julie worked at Dr. Rigg’s clinic. She looked like Joker only with longer hair and feminine curves.
“So little Jackie finally grew up and became a man.” Julie squeezed his cheeks as she leaned in to him.
He pushed her away from him. “Shut it, Julie.”
She smiled. “Now that you’re getting married and pushing out babies I’m off the hook.” She laughed. “You need to give up the motorcycle. I doubt the laws would approve of a car seat attached to the back of that thing.”
“Not going to happen.”
Scarlett laughed. “I have a car and I personally like the motorcycle.”
“Ah. I knew there had to be something wrong with you.”
Joker wrapped his arms around Scarlett from behind. “There’s nothing wrong with her.” He kissed her neck. “She’s perfect.”
Scarlett smiled at him. Maybe family was what she needed. Even if it wasn’t her own, they made her feel part of it. She didn’t know where they stood, but she did know that through all the mess there was some sense of hope at the end of that road. He did make her smile. He made her feel better despite his earlier infraction. She wanted the life he painted and she wanted it with him.
Joker couldn’t deny that he looked forward to taking Scarlett back to the playroom after they finished working on his house. His father stayed behind with the crew and planned to go the next day to get the rest of the work done. He asked him why and his father replied that his mother told him to. When Katrina Wiley wanted something she usually got her way.
But he was tired of construction. He thought about getting Scarlett naked and bound all afternoon and once they got to the club he could do just that. Another wild party was happening when they arrived. Loud pulsing music played and Scarlett grabbed him and started a slow dance of her hips pressed against his. She closed her eyes and dropped her head back giving him access to her soft throat. Soft and sensual with his heart pounding to the beat of the music, he tasted her skin, kissing her flesh as he worshiped her.
She didn’t seem to be too shy around the rest of the partygoers. Some had already started undressing and fucking in the middle of the room. Rascal had some chick against the wall while he pounded into her, his pasty white ass showing to anyone that cared to look. Joker loved the club, but he loved being with Scarlett more. He loved being inside her and fucking her until they were both replete.
She slipped her hand inside his pants and cupped his cock. Her body still moved with the beat and he swayed with her. If he didn’t haul her off to the playroom, they would end up naked on the floor within seconds with the way he felt. Everything about her felt good against him. She felt right in his arms.