Authors: Bijou Hunter
When I Call Your Name
In the nine months apart from Sawyer, I bulked up by thirty pounds. Judd told me I was too pretty and soft to intimidate anyone. He and Vaughn trained me every day until my shoulders and arms were bigger than theirs. Two days before Kirk's death, Vaughn looked at me and declared I still looked too soft to intimidate anyone. Judd said my problem wasn't size, and he wasn't smart enough to figure out the answer.
After getting back to the hotel, I can't sleep. Not after both kissing Sawyer and seeing her cry. Rather than crash for the night, I work out in the small hotel gym. No matter how long and hard I exercise, I can't shake my need.
Sawyer is mine, and I want her back.
Being friends isn't enough. I don't need her just not to hate me. I want her back in my bed. She was happy with me, and I can fix what I broke. No matter how long it takes, I'm getting my woman back.
Once I admit what I've known for nine months, I sleep like a frigging baby for the rest of the night.
The next morning, I'm dying to see Sawyer. I know she won't be thrilled to see me, but I remember Harlow's words. I need to wait for Sawyer to find her way to the answer I'm offering her.
Meeting them for breakfast at Denny's, I find a grumpy Sawyer. Less hostile than depressed, she won't talk to anyone. The twins don't care. They're too busy bugging Zane about his woman.
After breakfast, Zane disappears while the twins drive all over town with Sawyer in tow. I'm her bodyguard, meaning I follow the women on my Harley.
They stop at one place for five minutes to talk to someone before driving a block away to talk to someone else. This process takes two very hot hours. Sawyer stares out of the window the entire time, and I wonder what she's thinking. My guess is Kirk.
We finally arrive at the Hidey-hole, and I'm desperate for a cold drink. Collapsing in a chair, I take the beer a pretty blonde brings. She smiles real sweet at me, making me feel amazing. Then she turns to a half conscious, stinky guy with no front teeth and smiles really sweet at him. There goes the ego.
I'm more interested if Sawyer will smile at me again. At the rink, she laughed in her raspy, no holds barred way. I love her laugh and let my mind wander to the times I made her happy over the years. She's especially ticklish behind the knees.
While the twins bounce around nearby to Brad Paisley's
American Saturday Night
, Sawyer disappears into a hallway leading to the restrooms. I'm waiting for her to return when the pretty blonde waitress smiles real sweet at the newcomers.
"You're him," a big blond guy says to me.
"And you're you."
The guy's platinum blonde woman is the kind of chick who starts fights over misunderstandings because she isn't patient enough to start them over real problems. Snapping her gum, she sizes me up and leans into her man.
"Kick his ass, Mac."
"I'm Mac," he says to me.
Desperately wanting to laugh, I nearly break a rib keeping myself quiet.
"He's Mac," Colbie says, suddenly behind me. "Jace, ask him how he got his scar, and he'll cream his jeans for you."
"Shut up," Mac grumbles without any real effort behind his words. He likely knows the twins don't take orders well. "I'm the VP of the Deadly Dogs Motorcycle Club."
"They call him Macaroni," Colbie shares, clearly trying to start trouble.
"Cunt," Macaroni's blonde woman growls at Colbie. "I'll cut you."
"I'll tear that pretty face right off you."
"Stop coming on to me. You know I ruled out lesbianism last summer."
The woman grins, and I realize these two are friends. Apparently, this is the way the twins bond with people. I suddenly feel lucky they've only passively threatened me.
The women suddenly stare at me, still looking to cause trouble.
"No offense," I say to the blonde, "but I've spent the day trying to keep up with Snap, Crackle, and Pop over here. I'm not in the mood for a fourth chick busting my balls."
"You're weak," she says softly. "It's okay. Most men are."
The women walk away and leave me with Macaroni and his two goons. One is short and thick. His tatted head looks like a kid went crazy with a crayon. The other guy is big and leaner. He watches me like a lazy cat faking out its prey.
"Macaroni, huh?" I ask, squirting ketchup on my fries the pretty blonde brings.
"A nickname I got as a kid. Did me good too. You know the song
A Boy Called Sue
? Well, having that name made me tough. People just call me Mac now."
Sawyer returns, finding a spot in a back booth. She's ignoring me. Bodie though walks straight towards us.
"Hey, Macaroni, Snickers, and Caveman. This has been fun. Now, get out of my bar."
"Funny, Bo," the little guy says. "I think you'd be cuter bent over that table."
Showing off all her white teeth, Bodie smiles brightly, so I know to be afraid. "I'm going to kill you one day, Snickers. Chop you up and feed you to my wood chipper. Oh, how it'll purr when devouring you."
Mac sighs. "Every fucking time."
"Tell him to stop talking to me," Bodie mutters. "I have no reason to be nice to your ugly friend. I'm nice to Caveman, aren't I?"
The big guy doesn't even look at her, but she's not looking at him either. She's too busy challenging Snickers who looks a little suicidal. I wonder if I'll see him in wood chips soon.
"What's your name?" Mac says to me, ignoring Bodie at the bar and Snickers watching her ass.
"Whatcha doing here?"
"I already told you," Bodie says, glancing over her shoulder at us.
"I know," Mac barks, and I sense these two go way back. Bet they were little kids together. I can imagine them fighting over stupid shit, and Mac stomping his feet, and Bodie making her wood chipper threats. Yeah, they were probably frigging adorable, but now I wonder what they want with me.
"Look," he says to me again, "you can't come into Deadly Dogs' territory without making a fucking gesture of peace. How do I know you aren't here scoping out my area for your boss?"
"What kind of gesture of peace?"
"You could have had your boss call, but it's a little late."
"I'm here to keep an eye on my boss's sister. That's it. Would he really send one fucking guy into hostile territory?"
Mac shifts in his chair and narrows his eyes at me. "So we're hostile now?"
"Coming in here with your two muscle buddies and claiming I'm a spy. Yeah, that feels hostile."
Bodie remains a few feet away at the bar, watching us. I can tell nothing from her gaze, but I sense she wants to laugh.
"How long will you be in the area?" Mac asks.
Since he now wants to play nice, I decide to be a dick. Giving him a shrug, I say nothing.
"What do you do for the Reapers?" Mac asks, crossing his arms in the universal sign of tension.
"Whatever Cooper Johansson wants."
"Look at you getting all secretive. Makes me think I should worry."
Mac glances at Bodie who gives him a death stare. He rolls his eyes, proving they're old friends. Any normal man would piss himself under that evil glare.
"Did she give you that scar?" I ask, mouth full of fries.
"Bodie? No, she's a pussy cat."
"If you weren't married to one of my favorite people, I'd shoved Snickers down your throat and make you choke on him."
Mac grins at me. "She's a doll, ain't she?"
I don't even glance at Bodie. "Are we square here? I'm thinking about heading back to my hotel unless you want to chat longer."
Mac stops eyeing Bodie who has focused all her crazy bitch glare onto Snickers. If he doesn't crap himself soon, I'll be shocked.
"We have a lot of problems in this area," Mac says. "A lot of overlapping loyalties and territorial issues. I need to make sure you and your boss aren't the beginning of a new problem. We're already bringing in Lawman to settle an issue. I don't wanna ask him to handle the Reapers' move into this area."
"We don't care about your damn territory," I grumble. "Who's Lawman?"
Bodie grins and glances at her sister. From halfway across the bar, Colbie howls like a hound dog.
Mac sighs. "He's a peacemaker working for a group of businessmen. Basically when our types fuck with each other then the cabal gets nervous, so they send in Lawman."
"Lawdog!" Colbie howls again.
"Shut the fuck up!" Mac yells, but Colbie and Mac's wife just laugh.
Bodie shoves her hands into her jeans pockets. "Business people like my father don't need these thugs interfering with our financial interests. Lawdog plays interference. The businessmen keep the heat off the thugs while the thugs stay out of the businessmen's way. Everyone gets their cut. It's the American way."
"Is Lawman a thug or a businessman?"
Bodie does the thing where she turns off her facial expression and lives in her head. She won't answer me. Mac notices this fact too, and how I'm waiting for him to answer.
"How the hell would I know? I didn't read the guy's resume."
Grinning, I size up Mac and his muscle. "What would you have done if I said I was here on a scouting mission? Would I be a dead man now?"
Mac glances at Bodie. She ignores him, so his gaze returns to me.
"I'd make clear how friend or no friend of the McLaughlin family that we'd view any move into our territory as an act of war."
My grin widens. "Then I guess it's a good thing I'm not here on a scouting mission, huh?"
"Yeah," Mac mutters, suspicious now.
Glancing at Sawyer, I find her watching Colbie and the platinum blonde dance on the stage. When I turn my attention back to Mac, he's also studying Sawyer.
"Are you her man or bodyguard?"
"None of your fucking business."
"Does that mean curly over there single or not?"
I say nothing, fearing I can't trust myself. Bodie chimes in for me.
"Why? Are you looking to play matchmaker?"
"Actually yeah. My bud Stanley just got his ass dumped, and he could really use a pretty girl to lift his spirits."
"All that pretty comes with a ball busting habit."
"Good. Stanley needs fire in his life. The last bitch was a cold one. Nearly froze his cock right off."
Suddenly, Bodie and Mac look to me for an okay to hookup Sawyer and some slob named Stanley.
I glance again at Sawyer who is glaring at her hands. She wants to fight with someone, and I rather enjoy the idea of setting her loose on the slob.
"I doubt she'll say yes, but you are free to ask."
Bodie smiles. "I'll have Colbie ask."
Mac shares her smile. "When Colbie asks, people always agree. It's that or shooting themselves to make the nagging stop."
"Why not shoot her?" Snickers asks.
Bodie focuses her gaze on Snickers, and I can feel her killing him slowly in her mind. The asshole in me smiles.
"Well if we're good here, I promised Veronica I'd take her to the mall."
Mac stands up and gives me a nod before gesturing to his woman. She stops singing whatever the hell she and Colbie are attempting to harmonize on stage. Soon, she is out the door with Mac with his muscle close behind.
"You made a friend," Colbie says to me. "Male bonding makes me nauseous. Just keep that in mind."
Ignoring Colbie, I walk to Sawyer to see if she wants to do anything this afternoon while the siblings enjoy naptime. She refuses to look at me.
"I want nap time too," she mumbles.
"Of course, you do."
Sawyer slides out the booth, flips me off, and walks out the door. Colbie bounces behind her, still howling the song from earlier. Bodie waits for me to walk with her.
"You made a mistake setting up Sawyer with Stanley," she says, while Sawyer and Colbie speed out of the parking lot in the latter's red SUV.
Feeling hot jealousy stir in my gut, I ask, "How do you figure?"
"Stanley is hot."
"How hot can a guy named Stanley be?"
Bodie frowns at me from under her army hat. "Let me put it this way. I have mighty high standards, but if I was interested in dating a biker thug, I'd go for Stanley. No way would I date you though."
"How come?" I ask, pissed about Stanley rather than Bodie's rejection.
"I don't like men hung up on other women."
I say nothing while she climbs into her truck and starts the engine. Leaning out of the open window, she looks at me.
"You want Sawyer, but some other guy is gonna snap her up. That's how life works. You might be her soul mate, but she's a young, attractive, rich chick. Won't take her long to find someone willing to make her happy. He won't be you, but he'll do."