“Does he have to tag along?” I asked, peering over Don’s shoulder. He followed my gaze and together, we watched Goliath standing by his bike with a cigarette in his hand. Don sighed and pinned me with his light brown eyes.
“Yeah, thinks have changed, and I’m not taking my chances with you,” he said. I frowned in curiosity.
Over the past two weeks, Don had eased up on security, mainly due to my protests and because nothing major has happened. At first, I thought he was overreacting but now, after seeing the look in his eyes, there was something genuine.
“You know I don’t like him,” I grumbled, glaring at Goliath when he looked our way. “Why couldn’t Tennessee do it or even Buddy?”
“Cause Buddy is assigned to Honey and Tennessee’s got club stuff to do. Goliath was the only one free,” Don explained with a half-smile and a shrug.
“I’d rather take my chances on my own,” I said, turning my gaze to the ground.
“Come on, Vanessa, he’s a good guy. After you left… look, I was a mess. He’s my best friend and he was worried. Everything that happened, he blamed it on you.”
“Baby, I was a mess,” he said simply as if it would somehow explain his unfounded mistreatment of me. “Seems your hostility to him has changed his mind on you.”
“That makes no sense,”
“C’mon, Bambi, give him a chance,” Don crooned, pulling me close to his hard chest. He kissed my cheeks, my nose and then brushing his lips against mine. I couldn’t lie; his attempts of persuasion almost made me cave in. Almost. “He likes you. He just doesn’t show but would he be here if he didn’t?”
“Okay, whatever,” I sighed, rolled my eyes and he grinned. “How long?”
“Perfect,” I sighed again, pulled away from him and said with a wave of my hand. “Go and do your club business or whatever.”
Don grinned. “Not without my kiss.”
Wrapping an arm around my waist, he pulled me flushed against his chest and kissed me without abandon. I wasn’t prepared. My lips parted with a gasp and Don’s tongue snuck in to lick mine. A shock of pleasure shot through my core, and my clit throbbed with need.
All too soon, he pulled away from me. I nearly clawed him back like a koala claiming its tree. Spinning on his heels, Don headed to Goliath and both men exchanged a few words. Goliath nodded a couple more times before tossing his cigarette to the ground. Don glanced at me, lifted his chin in goodbye before heading for his bike. I watched him start the engine and seconds later, he was off onto the main roads.
I took a deep breath and exhaled as I turned to Goliath.
Grr I really didn’t like him. You see, I wasn’t a people pleaser; I wasn’t the type of person to move heaven and hell to make someone like me. If someone didn’t like me, well, I considered it fair not to like them back.
“So, where do we go from here?” Goliath asked, his head turning in my direction. He wore shades so I couldn’t decipher his thoughts. If Don was right, or blinded by the life-long friendship he had with Goliath, I’d learn to be friendlier to Goliath. Just a little bit. I couldn’t make any promises but since Don spent most of his time around him, especially when it comes to the club, I needed to learn to be civil at least.
“Well, I don’t want to go home,”
His brows lifted over his shades, revealing his confusion. “So, where do you want to go?”
“Red Devils,” I said and this time both brows lifted over the shades. Before he could say anything, I continued. “My friend Nazanin is coming. I was hoping I could catch up with Patricia. Would Honey be there?”
“I think she’s free today,” Goliath said, reaching into his back pocket for his phone. His thumbs skated across the screen and I knew he was messaging Patricia. By ping of his phone, I knew she responded. If she had time to respond she was likely free. “She’ll be there in thirty.”
“Great, thanks,” I said, turning around and walked straight to my car. The roar of the engine let me know Goliath was on his bike, ready to set off when I was ready. Tossing one last glance his way, I drove onto the main road, following the directions on my GPS to the bar.
“I had to check the address again to make sure this was the right place,” Nazanin said, loud enough that I could hear over the roar of the men standing by the pool table. Her eyes devoured the blood-red interior of The Red Devils, part awe part wariness evident on her face. It didn’t help that the bar was filled with mostly bikers. If I wasn’t with Don my first time here, I would’ve been terrified.
Grinning, I scooted out of the booth and wrapped my arms around her shoulders.
“So glad you could make it,” I whispered into her ear. Glancing over my shoulder, I said. “You remember Patricia from the beach?”
“Yeah, hey!” Naz said shyly, waving a hand. “I’m Naz.”
“Patricia from the beach,” Patricia repeated my words, offering a friendly smile. Like me, she scooted from the booth and gave Naz a friendly hug. “I had so much fun last time. Can’t wait for what tonight holds.”
“Patricia’s a nurse,” I said. “She’s never free. Can’t complain since she’s out here saving lives.”
Patricia rolled her eyes. All of us laughed in unison. Together, we all took our seats in the booth, speaking mindlessly about our day. Honey wasn’t able to make it. After making it to the building and not seeing her behind the bar, I was told that she’d been giving some time off to focus on her husband’s recovery. I’d left her message, letting her know I was thinking about her and she responded in kind.
Goliath wasn’t far off from our sight. In fact, he was right by the pool table with the other guys. Some of the guys were regular patrons while the majority were members of the club. Ones from Miami and other chapters. Every five minutes he’d glance our way. Even though he was my bodyguard, his gaze would linger a little longer on Patricia before looking away. It was endearing and made me like him a little more.
“I’m starving,” Naz said after a while. Picking up the menu, she scanned at what the bar and grill had to offer.
“I could eat something too,” Patricia said, doing the same thing. “Do you want something, Vanessa?”
My bladder was bursting. That was what I get for trying to drink at least eight cups of water a day. Nodding I answered. “Yeah, I’ll get what Naz is getting. I’m heading to the bathroom.”
“Okay,” Naz said with a nod.
Gliding out of the booth, I rushed to the bathroom. I was so lasered focused on my destination that I didn’t realise Goliath trailed after me. After doing my business, I washed and dried my hands before heading out the door. I rounded the corner when an arm shot out in front of me. Startled, I craned my neck back to meet Goliath’s eyes.
Scowling, I folded my arms and asked. “What are you doing?”
“Just want a little chat,” he said, pushing away from the wall and straightened his wide-ass frame. I wasn’t short by any means but this man made me feel as if I was 5 foot nothing. Probably even less.
“Talk about what?”
“To call a truce,” he said and I widened my eyes in surprise. “Look, I was wrong about you. I shouldn’t have blamed you for something you didn’t do or have control over. Don is his own man and takes responsibility for his own actions. I’m sorry.”
“Wow,” I said, folding my arms. I was speechless. An apology was the last thing I expected from Goliath.
Not satisfied by my answer, he raised a questioning brow. “Wow?”
Tilting his head back, he mirrored my folded arms. “Well, what kinda wow is that?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. I was getting comfortable not liking you.”
He grinned right there and then. This time, I couldn’t control my shock. I was used to his scowls and indifference so much that his smile has disarmed me. What the fuck? His smile was contagious enough that I’d release a smile of my own.
Stretching out a hand, he said. “Truce?”
I took his hand with a quick shake. “I’m doing this for Don. And Patricia because, you know, she’s my friend. But this doesn’t mean I like it.”
Releasing my hand, he lifted both of his surrender. His grin never faded. “Whatever you say, your highness.”
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