As we rumbled into the parking lot, a couple of patches who’d been lounging by the front door stood up and eyed us suspiciously. I understood their wariness. The delivery had been on the larger side, and we carried the items in our saddle bags, which was why there were so many of us on this run. Plus anyone who’d wanted to ride along, just to get out on the road.
Most of us were big motherfuckers, and we were clearly wearing patches that proclaimed us as another MC. One thing we had going for us, though, was the Silver Saints had a reputation. We didn’t bring trouble...that people knew about. We stepped in when a situation needed handling, but we did it quietly and left no trace.
When the boys spotted the Silver Saints patch, they dismissed us and relaxed again. We nodded respectfully—if insincerely—as we passed them and entered the bar.
My brothers scattered, going to the bar, booths, tables, or the john. Breaker and Nova—both Silver Saints enforcers, Rider—our secretary—and I took up a booth in the back near the exit. We ordered a round of burgers and beers, shooting the shit, seemingly casual and oblivious to everything around us.
In reality, each of us scanned the bar habitually, checking on our brothers and keeping an eye out for any sign of trouble.
It was during one of those scans that I spotted her.
A pixie-sized girl with long red hair. My first reaction was anger, wondering who the fuck let this girl work in a bar when she was underage. But then she walked fully into view as she headed to the booth next to ours, and I realized she was older than I’d first thought. At least eighteen...I hoped.
She was small but with subtle, womanly curves that made my mouth water. Her creamy skin was sprinkled with freckles, and I found myself mesmerized by her big, green eyes. There was a deep sadness lurking in their depths, and it made my protective instincts roar to life. She needed someone to keep her safe, to make her smile, to replace the lost expression on her face with one of satisfaction.
She wasn’t wearing a cut, which meant no one had claimed her, but she also had a sweet, innocent air about her that made me think she wasn’t a club bunny either. Except the Devil’s Jesters weren’t known for allowing anyone who wasn’t blood to a brother or fucking one—or more—to hang around.
“Figures you’d spot the only Irish chick in the place,” Rider snorted from beside me.
“Shut it, jackass,” I growled. With a name like Patrick O’Bannon, I’d been an easy target for a running joke with my brothers. They assumed that because of my Irish heritage, I was more attracted to Irish women.
As I studied the beauty a few feet away, I had to wonder if they might have been right. I hadn’t been able to confirm or deny their theory because I hadn’t been interested in a woman since before I joined the military. Since I’d been Army ROTC, that basically meant I’d been celibate since high school. At first, I’d been too focused on building my career. Then when I’d been injured, earning me a medal of honor and an honorable discharge, I’d been lost. I was looking for a way to replace my brothers-in-arms, the only family I had since my parents had died when I was nineteen.
It had been a stroke of luck for me when Jared “Mac” MacKenzie—the Silver Saints president—had broken up a fight between me and Olie, the owner of a bar. Olie’s wife had been a friend of mine from way back, and it hadn’t taken me long to figure out he was abusing her. I’d been trying to come up with a way to get her out. When he’d grabbed Brie in a hold so tight I knew it would leave bruises and called her a whore for looking at another man too long, I just lost it. Then Mac was suddenly there, and he, along with a couple of his brothers, pulled us apart.
Mac dragged me out of the bar and demanded I get on my bike and follow him or he’d let the owner press charges. I didn’t have anything better to do, so I rode with him to the Silver Saints compound. Once we were in his office, he ordered me to explain what had happened. It all spilled out of me, and when I was done, he admitted to having seen the incident with Olie and Brie. He’d been about to step in, but I got there first.
He told me that if I worked with them on it, they would get Brie away from Olie and settled into a new life as someone else, where he’d never find her. We’d gotten to know each other in the process, and once it was done, he’d asked me if I ever considered joining an MC.