But she’d been so rattled tonight that the woman went into hiding.
And he didn’t fucking like it.
“I’ll sit in the back with Harper,” Liv said before she climbed into the rear seat of her car.
Jinx grunted. He felt like a spring being coiled tighter and tighter. Something was bound to make him snap and shoot into the damn stratosphere. The worst part of it was he couldn’t figure out why. He’d be upset if any woman he knew went through what Harper did, but this hit him so deep he wanted to tear the car apart and howl at the moon.
As he settled in the driver’s seat, he glanced in the rearview mirror. Harper sat with her head resting back and her eyes closed with Liv holding her hand. The dome light illuminated the exhaustion on her face. And then his eyes caught sight of the bruise forming on her cheek, and he growled.
“Jinx,” Liv said in a soft voice.
He met her eyes in the mirror. She shook her head while mouthing, “Not now.”
His nostrils flared as he breathed through his nose to keep from hyperventilating. Liv was right. This wasn’t the time for him to lose his shit. Harper needed him calm so she could relax and come down from the adrenaline rush. All the questions would be asked and answered back at the clubhouse.
“Thank you,” he mouthed back.
Liv smiled, but it didn’t meet her eyes. She knew what this meant. That Lobo had targeted Harper, and shit would hit the fan once her man found out.
Ten minutes later, they drove onto Handlers’ property. Liv escorted Harper into the clubhouse while Jinx trailed behind, carrying Harper’s purse and phone. The first thing he did once inside was head to the bar, pour himself a double shot of whiskey, and down it in one gulp.
“You good, brother?” Spec asked as he walked up beside him.
“I don’t fucking know,” Jinx said. He grabbed a second glass and poured two drinks this time. He had no idea if Harper drank whiskey, but if a night ever called for it, tonight was that night.
Spec grunted a half laugh. “Know that feeling well, man.”
“Where’d Liv take Harper?”
“Bunkroom. She wanted to shower and have a few minutes to collect herself.”
“When she’s ready, we’ll talk about what happened. You thinking Lobo?”
Jinx took a swig straight from the bottle. “Don’t know what was said, but I know the fucker brought up the club, so I’m guessing yes.”
Spec bit off a vicious curse. “Yeah, this shit’s got his name all over it. Can’t believe we didn’t anticipate Harper would be a target.”
His thought exactly—one that would eat at him for a while. Especially if it turned out he’d been right and the discoloring on her face came from a man’s hand.
“You did good tonight, brother.” Spec clapped him on the shoulder. “Glad you were there with Liv. You know my girl, if you hadn’t been there, she’d have gone after Harper herself.”
“She’s got balls.”
With a snort, Spec shifted his gaze to his woman, who sat at a table with Brooke and two large glasses of wine. Both women wore expressions of worry as they whispered to each other.
“She does. Gonna give me gray hairs.” Spec slapped his back again, then meandered over to Liv, who stood, allowing him to sit, then plopped down on his lap. After a few more words, Brooke took her wine glass and walked toward Curly’s office, giving the lovebirds space.
Spec kissed Liv long and slow. When it was over, he rested his forehead on Liv’s and whispered God knows what to her. Probably something sickeningly sweet.
An unfamiliar twinge twisted in Jinx’s chest. He couldn’t conjure up his typical snarky comment or witty innuendo. Probably leftover adrenaline from the drama fucking with him.
He left the lovers to their schmoop and started for the bunkroom, drinks in hand. Harper could do with a stiff one, which was why he sought her out. Not because of any need to reassure himself she was okay. Not because he wanted to touch her. And definitely not because of that strange twinge in his chest.
A second after he knocked, she called out, “It’s open.”
He strode into the bunkroom to find her seated on the edge of a bed, wearing a pair of thin sweatpants and an animal rescue T-shirt. Clearly, Brooke had been the one to lend the clothes.
“Hey,” she said as he strode over to the bed.
“Thought you could use this, though if I’d really been thinking, I’d have brought the whole bottle.” He clenched the glass to keep from reaching out and running a finger along her purple cheek.
Christ, he wanted to get his hands on Lobo. Only he wouldn’t limit himself to one punch. He’d beat the fucking life out of the man. Normally, he loved that Spec was the enforcer and was happy to leave the violence to his brother. But not this time.