“Smart,” Tracker said with respect in his gaze.
Her lips twitched into a small smile. “Thank you. I’ll admit I was uneasy, but what could I do? I had to get back to my car. Anyway, when I reached it, a man came up behind me. He was so damn quiet.” She shuddered as the memory of his hot breath scaring the life out of her came rushing back.
“Take your time.” Jinx rubbed one of his monster-sized hands up and down her back. At first contact, she stiffened but after a second, forced herself to relax. His palm was warm and so comforting she almost gave in to the urge to sink into the touch. But not after this. She’d return home. Allowing him to soothe her would feel great for a few moments, but it’d be gone before she could blink, making it that much harder to calm herself next time something unsettling happened. No, she had to continue to rely solely on herself as she’d done in prison.
“Uh… he whispered to me. It startled me so bad that I dropped everything… keys, phone, purse, ice cream.” God, she could definitely use that ice cream after she got home tonight. By the time Jinx and Liv drove her to pick up her belongings, it’d been a melted mess on the pavement. “Think I’m most upset about the ruined ice cream,” she added in a lame attempt to lighten the heavy conversation.
Beside her, Jinx frowned, then pulled out his phone and typed furiously for a moment.
“What did he say?” The question came from Curly, who had Brooke in his lap and the most solemn expression she’d seen him wear.
“Um…” Her face heated. “He asked which of the guys in the MC I was sleeping with.” She stared at the table, unable to look any of them in the eye. “That’s not a direct quote, but it’s what he wanted to know.”
Spec leaned forward in his chair. Of all the men she’d met, he was by far the most intense. Maybe even the scariest. But he seemed head over heels for Liv, which helped ease her discomfort around him a smidge. Now, his eyes shot fire, but he smiled as though trying to make himself appear harmless. “Do you remember exactly what he said? Could be important to know word for word.”
Ugh, she was going to have to say it.
Kill me now.
“Uh… yeah, he said, ‘Which of those animals are you fucking?’ ” Her face burned, and she kept her gaze down.
Brooke winced. “I’m so sorry, Harper.”
Jinx snorted. “Well, that’s a load of horse shit.”
“Right?” Liv added, nodding.
“No, I mean, it would clearly be me.”
Harper blinked as her head snapped up. “Uh… what?”
He gestured to the rest of the people at the table. “All these jokers are taken, and clearly, I’m the sexiest animal of the single ones. So, it’d be me. I don’t even understand why he’d ask. Stupid question.”
She stared at his dead-serious expression for a beat, then burst out laughing. The rest of them followed a second later. The man was ridiculous, but oh my God, had she needed something to laugh about at that moment.
Also, he wasn’t wrong. In her mind, he’d claimed the title of sexiest biker, even among the couples. Not that she’d ever let anyone know that little secret thought.
“You’re an idiot.” Tracker flicked the side of Jinx’s head with his finger.
“Ow. What the fuck, man?” he shouted, cradling his temple.
Brooke sighed. “Sorry, Harper. I’d tell you they aren’t usually like this, but it’d be a lie.”
“Yeah,” Jo said with a wry grin. “They are always like this. Big children riding their big bikes.”
“Don’t hate, baby.” Tracker smacked an audible kiss on Jo’s cheek. She swatted him away, but the wide smile stretching her face showed how much she adored her playful man.
“How did he know you were connected to the club?” Curly asked. Though she barely knew the club’s president, Harper’s respect for Curly grew with each conversation they’d had.
He’d been in prison, almost twice as long as she had, all while being innocent of the crime he’d been convicted of. As much as Harper felt her sentence was unjust, and though she knew in her gut her ex-boyfriend’s attorney-father called in some serious favors to have the blame placed on her, she couldn’t ever claim complete innocence as Curly could. She’d been there. She’d witnessed the crime and had done nothing to help the injured man.
She was guilty.
Within a matter of minutes after meeting him, Curly had become her role model. He’d found his way back into society. He was thriving in all aspects of his life. Sure, not in a conventional way, but Harper understood that too. She wasn’t the person she’d been before her incarceration. She’d seen, heard, and lived through too much.