“When Capone heard that I was on my own, left for dead by my own supposed club, he did something that completely surprised me—asked me to join his prison club. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking him up on his offer. When the rival gang came after him for taking me in, a guy got killed. Capone was the one who shanked him but gave me the credit. He knew that with a rumor like that going around, that I killed a guy, I’d be safe while serving my time. Capone took the blame and had time added onto his sentence and I got the nickname ‘Kill’,” he said.
“Wow,” she breathed.
“Wow is an understatement,” he admitted. "Hell, if I hadn’t taken his offer, I’d be dead now. He taught me the ropes and kept me safe,” Kill said. He thought about his friend still sitting in that prison and felt an unexplainable sadness that he had gotten out.
“Aw—a bad guy with a heart of gold,” Viv said, interrupting his thoughts.
“Yeah, you could say that about a lot of the guys on the inside. I know this might sound crazy but I’m going to miss that camaraderie,” he admitted. As soon as he got out, he met with his probation officer who informed him that meeting with any type of club or gang would land him back in prison and he would do anything not to have that happen.
“Why can’t you join a club out here?” Viv asked.
“It goes against my parole. It would be considered a violation since trying to join a motorcycle club was what landed me behind bars, to begin with,” he said.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” She reached out and placed her small hand over his forearm and his skin felt strange—almost like pins and needles. Yeah, he was going to have to find a woman and let off some steam if just a simple touch from his new boss set his skin tingling.
He pulled his arm free from her hand and pretended to stretch to cover his retreat. “No,” he said. “It’s just a part of what I have to do to stay on the outside— you know, find a job and a place to live and keep my nose clean.”
“How long have you been out?” she asked.
“About a week,” he whispered.
“Do you have everything you need?” Viv looked him up and down and damn if she didn’t look just as turned on as he felt. She cleared her throat, “I mean, did you find a place to live and all that?”
“I’m working on the job part first and staying in a motel that’s a shit hole, but the owner lets me rent by the week. I figure getting a job trumps a place to live if I can’t pay the rent. My friend said I could bunk at his place, but he’s got a family and a new kid. The last thing he needed was an ex-con hanging around. After a few nights with his family, I felt like a nuisance. I made some apologies and came up with an excuse as to why I had to leave. It was just too much for me—going from a small prison cell with one roommate to a house full of people. I think Savage understood. At least, I hope he’s not pissed that I turned down his generosity and opted for my shithole apartment.”
Viv nodded. “You have a friend named Savage?” she asked.
Kill smiled at the fact that little piece of information was her takeaway. “Yeah,” he breathed.
“Well, um—you have a job,” she said. “As long as you’re okay with me calling you by your given name, Cillian. And if you need a better place to stay, I have a house about a block away. It was my grandmother’s.” She paused, “All of this was hers and she left it to me.”
“I’m fine with you calling me whatever you’d like. Hot Irish Guy, Kill or Cillian—as long as I have a job,” he said. “And I’m sorry about your grandmother. Losing family sucks,” Kill said.
“It’s fine. She’s been gone awhile now but I think she would have liked you. She always routed for an underdog, and you seem to be as down on your luck as they come. How about you move into my spare room? We can work out the details of pay and I can take your rent out of that.” He wasn’t sure what to make of her kind offer. On the one hand, he needed a place to stay long term and he had to admit that any place had to be better than the motel he was currently in. But his gut was telling him that living under the same roof as his sexy new boss was a giant mistake. The last time his gut screamed at him that way was the night he decided to do the stupidest thing in his life and steal a car.
He ignored his gut and nodded. “Thanks, Viv,” he said. “I’ll take you up on your offer of the room and I can start now if you need.” He pointed back to where he remembered the kitchen to be located.
“Great,” she said. “You never answered my other question, you know.”
He thought back over their conversation, trying to pinpoint which question she was talking about. “Oh?”
“Yeah, the one about you having any cooking experience,” she reminded.
“It just so happens that you’re in luck, Darlin’,” he said. “I was put on kitchen duty while in the clink and I learned from the best fry cook you’ll ever meet.” Viv’s smile brightened up her tiny office.
“Perfect,” she beamed. “Let’s get you started.” She stood and led the way out of her office and all Kill seemed capable of doing was watching her sexy little ass sashay out. Yeah—he should have listened to his gut when it came to his hot as fuck new boss. He was a glutton for a punishment and Kill was pretty sure that having to live under the same roof as Viv, and keeping his hands to himself, was going to be a pretty big fucking punishment to endure.