Today I am delighted to share part two of chapter one of Her Hot Ride. If you missed the first part then check out Between The Pages Book Club on the link below
Her. Me. Handcuffs. You think you know what we’re up to, don’t you?
I’ve been in trouble plenty but I got these bad boys from home.
Emily looks so good handcuffed to me.
This is the only way I could think to stop her.
She found out her mom was in danger and she ran away.
She wants to save her, but we’re at war.
Her brother, my best friend, told me I have to keep her safe.
He trusts me.
Unlike every woman I’ve ever met.
Maybe it’s because I don’t kiss. On the mouth anyway.
But Emily’s the only woman who’s ever stood up to me.
Her thighs keep grazing mine. Her long brown hair tickling my bicep.
Locking her to me and throwing away the key.
I didn’t think this through…
This really revs my engine.
A steamy and unputdownable biker romance, Her Hot Ride will leave you swooning. Guaranteed HEA. No cliffhangers. It can be read as a standalone or as the third book in the Red Dragon biker romance series.
“You’re late,” Hawk barked at me from his door five minutes later. The tiny thing in his arms wiggled at the sight of me.
“Had shit to do.” I shrugged, stepping up into his house.
“Yeah, well, we got places to be, remember?”
I yanked Biker-the-mutt from his hands and tucked him under my arm. His body fit against me like a football, and I kinda hated the fact that I loved the little shit. He was all black fur and beady little eyes, too tiny for my taste. But he’d been a gift from Hawk to his lady, Summer, last month. Something about her being so sick from her pregnancy. My brother was trying—willing—to do just about anything to make her happy. Stupid, was what I’d called my oldest friend the day he’d gone and picked up the furry dude. Who the hell gave a sick, pregnant woman more responsibility than she wanted to deal with? But it worked, becoming the perfect distraction for Summer—go figure. Apparently, he did know her better than anyone else.
I followed Hawk into the house and asked, “Summer gone already?”
Hawk grabbed a mug out of the cupboard in the kitchen. “Yeah. She left about an hour ago.” He waved the mug at me, and I shook my head.
“She still puking all the time?” I watched him pour a cup, leaving it black, then taking a drink.
“Yeah.” He frowned. “Only in the morning though.”
“You better learn to glove that shit next time you wanna love it.” I scratched the back of Biker’s head, snorting under my breath at the same time.
Kids? Getting a woman pregnant? In this world?Hell no. I shuddered at the thought.
“Who you got on her lately?” I asked, wondering why he hadn’t snapped at me.
I nodded. Ever since Pops had declared war, we’d had all the old ladies followed.
Despite Chop being called the nice guy among the women around the club, I personally didn’t like the guy. Or trust him much either. There was something about his pretty-boy face that rubbed me the wrong way, but I hadn’t been able to put my finger on what that was yet. I would though. It’s what I did. Read people, figured them out most of all. I may have sucked at staying on task, but I sure as hell knew how to get a good read on someone. For some reason, people showed their true colors around me.
“He’s supposed to be tailing Emily too,” Hawk added, “but she’s been acting all weird. Not listening, leaving without warning…”
I cleared my throat, trying not to let my annoyance show. Hawk’s little sister Emily was a certified pain in everyone’s ass—especially my own. She’d made a life for herself outside the club once, but since that shit went down with Pops, we’d been protecting her and let’s just say she didn’t like it much.
I got it. The woman wanted her independence. She wanted to take care of herself and maintain the freedom she’d enjoyed prior to becoming part of the club. She wanted normalcy in a world that wasn’t ever meant to be normal. But the thing was, she was Pops’s daughter, a part of this world whether she liked it or not. Hawk had accepted that, being Pops’s son. The sooner she figured that out, the better off we’d all be.
“What else has she been doing?” I asked.
“Ignoring Summer. And me. Staying home and doing nothing.” He shrugged. “It’s messing with Sum, and I don’t like it.”
I scowled, remembering what I’d seen on my way into the club last week: Emily in the parking lot, leaned up against her car, crying. I hadn’t taken the time to stop and ask if she was okay. The less I had to be around the little junk puncher the better. I’d never understood her, and after a long day at work, my dick had other plans that didn’t involve comforting a crying chick who I wasn’t interested in fucking.
“Maybe it’s her ex or something. Maybe they’re in contact.”
“Doubtful. He moved about a month or so ago. Somewhere outta state.” Hawk took another drink of his coffee then sighed. “We just need to make sure she stays put.”
“God knows she ain’t gonna be honestwith you.” I laughed at the idea. Emily was the ultimate version of closed off, and no one could break her vault, not even Summer from the sounds of it, and they were best friends.
Hawk grunted. “Guess a brother’s love ain’t the same as being her friend.”
“Wouldn’t know.” My family was long gone. To the point where I barely even remembered what it was like to have one. It was probably why I didn’t understand my best friend’s need to keep this woman safe. It was obvious she wasn’t looking for help. But Hawk was standing in as club pres until Flick got home and I’d never question his motives.
“As long as she does what she’s told and doesn’t cause problems, I’m not gonna worry anymore.” He shrugged.
“You don’t think she’d take off, do ya?”
“Wouldn’t put it past her.” He scowled. “Emily thinks with her heart, not her head.”
“If you don’t trust Chop to keep his eye on her, then you should assign someone else.”
“I would. But everybody hates her. She’s stuck up and snooty. Never even bothered to give this place a chance.” Hawk shook his head, wincing.
I opened my mouth then snapped it shut, not sure what he wanted me to say. If the woman would just relax a little—pull that giant stick out of her ass—then maybe she’d be more tolerable.
“Unless…” Hawk’s eyes narrowed, but his lips ticked up on one side at the same time.
I knew that fucking look. “Fuck no. Not happening. She hates me.”
“She doesn’t hate you,” Hawk said, laughing. “You test her. Which is why you’re the perfect candidate.”
I gritted my teeth, hissing through them a big, fat, “Fuck no.”
Challenging her? Pushing her buttons with my smart mouth? Yeah, I was guilty of all that, sue me. Hell, I bet I could tame the little lion with the snap of my whip if I had to. But the thing was, I didn’t want to. Emily annoyed the hell out of me for some reason. Five minutes in her presence and I was ready to pull out my eardrums, maybe yank the hair from my scalp while I was at it. All spiteful and shit, what with her dirty, snooty looks and thinking she was better than everyone else… Drove me damn nuts. No way would I ever be her little lion tamer. Not when I wasn’t in the mood to run the circus.
“Come on. You ain’t got nothing going on right now.” Hawk smirked. “God knows your dick’s gonna fall off soon if you don’t stop screwing random women at the drop of a hat.”
“I’ve got monthlies.” I scowled. “Always cover my shit, unlike you.”
“How about this? You watch her for a bit. Keep her here. See if you can’t pick up on anything new. You see through people. Have that ability to know what they’re thinking.”
“I don’t have ESP. And I’m sure as hell not gonna be your little sister’s babysitter.”
He smirked at me, knowing he had the power to tell me what to do.
“I’m not fucking her.” I smiled, thinking of the only thing that could put him off.
Hawk’s upper lip curled. “You know that’s not what I mean.”
“What if that’s all she needs? A good dicking can do wonders for a woman.” When it came to the ladies, I was the best at the job. Always made my intentions known to the women I took in: I wasn’t relationship material. Hell, I didn’t even kiss on the lips. But I fucked well and ate a woman out even better. If anything, I was the perfect candidate for a little fun.
But I wouldn’t touch Emily. She was cute and all, what with her dark eyes and dark hair, but she wasn’t my type. Wasn’t blonde. Wasn’t bright and cheery-looking either. If anything, Emily was more like me than any other woman I’d known, and fucking my little twinkie wasn’t something I was interested in doing.
“Six weeks,” he continued. “That’s all I’m asking. You watch her, read her, keep her occupied. Then hopefully we’ll have Pops taken care of and Emily will be free to leave.” He shrugged one shoulder. “With Flick coming home tonight, that means we’re one day closer to taking real action.”
“Two weeks,” I countered, ignoring the bit about Flick. Our pres had been living the high life in Texas with another club. Said he was looking to make alliances in the war against Pops. Nobody argued with him.
Hawk folded his arms. “Four weeks. That’s the lowest I’ll go.”
Good Christ. Hawk had lost his ever-loving mind. “Fine. But your ass owes me.” Not that I really knew what he wanted me to do with her. It wasn’t like I was about to come over and play Monopoly with the chick every night. Only way I knew how to lighten up women was by spreading their legs and putting my mouth under their skirts.
Hawk reached out, took my hand, and shook it. When he opened his mouth to speak, a car pulled into the driveway outside, cutting him off. Biker yipped in my arms, and Hawk and I took off toward the front door, stopping short at what was there.
“Speak of the devil,” he muttered, pushing out of the house.
When Emily got out, I couldn’t stop myself from cringing at what I saw. Ho-lee-shit, she looked bad. Red face, tears, pink nose… It was as if she’d been crying all day—possibly all night.
With intentions of spying, I snuck out the side door of the house, set Biker in the grass to piss, and started listening from the backyard.
“Why are you home already? Aren’t you supposed to be with Sum, helping out with that cheer camp shit she does in the summer?” Hawk asked, following her up the walkway to the little dollhouse-looking place that served as Emily’s home.
“I’ve got a headache. Wanted to come home early. Talker was supposed to come follow me back, but he never bothered to show up.”
I groaned, rubbed both hands over my face. Talker was supposed to come and follow her home? That dumb motherfucker was currently half naked and passed out in the lobby at the clubhouse.
“What the hell, Emily? You know you’re not supposed to go anywhere without someone tailing you. Chop know you took off?”
“I swear to God…” Hawk growled. “You got a death wish or something?”
Even from where I stood watching Biker hiding in the tall grass, digging his nose into whatever dirt hole he’d found, I could still hear the annoyance in Emily’s quiet words.
“Just leave me alone, please. I’ve got a headache.”
“I’m here, I’m alive, I’m fine,” she murmured. “So please stop with the annoying big-brother routine.”
“You know the rules,” Hawk warned. “Yet you left without a tail. Again. Shit’s gotta change, Em. Starting today.”
Emily growled. “I’m not a prisoner or a Red Dragon, so you’d do good remembering that, Hawk.”
I froze, imagining her hands on her hips, her brown eyes rolling too, waiting for Hawk to strike. Not that he would. The guy walked on eggshells around this woman more than anyone else. Let things fly that he probably shouldn’t.
For years I’d tried to figure out Emily. Her quirks and tells were minimal, which drove me batshit crazy. Body language was supposed to be my skill set. It’s what made me a damn good VP—and according to most of my partners, a fantastic lover too—but little lion Emily was impossible to read.
“Give me some credit, alright? I didn’t go anywhere. I came back to your precious compound like a good girl.”
“This is about your safety, damn it,” Hawk barked.
“I have that… that gun in my glove compartment you make me carry too. What else do you want from me?” Emily groaned.
“A little cooperation until we figure this shit out would be nice.”
I got it. The RD world wasn’t her thing. But if she’d just wait it out a little longer, let us take down her father, then she could be free to do whatever the hell she wanted, wherever the hell she wanted to do it. Her not listening to the rules we put up for everyone at the club—not just for her—was only distracting us from doing what we needed to be doing. How could she not see that?
I picked up Biker, who sat on the toe of my boot, his eyes shut, fuzzy ears bent to the side. “Let’s go, you little turd,” I whispered.
“Well, excuse me if I don’t feel like I should follow your stupid rules, brother. Now if you’d get out of my face and leave me alone, I’d greatly appreciate it.”
Hawk growled out something I couldn’t understand about the time I started toward the front of the garage. I wasn’t surprised when I heard his boots shuffle against the gravel drive, and the door to his house slam shut a minute later. The guy had the patience of a toddler most days.
Thinking Emily would head inside too, I stood by the garage a few seconds more, waiting for another door to slam… a slam that never came. Instead, the noise of her creaky porch swing filled the air, followed a minute later by the sound of her mumbled curses.
Apparently, Operation Babysit was starting now.
Find out what happens next on A Knights Read tomorrow……
Heather Van Fleet is a stay-at-home-mom turned book boyfriend connoisseur. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, a mom to three girls, and in her spare time you can find her with her head buried in her Kindle, guzzling down copious amounts of coffee.
Heather graduated from Black Hawk College in 2003 and currently writes Adult contemporary romance. She is published through Sourcebooks Casablanca with her Reckless Hearts series and Bookouture with her Red Dragon series.