Reaper's Fall

Page 62

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Reese stepped in past them, taking in the scene.

Kit was sitting on the floor, giggling as she flipped through her phone. Em gave him a thumbs-up as she finished chugging a big cup of punch. Jess had disappeared completely. Reese stalked over to the entertainment center, turning off the music with a flick of his finger. Silence fell, and then Em gave a loud burp.

“Excuse me,” she said, wiping her mouth delicately with the bottom of her shirt.

“Fuckin’ girls,” Reese said, shaking his head. “You’re going to kill me.”

“Hey,” London said, coming up to wrap her arms around him. She kissed the side of his face, which seemed to soothe Reese. Kit stood slowly, then walked over to stand right in front of her father.

“This is what happens to people who get married secretly,” she said, poking a finger into his chest. “Don’t do it again.”

A smile quirked the edges of Reese’s mouth. Then he dropped his hand down to give Loni’s butt a squeeze. Ewwww . . . Kit and I exchanged a look, and I could tell she was thinking the exact same thing that I was. Old people shouldn’t be having sex.

“If I promise I won’t get married again without telling you, will you stop destroying people’s lives in search of revenge?”

Kit considered his words carefully.

“I’ll try,” she said, nodding. “I suppose you’re forgiven. This time.”

“Wow, I’m just so fuckin’ relieved to hear that,” he replied. “Now I won’t have to cry myself to sleep tonight.”

PAINTER

I needed to slow down.

Every time I thought about Mel and that fucking stripper, I found myself pushing the bike’s speed higher. Couldn’t quite decide what I should do first when I got home—strangle the Hayes girls or slit Mr. Banana Hammock’s throat.

The picture of them together was burned on my brain. Hunter’d sent it to fuck with me, of course. Bastard still hated me for what I’d done to Em. Fair enough, because I fucking hated him, too.

Almost as much as I hated the stripper.

But not quite.

Her hand had been on his dick.

Reese had messaged me a couple hours ago, letting me know he’d dropped Mel off at my place for the night. Good to know she was safe. I’d slept for a while in Bellingham, but I was still pretty fuckin’ exhausted and it was a damned long ride all the way back to Coeur d’Alene. I had to be careful, too—leaving the state without permission was a parole violation. That meant no speeding, no splitting lanes . . . I didn’t even stop at rest areas, just pulled into truck stops when I needed a break.

Last thing I needed was a parole violation putting me in the same state as a murder victim. Torres should be able to cover for me back home, but if a Washington cop pulled me over, there’d be a paper trail not even he could disappear. Never used to worry about shit like that, but knowing Mel was warm and waiting in my bed? Changed shit. Changed shit in a big way.

I’d just passed the Spokane airport—still a good thirty miles from the Idaho border—when it happened. I’d flown over the crest of the hill into the city and changed lanes to pass another car when I saw the lights behind me. For an instant I convinced myself they were after someone else, because, swear to fuck—I hadn’t done anything wrong. Nothing.

Then he was right behind me and it was all over.

I pulled over and waited for the cop . . .

Fuck.

• • •

“Good evening, sir. Do you know why I pulled you over?”

“No—I wasn’t speeding,” I said, trying to figure out how a woman who was five and a half feet at most had the balls to pull over a biker twice her size. Kind of pretty, too, although hard to make out much of her figure under what I assumed was a bulletproof vest.

“You didn’t signal when you were passing the white minivan,” she said.

No fucking way. I’d signaled . . . Was the bitch messing with me? Her face was serious, blank. I didn’t get that hostile vibe that I got from so many male cops, though. Probably a legit stop. Still, this was gonna complicate things if they ever made me as a suspect in the Hands situation.

But what were the odds of that? The only ones who knew were my Reaper brothers, and if the Nighthawks found out, the cops would be the least of my worries.

“I don’t doubt what you’re saying, but I’m pretty sure I used the signal,” I said, giving her a nice smile as I handed over my paperwork. “Maybe there’s a problem with the bike.”

She smiled back—nice. Took the bait. Might talk my way out of this one yet . . .

“It’s possible. Would you like me to look while you test the lights?”

“That’d be great,” I told her. “Thanks.”

“Sure,” she said, stepping back. I turned on the bike and flipped the signal.

“It’s on.”

“No good,” she replied, shaking her head. “It’s not working. I need to run your license and registration. Please stay seated on the bike with your hands on the handlebars while you wait.”

Fucking hell—must’ve blown a fuse. I watched the occasional car fly by while she ran the license, wondering if I’d get a ticket. Took a good ten minutes before she came back, her expression cooler this time.

“Mr. Brooks, it says you’re under supervision,” she said. “Is your parole officer aware that you’re out of state?”

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