“You look nice. Breakfast is going to be small since we only have about twenty minutes before we have to leave.” I slide over a plate with some scrambled eggs and bacon. “Excuse me. I need to change.”

The second I enter my bedroom, I close the door and lean on it to catch my breath. I’ve spent years in wars, stood across from the enemy in the desert sands and across the courtroom and yet I’ve never felt this afraid. Mary terrifies me, and I’m not sure why I can’t fight this pull. She’s sexy to be sure, but I’m not a thirty-five-year-old virgin. I’ve never dated a woman I didn’t find attractive. Not that there’s been that many women in my life to begin with and a lot less that I actually had sex with. Shit, maybe that’s my problem I’m fantasizing over a barely legal woman because I haven’t had sex in five years.

That’s the excuse I’m going to tell myself because there’s no way I can admit to more, or I’ll never make it to the trial. I dress in a pair of jeans and a tight black t-shirt stretched over my chest and then pop on and lace up my black combat boots. Slipping on my leather vest, I plan to ride out as soon as she’s at work. I need to clear my head, and nothing works more than riding on my Harley. When I step out into the hall, Mary lets out a gasp. “Wow, night and day.” She licks her lips unconsciously.

“Yeah. Ready?” I pretend to not notice her reaction.

“Yes.”

I lead her out to my reinforced SUV that Wrench upgraded for all the Riders after the attack on Crystal. It happened a couple of months back, and then we were attacked again, nearly killing Mick. The fucking Cartels are making our lives difficult around here, but as a DA, they are trying to avoid fucking with me. Still, we can’t be too careful. I open the door and help her in. As soon as she’s sitting, I close the door and run to the other side and hop in.

I don’t say anything until we’re about a block away from the bar. Most of the time I don’t talk outside of work, having said more than enough for the whole day, but I want to speak to her. “Call me when you are done, and I’ll come to pick you up.”

“It’s Saturday. Who knows how long I’ll be there. Don’t the bars stay open until like one in the morning? Can’t I ask someone else to take me to your place?”

“No. Call me.”

“I don’t have a phone or your number.” I forgot that she left in a rush and taking her phone was too risky.

“Yes, about that. I’ll pick one up and drop it off at the bar with my number programmed in.” She’s huffing and puffing in her seat with her arms crossed, but I’m not in the mood to argue with her. The thought of someone else driving her home in the middle of the night is too damn much for me. Besides, she’s not going to work no damn fifteen hours. Fuck, I don’t want her to work at all, but again, I don’t have a right to say shit.

We barely pull into a parking space at the bar when she jumps out. Fucking shit. I do the same after turning off the engine. I follow her inside the bar, and both Boss and Roxie are there. She works there several times a week. It makes me feel better that it’s not Hans. He’ll be closing tonight.

“Mary, Beast, welcome,” Boss cheers. He makes introductions and then shoos me out. “We don’t open for another two hours.”

I start to walk back toward the door but stop to add. “I’ll be back to drop off her phone.”

“She gets out at four. I don’t want to work her too much on her first day,” Boss says. Thank fucking God I don’t have to pull him aside to keep her from working late at night.

“Good.” I walk out, itching to touch her, kiss her goodbye. Storming over to my ride, I get in, take a deep breath, and then pull out onto the main road. I want to go for a ride, but it’s going to have to wait. First thing’s first is the phone. I drive to Dallas for it because I don’t want anyone to link her to Steeleville until this is all over. I pick up a non-contract phone that’s untraceable to prevent any names being tracked. Plugging in my number before leaving the store parking lot, I drive off with a smile on my face.

When I get back into Steeleville the bar is open for the day. I parked out front because I wasn’t staying no matter how much I wanted to sit at the edge of the bar and scowl at any fucker that tries to hit on her.

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