“NO,” I tell her, for what must be the millionth time, even though the word doesn’t fall easily from my lips. I can see why no one says no to this woman. Not only is she unbelievably sexy, although I’d never admit that out loud because Sin will fuckin’ kill me, but she also has this charm and charisma about her that just makes you want to do whatever she asks.
No doubt, her team is always the winning team, so why wouldn’t I want to get on board? It just happens that what she’s asking—to help her with some fuckin’ case she’s working on—doesn’t appeal to me at all. Working with the cops and the feds? No fuckin’ thank you. I don’t think I’ve ever been around a cop without the words “you have the right to remain silent” being said shortly thereafter, and I have no intention of voluntarily being around them now.
Do I feel bad about what’s happened? Sure. A woman is missing, after all, but I’m not a hero and I’m not going to pretend to be. If I had any type of hero complex, I’d have joined
the military or some shit like that—hell, maybe I’d even have become a cop.
But nope, I’m just a biker. Don’t expect shit from me.
“Ranger, why the fuck not?” Faye continues, pursing her lips. I can see the determination in her hazel eyes. She wants me to help her, although I have no idea why. “I could really use your brain on this case. Don’t you want to be challenged? To do something good, to give back to the community? To help this poor woman, because who knows where she is right now or what’s happening to her!”
All valid points. I just don’t see why out of all the men she knows, she’s so adamant about having me be the one to help her.
“Come on, Ranger, you can at least look at the case before you say no again. You might pick up on something we’ve all missed, who knows. Anything you can think of will help. I’m at a dead end right now. You’re a fuckin’ genius, Ranger!” When I raise a brow, she adds, “I know exactly how high your IQ is. Talon told me.”
I groan and shut my eyes. Only Talon knows about that, and as far as I know he hasn’t told anyone, until now. Fuckin’ Faye. Looks like she got to him—he’s already spilling secrets to her.
“No one ever tells you no, do they?”
“Not without changing their mind,” she replies, not sounding smug, just stating a fact. “Especially after I was kidnapped.”
I open my eyes and look at her. I mean really look at her. “I didn’t join this MC to help you on your missions to save the world, Faye. I don’t want to work for the feds, or the cops, or for anyone for that matter. Yes, I’m smart. So are lots of people. I don’t really see how I can help though. It’s a missing-persons
case. I don’t even know why they put you on it—how is a lawyer supposed to help?”
She slams the file down on the table, obviously losing her temper, the contents spilling out.
It’s the picture that gets my attention.
“Elizabeth Chase is a good woman, Ranger,” she says, softening her tone. “She volunteers to feed the homeless, she babysits her neighbors’ kids for free because they can’t afford a babysitter, and she sends all the money she can to help her younger sister pay for college.”
In the picture, Elizabeth is smiling, her long blond hair tumbling down her slender shoulders. Her blue eyes are looking right at me.
I pick up the photo, then glance at Faye, my expression giving away nothing. The thing is, I already know that Elizabeth Chase is a good woman. I know this firsthand. “Tell me everything.”
Her eyes dance with satisfaction.
She won. Like she usually does.
This time though, it’s not about Faye. The only reason I’m helping her is the woman in the photo.
Faye can be as smug as she likes.
All I care about right now is saving a woman I once used to know.
Six Years Ago
“Hello,” the girl says to me, tucking her hair back behind her ear. “You’re Cameron, right?”
I nod, smiling at her. I’ve seen her around the last few days but have never spoken to her. I came on this tour alone, a cruise around Scotland and Ireland, before all of us in the tour group head off to continental Europe, and it’s been one huge party from the second I got here. Everyone on board is young and looking for my kind of good time—no strings attached, just enjoying the right now and not worrying about tomorrow.
“Yeah,” I say, lighting up my cigarette and inhaling.
“I’m Elizabeth,” she says, smiling and then ducking her head, like she’s shy all of a sudden. I’m not a person who ever feels shy, so for some reason it amuses me. It’s an emotion I don’t really understand. I’m usually confident at best, comfortable at worst. I don’t generally give a shit what people around me think. If I did, there’s no way in hell I would have survived high school.
Wait a second, is this her trying to flirt with me? Yesterday, a pretty dark-haired girl walked up, pressed herself against me, and asked if I wanted to fuck. This is definitely a different approach, from a different type of girl. No judgment from me—after all, I did fuck that girl yesterday, and we both got what we wanted out of the night—but I have no idea what a shy, nice girl would be wanting from me. I have nothing to offer but my dick and a good time.
Maybe I’m wrong though; maybe she’s not as innocent as she comes off. Or maybe she wants to be a rebel for the night—to see what it’s like to be with a bad boy. I’m completely aware of how women see me. I’m six foot five, built, with a dark scruffy beard and longish hair that women seem unable to get enough of. I have tattoos, and I’m rough around the edges. No one would guess that I’m on break from my double major at college. No one really bothers to look beyond the exterior.
“Nice to meet you, Elizabeth. Did you have a good time last night?” I ask, attempting to make small talk with her. I’m not very good at it, but I think it will put her at ease a little. She’s a pretty enough girl, and I wouldn’t mind spending the night with her at some point during the trip if that’s what she’s after. My gaze drops to her chest, where her small breasts are pressing against her white top. Yeah, I wouldn’t mind having a taste of her one bit.
She clears her throat, so I raise my eyes back up to hers, grinning. “You were saying?”
She shakes her head, eyes looking a little sad before answering me. “It was good, yes. The club was pretty packed though. You don’t remember me at all, do you?”
I squint my eyes, wondering where the fuck I’m meant to be remembering her from. Have I fucked her before? This could get awkward if that’s the case, because I don’t remember doing so. Then again, I’ve kind of lost count of how many women I’ve been with. I cringe as that fact is brought to light. She watches me squirm for a few moments, before laughing, shaking her head at me. “No, we haven’t slept together, if that’s what you’re racking your brain over. We both went to Miles together.”
I instantly still, my expression going blank. My years at Miles High School aren’t the fondest. I moved away from that place for a reason, for a fresh start, and never did I think I would run into someone from there, especially on vacation, in a completely different country.
“Small world,” I mutter under my breath. Then louder, “Can’t say I remember you, Elizabeth.”
“I’m two years younger than you.” She nods, grinning, her blond hair bouncing. Even her hair is perky. “Probably not on your radar, but I remember you.”
If she remembers me, she would definitely remember my reputation, which has me wondering why she’s standing here, talking to me like we’re good friends. Or like she wants to be. Maybe she wants to fulfill a high school fantasy of fucking the bad boy, the man from the wrong side of the tracks. I didn’t grow up with money; in fact, I grew up living in a trailer park, and everyone knew it. I got into a lot of fights, hung out with the wrong crowd, and was generally a waste of fuckin’ space. I graduated only because I was able to ace all my exams without any kind of studying, or even attending most of the classes. The teachers were suspicious as fuck—they thought that I cheated but couldn’t prove it.
I didn’t cheat.
I decide to change the topic away from a subject I’d rather not talk about, a part of me that I had buried. “You want to grab a drink?”
She nods, beaming. “I’d love to, Cam.”