I was really, really afraid I did and by getting him that meant, for me, I’d jumped out of the frying pan smack into the freaking fire.

“Tack,” was all I could say.


“You get me,” he muttered, let me go and walked out of the room, slamming the door and I heard it lock.

I stared at the door.

Oh boy.

Chapter Sixteen

Not on My Watch

My body jolted and my eyes opened.

I was asleep on the unmade bed in what I was assuming was the Chaos Compound.

Night had fallen. I had been locked in awhile but luckily my biker rations included a delicious pastrami on rye with melted Swiss cheese, curly fries and a thick chocolate shake chased by a diet pop.

I was worried about my Dad and Meredith who would be worried about me and I was freaked way the hell out at the same time I was bored out of my skull. However, I never guessed when I chanced lying down on the unmade bed that I’d fall asleep.

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Guess I fell asleep.

I tried to sense what made me wake and I couldn’t. I listened and looked into the dark room that was lit pretty well by lights coming in through the window.

I stared at the door and listened harder.

That’s when I heard it. A muted thump like a body falling to the floor. A big body hitting the floor. Maybe a big biker body falling to the floor.

Holy crap.

I scurried off the bed and blindly searched the room for weapons. There I was in another situation where I needed a crowbar.

I didn’t have time to find a weapon. There was a gunshot blast and I saw it because it blew off the lock on the door.


I made a run for it, jumping on the bed and dashing over it toward the window (which I’d earlier noted was barred but it was my only hope). I was caught jumping off the other side of the bed with an arm around my belly. I made an “oomph” noise then I was turned and tossed over a shoulder.

This was when I decided to struggle and scream. I kicked and twisted and shouted my head off and in the hall my abductor bent fast. I landed hard on my feet then found myself shoved harder into the wall.

“Shut it, Gwen, and cool it or I’ll bind you and gag you. I’m not kidding.”

As I listened to the familiar deep voice, I stared into the shadowed face of Hawk.

Then I shut it and cooled it. Then I found myself back over his shoulder.

Once we made it to the bar, shadowy commandos flanked him. I also saw shadowy biker bodies littering the floor. The lights were out, no power at all, not even on the beer signs.

We made it out the door and Hawk and his troop jogged to SUVs.

Yes, even with me over his shoulder, Hawk jogged to an SUV.

Okay, maybe he wasn’t one step down from a superhero. Maybe he was a superhero.

Then Hawk opened the door of the passenger side of one and I was tossed in. Hawk rounded the hood as he holstered his weapon and I watched his other hand do hand motions as the commandos disbursed. He folded in beside me, started up the SUV, reversed like a speed demon so I quickly belted in and then we shot out of Ride’s premises and onto Broadway.

I took a deep breath and then started, “Hawk –”

“Do not speak,” he growled and I felt my breath catch.

He didn’t sound pissed. He sounded pissed.

He dug into a pocket of his cargos and pulled his cell out. He flipped it open, hit some buttons and put it to his ear.

A couple of beats and then, “Bax?”

Oh shit. Dad.

“She’s fine. I’ve got her.”


Hawk stopped at a light. “Don’t know but she was in a safe place. Probably just freaked.”

“Can I talk to him?” I asked, my hand extended for the phone.

His head turned to me and I saw his face in the streetlights.

Then I pressed my lips together and dropped my hand.

Okay, so, I couldn’t talk to my Dad.

And also, I was in trouble.

Good to know… or not!

“Yeah, let me talk with her, see if she’s had food, get her shit together. Yeah?” Pause. “Right. Later.”

He flipped his phone shut and threw it on the console with just enough strength to make it clatter angrily.

I sucked in breath. Then I gave him a few moments to calm down. Then I tried again.

“Hawk –”

“Swear to God, Gwen,” he replied on another growl and didn’t finish but that was enough. I clamped my mouth shut. He clearly needed a few more moments.

He drove and I knew where he was driving. To his lair.

I stayed silent the entire way. I also stayed silent when he stopped outside the big rolling door to his big garage. I also stayed silent and stayed put when he got out, went in a door to the side of the big rolling door and then the big rolling door slid up. Further, I stayed silent when he climbed back in and drove into the garage, parked, grabbed his phone and got out.

I got out too.

He went to the box on the cable and closed the door. I waited. Then he went to the inside door, pushed it open and strode in. I sucked in a calming breath while I heard him beep in the numbers on the security panel and then followed.

I moved and stopped under the platform. He moved around and turned on lights. The one by the chair in the corner. Two standing lamps in the seating area. He hit a switch and lights I hadn’t noticed that hung on long cables from the ceiling lit the kitchen.

I leaned against an iron column that held up the platform.

“Can you explain to me why you’re so angry?” I asked quietly and I thought it was a good question. I mean I didn’t lock myself in the Chaos Compound. I didn’t do a drive-by on my house. I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and unfortunately that place was my own house.

“First,” he replied, walking slowly to me and I knew it was not a good sign that he started by counting, “you just forced war.”

I blinked. Then I asked, “War?”

“War, me and my boys against the Chaos MC.”

“What?” I asked. “Why?”

“Babe,” he stated and stopped a few feet away from me. “You were locked in Tack’s room at the Compound. That’s a declaration. My boys and I had to infiltrate it to get you out. This will not go over well.”

“Um… I think you may be misinterpreting things. See, Tack was there when someone shot up my living room and I think he was trying to protect me.”

It must be said, though not to Hawk, that I thought this and I did it hopefully so I wouldn’t have a nervous breakdown. I thought other things too, things akin to what Hawk was saying but I didn’t let them have too much of my headspace considering they’d give me a nervous breakdown. I’d never had one but I was pretty sure nervous breakdowns were things to be avoided.

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