“Kelly, get your ass over here with a drink for the man,” the guy next to us bellowed. He was probably ten years older than Horse, with just a hint of gray in his hair. A lot of the bikers seemed to wear beards, but his face was clean-shaven, and he wasn’t shy about checking me out. I didn’t get the impression that his appraisal was personal though. More like he was sizing me up, trying to judge me on some level I couldn’t understand.

Bikini girl showed up with a tray full of beers and shots, which she unloaded on a little table in front of us. The guy next to us handed a beer to Horse, who reached around me to take it in his left hand. The man offered me a beer next. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I looked to Horse.


“Have at it,” he told me.

“Damn, that didn’t take long,” said the other man, laughing. “Mousie knows her place, I take it?”

I stiffened, and Horse’s hand squeezed my thigh again in warning.

“She’s learning,” he said. “Gonna be interesting. You heard the news?”

“I heard something. This is her, I take it?” the man replied, glancing toward me. I chugged down almost half my beer, more than ready for a little liquid courage.

“Collateral,” Horse replied and his friend grunted. They ignored me as they started talking about people I didn’t know, so I let my eyes wander around the room, starting with the guy sitting next to us. He had tousled, deep-brown hair and greenish eyes. His cut had “President” written on it, along with a one-percenter patch and a few others I didn’t recognize. Picnic had a president patch too, but I’d never seen anything identifying Horse as an officer. The Reapers must be pretty powerful if a regular guy like Horse got this much respect from the president of another club. I took another long chug of my beer, surprised to discover I’d finished it. That seemed funny to me, and I had to catch myself before I burped.

What can I say? I’ve always been a lightweight.

I looked longingly toward the remaining beers on the table, thinking another would really hit the spot. Bikini girl reappeared, winding her way toward the couch. She leaned down low to take my empty, boobs hanging right in Horse’s line of sight, ass pointed at the other guy. That sort of pissed me off, but when I tried to glare at her she just offered a friendly wink and handed me another beer.

Not such a bad sort, I decided.

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I glanced at Horse, catching his eye before I started drinking again. He nodded absently, fingers starting a slow slide back and forth across my thigh as the conversation continued. The guys ignored me for the most part as they shot the shit, talking bikes and business, using words that had to be code because the conversation didn’t make any sense to me at all. Occasionally other men walked up and took a chair for a while, then they’d drift away. Certain words and phrases jumped out at me as being potentially important, but I couldn’t put it all together. Respect. Something about a charity run for toys (which seemed totally out of sync with the criminal-biker-vibe hanging in the air). Meeting up with the Mexicans, whoever they were. Border patrol and “fucking homeland security”.

I tuned them out because there were far more interesting things to do. Drinking a third beer, for one. Watching the crowd. There had to be fifty or sixty people in the room. Most of the men wore Silver Bastards cuts, with big patches on the back that had a stylized picture of a man with a pickaxe, flames shooting out behind him. There were lots of women around too. Most of the women were dressed like me—slutty as hell—and they circulated through the crowd, handing out drinks, picking up empties and occasionally settling in to make out with one of the Silver Bastards. There was a lot of groping, and not limited to individual couples. The guys seemed to have a real thing for being double-teamed. I saw several girls disappear down the back hallway, giggling as men dragged them away.

Then the front door opened and a tall blonde woman with tasteful makeup and an air of authority walked in. She looked around for a minute, spotted us and cut straight through the crowd. She was different from the other women, anyone could see it. For one thing, she wore jeans that were tight enough to show her figure, but not painted on. She had on a black tank top with a Silver Bastards’ emblem on it, which displayed her rather well-developed cle**age perfectly. Her hair had been highlighted by a professional who knew his shit and she wore a black leather vest.

Most of the women circulating seemed to get their asses grabbed regularly, but nobody tried it on the blonde. Men moved out of her way, several of them calling out a welcome, but I didn’t catch a single one checking out her boobs or ass.

The president-guy sitting next to us stood up as she walked our way, a look coming over his face that could only be described as deep satisfaction. She ignored everyone else as she reached him. He pulled her close, one hand tangled in her hair and the other on her butt as he gave her a long kiss so intimate I felt embarrassed to watch them. He reached down with both hands now, urging her to wrap her legs around him as he lifted her high and nuzzled between her br**sts. She laughed and smacked him. As he turned and set her back down I made out the patches on the back of her vest.

“Property of Boonie, Silver Bastards MC”.

Horse’s hand tightened on my thigh again, and I didn’t dare look at him. For the first time, I almost got what he’d been trying to tell me. This woman, Boonie’s property, fell into a whole different category from the rest of us girls, and it showed. Her man clearly thought she was the shit, and he wasn’t afraid to let everyone know it—even I could see the invisible aura of untouchability surrounding her.

So that’s what Horse had offered me…

His hand fell away from my thigh and he urged me to my feet. He stood and waited until the president and his blonde stopped making out, turning to face us.

“Darcy, this is Marie,” Horse said. She looked me up and down, eyes questioning.

“Hey, Marie,” she replied. “You’re new around here, I’m thinking.”

I glanced at Horse, unsure if I should be talking to her or not.

“Go with Darcy,” he told me. “She’ll take good care of you. Boonie and I need some privacy.”

I must have looked a little panicked, because he leaned over and whispered in my ear. “She’s Boonie’s old lady, she won’t let anything happen to you. You stick to her like shit on a blanket. Tell her why you’re with me, about your brother and the money. Got me?”

I agreed. Darcy offered me a soft smile, then leaned up for one more kiss from Boonie before gesturing me to follow her. Horse smacked my butt as I walked away, making me jump. I felt immediately exposed, men’s eyes falling on me speculatively as Darcy led me down the back hallway. We passed some bathrooms and seeing them made me aware of my full bladder.

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