“You call your man?” the big one asked. I glanced at him, forgetting I was supposed to avoid his gaze because his eyes were so deep and rich and green.
“My man?” I asked.
Shit, I forgot about that. They thought I was Jeff’s girlfriend. Should I tell them? I couldn’t decide. I studied the biker, trying to figure out the safest answer. He met my gaze without giving anything away. His hair was pulled back in a rough ponytail and his chin was covered with thick, dark stubble. My stupid body came alert again as I wondered what that stubble would feel like if I rubbed my lips against it slowly.
Probably pretty damned good.
“Girlie, answer the f**kin’ question,” said the blue-eyed man. I jumped, splashing some of the tea against the front of my shirt. It drenched my right boob, of course, and my nipple came to instant attention when the icy drink hit it. The big guy’s eyes followed it, his eyes darkening.
“Jeff’s coming,” I said, managing not to stutter. “He said he’d be here in twenty minutes. I’ve got tea for you,” I added inanely. Big Guy reached out and took the cup from my hand. That left me in a bind because I couldn’t unload the other two glasses without my other hand free. I could either give him the sugar or I could lean past him and put it on the table. I was pretty sure I didn’t want to do that.
He solved the problem for me, reaching out again and wrapping his fingers around one of the cups I held clasped against my body. I felt all sorts of tingles as they slid between the cold plastic and my skin, standing frozen as he repeated the gesture. Then he took the sugar. He caught my hand and pulled me up against his thigh, until my stomach almost touched his face.
I couldn’t breathe.
He reached up to take my chin, turning my face so he could study the bruise. I held my breath, willing him not to ask me about it. He didn’t. Instead, he dropped his hand to my waist, rubbing down and up slowly along the curve of my hip. It took everything I had not to lean in and push my br**sts into his face.
“Jensen do that to you?”
Dammit. I had to tell them, I couldn’t let it look like Jeff hurt me. He didn’t deserve that.
“No, he’d never do that. Jeff’s my brother,” I said quickly, jerking away, blushing. Then I turned and ran into the house.
They sat at the table drinking their tea and talking until Jeff got home. It felt like he took hours, even though he made it in record time. At one point the big guy reached over and peeked under the towel covering the bread dough, which was in danger of rising way too high if I didn’t get it into the oven soon.
I wasn’t going out there though. Not until they were gone.
Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to be in the mood to leave. When Jeff rolled up in his aging Firebird they all stood around and talked for a while. Then they got up and walked toward our front door. Big Guy glanced toward my window and even though I knew he couldn’t possibly see me, his eyes seemed to lock on mine.
As they came inside, Jeff was smiling and looking relaxed. The others were too. Everything was friendly and I frowned, wondering if I’d imagined just how serious he’d been with me on the phone.
“Sis, my associates are going to stay for dinner,” he announced grandly. “You better go get your bread, I think it’s done rising. You guys are gonna love this, Marie’s bread is amazing. She’ll fix you a f**kin’ great dinner.”
I smiled at him a little shakily, cussing him out in my head. What the hell? Sure, I cooked for him, but I didn’t want to cook for this group. They scared me, which combined oddly with my disobedient body’s desire to jump Big Guy’s bones. I couldn’t think of a way out of it though, not without breaking our little pretense that there was nothing weird about three scary biker dudes showing up out of nowhere.
Not only that, the bread would be ruined if I didn’t cook it soon. I had spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove and it smelled amazing. I couldn’t even claim it was too hot to use the oven because we had a couple of those little window air conditioners chugging along like the Little Engine That Could, so the interior was pretty comfortable. The men settled themselves in the living room, except for Big Guy, who pulled out one of the stools at the kitchen bar, which was also our table. He sat down, leaning back against the wall comfortably, arms crossed in front of him.
He’d be able to watch me cook the whole time while still following the action in the living room.
I ran out to get the bread while Jeff turned on the TV. When I got back there was some kind of fighting on. Not wrestling this time, but real fighting in some sort of cage.
“Grab us some beers, sweet butt,” said the third guy, a dark-haired man with slightly pock-marked cheeks. I bit my lip. I really didn’t like being called that. Not only was it degrading, there was some sort of nasty implication in the way he said it. But Jeff glanced up at me and mouthed “please”, so I set down the bread, went to the fridge and pulled out four beers. They ignored me for the most part while I fixed dinner, except for my Big Guy. Every few minutes I’d look up to find him watching me, pensive. He didn’t smile, he didn’t talk to me, nothing. Just studied me, with special attention for my boobs (smaller than some but perkier than most) and ass (slightly larger than I’d like).
I grabbed a beer for myself, relaxing after a while and rolling with it. I supposed I should be indignant that he just sat there, blatantly checking me out, but it felt kind of good to have a man appreciate me.
It’d been a long time.
By the time I pulled the bread out of the oven the fight on TV had ended. I set out some hot pads for the pasta and sauce and grabbed the salad. The guys fell on the food like a bunch of starving animals.
“This is amazing,” the man with blue eyes said, as if seeing me as a person for the first time. He had strong, sculpted features and I decided he was pretty hot for an old guy. “You can really cook. My old lady used to cook like this.”
“Thanks,” I said, hoping I wasn’t blushing. This might go down as the oddest dinner party of my life, but I loved to cook for people who appreciated good food. In fact, during high school I’d planned on going to culinary school.
Thanks for nothing, Gary.
Big Guy didn’t say anything, but I noticed he took seconds and then thirds of everything. While they finished, I started cleaning up, but he reached across the bar and grabbed my arm.
“You might want to go for a drive,” he said, jerking his chin toward the door. “We’ve got business.”