“Church!” the guard by the back door yelled, beginning to come forward.
Grace reached for the book on the Church’s desk, picking it up as his hand slid down her butt, trying to wedge between her thighs. With the book in hand, Grace smacked the prisoner in the face with all her strength. His hands dropped as he grabbed his face while she continued beating him with it.
“You fucking bitch!” he yelled.
The guard moved her out of the way then quickly pulled Church out of his chair.
The struggle between the two men frightened Grace, but she remained calm when she saw the guard subdue Church. The other two guards then ran back into the room, watching while Church was dragged away.
“He doesn’t come back,” Grace said firmly to the guard.
He nodded, talking on his radio.
“Do you want to end the class for today?” he asked when he finished.
Grace looked at the clock. They still had an hour to go. “No.”
Gathering herself, she walked back to her desk. Ice was staring at her with a half-smile on his lips. She was proud of herself for not freaking out, and his surprised gaze showed he was, too.
She picked up her class notes and taught the next section of the lesson, not letting herself dwell on what had just happened. She was just relieved she wouldn’t have to deal with Church leering at her for the rest of the semester. Now, if she could only get her reaction to Ice under control, everything would be perfect.
* * *
“Did you see her smack the shit out of him with that book?” Buzzard laughed next to Ice after class. “I almost pissed myself I was laughing so hard.”
“She made an enemy out of him when she did it,” Jackal said, coming to stand next to Ice and Buzzard as they stood to the side where no one could hear them.
“Yes, she did. What punishment did they give him?” Ice asked.
“Solitary, I’m sure. He definitely won’t be returning for more lessons,” Jackal answered.
Fade joined the group. “Word is Church went ape-shit after they pulled him from the room. He’s in medical now.”
Ice gave a low whistle. “Our pretty little teacher made an enemy from Hell, and she doesn’t even know it.”
“Seems to me she handled him just fine,” Buzzard joked.
“Because she had a guard backing her up. What happens when he gets out?”
They went quiet, their amusement dying.
“Damn,” Fade said under his breath.
“The sick fuck thought she was actually attracted to him,” Ice said.
“I don’t think he’s the only one,” Buzzard said under his breath.
“You got something to say, spit it out,” Ice stiffened.
“I see the way you look at her. It’s no different from the way Church does. You want a new bitch to warm your bed, pick another one, not one who’s going to cause problems. I’m sick of this place.”
Ice didn’t lose his temper. He never lost his temper. That was how he had gotten his nickname—coldly and methodically making decisions, which would make another man hesitate.
“Since when have I ever made a bad decision for the club? She may be hot and I like looking, but that’s because I’m stuck staring at your ugly faces.” His cold voice lashed out like a whip.
Buzzard nodded, his hand running over his closely cropped head. “Sorry, Ice. I’m just getting stir-crazy.”
“We all are.” Ice didn’t relent, staring down the men facing him.
Only Jackal stayed behind as the other two moved away. “You okay?” he asked.
“Yes,” Ice snapped. “Have you gotten any info on her yet?”
“Just the basics. For the last few years, she’s worked at the college. I asked Rave to check her out, and it was all she could come up with until we get the report back from Henry.”
“He needs to hurry.”
“I passed along the urgency of the situation. Rave said she would make sure he understood we needed the information pronto. We do know she’s worked at the college for the last five years after she graduated from UT. She lives alone in a house she makes regular mortgage payments on. No credit cards. No bills. She only socializes with her boss and his fiancée, and her only friend is another teacher named CeCe Brown, who seems to be in a mess at work for fucking her students, which Grace doesn’t do. She hasn’t had a date or a boyfriend since she moved to town.”
“She on anyone’s booty list?”
“Not that Rave could find out,” Jackal answered.
“Why’s a beautiful woman like that living like a nun?”
“Don’t know. It seems strange to me, too. Maybe she’s fucking a man with a ring on his finger?”
Ice didn’t seem to think so. The woman’s attitude screamed uptight. She was so buttoned up that, if she didn’t wear skirts occasionally and have tits, he would think she was a man. She made no attempts to heighten her femininity, wearing no makeup and pinning her hair back in a tight bun. Maybe she just did it when she came to the prison, but Ice didn’t think so.