Stand Off (Predators MC 2) - Page 15

“I don’t want you working there, either.” Renee’s tear-filled eyes stared down the table at her. Once upon a time, those tears would have effectively had her doing what Renee wanted, but those days were long past. Those crocodile tears were more for Mugg’s benefit than any real concern for her daughter. The spare money she had made the short time she had worked there would ease a tiny amount of the financial pressure Renee had put on her that had been gradually escalating.

“It’s only for six more days,” Casey stated resolutely.

Ignoring Max’s glare, she stood up. “I’m going to get some more pizza.” Escaping the table, she went back to the food bar, carefully choosing from the selection before returning to the table. Thankfully, Mugg had begun opening his presents.

Renee had given him a new wallet. He then opened his grandchildren’s who had each drawn him pictures, and one had even made him an ashtray. He opened Max’s next, pulling out the new saddlebags that would go on his bike. Mugg thanked him before opening the one from her.

He slit the envelope open, staring down at the card in his hand. His eyes rose to meet hers.

“I don’t understand—” Mugg began, but Casey cut him off.

“Your bike is a piece of crap. The owner of Fast Mike’s comes in the bank, and he gave me a discount. You can go the store tomorrow and pick out a new bike. I’ve already paid for it. Just don’t go crazy and pick the most expensive one in the store,” Casey said jokingly.

“I can’t accept—”

“It’s already paid for, no money back. That bike you’re riding is a death trap.”

There was silence at the table, even from the children.

Mugg stared down at the card, clearing his throat. “In that case, I guess I got myself a new bike.” Mugg motioned to the waitress. “Bring us another pitcher of beer. We’re celebrating tonight!”

While everyone gradually began talking again, she avoided the stare Max gave her. Instead, Casey awkwardly accepted her mother’s hug while Mugg grinned, refilling his glass with beer.

“I knew the day I married your mother it was a smart move. I caught a good woman and a daughter.” He winked at her.

She blushed, lowering her eyes, her throat tight. Casey hoped he would always think so, but knew if their marriage came to a crashing end, Mugg treating her as a daughter would end.

She finished her slice of pizza and watched as Mugg cut up his cake. Afterward, she stood.

“I better be going. I have to be at work early in the morning.”

Mugg and her mother both hugged her.

“Thanks, Casey.” She smiled at Mugg’s gruff voice.

“You’re welcome.”

“I’ll walk you outside.” Max’s voice from behind had her stiffening, but she didn’t protest. Whatever he wanted to get off his chest would be better said out of earshot of her mother and stepfather.

Max followed her out to the parking lot, silent as she unlocked her car.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were getting him a new bike? Is that the reason you were working the extra job?”

Casey remained silent.

“If you had told me, I would have pitched in. Why didn’t you?”

Casey didn’t look at Max. “Because I didn’t want to put any pressure on you financially. I imagine paying child support to four different women can’t be easy.”

Max stiffened. “I’m not poor. I could have chipped in. Of course, I don’t get paid the big bucks like you do,” he stated harshly.

Casey jerked at his comment, hiding the hurt his curt words had inflicted.

“Well, it doesn’t matter now, does it? I’ve already bought the bike. Bye, Max.” Casey swung open her car door, getting inside.

“Casey, I’m—”

She slammed the car door closed, not wanting to hear anything else the burly man had to say. She started her car, driving away with him standing and watching.

Everyone thought Max was sweet and good-natured. She knew the truth; she was a good judge of character. There was a lethal darkness in Max.

She hadn’t told him about getting his dad a new bike because it was the first step in bringing down the Predators. She had been planning on giving the bike to Mugg for the last year, long before she had realized she could use it to her advantage.

She wanted to stay far away from Max and the Predators. Everyone in the large city was well aware, if you dealt with them, you were either their prey or their victim. She didn’t want to think about when they discovered the table had been turned on them.

* * *

Max stared at the disappearing taillights. As he turned to go back inside the restaurant, his eyes were caught by Mugg’s bike. Fuck, it was almost as old as he was. He and Renee had been talking about doing some road trips, but the condition of his bike had put them off. He had let his guilty conscience make him snap at Casey, because he should have stepped up and taken care of the problem himself. He had a dozen bikes at his disposal that were extras the club used, and Ice made sure they were kept in good condition. All he would have had to do was mention Mugg needed a new bike, and Ice would have given him one. He hadn’t, though. Casey, on the other hand, had seen the problem and fixed it by working extra shifts and another job that could have gotten her killed.

Tags: Jamie Begley Predators MC Erotic
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