“Because Jackal looked like he was about to go after Jayce if I didn’t.”
“So you did it to protect your lame ex-boyfriend?”
“Jayce isn’t lame,” Casey snapped.
“If he’s afraid of spiders, he’s lame.” Max gazed down at the empty table. “If you’re done, I’ll help you load the table.”
Casey began breaking down the table with Max’s help. When it was folded closed, he followed her to her car, placing it in the trunk.
“You’re welcome. Let’s go listen to the music.” He took her hand, tugging her along behind him.
“Wait, I was going home.”
“It’s Saturday night, so you don’t have to work tomorrow. Let’s have some fun,” he told her, brushing her objections aside. He stopped at the back of the crowd, listening to Kaden Cross, and placed an arm around her waist, situating her in front of him so she could get a better view.
Max sensed her wariness.
“Relax, enjoy the show.” The anger he had first felt toward Casey after finding out she had played him had lessened in the last week. Something didn’t sit right, though he couldn’t place his finger on what it was. The motive behind her actions was still a concern, but until she trusted him, he would be no closer to an explanation.
It took several minutes before he felt her give him her weight. Then she began swaying to the music.
Kaden started a new song which had the crowd becoming more boisterous. Three men who were trying to pick up women around them kept brushing up against Casey. The first time they did it, he let it slide, giving them the benefit of doubt that it could have been an accident. The second time, he called them on their maneuver.
Reaching out, he shoved the largest of the group away. “Rub against her again, and I’ll break your fucking hand.”
“You threatening me?”
“Yeah, you going to do anything about it?”
“Me and my buddies don’t like to be threatened!” The belligerent man was standing with a cup of sloshing beer.
“Watch it!” Max moved Casey to his side so it wouldn’t spill on her.
“Can I get you a drink?” The asshole actually thought he was going to steal Casey away from him. Max didn’t like men who only found courage when drunk, and he sure as shit didn’t want him flirting with a woman who was his.
Max’s fist flew out, slamming into the grin that was aimed at Casey. He was satisfied when he saw the punk fall backward into the crowd.
“Fuck!” One of his friends threw his beer down onto the ground before lunging toward him. Max pushed Casey to the side then kicked the man in the nuts before he could take another step.
“Max, stop!” Casey clutched his arm, but his anger screamed at him to attack the men who had disrespected him.
“I’m giving you a chance to get the hell out of here. Stay and I’m going to kick all your asses.” Max gave each of them a glare, letting them know he was ready to take them all on, either one at a time or together.
The men scurried away into the crowd.
“Are you crazy? What were you thinking, trying to take them all on at once by yourself? None of the Predators are around to back you up.”
Although Max laughed at her frightened expression, some of the hurt she had done to his pride was soothed at the thought that she might care whether he was hurt or not.
“I don’t need anyone to help me. I am the back up.”
The fuckers weren’t even practice for him. Max was willing to bet his last dime that none of those pricks had ever been in a cutthroat fight.
He pulled her back in front of him as the music swelled. “I’m fine; those fuckers are fine.”
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Are you afraid of spiders?”
Max had to harden himself against her teasing, wanting to pick her up and toss her onto his bike then spend the night fucking her. He wanted to punch himself for still being attracted to her. He steeled himself against the feelings she was stirring inside of him. He was determined to play the same game with her that she had him.
“No, but snakes scare the shit out of me.”
Casey smiled up at him.
Taking advantage of her guard being down, Max slid a hand behind her neck then lowered his mouth to hers.
He felt her brief hesitation until his tongue parted her lips and thrust inside her warm mouth. Max groaned, liking the taste of her and the way she tentatively responded to him before going to her toes, giving him more than he expected. He parted her mouth wider, taking all she was giving him, their tongues dueling as their bodies pressed closer to each other. His hand went to her ass, pressing her against his cock.