“I’ll take a Café Mistro,” Penni placed her order, reaching into her wallet to pull out her money.
“I have it.” A ten-dollar bill passed in front of her toward the waiting cashier.
Penni snatched the money out of the cashier’s hand and handed it back to the man she absolutely loathed with every fiber of her being.
“Thanks, but I can pay for myself,” Penni snapped at Jackal.
The enforcer for the Predators MC narrowed his eyes at her angrily, but Penni refused to be afraid of his intimidating glare.
Determined to ignore him, she handed the cashier the money to pay for her coffee then moved to the side to wait for her order.
“I was only trying to be nice.” Jackal shook his head at the cashier, who took his order, before moving to stand next to Penni.
Penni rolled her eyes. “Your idea of nice and mine differ. You can pretend to be nice all you want, but I know you’re an asshole, remember?” She knew the enforcer hated it when she reminded him of the time he had kidnapped her, holding her hostage until The Last Riders had returned one of the Predators who had been taken prisoner. She had been forced to spend several days alone with Jackal on the road from Queen City to Treepoint, Kentucky. The jerk had made the swap for one of the Predators in front of both clubs.
“How long are you going to hold that against me?”
“Um … let me think a minute … until Hell freezes over.”
Jackal’s lips tightened at her sarcasm. “You’re not even giving me a chance.”
“No, I’m not. You’re a freaking caveman, manhandling me every opportunity you get; you kiss Ice’s ass; and every man, woman, and child in Queen City is afraid of you.”
“No, I’m not afraid of you.” Penni moved sideways, trying to distance herself from the biker.
His scarred face, which could never be described as handsome even by his mother, became even angrier, only to be smoothed out and replaced by a twisted smile that Penni assumed was his attempt at being charming.
Her name was called, so moving forward, she took her coffee from the busy waitress. When she turned to leave, she found Jackal standing in her way.
“That’s good, because I don’t want you afraid of me. You should come out with me sometime, give me a chance to show you that we could have some fun together.”
Penni almost choked on her sip of coffee. “Some fun together? You mean, riding around town on your motorcycle then going back to your room at the clubhouse for a night filled with sex? That kind of fun?”
He had the audacity to shrug. “Sounds fun to me.”
“I would rather become a nun than have sex with you.”
Penni stepped around him and was two steps away from him when she heard his snide comment.
“You don’t have to be such a fucking bitch.”
Fury coursed through her bloodstream. She hated the B-word. Whenever men didn’t like something a woman had to say, it always seemed to fly right out of their mouths.
Deliberately pasting a seductive smile on her lips, she turned back toward him. “I’ll tell you what, Jackal,” she purred, which warned him she was up to something. “I’m busy tonight, but tomorrow night, I’ll leave my backdoor unlocked. If you can make it, I’m all yours.”
Jackal’s eyes narrowed on her, wondering what the catch was. “You serious?”
“Oh, yes, I’m deadly serious.” She masked her aversion to him, stepping closer. Then she placed a kiss on the corner of his mouth, letting her tongue flick out briefly before quickly withdrawing.
“Why not the front door?”
“I don’t want my neighbors to know I’m dating the most feared man in Queen City.” She fed his already overblown ego, knowing he couldn’t resist.
Penni almost rolled her eyes again. Men’s egos were their weakest spot and a woman’s greatest weapon.
“Any time after six.”
She was leaving for the next Mouth2Mouth concert at five, so that gave her plenty of time to be far from home before he arrived.
“I’ll be there.” Jackal gave her another twisted smile, holding the door open for her.
Penni’s conscious kicked in as she headed toward her car, which hadn’t been parked at the curb when she had entered, nor had the other two bikers who were waiting on Jackal with his bike.
“Dammit,” Penni swore. She couldn’t do it. She couldn’t send a man deliberately to his death, no matter how much she detested him. She needed to learn to control her temper, mentally throwing her antagonism into the wind.
She was about to go back and tell Jackal she had been joking when her cell phone rang. Juggling her coffee and purse, she grabbed her cell phone from the depths of the huge bag, hearing the motorcycles roar to life behind her.
“What’s up, Grace?”
“The executive officer of the arena in California called, Erick Dunaway … He said he didn’t receive the signed contracts you faxed to him, and if he doesn’t have them in ten minutes, he’s rebooking.”