Jackal finished his whiskey before answering, “I had a date with Penni.” Jackal didn’t know which one burned worst: his pride or the whiskey. He wasn’t going to be able to downplay just how big a fool he had made of himself tonight.
“Grace told me Penni was out of town tonight.” Ice shifted away, his nostrils flaring at the rank smell stealing through the clubhouse.
Jackal’s mouth tightened as he reached for the whiskey bottle that Rave had set near for him. He hadn’t kept his interest in Penni a secret from the club.
“So I take it that you didn’t know?” Ice probed.
“That’s a fucking understatement.” Even when he had been the poorest in his high school class, the rich bitches had lined up to take him to the movies on a Friday night.
Ice poured more whiskey into his glass as the brothers gathered to listen.
“She stood me up. Penni told me to meet her at the back of her house. Not only was she not there, but her whole yard was covered in bees.”
Ice was the only one of his friends who didn’t try to hide the fact that he was laughing at him.
Jackal pushed Stump back toward Max when they began waving their hands in the air to dissipate the stink coming from his clothes.
“What did you say to her?”
“She’s not answering the phone.” Jackal grasped the glass in his hand to keep himself from smashing it against the wall.
“That’s some fucked up shit. He could have been hurt.” Rita wrapped her arm around his waist. Jackal kind of admired her for not showing an aversion to the odor fouling the surrounding air.
“Are you going to finally listen to me and quit chasing after that fruitcake?”
Jackal was aware Ice already knew the answer to his question because of the mocking sneer on his lips.
He stared down at his whiskey glass as Ice poured him another one. “I’m never afraid of a challenge.”
“Brother, she’s one bitch that you would be better off stepping back from. You’ve had a hard-on ever since you met her.” Max snorted. “It’s not like you have a chance with her, anyway. You would have to wear a bulletproof vest under your leather to fuck the girl.”
“I’m not worried about Shade. He’ll eventually get used to Penni being my old lady. Besides, he lives in Kentucky.”
“You keep telling yourself that.” Max shook his head, but Jackal didn’t give a shit.
“Penni and I will be good together. If I had never taken her hostage, we would have already been together. I didn’t expect her to hold a grudge against me for so fucking long.”
“You doing crack?” This time, Ice couldn’t hold back his amusement.
“You watch and see.” Jackal began to get angry at the men for laughing at him. “She’s attracted to me.” Jackal had seen the interest in her eyes during the road trip to Treepoint. Penni hadn’t been able to disguise it when they had returned to Queen City, either.
“I believe in you, Jackal.” Rita licked her lips, dropping her hand down to cup his ass.
Ice rolled his eyes. “You never did explain why you smell like dog shit.”
“Had to jump into the neighbor’s yard, and the son of a bitch had two guard dogs.”
Now Ice couldn’t hold in the laughter. “The only way that fruitcake becomes your old lady is hell freezing over.”
Jackal hated to admit it, but he was finally going to have to agree with Ice. He tugged the hair surrounding his face.
Was it his face? Did she find the scar on his cheek repulsive? Were Max and the rest of the brothers right? Was he just wasting his time?
“I need a shower. Want to party, Rave?” Jackal’s voice rose so she could hear him from the other end of the bar.
Rave covered the bottom half of her face as she heaved at the thought. “Sorry, Jackal. Another night?”
The club wouldn’t let him forget anytime soon that his pride had taken a hit. A big hit.
As an enforcer in a club the size of the Predators’, his reputation not only reflected on himself, but on Ice for picking him. An enforcer who wasn’t feared became a liability.
“I’ll party with you, Jackal,” Rita spoke up, ignoring the brothers’ laughter.
Jackal’s eyebrows rose. He hadn’t fucked Rita since she had landed on Ice’s shit list.
“I’ll even wash your back for you,” she offered.
“Why not? Give me enough time to get most of the stench off before coming to my room.”
“I’ve got some shower gel that will get rid the smell right off. I’ll run to my room and meet you there.”
Any humor on Ice’s face evaporated as Rita darted toward her bedroom. “You’re better off waiting for Penni to get back and smacking her ass.”
Jackal shook his head. “Rita is a raving bitch, but I can handle that. What I’m tired of is Penni chasing after every man in Queen City who wears an expensive suit and turning that snobby nose up at me.”