“What? And spoil the surprises?” She let her mocking smile slip to a serious expression. “Listen, I really don’t give a damn what was going down with your men. Just let me go. I’ll go home, and you’ll never hear from me again.”
“And I’m supposed to believe you?”
“Yeah, I haven’t been hurt. Why would I care about a dead biker?”
“Sorry, but that’s not going to work for me.” Hennessy eased his grip on her cheek. His touch became a caress as he trailed a calloused palm over her throat before covering the beating pulse at the base of her throat.
“Why not?” Penni had a sinking feeling she wasn’t going to like his answer.
He released her abruptly and stood next to Cruz. “Did you forget about Striker?”
Penni lowered her eyes. “What about him?”
“Don’t play games with me.” He angrily moved toward her again, but Cruz gripped his arm. Hennessy shook him off, taking several minutes to straighten his jacket.
Cruz gave her a warning nod of his to tread carefully with the man who seemed to have reached the end of his temper with her.
Penni turned to sit on the side of the bed. “I’m not playing. I told you I could recognize him.”
“See? You can help.” He brushed his leg up against hers, not letting her move away from him. “You help me, and then I can help you. If I don’t find Striker, the cartel I bought the drugs from will wipe out my club. So you can see the pussies from your brother’s pretend motorcycle club are the least of my problems.”
“What do you need me to do?” Penni asked, knowing she only needed to keep herself safe until Shade found her.
“I told you she was a smart girl, Cruz.” He kept his gaze directed on her. “All I need from you is to go for a ride.”
Seeing the surprise she made no effort to hide, Hennessy stepped back, giving her a reprieve from the forcefulness of his presence.
“It won’t be so bad. You might even have some fun.”
“You’ll let me go home when I show you Striker?”
She didn’t miss the sarcastic exchange between them that Hennessy and Cruz thought she was too stupid to recognize.
“It seems I don’t have a choice, do I?” She sighed.
“No, you don’t.”
Penni firmed her chin. She was determined to show him that he needed her until he could find Striker. “It seems we’re stuck with each other, then. I’m hungry.”
Both men were surprised at her sudden change of conversation.
“I thought you fed her.”
Cruz gave her an angry glare at Hennessy’s question. “She refused to eat, so I ate it for her.”
“I’m a vegetarian.”
“Go get her something else to eat,” Hennessy ordered then gave her a hard stare. “I have better things to do than send out my men on your errands. Next time, tell him what you want, or you’ll go hungry.”
Penni nodded, and then the men left the room without saying anything else to her.
Left alone, she was tempted to pick the lock, but she had already seen the man standing on the other side of the door when they had entered her room.
The room only held the bed and an adjoining bathroom. She had searched furtively through the drawers in the bathroom without success. There was no escape from the prison that she had been locked into. All odds of coming out unscathed were against her.
Penni did what she always did when she felt overwhelmed. Taking a deep breath, she gathered her worries into her hands then threw them out into the vastness of the cosmic wilderness. The situation she was facing seemed bleak, but Penni’s brother had faced insurmountable odds when he had been in the service. He had remained alive, not letting them steal his soul when so many men had returned without theirs. She couldn’t do any less. She was a survivor; it ran in their blood.
Penni remembered the name of the club printed on their vests. The Road Kingz didn’t know what was in store for them.
Jackal parked his motorcycle a few inches from the door of the Road Kingz’ clubhouse. One of the soldiers standing guard outside snapped to attention, his hand going behind his back. Not taking his eyes from Jackal, he opened the door and yelled out to someone inside the club.
Jackal tuned off his motor and waited expectantly for the shit to hit the fan. It didn’t take long before the front door was thrust open.
He lifted his hands in the air as the Road Kingz gathered in a show of force. Then Jackal carefully slid off his bike, making sure to keep his hands visible as he lowered them to his sides.
He searched the faces of the men threatening to attack any second.
“Hennessy? Since when do have to hide behind your men?” It might not have been a smart move to call him out, but Jackal didn’t have time to play the bullshit game with the rival club.