How To Debauch A Biker

By: Daire St. Denis

Chapter One



My name’s Tessa Savage, and although I believe in monogamy—for the grey wolf—it sure as hell doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried. Let’s just say it was a failed experiment, a story for another time.

Now I live my life according to my natural instincts, embracing the lifestyle of ninety-seven percent of all other mammals—you know, the ninety-seven percent who are polyamorous.

I’ve never been happier.

Except today. Today I’m a little…apprehensive.

Considering the many places I’ve been in my life, you’d think a little joint like the Whiskey Jacks Saloon in Laughlin Nevada wouldn’t faze me. For instance, last month I was in Monte Carlo, playing baccarat at a table surrounded by tuxedos, evening gowns, and diamonds. Although Laughlin is another gambling town, it’s half a world away, both literally and figuratively, and instead of evening wear I’m knee deep in denim and leather, facial hair and tattoos. It’s not that I felt more comfortable in Monte Carlo, I just felt less conspicuous.

It all started when I parked my rental cherry-red convertible amid a sea of motorcycles outside—one of these things is definitely not like the others—and continued when I walked in. Apparently a single, smallish female sitting at a carved up wooden table, drinking a whiskey sour—alone—is an anomaly. There’s a Coors Light sign blinking above my head which feels like a neon arrow pointing down at me, drawing attention to me. Something I’m not very fond of. I prefer to blend in and ‘people watch’ from the shadows. I’ve only been here an hour and already I’ve turned down a couple of drinks and more than a few suggestive looks. Maybe the leather skirt wasn’t a good idea, but I thought it’d help me fit in.

Wrong.

So instead of observing the place as per my plan, I sip my drink and keep to myself, listening to the sounds of the video slots and tending to business emails while I wait for my steak sandwich and onion rings to arrive. If not for the fact I’m here to do a job, I would have up and left half an hour ago. Actually, I suppose I’m here more as a favor than a job. A good friend of mine, Wade Messing, asked me to come down this way to check out an investment opportunity. Believe it or not, eating and drinking and eavesdropping on the table behind me—a bunch of dudes talking about the upcoming River Run Motorcycle Rally here in Laughlin—is all part of the job.

My stomach growls and I check the time on my cell. I’ve been waiting forty-five minutes for my food to arrive. While eavesdropping is entertaining, it doesn’t satisfy the hunger pangs. Where’s my server? Craning my neck, I hazard a glance around the bar. With cherry-red hair piled on top of her head, short skirt, cowboy boots and white crop top, the pin-up girl look-a-like should have been easy to pick out in the crowd of leather vested men, but I don’t see her anywhere.

Just as I get up and make my way to the bar to ask, the barometric pressure in the whole place drops. I have no idea what could cause such a disturbance in the atmosphere and I’m compelled to turn around.

In the entrance stands the biggest damn biker I’ve ever seen. He takes in the surroundings like some gunslinger from an old Western, sizing up his rivals. He’s wearing faded denim and a white t-shirt that barely stretches across the expanse of his chest, shades cover his eyes and a Sick Boy skull cap is pulled low on his brow. Light brown curls peek out from beneath the black cap, totally incongruous to the rest of him; the ink covering his arms, and the impossible size of him. He moves forward, the heels of his boots thudding against the wooden floor, and in my mind, the sound is accompanied by the ching, ching, of spurs. His entrance is even more dramatic because of a slight limp, which only adds to the stranger’s mystique.

The crowd parts, whether because they know him and are afraid of him or simply because of his aura of supreme maleness that says get the hell out of my way. As he nears the bar, I’m able to make out his expression, or rather, the lack thereof. Because of the shades, I certainly can’t read his eyes or even tell where he’s looking. The rest of his face is a granite slab of non-emotions: wide jaw, patrician nose, full lips framed by a close-cropped goatee. The man is neither smiling nor frowning. He just is.

The flesh on my arms tingles with goose bumps.

Damn. Who the hell is this dude?

He gives the bartender a half-nod, just an upward movement of his chin, like the full upward/downward motion is for ordinary folk, like me.

“Where’s Sue?” Road roughened gravel, that’s how his voice sounds, which is no surprise when you consider the huge chest it rumbles around inside of before making an exit.

“In the back.”

He’s no more than a few feet from me and I catch the words Sick for Life inked on his right forearm. I try not to stare, but as you can imagine, I am not very successful. Not that he pays any attention to me. The big biker disappears behind the bar and I’m left with my overly active curiosity piqued. I’m thinking he’s the boyfriend of the lush red-headed server, but I don’t get much chance to wonder before the bartender, a young bald dude with tattoos covering every inch of his bare arms and neck, asks me what I want.

I mention where I was sitting and how long I’ve been waiting for my food.

“Give me a second. I’ll go check on your order.”

Instead of going back to my table, I wait right there at the bar and in a few minutes the bartender is back with a platter—not a plate, a platter—of food that’s enough to feed a table of four. My God, I spin the dish closer, I think I’ve got half a cow carved up on my plate.

“Sorry about that,” the guy says, dropping a set of cutlery on the bar. “The girl who was waiting on you is having a crisis.”

“No problem.”

The guy grins at me and I notice he’s missing a tooth, which gives his smile a sweet sort of lopsided look. Sweet? Seriously? The juxtaposition of the words, “I’m sorry,” coming out of the mouth of a guy who looks like an MMA fighter, someone who could crush me with a look, is startling.

“You need anything else?” he asks.

“No. I’m good. Thanks.” I smile back.

He grins again and moves on to help someone else. Okay, I admit it. I’m a shit. The reason I’ve felt so uneasy is because I’ve bought into the stereotype of bikers being a bunch of badass gangsters.

Bad, Tessa. Bad.

For someone who advocates non-judgement, I haven’t fared very well today. With a sigh of self-disappointment, I take a bite of my steak, enjoying the flavor. Pretty damn good food for a biker bar.

There I go again. What the hell do I know about biker bars? It’s not like I frequent the places. I take another bite and swivel in my seat while I chew, scanning the room, determined to see the place and the patrons through fresh eyes. There are pool tables in one corner, one of which is in use, a small stage in the opposite corner, a row of video slots, all occupied, and about twenty tables of various sizes, about a third taken. No one is staring at me. No one is scowling at me. And I’m not the only woman in the place. The truth is, no one’s paying me any attention…okay, maybe there’s one guy who’s eyeballing me like I’m a candy cane: lickable, suckable, snap-able. I narrow my gaze and wag my finger at him, the same response I’d give anyone ogling me like that. He laughs and nudges his buddy with an elbow. I turn back to my food with a smile, having proved my theory. People are people, no matter what they look like, what kind of chrome they ride or don’t ride, and no matter how much ink they’ve got adorning their skin.

Speaking of ink, the big dude returns from the back of the bar, and he’s got his tattoo-covered arm around the red-head who’s sniffling and looking frazzled. She is absolutely tiny beneath his tree-trunk of a bicep.

“Go do what you need to do,” he says.

I’m wondering if he thinks he’s using his quiet, inside voice. If so, he’s wrong. He’s got one of those voices that carry, and now that I’m feeling more comfortable, nosy, nose Tessa can’t help but take in the interaction.

“We’ll take care of things here.” He kisses the top of her head.

She hugs him in return. “Thanks, I owe you.”

The girl hurries out the front door and the big dude slides in behind the bar. “I’ll tend,” he says to the younger guy. “Take care of the floor.”

I go back to eating my food, pretending I’m not spying on the big bartender as he pours drinks and makes his way down the bar toward me.

“What can I get you, sweetheart?”

Now normally being called ‘sweetheart’ by a complete stranger irks me. But when a big badass calls me ‘sweetheart’ with a whisky-soaked drawl that rumbles across the bar like a Harley over a wooden bridge, I like it, regardless of political correctness.

“Whiskey sour, please.” I figure I’ll stick with the same drink, and speaking of whiskey…wow! Now that his shades are perched on the rim of his cap, I get a glimpse and whiskey is the exact color of his eyes. Liquid gold with flecks of brown—like his thoughts aren’t completely pure—framed by dark lashes and set in a tanned, wind roughened face.

Divine.

I get a flash of something naughty, him looking at me with those dirty eyes, his big hands on my body, making me feel tiny and feminine, whispering, “Let me show you how I like it.”

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