Rough rider 3 bad boy mc.., p.3
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       Rough Rider 3: Bad Boy MC Romance (Fast Life), p.3

           K.N. Lee
 
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  “Wait, wait, wait a minute. I used to what?” I tried to take her hand and explain what happened, but she shook me off.

  “Don’t touch me!” she snarled.

  “You don’t understand…Sabina twisted things up. She gave you half the story.”

  “Oh, there’s more?”

  “I didn’t mean that,” I said, exasperated.

  I tried to take a deep breath. “What I meant was, she told you a half-truth. This is what I wanted to talk to you about today. I wanted to confess everything. I thought it would be too much for you to handle last night, after everything that happened with your dad.”

  “Do me a favor. Don’t assume what I can and can’t handle.”

  “Fine. You wanna sit down so I can tell you my side of the story? The truth? Otherwise, if you’re hell bent on believing Sabina, whatever. You can leave.”

  I watched her reaction. She wanted to leave, to make a big scene and hurt me like she was hurting. But knowing the truth…from me, was more important.

  She sat down. I breathed a sigh of relief and sat down next to her.

  “I did know Angela. We met at a party. I thought she was a sweet, nice girl. Innocent. She didn’t belong there, just like I knew you didn’t belong there when I met you.”

  Trinity nodded. Her chin was trembling.

  “I introduced her to Drake that night.”

  I hated saying it. The words were sour in my mouth. Would I ever stop feeling guilty?

  “She had a huge crush on him. It was obvious. I don’t understand why... but she did. They started dating and we all would hang out sometimes. It was fun. She was different…I could talk to her.”

  Trinity let out a small whimper. I had to stop talking about Angela…it was killing her.

  “Anyway, after a while, I never saw her again. I didn’t think much of it since Drake doesn’t do long-term relationships real well. I assumed she got tired of his bullshit and dumped him. I didn’t think about her again until I saw her picture on your nightstand. That’s the truth.”

  “So you didn’t hook up with her like that girl said?”

  “God, no. Sabina…it’s complicated. She has a thing for me…but I don’t have one for her.”

  I couldn’t believe she would be so nasty to Trinity. That wasn’t the girl I knew.

  But what was that saying…about a woman scorned? I guessed if she were hurt badly enough, she would do anything to get back at me.

  “Why didn’t you tell me before now? Why did you want to wait until today?”

  I could tell she believed me, and I owed her the truth. This was the worst part.

  I took a deep breath. “Because I’m afraid Drake might be involved.”

  She gasped, her hands flying to her mouth. “What? Oh, my God.”

  “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. But…I mean, like I said, Drake is…he’s a weird guy when it comes to women. You don’t know how many times since you told me Angela died that I’ve wished I never introduced them. It’s been tearing me up inside.”

  “Your best friend? You really think he could do this?” She looked heartbroken.

  “I wanted to talk to him first, before I told you anything. I met up with him last night. Before I went to your house.”

  “What did he say? Did you find out anything?”

  I hated to disappoint her. “No. He didn’t give me anything. Just some story about Angela wanting to be an actress. He told me he thought she moved to LA.”

  “No! She never wanted to be an actress. What kind of bullshit story is that?” Trinity asked, shaking her head.

  “I know. That’s what first got me thinking. I thought you would have said something about it when you told me about her. So I started watching him. It was so obvious he was lying. Even if he didn’t do it, I think he’s hiding something. I think he knows who did.”

  I watched Trinity’s face. She was taking it all in, processing it.

  I could only hope she wouldn’t do anything drastic, now that she knew.

  Chapter 5 - Trinity

  After hearing the entire story, I felt terrible for having slapped him.

  “I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m the worst. I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions like that.”

  “I get it.” He shrugged. “You didn’t know any better. You hardly know me. And besides, after last night…well, you have a reason to question me. It’s all right.”

  “It’s not all right, no. You’re one of the only people I can count on, and I can’t keep pushing you away. I’d have nothing without you.”

  He smiled and touched my face. Then, a wicked gleam came to his eye.

  “Fine. You’ll have to pay for it, later. If it makes you feel better.”

  I shivered a little. “How would I do that?”

  He only grinned and my heartbeat quickened. Yes, I needed him to punish me.

  Then, my mood shifted. I couldn’t think about sex with Tyler, tempting though it was, with everything else on my mind.

  Angela deserved better.

  “Do you really think it was Drake?” I asked.

  I held his hand in mine, stroking his knuckles with my thumb. I didn’t want to look at his face. I felt bad for even asking the question, but I needed to know.

  “Honestly? Shit, I don’t know. I hate to say it. I wish I could say no, and leave it at that. I can’t, though, because I just don’t know. He’s lying about something. Do I think he’s capable? Yeah, probably. There’s a lot of shit going on in his head. It’s just so fucking hard to think of him doing it. Especially to Angela.”

  He took a deep breath, and I thought he might have been a little more emotional than he wanted me to know. I kept my eyes downcast to give him a little privacy.

  “Either way, he knows something. I’m sure of it.”

  “Then I want to talk to him.” I looked Tyler in the eye.

  His face looked pale, but I might have been imagining it. “No way.”

  “Why not? What, do you think he’ll hurt me, too?”

  “It’s not even that. You can’t just walk up to a guy and be like ‘Hey, did you kill somebody?’ Obviously, they’ll say no. And if they are the killer, and they’re dangerous enough to do something like that, you definitely don’t want to let them know you know. Right?”

  I sighed. “Right. Of course.”

  “You have to be a little more patient. We’ll figure it out. Together.”

  “Together? Really?”

  “Of course. You don’t think I’d let you go through this alone, do you?”

  My eyes filled with tears. “Thank you. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.”

  He smiled and touched my face. Something about the way he did that, like I was the most precious thing in the world, turned me to jelly.

  When he leaned in toward me, there was nothing for me to do but to meet him.

  The first touch of his lips on mine was magic, like it always was. Something immediately sparked between us.

  He overtook me, slowly, with sensuous kisses that rocked me to my core. His lips were firm but soft. His tongue darted in and out of my mouth, teasing me.

  I moaned softly, taking his head in my hands. I ran them through his hair, then pulled him closer to me to crush our mouths together.

  His hand trailed slowly over me, down my throat, to my breasts, to my hips. He pulled them toward his own, grinding us together.

  I gasped when I felt his hard, throbbing bulge against me. I needed him, and jerked my hips toward him to let him know how much.

  Then there was a noise, and we flew apart. I had almost forgotten about Gigi.

  So had Tyler. “Hey, you. What are you doing out of bed?”

  He was breathless and flustered. It warmed my heart, the way he lit up around her. Even when he had a raging hard-on and had been interrupted.

  She ran across the room, jumping into his lap. He groaned and shifted her weight off his sensitive area. I giggled quietly.

  “You have a lot of energy for so
mebody who’s sick,” he murmured, stroking her golden curls as she snuggled against him. “How are you feeling?”

  “A little better,” she said, in the sweetest little voice I’d ever heard. That cute way little kids talk always killed me. Better became bed-uh.

  “Really? That’s great. Did you get any sleep?”

  She held her thumb and forefinger an inch apart. “That much.”

  “That’s not much. Why did you get out of bed?”

  “I’m hungry,” she said as she leaned her head on his chest.

  I knew she wanted to ask me questions, but she was too shy. I smiled at her. Slowly, she smiled back at me.

  “Gigi, this is Trinity,” Tyler said. “She’s my friend.”

  “Hi, Trinity,” she whispered.

  “Hi, Gigi,” I whispered back.

  She whispered something in Tyler’s ear, and from the way he smiled I knew it was something sweet. He looked down at her, and I heard him mumble.

  “Why don’t you tell her that yourself?”

  She looked at me. “You’re so beautiful, like an angel.”

  I could have cried, she was so sweet. “And you’re as cute as a princess. I love your beautiful hair.”

  She giggled. “Tyler says it’s a pain in the—”

  “Ahh! Nope. You don’t get to say that word,” he said, then gave me a sheepish smile. “It kinda is. You should see how tangled it gets.”

  I shook my head and rolled my eyes.

  “Boys just don’t get it. Don’t worry, Gigi. I can help you get the tangles out, no problem. Don’t listen to this wise guy.” I jerked a thumb at Tyler, and Gigi giggled again.

  I heard a stomach rumble, and it wasn’t a little girl’s stomach. “Shoot. I haven’t eaten yet today, either,” Tyler said.

  “I’ll make you both something.” I stood up. “So you can get in some time together.”

  “You’re sure?”

  “No sweat.”

  I went to the kitchen. It was about as empty as the rest of the apartment, but it was clean.

  I could tell he did his best. There was no shortage of toys in the living room, and Gigi sure looked well-fed and clean. And he adored her…that much was obvious.

  I opened the fridge and looked around the cabinets. I heard the two of them laughing together in the living room, and a little pang of hurt sang out in my chest.

  I missed my sister. It was amazing, the random things that made me think of her.

  Tyler and Gigi hardly had the sort of relationship I’d had with Angela, but the way he took care of her reminded me of the way I tried to do the same for my sister.

  In minutes, there was a platter of French toast cooked up, and a side of caramelized bananas.

  “Come in and eat!” I called out, setting plates around the kitchen table.

  When Tyler came in, his eyes bulged. “We had the ingredients for this?” he asked.

  I smirked. “Obviously!”

  “I would never have thought to make this. The fanciest I ever get is omelets.” He shrugged.

  I poured Gigi a glass of milk, and we settled in to eat.

  It was nice, the three of us together like that. Tyler was endlessly patient, waiting while Gigi cut her slice into perfect little pieces.

  She didn’t want any help, and I could see that he wanted to take the little plastic fork and knife and get it done quickly.

  He didn’t, though. He waited with a smile. I was so deeply grateful that I got to see another side of him.

  “Trinity, are you a chef? Like in a restaurant?” Gigi asked over a mouthful of bananas.

  “No, sweetie. I just like to cook. I cook for myself at home, every day.”

  “You have to teach Tyler,” she advised, very solemnly. “He burns eggs.”

  “I do not burn eggs! Okay, I burned them one time. Once! That was it!” He shook his head, exasperated.

  When we finished, I took the plates to the sink while Tyler cleaned Gigi’s face. “Okay. Back to bed with you,” he said, picking her up.

  “I’m not sleepy!”

  “But you’re sick, and when you’re sick, it’s important to get rest.”

  “Trinity, come with us?” she asked.

  I couldn’t refuse, so I followed them to the bedroom.

  If I hadn’t known already how much he adored her, I would have known by the time I first saw Gigi’s room.

  It was all pink and frilly, filled with dolls and stuffed animals. He must have spent every extra dollar he had on her.

  He tucked her in. “I promise, I’ll take you to the park when you’re all better. Okay?”

  “Okay.” He kissed her, and we left the room.

  “She likes you,” he said, as we walked into the living room.

  “I like her too,” I said, smiling.

  I sat on the couch, feeling better than I had in days. It was such a sweet, unexpected experience.

  Something about being with a little kid centered me, somehow. They had a refreshing take on life. It was nice to tap into that and forget the darkness in my life.

  But it wouldn’t stay forgotten for long. I turned to Tyler when he sat down beside me.

  “There’s something my dad said last night on my mind. He treated like a juvenile offender. What’s that all about?”

  He grimaced. “I really wish it was possible to leave that shit down. But not when you have a cop with a hard-on for you, who won’t let you forget it.”

  My cheeks flushed at the reference, and I felt guilty for bringing it up.

  But he continued. “It wasn’t even serious. I stole food and clothes.”

  “I’m so sorry.” I felt even worse, then, for bringing it up.

  He shrugged.

  “Me and Gigi, we don’t have the same dad. My dad died a long time ago. Hers split right after she was born. Our mom died in a car accident not long after that. Even before though, she went right back to her old ways once Gigi came. Drinking and partying. She cooled it when she was pregnant, thank God, but like three days after she got home with the baby, she was back out there.”

  He went silent for a while, staring at the wall across from where we sat.

  “I had to learn how to take care of her, you know? Still, at least Mom was home during the day. Most of the time. But we didn’t have any money. She never had a job. I was seventeen, just about to turn eighteen. I was still a juvenile. I had stolen before, but never got caught. The same stuff. Food and clothes. When I was growing up, I never had anything that fit. You know? Everything got too small, too fast. And we didn’t have the money to buy new things every three or four months. So I had to take things, just to have clothes on my back.”

  “That’s terrible.”

  “But then, it became even more important. I had to steal for Gigi, too. And that was when they caught me. I guess I was taking too many things, I don’t know, or I was too desperate. I wasn’t thinking clearly, either way. So I got arrested.”

  “For something so obviously necessary? It wasn’t like you stole a car!”

  “Theft is theft. My record was expunged when I turned eighteen.”

  It was all so sad, and so pointless at the same time. This was what my father was going on about? His juvenile record of stealing food and clothes so he and his baby sister could survive?

  I felt even more disgust for my father. Sure, he raced bikes. So get on his case for that, not for trying to survive.

  I felt so sorry for Tyler. He’d had a hard life, raising himself and his baby sister.

  I wondered what sort of person he might have grown up to be if he hadn’t grown up so fast.

  Chapter 6 - Tyler

  It was another week until the next race came up. I had managed to get the school to wait on tuition, and if I didn’t win, I didn’t know what I’d do.

  There was always public school, but the one in our district was a shithole. I went there when I was a kid and even back then, it was more like a prison than a school.

  Things had gotten
even worse since then. It seemed like every week there was a kid bringing drugs to school by accident. One kid brought in a gun for show-and-tell. The older kids were always fighting.

  No way I’d let Gigi go to a school like that. I wanted her to be around better people, so I paid for private school. It was worth every penny. I just needed to get the pennies.

  My bike was in good shape, all repaired after the crash at the last race. It hadn’t been too bad—I knew I was lucky.

  Trinity told me she’d be there to cheer me on. It was nice, knowing somebody cared enough to do that.

  Especially knowing what I knew now about how her dad felt about it. She’d never spoken about him again, not since that night in the kitchen.

  She had been to my apartment three times since that first visit. Gigi was totally mesmerized by her.

  She could cook, she could read books and even make different voices for the characters. She played games for hours on end and taught her new songs.

  I had a feeling Trinity needed it as much as my sister did. She had a lot of love to give, and nobody to give it to since Angela was gone.

  She’d be meeting me at the race. She was bringing Maggie with her, too. I made her promise not to go through with the plan where Maggie pretended to be into Drake.

  Now that we thought Drake had something to do with Angela’s death, she wouldn’t let Maggie anywhere near him.

  I looked around when I got to the field. The party was already raging. I said hi to people when they came up to me, but I was always looking for Drake.

  I hadn’t seen him since that night at the diner. He was ducking me, but he wasn’t too scared to spread shit on me to Sabina. I hadn’t talked much with her, either.

  She still babysat, but when I got home, she left right away. No chitchat, no awkwardness. I was fine with that.

  I was talking to one of the guys who handled the betting for the race, when I noticed Trinity out of the corner of my eye.

  She looked amazing, like always. Boots, a knee-length dress, cropped jacket. Now that I knew what she had going on under those clothes it was harder to stop looking at her.

  Funny, I thought it would be the other way around.

  She came over with who I assumed was Maggie. She was cute, with curly hair and a big smile. I would have hit on her if I met her before I knew Trinity, no question.

 
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