Traffic isn’t bad on the highway now that the sun is starting to set, so it doesn’t take long to get home. I pull my car into the garage and then try to decide what frozen dinner I’ll be making tonight. They all suck, but I have to watch my weight or people will start asking me on Facebook if I’m pregnant.
God, sometimes I wonder if being in the spotlight is worth the trouble.
The first stop is my bedroom where I change into a pair of blue pajama pants and a white tank top, relieved to take off my bra. Then, I head back to the kitchen to pop my calorie-controlled meal into the microwave and then grab a bottle of wine from the pantry to celebrate my successful interview with myself.
When I turn around and come face to face with a bearded man sitting as still as a statue at my counter, I scream so loudly I temporarily go deaf.
And like an idiot, my fingers lose the grip on the bottle of wine. My one and only weapon at this moment falls to the floor and shatters on the tile.
“Hi, Sasha,” the man says calmly. Running his hand over his beard, he says, “You need to get better locks.”
Standing there frozen, all I can do is stare at him. Automatic bodily functions like breathing have ceased to exist. And I’m utterly speechless as to why this random man would be sitting in my house like he’s a welcome guest.
“Fuck!” he exclaims before he suddenly jumps up and starts around the counter toward me. He’s even bigger when he’s standing, well over six feet tall with thick, tattooed arms and a massive chest that makes me certain he could easily snap me in half. “You’re gonna cut your feet on the glass,” he says in his deep, grumbly voice as he reaches for me.
“S-stay the fuck away from me!” I warn him when my voice decides to work again as I start walking backward.
“Stop moving!” he shouts before softening his voice. “You’re standing on glass, sweetheart. I shouldn’t have snuck in, but I didn’t exactly think you would invite me in if I came to the front door.”
His voice is familiar, especially the term of endearment. And then there are his eyes that are a soft green like ferns, that aren’t looking at me maliciously but with affection.
“Chase?” I ask aloud.
“Oh, fuck. You just now recognized me? Wow. Okay. Sorry,” he says, running his hand over the beard again and stroking it several times like it’s a nervous habit. “Guess I do look a little different with the beard, huh?”
“What the fuck are you doing in my house? How did you get in here?” I demand as my chest heaves up and down in fear, shock, and anger at him standing here in my kitchen, talking to me so normally, like he never fucking destroyed me.
God, I had forgotten how gorgeous Sasha was in person. The camera lens doesn’t do her any justice. Although, I do miss the point of her chin and nose from before they were altered with surgery because of the accident. I really hate that my phone with all the pictures of her on it was crushed that night, leaving me with nothing but my memories of the old Sasha from my past.
And she doesn’t seem nearly as glad to see me as I am to see her.
“You need better locks,” I tell her again when she asks how I got in. “The back door was a piece of cake with a credit card. You need, like, deadbolts and chains and shit. Something to at least slow a burglar down while you grab a gun.”
“What?” she asks, her voice shaking. “You…you’re standing here, in my kitchen, talking about how easy it was to break into my house?” Her face begins to turn red with fury. “What I need is to not have some asshole barging in without my consent! And you…you of all people have some nerve coming here!”
“Slow down, sweetheart,” I tell her. “This visit isn’t about us or the past.”
“Oh really?” she asks, crossing her arms over her chest. My eyes are drawn to where her nipples are poking through her top clear as a bell, because she’s not wearing a bra.
“Can we go talk in the living room where we’re not stepping on glass?” I ask, gesturing down at her bare feet that are standing in puddles of red wine with shards of glass just inches away from cutting her up.
“No!” she exclaims. “We don’t need to talk! You need to get the fuck out of my house!” she yells before she turns toward the sink and grabs some paper towels.
“At least let me clean this mess up since it was my fault,” I tell her.
“No. I’ll clean up while you show yourself out,” Sasha huffs. Squatting down with the whole roll and giving me a clear view right down her top, she starts spreading the towels out to try and soak up the red wine. The fact that it looks like blood covering her feet and hands sends me right back to the night of the wreck.
Shaking my head to clear those thoughts, I tell her, “Look, I just came by to tell you that you need to keep your nose out of that shit that went down the other day.”
Pausing in her cleanup, she leaves the towels alone and stands up straight. “It was you, wasn’t it? You caused that wreck. You killed a man!”
I fucking hate how her blue eyes look wary of me, seeing me as the bad guy I am, rather than the man she once loved.
“You don’t need to worry about that. This is some dangerous shit, Sasha,” I warn her.
She crosses her arms over her chest again and says, “I can’t believe you and the Savage Kings are dealing the meth that’s killing people. You should be ashamed of yourself, Chase Fury!”
“What?” I say in surprise. “We’re not dealing shit. The Kings are trying to keep it out of our city.”
“Don’t lie to me, okay? You are dealing, and I have proof.”
“What proof? What do you know?” I ask. “Tell me everything you’ve found out, then I want you to leave this shit alone and go back to reporting about the sand castle competitions, or what the fuck ever fluff pieces.”
“Hector Cruz is the meth kingpin for the whole east coast, and I’m pretty sure that those guys you shot at…that guy you killed, worked for him. There’s also the photos I have of Torin meeting with Hector…"
“Bullshit,” I say since I don’t believe that for a second. The only drug the MC deals in is weed, and soon that shit will be legal. We have a hard and fast rule about not touching any of the hard stuff.
“Really, Chase? I tell you I have photos, and you still think I’m lying?”
“No, I didn’t say you were lying,” I clarify. Fuck, I love hearing her say my name again, more than I should. “You’re misinformed or got the wrong guy. You’ve never even met Torin.”
“You’re right. Maybe it was one of the other presidents of the Savage Kings. We all make mistakes. So, how about I get my phone and show you the photos to let you see for yourself?”
“Yes, let me see them so I can tell you that you’re wrong,” I tell her, having no doubts that she is mistaken on this.
“Even Jade admitted it was Torin. She said she was going to talk to him about it,” Sasha informs me.
Motherfucker. I guess Torin left that part out of our meeting.
“Go get the phone,” I snap at her, because I can’t fucking take her standing in all this glass any longer while throwing around accusations about my brother. My brother, the former Army corporal who lives and breathes being on the right side of the law whenever fucking possible. But if it was a Savage King meeting with Hector, the club needs to know who, so we can beat his ass into the ground for breaking one of our rules.
“Wow, you’ve really upped the asshole attitude over the years,” Sasha says with a shake of her blonde head before she tiptoes out of the kitchen and disappears down a hallway.