Shy moved to him and took the seat beside him to his left, where he sat at meetings, a position he'd earned fast because he was smart, loyal to his brothers, and loyal to the Chaos family.
"Tab's friendly," he said.
Tab was Tack's daughter, the girl Shy had earned the hard way.
And Shy was right. Tabby was friendly and usually open to recruiting new sisters into her crew.
Tack looked at his brother and son-in-law.
"See if she's recruiting."
Tack looked at the door.
"Gone for her."
That was Shy. He was talking about Joker.
He would know. He had the love of a good woman, gave that back.
Tack knew too. He had the same.
He looked back to Shy. "Before shit went down, he was set on icing her out."
Shy held his eyes.
"Different cold wind blew, she got that call."
Shy didn't say a word.
"He doesn't keep his shit, Shy, he'll fuck things for her. And he doesn't open his eyes and see butterflies, he'll fuck things for him."
"I'll get on it with Rush."
Shy nodded, pushed out of his chair and rounded the table behind Tack.
Tack watched the door close on him.
Then he let the thoughts in.
They didn't need this shit.
They were at war. They were currently in détente, but that could change in a blink. Benito Valenzuela had a plan, he wanted Chaos turf, and he wasn't going to sit on his hands for long.
They didn't need his shit.
What's it mean, get on your knees?
They were gonna take on this shit.
"Fuck," he muttered, put his hands to the arms of his chair and folded out.
He had a woman and boys to feed, TV to watch, a wife to fuck, and sleep to sleep.
That was where his head was at.
Tomorrow, he'd see.
Tasted as Good on His Tongue
THERE WAS NO ring. Just cement and a throng of bystanders who got out of way whenever the fighters got too close.
Bare feet. Bare chest. Bare knuckles.
Joker hit him with a right hook but knew even before he threw the punch the guy would take it and go down.
With a jarring thud, he did.
The crowd roared.
Joker just stood there, staring down at him, taking deep breaths and flexing his fingers.
There was no referee. There was just a promoter, a sleaze named Monk who had a legal business running a local nightclub. But for this business he took bets and had a few of his bruisers act as crowd control and bouncers, ousting anyone who showed who didn't lay down a bet.
So he waited until Monk wandered toward him, grabbed his hand, and lifted it.
The crowd again roared.
Joker tore his hand from Monk's, not liking the little weasel touching him, and he turned away.
He didn't look to the cinderblock wall, where he knew Rush and Shy were leaning, watching the action through the crowd. His brothers knew he fought underground. Rush and Shy weren't the first to come and watch him. Hound was at nearly every fight.
No. He looked to the girl he'd clocked earlier, jerked his head, and she grinned huge, immediately moving toward the door.
Then he walked to his shit, tugged on his tee, socks, and boots and grabbed his cut. He went to Monk's boy and got his pay. He shoved the envelope in his back pocket, shrugged on his jacket, and after that, enduring claps on the back, bumps to his arms and ignoring anyone who tried to stop him, he pushed to the door and out of it
Up the steps and into the alley.
She was at his bike.
They wouldn't have company. He was one of the last fights of the night, but everyone stayed until the end. There was blood to be drawn. Sweat to be leaked. Money to be won. Or lost. No one would leave.
Even if there was, he didn't give a shit. And she was a fighter groupie, she wouldn't either.
"Hey," she whispered when he got near and she shifted closer to his bike.
He let his lip curl and grunted. "Wall."
She looked disappointed but he didn't give a fuck.
She might have been disappointed but she moved right to the brick wall of the alley.
She stopped, facing him. Joker jerked his head once in a no.
He watched her face change when she understood him, not disappointment, far from it.
Then she turned to face the wall, putting her hands up to it.
He moved in behind her and yanked up her short jean skirt.
He looked down at her bare ass.
He didn't know that's the way she played it, but the girl she was, he could guess.
Carissa wouldn't go commando. Not ever.
He put Carissa out of his head and gave the girl the absolute minimum of what she needed to get her ready. He heard her greedy moan when he was done doing that and kicked her feet further apart.
She tipped her ass.
He unzipped, freed his cock, expertly dealt with the condom he pulled out of his pocket, drove in, and fucked her against the wall, barely touching her, just enough to send her over the edge.
He pushed her there with her making a lot of noise, especially when she took the fall.
Joker didn't make noise, not even when he planted himself to the root and shot hard.
And that was the only time he gave her something, but he did it because he couldn't stop it. Bending his neck to rest his forehead on her shoulder as the release of coming followed on the heels of the release of beating the shit out of someone.
He rushed his recovery, pulled out, yanked her skirt down, and growled, "Get gone."
She turned to him, wanting more.
They always wanted more.
She took in his face, his tone, nodded, and rushed away.
Leaving the spent condom in the alley, not doubting for a minute it joined others of its kind, Joker went to his bike. Then he rode to the Compound.
It wasn't a surprise when he went in that Rush was sitting at the bar, Shy behind it. He'd seen their bikes outside before he walked in.
Unlike Joker, Rush had his own place, didn't stay at the Compound often, usually only after a party. Shy had a sweet crib with Tab, and Shy just had Tab, so unless Tabby was with him, he never took a bed in the Compound.
He also knew Tack had set them on him. Both had seen him fight, neither of them came often, but they were there that night for a different reason.
They were in the Compound right then for that same reason.
Shy took the bottle of tequila that was in front of him, poured a shot, and sent the glass skidding down the bar toward Joker. Joker nabbed it, shot it, and even if he didn't want to, moved to his brothers.