Bared:Dirty Cruisers MC(2)

By: Brook Wilder

Carla rolled her eyes at Elle’s words, focusing her bright blue gaze on her own dark brown. “I’ll have you know that from here on out, I’m going straight.” She leaned forward, whispering conspiratorially, “and so is Joel.”

Elle’s brows raised in surprise, “Really?”

“Yeah, you know I’ve bought out that bastard Maurice and took over the farm?” Carla barely waited for Elle’s nod to continue, “Well, now that I am the new official owner of Honey Bud farms, I offered Joel and the Dirty Cruisers a position as a…silent partner, we’ll say.”

“What does that mean?” Elle asked. She remembered how Joel fronted most of the funds for Carla to buy the farm. She hadn’t seen much of the records and files, but enough to know that the farm turned a tidy profit, and Joel had realized it.

“Well, it’s much more profitable and much less dangerous to sell marijuana legally. He just…” Carla paused, looking around and lowering her voice once more, “Joel’s worried about how the rest of the club will take it. They’re used to a certain lifestyle and going straight isn’t really part of any of their plans. He hopes that once the money starts coming in from this year’s crops it will be enough to quiet any complaints.”

“Does he expect trouble?” Elle asked worriedly, and Carla just shrugged, grinning once more.

“Joel’s the president now. His word is law. No one would go against him.”

“If you say so,” Elle said slowly, then looked up at her friend once more, “Are you sure about this Carla? This whole business is what got you into trouble last year. It almost got you killed.”

“I know,” her friend said thoughtfully, pausing for a moment as she looked back over her shoulder at the handsome dark haired, gray eyed man who was laughing and joking in the middle of a circle of his fellow crew, “but it also brought me Joel.” When Carla looked back, Elle could see the raw emotion and love shining from her blue eyes and for a brief moment felt a stab of jealousy before she pushed it viciously away.

“I’m happy for you, Carla. I really am,” Elle said, forcing herself to mean the words, “I just…I worry about you.”

“You worry about everything,” Carla snorted giving her another quick hug, “Now go. Have fun. Enjoy the party.”

“Not likely,” Elle whispered under her breath but it was too late for her friend to hear. Carla was already gone, lost amongst the crowd to reappear a moment later next to Joel’s side. Elle watched them for a moment, as Joel turned, smiling down at Carla with pure tenderness in his silvery gray eyes as he pulled her close. She cleared her throat, looking away, feeling…uncomfortable. That’s it. That’s it all it was. Just uncomfortable. Certainly, it wasn’t jealousy once more raising its ugly head.

With a sigh, she turned in a random direction, hoping to find a quiet corner where she could hide until enough time had passed that she would go, and quiet place that would ease the tightness in her chest. The tightness that only grew as she had to push her way through the rough, heavily drinking bikers.

She nearly cursed out loud when she finally shoved her way into an opening, only to find herself standing in front of the old, worn wooden bar and the last person in the entire world that she wanted to see.

Honey. What the hell kind of nickname was that anyways, especially for someone as tall, and muscular and covered in tattoos as the Dirty Cruiser’s resident bartender was. And handsome. Don’t forget handsome.

Elle shook off the thought, trying to ignore it but that didn’t make it any less true. With his wavy, glossy auburn hair and melting, chocolate brown eyes he had a way of charming everybody. Well, everybody but her. She could see straight through his shameless flirting, and she certainly wasn’t going to fall for his tricks.

It’s a little late for that, isn’t it? She really did growl under her breath, once more ignoring that small, sly voice, and resolutely turned around, hoping to escape without being noticed but it really was too late for that.

“Elle!” His voice, low and rumbling and intimate sounding even in the middle of the crowded party, “Elle, wait!”

She took a deep breath, her name on his lips sounding like, well…honey to her ears. And that just annoyed her even more. With a long suffering sigh, she steeled herself, then turned around. Elle Watson was a lot of things, but cowardly wasn’t one of them. And she wasn’t about to let him think he had the power to chase her away.