Viper (Scoundrels MC #1)(4)

By: Moira Callahan

“Where you going?”

“Over to the shop. I have to get that fucking beast up and running before Blackie gets back from Utah or I’ll be stuck listening to him whine like a little bitch. I’ll call when I hear something from the Black Swords.”

Grunting, Duke kept a watch on the other man until Viper slammed the door shut behind him and sent the glasses and bottles behind the bar rattling. One surefire way to get Viper’s back up: mention Krista to him. There was a story there and it was way past fucking time someone told him what it was. Viper had made his stance clear, which meant Duke needed to go at things from a different angle.

After ensuring the office door was locked, Duke settled behind his desk to make a call to his wife. If anyone actually knew what was going on, it would be her. While Krista was totally a daddy’s girl, Duke knew there were certain things he never heard about. Which he was fine with. There were some things he did not ever need to know about.

Twenty minutes later, he hung up no closer to having an answer. His lovely wife had no answers for him either, but planned to do her thing in order to find out. Duke had no doubts whatsoever she’d swing it. The woman should have been an interrogator. She could start a conversation about one completely benign topic and end up with what she wanted without the other person being any the wiser.

She had skills. But that was only one reason why he loved her. There were several others—but if he got thinking about those, he’d never get the paperwork done in time to make it home for dinner. No way in hell was he missing out on his old lady’s pot roast.

Chapter Two

Later that night, Viper glared at the bike that was perpetually giving him headaches. A few weeks back, Blackie had mentioned his ‘beast’ was acting odd. They’d poked around and found nothing to explain why it wasn’t running optimally. Viper had even taken it for a quick ride to see if he could feel out the issue. There had definitely been something up with it, but nothing he could pinpoint.

Then, two days before Blackie headed up to Utah for his oldest kid’s high school graduation, the bike had died. Straight up would not kick over. The fucking thing wouldn’t even make a peep. Viper had a way with bikes—and women, if he did say so himself—which meant when Blackie had headed out he’d left the beast in Viper’s tender, loving care. But right at that precise second, all Viper wanted to was get the big-ass pipe wrench out and beat the ever-loving fuck out of the machine.

His phone vibrated on the workbench and pulled his attention away from thoughts regarding how to mangle the beast permanently. He walked over and scooped it and his longneck bottle up. The name on the screen had him sighing and taking a long pull on the bottle before answering. “What?”

“I couldn’t reach Dad. I’m sorry. I need help.”

While Krista Richmond might not be his favorite person on the planet, he would never ignore a call for help from any club member or their family. “Where are you?” he asked. The bottle hit the workbench hard before he scooped up his keys. He tossed the rag from his back pocket onto his tools and waved over a prospect. When Viper gestured at the tools, the kid gave a nod and went to work packing everything away securely.

“By the Patterson house,” she said. Her voice was softer than before.

“Krista, are you safe?” he demanded. Slinging his leg over his bike, he hefted it into position and then slipped the Bluetooth device onto his ear. He pocketed the phone while sticking his brain bucket in place with his free hand, quickly fastening it under his chin a second later.

“I don’t know.” Her voice was now barely a whisper.

Viper cranked the engine over. “Stay with me, Krista. Keep talking if you can. If not, I want you to hit a button on the keypad every thirty seconds.” It would let him know she was still there even if she couldn’t talk. “Who is there with you?”

“I don’t know. I was coming back from Donny’s place dropping off the plate Mom made up for him. A tire blew and I pulled over. When I got out to take a look, I found the passenger-side tires shredded. It wasn’t a nail or anything. Shit,” she muttered.

“Krista, are you still there?” A beep sounded in his ear. “Good girl, turn the volume down on your phone. You don’t need them hearing the tone out there.” At that time of night and way the hell out there, easily two miles from town, sound travelled. Giving the bike more gas, Viper took back and side roads. He needed to get there fast, and without having the locals light him up. While they likely wouldn’t ding him, they would delay him. Unacceptable.