Viper (Scoundrels MC #1)(5)

By: Moira Callahan

Another beep sounded in his ear. “I hear you. Keep breathing nice and easy. I’m on my way.” Clearing the houses, Viper gave his bike more juice, the surge sending muted pleasure coursing through his veins. Even with her in danger, he couldn’t stop the reaction to the freedom he felt when riding.

Once he was outside the town’s limits, he went the fastest he could while keeping control. He knew each road and trail like the back of his hand. But nature had a way to even out the odds. No way was he going to crash because a rabbit had leaped into his path. He’d never live it down. Another beep sounded in his ear.

The next two miles sped past under his wheels. He slowed when he caught a glimpse of a vehicle, quickly identifying it as Krista’s Jeep. Slowing more, he made the turn onto Patterson’s land and revved the engine up. They would hear him coming, but maybe that would be enough.

“They’re leaving,” Krista told him. “Is that you?”

“It’s me,” he said. After pulling up to the house, he dropped the kickstand, and swung off the bike. The .45 he preferred was in his hand the instant he cleared the seat. He swept it slowly over the yard before calling out to her.

Viper ended the call and slipped his Bluetooth earpiece into a pocket while keeping a wary eye on the dark grounds around the Patterson house. Relief coursed through him when Krista came jogging his way. She was pale and visibly shaken, but unharmed. It was pure instinct to wrap his arm around her shoulders, tugging her in close to his body while he kept slowly circling to see everything he could. “Are you okay?”

“I think so.”

Her arms had slipped around his waist to hold on tight. She was squeezing him hard enough he could feel the fine tremors running through her body.

“We’re going to lock up your Jeep, and then I’m getting you to your parents. I’ll call the shop to have the prospects come out and collect your ride.” He felt her nod against his chest. After putting the .45 away, he unbuckled the helmet from his head and stuck it on hers. Viper tightened the straps to ensure it stayed in place. While he would risk his life without thought, he wouldn’t a passenger’s—ever.

He urged her toward his bike, and she reluctantly let go long enough for him to climb on. The moment she was on the back, Krista wrapped her arms around him tight again, her body flush against his. “Where’s your cut?”

Shocked by her question, he looked down. He didn’t have it on. Holy shit. He’d left it at the shop he’d been in such a rush to get to her. Never before had he ever left his cut behind for any reason. “At the shop,” he muttered. Shaking his head, he got the engine going and then pulled away from the house.

After they’d secured her Jeep and Viper had put in the call to the shop, he tried Duke again. No answer. Odd for the man who never left his phone more than a foot from his side. They could be asleep, but Viper didn’t think that was the case. With everything currently going on, there was no way Duke wouldn’t answer a call, especially from a member.

He pointed the bike toward Duke and Nadine’s place, winding along the back roads while Krista held on. Halfway there, the shivering stopped and he felt her rest her head to his shoulder. “Don’t go falling asleep back there.”

“I won’t.” He wasn’t exactly convinced, given that she sounded partway there already.

Ten minutes later, they pulled into the drive leading to her parents’ house. Viper pulled to a stop and stared at the house. Every room was lit up. His gut clenched in warning; something was wrong. He dug out his phone and put in a call to Marcus ‘Bones’ Harcourt, the club’s VP. “Bones, are you at Duke’s?”

“No, man. I’m sitting on my fat ass at my place watching a movie. Why?”

Shit, not good. “The place is lit up right now.” Bones let out a curse. He knew that wasn’t normal. After dinner, Duke always went through the place shutting lights off and leaving only the back section, and the light in the stairwell to the basement, on. If anyone hung around after the weekly dinner, they would sit out back on the deck, or in the kitchen. Viper’s gut was practically screaming now.

“Call the others. Get out here,” Viper said.

“Already moving, brother. Wait for us.”

Yeah, like that’s going to happen. Viper didn’t bother answering since Bones knew him well enough to know Viper wouldn’t be sitting on his ass twiddling his fucking thumbs for the troops to arrive. It wasn’t in his nature.

“What’s going on?”