Viper (Scoundrels MC #1)(9)

By: Moira Callahan

“Do they have anything yet?”

“Not yet, but they only just got here. James will keep us updated. We’re going to go to the clubhouse and lockdown.”

Her nod rubbed her hair against his skin. “Makes sense,” she said. Her voice sounded hollow and completely unlike her.

After standing, he pulled her up, and tugged the blanket from around her. He handed it off to a deputy and led her toward his bike. “Bender, alert everyone we’re going into lockdown at the club. I want everyone inside in the next hour. No exceptions.”

“You got it, Viper.”

Viper strapped the helmet back on Krista’s head, and then dug into a saddlebag for his jacket. He got her into it and climbed on his bike before helping her to settle behind him. Two minutes later, they were heading toward town. He veered off at the half-mile marker to take the back road to the clubhouse. The Scoundrels’ clubhouse sat right along the town’s border. Outside officially to keep the townsfolk happy, but close enough to helpful if warranted.

He stopped inside the fence and looked to the prospect on duty. Viper told him what was happening and made sure the kid understood he had to account for everyone that came through the gate. Without Duke there, Bones was next in charge, but Viper was stepping up for the moment until the other man could arrive to deal with things.

Once he’d backed the bike into his slot, Viper slung his leg over the side and shut the engine off. Krista threw her leg over the bike to stand next to him and began to remove the helmet. He took it from her and set it on the seat, grasped her hand in his, and led her inside.

A couple prospects and several sweetbutts were hanging around. “We’re going into lockdown. You have one hour to make sure we’re ready. Tanzy, Leta, I want you two to hit up the store for anything we’ll need to feed everyone for the next week. Rosie and Cameo, start getting the alert out to all family members. Unless they are over an hour away, I want them inside these walls. Move,” he ordered.

When everyone got busy with their tasks, Viper led Krista upstairs and to his room at the club. Only six members had steady rooms at the clubhouse. Duke, Bones, Viper, Kip, Angel, and Blackie. There were two other guest rooms for when a member had had too much to drink and needed a place to crash for the night. Downstairs were bunk rooms where the prospects or sweetbutts occasionally slept when not draped over furniture in the main room.

He pushed the door shut behind him and helped Krista take off his jacket. A light hand on her back guided her to the bathroom. “Grab a shower,” he told her. “I’ll get you something to wear.”

“Nothing from the girls,” she said.

He knew she hated the club pussy that hung around there. Not the girls, per se, but what they represented. “I will get you a shirt and shorts from my closet,” he promised. Gently, he stroked a hand over her hair. “Shower. I’ll leave them on the vanity and I won’t even peek.”

Her lips twitched, but no smile. It was close, though. “Thank you.”

He gave a quick jerk of his head and drew the door shut between them. He collected the items and left them where he’d said he would. “I’ll be downstairs but I’ll check on you in a bit. If you need me, come find me.” He got a non-committal response that had him frowning. If he’d had more time, he would have pushed her, but they were running on a clock.

Leaving her to finish cleaning up, he got to work. When he was busy, it was easy to not think about her naked and wet in his bathroom. Or that she was soon to be wrapped up in his favorite t-shirt.

Then there was the one thought that had his jeans growing tight around his groin: Krista Richmond, bane of his existence and star of too many dreams to count, would soon be in his bed. Fucking hell, he needed to get laid.

Chapter Five

Krista woke feeling comfortable, safe, and warm. Upon opening an eye, she couldn’t immediately place where she was. The scent tickling her nose jogged her memory, and it all came flooding back in a rush. Her parents were missing and possibly injured, or worse. The clubhouse was in full lockdown, and Viper was playing guardian angel to her.

Slowly, she inched her head around until she could see from her periphery who her personal heater was. It was no surprise to find Viper lying there curled around her back. A glance down showed he was fully dressed and on top of the comforter covering his bed while she was snuggled underneath. Licking her lips, Krista tried to figure out how to get loose from the hold he had on her. She really needed to use the bathroom but would feel bad if she woke him.

It took a while and her bladder was damn well screaming at her, but eventually she slipped free to make a mad dash into the bathroom. Once she’d relieved herself, she looked for a brush to tame her blonde hair back down. She hadn’t had a tie with her, otherwise she would have braided it for sleeping. Finding a comb, she glared at it before setting to work on the tangles. While doing that, she scrounged around for a toothbrush and found an unopened one stuffed at the back of a drawer like it had been carelessly tossed in and forgotten.