Shade's Fall

Page 16


“I have no idea.” Lily could tell that he knew perfectly well what was going on, but he wasn’t going to tell on his friend.
Lily looked at her sister.
“Men,” was Beth’s only answer, rolling her eyes at their strange behavior.
* * *
Lily didn’t have to worry about eating lunch with Shade the next day--he wasn’t working. It was the first time since she had begun to work at the factory that he hadn’t been there.
In his place, Rider ran the factory that day with his easy, good humor.
Evie brought her a tray of food, which she ate at the picnic table by herself while Rider went to the house for lunch.
As soon as the door closed behind him, Georgia’s whole demeanor changed. Lily couldn’t help thinking, once again, that the woman was not nice. Her intimidation had turned to a new low; she had begun to manipulate the schedule, giving those that weren’t in her favor less hours.
Lily really was still looking for the best in Georgia, but she wasn’t making it easy. She was short and curvy; however, her grumpy appearance made her unattractive until one of The Last Riders was in the factory, then she lit up like a sparkler.
At the end of the day, with still no Shade, Lily drove home, strangely let down from not doing her workout with him.
* * *
Joker inserted the nozzle into his bike’s tank, keeping a wary eye out as Dale filled his own tank on the opposite side of the pump. When he finished, he got back on his bike, impatiently waiting.
“Hurry up. I want to be at Jake’s before it gets dark. That turn-off is hard enough to see in the daylight.”
Dale hung the nozzle back up, screwing the lid back on his tank. “Are you sure that nobody is going to think to look for us at your cousin’s house?”
“No, I never mentioned him. I never took Crazy Bitch to meet him because he lives at the top of the fucking mountain and she hates heights. She would have pissed herself looking off the side of the road.”
His cousin lived on Black Mountain in a home that had been passed down for generations. No one would find them there. They would hide out with Jake and his wife until the law gave up looking for them.
They had decided to miss their court date and make a run for it when their lawyer said they weren’t going to get out of the charges. Too many witnesses.
If those fuckers hadn’t shown up when they had, there would have been no witnesses left alive to say shit. He had every intention of killing every one of those bitches, even that dark-haired, pretty one. It wasn’t his fault she had been stupid enough to hang out with his ex.
He started his motor, pulling back onto the curvy mountainous road. Dale was slightly ahead of him, going around a sharp curve, when he heard the shot. His bike spun out and Joker barely managed to slow his bike as Dale’s front tire exploded, sending his bike spinning. His scream as he hit the guardrail raised the bile in Joker’s throat as Dale went flying over the mountain’s edge.

Before he could bring his own speed down, he heard another shot. He didn’t even have time to scream as he felt a warm wetness between his thighs. Joker desperately tried to control his bike as his front wheel exploded. His bike hit the guardrail, the force flinging him from his bike as he followed Dale over the side of the mountain, into everlasting darkness.
* * *
Lily didn’t know what to expect the next day, and she definitely didn’t want to examine the feelings of relief she felt when Shade was there when she arrived. She got busy and managed to get several orders completed before lunch.
When he called her name, she didn’t complain to herself; she merely went to his office and tried not to notice the hateful look on Georgia’s face. Lily couldn’t understand why the woman disliked her so much.
Shade closed the door after she entered, going to sit at the chair beside his desk where he handed her the chicken salad.
“Thanks, Shade.”
As Lily ate, she noticed that he was staying awfully quiet.
“You look tired today,” Lily broached.
“Late night.”
“Oh.” Lily took another bite of her food, playing with it for several minutes, the silence tearing on her nerves.
“Are you mad at me for something?” Lily was angry at herself for caring.
Lily should know by now not to ask Shade a question she didn’t want to hear the answer to.
Shade gave her an angry glare, leaning back in his seat. “Why do you think?”
“Because I talked to those bikers?”
“You know better than being friendly with bikers like that. Remember the first time you saw us at the lake? You were petrified, yet you sashayed your ass right up to their table.”
Lily winced at his description and then tried to explain. “Because I wasn’t scared of them. I knew you were there.”
Shade’s expression changed. He wasn’t exactly less angry, but he did seem somewhat mollified by her explanation.
“They’ve left town, but if they come back, stay away from them.” Shade gave her the warning in a cold voice.
“I will,” Lily promised.
She discovered that she didn’t want Shade angry with her, though the biggest reason was that she knew Beth could be placed in a difficult position. She would never place Beth in a situation of having to choose the club over her.
Lily got up from the desk, her appetite completely gone. Placing her plate on the tray, she turned the doorknob, about to leave his office with feelings of guilt and anger that her small gesture of gratitude to the other bikers had caused such upheaval.
“Lily.” She turned back to face Shade. “Don’t ever touch Viper or one of the other men again.”
Lily felt a chill go down her back. Without glancing back or giving a word in reply, her hand twisted the knob and she went through hurriedly, closing it behind her. That was one remark she wasn’t going to touch. She was smart enough to know that she didn’t want to hear anything else he said when it came to that order.
* * *
That afternoon, Shade spent his time walking the floor, managing the huge number of orders. She was forced to watch Georgia flirt and gush over him, which didn’t bother her. What did, however, was when Kaley came into the factory with Rider and Train. She was wearing a pair of shorts that made Lily blush and a swimsuit top showing her large breasts. Evie and Bliss were at the door as they tried to convince Shade to go swimming with them.
Lily expected him to go. What man in his right mind would refuse to go with a bunch of attractive women instead of staying cooped up in a factory for the rest of the afternoon?
He stayed, and that was when Lily came to the conclusion that maybe Georgia and he were becoming closer. Lily’s hand snapped the rubber band several times as the thought struck her throughout the afternoon.
“You ready?” Shade spoke from behind her.
Lily jumped. “What for?”
“To work out.” Shade looked at her strangely.
“I didn’t bring my bag. I didn’t know if you would be gone again today.”
“I left a message for Georgia to tell you that I was out of town yesterday and I would be back today.”
“I guess she forgot.”
Shade didn’t seem convinced, but he went on to say, “It doesn’t matter. Winter always keeps extra outfits in her locker. You can have one of hers. You need a new one anyway.”