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Chas’s Fervor(4)

By:Chiah Wilder

“Wait, Jack, you forgot your book for tomorrow.” Addie started after him when a strong arm pulled her back. Startled, she lost her footing and fell back against something hard and solid. Whirling around, she stared into the chiseled face of Jack’s father. “Oh,” was all she could muster.

“I’ll take the book and give it to him. Does he have to read it for tomorrow?” he asked in a gravelly baritone.

“What? Oh, yeah—I mean, no—I mean, he has to read some of it.” She turned away before he saw her cheeks flushing a bright red. She hated her fair skin because it revealed every emotion she was feeling.

A deep chuckle rose from the depths of his throat. “I didn’t mean to make you nervous, but I like that you are bothered by me.”

“You didn’t make me nervous, nor am I bothered by you. I’m tired because I had to wait for an errant parent to pick up his son.” With her back to him, she went over to the reading table to gather the strewn books she’d have to re-shelve before she left.

A large hand grasped her fleshy arm like a vise. “Don’t ever fuckin’ call me an errant parent again. What the shit do you know about me? Also, don’t chew me out in front of my son again.” Flashing eyes scanned her taut face. “And I don’t give a shit if you are his teacher. You wanna say something to me, say it when he’s not around. You got that?”

His scorching hand on her skin unnerved her, and tiny shivers traveled from her stomach to her inner thighs. Mad at herself for her body’s response, she jerked her arm out of his grasp and faced him. “Don’t bully me. I’m not in the mood to debate your family situation. I felt sorry for Jack because he was so forlorn and didn’t think anyone was going to pick him up. My anger for that is probably misdirected at you. Please, in the future, make sure either you or your wife is on time to pick up Jack.”

“It’s my ex, and apology accepted, teach.”

“I’ve had a long day, and I have to straighten up before I close the library. It was nice meeting you.”

Skimming her body with his eyes, Chas looked at her, took her hand, shook it, and said, “It was nice meeting you.” He leaned in close and whispered, “You look pretty when you’re embarrassed.” Then he winked at her and swaggered away, shrugging on his leather jacket.

With her hand still burning from where he’d touched it, Addie looked at his retreating back and noticed his leather jacket had the words Insurgents on the top and Colorado on the bottom, and an emblem of a skull next to two smoking pistols in the middle. When he turned sideways to exit through the glass doors, she saw the diamond 1%er patch and a skull with the number 13 underneath. Throwing her a half-smile, he walked out of the library.

Addie watched him leave. She had no idea Jack’s father belonged to the Insurgents Motorcycle Club. A person couldn’t live in Pinewood Springs and not know the Insurgents were an outlaw biker club who didn’t mess around if someone got in their face. Yeah, Jack’s dad is a real badass, and from the minute he walked in, I was a bundle of nerves. What the fuck?

Mad at herself for acting like a sixteen-year-old girl, Addie absentmindedly touched the spot on her arm where Chas’s hand had just been. The thrill that coursed through her body when he touched her, left her craving for more. Never had she been so drawn to any one person as she was to Chas. Even though she knew she was entering the danger zone, she wanted to see him again. What’s my problem? He’s just a good-looking man with a helluva lot of sex appeal. A chick magnet, that’s all.

The loud rumble of an engine jerked her from her thoughts. When she gazed out the window, she saw Chas straddling a big-ass Harley, the streetlights bouncing off its chrome, and Jack snuggled behind him wearing a safety belt and helmet. The iron horse jumped forward, then roared into the traffic. Leaning against the windowsill, Addie watched them until they disappeared. I have to stay away from Jack’s dad; otherwise, I’ll be so screwed.

She always went for the bad boys, and her poor parents had had their hands full when she was in high school. Trying to cure herself of the bad boy syndrome, she’d accepted Ian’s invitation to dinner after she’d met him at a friend’s party in her last year of college. Thinking he was the kind of guy she needed to take care of her, she was happy to tell her parents she had met a responsible man who was the CEO of Minecorp—one of the largest gold companies in the world.

Shaking her head, she snorted at the irony of her life. Ian turned out to be way worse than a bad boy. A calculated killer who murdered for profit, Ian had destroyed her life, and put her on the run from the law and him.