Home > Wreck & Ruin

Wreck & Ruin
Author: Emma Slate

Chapter 1



“Can I get your number?” the frat guy wearing a blue and white checkered shirt asked.

“Sorry,” I said, shooting him an insincere smile. “I don’t give out my number to customers.”

The red-cheeked kid leaned over the bar and said, “I drive a BMW.”

“I’m really more of an Audi girl.”

He blinked at my response and then smiled. “You’re funny. I like funny.”

Shelly snorted from somewhere behind me.

“I can get you into the best clubs in Dallas,” he said, trying again.

“But we’re in Waco,” I reminded him. “I don’t care about Dallas.”

He reached into his wallet and pulled out a fifty and slid it across the bar to me, his eyebrows raised.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I sputtered. “Did you just—do you think I’ll…”

Two men stalked into the bar, immediately drawing my attention. They were older than the usual crowd of college frat guys and douchey accountants in khakis. Mid-thirties if I had to guess.

One was blond and tall. He was lean, but I could tell he was in good shape.

The other…

The other was taller than his friend, muscular, swarthy, and trouble.

Both were tatted to high-heaven and I had to stop myself from swooning at the sight. I was a sucker for body art.

An idea popped into my head. “Excuse me a second,” I said to the guy who’d just tried to pay me fifty bucks to sleep with him. “My boyfriend just got here.”

I ducked under the bar at the service station and walked across the battered wooden floor, which was in desperate need of a refinish. With nerves jangling in my body, I sauntered up to the dark-haired man. As I approached him I realized he was taller than I originally thought. His jaw was covered with dark stubble and his brown eyes looked down at me.

“Hi,” I said, wetting my lips in nervousness. When he didn’t say anything, I took a step closer. “I need you to do me a favor. I need you to pretend to be my boyfriend so that prick at the bar leaves me alone. I’ll let you drink for free tonight. You and your friend.” I finally managed to glance away from the man who had yet to appear as though he’d heard anything I’d said. But the moment I took my eyes off him he decided to move.

His hands settled on my hips and pulled me toward him. His head dipped and his lips covered mine, his tongue sweeping inside my mouth. I vaguely heard his friend let out a low chuckle, but I was too consumed by the man who was kissing me. One of his hands left my waist to travel up my body and caress the back of my head. He angled his mouth as he gave me the most carnal kiss I’d ever experienced.

Excitement shivered up and down my spine as my nipples pebbled against the thin fabric of my black tank top.

Abruptly, he lifted his mouth from mine and stared down at me. His brown eyes were no longer blank. They seemed to be glowing, banked embers just waiting to be stoked into a fire.

The side of his mouth curled up, but it was in no way a smile. He looked away from me to stare at a spot over my shoulder.

“He’s gone.”

His voice was like velvet on naked skin.

He dropped his hands from my body, leaving me aching and wanting more.

I felt exposed and confused; I was supposed to be in control of the situation, but the fact that I wanted his lips on mine again told me I controlled nothing.

“We’ll take two drafts,” came his friend’s voice. “Will you bring them to the booth in the corner, darlin’?”

I blinked, my eyelids feeling droopy and tired as though I had been drugged. I looked at him and nodded slightly before turning and walking back to the bar without saying a word.

As I ducked under the service bar, I caught Shelly’s expression. Her mouth was hanging open, her eyebrows raised. “What the fuck did you just do?”

I grabbed a pint glass and began to fill it. “I think you saw.”

“Everyone saw!” She took a step closer. “Do you know who you just kissed?”

“Yeah, I kissed a guy who scared off some punk kid who wanted to pay me for a night in bed.”

Shelly shook her head, her honey blond ponytail sweeping her shoulder. “No, you just kissed a Blue Angel.”

I set the pint aside as beer frothed over the lip of the glass and reached for another. “So?”

“So?” she nearly squeaked. “You don’t just go up and kiss some random biker.”

“First of all, I didn’t kiss him, he kissed me. Second of all, I told him he and his friend could drink for free tonight if he pretended to be my boyfriend. What’s the big deal?”

“You have no idea what you just got yourself into, do you? I grew up in a trailer park, Mia. I’m familiar with biker clubs. They were around all the time. And the last thing you want is to be on their radar.”

“I’m not on their radar,” I said in exasperation. “He did me a solid. It’s no big deal.” I didn’t want to hear any more of my best friend’s lecture, so I took the freshly poured pints and delivered them to the two bikers who were sitting in the corner booth.

They stopped talking the moment I approached. The blond smiled up at me and said, “Thanks.”

“No sweat,” I said. I set the pints down and began to turn with the intention of leaving.

“I’m Zip. Your boyfriend’s name is Colt.” His blue eyes twinkled with humor and I felt my cheeks heat.

“Ah, yeah, thanks for that,” I said, shuffling from foot-to-foot, feeling awkward.

“And who are you?” Zip prodded, a smile blooming across his face.

“Mia,” I said. “My name is Mia.”

Colt said nothing, but continued to look at me with an indiscernible gaze.

“Enjoy your drinks.”

I hastily made my way back to the bar. Shelly opened her mouth to say something, but I held up my hand. “Don’t.”

Thankfully, a group of people entered and for the next few hours we were too busy for chitchat and the inevitable lecture that I knew was coming.

When the rush died a few hours later, I looked at the booth where the bikers had been sitting, but they were gone.



“I’m taking the trash out,” I said.

“You sure? I can do it,” Shelly offered. “You did it last time.”

“I don’t mind,” I told her. I lifted the hefty bag full of empty beer and liquor bottles and maneuvered my way off the floor toward the back alley of Dive Bar.

I pushed my shoulder against the door to open it and immediately heard the unmistakable sound of knuckles striking flesh.

I dropped the bag of refuse when I saw a leather-clad biker fighting a khaki-wearing, ripped meathead. The two men were about the same size, and for a moment I couldn’t tell who was winning the brawl.

My heartbeat accelerated at the scent of blood in the air and I gasped at the violence, frozen in place.

The two men fought like lions, bloodying each other as though they were battling to the death for territory, neither of them willing to back down. Grunts and guttural sounds filled the air and blood streamed from their faces when finally the biker knocked the muscled man off balance and kicked his legs out from under him. The meathead fell to the ground. When he tried to rise, the biker grabbed his hair with one hand and pulled his head back. Looking straight into his eyes, the tatted biker sank his fist into his opponent’s face with all his might, ending the altercation.

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