UPDATE: The winners are…Deb and Laura!
Come on, baby. Break a few rules…
When a Texas deputy’s motorcycle club trashes a bar with him leading the brawl, the sheriff decides his punishment will be serving as the bouncer/enforcer for the pretty owner while she runs a booth serving bikers during a weekend-long motorcycle club convention.
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Snippet from Lawless…
Ty Nolan ignored the nudge against his shin. Last thing he wanted to do was open his eyes. From the already harsh glare burning behind his eyelids, he knew opening them would be damn painful.
“Ty, come on. Wake up,” came a harsh whisper. “Sheriff’s here.”
Sheriff? What the hell? And what was Tank doing in his bedroom? Another moment passed before he realized his mattress was damn flat. Where the hell was he?
“Ty,” came another voice, this one louder and with an irritated edge. “Hate to interrupt your beauty sleep, but I’d like a word.”
Fuck, it really was the sheriff. Which answered the question of why his bed was so damn uncomfortable. He peeked in the direction of Sheriff Josh Penske’s voice—bars stood between them. Oh hell, I’m going to hear about it now.
With his head pounding, he accepted Tank’s hand up.
His buddy grinned. “Never knew you were such a lightweight, bro.”
Ty grimaced at Tank’s wisecrack—and his crushing grip. Tank was built like a…well, a tank. Ty had played football for the defensive team in high school, so he wasn’t exactly puny. It took a few seconds to stuff his shirt back into his jeans, wincing as his bruised knuckles brushed denim. Before he turned toward Josh, he raked a hand through his hair. Josh stood beside the open cell door, shaking his head.
Good Lord, was he about to lose his job? Be suspended?
Josh turned and led the way down the corridor to the station’s bullpen door. Ty was glad he was still too hung over to blush as he completed the walk of shame past his fellow deputies, whose mouths were crimped, no doubt to hold back their laughter. Josh led him inside his office then waved him toward the vacant chair in front of his desk.
Ty slumped into the chair. He was going to be fired, he just knew it.
Josh sat back in his chair and turned his chair to the side, his gaze going to the window. “You know, I thought it was a simple assignment.”
“To be fair, I had the night off—”
Josh held up a hand to cut him off. “No matter whether you’re in uniform or not, your duty is to keep the peace, not start the dang fight.”
At this point, Ty knew better than to try to correct Josh’s impression of what had happened the evening before. He’d only piss him off worse than he already had.
“I don’t know what to do with you…”
Ty wished he’d framed that statement as a question, because he would’ve offered suggestions—short of firing him, of course. He liked his job.
And he needed it. He needed to succeed if he ever wanted to put in his application to join the Texas Rangers. He sat straighter in his chair. He’d take his lumps and move on. Figure out what was next in his life. Life after the Army wasn’t turning out to be the cakewalk he’d expected.
“Can you imagine my surprise when the mayor called to inform me that she’d seen you hauled off in handcuffs, along with a dozen other ‘miscreants’—her word?”
The mayor hadn’t been so keen on this weekend’s festivities. He’d had a bird’s-eye view of just how unhappy she was when she’d marched into the station the morning before and asked Josh to lock the fairground gates.
Apparently, she’d changed her mind about allowing bikers to gather there. “Yes, I know I approved the club’s permit, but have you seen how many bikes are parked all up and down Main Street? Caldera will not be another Waco!” she’d said, tapping her foot.
Ty had grimaced at the mention of the infamous shootout between members of two rival motorcycle clubs, that had spilled out into a restaurant parking lot where cops had violently ended that shit. Ty’s Veterans Posse Club wasn’t like that. Not involved with drugs or criminal activities. Opposed to violence, they did however get pissy about disrespect from any other club. Composed entirely of former vets, the club gave its members a safe place to be, with people who had shared similar experiences that most folks couldn’t empathize with or even conceive of.
What had happened last night at Ruby’s Roadhouse had been…his fault. One too many beers and a sneering, snide comment from another club’s snarky member, who shouldn’t have been there in the first place, and he’d waded right into a fight.
“Look, I got the down-low from Ruby at the bar,” Josh said. “She said that guy from the club was being a dick to one of the waitresses, and that when you approached him, he insulted your club…”
Ty opened his mouth, but Josh gave a curt shake of his head, again cutting him off.
“Ruby Tackett’s bar got trashed. I asked her what she wanted to have happen.”
Here goes… Ruby was a hardass. She’d turned off the jukebox to read the riot act to all the bikers who’d filled her bar last night—before shit had gone down. “No fights,” she’d said, her arms crossed over her ample bosom. “No hassling my girls. When I say you’re cut off, you’re cut off. No fights! Got it?”
He and his buddies had all grinned and nodded. “Yes, ma’am,” they’d answered.
And still, all hell had broken loose.
“She expects your club to clean up the mess.”
Ty nodded. “Of course.”
“She’s closing the bar for the duration of the convention. But she already has a booth set up at the fairgrounds where she’ll be serving beer in the campground area—to keep the visitors off the road and out of her place. She wants you behind the bar with her.”