Fool me once, shame on you.
The difference is now I’m taking charge.
This time he’ll be the fool.
Walking up, I see a few guys hanging around and talking so I make my way over to them. Their eyes follow me the whole way and I momentarily regret wearing heels because everyone knows heels and gravel just do not mix.
“You the chick from the accounting place?”
My first reaction is to correct him but I hold my tongue. These don’t look like the kind of guys I really want to mouth off to and, really, in their world “chick” might be considered a compliment. I use my hand to shield my eyes from the sun because squinting is never a good look. “I’m looking for Ryder.”
The name doesn’t seem to register on any of their faces and for a minute I wonder if I have walked into the wrong place. That would be just my luck.
“Megan.” I hear his voice and it still sends chills through me. “In here.”
There’s a click and a side door opens. I walk toward it, feeling the eyes of the bikers on my back like daggers. When I get there, I peek inside. Its’s pretty basic, with only a desk with a computer and a few different piles of papers to fill the space. I step inside, smelling the faintest hint of mildew. It’s unpleasant, to say the least, and I scrunch up my nose.
“Why didn’t any of those guys know who you are?”
He doesn’t look at me. His gaze is on the papers in front of him as he sifts through them, putting some in one pile and others in another. “Because people don’t call me that here, and neither can you.”
“Really?” I laugh. “So what exactly am I supposed to call you?”
He sits down on the corner of the desk. “Tracker.”
I shake my head putting my purse down on the desk.
“Something wrong with my name?” His eyes narrow and my gut twists, reminding me of the nerves I felt in the car.
“Apart from the fact that you aren’t a bloodhound and it isn’t your name?” I cross my arms and jut out a hip. A lot has changed since high school. I’m no longer the pushover I was, and part of that is because of him, and though I might have been hesitant to stand up to the apes outside, the man in front of me is a whole different story.
“It is my name—at least, it’s my road name. It’s what everyone uses here.” He shakes his head and starts turning on the lights before moving to the computer. The screen springs to life, the display showing the same symbol that was on the back of his vest the other day.
“And if everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?” I arch an eyebrow at him. My body might be completely on edge being this close to him, and my mind might be freaking out thinking about all the memories of us, but my mouth has no problem poking the bear.
Ryder takes a few steps toward me, closing the distance between us until we are only a few inches apart. Having him this close makes my heart feel like a jackhammer. “Listen, as much as I like your smart mouth, you need to watch it around here. Respect is important, so while people are around you need to rein that shit in. When it’s just us, run that sexy mouth all you want.” He winks at me before walking past, his arm brushing mine and sending a heat through me.
“You can’t say shit like that to me, Ryder. We aren’t kids anymore. I’m here to do a job and that’s it.” I force my face to harden and wipe all emotion from it before turning toward him.
“Whatever you need to help you sleep at night, princess. Thing is, we might not be kids anymore, but I still know you better than you know yourself. I saw the way you looked at me the other day.” He steps close to me, his head bending down until his lips are close to my ear, the heat of his breath making my legs weak. “I know you feel this as much as I do. I just have to wait until it consumes you and you come begging.”
“All in good time.” He winks before walking out the door.