Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Chapter 8 - Misunderstood - Original Storyline


Present Day


            Kendall awakened to the sound of gentle rain and she blinked, her head pounding, the events of yesterday rushing back to her and she shivered. After Johnnie left her to take the call, she’d sat and waited for his return. The way he’d looked at her made her sure he’d take her again once he reappeared. She’d certainly wanted to feel him inside her again. She’d wanted to show him he wouldn’t be able to resist her need to taste his mouth, luxuriate in that full, bottom lip of his.
            But he’d come out and told her a pizza would be delivered. While they waited, he said he’d take a shower. Kendall had expected him to invite her with him. He hadn’t. She hadn’t seen him again until forty-five minutes later when the delivery man rang the doorbell. Johnnie had worn a pair of grey sweatpants and nothing else, allowing her to see the tattoo on his back, which resembled the mural of the Grim Reaper at the clubhouse. He had the build of an athlete with rippling muscles and a six pack so taut and tanned Kendall guessed she kicked flip coins on his stomach.
            She’d wanted to lick him from head to toe. Only the realization of how hungry she was prevented her from making her move. They’d eaten in silence and his tension had been so palpable she’d almost seen it dancing between them.          
She’d tried to jumpstart the conversation. “How old are you?”
“I’m thirty.”
He’d glowered at her, not interested in talking to her, so she’d taken the hint and shut up.
            When they finished with the pizza, he’d announced it was time for bed and Kendall’s body had prepared itself for Johnnie. She’d gotten wet and breathless. She’d also gotten the biggest disappointment of her life. He’d shown her to the guestroom, told her to sleep well, and walked away without a backward glance.
            Now, rain pattered down, adding to her gloomy mood. As much as she wanted to, she couldn’t hide in the room forever. The light blue walls and white molding gave it a comfortable feel. The curtains matched the light blue and chocolate brown pattern of the comforter. Forcing herself out of bed, she walked to the door and opened it, staring at the door down the hallway, knowing that was Johnnie’s bedroom. Just when she got the nerve to start toward it, she heard a noise in the kitchen. The sound spurred her to the bathroom directly across from her room and she scooted to it.
            Ten minutes later, after finding a new toothbrush to use, and washing her face, Kendall walked to the kitchen, stopping short when she saw her purse and the contents laid out on the breakfast bar. Johnnie’s big hand swallowed her cellphone as he stood and unapologetically scrolled through it.
            Kendall rushed forward, her heart dropping. He had her things, not Kayla’s. Had they found her sister and killed her?
“Where did you get my things?” The last time she’d seen them they’d been in her car and, although she’d endured a lot of boring conversation and even more boring sex to get that Mazda, none of it was worth Kayla’s death.
            Johnnie indicated toward the front of the house with a nod of his head. Every time he moved, something jingled. The curling ends of his blond hair made him look like a fallen angel and Kendall just didn’t want to believe he was really part of the Death Dwellers’ MC. He wore a grey suit, white shirt, and blue tie. Not at all the image of a big, bad biker. Unlike yesterday or the first night she’d slept with him.
            “I had your car delivered here.”
            She stared at him, knowing she had to ask the question burning in her brain. Knowing, too, he saw her panic and knew the reason for it, if the way he folded his arms and leaned back was any indication. Shoving down her simmering anger at his insufferable attitude, she licked her lips. “My car is outside?”
            He nodded and cocked his head to the side. Waiting.
            Kendall gritted her teeth. “Did you…?” She cleared her throat and shifted her weight. “Is Kayla…?”
            Dead. She needed to spit it out. But, dear God, Kayla was her last living relative. Her twin. They’d grown apart in recent years because Kayla’s capacity for hatred surpassed even Ellen’s and Kendall hadn’t wanted to deal with that. Then, their mom and older sister was killed, and Kendall understood Kayla’s attitude. She, herself, had veered between a burning desire to exact revenge against Megan Caldwell and the logic of hearing the girl’s side first.
            “Is Kayla what?” Johnnie asked, his smooth voice resonating between them, luring her into his spell.
            She lifted her chin. “Is Kayla dead?”
            A heartbeat of silence that frayed Kendall’s nerves almost to the breaking point.
            His mouth curved into a cool half-smile. “No.” He leaned his big body against the counter, thrusting his pelvis up, drawing her gaze to his erection. “Two of the boys found your car. With your purse still in it, by the way.”
            Kendall swallowed. “I have all my ID in my purse,” she reasoned. “The sticker for the staff only parking lot on my car.”
            Johnnie lifted a brow and barked a nasty laugh. “How fucking convenient. Don’t you think, Kendall? Car found not too far from our compound. Your information still in it when she could’ve let us keep believing you were her.”
            “Convenient?” Kendall yelled, the implication dawning on her. “Fuck you. She was just looking out for me. It doesn’t mean anything other than that. It certainly doesn’t mean I’m her fall guy.”
            “I can never mistake you for a guy.”
            A hot, delicious gleam entered his eyes and the lazy smile that turned Kendall’s insides to putty and her brain to mush curled his mouth. The Johnnie Effect. That’s what Kendall was coming to recognize whenever he switched to the wicked sex god.
             “May I leave?”
            She shivered at his hard, implacable tone.
            “Unless you tell me where Kayla is hiding.”
            “I don’t know.”
            He jumped from his seat and advanced upon her, crowding her space, the reason for the clanking noise escaping her. It certainly didn’t sound like keys. “I don’t fucking believe you. I think you’re protecting her. I understand. The blood is thicker than bullshit, huh? If you’re willing to spill your blood in lieu of hers—“ He paused and ran a finger along her cheek. Her belly tightened and she drew in a breath, absorbing his scent, remembering his taste. “So be it, Kendall.”
            His shoulders tensed and he threw her a furious glare. “Outlaw is preparing to bury his stillborn son and his wife is just waking up from emergency surgery after going into shock from what your sister did to her. The doctors are saying they’ll decide later if she can get pregnant again or not. She had Placental Abruption, Dr. Miller.”
            He picked up her hospital ID and flung it at her. She didn’t attempt to catch it, still processing all he’d said about Megan Caldwell. She’d lived but her baby had died. Kendall shivered, hardening herself against any remorse. Marie had been collateral damage and so had that innocent baby. More blood on Megan’s hands. “I don’t think Kayla meant to hurt her fetus.”
            “Are you touched in the goddamn head? She was pregnant. If your plan had succeeded, your sister would’ve killed her, which, sure as shit would’ve hurt her baby.”
            “It wasn’t my plan,” she snapped. “I told you it was Kayla’s. I was there—“
“To stop it,” Johnnie interrupted, clearly not believing she’d played such an innocent role.
Irritation surged in Kendall and she almost regretted not helping Kayla. She was still being blamed for the crime and Ellen’s story was growing more credible by the second.
            He grabbed her wrist and propelled her toward the bedroom she’d used. She breathed in deep, the scent of Johnnie’s aftershave hardening her nipples, the hard set of his jaw and coldness in his eyes making her light-headed with need. If he wanted sex, she was more than willing.
            She squeaked in surprise when he pushed her onto the bed and followed behind to straddle her. He pulled handcuffs from his jacket pockets and Kendall finally identified the source of the jingling she’d been hearing.
            She kicked and clawed at him, but his strength surpassed hers and he had her subdued and shackled to the bed within minutes.
            “You bastard. You’re going to pay for this.”
            Brushing off his jacket, he shrugged. “If it makes you feel better to believe that, that’s fine.”
            “Keeping hostages is illegal,” she spat.
            “Murdering innocent babies is illegal as well.”
            “You could let me go,” she argued, twisting her body in a futile attempt to free herself. “If I miss my shift for too many days, my colleagues might get suspicious.”
            Johnnie straightened his necktie. “I give a fuck about that how?”
            She shot daggers at him. “The disappearance of a decent woman won’t go unnoticed. Unlike Ellen’s death. Kidnapping and murdering me could bring your stinking club down.”
            “Because you’re a decent woman?” Johnnie asked with infuriating amusement. “I learn something new every day.”
            “I should’ve helped Kayla,” she screamed, humiliation at his wry words rising up in her. “At least I’d be paying for a crime I was guilty of. Ellen was telling the truth about Saint Megan and Kayla was right to seek retribution.”        
            If she accomplished nothing else, she succeeded in removing Johnnie’s nonchalance. His body went rigid and the sardonic humor evaporated.
“Saint Megan, huh? Compared to you three bitches, she sure the fuck is a saint. Since you’re telling me what you should’ve done, let me clue you in on what I should’ve done. Blown you the fuck away like Outlaw ordered. Or blown you the fuck away when I discovered how serious Megs’s condition was and wasn’t sure if two bitches like you disgraced the world. I suppose my cock did the thinking since you have such good pussy.”
“It amazes me you have a brain with the ability to think in any part of your body,” she snarled, bucked against her restraints and flinging careless words at him. “At least your dick can think. Your head is wasted space on your shoulders.”
He laughed. The asshole actually laughed at her. “You’re priceless,” he said around chuckles.
“You’re despicable.”
Not that her words bothered him because he just nodded and turned toward the door.
He was really going to leave her tied to this bed. “No, Johnnie, please! Suppose I need to pee? When are you coming back? Are you just going to leave me here and let me starve? Are you a passive-aggressive murderer?”
Hand on the doorknob, Johnnie frowned. “What the fuck is a passive-aggressive murderer, Kendall?”
She didn’t know. She was just asking him questions so he wouldn’t leave her bound for God knew how long. “I don’t know,” she admitted. “Maybe, someone who doesn’t do the killing. Just allows death by starvation or something.”
He stared at her in shock, like she belonged in an insane asylum. She felt like she belonged in a looney bin. “And you graduated from a medical school?”
Her insides shrank. Her brain told her he was just being a smart ass, but the hurt, vulnerable part of her—the side of her that had been verbally abused by Ellen especially—withered. She nodded curtly.
He drew in a deep breath. “I have to go and I don’t trust you enough to leave you to freely walk around my house.”
“I told you the truth about my sister.”
“That remains to be seen.”
“That I had a twin,” she clarified with impatience.
“I won’t go anyway. I’ll be here when you get back.”
He considered her for a moment. “I intend to take your car keys on the off chance you escaped,” he said with a smirk, knowing the task impossible. She had nothing near her to attempt to pick the lock and she certainly didn’t have the key to the cuffs.
“Aren’t you taking the Jeep’s keys too?”
“Don’t need to.”
She drew her brows together in confusion. “Why?”
“The boys took the keys when they took the Jeep. Some lake creature is probably having a helluva fucking ride in it by now.”
“You sank Kayla’s car?” she asked with a gasp.
“You’re only lucky one or both of you wasn’t in it.”
She snapped her mouth shut, having no response to that snarl. He sauntered toward her and she blinked to counter the Johnnie Effect, complete with an unmatchable swagger. Moments later, he’d freed her and she sagged back in relief.
He stared at her, his nostrils flaring, his regard intense. She lifted herself on her elbows, caught in the snare of his look. Regret and anger and desire and dislike. He balled his hands into fists and Kendall wondered if he battled himself so he wouldn’t reach out and touch her.
He back away and pocketed the handcuffs he’d removed from her wrists and ankles. “I think your sister’s Jeep needs company.”
Her eyes widened. “What do you mean?”
“I mean your Mazda will join it.”
“NO! Do you know what I had to do to get that car?”
“I don’t give a fuck, although I have a pretty good idea.”
He started to turn away again.
“Why are you doing this? Does that club mean more to you than fairness?”
“Double standards much?”
“That’s not having double standards. My sister is my blood relative.”
            “For most of our lives, Outlaw and I have been like this,” he began, surprising Kendall with the change of subject. He paused and entwined his forefinger and middle finger. “He got into the Dwellers and I hung around him. We’re six months apart.” He watched her closely. “He patched in. I went to college. No, I was sent to college, the better one between the two of us, our grandfather said.”
            “You’re related to Outlaw?” she whispered, her head beginning to pound with the implications.
“We’re first cousins, but closer than brothers.”
Which meant his blood ties drove him as much as her own did.
            “I got into a fight one night. Just happened to start a conversation—an innocent conversation—with a girl at a bar I hung out at when I wasn’t at the MC. The girl’s boyfriend came in and got the wrong idea. Accused me of trying to move in on his girl.” Johnnie walked closer to her, his eyes narrowed, brimming with lust and anger. “That fight should’ve ended in there after I beat his ass,” he whispered roughly. “He decided to be a sneaky bastard and follow me home. I strangled him, Kendall.” He held up his hands. “These hands? They’re the hands of a killer. My cousin, the man whose wife you tried to murder, took care of the body. The murder was pinned on the Dwellers, but no one could ever prove it. That was one more thing our grandfather held against Outlaw. You know what? He never said shit? Never once said Johnnie as much a killer as me. He just took it.” His voice dropped lower and he rubbed a finger along her neck.” Know what else? I lost sleep over the fact my cousin took heat because of me. I didn’t lose sleep because I killed a man. I graduated from college and patched in and I’ve killed, Kendall. I’ve killed more men than I can count or remember.”
            “On his orders?”
            He scowled at her. “You’re missing the point. The most important part. The crucial word.”
            No, she hadn’t. She’d listened to every word, so she knew she hadn’t missed anything.
            “Men,” he barked. “I’ve killed men. Outlaw has killed men. We don’t hurt women. We may seem like we look out for only ourselves, but we have each other’s backs. You walk out that door and drive away, that’s on you.” He picked up his keys. “I have to get to work.”
            And, with that, he was gone, leaving Kendall to stare at his retreating back, speechless.
            Johnnie halted his Navigator in front of the gray, non-descript building, located outside the city limits of Long Beach, in between cities like a no-man’s land with blurred lines of jurisdiction.
            The memory of Kendall standing in his kitchen, wearing his pajama top, her red hair falling in luxuriant waves around her shoulders, haunted him the entire drive to the lab. He couldn’t imagine what in hell was wrong with him. She’d offered free pussy to him and, instead of taking it again, he was resenting the hell out of her. No, more than that, he didn’t like her at all. He wanted to fuck the shit out of her, but, after talking to Outlaw last night, all Johnnie saw was Megs in Christopher’s arms and remembered the pain in his cousin’s voice during the conversation. His stomach turned. Giving in to her and having sex with her would be a betrayal.
            To who, asshole?
            Instead of answering, Johnnie got out of his SUV and slammed the door shut.
            “It’s about time you showed up,” Mortician called.
He was leaning against his Harley, arms folded, the cold rain not seeming to bothering him. It clung to his dark skin, plastered the black T-shirt to his biceps. It wasn’t raining hard, but Johnnie figured Mortician must’ve been waiting there since he’d dropped Kendall’s car off. Val had driven Christopher’s pickup with Mortician’s Harley tethered on the back. Why the hell not? The pickup was used to transport guns, drugs, and bodies. Why not a motorcycle?
Meanwhile, they’d also brought along Digger to get the Jeep. After inspecting it, he’d sank it just as Johnnie told Kendall.
A muscle ticked in his jaw and he shoved aside thoughts of her, focusing on the lab where he’d called and given the staff the day off. “Sorry to keep you waiting.”
Mortician shrugged. “Out here is clearing my head. Rain against my skin letting me know I’m alive. Feel me?”
Johnnie nodded and began walking toward the lab’s employee entrance, Mortician in step beside him. “Any word?”
“Outlaw called. He said Megan’s awake. In a lot of pain and real weak.”
“She know about the baby yet?”
Mortician drew in a deep breath and nodded. “Yeah, John Boy. I’m guessing she does, anyway, from the way Prez sounded.”
He rifled through his keys until he found the one for the door. It had been months since he’d been there, so it took him a moment to remember the correct one. “Outlaw suspect anything?”
“About the bitch you took?”
Nodding, he stepped aside and let Mortician walk in first before following behind and locking the door behind him.
“Naw. Not that I can tell. He’s too worried about Megan. Didn’t even tell him about the bitch’s twin. When I told him you was taking care of her, he said ‘okay’. Didn’t help his fucking bitchy sister was on duty. I can’t stand fucking Zoann. And I know that’s your cousin, like him, but she’s the worst fucking cunt on the face of the planet after the bitch who tried to take out Megan.”
Mortician was right. Zoann was a bitch. He had absolutely no idea what Val had ever seen in her. Of course, there was a reason his road name was Valentine and not all of it had to do with a mass shooting reminiscent of the Capone-style St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. That bastard knew about romancing women. Even a cold-hearted witch like Zoann. Val seemed to have figured out her true character on his own, though. Their son was a few weeks older than CJ and Val sent money for the kid but didn’t want anything to do with Zoann.
Still, Zoann was the way she was because of their grandfather. Kendall had turned the way she was because of grief and a misplaced need for action. As much as he disparaged her, it didn’t sit right with him to hear Mortician do the same.
“If something happened to Digger, wouldn’t you go after the bastard who hurt him?”
Mortician was looking around, picking up empty tubes and unused needles. “Brother, if something happened to any of you, I’d go after whoever did it. Digger my blood brother but all you are brothers of my heart. Feel what I’m saying? But it don’t make no fucking sense this chick going after Megan because of Ellen.”
Johnnie winced.
“I don’t mean it like that. Ellen was a tough chick. Manipulated shit all the time. But she never once mentioned sisters. Or a momma. Or a daddy. As far as we knew, she hatched from a stork egg. It was like she didn’t have no family.”
True. Everyone had assumed Ellen had had a rough life that had turned her into the woman she was. Kendall and Ellen were as different as cotton and sandpaper. Kendall with her soft skin, silky hair, and long, curvy body. Ellen’s strawberry blonde hair and sky blue eyes hadn’t eased the hardness of her features. Her curves had been more slender, her build shorter. Had they been standing side-by-side, Johnnie wouldn’t have guessed their family connections.
He waited while Mortician explored everything in the lab. “She’s a doctor. In her first year of residency,” he blurted, squeezing the bridge of his nose.
“No shit?” Mortician’s hand stilled in the air as he held a glass specimen jar. “Bitch cray-cray or something? She threatened all that?”
Johnnie nodded. “I don’t think she’s crazy. Just—“
“I know. Grieving,” Mortician finished. “I’m gonna cover for you as long as I can. If you stay out here, Outlaw gonna get suspicious. He grieving for the baby, but that’s different than grieving for Megan. She’s gonna get home and he’s gonna realize shit not adding up. Especially if you not where you supposed to be.”
“We needed to come out here.”
“Yeah. So we here. It’s not going to take weeks to do this shit, John Boy.”
No. It wouldn’t They’d already expanded the lab from just a testing facility where they followed through on what doctors ordered then sent out the specimens for the results. Now, they had a lab onsite. They’d had a Medical Laboratory Specialist on the payroll. He’d processed the specimens and sent out results. All legitimate and above board. However, with the lab, the MC had a way to launder their money, pass the dirty dollars through and wash it clean. Kept everyone happy.
Whether their MLS knew the score or not, things had been going wonderful until his double dealing was discovered. The little asshole was accepting payoffs to pass dirty drug tests. Bad enough. But he was doing it using the MC’s equipment, on the MC’s property, and on the MC’s payroll, and not sharing his profits with them.
Outlaw hadn’t taken kindly to that. To say the least. And, now, because of that, they needed another MLS. Johnnie had hired the first one, so he was expected to find a replacement and with the contacts he had, it wouldn’t take weeks. Johnnie had promised Outlaw he’d have a replacement by the time they left for overseas in five days.
 “Come on,” Johnnie grumbled. “I’ll give you a tour later, since you seem so fascinated with all the shit in here.”
“Always found science cool. Loved dissecting animals and seeing what was on the inside.”
Johnnie didn’t comment. Mortician still had a love of dissection. He’d just moved from animals.
“What you doing all dressed up in a suit and tie? It’s just us here.”
“I have a meeting with a couple reps to look at new equipment.”
In silence, they walked through the deserted hallway to the back where Johnnie’s office was located. Once he’d patched back in full-time and Outlaw needed him in Hortensia, he’d hired a manager. Johnnie looked after the books, though, distributed the money to their offshore and overseas bank accounts.
He walked in and turned on the overhead light, since his office had no window. He pulled out his chair, opened his top drawer and found his smokes. After offering Mortician a cigarette and lighting both of them, he went to his cabinet, unlocked it and got two files, handing them both to Mortician.
They smoked in silence while Mortician read over the needed information. “This ain’t my jurisdiction. John Boy. Outlaw send me out on jobs, I know where to go to do what I gotta do. Here? No.”
“I know and I wouldn’t have thought to ask you if I hadn’t had you bring Kendall’s car. But I need to go through the books, get to the meeting with the reps and get back to my house to check on things there. I don’t have time to grab these stupid bastards.”
“Not to mention having all kinds of gore on your designer suit.”
As if that stopped him, a fact Mortician knew. “How about I call them and ask them to meet me here? Discuss the fact they were skimming money off the top before they turned in their earnings.”
Mortician snapped the file closed and tapped out his cigarette in the ashtray. He contemplated Johnnie for a moment. “I don’t know if I like this shit, brother. Don’t feel right. First, we have Sam passing the tests for the druggies. Now, we have motherfuckers taking profits before they turn in our shit like they don’t think we gonna know what the fuck we supposed to get.”
“Outlaw want me to take care of them, Mortician. We discussed it. Went through everything. He had checks run and except for trying to screw us, they came up clean. Don’t have allegiances to any other clubs. Aren’t working for the Feds. They just got greedy. Outlaw didn’t feel right about it, either. Said everything was happening at once. The big gun deal. Sam’s use of our lab. These two assholes skimming money off the top of our profits. As far as we can see, it’s all just coincidence. Just in case it wasn’t, though, he wanted to wait until after Megs’s big day for us to take care of it.”
“Call them, John Boy. Make the meetings about 30 minutes apart. Give me time to finish with one before the other one comes face to face with me.”
Johnnie nodded. “You got it.”
            After showering and braiding her hair, French-style, Kendall went to Johnnie’s room and borrowed a T-shirt and a pair of sweatpants. He was only two or three inches taller than she was. Usually, she towered over most men, but not Johnnie. Neither had she ever met a stronger man. He’d lifted her off her feet to lick her senseless. Just thinking about it wet her pussy and she knew she needed to do something. Usually her days began at the hospital at seven in the morning. She’d make the rounds with other members of the team and work a few hours in whatever department she was assigned to, which, for the past week, had been ER.
            Had she really thrown all that away? Now, just when she’d felt strong enough to go back? More importantly, she’d thrown it away for Kayla. Kendall was the needy one, the one who felt the connection to her twin. The one who wanted approval from Ellen and wanted her mother to notice her. Ellen and Kayla were cut from different cloths.
Kendall rubbed her temples. How dedicated had she been to her chosen profession in the first place? She’d never been sure of what she wanted in life, other than money. The love of money and of the finer things had given her direction and focus, led her to choose her career. Marie’s Oath of Hypocrisy had arisen from Kendall’s quest to take the Hippocratic Oath. Being so close to what was needed for Marie and Kayla to carry out their mercy killings had dragged Kendall into the entire business the last time around.
No one had ever suspected her of stealing, although hospital administrators were aware of drugs disappearing. A couple of very dedicated nurses had been sacked because of Kendall’s thievery.
What did any of them know about heartache and desperation? From the day her father died, her life had gone to shit. If she hadn’t adopted her it’s either you or me creed, she would’ve curled up and died years ago.
Even the glimpses of care and concern from Johnnie wasn’t real. He didn’t know her, so how could he give a damn about her? But he’d thrown down the gauntlet but refusing to kiss her and by issuing orders to her. She was in it to win it and she would see him capitulate to her will.
What if the kindness she saw in his eyes when he looked at her was real? Did she really want to throw that away? No matter what she did, she never bring her mother or her sister back. They were dead. Why not let her guard down and stop playing everyone she met?
The burning temptation of Johnnie seared into her brain. Easing up on her quest of destruction enticed her more than she thought possible. She could live and let go of the past. The last person who’d truly cared about her had been her father. When he’d been crushed to death in the cab of his 18-wheeler, all the love she’d ever known had been crushed with him.
Because Johnnie wasn’t her father. Because life was a competition where only the strongest and most cunning won the game. She’d stake her life on the fact that dear Megan Caldwell had never known anything but getting her way. One look at that too-beautiful face and Kendall knew she’d never shed a tear of anguish at the hands of someone she loved.
And those bikers? Outlaw, Johnnie, Val, Mortician, Digger…all the names Kendall had heard? They’d probably cry like pansies if they really had to watch someone die. Oh, undoubtedly, they were criminals, but not the tough asses they pretended to be. All she’d ever heard were rumors about the Death Dwellers. The seemed to be a one horse show. Just a splinter group. She’d never heard of any other chapters. Didn’t know where their charter was. Was the compound in Hortensia the mother chapter? The only chapter?
She wasn’t a criminal but she was more than willing to put her sister’s murderer to death. Outlaw would’ve killed Kendall himself if he was so violent.
Kendall supposed she’d drop out of the residency altogether. She didn’t need harassing from the bikers for the rest of her life, so whenever they found Kayla and Johnnie let her go, Kendall would leave. Start over in another country.
            Her cellphone rang and she scampered to the breakfast bar, frowning when Benny’s, her latest Sugar Daddy, name popped up. She couldn’t talk to him right now because she might say something she regretted. Johnnie and his charm and hotness had her on edge. In contrast, fifty-five-year-old Benny…hell, there was no comparison. Johnnie was in a league of his own.
            But her older lovers had been her meal ticket, her clothes allowance, her college tuition. They’d taught her about the finer things in life, all the things she’d lost when her daddy had been killed in a truck driving accident and left her mother alone to raise her, Kayla and Ellen.
            Her mother had started running cons. Ellen had started whoring to feed her drug habit. Kayla began doing everything and Kendall had been disgusted by all of them because her worry for them had affected her grades. She’d tried part-time jobs at department stores but people were assholes and she wasn’t cut out for dealing with the public. It was when she was sixteen and her grades were going to shit did she realize the power she had over men. One of her teachers had asked her to come to his class after school to discuss her grades and the work she needed to bring them up.
            She’d gone with good intentions, but, then, she’d noticed the way he kept staring at her boobs. She’d lost her virginity on the floor in the back of the classroom and passed with flying colors. Their affair had continued most of the year and he’d bought her things, given her money, showered her with attention. She’d felt loved and beautiful, instead of being the overgrown freak with the big boobs. She’d started shaving her pussy because boys were mean and nasty and always whispered evil things to her about the color of her pubic hair.
            Yes, assholes, it was red like the hair on her head, but she’d never let anyone know that. Because, really, when it came right down to it, the color of her feminine mound didn’t matter. What it led to mattered most of all. Got her what she wanted.
            Her latest lover, Benny, she’d been with the longest. Two years. He said he loved her and wanted to marry her. She let him believe she was all for it when, in reality, unless he went from wealthy to filthy rich, she’d never marry him in a million years.



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