Book: Tough and Tender (Bad Boy Romance Box Set)





It is almost midnight before Sam and I make it to the Silver Shark Saloon. The bar is crowded again tonight, with bikers squeezed in tight from one wall to the other. In the middle of the room is a roped-off stage for special activities.

Sam nudges me and points to the pink blinking neon sign hanging from the ceiling announcing the next event - ‘Ladies Chocolate Pudding Wrestling at Midnight!’

I do a double take at the sign to make sure I read it correctly.

“Wonder how long it took Roger to come up with that idea?” Sam asks. “Too bad the rest of the crew couldn’t make it tonight. Just look at what they’re going to miss. I bet they will be pissed.”

“Nobody forced them to start drinking shots of tequila before lunch,” I say. “They’re a bunch of pansy asses and should learn to pace their drinking. Like us professionals.”

Sam and I had hung around the hotel all evening hoping the rest of the Steel Infidels would sober up enough to come with us. When it began to look like a lost cause, we left them passed out in their rooms and decided to carry on without them.

I scan the room and wonder if Trish is working since I haven’t been able to get her off my mind all day. If not, I don’t have a clue how to get in touch with her.

This is an unusual dilemma for me, and one I’m not sure I like. Broads always leave me their phone number, either scribbled on a note left by the bed or scrawled in bright red lipstick on the bathroom mirror. If I’m out at a club, they’ll whisper in my ear and slip a piece of paper into my back pocket. Women go out of their way to make sure I know exactly how to reach them later.

I keep the numbers of the girls I like well enough to see again in a bowl in my kitchen. Sometimes if I’m feeling horny and keyed up late at night, I’ll pick out a number, give her a call, and have her come over for a quick fuck. When I don’t ask them spend the night, they always act indignant and pissed off like they didn’t know the score beforehand.

No matter what, I never make the mistake of letting them find out my cell phone number. It only took me a few times to learn my lesson about that the hard way. 

“What are u doing?” they’ll text first.

Then “where R U?”

After the third unanswered text, they’ll start with the, “R U OK? Call me! I’m worried.”

Screw that needy shit. The last thing I want is a woman texting me all day long with constant updates. My rule is after three text messages, I block her number.

Cut the bitch off, just like that.

Except now I’m wishing I had broken my own rule and given Trish my cell phone number last night.

Damn it.

Worry tightens in my gut. What if something bad has happened to her? How would I even know? I should have handled things better with her somehow.

Relief hits me when I spot her working at a busy location on the other side of the bar. Roger has her set up again as a beer tub babe. He’s a smart businessman and knows a good thing when he sees it. She probably sells more beer than any other girl in the place. 

I check out her outfit. Damn! She looks totally fuckable in her white shorts and red polka dot bikini top. I notice she’s still wearing the cowboy hat, except tonight she has on white tennis shoes with lacy socks instead of the leather boots. To me, she looks even sexier than the night before. 

She bends over to grab a beer out of the tub of ice, intentionally giving the customers a good look at her ass. If she were my old lady, I wouldn’t let her do that shit.

Not for any amount of money.

I meant what I told her about keeping that spectacular view all to myself.

“Let’s go grab a good spot,” Sam suggests, tilting his head toward the stage where the contest is about to begin. “We don’t want to miss the show. You know how I love chocolate pudding. Maybe Roger will ask for volunteers to lick the girls clean afterwards.”

I laugh, suspecting Sam is only half kidding. Knowing Roger, he might put the pudding-covered girls up for auction to the highest bidder after the contest is over.

“You go ahead,” I say. “I need to check on something first. Save me a place.”

Sam follows my line of vision across the room to Trish. “You mean check on someone? Fuck! Your girl is smoking hot tonight. Too bad you didn’t get some of that ass when you had the chance. I bet she is one nice piece of pussy. Since she’s obviously not interested in you, due to her cutting out before daylight, mind if I give it a shot? I’ll bet you a hundred bucks I won’t strike out like you did. Watch and learn, brother. You’ll see how it’s done.”

Sam takes three steps in her direction before I roughly grab his arm and jerk him back. He bends over laughing.

“Gotcha!” he says, slapping me hard on the back. “You should have seen the look on your face. Jesus Christ, Jesse! You need to chill the fuck out. What has you so wound up tonight? Her? Thought you said she was a shit load of problems that you didn’t have time for. You have a thing for her, don’t you?”

“I said she has problems, not that she is the problem.”

Sam shrugs. “Same fucking difference. Women are a shit heap of trouble. Are you really going to give her the chance to smack you down again? If so, you are a glutton for punishment, brother. It’s a bad idea if you ask me. Life is too short to spend chasing one piece of tail. Look around this room. Lots of options to choose from.”

“Maybe,” I answer. “There’s no harm in giving it one more go. See what happens.”

He looks doubtful at the thought of my success. “Suit yourself, dumbass. Keep in mind there’s lots of available, willing women here tonight. No reason for us to go back to the hotel empty-handed. What’s the point of bike week if it’s not to fuck a different broad every night? Or in my case, two. Maybe more if I get lucky.”

Sam is right.

Why am I wasting my time worrying about a woman I don’t even know? Trish had her opportunity and she blew it. I should consider myself lucky for dodging the bullet with a woman who had issues as deep as hers.

“You, my brother, make an excellent point,” I say. “Lead the way. I’m right behind you. What are you in the mood for? Blondes or brunettes?”

Sam grins back at me. “Is there a new rule that says we have to choose?”