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





My shift is almost over and there is still no sign of Jesse. I know it’s dumb, but somehow I expected him to show up looking for me. The fact that he doesn’t care enough to drop by puts a damper on my night. He probably hasn’t given me a second thought. In fact, he was probably relieved when he woke up to find me gone.

What good is a girl who won’t put out?

No good at all.

Especially to bikers who like their women pliable and willing. I wish I could explain to him why I left in such a rush. Unfortunately, there’s no way I can tell him the truth about what is going on between me and the Liberators. If I mention one word about Big Roy to anyone, I will be putting both myself and them in danger.

I wouldn’t do that to Jesse.

All I can do is push him out of my mind. Thinking about him isn’t doing me any good at the moment, and there are plenty more important things for me to worry about, like money for groceries and having a roof over my head to start.

I redo my ponytail and check out my tip jar for the umpteenth time. At least the tips are good tonight. For the most part, the customers have been tolerable too, except for a few who whispered crude dirty jokes in my ear. I giggled right along with them as if I thought they were hilarious when I really wanted to knee the guys in the balls.

All part of my job though.

Some bad behavior is only to be expected after the bikers have been knocking back drinks for hours. Even if those drinks are considerably watered down according to the bartenders.

I smile at Jessica as she walks past carrying a heavy tray of drinks. She rolls her eyes and nods toward the stage.

“Thank God the pudding contest is almost over,” she says. “Those girls better be getting paid lots of dough for what they’re having to put up with. I wouldn’t roll around in that nasty mess for a whole boatload of money.”

“That’s for sure.”

Between customers, I glance over at the stage to see what’s happening. Two bikini-clad women are pretending to wrestle while slipping and sliding on a layer of dark chocolate pudding.

It’s all for show, and they’re not very convincing. I have to admit it is pretty hilarious to watch. Especially knowing the two girls are sisters and have been practicing their wrestling moves all day.

One of the sisters yanks the other’s hair, who screams for effect. To get even, she picks up a handful of the gooey pudding and smears it all over her sister’s big breasts. The crowd around the stage goes crazy.

“Show us her tits!” a man yells. “Rip off her top!”

The girls are struggling to keep it together and not laugh. When one falls out of character and giggles, the other smacks her so hard on the butt that it leaves a bright red mark.

“Oh yeah! Give it to her! Smack that juicy ass!”

Of course the men would love the rough stuff. Whatever the girls are doing seems to be working, so I guess that’s all that matters. I hope Roger is paying them well. After watching for a few minutes, I’m just thankful it’s not me up there being degraded and rolling around in dessert.

My eyes land on a tall, dark-haired man standing two rows behind the stage. Snuggled close beside him is a blonde girl with long hair extensions trailing down her back. His tattooed arm is thrown casually over her shoulders.


So he is here after all, and he didn’t even take the time to find me.

Now I’m pissed off.

Realistically, I don’t have any right to be mad since I was the one who walked out on him without an explanation.

Still, it stings a bit.

Actually more than a bit.

He could have at least asked me why I left without saying goodbye. I could kick myself in the butt. I should’ve known Jesse wouldn’t waste any more of his time on me. A few hours later and he’s already moving on to platinum blondes with fake boobs.

The type of girl I can’t stand.

The blonde giggles up at him and leans closer, melding her body close to his. An urge strikes me to run over there and yank her long hair extensions right out of her head. Bet she wouldn’t look so pretty then.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” a loud voice snarls, startling me out of my thoughts.

I whirl around, and my heart drops at the sight of my brother. When did he show up?

“Ty! What are you doing here?” I ask.

He reaches into the tip jar and pulls out all of the money.

“What the fuck does it look like I’m doing? Getting what is due me, that’s what. Did you really think you could just walk out on Big Roy like that? You are an embarrassment to me and stupider than I thought. He sent me here to bring you back. Said you needed to be taught a lesson.”

Bring me back?

“What do you mean? I’m not a prisoner, for God’s sake! I can leave anytime I want. I thought you would be glad to get rid of me. All I’ve heard from you lately is what a burden I am to you. So now, I’m not. I’m out of your hair for good.”

Ty lets out a humorless laugh. His hand snakes out and grabs my jaw.

“Nobody, and I mean nobody, walks out on Big Roy. The Liberators own you now. What part of this equation don’t you understand?”