FINLAY SMILED AND waved as she slipped into the dingy bar. “Hi. Am I interrupting?” From the scowl on Bullet’s face, she was not only interrupting, but she’d somehow pissed him off. Well, good for him. Let him be angry, the big, tattooed bully. What kind of man comes up to a woman at a wedding and says, Hey, sweetheart, whaddaya say I take you for a ride on the Bullet train?
She smoothed her sundress over her hips, trying to gather her wits about her. Bullet train. She had no doubt he had a train in his pants. The man was larger than life in too many ways to count, and when he set those cold, dark eyes on her, she swore they ignited right in front of her. Lordy, now my pulse is racing. She’d been thinking of that flash of heat ever since the wedding, and she couldn’t deny that it scared her and turned her on in equally frustrating measures. If she were honest with herself, she’d thought she was too damaged after losing Aaron to ever feel this type of spine-tingling excitement over a man again—and the fact that she felt it around a guy like Bullet scared the heck out of her. But this was not the time for honesty. She needed to pull herself together so she didn’t make a bad impression.
Dixie pushed past her massive brother to greet her. “Not at all! I’m glad you made it in.” She gave Finlay a quick hug and then glared at Bullet. “Right, Bull? Aren’t we glad she made it in?”
He lifted his chin in a half-cocked greeting before stalking around the bar and busying himself pulling bottles from shelves. Was he upset that she’d refused his magical penis ride? If so, he was going to have to get over it, and fast.
“Don’t pay attention to him. He had a rough night.” Dixie waved a hand as if Bullet didn’t matter.
Finlay forced a smile, knowing the big oaf mattered a heck of a lot. She’d grown up in Peaceful Harbor, although she was several years younger than the Whiskeys and she hadn’t known them then. She’d moved back into town two months ago, hoping to put down roots near her sister, Penny, after leaving to attend college in Boston nearly a decade ago. Penny had filled her in on the Whiskeys when she’d accepted the catering job for their friends’ wedding. Apparently, the Whiskeys and their motorcycle gang owned her small hometown. Only, according to Penny, it wasn’t like the stories she’d heard about bikers causing a ruckus or scaring people. No, the Whiskeys were known to be good folks, and apparently their gang was more of a club. She didn’t know the difference, but understood that they protected the community, keeping crime down and helping with bullies—except, apparently, for their own big, pushy son. From what Penny had said, they might look intimidating, but beneath all those tattoos and dark leather, they were kind, caring, generous people. She’d noticed that at the wedding, and in the weeks since, as she’d seen Dixie, her other brothers, and their parents around town. They were all as nice as could be. The jury was still out on big, bad Bullet.
But if she was going to spend any amount of time in his presence, he needed to respect her. This was why Penny had pushed her to take this job, wasn’t it? Because she’d been hiding behind her past, living a safe, comfortable, lonely life for so long she’d all but forgotten how it felt to be hit on? And how to handle it. Well, that ended now. She straightened her spine, the way she’d learned to do in culinary school, when top chefs came in to teach and they’d ream the students for the smallest errors. There was no room for thin skin in catering—and she’d be darned if she’d let Bullet Whiskey intimidate her one bit.
“It’ll be fine,” she assured Dixie, and walked directly behind the bar to the mountain of a man who was trying his best to ignore her. Every step made her heart beat faster. Holy moly, she hadn’t remembered him being that tall. She was only five three, but even though she had heels on, he was well over a foot taller than her.
She reached up and tapped Bullet’s shoulder. It was like tapping stone covered with a black leather vest. He turned slowly, his broad chest and massive arms suddenly taking up all the extra space. She stared up at him. His dark beard and eyes gave him a menacing look. She swallowed hard, steeling herself to say her piece. In the next second those angry eyes turned even hotter and hungrier than they’d been at the wedding.
Her traitorous insides flamed.
Oh boy. She was in way over her head. This man probably got everything he wanted from women with that look. He cast some sort of spell with his leather wrist cuffs, scary-looking silver and black rings, and go-ahead-just-try-to-mess-with-me attitude.
Forcing her sternest expression, she said, “Bullet, if we’re going to work together, I expect you’ll let what happened at the wedding go and get behind me on this project.”
He cocked his head, his lips curving up in a wicked smile that brought goose bumps to her entire body as he said, “I’m happy to get behind you anytime, sweetheart.”