Chapter 1: LYON
I wasn't expecting her, so I guess that's why she blindsided me. This was totally unexpected and at a time when I had all but thrown in my hat and said f**k it.
I'd been playing the field for a while now, and was tired of it. I was looking for something more; something was missing. I'd come close once, but thank God I escaped that nightmare. Turns out she was more interested in status, and all that other superficial bullshit.
So I'd taken a step back, and taken myself out of the game. There just wasn't anyone in my circle that came close to what I was looking for, so I'd decided unofficially to hang it up. I was thirty two, and I guess my biological clock was ticking, if such a thing even existed for a man.
That's when she sidled into my life with no big splash and no fanfare. That wasn't her style, and maybe that's how she did it. Maybe that's how she wrapped herself around my heart so effortlessly.
She was a complete enigma, and she was totally opposite from every woman, or girl, I'd ever been with before. Shy, quiet, and sweet as f**k.
My boy Jared had been going on for weeks about his childhood friend. Some chick named Kat that was moving here from Arizona. Why the hell anyone would want to move here was beyond me, but her dad was here, supposedly, and she was coming to live with him.
The way Jared talked I imagined some timid little thing afraid of her own shadow. The way he made it seem like he'd spent their summers together protecting her from everything. I didn't really have time for that type; they usually just got on my f*****g nerves with their simpering asses. Always afraid to try new things!
Jared was dying to bring her to meet the crew when she landed, and I wasn't too jazzed about it, but it was his deal, so whatever.
"So, Colt I was thinking."
"What were you thinking, Jared?" I tightened the front wheel of the beauty I was working on. A chopper for some Hollywood hot shot who would probably total the s**t in less than a week. s**t, it was his seventy five thousand down the drain. Why should I care?
I looked back at Jared when he didn't answer right away. I have a cool relationship with my guys. Not only were they part of my riding crew, but most of them worked for me building top of the line bikes.
I knew enough to keep one separate from the other, and I took a lot of pride in the product that left my showroom. If someone wasn't pulling their weight, they were gone. Luckily that wasn't a frequent occurrence, but it has been known to happen.
"Why don't you give Kat the job as receptionist. You haven't found anyone to fill the position so far, and I think she would be perfect."
"I don't know man, the way you talk, I'm not sure she would fit in here."
"You won't know until you try, come on, what'll it hurt?"
"Let me think about it, okay? I'm not making any promises." I wiped the oil off my hands as I looked over my handy work.
"Good enough. Thanks man, I just knew she would be perfect."
"You got the hots for this chick?"
"Who, Kat? Nah, she's like my sister man. I just feel I have to look out for her, ya know?"
"Okay, I hear you, when's she coming again?"
"She'll be here in a couple days; I'll bring her around either way for you guys to meet her."
"Sure, Jared, I'll get back to you before then. If anything, I can always give her a trial run."
He trotted off with a grin, so I'm pretty sure he thought it was a done deal, but we'll see. Like I said, I don't have time for timid little girls.
My crew was a rough and rowdy bunch, and I'm the only refined motherfucker in the bunch, but I'm no prince.
That fucker rode my ass for the next day and a half, until I wanted to b***h slap him just to get some peace and quiet.
Yes, we needed a receptionist. The last one was trying way too hard to get f****d, and I never s**t where I eat, so b***h had to go. If I'd been remotely interested in hitting the skins, then I might've broken her off a piece before sending her on her way, but nah.
I wasn't too into the ridden hard and put up wet type, unless I was the one doing the riding.
I'm not as f****d up as I sound, at least, I tell myself I'm not. I come from a refined family that has money, prestige, and the whole nine yards, but for some reason around year sixteen, I decided to break the f**k out.
I said f**k you to the preppy schools, and Harvard medical that was glaring me in the face, and I decided to pursue my own joy.
Thankfully I have a father who backs his kids above all else, or my mom would've guilted me into doing some s**t that would've made me miserable for the rest of my days.
It didn't help that two years later my older sister Stacy decided to use her art major education to become a tattoo artist, and I swear to this day my mom still blames me.
Stacy is responsible for my tats, and her and her hubby Emory opened their parlor where they did tattoos and piercings for high-end clientele, so we've pretty much got the badass criteria cornered.
I own my own bike shop, and I run a bike crew of hell raisers, while Stacy and Em paint and pierce the gang.
We're not a real gang, and we don't go around starting fights and stupid s**t. I'm not exactly barbaric, we're more into raising money for a good cause like helping little old ladies fix their leaky roofs on the weekend, and s**t like that, but the reality is that s**t does happen, and sometimes that s**t can end with someone in the hospital.
We have rivals who don't like the way we rock, and we could give a f**k. We're more guardian angel than hell's angels, and the community loves and respects us.
That doesn't mean we wouldn't f**k a motherfucker up, or that we haven't, it just means that's not what we're all about. We're not glory hounds, and we just love to f*****g ride.
Now it's Monday, and Jared is supposed to be bringing this chick by any minute for a meet. I still wasn't sure about this, but Jared's a friend, so what can you do?
I heard his hog pull up outside and got up to go out there, because no one entered the inner sanctum unless they were part of the crew.
Jared was walking ahead of...something.
His face broke out in a sappy grin when he saw me.
"Colton, this is Katarina."
I watched her disinterestedly as he made the introductions, and before extending my hand for her to shake.
Her hand was soft and small in mine with a slight tremble, and I wondered what happened to make the little swan so nervous already. Granted my look put fear in grown men, but she was here with one of my men, so she shouldn't be afraid.
Whatever, I didn't have time to placate some scared little virgin afraid of her own shadow.
"Nice to meet you Mr. Lyon."
I looked at Jared with a raised brow. I hope he knew what he was doing bringing this lamb into the Lyon's den. I couldn't make out much of her body because her tiny frame was shrouded in a hoodie that looked three times too big, and her legs were encased in I guess...skinny jeans, and her feet shoved into what has to be the oldest pair of chucks I've ever seen.
"Nice to meet you, Katarina, how are you enjoying your move so far?"
She blushed, what the f**k, this chick was way too timid. I hope she isn't one of those retiring types who cries at the drop of a hat or at raised voices and s**t because my guys will eat her alive, f**k, what the f**k was Storm thinking?
"So Jared tells me you're interested in the job."
"I'm up here, Katarina, look, if you want to work around here you're going to have to do better than this. These guys are rough customers, and some of the people we build for are even worse. Not to mention the people you have to deal with on the phone, so you're gonna need to up your game."
I saw Jared give her a nudge before she picked her head up and looked at me.
"Can you handle that?"
"Yes...uh, ahem, yes sir, yes, I think I can."
She threw her shoulders back and lifted her head, and behind her eyes there was some kind of war going on.
I guess I was asking her to go against her nature. Okay, Jared was my boy, and she was his friend, so for him I'll give her one week, or two at the most to get her bearings. If I noticed that she wasn't working out, then I would let her go, friend or no friend.
"You can start tomorrow. Come around eight, so I can show you the ropes. It shouldn't be too hard.
We have a spread sheet set up in the system already, and our ordering system is organized, so all you need to do is keep track of what's going out, and how much we need to replace every week.
All special orders go through me, no exceptions. If you have any questions about anything come to me, and anyone bothers you, same deal. We clear?"
"And knock off that sir s**t, I only like women I take to my bed to call me that." Her face almost exploded with her blush. Oh joy, I run a hard-core crew of badass men, and I get stuck with Polly f*****g Anna as a gal Friday. The f**k!
Jared was grinning like a jackass as he led her out of the office to show her around. I heard the murmur of the guys' voices as they greeted her, so I guess Jared had warned them of her titmouse attitude because there were no lewd remarks floating back to my ears.
She might be timid as f**k, but those eyes,...yeah, those eyes, f**k if she didn't have the most amazing eyes.
I wasn't quite sure what to make of Jared's boss. He's... I don't know...very intimidating, with his six foot three frame, bulky biceps covered in tattoos, and his chest well defined in his tight black T-shirt. He left me feeling confused, and I guess... hot?
I've never felt these things for anyone, not a real-life person anyway. I blushed just thinking about my guilty pleasure, my dark secret, the thing that made me burn.
The part of me that has to remain hidden lest people think of me as a freak, or more of one anyway. Jared was all excited about me working here, but I don't know, I'm not sure what working with Colton Lyon day after day would do to my equilibrium.
Jared showed her around introducing her to the boys who seemed on their best behavior for a change. I hope he knew what the f**k he was doing for real. He'd pushed so hard for me to give her a chance, but she seems... not one to fit in here.
I heard a commotion outside my office, and I heard some rather colorful comments coming from the guys, shielded as humor of course, but I knew who had just shown up even before my door was opened.
"Who is she?"
"What the f**k do you want, Jennifer, I told you to stop coming by here like this, unannounced."
"Oh come on, Colton, we're old friends, so why can't I just drop in?"
"Because I don't want you here. That ship has sailed, so please move the hell on."
"You know, you really should be much nicer to me. I might have some new customers lined up for you."
She tried putting on her sultry act, yeah okay, that s**t just left a bad taste in my mouth.
That got her attention since she was a mercenary little money grubbing w***e, and it was hard for her to believe that everyone wasn't ruled by lust or money, as she was.
"What...what do you mean. You didn't even hear me out..."
"If these people are friends of yours then I'm not interested in them, or their business, now get out I have to work to do." I turned back to the papers on my desk as she flounced out of the office in high dudgeon.
Outside the door I heard her repeat her question, as to who Katarina was. Crazy psychotic b***h would be jealous of anything female, even a teenage girl who hid her body in men's clothes.
"Step off, Rossetti."
That was Jared in protective mode, and he'd better be, because Jennifer would eat his little rabbit for breakfast.
I was about to get up and go intervene, but I changed my mind. If she was going to fit in here, then she'd have to learn how to protect herself.