“So far it’s shaping up to be way more than we can handle on our own,” I told Vigil, Ryker, and the other officers standing with me, the cold brew in my hand almost as distracting as Dasia standing on the other side of the lawn. “Too big an operation, too many crooked fingers in the pot.”
“Figured it would be,” Ricky muttered with his usual downer tone while the others stayed quiet.
“I’m going to keep digging,” I continued, fighting to keep my focus on Vigil rather than the gorgeous red-head across the lawn. “Pile up a shitload of evidence the FBI can’t seem to find on their own. It’s out there. I just got to find it all, make sure not a single fucker in the sex slave trade here in New England escapes unnoticed.”
“We’re definitely out of this one,” he said. ‘We’ve got too many old ladies and children around here that need protecting.”
Ryker grumbled something under his breath, catching Vigil’s glare as though he’d heard the words I hadn’t.
“I know it’s personal for you, having taken Dasia in,” Vigil told him, “but this time, we’re gonna have to let the law take it into their own hands.”
“I’d like to go after that Ivan fucker,” Ryker said, glancing toward where I could feel Dasia’s stare.
“Right there with ya,” I agreed and swigged my beer.
Ryker glanced at me. “She’s in my house,” he snipped. “My care. Under my protection. Might as well be my own fucking kid. If she wasn’t going to be eighteen in a couple of weeks, Pia would probably have us adopting her ass. She doesn’t need or want any sexual advances from a twisted fuck like you. Keep your goddamn paws off.”
“Yeah, I heard you the first time.”
We stared at one another while I swigged again, and tension rose from the brothers with us.
“The fuck is going on?” Vigil asked.
“Daddy-o here, thinks I’m going to talk Dasia into a little kink. Tie her up and fuck her ass raw.”
Ryker’s glare turned murderous, his shoulders hitching higher, but I knew he wouldn’t come after me with all the brothers around.
“See, thing is,” I grinned without taking my focus off his flushed face, “the girl makes me hard as fuck—but she’s only seventeen and off limits. While I’m fond as fuck of breaking the law when it comes to computers and extortion—” I flatlined my lips “—I’m not a dick. The last thing I want to do is hurt a young woman who’s been hurt enough already.”
A muscle in Ryker’s jaw twitched his beard.
“She might not want or need a fuck buddy right now, but I am going to be her friend if she’ll let me, Ryker,” I told him, dead fucking serious. “And if months down the road she decides she wants to be more, I’m sure as fuck going to give her whatever her little heart desires. She seems the type worth waiting for, and I’m not going to let you or any other Vipers stand in my way of getting my name tattooed over her heart if I can talk her sweet ass into letting me in.”
Our stare down lasted for a few more seconds before I clinked my bottle against his and sauntered off, having said my piece, stating my intentions, all but letting the boys know I wanted her—and planned to keep her, given the chance.
© Lynn Burke 2020