Darcy took the beer he handed her, took a pull, then grimaced. Girl didn’t like beer so well. “Got some clothes for you. Women got together before we got here and bought you some stuff. Angel wanted everything but the underwear washed before you put it on, even though it was all brand new. Something about the dyes being bad for delicate skin. Said the underwear was different because it was… I don’t know,” he searched for the right phrasing when he didn’t understand it himself.
“Because it’s underwear?” Darcy grinned. “She’s right about that. I have to get underwear out of a pack before I wear it. Anything else is just gross.” The woman had such a beautiful smile that revealed the most intriguing dimples.
“Yeah,” he said, answering her grin with one of his own. “When I think of it that way, I guess I understand what they meant.” He cleared his throat. Was he actually nervous around a woman? What the fuck? “There’s also toiletries and other things for you. Got ‘em in your room.”
She blinked. “I have a room?”
He wanted to answer, “Yeah. Same as my room,” as he dragged her to his room but refrained. On both counts. “Thought I’d show you and give you the grand tour.” He held out a hand to her. She looked hesitant but took his hand anyway. Probably an automatic reaction on her part. Didn’t matter. Viper didn’t relinquish her hand.
“I would definitely like to change,” she admitted. “And take a good shower. I still feel a bit grimy.”
“I was kidding, you know.” Viper knew he was acting completely out of character, but he seemed unable to get it together.
“You didn’t stink.”
There was a silence before she ducked her head and giggled. “You’re so full of shit.”
“Come on,” he growled as he pulled her deeper into the clubhouse. “Club officers have rooms on the top level. Club girls who stay here are on the second floor. Everyone else is on the ground floor.” He kept her hand as he took her up the stairs and about halfway down the hall. Then Viper handed her a key and nodded to the door. “You’ll stay here until you and Data work something out. Like all the other women, Mama and Pops, and the kids, being on the middle floor puts you between the club members. Offers a double layer of protection.”
“Protection? I need protection?”
Viper shrugged. “This is an active MC. What we do is mostly legal, but we’ve made enemies over the years. Currently, there’s a club in Nashville and one in Lake Worth, Florida, we’re keepin’ an eye on. Don’t think they’re an active threat. More like enemies watchin’ each other. But we don’t take chances with our women.”
That little tidbit of information raised Darcy’s eyebrows. “Almost seems like you’re using it as an excuse to make sure your women don’t leave without permission.” She opened the door and stepped inside. Viper followed right on her heels. It made her uncomfortable, but not necessarily in a bad way. Darcy liked the heat of him at her back.
“Won’t deny we like knowin’ who’s here and who’s gone, but it really is for protection. Club was attacked a few months ago. Anyone livin’ here, we protect. Keepin’ the women and children between us is the best way to do that.”
He shut the door and pulled her to him, all Data’s warnings and his own good intentions going out the door the second she was mashed against him. Kissing her was imperative. And, sweet Jesus, she was delicious!
Viper swept his tongue inside at her first gasp, taking what he needed before she pushed him away. Or slapped him. He wasn’t sure which he was hoping for because the fiery temper she showed on occasion turned him on something fierce. To his surprise -- and delight -- she did neither. Her hands landed on his shoulders lightly, and she was completely still for several moments as if stunned. Then she moaned, melting against him, meeting his kisses with some of her own.
There was no containing his growl as Viper continued to kiss her. Darcy clung sweetly to him, her little nails digging into his shoulders, holding him to her. He was playing a dangerous game. It wasn’t Data, but Darcy he was worried about. She might be a capable, tough woman, but Data was right. She couldn’t handle him. Data knew it, even if he didn’t yet know his daughter. Hell, what man would want his daughter involved with a man like Viper? He’d been a Marine. Force Recon. He’d been dropped in the most dangerous of situations, done what he had to do, then disappeared without a trace. He wasn’t a kind and gentle man. Viper was the Devil himself when he needed to be. And he always had his brothers’ backs. Even at the expense of his own family. Hell, Bones, his biker brothers, were his family. At least, the only family who mattered. How could he explain that to Darcy? How could he explain it to Data? His brother was right. She deserved better than him.
He ended the kiss as quickly as he’d started it, pushing her away from him like she should have done in the first damned place. First thing he intended to make sure Data taught Darcy was self-preservation.
“There,” he said flippantly. “Been wantin’ to do that since you got me in the privates.” He grinned at her, trying to pull himself away from her emotionally when everything inside him was screaming for him to make her his. “Consider that a lesson in what happens when you fuck with badass bikers.”
The second he uttered the words, Viper regretted them. Darcy’s face went from beautifully dazed with lust to confused to hurt in the space of about three seconds. Then she just shut down.
“Well. Lesson learned, I guess. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to change into something more fitting the weather.” She crossed to the door and opened it again, leaving no doubt she wanted him gone. It was no more than he deserved. He’d acted on his needs, then tried to backtrack the only way he could, and Darcy had paid the price.
“Now, please,” she said, forestalling anything he might have said by way of apology.