Eternity is Forever

Eternity is Forever

Status: Finished

Genre: Erotica

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Erotica

Summary

Hawke is afraid of nothing, except the brunette female with a 9mm Beretta pistol aimed at his balls. Bound by honor to protect her and driven by overwhelming desire to possess her, the two needs clash with fiery consequences. Anna's cover is blown but she faces their enemy with confidence, its the danger she faces in losing her heart to Hawke that terrifies her. Age 18+ (Book 6)

Summary

Hawke is afraid of nothing, except the brunette female with a 9mm Beretta pistol aimed at his balls. Bound by honor to protect her and driven by overwhelming desire to possess her, the two needs clash with fiery consequences. Anna's cover is blown but she faces their enemy with confidence, its the danger she faces in losing her heart to Hawke that terrifies her. Age 18+ (Book 6)

Chapter1 (v.1) - Chapter 1

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: May 29, 2016

Reads: 15965

Comments: 4

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: May 29, 2016

A A A

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Chapter 1

It had been quite some time since Hawke had set foot on home soil and he wasn't sure how he felt about it. Happy?  Disappointed?  Nervous?  A combination of all of the above.

It was crazy really to feel such conflicting emotions about a place, but he couldn't help it.  There were just so many memories here, both good and bad.  Hopes and dreams that he’d left unfulfilled.  Simply left behind, discarded like an old coat never to be thought of again.  At least, he thought he’d left it all behind but maybe he’d only buried things deep in his subconscious to be revived at a time such as this. 

He was happy to see familiar landmarks, to smell the crisp, clean, spicy pine scent of Hemlock groves.  There was something relaxing about witnessing the turning of the season in the Deep South, the brilliant shades of red, orange and brown as the tall oaks begin to shed their leaves.

He was disappointed however, to see how much his home had changed over the years.  The smaller strip malls were gone, replaced by mega sized shopping complexes.  Gone too was the laid-back, friendly attitude of the locals, replaced by suspicious stares and high-tech security at every turn.

The last time he'd been here was more than twenty years ago, when he was still 'officially' alive.  He hadn't been game to come back since then just in case, by some wild chance, someone recognised him.  That prospect made him nervous.  By rights, he should be a middle aged man, greying at the sides, a few lines about his face and carrying a good twenty extra pounds about his waistline than he was.  Really, he shouldn't have come back now, especially coming so close to his home town in Southern Alabama, only an hour’s drive away. 

If it hadn’t been for the fact that he was already in the neighbourhood (Two hundred miles southeast of Brownsville, Texas, in the Gulf of Mexico), or the fact that there was something he wanted to take a closer look at in Alabama that the Alliance had been investigating for the past few years, or the fact that his oldest and closest friend had contacted him for help and he needed to pass through the Southern States anyway to reach Washington to visit him, he wouldn’t have risked the visit.

Hawke kicked his bike into a higher gear and breathed in deeply once again the familiar scents of his past.  It felt good to draw in such deep breaths, a task that was impossible only a handful of hours ago, having had his lungs and all his ribs crushed under the weight of twelve thousand feet of water in the Sigsbee Deep.  The Grand Canyon under the sea, as it was commonly known, had been hiding a treasure for the past eight hundred years in the wreckage of an old Knights Templar ship, which he had been tasked to retrieve.  Unfortunately at such a depth only a remote submersible or a Vampire could reach the bottom and return with only minor injury after having more than six hundred times normal air pressure pressing down upon it.  Sadly the submersible malfunctioned which left option B.  Hawke.

The temporary injuries he suffered had been worth it though.  He’d managed to retrieve the third relic of a list of thirteen they’d been charged to find.  Three artefacts in three years.  It sounded like a pretty good achievement, but they were on the clock to find the other ten and that clock was ticking too fast for his liking. 

The first had been a relatively easy find.  The Book of Thoth, located in a remote northern region of Canada.  The frozen cavern had preserved the book perfectly.  Eighteen months later they’d found the second artefact, the Ring of Gyges, in India. Now, six months after that, Hawke had managed to retrieve the Cintimani stone. 

Regrettably they still knew very little about the items they’d found, other than what had been passed down through legends and conflicting reports in obscure ancient texts, which pissed Alex off to no end.  It had been promised by Ariel, the Elder Angel, that all the information they needed to know to handle these relics would be revealed by the fist relic they found.  Two years after finding the Book of Thoth, and they were still waiting to have those secrets revealed.

Now, with the Cintimani stone found and on its way back to England, Hawke had a few free days on his hands.  What better way to fill in his time than to kill two birds with one stone.  Investigate the goings-on at the biker bar, the Iron Pit, and then help his mate with whatever trouble he’s found himself in.

He did have a minor problem however.  He couldn’t find the damned bar.  Clearly it was located on one of the backwater roads in Out-in-the-sticks County, but where it was in relation to where he currently was, he had no freak’n clue.

Pulling into a gas station he filled his bike’s tank.  Removing his helmet, Hawke ran his fingers briskly through the military short strands of his blonde hair, and pulled the pant legs of his jeans down over his boots, having bunched up at his groin during his long ride. 

Approaching the counter, Hawke laid his money down and waited patiently for the woman serving to stop staring in unabashed awe.

She was dumbstruck by his rugged beauty but Hawke barely noticed as her gaze wandered over his lean hips, across his wide shoulders to finally come to rest on his face.

“Hi, I was wondering if you could tell me where I would find the Iron Pit?”

“You sure you want to go there?  The Pit’s a rough place and I’d hate to see that pretty face of yours getting all messed up.  I mean, I’m surprised someone hasn’t bombed that place yet?” Urrgh.  She couldn’t think of any place worse to visit.  Nothing short of incineration would improve its aesthetics, not to mention the stench of urine and beer, or remove the grease from the walls. 

“I’m sure,” he chuckled.

His lopsided smile made him appear even more breathtaking and suddenly she had trouble remembering her own name.

“Okay then.  It’s 24 maple grove, two blocks over, the key’s under the mat.  Clothing is optional.”

“Excuse me?” Hawke looked at her curiously.

“What?  Oh shit, did I say that out load?” She’d just given him directions to her home.  “Umm.  Sorry.  If you head east for four blocks on this road and turn left onto the dirt road just before the junction, and continue on for about a mile along the border of the Talladega National Forest.  It’s down there, the Iron Pit that is.  Not my house,” the young woman said with blushing cheeks.

Hawke gave her a charming smile. “Thanks.”

x-x-x-x-x

Pulling up outside the Iron Pit, Hawke switched off the rumbling motor of his sleek, red Hayabusa and deposited the keys in his jacket pocket.  Looking about at the sea of shiny Harley’s scattered about the carpark, it seemed that leaving ones helmet on ones bike was the thing to do.  Clearly, the patrons here had no fear of having either their helmets or the bikes stolen, he realised when he also spotted a couple of bikes with the keys still in the ignition.  Knowing what he did about this bar, he understood why.  These bikers were a vicious bunch, but a ready propensity for violence wasn’t the only thing they traded in.  Which of course was why he was here.  To find out more, if possible. 

The bar wasn’t more than ten years old but its rough look made it appear much older.  Weathered timber on the outside and mismatched panels of differing timbers lined the walls inside the bar.  Hawke assumed that the owner had chosen the timber lining in preference to plaster considering the volatile nature of his customers.  After all, it was much easier, faster, not to mention cheaper to slap on another plank of wood to replace the broken panels after drunken brawls, than it was to pay someone to put in new plaster panels.  Besides, plaster had a tendency to absorb blood stains whereas it just wiped off timber. 

If you overlooked the patchwork appearance of the walls themselves, the bar was decorated with biker memorabilia including the patches and colours of various biker denominations that were welcome in the bar, Hells Angels, Warlocks, The Highwaymen, Vagos, Sons of Silence, The Pagans, Bandidos, Outlaws, Coffin Cheaters and Hawke’s personal favourite, The Mongols.  Pretty much the top ten most dangerous gangs in the US.  Of course the bullet holes pitting the walls and ceiling also highlighted the fact that not all those biker gangs played well together.  Whether the bullets had been left in place as a deterrent for would-be trouble makers or as trophies, Hawke didn’t know and didn’t really care.  He wasn’t going to be hanging around long enough to find out. 

His only interest here was finding a way into the owners office and snooping for any evidence of the biker’s connection to a drug cartel which was funding the Alliance’s enemy.  A dangerous and secretive society of delusional psychopaths, the Guild was hell bent on bringing about Hell on earth.  Literally.

Get in.  Get the information he needed and get out.  That was his intention.  No distractions.

Hawke chose the bar stool at the far end of the bar, ordered a drink and began taking mental notes of everything he saw.

He spied her the moment she strode in.  Everyone with a cock did.  It wasn’t very often a female tarnished her reputation by entering a bar like this.  Not unless they were the kind who charged by the hour.  By the way this woman was dressed and the purposeful way she walked through the bar, it was clear she wasn’t there to enjoy the patronage of the bar, she was there to serve them. 

Hawke felt an impulsive whim to pick her up and carry her outside and ban her from re-entering.  The Iron Pit was no place for a woman, especially one as beautiful as her.

Shoulder length dark auburn hair with a streak of bleached blonde running through a thin stripe along her left cheek, accentuated her high cheek bones and fine bone structure of her jaw and perky little nose. What held his attention though were those alert, caramel brown eyes of hers. 

Her slim fitting jeans clung closely to her figure but not so much that they restricted her movement.  In complete contradiction, her plain black T-shirt clung to her torso with delectable results.  Hawke could make out every fine lacy detail of the bra she wore beneath it, right down to the hint of nipple that pressed up against the delicate fabric.

Get in.  Get out.  No distractions! Hawke berated himself when he caught himself licking his lips.

Hawke tapped his glass on the bar to get the bartenders attention.  A burly, mountain of a man, more akin to a bear with his bushy red beard.  The balding patch on the top of his head gleamed with a fine film of sweat under the dull lighting of the bar.  His remaining hair, equally as wild as his beard, was pulled back into a tight ponytail.  Unlike his bar assistant’s clean appearance, Big Bob looked like he hadn’t changed his clothes in a month.  If his skin was as grubby as his clothes, Hawke couldn’t tell.  Every inch of skin showing beneath his T-shirt sleeves was covered in tattoos, right down to his knuckles.  Yep, a really likable guy.  Not.

Hawke tapped his glass on the bar once again a little harder until Big Bob finally looked in his direction and sneered at him.  Stomping over he leaned on the bar and added a glare to the sneer.

“What, my money’s not good enough for you?” Hawke asked apathetically.

“We don’t take kindly to strangers around here, especially ones who wear sunglasses inside.  At night.  Who do you think you are, some kind of puny, white Stevie Wonder?  I suggest you move on outa here, Squid.”

Puny?  Had the man just called him puny?  His muscles had muscles and he had the strength of ten men.  Ten really big, strong men.  Puny?  Intelligence wasn’t one of the man’s greatest attributes.  At least Hawke could see why a multitude of bullets decorated the walls and why so many panels had been patched up.  Big Bob had an uncanny knack for upsetting his customers and considering the majority of them had fewer number of brain cells than the number of crimes listed on their prison records, the man either had balls of steel or a hollow cranium.  Option three of course was probably the most likely.  Big Bob had a bar full of back-up and therefore felt inclined to pick on anyone he chose.

That gave Hawke an idea.  A well staged bar fight could give him the opportunity he needed to get into that office without anyone noticing.  That was of course if he wasn’t at the centre of the fight.  Could be tricky.

“Not until I get another drink.  I’ll have Scotch.  Make it a double.”  Hawke told him, taking off his glasses to glare right back at him.

Big Bob swiped his empty glass from the bar and refilled it.  His indignant snort had Hawke wondering if he should revise his thoughts on the burly barman.  He didn’t so much resemble a bear as he did a bull.  A dirty, hairy and dare he say it, a very smelly bull. 

While Big Bob refilled the stranger’s drink, Anna couldn’t help looking him over.  Slim hips tapered up to broad shoulders.  His arms, corded with muscle and sinew.  His biceps smooth.  Shadows undulated over them with even the slightest effort as the valleys between flesh and tendons shifted.

Her gaze rose to the strong set of his jaw.  His mouth was inviting, full lips looked like he could spend hours kissing a woman’s body.  His nose was straight, neither too long nor too short with a perfectly shaped tip.

When he removed his dark sunglasses, she almost dropped the collection of empty beer bottles in her hands.  His eyes were a brilliant blue, like a tropical sea with impossibly long lashes which complimented his sculpted mouth and hard set jaw to perfection.

Despite his acrimonious scowl he never let her out of his sight.  Not for a moment, and it was beginning to make her feel jittery and self conscious in the most unusual way.  Anna was used to being ogled by the patrons at the Iron Pit, and groped, propositioned and threatened.  On a nightly basis.  But, never had anyone made her feel like they were sizing her up for some sort of prey. 

For the briefest of moments their eyes met and locked as he walked to her end of the bar.  His nearness seized her lungs.  Sent tiny shivers up her spine.  And interest shot straight to her underwear.  Why hadn’t she taken the time to match them when she dressed this morning, she thought.  Shaking her head at herself, she dismissed the ridiculous thought.

But seriously.  What was his problem?  Staring at someone like that was just,…rude.

“Well hi there stranger, I’m Anna, you want another one of those?” she asked him with a friendly smile after he seated himself directly in front of where she was cleaning glasses.  Anna did her best to pretend she wasn’t affected by his presence.  Not an easy task considering her hands were shaking. Her hardening nipples had nothing to do with her interest in him either, it was the sudden chill in the air, she told herself.  And the trickle of moisture between her breasts from the hot flush she was experiencing, must be due to a sudden onset of early menopause.

“Thanks.  Another double,” he answered in a almost bored tone.

Anna turned to grab the Scotch from the shelf behind her, using the manoeuvre to fan herself with the tea towel she’d just been using.  It also gave Hawke the perfect view of her perfectly shaped arse, and felt a sudden urge to bite it.  “Could you add coke to that?” he asked, putting his dark sunglasses back on. 

Hawke was beginning to feel as uncomfortable as she looked.  His fangs were throbbing in his gums with growing need.  His mouth watered as every intake of breath drew in her delicate scent to tease and tantalise his senses.  His cock too was rising with interest inside his pants. Knowing the physiology of his Vampire nature so well, there was a fair chance that his eyes were also glowing with an unnatural glitter in them right about now too. 

Staying under the radar was his intention.  Outing himself as a Vampire was not.  Considering who these guys did business with, Hawke had no doubt that they would be familiar with his species, and how to kill one.  And dying today wasn’t on his agenda.  It was better to wear the glasses and look like a biker-wannabe dipshit than a pile of dust on the floor.

Anna turned back toward the bar.  Her look of disappointment to see those glasses back in place made Hawke smile.  He doubted she was even aware that she was pouting, which only made her more attractive and the pressure in his pants more painful.

“Coke?  Do you want the dark liquid variety or do you mean the white powdered kind?” she asked with a sly smile. 

“Do you have both kinds?” he asked curiously.

“Only the drinkable variety but if you’re looking for the other, you could probably ask any one of the guys there at the back table,” she nodded discretely behind him.  Hawke didn’t bother turning around, he’d memorised every face in the bar the moment he walked in.  Noting table locations, size and physique of every man, plus the telltale signs of guns, knives and other weapons stashed beneath their clothes.

“Do you like the effervescent bubbles or the corrosive benefits of coke cleaning the tartar from your teeth?”

Hawke laughed, giving her a good view of his perfect, white teeth.  He was liking this woman more every minute.

“The bubbles, definitely.”

“Yes, well.  I can see you don’t need an introduction to a toothbrush.  I’ve never seen teeth so white.  You must spend a fortune on cosmetic dentistry,” she quipped which only made him laugh again. 

“No, I have naturally white teeth.”

Hawke found himself loosening up a little as he chatted to Anna and the time began to tick by.  Bikers became more drunk and the bar became busier.  Soon he’d get an opportunity to slip into the office unnoticed, but as time passed he found himself procrastinating, opting instead for more time with the smart and very sexy barmaid. 

Hawke felt the draft on his back as the bar’s door opened and closed, and he watched as Anna’s lips pursed into thin line.  Clearly she wasn’t happy with whoever just walked in.  With a sly glance to his side he watched a skinny young woman with a bleached blonde bob haircut, march quickly through the bar, directly to where he was sitting.  Plonking herself onto the stool beside him with a loud huff, she leaned across and grabbed a bowl of nuts and began shovelling them in her mouth, elbowing Hawke aside in the process.

“Evie, what are you doing in here?” Anna asked in a scalding tone.

“Brian dumped me,” she grumbled.

“Good riddens to bad rubbish I say.  You can do much better than him.”

“I thought he was a good guy.  How could I have been so wrong?” Evie shook her head and wiped away a lone tear from the corner of her eye.

“Maybe if you didn’t keep picking guys from this bar to go out with, you’d actually meet someone whose nice.  Someone who actually appreciates you.  Go to a library and meet a college student.  Wouldn’t you rather be visiting your boyfriend in a dorm room instead of a six by nine foot prison cell?”

“You make it sound so easy.”

“It’s not rocket science, Evie.  But hey, it’s your life.  I’m probably not the best one to be giving you boyfriend advice.  I’ve had more heroes exit stage left than a Greek tragedy.”

Anna looked across to see the blonde stranger still watching her while Evie ranted about all the things that confirmed Brian’s newly acquired douche status.  Just as her brain managed to communicate the 'Smile like a normal person!' message, he looked away.  Something or someone behind him had caught his attention, and not in a good way going by the low growl that seemed to rumble from his chest.  Downing the last of his drink he took another look behind him toward a table of guys staring in their direction, or maybe he was looking at the door, she couldn’t tell. 

Was he waiting for someone, or was he planning on leaving?  For some irrational reason, that thought had her fumbling to refill his glass even though he hadn’t asked for it.

“We've been taking bets how long it would take for Big Bob to ask you out.” Evie pronounced with a snicker as her third Jack Daniels started to melt her grey matter and pickle her liver.

“What?”  Anna blinked a couple of times, dragging her mind away from the enigmatic blonde in front of her.  “I have no intention of going out with him or anyone else here,” she protested vehemently, slapping her cloth on the bar top.  Scrubbing at it hard enough to peel the polish off, or at least the top layer of grime. 

Her fit of frustration inadvertently drew his attention back in her direction, although his relaxed mood of a few minutes earlier seemed to have vanished.  A single line creased between his brow and his lips pursed together tight enough to cause the muscles in his jaw to tense.

“You know there's a line of guys who haven't asked you yet.”

“Seriously, I'm not interested in any of them.  They’re not my type.”

Evie continued to ignore her.  “We can turn it into a drinking game.  Every time one of them asks you out we can drink a shot.  Every time someone asks you for sex, we drink two,” Evie said, an inappropriate edge of excitement creeping into her voice.

Anna stared at her, eyebrows quirked.  “You're evil.  I suppose you also want those drinks on the house?”

“Of course.  The drinking game is about you, so why should we have to pay?”

Anna just shook her head and walked to the other end of the bar but as soon as she got there she turned around and came straight back.

“Who’s we?”

“Well, me and my latest boy toy, of course,” Evie said leaning into Hawke and squeezing his arm.

Once again Anna was struck with an irrational feeling.  This time however, she wanted to saw off Evie’s hands to get her as far away from her blonde stranger.  Not that it seemed she was alone in that feeling.  By the look of horror on his face, he was thinking of sawing off his own arm to remove Evie from it.

“Count me out of that game,” he told her coldly, peeling his arm from her grasp.  The only one he wanted to see Anna going out with or having sex with, was him.

Wow, where did that come from? Maybe he’d had one too many scotches or Evie’s ditsy brainstorming was rubbing off on him.  What he really should be doing was finding a way into that office, he chastised himself.

Clearly that task was going to be much harder than he first thought.  Not only did Big Bob keep a close eye on all his patrons, there never seemed to be fewer then two or three guys hanging around the hallway leading to the office.

Time for a new tactic.  Get in there after the bar closes maybe?

“You have any rooms available?” Hawke asked Anna, dragging her out of her disgruntled stupor.

Anna looked him up and down with a critical eye.  “The only folks wanting to stay here are either looking for trouble or are trouble.”

“Which one do you think I am?” he asked in a bored, flat tone.

“I haven’t decided yet.  You don’t quite fit the mould for the usual clientele here,” she answered, a glint of curiosity in her eye.

“I’m just passing through and need a bed for the night.”  He wasn’t going to mention that he didn’t need to sleep, at least not as often as she did.  Taking a closer look at Anna, he noted poorly concealed dark shadows beneath her eyes betraying her lack of rest of late, although the blemishes did nothing to diminish her striking beauty. 

“Hey sugar, why don’t you bring that cute arse over here.  I’ve got more than enough room for you on my lap.” A semi toothless drunken biker called from across the room.

Anna rolled her eyes and sucked in a deep breath.  She almost forgot to release it when she heard that rumbling growl coming from the stranger’s chest once more.  How did he do that?

“Anna, clear those tables.” Big Bob growled.

“Hold that thought,” she said to Hawke as she walked around the bar. 

“You’ve finally come to your senses.  I’ve got a fat cock just waiting for you to sit on,” the biker laughed, grabbing his crotch and thrusting his hips up suggestively.

“Dream on Buddy.” Anna replied through a tight lipped smile and grinding teeth as she reached his table and put the empties on her tray.  She was so over these arseholes. 

Hawke watched as the lecherous biker and his mates leered at the barmaid, taking in every curve she had to offer as she walked past each table collecting the empty glasses and bottles.  Inappropriate gropes and salacious innuendos were grating on his nerves.  All the while the semi-toothless biker followed her around continuing his own unwelcomed invitations. 

Hawke stood and slowly approached the man.  He couldn’t help himself, his legs seemed to have developed a mind of their own.

“She thinks you should shove off.  I think you should too before you make me angry for upsetting her.”

Buddy snarled.  “Shut the fuck up, Squid.  This is none of your fucking business.”

Anger sparked but Hawke held it in check with an impassive expression.  He showed no outward sign of aggression other than his dominant stance.

Definitely military.  Probably special ops, Anna thought, silently assessing him more closely.

“I said, shove off!” Hawke said again taking his glasses off, knowing his eyes were taking on a menacing glow, but fuck it.  These guys had pissed him off.  “I’d be more than happy to convince you, but I don’t think you’d like my method.”

“I think you’re a little out of your league, Squid.”

“Stay out of it.  Anna can handle this.” Evie grabbed Hawke’s arm tightly in the hopes that her fear of imminent bloodshed would transfer to him and he’d back down.

No such luck. 

“You see, I have this character flaw that compels me to intervene whenever stupidity rears it head.” Hawke groused.

“You don’t understand.  They’ll kill you,” Evie protested more insistently.

Hawke just smiled at her, but there was no humour in it.  Looking to his left, Anna stood equally as impassive, ready for the impending confrontation.  There was no fear on her face, only resolve and determination.  It surprised him and he wasn’t surprised very often.

From the corner of his eye Hawke noted Anna’s subtle change of her footing to a fighting position even though she kept her upper body neutral.  Her hands lifted  instantly when Buddy reached behind his jacket.  Her reflexes were good but his were far better.  In one swift move Buddy was disarmed of his gun and he lay prostrate on the floor.  Minus another tooth.

As expected, up stepped Buddy’s buddies.

“More stupidity,” Hawke exclaimed with a mock show of shock.  Three more bikers moved a step closer, pulling out their own weapons, one with a gun, the other two with large knives.  Hawke grinned as he reached up behind his back pulling his own weapons from beneath his jacket.  Hawke swung the short swords in his hands in a fluid circular motion.  Their thin blades tapered to a fine point, the black polycarbonate coated handles appeared tailor made for his grip. 

“And, I’m ambidextrous, just ask anyone.  I can fight three of you simultaneously, more if you’d like,” he boasted with a cheeky, come and take your chances grin on his face.

The bikers wisely took a step back and holstered their weapons except for the guy with the gun, he was feeling much more confident of coming out on top of a confrontation against a pair of swords.  The man took aim at Hawke’s chest and the moment his finger twitched to pull the trigger, Hawke moved.  With barely more than a flick of his wrist, he swung his sword in the man’s direction.

All eyes looked to the man’s torso, expecting to see a thin red line of blood seeping from his middle a moment before he dropped dead on the floor.  A look of stunned fear crossed the man’s face but when he realised he wasn’t sporting any fatal wound he laughed.  The belly aching laugh abruptly stopped however when he turned his attention to the hand holding the gun.  It was only then that he realised what the razor sharp sword had cut.  His trigger finger.  The stocky appendage lay motionless on the floor.

“Oh, fuck no!” he cried, dropping his gun and wrapping his intact hand around the stump of his finger.  Bending down he picked up the other half.  “Would one of you fuckers get me to a hospital?” he called out to no one in particular in the bar.  "You’ll pay for this!” he shouted at Hawke with his bloodied fist.  “Mark my words.  I’ll get you for this.” 

Every cold, hard eye in the bar turned toward Hawke. 

So much for staying under the radar.  Get in.  Get out.  No distractions.  Yeah, that went well.

“Wow, that was so wickedly cool.” Evie squealed. 

“I wouldn’t say that so loudly if I was you.” Anna told her in a hushed tone.  “No one else seems too happy about it.”  However, none of them were game to tell Hawke to leave either.  They seemed to have developed a healthy degree of caution.  At least for the time being. 

“So, got any spare rooms?” he asked again. 

“You really do have a death wish don’t you?”

Hawke shrugged his shoulders casually.  “Have you or not?”

“Maybe?  How long you planning on staying?”

“Just the night.”

“Then, yeah we do.  Who are you?”

“I’m the incredibly modest rescuer of damsels in distress…”  Anna rolled her eyes, snorting out a half laugh.  “But some might say I’m an arsehole,” he tacked on with a snicker.

“I’ll agree with the arsehole part, got a proper noun for me?”

He looked mildly confused.  Not the brightest candle on the cake, obviously.  “A name.  What is your name?” she asked exasperated and mildly amused.

“Does it matter?”

“I need a name to sign you in on the rooms register,” she told him, lifting the guest register book up from behind the bar, tapping the open page with a pen.

“Hawke.  The name’s Hawke.”

“Would that be your first name or your last?”

“It’s the only one you’re getting.”

For now!  Hawke caught himself thinking the absurd thought. 

He had to admit, the female intrigued him enough to want to know more about her.  She was a highly intelligent, tough as nails, petite package with a wickedly hot body. 

Hawke almost groaned as he adjusted himself discretely in his increasingly tight pants.  It seemed it wasn’t just her mind he was eager to get to know better.

“Right then.  That wasn’t so hard was it?”  Anna said as she closed up the registry book and placed the room key on the bar in front of him.  The law said she needed a full name and ID, but the law never came into this bar to check up on their record keeping.  Not unless they were the crooked kind that is.  So, names like Pig Dog and Fly were pretty much the standard for their registry book. 

“That would depend on what you’re referring to as hard.  Putting those rude, disrespectful morons in their place, not hard at all.  If you’re referring to tearing myself away from this bar and your company, yeah, a little bit.  But....”  Hawke stalled in finishing his thought, raking his eyes over Anna from head to toe covetously, and breathed in the scent of feminine arousal that instantly perfumed the air.

“But?” she prompted offhandedly, as if  his tone and body language wasn’t affecting her in any way.

“If you’re asking me how hard I am inside my pants right now, you’ll need to come to my room later to find out for yourself.”

Not giving her a chance to either turn him down flat or to melt into a hormonal, lusty pool behind the bar, Hawke downed the last of his drink, picked up the room key, and strode out as confidently as he’d walked in.

“For the record, I could’ve handled those guys myself,” she called behind him.

Hawke turned and smiled at her, tipping his hand to her in a salute.

Anna couldn’t help staring as he stood from the barstool.  Under his jacket his Metallica T-shirt fit snugly across his broad chest and tapered down to accentuate his perfectly flat abdomen and jeans, loose across the hips but tight enough to show off the exquisite definition of his shapely arse, thighs and … OMG, that bulge at the front.  Anna felt a sudden pang of irrational jealousy for his clothes and wished that it was her cling-wrapped to his incredible body.

There was something about him which intrigued her and it had nothing to do with the confident air of dangerous-bad-boy attitude that oozed from his every pore.  Guys like that were a dime a dozen in here.  After all this was a biker bar, it was filled with dangerous men, many of whom had a tenuous grasp on the concept of civility, at best.  Their attitude was shoot first, ask questions later. 

But, there was something different about Hawke that piqued her interest.  An intangible extra…something.

And despite the fact that he was undoubtedly a stranger to her, she couldn’t shake the notion that he seemed familiar.  She just couldn’t determine why.  Maybe it was just a side effect of her job, after awhile everyone began to look familiar.  Her job was also the reason why she didn’t trust anyone.  Not even her former partner, Gary Saunders.  Correction, especially not her former partner, Gary Saunders.  He put the capital A in Arsehole. 

After the whole Gary Saunders incident, Anna chose a new path in her life.  She no longer believed in the importance of having a partner, not in her personal life and not in her professional life.  They were a complication she didn’t need, and right now, having one of either variety was dangerous.  It could even get her killed, or them. 

However, having an aversion to permanent attachments didn’t mean she had  anything against the odd harmless fling.  It had been some months since she’d had anything that came close to sex, and this handsome stranger would be gone in the morning. 

No strings attached.

Harmless.

“I believe you owe me two double shots,” Evie told her.

“What?”

“That drinking game.  I get a shot whenever someone asks you out and a two shots whenever someone asks you for sex.  You just got propositioned by two guys, Buddy and Hawke.  I know which one I’d choose, but you still owe me two double shots.”

“Evie, this isn’t a game.  Go home.”

Evie pouted as she picked up her purse.  “I’ll see you tomorrow,” she said as she walked towards the door.

“I hope not, you stupid, foolish girl,” Anna said quietly under her breath as she watched the door close behind her.  Evie did have a point though.  She was seriously considering one of those propositions and it wasn’t Buddy.


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