Read Sawyer (Great Wolves Motorcycle Club, #5) Online

Authors: Jayne Blue

Tags: #romantic suspence, #mc romance, #crime, #action adventure, #biker romance, #sexy series

Sawyer (Great Wolves Motorcycle Club, #5) (2 page)

BOOK: Sawyer (Great Wolves Motorcycle Club, #5)
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I looked around. The bar was full of black balloons. Black confetti. Black hats.

It was my goddamn birthday.

“You look much older than forty,” Larry said and laughed his ass off. He was enjoying the hell out of my discomfort.

The party did have another purpose. It was a good alibi if anyone asked questions about our earlier activities of the evening.

Though I didn’t think it was likely. The Russians didn’t want cops involved, I was pretty damn sure.

“Thanks, asshole. No sunscreen. A cautionary tale.”

“Cleaning up an M.C. also interferes with your beauty sleep.” Ridge, our treasurer, was not kidding. The last year had been a dramatic shift for this club. It was what I was sent here to do. It was working; all the Grand City operations were pulling in pretty big money. Still I had a lot of shit to deal with.

Music started thumping and the hooting and hollering factor went up a notch. The source of the noise was clear. My birthday present had walked in wearing two tassels and a g-string.

She had blonde hair down to her waist and legs up to her neck. There were also two very talented breasts that did not seem bound by the natural laws of physics.

“Bite it, Sawyer!” Larry was laughing his ass off. He knew I hated this shit. But the girl they hired didn’t need me to humiliate her by acting as if I didn’t appreciate the considerable effort she was putting into giving me a hard on.

She slid on my lap and I did my best to be sure she didn’t fall the fuck off as she leaned back, forth, and all over.

A tassel nearly poked my eye out. She did her seductive best to give the club their money’s worth. As the song finished, she climbed off my lap and got the tassels going in unison. Several of the club members looked as though they might be hypnotized.

I toyed with the idea of trying to plant some suggestions in their brains, quack like a duck or, you hate cigarettes, in Larry’s case. She had them so transfixed I thought it could work.

Mercifully, the song finished and I hoped my personal dance. This birthday could not be over soon enough. If I were twenty, this would be my bag. I was not twenty.

I stood up but the performance was not quite over.

The stripper slid up to me and pressed her flesh to my leather. She strained up to kiss me. I allowed it. It was not bad. It was not good either.

I had a lot on my mind but I gave her a smile. It was not her fault that I had no interest.

“Did you like my dance?”

“Sure honey, take this.” I gave her five-hundred bucks.

“You know they already paid me?” Her eyes were wide.

“You earned extra.”

“Do you want me to...?” I stopped her with my finger to her lips.

“You do not have to do anything else. Victor?” I called for our newest probie. Victor was the best bodyguard in the business. His English was sketchy but his morals were sound.

“Yes, Prez.”

“Make sure, uh, what’s your name?”

“Amber.”

“Ah, make sure Amber here has a nice night and gets home safely. Got it?”

“Yes, Prez.”

“She’s the boss the rest of tonight. Have a good time honey. Victor’s your insurance policy around here if any of my guys gets out of hand.” She didn’t really have anything to worry about with GWMC members, but still. Many ugly stories start with a stripper walking into a bar.

I walked over to the bar. Dusty, our tough as nails bartender, slid a beer my way. She probably weighed a buck-twenty if that.

“I told them it was a dumbass present.” She was the cutest little tough chick. She had to be around this place.

Dusty’s dad was the old Prez. She didn’t seem to hold it against me. He had been about war, territory, and hanging on to the old way of doing things. He had paid with a bullet in his head from a rival club, The Devil’s Hawks. That’s the story I got anyway.

It all went down before I got to town. It was one of the reasons they sent me. To stop an all-out war. To clean up, help the club go legit, just as we had done in Cali. The Green Bluff Great Wolves were the model of civic respectability. Grand City was well on its way to the same place.

Somehow, Dusty had been on my side from the beginning. Growing up in here maybe, she had seen the price of profit the old way.

“Yeah? What did you suggest for my birthday?”

“You need new leather.” She pointed to the fraying cuff on my Great Wolves jacket.

“I like the lived-in look.” She laughed. She was a damn good bartender. She also held her own in this place, which was not easy.

Every biker in the club had hit on her at one point or another. Her dad had kept them away, now I took on the job. I had seen her throw a punch. She knew what she was doing. She also kept a tight lock on bar tabs and the staff.

She kept the bar running lean and tight.

“Watch the bar a second? I need to grab two bottles from the store room.”

“No problem kid.”

I looked around. It had been a wild year for me as Grand City’s Prez. Between the Great Wolves MMA Gym and
The Wolf Den,
I hadn’t slept much.

Or gotten to ride much.

Bikers are supposed to have a life on the road? Anarchy and shit right? Except when you are at the head of the table.

These men, their old ladies, our businesses, it was all on my shoulders.

Larry was taking a keen interest in Amber, so was Ryder.

I saw Stone in the corner, alone, he caught my eye. I indicated toward Larry and Ryder. He got me. If they turned idiot later, Stone would handle it.

I was tired and I was ready to be done for the night. Lately, there’d been a hole in my heart and I knew why.

The only woman I wanted to press up against me was nowhere to be found. She’d sped out of my life in fifth gear. I still couldn’t get her out of my mind. I may be forty but the thought of her made me feel sixteen.

She was gorgeous for sure. But it wasn’t that. It was everything else about her that lingered in my mind.

It dawned on me that today’s dark discovery could have one silver lining.

I was pretty sure I had a reason to see her. A legitimate one. Yes, that would be an excellent birthday present. Seeing her, touching her, smelling that hair. See? I’m a teenager when I think of her.

When I think of Bess.

Chapter Two

B
ess

“You’re sure?”

“Yep. She was always talking about it. That’s what the foster family reported to me.”

I looked at the file again. Toby and Sharon Allen had been foster parents for three years. They never had problems until now.

Now there was a big problem.

The girl our agency had placed in their home was gone.

“Had she recently met a new boyfriend or new best friend or something? Someone I can try to track down?”

“They don’t seem to have a name of a boyfriend. Just the idea that she was recently sullen, secretive, and always on the phone they gave her.”

Norm Northcut was my employee at the Clark County Office of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services. I ran the office and he ran the caseworkers. We started out together over a decade ago, me as investigator and him as a caseworker. The news he was sharing was not good and it was happening more and more. Girls were bolting, and I could not seem to do a single thing about it.

The news that we had essentially lost another young girl was making me ill.

“The parents were cooperative with the police?”

“Yes, we’ve really never had a single incident with Toby and Sharon. They are solid.”

“You talked to Detective Murray?” Murray was my go to guy in the Grand City Police Department. I was head of the Clark County Children’s Services office in Grand City. Keeping kids safe was my job and I was failing, at least, when it came to this case in front of me.

“Yes, you know his response when we say runaway.”

“She’s only 13.”

“I’m just not sure what else we can do,” said Norm.

“I know. Thanks for updating me Norm.”

I was not naïve, it happened, kids ran away. Especially the kids we placed. They were abused, abandoned, some had special medical needs, and others had attachment issues.

After a decade in the children services, I had seen every type of scenario. I had started in the field. I had been in homes. I was not naïve. I knew kids ran off. It killed me every time.

I was not in the field anymore and yet somehow each case affected me the same as when I was. I had earned my masters, I had worked hard, and now I ran the department. I thought moving up would mean a lot more money and less stress. It turned out the promotions I had achieved always turned into a little more money and a lot more stress.

I didn’t do casework anymore. Instead, I managed Norm and my staff; I hired, fired, and filed paperwork. Budgets had replaced caseloads. Still losing a kid, this kid, Kirstin Jones, was a knife in the gut. I looked over her file.

Her mother died of an overdose. Her father was unknown. She was a tiny thing with blonde hair and big trusting eyes.

I had never met her. I didn’t meet all the kids. I couldn’t.

They all were my kids and now she had run off, too. Probably with some loser boyfriend.

She joined the list of faces that kept me up at night.

When my county supervisor first promoted me to an administrative job, I knew my soul would die if I could not be in the trenches at least part of the time. So, I changed the way I managed the department. My predecessor was always in the office or in meetings. I worked to be more hands on. The problem was there was just never enough of me.

I worked to make more of me. Sort of. I did all I could to nurture new social workers. Recruiting them and making sure they stayed was just as important as doing the budget.

The burnout rate was high. Some of my caseworkers had nearly 300 clients. It was staggering.

It was all staggering really. When you looked at the numbers, how much need we faced on a daily basis it could stop you from even trying.

I told my staff that all they could do was focus on one person, one family, and one child at a time. If you thought about the big picture, it was like trying to drain the ocean with a thimble. If you looked at the big picture, you would drown.

My one person today was Kirstin Jones. Where was she? Did I lose this one?

Probably.

I walked out of my office to the maze of cubes and was not surprised to find my newest caseworker, Cassidy Parker, toiling away at her cubicle. It was late, almost dark, but she was there. When I looked at Cassidy Parker, I felt hope. She reminded me that I had made a difference.

She had come to this office as an orphan. If I was honest, her foster experience was an abysmal failure. I was a new caseworker and try as I might she still bounced from family to family. I did not give up on her, and, what's more, she did not give up on herself.

She was now a newly graduated caseworker in my department. She had gone from scared kid to determined student, to the hardest working woman in the office. Along the way, she became my best friend.

When I wanted to quit, I remembered Cassidy’s journey and forged ahead. She would run this place if she stayed. I was sure of it.

“Watch ya working on Cass?” I sat in one of the two Government Issue client chairs in Cassidy’s Government Issue cubicle.

The only clue that she was living a very big life outside her job with children’s services was a small framed picture. In it, she stood, tiny, between two men that dwarfed her.

On the one side was her fiancé and on the other his brother. Her fiancé was Craddock Flynn, yes that’s right, the fighter movie star. She could have dropped this whole social worker idea in a heartbeat and lived happily ever after with him.

But she didn’t. She worked her ass off for her ever-expanding caseload. I was damn proud of her. She was the elusive “good outcome” that everyone who went into this line of work strived for. Her outcome happened to be lottery ticket good.

No one deserved it more.

“DeAndra Parrish.” She said she looked at me, concern etched across her brow.

“Refresh my memory.”

“She’s a 12-year-old I placed. She’d been sexually assaulted by her older brother, nice neighborhood, you remember?”

“Yes, it’s coming back to me, looked haunted in her eyes?”

“Yes, pretty cocoa skin? She’s so little. Ringing a bell? Anyway speaking of ringing I gave her my cell, I wanted her to text me if she needed anything.”

“You know you’re not supposed to right.”

“Yes, like you weren’t supposed to with me?”

“Shh. You’ll get me in trouble with the boss.”

“You are the boss.”

“Right, so what’s up?”

“I’m just worried. She has not returned my texts. She was very introverted the last home visit. It feels like she’s going in the wrong direction with this placement.”

“Is safety a concern here?”

“From her foster family? No, I think they are good. Norm recommended them when I was doing the placement.”

“You’re doing all you can. I know that. You can do an unscheduled visit if you keep having this concern. Now go home. I think you got here before me which means you’re going on 12 hours?”

“You’re still here.”

“I’m the boss remember.”

I found her coat and handed it to her. I knew the danger of working too long, of letting the job seep into every aspect of your life. Cassidy was like me, so it was likely there was nothing I could do to help her separate work from life. It was a hard lesson that I was still learning and I was a decade older.

“Okay, okay.”

“I don’t want to be on Craddock Flynn’s shit list.” Her fiancé was scary, handsome, and over-protective. They would have a rough road ahead if Cassidy stayed in this office.

Tonight, at least, I would get her home before the eleven o’clock news.

She was the last one out. I headed to my office and thought through the day. I should take my own advice. Most days I did. I got home to Henry so we could do homework, hang out, or play video games. My life was work and Henry. It was full, or, at least, busy.

I looked at the file I had for Kirstin Jones, the runaway. Where are you, Kirstin? I would call Detective Murray tomorrow; just to be sure there was not more I could do.

BOOK: Sawyer (Great Wolves Motorcycle Club, #5)
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