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Tray (A Hell's Harlem Novel Book 2) by J.M. Walker (1)

FEAR.

That was what was going through me at the moment. And nausea. God, my dad was going to kill me. Grabbing the cloth, I buffed the gas tank, but the scratch was still there. If I could see it, my dad would definitely see it. This was it. This was how I was going to die. You never mess with a biker and his bike. He trusted me to clean it up for him, and look what I did. My clumsy self was going to get me killed.

My eyes burned, my throat working over the lump that had taken up permanent residence there.

“How could you be so stupid, Zillah?” Roughly wiping the tears from beneath my eyes, I let out a huff and stuck the cloth in my back pocket.

I had grown up in the auto repair shop my father owned. While it was worn and faded, it still held that fifties charm, but I had to be careful or else my father wouldn’t let me work there at all.

Might as well meet my maker now.

“Hey, Z.”

I jumped as my brother, Kian, approached me. “Hey,” I croaked.

“What’s wrong?” He frowned, his gaze moving to our dad’s bike I was shining.

“Nothing.” I stepped in front of it.

“What the fuck is that?” He pushed me out of the way. “Zillah, what did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything,” I cried. “I was buffing the tank like I do every time before Dad goes on a ride and there was a tiny pebble in the cloth.” I covered my face, the tears falling freely now. “He’s going to kill me.” Under normal circumstances, I was sure my reaction would have been overdone but this … this was serious shit.

“No.” Kian pulled my hands from my face. “He’s not, but he is going to give you hell.” He hooked an arm around my shoulders and led me to the back of the garage.

“Are you coming with me to tell him?” I asked, hating that I was about to disappoint our father.

“Oh, no.” Kian shoved me forward as soon as we reached the door to my dad’s office. “That’s all on you.”

“I hate you,” I grumbled.

“No, you don’t.” He kissed my cheek. “I’ll go and fix your mistake. Good thing I know the painter.”

I groaned. “Ass.”

He chuckled, backing up, and blew me a kiss. “Love you too, sis.”

The door behind me opened.

My body stiffened.

“Hey, Zillah,” my father said from behind me. “What’s wrong?”

I swallowed hard, slowly turning toward him, and waved a hand in front of me. “Oh, nothing. Nothing at all.” I pulled a folded-up piece of paper from my back pocket and handed it to him. “Did you know that we’re past due on our rent?” I asked, thankful for the distraction.

My dad grumbled out a curse and headed back into his office. “Yeah. I know that. And it’s not we, Zillah. It’s me. You don’t have to worry about this shit.”

“But I do.” I stepped into the office and closed the door behind me. “I can start working on the cars—”

“No.” My dad’s voice was firm and to the point, but I wouldn’t be his daughter if I didn’t argue. I did learn from the best, after all.

“Why not? You know I can do just as good of a job as these guys. Probably even better. If I work on the cars, more business can come in. Let me help.” I moved the chair with the cracked, green-pleather cushion in front of his desk and sat. “Please, Daddy. I can work on more bikes too. I need to do something.”

“What did I tell you when you were old enough to start working here?” my dad asked instead of giving me the answer I was looking for.

“That I can buff the bikes in the back, but I can’t work on the cars or be seen in the open because the big bad men could come hurt me,” I said, my voice monotone.

“Don’t sass me, girl.” His dark eyes met mine. “I keep you working on the bikes and cars in the back because it keeps you behind the scenes. You don’t even want to know what those men would do to a beautiful young woman like you.” He shook his head. “I don’t even want to know but, unfortunately, I do, because I’ve seen it. So, no, you will not be working on the cars. You will be in the back. That’s it.”

“Let me work outside then. At the back of the shop,” I insisted. I was grasping at straws, trying everything to make him see reason, but this argument had gone on for quite a while. I knew he wouldn’t budge but I still had to try.

“What did I just say? Bikes. Cars. Trucks. Shitboxes. I don’t give a fuck. You are not working on them. You are buffing. That’s it.” My dad sat in the chair behind his desk. “Speaking of which, did you finish buffing my bike?”

“Uh …” My skin became clammy. “About that.”

The door opened, revealing Kian.

“Hey, old man. Your bike is good as new. Zillah had me check it out to make sure she didn’t miss a spot.” Kian stood beside me and leaned down to my ear. “You owe me.”

I blew out a slow breath. “Thank you,” I whispered.

“Since when does Zillah need your approval?” My dad looked between us both. “What’s going—”

“Shadow.”

All of us turned to the deep voice coming from the door.

“We need you.” Brandon O’Leary, known as Ripper, another member of my dad’s motorcycle club, glanced at Kian. “Both of you.” His dark gaze flicked to mine. “Hey, Zee.”

“Hey,” I said softly to the older man. He was in his early forties but just as good-looking as he was in the pictures I had seen of him when he was in his twenties. For whatever reason, these guys aged well. Must have been something in the water.

Ripper nodded once and left the doorway, letting out a loud whistle.

“Duty calls.” My dad came up behind me and kissed my head. “Remember what I said.”

“Yeah.” I let out a heavy sigh and headed back to buffing the bikes. As frustrated as I was, I got it. I did. My dad, known as Shadow, was the president of a motorcycle club, Mayhem’s Revenge. And a lethal one at that. But I was the only girl in the place, so I was to be protected at all costs. With the men constantly following me everywhere, you would think I was the daughter of the President of the United States.

When I realized I was done buffing all of the bikes, I checked out my dad’s. Kian did a beautiful job, fixing up the paint that the pebble had scratched through. Why he covered my ass, I wasn’t sure, but I appreciated it nonetheless.

 

(Tray)

 

“Fuck,” I groaned, holding the head in my hands, and thrust my hips up and up. “Your mouth is so fucking hot.” A couple more pumps and my release shot down the back of the throat that had been gagging on my dick for the last half hour.

I breathed a sigh of relief, but it still did nothing to curb the monster inside of me. The need for more. The craving for something other than a few blow jobs here and there.

I frowned, pushing away from the person I had come to use for the past several months.

“Get out.” I rose from the bed and trudged to the bathroom.

“Tray.”

“I said get out.” What the hell was wrong with me? Getting a blow job usually worked but lately, my rage only seemed to grow.

A heavy hand cupped my shoulder. “Talk to me.”

I spun around, slamming my best friend up against the wall.

“What the fuck?” Catch narrowed his brows, trying to shove me off him when only a couple moments ago, he was sucking my dick.

“I need you to leave,” I told him. “You got me?”

“You’ve never kicked me out after.” He grabbed onto my waist, pulling me against him. “Why now?”

“Stop.” I released him and stomped into the bathroom. “I’m done with this shit.”

“I know you’re using me.” Catch followed me.

I chuckled. “And you’re not using me?” I was being an asshole, but something was wrong. Something was very wrong, and I didn’t know how to deal with it.

The man I had been face fucking for the past few months stared back at me. With those cold, calculating eyes of his, he didn’t say anything.

I swallowed a curse.

“Just leave it alone, Catch. We can go back to sharing women.” Although I hadn’t felt a tight hot pussy in months. Nothing satisfied me anymore. Not even the blow jobs that Catch Hunter was good at giving.

“What’s going on with you?” he asked, hovering by the door, but he didn’t come any closer. Smart man.

Besides the fact the ten-year anniversary of my mother’s death just passed, nothing was going on, but he was right. I was off my game. Not feeling it. Or some shit like that.

“I need a shower,” I mumbled.

“Let me join you.”

No,” I yelled, spinning on him.

“We’ve been messing around for almost six months, Tray,” Catch reminded me. “I’ve given you countless blow jobs and I’ve never asked for anything in return. Not that you’ve offered anyway.”

I winced. I was a selfish bastard.

“It’s never resorted to anything more than that,” Catch continued. “Why?”

Because he had a hot mouth. That was all he was good for. “I need a break,” I said instead.

Catch nodded, his jaw clenching. “Fine.”

Fuck me, I hurt him. “Catch,” I said gently. “I—”

“It’s fine.” He turned and left the bathroom. A moment later, the door to my room slammed shut.

“Shit,” I muttered. I couldn’t lose Catch as a friend, but I also couldn’t continue doing this. To him or to me. I needed to get laid, but my dick was limp around anything that walked. The only time it reacted at all was when Catch and I started doing our thing. But even then, I had to force it. I had made a joke about getting old. Could a guy become impotent at thirty-eight? Fuck if I knew. But, apparently, it was happening.

 

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