Unbridled and UntetheredBy: Elle Saint James
“Okay,” she responded and promptly bit the inside of her cheek to keep from asking for Zeke’s last name.
Emma Rae usually had the opinion that very few men were good guys, but a small thread of trust unwound inside her suspiciousness, because she trusted Clay. She looked away again, embarrassed to have been caught gawking at a good-looking man or suddenly wondering what his best friend, Luke, looked like. She’d already been thinking several wayward thoughts that she shouldn’t entertain further. Something about this club intrigued her as much as it frightened her. Perhaps she was afraid of her own feelings of desire.
I’m not looking for a man. I’m not.
Clay didn’t say anything else, but his expression remained inquisitive until he turned away. He opened the door and checked the corridor to ensure Zeke wasn’t lingering. Emma Rae refused to tell him that she wouldn’t mind getting one last look at his intriguing friend Zeke. Because she wasn’t looking for a man. Not even an attractive one. She squared her shoulders and exited, trying to put the gorgeous man out of her thoughts. But her mind was stubborn and refused to relinquish his image.
The moment they walked out of Clay’s security fortress, she saw the second vehicle parked next to the SUV she’d arrived in. The glance to the license plate as she walked by was instinctive. She could tell it wasn’t a rental car by the plate designation. She ran her gaze over Zeke’s vehicle to memorize the make and model. She presumed it was his vehicle, since it hadn’t been here less than an hour ago when she’d arrived.
It was foolish to get attached to a man she’d never have, but once the information about his vehicle entered her head, it was difficult to get it out or ignore the numbers and letters now ingrained in her mind as if carved in granite. Just like his image was stamped in her memory forever. Regardless of how intriguing he was, a relationship with Zeke wasn’t possible.
Emma Rae fully understood the nature of the Double Rider Men’s Club. Two men sexually involved with one woman was how the club worked. She didn’t even trust one man to be in her life. Two men having dominion over her body, spirit, and soul would be intolerable.
Clay dropped Emma Rae off at the front gate to the DRMC property next to her vehicle and hurried back to his security building, where Zeke waited. He silently cursed himself all the way there and back due to his uncharacteristically forgetful memory.
He’d apologized to her again as she slid out of the front seat, but she’d told him there was no need. He was grateful that she seemed to be intrigued with Zeke rather than paralyzed with fear like the last time someone had unexpectedly interrupted them.
Emma Rae was uncomfortable around men, but she had never told him this information specifically. He had sensed it more than anything. Her demand not to be watched by his guards was another indicator. He’d done a cursory background check on her long ago before she started working for him on the property. He knew a few interesting facts about her past and some of what she’d been through. Several of the things he’d learned made him want to champion her, but likely she wouldn’t appreciate it.
There had been a couple connections with what he considered vile, bastard men in her past. Men who had obviously hurt her. However, Emma Rae was a survivor, not a victim. He had the utmost respect for her. And had since he’d met her.
Clay hated that he’d forgotten Zeke was coming when she was so adamant in her requirements that no one in his security force supervise her or remain with her while she worked. He knew it was because of this discomfort she had around men. She certainly had a valid reason for her unease.
She told him it was due to the proprietary nature of some of the equipment she used. He let her use that as her excuse, but he knew better. They’d resolved that issue the first time she’d come out to the DRMC. Clay had never balked at keeping her safe and out of the view of other men while on his property. It was the least he could do. And it made him feel that much worse about his forgetfulness tonight.
Clay had quite a few irons in the fire regarding various aspects of his life these days. However, the revelations on his mind were no excuse for forgetting he’d invited Zeke here to help yet another old friend. He needed to find better focus.