Animal Rage:Devil Dogs MC, Volume 3(6)By: Kathryn Thomas
“I promise, oh wise one.” Her grumbly response is enough to tell Jamie there are no hard feelings, that she’s not mad at her for once again telling her the truth.
“Good, now I’ve got to run if I don’t want my mother to kill me!” She rolls her eyes. “I’ll catch you later.” Jamie gives her friend a bear hug before rushing off down the street, looking like a bright spot of color amongst the grey of the buildings.
Isabel bites back a sigh, knowing that now she’s alone, it’s going to be harder to keep her feelings under wraps. In the past few days she’s learned that when she’s on her own it’s nearly impossible not to think about Wesley. He’s invaded her heart and her mind and there’s absolutely nothing she can do to get him out of either.
Time heals all wounds. It was something her mother always used to say. She hopes it is true, but she can’t help but wonder how much time it’s going to take for her heart to be repaired.
Walking down the street in the direction of the boarding house, she wonders about him, asking herself what he’s doing, what he’s feeling, if he’s thinking about her. There’s no doubt in her mind that he’s still doing the dangerous work she had seen the evidence of every night when he came back beaten and bloody.
She hopes he’s found someone else to patch him up. She hopes it’s an obese man with a lazy eye and body odor. She smiles to herself at that. It’s easier to hope that than to believe he’s just moved on to the next woman who will open their door to him. No, he wouldn’t do that, her brain assures her. But, after all, how could she possibly know that? He had walked out on her as if there had been no other choice. His feelings hadn’t been strong enough to make him stay.
Isabel shakes her head, trying to rid herself of those thoughts. There’s nothing productive to come from going down that road; she’d spent too long there anyway. When she’s only a block away from the boarding house she hears the unmistakable sound of motorcycles. She turns around, searching for where the noise is coming from and for one brief, beautiful moment she thinks it’s Wesley – that he’s come back.
But when two weekend riders all dressed up in their gaudy leathers and helmets whizz past her on brand spanking new bikes, she feels her heart sink right down into her Converse sneakers again. Serves you right, Bishop. If you don’t expect to see him, you won’t be disappointed when you don’t – simple as that.
She nods her head in agreement, knowing the only way to get over him is to stop thinking about him, to stop hoping she’s going to see him round the next corner, leaning lazily against a wall, looking at her as if no time had passed.
“Where is he, darlin’?”
A voice behind her makes her jump and immediately reach for the mace on her key ring Rosa had given her the night after Jimmy’s appearance in her garden. She had told Rosa it had just been a prowler, skipping all the important details. Although it was evident that the older woman didn’t believe her and that she had already put the incident together with the sudden disappearance of Wesley, the man she had already labeled ‘dangerous.’ Rosa had given Isabel the key ring for her own protection. Isabel hasn’t had cause to use it yet, but she feels more secure knowing that it is there if she needs it.
She whirls around to face the man behind her, half-expecting to see Jimmy. But it’s not him; it’s a much older man, with a grey beard, wearing a leather vest. But that’s not what gets her attention; it’s the tattoos all up and down his exposed arms including the face of a black snarling dog with horns. There’s no doubt about it; the man in front of her is a Devil Dog.
Isabel swallows the fear that threatens to have her coffee making an unwelcome reappearance. The man in front of her couldn’t be more different from the one who attacked her. He doesn’t give off the same creepy vibe and he doesn’t look at her as if she were in danger of becoming his next meal.
“Where is who?” Her voice doesn’t tremble and she feels a little proud of herself.
“Don’t play around with me, Miss Bishop.” His use of her name makes her head snap to attention. “Yes, I know who you are.”