Animal Rage:Devil Dogs MC, Volume 3(7)

By: Kathryn Thomas

“Well if you’re here to threaten me or to follow up on what your friend Jimmy tried to pull, you’re out of luck! If you come near me or my place, I’ll call the cops so fast your head will spin.” The anger helps to bolster her courage.

“Easy there, tiger.” He makes a calm down gesture with his hands, looking around to see if Isabel’s raised voice has caught anyone’s attention. When he seems satisfied that there’s nothing for him to worry about, he continues. “I’m not here to hurt you. I’m just looking for some information.”

“Well I don’t have any.” Isabel crosses her arms, her patience starting to run out.

“All I want to know is where Wesley is. You tell me that and you’ll never have to see me again.” He holds up his hands as if to show what a stand-up guy he is.

“But if I don’t know where he is, how am I supposed to tell you? And, like I said, if I see you again, you’ll be telling your story to the cops.” She turns to walk away but halts at his next words.

“Beautiful, I own the cops.” He says the words as if he is just stating a fact. If he had been full of bombast and bravado, Isabel may not have believed him. But it’s clear from his expression he’s not kidding around.

“You’re the leader of the Devil Dogs, aren’t you?” She keeps her voice low, hoping the caution in it won’t be as audible if she’s quiet.

The man just nods and Isabel gulps audibly. “Like I said, I’m not here to hurt you. If I wanted you out of the picture, you’d be dead already.”

Isabel isn’t sure if that’s comforting or not. “I don’t know where he is. That’s the truth.”

The man assesses her for a few moments, as if he is a human lie detector and then takes a step away, backing off. “If you didn’t look so miserable, I might not have believed you.”

Great, now I’m getting pity from big hairy criminals.

“Well, if you do see Wes again, tell him I have another job for him.” He gives Isabel a pointed look, as if he’s expecting her to ask what kind of job that would be. It’s clear that she gets points for not following that particular line of questioning.

“All right, I will. If you promise that you and the rest of your merry men will leave me and my business alone.” Isabel holds her head high, her chin jutting out in what her mother used to call her ‘stubborn’ pose. She knows she’s not exactly in the best position to be making demands but she figures this may be the only leverage with the Dogs she’s ever going to get.

The biker laughs deeply as he looks at her, but it’s not just amusement in his face; there’s also a hint of respect. “You’ve got a set of brass balls on you, girl!” He gives her a little playful slap on the back that almost sends her flying. “You’re not just a pretty face, after all. No wonder Wes went for you hook, line, and sinker.” He looks at her as if he’s really seeing her for the first time.

“Well?” She taps her foot, looking pointedly at him. “I’m waiting for an answer.”

He seems to think about it and then nods in agreement, sticking his hand out. “You have a deal. My men won’t bother you. Just make sure Wesley gets in touch with me when he comes back.”

“You mean if he comes back.” Isabel doesn’t add that she’s pretty certain that’s a big if. She shakes his hand, watching how hers looks so small in his enormous grip. The man is built like a grizzly bear.

“No, I mean when.” He looks Isabel over. “Wesley’s a lot of things but he’s not stupid. He’ll be back.” Signaling the end of the conversation, he turns on his heel and walks away in the other direction, leaving Isabel to take in a deep, sucking breath.

So it turns out Wesley’s plan to get Isabel out of the way of the Devil Dogs hasn’t exactly worked like a charm. Isabel trudges back to the house, wondering if she can trust anything the man had promised her. The way she figures it, she has no choice but to take him at his word, that he’ll keep his goons away from her and her business. But she can’t help hoping he was right about one particular thing: Wesley will come back and that it’ll be for her.