Don't Say It:Ronacks Motorcycle Club(9)

By: Debra Kayn

A man with long hair tied at the back of his neck wearing the same type of black leather vest Swiss wore both times Gia had seen him stepped to the back of his truck and lifted a tire out. Gia sagged forward and set the pistol down on the windowsill. It was the man Swiss had called that morning asking about a tire for her car.

The thunder of a motorcycle vibrated the window. Gia looked past the man and spotted Swiss. Her pulse thrummed with the rumble boosting her energy. There was no mistaking the big, black bike and the large man heading toward the duplex. Her excitement at seeing Swiss wasn't over how incredibly sexy he was or the way he promised to fix her car and refused to take no for an answer. Around him, she had a lot more protection than she had by herself.

She felt safer.

That's why she'd rented the duplex. That's why she'd come to Montana. He provided a protection he wasn't even aware of, and if she thought long and hard about what she was doing, she'd hate herself for the risk she added to his life.

She picked up the pistol and put the weapon in the waistband of her jeans, pulling the hem of her shirt down to cover the bulk. The urge to go out there and be with Swiss after spending a paranoid day shut up in the duplex without a television or radio to distract her from her troubles set her to pacing.

The fewer people who knew where she stayed and could recognize her if anyone asked, the better. Nervous energy, hunger, and fear kept her inside all day. She stopped at the door. The polite thing for her to do would be to oversee Swiss putting on the tire, then thank him, and also thank his friend.

Swiss knew nothing about her, and she only knew a little about Swiss's background from Bianca at the woman's shelter in Seattle.

Apparently, he'd served in the Army—which was a good enough recommendation in her mind. Since arriving, he had never asked anything in return for the tire, the coffee, or for her pulling a gun on him. If all men were like him, she wouldn't be in the mess she was currently in, and she'd probably be married.

She stared up at the ceiling. It figured that she'd meet a perfect man at the absolute worse time and be a complete mess. Who knew what he thought of her.

She hadn't planned on getting a leak in her tire as she rolled into town on the first night. At least she'd made it to the duplex before the air went completely out. She counted herself lucky to have made it to her destination. She could go without a car while in Haugan. Though knowing she had a workable vehicle now in case she needed to get away meant everything to her.

She needed to thank Swiss again and acknowledge what he had done for her without any reason or motivation. Patting the pistol and making sure her shirt covered the handle, she inhaled deeply and opened her door. Swiss had disappeared behind her car, and the other man stood at the rear of the vehicle and glanced her way.

"Thank you for the tire," she said to the man.

"No thanks required. I'm only delivering the tire." The man reached out his hand. "Name's Rod."

She shook his hand and looked down at Swiss working on putting the new tire on to keep from giving Rod her name. Swiss glanced up at her, dipped his chin, and went back to working. Her heart fluttered.

He looked huge, scary, and standoffish, but he'd shown her how willing he was to help her. Thanks to knowing who and what she was headed toward when she set her car toward Montana, she'd made the right decision. Deep down, she finally had the sense that she'd found a safe spot for a while.

Swiss lowered the jack, and then went over each nut again with the crowbar. "That should do you."

"Thank you so much," she said, holding out her hand, sounding like one of those birds at the pet store that mimics the same phrase over and over until you wished you had a spray bottle of water to shut it up.

Swiss gazed at her fingers and frowned. "Better not. I've got road dust on me."

"Oh." She lowered her hand, embarrassment warming her cheeks.

She should offer him something in return for all the work and money he'd spent. Paying for the actual tire was out of the picture. She only had enough money to survive. A new tire, new shoes, and even splurging on groceries would mean she'd need to go back to her condominium in Washington sooner than she'd planned. Right back to where men looked for her and would kill her if they found her.