Soothing His Madness (Bantorus MC #3)

By: Debra Kayn

The one good thing she woke up to every day was her excitement over seeing him again. She thought about him when she worked, when she slept, and when they were together. Her whole routine rotated around the Bantorus Motorcycle Club, and Slade was a huge part of the MC. How did he expect her to forget about him when he consumed her whole body?

The car reversed and took off down the street. She hung her head, sniffing the tears back that she refused to shed. Slade was wrong. He had a lot to give her.

She ran her hands over her face, digging deep to keep her emotions together. A few more hours and she would go to Cactus Cove. Slade might say they were done, but she wasn’t giving up on him that easily.

Chapter Four

Three days after Slade walked out of her house, he all but disappeared from Taylor’s life. She hadn’t even seen him stop by the bar and if he showed up for club meetings, he came late because she hung around until the last possible moment to catch a glimpse of him before she had to leave the premises.

She set the order of beer on table number six with a clunk. Even the Bantorus members weren’t giving up any information.

“Hey,” Pauline scooted back in her chair when the beer sloshed over the sides of the mug and held her hands up. “Watch it.”

Taylor tossed her the towel she’d slung over her shoulder earlier from when she spilled a man’s drink all over the table, luckily missing the customer. “Here.”

Pauline wiped up the liquid on the surface of the table. “What’s with you?

“Nothing.” Taylor glanced at Tori, holding her daughter Lilly on her lap, and Ginger, who both remained silent but were openly curious.

She hadn’t gone to her friends for support, because this wasn’t club business. What she and Slade had together was personal.

“Sit down.” Tori pulled out the chair beside her. “Everyone knows about Slade and you, since the night…well, since Slade lost his kids. Everyone figured it out. We’re worried.”

She sank down on the chair. “You should be. He’s running around, ready to snap, and hiding out from everyone. He walked out of my life without giving a shit. He’s put me back in the friend zone, even though I had no vote in the decision.”

“Bikers don’t spend almost every night over at a woman’s house, even if she is his bitch…which you’re not, and claim to be friends.” Pauline shrugged. “I’m a reporter. I know everything that happens in Pitnam and what the bikers do. Besides, you don’t think every Bantorus member knows where Slade is every minute of the day. They do. That’s why you should’ve come to us and asked for our help.”

“You know where he’s at?” Taylor leaned forward. “Is he okay?”

Tori extracted her hair from Lilly’s tight grip. “He’s hurting, and Rain has him working double shift at the garage to keep him off the road. Last night, Rain said Slade’s barely hanging on, so he ordered two members to guard his house and follow him wherever he goes. At least he’ll be safe.”

Even though the news was worse than she’d hoped, Taylor was glad that everyone had Slade’s back. She moistened her lips. “Bruce told me to go home early and put my feet up. I’ve had a bad day with the customers. He’d probably like to fire me for all the times I messed up today.”

“He’s not upset at your service, girlfriend. Slade asked him to cut you out of here, so he can come to the meeting without running into you.” Ginger’s eyes softened. “Sorry. Not much happens around here that we don’t find out about.”

Her stomach rolled. It was bad enough to assume, but to hear the truth hurt. “Apparently,” Taylor mumbled.

“Don’t be discouraged.” Tori kissed Lilly’s outstretched hand and then smiled at Taylor. “Stick around and Slade will show up. The meeting tonight’s mandatory.”

Hope filled her. “I’m not allowed—”

“Let me deal with Rain and the MC rules.” Tori grinned, standing up. “He owes me.”

Pauline laughed and smacked the table in amusement. “For what?”

Tori blushed, which was a rare occurrence with the Bantorus women, who’ve seen all and done all. The weight on Taylor’s shoulders eased. She’d been around long enough to know that Tori had ways of making Rain do about anything for her.

“Thank you,” she said. “I owe you.”

Tori squeezed her shoulder in reply before carrying Lilly toward the hallway. Taylor looked at the other girls. They were always here for her, and she never should’ve kept her problems to herself. Maybe if she had stood up to Slade wanting to keep their relationship private in the first place, things would’ve turned out differently.

He’d wanted to protect her from Jodie’s lawyer going after her and questioning her relationship with a known biker. Having him not believe she was tough enough to handle anything thrown her way and it was better for him to walk out of her life hurt her more.

She understood his fear of harming his case to get custody, but there was nothing wrong with her. She never used drugs, had a clean record, and held a full-time job. Granted, it was at a biker bar, but she was responsible and a good role model.