Leave A Trail (Signal Bend #7)

By: Susan Fanetti


Badger waited on the porch of the B&B, feeling nervous—more nervous than usual, even. Although he got laid whenever he wanted to, he still had trouble talking to girls, and the prettier they were, the harder it was. He hated it.

It was probably just lingering high school horseshit, when his face was a fucking mess and, no matter how hard he’d tried, he couldn’t even hit a buck fifty at six feet tall. Girls laughed if he even made eye contact.

So, yeah, he got the yips around them all, even at the clubhouse, when he knew they were there to fuck him, and they didn’t care much about anything other than the kutte. Even then, he waited for them to come to him—which they did. But civilian girls? No. And if they looked like the kind of girl who could have anybody they wanted, then he just didn’t fucking bother to even look.

Adrienne was the kind of girl who could have anybody. Holy Christ, she was pretty. She looked so much like Shannon it was crazy, and Shannon was so unbelievably hot Badger had trouble being in the same room with her for too long.

He thought about Shannon way too much. Especially since she was Show’s old lady, and Show could wad him into a crumpled ball and toss him in a dumpster. With one hand. But she was so beautiful, and smart, and nice, and she had those tits that didn’t quit, and she wore those skirts with the slit up the back…

Way too much.

Which was probably why his heart was in his throat at the thought of following her daughter—her daughter?!—around today. The gorgeous, age-appropriate, not taken by his VP daughter of the woman he was kinda in love with. Basically in love with. Pretty much totally in love with.

He felt sick.

At that moment, the front door of the B&B opened, and Adrienne came out. Badger swallowed and steadied his spine. He was a fucking patched member of the Night Horde MC. He was not some squirrely little pussy, to be brought low by a pretty face. Plus, his skin was cleared up, and he’d been working out. Pushing one-sixty-five now. And ink. He had his Horde ink, across his chest, and a couple of smaller pieces on his arms. And the motherfucking kutte, motherfucker. He was Horde.

No reason to act like a dork.

Except she smiled, and he totally felt like a dork. Fuck, she was pretty. Long, curly mass of bright red hair, her mom’s eyes and face almost exactly, with the added bonus of freckles. Badger thought freckles were totally hot. He wondered if she had them on her shoulders, too—because freckled shoulders? Damn. But the lace of her top was too dense to be able to see.

She was dressed in that loose, short, lacy top and little denim shorts. With cowboy boots over firm, long legs. And a shit ton of jewelry, everywhere—wrists, fingers, neck, ears. She had a little suede bag, with fringe or something, across her chest, the strap between her tits, which drew his attention right there. They were little and pert. She was pretty little, just in general, not much more than five-three or five-four. She was like a fun-size version of Shannon.

It was probably weird that he kept thinking about how she was as hot as her mom. That was weird. Was that weird?

“Hi. You’re Badger, right?”

…And a phone-sex voice, all soft and sweet.

Drawing strength from the leather on his back, he pushed away from the railing on which he’d been leaning and stood straight. In a proactive move to avoid his voice cracking, he cleared his throat and said, “Yep. That’s me.”

“Badger—that’s like a nickname, right?”

“A road name, yeah. Only name I care about.” That was true. He knew Len had given him the name because of the way his face had looked, but he didn’t care.

He’d made the mistake of complaining about it once, while he was prospecting, and Len had hauled off and socked him, rings and all. Then he’d picked him up off the ground and growled, “Make it mean something else, then, scrub.”

Badger had taken that to heart. He was working on that.

The gorgeous little redhead held out her silver-laden hand, her bracelets tinkling gently. “Okay, well, I’m Adrienne. Shannon says you’re my bodyguard. I’m not sure what you’re guarding me from, but I don’t mind hanging out.”

He took her hand and shook it. “Just making sure everything’s cool after the shi—stuff that guy stirred up.” It felt weird to cuss in front of her. “Don’t want you to find trouble.”

“I was thinking I’d drive around and see the town. Maybe get a coffee—is there a Starbucks?”

Badge laughed, and with it, he felt less freaked out. “No. No Starbucks here. There’s a 7 Eleven and an A&W. There’s a tea shop on Main Street. And Marie’s has great coffee—but it’s not, like, flavored or whatever. Just coffee.”

“That’s fine. I’m just looking to kill a couple of hours.” She tossed her keys at him, and he caught them without thinking about it. “You want to drive?”

“I thought I’d just follow you.”

“Why? Wouldn’t it be easier just to come with, and then you could show me around?”

That made sense, though it meant they’d have to talk. He’d rather ride—no talking then—but she was wearing those tiny little shorts. And besides, it would probably be obnoxious to even ask her to ride with him. At least she hadn’t expected him to ride bitch with her through Signal Bend. He’d never have lived that shit down. It was going to be tough enough to be seen driving her tiny little chick car. Convertible Beetle. Yellow. Jeez.

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