Chapter 2

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I dropped my booted foot on top of the coffee table, not caring at the thud it made as I brought a bottle of beer to my lips. I still couldn't believe Hawk hadn't said anything to me about the Crows being around. He knew how I felt about them.

He was supposed to be my partner. Hadn't he thought I might need that information during our patrols? Was this supposed to be some sort of punishment? Because I wouldn't let us go back to one night that never should have happened anyway.

No matter how upset I was with him, he would never do that. He wouldn't put the club at risk because of a grudge against me. That wasn't Gavin's way.

I winced then took another deep pull from the bottle. I had to keep thinking of him like Hawk. The lieutenant who could keep information from me.

Not Gavin, the boy who saved me more than once.

The knock on my door nearly had me dropping the bottle of beer and did have me sputtering some of it down my chin. I swore as I set the bottle down and wiped my face with my forearm. That couldn't be Hawk, could it? I imagined he had stuff to take care of with the other officers. He was the last person I wanted to deal with right now. In my mood, who knew what would happen between us.

I couldn't let anything happen between us.

When I opened the door as far as the chain would go—no peepholes in my crappy apartment—it wasn't Hawk standing there. I released the chain and let the door swing all the way open. "What? Did Daddy send you over to check up on me?"

Trace stood there, staring at me. "Do you try real hard to be offensive, Devil? Or does it come natural as an asshole?"

I stared at him for a moment, then a laugh burst out of me. "Might as well come in. Since you're here and all."

Trace stepped inside and glanced around the place. I realized my mistake too late. Hawk was the only one of the Riders who had ever been in here with me. He'd wanted me to move right back out. I wasn't like one of them, though. I didn't have a lot of savings. This was what I could afford. All you had to do was stand in the middle of my living room to see every other room in the place.

By the time I closed the door again, Trace had already seen everything there was to see. I imagined he judged me for that, too. I threw my shoulders back as I turned back toward him. "You done checking out my mansion yet, Dive?" I asked, calling him by the name the club recently gave him. And almost laughed again when he winced.

"Not a bad place," he said, his lips twitching slightly.

I snorted. "It's a dump, but it's a place away when I need it."

"You've been to the house I grew up in, Devil. Or is it Damon?"

"Please do not call me that. No one calls me that anymore." Except for Hawk. I glanced back at Trace and was sure that sparkle in his eyes meant he realized that, too.

"Right. Devil. You've seen where I grew up. You've seen the man who called himself my father for the first fifteen years of my life. You think I'd judge you for where you kick back?"

My own lips curved up. I'd hated Trace at first, thought he was some self-righteous asshole. I'd started to reform that opinion over the last couple months. Still wouldn't ever call him my best friend.

I figured Hawk would be the only one who'd ever earn that title. No matter what else happened between us.

"What did you want, Trace? I don't figure you came all this way just to see my place."

"You and Hawk? What was going on there? I know you push back against the officers sometimes, but I've never seen you like that before."

"You wasted your time riding all the way over here. That ain't none of your business."

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