All the rage, p.17
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       All the Rage, p.17
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           T. M. Frazier

  I used to know all the cops around town, but it had been years since I’d been back. The two uniforms on my porch were strangers to me.

  “We’re aware you were out, Miss. We’re here to inquire about an altercation that took place last night around 11:30 p.m. over on Bunch Beach.”

  Fuck.

  “What altercation?” Rage asked, innocently. Officer Crest smiled back at her, falling for her easy, albeit fake, charm. He may not have been able to see through her lies, but her acting was laughable to me, at best. It was also kind of adorable.

  Officer Towers produced a phone from his pocket and pressed a button. He turned the screen around and, sure enough, it was a video of Rage taking down Griff. The caption over the top read “Samsonita and Goliath.” Whoever shot the video didn’t get the two guys trying to take me down and the only sound captured was the cheers from the crowd. So, thankfully, when it came to the part where I was talking Rage down from killing Griff at the end, none of what I had said to her was audible.

  Watching the video again reminded me that even though she’d introduced herself as someone with anger issues, I hadn’t realized how deep they ran until that night.

  If the law was planning on arresting Rage, they had another fucking thing coming if they thought they would even get close enough to my girl to slap a single cuff on her.

  “This video, which was taken by a spectator at the truck-pulls at Bunch Beach, was posted on a social network site last night and it seems it’s gone a bit viral. Our department caught wind of it, and several witnesses led us here to you,” Officer Tower stated. “Miss, can you confirm that this is you in this video?”

  I was about to demand a lawyer when Rage interjected. “Yeah, of course that’s me. Cool isn’t it?” she asked, reaching for his phone. “Can I see it again? Where do I press play? How many views did it get?” The officers looked as fucking confused as I was, although I was hiding my confusion well, hoping Rage was actually going somewhere with this act. “Wow, 247,000? That’s awesome. Can you believe it? Look, this came out better than we thought it would,” she said, holding the screen up for me to see the video replaying again. Her fake smile fell slightly. “Oh, but the sound quality sucks. You can’t even hear what we’re saying.” She shrugged and placed the smile back on her face. “That’s okay. We can handle all that in editing.”

  “Absolutely,” I agreed, deciding to play along with her game. Rage might not have known how to play the law like I did, having grown up on the other side of it, but she was intelligent, one of the smartest people I’d ever met. As much as I wanted to take control of the situation, I let her lead, trusting her tactics.

  “Excuse me?” Officer Crest asked, wrinkling his nose. Rage handed him back his phone.

  “Well, I assume you haven’t been able to talk to Griff yet, right?” Rage asked, using Griffin’s nickname like they were best buds, smiling even brighter than before.

  “Miss, we aren’t going to disclose any part of our investigation until we find out—” Officer Towers started before Rage interrupted.

  “I think you need to go talk to Griff. He’ll set you straight. This is me in the video, I totally admit that. We made it last night and Griff was a total natural. I’m trying to get into film school, but I think it’s him that needs to move to Hollywood. He’s totally believable.”

  Both officers looked at each other and then back to Rage, the confusion still marring their every feature. “I made a great vigilante, though, didn’t I? I mean if you guys are here then that means the video is totally believable! NYFA here I come!” She twirled her hair and spun around with her hands in the air.

  “Yeah, babe. See? I told you it was good.” I kissed the top of her head. “What?” I asked the officers. “She’s like five three and a hundred pounds.”

  “One hundred seventeen,” Rage corrected.

  “Sorry, babe,” I apologized, before continuing, “One hundred seventeen pounds and Griff is an elephant of a man.” I pointed out, chuckling. “Do you really think my girl here could take him down? Ya’ll must get real slow down at the department during the summer. You must be real bored to believe this is true.”

  “Nolan Archer, right?” Crest asked smugly. I might not have known who he was but obviously he knew me. “Or should I call you Goon?”

  Rage continued her celebration dance with a horrible version of the cabbage patch. I watched in wonderment as she hip checked the wall. Laughing when she almost went down on my fuzzy doormat before quickly recovering.

  “You can call me whatever you want to call me.”

  “Your name, Miss?” Towers asked Rage who finally stilled and came back over to my side.

  “Regina. Regina George,” Rage answered without missing a beat. I had to press my lips together to contain my laughter.

  The balls on my girl.

  “We’ll talk to Griff, and we’ll be back,” Officer Crest said, writing down Rage’s fake name on his little note pad before flipping it shut.

  “Don’t be leaving town,” Officer Towers added.

  “We’ll be right here!” Rage sang as they got into their vehicle, which was a police golf cart, and drove off at a whopping eight miles per hour. The cart sounded more like a battery-operated child toy than a law enforcement vehicle.

  “Regina George?” I asked between my teeth as Rage waved them off.

  Rage giggled and closed the door. “What? You’ve seen Mean Girls? Do you have it? We have to watch it?” she asked excitedly.

  “Don’t you think we should get you out of here before they talk to Griff and find out what really happened?”

  “Nope.”

  “And why not?” I asked, completely baffled as to who this creature really was before me, and why a visit from the law left a smile on my face, something that had never happened before.

  Rage’s eyes shone wickedly. “Nolan, do you really think that a guy like Griffin is going to tell the officers that a girl a third of his size kicked his ass in front of a bunch of people? Or do you think he’s gonna go along with the fake video story?”

  “My girl is an evil fucking genius,” I said, coming around the counter into the kitchen. Rage bent in a curtsy and I couldn’t help myself. I made a move on her, picking her up and setting her on the counter, pushing myself between her legs. I kissed her on the lips, soft at first, and then roughly until I was showing her every bit of what I was feeling for her at that moment.

  When I finally pulled back for air, I looked down at her, a worried look on her face. “You said I was your girl,” she whispered, touching her swollen lips.

  “Yeah, I did,” I said, leaning in for another kiss. I couldn’t get enough of her mouth. “Now, I’m going to make sure you don’t fucking forget that.” I took her mouth again, tilting her chin up with my hands and cupping her cheek. I pulled back and kissed over her closed eyelid. “But first things first.”

  “What’s that?” Rage asked, yawning an actual real yawn.

  “Did you just yawn?” I asked.

  She shook her head and waved me off.

  “No. I don’t yawn. You must be seeing things,” she said. “But tell me, what first things are first?” she asked, her voice lifting expectantly at the end of the sentence, and I knew she was waiting for me to tell her all the dirty details of what I planned on doing to her. But we had time, that could wait. After seeing how Rage handled the officers and how at ease she was with something that would have any other nineteen-year-old girl flipping out, I had questions that couldn’t wait any longer.

  “First, Regina George,” I whispered, brushing my lips over hers. “I’m gonna tell you mine, and you’re gonna tell me yours.” Her eyes sprang open. “That’s right. It’s secret time, baby.”

  CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

  Nolan

  Rage plopped down on the deck chair, sitting Indian-style with her legs folded underneath her as she always did. It was late afternoon. I brought her over a plate with one of the sandwiches I’d made while she s
howered and changed from her wet dress into shorts and one of her seemingly many pink T-shirts. “Nice shirt,” I said. She looked down and stretched out the thin fabric, moving her lips as she read what it said upside down, like she couldn’t remember which one she’d put on. This particular shirt read “YOU’RE MOM’S A BITCH.”

  “Thanks.” She yawned again. The fourth time in less than an hour. Her eyes were rimmed in red. The girl didn’t want to admit she was tired for some reason, denying it each time I called her out on it. When she realized what she’d just done, she glanced over to me and declared. “That’s not what you thought it was.”

  “Okay,” I laughed. “I believe you. You’re not tired. Got it.”

  There was a commotion on the beach. Rage craned her neck to see over my head. I followed her gaze to where dozens of seagulls were cleaning the beach of any food remnants left behind by the day’s visitors, squawking angrily at one another over pieces of popcorn and waffle cone.

  “Where do we start?” she asked, tentatively. I was on the other chair, so I could sit across from her, my back to the beach.

  “The beginning usually works.” We were going to have this conversation in the bedroom, but the second I saw the bed, I knew it wasn’t going to happen, so I spun us right around and decided that the deck was a lot more conducive for secret telling than the bedroom, where my only thought was getting inside of her.

  Rage was already ripping pieces of ham off her sandwich and dropping them down to an eagerly awaiting Murray, who snatched them out of the air before they even hit the deck.

  “I can go first if you want,” I offered.

  Rage simply nodded.

  I took a deep breath and rested my hands on top of my head. “Well, I’ve told you about how my parents were never around, and how they dumped me here with my grandparents until one day, they just never came to get me. But that’s not the entire story.” Rage sat up straighter and leaned in. “What I didn’t tell you was that they weren’t just assholes who abandoned their only kid. They were liars. Thieves. Fuck ups of the highest order. My dad used to beat the shit out of my mom all the time, even saw him take a swing at my grandparents a time or two.” I shifted in my chair, recalling shit I’d much rather not be recalling. “The only reason why they came around at all was because every few months or so, they’d show up and ask my grandparents for money. Only good thing my dad ever did was introduce me to hockey and he only did that because he used to play on a minor league team down in Estero. Well, until he got thrown off the team for fighting,” I said, glancing from my plate to Rage to make sure she was with me.

  She was.

  “Wait. I thought you were allowed to fight in hockey?” she asked, wrinkling her nose.

  I scratched the stubble on my chin and tried to figure out how to explain hockey fighting to Rage. “Well, fighting technically isn’t allowed or not allowed. It’s an unwritten rule that you can fight. Players go by a sort of unofficial code of guidelines. It’s pretty complex actually. But I’m pretty sure no matter what league you’re in, you’re not allowed to fight the coach. That’s where my dad went wrong.”

  “Oh,” Rage said, biting on the side of her thumb.

  “Anyway, without my dad around, and with Gramps getting on in years, I started hanging around with my uncle a lot. He wasn’t really my uncle, but someone my gramps knew. He let me hang around his shop when I was just a kid, and when I got older, he gave me a job repairing motorcycles. Took me under his wing.” When I paused, Rage nodded for me to continue. “He went by Joker, that was his road name. He was VP of the Warriors at the time. He’s our Prez now. I grew up in the club. In the life. Patched in when I was sixteen.” I ran my teeth over my bottom lip. “I know you recognized my tattoo, but how familiar are you with MCs?” I asked, making sure she could follow what I was telling her without getting hung up on club details she might not understand.

  Rage looked off at the beach and then back to me. “I told you. I grew up watching them. They were around. Believe it or not, I didn’t grow up that far from here, so I’ve seen that symbol before. But it’s not my turn yet. If I have a question about something you tell me, I will ask,” she said very matter-of-factly. “Oh, I do actually. What did your grandparents think about you joining the club?”

  I shook my head and smiled, recalling the look on Gramps’s face the day I got my patch. “Gramps was an old school biker himself. Loved the road more than he loved anything besides my gran. Old man was over the fucking moon when I became a brother.”

  “But you still played hockey?” Rage asked. “That seems a bit odd.”

  “Yeah, it was part of the deal actually. I wanted to be a Warrior since I figured out what they were, but Joker and my Gramps got together and decided that I couldn’t patch in unless I agreed to keep playing hockey and graduate high school.” I blew out a breath. “I thought the second I graduated that I’d be done with hockey and school and was set on full-time club life, but there was this scout at my last game. He talked to me for a bit after. I didn’t think anything of it. Next thing I know, the coach for State was on the phone asking me to play for him. A scholarship offer arrived by next-day courier on my front door step. Rest is history.”

  “The club let you out?” Rage asked, sounding surprised.

  She must have known a little about club life to even ask the question, but it was cute she thought leaving the club while breathing was even a possibility. It wasn’t, not in my club anyway.

  “I never left the club. I was in it then and I’m in it now. All the way in. Joker told me that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity so he practically forced me to go.” I ran my hand over my arm. “Coach knew what I was into. Said I could play, but I couldn’t flash my colors. I had to leave my cut at home and these as well.” I held out my arm so Rage could see the very faded remnants of my old Warrior tattoos. “Hurt like a bitch getting the tattoos removed from my arms, but I went in and got the back piece at the same time. Back is a lot easier to hide than your arms, and that way even when I was out on the ice and I was still representing my brothers in some way.”

  “You must be someone special for them to make that deal with you.”

  You have no idea.

  “Before I left, Joker had planned on passing me the gavel. When I got the scholarship, he decided he wasn’t going to change those plans until he saw where the hockey thing was gonna take me.” I scoffed. “Now that I’m back he’s been calling nonstop, wants to make shit official. VP then Prez, but I don’t think I’m ready. Not yet anyway. I know once I put that cut back in it means I’m giving up on hockey. I’m not ready to do that just yet.” I looked down at the scar on my knee. “After I got hurt I ready to come back here and jump right back into club life after I spent some time alone being pissed off at the world.”

  “What made you change your mind?” Rage asked.

  “This girl. I don’t know if you know her.” I leaned forward and lowered my voice. “But she came out of nowhere. The most beautiful thing I’d ever laid eyes on.” Rage smiled. “She saved my life.”

  “And your dog’s,” Rage added.

  “Yeah, and my dog’s,” I admitted. “The morning after I almost died, I changed my mind. I know it’s a long shot, but I’m not ready to give up on this ole leg. Think she might still have some miles on her yet.”

  “Is that it?” Rage asked, tilting her head.

  “Is what it?”

  “You made it seem like you had more to tell. You said something about your parents,” Rage said, biting her thumb.

  Oh yeah, that little piece of information.

  “As I said, my parents were bad people. I came here for a quick day visit while the team was passing through town. My parents were here…” I ground my teeth together and gripped the armrest.

  “And?” Rage asked.

  “Turns out my parents had needed money, yet again, so they took out some sort of insurance policy on my grandparents.”

  “They killed your grandpare
nts?” Rage asked straight-out.

  “Yeah. They did.”

  “So what did you do?” Rage asked, biting her bottom lip.

  I shrugged and lifted my gaze to meet hers. “I killed them both.”

  I don’t know what I expected Rage’s reaction to be. In the time I’d known her, I’d learned that expectations and Rage did not go together. What I didn’t expect was for her to stand up, lift her T-shirt over her head, and straddle me.

  She kissed me. Not an I’m-sorry-about-your-grandparents kiss. An all out fuck-me kiss. Our breaths wild, our tongues seeking each other’s in a kiss that had me thinking that it wouldn’t be so bad if we finished our talk later. Especially when I could feel the heat of her pussy and the dampness through her shorts against my bare stomach. When she bit my bottom lip and sucked it into her mouth, I almost fell backwards into the pool for the second time but corrected our position before that could happen.

  Rage didn’t even seem to notice.

  Lost in lust, she didn’t pay any attention to the fact that we almost fell into the pool she hated more than anything.

  I could fuck her. Right now.

  We could both get off and then we could move on to Rage’s story.

  Fuck. My cock was painfully hard. I wanted to make Rage mine in every way, but in order to be mine, I needed to know why she reacted the way she did. Why she was kissing me after I told her I’d killed my parents when most people would be half way to the police station by now. I knew her story wasn’t going to be unicorns and rainbows, but I needed to know more about the wild girl in my lap. I needed to know EVERYTHING.

 
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