“I bet you laughed your ass off!”
“I forgot, Jackal! I swear!” Penni wiped away the tears that fell from her eyes. It took all her will not to laugh out loud at Jackal’s injured pride.
She looked up at him to see him frowning down at her. Jackal jerked her up to sit on his lap. Wincing, Penni shifted so the globes of her butt bore her weight. The bastard knew how to give a spanking, placing most of his smacks on the tender flesh between the top of her thighs and the bottom curve of her ass.
“I waited for you for over an hour.”
Penni bit her bottom lip. “I’m sorry. I forgot. I swear, Jackal, I was going to tell you I couldn’t make it, but Grace called me, and I forgot.” She saw no need to confess that she had originally planned to leave him to face the bee’s alone.
Jackal wasn’t buying her bull and dropped her unceremoniously on the bed.
Penni watched as he straightened his T-shirt making the tan skin of his waist was visible. An irritating quiver of excitement held her still as Jackal regained his temper. Without realizing it, she had raised her hand, letting another thing go.
“What are you doing?” he asked her.
Penni lowered her hand back to her side. “Nothing.”
“Were you going to hit me again?”
“No.” She shook her head. “It’s just a habit I have.”
Suspiciously, Jackal stared back at her.
Penni tried to divert his attention from the silly habit she’d had since she was a young girl. “Are you going to get me out of here?”
“Any sane woman would have asked me that question when I came inside the room!”
Penni flushed. He was right.
“I’ve been cooped up here for two days. When you walked in the door, I took my frustration out on you. Shade keeps warning me my temper will get me in trouble.”
“Don’t mention Shade to me. I blame him for turning you into a spoiled brat—”
“Don’t you dare bad mouth Shade!” She yelled as she rose to her knees in the middle of the bed. “It’s not his fault I’m here. It’s my own fault for running out of gas.”
Penni’s head reared back when Jackal grasped her shoulders, forcing her gaze to his.
“Any other woman would have called a tow truck. I told you when we went to Treepoint that you were writing checks with your attitude that couldn’t be cashed.”
“Like I would take any advice from you.” She jerked back from his hold. Rising, she moved to the opposite side of the bed. More than getting fed up with him manhandling her, Penni didn’t want to deal with her unwanted reactions to Jackal. It was a losing battle she had been dealing with since she had first seen him sitting on his motorcycle in front of a hotel years ago when she’d had the interview with Kaden Cross.
Penni had prayed for the job as tour manager for Mouth2Mouth. It gave her the perfect excuse to move from her overprotective parents and brother. It also gave her breathing room from the man she had fallen in love with when she was just thirteen years old.
“Then you better start. The Road Kingz aren’t like the Predators; they don’t give a damn that King ordered Henry and the Predators to watch out for you.”
The sound of Jackal’s boots striding across the floor had her backing up to the wall.
Jackal braced his hand on the wall near her head. “The only reason those men haven’t already gang raped you is because of Hennessy.”
Shocked speechless, Penni reached for her own throat.
“Instead of using your head and bargaining with them, what did you do? You fucking told them you could identify who took off with their shit!”
“How was I supposed to know?” Penni interrupted another long-winded rant then quickly changed her mind at the contemptuous sneer that reminded her of Shade when he was angry.
“That know-it-all brother of yours should have warned you!”
She trembled as Jackal ran his hand down the curve of her cheek, coming to a rest on the curve of her breast.
He lowered his head, placing it next to hers. “I swore I would let you get out of this mess yourself.”
“Why didn’t you?” she whispered.
“Grace has enough to worry about.”
“Her mother is worse?”
Penni held back the tears at his stark answer.
“I’ve really screwed up.”
Penni felt the tip of his tongue explore the corner of her lips.
“Are you trying to pay me back for tricking you into showing up at my house?”
“Maybe …” Jackal murmured.
Penni clutched his shoulders, fighting the urge to respond to the enticement of him nibbling on her bottom lip. She firmed her mouth. She had made a promise to herself years ago that the only man who would share her bed, despite her yo-yo dating, was her childhood crush, whom she told herself she would get over when she met the right man.