Home > Motorcycle Man (Dream Man #4)(9)

Motorcycle Man (Dream Man #4)(9)
Kristen Ashley

Tabby and Rush

“Mom’s bein’ a total bitch!” Tack’s daughter cried again, approximately a second after she cleared the door.

I stared at her. She had Tack’s hair except long, its glorious waves cascading down her back well past her bra strap. She also had his sapphire blue eyes, hers were flashing because she was pissed way the hell off. She was petite and slim but rounded, wearing jean shorts, a sweet Harley Davidson tee and flip-flops. Her blemishless skin, every inch of it, was tanned a beautiful brown. She was a teenage knockout. And she was pacing with extreme, teenage girl agitation.

“She is, Dad, totally,” Tack’s son stated and I moved my stare to him.

He was near to the spitting image of his father. The same height though Tack’s son didn’t have the muscled bulk of his father but that didn’t mean he didn’t have a lean, sculpted body. Like his sister, he had his Dad’s hair and olive skin tone. He was wearing his Dad’s uniform of faded, fitting-too-well-for-peace-of-mind jeans, motorcycle boots and t-shirt, his announcing he was a fan of Black Stone Cherry. He didn’t have the goatee and he had his mother’s light blue eyes but other than that, Tack was written all over him. Unlike his sister, he wasn’t pacing. He was standing, his hands on his h*ps but he looked angry, if not as angry as his sister.

“This isn’t somethin’ you both don’t know,” Tack’s voice rumbled into the room.

The girl whirled to face her Dad and leaning in, she declared, “All right, then she’s bein’ more than the total bitch she normally is!”

“No joke,” the boy put in. “She’s all over Tab like a rash.”

“Why?” Tack asked.

“Because she’s a bitch?” the girl asked back.

“I need more than that, Tabby,” Tack told her.

“She took the keys to Tab’s car and grounded her and swear, Dad, totally swear, there’s no reason,” the boy informed Tack and Tack’s gaze went from his son to his daughter.

“Is there no reason, Tabby?” he asked.

Hmm. The way Tack asked that it seemed maybe Tabby was a bit of a wild one.

“You know I’ll tell you like it is, Dad, but Rush is right. She’s off on one and… again… because she’s a total, freaking nutcase… she’s takin’ it out on me,” Tabby said.

My eyes slid to Tack to see his jaw was clenched.

Tabby kept talking. “I can’t live with this shit anymore. I kid you not, no more. I never know when she’s gonna blow or freak out about something or get in my face or… or… whatever. And that douchebag of a husband of hers, he gets in on the act –”

“How?” Tack barked. He said that one word so forcefully, so abruptly and so angrily, it startled me so much I jumped. Both Tack’s kids went still and their demeanor instantly turned cautious.

“He’s just a dick, Dad, you know that,” the boy said quietly and carefully.

“How’s he a dick, Rush?” Tack asked curtly, only a slim edge of patience in his tone.

Rush and Tabby looked at each other then back to Tack.

“He’s the one who took my keys,” Tabby stated softly. “Says I don’t pull it together, he’s gonna sell my car.” I held my breath when Tack’s scary biker dude vibe filled the air again but Tabby went on, “The problem with that is, I don’t know what I gotta pull together because I didn’t do anything wrong!”

“He just wants to sell her car because he’s a lazy fuck,” Rush muttered under his breath, eyeing his father who was at that very moment yanking his phone out of his back pocket.

“Dad –” Tabby started.

“Quiet,” Tack ordered, beeping buttons on his phone.

“I wanna live with you,” she ignored him in order to continue. “And, just to say, I’ll lose my freakin’ mind that douche sells my car.”

Tack put his phone to his ear and scowled at his daughter. What he didn’t do was reply to her. Instead, he spoke into his phone.

“Shut your fuckin’ mouth,” he growled into the phone. I held my breath again at his vicious tone and he went on, “That shithead thinks to sell my girl’s car because he’s a lazy-ass motherfucker and can’t pull his finger out to get himself a fuckin’ job, he buys himself trouble. And I’m warnin’ you, Naomi, it’s trouble he don’t wanna have. I gave Tabby that car, that car belongs to her. It don’t belong to you and it sure as f*ck don’t belong to him. You get his shit sorted and you get your shit sorted and you do not use my kids to sort it. Are we clear?”

He listened for approximately two point five seconds then went on.

“Bullshit,” he bit out. “I hear you, or him, talk that way about Tab again, swear to Christ, Naomi, both your asses are in front of the judge. Do not use my daughter to work out your shit. Your life ain’t what you wanted it to be, that ain’t Tabby’s problem, it ain’t Rush’s problem and it ain’t my problem. I’m sick of your games and I’m done playin’ ‘em. You stop this shit, Naomi, or honest to God, I’ll make you wish you never started it and I’ll be creative in how I do that. Now, are we clear?”

He listened this time for approximately point five seconds before he carried on.

“I don’t wanna hear your shit. I asked you a question. Are we clear? There are two answers to that, woman, but only one smart one.” There was a pause then, scarily, “That wasn’t the smart one. Kiss your kids good-bye.”

Then he flipped the phone closed, shoved it in his back pocket and his eyes sliced through his children.

Then he asked, “You guys have lunch?”

“No,” Rush answered.

“Right, then you’re goin’ for a sandwich with me and Tyra,” Tack announced.

My lungs seized and I felt my eyes get wide.

“Tyra?” Tabby whispered then both kids turned their heads and looked at me for the first time.

Oh boy.

“Uh… hey,” I greeted.

Tabby looked me up and down. So did Rush. Their looks couldn’t have been any more different. Then Tabby grinned. So did Rush. Their grins also couldn’t have been any more different.

“Sweet shoes,” Tabby told me.

“Erm… thanks,” I replied.

“Shoes?” Rush muttered. “Didn’t get that far. The skirt’s burned on my brain.”

My eyes moved to Tack to see now he was grinning.

Tabby looked at her father. “This your new woman that Mom’s in a tizzy about?”

Tack didn’t answer, Rush did, “Duh, Tab, you saw her skirt.”

Tabby looked back at me and grinned, murmuring, “Right.” Then she informed me, “Tyra’s a cool name.”

“Um… thanks,” I said. “Is, uh… your name Tabitha?”

“Totally,” she replied.

“That’s a pretty name too,” I told her.

“I hate my name. Mom gave me my name and I hate my Mom ‘cause she’s a total bitch,” she replied.

I couldn’t argue with that and I couldn’t agree with it. I also couldn’t make myself vanish in a puff of smoke and reappear in Siberia even though I was using every fiber of my being to try.

Since my body wouldn’t disappear in a puff of smoke and a response was required, I said, “Well, once a gift is given, no matter how you feel about the person giving it, it’s yours. And even though you’re angry at your Mom now, she still gave you a pretty name. So you shouldn’t think about her giving it to you. You should just think of owning it and you do so, um… own it.”

“Dig it,” was Tabby’s response made through a widening smile.

“I’m Rush,” Rush stated. “My name’s Cole but no one calls me that. They call me Rush.”

“Hey, Rush,” I said to him.

“He’s always in a rush,” Tabby explained. “Dad says even when he was a baby, the minute he could crawl, he was rushin’ everywhere. And it’s the God’s honest truth, let me tell you, and he’s got the speeding tickets now to prove it.”

“You should probably, maybe, uh… check that impulse when you’re behind the wheel of a car,” I advised Rush. “Speeding tickets are expensive.”

“No shit,” Rush grinned at me.

“You guys gonna shoot the shit with Tyra for the next four hours or are we gonna get a sandwich?” Tack cut in to ask.

Tabby jumped up and down twice, turning toward her father, shouting, “Sandwich!”

“I want enchiladas,” Rush declared.

“I’ll make fajitas tonight for dinner,” Tack told his son and I stared at him. The idea of rough and ready biker guy Tack in a kitchen cooking was something my mind violently wanted to expunge but it couldn’t because he’d said it.

“Rock on!” Tabby exclaimed, throwing both her arms in the air, fingers extended in devil’s horns. Then she whirled to me and dropped her arms. “You had Dad’s fajitas, Tyra?”

“Um… no,” I answered.

“Get ready to have your world rocked,” Rush stated. “Dad’s fajitas are the shit.”

“I, actually… uh, can’t make dinner,” I started, all eyes, including Tack’s, locked on me and Tack’s, I noticed, looked annoyed for reasons unknown since he hadn’t actually ask me to dinner. “I have a ritual that I never miss on Thursdays.”

“What’s that?” Tabby enquired, her head tilting to the side.

“Thursday Takeaway,” I told her.

“Thursday Takeaway?” Rush asked.

“Um… yeah,” I answered. “Tonight I’m doing Imperial Chinese. I’ve been looking forward to it since last Thursday.”

“Babe, you so totally don’t want to miss Dad’s fajitas. Imperial is sweet but Dad’s fajitas rock!” Tabby declared.

“Seriously,” Rush added.

“Red, get your purse,” Tack ordered.

“Actually, um… I already had lunch so you just go on without me,” I jerked my head to the door and smiled at Tabby and Rush. “But it was cool meeting you.”

“Babe, get your purse,” Tack repeated with a slight modification.

My eyes moved to him and I said quietly, “Tack, I have work to get done.”

“Get your purse.”

“But –”

“Purse.”

“I –”

“Purse.”

“I don’t –”

He bent a bit at the waist in my direction. “Purse.”

I finally snapped, “Tack!”

“Jesus,” he muttered then moved while speaking and where he moved was toward me. “You’re not payin’ anyway so you don’t need your fuckin’ purse.”

I had moved several inches away from the wall but I pinned myself against it again, now willing my body to dissolve through the wall but this also failed. I was in this position for approximately one point five seconds before Tack’s strong hand curled around mine, he yanked me from the wall then he dragged me across the room. Then he dragged me through his children. Then he dragged me out of the office and down the steps where he stopped me on the passenger side of a very cool, shiny black car.

“Keys,” he called, lifted his hand, tagged a set of keys Rush sent sailing through the air then he ordered, “You two in back. Tyra’s shotgun. I’m drivin’.”

Then he unlocked the door and used my hand in a forceful, not to be denied way where I had no choice but to plant my ass in the passenger seat. The minute my feet hit the floor, he threw the door to and rounded the hood. He opened his door, both his kids scrunched into the back and Tack folded behind the wheel.

I stared at the door to the office thinking, guess I’m getting sandwiches with Tack and his kids.

Um. Yikes!

Tack turned the ignition, the car’s engine growled in a totally kickass way and with no other choice, I twisted and grabbed the seatbelt.

Chapter Eight

Open

I sat tucked in the corner of my couch, my knees up, heels to the seat, plate wedged between my thighs and torso and I ate Tack’s fajitas which, just as Tabby said, rocked.

This was after I sat sipping a diet while Tack and his kids had sandwiches, chips and pops with Rush eating two huge chocolate chip cookies on top of that. Through this, Rush sometimes spoke, Tack sometimes interjected, I said a few words here and there but mostly Tabby chattered away, completely over her drama. She was talkative, animated, smart, charming and funny. This was the way she was but it was also the way she was around her father and brother, both of whom clearly adored her so she could safely blossom under their adoration and she did.

This was also something I didn’t need. Rush, the eldest at seventeen, nearly eighteen (Tabby just turned sixteen, upon which Tack gave her a car, the same as he did for Rush, this I learned while Tabby chattered away), I could see as he was her big brother. Tack, since he was her father and she was his only daughter, I could also see but that didn’t mean I wanted to see it.

Badass biker Tack smiling at, teasing and openly adoring his daughter was something I definitely didn’t want to see. One could say the messages Tack had been giving me since I met him were most assuredly mixed. One could also say the personalities Tack had been displaying since I met him were most assuredly multiple. I wanted to focus on the bad messages and scary or annoying personality traits. Tack being a loving father, close to both of his kids, openly respecting his son and definitely being Daddy to his little girl were neither of those.

Fajitas on my couch were also after Tack took his kids and I back to Ride where Tabby hung out in the office with me and Rush worked on the red car in the garage with Tack. Tabby was just as talkative, animated, smart, charming and funny with me alone as she was with her brother and father there. This meant I got zero work done and also was unable to return any of Lanie’s texts, all of them getting increasingly demanding that I inform her immediately that I gave notice. I did manage to send off an, I’m busy, got someone in my office text which finally quieted her down but only after she ordered me to text her the minute I gave Tack my resignation letter.

Tabby in my office also made it impossible for me to avoid fajitas. It was impossible because at five to five, Tack stuck his head through the door that led to the garage, his eyes hit me and he stated, “Tab’s with you, babe, Rush and I’ll follow. I’m on my bike. Rush and I’ll go to the store to pick up the shit, you take Tab to rent a movie and we’ll meet at your house.”

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