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Last Mile (Vicious Cycle #3)(10)
Author: Katie Ashley

“Everything.” When I dared to look at him over my shoulder, he gave me a sad smile. “I’d never seen you react the way that you did when Peterson gave us this case, so I did a little digging.”

“Does Peterson know?”

“No. Only me. And it’s going to stay that way.”

Although my heart swelled with the surge of love I had for Gavin and his loyalty, I still exhaled in defeat as I leaned back against the front door. “From what you’ve discovered, you should request that I be taken off the case.” When Gavin started to shake his head, I held my hand up to silence whatever argument he had prepared. “I’m a deficit, and you can’t afford a deficit out in the field.”

He reached out to cup my face. “You could never be a deficit, Vargas. You’re the only one I would ever want to work with. I know that no matter what happened to you when you were eight years old, when it comes down to it, you’ll have your game face on and your shit together.”

Although I hated myself for them, tears stung my eyes. “You really mean that?”

“Yeah, I do.”

I swiped away some of my mascara-blackened tears. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.”

“I can understand why you didn’t. That was some horrible shit done to your father and in turn to you. It’s nobody’s business, really.”

Trying to lighten some of the tension in the air, I grabbed both of his biceps and squeezed hard before pushing him away. “Why, why can’t you be straight?”

Gavin laughed heartily. “You and I make a great business partnership, Vargas, but there’s no way in hell we could ever be married.”

Cocking my head at him, I countered, “Is that right?”

“It is, and deep down, you know I’m right.”

I did know Gavin was right. We were too much alike to ever make any relationship besides friendship work. In the end, we were closer than friends. We were more like brother and sister.

Waggling my eyebrows, I said, “Yeah, well, maybe I wasn’t talking about us marrying. Maybe I meant for us to have hot, sweaty sex.” At Gavin’s horrified face, I couldn’t help laughing. “Gotcha with that one.”

“So not funny,” he muttered.

“It’s good to know how repulsed you are by the idea of having sex with me,” I teased as I walked down the hall to the bathroom to fix my makeup.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake, Vargas. It’s not about having sex with you. It’s about having sex with a vagina, period, that wigs me.”

I snorted as I reapplied some powder to cover the tracks of my tears. Gavin appeared in the doorway.

“But regardless of all that, you’re the only woman I would ever consider going straight for.”

I smiled at his reflection in the mirror. “Aw, you can be awfully sweet when you want to, McTavish.”

He came over and turned me around. After bestowing a kiss on my cheek, he winked. “Come on, hot stuff. Let’s go show the bikers how it’s done.”

While I didn’t share his confidence or enthusiasm, I nodded in agreement. After turning on the security system, I followed him out the front door. In my driveway was a motorcycle the bureau had provided for Gavin. On a lowly mechanic’s salary, Gavin wouldn’t have been able to afford the bikes that he owned, so instead, the bureau had gotten him one that would fit in better with his persona—which he of course hated.

“What a hunk of junk,” I teased as I grabbed my helmet off the back.

“I fucking loathe and despise every moment on this piece of shit,” Gavin replied.

“Looks like you could’ve lent yourself some street cred by pretending you had stolen one of your bikes.”

As Gavin slid onto the worn leather seat, he grunted. “Don’t think I didn’t take that angle with Peterson.”

I laughed as I climbed on behind him. My arms slid around his waist to grip him tight. Riding bitch on a motorcycle was something I hated almost as much as having to dress like a hooker. Gavin and I had spent several evenings riding together after work to make sure I looked like a natural on the back of his bike. But those had been only short trips around the neighborhood and in town. Tonight would be the farthest I had ever been on a bike.

We sped off into the night, leaving my house, my comfortable life, and my usual .40-caliber Glock behind. The Raiders clubhouse was a good forty-five minutes north of Marietta, the Atlanta suburb where I lived. After Gavin started scaring the hell out of me as he careened in and out of the Friday evening traffic, I closed my eyes and focused on the briefing we had had earlier in the day with Peterson.

Tonight was a huge opportunity for our case. Gavin had spent weeks slowly befriending Bishop Malloy, and it had finally culminated in Gavin—or Marley, as he was known to Bishop—being invited to a hang out at the clubhouse.

While Gavin was to keep his eyes and ears open with all members of the Raiders, not just Bishop, I was to focus my attention solely on Bishop. As the sergeant at arms, he would be the most connected to the gun trade, not counting the president and vice president. Because of the type of man he was known to be, I was to pull out all the stops when it came to using my feminine wiles. While his two brothers, Deacon and Rev, were settled down and married, Bishop was the epitome of a womanizer. His greatest joy in life outside the club was to flirt and fuck, and my intent was to use that against him. It was the old cliché of a woman driving a man to distraction, and that distraction being used to slip him up and eventually take him down.

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