Home > Bounty (Colorado Mountain #7)(8)

Bounty (Colorado Mountain #7)(8)
Author: Kristen Ashley

I sighed, took the new voicemail and put it on speaker.

“Justice. I’ve had another communication from your brother and his mother. It likely won’t surprise you it was another unpleasant one. I think I’ve been thorough in explaining to you the consequences if your brother continues on this path he seems bent on taking. It’s become such a nuisance, the only reason I’m persevering in trying to find some way to get through to him is that I know how deeply distressed your father would be if he knew this was happening. I’m aware you’re also trying to get through to him but I’m strongly suggesting you try harder.”

His voice changed, became less cross and more threatening.

“I’m ready to let this go to court, Justice. Speak to your brother. Get him away from that woman and find some way to get through to him. I don’t have to tell you the consequences will be dire if you and I don’t succeed.”

I pressed my lips together, rolled them and engaged my texts, pulling up Mr. T’s string.

I then tapped in: I received your voicemail and I’m still doing what I can. I closed today, Mr. T, so I’m having a celebration drink. I’ll take a sip for you. More as soon as I can. Peace and love…

I hit send and stared at the “Mr. T” fighting a smile.

My dad’s balding, stooped, seventy-three-year-old sergeant major (literally, he was a former Marine) manager did not look at all like the famous Mr. T. I called him Mr. T for short (and this was adopted by everyone), not as a joke (he wouldn’t get it anyway, he likely had no earthly clue who the famous Mr. T was) but because his name was William Thurston and calling him Mr. Thurston was a mouthful.

And no way was I going to call him William, Will or Bill (what my granddad had called him). He wasn’t that kind of guy.

He was a guy who expected a Mister.

Even from my father, who gave it to him.

Though he was not like the other Mr. T, my Mr. T was ballsy, tough-as-nails, impatient, curt, had the bullshit detector to end all bullshit detectors and had never demonstrated he could be soft, or even pretend to be, even when he personally handed me my birthday presents.

But he was loyal to the extreme.

Dad, in part, was what he was because of Mr. Thurston.

So (in part) was Granddad.

So (in part) was I.

And it was no surprise even now Mr. Thurston was a dog with a bone with the shit my brother Maverick was pulling.

Not because I wanted to, but because Mr. T was right, Dad would want me to, I went to my contacts and phoned my half-brother.

It rang half a dozen times before I got, “This is Mav. If I like you, leave a message. If you’re my bitch of a sister calling to hand me more shit, go fuck yourself. And if you’re that greedy, gold-digging cunt who tricked my father into marrying her, eat shit and die.”

This was new.

And a new, much deeper descent into assholery.

In order not to lose my fucking mind, I took in a very deep breath as I waited for the beep.

I was still close to losing my mind but had it enough in check to say, “Mav, dude, seriously low. You’re better than that and I know it. Dad knew it. Not sure why you’re hell-bent to prove us wrong. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is you getting your head out of your ass because this shit has gone south and you don’t want it to go any more south. It does, you’ll be so deep in Antarctica, you’ll freeze to death. I hope you take my meaning because Dad made things clear and ironclad. Don’t fuck up, brother. I don’t want that for you. And Dana doesn’t either, by the way, so stop being such a douche about her.”

I hit the button to disconnect, thinking I could have probably worded that better but, like Mr. T, beginning not to care.

When I’d arrived at that bar, it was time for a drink.

After all that, it was time for a drink.

My door screamed in protest as I pushed it open and it did the same after I jumped down and shut it. It was so loud, I jotted a trip to somewhere in this little burg to find some WD-40 in order to fix that. And it was also so loud I nearly didn’t hear my phone beep with a text.

As I walked to the front door of the bar, I looked down at it to see it was from Mr. T.

Enjoy your drink but be safe and be smart. Congratulations on your new home.

I wonder if his fingers were burning having to type out the word “congratulations.”

Thus I had a small smile on my face as I pushed open the door to the bar and walked in.

It didn’t have a lot of windows and it didn’t have a lot of light. It was sunny outside so it took me a couple of beats to let my eyes adjust.

And when they did, I went completely still.

This was because, at the end of the bar that was dead ahead of the door, standing next to an older guy in a ball cap who was sitting on a stool was Deke.


Deke of the biker bar in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming who invited me for a ride and never showed. Deke who was now in a biker bar in the middle of nowhere in Colorado, looking no less larger-than-life, vital and amazing, chatting with an older guy in a ball cap who was sitting on a stool.

Deke who made me think during a conversation that might have lasted about ten minutes (if that) that in all I had, I could have more. Get to the important part. Finally find the reason I was put on that planet. Something that had, now for thirty-four years, eluded me.

Deke who didn’t even know who I was and all that meant, but he still turned his back, walked away and never came back for more.

Seven years, ten minutes, and I knew him at a glance.

Seven years, ten minutes, I was right then drawn to him so deeply, it was taking physical effort to stop my body swaying his way, my feet from moving to him.

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