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Rebel(7)

By:Skye Jordan



“Praise the gods of Olympus,” she murmured, a little short of breath.

He was freaking carved.

And he had more ink than the tire treads circling his left bicep and the stylized checkered flag flowing down his right calf. He had something covering his right shoulder too. She narrowed her eyes at the image, taking in the detail, the definition of shadow, its sheer artistic beauty.

“Is that a Terminator tat?” she asked.

“Not exactly, but the same principle.” Wes’s gaze darted to his shoulder. “Like it?”

“What’s a Terminator tat?” Lexi asked from where she stood behind Wes, fitting some type of harness to his hips.

These men had more toys and rigging and gear than God.

“It’s a 3-D rendition,” Troy said from where he’d sprawled his big body on a lounge chair. “A cutaway view of the skin and what’s beneath. But his isn’t a real Terminator tat.”

“Watch it, dude,” Wes said. “It’s nicer than the one you’ve got on your ass.”

“It’s not on my ass, dumb shit. It’s on my hip. And it’s way better than yours.” He pushed to his feet and brought his hands to the button of his jeans. “Let’s let the ladies decide.”

“Troy.” Jax’s voice boomed up the steps and into the trailer. “Keep your goddamned pants on for a change.”

“Hey,” Rachel yelled back. “Mind your own business out there. I want to see.”

Keaton and Duke burst out laughing. Wes chuckled. Rubi couldn’t even manage a smirk, and the fact that she couldn’t shake off this funk only deepened her anxiety.

“We can work out a private showing, Rach,” Troy said, his smoldering black eyes teasing her.

“You know the rules,” Jax called. “Mess with my secretary, I’ll mess with you.”

“And if he doesn’t,” Lexi added, “I will. Rachel keeps Jax sane, which keeps me sane.”

“When Daddy’s happy,” Keaton said, “everyone’s happy.”

“Losers—all of you,” Troy shouted loud enough to make sure Jax heard where he stood at the base of the stairs talking with someone Rubi didn’t know, then dropped back into the chair. “A real Terminator tat, like mine, replaces muscles with gears and gadgets, cyborg-like.”

Rubi didn’t care about Troy’s tattoo. She was inspecting Wes’s. The ink rounded his right shoulder, the outline a double-pivoting bike chain with so much detail and shadow, she swore she could reach out and touch it. Parts of the chain fell away, broken, where a speeding motorcycle ripped from Wes’s body, complete with torn skin and shattered chain links.

“It’s gorgeous,” Rubi said, subdued, but finally had a thought that made her smile. “I should get one showing a motherboard underneath.”

“Oh yeah.” Wes grinned. “That would be so cool. I’ll take you to the guy who did mine if you want. He’s amazing.”

Lexi circled Wes, then lowered to her knees in front of him, tightening Velcro straps around Wes’s hips and thighs. Rubi had seen her friend do this hundreds of times over the years while fitting her couture wedding gowns to clients or measuring for alterations. And over the last two months since she’d been seeing Jax, Lexi had taken on the new role for the Renegades as a seamstress to anything ripped, a designer to any new harness or bodysuit, even occasionally a costume or two.

And while Lexi’s position on her knees in front of Wes was the perfect material for one of Rubi’s typically suggestive, teasing comments, she wasn’t in the mood. She really wanted to get out of this trailer, away from the handsome man who unnerved her—her, a woman rarely ruffled by anything.

She crossed her arms and leaned into one hip. “Almost done there, Lex? I’m ready for lunch.”

Troy reached into the minifridge beside the sofa and popped the top on a Rockstar. “Since when are you so eager to get away from us?”

“You’re not all that,” Rubi teased, “despite what your bed bunnies tell you.”

Keaton whistled through his teeth, the sound imitating a diving plane, then simulated the sound of an explosion. “Crash…and…burn.”

Troy shot Keaton a brotherly glare.

“Actually,” Lexi said, “I want to get a better look at the fit in the back, but the straps keep slipping. Can you come hold these hinges so I can get a better look?”

An absurd chuckle floated from her throat. Talk about sending mixed messages. “Uh, I don’t think so.”

“What’s the problem?” Wes challenged with the rise of one golden brow. “Afraid you might like it?”

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