Home > Banking the Billionaire (Bad Boy Billionaires #2)(4)

Banking the Billionaire (Bad Boy Billionaires #2)(4)
Author: Max Monroe


“Pretty good,” I told Ryan honestly, but I kept it short in an attempt to make this interaction as painless as possible. I took a pull of my beer. I wasn’t normally that big a fan of Coors, but tonight it seemed to be going down smoothly.

“Been a while since you’ve been around,” he went on.

“Yep.”

“And you’re okay with that?” he asked, and Johnny scoffed.

“Of course, he fucking is. Too good for places like this.”

My jaw ticked, but I did my best to ignore Johnny and focus on getting through the conversation with Ryan.

“Yeah. I see everyone I want to regularly. My parents come up, and Frankie’s in the city.” I shrugged.

“Frankie,” Johnny said derisively under his breath, and I started to get really fucking annoyed for the first time tonight.

“Fucking watch it,” I warned as I pushed off my stool. The sound of it scraping across the wood floor pulled the attention of several nearby patrons.

Ryan immediately stood up between us. “He’s just having a bad night, Thatch. Recently divorced and his wife won custody today,” he whispered.

Forcing my pounding heart to slow, I sat back down on my stool and flagged the bartender to close out my tab. Safe to say going out for a relaxing drink was no longer anything but stressful.

“How is Frankie these days?” Johnny asked, undeterred. I tried my best to take Ryan’s information to heart and ignore him—and get the goddamn bartender to hurry up. The faster I got out of here, the better.

“Fucking shut up, dude,” Ryan advised as I towered over them. I’d never been meek, but now I was the exact opposite of meager. At six-five and two hundred and fifty pounds, I was practically double their size.

“He stays away too,” Johnny continued. “But I guess I wouldn’t come home if I were him either. A fucking scumbag pig in his own shit, clinging to the coattails of the guy who killed his fucking sister just to keep his crappy business afloat.”

Johnny stood up from his stool as my blood boiled, and he rounded Ryan to get in my face, a slimy smile on his.

His smarmy voice dropped to a knifelike whisper. “Tell me, Thatch. How does it feel to get away with murder?”

 


I watched as a drop of blood ran from the raw split in my knuckles and dripped to the concrete floor. One and done, I’d knocked ol’ Johnny clean out with a halfhearted swing of my fist, and now, here I was—in the cold concrete confines of an eight-by-ten cell.

As far as the eyes of the law were concerned, the one hit wasn’t that much of a problem, but the bar brawl that ensued between everyone else sure was. I guess in an old quiet town like this, entertainment value could be found nearly anywhere—even in an unlikely and unfounded opportunity for a fight.

“Kelly!” Sheriff Miller yelled, startling me from my focus on the ground. “One phone call!”

I nodded with a polite “Yes, sir,” and got up from the bench in the holding tank to exit the cell. Sheriff Miller looked on while one of his young deputies opened the sliding door. His eyes held disdain, and I, frankly, couldn’t blame him. I’d caused him more than enough problems in the years before leaving Frogsneck, and now, my first night back after half a decade, I was his problem again.

Still, he respected my parents, something I couldn’t say for a lot of the small-minded people here, so I did my best to appeal to that. “I’m sorry about this, Sheriff.”

“Right,” he said through a chuckle. “I’m sure you are. I can’t imagine expensive suits are comfortable jail attire.”

I filed that away and kept my cool. His eyes changed when mine didn’t. A flicker of begrudging respect, perhaps. “No, sir. I’m just sorry I’m in here, keeping you busy in the middle of the night. No matter what somebody says, I should be able to keep my cool at thirty-five years old. That’s why I’m apologizing.”

“Margo’s a pretty big sore spot, I imagine,” he murmured, showing he knew the real reasons behind everything, no matter how much he actually witnessed. That’s what made him a good sheriff.

My high school girlfriend, Margaret—Margo to most—died on a weekend away with me. I’d been the only one there to witness the whole horrible thing. Honestly, I’d moved on from it. Not her death, and not what I’d witnessed, but the whole life-changing aspect of it. I didn’t carry it with me into everything I did, and I certainly didn’t spend my time worrying over something I knew I wasn’t responsible for. Small-minded people apparently had a lot more time on their hands.

But being accused of something so horrendous never becomes routine, and I still hadn’t figured out exactly how to keep it from besting my patience. That was why I usually stayed away.

I hated that my first trip back in years had ended so predictably.

“Yes, sir,” I answered honestly.

“Make your phone call,” he ordered, gesturing toward the lone pay phone.

Fuck. It was safe to say technology wasn’t helping me now. I didn’t know anyone’s number by heart other than my parents’. Well, I knew one. I laughed to myself at the reason I knew it.

“The last four digits spell out Cass now,” my memory of a single late-night phone call with a tipsy Cassie Phillips said in my head. “How fucking great is that?” Fucking ridiculous is what it was. But, yeah, that wasn’t happening.

“Sheriff—”

“What?” he snapped. Fucking great. We’d had our moment of mutual respect, and now I’d already ruined it. Fucking fuck.

“Would I be able to look through my phone to get a number? I only know one by heart—” I started on a lie.

“Then use it, Kelly,” he interrupted.

I cringed as I pressed on. “I’m sorry, sir, but that number is for my parents, and quite frankly, I’d rather sit in here for eternity than ruin their fortieth wedding anniversary.”

“Fine,” he agreed, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

But it was short-lived. “No phone call. Go sit down.”

Shiiiiit. The deputy opened the door again and waved me inside. As my ass met the cold bench, I leaned my head into the hard wall behind me with exasperation.

I was going to rot here. Sheriff Miller was going to make me stay here forever. Way to fucking go, big mouth. Johnny started to smirk at me from across the cell until he realized there weren’t any bars between us.

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