Den of Vipers Page 2

Turning back to my bar, I grin at the exterior. She ain’t much to look at, but she’s all mine. “Roxers,” written in bright red LED letters, hangs above the door which has seen better days. She’s rundown for sure, a dive, but she’s one hell of a place to drink. The outside looks like an old cabin of some kind. Made from wood and mismatched brick. She has a porch wrapped all the way around where the patrons all smoke, with bike spaces in front of her. The two swinging doors are unlocked at the moment, and the filthy windows leave you unable to look inside.

We get all types here—truckers, bikers, criminals. Everyone is welcome. There’s only one rule—don’t break the fucking furniture. It’s an old rule, put into place before I even owned it, I just carried on the tradition. The sandy parking lot is empty, apart from my beat-up muscle car that I won in a bet, so I head back inside, flicking off the sign as I go so everyone knows we’re closed.

It’s early, almost time for the sun to come up. I guess owning a bar makes me a nocturnal creature, I did always prefer the night and all the fun that comes with it. Sighing, I brush back my silver hair and put it in a quick ponytail as I start to close up. I sent Travis home earlier, his grandma is sick and needed his help, so clean up is on me now. Picking up one of the mismatched chairs, I lay it on the table before collecting the glasses, as many as I can.

I head towards the back, past the pool tables and dartboards, and march up the stairs to the left. I push open the kitchen door with my hip and rinse the glasses before running them through the washer. Flicking off the kitchen light, I walk back into the bar area to mop the floor, not that it stops it from being a sticky mess you wouldn’t want to walk on with bare feet, but it’s a habit.

To my left is the old bar, the top made from beer tops set in resin, a gift. It’s clear of bottles at the moment, the differing stools empty before it. The old, wooden shelves hold every type of liquor you can imagine and the kegs waiting to be filled.

I already sorted the bar and cash register while Henry was pretending to be a butterfly, so not much more to do now before I can collapse into bed. Fuck, I need to find a new bartender. It’s hard finding one with experience who will last here though. They either speak too freely or fall in with the bad crowd. Yeah, you can’t look on a job website for this one, folks.

The last one we had was sent to jail for murder. Yeah, that’s the kind of place it is. Although, I gotta say, I miss the old bastard, he played a mean hand of poker. I stop when I pass the door, and it swings shut behind me.

There, in my bar, are four massive men. Tattoos cover their knuckles and necks, one even has his head shaved. Unsavoury sorts, of course, but that ain’t different from the usual around here. Their clothing is all black, and I narrow my eyes, assessing them quickly. “We’re closed,” I tell them, hoping they will take a hint.

Fucking sloppy, I didn’t lock the door. That’s what pulling pints and breaking up fights for fourteen days straight will do to you. I’m in desperate need of a day off, and now these assholes waltz in here like they own the joint.

One cracks his knuckles as they all smirk at me. If they think that will scare me, they should think again. I drink beer with men who would make these guys piss themselves, and I usually drink them under the table.

Everyone knows Roxers, and everyone knows me…and not to fuck with me. There’s a reason they all call me Swinger, and it ain’t ’cause I go to sex parties. Sliding closer to the bar, I slip my hand behind it, connecting with the smooth wood of my trusty bat, the bitch smacker. “I said we’re closed. Better get out, boys.”

“Or what?” one of them challenges as he steps forward. The fucker has a scar right across his eyelid. “Going to cry for help?” He laughs, and the others join in.

Rolling my eyes, I pull out my bat and rest it on my shoulder. “No, I’ll break your fucking kneecaps and toss you outside like the garbage you are. Now, one more warning—we’re closed.”

They share looks again. “Is this broad serious?”

“Broad?” I snap, low and deadly as I step closer. “Did you just call me a broad?”

They ignore me, of course, so I palm my bat. That prick gets it first. Ain’t nobody insulting me in my own bar, that’s just plain rude.

Heading their way while they’re still arguing about how best to grab me, I swing, letting the full force of the bat hit the asshole’s knees. He crumples to the floor, a scream erupting from his throat as I smirk down at him from my five foot six frame—well, five foot nine with my biker boots. “Want to call me a broad again?”

“Fucking get her!” he wheezes, so I kick him in the balls, making him fall back with a cry as I turn to face the others, ducking their grabbing hands.

Swinging my bat, I hit one of them right in the junk, and he goes down hard, so I bring up my knee and smash it into his nose, hearing the crack as it bursts like a peach. Fuck, now there’s blood on my floor. I just mopped!

Angry now, I swing like a woman possessed as the other two duck and dive, trying to stay out of my path. One of them falls onto a stool, smashing it beneath his gigantic frame. I freeze, my eyes narrowing dangerously, and he scampers backwards.

“Did you just break my stool?” I seethe.

He gulps as I fling myself at him with a Braveheart worthy war cry. I smack him with the bat, making him grunt. He punches his fist out as I kneel down to get his face. It connects with my jaw, and my head jerks to the side, blood filling my mouth.

Deadly fury fills me.

Turning back slowly, I glare down at him and he knows he fucked up. Just then, arms come around me from behind, hoisting me to my feet. Smashing my head back, I connect with the guy’s chin, stomping on his foot as I elbow his junk and slip out of his hold while he grunts in pain.

Thank you very much, Miss Congeniality.

Lining up my bat, I swing, hitting him square in the face. He actually flies backwards from the force, landing hard on the floor and almost shaking the building. He stays down. One to go. I turn back to the guy who broke my stool. He’s just getting to his feet, so I kick them out from under him, sweeping my leg as I bring my bat down across his spine.

He slumps forward, so I smash it down on the back of his head. Whistling, I look around to see the first guy struggling to his feet, so I throw my bat at him, and it does as its name suggests—hits the bitch. He’s out cold.

Stomping through the mess and their bodies, I pick up my bat and wipe it on his shirt before putting it on a nearby table. Propping my hands on my hips, I sigh at the sight before me. Now how the hell do I get them out?

Resigned, I grab one of their collars and start to tug, but he’s a big bastard, so I pick one of the smaller guys first. Bending, I hoist my hands under his shoulders and grunt as I yank him towards the door.

The door that’s swinging open.

I lift my head, blowing my hair from my face, and drop the guy I’m trying to drag to the door. Travis stands there, open-mouthed. He’s still in this black Roxers shirt, which is tucked into blue jeans, and boots, his deceptively thin frame shivering from the cold. He flips his blue hair from his face, his green eyes peering at me. “Jesus, Roxy, what the fuck happened?”

“That one called me a broad, that one broke the furniture, I didn’t like the other two’s faces.” I shrug, wiping away the sweat on my brow with my arm. “Whatcha doing here?”

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