They entered the club ten strong, but didn’t head to the bar or start searching through the crowd. Nah. They went straight to the DJ booth being manned by two people; a guy and girl. Neither of them did anything more than take a couple of steps back when Josh and the boys approached.
“How do I cut the music?” Josh shouted over one annoying techno beat.
The guy came back and grabbed a mic that he handed over. “You let me know when you’re ready and I’ll set you up, bro.”
A couple of switches were flicked, a dial or two was spun, and the music died. As the crowd got pissed, Josh puffed into the mic to make sure it was on. It was.
“Listen up, assholes.” His voice easily carried across the packed floor to reach the booths lining the outer walls. The bar that took up a good chunk of real estate didn’t have a seat available. A lot of heads had turned his way, but the noise continued.
“Hey! Shut the fuck up!”
As more people looked their way and noticed the group of cuts, mouths closed and pretty soon someone would have had no trouble putting their kid to sleep in the corner.
“Aw, for chrissake’s. We’re fucked.”
A smattering of laughter followed the curse. Josh’s gaze went right. That had been Nina’s voice. If he’d been unsure, Nick’s chuckle would have proved it.
He brought the mic back to his mouth. “Tish O’Malley? Get your fuckin’ ass up and visible.”
He scanned the sea of heads, waiting to see his blonde appear. And waited.
“You do not want me coming out there to get you, little girl.” His growl rumbled through the club and brought about a round of catcalls and whistles. A few female voices asked if they could take Trish’s place. He’d always hated when people got her name wrong.
A movement had his eyes darting…
Well, fuck him with a dry boner.
Tish came into view, but she wasn’t his Tish. She was hers. The expression in her heavily made-up eyes was icy, she wore no welcoming smile, and rather than come to heel, she walked her sweet ass down two steps then paused. Presumably to give him a clear view of her painted on black pants and four-inch stillies. The goddamn silver thing she wore on her upper half was so sheer he could see her black bra through it without even squinting. She held his stare for a brief moment, then the nervy bugger gave him her back and walked away, hair swaying in time with her lush hips.
Nina’s smirk was a mix of pride and apology as she dutifully followed her friend. She was wearing a white shirt that was cropped to the bottom of her ribs and had one word on it. No. Her jeans sat so low on her hips the waistline had to be even with her pubic bone.
As oohs and aahs sounded, Josh dropped the mic and stepped off the stage. His pursuit of his rebellious brat wasn’t even a consideration.
He moved faster when he saw Nina look back before shoving at Tish to get her going; they ran in that way girls did when wearing unsuitable footwear for running. And because the crowd had lost their focus, they got in the fuckin’ way, stealing precious time from Josh. Finally, too pissed to care, he started tossing bodies. Some complained. Others enjoyed the ride.
They made it outside in time to watch Nina’s Camaro tear an impressive streak down the street. Josh waited to see which way they’d go when they reached the lights. He cursed when the car went right instead of left.
“She’s taking Tish home,” he said to Nick as he gave the others a nod. “Thanks for the company boys.” Nick had called the reinforcement in case they’d needed crowd control.
“Don’t be too rough on her, Guardian.”
“Bet she only does that once.”
“The young ones always need extra training.”
“Look who her uncle is, brother. What did you expect?”
Josh reacted to the good-natured taunts with a perfectly visible middle finger as he got on his bike. The laughter faded as most of them went back into the club.
“Should I bring Ted in to deal with Nina?” Nick put his helmet on.
“You gonna deal with Tish or do you want me to?”
Best friend, VP, brother…none of the titles mattered at that moment as Josh turned serious eyes on Nick. “Tish isn’t yours to deal with anymore, Irish. She’s mine. From her stubborn head to her dainty little feet, she belongs to me. And I can tell you this; the lesson I teach her tonight will guarantee she never goes rogue again. As for the public scene? Yeah, this is the last she’ll ever make. You have my word.”