Home > Diamond in the Dust (Lost Kings MC #18)(4)

Diamond in the Dust (Lost Kings MC #18)(4)
Author: Autumn Jones Lake

Nope. Not lettin’ her win. I’m perfectly safe with Logan. If he wanted to murder me and dump my body on the side of the highway, he’s had ample opportunity.

“I’d like to see the coast. What do you need me to do?” I press the edge of my hand to my forehead in mock salute. “Co-pilot Shelby Morgan reporting for duty.”

A faint smile ghosts his lips. “Just keep your eye on the traffic.”

“Can do.”

We’re silent as he guides the truck out of the parking lot. It’s still early but traffic’s already thick and rude.

Logan handles the truck with an easy confidence I admire, constantly checking the RV in his mirrors. Jitters from the cars driving too close or sweeping in front of us without warning glue my mouth shut. I fiddle with my hands in my lap and watch everything, wanting to be on alert if Logan needs my help.

I’m plum tuckered out by the time we finally reach the Pacific Coast Highway.

“You can relax,” Logan says, glancing over.

“This road’s a lil’ narrow for us, isn’t it?” My fingers curl around the door handle as he slows for a particularly tight turn.

“Nah, bigger rigs than this have done it. I wish we were going in the opposite direction, though. The views would be better.”

I peer past him to the glittering ocean and sigh. I’m really here. “Another time. When we can take it slow and be tourists, rather than on tour.”

“Sounds good to me.” A fraction of his usual warmth seeps into his tone.

While the traffic isn’t as bad here, the road itself is harrowing. Not the time to bring up whatever emotional wounds Ashley shredded open.

Ashley. I wish I’d taken a second to smack that smug smile off her face.

Ever since I tried probing Jigsaw for information about Rooster’s family, and he reacted so intensely, I’ve been trying to come up with a way to bring it up with Rooster. That scene with Ashley made it even clearer how little I know.

How can Logan and I be so close, yet I know so little about his past? Where’s the line between respecting his privacy and being a selfish girlfriend? Which side of that line am I on?

What could be so awful that Jigsaw wouldn’t even give me a clue? Ashley’s surprise appearance tells me it involves her somehow. Must be something huge if ol’ Ashley’s still steaming over it ten or twelve years later.

Since Jigsaw originally prompted my question and saved me from Ashley’s wrath this morning, he seems like a safe place to start.

“You and Jigsaw have been friends for a long time, right? Even before you joined the club?”

He takes several seconds to answer. “We met when we were maybe five or six.”

“Wow. Long time. No wonder you’re tighter than brothers.”

He huffs a noise of agreement but doesn’t add more details.

Huh. This is gonna be harder than I thought.

“So, you were always together? Hanging out? Causing trouble?”

“Nah, that didn’t come until later.” He shifts slightly and checks the side mirror.

“Did your momma like him as much as mine seems to?”

Finally, a hint of a smile, followed by a grim frown.

Danger. I shouldn’t poke this sensitive spot. It’s not the right time. He doesn’t seem to want to talk about his parents.

Where the hell does Ashley tie into this?

Love tangles me up inside. It’s obviously too painful for him to talk about. I shouldn’t keep probing. He’ll tell me when he’s ready.

“Yeah. She had a soft spot for him,” he answers after a lengthy silence. “My aunt did too.”

“Ah, so he’s always been a lady-charmer.”

“More or less.” He taps his thumbs against the steering wheel. “Why so many questions about Jiggy and me?”

“I just want to know more about you.” And it’s like pulling teeth. “You know everything there is to know about me.”

“I doubt that.” He glances over. “Had to learn about your tomato allergy when you were in the hospital.”

Excellent deflection, Logan. “Fine, let’s start there. Are you allergic to anything?”

“Bullshit.”

I reach over and tap his thigh. “I’m serious.”

“So am I.”

I growl in frustration and stare out the window.

“Help me out here, Shelby.” He gently squeezes my knee. “What are you looking for?”

Why’d your ex ruin my morning?

“Where did you grow up? Tell me about your family.”

His expression morphs into one more guarded and cautious. “Are you hungry?”

“Not really.”

“There’s a state park maybe an hour north. Nice, quiet beach, plenty of camping spots. At least it used to be. We can pick up some seafood at a market and hunker down there for the night.”

“Sounds fine to me.”

“We’ll pass some other pretty beaches along the way.” He finally glances over. “Where we can talk.”

Sure, I understand wanting to air out whatever ugliness Ashley tried to reveal in a separate location from where we’ll spend the night.

“That sounds good too.”

We’re silent after that. Poking into all his prickly spots while he’s driving seems like a bad idea, so I sit back and enjoy the scenery. Or try to anyway.

The road ahead is empty but Logan slows for some reason, finally flicking on his blinker and stopping. I barely make out a small road and sign for a park.

“Are we going to fit?” I ask.

“It’ll be tight but we can do it.” He glances over and winks. “I’m good at fitting big things into tight spaces.”

There’s the cocky man who stole my heart. “You have a gift for it,” I agree. My heart melts with love for him. “You’re in the driver’s seat. I trust you.”

Seeming satisfied with my answer, he eases the truck down the gentle slope. Branches swish against the roof. The road twists into a tight left turn. Too late. There’s no way to back up or turn around now. Logan all but slows to a crawl to clear the corner and keeps moving forward.

“It’s about two miles ahead.” He points out the windshield.

“Two miles of this? What if a car comes the opposite way?”

“We’ll either stop and pull to the side if we have room, or they will.”

Again, not reassuring. I glance out my window. Our “side” is nothing but a smooth rock wall.

But as we continue, Logan’s right. Along the way there are numerous little patches of dirt meant to be used as a pull-off. Still, it’ll be tricky if we encounter another vehicle.

Ten seconds later a low-slung sports car appears on the road ahead. The vehicle slows and pulls to the side to let us pass. I cringe the whole time Logan inches us forward. We’re so close, I can count the hairs on the driver’s head. Logan waves and thanks him as we clear the vehicle.

“Phew.” I fall back against my seat. “That was close.”

“Nah, we’re fine, chickadee.”

Finally, we pull up to a tidy, brown shack. A serious-faced guard steps out, park-ranger hat and all. “You can’t park overnight here, sir,” she says, gesturing toward the RV.

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