“So … I found a place for us to rent this morning. We can actually move in as soon as we get back—my neighbor Danica has the keys waiting for us already, and it’s even furnished. That’ll get me and the girls out of your hair.”
Reese set down the plate very carefully and turned to face me, arms crossed. I kept washing, which was harder to do than you’d think with him standing there, his face like granite.
“You tryin’ to dump my ass?” he asked, his voice low and cold. I dropped the sponge and met his gaze, wiping my wet hands nervously on my thighs.
“I don’t know,” I admitted. “I don’t think so, but I don’t know what our relationship is, either. I mean, we agreed to see each other exclusively, then I tried to shoot you, then you threatened to slit my throat, and we finished things up by going on a killing spree together. This is outside my realm of experience, Reese. Does ‘let it go’ mean we’re still a couple, or does it just mean I shouldn’t worry about you killing me and hiding my body in the woods? Right now I’m unclear.”
His expression softened.
“I was kind of hoping we could move on to somethin’ a little less fucked up. Maybe watch some movies, hang out and barbecue at my place? We’ve had a rough start, but we’ve covered a lot of ground fast, too. You know, Heather and I didn’t go on a killing spree together until we’d been married for a good five years. You think Jess was a complication? Imagine shootin’ up a cartel with two preschoolers taggin’ along.”
His mouth quirked and then he reached up and gently pushed my jaw shut.
“London, I’m joking. This shit is not normal. None of it. But this part isn’t a joke—we both got a lot to answer for, but I’m hopin’ you’ll give me another shot and maybe I can do the same for you? No reason for you to move out, sweetheart. I like havin’ you around. Like it a lot.”
I studied his face, trying not to fall into those gorgeous eyes of his. They always got to me—no man should be that beautiful. But it wasn’t just about me.
“Jess needs a place to heal up,” I told him softly. “You’ve got the club in and out of your place all the time, and right now she’s scared of men. I need some space, too. Things happened too fast, and I want to be sure that we’re doing this for the right reasons. Sometimes you have to take a step back if you want to move forward.”
“You sound like a refrigerator magnet,” he said, his voice tight. “I’m not gonna walk away from us, London. What we were workin’ on was different. Real. I want that and you do, too.”
“Renting my own place isn’t walking away from us,” I replied. “But we barely had time for there to be an us. We had sex on a Wednesday and by Saturday I was spying on you. Tuesday I got kill orders. All I want is my own space while we explore us, whatever that might end up being. We’ll take it from there.”
“I don’t like it.”
I narrowed my eyes at him.
“Did Heather always do what you told her to do?”
He stilled, and I wondered if bringing her up was a mistake. But he’d started it …
“Heather almost never did what I told her,” he admitted. “In front of the club? Sure. But she also liked to keep a knife next to the bed. Always said I was free to fuck whoever I wanted, so long as I understood that the night I came home smellin’ like another woman would be the night she killed me in my sleep.”
I bit back a smile, looking up at him through my lashes.
“She sounds like she was a hell of a woman.”
“She was. But she’s dead, and you’re a hell of a woman, too, London. Come back home with me.”
“I’ll come to visit,” I said, holding his gaze. “Sleepovers, how does that sound? We can get to know each other, do this the right way. We already did everything wrong once, but if what we have is real, me having my own place won’t kill it. When we’re ready, we can talk about moving in together.”
His arms stayed crossed, but he nodded.
“I’ll give you the summer,” he said slowly. “After that all bets are off.”
Smiling, I reached my arms up around his neck and tugged his head down to mine for a kiss. He let me, but he didn’t respond at first. I pulled back.
“Really, Reese? Pouting?”
“When you say it like that, it sounds so juvenile.”
I didn’t respond.
“Fuck,” he muttered, then wrapped his arms around me, pulling me in tight. His lips caught mine and I opened for him. Need and desire flared to life, and I wanted more than his tongue inside. Good thing we’d talked before we started making out, I realized. Otherwise I’d have done whatever he asked, because kissing Reese was that good. By the time Horse stepped into the kitchen and cleared his throat, Reese had me up against the wall, both legs wrapped tight around his waist.
“Your daughter called,” Horse announced. “She’s ready for you to come and visit. Said not to forget London. Should I call her back and say you’re too busy fuckin’ in the kitchen?”
Reese froze, groaning as I started to giggle. Then he leaned his forehead against mine, eyes closed.
“Children,” he muttered. “Shit for timing. Always.”
He lowered me and I straightened my clothing. Horse didn’t look away or give us even a hint of privacy. Nope. He just stood there smirking like a total creeper.
“You like to watch?” I asked him.
“Fuck yeah, I like to watch. Doesn’t everyone?”
Reese glared at him, which seemed to make him smirk even harder.
“Okay, let’s go see Em,” I said, tugging at Reese’s hand. “Just ’cause she’s a big girl doesn’t mean she doesn’t need her daddy.”
Reese rolled his eyes, then gave me a strange, almost sheepish smile.
“Thank fuck for that.”
“Hi, Dad,” Em said softly when we walked into her hospital room. She looked pale and weak, but her eyes were bright and she still managed to give Reese a smile.
Hunter stood next to her, his eyes watchful and concerned. He was still the badass biker I’d first met in Coeur d’Alene, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t devoted to his girl. He’d do anything for Reese’s daughter—I saw it written all over his face.
I decided I liked him, despite the fact that he’d locked me in a storage room.