“The neighborhood’s gone to shit.”
“Judge said the same thing when you two assholes moved next door,” Rev told Cage, who stood next to him with his baby girl perched on his hip.
Cage, Rev, Reilly and Rook watched the flurry of activity on the newly prepared lot. Two tractor trailers held both halves of Reilly’s new modular home as a large crew scurried around to get them set into place on the poured concrete foundation.
Reilly’s new place.
Not Reilly and Rev’s. Just Reilly’s.
Because that was the “deal” he struck with Reese. He didn’t like it but he agreed since waiting was part of his “punishment.”
It would be fucking torture. But it was better than being clubbed upside the head multiple times by the bearded Un-jolly Green Giant.
His eyes narrowed on Dyna’s tiny T-shirt that read, “My Grandpa Tastes the Colors of the Rainbow,” with a rainbow painted across her chest, each stripe of color outlined in gold glitter.
“What does that mean?” Rev asked. “Never seen Dutch eat Skittles.”
Cage laughed. “Means none of us will ever live up to being the legend who is my old man.”
Reilly wrinkled her nose. “Don’t any of you ever ask me to drop off anything at his house again. My corneas are permanently damaged after that, just so you know.”
“Nothin’ you ain’t seen before,” Rev reminded her. “Hell, nothin’ we all ain’t seen before. Too many fuckin’ times.”
Dyna let out a giggle and everyone stared at her.
“Did she understand that?” Rev whispered.
Cage sighed. “She’s not even a year old, yet, dumbass.”
“She’ll learn soon enough what a stud her pop-pop is,” Rook said. “Probably in ways no one hopes she learns.”
“Well, anyway, what I saw wasn’t normal…” Reilly sighed, closed her eyes and twisted her face. “Just no. Find some other fool the next time something needs to be dropped off there.”
“Just leave it on the porch, ring the bell and run next time,” Rook suggested.
“Ding dong and dash,” Rev agreed.
“Ding dong and dash?” Reilly asked. “Isn’t it Ding Dong Ditch?”
“Damn,” Cage whispered.
Reilly’s brow furrowed. “It’s Damn Ding Dong Ditch?”
Rev then realized Cage hadn’t been responding to Reilly. His attention was caught elsewhere.
All eyes turned toward a trim figure heading in their direction. Long black hair was bound in a braid down her back, crystal blue eyes were focused on their little group and she was dressed like a hot as fuck badass.
Jet wore black tactical pants, a shiny skin-tight, black short-sleeved shirt, a loaded shoulder holster and a hip holster. All in black.
A real Lara Croft, right there.
“Lookin’ hot as fuck, Jet, now that you ain’t wearin’ a real badge,” Cage called out.
She lifted the shiny badge that hung around her neck on a chain as she joined them. “This is a real badge.” She touched each of her handguns. “Real guns, too. Don’t make me use you for target practice.”
Rook snorted and, when she came within her ol’ man’s reach, he roughly grabbed the back of her neck and slammed her into his chest. He crushed his mouth to hers and, once he was done, he murmured something into her ear the rest of them couldn’t hear.
Jet smiled up at him for a long… very long minute.
Rev could only imagine what those silent looks said. He and Reilly shared a lot of those while working at the garage. Usually her nipples popped up like turkey timers just like Jet’s just had.
After a few more seconds, Jet cleared her throat. “I just came over to check on the progress.” She turned toward Reilly. “I’m going to go clean up and get ready for the shower.”
She was there and gone that quickly. Rook’s eyes were glued to her as she strode away. He wore a grin on his face that every man with a dick knew what it meant.
Rev wore that same grin often, too. Especially when Reilly strutted naked to the bed where he waited, also naked, but hard as fuck.
“If I manhandled Jemma like that, my nuts would be hangin’ off my chin,” Cage announced to no one in particular.
Rook turned toward his younger brother. “Why you’re a pussy and I ain’t.”
“You’re no longer bigger than me. You can’t kick my ass anymore, asshole.”
“Wanna bet? If you weren’t holdin’ my niece…”
Cage held Dyna out to Reilly, who rolled her eyes and refused to take her. “You’re both assholes and no, I’m not holding Dyna so you two can scrap. If Dutch finds out you two got into a fight, he’ll crack you both upside the head with a lug wrench. All right. I gotta go, too,” Reilly announced, going up on her tiptoes and planting a kiss on Rev’s cheek. “Are you going to stay and supervise our house being put together like a puzzle? Make sure they don’t screw up, Master Plumber.”
“Ain’t our house,” Rev corrected, his hands gripping her curvy hips. “Your house.”
“Oh, right,” Reilly gave him an exaggerated wink, “my house.”
“Wait. Where the fuck you goin’?”
Reilly shook her head. “Didn’t you hear what Jet said?”
“Yeah, she’s goin’ to take a shower.”
Cage laughed. “You sure you wanna be stuck with this dumb motherfucker, Lee? He might pass his dumb-dumb genes on to your babies.”
Rev turned toward him. “Ain’t that what she said?”
Reilly whacked him in the gut with the back of her hand. “She’s getting ready for Reese’s baby shower.”
“Why d’you think I got Dyna instead of Tessa?” Cage asked, pressing a kiss to his daughter’s forehead.
“Da! Da! Da!” his daughter yelled and pounded on her father’s bearded face with fists and a huge smile.
“Where’s it at?” Rev asked Reilly.
She grinned and wiggled her eyebrows. “It’s a secret location.”
“Why the fuck is it secret?”
“So you animals don’t crash it.”
“No men then?” he asked, not liking the sound of the women being at a location no one else knew about.
Reilly huffed, “It’s a baby shower.” Like that should tell him everything. He didn’t know shit about baby showers. “But…” She rolled her lips under.
He didn’t like that, either. Rev’s eyes narrowed. “No men allowed, right?”
She shrugged innocently. “Just strippers and Teddy.”
“Strippers at a fuckin’ baby shower?” Rook asked, his eyes now narrowed, too. “What the fuck?”
“Only because it’s also a surprise bridal shower for Stella. She didn’t want us to throw her one, so we’re combining them without her knowing. She’s going to hate it!” She laughed. “But she’s the first ol’ lady to actually tie the knot among us, so we decided to do it, anyway, despite her threats.”
“Make her wear some stupid sash and tiara,” Cage said.
“Oh, don’t worry, we have them for her.” Reilly giggled and Rev got caught up in the sound of it.
“Take shitloads of pictures of her wearin’ those, too,” Rook said. “Never know when we’ll need it as blackmail.”
“Still can’t believe your sister’s pregnant,” Rev muttered.
“I can’t fuckin’ believe one of Deacon’s swimmers penetrated one of her iron-clad eggs,” Rook said. “It probably argued a case with the winnin’ sperm before it would let it penetrate.”
When they all laughed, Dyna did, too.
“You sure she can’t understand what we’re sayin’?” Rev asked.
Cage turned Dyna to face him and asked his daughter, “He’s a dumbass, ain’t he?” Then he nodded.
Dyna nodded, too, and smiled.
“Huh. Maybe you’re right,” Cage said, “she can understand just fine.”
Reilly tapped Rev on the cheek. “She’s only reacting to everyone else, Rev. It’s what babies do. All right, I have to go.” She turned and headed to her cage.
“Text me when you’re home. And don’t you fuckin’ touch any strippers.”
She waved a dismissing hand over her shoulder.
“Unless they’re women strippers,” he yelled out. “Then take video.”
The crew working on their modular home all stopped in place and turned toward Rev. Then their collective gazes turned toward Reilly as she got into her Kona.
The crew member closest to Rev gave him a grin and a thumbs up.
“Fuck,” Rev muttered.
Rook bumped Rev’s shoulder. “You just gave them their whack-off material for tonight. Just think, they’re all gonna be fantasizin’ about your woman lickin’ some stripper’s snatch.” He made a V with his fingers and wiggled his tongue between them.
Rev shoved him away. “Asshole.”
“She likes to lick asshole, too? Damn.”
Rev shook his head and studied the way the four modular homes were set up in some semblance of a neighborhood along a stone lane leading directly off County Line Road. A narrow tree line also separated the houses from the rest of the club compound.
The former fallow field was turning into a little private neighborhood. Between that and the lot Trip had built to store Shelter from the Storm’s trailers, the Amish would be farming quite a bit less land.
“Can’t believe how fast they got that lot prepped and the house here.” Rook, now standing with his hands on his hips, was taking in the exact same sight as Rev.
“The green stuff makes shit happen,” Rev muttered. Lots of scratch made it happen. Scratch that Rev or Reilly didn’t have.
Reese had paid cash for the modular to expedite its delivery. Her and Deacon wanted it set up and Reilly moved out of that studio apartment as soon as possible. One of her demands in exchange for fronting the money was that he and Reilly take it slowly and not move in together right away.
But in the few weeks before they got caught, Rev had gotten good at sneaking in and sneaking out. He planned on continuing that. Especially since all he’ll have to do was walk from the bunkhouse across the courtyard and through the line of trees to get to her house. Easy fucking peasy.
“Can’t believe she forked over that wad of scratch,” Cage said, handing Dyna over to her uncle, who took her without hesitation.
Dyna bounced with happiness in Rook’s arms and yelled, “Ook, ook, ook!” her name for Rook.
She called Cujo, who was off running around sniffing and lifting his leg on anything that didn’t move, Jo. Jo, Jo, Jo, she would squeal whenever the nasty little fucker came within eyeshot.
“Only ‘cause I agreed to let Reilly live there by herself for a bit.”
Rook snorted. “So, you’re sayin’ you’ll need some empty boxes, then, to pack up your shit from your room and move it over here.”
Rev grinned and shrugged. “If I move outta my room, it’ll open up a spot for someone from one of the visitin’ clubs to stay in durin’ the weddin’ blow-out weekend. The more places we can provide, the less tents will be needed.”
That was his story and he was sticking to it. The wedding was a good excuse to free up his room and start sleeping in Reilly’s bed every night. Since the wedding weekend was only two weeks away, that should give him the “time” Reese demanded he wait until he moved in with her.
He thought two weeks was perfectly reasonable. She probably wouldn’t. But, surprisingly, her pregnancy had softened her up enough that they hardly recognized her.
Besides some of the empty rooms in the bunkhouse, The Grove Inn reservation book had been closed to outside visitors for a few days before the wedding and a few days after. The two emergency trailers Trip bought for Shelter from the Storm had already been temporarily set up and available for anyone coming with their kids.
The two visiting clubs, the Dirty Angels and the Dark Knights had been invited to stay as long as they wanted. Trip was also planning a sit-down between all three presidents, vice presidents and sergeant at arms. The Fury prez hoped that inviting those clubs to celebrate him getting hitched would help strengthen the alliance between them.
“Gonna be like Woodstock,” Rev murmured, trying to imagine how crazy that weekend would be.
“Without the fuckin’ hippies,” Rook said. “And hopefully without all the mud.”
Cage lifted two fingers in a peace sign. “Peace, love and happiness, maaaan.”
“Sex, drugs and rock-n-roll,” his brother corrected him.
Cage nodded with a grin. “That, too.”
“Trip’s finally bitin’ the bullet,” Rev said on a sigh with a shake of his head.
“Think it’s the other way around,” Cage said. “It’s Stella who needed the convincin’.”
“Yeah,” Rook answered, “he’s been ridin’ her ass about that, hopin’ once it’s official she’ll agree to givin’ him the babies he wants.”
“Never thought I’d want one,” Cage admitted, “but now I can’t imagine not havin’ Dyna.”
“Yeah, well, you all have at it. I’ll stick with bein’ an uncle,” Rook said, but his expression didn’t match his tone as he stared down at his niece in his arms.
Holding Dyna was one time the man turned into a big softy.
“Should we take bets on who falls next?” Cage asked.
“Gettin’ hitched or gettin’ knocked up?” Rev asked.
“Fuck if I’m bettin’ ‘cause who the fuck woulda guessed Reese to be the first ol’ lady knocked up?” Rook said.
“Speakin’ of Reese,” Cage started. “You can thank her for not gettin’ a repeat performance of my blanket party.”
“What d’you mean?”
“Not sure if I’m supposed to tell you, but can’t hurt at this point.” Cage shrugged. “Deacon had texted everyone in the committee to let them know Reese had already unclipped Reilly’s leash. When you burst into the meetin’ that night, we all already knew you were comin’ and the reason why.”
What the fuck? “You all knew before I even went in there?”
They hadn’t acted like they knew. Even Deacon pretended like it was a complete surprise. Rev just figured it was so no one found out he already knew.
Cage grinned and nodded. “Yeah. How tight was your asshole puckered when you stood there in front of us?”
“So tight I couldn’t shit for a week.”
Cage and Rook both howled loudly, making Dyna chuckle in Rook’s arms and Cujo start a hellish round of barking in the distance.
Cage whacked Rev on the back. “Makin’ you suffer was part of the punishment. Good thing he gave us the heads up, ‘cause I wouldn’t wish that fuckin’ blanket party on anyone.”
“Yeah, but at least you had Jemma to nurse you back to health.”
“Thank fuck for her,” Cage muttered. “Now look at us, we all got a ball and chain around our fuckin’ ankles. Dutch and Whip are the only single fuckers left at the garage.”
“Dutch ain’t ever gettin’ nailed down again. He’s havin’ too much fun in his old age,” Rook said, then glanced down at Dyna and asked, “Ain’t your pop-pop the ultimate stud?”
Dyna jerked in his arms and broke into giggles.
Cage’s daughter was a happy baby. She didn’t know it yet, but she also had a whole club behind her. It went without saying that everyone in the Fury would bend over backwards to get her whatever she needed or to protect her. She didn’t just belong to Cage and Jemma, she belonged to the Fury as a whole.
His babies, if and when he and Reilly decided to have any, would get the same treatment. Their kids would grow up a lot fucking differently than either of them had. Also, in a much better world. Most importantly, they’d be surrounded by people who loved and respected them.
Hopefully none of the Fury kids would ever feel lost, lonely or unloved.
All of that proved, once again, that family wasn’t always blood and blood wasn’t always family. But when those family bonds were strong, whether blood or not, they were practically indestructible.
Yeah, both he and Reilly had finally found their true family where they least expected it.
But they also found each other.
In the end, the sinner had become the winner.
And Reilly was his prize.
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