Viper’s anger showed he didn’t agree. Picking up Jackal’s wallet, he took out his credit card and threw it at Rider. “Go pay for the room and damages.”
“Why are you mad at me? We’re all thinking the same thing.”
“None of us think like you. Hurry up. I want to get back to Treepoint.”
Rider turned serious, losing his joking attitude. They were all concerned about leaving their women alone. And one of those women was Jackal’s. Penni might not be there yet, but she would be.
Jackal got up, shoving his dirty clothes from the night before into his saddlebag. Going to the bathroom, he then wet a wash cloth to clean his face.
He gingerly touched his broken nose. If he wasn’t ugly before, he was now. His nose was swollen, and his eyes were turning black and blue.
Shade appeared in the mirror behind him. “Let me see.”
“Fuck off.” Jackal tried to barge past him, but Shade shoved him against the bathroom door, his forearm braced against Jackal’s neck.
Jackal simply stood still. He was bigger than Shade, but Jackal didn’t want Penni pissed off if he hurt her brother. However, he would make sure she knew Shade was responsible for the marks on his face.
He stood still as Shade straightened his nose then released him. Then Jackal held on to the door knob to keep himself from hitting Shade.
“I did you a favor. It kind of even’s out your face.”
“Thanks.” Jackal slid past him, slamming the door in Shade’s face.
He expected Shade to be angry; what he didn’t expect was that he would light a fuse that careened them into the bedroom, taking out Viper, Train, and Crash as several others tried to get out of their way.
“What the hell happened?” Viper grunted as he, Train, and Knox held Shade down.
Jackal rose from the floor, using the bottom of his T-shirt to wipe off the blood that had started to pour again. “Shade wanted a pissing contest, and he got one.”
“You want me to make you some breakfast?”
“I’m not hungry. We ate at the diner before we came here.” Penni sat on the railing of her sister-in-law’s front porch.
Lily yawned as she held her son on the swing that Shade had put up for her.
“Want to tell me why you showed up at my door step at seven in the morning?”
Penni didn’t know how much Shade would want to tell his wife, so she said, “I can’t come for a visit without an excuse?”
“Yes, but it’s the seven in the morning that’s confusing me. You’re not exactly an early riser, and I saw Razer and Cash walking up with you.”
Penni remained silent. Shade would answer his wife’s questions when he got here. Razer had told her that they would be there before noon.
Lily’s house was beautiful. Shade had picked the spot on the land near The Last Riders’ clubhouse. The mountains were so high Penni thought she could reach out and touch them.
“Why were you staring out the window so early?” Penni turned to face Lily, seeing the weary circles under her eyes.
“I never sleep well when Shade is away. I thought at first he came back with the ones I saw going into the clubhouse around midnight, but when I texted him, he told me he wouldn’t be back in town until this afternoon.”
“Who did you see going into the clubhouse last night?”
“I recognize all The Last Riders, but there were a few I hadn’t seen before. Some of the men seemed liked they were hurt. That’s why I was worried about Shade when he didn’t come home last night.”
“He’s fine. It won’t be much longer.” Penni turned away to sit down next to Lily on the swing. “He’s getting so big.” She gently grasped one of John’s hands as she leaned her head on Lily’s shoulder. Sticking out her foot, she pushed the swing into motion. “I’ve missed you and John.”
“I’ve missed you, especially when Shade’s irritating me by forgetting to pick up his dirty clothes when he showers.”
“Missing your old roomie?” Penni missed the years they had shared their small dorm room.
“He’s not OCD over cleaning the way you are, which I miss, but I guess I’ll keep him, anyway,” Lily teased.
“I bet you will.” Her sister-in-law glowed in happiness. The shadows in her beautiful eyes that had been a part of her when they had met six+ years ago had disappeared.
“So, you’re not going to tell me why my husband had to take off so fast and why he took all The Last Riders with him?”
“You’re just like Shade.”
She was and wasn’t like him. She had learned that as she had grown older. Shade had hit the nail on the head when he had likened her to a butterfly. She had no desire to settle down and get married. She loved her job traveling with the band and making new friends and finding new places to explore. That was why Train would be perfect for her. He would never try to tie her down.