“We going to do this?” Jackal asked as he watched Shade and Lily make their plates. Then he diverted his attention to where Train was carrying two plates before setting them down on the picnic table as Raci brought their drinks.
“You never told me what’s in it for you.” Penni pointed her empty beer bottle at him.
“I need your help with Viper. If you can convince Viper not to kill Hennessy, we’ll call it even.”
“Viper won’t kill Hennessy.”
Jackal rolled his eyes. “Hennessy is lucky he’s still alive. You’re probably the only one who can change Viper’s mind.”
“I don’t like Hennessy, but I don’t want to see any man killed. I’ll call Knox and tell him I want to charge him for kidnapping. He’ll be safe in prison.”
This was not going the way he wanted.
“Do you want Train or not? I think he and Raci make a cute couple, don’t you?”
“No. Okay, it’s a deal, but no funny stuff.”
“Like what?” Jackal laid his hand down on top of hers. Penni started to pull her hand back, but Jackal nodded at Shade and Lily who were getting closer to them.
“Like no touching.”
“There has to be some touching, or Shade and Train won’t believe it.”
“Okay, some touching, but nothing too sexual.”
“I thought the idea was to make Train jealous, not turn me into a fucking pussy.”
“Okay, we’ll play it by ear,” Penni conceded as Shade and Lily came to a stop at their table.
Jackal looked up at Shade, confident he hadn’t missed their linked hands.
“You going to go fix yourself a plate?” Shade asked as he placed their plates on the table then sat down with Lily at the picnic table.
Jackal had to give Shade credit. He had seen their hands, his frown saying he wasn’t happy, but he wouldn’t start an argument in front of Lily.
Not about to hide her confusion, Lily asked, “Did I miss something?”
Penni sprung to her feet. “Jackal wants to talk to you. Wow, I’m starved.” She disappeared, leaving Jackal to face the couple alone.
Jackal tried to think of a simple way to tell Shade without getting his nose broken again.
“Your sister likes me.”
“What are you doing here?”
Penni blocked the doorway after opening the door. She had hoped after finishing her half-eaten dinner that Jackal would return inside the clubhouse. She had only been able to choke down a few bites of her food under Shade and Lily’s silent scrutiny.
“Did you forget you invited me to watch the movie with you?” His loud voice had everyone in the living room turning from the television.
Penni stepped onto the porch, shutting the door behind her.
“I did not invite you,” Penni hissed.
“I thought this would be a good time to show them we’re a couple.”
“You already told them; that’s all they need.”
“Telling them and showing them are two different things. By the way, thanks for the heads up before leaving me alone to tell Shade.”
“I was afraid I couldn’t keep a straight face.” Penni knew she was being a brat, but she had never lied to her brother before, and she still felt angry for letting jealousy over Raci overcome her common sense. “I’ve changed my mind. I thought it through.”
“That’s cool.” Jackal turned toward the steps. “Train and Rider are playing cards with Jewell and Ember. I’ll see if I can join them.”
“Wait. Are you sure this will work?”
“Put it this way; what you’re doing to catch Train isn’t working. The Last Riders have a lot of women. You have to do something to make yourself stand out.”
Jackal lifted his hands up. “By the time I get done with you, Train—hell, all the single men—will be trying to hook up with you.”
Her indecision vanished at the picture he had painted. She opened the door, letting him go inside. Then, closing the door, Penni felt Jackal take her hand. She took a deep breath as she led him into the living room.
“He’s decided to watch the movie with us.” She took a seat on the couch, scooting over so Jackal had enough room to sit down beside her. He circled his arm around her shoulders as Knox pushed the DVR button to restart the movie.
Stiffening, Penni forced herself to lean back against the couch cushion.
Shade, who was sitting on a large recliner, began to rise when he saw him touch her. Pleadingly, she silently begged him not to throw Jackal out.
Thankfully, Lily came to her rescue, pressing a hand to Shade’s chest to get him to sit still.
“Would you like something to drink or some popcorn?” Penni offered Jackal.
“No thanks. I’m good.”
She chewed on her bottom lip nervously as the horror film became a blood bath that gradually distracted her from the tension in the house.
Diamond and Knox were lying on a large blanket on the floor with a big bowl of popcorn. When the zombie began making moves on his girlfriend, Penni reached down, swiping the popcorn from them.