She nodded. “How’d you get that scar?”
“My father.” Jackal surprised Penni by not giving the smartass reply he gave everyone else.
“Son of a bitch dead?”
“No, he’s in prison.”
“You put him there?”
“No, he’s in prison for assault.”
“Can I hold Ema?” Penni chimed in.
“You going to bring me moonshine the next time you come?”
“I’ll try,” Penni answered, carefully taking the child into her arms and sitting back on the couch.
“You got kids?”
“Lunch is ready,” Cash interrupted Mag’s interrogation.
Jackal stood up, pausing at the sight of the woman gripping the wheels of her wheelchair, despite Cash trying to push her across the floor. Obviously, no one was going anywhere until the old lady got her answer.
“I don’t have any children.”
The woman leaned in her chair, satisfied he had answered. If the nosy old bat had been his grandmother, he would have put her ass in a nursing home.
Sitting down at the table, Rachel set a beer next to his plate. “Thought you might need that. My grandmother is kind of hard to take, especially when you’re sober.”
“I thought she was your grandmother,” Jackal questioned Cash.
“She doesn’t claim me,” Cash said sardonically, twisting off the top of his beer.
Penni held the baby as Rachel filled Mag’s plate.
Cash reached for his daughter. “I’ll take her.”
Penni held the baby closer to her chest. “I’ll hold her while you and Rachel eat.”
Jackal held out his arms. “I’ll take her. I had a big breakfast.”
Penni gave him a strange look as she handed the little girl over.
Jackal stared down at the baby. She had a thin layer of red hair across the top of her scalp. Her tiny bow mouth scrunched into a cry, and Jackal tilted her upward so she could see her mama. Her gurgling had him smiling down. “Your mama looks better than me, doesn’t she?”
“You’re damn comfortable holding a baby for a man who claims not to have any,” Mag snapped.
“Mag!” Rachel protested.
“It’s okay.” Jackal flipped the blanket back over the baby’s feet when her movements loosened it. “I have a friend who has several children. Sometimes, he has to work late, and I watch them until he gets off. He’s married now, but I’ll watch them if they want to go to the movies or something.”
“That’s nice of you.” Penni smiled, placing a big chicken breast on the plate in front of him.
“Damn, girl. He just said he babysat them, not gave birth to them.” Mag eyed the food on his plate then the chicken leg Rachel had placed on hers.
“Remember your cholesterol,” Cash said then mockingly took a big bite from the largest breast on his plate.
“At my age, cholesterol is the last thing I need to be worried about. A good fart could cause a heart attack.”
When Rachel was done eating, she took the baby, and Jackal got up to fill his plate, adding a heaping mound of potatoes.
“I thought you weren’t hungry?” Penni watched as he put two biscuits onto his plate.
“I’ve changed my mind.” Jackal buttered his biscuits as Mag took Cash’s beer away. “Remind me when I get done eating that I need to make a phone call.”
“Who do you need to call?”
“I’m going to cancel my gym membership.” If Mag was an example of getting old gracefully, he wanted to die young.
“Are you sure I’m not disturbing you guys?” Penni heard Genny’s question as she mopped the kitchen floor.
Penni grabbed a bottle of water out of the refrigerator, avoiding going downstairs to workout, something she had promised she would do after eating the home cooking that was making her jeans skintight.
Train, Hennessy, Cruz, Jackal, and Rider were sitting at the kitchen table, playing cards while Genny had finished serving lunch and was cleaning the kitchen.
Hennessy looked much better since the day they had arrived two weeks ago. Still, it had taken Rider and Jackal to get the large man down the steps.
As she mopped, Genny brushed against Hennessy chair. He moved his chair to the side, and Genny’s arm grazed his shoulder. Penni saw her flinch away to mop farther away from him.
“If you need me to move, just say so.”
Genny stopped. “I’m finished.” She put the mop in the bucket, carrying them down the stairs.
“I guess she doesn’t like to be touched by the black man.” Hennessy’s snide comment had the men at the table stiffening.
Penni’s temper exploded, knowing Genny had heard the comment before she had closed the door. “It had nothing to do with your color; it was your size.” Penni slammed her water bottle on the table. “You’ve been in your bedroom since you got here, so let me you tell for a freaking fact that Genny, nor any of The Last Riders, give a damn what color you are. They didn’t care when they saved your life, even though you kidnapped me and kept me hostage. Genny didn’t care what color you were when she washed your dirty clothes, cooked your food all week, and even made those cinnamon rolls for your breakfast when she heard how much you liked them. I noticed last night when Knox came over to dinner that she’s skittish around him, too. You are a jerk … whatever color you are.”