At Shade’s, she gave Genny a nightgown to wear and showed her the bathroom before leaving her alone.
Penni rubbed her aching brow. Genny seemed so fragile. She had told Penni that she had been in foster care before finding jobs in town after she turned eighteen. Penni hadn’t pried to see why she had been in foster care. After all, Genny was private and didn’t like talking about herself.
Penni knew she and Willa had a close relationship, but even when they had hung out together in the kitchen, Genny had seemed solitary. It hadn’t taken long to realize who Genny reminded her of.
It was Lily. Her best friend had never shared secrets with her, and Penni didn’t see it happening with Genny, either.
Genny took the spare bed when she came back into the room, burrowing beneath the covers.
“I’m sorry about your kitten.”
Her only answer was a lone tear steaking down Genny’s cheek.
“Can I get you something to drink?”
“No, I’m just going to go to sleep. I have to be up at six for work.”
“You’re not going to work tomorrow—”
“Yes. It will take mind off Smokey.” A sob caught in her throat. “I jinxed him by calling him that.”
“No, you didn’t,” Penni soothed her, turning the light off. “I’m going to watch some television downstairs. I’ll make sure not to bother you when I come back.” She wanted to give Genny some privacy to take in what had happened tonight.
Penni softly closed door, turning to see Shade carrying John to his room with Lily following as she went to their bedroom.
“How is she?” Lily asked quietly.
“Not good. I wanted to leave her alone for a while. I’m not sleepy, anyway. I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Good night.” Lily went into the bedroom where Shade was leaning over John’s crib, watching him sleep.
“How bad was the fire?” Penni asked when Shade came out.
They moved to the edge of the stairs so the women couldn’t hear them.
“Her insurance will—”
“Genny bought the house a few months ago. Willa practically gave it to her. Even with the insurance, Genny can’t afford to buy another one.”
“Surely, you and the rest of The Last Riders can help? I can, too.”
“We already have. She refused our offer. She knows we’re the reason the house was destroyed.”
“It just happened. Give it a couple of days, and hopefully, she’ll change her mind.”
“I hope so. I’m going to bed.”
When he turned away, she blurted, “Shade, when is this going to be over? I can’t stay indefinitely. I need to get back to work.”
“It won’t be much longer. The fire showed they’re getting frustrated because they can’t get close to us. They’ll make a mistake, and we’ll have them. Until then, you’re staying.”
“Yes, sir.” Penni snapped a salute before she sauntered down the steps.
Shade leaned over the stair railing. “You’re not too old to get spanked.”
“That’s what Jackal said.” Penni started to provoke Shade for his overbearing attitude then thought better of it. “Never mind.”
“Thanks. That was a TMI.”
“Sorry, I’ll be more careful next time.” She was smart enough not to poke a tired tiger when he was getting ready to go to bed.
Penni was about to sit on the couch when she heard a knock on the door. Raising the curtain, she saw Jackal standing outside.
Penni opened the door and went outside, afraid that their voices would keep Shade from going to sleep.
“I wanted to kiss you good night.”
Before she could respond, Jackal placed a scorching kiss on her lips.
“Damn, how’s that supposed to help me sleep?” she mumbled around his lips.
“Too much?” Jackal eased the pressure on her lips to place a tender kiss on the corner of her mouth.
“Not enough.” Penni jerked his face back to hers, not waiting for an invitation.
She tugged at his bottom lip, making room to explore his mouth, while pressing her hands on his chest.
Every time they kissed, she discovered something new about Jackal. His body would tense as if he were holding himself back. It was exciting to have a man who wanted you so badly he found it hard to control himself. Penni felt the same way toward Jackal. Invariably, she was the one who was unable to control herself.
“Let’s go to the hotel,” Penni panted out when she broke the kiss.
Jackal groaned. “Now you want to give in? Ice is waiting for me to talk.”
“It can’t wait until tomorrow?” She raised her hips up to notch her pussy against the bulge she could feel straining against her.
Jackal pressed his forehead against hers. “It could, but I don’t want Ice interrupting when I’m fucking you.”
“I can wait until you’re done.” Penni couldn’t understand the sense of urgency that was filling her with dread.
“I’ve waited years to get you in my bed, so I can wait one more night to make it good for you.”