“You going to bring them to The Last Riders’ clubhouse? Isn’t that risky?” Jackal didn’t want Penni near the cutthroats when they attacked.
“They won’t expect all of us to be here, plus the other clubs.”
“They’ll kill Crystal and Deron!” Raci sobbed.
Jackal and all the men stared down at Raci.
Cade laid a hand on Raci’s shoulder. “They’re already dead. The cartel doesn’t keep hostages. I’ll check with the police to see if any unidentified bodies have shown up, but I doubt it. They hide them to keep their relatives under their control.”
Raci shook her head. “I heard her scream …”
“It was probably one of their women. My sister-in-law was dead before her father could pull money out of the bank.”
Jackal couldn’t bring himself to sympathize with a faceless woman when his was still hurting.
“If you don’t need me, I want to go talk to Penni.”
“Stay away. She’s sitting on Shade’s porch with a gun,” Rider warned him as he helped Raci straighten her top.
“Where did she get the gun?” Jackal growled.
“Sorry, brother.” Stump grinned. “She snatched it out of the back of my jeans.”
“She’s Shade’s sister; I would give her a wide berth for a couple days,” Viper advised.
Jackal acknowledged that Viper might be right.
“I’ll talk to her tomorrow,” he said, going back to his original plan.
“Like I said, take a couple of days. I’ve taken enough beatings from Shade to know what I’m talking about.”
Jackal ignored Viper’s advice. Shade would take the gun away when he came home. Once she was rational, she would see reason. Penni might be hot-headed, but when she calmed down, she would be more level-headed. That was a woman’s role when they were involved with bikers, so she might as well learn that lesson now.
She’s mine. She’s mine, he kept repeating to himself. He had sworn an oath, and he intended to keep the one to the Predators and the one he had made to her. He would keep it tomorrow and every day until the day he died … if she didn’t kill him first.
Penni sat there, staring into the dark night. Her cell phone kept pinging, but she didn’t want to talk to Shade, Lily, or Winter. Jackal, at least, did not call. Then why are you checking to see if he did?
The drive back to Treepoint had been tense, both she and Winter imagining what they would find when they arrived at the clubhouse.
“Want me to stop and get you something to drink?” Penni had looked at Winter who had been staring out the window. When she had turned her head, Penni could see her cheeks were wet.
“No, we don’t have time. We’ll be lucky if we make it before they know we’re missing.”
Penni licked her dry lips. “Winter, Viper wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize your marriage.”
“Viper’s not the one who’s ruining our marriage. I am.”
“I didn’t realize you were having problems. You just seem so happy together.” Had she been so involved chasing Train and immersed in Jackal that she had missed that the marriage was crumbling?
“Viper and I both want to keep our problems to ourselves. We didn’t want any of The Last Riders to give their opinions.”
“Why would they give their opinions? Your marriage is just between you and Viper. It’s none of their business.”
“I want a child, Penni. I want one so badly I can barely breathe.”
“Then have one,” Penni said matter-of-factly. “I can see why it could be a problem. Raising one in a clubhouse would be hard, but Razer and Shade make it work.”
“I can’t have children … Well, I can, but I can’t.” Winter took a breath before explaining her confusing answer. “When I was attacked and left for dead, my spine and hips were injured. My doctors say there’s a chance I wouldn’t survive.”
“Holy shit! I can see why Viper doesn’t want you to do it. Have you thought about adoption?”
“Yes, but the baby wouldn’t be mine and Viper’s. We filled out the paperwork to start the adoption process, but we were denied.”
“Assholes. You would make the perfect parents.”
“I know. That’s what I think, too, but they did a background check and found out he’s the president of The Last Riders. They don’t think we’ll make suitable parents. We even tried to take in foster kids, and they turned us down for that, too.”
“Winter, if there is anything, I would—Hey, I could be your surrogate.”
Winter shook her head. Smiling, she pulled out a Kleenex to wipe her face. “I would take you up on your offer, but Viper would kill you if you didn’t hand over the baby after it was born. You wouldn’t give up a child after carrying it that long. You have a hard time being away from your ducks. You drove Jackal crazy every day by making sure Colton was feeding them.”