“No.” With that answer, he had a clear conscious. “How do you think Shade would answer the same questions you asked me?”
“Shut up. I’m not talking about him; I’m talking about you.”
“You can’t excuse Shade for the same offenses and then use them to not have a relationship with me. Are you going to walk away from Shade?”
“No,” Penni answered.
“Then don’t walk away from me.”
“I love Shade.” Her eyes met his, and the love he saw within them for her brother was unmistakable.
“How do you feel about me?”
“I don’t know.” The gaze became troubled, showing her confusion.
“Then let’s find out.” Jackal rose to his feet, taking her into his arms. “It’s good, Penni, really good.”
He wanted to slide underneath her defenses until there was no getting away from him. If that meant giving Penni time, he could do that.
She bit her lip, staring up at him. “Can you at least try to not be so bad?”
“I can try.”
“Will you try to get along with Shade?”
That took effort to answer. “I’ll try.”
“There’s going to be one deal breaker.” She pressed her hands flat on his chest.
“What is it?”
“If I ever find out you’re messing around on me, whatever this is between us is over.”
“I can live with that.” He smiled down at her. He tried to place a kiss on her mouth, but she stopped him.
“I’m serious, Jackal. I hate men who cheat.”
Thank God Lily had never complained about that to her. She didn’t think she could get past that as much as she loved Shade.
Jackal raised two fingers on his hand. “I promise.”
Penni melted against him, her face clearing. “We’re going to have to get home before we can seal this deal. I can’t … you know … do it in Shade’s house.”
Jackal straightened. “That could be a couple of weeks. There’s a hotel in town.”
“I’m not going to lose my virginity in a sleazy hotel.”
“Babe, I don’t think you can still be a virgin with the size of the dildo you had in your nightstand at home.”
Penni began hitting him on his shoulders. “I never used it! I was waiting to … use it for a toy when I was involved with someone.”
Jackal dodged her blows. “Damn, I wish I had known that.”
“Because I cut it up and threw it away.”
“Nope. Babe, all you need is my dick.”
“I thought you saw it? Clearly, you didn’t see how big it was.”
Penni’s giggles stopped when Jackal ran a thumb over her bottom lip.
“I’ll tell you what; if you can buy a rubber dick as big as mine that feels as good as mine, I’ll buy it for you.”
Jackal squashed another bug that came too close. “How the hell can you handle these bugs?”
Mag smashed one on the banister with a bright purple fly swatter. “It’s so bad tonight because it’s getting dark, and it just rained.” She picked up her glass jar, taking a big drink.
It was his turn to watch the front door. He could easily see down the road from where the house had been built. Viper had made it impossible for anyone to attack the front without being seen. He needed to tell Ice he needed to step up his game.
“You don’t want to go inside and play cards?”
Since Cash and Rachel had brought her here, Cash’s grandmother had spent most of her time playing cards and sitting on the front porch. Usually, there were two men posted on duty, but one would invariably make an excuse to leave when she was wheeled out.
“You gonna marry that little girl?”
“She’s not little.”
She made him a sound like he was a dirty old man. “You know what I meant,” she snapped. “Well, are you?”
“Couples don’t get married; they live together.”
“If a man ever told me that when I was younger, I’d have cut off his balls.”
“You know, I found out something interesting about women. They all threaten to cut a man’s dick off.”
“It’s because a man will sit up and take notice when their dick is threatened. A woman cares more about how much a man carries in his back pocket than what’s behind his zipper.” The old woman sniffed. “Believe me; sex isn’t all that.”
“Then you’ve never done it with the right person.”
Jackal discreetly backed up a step or two. “God, no.”
Mag cackled. “You’re lucky I’m not twenty years younger.”
“How did your husband die?” Jackal wondered if it had been with the helping hand of Cash’s grandmother.
“God took him with a heart attack.”
Jackal sat down on the banister, setting down the glass jar beside him. “You sure it wasn’t poisoning?”
Mag was still cackling when Penni and Rachel came outside.
“You behaving, Mag?” Rachel asked.
“What do you think? It’s not like I can do shit stuck in this wheelchair.”
Penni moved closer to Jackal. Slipping his arm around her waist, he pulled her back against him.