Authors: Anne Mercier
“Like me. Like Lucian used to be. No names, no strings. Just a quick lay and then it’s hasta la vista, baby.”
“Dear God. He quoted Arnold,” comes from the other side of the door. Great. They all know everything now.
I blow out a breath.
“Why’d you do it?” Lucian asks.
“Fuck around with me.”
“I wanted to. I like you. I’m attracted to you, and when you kiss me…” I shrug. “It feels good,” I confess.
He nods. “Then there’s nothing to be ashamed of. You’re a woman and you have a right to do what feels good. I don’t know why sex is so taboo in America. It’s all over TV and shit but people are prudes. You, baby, are anything but.”
I nod. “I went to a catholic school when I was little.”
“Well that fucking explains it all,” a man says walking in the room. I recognize him as Gage, one of the brothers.
I laugh. “Slumber party?”
“Hardly,” Lucian says drolly.
“Nikki, get your ass up and let’s get working on those boards. Show me what you’ve got,” Justin challenges.
“Fine. I need to go shower and change clothes. I’ll meet you there in forty-five minutes.”
“Now get out and close the door so I can get dressed, you pervs,” I tease and they groan and grumble while they laugh.
Lucian looks at me, then without warning presses his lips to mine. It’s a lingering kiss, but not too long.
“Where have you been all my life?” he asks. I don’t think he meant to say that out loud. He shakes his head and grins. “Get dressed before I get you
I laugh then do as I’m told.
I’m walking over to one of the FD buses and a wave of dizziness strikes me unexpectedly and I lean out to rest against the bus and steady myself. With the dizziness comes nausea and I know the drill. I press my forehead against the bus and breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth, slow and steady.
“I don’t know what you fucking want me to do? I’ve done everything but strip myself naked and rape the guys,” I hear someone bite out angrily. I know that voice.
that,” the voice whisper-yells. “No. I can’t. There’s no possible way to get any of them alone.” Pause. A feminine growl of frustration. “Whatever they are paying you, it ain’t enough.” Pause. “Well, you tell those Manzinis if I’m able to get this done, I want an extra ten grand for myself. None of you get a single fucking penny of that, you get me?”
I raise my brows.
“No. She’s never alone, I told you that. There is always security surrounding little Miss Lucy and the Kingston spawn she’s carrying.”
She’s so fucking dead. The mention of the Manzinis was bad enough but now talking about getting close to Lucy? That shit isn’t gonna happen and I know just the person to talk to to make sure of it.
The nausea passed and I’m stepping up into the bus when the entire room goes quiet, then chaos erupts as everyone starts throwing questions my way.
“Where were you all night?”
“Did you bang Lucian?”
“Are you all right?”
Questions are thrown at me and I dodge and weave, avoiding them, and head straight to Sera.
“Sera, can I talk to you in private?” I ask.
Xander makes some lewd noises. “Going to get some pointers?”
“Shut the fuck up, Xander,” Kennedy chides, watching me with narrowed eyes, knowing eyes, worried eyes. I give him a wink and his expression softens a bit, but he knows. He knows there’s something. Hell, with what happened with Lucian, the dizziness, and now this… there’s a whole lot of something.
Sera eyes me. “Sure. Let’s take a walk.”
Just as we’re stepping off the bus, Misty steps on. I keep my expression blank and murmur a greeting. When we’re a good distance away from the bus, Sera stops and turns to me.
And I tell her.
HEN COLEY TOLD
me what went down, it was all I could do not to go in there and put a bullet between her eyes, but I know that’s not how it needs to be handled.
I tip my head back, wanting to scream in anger and frustration, but I just let out a breath trying to calm myself. Cage showed me a technique of breathing and mentally relaxing the muscles that tense up. I use it now and it, surprisingly, works. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pissed off as hell and ready to cut a bitch, but this way I can just breathe through it and find Cage.
“You did the right thing, Coley, by coming to me,” I reassure her.
“I knew I needed to talk to you about it, since you and Cage were the ones who filled me in when I got here.”
I nod my approval. “You did good. Now, let’s go back to the bus and pretend nothing’s happened. For now.”
She nods. “What are you going to do?”
I shrug a shoulder as we head back toward the bus. “Talk it over with Cage and Gampy Giovanni. The decisions ultimately come from them.”
Coley nods. “I don’t want anything to happen to Lucy or the babies.”
“Nothing will,” I assure her, and I mean it. Every fucking word. No one will hurt my sister or her children. No one.
“I don’t know what she meant about getting naked in front of the guys,” Coley tells me.
“That’s all right,” I tell her, putting an arm around her shoulders. “We’ll figure it out. Keep your ears open but don’t make it obvious. Can you do that?” I ask.
“I can do that.”
“Good. Now, tell me that Lucian Cordero is a magnificent lay and I’ll let you back on the bus,” I tell her, blocking her way. Coley laughs.
“We, uh, didn’t have sex.”
“Well, that’s disappointing.”
“We did other stuff though. I don’t want to fuck him. I just met him,” she admits.
I raise a brow. Interesting. “And your not banging one of the hottest guys alive has nothing at all to do with a certain Ben Kingston?”
Her brows furrow and her eyes fill with fire. “Ben Kingston can go to hell.”
Very interesting. “I’ve said that a time or two myself.”
“I’m sure three-fourths of the population has,” Coley snarks.
“Ha. Nice. Now, tell me how good Lucian is with his tongue and fingers.”
She lets out a snicker then tells me what I want to hear.
“Holy smokes. I think I need a cold shower or a cigarette,” I mutter, fanning myself. I need to find and jump my husband.
Coley laughs. “Yeah, it was quite the experience.”
“I just bet. I figured Burners were kinky, but who knew?” I murmur, motioning Coley on the bus.
I take a seat and Coley heads toward the back to shower. I feel his stare. It’s like a caress without being touched. I always feel him. I meet his gaze, his expression blank, but his eyes tell me so much. Unless you know him intimately, you wouldn’t notice there are a few more crinkles around his eyes signaling he’s upset. Unless you know him intimately, you wouldn’t know that the way he’s separated his index and middle finger from the rest of his fingers on the hand he’s resting his chin on shows he’s ready to do battle. You’d never know the darkening of his eyes isn’t from arousal, but the knowledge that someone he loves is in danger.
I tuck a strand of hair behind my ear and he blinks. I watch as he moves the middle finger off of his face now as well, and that’s my cue.
I pull out my phone and pretend to look at a text. I sigh and look up.
“Babe,” I begin.
“Fee,” he returns.
“I just got a text from one of the guys and they’re having a bit of an issue.” A small lie, but I am not getting Lucy, Jesse, or anyone else worked up over this until we know what’s going on, and we don’t want to tip off the rat.
“Then by all means,” my sexy husband says, standing up and offering his hand to me. I take it and he helps me to stand before putting that hand on the small of my back. Just that simple touch sends shivers up my spine. What this man does to me.
“Do you need any help?” Ethan asks.
“Nah, we’re good,” I tell him.
“Cool. Just yell if you do.”
“Thanks Ethie weethie,” I sing song and Ethan visibly cringes.
“What the fuck?” he asks.
I snicker. “Too much?”
“Only by a few thousand miles or so.”
“I’ll work on it.”
“Please don’t,” he says.
“Don’t you worry your pretty little head, I’ll come up with the perfect nickname for you.”
“Christ,” he mutters and tips his head back against the sofa.
Kennedy chuckles and I give him a look.
“Don’t think you’re safe from a nickname either, pal.”
“Pal?” he asks.
“Did you want me to call you Kenny Wenny?”
“Fuck no. Never say that again.”
“Fine, but I’m working on it.”
“Yay,” he says, his tone laced with sarcasm.
“You guys are no fun today,” I mutter.
“Make up a nickname for Cage and see if he’s more fun,” Ethan mutters.
“I already did,” I tell them with a grin. I pause for effect. “He’s Batman.”
They all nod in agreement. No words needed. Cage looks down at me and shakes his head. I give him my biggest, cheesiest grin and I see a small lift of the side of his mouth.
We exit the bus and I turn to face him. “I knew it!”
Cage just looks at me. “Knew what?”
I can’t contain my excitement. I feel a bit like Meggie right now… minus the bouncing. I don’t bounce. Not on purpose. Well… never mind. Off topic.
“I knew it! You secretly like being called Batman!”
He smirks. “You’re weird.”
“That’s not new.”
“No, it isn’t, but this is a new kind of weird,” he tells me.
I snicker. “A Batman kind of weird?”
“That’s a pretty epic weird,” I admit.
He nods again. “What am I going to do with you, Fee?” he asks, putting his arm around my shoulders and kissing my forehead.
I look up into those gorgeous eyes full of love. “Love me?”
“I already do. To impossible lengths.”
“Yeah?” I probe. I love when he shares his feelings but he always needs a little nudge.
He nods again. “Impossible.”
I nod in return. “I’m right there with you, babe.”
“Took you long enough,” he deadpans.
I narrow my eyes. “Whatever. I loved you the whole time. You just didn’t know it.”
“Oh, I knew it. I also knew you were too stubborn to admit it. You, my lovely Fee, always take the hard way,” he explains.