It really was hours later before he dropped down onto the bed beside me and pulled me tightly against his sweat-soaked chest. “Mine,” he growled before closing his eyes.
Laughing, I kissed his chest and snuggled deeper against him. Mine. It wasn’t the ‘I love you’ I was hoping for, but coming from
the man beside me it was just about the same thing. “I love you, James.”
I was going to hell.
Luckily for me, I was going there with my best friend. The blood soaking into the ground around us was only proof of how far past the point of no return we were. At least it hadn’t been one of us to pull the trigger this time. The blood splattered across our chests was not from our doing.
Duke stood between us with Raider and Duke’s vice president on the other side of Bash. We had finally found the real rat, the one who had been leaking information to the feds. It hadn’t been easy, and we had been faced with several dead ends and at least two other people dead that had actually been innocent in everything except for by association. To Duke—to any MC—that had been just as bad as if they had been the one whispering in ATF’s ear.
Now, with The Red Dragons’ sergeant-at-arms bleeding out on the ground I suddenly felt as if I couldn’t breathe. This really was the end and we would be going home in the next day or so. Fuck! That meant I was going to be leaving Willa behind.
I felt sick and it had nothing to do with the fact that there was a dead body lying in front of me. I was familiar with death. This sudden gut wrenching pain in my gut and the loss that was filling my heart? Never experienced that before in my life.
Raider and Bash shook hands with Duke and his VP, while I tried not to throw up. No one paid me any attention and I knew it was because Bash was keeping their attention on anything other than the fact that I was slowly going insane.
Three days ago Willa had told me she loved me and I hadn’t said the words back. I should have. I should have told her weeks ago, before we’d even started having sex. I’d felt it then, maybe even before that. Now time was up and I didn’t know how to tell her goodbye.
“You could go nomad.”
I blinked as Bash stepped up beside me. Everyone else was gone, except for Raider who was keeping his distance by our bikes. “What?”
Bash shrugged. “Go nomad. Move closer to her. There are tattoo artist jobs everywhere in the world, brother. Then all you have to worry about is her mother.”
The idea had merit. Only I would be giving up just as much if I followed Willa as I would be if I didn’t. Creswell Springs was home. My family was there. My MC. Bash. I couldn’t just decide to pack and leave any of them just like that. I’d have to think about it.
We got back to the compound earlier than usual. Normally we were out until after midnight following leads. The compound was quiet tonight; everyone was both angry and grieving the loss of their brother and sergeant-at-arms. The betrayal cut deep, because the stuff the guy was feeding the ATF could have had everyone within the MC going down for some hard time. Not one of them would have been exempt and that was a burn that went to the heart. That it was their sergeant-at-arms, their president’s right hand… That made the cut twice as deep.
Bash, Raider and I sat with them and helped them drink a case of tequila. Of course it was my weakness. Tequila numbed me up good and I was glad for that numbness tonight. Raider said we were leaving in the morning. Jet had called him earlier and told him we were needed at home.
I drank nearly an entire bottle of Patrón on my own and stumbled upstairs to bed. I didn’t bother to turn on the light as I slammed the door behind me. Throwing clothes in any direction I fell onto the bed and found a warm body waiting on me. My dick instantly hardened, needing inside of Willa then and there.
Blindly I pulled her across my chest and grabbed her hips…
Swearing, I tossed the bitch off of me. Even in the dark and drunk off my ass I would have known if I was making love to Willa. The chick who had just about sat on my dick hadn’t been her. Reaching for the light beside the bed I snapped it on and found Tasha lying at the foot of my bed. She had a grin on her face and a glazed look in her eyes that told me she was just as drunk as I was. I’d heard rumors that she had been in love with the sergeant-at-arms, in her weird, fucked up way. They’d hooked up more often than any other guy she had ever taken to bed, so I guess that was as deep as Tasha’s love went.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” I demanded.
“Thought we would have one last ride for ol’ time’s sake,” she slurred as she pushed to her feet. “But if you’d rather not…”
I didn’t say a word as she picked up her clothes. Without bothering to put them back on—and really I doubted she could dress herself as shitfaced as she currently was—Tasha left without a backward glance. Scrubbing a hand over my face I leaned back against the headboard and closed my eyes.
When the door opened again I didn’t bother to open my eyes. “Get the fuck out, Tasha.”
The sudden gasp from the direction of the door had my eyes snapping open to find a white faced Willa standing there. “Fuck,” I muttered. Seeing the tears I knew she was thinking the worst. Her sister had just left completely naked and here I was just as naked. “Willa, it isn’t like that.”
“Oh yeah?” A tear spilled free and trailed down her cheek. “Tasha just told me differently. Said you were still raring to go if I wanted to come in here and give it a shot.” Her gaze went to my still hard dick. “Looks like she was right.”
“Willa, stop.” I stood, swayed a little and nearly fell onto the bed again. Cursing under my breath I tried again and this time nearly reached her. “I didn’t fuck Tasha. I found her in my bed and kicked her out as soon as I realized she wasn’t you.”
Willa shook her head. “I want to believe you.”
That she didn’t believe me cut deep and on top of all the other pain and confusion I was feeling, it only set me off. “Believe whatever the fuck you want, Willa. If you can’t trust me then it’s a good thing I’m leaving in the morning.”