Pink filled her cheeks, making my body react instantly. Damn, she was so fucking beautiful. I don’t know how I’d stayed so strong the last six weeks, keeping my hands and dick to myself with her sleeping tucked against me most nights. I wanted this female like I had never wanted anything in my life. She was special and I didn’t want to screw up what we had.
“Thanks for taking care of me, Hawk.”
I wish she would stop thanking me for doing something that seemed to come as second nature with her. She was mine and I was going to take care of her for the rest of my life. If I could get my shit together and just tell her how I felt.
“Do you need anything? I can make you some of that tea you seem to like?” I’d learned to make it a few weeks ago because it helped her sleep. Between Raven and Willa, I’d figured out how to work a kettle and tea bag. I figured that my brothers or Bash would rag on me for making that shit, but no one had said a word about it. My sister probably threatened them all with a knife. She was scary with a knife.
When Gracie smiled a bigger smile than she had given me in the last forty-five minutes, my heart contracted. Taking that as a yes I dropped a kiss on top of her head. “I’ll make you a cup while you shower, baby.”
Raven was still on the couch when I went downstairs. I headed straight for the kitchen and she followed, impatient for information. While I put the kettle on the stove I told her about Uncle Jack being Gracie’s grandfather. “Holy shit,” she whispered, glancing up at the ceiling as if she could see Gracie and was looking at her in a different light. “Now that you mention it she kind of favors him a little.”
“Yeah, I saw it too. The eyes and a few other facial features.” I added half a teaspoon of sugar to the mug and dropped the chamomile tea bag into it, waiting on the water to get hot. I wanted to tell Raven about the rest, about Gracie’s parents, but didn’t want to break her confidence like that. If Gracie had wanted my sister to know she would have told her.
But I had to tell her something else about tonight, because it involved her just as much as it did Gracie. “I don’t want you at the bar alone anymore,” I told her. She went in early some days to do our books or to just do a little extra cleaning. Before tonight I never would have thought that it would be something I would have to worry about. For one, my baby sister could take care of herself. For another, everyone who knew Angel’s Halo knew that it would only sign their death warrant if they dared mess with that bar or our sister.
Now I knew better. Someone wanted their death warrant signed, sealed and delivered. By me personally. Kevin Samson. He had tried to gang rape Gracie the night I had met her. Afterwards I had learned that it wasn’t the first time he had attempted to hurt a girl, but it was the first time he hadn’t succeeded. The next night the guys and I had burned the guy’s frat house down. Now he wanted retaliation and to finish what he had started. Retaliation by burning down something important to the MC and to get his hands on Gracie. Either would get the man only one reward.
My bullet in his brain.
After getting Raven to promise not to go into the bar without someone being with her, I took the tea up to Gracie. She was sitting on the bed with a big white robe wrapped around her and her hair dripping as she pulled a comb through the long, red tresses. Her face was pale and drawn, her eyes dark and tortured. When I shut the door behind me her head snapped up and she offered me a weak smile. “Hey,” she whispered.
I offered her the tea and took the comb from her. Picking up the towel from the bed I sat behind her and finished drying her hair while she sipped her tea. When I got most of the dampness out I combed her hair and then wrapped my arms around her waist, pulling her back against my front. My body did what it always does and came to life at the feel of her against me, but I gritted my teeth until the hard-on subsided before kissing Gracie’s cheek. “Everything is going to be okay, Gracie. I have you. Nothing will hurt you as long as I have you.”
The bar was nearly empty. I glanced down at the clock on my new phone, saw that it was nearly two in the morning and put the thing away. I hated the damn iPhone, but at least it was easier to use than the last smartphone I’d had and destroyed one night when I’d had too much to drink. I had yet to learn how to use this one completely and really, I hated learning new shit about technology. I wasn’t a big fan of it, but it did tend to make my life easier.
I stretched out in the booth with Bash right beside me. He should have left more than an hour ago when Uncle Jack had left. The man had been drunk off his ass, which was unusual for the old man these days. Finding out his granddaughter was in Creswell Springs, that she hated him, and that she was living with Hawk Hannigan hadn’t made for a perfect night.
Raider had made sure that Uncle Jack had gotten home okay and now he was back, starting to close the bar down for the night. He was also flirting like crazy with my female as she helped him behind the bar. She was filling the dishwasher with dirty glasses while Raider wiped the bar top down and restocked the liquor and Colt shut down the register. I gritted my teeth when Willa giggled for the fifth time in as many minutes at something Raider said.
“Take it easy, man. You keep filing those teeth down like that and you’re going to need a trip to the dentist.” Bash swallowed the rest of his beer and pushed the empty bottle across the table with the other empties that still littered our table. Willa had told us an hour ago that she wasn’t cleaning up our mess, so we were going to have to throw our bottles away before we left.
“Do you feel this way when Raven laughs with me?” I asked my friend without taking my eyes off of Raider as he handed Willa a glass for her to put in the dishwasher. “This rage and need to make someone bleed?” Because if it was then I was sorry. Not so sorry that I was going to stop, because Raven was my family and I loved that girl to death, so I wasn’t going to promise not to make her laugh. Still, I would attempt to not do it in front of Bash, because shit, this was hard to watch.
“Sometimes.” Bash shrugged. “But I’m not jealous of you and Raven. You don’t love her like that, and she would murder me in my sleep if I went all caveman on her and said she couldn’t see you. So I try to ignore it.”
“Do I have something to worry about with Raider?” I asked the question even as Raider stepped closer to Willa and whispered something that made her raise her head and look right at me. She gave me a grim smile and turned back to what she was doing. What the fuck was that about?
“If Raider was going to make a move on Willa he would have done it already. Everyone knows that when Raider sees something he wants he doesn’t care whose toes he steps on to get it. He isn’t scared of you, so she would have already been in his bed if that was what either of them wanted.”
Raider might not be scared, but he would be if he kept flirting with my female. He was going to swallow some teeth in a matter of seconds if he didn’t step away. “Willa, are you about done?” I called out. There was no way I was leaving here without her.
She turned around to face me, her face tight. “I have a few more things to do. Go on, I’ll catch a ride home with Raider and Colt.”
“No fucking way.” I shook my head and crossed my arms over my chest. “You’re coming home with me.”
Her eyes narrowed on me. “Then shut up and let me work.”
Raider chuckled and I sent him a death glare, which he pointedly ignored. “Go on, Willa. I got this.”
“Are you sure?” She was already taking her apron off but she looked undecided. “I still have a few things…”
He nodded. “I’m sure. See you later.”
“No she fucking won’t,” I growled as I stood.