Raven probably missed me, because I sure as hell missed her. We’d never gone more than a few days away from each other our entire lives. I wondered how she was doing with Bash and how she was coping with Lexa and Willa living under the same roof. Before I’d left, Raven had been settling in with Lexa, but Willa was another story. I wondered how Hawk was and if he and Gracie were still friends. The other Hannigans always crossed my mind and even Matt and Tanner. Then I would think of Toby, my beloved dog, and if Lexa was having as much fun with that loveable beast as I used to.
Thinking of Toby always forced me to think of the one person I promised myself never to think about again. Jet had given me Toby as a ‘just because’ present. He had seen the dogs for sale on the side of the road and the person who had sold them hadn’t realized that Toby and his siblings were expensive bullmastiffs, so he had gotten the beautiful dog for a hundred dollars when the man could have sold them for thousands.
Having had a crush on Jet all my teenaged years, then having that crush turn into love, had made me think that his giving me Toby was his way of telling me he cared about me too. So I had made sure he knew that I was open to any relationship he wanted to have with me. It had backfired in my face in the worst way. All Jet had ever seen me as was as Marcie Bolton’s daughter. A club whore’s bastard child was good for only one thing: becoming a club whore too.
That was how he had made me feel the few months we had been together. He’d told me I couldn’t tell anyone about our relationship and I hadn’t. Not even Raven, for fear that he would end everything. Stupid girl. I’d thought that keeping us a secret was just his way of keeping me safe from all the sheep who were practically obsessed with getting Jet Hannigan into bed with them. Jet rarely touched the sheep and that just made them want him all the more. When it had all came out I’d found out that he hadn’t wanted anyone to know because he didn’t want to share me with his MC brothers—yet.
He’d taken my virginity and my heart and made me feel like the whore I had always promised myself I would never become. Stupid girl that I had been had still loved him, even after I’d lost our baby. Even after all the ugliness. All the pain. I still loved Jet Hannigan, which meant that I would never be able to go home.
“Thanks for watching them.” Jesse juggled Luca in one arm and pulled something from his back pocket. “Emmie said you asked for this. I got you two, just in case.” He placed two cellphones in my hands. Burner phones.
I bit my lip and nodded. “Yeah. Thanks, Jesse.”
“We really like you, Felicity. I hope you plan on staying around for a while.” He gave me a grim smile. “You’re good with all the kids… Especially Lucy.”
My heart clenched at the thought of Lucy. She was the reason I needed the burner phone. She was the reason I was going to make a phone call that would tear my heart out with the need to go home. But after seeing for myself how much pain that little girl was still in, how much her nightmares still haunted not only her but her family, I knew that I had to do something. Not just for Lucy, but for Emmie and Jesse too. Emmie was having bad dreams too, and sometimes I found her just pacing through the house, unable to sleep because of what had happened. Her guilt, her own nightmares. She had confessed to me one night that she blamed herself for Lucy’s experience and while I didn’t think she should shoulder that burden, I could see exactly where she was coming from.
“If you need anything just let me know… Okay?”
I nodded and offered him another smile. Over the next few hours I helped Jesse get the twins home and then got Mia and Jagger fed and into bed. Emmie came home, looking exhausted. Lucy’s therapist had requested that Emmie start attending some of the girl’s sessions, to help them both work through the night Lucy had been kidnapped. It wasn’t helping Emmie much, if anything it gave her more and more sleepless nights.
She barely gave me a glance as she thanked me for working so hard and climbed the stairs to go to bed. Nik was already up there waiting on her, as he usually was after one of these sessions. Tomorrow they would both be quiet and walking around with their own demons clouding their minds. Thankfully tomorrow was Sunday and there would be no going in to the studio, because Nik wouldn’t have gone anyway. Emmie would need him close, just to feel safe—even if she wouldn’t admit it out loud.
I waited until the door was closed behind her before picking up one of the burner phones and stepping out onto the patio. My heart was racing and I felt all kinds of choked up as I walked to the beach and sat down on the damp sand. My gaze was on the waves as I hit the number I had already programed in. I spent my sleepless nights out here, just letting the waves wash over my feet as if they would wash away my memories…
It rang five times before someone picked up. The number had come up unlisted, untraceable. I knew he wouldn’t answer immediately, but he was used to burner phones and knew that it would be important. “What?”
I bit my lip as it started to tremble. Hawk’s voice pounded over me, making me ache for home. For Raven. For Jet. “H-hey…”
There was a long pause on the other end as if he was having trouble believing his ears. “Flick?”
The sound of that name made me flinch. Not many people in my new life called me Flick. They knew me as Felicity, even if Emmie did know most of my life up until now from the background check she had done on me. The woman had been like the CIA when it came to finding out everything about the person who would be taking care of her children.
“Yeah, it’s me. Listen, I don’t have much time…” Because I will start telling you where I am and asking you to come get me. To take me back to that life I had walked away from. “But I need a favor. It’s a big favor.”
There was another pause, then he cursed and I knew he wouldn’t let me down. “Anything, Flick. Just name it.”
“I need you to go see Jet. To ask him to do something for me.”
“It’s important, Hawk. He owes me.” I didn’t want to play that card, but I would. This was too big, too important for it not to be used if I had to.
Hawk blew out a long, frustrated sigh. “What do I need to ask him?”
I’d left it too long. As soon as Bash had called me, I had known that I had left it too long.
I should have told her that first day I saw her again. Fuck, I should have told her when I’d first found out the truth. Instead I’d just hidden my head in the sand and left her alone. Too scared, too much of a chicken shit to risk her rejection. So here I was, on my bike after driving over ten hours straight, sitting in the driveway of the house Willa had grown up in.
The sun had been up for a few hours now, and the car that had mostly done nothing but sit in the Hannigans’ driveway since she had come back into my life, was sitting right in front of me. My heart unclenched a little knowing that she had made it here safely. I’d been terrified that she would have been so upset she would have wrecked.
The house was nice, out of the way and more like a cottage than anything else. The yard was full of plants but no flowers. Willa wasn’t a fan of flowers. She was allergic to bees and flowers attracted bees. At least ten birdhouses were spread around the front yard, and I knew it was to discourage bees just as much as the flowerless plants were. I made a silent promise then and there that if she forgave me I would buy her a house and build her a hundred birdhouses for our front yard.
I climbed off the bike and headed toward the front door. Trying the handle, I found it unlocked. Shaking my head I walked inside, but other than Willa’s car keys lying on the table by the front door there was no sign of her. Heading upstairs I figured she was exhausted after driving all night. I sure as hell was.