“Someone gag this piece of shit,” I commanded.
It was Flick who stepped forward and stuffed a piece of a half-burned shirt in Sean’s mouth. She slapped him on the face once, twice, three good times. “It’s time for some fun, buddy boy. I can’t wait to watch you bleed.”
For a second I wondered if we should let Flick stay and witness what I was about to do, but Jet hadn’t tried to get her to leave and I figured she had just as much right to watch me give little Mia some justice as any of us did. She’d taken care of the little girl for over a year, had been her nanny and loved the kid as if she were her own. Flick being there to watch was just about as good as letting Mia’s mother watch, I figured.
“Strip him,” I ordered and Hawk stepped forward, his knife in hand.
Sean saw the deadly blade—the same blade Hawk had used countless times cutting men into little pieces—and started to struggle again. No one tried to make him stop thrashing. There was no way he was getting loose of Colt and Raider, and the more he moved, the more Hawk nicked him. By the time Sean’s shirt, jeans, and underwear were off, the man had deep slices on his arms, stomach, thighs and calves.
Hawk’s knife, however, was a steak knife compared to the one strapped to me. I pulled it free and touched the blade to Sean’s cheek. “You caused a lot of people some trouble today, Sean.” I tut-tut-tutted him as I skimmed the blade down one cheek and then over to the other. Eyes already wide with fear nearly bulged out of his head and the air suddenly filled with a new scent.
Sean was pissing himself.
Raider muttered a curse as the piss flowed down the half-charred wood toward where he was holding the man. “Pussy,” he growled.
I chuckled, amused that it was Raider getting piss on his shoes. I was still a little testy about his easy relationship with Willa.
“You know, if you had minded your own business and not touched Mia and the Italian chick, this wouldn’t be happening right now,” I murmured with a smile. “But you had to make trouble, didn’t you?” I shook my head, disappointed at him. “Well, now you have to pay the price of taking an innocent little baby, motherfucker.”
“Dear God,” Bash grumbled from a few feet away. “He’s going to lecture the idiot the whole time, isn’t he?”
“Probably,” Jet said with a shrug. “It’s fun though. I wish we had some popcorn.”
I ignored them, focusing my attention on the pussy now at my mercy. I slid the blade of my knife down his throat and over his chest. Lifting it until only the tip touched his skin, I put just enough pressure on the hilt to pierce his skin. Sean flinched and tried to struggle even harder. “I made a promise to make you eat your own dick, Sean. I always keep my promises.”
Tears filled his eyes and poured down his face. He tried to speak but all I heard was garbled nonsense through the gag. Winking at him, I let the tip of my blade trail down his chest to his bellybutton, cutting him open as I went. The metallic scent of blood as it oozed out of the long cut filled my nose and I welcomed the new smell. Right then I held the power of life and death in my hands and I was going to savor every second of it.
“Ouch,” Hawk commented from where he was standing beside Flick. “I wouldn’t want that to be me right now.”
“I kind of wish I could cut him up a little,” Flick murmured.
“No,” Jet told her. “None of that, Felicity. Keep your hands clean or I’m going to put you in the truck.”
“Oh, alright.” She crossed her arms over her chest, pouting. “You’re no fun.”
“Spider, let’s end this before Flick and Jet start arguing. Raven will kick my ass if I bring them home and they’re mad at each other,” Bash complained.
Knowing he was right, I shrugged and straightened. I thought I caught a flash of relief in Sean’s eyes right before I moved and cut his pathetic excuse for a dick off with one swipe. No gag on the planet would have been able to muffle the scream that left the man as I lifted his small cock in my hand.
Pulling the shirt from his mouth, I gave him a mock sad face as I pushed the severed limp dick down his throat. It wasn’t big enough for him to choke on it, but a promise was a promise. I pushed it until it was all the way down his throat and then slit the fucker’s jugular.
While Sean tried to gasp for a breath that would never come, I wiped my blade on his chest, getting rid of the excess blood before turning back to my small audience. “Okay. I’m finished.”
Hawk, Jet, and Bash were all holding themselves in apparent sympathy. I snorted at the sight. “Don’t worry, brothers. I won’t cut your cocks off. Not unless your females ask me to.”
Three Years Later
As soon as the alarm went off, Nik was punching the snooze. I was pretty sure he was going to grab the alarm clock and throw it across the room the next time it went off. I was okay with that. Even though it was a weekday, I didn’t have to be at the office that day. I could afford a few more minutes in bed with my delicious husband.
Strong arms reached out and grasped me, pulling me into his heat as his lips sought my own. I went willingly, meeting his kiss with a hungry one of my own. I didn’t want to think past how wet my pussy was right then or how hard his dick was as it pulsed against my damn panties.
“Can we pretend it’s not today and just stay in bed all day?” he breathed at my ear, making me shiver at the desire I could hear.
I shifted closer, rubbing myself against his hardness. “I wish, babe. I wish so bad.”
Questing hands slid over my ass, squeezing with a roughness I delighted in. I needed this, needed him to make me forget what day it was, just as much as he needed to forget as well.
Three years had passed, but each year we relived that same terror. The uncertainty of never seeing Mia again, quickly followed by the unbearable reality that she could have been lost to us forever if she had been given the slightest bit more of the drug that fucker Sean had drugged her with.
Thankfully, Mia had been so sick through the entire ordeal that had turned all our lives upside down that fateful day that she barely remembered anything. That had been the only saving grace I could really find in it all—that our precious daughter didn’t have the same nightmares her father and I did.
Nik’s lips slid down my neck, distracting me from all other thoughts of the nightmare we had lived.
“Momma?” There was a knock on the bedroom door seconds before it opened and Jagger walked in.
Nik’s head shot up even as he covered us with the blanket. “Dude, one day I’m going to explain to you what a cock-block is.”
Heat filled my face and I hid it against Nik’s bare chest as our son walked farther into the room. “I want to go shopping for the party. Mia said we needed to get two presents. One from me and one from her.”
The big rocker over me groaned and let his head fall back on his shoulders as he glared up at the ceiling. “That couldn’t wait like thirty more minutes, son?”
“Can we go now?” Jagger, normally the quiet and reserved one was looking forward to the party later that day, so I couldn’t say no to him in that moment.
“Let Momma and Daddy shower first, Jags. Okay?” I lifted my head, giving my favorite little guy in the world the smile I knew he needed to reassure him. Honestly, I think what had happened with his sister had affected him more than it had her. He must have sensed how distraught Nik and I had been in the days following that disaster of a day and he hadn’t been the same happy little boy since. He took things too seriously these days and it broke my heart to see him acting years older than he really was.
He smiled brightly at me. “Okay, Momma.” He turned, ready to run back out of the room.
“Close the door, boy,” Nik called after him and he returned to close it before I heard little feet running down the hall.
Nik fell onto his back, pulling me across his chest. “Is it too late to trade him for another daughter?”
sp; I slapped him across the chest, sitting up. “Don’t be mean to my son. I’d trade you in before him.”
He clutched a hand to his heart. “Ah, baby girl, that hurts.”
Sticking my tongue out at him, I got out of bed. I had kids to feed and dress before we could go shopping for the birthday party. A nine and six-year-old in a toy store? Yeah, we’d be there a while. I’d nearly made it to the bathroom before I realized Nik was still in bed, watching me walk around half naked.
I glanced at him over my shoulder as I reached the bathroom door. “Aren’t you coming?”
He jumped up like I’d just told him the house was on fire and ran after me. Pushing me into the bathroom, he shut and locked the door before lifting me into his arms. “That kid better not come in here now,” he growled as he lowered his head to kiss me.
Giggling, I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him back.
“Daddy, I wanna pony.”
My head snapped up from making breakfast at Neveah’s announcement. Neveah wasn’t one of those kids who asked for everything. She didn’t scream and cry and throw gods-awful tantrums in the stores for a new toy. Normally, if she wanted anything it was something simple, like a friend to come over to play, or her Pop-Pop to come to dinner. So hearing her ask for something like a pony surprised the hell out of me.
Drake, who was seated at the kitchen table, handing out glasses of juice, paused as he finished pouring some orange juice into Arella’s sippy cup. “A pony?”
Neveah nodded. “My friend at school has one, Daddy. She’s brown and white and really pretty. Can I have a black one like Aunt Dallas?”
My husband lifted his eyes and met my gaze. I shrugged, telling him the ball was in his court. He was her father, so he could tell her yes or no. I didn’t want to be a part of that decision. Mostly because I already knew what it would be.
Drake Stevenson could deny his daughters nothing.
“I’ll talk to Aunt Dallas about it, Nevi. I’m sure her daddy can teach us all about horses and we can see what we can do about finding you a black one.” He leaned forward and rubbed his nose against hers. “Okay?”
She seemed to think about it for a second or two and then nodded, her dark hair falling over her shoulder. “Okay, Daddy.”
I went back to making pancakes, a smile tilting my lips as I cooked for my family. I didn’t know how Drake did it, but he made me fall a little deeper in love with him every day. Sometimes, when we were lying in bed at night, holding each other, I couldn’t help shedding a few tears because I was just so damn happy.
It wasn’t just because of the girls, either. Drake made sure I was taken care of in every way possible. The whole incident with my half-brother and his mother always entered my mind. I couldn’t help wondering how it would have turned out if my husband hadn’t stepped in and pulled the strings he had. Garon probably would have announced to the world our father’s secrets and then I wouldn’t have had a moment’s peace.
Thinking of the dickhead I shared half my DNA with, I grimaced. Garon had gotten his production company up and running again and the last movie he’d backed had even won best picture at the Oscars. He’d tried to get Cole to go with him, to walk with him on the Red Carpet, but Cole had told him in no uncertain terms that his loyalties were to me and only me now.
My father had come a long way over the years, and if the news broke tomorrow about me being his daughter, I wouldn’t freak out about it. Sure it might disrupt our lives a little but I wouldn’t regret it. Cole Steel was the father I’d always wanted, and he was the world’s best Pop-Pop.
I’d been so lost in thought that I was surprised when a pair of arms wrapped around my waist from behind. Drake’s lips brushed over the sensitive spot just under my right ear and I shivered with delight. “You’re beautiful when you’re thinking hard,” he teased as he swayed his hips from left to right, teasing me with the feel of his growing erection. “What’s on your mind? You’re not mad I said yes about the pony, are you?”
I laughed. “No, babe. I’m not mad.” I finished the last pancake and put the pan aside before turning in his arms. Standing on tiptoes I kissed him long and slow. “I was just thinking how lucky we are.”
Blue-gray eyes darkened. “I never forget,” he murmured. “You and the girls are my world, Angel. I’d give up everything just for one more minute with you.”
Tears instantly stung my eyes. “Me too, babe. Me, too.”
“Do you have the diaper bag packed?”
I lifted my head to frown at Liam as he rushed around the living room. It never failed, but he always freaked out when it was time for us to leave the house. I grinned and turned my attention back to the baby happily kicking his legs on the carpet. “Think Daddy has lost his mind this time, Asher?”
I got a giggle and more leg kicking for an answer and I laughed as I picked my six-month-old son up. “Yeah, I think so too.”
Liam stopped running around the house long enough to help me to my feet. Grabbing the very packed diaper bag, I led the way out to the garage and put Asher into his car seat before settling in beside him. It was either ride back there with him or have Liam freaking out every five minutes if Asher so much as sneezed. If I didn’t love the man so damn much and think his worrying was so adorable, I would have probably gone insane by now.
“Are you comfortable?” Liam asked as he held the back door open. “Do you need a water or anything?”
I couldn’t help but grin up at him. “Babe, I’m fine. Asher is fine. Piper is fine. Chill out, okay?”
Liam crouched down so that he could rub his hand over my distended stomach. I was only five months pregnant, but this time around we had decided to find out what we were having. When the tech had told us it was a girl, I was pretty sure Liam had gone a little insane. It was official. All dads did lose their shit as soon as the words “it’s a girl’ left anyone’s mouth.
I’d chosen her name, wanting to talk to her and let her know that it was okay to kick her daddy’s ass when she got out into the world. It was what I would have called Asher if he’d been a girl, and I was thrilled to get to use it so soon after welcoming our amazing son.
“I’m sorry, little Brie. Today just has me out of sorts.”
I sucked in a sharp breath. I’d tried to keep my mind off of what the day was, what it was the anniversary of. Usually I was able to deal with it a little better, but Liam always hated this day. I cupped his face with both my hands and brushed a soft kiss over his lips. “I try not to think about the bad things that happened that day, Liam. I try to think of it as the day that Shane and Harper welcomed Violet into the world.” I forced a grin to my lips when he just nodded, but the blue of his eyes still spoke of all the pain that was haunting him. “And when that doesn’t work, I like to send the MC guys a thank-you card. Especially that Spider dude. He did make a man eat his own cock for me.”
That had Liam’s lips twitching. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. I should send them a big thank you.” He leaned forward, brushed a sweet kiss over my lips and then straightened. “Okay, momma bear. Let’s get Asher to his first birthday party.”
I nodded and settled back. “Yes. Let’s do that. And then when we get home tonight I’ll make you forget all about what day it is.”
His eyes blazed down at me with promises as he shut the door. He’d be fine after I got done with him later. I would make sure of that.
“Birphday. Birphday. Birphday.”
I groaned as little feet jumped up and down on the bed. It was Tuesday and all I wanted was to sleep a few more hours, but someone didn’t want Mommy or Daddy to have an extra hour to sleep.
Ranger barked a warning and I opened my eyes just in time to see Violet jump high and my heart flew into my throat. She was going to fall off the bed. Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit. I moved, already reaching for her.
Shane moved quicker, grabbing our thre
e-year-old around the middle and pulling her down into the middle of the bed between us. I fell back against my pillow, my heart still beating to the point I was sure it was going to explode.
Shane tickled Violet’s tummy, distracting her. “Whose birthday is it, Vi?”
“Me. Me birphday,” she said and then giggled.
“My,” I corrected her softly. “My birthday.”
“My birphday,” Violet said with a nod.
He pulled her close, kissing every inch of her face. “Yes it is, my smart girl.” He pulled her close, tucking her against his heart as he looked across the bed at me. “Good morning, beautiful.”
I wanted to slap him just as much as I wanted to kiss him. I felt anything but beautiful that morning. All I wanted was another hour of sleep. Just one more. “Give Ranger an extra big treat later, okay?”
Shane lifted his head, looked at the German shepherd standing at attention at the end of our bed. “Good boy,” he told the dog.
“It’s my birphday, Daddy.” Violet was adamant about informing her father again. She sat up, looking down at him expectantly. “I want present.”
Shane laughed and got out of bed before reaching down to lift her into his arms. “Presents come later, Violet Hope. After your party.”
She clapped her hands together in excitement. “Party, yay. My friends are coming.”
Shane’s laugh disappeared as he glanced back at me on his way out of our bedroom. “Yeah. Yay.”
The look on his face had me grinning as he closed the door behind him and our daughter. We were having a small birthday party that evening and all of Violet’s cousins—biological and honorary—were coming. Which of course included the Thornton boys.