I smirk. “Did you see all the grass on the bathroom floor? Your feet had clippings on them.”

“Shit,” she mutters.

“Pretty much. You came back, that shows you’re smart enough to know what’s best for you, and us. Also, you could have tried killing me in earnest.”

“I thought me trying to shoot and stab you would give you more pause,” she frowns at me.

“Nah, that shit was just foreplay,” I say.

Food has made me sleepy. Now all I need to do is get Meghan out of those clothes. A day spent in the sack sounds perfect right now.

The loud shrill of my phone hits my nerves like a fucking atomic bomb. Fucking hell.

“A guy named James is calling… Is he the one who did the thumbs?” she asks with a wince.

“Yeah,” I say, motioning for her to give me the phone.

“That was…” she starts before shaking her head at me. “Do you know how to answer it?”

I shrug my shoulders. “I push the talk button?”

Laughing, she presses the button and says, “Hello, Gabriel’s answering service. How can I direct your call?”

I don’t hear the response, but by the way her face flushes, it probably wasn’t a nice request to speak to me.

“Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?” she asks before handing me the phone.

“With tongue,” I hear James say as I press the phone to my ear.

“What do you want, James?” I ask as I push away from the table to stand up.

“I was figuring you’d want to go out to the cemetery today. Should be a good time to get shit done… Well, shit done before all the madness you start,” he says.

He’s got a point, I guess. Shit’s going to get hectic soon enough. The calm before the storm is right now. Might as well take advantage of it.

“Alright, where do you want to meet up?” I ask.

“I’ll see you over at the cemetery next to Father Coss’s church in about an hour,” he says.

“Sounds good, bring another load out for me. I need a hip holster and a forty-five,” I say before hitting the red button on the screen.

Arching my back, I stretch out the stiffness that formed in my shoulders from sleeping on such a soft mattress.

Looking to Meghan, I feel another form of stiffness starting up as well. Not enough time for it, though. We’re out in the suburbs of Garden City, and it’s not going to be a quick trip to the cemetery when it’s on the opposite side of the city.

“What’s up?” Meghan asks.

“Gotta go see some old friends. You dressed warm enough to be outside for a bit?”

“I think so,” she says as she pushes away from the table.

“Good…” Staring at the food and stuff all over the table, I grimace. “We need to hire a maid. I hate fucking doing dishes.”

She picks up her empty plate. “I can check with Lily, if you want.”

Heading toward the garage after a quick sweep up of the kitchen table, we stand inside, looking at the black Tahoe and the black F-250.

“We’ll take mine. The mom-mobile is yours,” I say with a grunt.

“Mine?” she asks as we head toward the truck.

“You wanted in, you’re in now. That’s your SUV, keys are on the kitchen counter. We’re taking mine today, though,” I say as I pull myself inside the truck.

My ass feels good behind the wheel of this baby. John did me proud when he got me this big bitch.

“Why the hell are you calling it a mom-mobile?” Meghan asks when she gets settled in the truck.

“What the fuck does that Tahoe look like? It’s the new soccer mom car. You’re going to love it when you’re running our brats to practice,” I say with a grin.

“It’s really early in the day for me to shoot your balls off, Gabriel,” Meghan snarls at me.

11

Gabriel

The cemetery next to St. Michael’s looks the same as it always has—old and full of dead and fucking useless carcasses.

That’s all we are in the end. Dead weight.

Fuck, I think most of us guys in the inner circle would have been lucky to even have someone mourn us over the grave, or I used to think that. Now everyone’s getting married and has fucking soccer mom cars. Fuck, I even did it myself. None of us are thinking of the repercussions from doing this shit. It’s going to affect our families one day… it’s just how shit is in our way of life.

Just like all those stupid fucking movies, the bad guy always gets it in the end.

I’d like to think the fucking weather matches my mood as I get out of the truck, but it doesn’t feel like fucking cooperating, I guess. Fucking sunshine and blue skies for as far as the eye can see.

The ride over was pretty damn quiet. I guess kids aren’t in the near future with Meghan. Can’t say I blame her, fucking things are a death knell. She’d look good knocked up, though, with a big belly and those luscious tits…

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