“Tomorrow we’ll go pay our enemies a visit. I want to burn their place to the ground and let everyone know that if they come trying to fuck with my woman, they’re going to end up dead and burned.”

The cleaners arrived soon after and helped him remove all trace of Hound’s blood and matter from him, and then he made his way upstairs to his bedroom. There was no sign of Beth, but then he wasn’t expecting it. Sable was being treated within the clubhouse. Once he took a shower to completely wipe off all traces of what he’d just done, he found her in one of the spare bedrooms. The doc always tried to keep their care and medical procedures within the clubhouse so they didn’t have to go to a hospital.

The last thing they wanted was for cops to start investigating their business.

Beth sat in a chair beside Sable. The club whore was out cold. One of the machines beeped, letting them know she was alive.

He closed the door behind him. Beth whirled around and looked at him. He saw the bruises on her face from Hound. His hands clenched into fists. He wanted to kill him all over again.

Beth didn’t say anything as she turned back to Sable, giving the woman her full attention.

“I didn’t know you and Sable were such good friends.”

“We’re not. Tonight is the first time she’s ever spoken to me. It’s probably stupid, but I’d like to keep the woman who was nice to me alive. She’s the only one who has been around here.”

Her words stung. “I know I fucked up, Beth, but that’s a little unfair.”

“I meant of the women. Most of them can’t stand me. I know we’ve had our differences and we’ve had a few issues.” She shrugged. “You dealt with Hound?”

“Yes. He won’t be bothering you again, or ever.”

“Good.”

“That doesn’t bother you?” he asked, pulling a chair up beside her.

“I don’t know. He hurt me and he was going to kill Sable. The gun was trained on her head and I couldn’t let him kill her. She hadn’t done anything wrong.” She sniffled. He reached out to take her hand but she pulled away.

He was going to get tired of her coldness real fucking fast. Beth was his woman. She belonged to him. He’d fucked up, but there was only so much shit he was going to put up with.

“Will other people keep trying to hurt us? Ruin us?”

“Yes. I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you, baby. Men will try to take you from me. I can’t stop them.”

“They’re assholes.” She sniffed. “Then if that’s the case, I want you to teach me how to fight.”

“What?” he asked.

“I want to be able to protect myself and the only way to do that is to fight. I don’t want to be someone who’s too weak to handle what’s thrown at her. I hated hurting Hound today, but I hated being helpless even more. I watched as he shot Sable and all I wanted to do was protect her. I want you to help me do that.”

“There will always be someone from the club here—”

“No! Hound was someone from the club. I was supposed to trust him and the club, remember? I’m not going to put my life on the line like that or anyone else’s. No one deserves to suffer.” The fire burning in her eyes turned him on.

“You want to fight and you want to learn. I’ll teach you but you have to do something for me.”

“What is it? What do you want?”

He loved this woman so damn much. She didn’t see her own value and to him, that made her even more precious. She was someone he needed to protect, to love. “You’ve got to forgive me. Not just with words but actually fucking mean it. I know I messed up. I know you probably hate me a little bit.”

“You’re seriously using blackmail to get me to stop being angry?”

“You want to learn, forgive me. In time, I’ll earn it back, but I don’t want you pulling away from me anymore. You belong to me.”

“I know, I’m just another of your many possessions.”

“No. You’re more than that and I’m an asshole for saying the shit I did.” He moved off the chair and knelt at her feet. “I love you, Beth Peterson. You are my entire fucking world. I love you more than anything and I will do whatever it takes to keep you safe. I’m so sorry for what I did. Please, forgive me.”

“You hurt me,” she whispered.

“I didn’t mean to.”

“I’m not talking about you holding me around the throat but for even having to do it. For even thinking it.”

“I didn’t think it.”

“Liar.”

“I’m not. I was doing what I needed to for the club. They have a need to make sure I’m always on the top of my game.”

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