“Hey, what’s so funny?”

“We’re just laughing at how bad Beast was the other night.”

“Oh, my goodness. Your man has got it bad. Every time someone asked about you, he took another drink, grumbling that January was too far away.”

“And then when I accidentally got him with the spray, he was scared you’d get the wrong impression,” Morgan says. “He tried to bolt out of here without a ride home.”

“I totally did get the wrong idea. It’s so bad how pathetic I was. It’s the reason I tried to leave.”

“Girl, please. There isn’t one of us that wouldn’t flip out if our man came home smelling like another bitch,” Crystal says, patting my hand.

“Yeah, but we weren’t together.”

“It didn’t seem that either of you thought otherwise, but hey, it’s where you two are now.”

William walks in and straight to me. “Hey, babe, is everything okay?”

“Yes, why?”

“I’m just checking before we lock ourselves away.”

“She’s fine. Get going before Boomer drags you out by your ear,” Morgan adds, slapping his hand away. He crushes his mouth on mine and then pulls back and leaves.

“He’s got it bad.”

“It’s amazing, isn’t it,” I sigh.

“Looks like she’s not any better,” Roxie scoffs.

Crystal giggles and pulls out a bottle of water from the fridge. “Lost cause. Now when Roxie finds a guy with enough mettle, then we’ll remind her how snobby she was to us.”

“She’s just jealous,” I tease.

“Damn right. I need to find someone that makes me fucking fluffy and giddy as you broads.”

There’s a brief silence as the women eye Roxie, wondering where the softness came from.

Needing to take the heat off my friend, I ask, “So what do you do while you wait for them?”

“It depends. Mostly bullshit until they come back for us.”

“Do you usually come with your brothers?” I ask both Sammie and Roxie.

“Not all the time if we’re working, but they can be just as bad as the other guys and worry about our safety. It’s crazy how we had no trouble until recently.”

“Yeah, as soon as I came into town,” Crystal says.

“No, you know that’s not true. It started on the night we met, and those fuckers were there for me,” Morgan adds.

“So it’s been a few months, and most of our lives have changed so much.”

“Speaking of, how’s Mick?” Sammie asks Morgan. A sad look comes over her face.

“He’s improving, but you know it’s a long process. Mostly he seems like he’s back to normal, but I can tell he’s hurting more than he’s letting on.” She seems so heartbroken.

“What happened to him?”

“It’s almost two months now, but we were attacked, and they shot Mick and tried to kidnap Morgan.” I shouldn’t have asked. Now I feel even worse when her eyes begin to water.

“Oh, my goodness. I’m sorry.”

She sniffles and takes a tissue from Crystal. “It’s okay. My brothers and the rest of the guys made sure they paid for it.” Just then, as if he knew she was upset, a tall, slightly thinner tatted guy comes in and grabs Morgan.

“My princess, why are you crying?” His Irish accent makes his words all the sweeter.

“Oh, nothing. You know how I’ve been.”

“I’ve got to talk to the guys, so don’t keep that shit up. I love you, and no one can take me away from you.” He kisses her like it’s his last, and I let out an audible sigh. He smiles up at me and says, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mary.” Then he leaves the room.

“Damn, that man. I’ve loved him for so long.” She smiles to herself and sits down on a large microfiber sofa that screams comfort.

“He’s handsome.”

“Don’t let Beast hear you say it.”

“They’re all handsome,” Crystal says. “But I only have eyes for my man.”

We all cheer to that. “Damn right.”

“Hell yeah.”

I’m really going to love these women.

Chapter 15

Beast

“Okay, we’re calling this meeting because Beast’s incident is another reminder that the cartel is still going to be a big motherfucking problem we need to deal with. They have no intention of letting up on us, so we’re going to strike when we can. I know most of you can’t get your hands dirty and that’s fine, but I need these people destroyed. They aren’t coming into my town to dictate what happens here. They can keep their drugs and shove them up their coked out asses. I know you’re working on getting some of them locked away, but it’s never going to be enough. They want to grow their territory wherever they can. There are many rumors flying around about their activities in neighboring towns. I’m not everyone’s savior, so they need their people to worry about that, but it’s Steeleville that demands protection from all of you. Are you with me?”

A round of cheers and “fuck yeahs” go around the room. “We need to get these fuckers and lay them out permanently. They have been a thorn in our side, and we can’t have that, especially with our expanding families and businesses.”

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