Weary and bone-tired, Johnnie leaned against his headboard in his room at the clubhouse. He’d showered. Now, Kendall was finally getting a chance to wash all the splattered blood from her. With all the shit that had happened, no one had questioned the story behind the blood. Besides, the brothers probably already knew. Today had morphed into one of violence and death.
And ended when his cousin had walked out, not knowing if he’d return. Megan had left the main room, not long after, men and women stopping her to give her encouraging words and pats on the back. Johnnie had offered to keep her company but she’d declined and he knew it was because of Kendall.
He’d thought about ignoring Megan and going to her room anyway, just to hold her, but all he’d do is torture himself. Megs wasn’t as naïve as Christopher thought. In her own way, she was telling him to move on and forget about her, her actions speaking louder than words ever could.
He’d decided to take her silent demand and led Kendall to his room. Once she finished her shower, he decided they’d talk.
Kendall seemed to have gotten over her initial shock at all that had taken place today and she’d adapted to Megan well enough. Johnnie had recognized some resentment, but she’d probably picked up on the dynamics with Megan. Even if she hadn’t, Christopher had laid it all out. Johnnie knew that hadn’t been an accident. He wanted to get back at Kendall because she was wholly responsible for everything going on. If not for her attack on Megan, Christopher and Johnnie would’ve returned from their trip weeks ago. His cousin wouldn’t be flying to his possible death.
The bathroom door opened and Kendall sauntered out, only a towel wrapped around her, her hair damp and curling, as different from Megan as he was from a crime-free life. In so many ways, he cheered that Kendall was only three years younger than he was. She was tall, sturdy, and experienced. She’d already made a place for herself in the world, didn’t need him for protection, wouldn’t drive him insane with a need to keep her in his proximity to keep her out of trouble. She was the type of woman Johnny needed. Not a girl who could sway him with one look, beat up on his conscience with one lift of her eyebrow.
He drew in a deep breath. Perhaps, Megan sensed he was as much a cold-blooded killer as her husband. Maybe, more so. Boss had attached the road name of Iceman to him, but Johnnie had rejected it. He didn’t like to think of the ice in his veins because he’d never really understood it. What he wanted, he took. What stood in his way, he got rid of. After the death of his parents, only Christopher held his loyalty. And Megan.
Kendall shifted from foot-to-foot. Did he want to be loyal to her? She was so complicated and spiteful. But she had a softer side. He’d seen it. He wanted to reach that part of her when she was sober, not desperate to keep him at her side after over imbibing.
She smiled at him and he returned it, licking his lips when she allowed the towel to drop to the floor. His dick throbbed at the sight of her magnificent body.
“You’ve had such a stressful day,” she purred.
Stressful was an understatement. Today had been an abomination. He sighed, his head pounding, wondering what in hell he wanted and what he was going to do.
Kendall climbed between his legs and laid on her belly, resting her feet on the footboard. She pulled down his sweats and wrapped her hand around his hard cock, guiding it to her mouth.
He hissed in a breath and thrust up his hips, hitting the back of her throat. He groaned and pumped, the wet heat of her mouth like heaven.
“Kendall,” he grunted, closing his eyes and remembering their first night together in this room. Fisting her hair in his hand, he tugged and his cock plopped out of her mouth. She met his gaze and he urged her up his body. Nose-to-nose, they stared at each other. She tried to kiss him and he turned his head away, unable to bring himself to do it after the emotions of the day.
He wrapped his arms around her and rolled her onto her back, kneeing her thighs apart and sinking into her. He needed comfort and atonement. She hadn’t believed his story, didn’t think him a killer—not even after he’d pulled a gun on her. But he was as violent as Christopher. His was just couched in an educated façade.
In and out of her hot pussy he pumped, their moans matching each other’s. When he felt himself nearing his peak, he realized he hadn’t worn a condom and went to pull out. Kendall locked her legs around his waist.
“I’m on the pill,” she breathed.
Accepting her at her word, he kissed her brow, thrust his fingers through her hair and stared at her, wondering what secrets she held, what really made her tick. She sighed his name, her breath fanning his neck, and tensed around him, clenching her pussy through her climax.
He buried his nose in her neck and growled her name, exploding in her belly, trembling in release. He pulled out of her and laid on his back, breathing hard.
“You want to sleep with Megan?” she asked a few minutes later.
Johnnie didn’t want to think of Megs right now and it surprised him Kendall would bring her up after she’d just had sex with him. He lifted his head and popped one eye opened. “I don’t want to talk about Megs. I’d prefer to get to know you. The real you, Kendall.”
Should he bring up the night he’d found her laying in vomit?
Kendall curled against him, laid her head in the crook of his arm. “I want to get to know you, too.” She nipped his earlobe and a shiver traveled through him. “But getting to know you means knowing who my competition is, right?”
“Megs isn’t your competition,” he said gruffly, sorry she felt that way. Correction: Megs couldn’t be her competition because she had no interest in him. He bent and kissed Kendall’s forehead, guilt biting at him. At the heart of her, Kendall was a good person. She was so unlike Iona, the girl Johnnie had almost left the club altogether for, only to have her walk away from him to marry someone else. Kendall seemed to have accepted him and his lifestyle. He realized she was the type of girl he wanted and needed because he wouldn’t ever leave his MC again for anyone.
“I can understand why you’d want to take her to bed,” Kendall persisted.
Johnnie decided there was no getting around it. Maybe, discussing Megs was what he needed. Megs refused to listen about how he’d felt and he couldn’t blame her. If Christopher ever knew the extent of Johnnie’s emotions for her, he would cut out his tongue and his dick—not necessarily in that order—then watch him bleed to death. His brothers would think he’d pussified himself over Megs, so he only had his thoughts and they were not getting him anywhere. If he wanted to get to know Kendall, she deserved to know him, too. He sat up and reached for his cigarettes, lighting one. “Yeah?”
“She’s so delicate looking with those big, blue eyes and all that golden hair.”
He took a drag of his cigarette, released the smoke through his nose. He shrugged, traced the curve of her generous breast. “You’re delicate, too,” he said, meaning it.
She snorted, the sound so indelicate Johnnie burst out laughing. She met his gaze and giggled with reluctance. He knew she didn’t find much humor in life. Whereas he found humor wherever and whenever he could. He’d go mad, otherwise.
“No one has ever described me as delicate.”
He rested an arm behind his head, took another drag of his cigarette, and glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. Her body was still flushed from their lovemaking, her lips swollen, but she had a pensive look. “What have you been described as?”
“Fat. Man in drag. Icy. Conscienceless.”
Abandoning his casual pose, Johnnie sat his cigarette in the ashtray and loomed above her, pinning her hands above her head. He knew then he’d keep his secret. She sounded so ashamed. What he would do is point out how magnificent her body was, just as he had the other night.
“You aren’t fat. You have full, beautiful breasts, a curvy waist, hips made for cradling a man, the most round, shapely ass I’ve ever held, and legs that go on for days.” He skimmed his hands over her hip, teased her bare pussy, wishing she had some hair there. Not a lot. Just enough copper curls to drive him crazy. He fingered her clit and she moaned. ‘Unless you’ve been dealing with a bunch of blind assholes, anyone can see you’re all woman.”
She blinked, the mist in her eyes giving her a vulnerable look. “You really think that?”
He chuckled. “Hell, Kendall. What do I have to lie for? I’ve already gotten the cookie.” To demonstrate, he slipped two fingers inside of her, thrusting in and out of her slick folds. Her nervous laughter ended on a moan.
“D-do you think I’m icy and without a conscience?”
She was icy as they came, but that was her armor to protect herself. Without a conscience? Not at all. She’d cried at the graveside the other day. A woman without a conscience would’ve gloated. Instead of explaining of that, he said, “not at all.
She smiled, her eyes crinkling, and Johnnie brushed his fingers through her hair.
“I don’t want to think anymore right now. Just feel your sweet pussy.”
She groaned and lifted her hips, complying for only a moment before she still his hand and drew in a deep breath. “I-I mean for what I did to Megan. I made her lose her baby.”
What the hell? “Let’s keep Megs out of our bed,” he snapped, irritated. He removed his hand from her pussy and scowled when he realized his cigarette hand burned out. “I want to focus on you. Get to know you.”
She lowered her lashes. “I think you should sleep with her,” she announced casually.
Johnnie frowned, looked over his shoulder and narrowed his eyes.
“Hear me out.” She sat up and raised her chin, covering her breasts with the sheet. “I like you so much. The way we met wasn’t under the best circumstances. I hurt a lot of people all because of some m-misplaced sense of—“ She sniffled and bowed her head. “I’d like to make amends.”
“By telling me to sleep with my cousin’s wife?”
She sniffled again. “No. Of course not. For us to have a chance.” Her voice cracked. “You know she’ll never leave Outlaw and…and you need to get her out of your system to move on.” Shame covered her pretty features. “I had a man I was fascinated with. He…he wasn’t for me. But I was stuck and the only way I could move on was to have sex with him a few times. I knew we didn’t have a future. He knew we didn’t have a future.”
He took a few drags of his newly lit cigarette, not speaking, just studying her. Where did she get these odd ideas from? He’d never had a lover who encouraged him to sleep with another woman, especially one he wanted with every fiber of his being. He was experienced and he knew what he felt for Megs was deeper than lust. But, because he liked Kendall, he wanted to move on with his life. Maybe, he and Kendall would only be a passing affair. And, maybe, not. One thing he knew for certain was he wanted a family and wanted someone to love and love him in return.
He’d been infatuated with Iona, proven by how quickly he’d gotten over her betrayal. A first love always held a special place in the heart, even if he’d been a little late in falling in love for the first time. Megs would always have a piece of his heart, but the next woman he opened himself up to…He decided that second love would be stronger, more vital. He’d learned what real love felt like and come to terms with it. He’d know the next time the difference between real love and infatuation. He studied Kendall in silence, knowing he was missing something vital about this strange conversation.
“Are you telling me you’d like us to have a future?”
“Wouldn’t you? You asked me to remain at your house, remember?” She peeked at him through her lashes, gave him a sultry smile. “I’d like to get to know you better. See where we go from here.”
“I’ve been trying to get to know you better,” he reminded her, through a plume of cigarette smoke he’d released from his mouth. “You insist on bringing up Megs.”
She licked her lips. “I’ve watched her around you. She…she isn’t as innocent as everyone makes her out to be.”
He stiffened and narrowed his eyes, not liking Kendall’s implication. “You do realize you’re here because Megs allowed it?” he growled.
“Yes, Saint Megan,” she snapped. “She didn’t do it out of the kindness of her heart. She did it for you. Because of how she feels about you.”
“Kendall, you’re overstepping your bounds.” Fury began to percolate in him at her sneering tone. “And don’t you ever spout that bullshit—“
“Can you deny it?” she challenged, raising her chin.
He bit back the vicious words on the tip of his tongue to rage at her and took in her flashing brown eyes, her ferocious frown, and the red stain in her cheeks. It dawned on him—she was jealous. Of course, jackass. She’s a woman. What do you think after the way you’ve gone on about Megs? He winced. “Kendall, look, gorgeous…did Megs allow you to stay because of me? Yes. She wants me happy. With someone else,” he stressed at her glare. “Do I think she loves me? Yes. But not the way you’re thinking. So, as much as I appreciate your magnanimous suggestion, I’m not sleeping with Megan.”
A sob escaped her and she hung her head in her hands, her shoulders shaking.
Tamping his cigarette out in the ashtray, Johnnie went to her and drew her in his arms. “Hey…hey, sweetheart, shhh, it’s okay. Megs and I are friends. Despite what you heard Christopher say, Megs doesn’t want me.”
“She does!” Kendall cried. “And you want her. We can’t have a future until you have her.” She threw her arms around his neck and cried against his shoulder. “You won’t even kiss me!”
Hell. “I don’t kiss you because I don’t know you.”
“Was Outlaw right? Did somethin’ happen between the two of you?”
Johnnie was exhausted, his mind in turmoil. At the moment, he didn’t know if right was left and left was right. “Whatever it was is in the past.”
“No, it isn’t,” she insisted. “Look me in the eye and tell me you don’t want to have her.”
That he couldn’t do. Instead, he released her and laid down, turning his back to her. “Kendall, if you don’t want us to learn about each other, fine. But we’re not talking about Megan anymore, and that’s final. We can try for a long-term relationship. Or...not. If you take the or not, we’ll have an open relationship. I want…I want a woman who’d stand by me through thick and thin. If that’s not you, then I’ll accept that.”
At Kendall’s call, the other woman paused in the doorway of her room. She lifted a blonde brow and Kendall gritted her teeth to keep from punching that affronted, superior look from her face.
Megan folded her arms. Even in the dim light of the hallway, her diamond and sapphire wedding set sparkled. “Kendall.”
What a difference an audience made. Four days ago, in front of her husband, she’d acted like she was Kendall’s best friend. Now, in private, the derision and dislike in her eyes rolled off her in waves.
Plastering a smile on her face, she blocked Megan’s path, gratified at how she towered over her. “I wanted to thank you for accepting me—“ she gestured with her hands—“into the fold, so to speak,” she added with a little laugh.
Megan narrowed her eyes. “I didn’t do it for you. I did it for Johnnie.”
Oh, she really hated this bitch, throwing Johnnie in Kendall’s face as if she owned him.
“If you’ll excuse me,” she said with a sniff, nodding toward the hallway, a silent indication for Kendall to move.
The pit of Kendall’s belly burned with loathing and she balled her fists, reminding herself she needed to lure Megan into trusting her. She licked her lips and lowered her eyes. A queen always wanted submission from her subjects. She placed a gentle hand on Megan’s shoulder. “I’m sorry, Megan,” she whispered, hoarse with disgust. “I was just…grief had me out of my head. I-I never meant to hurt you or your baby.” She tightened her hold, considered snapping her delicate neck then and there. “Please accept my apology.”
Megan’s chin wobbled and she glanced away. Tears filled her eyes and her nose reddened. “I’m sorry for your loss,” she whispered in an unsteady voice. “Losing your sister must’ve been…” She paused and drew in a deep breath. “I wished there was something I could’ve done to save Ellen. We butted heads—“ She stopped and held up her hands, at a loss for words. She sniffled and swiped at a tear. “Let’s just put the pain behind us and start fresh.”
Little idiot. Kendall blinked, surprised at the sincerity in Megan’s words. Thrown off balance by the kindness she noticed, despite the girl’s obvious pain, Kendall started to say something but another voice stopped her.
“What the fuck’s going on here?” Johnnie growled. He gripped Kendall’s arm and pulled her away from Megan, the coldness in his eyes when he saw Megan’s tears angering her as much as it frightened her. “What did you say to her?” Not giving her a chance to respond, he looked at Megan. “What did she say to you?”
“Nothing, Johnnie,” she responded softly, shifting her weight. “Kendall and I were just clearing the air.”
His gaze traveled between the two of them and Kendall noted the skepticism.
“I-I was just going to get CJ to go for a walk,” Megan cut in, now trying to squirm past Johnnie. He didn’t move, just continued to stare at the woman Kendall despised. The woman in question blinked—and blushed. “Stop being a jerk,” she chastised, shooting a quick glance in Kendall’s direction. If Kendall hadn’t been watching so closely, she would’ve missed it.
“I’m not being a jerk, Megs,” he said, wiping a tear from her cheek. Megan glared at him. Unrepentant, he swiped at the other cheek. “Kendall isn’t the jealous type. You’d be surprised. At the end of the day, she’s in my bed. Not you.”
“No woman likes to see their man fussing over another woman.” She lifted her chin, a little sniff accompanying her reprimand.
Kendall stiffened at the sheepish expression Johnnie gave her, but not because of her. No, it was because of Megan. She planted a wet kiss on Johnnie’s mouth, then clutched his arm and faced Megan. She seemed unaffected, but Kendall knew better. There was just too much sexual tension between Johnnie and Megan for the woman not to be green with envy that Johnnie was in Kendall’s bed while her bed was empty and her husband was God’s knew where doing God knew what.
“I’m thirty years old, Megan,” Kendall pointed out. “Secure enough in my own skin not to fret over any insignificant attention my man gives another woman.”
Megan frowned at her. At Johnnie’s glare, Kendall flushed. His muscles had tensed beneath her fingertips and he vibrated with anger.
“Where are you going walking, Megs?” he asked.
“Outside,” she answered. “On the trail to my house.”
“Fine. I’ll get Little Man. I’m coming with you.”
Kendall tightened her grip on his arm.
“No,” Megan said through tight lips. “I want to be alone. Just my son and I, discussing his father.”
Was she stupid? She couldn’t hold a discussion with a toddler.
“He misses Christopher so much.”
“I’m sure he isn’t the only one missing Outlaw,” Johnnie said gruffly.
Megan shrugged. “Move,” she ordered.
He shook his head.
“My God, you’re so insufferable,” she wailed, then stared at Kendall. “He’s insufferable.”
Kendall kept her grip on Johnnie and her smile on her face, not deeming to answer.
“In a life filled with awkward moments, this has to be the most awkward,” she complained. She threw up her hands in frustration. “You’re acting like a moron in front of your girlfriend.”
“I thought she’d gone to start her lunch shift,” he admitted. “I was looking for you, anyway.”
Kendall wished Megan’s look could lay Johnnie on his ass. Judging by her evil glare, a steamroller would flatten him. Or he’d suffer some other hideous death.
“I need to talk to you about something and since you refused to hang out with us last night, I figured I talk to you today.”
“Kendall’s fine with it,” he promised. “Ask her. She doesn’t care what I do with you.”
Bastard. He was testing her, Kendall realized, seeing if she meant it when she said he could fuck Megan Caldwell. She was dead serious, but she needed everything in place. However, she was sure once Johnnie got into Megan’s panties, he wouldn’t be satisfied with one time.
“He’s right,” Kendall confirmed, proud of how cheery and unaffected she sounded. “Reference back to what I said earlier.”
“Told you,” Johnnie said with a sexy little smirk that made Kendall’s heart rate speed up.
Megan just rolled her eyes and laughed. “Fine. Let me get my son from the nursery.”
Johnnie finally let the little blonde bitch past and Kendall shoved him in outrage. She didn’t budge him. Other than a widening of the eyes, he seemed unaffected.
“You sonofabitch,” she hissed. “You can’t keep the fact how badly you want to get her into bed from anyone. Even me.”
“Too late for jealousy, Kendall,” Johnnie said. “But if it really matters to you, I didn’t come in search of Megs to seduce her.” He gave her a direct stare. “I need to ask her questions about how she coped with everything that went down when she lived with her stepfather and then with what happened here.”
Kendall snorted. “As if you don’t know. You two seem to have a very close association.”
Ignoring the jibe, Johnnie shook his head. “I don’t know. But I need to. Maybe, then, I can find a way to help you,” he said quietly.
“I don’t need your help,” she spat. Especially if he needed advice from her. “Remember that before you stick your nose in business I never invited you into.” Spinning on her heel, Kendall stomped into the main room, wanting to scream in frustration at the noise and crowd of people, laughing, talking, and drinking. Just annoying the hell out of her. She needed to be in the room, seducing Johnnie and planning Megan’s demise.
K-P and Dinah were huddled in a corner, with his daughter, Bailey, at the table looking miserable. Her gaze kept flickering through the crowd and landing on Mortician. Although he was behind the bar, he had two of the sluts Megan called ‘Bobs’ with him. They were dressed like respectable women—for the most part—but they were still identifiable by their big breasts. He wasn’t even looking in Bailey’s direction. He was laughing and joking with those women, whispering to them while they hung onto his every word, and serving drinks.
Shaking her head in disgust, Kendall headed for the kitchen where the crew she’d chosen was probably waiting for her. Tensions were running high, but, somehow, everyone was getting along and not killing one another.
The phone behind the bar was peeling through the atmosphere. The only reason Kendall heard it was because she was right next to the counter it laid on. She snatched it up and answered, slamming on the door to the small kitchen. In here, noise rose up on both sides of Kendall, from the main room and from the bigger kitchen. In here, she could hear heavy, labored breathing.
“Who’s this?” she asked.
“Megan,” the voice panted. “Put Megan on the fuckin’ phone.”
Outlaw. He sounded as if he were in pain, suffering, She licked her lips. “She isn’t here. She’s with Johnnie.”
He wheezed out a breath, not responding. Before Kendall could say anything, the sound of gun blasted through the phone and the line went dead.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW