Soothing His Madness (Bantorus MC #3)By: Debra Kayn
She melted. “That’s nice of you to say.”
“Truth, baby girl,” he said.
“About that…” She turned in his arms. “I can’t stay. The boys are coming tonight.”
He kissed her lips. It wasn’t the soft, sweet kiss she expected. It was passionate, intense, and possessive. And, totally confused her.
“I want my boys to see you here. I want them to know that from now on, you’re mine,” he said. “I need you, and Lee and Kurt need you right now.”
“Okay.” She agreed too eagerly.
His show of going forward was what she’d always wanted and dreamed about as she sat home waiting for him to slip in her house and spend time with her. She stepped away, needing to think about all the big changes he suggested. “I’ll go shower.”
She hurried into the bathroom, shut the door, and sucked in huge gulps of air. Lightheaded and caught between a total freak out and the happiest she’d ever been, she bent at the waist to take it all in.
Slade claimed her. They were out. Everyone would know about them—really know about them. Sure, all their friends and club members had guessed and speculated about what was going on between them, but it was real this time. She no longer had to refrain from touching him in public or be afraid of letting something slip.
The Bantorus MC was her family. The other women were her sisters. She covered her mouth and muffled her scream. On the other side of the door, Slade chuckled. She whirled around, cracking the door open and peeked out into the bedroom.
Slade stood there, bare chested, his Levi’s unbuttoned, looking hardcore badass, except for the grin. “Get dressed, baby girl. We need to go make it official.”
She nodded, shutting the door with a bang, and jumped into the shower. This was what she wanted. No longer would she have to stand outside the circle of the MC family and wish she were one of them. She scrubbed her hair, rinsed, and washed her body. Slade, the kids, the life, were finally hers.
She pulled the towel down from the shower rod and wrapped herself. Her stomach quivered, and it dawned on her that any other time she would’ve been shouting the news. Her smile fell away, and she stared down at her feet. It was happening too fast.
As much as she wanted to celebrate the moment, Slade’s decision came after a life altering moment in his life. He’d walked out on her and their relationship four days ago.
His life had become an emotional rollercoaster, and she was along for the ride. She walked out of the bathroom. Slade was gone from the room, and she quickly dressed in the clothes she’d worn to work yesterday.
At the door of his bedroom, she entered the hallway and a house she’d never been inside before now. She had no idea where his kitchen was or if she should make herself at home.
She approached an open doorway and stopped. Her heart squeezed. Slade stood inside the room, holding a child’s navy sweatshirt to his face. She glanced away and took in the motocross posters, the stuffed animals, the Legos scattered in the corner. She grabbed the doorframe. The sense of loss Slade was going through left her legs weak. She couldn’t even imagine what was going through his head right now.
He mourned his boys.
He had a lot to work through, and even though she wasn’t getting her happily ever after and she worried about what would happen when Slade’s home life worked itself out, she knew she’d selfishly go along with his plan to become a family, because Slade was it for her.
Hopefully over time, he’d see her for the person she wanted to be in his life, and not an answer to fixing his world. Because even though she loved him and his boys, she was afraid there wouldn’t be a place in his life for her when he discovered she couldn’t fix a broken family.
Cheers spread around the bar at Cactus Cove over the announcement that Taylor was his woman. Slade laid his arm across her shoulders, and she rolled willingly against his side. He grinned nearby at Rain, Torque, and Gladys. They watched him with concerned eyes, and yet they smiled for Taylor’s benefit.
Each one of them had tried to talk to him earlier about his quick decision to bring Taylor under the Bantorus MC umbrella. Whether they sensed a change in his mood or worried about him committing himself to Taylor in a time of turmoil, their attention wasn’t lost on him. Hell, he didn’t need them to tell him he was barely hanging on.
Announcing Taylor as his woman was the right thing to do. Bikers brought many women around the club, but few were willing to give up their freedom. Not only had he tied himself to Taylor in a way he always wanted, she could now sit on the back of his bike and be under the club’s protection.
Taylor kissed him, her mouth vibrating with amusement at the catcalls she received. Pride for his woman had him bending her backward, marking his territory for all to see.
She came away laughing, and Gladys pulled her away to wrap her in a hug. He moved over and leaned against the bar beside Torque.
“Feel good, man?” Torque lifted his mug of beer.
Slade never took his gaze off Taylor, enjoying her happiness. “Yeah. She’s it for me, brother.”
“Good to hear.” Torque swiveled on the barstool and lowered his voice. “I wanted to talk to you. Raul came in this morning, said Los Li are in Southern Cali, heading this way. Lagsturns are on a run out of state and don’t have enough men back at the club to hold the assholes back from coming up into Oregon. They’ll be arriving in Washington earlier than we expected.”