The gates closed behind the FBI and I tried to get my body to relax.
Relief made my knees turn to mush and I damn near crumpled onto the lawn chair I’d set under the Ponderosa pine outside my cabin. He’s gone, and I’m home. It seemed like an odd thing to say given the short time I’d been with the Concrete Angels, but each and every member had stood up with me and faced down Agent Hopkins and his frustrated fury. I had a family, now, though a very unconventional one.
I’d wanted retribution on Hopkins for two years now, ever since he raped me and I’d left the FBI where no one had my back. This wasn’t what I’d had in mind, but might have actually been a better result. Rape was about power, and Hopkins had been impotent here in the compound. The search warrant had yielded nothing – no guns, no drugs – and none of us were doing anything illegal. Hell, The Friar had been tinkering with his bike and Scott had been doing laundry. Might be weird for a guy to do laundry, but still legal in the state of Colorado.
Agent Hopkins had been powerless and it felt fuckin’ awesome to watch him twitch over it.
I scrubbed my face and let out my breath in a long sigh.
“Hey, Numbers, how you doin’?”
I glanced up to find Scott standing in front of me, his expression filled with concern as he braced his laundry basket on his hip.
“Exhausted, but good, I think.” I tried to give him a smile.
He set the basket on the ground and sat on the lawn chair next to me. “Yeah.” He nodded, a smile curling his lips. “Yeah, you look good. Better than good. Sexy.”
I laughed and patted his thigh with one hand. “Oh good. I was worried I hadn’t gotten my sexy on for the FBI.”
“Oh, you did, but they were too worried about finding shit that wasn’t here. They couldn’t see the sexy.” He bumped my shoulder with his hard bicep. “But I could. You know we have your back now, right? You’re one of the Concrete Angels and we look after our own.”
I nodded. “Yeah, I know, honorary member.”
“No, full member, with benefits and backup and protection.” His expression had shifted to earnestness. “The shit you did, the strength you showed. That made you a full member. It’s what we’re lookin’ for in the Scooters. They’re trying to get the strength and conviction you have. You’re there, darlin’.”
“You really still want me to stay? Even with my panic attacks and my nightmares, and my past?” I searched his gaze, needing that one last bit of reassurance.
He cupped my cheek with one big hand. “I want you to stay, Oriana. One night, a week, or hell, stay forever. Wear my patch, be my woman, let me be your man, forever. We're damn good together. Whadaya say?”
I thought about the times I’d spent with him and this crew of unruly and unusual bikers. Were they white hats? Definitely not, but they weren’t completely black hats, either, and I’d long ago thrown off my halo. But these men and woman who made up the Concrete Angels had more heart than most ordinary people, and they stood behind each other like family, a family who cared. I’d done much worse with ordinary folks.
“You’ll wear my patch?” I raised an eyebrow.
“Then you’ve got yourself a deal.”
He whooped and threw himself into my arms, which was a pretty good feat considering he was bigger than me. But as I wrapped around his broad back, his head on my chest, I thanked my lucky stars I’d had the opportunity for my forever cocky biker rebellion encounter.
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