“He’s your brother. He wants to make sure you don’t get hurt.” Train didn’t deny it.
“I’m twenty-four, not sixteen and never been kissed.”
“There’s a big difference between Jackal and most of the men you’ve dated.”
“How do you know what kind of men I’ve dated?”
Train didn’t answer the loaded question.
“Shade doesn’t even know me, and neither do you. I’m a grown woman. When Shade was a mess because Lily wouldn’t give him the time of day, I was the one who kept him from making a mistake. My love life is none of your business, and I don’t need you tattling every five seconds. If Shade wants to know something I’m doing, tell him to ask me his own damn self.”
“I will.” Train stood, leaving the kitchen.
Penni looked at the swinging door Train had gone through. “I screwed up, didn’t I?” Penni asked Jackal, who had torn a cinnamon roll in two pieces, handing the other half to her.
“It could have gone better.”
“I better go apologize.”
“Sit still. You wanted Train to see you as your own person, not Shade’s sister. You’ve accomplished that. Don’t whine about it now.”
He was right. It was time Train recognized her as a woman. Whether that determined if they would develop a relationship or not, she had to find out. She couldn’t stay in limbo forever. Penni’s biggest fear was that life would pass her by in a blink. What if she died in a car accident or any other crazy shit she had a habit of finding herself in before she’d had a chance to make love?
“I finished breakfast,” Genny informed them. “I’m going home to get ready for church if none of you need anything.”
“No, thank you. I’ll see you in church.”
Genny didn’t seem overjoyed that she would see her there. Penni made a mental note to ask Shade about her.
Genny departed, leaving her alone with Jackal.
“I better go get dressed, too.” Penni rose, carrying her cup to the sink.
“What time does church start?”
Penni almost dropped her cup. “You’re going?”
“How would it look if I didn’t sit in the pew with you?”
“Shade doesn’t go to church with Lily.”
“I don’t mind church. Just don’t ask me to give witness or eat dinner with the pastor.”
“Too late. You had dinner with him last night.” When he looked confused, Penni explained, “Lucky is the pastor.”
“And he lives with The Last Riders?”
Penni nodded. “Yes. That’s his house they’re building next to Razer’s.”
“And he’s a pastor?” Jackal repeated. “He’s married to Willa, the woman who makes cakes and cupcakes?”
“The one who makes the peanut butter candy?”
“Yes.” Was that a twitch of jealousy that had her clenching her nails against her palms at the rapturous look that came over his face?
“Rider had five pieces of it. Stingy fucker only gave me half of one. That woman knows the way to a man’s heart.”
“Really? Peanut butter candy and you’re for the taking?” Snidely, Penny wondered if her shoe would fit up his ass.
“Hell, nah. The way to my heart is through my dick.”
“Are you going to the diner for lunch?”
Jackal stood in the background as Penni talked to her friends. Strangely, he didn’t feel uncomfortable in his jeans and T-shirt. The parishioners were dressed in everything from their Sunday best to jeans and T-shirts.
“No, I’m going to drive to Cash’s house and see Rachel and the new baby. I want to introduce her to Jackal.” She waved her hand toward him. The pale, blonde woman stared at him curiously as Penni tugged him closer. “Beth, I know you’ve been busy with the boys having the stomach flu, so this is Jackal, a friend of mine. Jackal, this is Lily’s sister.”
Jackal shook her outstretched hand. The woman was surprised, and from the looks of the other women gathered around her, she wasn’t the only one.
“It’s nice to meet you.”
Jackal wasn’t given the time to say anything else before Penni led him to her rental car.
Viper gave him a glare as he ducked into the front seat, and Jackal pulled down the sun visor to shield Viper’s unhappiness that he had left the clubhouse despite his orders.
“If I disappear, make sure you call the cops.”
“That wouldn’t do you any good. Knox is the sheriff.”
“I should get hazard pay for pretending to be your boyfriend.”
“It could be worse; you could really be my boyfriend.”
“I’ve seen some of the men you’ve gone out with. You’d never pick a guy like me if you weren’t trying to make Train jealous.”
“Why not?” She took her eyes away from the road to shoot him a frowning glance.
“Because I don’t kiss your ass.”
“Don’t be stupid. Do you see Train making any effort to kiss my ass? That’s not my priority in a relationship.”
“So what about Train does it for you?”
“Train doesn’t talk a lot, but when he’s with you, you know you’re safe. I’ve known him since I was a kid, and he’s never treated me like I was stupid or an inconvenience. When I wanted to shoot a gun, he taught me how. When I wanted to ride on Shade’s motorcycle, he sneaked me out of the house and taught me.”