“I wish you would let me come. I could make you some brownies.”
“Chocolate won’t fix this.”
“Not even my special ones?” Penni teased, trying to lighten the conversation.
A small laugh came across the line. “Text me the recipe; I’ll make them for my dad.”
They continued to talk for several minutes, Penni promising she would call her again tonight.
“I will. Thanks, Penni.”
She disconnected the call, thinking of the beautiful woman who was going to be missed so badly by her family.
Penni went downstairs to see the women had moved out to the yard. She stood on the porch, watching the children play, before she walked to the picnic tables where the food had been laid out.
Lily sent her a searching look as she picked up a celery stick to nibble on. “What’s wrong?” Lily had been her friend long enough to know when something was wrong.
“Grace’s mother passed away.”
“I’m sorry.” The women sympathized.
“I didn’t know her very well. I had only met her a couple of times when she visited at work.”
“Are you going to be leaving?” Killyama asked a little to enthusiastically, Penni thought.
“No, she wants time to be alone with her family.”
Lily squeezed her hand. “I’m sure she’ll reach out if she needs you.”
Penni nodded, taking another celery stick before looking dead on at Killyama. “I thought you swore not to come to Treepoint when I was visiting.”
“I made the bitches show me everything they put into the food. I didn’t trust you not to put something in it that would fuck me up.”
“I didn’t mean for you to get alcohol poisoning.”
“You sure?” Killyama stared at her doubtfully.
“Why would I want to get you sick?”
Killyama reached for the vegetable platter, picking up her own celery stick. “Maybe because Lily told you Train took me for a ride, and I fucked him stupid.”
Lily grabbed Penni’s arm. “And you haven’t been out with him since. You told me you can’t stand him.”
Penni was unconvinced by her denial. From the way the other women looked, they didn’t believe her, either.
“You told her I had a crush on Train?” Penni turned to look at Lily, hurt that her friend had betrayed her trust.
“I did not. I wouldn’t do that.”
“Then how would they know—”
“Bitch, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the way you look at him.”
“Oh …” Penni had no intention of getting in a bitch fight with Killyama. Number one, she was smart enough to know she wouldn’t win. The woman had been born knowing how to insult others. The second reason was, she might deny she cared about Train, but she did. Killyama was as transparent as she was where Train was concerned.
“You going to fight it out or eat lunch?” Fat Louise stood behind Killyama, trying to reach around for the potato salad.
“No one’s going to fight. Besides, there’s no need to fight anymore. Penni has a boyfriend.”
“Who?” Killyama asked, taking a seat at the picnic table.
“Jackal.” Penni thought his name slipped off her tongue too easily.
“You cook for him yet?” Crazy Bitch asked, moving her plate away from Fat Louise when she tried to take the last roll off her plate.
“Give him my number. When he does, your boyfriend will be looking for another woman. I’m not much of a cook, but at least I won’t kill him.” Crazy Bitch nearly knocked Fat Louise off her feet when she elbowed her arm, laughing at her own joke.
“The next time I make the candy Willa gave me the recipe for, I won’t let any of you have any,” Penni bragged, knowing that would take the wind out of their over blown egos.
“She gave you the recipe?” Lily asked enviously.
“Yep, and I’m not sharing. She made me promise.” Willa had laughingly told her to make it when she needed to steal a man’s heart. Jackal had asked her about it twice since he had been at the clubhouse.
“You gonna put pot in it, too? Hell, you’ll take the whole Last Riders’ clubhouse down.” Killyama’s sarcastic comment fell on deaf ears as Lily, Beth, and Sex Piston began talking about planning Fat Louise’s baby shower.
Several of the men came out, carrying their lunches from the clubhouse, which Genny had made. Penni volunteered to get more drinks.
“Bring me a beer, and make sure the cap is on it.”
Penni wanted to dump her artichoke dip on Killyama’s head. Instead, Penni went inside to the refrigerator.
While taking out the pitcher of tea and a beer for Killyama, Penni overheard Genny and Viper talking in the dining room. Jackal, Train, Rider, and Hennessy were also in there, eating their lunches. Penni could tell Genny was very upset from the way she was shaking her head.
“I don’t want to move here. I have my own house.”
“It’s only for a couple of weeks,” Train tried to reassure her.