“Hey, Grace, Vida, Casey.”
“Jackal, we’re glad you’re home.” Grace hugged him.
Casey and Vida each waited their turn. He expected recriminations for his treatment of Penni. Instead, they went to their husbands.
“We’ll see you guys later. We’re meeting Sawyer and going shopping.” Grace kissed her husband good-bye.
Casey held her hand out to Max, who grumbled, getting out his wallet to hand her a couple of twenties. When she didn’t move away, he gave her the rest of his cash, showing her it was now empty.
Vida laughed at Colton, who just handed her his credit card.
“You make us look bad for making our husbands give us shopping money,” Casey complained.
“I made Ice fork over some, too. I asked for his credit card this morning before he left. He’s in a better mood before I get him out of bed,” Grace confided.
“I’ll have to try that. Max holds onto his wallet like it will save him from drowning.”
“Grace, wait,” Jackal cut in.
Grace and the other two women turned back to Jackal.
“Where is Penni? I rode by her condo, but she wasn’t there. I called Shade, but he thought she was at her condo. He even checked her cell phone, and it showed she was at home. When I broke into her apartment, though, it was empty. Ice said he didn’t know where she was, either. So, where is she?”
Jackal ran a hand through his long hair. He hadn’t wanted to call, too afraid she would hang up on him. His plan to show up at her door and beg his way back into her life had failed.
“Penni made us promised not to tell you,” Grace told him. “She said, if you want to see her, you know where to find her.”
Frustrated, Jackal stared at her. “If I knew where she was, I wouldn’t have driven to her condo or to her office. I even checked to make sure she wasn’t feeding the ducks before I came here. So, where is she?”
“We can’t tell you,” Vida said, giving him a sympathetic glance.
“Is she with a man? Is that why you won’t tell—”
“Penni said you would know how to find her,” Grace cut him off. “Get some rest. Ice told us you haven’t had time to sleep since you killed Raul. When you get some sleep and are thinking more clearly, you’ll know how to find her.”
Jackal wanted to throw a bar stool at the wall. Ice must have known he was at his breaking point, because he blocked the women from his view.
They left, laughing as they walked away.
Jackal pressed his fingers against his tired eyes. “They think I deserve to suffer.”
“Brother, go to bed. I saved the end of the hall for you. It has a brand new bed. It’ll feel good after sleeping in all those hotel rooms.”
Jackal had to admit to himself he was too tired to ride anywhere until he got some sleep.
“I’ll get a couple hours sleep, but if I can’t figure out where Penni is, your wife will be my next stop, and I won’t be taking no for an answer the next time.”
Ice nodded. “I’ll warn her. Go to sleep.”
Jackal nodded, passing Ice who stopped him, holding out his hand.
“I’m glad you’re back, brother. It hasn’t been the same without you.”
“Thanks, Ice. I won’t let you down ever again.”
“You’ve never let me down, Jackal, not once.”
The two men leaned into each other, slapping each other on their backs before stepping back.
Jackal finally made his way down the hallway, seeing Ice had added more rooms to the new clubhouse. He was too tired to appreciate the changes, though. Right now, all he had on his mind was getting enough sleep to figure out where Penni was.
He had googled her tour schedule. Mouth2Mouth’s next concert was a month away. If he couldn’t find her by then, he would drive there, even if it took him all night.
Jackal went into the room Ice had told him was his. Turning on the light switch, he closed the door behind him. There was a large bed taking up half the room.
Jackal sat down on the end of the bed. It reminded him of the one Penni had picked out before the clubhouse had been destroyed.
Jackal ran his hand over the metal frame then dropped his hands into his lap. Penni’s face swam in front of him.
Jackal buried his face in his hands. “Where are you?” he groaned out.
Suddenly, he lifted his head. Jerking himself to his feet, he strode down the hall, coming to a stop in the clubroom. The men turned to stare at him.
“I know where she is,” Jackal said huskily.
Ice stood up from the new, blue La-Z-Boy rocker. “I knew you were a smart man and would figure it out. Grace left her car here. I’ll drive you because no way in hell are you driving yourself.”