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Would Lilly be some crazed bride trying to micro-manage everything down to my underwear? Or would she be happy with something simple like this?

I doubt I’ll ever know.

Shit. In the last few months, I’ve watched the two people in the world closest to me voluntarily settle down. It leaves me coming up with a lot of stupid ideas.

Unfortunately, the only girl on my mind these days is Lilly. Even though she’ll dodge me for weeks at a time, I still can’t get enough of her. The amount of fucks I should give that I have to chase after her are hard to come up with.

* * *

Lilly

“You think about gettin’ married?” Z asks as he watches Rock feed Hope a bite of cake.

The wedding was beautiful. Food has been amazing. Poor Trinity’s been running around all night.

And Z’s asking me if I think about marriage? “God, no,” I finally answer.

“Never?”

A catch in his voice makes me turn my head. “You do?”

“Yeah,” he states matter-of-factly.

“Why?”

He stares at me as if a flock of butterflies just flew out of my mouth instead of a one-word question. “Same reason anyone does.” He nods at Rock and Hope, who are so immersed in each other it almost feels like an invasion of privacy to watch them.

“I don’t think everyone who gets married has what they have,” I say as I turn back toward Z.

“No. Probably not.”

While I admire my friend for sticking by her man while he went through some trouble this summer, I know for a fact I couldn’t do it. Visit Z in jail? No way. It would break me. Not to mention how horrified my family would be. It’s not like I can’t guess that Z’s motorcycle club is more than a club. That they’re into some shady stuff. Maybe Hope managed to convince herself of her husband’s innocence, but since meeting Z, I’ve heard enough stories about the Lost Kings MC to know that they’re anything but innocent. While Z’s hot, great in bed, and super sweet, he’s not marriage material.

I don’t think explaining any of that at his best friend’s wedding is the polite thing to do, so I force a smile instead.

Besides, I wasn’t lying. The last thing I want to do is get married. Let any man think he owns me. And a guy like Z would definitely be the I-own-you-caveman-type of husband.

Fuck that.

“Marriage is for suckers,” the guy across from us says, slurring each word. He has the nerve to jab a ham-sized finger in the air at me. “She’s hot now, but give her ten years. She’ll be fat and do nothing but bitch at ya.”

Z leans over the table, grabbing the guy by his shirt. “Watch your fuckin’ mouth, asshole.” He growls a few more warnings so low, I can’t hear them. The guy ends up shuffling away after flipping Z off.

“Sorry,” he mutters as he sits back down.

“One of your brothers?” It’s hard to keep the sarcasm out of my voice.

“Sort of. He’s from another charter and he’s a dick. No one here would ever think something like that, let alone say it.”

It’s true. None of the guys I’ve met before have ever been rude. Slightly terrifying, yes. Rude, no.

Trinity breezes by and drops into the chair next to me. “Are you having fun?” she asks breathlessly.

“Are you? You’ve been running non-stop all day.”

She waves off my concern. “I’m done for the night.”

“Sure you are,” I tease.

Trinity’s boyfriend…no there’s nothing boy about him. Trinity’s man lumbers over, settling a hand on her shoulder. They stare at each other with complete adoration for a few seconds, before he lifts his chin at Z.

The two guys do this unspoken conversation thing, that’s actually fascinating to watch. Next thing I know, Z’s sliding his chair back.

“I need to take care of something. You okay?”

“Sure, as long as that guy doesn’t come back.”

Z’s gaze searches the tent. “If anyone bothers you”—he points out two guys with Lost Kings MC cuts on—“let Dex or Ravage know.” He shifts and I follow his line of sight. “You know Murphy and Teller. They’ll look out for you, too.”

“Uh, okay.”

“I’ll take care of her, Z. Go ahead,” Trinity says. She pokes Wrath in the side. “Go do what you need to so you can hurry back.” He flashes a smile so warm he almost doesn’t look so scary. After they’re gone, she raises an eyebrow at me. “Someone bother you?”

“Not really.” I don’t want to seem like I’m complaining. I’ve dealt with plenty of rude, drunk men in my life. I can handle it. “So you really went with a monarch theme,” I tease, nodding at the table at the head of the room where the bride and groom are.

Tittering laughter bubbles out of her. “Yeah. The whole king and queen thing. That’s what we do here.”

A young woman slides into the seat across from us. “Hey,” she greets.

Trinity flashes a tight smile at the girl. “How’s it going, Sasha?”

“This is really something.”

“Is it your first LOKI wedding?”

“Yes.” The girl swings her vacant gaze my way. “Whose old lady are you?”

“Uh,” I glance at Trinity unsure how to answer the question. From spending time with Z and listening to Hope, I know what an old lady is. Well, I know enough to know that’s not what I am to Z.

“She’s with our VP,” Trinity answers for me.

“Oh.”

“Who are you with?” I ask to be friendly.

She lifts a lazy finger, pointing across the room at a cluster of guys with cuts claiming a different territory than Z’s. “Crazyhorse. I ain’t his old lady, though. Well—” she giggles. “I am at club events. His wife’s one-hundred percent citizen.”

I’m not sure how to respond to that. I glance at Trinity whose staring daggers at the girl. Before she responds, someone calls her away. “I’ll be right back.”

Leaning forward, I catch Sasha’s attention. “Forgive me, but what did you mean about citizen?” I ask, because hell, I’m curious.

“Oh. You know. She’s like his wife outside the club. Like, legal wife. Raises his kids, takes care of the house. But when he’s with me, it’s all just fun, you know?”

“And she knows about you?”

She gives me a sly grin. “I’m sure she does.”

“And you’re okay just being his piece of ass?”

She snorts, not insulted—not that I care if she is. “Yeah. I get to do the fun stuff with him. All bikers are like that. They all date you know, like, girls my age,” she says, as if she wants to really make sure I understand that I’m an old hag or something.

“That’s fascinating.” She doesn’t even blink at the caustic tone of my voice.

“So you’re new to the life, then? Like her?” She jerks her thumb in Hope’s direction. “She’s so fucking stuck-up.”

This chick realizes I was in the wedding, right? “She’s actually one of my best friends. And she’s as far from stuck-up as a person can get.”

“Oh.” Her lips quiver into a smile. “Sorry. I haven’t, uh really talked to her much.”

“Then maybe you shouldn’t run your mouth about stuff you know nothing about?”

“Whatever.” She stands and storms off.

I guess I got a pretty good dose of reality tonight. If I ever thought about Z and I being something more permanent—which I don’t—I’d have to put up with him having club girls on the side while I sit home pretending I didn’t know what he was up to.

Double fuck that.

What we have is perfect. What we have is all we’ll ever be.

I don’t recognize the guys at the table next to us. But they’re wearing Lost Kings MC cuts like Z’s. Their bottom rockers claim downstate New York as their territory. One loud, drunk catches my attention. He aims his glare at Murphy, who’s up front talking to Rock. “That ginger fuck is so far up her ass ain’t even funny. You believe none

of them were fuckin’ her while he was inside?”

A round of drunk noises of disbelief go around the table. Are they talking about Hope? I lean back in my chair a little further, straining to catch more of their conversation without appearing obvious.

“Sorry,” Trinity says setting her hand on my shoulder and dropping into the chair next to me.

My face must betray the eavesdropping I was attempting. “Everything okay?” she asks.

“Oh, yeah. Who are those guys? The loud one?” I tip my head toward the “downstate” table.

“That’s the president of our downstate charter.” Her eyes narrow as she studies my face. “He didn’t bother you, did he?”

“No. Nothing like that.”

“Okay. Z should be back any second.”

Right after she says it, her man strides back into the tent. He takes a seat next to her and pulls her into his lap.

Now, where is Z?

As if my body’s aware of his every movement, my gaze lands on him coming in the back of the tent.

He searches the crowd and when his eyes meet mine, his mouth curves into a wide smile.

It really sucks that he’s so fucking gorgeous, he makes my knees weak every time he flashes his dimples my way.

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