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Z grins. “Yeah. You mind?”

“Nope.”

Sparky follows us upstairs and when Z opens his door, two pups wriggle out, dancing and pawing at Z’s legs.

“Down,” he orders them.

“Oh my God, they’re so sweet,” I squeal like a little girl. Squatting down, I take a few minutes to pet them. “Hope mentioned the dogs. I didn’t realize they were yours.” I tilt my head so I can see Z’s face.

He shrugs. “They’re the club’s dogs, but I’m training them.”

Sparky lets a short sharp whistle loose and the pups snap to attention.

“Looks like they answer to him too.” I chuckle.

Z’s not one of those guys who feels his manhood’s been threatened when his dogs listen to someone else. “It’s good for them to be used to other people.”

They follow Sparky back downstairs. “Don’t get them high,” Z shouts after him. Sparky’s laughter is the only answer we get.

Fun time’s over. Z’s face is almost ferocious as he nudges me into his room and shuts the door. He wraps his arms around me, pushing my back against the wall. “Eager much?” I tease.

“Fuck yeah. I don’t think you understand what you do to me, Lilly.”

Yes, I do because I feel the same way. Z takes my hand and kisses my fingertips. There’s something about this big, beautiful, tattooed and dimpled man that makes my heart kick up every damn time he focuses his attention on me. Warmth rushes through my veins. Tingles race up and down my spine. He’s the only one who’s ever had this effect on me.

His blue eyes bore into mine, shining with lust and need. Need that hits me right between my thighs. My body always reacts this way to Z whether I want it to or not.

Good thing I want it. Want him. Bad.

“Do you want me to fuck you, Lilly?” he asks with his serious expression in place.

“Yes.” I don’t bother hesitating or doing the hard-to-get thing. Z would see right through it anyway.

Tipping my head to the side, I take in his room.

“You’ve been here before,” he reminds me.

Yes, except I’d come in tipsy with him in the middle of the night. We’d gotten off, slept for a few hours and I took off before sunrise.

He steps back, and lets his gaze roam over my body.

“Is black your favorite color?” I ask, nodding at the bed with its black comforter and sheets. The furniture’s all black lacquer too.

His lips quirk up. “And red.”

“Aren’t your club’s colors blue and gray?”

He cocks his head. “You know my club’s colors?”

“Well.” I hedge. “It’s hard not to.”

He lifts a hand, tracing a finger over my collarbone and down to the keyhole opening in my dress. “Did you know red was my favorite color?”

“No. It just looks really good on me.”

“Fuckin’ A it does.”

“So you don’t like blue and gray?”

He seems confused by the question. Hell, I’m not even sure why I asked myself.

“It’s not about that, Lilly,” he says with more seriousness than I think Z’s ever spoken anything.

“What’s it about?”

“It’s not some pretty accessory.”

“I think that’s pretty clear.”

His voice takes on a more solemn tone. “Colors were picked long before I was a member.”

“How’d you become a member?”

“How? I don’t even know how to answer that.”

“Would you answer it?”

He sighs and spreads his hands in front of him. “What do you want to know, Lilly?”

What am I doing? What am I trying to gain from this? “You’ll answer my questions?”

He pulls away from me, sitting on the edge of his bed. “I’ll answer what I can.”

“Can women be members?”

An amused snort bursts out of him. “None have ever asked.”

“What about Trinity?”

“She doesn’t ride.”

“Why not?”

“You’d have to ask her.”

“But she’s allowed to?”

“Ride? Shit, yeah. She can do whatever she wants.”

“The big scary guy would let her?”

My question elicits a soft chuckle out of him. “Please make sure to call him that to his face.”

“I’m serious.”

“You worried about Trinity?” he asks in his short clipped way that somehow comes out soft and more happy that I care about Trinity than annoyed about my obnoxious questions. “Trin has a mind of her own. I’m sure if she wanted to ride she would,” he finally says.

“What’s the “property of” thing mean? Seems pretty caveman.”

He rolls his eyes before answering. “It’s too complicated to explain right now.”

“You think I’m too stupid to get it?”

“No. I’m just not sure if you have an open mind. Hope has a patch too, you know.”

That’s interesting. Maybe I’ll ask Hope about it instead since I don’t think I’m going to get anywhere with Z.

“How come Trinity’s vest doesn’t have the skull and crown?”

This time, I get a lopsided grin. “She ain’t a member. Colors are for members.”

I’m out of questions.

“You done?” Z asks.

“I reserve the right to ask more questions later.”

Reaching out a hand, he crooks his finger at me. “Come here, pretty girl.”

I slip my shoes off, leaving them next to his dresser and make my way to him.

His big hands slide up my legs up under my dress until he’s gripping my upper thighs. Not hard. Not to hurt. Just enough to drive me crazy. “What’s with all the questions? You’ve never been interested in this stuff before.”

I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s from hanging out with all of his brothers tonight. As well as guys from other clubs. Before tonight, I’d only interacted with Hope’s now-husband, Rock. I’d seen Trinity’s man once or twice. And of course, Z. But tonight was different.

Now, I’m curious.

“I don’t know. I realized, hanging out with so many of your brothers, it made me think, I don’t know anything about that part of your life.”

“You never wanted to.”

“So, now I do.”

His features turn serious. Serious Z is a little intimidating. “Why?”

“I don’t know.”

“Is it general curiosity? Or do you want to know me better?”

Now, that’s a loaded question.

* * *

Zero

* * *

I need to know the answer to my question, but not for the reason she probably thinks. Is she nosy for info about the club so she has some fun stories to tell her friends? Or does she honestly want to know more about me?

She seems to think over my question, which doesn’t bother me. I like how thoughtful she is about something so important.

“I guess, seeing everyone tonight…I realized your club, it’s more than a social thing.”

I release my hold on her legs, and she backs up a few steps. “It’s a brotherhood.”

She shakes her head. “What does that mean?”

“It’s about loyalty. We always have each other’s backs. No matter what.”

“I’ve only ever felt that way about family.”

“They’re my family.”

“No, my brother—”

“I know what you meant. I’m explaining my outlook to you. They are my brothers.” I tap my fist over my heart, so she gets it. “Doesn’t matter if we share blood, I’d bleed for anyone of them, and they’d do the same for me.” That’s the truth, and it’s even happened once or twice.

“Does that loyalty extend to the women?”

“Hope and Trinity? Fuck yeah, it does. Teller’s sister, Heidi, too.”

At the mention of Heidi’s name, Lilly’s lush mouth turns up in

a smile. “She’s such a nice kid.”

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