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She laughed. “Nope, I love telling you. Almost as much as I like hearing it.”

“Same goes. Good night,” he said.

“Night.” She pressed the red button to end the call and stared off into space. She thought about Tyler’s concern, that maybe she should report their visits to the cops so there was a record, but finally dismissed it. She’d told them both to stay away and was pretty sure they’d gotten the message.

Chapter Twenty-Seven

TYLER SLIPPED HIS cell phone into his pocket and gave his friends a dark scowl. “You’re a giant bag of sweaty ball sacks.”

“Oh, I think we embarrassed him in front of his girlfriend!” Martinez crowed.

“I think it’s awesome to finally see you happy, man,” Blake said.

“I appreciate that.” Tyler pointed toward Blake, who was kicking back in his recliner. “See, he is a true friend.”

“Please, we’ve all earned the right to torment you . . . God knows you’ve given us enough shit.”

Sparks had a point, but Tyler wasn’t going to admit that out loud.

Besides, he was distracted, thinking about the Ramirez family. They definitely had a steel set, showing up at Dani’s place not once, but twice. He couldn’t figure out what they hoped to gain, but Tyler wasn’t sure they’d gotten the message.

“Hey, before we grab food, would you guys be up for taking a ride with me?”

“What are you thinking?” Blake asked.

“Dani’s ex came back, but he’s all strung out. He and his mother have shown up at her house asking to see Noah, and she told them if they want visitation, they need to go through proper channels. I just want to make sure they understand that means they stay the hell away from them.”

Sparks stood up before he even finished. “Hell, you had my back when Violet’s sister was being stalked by that punk ex of hers. You know I’m down.”

“I’ve got your six,” Blake said.

They all turned to look at Martinez, who let out a string of curses. “Fine, but if we get arrested, Eve is going to kill me. Her father barely tolerates me as it is.”

A quick Google search later, they had the Ramirezes’ address off of Arden. They all piled into Blake’s Charger and followed the GPS until they parked in front of a rundown blue house. Tyler recognized Angel’s piece of shit car in the drive and got out. He headed up the walk and rang the doorbell. When no chime sounded, he knocked loudly.

A woman inside shouted, “Get the door!” Tyler then heard the dead bolt turn.

Angel opened the door, looking and smelling as greasy as ever, and he stared out at him blankly. “What?”

“You don’t remember me?” Tyler asked.

Angel seemed to be having trouble focusing on him and swayed a bit. Finally, his eyes narrowed. “You’re Dani’s dick boyfriend. What the fuck you doing at my house?”

“Yeah, funny how you don’t like when people show up unannounced at your place.”

Angel spit at Tyler’s feet and started to shut the door, but Tyler grabbed him by his grimy white T-shirt and yanked him outside.

“Listen up, asshole. You want to see your kid? Get yourself straight and get a lawyer. This is your last warning. You show up at her house, her work, her parents’—if you even bump into her at the store, I will call the cops and have your ass arrested for stalking. And I guarantee when they search your car and your house, they’re gonna find your stash. Now, if you’re actually interested in getting to know your kid, then man up. Don’t send your mom over to do your dirty work.”

“I didn’t, man, I swear, she did that all on her own. All I did was mention Dani and the kid, and she kept pestering me about it. Wants me to let her see him. I told her that Dani said not without a court order, but she won’t let up.”

Tyler let him go. “So, you don’t want anything to do with your son? This is all to make your mother happy?”

“What the fuck would I want a kid for? If Dani had just gotten the abortion like I told her to, my mom wouldn’t be on my ass now.”

Just the idea that Dani might have listened to this piece of garbage made Tyler clench his fists.

“From now on, you’re gonna keep your mom in check and leave Dani alone. Right?”

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