“We’ll leave in an hour,” Rachet said.
“Wait—where are you taking me?” Tatum asked.
“I’m going to have Rachet fly us someplace safe. I figured Ryder can’t fly still with his bum leg and he’s still recovering,” Hart said.
“No fucking way,” Ryder growled. “She stays with me and I will protect her. I’ve already said that once, Hart. What part of ‘she’s mine’ don’t you understand?” he asked. There was no way he was going to just hand Tatum over to Hart. He didn’t give a fuck that he was her older brother and promised to keep her safe after their father passed. He was her guardian now and he’d be damned if he’d let Hart take her anywhere without him.
“This isn’t about what you want, Ryder,” Hart said. “She’s my little sister and my responsibility. This is a family matter.”
“And we’re family,” Savage said.
“I appreciate that, man,” Hart said. “But when it comes to keeping Tatum safe, I’ll be the one in charge.”
Rachet chuckled and looked Tatum over again, “You sure about that man? Maybe your sister should have a say in all this—she is an adult, right?” he asked.
“How about you shut the fuck up?” Hart growled, pressing himself up against Rachet. The last thing any of them needed was a fight to break out in the bar. Ryder just wanted to get Tatum out of there and some place safe. Plus, he’d be no good to anyone in a bar fight, on crutches.
“Enough,” Savage shouted when Rachet got in Hart’s face. “We don’t need a fight right now. You two assholes need to calm the fuck down.” Savage’s husband, Bowie, walked into the bar from the kitchen.
“Well, looks like I didn’t miss too much,” he teased. “Hey, Babe,” Bowie said, giving Savage a quick kiss. “Dallas said that if you don’t get your sexy ass home for dinner on time, you’re in charge of giving the kids baths.” Dallas was their wife. Ryder always wondered at how easy the three of them made their polyamorous relationship work.
Savage shrugged, “I’m betting you think I’m going to fuck up and be late so you can get out of bathing the kids,” he said. “But I’m won’t.”
Bowie laughed, “I like my odds, Babe,” he teased. “You haven’t been on time for dinner in almost two weeks. Plus, I’m hoping for some alone time with our woman,” he teased.
“Now, you’re just giving me even more incentive to be on time. I’d love some alone time with Dallas,” Savage said.
“Shit,” Bowie grumbled. “Me and my big fucking mouth. So, what did I miss?”
“A pissing match between my brother and Rachet,” Tatum said. “I’m Tatum.” She held out her hand for Bowie and he took it.
“I’ve seen you around,” he said. “It’s good to finally meet you.”
“We were just going over the plan to get Tatum out of town. The Anarchy Kings are coming for her and Outkast is missing,” Hart said, quickly filling him in.
“Well, shit,” Bowie grumbled. “It seems I’ve missed more than I thought. What’s the plan?” he asked Savage. “I know you have one.”
Savage smirked at him, “I thought the plan was for Hart to take his sister out of town and Rachet here was going to be their pilot,” he said. “But now, I’m thinking that Ryder’s going to be the one getting her out of town.” Ryder smiled at him and nodded.
“Damn straight,” Ryder said. Bowie laughed. “Wait—you’re a pilot too?” he asked Ratchet.
“Yes,” Ratchet said. “You could say I’m a man of many talents.” Ryder knew that Ratchet was ex-military and he also worked for the FBI. He could fix just about anything, so flying planes wasn’t too far of a stretch.
“No fucking way” Hart shouted. Tatum put herself between the two of them, placing her hands on their chests as if that would be enough to keep them from tearing each other apart.
“First of all, Jackson, I get a say in this. As Rachet pointed out, I am an adult and this is my life. You made that perfectly clear when you told me that I needed to figure things out for myself. I have gotten myself straight and Ryder has been a big part of that. He’s given me a place to stay and cheered me on when I was interviewing for a new job.” Ryder hated that was all she’d gotten from their time together—a place to stay and moral support. He wanted to be so much more for her, but that would be something they’d discuss later, when they were alone.
“What are you saying, Sis?” Hart asked. Ryder hated the hurt that he saw in his friend’s eyes. That was the last thing he wanted to do—hurt his friend, his brother. That was all the guys in Savage Hell were—brothers.
“I’m saying that I want to go with Ryder,” she whispered. “I’m sorry, Jackson, but if anyone is taking me out of town, I want it to be Ryder.” Hart nodded and took a step back.
“Maybe it’s better this way,” Savage said. “If you’re here, helping to locate Outkast, then the faster we’ll be able to put this shit storm behind us.”
“Savage is right,” Bowie said. “And I try not to say that too often. We need someone with your skillset here, Hart. If anyone can track down Outkast, it’s you. We need to find him to enlist his help to stop the Anarchy Kings. It’s the only way,” he said. Hart sunk into the closest booth and looked up at Tatum, taking her hand into his own.
“You’re sure?” he asked her. Tatum looked between him and Ryder and nodded. “I’ll do things your way if that’s what you want but I won’t pretend to be happy about it.”
“I’m not doing this to make you unhappy, Jackson,” she insisted. “I’m not trying to hurt you. I’m just doing what’s right for me and being with Ryder is what’s right for me right now.”