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“Seems one of your boys took off with something that didn’t belong to him,” Tito drawled.

Mac raised a single eyebrow and stroked his beard. “I assume we’re talking about Erin Cabot?”

“She’s my property,” Vinny whined.

Tito threw him a dirty look over his shoulder and snapped, “Told you to keep your mouth shut while I deal with this.”

“Yes, sir,” Vinny replied like a weak-ass little bitch.

“Patriot? You steal something that belonged to someone else?” Mac asked, directing his attention to me.

“Nope,” I said, letting the P pop. “Cherry wasn’t wearing a vest, and she left with me willingly.”

“Cherry?” I could see that Tito was about to make a stupid-ass comment that would more than likely end up with my fist in his face, but he shut his mouth when he clocked my expression.

Instead, he nodded grudgingly. “Okay, maybe she didn’t belong to anyone yet, but Vinny here was about to make her his. Since she’s still not claimed, she should be turned back over to—”

“Guess you got more of your information wrong,” Mac interrupted. I stayed silent, letting him handle things. Unlike Vinny, I trusted my prez.

“What?” Tito asked.

“Pretty sure Erin belongs to my Captain, Patriot.”

Crossing my arms over my chest, I nodded.

“That’s bullshit,” Vinny exploded, taking a threatening step toward me. Tito wisely grabbed his arm and kept him away from me. I was a little disappointed since I was looking forward to beating Vinny’s ass into the ground. “You’ve only known her a day! If you claimed her, you forced her!”

I scoffed. “You’ve got that ass-backwards, motherfucker. You were the one trying to force Erin. Silver Saints don’t pull that kind of shit.”

Tito assessed me in silence for a minute, then looked at Mac. “If it’s true she belongs to Patriot now, we’ll keep to the law and be on our way—shut your fucking mouth!” he turned and shouted at Vinny when he tried to interrupt. Red-faced, Tito took a deep breath and spoke to Mac again. “Just wanna see for myself before I go.”

Mac’s gaze shifted to me, and I knew what he was asking without him having to speak. He waited in silence, while I contemplated the question hanging between us. He wanted me to bring Erin to the office, to put her in the same space as this sleaze. He was asking me to be okay with putting her in a situation where she would feel unsafe and scared. Like I said, I trusted him. But still, I glanced around the room, looking at my brothers and gaining a nod from each one. They were pledging to protect my woman. Finally, I dropped my hands to my sides and clenched my fists. “Left her in bed. Send an old lady.”

Mac’s eyes drifted to the vest on the desk and I shook my head. He picked up his cell and dialed a number. “Baby, bring Erin to my office now,” he demanded, then hung up. As intended, Tito’s eyes gleamed with a little more respect for my Prez. The Silver Saints were rumored to be good to their women, but we maintained appearances in front of other MCs so they didn’t think of us as soft. The Silver Saints name inspired fear and respect, which gave us even more power to wield. And it kept our families safe.

Bridget appeared in the doorway a few minutes later and waited to be called into the room. Erin followed close behind. She looked frightened until she spotted me, then the fear began to melt away.

“Come here, Cherry.” She immediately walked to my side, and I gave her ass a little pat to let her know I appreciated it.

“She’s not wearing a property patch,” Vinny said triumphantly.

I was so fucking proud of my girl when she pressed her lips together to keep from speaking. She knew the rules of the MC, and though the “Speak only when spoken to rule” was complete bullshit, if we wanted Tito to keep his word, we needed to make sure he was satisfied that he couldn’t take us on.

However, we had no problem making it clear that no one—no one—was forced to be with a Silver Saint. I picked up the vest from the table top and gave Vinny a withering stare. “Unlike your kind of trash, we give our women a choice.”

Erin’s eyes were glued to the stitched leather as I held out the vest to show her. Then I turned it around and waited. I didn’t have to wait more than a few seconds before she eagerly pivoted and shoved her arms through the holes.

I grabbed her shoulders and guided her around to face me, then tugged on the sides of the open vest, pulling her close. “Who do you belong to, baby?”

“You,” she replied with a grin.

“Damn fucking right,” I grunted before bending my head and giving her a deep, thorough kiss. When I finally pulled back, she was breathing hard and her green eyes were glassy. I chuckled and patted her ass once more before gently pushing her toward Bridget again. “Wait in our room, Cherry.”

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