“Who the fuck else do we need to kill?” Jared roars. His fists are clenched tightly and looks like he’s about to blow.
Grady is standing over to my right. He is also bruised and bloody.
“Grady, gather all the brothers together now! I want to know who the fuck is with me and who’s not.”
“Grady, you all right?” My voice sounds hoarse.
“Yeah, darlin’; the problem has been taken care of.” He leaves us be. The room is cleared out.
“Where is he?” My lip quivers. I am so tired of all this betrayal.
“The guys came in at the right time. Saved my fucking ass,” he tells me.
“I’m so sorry, baby, but I promise you I will fix this.” Jared’s face tells me everything I need to know. We are not yet free of the violence and destruction that has taken over our lives.
“Where does this leave you with the club?”
“That, I will figure out. But I can’t leave until I do. I have a responsibility to my brothers. I promise no more illegal bullshit. I’m going to change shit around here. It’s you and me, baby. Forever and fucking always,” he murmurs in my ear, and I shiver at his touch. My eyes continue to fill with unshed tears. I need to believe things will change for the better, now that Pete is gone. What happens now? Is there anyone else we need to worry about?
I feel somewhat relieved, but also unsure of what’s to come. Now that Pete is out of the picture, and so is Tony, I’m hoping things get better. Maybe he can change the ways of the club and find better ways to make money.
“Babe, I’m scared. This is what you do, and I want to be with you, but I need you to promise me things will be different. I can’t live a life of crime anymore. I did it with my parents, and look what happened to them. I can’t bear the thought of losing you, Jared.”
“Babe, no one will fuck with me ever again; I assure you you’re safe. If there is anyone else involved with them I will find out and make them fucking pay.” His voice is deep, lethal, and reassuring. Jared lifts me up to carry me over to the couch in the office. He hisses out in pain at first, and when he sees my worried expression he kisses my cheek.
This is one of those moments when time stands still for us. Our hearts and souls became one a long time ago, but now I know this man was always meant to be mine.
“What’s next for us now?” I query, and he gives me heart-stopping smile.
“We get married and live happily ever after, baby.”
“I love you, Jared.”
“I love you, too, baby.” He leans into me to hold me tight, and all is right with the world.
Our love story may be different, but it’s ours and ours only. I will forever be grateful that I met Jared Knox. I know my mother is looking down on me, happy that I finally found peace because Jared and I were meant for each other.
Jared took my heart and has held it captive since the first time we met at the diner. I have given him everything that I am and will continue to do so, as long as I live.
“Let’s get the hell out of here,” I say as we walk out of the bar, hand in hand.
“You ready, baby?” Jared smiles as we both breathe in the fresh clean air outside.
“I am so ready.” I hop onto the back of his bike. My hands wrap around his middle as we drive off to watch the sunrise on the open road. Our hearts are now beating as one, just like my locket says.