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“Fuck,” Curly said again. He laced his fingers behind his head and pressed his lips together for a moment, thinking. Then he asked, “He home today?”

Nodding, Jinx said, “Pretty sure. Harper offered to watch the baby if he needed to go out, but he told her he had a quiet day at home.”

“All right. I’ll pay him a visit.”

“You want backup?”

Curly stared at the ceiling. “I’ll bring Pulse. I don’t want him lashing out at you once he realizes you were the one to find his stash.”

“You’re not gonna strip his patch, are you? I’m not here to narc on him. He needs help, and I want him to get it, not be the reason he’s kicked out of the club.”

“No. I won’t. But he’s gonna quit that shit, or eventually, I will take his patch. None of that’s on you. We all know he’s been tumbling downhill at a rapid pace. Just didn’t realize it’d gone this far. Fuck.” Curly dropped his arms and shook his head. “What the fuck is he thinking? His goddamn sister just went out from this shit.”

“Don’t figure he’s thinking much at all.”

An agreeable hum came from Curly. “Yeah. His life’s been flipped upside down ten times over in the past few months, hasn’t it?”

“Sure has.” Jinx took a moment to put himself in Lock’s shoes—grieving the loss of a sibling, followed by the surprise news that he’d be a parent to a child in the NICU, and a few months of court battles and hospital visits while trying to keep a business afloat. And then, bam, he had a baby in his house, dependent on him for everything. There was no nine-month lead-up period or partner to share the heavy tasks of raising a baby.

Who wouldn’t turn to mind-numbing drugs?

“Thanks for bringing this to my attention,” Curly said. He reached into his desk and pulled out a pad of paper with notes scrawled across it. “Got something for you too, brother.”

Jinx raised an eyebrow.

“Shut the door.”


“This isn’t club business.”

Even more interesting. Jinx closed the door and returned to his seat.

Thankfully, Curly didn’t make him wait. His stomach had already twisted into a knot.

“I have a contact at the prison in North Carolina. Guy I served a few years with. He was in an MC there and serving time for weapons trafficking. Goes by Blade. He’s got a handful of years left and owes me a favor.”

Jinx’s heart kicked into overdrive. Fuck yes. This could be the ‘in’ he’d been hoping for. “What kind of favor?”

“The kind that will ensure your girl never gets contacted again by the fucker who ruined her life. Blade’ll be having a little chat with Aaron today to impress upon him the importance of ending communication with Harper. Then he’s got a guy in the mailroom who’ll keep a lookout for any letters and make sure they get destroyed just in case the boy is stupid enough to try again. Once he’s released, we’ll pay him a final visit to remind him you’re under our protection.”

Fuck yes. This was more than he’d hoped for but exactly what Harper needed. “Thanks, Prez.” He held his hand out. “I owe you one.”

“Get out of here with that shit,” Curly said, but he shook Jinx’s hand. “We’re fucking family. Not keeping a tally.”

“Mind if I go tell Harper the good news?”

“Be my guest. While you’re out at the shed, let Brooke know I’ll swing by there at noon to take her to lunch.” When the option presented itself, Curly always avoided texting. It made sense since he missed out on thirteen years of technology growth while in jail, but it still cracked Jinx up. He could have told Brooke about lunch at any time but chose a human messenger over a text.

“Will do, Prez.”

Armed with news that should make Harper’s week, Jinx grabbed an ATV for the trip across the farm. Ray, who was outside playing as usual, ran alongside him, happily yipping as though they were playing a game.

“You coming in, bud?” he asked the dog as he hopped over the rickety steps onto the platform leading to the trailer. The ladies would be beyond thrilled to have construction on the shelter finished so they could move their office. Unfortunately for them, they still had a few months of building left to endure.

Ray followed him, also skipping the steps.

Jinx knocked on the door with a heavy fist.

“Ooh, think that’s the stripper we ordered?” Liv called out from inside.

“I’ll check.” The door opened, revealing Jo. She put on an exaggerated pout and huffed. “No luck. It’s just Jinx.”

“Ouch.” He clutched a hand to his chest. “You ladies are brutal.”

All laughed except Harper, who sat at her desk with her spine so straight he’d have sworn it was a lead pipe. Her eyes were wide, and she wore a slightly panicked expression as though she knew he’d come for her and wasn’t sure how to react.