She had been in so much pain when that was over.

“You’re not dirty to me. I love you, Mandy. It’s hard for you to accept right now, but I do love you. I love you so much.”

Hearing his admission of love filled her with so much guilt. She loved him. She did, but Lewis needed someone who was better.

She wasn’t good, whereas he was.


Two days later Jay and Temperance were released from the hospital, and Richard was there to take them home. They had already emptied out their apartment, and they were living with him full time.

He had a club meeting later that night, but because of them being released from hospital, the meeting was going to take place at his apartment. Richard had everything set out so that both of them would have the utmost care and attention.

“I’m not going to miss hospital food,” Jay said, climbing into the back of the car with a groan.

Temperance was doing much better. She had to air the wounds on her back for a few hours, and the doctor had given him the cream for him to put on. He was looking forward to playing nursemaid with her.

“Me neither. I look forward to something cooked properly.”

Richard helped her inside, and when he was happy she was comfortable, he climbed behind the wheel.

“No one knows the real you, do they, Richard?” Jay said.


“Well, you’re called a beast, but I have to say, you’re like a little puppy.”

“Jay, don’t try to taunt him.”

“You’re a friend, Jay. Friends don’t get to see that side of me. I reserve it for everyone else.” He pulled away from the hospital, and joined up with traffic. It was good having them back in the car, and back in his life. He didn’t want to consider a life without either of them. Did that make him a pussy? If so, he was happy to be one. He didn’t want to miss the chance of being happy.

“I’ve seen him be a beast at work. Honestly, you do not want to get on this man’s bad side,” Temperance said.

He gripped her knee, giving her a gentle squeeze. He needed to touch her just to know that she was okay. The past two days he hadn’t left the hospital. During the day, he spent time with both of them, and at night, he divided his attention between Temperance and Jay. She was having trouble sleeping, and he tried his best to soothe her in any way that he could.

“The guys are coming over later tonight. Anna’s going to be with them.”

“What about Luna? Is she coming?” Temperance asked.

“No. She has to stay home. Her kid is sick, and we’re not going to force her to come to the club.”

“Damn, remind me to order a care package or something.”

Over the past couple of weeks, Temperance had found the time to pretty much befriend everyone. She was close with Anna, Luna, and Mandy.

Thinking about work, she was always able to draw people out of their shell. It was one of the things he liked about her.

He also happened to like staring at her, which was no hard feat either. She was a sexy, beautiful, desirable woman.

“How about Vegas?” Jay asked.

“I’m not going to get married in Vegas,” Temperance said.

“Why not?”

“It’s tacky, and I don’t want to get married there.”

“It’s easy.”

“I don’t care. It’s not going to happen. I want a proper wedding. Not something that is rushed just because you think it should be.”

“I’m not the only one who thinks it should be,” Jay said. “Come on, Richard, tell her.”

“This is something you can do all on your own. I’ll be there at the right time to say the ‘I dos’, and that is it. Tempe can have whatever wedding she wants.”

“You’re just kissing her ass.”

“At least he knows what ass to actually kiss. Whereas you, Jay, you’re heading toward no sex.”

“You’d deprive a man sex?”

“To get what I want? Yes.” She chuckled. “I can do it now. I have two of you.” She blew Jay a kiss, and winked at him.

God, he loved her. He really did.

Richard never thought he’d be this happy, but he was. He never wanted to it stop, and he would fight to the end to get it.

Chapter Twelve

Later that night, Jay and Temperance were in the sitting room with Anna while Richard was conducting a meeting with his brothers and Mandy. She had her memory back, and now they were working on finding the rest of the men who were trafficking women.

“You’re saying it’s multi-organized?” Sean asked.

“Yes. They’re everywhere, and they take orders from powerful men. It’s not just personal orders though. They, erm, they take women and kids off the street to fill a need, or a space within brothels. Only a select few girls get given to the torturer for training.” Copyright 2016 - 2023