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Shade hurried to his bike, ignoring the sheriff when he said he needed to give his statement to one of the deputies. He was behind the sheriff’s car the whole way to Beth’s house and was already by the back door before Razer or Beth could get out.
The sheriff got out of the front seat, observing Shade’s reaction as he opened the door for Beth. Razer slid out the other side, coming around the back of the car for Beth.
Shade crouched down next to the car with Lily still inside.
“You going to sit in here all day?” he asked softly.
“Shade,” Beth tried to interrupt. “Let me. She’s used to turning to me when she’s scared.”
“She doesn’t need to be scared. That shit’s over.”
Lily didn’t even seem to hear him.
“Shade”—Beth placed her hand on his shoulder—“she needs me.”
He stood, stepping aside as Beth took Lily’s hand and sat with her in the car for almost an hour before she was able to coax her out and lead her inside the house.
“I need to get back to the station,” the sheriff stated, getting inside his car.
“I better not see them on the street anytime soon,” Shade warned.
After his dad nodded, closing his door, Razer and Shade went inside the house, finding the downstairs empty.
“I’ll fix us some lunch. We never did get to eat. Beth usually keeps some frozen meals.” Razer went to the small kitchen, opening the freezer.
“I’m going to kill them.”
Razer didn’t pause at taking out a pizza. “Let me know when you decide to do it, and I’ll help.”
Chapter 19
Shade handed Viper a beer as he put steaks and burgers on the grill. He enjoyed being out of the house, in the backyard again. It was still the beginning of spring, the warm day drawing everyone outside.
Shade had spent the previous few weeks doing recon on The Blue Horsemen Club, forgoing Christmas with his family. He had made an excuse during that time to stop by Beth’s house to see Razer while checking out how Lily was doing.
The woman acted as if being almost raped hadn’t happened. Razer had told him Beth had convinced Lily to see a psychologist. Shade didn’t have much faith in it working yet was glad they were recognizing something needed to be done about Lily’s panic attacks.
Shade set down his beer, helping Viper flip the steaks before they all became burned when Evie approached with a natural seductiveness the other brothers all appreciated. Both men turned, already well aware of her motive thanks to the mischievous gleam in her eyes.
The woman loved steak. She would eat it every night if she could. She was too late this time, though. He had already laid claim to the largest one sizzling on the grill.

Evie leaned into Viper, who put a casual arm around her waist.
“Don’t forget, I like my steak rare, and I want the biggest one on the grill.”
Viper laughed. “You’ll have to fight Shade for it. That’s the only reason he’s helping out.”
Evie reached out, running her finger teasingly down his arm. “Come on, Shade. I was the one who went to the store to buy the steaks in the first place.”
“I was the one who lugged the bags up those fucking stairs. You can have the one Viper picked out,” he offered without remorse, feeling as if someone was watching them.
His years as a sniper had kept him in the shadows to the extent that he had grown sensitive to being the center of someone’s attention. When he searched the backyard and saw no one paying them attention, he lifted his gaze to the house, finding who was observing them.
“Like he’ll give it up to me. Winter’s the only one who stands a chance of stealing that bad boy away from him. Next time, I’m going to make Knox do the grill. At least then I could stand a chance of getting a decent-sized steak.”
Shade moved back from Evie’s friendly, teasing touch. He had never touched Evie sexually. Not only had he known her before they had become Last Riders, but she was anything other than a submissive, like the woman staring at them from the house.
“Everything cool between you and Winter?” Shade asked Viper, turning back to the grill.
“Yeah, why?”
“No reason. It’s just that she’s been watching us for the last five minutes.”
“She’s probably just hungry,” Viper joked.
Viper and Evie looked toward the house.
“I talked to her before coming downstairs. She said she would be eating with us tonight.” Evie shrugged. “She seemed fine then.”
“She seems pissed off to me,” Shade contradicted. He had been at the other end of similar glares from women too many times to misinterpret its cause. “Brother, watch your ass,” he warned.
Viper nodded. “I’ll go check on her. Maybe she needs some help getting down the steps.”
“Possibly,” Shade agreed, but he didn’t think so. Winter was finally walking without having to be packed up and down the steps.
Shade took the steaks and burgers off the grill, placing them on two large platters. Then he set one on each of the two large picnic tables before sitting down at the one where Evie, Bliss, Dawn, Rider, and Viper, who had already returned from checking to see if Winter was ready to eat.
“I’ve died and gone to Heaven,” Bliss said, her fork stabbing a hamburger.
“That’s what I say every time I come in your pussy,” Rider grinned, taking his own hamburger as everyone at the table laughed.
As Shade saw the back door opening, his instincts shifted to alertness, aware that Viper had also realized something wasn’t right.
Winter walked out, using her cane to stab the ground as if she was on a mission.
She had gone through several changes since she had begun living with them. Her hair had grown out, brushing the top of her shoulders and gleaming with health. The green sweater she was wearing matched her emerald-colored eyes, which were sparking with a mixture of anger and hurt. She had lost weight after the attack yet had regained most of it, looking fit and healthy instead of sick and frail.
She took a seat at the opposite end of the picnic table he and Viper were sitting at, next to Dawn with Bliss seated across from her.
Stiffening, Shade didn’t like the insincere smile she gave the women.
“Let me get you a plate,” Viper offered as he started to get up.
“No, thanks, but I will take one of those beers.” She pointed to the cooler at the end of the table.
Shade reached in and pulled one out, passing it down the table until it reached her. Opening it, she took a long drink as the members began eating and talking again while they finished their food.
After dinner, Knox and Stori stood up from their table, beginning to dance to the music Train had set up to play in the backyard.
“Bliss, I like your top. The color suits you,” Winter complemented as everyone sat relaxing around the table with full stomachs.
“Thank you. I got it with the gift certificate you gave me for Christmas.”
“I’m glad you were able to find something you liked,” Winter said then casually asked, “I was wondering something. I noticed all the women members have tattoos with different numbers on them.”
Evie’s and Dawn’s tops were barely there, so anyone could easily see their tats on the curve of their breasts.