When I looked back at Lawson, he had a small, one-sided smile thing going.

“We try to do our best,” he muttered.


“Well, I appreciate it,” I smiled back. “And I hate to disappoint you but Ginger Kidd was not in the vicinity tonight or, if she was, she heard the sirens and took off. Even when she was a kid, she didn’t like cops. I always loved cops, went right up and talked to them, made friends. She ran a mile. We should have known.”

“She did that?” Lawson asked, looking amused.

“Often, first time she was six.”

His face changed as realization dawned and he stated, “You’re not joking.”

I shook my head. “Nope.”

“That was likely a good sign of future trouble,” Lawson remarked.

“Don’t get her started on her Barbies,” MM put in, my body jerked and my head shot back to look at him.

Uh... what? What, what, what? How did he know about the Barbies?

My eyes narrowed on him.

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“Do you know about your sister’s troubles?” Lawson asked and I tore my eyes away from MM and looked at him.

“No, except I know she owes the Chaos Motorcycle Club a lot of money and that would be a lot, a lot but they already know I can’t help them out with that because I’m not tight with my sister and I don’t have that kind of money to give to them in order to get her fat out of the fryer.”

“They do?”

“I had a chat with Tack today. He’s aware that the Kidd cupboards are bare or at least I don’t have two plus million stashed somewhere.”

“You had a chat with Tack today,” Lawson repeated and something about him had changed and not in a good way. He looked pissed.

“Um… yeah,” I answered.

Lawson’s eyes flicked to MM then back to me. “You don’t know anything else about what’s happening with your sister?”

“No, except that there’s more but I don’t know what it is. And I don’t want to know. I officially disowned her today. Therefore, officially, she is no longer my sister.”

This garnered another squeeze from MM but Lawson was watching me.

“So you wouldn’t have any idea who might come visit you tonight?” Lawson went on.

I shook my head. “No idea. All I know is, they didn’t take anything and they came right to my bedroom. Make of that what you will.”

Lawson stared at me. Then he did it some more. Then his jaw got tight. Then a muscle jumped in his cheek, his gaze lifted to MM, he took in a breath and shook his head. Then his eyes locked with mine.

Then he leaned deeper toward me and he said softly, “I’m gonna tell you what I make of this. What I make of it, Gwendolyn, is if my woman had a sister who I knew was in some serious shit, she would not be havin’ a chat with Kane Allen, she would not be sleepin’ alone and therefore she would not ever have to worry about whether she needs a baseball bat or crowbar because she’d be in bed beside me.”



MM’s hand left my neck.


“Did I just hear you?” MM asked in his scary voice.


Lawson’s eyes lifted again and again he did it without moving his head. “You just heard me.”


“Um…” I started to take my heels off the chair when MM spoke.

“My boys clocked him on his second drive ‘round to case Gwen’s house. No one was close enough to get to her fast so we called it in to you boys three minutes before he even hit her sidewalk. You had units in the vicinity so he was in the house for less than two minutes before they arrived. Gwen was never in any danger.”


“It’s luck we had units in the vicinity,” Lawson returned as he stood.

“Bullshit, Lawson, your boys have been cruisin’ the neighborhood for two weeks, hopin’ Ginger would make a visit,” MM fired back.

“This area is hot but we don’t sit on her house, Hawk,” Lawson retorted.


I looked up at MM.

“Hawk?” I asked.

He ignored me as he was too busy scowling at Lawson. “Your boys were five minutes out, my boys eight. One way or another, she was covered.”

His boys?

“She had to arm herself with a snow globe,” Lawson reminded him.

I stood and looked up again at MM.

“Hawk?” I repeated.

“She was covered,” MM repeated.

“Yeah, but she didn’t know that,” Lawson returned.

“Hawk?” I shouted and MM’s eyes dropped to me.

“Babe. What?” he clipped.

Oh my God. His name was Hawk.

Who had a name like Hawk?

I opened my mouth to confirm that his name was indeed Hawk then instantly remembered Lawson was there and I didn’t want him to know I didn’t know MM’s (or Hawk’s) name so I snapped my mouth closed right when I heard my father’s voice.

“Where’s my daughter?”

Yay! Saved by my Dad.

I leaned forward and to the side in front of my no longer so mysterious mystery man, Hawk and looked around Lawson to see my Dad and Meredith coming through the opened kitchen door. I’d called them when I’d seen my window busted out. I didn’t want to but I did for two reasons. One, they’d find out eventually and sooner was always better than later when it came to Dad and Meredith. I’d learned that the hard way. And two, I needed a place to sleep because I sure as heck wasn’t sleeping here and I knew I was too freaked out to drive myself but what was further, Dad would lecture me if he knew I drove freaked out. I’d also learned the hard way to avoid giving Dad (too many) opportunities to lecture me. He was good at it because with two daughters, and those daughters being Ginger and me, he had lots of practice.

“Gwen,” Dad murmured when he hit the room, I squeezed between the two angry hot guys that were pinning me in, half-walked, half-ran to my Dad and threw myself in his arms.

Whether I threw myself in them, walked into them or leaned into them, my Dad’s arms always did the same thing. They closed around me tight.

Suddenly I didn’t feel so freaked out anymore.

I wrapped my arms around him just as tight, felt his familiar solidness and I was even less freaked out.

“Gwen,” he whispered into the top of my hair.

Back in the day, my Dad was hot. He was almost as hot as the two men standing in my kitchen but I suspected the “almost” part of that had a lot to do with the fact that he was my Dad. He was big and broad and had dark hair (now with a lot of silver in it) and hazel eyes and he was lean and fit and strong. He’d always be lean and fit and strong because he was always doing something that involved carrying something, hammering something, dragging something, lifting something or sawing something.

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