I felt him harden under me, and he smirked.

“Sweet enough to get me laid again?” he asked. “Because I’ve told the story to women before, and it works every f**kin’ time. Can’t get their pants off fast enough after that. Hate to think you’re the one girl who can hold out, considering it’s about you.”


I started laughing, and then he rolled me over, pinning my hands over my head. My laughter faded as his c**k found my opening.

“Love you, babe,” he said, sliding slowly into me. “Promise. I’ll always be here for you.”

“I know,” I whispered back to him. “You always have been. I love you, too, Ruger. And I swear, you tell that story to any more girls, I’ll cut that ink right off you.”

“Noted,” he said with a grin.

I reached up and kissed him as he hit bottom, slowly working in and out of me, grazing my clit with every stroke. I lifted my legs to wrap them around his waist, closing my eyes against the sun and letting the sensation of his thick c**k spreading me soak through my entire being.

I loved this man.

I loved how he held me, loved how he cared for my son, and loved how he always fixed whatever f**ked up, horrible things went wrong in my life.

As he rocked into me gently, I could hear the guests partying down in the courtyard, music drifting upward as people shouted and cheered and made the most of what had to be one of the last warm days of the year. Maggs was down there, and Em and Picnic and Dancer and Bam Bam … It wasn’t just Ruger, I realized. All of them had helped me, even when I’d judged them for being Reapers.

But the Reapers were part of Ruger, and Ruger was part of me.

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He hit particularly deep, and I started laughing.

“What the f**k?” he grunted without pausing.

“You’re a part of me,” I said, giggling.

He paused, raising a brow. Then he rotated his hips slowly and deliberately, making me gasp.

“Damned straight,” he said, smirking. I grabbed his butt, urging him to start moving again, and he didn’t complain. Within seconds I’d forgotten about the party below and focused on the sensations building inside. He moved faster, plunging into me, scooting my butt across the blanket with the force of his thrusts.

“Shit, I’m close,” I muttered.

Ruger grunted, then pulled out of me abruptly, rolling to his back and gasping for air.

“What the f**k?” I demanded.

“Want to give you something,” he said, his voice tight. I sat up and glared at him.

“No. You have the world’s shittiest timing.”

He laughed, although there was definitely a note of strain in the sound. He shook his head, sitting up and leaning over to dig through the backpack he’d brought up with us. Then he pulled it out. A black leather vest.

A vest that said “Property of Ruger.”

My mouth dropped open, and I took a deep breath.


“Listen to me first,” he said, eyes intent on my face. “You’re not from my world, so you don’t know exactly what wearing a vest like this means.”

“Okay …” I said slowly, although I couldn’t imagine anything he’d say that would make me comfortable with it.

“You look at this and see the word ‘property,’” he said. “But what it really means is you’re my woman, and I want everyone to know it. I live in a harsh world, babe. A world where bad shit happens, you’ve seen that for yourself. But no matter what goes down, my brothers have my back. This vest means you’re one of us. Those aren’t just words, Sophie. We’re a tribe, and every Reaper in the club—men you don’t even know—would die to protect a woman wearing this vest. They’d do it because they’re my brothers, and because it means more than any ring ever could in our world.”

“I don’t understand …” I murmured, trying to wrap my head around his words.

“When a man takes a woman as his property, it’s not about owning her,” he continued, eyes searching my face. “It’s about trusting her. This is my life I’m handing you, Sophie. Not just my life—my brothers’ lives, too. It means I’m responsible for everything you do. You f**k up, I’ll pay. You need help, we’re there. You’re the only woman I’ve ever met that I’d consider giving that kind of power to. Hell, I’m not just considering it, I’m desperate for you to take it. I want you to wear my patch, Soph. Will you?”

I sighed, then reached for the leather. It was warm from the sun, and I ran my fingers along it, feeling the strength of the stitching. It had been made to last, no question. I’d be able to wear it for years. Maybe even a lifetime.

I looked at Ruger, with his strong hands that had caught my son at birth, and his smile that left me breathless. I knew my answer. No need to make it too easy for him, though …

“Can I ask one thing?”

“Of course,” he said, and I thought I heard a hint of anxiety in his voice.

“Was it really necessary to stop right in the middle of sex to have this conversation? I was almost to the good part.”

He laughed, then shook his head.

“I made myself a promise,” he said, looking almost sheepish.

“And that was?”

“I promised myself the next time I f**ked you, you’d be wearing my patch. I got distracted, though. You got really nice tits, babe.”

“You already screwed me once up here,” I said, trying to keep a straight face. “Why didn’t you just finish up?”

“Because I’m a dumbass,” he said, shrugging. “I don’t know. I realized you’d be exploding around me soon, squeezing my c**k like the world was gonna end, and I wanted you to wear my patch when you did it. Just sort of came to me.”

I held it up, considering it thoughtfully. Might as well torture him a bit, seeing as he’d left me hanging.

“Looks like a nice vest,” I said slowly. “Are you sure you’re ready for this?”

“Yeah, Sophie, I’m f**kin’ sure,” he replied, rolling his eyes. “So what’s it gonna be? Either you wear it and put us both out of our misery, or we both go home in pain and horny as hell. Because I’m serious. No patch, no dick.”

“Okay,” I said.


“Yeah, seriously,” I replied. “Don’t look so surprised. You got a really nice dick, babe.”

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