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Savage Hearts
Bonus Scene


Three Years Later

The wind whips past me as I lean with my bike into a turn, rushing down the streets of Detroit, headed home. Even after all this time, I still get a little thrill from being on the bike, having so much power at my beck and call.

I’m aware of the vibrations of it between my legs, and I get a bit turned on by the memories of all the ways Ransom has ever made me come on a bike. Either his or mine, he’s never picky. Of course, when I got mine, we had to christen it, and I grin, remembering how nervous I was the first time I rode on the back of his.

Now it’s like second nature to me to ride, and I love the feel of it.

When I get home, I pull into the garage, and Ransom is there, working on a car.

The guys don’t do the chop shop shit anymore since they don’t have to, but Ransom still loves working on cars, so it’s more like a passion project for him now.

He buys and restores cars, and now he’s teaching me how to do it too.

When I ride up, he puts down his tools and turns his music down, greeting me with a hot, hard kiss when I pull my helmet off. No matter how many times he sees me on a bike, it always seems to turn him on.

“It just really, really suits you,” he says, as if he can hear my thoughts. “And you look hot as fuck with all that between your legs.”

I roll my eyes and laugh. “Silly. But I have you to thank either way. I rode all the way here with a present strapped to the back of the bike, and I didn’t jostle it at all.”

“Oh you did, did you?” he murmurs. “Well, I’m very impressed.”

He pulls me in again, letting the kiss turn a little dirty as his hands start to wander, gripping my ass in the jeans I’m wearing.

I press closer to him, parting my lips for him, but the promise of this kiss is broken by the sound of a little voice.

“Mama, Mama, Mama!”

Ransom lets me go, and I turn to see our daughter toddling in. Dayana is almost two and a half, and she’s growing so fast, already mischievous and fast enough that we have to keep an eye on her.

We named her in honor of the guys’ mother and because of the dream I once had. Just one more affirmation that no matter whose DNA she has, she’s our daughter through and through.

“Hello, little love,” I say, leaning down to ruffle her hair.

Vic follows behind her, his short dark hair tied up in a tiny top knot right at the top of his head, with a sparkly bow securing the strands.

I cover my mouth and laugh at the sight, and Vic smiles the little smile that he reserves just for me. It’s been so cute seeing him with our daughter. Despite the trauma he has with his own father, he’s risen to the occasion so strongly to be a good one himself. He’s a total softie for Dayana, putting her first in everything. Honestly, it’s helped him get over even more of his touching and OCD issues because he’s been so focused on her.

I think it’s also been healing for him to get to be a parent—a good father who loves his kid and would never, ever hurt her.

“Welcome home,” he murmurs, coming over to give me a kiss as well.

“And what a gorgeous sight to come home to,” I tease him, adjusting the bow in his hair.

“Our daughter decided I needed a makeover,” he says. “And I was helpless to resist.”

“And by that, he means he offered himself up as a distraction because this little hellion wanted cake for lunch,” Malice says as he comes striding in. “We’re gonna be late.”

All of us roll our eyes good naturedly at the bossy nature Malice never seems to shake. Ransom teasingly calls him a mother hen when he’s not around, and he’s not wrong.

“Don’t just stand there, for fuck’s sake,” he huffs at his brothers, trying to herd them to the car.

“Come here,” I tell him, crooking a finger.

That’s enough to distract him, and he comes to give me a kiss hello.

He leans into it, and then his fingers go to the collar of my shirt, tugging it down enough that he can see the fresh tattoo he gave me a few days go. His eyes go dark as he looks at it, and I grin at him, pulling away because we really don’t have time to get carried away right now.

I’ve got a lot more tattoos now, and if we keep using it as a form of foreplay, I’ll end up covered in ink from head to toe because I love getting off that way so much.

“Okay, okay,” Malice says. “We’re leaving in five fucking minutes, and if you’re not in the car, you’re getting left behind.”

“Sir, yes sir.” Ransom fires off a mock salute before going to wash up.

Four minutes and fifty six seconds later, we all pile into the car. Vic buckles Dayana into her car seat, making sure that everything is fastened securely before kissing her cheek, leaving her to babble happily at Ransom, who sits beside her.

We cross the city and end up at a now-familiar house. I’ve spent a good amount of time here over the past couple of years, and I smile as we get out and walk up to the door to the house River lives in with the Kings of Chaos.

River herself pulls open the door before we can ring the bell, shaking her head.

“You’re late,” she says, arching an eyebrow.

“Blame Malice,” I tell her with a grin. I can hear Malice grumbling behind me as River pulls me into a hug and then leads us inside.

As unique as our situation is, having a kid being raised by four different people, River and her men clearly understand. Their daughter Alexis is close to the same age as Dayana, and when Ransom puts Dayana down, our daughter rushes over to greet her friend.

“Who’s at the door?” someone calls from down the hall, and River rolls her eyes.

“Who the hell do you think was at the door?” she calls back. “Hurry up!”

There’s some grumbling and then a laugh, and Ash comes stepping out into the entry way. “Oh, right. Guests!”

“’Guests,’ he says,” Ransom replies, shaking his head. “It’s almost like we weren’t expected.”

“No, you were,” River assures him. “Ash is just being Ash.”

“Just?” Ash’s eyes gleam behind his glasses as he presses a hand to his chest as if he’s been personally offended. “Killer, there is no just when it comes to anything about me. Don’t you know that by now?”

“The bigger question is, how do you put up with all the theatrics?” Vic asks, shooting a glance at River as his lips twitch upward.

River sighs, chuckling. “He’s really good in bed. They all are.”

Vic snorts a laugh, but I just nod sagely, because I can definitely relate to that.

It’s been nice, having River as a friend over the last couple years. We got close after things finally calmed down from dealing with Olivia, and it kind of hit me that other than the guys, I wasn’t close with anyone. I never really made friends with anyone at school, and there were so many similarities between me and River.

I wanted a friend who would understand what it’s like to be loved by multiple men, and River definitely does.

“Oh, we brought this for Cody,” I tell her, hefting the gift I brought back.

“Just set it anywhere,” River says, so I put it on the counter.

She turns and leads us to the backyard, where Cody is playing and the rest of River’s men are gathered.

It’s Cody’s birthday, and he seems to be thrilled to be the center of attention.

“Willow!” he cries, running up and throwing his arms around my legs.

“Hey, buddy,” I say. “Happy birthday! You’re getting bigger every time I see you.”

He makes a face at that. “All grown-ups say that. But I can’t see myself growing!”

I laugh, hugging him back.

Gage, Knox, and Priest come over to greet my guys, friendly camaraderie in their interactions. It’s been nice, seeing Malice, Ransom, and Vic make friends too. They three of them have been on their own against the world for a long time.

At one end of the backyard there’s a wooden board set up, with knives embedded into it.

“Uh, what’s going on there?” I ask.

River rolls her eyes. “Ash and Knox have been teaching Cody to throw knives. They’ve been dying to teach him for ages, and I couldn’t hold them off any longer.”

“Watch, watch!” Cody says. He takes a knife from Knox and goes to stand in front of the board, eyes narrowed in focus and his tongue poking out of his mouth as he lines up his shot and then throws.

The knife lands with a solid thud into the wood, and Cody turns, grinning.

“Wow.” I make an impressed face. “That’s amazing.”

“He’s a natural,” Ash declares, grinning proudly. “He’s picking it up so fast, and I think the sleight of hand stuff is helping too. This kid’s gonna go places, I’m telling you.”

“Hopefully not to the ER,” River mutters, and I laugh.

I feel someone tugging at my pants, and I look down to see Dayana standing there, holding her arms up. It makes my heart warm to see it, and I scoop her up into my arms.

Cody shows off throwing a few more knives, and then he wants to play ball. As the birthday boy, he gets to pick his team, and he considers it carefully, finally ending up with Knox, Malice, and Vic on his side, Ransom, Priest, Gage, and Ash on the other.

It’s kind of hilarious, watching these grown ass men with their tattoos and their hair-trigger tempers, running around playing a made up ball game with an eight-year-old.

But they’re all softer when it comes to their kids, and it’s clear that they’re totally wrapped around those small fingers.

“I don’t know how you do it,” I tell River, smiling at her. “It’s like you have six children instead of just the two.”

“Tell me about it,” she replies. “They’ve already got their sights set on Alexis and what they can teach her, and I have to keep reminding them that she can’t even cut her own food yet.”

“I wonder how much time I have left before Ransom tries to get Dayana on the back of a bike. Or in the garage with him.”

“Probably helps that she wouldn’t be able to see over the hood of the car,” River points out.

“Oh good, I’m spared for another few years then.”

But I know when it comes down to it, I’m always going to be soft for the image the guys make when they do anything with our daughter. I want to see them sharing their passions with her, raising her with love and warmth.

I cuddle Dayana closer, love filling my heart.

As far as she knows, Malice, Vic, and Ransom are her fathers. They’ve showered her with love, protected her so much that I feel bad for any poor sicker who tries to date her down the road, and they’ve made it clear that family isn’t about blood at all.

It’s about who you choose.

And I’ll choose this every day for the rest of my life.

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