I rubbed my chest harder. The fucking ache was bad.

The door to church opened, and Tank, Tanner, and Bull came through. Smiler was next, beard and hair longer than usual. His eyes were fucking red. Zane brought through drinks, and then moved to where Ash was standing, where they spoke too quiet for me to hear.

Rudge sat next to Viking. “Vike, you tell them about the slut—”

“We’ve heard,” AK said. “Don’t need your version too.”

“But did he tell you about fisting our balls—”

“He did. Still trying like fuck to scrape that visual from my brain.”

Rudge bit his bottom lip. “Fuck. I’m hard again now just thinking of that spectacular blowjob session.”

Styx came through the door and nudged his chin in our direction to get AK’s attention. AK moved next to the prez, and Styx signed, “Lilah’s had her kids this morning. Ky’s at the hospital.” AK spoke Styx’s words out loud for those who didn’t understand sign.

Styx looked to the door. Mae was there, looking at me. “Flame? Maddie needs to speak to you.”

I jumped from my seat and went outside to the hallway. Maddie stood against the wall with Bella. She smiled when she saw me. I took her hand. Something was wrong. Why was she here? Bitches didn’t come to church.

Lately, she’d been feeling sick. I didn’t like when Maddie was sick. It didn’t happen much. I couldn’t lose her. I couldn’t stand her being in bed, not feeling great. She needed to always be okay. She needed to never leave my side.

“You okay?” I tried to search her face. I couldn’t read people well, some not at all. But I could read Maddie the most. I knew everything about her. I made sure I did. Right now, her skin looked pale. “You’re still sick. You need to go to bed. I’ll take you home. Let’s go.”

Maddie pressed her hand on my cheek to stop me. My racing heart immediately slowed. Her touch always did that to me. I’d gone from not being able to be touched at all to needing my bitch to touch me, hold me, never fucking let me go. If I didn’t touch Maddie every time I saw her, I lost my fucking mind. If I didn’t know where she was every moment of every day, I couldn’t fucking focus. And if I went more than a few hours without seeing her, talking to her, the flames came back. I felt them under my skin, starting to burn. They always came back. Only Maddie could keep them away.

“I’m okay, baby,” Maddie said. I snapped my head round at the sound of a baby crying. Bella was holding Charon, rocking him in her arms as she walked up and down the hallway, speaking to him in a soft, sweet voice. I suddenly felt ice cold as I stared at him, cheeks red and tears in his eyes. My throat closed up and I couldn’t fucking breathe. My eyes were locked on Styx’s kid. On him looking up at Bella. Then his hand came out and reached for Bella’s. Every muscle in my body tensed as his little hand wrapped around her finger.

“Flame…” Maddie’s voice sailed into my ear, but I couldn’t get my fucking eyes away from Styx’s kid holding Bella’s finger. I was sweating. I could feel my head getting hot. “Baby.” Maddie moved in front of me, blocking my view. All I could see was her face, her fucking beautiful face and big green eyes. Maddie put her hands on my cheeks and guided me to face her. “Come back to me.” Her green eyes locked on mine. “You are okay. Whatever is wrong, it is okay. You are here with me, in the clubhouse.” The weight on my chest started to lift as I stared into Maddie’s gaze. I followed her breathing, trying to breathe too. “That is it. Breathe with me. Come back to me.” Maddie took hold of my hands. My forehead dropped against hers. Maddie’s hands were so small. But they held mine tightly. I could breathe better when she held me.

“Are you feeling better?” she asked. I nodded against her head, but I didn’t move away. The pain in my chest was still there. So, I stayed with my wife, holding her hands. Maddie’s hand came to my cheek. She pulled her head back and looked into my eyes. She still looked pale.

“You’re tired,” I said. I knew now when she was tired. Her eyes were duller and her shoulders were lower. “You should be in bed. You’re still sick.”

Maddie smiled. “I am feeling much better, baby. I promise. I am going to the hospital to see Lilah and the twins.” Maddie smiled so fucking wide and beautiful it punched me in the gut, taking away the last of the chest pain that had grabbed hold of me. “Our niece and nephew, are healthy and here safely, Flame.” She squeezed my hand tightly. “I cannot wait to meet them.”


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