Sinner’s Redemption by Rebecca Joyce

Chapter Seven


Fuck me, was she one pissed off bitch, I thought as I sat downstairs in the living room nursing a bottle of scotch.

Fuck the tumbler tonight. I drank straight from the bottle.

Glass shattering from above had me lifting the bottle in salute before I took another swig. She was systematically redecorating my room with her bare hands all by her little self. Whoever said southern women were timid and sweet hadn’t met my Tessa. That bitch could filet my ass with her sharp tongue easily while looking as pretty as a summer’s day.

From the first moment I met Tessa, I knew she was mine. She had an inner strength that most women would kill for. A fire that burned hot and a caring nature that rivaled Mother Teresa.

And fuck me hard, was she smart.

Like, wickedly smart.

Tessa was the complete package and more.

More importantly, she was mine.

She didn’t know it yet, but it would be over my dead body before I let her walk out of my life again. Now that I understood why she left, that was easy to forgive her. But the other thing. Having my son and not telling me, well, that was a whole other story. By the time I was done with her, she would never withhold shit from me ever again.

I have a son.

York. Cool name.

Never thought at forty-two years of age, I’d be a father. Never even thought I wanted kids until I saw that picture with her and my kid playing in the park. Kids were a complication I’ve avoided like the plague. I’d seen firsthand what they could do to a good-natured man. My father raised four boys and barely survived with his life.

Yet seeing that smiling boy, who looked so much like me, I knew I was never giving him up.

He was mine.

My blood.

A loud crash from above evaporated my train of thought. Narrowing my eyes, my thoughts of spanking her ass red made me smile. Bitch was close to getting the ass-beating of a lifetime. Still, what bothered me the most was that she didn’t even try to let me know about him. Almost as if I was an afterthought.

For the longest time, my world revolved around her. Would do anything for her. Wanted to give her the world. Then she bolted like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

I wasn’t that big of a bastard.

Hell, if she told me what was going on with her mom, I would have gone with her. I would have tried to help if I could. Instead, she fucked off and left, taking something that belonged to me.

That, I couldn’t forgive.

She knew the drill. Agreed to the terms. She broke them and now she would pay the price, but she would never leave me again. Was going to make damn sure about that once she calmed the fuck down.

In the years without her, no one came close to her. There was no comparison. She was it for me. There would never be another. Just had to lock her down and make damn sure she never wanted to leave. I was about to walk into uncharted territory. Never in my life had I ever considered myself a one-woman man. I never even wanted to settle down until her. She walked into my life and uprooted everything, turned it upside down and branded herself into my heart, just like the brand I wore on my back. The same brand she wore.

It was permanent, just like she was.

A loud scream echoed through the halls of my home as I grinned, taking another drink. God, she was going to be fun to break.

“She’s not going to be easy to lock down, son.”

Turning, I sighed. “What are you doing here, dad?”

“Mercy called me.”

“Go home. I can handle one little woman.”

My father chuckled as the sounds of glass shattering and wood breaking filled the house. “Sure, about that. You may not have a home left when she’s done.”

“She’s been at it for the last few hours. She’s winding down,” I said, just as the fire alarm went off upstairs.

Fuck me.

My father laughed. “Sure, she is.”

Getting to my feet, I grabbed the fire extinguisher and walked back upstairs for the third time tonight. Unlocking the bedroom door, I walked into a war zone. Seeing the small fire she started, I quickly put it out and went to leave when something hard hit my back. “Careful Tessa. I will return every hit in kind.”

“Fuck you!”

“Oh, I plan to. Many times, babe,” I smiled, closing the door and locking it again before heading back downstairs to find my father pouring himself a drink. “How’s the damage?”

“Still have a window left, a ceiling fan and a dresser. Everything else is toast.”

My father laughed boisterously. “God, that girl reminds me of your mother. Feisty bitch, too. Took me a while to tame her, but I got the job done.”

Sitting back down, I placed the fire extinguisher on the floor and picked up my bottle of scotch. “Best not let mom hear you say that shit. You’ll be in the doghouse for weeks.”

“Don’t I know it?” My father grinned, raising his glass in a salute. “To the women in our lives.”

Repeating his words, I took a large swallow when he asked, “So, what’s the deal with this bitch?”

“Mercy didn’t tell you?” I asked, then thought of something else. “Speaking of which, how in the hell does Mercy know?”

My father just stared blankly at me.

Right. Mercy, my all-knowing V.P.

Fuck me.

Bastard may know everything going on in the club and around the city, but he was fucking clueless with his own personal life. Fucker needed to fix his own shit and stay the hell out of mine.

“Mercy said you might need to talk. So, talk.”

“She’s had my kid. A boy.”

“A grandbaby?” My father beamed, sitting up. So much for caring about me and my house. Bitch could blow the place to smithereens, with me in it and all my dad would care about is his grandson.

Good thing I knew where I stood.

“Yeah,” I nodded.

“Like the girl already. Where’s the boy?”

“Currently being looked after by a friend of hers and before you say shit, I’ve already texted Malice and Storm. They are keeping watch until I go get him.”

“So, what’s the holdup?”

“She was one of Barney’s girls.”

My father twirled the amber liquid in his glass. Leaning back against the sofa, he whispered, “And you think she doesn’t have what it takes to be your ol’ lady?”

“It’s not that, dad.”

“Then what is it?”

“She doesn’t know.”

“I see,” he said, swallowing the contents of his drink. “Gonna, take a strong woman to handle everything. Straddling the line isn’t easy, son. Ask your mother. The sooner you tell her, the better. I hate to see you invest yourself in this, for it not to work out. Know what I mean?”


I knew what dad was saying.

Tessa only knew me because of the club. She didn’t know anything else because I never told her. Wasn’t going to come clean to a bitch if she was just my piece of the month. I should have known right away she was more than that, but I refused to believe otherwise. Before I knew it, four years passed, and she wormed her way deep and it took root. Now she was the mother of my kid.

No way in hell was she going back to the clubhouse until I locked her down tight and she knew all the fucking rules and especially concerning my son.

I wasn’t joking around when I told her the rules changed.

My Tessa had a fucking temper on her for sure. Easily riled, I expected a lot of friction and hostility when I demanded her submission. Following my dictate was going to be a hard pill for her to swallow. Even more so when I told her the rules concerning York. My son was a whole new game now, with new rules, and I planned on winning.

“Well,” my dad said, finishing his drink, getting to his feet. “You know where to find me if you need help. Best keep this from your mother for now, ‘causewhen she finds out and she will eventually, it’s game over. Best of luck to ya.”

Huffing, I said nothing as dad left.

The silence from upstairs was deafening. Had she finally given up? Fuck, I hoped so. My house couldn’t take much more.

Getting to my feet, I headed upstairs, cautiously approaching the demilitarized war zone that was once my bedroom. I unlocked the door and carefully opened it.

Fuck me, she was a one-woman wrecking ball.

Stepping into the room, I inspected all the damage, mentally calculating how much it would cost to fix the damage, when I saw her huddled in the room’s corner. Her arms wrapped around her knees, her head resting against her arms. Her steady breathing hitched as a silent tear fell from her weary eyes.

This wasn’t the Tessa I knew. I’d never seen her so defeated, so fragile. It was upsetting and worrying. My woman looked nothing like the ferocious warrior from moments ago.

Kneeling before her, I dared not touch her.

I knew my Tessa.

She may look unassuming at the moment, but my woman was anything but. Tessa was one of the strongest women I knew. Cunning, volatile and wickedly smart, nothing ever got her down. Tessa fought with a virility most men would kill for.

So, seeing her broken and defeated was something new.

She sniffed. “My mom died.”

Closing my eyes, I felt her grief slam into me with a force that nearly sucked the air from my lungs. The anger she showed had nothing to do with me. It was her mom. She was still grieving her loss.

Fuck, how could I have forgotten?

With everything she’d been through, it made sense that Tessa hit her breaking point and I only added to it. Regardless of what I knew, my Tessa was still a woman. With a woman’s heart and compassion. The pain of losing her mother, the only family she had left, weighed heavily on her.

“Tessa, look at me.”

“Go away, Montana.”

“Can’t do that, babe. Not when you’re hurting.”

Lifting her head to look at me, I stared into her fathomless blue eyes, seeing the anguish storm violently in her depths. Sitting next to her, I pulled her into my arms, holding her tight as her dam broke. I didn’t know how long I sat there holding her while she cried, but when her body sank against mine, I sighed.

Resting my head against the wall, I looked about my room, seeing all the damage, realizing that none of it mattered. The items were replaceable. Her mother wasn’t. Just thinking about my mother had my chest tightening up.

A fear I never knew I had surfaced.

My mom was everything to me. My world for the longest time. Losing her would decimate me. Unlike Tessa, I had a family. A big one. While I still had my father and brothers, my Tessa had no one. She was alone in the world now, save my son.

She was adrift, with no direction.

Everything faded.

The last few years no longer mattered.

All I cared about was the woman in my arms. There would come a time for us to resolve the past, but now was not the time. At this moment, my woman needed me more than I needed answers.

Carefully getting to my feet, I carried her across the hall into a spare room. Putting her on the bed, she rolled over and curled into herself. Her silent tears soaking into the pillow. Slipping out of my clothes, I kneeled on the bed to remove her shoes. She didn’t fight me. I knew she wouldn’t. The fight was gone. Exhaustion took over as I removed her pants and shirt, leaving her only in her bra and panties. Grabbing for the comforter, I pulled it up and over us before pulling her back against me. Laying there in the dark, I held her, not knowing what else to do.

“I need York.”

“Our son is safe for the night. Got Malice and Storm watching the place. Just rest and I will take you to him in the morning.”

“Why do you own this place?”

“Just go to sleep, Tess.”

“I’m sorry,Montana,” she barely said, before her body succumbed to her exhaustion. Laying there with her in my arms once again, I tried not to let all those old feelings that I buried deep down rise to the surface. She may be the love of my life, but she lied and stole from me. That was something that was going to take a while to get past. Then there was the missing time with my son. That was something I would never forgive.

Yes, I knew my Tess was sorry, but I wasn’t ready to forgive her. Wasn’t sure I ever would. Only time would tell. In the meantime, I was just going to lie here and enjoy the fact that she was once more in my arms.

It didn’t mean anything.

It just felt right.