Inked Soul (Riders of Silence MC 3)

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There’s no better place than on the back of a horse, everything disappears. No better place when your daughter punched a kid and you have to punish her because she punched the kid but at the same time she punched a kid who pushed a boy down for wearing a skirt? Like yeah violence is bad but she defended a kid, how can I tell her not to stand up for others? But for now, on Jester, I don’t have to consider grounding or ice cream for dinner.

As I cantered over a jump I heard a truck coming down the road, I took Jester down to a trot seeing Tatt’s truck coming down the driveway. I would be far behind work without him but I would have a clear mind of all things hot biker if he was gone. Long list of work or emotional sanity?

Coming to halt. I hopped off of Jester’s back, the Friesian now back to full health. One less horse always makes an impact. Budget and energy.

“Your late.” I said looking at Tatt who was jogging into the barn looking sexy as usually, like seriously when did dark wash jeans and black t shirts look sexy? “What did you do to piss of a pregnant lady?”

Tatt sighed grabbing the list I wrote for him as he looked at me leading the horse in, “Fuck sorry I didn’t mean to be late… again. Had church this morning to go over club problems then I ruined one of the Luna’s plans to tell her husband about her pregnancy...”

I stopped in my tracks looking at him, “You ruined Serenity’s plan?”

He cocked his head opening the stall I was going in, “you know Birdy?”

Nodding, Tatt closed the door as I stepped in with Jester, turning to take his bridal off. “Yeah Sienna and I met her last night; go to the same boxing gym. Found her in the women’s bathroom stalls with the test in her hand. How did you know?”

He took the bridal from me, hanging it up. “Birdy is a coffee obsessed, like she goes through withdrawal if she has only one cup so when she was going crazy looking for decafI joked she was pregnant. Hunter will probably be on our asses to protect her extra. Are all pregnant women scary with their hormones, I thought she was going to kill me.”

I chuckled picking the saddle up, “Not sure I can answer that. Had Sienna when I was sixteen with the usually teenage hormones so could have felt both.”

Passing him the saddle he looked at me in prideful way, “sixteen fuck, you should be proud. Sienna’s an incredible girl and you are pretty incredible too with all you have gone through for it.”

Taking my time, I stared into his eyes. No one has told me they were proud of the way I have raised Sienna. But I could see something in his eyes, something hard as he looked me up and down; guarded? God, I really need to stop gazing into his eyes.

“Thanks.” I shifted bending down to take off Jester’s leg wraps. “I got lucky with a pretty incredible kid.”

I sucked in a breath feeling Tatt squat beside me, doing the same.

“Don’t sell yourself short. You are giving your daughter more love than some kids I know.” He said sombrely.

I went under Jester’s neck to the other legs, “what about your parents?”

He stood up, taking the wraps from me, “left me at the club. When Smoke saw me, he convinced his Dad to take me. Became one of the family and started running amuck at their place and clubhouse. Haven’t heard from parents since but don’t really care, I got all the family I need with the club.” He gave a wink turning away as I patted Jester’s neck going under.

His story wasn’t as simple as he just made it but I do the same when I talk about my past. Give the key parts and skip all the unpleasant ones.

Tatt came back into the stall with the grooming bucket, holding it up letting me take out two curlers passing him one. “I get that, when my parents found out I was pregnant they dropped me immediately. Luckily my horse trainer had an apartment in the barn so I lived there, only last year did we start talking again but doubtful, they expected me to go to Harvard to be a Lawyer.”

I put the curler on Jester showing Tatt how to groom as he stood beside me doing the same, “did they like Sienna’s father.”

My face fell as I looked at Tatt hard, “Don’t ask about him. He’s gone, no need to talk about him.”

The past is dead. Dead. If I want my future to be peaceful then I won’t let him come in with his presence.

He asked a small question but it was one about someone who gave me so much pain. I bent under Jester to get away from Tatt’s body that made me want to wrap my arms around for comfort, him saying I should be proud of raising Sienna is doing something to me. Once on the other side I looked up to Tatt still seeing that unknown look, “sorry I meant no offense. You and Sienna go boxing huh?”

I started curling this side glad for the change of topic, “yeah when I moved here I wanted to take classes. Didn’t want to be weak so I found the gym and brought Sienna with me since I don’t have a babysitter. They have a kid class and she wanted to join so she takes classes at the same time I go. It is also because ever since she watched Marvel she loves Black Widow.”

He chuckled softly running his hand down the horse’s back. There is something about seeing such a tall, muscular man being soft with an animal that keeps warming my heart. This man keeps warming my heart… Bastard needs to stop.

“She’s got your spirit. Sienna will be a force to be reckoned with just like you.” I raised my brow looking at him, “right there is that force, that face quakes me in my boots.”

I felt myself laugh, the most I have laughed from someone other than Sienna, “sorry mom face I guess, saving my breath while you explain yourself.”

Tatt smiled bending down to pass me a brush with a questionable look that made me nod to his correct choice, “why horses?”

I sighed, giving him the curler as I now started brushing Jester’s body, “Horses tell you who they are. They don’t hide, they are honest with their intentions and emotions. You take care of them they take care of you. When I moved here I wanted Sienna to be in an environment of love and just honest goodness. Helping horses, I don’t know, reminds me of the good in the world, that yes there are bad people but there is still good. Jester here may be a big boy and had some attitude problems after his accident when he was hurt but now he’s all love. Sorry that was supper cheesy of an answer.” Reaching up I scratched under Jester’s neck making him bend his neck on my legs rubbing against me. Looking back over to Tatt who was focused on his side of the grooming, “why did you open a tattoo shop?”

He looked at me from the horse giving a shrug, “Always enjoyed drawing. Was an escaped at home before being adopted in the club and didn’t stop then. Smoke encouraged me to keep drawing and I ended up working at an Ink shop as an apprentice then when I got old enough I opened my own place. It is something I’m good at, creating new designs and have them fit someone’s body. Tattoos have a way of showing who someone is, hearing the true stories behind a piece.”

“Looks like we are both looking for transparency.” I stopped brushing, slipping under Jester to grab the hoof pick rubbing my hand down Jester’s leg and picked his hoof up. My gaze focused on cleaning the hoof as I didn’t trust myself to look up at Tatt.

Letting the hoof down I stood looking at Tatt, “transparency…your right, it’s hard to really know who someone is and what they will do. You get it with your horses and I read it with ink.”

Picking up another leg I cleaned out the hoof dropping it before braving myself as I looked at Tatt, his tone making me panic thinking of where this conversation will go. “And what is it that you do? Who is it that you really are Tatt? Why would you be any different from that.”

He took a step closer to me, I could smell his cologne over the barn smell, my heart beating as I took in those light eyes of his. Tatt leaned forward picking up a loose hair and tucking it behind my ear, “someone not deserving you.”

“And what makes you think you know what I deserve. You don’t know anything about me Tatt.” I whispered, his fingers grazing under my cheek.

“I know that you would do anything for your daughter, I know that you are strong and won’t let anyone come after you again, you guard your heart from me but show it every time you are with Sienna and the horses. I know that a man like me who has never felt real love from anyone doesn’t deserve someone who loves like you. That I am just a criminal, man whore of a biker who spends his days riding his bike with his brothers and slaying ink on people.” Tatt dropped his hand taking a step back making me take a step forward.

My hand ran over Jester to keep me grounded looking closely at Tatt, “If I have learned anything in my life is that we don’t decide what we deserve. How would your brothers describe you?”

He let out a sigh running his hand down Jester’s nose, “Good with an ink gun and good with a metal gun.”

I sighed raising my brow. I wanted to know him not the humour he uses as a shield. Quickly shaking my head, I knew I needed to say this right. “Sorry, I shouldn’t push you tell to tell me everything about you when I have shut you down from asking about me. You guard your heart with humour and I guard it with a cold face. Just don’t forget what I said about deserving things.”

We stared at each other, lost in the other’s eyes as I saw the same turmoil I felt reflected in his.

Jester snorted making me jump, quickly clearing my throat I put my attention back to the horse. I walked to the front of him, T rubbing his forehead. “Uhm, the delivery should be here soon and the tractor isn’t working do you mind checking it for me?”

He coughed, “sure darlin’. Got tools in my truck.”

With that he turned letting me release a deep breath, a breath that I seemed to always hold ever since he walked into this barn. I looked into Jester’s eyes, “what am I going to do boy.”

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