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Finn’s Fury Bonus Epilogue

The Lucky One

Riley

Three years later…

Aunt Celeste slipped away from Uncle Dean’s arm on her shoulders. “Are you sure you don’t want company? Will they let someone come with you?”

I aimed a sideways and reluctant smile at her. “They won’t, Aunt Celeste, and I’m going to be fine. This might be my first time in the coliseum, but I’ve sung the National Anthem plenty in the last three years.”

My aunt’s eyes darted side to side. “Yes, but you didn’t have sing on ice.”

I couldn’t bite back my laughter, but I hung my head to get myself under control. After a deep breath, I met her gaze. “You’re right. What you don’t know is that being on ice keeps me from feeling so hot with nerves. Plus, they have people to help me get out on to the carpet on the ice. It’ll be fine, I promise.”

She waved a finger at me. “Something seems off about this, but I can’t put my finger on it.”

After a deep nod, I said, “Nothing’s off, Aunt Celeste, I promise. Go with Uncle Dean and watch from the seats. The sound is better there than on the ice.”

In the past two years, Aunt Celeste had made herself a fixture in my life. Xavier William had plenty to do with that though. As driven as Finn was about getting married, it turned out he was even more passionate about kids. He’d mentioned starting a family during my ordeal, but once we were married, he gave the term ‘driven’ a new meaning. Not that I was complaining. I loved my man and I loved our little boy more than I ever thought was possible. A big upside was that Finn’s determination to get me pregnant meant I got tons of orgasms.

“Riley O’Halloran?” a security guard asked.

“That’s me,” I said.

“They have the carpet in place, so you can head out onto the rink.”

I nodded and took my time getting onto the ice. Today in particular, busting my ass wouldn’t be cool. Not that any day was cool for busting one’s ass on the ice, but Aunt Celeste was right. Something was off, but only because I had news to share with my man. And my boss, and Jonah, and Aunt Celeste.

I grinned just thinking about it.

The announcer’s baritone voice cut through the coliseum and jarred me from my reverie. “Singing the National Anthem this afternoon is Riley O’Halloran. Ladies and gentlemen, please rise.”

From my spot on the rink, once I saw most people were standing, I took a deep breath and sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” No matter where I sang, the moment normally went by in a blur. This one stuck in my memory bank though. I didn’t often get afternoon gigs, so maybe that played a role. I would never forget singing on the ice because I had a clear view of Finn, Jonah, Denver, Aurora, her fiancé, Aunt Celeste with Uncle Dean, and at least three other Riot MC couples in the stands.

The moment I finished singing the word ‘brave,’ applause broke out. I smiled and hoped Finn didn’t notice the tears in my eyes. It happened every time. There was something about singing the National Anthem that always made me get teary, but seeing so many people standing and applauding after I sang it filled me with a rare blend of pride, disbelief, and awe.

Today, I felt those three things plus an overwhelming sense of love.

***

“You need to go home?” Finn asked when I settled in my seat next to him.

I shook my head. “No. Why do you ask?”

“You were practically bawling down there, woman.”

I huffed out a chuckle. “It was cold down there and my eyes were watering.”

He leaned in, his lips brushing my cheek. “Lie to me again, and Xavier’s gonna have to spend the whole weekend with Sandy.”

My lips tipped up. “She won’t mind, but you definitely would.”

Our boy had his daddy wrapped around his finger. Honestly, our fourteen-month-old had everyone wrapped around his tiny fingers.

“Don’t change the subject. Why were you crying?”

I turned to look in his steely blue eyes. “I wasn’t crying. You go sing the National Anthem and see how well you hold it together in front of this many people. It’s moving, but I wasn’t bawling.”

Finn took a swig of his beer. “You get misty every time, babe. This was different. What gives?”

I put my hand on his forearm. “Nothing gives. Let’s enjoy the game.”

From my other side, Jonah muttered, “It’s hockey, Ry-Ry. It’s a match, not a game.”

My head fell back and I chuckled. “I stand corrected. Let’s enjoy the match.”

***

I savored the feel of my arms around Finn, the roar of his Harley, the wind in my hair as we made our way to the clubhouse after the match. The gates were wide open to the compound and bikes lined the backyard. More bikes than usual.

Once I swung off the Harley, I asked, “Do you know what’s going on tonight?”

Finn gave a small headshake. “Baby, it’s Saturday. That’s reason enough for a party around here, you know that.”

I nodded once. “Yeah, but there’s twice as many bikes here.”

He grinned. “Pretty sure it’s because Tiny’s birthday is coming up. Let’s get inside.”

My lips pressed together as I slid my fingers along the inside edges of his cut. “Before we do, I need to tell you something.”

Finn’s eyes darted past me just before someone yelled, “Yo! About time you two got here.”

I glanced over my shoulder and saw Har striding our way, beer bottle in hand. The moment I shifted, Finn slung an arm around my shoulders.

“What’s up, Prez?” Finn asked.

Har grinned and tipped the bottle at me. “There’s someone here to see you – make that two people here to see you.”

“Really?” I asked.

“Yeah. One’s a reporter for a local entertainment magazine.”

My eyes widened. “What? I’m not talking to any more reporters. Those days are done.”

Finn squeezed my shoulders. “He said an entertainment reporter, babe. Keep an open mind.”

I shot my man a skeptical look, then glanced back at Har. “Who’s the other person?”

Har’s grin turned sly. “Kyle works at the casino with Stephie, manages one of their clubs and has heard how much you crush it at Twisted Talons.”

“From Stephanie,” I muttered.

Har’s gaze went stern. “No, Stephie hardly ever interacts with employees outside the poker room. Word gets around, Riley, so don’t be so down on yourself. He’s in the common room with the reporter.”

I nodded. “Got it. I just need to talk to Finn real quick.”

He nodded at us and wandered back to the clubhouse.

Finn twisted so he faced me and wrapped his other arm around me. “Babe, this man probably wants to offer you a gig. That’s good news, but your negative talk has to stop.”

I nodded. “I know.”

“What do you have to tell me?”

With a deep breath, I gazed up at him. “This wasn’t how I wanted to tell you, but Xavier’s going to be an older brother soon.”

His eyes slid to the right as he processed my words. Then his gorgeous blue eyes rounded and he stared down at me, his arms tightening. “You’re pregnant?”

I bit back a smile. “Yeah.”

His arms loosened only to wrap tight around my waist and he picked me up. “Not, ‘yeah,’ woman. It’s ‘fuck yeah!’ Got it?”

I laughed. “I got it, Finn, but you should put me down.”

He lowered me gently to the ground. Once my feet touched down, he took my lips in a heated kiss. This kiss beat many of his others because he was showing me how excited he was about another baby. I wished I’d waited to tell him in his room, but brothers always approached Finn before we made it down the hall – even when there wasn’t a full-scale party happening.

When he pulled away, I leaned forward to keep things going. He chuckled and ended the kiss a moment later. “Love that enthusiasm, Riles, but we need to talk to these men. Sounds like you got another opportunity coming your way.”

I widened my eyes. “Finn. I’m not going to get on a stage with a huge baby bump. Being pregnant with Xavier made me sleep almost twelve hours every day. That only worked because it was just us in the house.” I paused as I recalled how cramped our side of the duplex was. “And, we’re probably going to have to move, which will impact Jonah and—”

He put his fingers over my lips. “Woman, you’re getting so far ahead of yourself, it isn’t funny.”

I shook my head and he lowered his finger. “Finn, we have to think about these things.”

“Later. We can think about them tomorrow. Let’s enjoy this fantastic fuckin’ day, and make it an even better fuckin’ night. Give the reporter his interview, hear what Kyle has to say, and take it one thing at a time.”

I lowered my chin and exhaled, soft and quiet. “That’s what you said to me after Dad took me. You remember that?”

He sighed. “Yeah, but don’t think about that asshole right now.”

“I’m not.” I tipped my head back to stare up at him. “I’m just so happy I have you by my side, Finn. Not many people would put up with my kind of crazy.”

He kissed me short and sweet. “I love your kind of crazy and I always will.”

***

Roger, the reporter from Biloxi Entertainment magazine, stood in front of me on the clubhouse front porch and shook my hand. “Thank you for your time, Riley. This should run in next month’s issue.”

I nodded. “I’ll keep an eye out for it.”

Finn and I watched him walk to his car.

Cynic sidled up to us. “Har told you about Kyle, right?”

I nodded.

Cynic jerked his head toward the back. “He’s at a table out on the back patio. Come around the building with me.”

We fell in step with him.

“You know him?” Finn asked the question before I could. Funny how our minds had melded after marriage.

Cynic nodded. “Yeah. Good guy. Used to be at the IP Casino, but he moved a few years back. He knows how to fill a club.”

“Why don’t you have him at Twisted Talons?” Finn asked.

Cynic laughed as we rounded the corner to the side of the building. “Because we can’t afford him.”

“This feels a waste of time,” I muttered.

“Riley, don’t think that way,” Finn said.

At the same time, Cynic asked, “Why?”

We stopped at the edge of the patio and I shrugged. “I just—”

Finn said, “She’s pregnant and—”

I put a hand on my hip. “Finn, it’s too soon to tell everyone.”

Finn’s eyes widened. “Babe, I’m over the moon and Cynic’s the first one who’ll pick up on it.”

Cynic chuckled, shook his head, and leveled his eyes on me. “Congratulations, but hear Kyle out. Pretty sure he’s looking for weekend afternoon talent.”

I followed Cynic to a table where a man had his back to us. He turned around and introduced himself.

After a handshake, he said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Riley. I heard you sing today at the coliseum. Everything people say is true. You have one helluva voice.”

I smiled. “Thank you.”

He tipped his head at Cynic. “I’m sure this guy and Har have told you about me. There’s a cover band that plays on weekends, but they no longer have a lead singer, which puts me in a bind. If you’re interested, I thought you might like that spot.”

I paused. “But, I don’t have a band and haven’t ever worked with one.”

He nodded. “Sorry, I’m not trying to match you up with the band. We have a pianist who fills in when necessary – with your voice, it’d be great to hear you accompany him. This is a mid-afternoon slot. That band, if they get their shit together, would be better after nine at night.”

“This is a paying gig, right?” Finn asked.

Kyle nodded.

“Every weekend?” I asked.

Kyle shook his head. “Once per month to start. Twice per month during busier months like July, August, and December.”

“December?” I asked, visions of how pregnant I’d be by then flashing through my mind.

“Is that a problem?” Kyle asked.

Seeing as how Finn had let the cat out of the bag to Cynic, I figured Kyle should know. “It’s just that I—”

To my surprise, Finn interrupted with a fib. “It’s our son’s first Christmas and we have family excited to—”

Kyle raised a hand. “I get it. It’s months away, and if this works out, we can figure something out. This meeting was to gauge your interest.”

After a moment of thought, I nodded. “Sure. I’d love a chance to sing at the casino.”

A small smile crept along Kyle’s face and he stood. “Great. Swing by tomorrow at one. You can meet Todd, our piano player, and figure out a couple songs. He plays at three. We’ll work you in for two, maybe three songs and see how it goes.”

I struggled not to splutter. “Wait, I’m going to just waltz out and sing a couple of songs? We won’t rehearse or something?”

Kyle chuckled. “You can waltz out if you want, Riley. There isn’t anywhere for rehearsals in the casino. Every space is designed to bring in more money for the house. You get there early, and I’m confident you and Todd can hash out a set list. Besides, it’s piano jazz, improvising is where it’s at. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

After this whirlwind day, I felt like a kid about to beat a piñata. Like someone had turned me around three times way too fast, I had a blindfold on, and I could fall over at any moment.

Cynic clapped a hand on my shoulder. “Sounds like good news, Riles. It’s like I told you two years ago, you don’t know the half of what the Riot can do.”

“Thanks, man,” Finn said and bumped fists with Cynic.

***

Finn

The overwhelmed expression on Riley’s face hit Finn deep.

He took her hand and led her toward the clubhouse.

She stopped. “Finn, we need to talk.”

He turned and wrapped his arms around her waist. “Babe, you’re right, we do need to talk. But you have a way of mentally playing things out, so you’ll be prepared for any outcome.”

“What’s wrong with that?”

He shook his head. “You can’t be prepared for everything, and doing that shit —which no doubt comes from your abusive upbringing— keeps you from enjoying the ride.”

Her lips twisted into a cute pout, and she turned her head.

“It’s all right, Riles. Hell, it’s better than all right. You’ve got a good gig at Har’s shop. Now, you’re gaining notoriety as a great singer.”

She tilted her head and stared at him. “What about Xavier? I feel like I never see him.”

He squeezed her. “It’s once or twice a month, babe. You see him plenty. And you’re doing so well at the shop, Har said you can move to part-time if you want.”

She sighed. “But now I’m pregnant again, and we’re gonna be so cramped in the duplex. We need to start house hunting.”

He dipped his chin. “I’m not saying you’re wrong, but do you see what you’re doing? We got seven months at least before you give me another baby.”

Her eyes widened. “And I don’t want to move when I’ve got a baby bump getting in the way, Finn.”

His lips tipped up. “We don’t need to move.”

She pushed against his chest, but he didn’t let her go. “Are you crazy?”

He chuckled. “Probably, but Jonah wants to move into his own place.”

Her body sagged against him, and she breathed out, “What? Why didn’t he tell me?”

“Because he thought you’d be hurt… and seeing that look on your face, I don’t blame him.”

She tipped her head back and sighed. “God, we’ll be looking for two homes at this rate.”

He gave her neck a quick kiss. “Or just a place for Jonah. We could renovate the whole duplex and make it a house.”

Her eyes darted to the side. “That’ll be expensive.”

“Woman, you hardly ever touch the money your grandparents left you. We can cover it.”

She scoffed. “That’s because you don’t like me spending it.”

He laughed. “Oh no. I don’t like you spending it on me. Making our house a home for our son and little girl is cool.”

She grinned. “I’m pretty sure your sperm only contains male swimmers, Finn.”

“Yeah, we’ll see about that. Now, which jazz songs are you gonna sing?”

She shrugged. “It’s not just up to me. The piano player has to be able to play the songs too.”

He smiled. “I’m just saying, play to your strengths, babe. Knock their fucking socks off.”

She slid her hands around his back. “I will. Is it time to knock your socks off? We don’t get Saturday nights alone very often.”

He lowered his lips to her neck and kissed a trail to her ear. “You don’t have to ask me twice, Riles.”

She stepped back, a shy smile playing at her lips. “You have no idea how much I love you, Finn.”

He grabbed her hand. “Pretty sure I do.”

She shook her head. “Nope. You are so great at taking care of me and Xavier. I’m lucky that I’m your woman.”

A warm feeling invaded his chest, and he squeezed her hand. “Don’t get mushy on me, Riles. I love you. It’s not a competition, but I’m the lucky one in this scenario.”

The End