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Foolish Riot Bonus Epilogue


Roll watched as Trixie gently lowered Rafferty into the bassinet. His son had quite the appetite, or maybe he was hitting a growth spurt like Trixie mentioned after reading What to Expect the First Year. He didn’t care which, his son was growing like a weed and was strong in the fiercest way. Even after three months, it was hard to believe how grateful he was for the miracle that lay next to their bed.

Trixie moved to climb into bed, then she leaned over and turned out the dim lamp on her nightstand. Before the room went dark, he took her in. He loved seeing her wearing nothing more than a nursing bra and skimpy bikini-cut panties. There were many benefits to her nursing their son. She was getting her pre-pregnancy figure back, but better than that was her gaining an extra cup-size and giving him more to grab on to when they made love. She shifted toward him to get comfortable in bed, and he reached out stroking her hip.

His hand on her smooth skin reminded him of something. Pulling her to him, he whispered in her ear. “I want you to do something for me.”

“I’m already in my tenth month of therapy. What else could you want me to do for you?”

He chuckled low in his throat. “Want you to get a tattoo for me. Been meaning to ask you for a long time, but then you were pregnant and I didn’t want to do anything to harm you or Raff, so, I thought now would be a good time.”

Her legs squirmed, and Roll was surprised the idea of a tattoo turned her on. “That seems to appeal to you,” he commented.

“Yeah, but I can’t.”

His eyebrow arched, but no way she saw it in the dark room. “Why can’t you? You haven’t even heard what I got planned. Want to put a crimson letter ‘R’ on your plump ass cheek in an Alabama-script font because your ass damn sure belongs to me.”

Her legs scissored gently again and she sighed. “Doesn’t matter what it is, honey. This wasn’t how I was gonna let you know, but um, I’m pregnant again.”

Roll pitched forward, burying his face in her pillow in order to muffle his guffaws of laughter as much as he could.

** ** **


I woke up and struggled to figure out if it was morning or afternoon. Rafferty was feeding so much these days I could barely keep track. Thank God I had Roll. He was practically obsessive with knowing how often our boy was eating. Peeling an eye open, I saw it was twelve minutes after eight. This meant I had probably slept for four hours straight. No wonder I felt semi-refreshed.

I went to the bathroom with a smile on my face remembering what Roll wanted me to do for him. It was too bad getting a tat while pregnant wasn’t a great idea because any tattoo telling people who I belonged to sounded like heaven to me. Finishing my bathroom business, I moseyed out to the living room of our new-to-us house. Roll was standing at the stove cooking, but his head was turned to the side and down because he was talking to our son. Rafferty was on the floor fastened into a rocker-chair for infants.

Neither of them heard me approach. When the refrigerator motor turned over unexpectedly, Rafferty’s little arms raised straight up in the air with his alarm, and I choked on my laughter. It wasn’t nice to laugh at an infant being startled, but it simply wasn’t the reaction I would have expected. I saw an unhappy expression take over Rafferty’s face, and I bee-lined to the seat and squatted next to my boy.

“It’s okay, sweetums. That noise was just a machine. Mommy and Daddy won’t let anything hurt you,” I cooed.

Rafferty turned to me, and I could swear his eye color was beginning to change. The blueness was getting darker, and I prayed his eyes would be brown just like Roll’s. When Rafferty looked calm again, I stood.

Roll moved from the stove to a cabinet holding our plates, and that was when the stench hit me. Scrambled eggs were in the skillet, and I had to pull an about-face so I could make it to the toilet in time.

In between heaves, I heard Roll moving things around in the kitchen and then I heard him murmuring to Rafferty.

A few moments later, I heard Roll again. “Trixie, babe. Are you okay? I had no idea or I wouldn’t have—”

I shook my head and then looked at him. There was no prettier sight to me than him leaning against the door jamb holding Rafferty in his arm, our baby’s head nestled against Roll’s hulking shoulder. “It’s all right. How would you know? Hell, I didn’t even know. Wasn’t like I had full-on morning sickness with Raff.”

Roll pressed his lips together and I couldn’t tell if it was to hold back a laugh or if it was because he didn’t like me being ill. My luck, it would be a bit of both.

His voice held no humor when he asked, “Think we’re having a girl, this time?”

I shrugged as another wave of nausea hit me, but luckily my stomach wasn’t participating. “Don’t know. Do we have any crackers and ginger ale?”

“Think so, but if we don’t, my boy and I will go get some, baby.”

** ** **

By two in the afternoon, the damn nausea had finally gone away. Yet, instinctively I was pretty damn sure it would be back. I sat up on the couch, and Roll came over to me from his desk where he was researching investment properties. Rafferty was napping in a playpen nearby.

Sinking onto the couch next to me, Roll slung a bulky arm across my shoulders. “We mighta brought Raff into the world without bein’ married, but I want to tie the knot with you before our next child arrives.”

I gave him a dirty look, but there was no real venom in it. Roll winked at me, turned to the end table on his side and grabbed our iPod. I heard the faint clicking of the device spinning through the song options. He docked the music player, and hit play. The volume was already low because we played Mozart and Beethoven for Rafferty all the time out here. An Imagine Dragon’s song started, and Roll hit pause.

His brown eyes speared mine. “Listen to this song, babe. It says it all. And all of it is why I want you tied to me. Legally, physically, spiritually.”

I listened as the alt-rock song resumed and as the first few verses penetrated I nudged Roll’s shoulder with mine. “What? You’re not a mess and we’ve never had late bills.”

Roll shook his head. “No, hon. It’s the rest of it. You see the pretty in me – though there is none – I always let you down.”

“You never—”

His eyes bulged. “I didn’t? You weren’t found by Blood and Volt on the ground? Maybe not totally shattered, but damn close. And still you wanted me, even if you were saying you didn’t.”

I sat and listened to the song and hell if he wasn’t right. Tears streamed down my cheeks. He framed my face with his huge hands, swiping the tears away. “I want this played before we say our vows. And, I’d like it if we could get hitched in the next few weeks. Like I told you before, I don’t want a big to-do, but I want it legal.”

With a watery smile, I nodded. “Okay. So, it’s probably gonna break Leah’s heart since she can’t be a bridesmaid, but courthouse downtown, say, a week from Friday?”

The song ended and another song began while I brushed a tear from my cheek. Roll shifted so he could turn off the music. When he faced me again, I could see he didn’t care much for that idea.

“With this morning sickness, do you think you could handle an afternoon exchange of vows? Cathy, Patch’s old lady, is a notary and she offered to do the honors if you weren’t insistent on a reverend or anything like that.”

My heart swelled. I hadn’t even thought about Cathy, which nearly made me mad at myself. I knew she was a notary because of a speeding ticket I received and doing the on-line driver’s school route to keep the points at bay. Of course, I cut myself some slack because being a new mom and more sleep deprived than I’d ever been gave me a pass for forgetting Cathy could marry us. How great would it be to have a woman I knew for over a decade marry me and Roll?

I smiled at him. “I love that idea. And even better, our nieces will get to wear fancy dresses and otherwise bug the hell out of your brother.”

Roll shook his head. “You need to get that shit under control, baby. Ray’s our son’s uncle, and I’m pretty sure he’s salivating after a drum set he’s sure will annoy the hell out of us.”

My eyes narrowed. “Bring it. I can handle whatever your brother wants to throw at us.”

He chuckled. “Okay. Just beware. He’ll find something that will delight our boy and drive us up the wall in equal measure.”

** ** **


A week and a half later, it was dusk on Friday and Roll was waiting for his nieces to walk onto the back patio of the clubhouse. He and his brothers had moved the old picnic table off to the backyard, and a small part of him wished he’d argued against that move. The picnic table was where he and Trixie really started. It was where he first kissed her, and it was where he found out she was the most admirable woman around.

Yet, the moment Cathy got word she was going to officiate their marriage, the women did what women do. They launched a full-scale attack on the notion of a “small ceremony.” Frankie found a florist and ordered an arch, which required the picnic table to be moved since Roll and Trixie were both adamant the ceremony would be on the porch. Tennille talked the other brothers into letting 4Rivers Barbeque cater the after-party, and Janie insisted on cashing in a favor from a local alcohol distributor so the Club wouldn’t be out for the booze either.

Standing on the right-hand side of the flower-filled alter, Roll scanned the groupings of his brothers and their women standing around. Mallory looked serenely happy holding a sleeping Rafferty in one arm, and her daughter Alexandra in the other. Cal was standing beside her, watching her hold two sleeping infants with a gleam in his eyes telling Roll his brother probably wanted to see Mallory knocked-up again.

Cathy was standing slightly behind him and to the left, and he could swear he heard her mumble, “Any time now.”

Finally, the back door opened and his youngest niece, MacKenzie walked out holding a bouquet of Gerbera daisies. She was wearing a violet, satin, sleeveless dress. With a small smile, she stood in front of the altar, on the opposite side of Roll. Moments later, Leah sauntered out and Roll’s heart and gut twisted. Leah was nearly sixteen, and she was looking more and more like a full-fledged woman. Damn, but she was going to put his brother through the ringer when she started dating in earnest. She was also wearing a satin, sleeveless dress, but hers was a lighter shade of violet, but not quite lavender. With daisies held at her belly, she stood in between him and MacKenzie.

From the corner of his eye, he saw Blood lean down and hit something attached to a professional grade amplifier. The drum beats and gentle guitar notes of Imagine Dragon’s “Next To Me,” filled the air and Roll’s throat tightened when he saw Trixie step out onto the patio. Her dress was strapless, ivory silk which was overlaid with lavender lace. The dress molded to her many voluptuous curves and flared at the knees making her almost look like an exotic mermaid. He felt moisture in his lower lids, and forced himself to clear his throat. His brothers would never let him live it down if he cried at a wedding, even if it was his own.

When she made it to him, she grabbed one of his hands. “I love you so much, Roll,” she whispered.

“Love you more, Patricka,” he whispered, but his whisper was hoarse.

He didn’t know if it was ten minutes or ten hours later, but after they exchanged rings, Cathy finally said words that were music to his ears. “You may now kiss the bride.”

Roll leaned into her bodily, forcing her back to arch, and he planted a claiming kiss on his woman while his brothers whooped and yelled their approval. Rafferty’s parents were officially married, and in eight short months Rafferty would gain a little sister.

The End