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Gamble’s Risk Bonus Epilogue

Chaos and Destruction

Victoria

Three years later…

Everyone but Heidi had cleared out of our new house. We had only moved into the house about six months ago. I often missed living in Fiona’s bungalow since it was closer to my office, but with Mickayla, Ryan, and Killian, we outgrew that space fast.

As I gazed around the family room, I marveled at the chaos and destruction brought on by almost a dozen toddlers. I smiled since it was a sure sign those kids had all had a ton of fun during our triplets’ third birthday party. The wrapping had been torn off all the gifts, but my boys were all about the shiny new set of Duplo blocks. Luckily, their sister was on board for that too.

Heidi brought me a glass of red wine. “Here, you look like you need it.”

I took the tiniest sip and set it on the end table. The triplets had awakened earlier than normal this morning, and Gamble and I had been go-go-go ever since in preparation for the party. I probably looked as exhausted as I felt, but I didn’t really need the wine. One of my favorite things was watching my kids play together. I’d worried endlessly about the old adage that two’s company and three’s a crowd. Most of the time, our kids proved that wrong. They played together from the moment they woke up to the moment the lights went out… and sometimes after. To my surprise they didn’t fight very much.

However, Ryan and Killian were busy putting random blocks together and Mickayla sat to the side watching them. Her expression shifted to a calculating look.

She stood and stomped through the blocks. If she’d been barefoot, boy would she have learned her lesson.

The boys both erupted into cries.

Gamble, Heidi, and I each grabbed a kiddo.

“Mickayla Grace what got into you?” Gamble asked in a stern voice, taking her into the kitchen.

Heidi had scooped up Killian who seemed the most distraught, and I hoisted Ryan onto my hip. He calmed far quicker than I’d expected, but over the past three years I’d realized as long as he had me, he could handle anything.

I stood watching Gamble and Mickayla. That girl of mine was going to wreak havoc anywhere she went, but around here I suspected she did it just to get her father’s attention. And we fell for it, every time.

Heidi sat at the four-seater table in our kitchen, calming Killian down by playing with a car on the glass table. I sat next to her, but Ryan wasn’t interested in the car. He watched his brother as though he were ten years older… or he was just zoning out because they were all over stimulated after the party.

Half a dozen bikers, their women and broods of kiddos would do that to a child.

With Mickayla on his hip, Gamble slid a chair out and sat opposite me at the table. Our daughter had her head resting on Gamble’s broad chest, her thumb in her mouth. Any other day, I’d discourage that habit, but today I let it go.

“She’s lucky it’s her birthday,” I said with a sigh.

“What do you mean?” Heidi asked.

I kept my eyes locked with Gamble’s. “My guess is that she does things like that for attention. Now that she’s three, we need to crack down on that stuff. Being naughty just to upset her brothers.”

“It’s a phase, babe,” Gamble said.

I tilted my head. “Sure, but if you don’t address it, that phase becomes learned behavior.”

His head wobbled, but he kept quiet.

After a minute, Heid said, “Sandy and Joules spoil your kids as though they were their own grandkids.”

“In a way, they kind of are,” I said.

Heidi shot me a confused look. “How do you figure?”

I tipped my head toward Gamble. “It’s not like his parents are coming around, which I still can’t believe.”

Heidi did three short head shakes. “Yeah, we aren’t talking about that. I thought Sandy and Joules had grandkids of their own.”

“They do,” Gamble said, popping a baby carrot in his mouth.

“There you go,” Heidi said, tossing her hand out – the same hand holding the toy race car and Killian fussed. “So sorry, Sir Killian, here is your getaway vehicle.” She looked back at Gamble. “You would think they’d spoil those kids rotten.”

Gamble gave her a flat look. “They do, as much as they can. It’s not exactly a quick trip to Columbus.”

Heidi cocked her head. “Georgia isn’t that far—”

“Ohio,” Gamble said.

“Oh.”

“But they love taking long rides on their trike,” I said.

My husband tipped his head to the side. “Yeah, but a thirteen-hour ride takes its toll, babe. Even if you split it over two days.” He glanced at Heidi. “And it’s hard to pack that many toys on the trike or take your grandkids somewhere once you get there.”

“They could rent a car,” Heidi offered.

From his expression, I knew my man kept himself from rolling his eyes. “He is a retired school teacher, Heidz.”

“Don’t call me that,” she complained. “You’re right though. I had forgotten about the teacher thing.”

Ryan squirmed in my lap, and I saw he was staring at his sister. She had taken interest in Killian’s car. The way he stared at her, it was like he was telling her not to mess with his brother. It was moments like these when I wondered if our triplets could communicate with one another without words.

My thoughts were cut short when Heidi asked, “What about her dad? Are you guys letting him into the club?”

Gamble scoffed. “Heidi, he’s been hanging around for over four years, but he still doesn’t have a bike. That’s a big requirement to earn a patch.”

I widened my eyes at my husband. “He was pricing bikes at lunch last week.”

Heidi nodded. “Yeah, and he was asking Cynic if he’d sell him his bike.”

“You’re joking,” I said.

Gamble laughed. “That’s hysterical. No way Cynic would part with that bike.”

Heidi’s eyes lit with mischief. “I know, which was why I told him to talk to Roman.”

“What? Why would you do that?” I asked.

She shrugged a shoulder. “Someone gave Roman grief about how he’s hardly ever on his bike anymore, and I thought your dad would have a better shot at buying Roman’s bike instead.”

I tossed a hand in the air. “Whose side are you on, woman?”

She grinned. “Your dad’s of course. He deserves to be happy and if joining lover boy’s band of brothers makes him happy then so be it.”

Ryan fidgeted in my lap, and I set him down. He beelined to the family room since his siblings weren’t able to get to the toys first. He definitely knew when to take advantage of an opportunity.

I aimed some side-eye at Heidi. “You are trouble, Heidi. Dad and Mom are finally back to normal, and him joining the club would probably set them back.”

“You don’t know that, Vic,” Heidi said.

“He’s not going to prospect,” Gamble said at the same time.

“How do you know?” Heidi demanded.

Gamble glanced at me expectantly.

I shrugged.

He looked at Heidi. “He isn’t going to prospect because he’s retiring. Plus, he already knows what he wants to do with his free time.”

“Won’t be so free,” I muttered.

Gamble chuckled. “Right. He’s going to spend his days with our kiddos because my woman’s pregnant again.”

I nodded. “It’s the last time I’ll be pregnant too, just so you know, lover boy.”

A devious glint hit his eyes and I felt a curl of desire sweep through me. “Those are big words, baby.”

Heidi ignored him and stared at me. “That’s why you didn’t touch your wine! I thought it was just the fact you’re so tired… but that all makes sense now.” She hopped in her chair and Killian giggled. “I’m so excited! Think you’ll have twins this time?”

“Shut your mouth!” I cried, swatting her playfully with my hand. “One more and we’re done. Four kids will be more than enough.”

Gamble gave me his panty-dropping grin. “You never know, babe. We’d be a family of six, but seven’s my lucky number.”

It wasn’t often that it happened, but Gamble had done it again. He’d rendered me speechless.

The idea of four kiddos felt overwhelming, which meant I couldn’t even contemplate five. Yet maybe he was right. With Gamble by my side and the way he loved me, I knew we could tackle anything life threw at us.

***

Gamble

It took serious willpower to keep from grinning. Seven wasn’t Gamble’s lucky number. With his parents, he didn’t believe in lucky numbers. But he liked making his wife think he wanted two more kids. If she could only see how much their triplets adored her, she’d understand. He loved watching that bond grow and strengthen every day. He had especially loved seeing her pregnant, and he couldn’t wait to do it all over again.

Mickayla squirmed in his hold. His daughter had so much strength and a will of steel.

Yeah, in another ten years they were gonna be in for it.

Heidi kept rolling the car back and forth on the table with Killian. That boy loved getting attention from the ladies. Ryan did too, but Gamble suspected Killian would be breaking hearts in no time flat.

Heidi glanced between Gamble and Victoria. “I probably shouldn’t ask this but are you gonna inform his parents about this fabulous news?”

Victoria shrugged. “I’m leaving it up to him. It would give them another chance to get their shit together and be with their grandkids.”

Gamble shook his head. “Didn’t I tell you about their trip up north to see Brittney?”

“No,” Victoria drawled. “A recent trip?”

“Nah, almost a year ago, after their daughter was born.”

“Okay. What about it?”

Gamble snagged a chip from the bottom of a bowl. “They went to Brittney and Taylor’s home and pulled the same shit they did with us. Hadn’t even held little Tiffany before they hit them up for money.”

“You’re joking,” Heidi whispered.

“Wish I were, but—”

Victoria sank back in her chair. “Did Brittney give into them?”

Gamble chuckled. “No. Taylor lost his mind. Tossed them out, and they are done.” He looked at Heidi. “So, no, we aren’t opening up the lines of communication to them. It’s their loss. It’s also why I won’t ever discourage Sandy or Joules from spoiling those kiddos rotten. Besides her parents, they’re the only other grandparent figures my kids will have.”

Heidi nodded.

Victoria smiled at him. “And our kids are lucky to have such great people in their lives.”

Gamble’s lips tipped up. “Yep. But the greatest person in their lives is you, baby.”

Victoria blushed. “You’re no slouch yourself, Gage.”

Heidi stood and put Killian on his feet. “That’s my cue. You two are practically making out with your eyes.”

Gamble followed Victoria and Heidi to the front door. He slid his arm around Vickie’s shoulders as soon as the door closed behind her. “You ready to really make out, kitten?”

Her head tipped toward the living room. “We got three kiddos to watch. Plus someone’s got to deal with the chaos and destruction around here.”

He lowered his head and kissed the edge of her lips. “They’re due for a nap, and I’ve got three prospects coming by at five to deal with the chaos.”

Her teeth sunk into her lower lip. “We’re only making out though. I swear I’m more tired with this pregnancy than with the triplets.”

He pulled her body flush with his and kissed her. The moment it turned heated, he cut it short. “Babe, you know what they say. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Once we get those hellions down, we’re taking a nap… but I’m gonna make you come with my mouth before we sleep.”

She grinned. “Which means I’ll get a second wind.”

He arched a brow. “We’ll see about that. I recall how easy it was for you to sleep the last time you were pregnant.”

She slid her hands up his chest. “Yeah, it was embarrassing how much I slept.”

He glided his nose alongside hers. “Not even a little bit, you’re so gorgeous when you’re pregnant, Victoria.”

“I’ll take your word for it, honey. Do you know how much I love you?”

He nodded. “I do, and I love you that much and more.”

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