Tank's Property(3)

By: Jenika Snow

Lila smiled. “She won’t break, Brendan.”

He cleared his throat in response, and sat up straighter.

“Maybe when you’re more comfortable.” She stood and left the kitchen, and he sagged against the chair. He didn’t know why he was so nervous about holding the baby, but the risk of him being clumsy with such a tiny person scared the shit out of him.

Lila was gone for a moment, and when she came back she sighed heavily as she sat down. She looked so damn tired. The silence stretched between them again, and as Tank leaned back in the chair and stared at his sister, the time that had passed between them seemed to fade.

“It’s really good to see you, Lila.”

She smiled and nodded, but didn’t respond. She looked down at her hands, but Tank didn’t push her for information on what was going on. He’d get it out of her eventually, but this was clearly hard for her, and he wanted her to talk to him when she was ready.

When she lifted her head and looked at him, the pain on her face made him furious. Someone had made her feel like that, and he’d find out who it was and break every fucking bone in their body.

“I’m in trouble, Brendan. I’m in really bad trouble, and I don’t know what to do.” She started crying, and when he went to go over to her she shook her head, wiping her tears away. “I’m fine.”

He sat back down, his hands tight fists on the top of the table. “What happened? Who fucked with you?”

She breathed out, leaned back in the chair, and said, “I got involved with a wannabe MC. I thought I was in love with one of the members, thought we’d be together forever.” She closed her eyes and shook her head again. “I was a fucking idiot. I thought he loved me, too.”

Fuck, Tank had a feeling where this was going.

“He was so possessive of me at first, and when he told me he loved me I really believed him.”

Tank tried to control himself and sit still, to just listen to her.

“I got deep with them, like became really into the club, and everything else kind of faded away. It’s why I hadn’t seen you in so long, why we hadn’t spoken like we used to.”

He grunted at that. They’d been close while growing up, and although he knew she’d been in Thorne this whole time, he hadn’t known she was involved with an MC. “What MC, Lila?” He didn’t know of any club in Thorne County, so unless they were brand new they were not legit.

Her eyes started watering again, and he told himself he needed to speak softer with her. She was clearly fragile right now, and some soon to be dead motherfucker had done this to her.

“I don’t even think it’s a real MC, Brendan. They had cuts and patches, had bikes, too, but they are all about hurting and degrading women. They called themselves the Draco MC.”

He’d never heard of them, but from what she was saying he doubted they were legit. “Then why the hell did you stay so long?”

She wiped her eyes and sniffed. She hadn’t touched her food, and he pushed the plate and cup closer to her. After she seemed to reluctantly take a bite of the sandwich and drank some milk, she started talking again.

“Because I thought I was in love, Brendan. I’ve never been in love before, and I guess my brain and heart got mixed up, and I ignored the warning signs right in front of me.” She stared right in his eyes. “And because I was a fool.”

He scrubbed a hand over his face, feeling the stubble covering his cheeks. “It’s okay, Lila.” He reached for her hand and held it as she cried harder. “Keep telling me what happened so I can fix it.” His fucking heart was breaking in two.

“I don’t know if it can be fixed, Brendan.”

She was the only one that called him by his given name, and it felt good, like being home. He was Tank, would always be Tank, but having Lila here meant his family was back in his life.

“Anything can be fixed. I’ll make sure of it.” He wasn’t being cocky. It was just the way things worked with him. He’d fix this for her and Faye.

“I was with Spike less than a year before I found out I was pregnant.”

“Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you ask for help when I saw you all those months ago?” He squeezed her hand, giving her reassurance and trying to keep his voice calm. “Why didn’t you tell me you were pregnant?” he asked softer this time.

She wiped her tears again and shrugged. “I was ashamed, scared of disappointing you. I also thought I could fix it, that things would be different if I just gave it some time.” She shook her head again. “I was stupid, am stupid.”