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McQUEEN:Las Vegas Bad Boys(35)

By:Frankie Love

"So they went to Kit's and murdered him, just like that? Aren't you scared? There’s already an investigation. Hell, McQueen and I were at the police station. We could all get hauled off."

Dad raises his hands, trying to calm me.

"Listen, I'm the boss for a reason. Your brothers got to the gym, saw Kit passed out, saw the photographs of you strewn everywhere, opened his laptop. You know what was on it? Videos of you, months’ worth. Every time you took a shower or changed your clothes, he was filming my daughter."

I cover my mouth, horrified by this. "Oh, my God," I say. "I think I'm gonna be sick."

Dad gives me a minute to recover, then continues. “The boys rang me up. Asked me to make the call. It wasn't a question."

"So it's true? His blood is on your hands?"

"JoJo," McQueen says. "It's gonna be okay, I promise."

"No," I tell him, shaking away. "It's not. Daddy, you're going to get caught. Too many people are involved." I sob, knowing my family has always been tied up in messy work, but this feels more real than anything before. "I may hate what you've done in the past, Dad. I may have turned away from you and chosen McQueen, but I don't want any O'Malley to rot in prison because they were defending me.”

"No O'Malley is going to prison," he says, banging his fist on the table.

"How can you be sure?"

"Josephine, how many times do I have to tell you I'm the boss?"

I'm on the verge of falling apart right here on the patio.

My dad speaks again. "I can be sure, because someone has already confessed to the crime."

"Who?" I ask, my eyes darting to McQueen, remembering the words Ace told him earlier. Someone has been caught.

"Frank Grotto," he answers, a smile forming on his lips. "Pinning it on him was the least I could do."

My face goes slack, shock ringing through me. "Really?"

"Making an alliance with his family was covering their asses more than ours. I have so much dirt on the Grottos it isn't funny. I'll keep the information to myself, for the low cost of Frank Grotto taking this hit for his family."

“There’s got to be more to it than that?" McQueen asks.

"Not much. The city is shady. Grotto never should have gotten out of prison in the first place."

"Damn." McQueen gives a low whistle.

"He also never should have fucked with my daughter."

My head spins. I don't know how I should feel ... but my heart pumps with relief. Grotto is in prison, and will never touch me again. Kit is dead, and his twisted mind will be buried with him.

"So we can all be one big happy family?" I ask, laughing in spite of myself.

"Something like that. McQueen's gotta man up first and propose." Dad smiles. "We're Catholic; we take marriage vows seriously."

McQueen clears his throat, and for a terrified moment I think he’s really gonna mess with my head by getting down on one knee.

Thankfully, he doesn't.

One murder and one framing is enough excitement for me for one day.

But my dad surprises me one last time. "So, now all we have to discuss is getting Josephine ready for the fight."

I raise my eyebrows, unsure of how I can move forward with that.

But my dad claps McQueen on the back, launching into a story about some Fighting Irishman.

I follow them into the house, grinning at the absurdity of the entire thing. The glorious end to this beautiful disaster.

Chapter Twenty-Six


The night of the fight I'm in the locker room with my girl. I've never been a coach, but I know JoJo. So when she asked if I would be her point person, I couldn't say no.

"You're gonna kill it," I say, lacing her gloves. "Listen, it's gonna be an all-out brawl. But I can see it now, O'Malley finishing Pomelo with a Rear Naked Choke fifty-five seconds into the round."

She smirks. "You're a good coach, pumping me up like this."

"Well, we all have our strengths."

"Honestly, though, thank you, Ryan. I can’t believe this is happening."

"I can. You've worked your ass off." I pull her to me, smacking her ass as I do. "I mean, you just better not fuck it up out there. My parents and my brother are here watching. Not to mention all my friends and your entire mafia family. No pressure."

"None." She smiles, starting to kiss me by biting my bottom lip softly, tugging on it … and, damn, I've gotta step away from my woman, because there's no time to fuck now. She has a fight to win.

"Girl, you can't get all soft, kissing me and shit. You gotta get out there and kill it."

"You're such a weirdo."

"No. I'm just in a locker room, one of our favorite places to fuck, and you're trying to seduce me."

A loudspeaker blares through the locker room. The fight begins in ten minutes.

I pack up the gear we need ringside, and she throws a few punches in the air, pumping herself up.

"After the fight, are you going to invite your family to see where you work?" she asks.


We've been over this. In a bizarre turn of events, my whole family is here. It started with my brother agreeing to come, and ended with my parents asking if they could come see me, also. They just flew in this evening and we haven't seen them yet.

"Let's start with, like, a dinner buffet at Caesar's Palace before the big your son is a stripper reveal."

"Fair enough," she says, laughing.

We walk to the exit, ready to leave the safety of the locker room. Before we cross the threshold into the pavilion where her fight is being held, I pin her against the door.

I kiss her. Hard.

I pull away from the kiss and look into her chocolate-brown eyes.

"Marry me," I tell her. "Make me the happiest motherfucker on the face of the Earth."

The girl doesn’t even pause, but that’s because she doesn’t need to consider.

"Okay," she says, any pre-fight fear washed away with my simple question, with her simple answer.

It isn't a monumental proposal with fireworks and diamonds, but that shit isn't JoJo and it sure as hell isn't me. I don't have anything to prove but my love.

Asking wasn’t planned, not beyond knowing that she’s the only woman I will ever need.

But I couldn't let her get in the ring without knowing that, whatever happens next, she’s mine.

And I’m hers.

I'm Ryan McQueen. A stripper with a foul mouth and a big cock. That shit will never change.

But now, I’m more than that.

Now, I’m JoJo’s.