I took her panties from her hands and bent down to put them on her. Once I had them pulled up and in place I did the same with her jeans. She cooperated silently. When I fastened her bra I finally allowed myself to look at her. She had on enough clothes now that I could focus.

There was a softness there I hadn’t seen before. I wanted to keep her right here, locked away from everyone else in this moment. She slipped her arms into her shirt and I buttoned it up before pressing a kiss to her cheek.

Then I quickly grabbed my jeans and jerked them on and pulled my shirt on over my head. We both slipped on our shoes. I ran my hands through her tangled hair until I had it looking as if she hadn’t just been completely f**ked in the bathroom.

“Let’s go,” I told her and opened the door so she could step out.

“Maybe you should stay in here,” she said quietly.

I shook my head. I wasn’t scared of the cowboy. “Hell, no.”

Harlow let out a sigh and we walked into main cabin of the plane. Mase was drinking coffee and sitting by the window, but he was facing us.

“Not sure why this surprises me. I saw it coming a mile away,” Mase said as he glared at me.

“You don’t understand. It wasn’t just . . . it was . . . we were . . . ,” Harlow stuttered.

“I screwed some shit up. Harlow and I are working through it. I’m winning her trust back.”

Mase snarled. “No, you’re f**king her in the damn bathroom on a plane.”


I took a step toward him and Harlow reached out and grabbed my arm. “You don’t understand, Mase.”

He raised his eyebrows, then took another sip of his coffee. “You’re a grown woman. If you want to make a mistake, I can’t stop you.”

The fact he was calling me a mistake pissed me the hell off, but I held my tongue.

“Don’t say things like that. You don’t understand. But you’re right. I’m a grown woman, and as much as I love you this isn’t your business.”

Mase smirked. “Bet our father will disagree with that.”

Harlow moved this time. “You will not tell Dad any of this. We aren’t kids.”

Mase took another long drink of his coffee. “Easy, tiger. I’m just teasing. Besides, he’ll figure it out himself. First, we just have to find his sorry ass.”


Grant had taken a seat on the couch and pulled me down beside him with his arm wrapped firmly around my shoulders while he talked to Mase as if my brother hadn’t just caught us in the bathroom.


The rest of the flight went quickly, but then Grant had kept me very distracted for the first long portion of the trip. When we arrived in Vegas, Grant took my bag and we headed to the limo that Dean had sent to pick us up. I didn’t have to ask to know they were at the Hard Rock. It was their favorite place to stay in Vegas. I preferred the Venetian.

Grant slid in behind me and sat close enough that our bodies touched from shoulder to ankle, even though Mase sat across from us and there was plenty of room for him to scoot over. I liked it, though. He was determined to stay close to me.

“You called him since we landed?” Mase asked as he leaned back and stretched his legs in front of him.

I quickly pulled out my phone and turned it on to call Daddy. It rang three times and went to voice mail again. “Still not answering,” I said.

“He’s an ass. I can’t believe we came out here to look for our forty-five-year-old father. This is ridiculous,” Mase grumbled.

I knew Mase didn’t respect Dad. He held him to the level of his stepfather and that was unfair. Dad was a rock star. He was a legend. His world was different. You had to take into account that if he wanted something, people fell all over themselves trying to give it to him.

“He’s still our father,” I said, trying not to get defensive. Grant reached over and squeezed my hand. It felt as if I had an ally. Someone who understood. No one really understood my life and choices, not even Mase. Just knowing that someone might felt . . . well, it felt freeing. As if I wasn’t alone.

“Yeah, he is. Lucky us,” Mase replied, staring out the window.

Grant’s hand tightened on me and he pulled me closer to him. I didn’t want to like this or need it. But right now I was giving in to it.

My phone rang, startling all of us, and I fumbled with it to see it was only Dean.

“Hello,” I said, hoping he was about to tell me Dad was back at the hotel.

“Have you landed?”

“Yes, we’re on our way to the hotel,” I replied.

“Has he answered any of your calls?”

There was something off in Dean’s voice. Did he know something?

“No . . . has he called you?” I asked.

Dean didn’t reply right away. I started to get worried.

“No, he hasn’t. But when you get here we need to talk about something before you go looking for him.”

That sounded as if he knew something. I didn’t like him being so secretive. It was only making me nervous. “Okay. I should be there in just a few minutes,” I replied, when I wanted to demand he tell me now what it was he knew.

“See you in a few, kid,” he said before he hung up.

I held the phone in my hand and stared at it a moment.

“You forgot to tell Dean you brought his other son with you,” Mase drawled.

I glared at him and Grant just chuckled. I was glad Mase wasn’t getting to Grant. That wasn’t something I wanted to think about right now. I was afraid I had a much bigger problem. The foreboding sound in Dean’s voice was all I could focus on at the moment. Something was wrong. He would tell me if something had happened to my daddy . . . wouldn’t he? I dropped the phone to my lap and placed a hand over my stomach. He had to be okay. He had to.

When we arrived at the Hard Rock, we were sent right up to the penthouse that Dean and Kiro always used. The rest of the band stayed in another one. Dean opened the door, a frown creasing his forehead. I studied him closely. He didn’t look like someone who was about to tell me my dad was dead. He just looked concerned.

“We need to talk,” he told me. I nodded, because I already knew this. I hadn’t said anything to Mase and Grant in the car because I wasn’t sure I could without choking up. I was scared. I hated to admit it but I was scared of losing Kiro.

Grant’s hand was suddenly in mine and Mase was at my other side, his hand holding my arm as if I needed support to stand.

“Is he alive?” Mase asked, and I realized he knew nothing but was reading the tension in the room, just like I was. Whatever it was, Dean needed to tell me, even if he didn’t want to.

Dean’s eyebrows shot up and then he realized how his words had sounded and an apologetic look crossed his face. “Hell, yes, he’s alive. I’m sorry, Harlow, I didn’t mean to scare you, sweetheart. Normally, when he does this and I know where he is, I don’t call you. I just deal with it. But when he ran this time I decided it was time you knew. You’re not a child anymore. Kiro still treats you like one but he needs you more than he realizes.” Dean paused and started pacing back and forth in front of us. He fisted and unfisted his hands at his side and stared at the floor.

Although I knew Dad was alive, I was now dealing with the fear of this big secret. Could he be sick? Was he hiding something like that from me?

“I don’t want to be the one to tell you—hell, he should have told you years ago. This isn’t right. But you need to know. I need you to know. I can’t deal with him anymore. I need help. You’re the only one that can help him, I’m afraid. It’s getting harder and harder to make him leave once he’s there.” Dean’s ramblings made no sense. He continued to pace the floor as if he could walk a hole through it to sink into. Whatever this secret was, it was bad. My knees started to feel weak.

Dean motioned to the sofa and waved his hand at it before running a hand through his hair. “You need to sit down,” he said.

Different scenarios began running through my head. My dad was in rehab, or he had a secret family I didn’t know about, or he was terminally ill. I let go of Grant’s hand and walked over to the sofa and sat down, never taking my eyes off Dean. Grant was right beside me. I wasn’t sure if I wanted anyone near me now. I started to feel smothered. Or my nerves were just making it hard for me to breathe.

“Didn’t expect to see you, Grant,” Dean said, acknowledging Grant.

I could see the look in Dean’s eyes, and I realized he knew exactly what had happened with those phone calls I never received. He didn’t approve of me and Grant, and that surprised me.

“Tell her whatever it is, Dean. She needs to hear it,” Grant replied.

Dean started to sit down then stood back up and ran his hands through his hair. “Damn, this ain’t gonna be easy,” he muttered and looked over at Mase.

“Get to it, Dean,” Mase demanded, taking a seat across from me. I was thankful he hadn’t sat down on the other side of me. I was having a hard time getting air.

Dean nodded, then looked at me. “You know the story of how your mother was in a car accident when you were a baby?”

I nodded. It was how she died. She had left me with Dad and gone to the store. A truck had run a red light and hit her. She died instantly. My grandmama had told me the story one day when I was old enough to ask. She never wanted to talk about it, though. She wouldn’t even look at me when she told me. I knew it was because losing her daughter had to hurt her. So I never asked her again. The fact that he was asking about my mother only made my anxiety worse. I gripped the edge of the sofa and tried to calm myself.

“She didn’t die in that car accident, honey. She was in a coma. For five years. Your dad refused to take her off life support, and one day she woke up. Except she didn’t remember anything. Not you, Kiro, or even her own name. She also couldn’t eat or drink or speak. And . . . she was paralyzed. The doctors soon realized she hadn’t just suffered memory loss; her brain was traumatized. She was no longer mentally complete. She would never be able to relearn simple things again. She would be stuck in this state for the rest of her life. She got very agitated when your dad tried to bring her home, and the doctors warned him that if he did take her the trauma could send her back into a coma, and she might never wake up. So he had to leave her there.”

I shot up off the sofa and walked away from everyone to the other side of the room. I couldn’t breathe. This wasn’t true. This was not true. It couldn’t be true. My grandmama would never lie to me. She wouldn’t do that. My mother was dead.

Grant was immediately beside me, his arm around my waist.

“I don’t believe you,” I said angrily, glaring at Dean. He was a liar. Why was he trying to hurt me like this?

“Holy shit,” Mase said, standing up and swinging his gaze from Dean to me. I could see it in his eyes. He believed Dean. Didn’t he know this was a lie?

“It’s time you saw her. I think you’re going to have to be the one to get him. He hates going on tour because he can’t see her when he wants to. She’s in the finest facility available in L.A. When we come to Vegas, he’s close enough to run back and check on her. We have to leave the States from here and hit the U.K. He doesn’t want to leave her. He’s gonna need you to get him. We can’t go without him, and seeing her only upsets him more.”

I jerked away from Grant’s arm. I didn’t want anyone to touch me. I needed space to breathe. Once I managed to force oxygen into my lungs, I put both of my hands on the wall and closed my eyes. Could this be true? Mase thought it was. He didn’t have to say anything—it was all over his face. And Grant wasn’t calling Dean a liar. He had been there to comfort me.

How could that be hidden from me all my life? Wouldn’t my grandmama want to visit her daughter? There was no way. This made no sense. I didn’t look at Dean. I didn’t look at anyone. I stared at the wall in front of me and took a deep breath. “This isn’t possible. I would have figured it out. My grandmama would have wanted to visit her only child.” I wanted to yell at him and throw things, but I balled my hands into fists and focused on calming down. Let him explain that. Let him tell me my grandmama had gone the rest of her life without visiting her only daughter.

“Texas, Harlow. Your grandmother took you to Texas to stay with Mase,” Dean said quietly. His words were gentle, yet it felt like he had slammed his fist into my gut.

She . . . she was going to see my mother. Oh my god. I doubled over from the pain. She had never stayed in Texas with me. How could she lie to me? Why? Why? Didn’t they want me to see her, too? She was my mother.

I heard Mase and Grant both say my name but I shook my head. I didn’t want them to try and soothe me. There was no way to ease this pain. I turned to see them both moving toward me, and a scream bubbling to the surface broke free. “NO!” I didn’t want them near me. I held out both hands to keep them back. They both froze. I didn’t focus on the pain in Grant’s eyes and the sadness in Mase’s. This wasn’t about them. This was mine to deal with. Alone.

“Where is she?” I asked Dean, looking back at him. The fury and betrayal building inside me were solely focused on that man at the moment. He was the only one around that I could lash out at. He had known, yet he had let them lie to me.

“The limo will take you to her. Your father took it to L.A. The driver knows where to go,” Dean said, dropping his head and letting out a sigh. He hadn’t wanted to tell me. I should be thankful he had. But right now I had no room for thankfulness in my heart.

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