The Reluctant Ward

an excerpt



Chapter One

Faro glared at his Captain debating whether to rip his head off. Yes, Jax was his superior but at times like this his advice sucked. Even worse was the fact Faro knew Jax was right.

"I can't do this, no fucking way."

Jax threw the letter he held across the desk. "You don't have a choice, mate, you have to reply to this. What you decide is up to you," he said, softly adding, "or your conscience, depending on how close you were to Monro."

Faro scrubbed a hand through his tawny overly long hair. He knew damn well Jax was giving him the guilt trip. Hell, didn't Jax think he felt bad about this? Shit, Faro had a lot of respect for his colleague and mentor, one he hadn't seen for years and to be bombed by this piece of news had stunned Faro.

Hell he wasn't aware Monro had been involved in a relationship much less had a child. As far as Faro knew Monro was married to his job, as an assassin working undercover for the government.

Faro gave a low growl and studied the contents of the letter. Then shook his head. "Why the fuck has he nominated me as guardian? I know nothing about kids."

Jax shrugged biting back a grin that hovered.

"You think this is fucking funny don't you?" Faro's muddy brown eyes turned to a dark chocolate chip, his voice dipped in icy control. "I haven't seen or heard from him in over twenty years, and now he drops this on me?"

"There has to be some reason he'd entrust his only daughter to you." Jax leaned back in his chair, wearing a smirk.

"Yeah, the last time I saw him, we'd had a crazy conversation. About children and who we'd assign our child to." Light dawned on Faro's face.

"Go on," said Jax.

"He asked me if I'd be guardian to his child if anything happened to him. Hell he didn't have one then so that was easy, I said yes." Faro rubbed his forehead at the tension headache pounding there. "I can't believe the crazy bastard remembered."

"Well you must have made one hell of an impression on him," said Jax, unfazed by his second in commands churning temper. He drummed his fingers on the desk. "So what do you intend to do?"

Faro let out a long sigh. He knew he couldn't refuse. "Decorate the spare room, and then meet the solicitor." Folding the letter up, Faro slid it into his pocket.

"Ask Remi, she's good at that kind of thing. Plus I heard Kitty has a thing about children so she can help."

"Great, just what I always wanted. A snotty nosed brat to look after, hell I'm not capable of taking care of a pet much less a child." Faro rose, his seven-foot body of pure muscle tense. He was a huge rock of male frustration. "What Monro was thinking I don't fucking know." He stomped across the room.

"Er Faro, think you need to temper your language, can't go swearing around a child."

"Fuck off, Jax." The door slammed behind him.


***


Three hours later he sat in his penthouse suite waiting for the arrival of the women. Faro took in his immaculate lounge and dreaded to think what a kid would do to his organized pristine life. Yet he couldn't refuse. He wanted to but hell, his conscience wouldn't let him.

Monro the bastard knew him well.

When the door to his suite opened and Remi entered along with Kitty he groaned at the grins on the males following them. Blaze and Nick carried a parcel of bags. He should have known they wouldn't leave their women alone with him. Both territorial control freaks, and so loved up it made Faro want to vomit.

"Where do you want these?" asked Blaze with a wicked smirk. The face of a white teddy poked out from a bag. Since discovering he was about to become a father, Blaze, the deadly killer had turned into a softy. All he thought about was his mate Kitty, worshipping the ground she walked on. Even if they did have major spats, Faro was sure Blaze instigated an argument just to make up.

Faro pointed. "In there, that's the spare room she'll be going in."

Remi took the lead, Nick hovering close behind her as she marched into the room. "Hey Faro, get your ass in here."

With a low growl he rose, ignoring the grins from Kitty and Blaze. Faro trudged into the bedroom. "What?"

Remi waved her arms resembling a windmill. "This will have to go."

Faro stared at the dark oak bedroom furniture. "Why?"

"It's not for a child. Nick check out the sites for cute wardrobes, we want pink, or maybe gold."

Kitty joined her. "Yes definitely gold, let's go for a princess theme." Her hand covering her own baby bump. "Blaze has decorated our son's room, but I stopped at the dinosaurs."

"Yeah, creepy," agreed Remi. "When our baby comes I want it…" She slapped a hand over her mouth. "Shit, sorry Nick, didn't mean to blurt that out. Wanted to make it special."

Nick dropped the bags he held and snatched Remi into his arms. "You're pregnant?"

She gave a happy nod. "Found out yesterday."

"Why didn't you tell me?" Nick scooped her up into his arms. "What the hell are you doing shopping, you should be resting."

Remi gave a long-suffering sigh. "That's why, Nick, now put me down. I'm pregnant not ill. Look at Blaze, he's not acting Neanderthal."

Nick's eyes darkened. "I don't give a toss. You, woman, are going to take it easy, even if it means chaining you to the bed."

She curled her arm around his neck. "Promise? I kinda like that idea."

When his lips smashed over hers, Faro coughed. Hell there was only so much he could tolerate. "Look, I'll sort this out myself okay?" He couldn't stand to see the two couples so loved up. Faro liked sex, but had no interest in a relationship, his motto was fuck and leave. The closest he came to family was Team Alpha, especially Jax who was like a brother. That arrangement suited Faro, no dependents. Which was why Monro had fucked up making him guardian of a kid.

However he'd try his best and hoped the little shit would be amenable. Please he prayed, don't be a whining crier, he hated that. He didn't really like children not that he'd had anything to do with them. Whilst tears tore him apart, he'd do anything to stop a female crying.

All Faro loved were loose women, fast cars, and his career, especially looking down the sights of his rifle. His other passion was working out, hoisting punishing weights to build muscle and fighting. The MMA circuit was an outlet for some of his uncontrolled rages. Not many saw that side of him, only the calm Faro, the negotiator, one that liked to talk first.

Fight or kill last.

Somehow he'd managed to take control of the vicious wolf that drove him. Only Jax knew the darkness that filled him. Yet he'd overcome his thirst to kill. Contained it and channeled those emotions into his job and hobbies.

Yet Monro had known of his dark side. Which was why he couldn't understand how the fuck he'd left his daughter with him. Unless he didn't like her, which was crazy. He was still shocked that his old friend had been killed, his burial two weeks ago. One that Faro hadn't been aware of until receiving the letter from the solicitor. Apparently it had been a stipulation in his will. No mourners apart from immediate family. Hell he was, or had been he amended, a strange man. Apart from Jaxon, Monro also held the accolade of being the only human that Faro had truly respected.

He stared at the bags littered around the room, thankful that Remi and Kitty had left after leaving him instructions on what to order. Okay furniture out, crap in, he'd hire a team to descend and decorate. Pay them to do the shopping shit, he had more on his mind than transforming a bedroom into a fairy castle.

Lounging in his ancient chair of cracked leather, Faro was relieved he'd finally managed to contact the interior designer. The one that Kitty and Remi had recommended he ring.

During the transformation, Faro managed to be elsewhere.

Mainly because the woman organizing it was more interested in him than the bedroom. Maybe he shouldn't have fucked her on the first day. Heck he could only deal with so much temptation. She came with a whole lot of I want sex hormones. So Faro had obliged. However, once he'd taken her in his bed, over the desk, in the shower and again on the floor, he'd had enough because it was a one night fuck fest. Nothing more, now he spent his time avoiding the stalker.

Eventually the décor was complete. Standing at the door the female he'd fucked hard gave him a glimmer of a smile. She stood to the side. "What do you think?"

Faro winced. "Holy fuck, it looks like a frigging theme park from hell." His mouth dropped open at the bed, which resembled a castle complete with a Rapunzel look alike draping her hair from the window. The walls were pink and gold, matching the furniture. Fairies hung from the ceiling whilst the dressing table was filled with teddy bears and an array of creatures he'd never seen before.

"Don't you like it?" she asked, her voice hesitant.

He couldn't remember the woman's name to answer direct. Faro didn't bother with conversation whilst fucking. "Er, suppose a kid would. Just send me the bill."

"How about my phone number?"

"Nah, I've fucked you, why would I want to come back for more?"

She inhaled a sharp hiss of breath. "You're a bastard."

Faro remained engrossed in the room from hell. "You got that right, lady."