By: Chantal Fernando

“Hi, Daddy,” she says, her smile exposing them to me.

“My daughter is dressed as a vampire,” I say, sighing and picking her up in my arms. “Did Aunty Faye do this to you?”

“No,” she answers, giggling. “Mama did.”

Faye smirks at me, her fangs sticking out. She says, “Don’t blame crap on me. I’ll suck your blood,” then walks off. I don’t think Faye will ever grow up, and I like that about her. At the same time, I’m also thankful there is only one of her. Asher comes and stands next to me, the only kid not dressed up.

“Where’s your costume, dude?” I ask him.

He points to the wooden cross on his chest, attached by a black cord around his neck. “I’m a vampire hunter.”

I throw my head back and laugh. What a fuckin’ great kid. “Whose idea was that?”

“Mine,” he says, grinning.

“I had the same idea,” I admit to him.

We share a high five.

“Can you protect Isla though?” I say to him, and he nods quickly, a smile on his face.

Yeah, everyone loves my Isla.

I put Isla down, and she and Jo head to the kitchen for some “blood,” which is apparently red Jell-O.

Yeah, I need to bail.

I call Sin, and he tells me they’re at his house, so I drive straight there.

I could have walked, but I wanted out of there fast. The sight I come across is hilarious. All of the men from the Wind Dragons are sitting in front of the TV, beers in their hands, watching a basketball game.

“Thanks for saving me, guys,” I say, scowling and taking the only spare seat left.

They all laugh, and I know that they did it on purpose. “Whose idea was the vampire theme?”

“Faye and Jo came up with it,” Sin says, shrugging unapologetically. “Did you see Asher though? What a little legend.”

“I did,” I say, lip twitching. “He’s hilarious.”

Over the last few years it’s been such a change, but we’ve all stuck together, even without my being in the MC anymore. I don’t go to the clubhouse, but I still see all of them every week. They’re still my family. Our kids are friends. And Jo is thriving, working her way up in her career, loving her life. I don’t have any regrets with the decisions I made.

I now have what I never thought would be possible. A respectable job, a family, and a home. My daughter has a completely different life to what I had, and I’ll make sure she always does. I made this little life for me, and I love it. I fall in love with Jo all over again every single day, and Isla makes the sun shine that much brighter for me. Not everyone is this lucky in life, and I know it, and I’m thankful every damn day.

I’m also thankful for the men in this room, the ones who took me in when they didn’t have to, the ones who still love me even after I left them. The ones who were at my wedding, my daughter’s birth, and who celebrate with us all of life’s achievements. The Wind Dragons are one of the best things that have ever happened to me, after Jo and Isla, and I wouldn’t even have my girls if it weren’t for them.

Arrow glances around the room. “Want to go for a ride before we hit the vamp party?”

We all stand up at the same time.

Some things never change.