Auggie & Russell
This short story features characters from the Salvation Kings MC series and may contain spoilers. This story is set after Bandit.
He grabbed the car keys from the hook by the door and put on his sneakers. He glanced over his shoulder, a frown forming on his forehead.
“Auggie? You coming?”
“Just a second,” Auggie yelled from their bedroom.
Russell shook his head with a sigh and made his way to Auggie. He stopped in the doorway, a smile grazing his lips when he found Auggie in front of the mirror, pulling on the collar of his shirt.
Auggie glanced up, meeting Russell’s gaze in the mirror. He pulled a face before asking, “Do I look okay?”
A smile spread on Russell’s lips as he stepped into the room.
“Sweetheart, you could be wearing a paper bag and I’d still think you the most gorgeous person in the world.”
Auggie gave him a look that clearly said ‘you’re an idiot,’ but couldn’t hold back a chuckle, so Russell felt quite satisfied.
“They won’t care,” Russell said and walked up behind Auggie, wrapping his arms around the smaller man. “Really. You could show up in that paper bag and they wouldn’t bat an eye.”
“Your family is so fucking weird,” Auggie said with a shake of his head.
Russell could only agree. He pressed a kiss to the top of Auggie’s head and let go of Auggie to take his hand.
“Come on. You look amazing and we need to go now if we’re gonna make it on time,” Russell said.
Auggie sighed, then said, “Fine.”
Russell shook his head, his lips spread in a smile. He followed Auggie into the hallway and watched him put on his shoes and when Auggie patted himself down, Russell held out his phone and keys. Auggie scowled at him but it quickly turned into a pout as he took his things from Russell. Before they made it out the door, Russell had kissed that pout away.
During the drive, Auggie shifted between being too quiet and barely able to get the words out fast enough. He knew Auggie was nervous, but he had no reason to be. His family on the other hand? They should be nervous. If they said or did one wrong thing toward Auggie, they were out of there. Auggie was strong as hell but he wasn’t going to let anyone treat him badly. Especially not his family.
“You gonna be okay?” he asked Auggie as he took the exit toward Hyattsville.
Russell glanced at Auggie with a stern look. “Auggie.”
Auggie let out a sigh and said, “I’ll be okay. I have you with me.”
“You do. I’ll be right next to you. Always,” Russell said and smiled at Auggie.
Auggie smiled back and seemed to relax a bit, his shoulders dropping as he leaned his head back against the headrest. Some rock song came on the radio and Russell wasn’t surprised when Auggie turned up the sound. He was more relieved. Auggie doing that meant he was okay.
They pulled up in front of the house and Russell parked the car at the curb and got out. He walked around the car to Auggie’s side and the second Auggie was out, Russell cupped his face and pressed a kiss to his lips. Auggie smiled into the kiss and chuckled at Russell when he pulled back. Russell grinned at took Auggie’s hand in his.
As they walked up to the house, the front door opened, and Paxton walked out. He stopped in his tracks when he saw them and was already rolling his eyes before Auggie said, “Hey, you’re out of jail.”
Pax groaned. “I think I preferred it there.”
“Which one’s driving you crazy?” Russell asked.
Pax turned a deadpan look at him and said, “All of them.”
Russell chuckled, unsurprised at his answer.
“Why were you in jail, anyway?” Auggie asked.
Pax shrugged. “Wrong place. Wrong time. S’why they let me go.”
A loud snort had them all looking up at the front door where Benji was standing, his brows raised and his arms crossed.
“As if. They probably got tired of your whiny ass and threw you out,” Benji said, then turned to Auggie and Russell, a smile spreading on his lips. “Hi, Auggie.”
“Hi,” Auggie said and walked up to him.
Benji wrapped Auggie up in a hug that looked like it surprised him, but Auggie took it in stride. Benji moved back to grab Auggie’s hand and tugged him inside. Auggie looked over his shoulder at Russell who smiled and gave him a thumbs up. He’d be fine. Gabby would protect him from the others if necessary. Not that he thought it’d be.
Russell glanced at Pax who was staring into space. He put a hand on Pax’s shoulder.
Pax seemed to shake it off as he turned his head to meet Russell’s gaze. “Yeah. Shit’s weird but we’re good.”
Russell squeezed Pax’s shoulder to let him know he was there if he needed him, but from Pax’s eye roll, Russell figured he’d be just fine.
He walked into the house after Benji who let go of his hand with a groan and stepped to the side. The next second, Gabby tackled him with a bear hug. He somehow managed to stay on his feet and had to laugh. Gabby leaned back in his arms to kiss his cheek.
“I’m so glad you came,” she gushed.
“Thanks for inviting us.”
Lena came walking out into the hallway, her eyebrow raising when she saw Auggie.
“You’re always welcome, Auggie.” Lena cleared her throat and threw a glare toward the front door. “Russ might not be, but you’ll always be welcome.”
“That’s Lena’s way of saying she loves me,” Russell said from behind Auggie.
Auggie looked over his shoulder at him with a smile on his lips. Russell grinned back at him, then turned his gaze on Lena. He opened his arms and walked toward her.
“Come on. You know you want to,” Russell said, a teasing tone in his voice.
Lena gave him a deadly glare and said, “Don’t make me get the bat.”
Russell didn’t heed her warning and caught her in a hug. He lifted her off her feet and Auggie caught her trying to hide a smile. Despite their differences, he knew those two loved each other to bits. Hell, all the Joneses had an incredible love for each other. They were batshit crazy, but they were the kind of family that rose up if one of them needed it. That’s what he liked about them. They had their own sense of loyalty.
“Are we having this damned dinner in the fucking hallway or what?” Xavier’s deep voice sounded from the doorway.
“I’d say no but we’ve eaten in weirder places,” Max said and popped his head out from behind Xavier. When his eyes caught on Auggie, a smile spread on his face. “Hey, Mr. Badass Biker Dude.”
Auggie snorted out a laugh and rolled his eyes, then flipped Max off. Max blew him a kiss in return.
“Hey, where’s Dad?” Russell asked.
“Who the fuck knows?” Lena said. “He’s probably off running some con on an old rich lady.”
“Sounds like something he’d do,” Russell said with a sad smile.
“Yeah, well, that’s Dad for you. Now let’s eat this damned food before I regret making it.”
“You cooked?” Russell asked Lena as he followed her into the kitchen.
“All right, you heard the… I’d say lady but we all know Lena ain’t got no class,” Gabby drawled.
Max raced Benji to the dining room while Xavier headed into the kitchen. Auggie turned to Gabby who was watching him with a warm smile on her face.
“Thank you for coming and for bringing my pigheaded brother,” she said.
“He wanted to come.”
Gabby arched a brow at him and whatever she was about to say got cut off by Lena yelling, “Dinner’s served.”
“Finally,” Gabby said and walked toward the doorway.
Auggie took a step, then remembered they were missing someone.
“Hey. What about Pax?” Auggie asked Gabby who stopped and turned around.
She shrugged and said, “He knows to get his ass in here before there’s no food left. If he doesn’t get any food, it’s his own fault.”
Auggie shook his head at her. This fucking family. They could be hella protective of each other one second, then throw someone under the bus the next. He was sure, though, if someone outside of the family acted like that to one of them, they’d band together in real Jones style, much like they had for Russell.
He wasn’t just gonna let Pax starve, so he went outside. He found Pax sitting on the stack of tires in the front yard, staring at his phone. There was something off about him. Like something was bothering him, and not his siblings. Auggie made his way down there and stopped in front of Pax.
“Wanna talk about it?”
Pax jerked, then looked up at Auggie with surprise in his green eyes.
Auggie felt his lips quirk. He sat down next to Pax and nearly fell off the tires but managed to stay seated. He cleared his throat and said, “You look like you could use a friend.”
Pax arched a brow at him. “You wanna be my friend?”
“Technically, I’m sorta you brother-in-law. Without the law thing. We’re not married. Haven’t made plans for that. No one’s asked. I don’t mean—”
“Whoa, Auggie,” Pax said, laughter in his voice. “Calm down. I know what you meant.”
Pax shook his head, then glanced down at the hands in his lap.
“So. What’s going on?”
Pax let out a groan and pushed a hand through his hair. “There’s this guy…”
“I knew it,” Auggie exclaimed.
Pax gave him an annoyed look that had Auggie pressing his lips together, heat filling his cheeks.
“Sorry. Please, continue,” Auggie said with an awkward wave of his hand.
“It’s not like that. I mean, he is hot. He’s wrong to want, though, which is probably why I want him. But that’s not…” Pax sighed. “I don’t know what to do with him.”
“Sounds like you do,” Auggie said with a cocked brow.
“This is where I call you a pussy, right?”
Pax snorted out a laugh and ruffled Auggie’s hair, making him growl at Pax and get off the tires. He put his hands on his hips and met Pax’s gaze.
“You’re a Jones. Pretty sure taking whatever you want is your motto, so I say go for it.”
Pax looked at him with warmth in his eyes. “You’re so fucking adorable.”
“I know,” Auggie said with a teasing smile. He crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes at Pax. “I’m serious, though. Just… take care of yourself, Pax, and if you need anything, all you gotta do is ask.”
Pax opened his mouth, then closed it and shook his head.
“Come on. Don’t wanna miss out on this amazing dinner, do you?” Pax asked with a gleam in his eyes.
Auggie sighed and led the way up the porch stairs. He pulled open the front door and was stopped by a hand on his arm. He glanced up, meeting Pax’s gaze.
“Thank you, Auggie. I’d like to have you as a friend,” Pax said.
Auggie grinned at him and said, “I’d like that, too.”
Dinner went over well. Everyone included Auggie and Auggie certainly didn’t hold anything back. Whatever nervousness he’d felt during the drive, there was no sign of it now. Pax and Auggie seemed to be getting along quite well which was a relief to him. If Pax approved of Auggie so would Max, and Benji followed those two morons like they were his heroes. Gabby obviously already loved Auggie and from the way Lena treated him, so did she. Xavier was always the hardest sell, and everyone followed his example. He was always harder to read when Monica wasn’t around which she wasn’t then, but Auggie had managed to get a few laughs out of him though mostly unintentionally.
Russell leaned back in his chair and rubbed his stomach with a satisfied groan.
“If you did poison the food,” he said to Lena. “Then I’ll die happy. That was damned good, Lena.”
“I’m so happy you approve. Now I can die happy,” Lena drawled, a deadpan expression on her face.
Auggie mumbled something under his breath and while Russell didn’t hear what it was, the unimpressed look on Auggie’s face made him laugh. The others joined in while Auggie hid his reddening face in his hands.
Something like an explosion came from next door, closely followed by what sounded like fireworks.
“What the hell?” Xavier growled and got up.
Russell followed Xavier out the patio door to the backyard where they found the neighbor’s shed burning, fireworks going off all over the place from inside it.
Xavier groaned and said, “I’ll get the fire extinguisher.”
Russell grunted in answer, not taking his eyes off the insane show next door. For some reason, he didn’t doubt that a Jones was behind it. The question was just which one?
The others came outside and Benji started recording it on his phone while the twins made bets on how long the fireworks would go on.
“Oh no,” Gabby said with a sigh.
Russell turned toward her with narrowed eyes.
“What did you do?”
Gabby batted her lashes at him and said, “It was supposed to be a surprise.”
“A surprise? Burning down the neighbor’s shed?”
Gabby groaned. “No. The fireworks. I hid it in Nielson’s shed so the boys wouldn’t get their hands on it and blow something up.”
A loud boom sounded and some of the fireworks shot along the ground toward them. Sparks of different colors filled the backyard.
“Jesus, woman. How much did you buy?” Russell asked.
“Uh. A lot. But at least I only bought the small ones.”
“This is just… normal for you guys, isn’t it?” Auggie asked.
They all turned toward Auggie and said, “Yes,” at the same time.
Auggie snorted and shook his head. Russell wrapped an arm around Auggie who leaned against him. He pressed a kiss to the top of Auggie’s head and when Auggie looked up at him, he pressed one to his lips as well.
“Don’t you just love being a part of this family?” Russell joked.
Auggie’s expression turned serious as he said, “Yes. I do. Very much so, even if they are crazy as hell. They’re still your family. Our family.”
Russell felt a warmth spread through his body. Love. Happiness. Gratitude. All for the man in his arms. He was the luckiest damned man alive.
“God, I love you.”
“I love you, too, Skinner.”
Russell snorted out a laugh and leaned down for another kiss. They pulled back to another explosion of fireworks mixed with the sound of sirens nearing.
“Your brother’s on fire,” Auggie said, making Russell look around until his gaze landed on Max who was running through the backyard, his right pant leg on fire.
“Not the first time,” Russell said.
Auggie made a half-choked sound. “You’re all so fucked up.”
Russell could only agree with that, but, somehow, he didn’t want them any other way.
He tugged Auggie closer, a smile on his lips and happiness in his heart as he watched his sister chase after Max with the water hose while Xavier tried to stop the shed fire with a tiny fire extinguisher. They might be fucked up, but they were certainly entertaining and, more importantly, they were his. His family. His and now Auggie’s family, too. He knew to look past the crazy to see the love and he knew Auggie could see it, too. That was all that mattered. They were all that mattered.