“Do you know some men make their entire careers on bringing down clubs like ours? The Twisted Monsters is spread far and wide, across many countries, and there will be plenty of people out there to take our club right from under us. It’s a headline grabber. Throwing us all in jail, tossing the key, giving us the good book and showing all the good people of the world what you do with bad people.”
“That is never going to change?”
“Milner knew the score. We need to make sure his replacement knows the same score. I’m not rotting in some prison. This is my club, my town, and my life. No one, and certainly no cop, is going to get the better of me. You want to know why we continue to do the shit we do and stay out with our freedom, breathing in the fresh air and walking without a care in the world?” He tapped his forehead. “I always think. I always stay one step ahead of the men. I don’t leave anything to chance. We got stuff in place so we can hold the fort for a couple of months. Get to know the new guy. See what he’s all about, and then, when I know his deal, I can take him out. Easy as that.” He climbed back onto his bike. “We all have a weakness. It’ll be easy to find his, believe me.”
“What’s your weakness then?” Bear asked.
“I don’t have any. It’s what makes me so much fucking better than all of you.”
Bear burst out laughing, but Preacher didn’t stick around to join him or to laugh. He had shit he needed to do, like find out who was going to be the new thorn in his side.
“I hate studying.” Bishop closed up his book and threw it across the room. “Ah, so much better. See, I don’t need to study.” He smiled as Robin rolled her eyes at him.
“You do know you’re going to have to do some studying to graduate?” Robin asked.
“No, I don’t. I don’t need to have an education. I’ve got the basics. I can read and write. I’ve also got the capacity to tell fuckers no, and guess what I can tell when I’ve not been paid enough.” He rubbed at his head.
He’d never been particularly academic, and she knew it was a constant source of contention with him. Most of the time in class when he didn’t know anything, he’d simply mock the teacher or do something goofy in class. More often than not, he ended up at the library, where she knew for a fact he made out or had sex with girls in school.
She crawled across the floor, grabbing his book. “That’s no way to treat books, just so you know.”
“What are you going to do, spank me?”
“Why does everything have to lead to something dirty with you?”
“I’m a natural at it.”
She rolled her eyes. “You’re the one who wanted to study. I’m here trying to help you, and all you can do is throw books around.”
“Look, Robin, I wanted you to come over. Your mom was being a bitch to you, and I couldn’t stand it. You know how she gets.”
Tonight was particularly difficult. Her mother was going on one of her new diets and believed it was the best thing for Robin to join in and have some fun.
“She means well.”
“No, she means to hurt you because you’re Bear’s daughter. Does he even know the kind of shit she tells you?”
“Oh, you mean the ‘men don’t like fat hips or a saggy butt,’ or I’ve got to strap my breasts up because ‘men don’t like them heading south too soon.’” Yep, some of her mother’s most spiteful comments usually came after a whole lot of drink. She shrugged. “I’m used to it, Bishop. I’m not going to go and tell my dad about every single little detail that she does. It wouldn’t be fair. There would be a whole lot to tell.” Her parents’ marriage had never been pretty. She knew the only reason Bear married her mom was because of her.
She’d been very much aware of the paternity test as well. Her mother’s reputation was hard to get away from. Most of the men at the club had been with her mother and from what she’d heard, some of the town men as well, including a few husbands.
The doorbell rang.
“That’s the pizza,” Bishop said. He pulled out some cash and handed it to her. “Be a darlin’, I’m so comfy.”
Taking the money from his hand, she got to her feet and walked out of the room, heading down the long corridor only to stop when she saw Preacher at home. She hadn’t even heard him come back yet.
“They’re waiting for their money,” he said, when he caught sight of her. “You better have ordered for me.”