He had the blood test, and you know it to be real.
“Do you want me to be plain with you? She wasn’t fucking involved!” Preacher raised his voice. “She didn’t come to my room as a willing participant. Milly drugged her, put her in my bed, and I was too fucking drunk to realize it. I thought she was a woman given to me as a freaking gift.” He shook his head. “You know what, if you can’t see the truth then you have no right to her at all. Robin doesn’t deserve your hatred right now, and if you can’t deal with whatever fucked-up shit is going on in your head, then you can stay here.”
He got to his feet, ready to leave.
“I hate you,” Bishop said.
The words were said slowly, calmly, matter-of-fact.
Bishop tilted his head back and looked at him. He got to his feet, and Preacher saw the marks around his neck.
He didn’t care.
Sometimes, you had to be harsh with your kids, and Bishop was getting on his last fucking nerve.
“What did you say to me?”
“I hate you. I hate that you were her first, that the baby inside her is yours. You have everything you could want. All the women here want your attention, no one else’s. If you snapped your fingers, they’d all be coming to you, no one else, and yet, you took the one woman who was mine. Robin is mine. She will always be mine. Her cherry was mine, and you popped it. I fucking hate you. I hope she loses the baby. I hope she has nothing of you inside her. I want her to be all mine, but I know while ever she is pregnant, she will have a part of you, and what’s worse? She can’t even hate you for it.”
Preacher stared at his son, seeing the spite, and he didn’t mind.
“Do you want to hit me?” he asked.
“You heard me. Go ahead. This one time, I will allow you to throw a punch. I won’t retaliate. I’ll be good and sit nice and still. Go ahead. Hit me.” He knew it was what Bishop wanted, even needed.
“It’s a trick.”
“No, it’s not. I get that you’re angry, only, you’re taking the anger out on the wrong person. Robin needs you. Hit me. Come on, you little prick, fucking hit me.”
Bishop raised his fist as if to hit him, and Preacher was ready, more than ready to take whatever hit his son wanted to give him, only, he didn’t.
“You want me to,” Bishop said.
Preacher didn’t say a word.
“You hate what you’ve done, and I’ve got to wonder, Dad, if you hate that I’m the one that is married to Robin.” Bishop smirked. “No, you can deal with whatever guilt you want. You’re right, Robin needs me. Not you, me. You took her virginity, knocked her up, but it’ll be me she comes to for comfort.”
Bishop grabbed a pair of jeans and a shirt before leaving his room.
The moment he was gone, Preacher smiled. Reverse psychology was a wonderful thing. He’d allow Bishop to believe what he wanted. At the end of the day, he got his way, and Robin would have some company.
Now, he had to keep an eye on her and make sure nothing bad happened to her. He didn’t trust for Bishop to see an opportunity that would result in her losing the baby.
When he first entered his home, Bishop was struck by how quiet it was. He was rarely home late at night, but as he made his way upstairs, he saw Robin’s room had on some light.
Opening the door, he saw her sitting up in bed, reading. From the look of the book, it was a pregnancy book.
“Hey,” she said, sliding in a bookmark and putting it to one side. “You’re home.”
“Yeah, I’m home.”
She ran her hands down her thighs, and he watched her. He stepped into the room and was overcome with the scent of lemon. She smelled amazing, always had. He missed being close to her.
You’re the one constantly running away from her.
“How are you feeling?” she asked.
“Don’t. Please, don’t be nice to me. I’m a horrible human being. I promised you I’d be there for your scan, and I wanted to be.”
“I know why you couldn’t make it. It’s fine, honestly.”
“It’s not fine. Nothing about this is ever going to be fine.” He ran his hand down his face, trying to clear the fog from his mind.
He stank of other women.
“You’re my best friend. The love of my life. My soulmate. You needed me, and I bailed on you. I promise I’m not going to bail on you again. You can rely on me.”
She smiled. “I missed you. Do you want to see the picture?”
It was on the tip of his tongue to tell her hell no, but instead, he offered her a smile. “I’d love to. First, let me go and shower.”