“Prez…” He rubbed his hands down his face. I had no idea why the f**ker never pulled pu**y. Never smoked, didn’t drink. Thought for a while he may’ve preferred cock, but I saw him watching the club sluts, f**kin’ ’em with his eyes. Just never touched them. His business. We all wrestle with our own demons. Just so happens that attitude helped me with Jane Doe.

You’re doing it! No questions. Right? I signed aggressively; making things real f**kin’ clear.

Rider frowned and began shuffling in his seat. “Right,” he agreed.

Ky leaped from his stool, face stern. He fetched the Patrón from behind the bar, slamming three shot glasses on the table and poured, not meeting my eyes.

“Just putting this out there, Styx. That girl is from a different world, whatever the f**k that is. Doubting whether she can be in this type of family, this kinda world. We both know you’re in for life. You’ll never leave.”

Point made. Leave it, I signed, losing my patience with both my VP and Rider f**kin’ squirming on his chair.

Ky didn’t.

“Just saying you need all your focus on this damn deal with the Chechens. We lose this deal and we’re f**ked. Focus on life on the road. We got bigger issues than caring for some religious pilgrim nutcase right now. Like the club’s a goddamn charity. I mean, what the hell? How’d you get to her age and have no f**kin’ clue about life? She could be big trouble. She acted like a kid tonight, man. A f**kin’ Kindergartner. You want pu**y, you got Lois to suck your cock. Stick with that shit.”

Rider tossed back his tequila and stood awkwardly. “Going to crash.”

I quickly signaled to Pit behind the bar to get the f**k out to.

As soon as I heard the door slam shut, I turned back to Ky and let the aggression being kept on hold fly loose. “Y-you and me are b-b-brothers, best f-friends, loyal ’t-t-til the f**kin’ end, but you quit this shit now. I-I-I’m not l-liking wh-where it’s h-headed.” I stood up, towering over him, but the stubborn motherfucker never broke eye contact.

He laughed without humor. “So what? Gonna make her your old lady now? Or your new club slut? Lois out, new Amish bitch in? That how it’s gonna be? She gonna be sucking on that c**k daily too? She gonna have your back when you’re shot or when you f**k a whore just because you f**kin’’ feel like it? Never happening. She won’t deal with club life. Cut… and… run… Don’t sacrifice the club for a piece of pu**y.”

Fisting his cut, I slammed him down against the table, empty glasses shattering on the wood floor. “Y-you better sh-shut your f-f-f…” I gritted my teeth and managed to push out, “F-fuckin’ mouth! Don’t f-forget who you’re t-talking to!”

Pushing me back, he spat, “Right.” Ky straightened his cut and, giving me the finger, walked to the door, then suddenly stopped, hands clenched as he looked back over his shoulder. “You act different around her, man. I’m saying your girl in there will f**k… you… up… You’re obsessed with the bitch, losing your damn mind if you think she belongs here. Christ, let’s be honest. You lost your damn sanity age eleven when you met her and never let this f**ked-up goddess-worship thing go. I’m your best f**kin’ friend, not just your damn VP. I remember how meeting her changed you all those years ago. She’s not gonna be the perfect angel you fantasized about, Styx—she’s flawed and majorly f**ked up by the looks of things. You’re puttin’ her on an unattainable pedestal for you. Don’t be a f**kin’ selfish prick and put her before the club, your brothers.

“She won’t deal with what you do, things you do, things you gotta do for the club. Let her go. Club first, remember. Nothing else comes close. I’m f**kin’ watching out for you, brother. I’ll always have your back no matter what.”

With that, he turned and left the compound, leaving me alone in the deserted bar, my messed-up thoughts my only company.


I slammed back another tequila, then another, and on the fifth, I smashed an empty bottle against the wall. I knew my VP was right. She’s probably best outta this f**ked-up life… but I wanted her gone ’bout as much as I wanted a shittin’ hole in the head. I’d just found her again, but it was too f**kin’ late. I’d found her too goddamn late. Hades’d already pulled me into Hell. She didn’t deserve to go down with me. She deserved a clean man—that so ain’t f**kin’ me.

Sitting back down at the table, I scanned the empty room, staring at the pictures that had the bitch so scared so many hours ago. I tried to imagine seeing them with innocent eyes—eyes that had only seen good, eyes that didn’t belong following the example of the underworld’s dark lord.

Some sick feeling wound tight in my gut, and I knew I’d not be getting any sleep tonight. My head was far too busy.

I needed my smokes, a tall bottle of Beam, and my music.

Chapter Eight


I picked up my first guitar at six, my old man telling me the only things I’d need in life were my Harley, the love of an old lady, and my Fender. The code I’ve lived by all my life. Had my Harley, MC brothers, had money, had my guitar—didn’t have an old lady, and Lois weren’t ever gonna be it. Twenty-six, bagged lots a’ sluts, no old lady prospects, but a constant pair of wolf eyes constantly haunted my dreams since the age of eleven.

Talking always came hard to me, but singing and playing… fuckin’ natural as breathing, and no problems pushing out the words. I’d never felt more comfortable than when I had my guitar in hand, the lyrics flowing out my loose throat like the f**kin’ wind.