“Jake,” Abby said, nudging him with her thigh. Jake’s eyes were glued to the screen, his pupils as big as saucers. “Jake,” she said again, pushing against him harder.
Jake looked up at her then back to me. “Okay. I’ll do it. Especially because my girl is looking at me like I won’t get any this century if I don’t. And since I’m trying my fucking damnedest to knock her up again…” Jake put a hand on Abby’s back and smiled up at her. There was no mistaking the connection between the two of them, and for a guy who took lives for pleasure, there was a reverence in the way he looked at her.
Like he worshipped her.
Jake took his eyes away from his wife, and when he looked back up at me, I swore I saw his eyes turn from blue to black. His voice was even slightly deeper. More even toned. “You got yourself a soldier,” he said, blowing smoke out through his nose into the night air like a fire breathing dragon.
“I’ll get your jacket,” Abby said, jogging back up to the house. Jake followed her with his eyes until she disappeared behind the sliding glass doors.
“Your girl?” Jake asked, handing me back my phone, the video of Doe paused close up on her face. “She anything like that?” He pointed to where Abby had just disappeared behind the sliding glass doors.
“She better than you, but for some stupid reason doesn’t get that?”
“Sounds about right,” I said.
Jake tossed his cigarette into a pink bucket marked DADDY PUT YOUR NASTY CIGAMETTES IN HEERE SO YOUS DON’T KILL THE MAN TEES. “Just take my suggestion and when all this shit is over, and she comes out with a heart that still beats, and lungs that still pull air into them, make that shit legal. Marry her. Knock her up. Anything you can do to selfishly tie yourself to her for life.”
Abby came back out and handed Jake his leather jacket. “Keys are in the pocket,” she said. Jake stepped toward her and grabbed the back of her neck, pressing his forehead against hers. “Check on Gee. Tell her that her Daddy won’t be gone long.” He touched the pendant on some sort of necklace she was wearing and Abby covered his hand with her own. After a minute, they pulled apart and Jake shrugged on his jacket, leading the way back toward the front of the house.
“I’ve got my truck,” I said as we reached the driveway.
“Message said you best be there by eleven tonight?”
Jake shook his head. “I’m gonna grab my bike. Ride around for a bit. Clear my mind on the ride.”
“I’m gonna head to the clubhouse, see if Bear’s around. I can’t get him on his damn phone. Meet you at my place in an hour,” I said, turning toward my truck.
Jake lit a cigarette. He straddled his bike and turned the key, the engine roaring to life. With a quick tip his chin to me, he rode off down the shell driveway and onto the road, kicking up white dust into the black night air as he sped down the road.
I looked at my phone.
Two hours until I would see my girl again.
Dead or alive.
I pulled up to the clubhouse and the skinny prospect manning the gate, a little shit they called Thor, stood from his ripped bar stool to slide open the gate. I drove in and parked next to Bear’s bike, leaving the keys in the ignition and the door wide open. I jumped from the passenger seat and headed to the courtyard.
“King!” Thor called from behind me. When I turned around, the skinny kid from the gate was running toward me. “Stop!” he shouted, coming to a breathless halt in front of me, resting his hands on his knees to catch his breath. He held up his index finger.
“I ain’t got time for you to learn how to breathe again, kid. What the fuck do you want?” I asked him harshly.
“I forgot. I ain’t supposed to let you in here no more. You can’t be here,” Thor said.
“Who the fuck told you that?”
“Prez. He said you ain’t one of us so you can’t be coming round here no more, and I smoked a joint and I got fucked up and I totally fucked up. He’s gonna fucking kill me.”
“What the fuck does your VP think of that order?” I asked, crossing my arms across my chest. The kid’s eyes went wide as I stared him down.
“Don’t know, man. He’s been holed up in his room, rotating the BBBs in and out. He doesn’t come out except to grab another bottle and buy blow from Wolf. Won’t talk to no one neither. But seriously, you got to leave. Prez is going to kill me, and worse than that, I’ll never get my patch!”