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Home > Bayonet Scars #3 - Rev(7)

Bayonet Scars #3 - Rev(7)
Author: J.C. Emery


My brothers move to congregate around Jim as he starts giving orders. I pat Cheyenne’s back, and she lets go, and then I join my club. Jim scratches at his chin and looks at Ryan and says, “You know the order best. Put Elle in the back with the prospect. Don’t care which side.”

“Prospect hasn’t even been riding a month now,” Ryan says with obvious annoyance in his voice. “I don’t think he should ride.” The kid’s dad is an incarcerated brother, so he was fast-tracked into prospecting—we gave him a cut and told him he was going to have to earn his top rocker. The kid had no fucking clue how to ride when we did it, but he’s family and apparently we’re all about making exceptions for family these days. Jim gives Ryan the order again, and, like the idiot he is, he’s about to argue when Wyatt closes in on him and he backs down. He’s not a total moron after all.

We break, and the room empties as we all head outside. Between the line of bikes and the line of SUVs is a glass hearse with a Harley trike attached to the front of it. It’s a bit extravagant for our usual tastes, but we let Ruby do some of the planning, and this is what we ended up renting. No fucking clue where she got a hearse attached to a Harley, but fuck if it doesn’t make a statement.

Fish, Bear, and the prospect help get the women and kids into the SUVs. Jeremy tries to put his sister, Nic, into an SUV, but she refuses. Nic’s as much Duke’s Old Lady as Ruby is Jim’s. She’s just not voted in yet—that’s going to take a while. But I suspect Jeremy’s insistence on sticking her in the SUV comes from the fact that she’s carrying his nephew. I watch as Duke catches sight of the disagreement and lumbers over. We ride with our women on the back of our bikes—pregnant or not—all the time, but Duke’s been a special kind of protective over Nic since the moment she let him in. It surprises me when he pulls her into his side and tells Jeremy that it’s cool.

“They’re cute together,” a soft voice says from beside me. The words are filled with love and happiness. If it were anybody else who sounded so happy right now, I’d have their face in the pavement beneath my feet. But as I look over at Ruby, knowing all the hardships she’s endured in her life, I can’t help but let her have this. “You used to look at Layla like that,” she says.

“Yeah.”

“How she doing?” she asks. I quickly glance around and breathe a sigh of relief when I catch Cheyenne standing by an SUV with Barbara, the kids, and my mother at the other end of the parking lot. “Relax, you know I wouldn’t ask if she could hear me,” Ruby says, always so in-tune with everybody’s feelings.

“Fuckin’ jacked. Got an Old Man up in Redding who’s got her sucking dick for crank.” Lying to Ruby and telling her I don’t keep tabs on Layla is useless. She knows me too well.

“Stupid bitch,” she says and places a hand on my upper arm. “Gave up a lot for a couple of rocks and a high, didn’t she?”

When I look over I see that her eyes are firmly on Cheyenne. Layla leaving her kid because she couldn’t handle reality and all that it entailed never has sat well with Ruby—nor should it, considering everything she’s sacrificed for her own children—and she’s never hidden that fact from anyone, especially not Layla.

“That she did,” I say and decide to skip my monthly trip to go check on her. It’s only a few hours’ drive, and it’s worth the peace of mind to know whether or not my kid’s mom has overdosed, but she’s hospitalized right now so that’s not much of a concern. She was supposed to be here today, but Chey snubbed her for dinner last night, and like always, Layla couldn’t handle it. By the time I got to her motel room, she was already having chest pains and difficulty breathing. Wyatt had barely gotten there with his truck when her mood spun out of control and the paranoia set in.

“Do yourself a favor and let her go,” Ruby says. “If life has taught us anything, it’s that it’s too fucking short to spend it alone.” She casts me a small smile and walks over to Jim, where she climbs on the back of his bike and places a soft kiss to his top rocker right between his shoulder blades. Ruby thinks she’s like the biker love connection or some shit. She’s convinced that nobody should spend their life alone or that they should be without what she has with Jim. But she’s smoked too much of that shit we grow—not everybody wants that kind of baggage. Layla being gone is a fucking blessing in a way. It means I don’t have to worry about my Old Lady doing me dirty, or losing her. That shit’s already happened, and now that I’m out of it, I have no desire to make it back to that place where I have one more fucking thing to worry about. Love isn’t a blessing; it’s a fucking burden.

“Saddle up, shithead,” Wyatt yells from his bike, seated next to Jim at the front of the caravan. I snap out of my thoughts and take my place on my bike behind Jim. My nerves turn to lead as I eye Ryan to my right. Thin, pale arms wrap around his waist, and a heart-shaped face rests against his back. Alex. For a brief moment, her eyes meet mine, but then she thinks better of it and looks at the ground. Fucking bitch shouldn’t be here. We risked too much to keep her ass safe, and now this fucker is taking her out in the open like we’ve got nothing to lose.

Ryan, being the road captain, has the responsibility of organizing rides and, at times like these, organizing placement of the club. Highest ranking officers always ride at the front, but the mid-level officers and non-office holding patched brothers are up to Ryan’s discretion. And the bastard just can’t help but fucking taunting me. His head turns my direction, and he lifts his chin. I grip the handlebars of my bike as tight as I can so I don’t jump off and pummel his ass. Chief would be here if it weren’t for Alex’s presence in our lives, and to have her here is a fucking disgrace to his memory.

“Chief would want this,” Ryan says firmly. His words cut to my soul. Would Chief want her here? He probably would, but he was a fucking pussy when it came to women. He was also a better man than I ever will be. I know he wouldn’t blame her. She didn’t ask for us to take her on, nor did she do anything other than exist to get him killed. But even though I can see through the anger long enough to know that, I don’t feel it in my heart.

We fire up the bikes and ride slowly through town, purposefully creating as much noise as possible. As we travel down Main Street, some of the natives stop what they’re doing and watch us as we ride by. Passing by the hardware store, Old Man Hill even removes his worn ball cap from his head as a show of respect. I rev my engine and keep in line with my brothers, making sure that as we pass through, we occasionally glance at those who are paying Chief respect by watching us pass. I steel myself as I see two men, each with an arm slung over a slick black Mercedes, both wearing dark sunglasses—despite the overcast sky—and impeccably tailored black suits. Mancuso. Signaling that we’ve got company to Ryan, who gives notice to Jim and the rest of the men, I don’t take my eyes off the Italians until I’m forced to keep my eyes on the road. Hopefully they’re just making a statement and not making their next move in what’s turned into a war.

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