How well I have learned that there is no fence to sit on between heaven and hell.
I was mad at the world, at the whiskey for not being strong enough, at the drugs for not lasting long enough, at the fucking whores I banged for not getting me off when it was my fault my dick was fucking useless after a bucket of fucking blow. I went so far as to be pissed at random people on the street for laughing or smiling when I felt like I’d never be able to smile or laugh again.
How dare they?
How fucking dare they move on with their lives like my friend hadn’t just died.
I was on the verge of losing what little sanity I had left when I rode out of Logan’s Beach and set off to find a place, or places, where I could numb myself against the feelings that followed me from town to town, cheap motel to cheap motel, girl to girl, high to fucking high.
Then, this pink haired girl from the past came barreling into my life and it was like for the first time, I’d found a purpose. A real genuine purpose and not just some shit Chop spewed out as orders, that I and every other member of the Beach Bastards took as bible, but a true reason to live again.
To WANT to live again.
Someone to live for.
Ti was my chance at some sort of real happiness when Lord fucking knows I had no idea what that really was before her. The only glimpses of real genuine happiness I’d ever had came courtesy of Preppy, King, and of course Grace. Like when King tattooed us for the first time and we loved them¸ even though they were crooked and downright fucking awful. Like when Grace made me my very first birthday cake. Like the time King, Prep, and I sat at the top of the water tower and thought the world was ours to take.
Because at that time, it was.
Then there was Ti, and my new happiness became the first time I saw her smile. The first time I kissed her. The first time I tasted her pussy by the fire. The first time she let me inside of her, shamelessly pushing through her virginity in a frantic need to make her mine.
Because that’s what she was.
That’s what she would always be.
And I will kill every motherfucker who dares to try and take her from me.
Thirteen years old…
I went into my old man’s office to let him know that the shipment he’d been asking about for the last month was finally at the gate. The second I opened the door, I instantly regretted forgetting to knock. Chop was leaning back on the faded green chair in the corner of the room with his jeans down around his ankles, a beer in his hand. A redhead BBB named Millie, or Mallie, or Jennie, was on her knees between his legs, her head bobbing up and down on his dick. “Shit,” I muttered, remembering how much shit he gave me the last time I interrupted him with a chick. The black eye took two months to go away, and after that, he’d put me on gate duty for an entire fucking month.
Grabbing the door handle, I slowly retreated backwards, hoping he hadn’t noticed me.
I wasn’t that lucky.
“What the fuck have I told you, boy?” he bellowed. I froze. “You fucking stupid or something? You remember what happened last time you showed me disrespect? I tell you to fucking knock and you just walk in like you own the fucking place?” The girl lifted her mouth off his dick with an audible pop and I cringed. “Don’t fucking stop, bitch. Did I tell you that you could fucking stop?” Chop grabbed the back of her head and shoved her back down on his dick, holding her there.
“Sorry, Pop,” I said, a slip of the tongue and something else that was sure to set him off.
“Pop? Pop!” This time he yanked the girl’s head off his lap and threw her to the side, she landed on her hip and winced. He stood, tucking himself inside his jeans, zipping up as Jodi ran past us out the door. “What are you supposed to call me, son?” Chop spat, getting in my face. I could smell the beer on his breath.
“Prez,” I answered, looking to the floor as I’d been instructed.
“That’s right. Prez. The Daddy and Pop shit was for when you were a kid, and you ain’t no fucking kid no more,” he said. “Why do I want you to call me Prez?” he asked, poking me in the chest.
“Because you are the Prez,” I said, reciting the words he’d made me say ever since I’d officially turned prospect, and he’d decided that Pop was somehow a term of disrespect.
“That’s right, prospect. Me. I’m your fucking Prez. I’m not your dad, or your pop, or your fucking old man.” Chop grabbed me by my blank cut and tugged me down the hall and then down the stairs into the common room. A few of the brothers were sitting on stools at the bar. Most of the others were playing pool, their bets stacked up in high piles on the rim of the table, indicating the high stakes of the game.
Although it didn’t really matter how high the stakes were because the second Chop entered the room they put down their cues and turned their attention to us. He stood behind me and pushed me forward. I braced myself on one of the tables to keep from falling, sending a stack of bills scattering to the floor.
“Tell them. Tell your future brothers who I am, prospect,” Chop ordered, taunting me like he was waiting for me to snap. I was pissed but I wasn’t fucking stupid. All I had to do was bide my time as a prospect because once I was a patched member he’d have to show me some respect.
“He’s…” I started but faltered under the gaze of the brothers.
“I’m what, BOY!?” Chop leaned down and shouted in my ear. “And stand up fucking straight. I know whores who spend all day on their knees and on their backs who stand straighter than you.” He grabbed a fistful of my hair and tugged me upright.
“The Prez,” I said a little louder this time, wincing as he continued to pull on my hair like I was a fucking puppet and he was holding the strings.
“Who?” he barked like a drill sergeant.
“You are the Prez!” I screamed, hoping it would be good enough for him to let me go and for all of this to be over, which was all I wanted when Chop went off the deep end, which was more and more often.
“And who are you?”
“I’m nobody. I am a prospect.”
“What about the rest?” Chop prompted and my hands shook, my fear slowly turning to anger. I took a couple of deep breaths to try and suppress it. No good would come of me lashing out.
Just remember last time. Stay calm. A few more minutes. I told myself.
“Tell them what I have you tell me, you little twat. Tell them what you should already know, but seem to keep forgetting over and fucking over again when you show me disrespect.”
I glanced up at the men who all seemed to be amused, smiling and elbowing each other as if they were watching some sort of comedy show, all that is, except for one. A silver haired man in the back of the group stood straight faced, showing emotion that I could have easily have mistaken as sympathy if I thought a brother could have sympathy for a prospect.
I cleared my throat. “I am a prospect in the greatest MC in the state of Florida,” I said through my teeth. “The Beach Bastards. I am not a son. I do not have a father. I am a soldier in the army of the lawless, and I am nothing more.”
Chop grunted his approval, “Hopefully this will teach you a lesson you seem to have a hard fucking time learning. I do not need or want a son. What I need is a good fucking soldier.” He released my cut and pushed me to my knees. Kicking me in the tailbone with his boot, I fell flat onto the floor, my cheekbone smashing against the black-and-white checkered linoleum. “Man the fuck up and start showing me some fucking respect before I send you to the same place I sent your cunt of a mother.”
Chop stormed from the room, pausing to exchange a brief annoyed look with the silver haired man. The rest of the brothers resumed their drinking and their game like we were never there.
The silver haired man knelt down and extended out his hand, and I shot him a look that must have conveyed what I was thinking, which was ‘is this a trick?’ because he laughed, grabbed my hand and pulled me up off the floor. I put my hand over my face where my cheek throbbed, and judging from the new red stain on the white square I’d landed on, it was bleeding as well. “It get’s better.” He said, slapping me hard on the back.
“Does it?” I asked, and I genuinely wanted to know. Needed to know. I saw what the brothers had, and it was what I wanted. The parties. The girls. The bad-ass bikes.
A little fucking respect.
But at that moment I needed to know if what Chop was putting me through was really going to be worth it someday.
“Sure does, kid. I’m Joker,” he said, leading me over to the bar.
“Joker?” I asked. “You a comedian or something?”
“Nah, I just really like Batman movies, but Batman didn’t seem all that subtle a road name, so they started calling me Joker.” He laughed, taking a swig of his beer. “I always liked the villains better, anyway.” He signaled to the BBB behind the bar, and she handed him two bottles of beer. He slid one over to me.
“I ain’t seen you ’round here before,” I said, taking a swig. It was in no way my first beer. “I’m used to knowing most everyone who hangs around here.”
He shrugged. “Figured since our clubs are friendly for this second in time, and we got some business going, thought I’d come check things out,” he said, spinning around so I could see that his cut read Wolf Warriors instead of Beach Bastards.
“Your club treat your prospects like shit?” I asked, taking a seat on the stool I knew was already on the highest setting so I wouldn’t embarrass myself by having to adjust the seat. I may have been the spitting image of my old man, complete with blond hair and ridiculous freckles, but at thirteen I’d barley hit even half of his height.
“Fuck yeah we do,” he said with a laugh, taking a swig of his beer. He leaned in close and lowered his voice. “But we don’t treat our sons like shit. Family is everything, kid. You remember that. Family is the entire point of all this fucking bullshit,” Joker said, waving his beer bottle to everything around us.
Finishing my beer, I stood up and set it on the bar. “Well, Joker, you heard the Prez yourself. I’m not his son.” I turned to leave, my shift at the gate about to start when something Joker said made me pause and spin back around.
“When the gavel is yours, kid, you’ll change all this. It’s in your blood. You’ll make it right again. I know you will. I have faith in you.”
I crinkled my nose. “Who are you again?” I asked the stranger who seemed to know not only who I was, but what I was destined for.
“I’m just a biker looking out, kid.” He put a reassuring hand on my shoulder and gave me a squeeze. He looked at me thoughtfully and nodded his head like he was confirming something to himself before strolling out the door.
I never saw him again.
Echoes of inmates cries floated through the cell block at night. Most of these guys were hard gangsters by day and puddles of useless misery at night. It seemed that lights-out was the only time acceptable to wallow in the shitty hand you’ve been dealt.
In my game I was both player and dealer, and I knew what cards I held before anyone else did.
It pained me to remember the look on her face when they slapped the cuffs on me she thought were meant for her. Her face scrunching up in confusion, followed by her eyes widening in surprise. When she called out for me I almost didn’t look back, thinking that she might never forgive me for what I’d done. But I had to. One last time for only who knows how long. And when I did, I didn’t expect her to leap into my cuffed arms and press those perfect pouty pink lips against mine.
Those fucking lips.
I thought time away from Ti would make me forget. Not about her, just about the little details. The things that might drive a man crazy when he couldn’t be with the one he wants most. I thought that maybe as time passed her beautiful face would start to grow blurry and it would be harder for me to picture her. That maybe I wouldn’t remember the incredible way she smelled.
Her soft moans.
The way her cheeks flushed when she was about to come.
No, that didn’t happen.
What did happen was that I remembered everything, and in bright vivid detail. The more I thought about her the more I remembered.
With so much time on my hands, it was possible I remembered her in even more detail than I had when she was standing right in front of me. Like the way she shifted on her feet when she was uncomfortable. The way she bit the side of her thumb when she was nervous.
I’d never had the need to claim a bitch my entire life. But then I tasted her by the fire and I knew there was no turning back. Not for me. Not ever. That first time with her in the truck, I swear I was chanting MINE in my head as I pushed in and pulled out of her incredible pussy.
If I thought long and hard enough I could still smell her on me.
I often had to remind my cock of where we were and of the immediate threat at hand, because it was easy to get lost in the memories. Naked. Writhing. Panting.
* * *
As easy as it was to get lost in the thoughts of her, it wasn’t easy to forget about the immediate threat that could be looming beyond every turn. No cell was safe. No hallway. No bathroom. Not even the yard.
When Bethany told me they had enough evidence to arrest Ti, there was no way I was going to let them take her and spared no fucking second thought about taking her place. Which is all the more reason to make sure my guard is up and that each and every Bastard who thought they could come at me in County would end up mangled or dead. Didn’t really matter because either way, it wouldn’t be Ti.
Unable to sleep, I stood at the cell door and leaned against the bars. Across cell block, through the high window, the ONLY window, was the full moon obscured by thin passing clouds, offering the only glimpse of freedom I was sure to have for a long while.
The D.A. announced shortly after I’d been arrested that they were pushing for the death penalty.
The clouds parted and the light of the moon lit up my cell like a spotlight. Oddly enough illuminating the graffiti on the cell block wall above the toilet.
BEACH BASTARDS, LOGAN’S BEACH was tagged in thick marker.
I sighed. Even in my fucking cell I couldn’t escape their reach, even if it was only in ink form.
The Beach Bastards used to be more than just a motorcycle club, more than my home even. They were a brotherhood, bound by loyalty. At the time nothing compared to the feeling of belonging to something bigger and more important than myself.
Something I believed in with everything I had and was.
When I left the MC, I never thought I’d have that again, but I was wrong. Although the packaging was a little different. Instead of leather and tattoos, it was a smart mouth and a body I wanted riding my face every fucking second of the day.
When I was a Bastard, I’d lived and breathed by a code. The very foundation the MC was built around.