Broken & Burned(55)

By: A.J Downey

“Chuckie didn’t end up making the cut, nobody’s seen him since a few weeks after I brought my Sunshine girl in. Derek looks like he’s going to make it at some point. Zander’s expressed some interest and so has Squick in becoming hang-‘rounds.” Trigger rattled off.

“Yeah, that’s my fault about Chuckie,” Doc said ruefully, “I’m afraid I’m not a very good sponsor. Kid dropped off the radar with me and I didn’t exactly bother lookin’. He took up with some other club that he said had more time for him.” Doc grimaced and there was a moment of silence.

“Don’t worry ‘bout it too much, Doc. Out of all of us you’re the busiest between the club and the hospital. I wasn’t too keen on the kid anyways,” my Dad said, I was more interested in one of the guys Trigger mentioned.

“Squick even got a bike?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.

“No shit, he just picked himself up a 1970 BMW 75/5!” Trig answered grinning. Laughter tittered around the table. I shrugged a shoulder. It wasn’t exactly a biker’s motorcycle but it fit the lanky tattoo artist’s style.

“Those fuckers are a rat bike if I’ve ever seen one,” Reaver said grinning, he used the affectionate term for a motorcycle that didn’t look like much, but like a rat, just kept going and going… Rat bikes were nigh impossible to kill just like the critter they were named after.

“Doesn’t look like a rat bike,” Trigger said dryly and he was smiling like some kind of proud papa.

“Oh?” Doc asked leaning in.

“Naw, he restored it to perfection before bringing it out where anyone could see it. Did a great job on it too, looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor. He’s bringing it in tonight, Zander’s coming in on his custom. Thought they might like to join the party.” Trigger flashed a triumphant grin in Dragon’s direction. My dad shook his head, smiling.

“So I mention our membership is flagging and you bring in three of your guys?” My dad’s eyes narrowed, half suspicious.

“I told you when you signed me on as Sergeant of Arms, whatever you need Brother. You call I answer.” Trig crossed his arms over his chest and gave my dad that cool appraising sniper’s look that raised the hair on the back of my arms and neck. Something silent passed between them and finally, satisfied, my dad nodded.

“I knew I made the right decision signing you on,” my dad looked at me and I read it clear. Someday I would be president of this club and on that day I had better get used to the idea of Trigger as my VP because it was pretty much between him and Reaver. Both of them were great candidates, calculating and level headed, but Trigger more so than the younger blade-loving man. I was pretty sure Trig would be my Veep and Reaver would move on up to Sergeant of Arms and we’d have to find a new Treasurer and Secretary.

Doc had been making noises about retiring for a while now. If anything, I saw him leaving before my Pops. I scrubbed my face with my hands and dropped my feet to the floor. I’d been needing to get more serious about the club for a while and I’d been failing at it. I aimed to remedy that, had been working on it ever since spring lake run… Everett had kind of derailed me for the last week or two but no one seemed to take notice or mind. Now they were all looking at me expectantly.

“You can’t sponsor three guys at a time Trig. One at a time. It’s in our by-laws.” I sniffed and leaned back. It was time to throw my support one way or the other. My dad’s suspicious look had a little bit of merit. Trig bringing in three guys would definitely sway any vote in his direction if all three of ‘em ended up patched.

As it stood, we had the council of five and only three patched members in our mother charter… Data, Gypsy and Lucky. Lucky hadn’t been around much. His folks were older and he’d gone up north to do what he could for them. The mother charter was flat lining and a big chunk of that was aging and retiring members, the next was the fact that a lot of members had chosen to patch over into other charters who were up for things a little less than above board legally.

After my mom died, we’d torn ourselves apart. Burned some bridges, which needed burning, to the mother fucking ground and lit the way out of some bad dealings with them. We were still waging some internal battles with fringe charters on getting out of drug running and the illegal shit and we were in serious need of some new blood as a result.

“I’ll sponsor Zander,” I said at last, throwing my lot in with Trigger. He was a good man. A better man than I was, older, wiser and the club needed him. I caught a flash of triumph in my pops’ dark eyes, so like my own and felt a surge of satisfaction. My old man let me make my choices, needed me to make my own choices but he wanted Sacred Hearts to not only survive but thrive with his boy at the helm. I’d disappointed him for far too long and it was past time for me to grow the fuck up and change it.

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