Matt laughed. “No, bro. Sorry. That was a bad joke. I’m a trust fund baby. I get a new one each year.”
“Must be nice.”
“It helps with the illusion that I’m a successful lawyer.”
“Instead, you get jokers like me.”
“To be honest, if Luke hadn’t call me I wouldn’t have taken your case. I don’t do traffic cases. But for Luke, yeah. I’ll do it. Helps my reputation at the courthouse as a gang lord lawyer.”
“You like to live dangerously.”
“No. I like to, well, that’s another discussion. So, tell me, what the hell happened at the traffic stop?”
Saks gave him all the details, from his ill-fated passing of the too-slow car ahead of him to the trooper slapping the cuffs on him.
Matt listened in grim silence.
“What did he clip me for?” Saks asked.
“He didn’t tell you?”
“Just the resisting charge. It’s a bullshit charge.”
“I know it. He knew it. The trooper was yanking on biker chain. I bet he was hoping he’d get something more substantial, like a nice, juicy drug bust out of you. He didn’t know he pulled over the Boy Scout of bikers.”
Saks scoffed. “Boy Scout of bikers?”
“Luke’s words, not mine. But don’t go too hard on him. It was Luke who made the call to your cousin.”
Geez. Saks had so many cousins he couldn’t keep count of them. “Which cousin?”
“The detective. He called around and found you in lock-up.”
“Luigi,” Saks said with satisfaction. He always could count on Cousin Lou, who was like himself with the family—the odd man out.
“Luigi? I thought he called himself Louis.”
“That’s what he uses at the station. He got tired of the Mario Brothers jokes.”
“I can see that.”
Saks sighed and nodded appreciatively. “Luke was smart to call him. He’ll keep my arrest on the down low until I can mention it to my family.”
“They the type to give you a hard time about it?”
“Yeah. The teasing will be ridiculous.”
“Yeah. In my family, a traffic ticket is a joke.”
“And who’s your family?”
“You don’t know?” Saks said in surprise. “I’m a Rocco.”
“I see. Well, I guess I’ll get extra street cred out of your case.”
“Not from me. I’m the Boy Scout, remember?”
“Funny,” Stone deadpanned. “Okay. Here we are.”
Saks didn’t think to ask where they were heading, but he saw the sign for Central Valley Bike Repair from the road, and then they drove into the back lot and Saks spied the lights from the clubhouse blazing.
“Not my idea but, apparently, your arrest has ‘far reaching consequences.’ At least that’s what your club president said on the phone.”
Oh shit. The day was going from terrible to hellish. He did not want to face the wrath of club president, Oakland Walker.
“Here’s what you need to know. The trooper said he clocked you at fifty-six which, considering the bend you took in that road, I think is ridiculous. Fortunately, in Connecticut it’s not about how fast you’re going, unless you’re going eighty-five, but what kind of road you’re on.”
“But the speed limit is forty.”
“Yes, because it cuts through the reservoir. But no one goes that speed. Cop saw a biker, and he thought he’d get the easy ticket. But that’s not going to happen. Here.” Matt shoved the ticket and a pen into Saks’ hand.
“What are you going to do?”
“Plead not guilty.”
“But I am.”
“Look,” Matt said, “it’s not about whether you’re guilty or not. It’s whether or not they can prove it. In cases like this, they go on the word of the officer, but considering how he treated you I bet I can dig up some stuff that will make the prosecution back off. I might even get the charges dismissed.”
“You think so?”
“I make no guarantees. We’re dealing with the legal system here. But I’ll give it my best shot.”
“Thanks,” Saks said. “I appreciate it.”
“You’ll appreciate it more when you get my bill.”
“Do you need a retainer?”
“I’d appreciate it.”
“Give me your card and I’ll send a check tomorrow. Two thousand good?”
“That’s what I like. A man who knows the value of good legal representation.”
Yes, Saks did; another lesson courtesy of his father. “I expect you to earn it,” Saks said. He pushed open the door. Matt just calmly sat at the wheel. “Are you coming?”
“Nope. There are some things I don’t need to know, like what goes on in that clubhouse.”
“I thought you were into bikes.”
“I am. Just not bikers. I’ll start on your case tomorrow.”
“Later,” Saks said.
Matt pulled away and Saks stood staring at the front door of the Hades’ Spawn clubhouse. Luke had built it from a prefab Quonset hut, but it was a fancy modern model, with wood shingles at the left of the door and a large window on the right. The right side was painted a purplish grey, just as the walls inside the club were. He climbed the cement steps and pulled open the door.