“I don’t know what to say.”
“There’s nothing for you to really say.”
“I worked for him for a couple of years.”
“He’d been trying to get in my pants.”
“I know,” Pie said. “And every time you put up a fight, he started to plan. He wanted you, and regardless of what you wanted, he was going to take you.” He shrugged. “There’s not a lot you can do about that, babe.”
She took a deep breath, really needing to deal with this new information. One thing was for certain, she wouldn’t be quitting any time soon.
“I can’t let anything happen to you or the club.”
“Nothing is going to happen to either of us, Lindsey. You don’t have to go back there. I’ve got plenty of money to pay you.”
She tucked some hair behind her ear. “I can’t, okay? I have … I need to do this. To go back there, and even if it is just to hand in my notice, either way I look at it, cops come calling for whatever reason, they’re going to look at the club, at you.” She gripped his hand within her own. “And I can’t let them do that. Not to you.”
He sighed and kissed her knuckles. “You’re going to be a pain in the ass, aren’t you?”
“Every single day, and you know I’m right.”
“Why are you packing up?”
“I still need to head back home. I’ve got an apartment that’s probably stinking a whole lot right now. Check through my groceries, you know, toss everything out that’s off or moldy. Ugh, I think I even bought some giant shrimp. They are going to smell so bad right now.”
“I’ll take you home.”
She walked downstairs behind Pie and noticed Matthew at the bottom, scrubbing the steps.
“You okay?” she asked.
“Yep, I’m fine. Just cleaning the dog shit from the stairs.”
“Ew, there’s dog mess?”
“Yep, but I think Dime did it on purpose. Went and stood in it and walked it all in the clubhouse. Don’t worry. Just walk where I cleaned,” Matthew said.
“Positive. Don’t want you getting dirty mess on your shoes.”
She held the banister and walked past. Pie had told her what Matthew was doing. How at the weekends and in the evenings when he wasn’t at the local college he was prospecting for the club.
“I hope you do really well and you pass. You know. Become a full-fledged member and stuff,” she said.
“Thanks, Lindsey. I’m sorry about what happened to you.”
“Well, I’m getting over it.” She bent down and gave his shoulder a squeeze. “Take care.”
Walking away, she nodded at several of the club boys, and ignored the sweet-butts that were hanging around the guys’ necks like fucking sucking fish. She could never remember their real aquarium name, only that they sucked on the sides of the tank, looking ugly as fuck.
She had no claim to Pie, but she’d seen several of them look at him like he was a piece of meat for them to nibble on.
Once outside, she saw Pie setting up his bike. She put the strap of the bag over her neck and secured the latch.
“You’re heading back to your place?” Duke asked.
“Do you always sneak up on people?” She turned to see the club Prez, cleaning his hands on a dirty cloth. He didn’t wear his leather cut and had been under the hood of his car.
“Only the ones that don’t pay attention.”
“Yeah, I’m heading back. I kind of need to get back into the swing of things.”
“What about the bruising on your face?”
It had faded a lot in the past week. “I’ll get some makeup on there. It’ll be fine. Thank you for putting up with me this past week.”
“You’re not that bad to have around. Mary and Holly both approve of you. Both of them spend the most time here, unlike some of the old ladies.”
She had noticed that. Only during special parties or big events did all of the old ladies visit. Otherwise they had their own lives to get to.
“They’re good women. I think I put on a few extra pounds while I was here, but oh, well, no biggie.” She shrugged.
“Don’t let that asshole have any power over you. You’re the one in control, no one else.”
“You’re speaking from experience?”
“I’m speaking from my own knowledge, and seeing you around the past couple of days, I didn’t think it was possible, but I did miss the old you.”
This did make her smile. “Thank you, Duke.”
“Anytime. I don’t need to tell you to keep Pie’s involvement to yourself.”
She twisted an imaginary key against her lips and threw away the key. “Consider it gone, completely gone.”
He nodded at her and headed toward the house.
“Do I want to know what that was about?” Pie asked.
“Just a couple of warnings, you know. Don’t do this, don’t do that. His daddy routine.”