Preacher sat back, watching Milner.
When they had first gotten to know each other, Milner had been a stable cop. He’d never taken a bribe, and before Preacher got his President patch, no one had dared approach Milner. He was always gunning for the Twisted Monsters MC, until Preacher approached him during Milner’s time of need.
Fifteen years ago, Milner’s wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and any medical care in the country came at a really steep price. It often sent people into a whole load of debt, and Milner was no different. To save his wife, he’d nearly bankrupted himself, and there was no way to help his wife continue treatment, until Preacher came along. Along with the medical expenses, Milner also had another little problem on the side, gambling. The man, in his misery, liked to visit the races and tables in order to make a quick buck.
Preacher had offered Milner a deal, to look the other way, to let him help take care of the trash, so long as he didn’t get involved with club business. He’d keep him in the know, and also offer him certain details to keep anyone from looking too closely. In return, he paid for all the expenses, built up his savings, and offered him a nice retirement fund for all of his troubles.
At the time, he’d taken an advantage of a broken man, especially since Milner’s wife did not survive in the end.
Preacher hadn’t cared. There were only so many opportunities open to him, and seeing as this was the best one, he’d taken it. What Preacher hadn’t expected over the years was to actually like the old man.
Milner went to his wall cabinet, and Preacher watched as he swung open a picture, and opened up the safe right in front of him. He pulled out several files.
“Here you go. You can do whatever you want with these.”
“What are they?” Preacher asked.
“Old witness statements. Some from your wife.”
“She was never my wife.” He’d never married Flora. He couldn’t stand the woman.
“She’d come to me, but we also got the evidence to prove she went to a rival gang. They must have seen an opportunity and killed her.”
Preacher didn’t dispute the man’s story. He also didn’t know if Milner was being blackmailed or someone was listening to their conversation.
As far as anyone knew, his ex—for some reason they always assumed she was his wife, but he never put a ring on her finger or said any vows—had gone to a rival MC, and they’d killed her.
What actually happened was, he’d been alerted by his contacts what they’d seen. When she’d come home, he’d killed her.
She’d screamed every second of the twenty minutes it had taken to kill her.
It was so much fun, but then, he’d never liked Flora. She’d been good for fucking but nothing else.
“Is everything okay, Milner?”
“Are you visiting the tables? The races? Are you keeping on the straight and narrow?” During Milner’s wife’s illness and after she died, he’d gone into a pit of despair and become addicted to gambling. Before, it could have been argued, he tried to do it for the peace it offered during a painful time, but after, it became a nasty addiction. Preacher liked him, and rather than see him fall, he’d taken care of him. He’d not put a bet on in years, at least as far as Preacher knew.
“Nothing. I’m good, Preacher. Just trying to figure out what to do with my fucking life now. I wasn’t ready for retirement, you know. I rather liked this gig.”
“I wish you well, Milner. I look forward to meeting your replacement.”
He got to his feet, shook the man’s hand, and noticed it was clammy.
Smiling, he left the house, got on his bike, and joined up with Bear, Grind, Smally, and Grave at the local diner. There was something going on with Milner, and he’d take care of it. He didn’t believe it had anything to do with the new cop. If anything, something was off with Milner’s life. He’d been changing over the past couple of years, but it hadn’t affected the club, so he’d not given it much thought. Now he was going to look into it. Maybe he was back into gambling. At the moment, Preacher wasn’t too concerned with Milner’s replacement. The town was a small one where barely any shit went down. In fact, he made the town rather more appealing just by being near it.
The moment they entered the place, everyone went silent, but he didn’t give a shit. He was hungry, wanted to eat, and seeing as this was the only place in town that served good food, he was willing to put up with the death stares.
All of his life he’d lived with the reproachful looks of strangers. They always treated him and the club like they were nothing more than insects, and he had no freaking problem with their bullshit. He’d long grown tired of all the shit they tried to pull.