“I can’t help you, buddy. She is your best friend. You know what you’ve got to do. I’ve not got a clue.”

“Don’t you have any advice? Do you think I did something wrong?”

“I honestly don’t know. Do you feel you did something wrong?”

“Not a clue. I honestly don’t know what I could have done.” Bishop shook his head. “You know what, I’m not going to think about it. If she doesn’t want to talk about it, we won’t talk about it. It doesn’t matter, does it? One way or another, she’ll come around, or I go to her and grovel for forgiveness.”

“Is that a regular thing for you, groveling for forgiveness?”

Bishop scrunched up his nose. “Not really. She doesn’t usually care what I do or who I do it with.” He shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe she’s stressed about all of this school stuff. I don’t know why. I’d take care of all of her needs.”

“What if what she needs is not the same as what you need?”

Bishop laughed. “Do you realize we’re having a conversation about girls right now? We’re not arguing.”

Preacher snorted. “How long do we think that is going to last?”

“A couple of minutes at most. You’ll say something I hate, and I’ll snap. We’ll shout, and I’ll walk away.”

“You’ve predicted the future.” Preacher was growing bored with the conversation. There was no reason to continue it. With his grilled cheese sandwich finished, he left the kitchen.

“What do you suggest I do about Robin?”

“Figure something out. You’re a smart kid.” He slammed the door of his office and sat behind his desk.

Taking a bite into his sandwich, he looked over the documents that had been sent to him. O’Klaren, the latest chief of police, and one who seemed to have a clean as they come work ethic, smiled back at him. Something didn’t add up about the man. Why send a guy with an amazing arrest record like this to his town, if he was so good? Milner was once a good cop, but they’d sent him to this town to keep him out of the way. It could only mean one thing: O’Klaren had a dark secret and he’d have to do some digging. On the surface, he looked like a good man, but he knew people. O’Klaren wasn’t a good cop. Nah, there was something there spiraling beneath the man, something dark, and Preacher was going to find out what.

Preacher had gotten Dog and a few other associates, including Billy and Ryan, to try to figure out the best way to get this son of a bitch on his side. So far, there had been a couple of warnings.

Just last week he’d been in town, and O’Klaren had sought him out. It was the first time any of the cops on his payroll hadn’t given him the heads-up. He’d been right to keep quiet and lay low.

He’d been in charge for a long time and was used to getting what he wanted. This was the first time in a while where he had to literally do nothing and just wait for the all clear.

“Let’s get one thing straight, Keats, and I’m not going to justify calling you by your road name, you will always be Keats or Caleb to me. This is my town, and whatever shady shit you think you’ve got going down, it stops now. I will end you. I’m not Milner. I can’t be bought. You step out of line, I will make it my personal mission to see you rotting in jail and becoming someone’s bitch. I may even watch.”

Preacher would give the man some credit. He had a pair of balls, that was for sure. No one spoke to him like that, and because O’Klaren decided to go on the offensive and seek him out, well, he was more than willing to fight him back if he needed to.

With that in mind, he flicked open the file. It had only been a week, but there was sure a lot of information on the good old man of law.

He never had a bad word said against him. Always checked his leads. Took care of rats. He was, for all intents and purposes, a good guy.

Sitting back, Preacher finished his sandwich with a good look at the man’s family. He was a married man with five kids. The oldest was already away at college, and the kid had a history of problems. Assault and petty theft.

It intrigued him to know a good old guy like O’Klaren had a kid misbehaving, acting out. Taking a note of the kid’s age, Preacher saw he was only a year older than Bishop.

“Bishop, get your ass in here,” he said.

He didn’t have to wait long. Even as his kid was dragging his feet, he still arrived. “What’s up?”

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