He wanted to help her but held himself back.
“Am I? Please, I know a cry for help when I see one. Seriously, do you not see the conniving bitch? She wanted you, Preacher, and you, Bishop. I only helped. I was a good friend.”
“You’re lying,” Joanne said. “You wanted to hurt her, to ruin her, and you told her no one would believe her. She’s been all alone.” Joanne bowed her head. “I’m sorry for not speaking up sooner. I didn’t know what to say, and I … I didn’t know.”
Preacher ran a hand down his face, a little shocked. He had no intention of becoming a father again or ever.
“Take her to the basement,” he said, looking at Bear. “You, get out of sight.” He looked at Rebecca. “And you.” This was to Joanne. “Bishop, I need a few moments alone with Robin.” He looked at Robin. “Do I scare you?”
She shook her head but wouldn’t answer him.
It was all he was going to get for now, and he supposed that was more than he should have expected.
He’d thought about the woman from that night a few times. Never seeing her face or learning her name, he’d started to think she was just an illusion. However, the stained sheets were evidence she’d been there. The blood hadn’t come out, and he hadn’t thrown the sheets out, even though he’d had them washed several times.
Bishop didn’t offer her any comfort.
His son left, as did Bear with Milly, Rebecca, and Joanne, leaving him alone with Robin.
She stood, hands clenched, looking so damn scared.
He didn’t know what to say, or what to do. This wasn’t easy for him.
What about her?
She didn’t ask for this.
She’s pregnant with your baby after being drugged.
You weren’t gentle.
“Why didn’t you say anything?” he asked.
“I didn’t know what to say, or what to do? It wasn’t exactly easy,” she said. “How do you think I should have said anything? Milly drugged me, put me in your bed, you had sex with me, now I’m pregnant?”
Her face was bright red.
“It’s why you’ve not been around, isn’t it?”
She sniffled. “I … I don’t know what to do.”
“Do you want to get rid of it?”
“I don’t know.” She shrugged. “I don’t know. I was hoping I was wrong, but Mom heard me this morning throwing up, and she made me take those tests.” She ran fingers through her hair. “I don’t know what to do. I’m seventeen. I’m not prepared for this. I’m terrified. I don’t want you to go to prison.”
“You didn’t know.”
“Robin, I was drunk.”
“I didn’t exactly put up a fight.”
“Because you couldn’t,” he said.
“We could go around in circles about this. We can’t change what happened.”
“You’re being very logical about this,” he said.
She smiled. “Would you rather I freak out? Run around screaming? Break down?”
“I’ve not run around screaming. Breaking down, a little bit.” She stared at the ground for a few seconds, and while she did, he looked at her. She was the woman in his bed. He couldn’t believe it.
“You’d been a virgin.”
She looked up but didn’t dispute his claim.
“You and Bishop have never?”
“Never. Not because he doesn’t want to but I was never ready.” She winced.
“You don’t need to try and protect my feelings. I’m very much aware of what I’ve done and I’ve fucked up.”
“I don’t want to marry Bishop. I don’t think it’s right that I do.”
“You’re going to marry him, not for any other reason than to protect the club. You know how important it is to protect the club, don’t you?”
“I know. I remember.” Her hands were clenched into fists at her side.
“I’m sorry,” he said. It was rare for him to ever utter those words. In fact, he couldn’t recall a time he ever had spoken those words to anyone, not even his own son.
He noticed she didn’t forgive him. He didn’t ask for it because in all honesty, he didn’t want it.
“Bishop,” he said, yelling for his son.
Seconds later Bishop arrived.
“Take Robin home. Make sure she’s safe and comfortable. I’ll deal with everything else.”
Bishop didn’t say a word.
As Robin passed him, Preacher grabbed her arm. He couldn’t believe what had happened, but there was no getting away from it. He’d done this. “I will take care of everything.”
Robin nodded but didn’t say a word.
It explained her absence in his son’s life. It explained everything, and he didn’t even realize she’d been suffering. He had no idea it was her, and now, he couldn’t get her out of his head.
Bishop took her out of the club and made his way across toward the basement where Bear was waiting on the top step. The moment he opened the door, Bear stood.
“I had no idea you were talking about my daughter,” he said.
“I know. If you want to punch me, hurt me, now’s your chance. I won’t give you another shot like this.”