“Hey,” he said.
They hadn’t been alone since it happened.
“Am I okay to make myself something to eat?” she asked.
“Yeah, of course. This is your home now.”
She nodded her head and made her way into the kitchen. She didn’t know when Preacher arrived back home, but she wasn’t going to ask.
Opening the fridge, nothing jumped out at her to eat, and she kept on staring. There was a list of foods Randall had advised she stopped eating.
Now, staring into the fridge, she wondered if starving would be a good idea.
Just great, Robin.
Yes, of course, feel sorry for yourself. It’s what you’re good at. Always feeling sorry for yourself.
“What’s with Bishop?” Preacher asked.
She turned to see him leaning against the counter. His leather cut was still on, and he looked menacing.
“Erm, I don’t know. He said he needed to clear his head. I really don’t think this was a good idea.” She held her hand up with the wedding band. “I honestly believe he feels trapped. He doesn’t like how I’m going to be giving birth to his sibling.” She scrunched up her nose. “I don’t think I can even think about it.”
“All the Bishop crap aside, how are you dealing?” he asked. “The pregnancy. Us.”
She lifted her head up, pulling out a bowl of boiled pasta. Preacher did most of the cooking.
“I don’t know.”
“You’re not eating pasta.” He took the bowl from her. “Sit down. I’ll cook.”
He removed his leather cut, hanging it up on the edge of the door before returning to the kitchen.
She watched as he washed his hands before gathering stuff from around the kitchen. She didn’t know what he was making and didn’t bother to ask.
“Are you afraid of me?”
“Yes, no, I don’t know. The night itself, it was … weird. I vaguely remember what happened, I mean, I know what was going on, but I never saw you. I woke up, and you were passed out. I feel like I should be afraid, but I know that you didn’t know it was me.”
“I can tell you it’s the last fucking time I’m getting drunk.”
She snorted. “Sorry, I shouldn’t … forget it.”
“I don’t want you to be afraid of me, Robin. I want you to understand that no matter what, I would never hurt you.”
The time when she was sixteen flashed before her eyes. She’d been ill, and the school had sent her home. Only, because of how out of it she’d been that morning, she’d forgotten her key and had no way of getting into her home.
She’d paid for a cab to take her to the clubhouse. Now, only a few cab drivers would actually take her within the walls of the clubhouse. Most often, they dropped her outside, or a few feet away. Some would even make her walk ten minutes so they didn’t appear on Preacher’s radar.
There was always a reason there was a huge secure wall keeping outsiders out.
This had been one of the days when the cab driver made her walk ten minutes. When she finally arrived, she happened to notice that most of the people weren’t there. There were no women, no club men hanging around.
They were so quiet.
She’d heard the screams first.
Trying to find her dad, she’d stumbled onto a scene of torture.
A man and woman had been stripped of their clothing, and there was no mistaking their dirty selves. They’d been covered in piss, shit, and other bodily fluids.
When it had come time to kill them, she’d seen it.
Afterward her father had yelled at her and Preacher had forced her to repeat the words he’d spoken.
“I didn’t see anything. I was sick. I passed out.”
“That’s all you say. If you don’t, I will not hesitate in killing you, Robin.”
The threat had been real, but she knew enough about the life to know she had to keep her mouth shut. She wondered if it hadn’t been for her father, if he’d have killed her already.
“Are you okay?” Preacher asked, waving a hand in front of her face.
“Sorry, I think I drifted off for a second there.”
“You did. Do you believe me?”
“Do I believe what?”
“What I said, that I will never hurt you.”
“I know.” He made no move to touch her and went back to stirring some onions and garlic in a saucepan. “Do you enjoy cooking?”
“No, I hate it, but I also don’t like takeout. I can’t help but wonder if someone has spat in my food.”
She laughed. “I don’t for a second believe anyone would dare spit in your food.”
“I’ll never know. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with cooking. It’ll be good for you and the baby.”
“How do you feel about all of this?” she asked, touching her stomach. “I don’t feel any differently. I mean the morning sickness is horrible and the tender bre—I mean, tender body can be a little upsetting, but other than that, you know, I’m okay. I feel okay most of the time. I should be okay.”