Preacher took her bottle of water and drank half of it.
“I killed her. I tore her apart. I sliced her up, made her hurt, and then, I buried her in a secure location. She hurt a lot before she met her end.”
“She was alive when you buried her?”
She felt a little sick. Putting a hand to her stomach, she tried to keep her food down, but it wasn’t happening.
Rushing toward the downstairs toilet she only just made it as she began to throw up everything she’d eaten that day.
Preacher came, holding her hair back as she was sick.
Only when she was done, she collapsed on the floor, feeling even worse than before.
“Are you done?”
“Yes, I think so.”
She expected him to leave, but instead he sat down beside the toilet. Tears filled her eyes.
“You shouldn’t have asked.”
“You can’t keep getting sick. It’s not good for you or the baby.”
“I know.” She rested her face on her hands, staring up at him. “You’re my baby’s father.”
“Are you still trying to get your head around that?”
“I don’t know what to think or feel right now. I feel sick.”
“Are you going to throw up again?”
“No. I want to be afraid of you, but I know, you didn’t know. It’s all messed up.” She sniffled. “I didn’t want to have sex. I don’t … even remember it.”
“I was drunk.”
“I woke up next to you. You had your arm wrapped around me, and I was so scared what would happen if you woke up. I … I panicked.”
“I wish you had woken me up. I could have helped you deal with all of this.”
“Do you mean by getting rid of the baby? That seems to be everyone’s big idea about it.”
“No, not get rid of it. Just to deal with the fallout. You shouldn’t have gone through that alone.”
She wiped her eyes, but the tears wouldn’t stop.
“I wish it hadn’t happened,” she said. “Bishop and I, we always had our problems, but we worked through them. Now, he just messed up. He wants everything I can’t give him, and I feel so horrible. It’s not like I’m a virgin anymore.”
“You’ve a right to deny him, Robin. You do what makes you feel comfortable. No one else.”
“Do you want to keep it?”
“Yes.” He reached out. His hand was so close, but he never touched her. He pulled away. “Yes, I do.”
She didn’t ask him why he didn’t hold her hand. She knew.
“Is there a reason you’re tearing apart all of Milly’s bedroom?” Bear asked.
“I’m looking for something, any clue that might suggest she was screwing O’Klaren.”
“That’s a stretch isn’t it?”
“This is coming after he has a private talk with Robin in Arnold’s office asking her specific questions. I’m not taking any chances. He knows something, and who better to tell him the little secrets than the woman who started it all?” He threw the latest drawer into a pile.
“We know him to be clean of all the drugs and shit, so why would he even think to be near a woman who was aligned with us?”
“Helping each other out, to get me out of the picture.”
“How is my daughter lately?” Bear asked.
Preacher paused and turned toward his friend. He and Bear had always gotten on well. He considered him a friend, a close friend.
“She’s fine. Why don’t you go and ask her?”
“Here’s the thing, she’s keeping up appearances, and I haven’t gotten the chance to talk to her. To even say two words to her. Tell me how I’m supposed to fucking feel.”
“Again, I don’t have a fucking clue,” Preacher said. “You and Rebecca are welcome to come to my place any time to see her. I’m not holding her hostage. I’m dealing with damage control right now. You think I wanted this?”
“I don’t know what it is you want.”
“I’ve got a kid on the way. I know it’s with your kid, but I didn’t manipulate this shit. You can be pissed at me for a long time, but you’ve got to get over it. I have.”
“Do you like my kid?” Bear asked.
“I’m not a pervert, Bear.” Preacher burst out laughing. “You know, I look at Robin, and she is handling everything really fucking well, but there are times, a few, not a lot, where I feel so fucking sick to my stomach by what happened. Do you think this is easy for me? I can go in and out of my day without a single care in the world, is that what you think?”
“You tell me.”
“I asked about her, Bear. I didn’t even know who she was, but I thought about her. I talked to you about her and fuck! You think this is easy? It fucking sucks. My kid can’t even handle what the fuck is going on. He’s up and down. All over the place. One day soon, he’s going to snap, and I’ve got to be in the right place when it happens because if I’m not we’re all screwed.” He didn’t show weakness, but knowing Robin carried his kid, it was hard. So far, she hadn’t freaked out or tried to do something stupid. She was keeping her shit together.