From the look on Bear’s face, he wasn’t.
“I’m sorry,” Bear said.
“You don’t owe me an apology.”
“I just, I feel like I fucking failed her, Preacher. I love that girl so much. I haven’t always been the best dad, but when it comes to her, I try to do my best. Even Rebecca, some shit has changed, I don’t know what. We sit in that empty house, and I’ve gone home to have dinner more than once in the past couple of weeks. I’m going to be a granddaddy to your baby.” Bear shook his head. “I’m torn between wanting to put you in the fucking ground, and hugging you. I know this shit happened to you too. You thought we’d given you a woman, and we hadn’t.”
“I don’t want to talk about it. I just need to know everything Milly had on O’Klaren. She wasn’t stupid.”
“Then you’d be best off looking in Bishop’s room. In case something like this ever happened, I imagine she’d hide it there,” Bear said.
“Did you even like her?”
He left the mess to the girls to clean up. This wasn’t his problem. It would be someone else’s.
“She was okay. She always had her own agenda, but I don’t think that’s different from every other woman. You know. They always have a way and means of dealing with shit. She was no different.”
Entering Bishop’s room, he paused when he caught sight of one of Robin’s shirts. It shouldn’t matter and while Bear was in his company, he ignored it.
Opening drawers, he stared at his son’s clothes, not really feeling anything.
It was all a fucking mess. Checking through everything, he finally moved to the small closet. He turned the light on, and as he did, a box fell down, spewing out loads of photographs. He bent down, picking them up.
Pictures of Robin and Bishop together.
He looked over each one, smiling. They were good together. Their friendship had always been strong, and it was even more so now.
“What you got?”
“Just some pictures.”
He quickly put them away.
“It amazes me how fast they grow up. I remember when Robin was first born. She was so small, and I often wondered to myself how I was going to protect her, love her, be there for her when she needed me the most, you know.”
“You didn’t fail her, Bear.”
“Come on, let’s find whatever it is you think you’re looking for.”
Preacher tilted the light, and between a couple of boxes, he saw a file. Pulling it out, he opened it up, and inside was exactly what he was looking for.
Stepping out of the closet, he stared at a picture he knew from reality.
Robin, naked, only her back was showing.
“Milly took a picture of her on my bed.”
He flicked through a few of the other pictures and notes.
When he got to the last page, he paused. “She was going to try and attempt to blackmail me.”
The greedy bitch had wanted a couple of million dollars for her silence and for the evidence to go away.
“This doesn’t prove anything,” Bear said.
“No, but what it does prove is Milly knew what she was doing, and I wouldn’t doubt for a single second, she whispered the right words of doubt into mister asshole’s ear.” He snapped the file closed.
He walked outside, and it had already started to get dark. One of the trash bins was already alight, and the other club brothers moved out of his way.
Slowly, piece by piece, he burned up the evidence of Robin and himself.
Never would he allow himself to get that drunk he didn’t know what was happening.
Bear left as he finished burning up the documents.
After the fire burned down, Preacher didn’t go home.
He had to keep his distance for Robin’s sake. He’d already turned her life upside down and inside out.
One, she was married to his son. Two, she was living in his house. Three, she was having his baby.
Robin Rose fucking Riley was having his baby.
Not Riley anymore, no, Keats.
He was getting too old for this shit.
Running a hand down his face, he tried to clear the fog from his mind, but nothing was working. It was all just a bit too much for him.
He made his way into his office. Then he closed the door and walked behind his desk, slumping down.
There was nothing for him to do yet, but sit around and wait.
Waiting for what exactly, he didn’t know. With everything going on around him, he felt so fucking out of it. He couldn’t do jack shit with O’Klaren breathing down his neck. This new cop had really thrown a wrench in the works, and it pissed him off to know there was nothing he could do, at least not yet.
Dog wanted to get another fight up and running, and it would be good for business. They’d already had too much of a gap between fights, and he was ready to get back into the swing of things.