It would be so easy to assume they were talking about her, but she tried to ignore it.
Trying and failing to do so.
She didn’t know for sure if they were talking about her. Her mother had told her she was the talk of the town at the moment.
The good girl who ended up pregnant.
She didn’t like the vicious rumor, but there was nothing she could do about it. After all, it wasn’t like any of them were wrong.
No one had cared about her or what she did with her life, not until she became pregnant, and all of a sudden, people were all about making it their business when they didn’t have a right to.
Shaking off the feeling, she walked into the library.
It was quiet, and she found she loved it a hell of a lot more since getting pregnant. She put her books down on the table and opened them all up. She didn’t need to read any of the books.
She could have gone home and studied there, but she didn’t want to be alone in Preacher’s house. She also didn’t want to go home. There was something off about her mother. They’d never be close, which was why she found it hard to believe the kindness her mother was showing her now. It wasn’t real, and Robin kept on remembering that.
Staring at her biology book, she went through all the relevant stages of reproduction, moving onto to the reaction of enzymes, and then she changed the book because she didn’t want to stare at another picture of a slice open of the human body showing a vagina or penis.
Next was math, and her brain just wouldn’t work.
There were so many numbers, and it was all a jumbled-up mess of nonsense. Rubbing at her temple, she felt a little sick, and she was hungry.
She jumped as someone sat down beside her.
Looking up, she felt even more sick when she saw O’Klaren sitting close to her.
She lifted her head up and looked around.
No one was paying them any attention.
“What are you doing here?” she asked.
“You’re here all alone. I’ve got to say I’m a little shocked. You’ve usually got your bodyguard, your dad, or Preacher.”
She sat back, hoping he didn’t see how nervous she was. She’d noticed him lingering around the high school, but he never approached.
“So you’re turning into a stalker. Isn’t there a law against that kind of thing?”
“There’s also a law about a pregnant minor.”
“I didn’t report anything. You can’t do anything unless I do, and I’m not going to.”
“You see, I understand that you want to believe this is Bishop’s baby, and you know what, maybe my contact was wrong. You and Bishop are always together, but he’s not here now. In fact, I know he’s probably fucking his way through a bunch of club women.”
“For a cop you really do have bad language.”
“Well, I have to dumb down for criminals to hear what I’m saying. I can’t go around using big words.”
She didn’t say anything, staring at him, waiting for his threats to disappear.
“You don’t have to protect him, you know. I can help you.”
“I’m not protecting anyone.”
“Did you know how much of a bad liar you are?” He suddenly reached over and grabbed her arm. She let out a gasp but didn’t want to draw any attention to their table.
“You’re hurting me.”
“Let’s get one thing straight right now, his little club, it’s going down. By the time I’m through with it, there isn’t going to be anything left. You got it? If you don’t help me, I will make sure, you and your baby go down with it, or you can help me, and I will protect you.”
“Get your hands off her,” Preacher said.
Robin had never been so grateful to hear his voice. With him here, O’Klaren wouldn’t hurt her.
He let her go, and she pulled away, holding her arm close to her chest, not wanting to get too close to him.
“It was nice of you to show up,” O’Klaren said.
“I’m starting to think this is harassment. You keep throwing big words out there like minor and other such legal jargon. I wonder if you even understand it yourself. I get the big words, bud, but do you know what else I’m seeing?” Preacher stepped up close, and O’Klaren got to his feet.
“I’m seeing a bad cop who is going to make a mistake. Like, hit his wife in the wrong place, or hurt his son just too much that it can’t be explained away.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Preacher laughed. “Maybe not, but I can see with my own two eyes, and what I see is a cowardly cop who gets his shit and giggles from beating on a poor, defenseless woman and his kids. Pictures lie, and I see you, O’Klaren. You keep your hands off my family or you may take on a fight that won’t end well.”