“Don’t worry. They’re movies you’ve seen already so you’re not missing out on anything.”

“Don’t watch any I haven’t seen.”

“Do you really enjoy them?”

“They’re fine. Why? Easy to watch.”

“I just didn’t expect you to like them.”

“And why is that?” he asked.

“I guess I’d have figured you like more dangerous, scary, horror kind of films.”

“Robin, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the kinds of movies I watch.”

“No, of course not.” She looked out of the window but it was too dark to see anything, and now her curiosity started to get the better of her. “What kind of things do you like?”

He glanced over at her. “You really want to know?”

“Why not?”

“I like my club. It’s important to me, but I also like to erm, I like to draw.”

“Draw? As in sketch or paint?”

“No, just a pencil and a notepad. I don’t do it often, but I do like to do it. I’m pretty good if I do say so myself. Other than that, I don’t like anything else.”

“Do you ever allow yourself to like anything?”

“Because of the club?”

“Yeah, I imagine having so many enemies, it could be hard to let your guard down.”

“You’re very perceptive.”

“My dad, he told me once that you had a lot to deal with and didn’t want to have to worry about the bullshit Bishop and I got up to.”

“It didn’t bother me. Bishop, he acts out, but there’s not a lot I can do. It’s his prerogative. The kid wants to cause trouble, let him. I really don’t give a shit.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Why are you apologizing?”

“I’ve never stopped him. I probably could have, you know.”

“One thing in life you need to learn, Robin, don’t take credit for other people’s screwups. Let them accept them themselves. It’s not your problem, so don’t take it on.”

He pulled into a parking space, and she couldn’t believe how happy she was. She had expected to be upset because Bishop hadn’t spent any time with her, but in fact, she was happy. With Preacher she didn’t have to be tense or worried about upsetting him.

Bishop held high expectations from her, and she could never keep up with him, even if she wanted to.

“Are you hungry?”

“Starved.”

“Next time, call me. Don’t feed yourself a lettuce sandwich.”

“My cell phone broke today. I dropped it, and it shattered.”

“You could have used the house phone, but no worries.” Preacher pulled out his cell phone and typed. “A new one will be waiting for us when we get home.”

“Wow, you really can snap your fingers and get what you want, can’t you?” she asked.

“You bet your sweet ass, baby, I can.” He winked at her. “Come on, let’s go and have some food.”

He didn’t remove his leather cut, and she followed him into the restaurant. He took her hand, and they stood out like sore thumbs. Everyone she saw was dressed in beautiful cocktail dresses and suits while they wore scruffy clothes.

The maître d’ didn’t push them out the door or threaten to phone security. They were seen to a private table.

“Anything you want, sir, please ask.”

Preacher moved the maître d’ out of the way so he could help her sit at the table.

“Why are they so afraid of you?” she asked.

“I’m a scary person.”

“You’re not a scary person at all.”

He raised a brow as he sat. “You want to reassess that statement?”

“I know you do bad things. I’m just going to shut up. How are we even here? Don’t they have dress codes?”

“I own this place.”

“You do?”

“Yes. I’m a silent partner. I told you I love good food.”

“I had no idea.”

“There’s a lot of things you don’t know about me, sweetheart.”

She picked up the menu. “I have to say, I’m impressed.”

“I’ve got a lot more than this, believe me. It’s your birthday, order whatever you want.”

She looked over the menu. “Is this all expensive?”

“Yes.”

“Oh, I don’t think I should.”

“You totally should. You’re only eighteen once. The earrings look beautiful.”

She touched her ear. “Thank you.”

“You deserve pretty things.”

She couldn’t believe on her birthday, one of the pinnacles in her life, and Preacher was the one who was with her.

When their waiter came over, she let Preacher order for her. He poured them both a glass of water.

“How was the morning sickness today?”

“It was fine. Not too bad. I wasn’t actually sick. My stomach did a turn.”

“If I’d known Bishop wasn’t there, I’d have been.”

“You don’t have to worry about constantly babysitting me. I’m used to being on my own. It’s no biggie.”

“I mind.”

“Will you shout at Bishop?”

“I’ll deal with him. If he’s wanting to earn a patch within the club, he’s got to learn to follow instruction. I’m not just his father, I’m his leader, and he will do as he’s told or else.”

“What if he doesn’t want to?”

“We’re talking about the same Bishop that screws the girls hanging around, and throws the patch around like it’s his right to do it.”

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