Preacher shoved Bishop away from him, and she watched her friend as he walked past her father, who proceeded to grab him by the ear and march him back into the clubhouse.
Quickly climbing into Preacher’s passenger side, she stared at her arm. The pain was still there. It hadn’t been numbed or anything. She very much felt what was happening.
Humming to herself, she waited, and the moment the car door opened, she shut up.
He got behind the wheel, turning the ignition over, and pulled out of the parking lot, while dialing someone on his cell phone.
“I need the doc back at my place. Twenty minutes tops.” He didn’t wait for any confirmation, simply hung up his cell phone and headed toward his home.
She’d been to Preacher’s house many times.
Growing up, she’d had a lot of sleepovers with Bishop. They’d been close friends in the crib, so there was no reason not to extend their friendship.
“Does it hurt?”
“It’s not what I asked. Answer my question.”
“It does hurt. I’d give it a seven.”
“It’s bleeding through your shirt. You should have told him to take you home.”
“Bishop wouldn’t have listened to me. You know how he gets.”
“When he thinks he’s right, yeah, I know, and he needs to learn he can’t have everything. This was irresponsible. There will come a time when my name won’t save him, you know that, right?”
“I … I didn’t encourage him to take me, sir.”
“Are you ever going to call me Preacher?” he asked. “It’s always ‘sir’ or ‘Mr. Keats.’ I don’t go by the latter, ever. Bishop’s teachers all call me Preacher.”
“Is that the name you prefer?”
“It’s the name I go by. The one I gave to myself.”
She knew his real name but never used it. In fact, she was there the last time someone called him by his real name, and well, she didn’t even want to go down memory lane.
“It just doesn’t seem right me using that name for you.”
“I don’t know. I guess it just doesn’t. I’m not trying to be disrespectful, I promise.”
“It’s okay. I get it.”
“You do?” She had no idea what was wrong with her.
Calling him Preacher, it felt … intimate to do so.
Pushing those thoughts from her mind, she felt a little woozy.
“I feel sick.”
He quickly pulled up, and she opened the door. Rushing out of his truck, she bent over and threw up. Within seconds he was there, holding her hair back, keeping it out of her way as she vomited again.
“It’s okay. I’ve got you.”
She put a hand to her stomach and after another vomit fest, she knew she’d be fine.
“Are you good?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m good.”
“Probably from the blood loss, or I scare you sick.”
She wouldn’t admit to him that it was mostly the latter. She’d never been sick before just because he was present in her company.
She nodded. “Yeah.”
“Good.” He let go of her hair and handed her a tissue, which she took, grateful.
Next, he helped her back into the truck, handing her a mint as he did so.
She took it from him. “Thanks.”
“Don’t mention it.”
When Preacher gave an instruction, you followed it, and this was very much an instruction.
As she was sucking on the mint, they arrived at his home. It was down an old dirt road. It had once been nothing more than a trailer on a large piece of land, surrounded by woodland. Preacher had it built into a three-story house, with six bedrooms, and all the latest accessories. The house was a piece of luxury, a property most people would kill for, and he rarely spent any time in it.
Since Bishop had gotten a license, she knew her friend rarely spent any time there either.
He either stayed with her, or at the clubhouse.
Of course, he was only allowed to stay with her when her father wasn’t around. Rebecca had no problem with boys staying at her place.
Climbing out of the truck once again, she followed Preacher up to his home. He unlocked the door, and put in the code as the alarm started to blare to life.
“There’s a spare toothbrush in the downstairs bathroom for you to use.”
She went straight to it.
It was really her own toothbrush, but she wouldn’t tell him that.
Entering the bathroom, she took a quick note of how pale she looked. Blood loss would do that to a girl.
Running her fingers through her hair, she tried to calm her rioting emotions. Bishop didn’t care enough to get her to the emergency room.
Shaking those thoughts from her mind, she didn’t want to think of her best friend as lacking in any regard.
She loved him as a best friend, and never wanted to lose him.
He was her soul mate in many elements of their life. She couldn’t imagine life without him, not even for a second. There were times she didn’t like him though. Like now, he’d been so consumed and pissed at his father, he didn’t even consider her.