“I’ll go and talk to her,” Preacher said.

No one made a move to stop him.

He went to check out Bishop’s room, his own, then the spare room she’d used a couple of times. When neither of those locations helped, he went to the only other place he could think of her going.

Closing the door behind him, he saw the closet door open and her feet peeking out.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled at him,” she said.

“I’m not here for any apology.”

He sat down on the floor in front of her, leaning his back up against the desk.

“What are you here for?”

“To make sure you’re okay.”

“Shouldn’t you be with Bishop?”

“One thing I’ve learned about that boy, he can take care of himself.”

“And I can’t.”

“I didn’t say that. You and Bishop need different things. Right now, you’re hurting.”

“I hurt his feelings.”

“Again, he’s a guy.”

“I don’t want this to get all sexist,” she said.

“He hasn’t lost a baby and clearly is finding this hard.”

“So it’s all my fault?”

“Are you trying to be a bitch, or is this all part of your master plan to annoy everyone?”

“I don’t mean to annoy. I’m sorry. You’re right. I’m being a bitch, and I don’t mean to. I’m … I don’t know what I am.”

Tears fell down her cheeks.

He hated to see her cry.

“You’re hurting, Robin. You can’t take this pain out on anyone else.”

“You’re right.” She sniffled. “It’s just, everyone is happy. I get they’re happy. You know, you’re alive, and everything is going back to normal. Bishop doesn’t have to deal with me having another man’s baby, but even though things have gone back to normal, it’s not the same.”

“Nothing will ever be the same. I can’t tell you this will ever get better or her loss will ever mean anything. I honestly don’t know, Robin.”

“Do you ever think about her? About what she’d be like?”

“Yeah, I do.”

“I … I thought about naming her Bethany. I wanted to ask you about names, but you were always so busy.”

“I’m never too busy for you. You can come to me about anything ,and I do think about her. I wish I’d gotten the chance to hold her.”

“It wasn’t supposed to be.”

“It wasn’t, but you don’t need to feel guilty about this. About all of this.”

“I heard those men. They mentioned O’Klaren.”

He nodded.

“What are you going to do?”

“For that, you don’t need to worry. Do you want a hug?”

“Yes. I really do.” She crawled between his spread thighs, and he held her close, running his fingers through her hair, trying to calm her down. “I like this with you,” she said. “It’s nice.”

“You’ve got to give Bishop a break.”

“You think I should sleep with him.”

“If that’s what you want to do.”

“No, I know it’s what he wants.” She tilted her head back. “I’m not ready. I don’t see him as my boyfriend.”

“He’s not your boyfriend, Robin. He’s your husband.”

“He doesn’t feel like that either. There are times he doesn’t even feel like a friend.” She dropped her head to his chest, and he held her.

“You need to give him a break. It doesn’t mean giving into his demands or his wants. But you’ve got to take it easy. I know it’s hard, trust me, I do.”

“Will the pain ever go away?”

“One day it will. I promise.” He kissed the top of her head, and hoped he’d said the right words.

Watching Robin breaking apart was shattering his soul.

****

“I need some insurance,” O’Klaren said.

Reaper sighed as he looked at the cop who’d entered his clubhouse, well, it was more of a dive, but it had suited him and the club for some time. The old warehouse had once belonged to a drug cartel until Reaper stormed it, taking the drugs, money, and warehouse. It had become his base for many years now, but the Slaves of the Beast never stayed in one place too long. The only reason he’d stayed close to Knight’s Bridge was for one reason, to take on Preacher and his club. He wanted to destroy the bastard for no other reason than it would be fun to watch him burn. It was how he got his kicks, and he intended to enjoy it every single step of the way.

“You think you can come into my place and make demands? I told you not to make any moves against Preacher.” He’d had a plan of his own, and it had been … a wonderful one.

He’d intended to take the Robin and the baby, and raise the child as his own while giving Preacher regular updates of Robin’s used-up pussy. Now that she’d lost the baby, his plan wasn’t going to work.

“You don’t get to tell me what to do. You seem to forget your place in all of this.”

He stood up, the chair sliding back and slamming against the wall. “And I guess you’re about to tell me exactly what my place is, huh? You think you’re better than me because you wear a badge.” He walked up to O’Klaren, and for the first time since Reaper had met the man, he looked afraid.

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