There is something festering inside me. It’s been eating away at me for as long as I can remember, no matter how hard I pretend it isn’t there, no matter how far I shove it down. I’ve spent decades building a cage around it, reinforcing steel with concrete and barbed wire. Yet deep in the night, when only echoes are awake, I can hear it scraping away at my defenses. It is coming for me, and it will destroy everything I love.
That’s why I sit at this salvaged table, gavel in hand. Because if the monster is going to get me, then I’m not going down without a fight. I’m leaving a future for my son, for the only good thing I’ve ever done. If there is a monster inside me, then he is my salvation. And I will do whatever it takes to save him from myself.
I bang the gavel against the table, my grip firm. “Calling the first meeting of the River Reapers MC to order,” I say through a grin.
Mercy grins back from my right. “Hear, hear.”
Mercy and I have been through everything together. We were in that dusty motherfucking theater, and neither of us came back whole. The problem is, I was never whole to begin with. Not even Mercy knows why. It’s the one thing I’ve never been able to tell him.
“Am I supposed to take notes?” our Treasurer Mark asks, a pen cap clamped between his teeth.
“Hell if I know. I’ve never done this before.” I look around the table at the five men Mercy and I gathered. The seven of us couldn’t be more different, but we all have one thing in common.
We love the freedom that comes with riding.
“I’ll take notes. We all know you can’t spell for shit,” Donny says. He’s our only black member. It’s practically unheard of, even though it’s 1991. It’s almost the new millennium, for fuck’s sake. White bikers aren’t supposed to mix with women or black people, but fuck that. If I’m going to build a better tomorrow and save my soul, save my son, then I’m going to break all of the rules.
Thank you for reading this snippet from More Than a Bastard, a River Reapers MC spinoff novella—coming soon! Join the River Reapers MC email list to make sure you get the latest news. You’ll also get the free spinoff novella Her Mercy. Click here!