It was the first time that I"d seen some personality from her. It was the first time I"d seen a little sincerity. "Nice of you to notice."
"So you were just after a one-night stand""
"I didn"t hide that," I shrugged.
"That doesn"t mean you can"t be nice the morning after," she said.
I smiled at that one. "The point of a one-night stand is a good fuck," I said. "If you want conversation" make a friend. I"m not it."
"So is this what you do"" she demanded. "Go to a different bar each night, choose a random hot woman, and take her home""
"Pretty much," I nodded. "Yeah."
"So you just saw me sitting there and decided you were going to fuck me""
"Actually, I saw your friend and decided I was going to fuck her," I said. "But then I noticed you"" I saw the corner of her mouth tilt upwards, and I knew she was expecting some compliment. "And I decided you needed a good fuck more than she did."
The smile died on her face before it had even really materialized. She turned her back on me and stormed off while I put out my cigarette and headed downstairs to the living room. A couple of the boys were already there. Lonny was shooting darts by the television, and Bones was eating breakfast in the kitchen.
"Who was that"" Lonny asked when I came down.
"Who was who"" I asked.
"The girl that just stormed out of here""
"Oh" who knows"" I shrugged.
I went to the kitchen and poured myself a mug of black coffee. The strong scent eased my throbbing head, and the moment I took a sip, I felt better.
I heard the sound of wheels on gravel outside, and a few minutes later, Devon walked in. He had on his motorcycle jacket emblazoned with the colors of the Fallen Angels. I felt a fierce sense of pride every time I saw the patches that identified us. It didn"t matter how many times I saw it, the feeling was always the same. No wonder my father had clung to this life as long as he had.
"Where"s Zack"" I heard Devon ask.
Devon stepped into the kitchen a moment later. "Morning," he said, with a gruff nod in my direction. "I have something to discuss with you."
"Not now," I said, taking another sip of coffee. "I just fucking woke up."
"It"s important," Devon insisted.
"It can wait two seconds," I snapped, sitting down at the long table that my father had worked on himself seven years ago.
I saw Devon bite his lip impatiently. He didn"t like being told to wait, but he also knew better than to push me. They all did, it"s what made me an effective leader. It didn"t matter that my father had founded this club. It didn"t matter that every member had been hand chosen and vetted by him. It didn"t matter that he had their respect and their loyalty. None of that had any connection to me.
I had had to earn their respect and loyalty on my own" and that included my father"s approval. He had been harsher on me than anyone else, but it was because he needed to be. I hadn"t always liked him at the time, but now I understood his reasons. No Fallen Angel would have ever taken me seriously if it hadn"t been for my rigorous initiation into the club.
When dad had passed away, I had been voted in as president not because I was his son, but because I had deserved the role. Some days, it was the only thing that kept me going.
"Any news about the Knights"" I asked, glancing at Devon.
"What"" Devon asked distractedly.
"Lucifer"s Knights"" I asked again. "Any new developments lately""
"They"ve been lying low," Devon replied.
I frowned. "That can"t be a good thing."
"Maybe we scared them," Devon said smugly.
"Fuck that," I scoffed. "I know Harlem Godwin" He doesn"t scare easily."
"They"ve agreed to stay out of our territory," Devon pointed out.
"Which is half the size of theirs," I reminded him. "We may have won Godwin"s grudging respect after the Capelin incident, but make no mistake: he"s not our friend. This truce we have going is a shaky one. The smallest misstep, and it"ll all come crashing down."
"We can fucking take them," Devon said confidently. "One Fallen Angel is worth three Lucifer"s Knights any day."
I didn"t pay any attention to his egotistical postulating. My mind was preoccupied with more important things. "You haven"t heard anything new about his second-in-command""
"He"s elected one," Devon replied. "But we don"t know who yet."
"You don"t have a name""
I nodded and downed the last of the black coffee. "Ok," I said. "What did you want to talk to me about""
Devon looked hesitant suddenly, and I raised my eyebrows at him impatiently. "Well""
"My sister"s in a bind," Devon said, launching into it without explanation. "And I need a favor."