I"m not misunderstood.
I"m not confused about my position in life.
I"m not looking for answers to explain why I am the way I am.
This is the logic others use to try to make sense of me. According to them, there has to be a reason for my apathy. There has to be some sort of explanation for the calculating way I run my Club. There has to be a root cause for my depravity.
They can"t wrap their heads around the fact that I"m evil, that I"m darkness personified. Doing so would force them to acknowledge that the Devil has left Hell and is living among them.
Most people may think I"m Satan, but I answer to Lynch, President of the Ravens Ruin MC, and the Antichrist doesn"t have sh*t on me.Books in Series:Ravens Ruin MC Series by Marie JamesBooks by Author:Marie James Books
"Oh, how your kingdom will fall" When you find that your discarded pawn was the queen all along."
~Erin Van Vuren
Music surrounds me, mixing, swirling together with the scents of sex, whiskey, and weed. It"s just another Tuesday night at the Ravens Ruin clubhouse. Yet, I find myself without a drink in my hand, without lips wrapped around my cock, staring at the fading quote marking the far wall of the open living room.
HELL IS EMPTY AND ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE
William Shakespeare"s words have been there for as long as I can remember, but tonight it"s like I"m seeing everything around me for the first time. I"m not spacing or having some sort of existential crisis. That kind of shit would require a conscience. I wasn"t born with one of those.
But things changed today.
Today I took action, and I did something I"ve been threatening for years. My plans for this club have been a long time in the making. I didn"t wake up this morning with any intention to carry through with those plans, but when the opportunity presented itself, I couldn"t back down.
Things changed today.
Today I woke up as a cut-wearing member of the Ravens Ruin MC.
Tonight, I will close my eyes as the President.
The chair at the head of the table doesn"t feel right. My view from here is different than I imagined it would be. I love the rush, the heady feeling of controlling these men at my table, but with it comes immediate exhaustion. Just the idea of leading this club makes me want to take a fucking nap. Even though I know it"s impossible, I feel like my dark hair is turning gray at the roots.
"We will not discuss what happened yesterday," I warn. "Ravens Ruin will perform just as it has for decades."
Briar is the only man willing to meet my eyes. Even Manic, my father"s Vice President refuses to look my way.
"I"m giving each and every one of you an out. If you don"t want to continue here, you can pack your shit and leave with no repercussions. Today is the only day that the offer is on the table."
Several men shift in their seats. TJ looks up, a devious smile playing on his full lips.
The scrape of a chair draws my attention, and I watch, without surprise, as Manic stands up.
"It"s nothing personal, Brother." Worn, callused hands pick at the VP patch on his cut until he can get enough purchase to pull it from his chest. "I want out."
"Pussy," TJ murmurs from the other end of the table.
"Enough," I hiss as I stretch my hand out to take the patch from Manic.
"Retirement"" I ask looking at the man I"ve considered as close as an uncle for my entire life.
I didn"t figure he"d stick around after what happened yesterday, but I didn"t expect his retreat to be so sudden and in front of everyone.
"Something like that," he mutters.
"You"re always welcome here," I assure him.
His eyes meet mine, and there"s an unspoken understanding. He"s always encouraged me to make things right with this club, to correct all of the things that have gone by the wayside under my father"s command. Sorrowful pride fills his eyes.
"The club"s in good hands with you, Eric."
I immediately dismiss the lump that clogs my throat. There"s no place for any type of emotion other than hatred and anger at the head of this table. I force it down, resolved as I watch Manic pass through the chapel doors for the very last time.
Five minutes is all it takes for Manic"s VP patch to be joined by the Sergeant-At-Arms, Treasurer, Secretary, Enforcer, and Road Captain patch in my hand. Almost systematically, everyone from my father"s regime walks out, leaving only the guys I"ve brought in over the last handful of years. I didn"t want it this way, but I expected it.
Their experience and years of service have benefited the club, but their departures are for the best. The last thing I need as the new president is pushback from older members who are bitter about the changes I"m planning to make.
"Briar," I say as I hand over the first patch.
His eyes look down for long moments before he pulls them from the VP patch to look at my brother down the table.
"Don"t get sappy," TJ says with assurance. "I"ve got my eyes on that Enforcer patch."
I smile, knowing my younger brother wouldn"t ask for anything less.
"You"re the only one crazy enough for it anyway," I mutter as I slide the patch down to him.
"I"ll make you proud," my brother vows.
"Staying out of prison is all I ask," I shoot back at him. "Boston."
Dark eyes meet my green as my friend looks my way.
"I know you don"t want this shit, but you"re the only one who knows the books as well as I do." I slide the Treasurer patch down the table. Surprisingly, he seems relieved.