I pressed my phone to my ear and sighed.
“Where are you?”
“Same place I always am after nine every night,” I drawled.
Monk tsked. “You really think you need to sit and watch her work?”
“I’m not sitting.” I was standing at the end of the bar nursing a whiskey neat while I watched Memphis act like there wasn’t anything wrong with her.
“She’s fine, Six,” Monk told me for the fifth time today.
“None of us know that.”
“It’s been three fucking months, Six. She’s coming out of her room, talking to Raelyn, and is back to work. There isn’t anything else we can do for her.”
My eyes zoned in on Memphis. She leaned over the other end of the bar and called her drink order to the bartender.
Her dirty blond hair was piled on top of her head, and she had a pen tucked behind her ear. The uniform of all the waitresses at Skinz—a short and tight black skirt and white cutoff shirt with the club's logo on the back—hugged her curves, while she balanced perfectly in her strappy black heels with a smile on her lips.
She looked like any other girl in the club.
You wouldn’t be able to see how hard the past three months had been for her. It wasn’t like I actually knew how hard it had been for her since she never talked to me about it, but I knew.
I lost count of how many nights I stood outside her door and listened to her cry.
Uncontrollable sobs had wracked her body and snatched her breath from her on those nights. And days. It didn’t matter what time of day it was. She cried.
She never talked to anyone, though. At least, not about what happened those days she was held captive by Jester and his ragtag crew of idiots.
A month after she was rescued—and three weeks after Leona was killed—she just came out of her room and acted as if nothing had happened. A month after that, she was back at work.
I didn’t buy it.
“We aren’t doing anything,” I drawled.
“Well, you sitting at fucking Skinz every night just watching her isn’t really doing anything for the club. I don’t know if you remember, but our fucking prez has gone rogue, and there’s a fucking killer walking around.”
“Thanks for the FYI.” As if I needed the reminder.
“Look,” Monk growled. “I don’t know what the fuck is going through your head, but I’m gonna need you to figure it out and get your ass back to being about the club. I’m the fucking prez until Barracuda comes back, so that means you’re the VP until then also. If the fucker even comes back. No one has seen him or knows where he is.”
“Barracuda is going to come back.”
“You don’t fucking know that.”
I didn’t, but I couldn’t imagine Barracuda just walking away from the Royal Bastards like that. I understood he was grieving the loss of Leona, but how long would that last? Not to sound like an insensitive asshole, but he had only known her for a couple of weeks. “I know the Royal Bastards are his life. Maybe he needs time away right now, but he’s going to come back, Monk. You have to believe that.”
Monk sighed. “Well, we can believe that, but we have to keep moving on without him. We’re hitting a brick wall trying to figure out who killed Leona, and I need you here running any leads we get, not at Skinz.”
“Whatever. I’m where I need to be right now.”
Monk had been a fucking asshole since he had to take over for Barracuda. He wasn’t made to be prez, just like I wasn’t meant to be VP. Neither of us wanted the responsibility that came along with our new duties. Monk liked being VP because while he was second to the prez, he wasn’t the end-all, be-all.
“This is your last fucking night panting after Memphis like a lost dog. She’s fine. Leave her the fuck alone.” The line went dead, and I tossed my phone onto the bar.
“Bad news?” the guy next to me asked.
I glanced his way. “You could say that.”
“Boys giving you hell for spending more time with your woman than you do with them?” he guessed.
“You could say that,” I repeated. I wasn’t about to tell some stranger at the bar my business. Especially when that business had to do with the club.
“Guess you gotta figure out which one is more important, huh?” The guy laughed and shook his head. “I would give everything I owned to have even five minutes more with my wife.”
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