“Sook, we need a bottle of Fireball over here when you get a minute,” Alcide said. He was sitting at a table with my brother, Eric and Quinn.
“You got it,” I replied.
The gate out front was wide open since it was during business hours for the garage. I watched out the front window as an ice blue Honda Civic rolled up to the bar and around to the side where employees were supposed to park. By the color, make and model of the car I knew it was Maudette Pickens. She wasn’t on the schedule to work but that meant nothing.
Maudette was a sweet girl but desperate. She went by the name Alena since it sounded more exotic than her given name. Alena was the type of girl who tried too hard to be what she thought everyone else wanted. Her neediness was a cloak she had wrapped herself in and as a result, none of the members were very interested in her. She was great at attracting new members but if the club showed the guys any interest, they quickly lost interest in Alena.
No one had come right out and said so, but I got the impression that there was an unofficial rule about Alena not becoming an Old Lady. I didn’t think she was anything to worry about, but I’d heard some of the old timers whispering concerns about her loyalty. If they thought she was running her mouth too much she would have been told to resign, so whatever they suspected she hadn’t crossed a line.
Not that could be proven, anyway.
I figured it had to be more about worry that in her attempt to impress someone she might say too much. It was an understandable concern. I didn’t think she’d do anything intentionally to hurt the club, but the littlest thing could be used to get more intelligence gathered on the club. Naturally, the MC didn’t want law enforcement sniffing around. There was no need for the FBI, CIA or ATF to come looking for something that wasn’t there. I knew there was a stockpile of weapons somewhere on the property, but hell if I could say precisely where the it was.
Alena walked by the front windows with another female in tow. The front door of the bar opened and the new girl walked in first. Her hair was perfectly ombréd – dark at the roots and a lighter shade of brown at the ends – and her big blue/green eyes were heavily made up. Conversation stopped as the guys checked her out. She was petite but curvy. A denim skirt just barely covered her ass and her tits were practically popping out of the tube top she was wearing.
My eyes traveled to the table where the guys were sitting and it wasn’t too surprising when I found their tongues hanging out of their heads.
I grabbed a bottle of Fireball and a tray to put four shot glasses on.
“Sookie, this is my friend Fiona,” Alena said as she approached the bar. “She’s looking for a job.”
Of fucking course she was.
Alena had brought in several waitresses over the years. Most of them didn’t last for too long. They’d get passed around by the guys and act all butt hurt when none of them committed.
Unfortunately, I was looking for a server. Danielle was about to be going on maternity leave. She was expecting twins and I knew she was going to be off for at least three months. I couldn’t leave her spot vacant for that long.
“Fiona, this is Sookie. Sookie, this is Fiona,” Alena introduced us.
“Nice to meet you, Sookie,” Fiona said with a moderately thick Irish brogue.
“Likewise. Ever worked in a bar before?”
“Aye. My Da owned a place in Donegal when I was a wee one. He died three years ago of the cancer,” she told me.
“I’m sorry to hear that. Are you legal to work in this country?” I needed the paperwork to be on the up and up. The last thing I needed was for illegal hiring practices to trip someone’s sensors somewhere.
“Aye. I have my work visa,” she answered.
“Can you tend bar?”
“I can,” Fiona confirmed. “In Ireland I got a degree in nursing.”
“And here you’re a barmaid?”
“Nursing can burn a lass out,” she said sadly.
It dawned on me a minute too late that maybe she used her education to care for her ailing father. I didn’t know how old she was, but she looked young. Maybe twenty-three or twenty-four at the most. I had to admit, if only to myself, that she was a beautiful girl.
“Alena, will you take this over to the boys?” I gestured to the tray.
“Yeah, sure.” Alena picked up the tin tray and walked it over to the pub table where the guys were still checking out the new girl.
In order to put a stop to it, I ducked under the bar to get out from behind it. If I wanted to talk to her my office was the better place for it.
“Come on.” I gestured for Fiona to follow me.
Her knee-high boots made a clicking noise on the floor thanks to the five inch heels. I opened the office door and let her walk in first. She smelled like cheap perfume and cigarette smoke. Alena was a smoker, but I got the impression it was just because she thought the guys thought it was cool.
I closed the door and took a seat behind my desk. I had my bookkeeping stuff out and I was getting ready to do my kitchen inventory to get my food order in. Usually the desk wasn’t so messy.
“Have a seat.”
Fiona sat down in the leather chair in front of my desk. She crossed her legs and tossed her hair behind her shoulder. Her teeth were perfectly pearly white and straight as can be. The best way to describe her was doll-like. Fiona’s skin was flawless and the color of fresh cream.
“So, Fiona, tell me about yourself,” I requested.
“I grew up on the west coast of Ireland. Donegal isn’t too far from the border of Northern Ireland, but then most states here are bigger than the whole country,” she said with a smile. “I’m the only girl of six children. My mum moved in with my oldest brother after Da died. I got into nursing to help take care of my father, but I don’t really want to spend my life watching people die. I left Ireland to get some sun on my skin and see how the rest of the world lives.”
It was too bad about her dad. I knew it would destroy me to have to watch him fall apart a little at a time. The aftermath of Dad’s stroke was difficult enough to get past. That stroke took away his favorite thing to do. It forced him to step down from the club. Sometimes I wondered if it was some sort of karmic punishment for the things he’d done to Mom.
“How do you like Louisiana?” I asked her.
“It’s a mite warmer than home and the bugs are the size of small birds, but I like it,” Fiona laughed quietly. It bothered me that I was starting to like her. I was skeptical of most people. I didn’t let my guard down easily. It was part of the paranoia I had been raised in.
“Think you’ll be here a while?”
“I think so. Eventually I’d like to go further west, but for now I’m happy here in Louisiana. I’ve been seeing a fella over in Bossier, and I’m not sure where it’s going just yet.” Finding out she had a boyfriend of any kind put me at ease. If she was seeing someone I’d have less to worry about with her fooling around with the guys.
“I need to do some checking around before I officially hire you. I don’t know what Alena told you about working here, but we take things like loyalty and honesty very seriously. The regulars here a pretty private about a lot of things,” I told her.
“Alena told me this is a motorcycle club. My brother Sean rode a bike for a while until he got into a bad accident. His twin, Seamus, went through a bad patch in the afters and got pretty tangled up with a club that was running guns out of Belfast. I know there’s a chapter of this club in Galway, but I don’t know the club’s business,” she said.
“You won’t. My father is the founder of the mother charter, Fiona. I’ve lived with this my whole life and I don’t even know everything that goes on here. It’s for my benefit and yours not to know,” I told her.
“Aye,” she nodded.
“I’ll need copies of your visas and identification before I can hire you. It’s just a standard background check we do. I also need you to take a drug test. We have a very strict policy about narcotics here and I do random checks just to keep people honest.”
Pop was leery of the drug trade and for good reason. He was coming of age in the early seventies, back when most people who experimented with drugs were either smoking pot or trying psychedelics to ‘expand their consciousness’ and way of seeing the world. Just a short time later cocaine became a big deal and then in the nineties it was heroin, followed by methamphetamine. I knew my parents smoked pot regularly. The odor was hard to mistake for something else.
I’d had my share of it too.
I didn’t care about my staff smoking weed. In fact, I questioned the sanity of those that didn’t. What I wanted to be sure of was that my waitresses weren’t going to be trying to shoot up on their break or go out back to hit their meth pipe. I didn’t want a bar full of dirty needles and broken pipes. I didn’t want to worry about overdosing or dealers trying to take over my business. Pop had worked hard to make it clear that drugs and their dealers weren’t welcome in Bon Temps.
Locals may not be big fans of the MC, but I knew they liked the protection the club offered. The club kept the Hot Shot scum out of the city limits. Anyone who even thought of trying to set up shop in town was quickly relocated. Permanently.
“I can’t bring ‘em to ya tomorrow if ya like,” Fiona offered.
“That would be good,” I replied. “I’ll run the checks and we’ll go from there.”
“Aye. Thank you, Sookie. I appreciate the opportunity,” she said.
“You’re welcome. It was nice to meet you.” I stood up and offered my hand over the desk to shake hers.
Her skin was soft and her hand was warm. Fiona’s smile was bright and there was something mischievous in her eyes when she smiled. I wasn’t sure if I liked that or not but I knew what the guys would think of it.
They were always easily charmed by new tits.
I got up to lead her out of the office. She walked with confidence and plenty of sway in those hips. I wasn’t blind; I could see why the guys thought she was attractive. As long as Eric stuck to looking but not touching, we were all good.
It was inevitable that temptation would be put in his path; I had been hoping I would get a bit of a reprieve, but that was obviously not in the cards.
That just meant I was going to have to work extra hard to make sure he remembered who he belonged to.
Sunday night dinner was a tradition my mother wasn’t willing to part with, no matter how old us kids got or how busy we were. To ensure that we all showed up, she didn’t just cook for the four of us. No, Mom made dinner for everyone. The MC was family, after all.
So it was around two in the afternoon when she turned up to start cooking in the restaurant quality kitchen we had at the compound. The kitchen was a necessity. Not just for the bar business but because there were occasional instances when we had to pull everyone in and lockdown. It didn’t happen often, but there were times when things got a little fired up between clubs. If nothing else, the MC always took care of its own.
“Need help?” I asked Mom while she started to unpack all of her groceries.
“Always,” she answered. “Will you get the boys to finish unloading the car for me?”
“Sure,” I nodded. “What’s on the menu tonight?”
“Your dad wants tacos, so Mexican it is,” she told me.
“You just made a shit ton of best friends.” I laughed as I headed for the side door.
There wasn’t anything in the world Mom made that was nasty, but she was particularly good with Mexican food. She made chicken enchiladas that felt like they were melting in your mouth. The chicken was always so fucking tender. I had no idea how she did it. Maybe someday she’d teach me her secrets.
I stopped in my tracks when I caught sight of my brother with a skinny blonde woman who was at least five years too young for him. She was actually probably closer to ten years too young for him but Jason liked ‘em young. My tomcat brother seemed to prefer the ones who were too young to know any better. Women closer to his age would be onto his game and most of them were looking for a commitment.
A stable home.
A faithful husband.
I knew that girl’s face. Where I knew it from I wasn’t quite sure but I knew I’d seen her before.
“Jase, Mom needs you to finish unloading the groceries. She’s making Mexican.” If that didn’t motivate him, nothing would.
The way his eyes lit up you’d think he just won the billion dollar jackpot on some Las Vegas slot machine. Suddenly the blonde he’d been molesting was old news.
“Sorry, Chrissy, but it’s Mexican food,” Jason apologized to his girl. He caught Mom’s keys when I tossed them his way.
“I’m Sookie.” I held out my hand to Jason’s friend.
“Crystal,” she replied. “Nice to meet you. I’ve seen you around but it’s nice to put a name to a face.”
“How’d you meet Jase?” I asked her.
“Oh, uh, we bumped into each other at the Grab-It-Kwik last week,” she said with a little smile.
Yeah, it was no accident.
Jason had been ‘bumping into’ girls since he was old enough to drive. The fact that this one thought she was special…
I felt sorry for her.
She looked even younger than I thought now that I was standing so close to her.
“How old are you?” I had to make sure my brother wasn’t poaching babies.
“I’ll be nineteen next month,” she answered.
I was both relieved and grossed out at the same time. She was too young for Jason.
“Are you staying for dinner?”
“I don’t know. Jason hadn’t invited me–”
“Oh you should stay,” I told her. “There will be plenty of food.”
Enough to feed a small army, as a matter of fact. Mom didn’t do anything on a small scale.
“Ummm… are you sure? I don’t want to intrude.”
“No intrusion,” I assured her.
I presumed she knew that Jason was part of the club since he never left the house without his kutte on his back, but I didn’t know if she really understood what it meant.
There was no better way to find out than a trial by fire.
I was about to turn and lead her back into the bar when Alena’s Civic rolled up.
“Uh, you go on inside. I’ll be right behind you,” I told Crystal. I walked over to the Honda and leaned down on the passenger’s side. Fiona was sitting there with her hair pulled back and less makeup on her face than the day before.
“The requested papers,” she said as she handed me a few sheets of paper.
I looked at them to make sure I had all the proper forms and then nodded.
“Looks good,” I told her. “I’ll put this through and I’ll be in touch in the next few days. Do you have a phone number I can reach you at?”
“She’s staying with me,” Alena piped up.
“Okay,” I nodded. “Come in on Wednesday and we’ll start your training.”
“I’ll be here,” Fiona promised.
“Good. Are you staying for supper?”
“What’s Shelly making?” Alena asked.
“We’re staying,” Alena said.
“Oh, I’m not really a big fan of Mex–”
“You will be,” Alena cut Fiona off. “Trust me, you want to stick around for this.”
Fiona looked nervous but it wasn’t like she had much choice since Alena turned off the car.
“Who’s the preschooler standing by the door?” Alena asked me.
“Name’s Crystal. She’s seeing Jason, apparently,” I answered.
“She looks familiar.”
“That’s what I thought.” I stepped back so Fiona could get out of the car.
She was wearing skinny jeans and a black tank top. She wasn’t so tall without her heels on. She was shorter than me, actually. It made me inexplicably happy.
I wasn’t usually the type to feel competitive with other women. I wasn’t sure why I felt that way when it came to Fiona. I didn’t know if it was because of Eric’s reaction to her or what, but something was definitely rubbing me the wrong way.