Patricia, holding a yoga mat in one hand and a bottle of water in the other, makes her way up to the roof of the club house. She climbs the stairs as fast as possible while maneuvering around old liquor bottles and beer cans. She is already late for her work out with Vera, Penn and a couple of the other girls. When she opens the door she is greeted by a naked and hogtied Cas being spanked by a few girls while Vera and Penn watch and critique technique.

From the garage Edgar and Andy stop their work and listen to the verbal abuse. Cleaning off an air brush Andy says, “I’m beginning to think he likes being yelled at.”

“You think? He seems like such a quiet church lad.” Edgar says sarcastically.

“Your accent is coming in nicer than your chin hair.”

“It’s being around all these Irish boys, makes a man feel at home, or horny.”

Andy laughs and gets back to his spraying, Edgar goes back to his sandwich. I drop of mayonnaise lands on the fresh crimson line, they both look at each other and then turn their attention at to the large man whose bike they were working on.

Jacob and solace watch as Toro chases their friends around the bike. Having had enough of that entertainment, the two of them walk into the club house, and make their way to the basement. The room is empty, they made it earlier then the charter presidents.

“So, where do I sit?” Jacob asks pulling out the closest chair.

“That’s Bobby Pitchfork’s chair.”


“I wouldn’t take that one either, that’s where Rodney Two-Blades sits.”

“What about those two?” Jacob points at the two closest to the radio.

“Thomas Burlap and Larry Lakeside.”

“That one?”

“Greg Rodgers.”

“What no nickname?”

“They are too scared of me to make one up.” The door opens slowly and a heavily inked seventy year old walks in, with the swagger of a man in his fifties.

“Grouchy Greg, how the hell are you?” Solace and Greg Embrace.

“Everyone but the traveler apparently.” Greg says with a chortle. “You must be Jacob, it’s very nice to finally meet you, Solace never used to shut up about his writing partner.”

“He can get annoying cant he?”

“Like I’m not even hear,” Solace sighs and sinks into the leather couch next to the wet bar. “Are the others on their way?”

“They’ll be here.” Greg takes his seat and lights a joint.

“And I have to tell them everything don’t I?”

“Only if you want them to trust you.”

“I already paid my dues.”

“Five years ago, son. If you think anyone apart from Tony and me care that you ran out a pack of rats with a flute and a prayer, you’re a bigger idiot that I thought.”

Solace goes quiet when the sound of heavy boots echo down the steps. The door bursts open and the remaining seven Charter leaders walk in. as they do, Greg introduces them, “ Bobby Pitchfork from White River, Rodney Two-Blades from Twin Peek, Thomas Burlap from High Tama, Larry Lake side from… you need a new nick name. Harold the Drencher and Dorian Copper Belly from North and south Gillion.”

All of the men take their seats, two empty chairs are left. Jacob takes the one closest to Larry, leaving one between him and Tony. Solace slowly gets to his feet and walk over to the table, he doesn’t sit right away. There is a collective grunt of disapproval, everyone looks at Tony.

“Sit down Solace,” Tony says, not looking up at him.


“Look here boy, if you disrespect the cut again there’s only one way this is going down,” Rodney says while nonchalantly pulling out a fourteen inch blade. “Sit down.”

“It has come to my attention,” solace says lighting a cigarette, but not sitting down. “That you all think my little sacrifice five years ago wasn’t enough to earn your trust.”

“Kid, you took down a dope house. You didn’t cure stupid.” Dorian says, sipping his drink.

“A dope house that was killing kids, you all told me they needed to be stopped. If I hadn’t done it they would had taken over… holy shit it sounds more idiotic the longer I talk.”

“Sure does,” Greg says, holding in a laugh.

“But I shot a lot of people, didn’t I?”

“Blanks Mate,” Thomas says.

The whole table erupts with laughter. Everyone except Jacob, “what the hell just happened?”

“I think it’s called hazing, and we got him good.” Dorian says draining his cup.

Solace sits down and buries his face in his hands. Greg tosses him a fresh joint and asks, “If it’s ok with you master of war, I think it’s time we talk about why this Byron cat is trying to kill you.”


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