Standing united as a club is a given, and loyalty is held as a standard of
brotherhood. Forgiveness for transgressions, however, does not come easily, or
ever in some cases. Retro’s only demand for his brothers is honor and
integrity, and his belief is that everything else will fall into place behind
those qualities. He is not wrong.
place among the old guard. It’s a world where respect can only be earned, trust
is painfully gained, and loyalty will be fiercely returned.
anchored his brotherhood. MHL&R was more than a patch on a leather cut, it
ran thick as blood through Retro’s veins as he worked to better things for his
club, and family.
sense of pleasure and peace knowing he’d at least always done his best to
buffer their children from his single mistake.
remain quietly buried any longer, Retro embarks on what might become his most
important journey down memory lane. One that can only end in blood…and death.
the room, shifted his gaze to the window, and caught sight of the reflection of
his own face. Gaunt and aged in ways he hadn’t been a year ago, he stared into
the echo of his eyes.
there isn’t one. I won’t insult you by saying it never meant anything, because
you know how I am. You’ve always known how I felt about her. She…” Here he
paused, at a loss for words for so long his soon-to-be ex-wife stirred
restlessly, the fabric of her jeans making a shirring noise as her legs crossed
and re-crossed. The mattress groaned softly, a sound that had often been heard
in this room in years past, and one that made guilt dig its hooks a little
deeper into him because it had masked their lie.
talking so long he was ready to just have it over with. “I knew when I took you
to my bed we’d wed. Your father wouldn’t have allowed anything less. I also—”
He turned and saw her tear-streaked face looking at him out of the shadows.
They’d been talking so long the sunset had stripped the color from the room,
leaving everything in banded shades of gray and beige. He swallowed and pushed
ahead, needing to have all the secrets laid bare. “I also know you didn’t love
me then. We’ve made it work all these years, because neither of us wanted
more.” Retro shook his head. “I’m no longer content to live this way.”
suspected she’d already put two-and-two together. He was done living like this,
forcing himself through the days and avoiding the nights. Her lack of follow-up
on her question told him he was right.
days, because with two sentences she’d aligned herself at his side. She knew
the lay of the land. She’d always known they weren’t a love match. It was one
of the things that made her so bitter towards his brother Isaiah, because he’d
found his love. Gone now for too many years, but Isaiah had kept his Hope’s
love alive in how he was raising their children. Wanda had tried to drive a
rift between the brothers over it. Unsuccessfully.
together unexpected puzzles, and from the sadness she’d borne in the past
months, Jerry knew Nelda had seen how he’d been pulling away from her mother.
“Boys will follow her lead.” He lifted his hands and scrubbed across his face.
“I never meant—”
took him by surprise and his palms were still pressed to his cheeks as he
jerked and looked at her. “I haven’t been happy for years.”
hips, staring down his nose at her for a moment. Then he laughed once, a
humorless bark of noise meant to keep him from saying things best left unsaid,
and he turned back to the window, their dimmed and blurred reflections now
highlighted by a deep blackness. “Since it all happened years before you came
to my bed, I wouldn’t actually classify it as strayin’, Wanda. Can you say they
were important to you at least?” He’d had suspicions once or twice, but Wanda
had been so…blameless. Every time he’d thought to bring up the idea of
separating, just the look on her face would seal his lips.
move, shifting to the opposite side of the bed. She slowly stood and then
waited for a moment, and when he didn’t turn, told the room, “I’m going to
Lita T’s Review: 4 Stars
Yourself Band series
• • • • • • •
early age. Every summer, she would spend hours in the local library,
devouring books of every genre. Self-described as a book-a-holic, she
says “I’ve always loved to read, but then I discovered writing, and
found I adored that, too. For reading … if nothing else is available,
I’ve been known to read the back of the cereal box.”
embraces her inner geek and has been working in the tech field for a
publishing company for a couple decades.
genre — jazz, country, rock, alt rock, metal, classical, bluegrass, rap,
hip hop … you name it, I listen to it. I can often be seen dancing
through the house in the early mornings. But I really, REALLY love live
music. My favorite thing with music is seeing bands in small, dive bars
[read: small, intimate venues]. If said bar [venue] has a good selection
of premium tequila, then that’s a plus!”