After we get back to the clubhouse, Ghost takes off again without a word as soon as I climb off his bike.
I sat at the shop desk to see if any orders needed to be done yet, but we were all caught up for once. Bitz is doing an oil change on the van. They have a big gun run coming up.
I decide to clean the shop to keep myself busy. I put all the tools back where they belonged, swept the floor, and cleaned some windows. It’s clearly been a while since anything’s been taken care of in here. After I finish in the shop, I head over to the bar.
“Cassie! I was just looking for you!” Caden calls from the other side of the bar.
“You’re back!” I scream, running over to him.
“Hey, I’m here too, you know?” Carter glares at me.
“Obviously.” I roll my eyes. “How was the trip?”
“Took too long.” Carter huffs.
“Oh whatever, it was fun!” Caden nudges Carter in the ribs.
“Still, took too long. Good seeing you Cass, I see a bottle of whiskey calling my name.” Carter says, walking toward the bar.
“Uh, yeah. You too?” I glance back at Caden, confused, “What’s his deal?”
“He’s all pissy. His bike got a little fucked up.”
“What! Show me. I’m sure I can fix it up.”
“Yeah, I don’t know about that. It’s pretty far gone.”
“If it made it here, it’s not that far gone.” I shove his shoulder, following him to Carter’s bike.
“See?” He points to a minor blemish on the bike.
“Really? That’s it? You guys are so fucking dramatic. I could buff that scratch out no problem. Might need a little paint touch-up, but it’s not bad at all.”
“We’re not dramatic, and there’s more!” He says, laughing and pointing to the scuffs on the side of the seat and the back end.
“Um, yeah. You’re dramatic.”
“So, what’s new around here?” He asks as we walk back to the bar.
“Nothing much. Dad has a run that he needs done, but he was waiting on you guys.”
“Of course he was. He just won’t let it go that we’ve moved on from runs.”
“Tell me about it. But the longer you keep giving in to him, the longer he’ll keep making you do them.”
“Yeah, I know. But dealing with the backlash of telling Dad no just isn’t worth it.” He shrugs.
“I hear that. God forbid you tell him no, though.”
“I remember that time he blew Squeak’s foot right off when he wouldn’t give up his seat at the table,” Cade says, shaking his head.
“To be fair, he was in Dad’s spot.” I joke.
“He’s insane, I swear.” He laughs, sliding a bottle of whiskey my way.
“Amen.” I take a long drink from the bottle.
“Well, sorry to cut the reunion short, but I’ve got a ton of shit to catch up on.”
“Yeah, I have to go get the armory inventory ready for the run, anyway.” I take another long drink from the bottle before getting up.
“Might want to take it easy on that then.” He nods to the bottle. “Don’t need to blow yourself up or something.”
“It’s just guns, not like I’m in there trying to disarm bombs.” I giggle.
“Hey, never know!”
“Well, I know because I’ve done this the last three years.”
“Whatever.” He sighs, turning toward the stairs.
I make my way downstairs to the armory, I enter the pin, and the door slides open. I go over to the crates, grab the clipboard with the list, and double-check everything is here.
After hammering the nails into the lids, ensuring they’re secure, I place the list on top. I put the extra guns that are lying around back on their racks and head back upstairs.
Grabbing a couple of beers from behind the bar, I go up to my room. I take a quick shower; not even bothering to get dressed, I slide my arms through my robe and grab my remote.
Scrolling through the guide, I find a few movie options, but I don’t have the attention span for that right now. I choose a rerun of some old western for background noise and reach for the book off my nightstand.
I finish my last beer, and I’m ready to call it a night when there’s a knock at my door, “Yeah?” I call out.
“It’s dad,” he announces, opening the door. “Just wanted to let you know we’re heading out. We shouldn’t be too long.”
“Thanks for letting me know. Ride safe, love you.”
“Will do. See you later, kiddo, love ya.” He closes the door, and his footsteps recede.
I wake up smacking the alarm, blindly feeling for the off button. It’s too definitely too early, but I have to get ready for the graduation ceremony.
It’s been a few days, and I still haven’t seen Ghost. I’m starting to wonder if he’s run off. I groan, throwing the covers off and heading to the bathroom. I twirl the curling iron through my hair, regretting keeping it so long.
I pull the black dress I had for today off the hanger, along with my gown and cap, and slip on a pair of heels and go downstairs. I have just enough time to grab something to eat on the way.
The dining room is already full of everyone getting up early to watch me walk across the stage. I go straight to the kitchen to grab some food.
“Here, I figured you’d be running behind as usual.” Trish teases, handing me a bag.
“Thank you! Are you coming today?”
“Yep, we’ll all be there! You better get going before you’re late!” She spins me around, leading me out of the kitchen.
“Alright, alright! I’m going! See you guys later!” I yell through the dining room.
“Good luck!” They all call out.
I decided to take my truck since it looks half decent compared to my mustang. I hop into the driver’s seat, tossing the bag of food onto the passenger seat.
“Cass! Wait a second!” I look over to see my dad jogging over, “Here!” He hands me a small wooden box along with a duffel bag.
“Just open it.” He smiles mischievously.
I lift the wooden top up to reveal a beautiful silver necklace with a full moon-shaped locket resting on the soft fabric.
“Wow.” is all I could muster.
“Is it okay? It was your Moms.” He takes a deep breath, “It was always her plan to give it to you on your graduation day as her mom did for her. So I wanted to make sure the tradition lived on.”
“It’s perfect, Dad. Thank you so much.” Tears were forming in my eyes as I climbed out to hug him.
“I’m glad you like it.” He sighs, hugging me back. “I made that box for your mother to keep the necklace safe until now.”
“I love it. Really.”
“Well, hopefully, you still love it when I tell you I had Slayer put a tracker in it.” He chuckled.
“Wouldn’t expect anything less.” I place the necklace over my head and sweep it under my gown.
“You better get going, kid. We’ll see you there!”
“Right. See you soon! Thanks again, Dad!”
Thirty minutes later, I pull into one of the few open parking spots at the school with ten minutes to spare. I quickly open the food bag, taking a few bites of the muffin Trish packed.
The duffel bag on my floorboard catches my eye. I had already forgotten about it after seeing the necklace. Pulling the zipper open to find it’s packed with cash. I quickly zip it shut, looking around the lot, making sure no one saw.
What the actual fuck! I slowly opened it again to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. Nope. The money is still there. Spotting a blue envelope I didn’t notice before, I take it and zip the bag shut again, tossing it back on the floor.
Inside the envelope are a card and a note. The card is a cheesy ‘congratulations on graduating,’ with a handwritten message at the bottom.
“From all of us, don’t spend it all in one place! We’re so proud of you! -Love, Heaven’s Regrets Mother Chapter!”
It’s written in delicate cursive, so I’m guessing Dad had one of the club girls write it ’cause you can’t read the guys writing for shit.
I reach in the back, pulling the back seat up. I shove the bag in the storage compartment, so it’s out of sight to any passersby.
Fidgeting nervously in my seat, waiting for my name to be called, when I hear the massive roar of engines growing louder, it somehow calms me a bit. Except, the one bike I want to be here won’t be. But whatever, the people who care will be here.
After what feels like forever, they finally call my name, “Cassandra Scott!” rings through the speakers.
Suddenly I’m incredibly nervous again, my palms sweat, and my legs feel like jello. It only takes a minute; I keep telling myself. Letting out a slow breath, I walk across the stage to my diploma.
“Congratulations! You know, I wasn’t sure about you after having your brothers here.” Mr. Simpson joked. “But you’ve more than exceeded my expectations.”
He gives me a quick handshake, and that’s it! I’m a high school graduate!