Lonely Souls (Book 10)

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6

Church

I heard Bear come up the stairs and watched from the pool table as he rounded the corner.

I didn't have a client today and was just chillin' with Sparks.

"You see my Ali-Cat out there?" I asked, "Haven't seen her yet today."

She was probably still pissed at me for making her leave last night, she ended up declining the bar and when I got home I was too drunk to talk to her about it.

I rarely drank like that anymore, but some occasions called for it.

"Yeah," He shrugged, "She's over ta Chloe's."

I scratched, sending the que off the side of the table.

"What the fuck do you mean, she's over ta Chloe's?"

"The two was sittin' in the driveway, eatin' cupcakes an' shit an' catchin' up," He shrugged again, "Didn't think it was a big deal, so I said hi, gave the girls each a kiss and moved on up here."

Bear was one of the elders of our club, along with Sparks, he'd been there from the beginning, but he was a boy when things got up and running.

We joked that everyone thought he was so cute that they fed his ass until he looked like a damn grizzly, hence the name Bear.

"Catching up?" I glared at him in confusion, "What the fuck does that even mean?"

"They met, when Clare passed away," Bear shrugged, "Sparks brought Ali-Cat to the funeral. We were there for a couple weeks tryin' ta' help Livvie look into some shit. The two of 'em got along so we left 'em to it."

"You brought my daughter out of state?!" I glared at Sparks.

"She was my grandbaby and in my custody," He gave a nod, "I did as I saw right by my brother-in-arms and laid his wife to rest. I am glad I did too. When we got there, that young woman next door was lost," He pointed toward the house, "She was just broken and she seemed so defeated by life. She wouldn't leave the side of that casket, even when they was ready to close it."

"Livvie said they was like two peas in a pod," Bear smiled, but it was sad, "That she felt like Chloe looked to Claire as more of a mother and Livvie more as a sister, cause the way the bands traveled so much."

"And at the funeral, no body- I mean no body, checked on that girl, but Livvie, her husband and Jakie," Sparks added, "Ali saw her sittin' there all by herself, staring into nothingness and asked if she could go sit with the sad girl."

"We all saw it," Bear said, "She went up, sat beside her and put her arm around her."

"They spent two weeks cryin' together," Sparks lit another smoke, "Ali, over missing you and her mom, Chloe over her Grams. It was good for em."

"Ali couldn't of been that old."

"She was nine, Chloe was sixteen."

Sixteen and she had the heart to be there, for my kid? She had enough love, to hold a little girl she didn't know anything about, and comfort her, even though she'd lost someone who she loved as a mother? Maybe I didn't give her ass enough credit...

I sighed.

"You said they were on her porch?" I asked, not looking either one in the eye.

"Yeah," Bear shrugged, "They was about to work on the lawnmower."

"They what?" I scoffed. Ali? Fixing something? My kid would just buy a new one and call it a day.

"Somethin' 'bout a YouTube video and fixing a mower." He shrugged again.

"I'll go see if they need some help." I cleared my throat and pushed off the table.

It was time to apologize.

When I walked out the back and saw them sitting in the driveway, mulling over a cellphone and rusted old lawnmower, my head tilted to the side.

"What about the engine?" Ali asked.

I watched, holding my laughter as Chloe paused and gaped up at my kid like she had five heads.

"This isn't a bike, my dear Alice." Chloe teased, "It has a motor."

"Yeah," Ali laughed, "That could make it a little hard."

"Definitely not..." Chloe laughed with her and it was a light, twinkling sound, "What does it say it could be now?"

"Well..." Ali started, but I jumped in.

"Could be that it's just a rusted out piece of junk." I snorted, walking up to where they sat.

"Hey, Da-I mean, Church." Ali corrected herself.

"It's okay around people who aren't in the club, Ali." I gave her a nod and crouched down to look over the mower, very aware that Chloe was gaping at me.

"My mower is a classic." Chloe scoffed.

"Yeah," One side of my mouth ticked up, "A classic piece of shit."

"Well, I'm sorry it doesn't say Chevy on it." She scoffed.

"I'm a Ford guy," My grin widened, "Get your cars straight, Princess. By the way, you ain't mowin' this yard today."

"Why not?"

"It's gonna rain this afternoon, and by the time you went out and got another, it'll be pouring."

"How do you know?"

"I'm a biker, gotta be on top of the weather conditions." I shrugged.

"This homeownership sucks." She sighed.

"Why?"

"Because, I can't even fix my mower so the delivery guy can find me."

"Is food all you care about?"

"I like food."

"Look, Ali makes a mean soup. When it rains here, it gets cold, good soup weather. I'm sure she'll fix up some extra to bring you."

"I couldn't-"

"You can and you will!" Ali grinned and hopped up, "I love to cook! Daddy, is it okay if I go to the store and get what I need."

"Sure, babe." I gave a her a nod as I continued to mess with the piece of shit mower, "Take what you need for cash out of the register, just write it down."

"See ya later Chloe."

"Bye!"

"That girl loves a reason to cook." I told her.

"Why are you being so nice to me?"

"Why wouldn't I?" I shrugged.

"Because yesterday you hated me."

"That was before I knew you were friends with my kid."

"Did Bear tell you?"

"That you two became close, mourning your mother figures?" I sighed, "Yeah."

"Grams wasn't a mother figure to me, like my mom seems to think." She curled into herself, like a broken kid, "She was my best friend. She opened my eyes to so many things and ways of thinking. She was just... Grams..."

"Ali never really got to know Sarah, her mom." I shrugged, "We we're just kids when we met, hooked up a few times and along came Alice."

"She's a beautiful girl though." She smiled up at me, "So sweet. She brought me over a ton of homemade cookies and breads and stuff. She didn't even know it was me. She just wanted to welcome your new neighbor."

"Well, she's a little more welcoming than I was and I'm sorry."

"It's okay," She sighed, "I get it. Frumpy girl moves in next door, takes over the old abandoned house, and doesn't have a fucking clue on how to fix a damn mower."

"I already told you, the damn thing is rusted out. You need a new one."

"Yeah, maybe when the rain passes." She sighed, watching the clouds roll in.




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