“I hear you’re leaving us.”
A voice Lawless recognized as Dillion Dreyers -aka correctional officer and a few times booty call- said behind him.
Being in the exercise yard was the most normal Lawless had felt in almost three years.
Whatever normal felt like.
Anyone knew his wiring didn’t fire in the proper sequence, so normalcy was apples and oranges for him. He’d stopped agonizing over the answers a long time ago. Instead, he’d learned to live with how his analytical brain worked. Lawless felt like a computer that never booted down.
An extraordinarily high IQ and his diagnosed low latent inhibitions meant his surrounding environment constantly stimulated his brain.
Couldn’t shut the fucking thing off.
Being inside a prison with hundreds of boring lunatics meant Lawless had to get used to the low-level din of their noise. It constantly ticked through his white meat, over-stimulating him like a firework that never fizzled out.
Outside under the sky, especially when he was alone, like now, because he’d paid a guard to let him have extra exercise time in the yard, there was only blessed silence.
Two hands in the gray issued sweatpants pockets; Lawless cast a withering glance over his shoulder as Dreyers sidled up to him in his manly uniform, taser included.
“Have you come to say goodbye, Dillion?”
About a year ago, Dreyers transferred to the psych building. Shorter hours, better pay. But he dropped by Lawless’ wing to talk like old friends from time to time. Bags of meat were so pedestrian because Lawless had all but blackmailed the man into giving him access to many parts of the prison not available to low-life prisoners. Yet, it seemed he’d forgotten all about that and made Lawless into a friend.
“Something like that. At least now the other C.O.’s will get a chance at winning some money.”
Lawless smirked, looking out at the acres of nothingness that surrounded the prison. To the untrained eye, it appeared huge, and it was. But the size of the prison never mattered. It was all about the bars and the locked doors, which narrowed his world down considerably.
For six long days since his phone call to Archie to get him the fuck out of there, he’d been counting the seconds to when he wouldn’t hear another electronic door slamming shut.
The C.O.’s had been fair with Lawless, so he’d been fair with them. He’d even sat at their gambling tables, robbed them all blind. Fairly.
Lawless never had to cheat.
Until he did.
Now the end had come, his skin was too tight, he felt scratches on the inside of his brain.
Unable to sleep.
He was wired as fuck.
But now, his roadmap had been derailed, and he’d been forced to think outside of the box.
To re-plan everything from the start.
In any other circumstances, he would have been thrilled to play cat-and-mouse games. But all Lawless felt in the last six days was irritation coating the back of his throat.
Irritation at how he’d been blackmailed into a corner like a pathetic animal fighting for its life. It had been a long time since Lawless felt inadequate.
If he were the emotional type, like Snake was, he might have reacted a whole other way to Benz’s blackmail. “Come back to me. Fully, in every sense, be at my side, rule with me, allow me to love you. I’m fucking empty without you there, Penn. And I will leave her alone. She won’t exist to me.”
There was no hesitation when he’d answered: “done.”
That was six days ago.
Six days in which Lawless had felt split down to the bones and sinew, with his guts pouring out onto the floor.
He had very little power for a man who lived by his control.
Benz had thought he’d won, and while he visited Lawless yesterday, he allowed his former lover and mentor to keep thinking so. The man was attractive, cunning and they’d played well together a handful of years ago.
Did it mean Lawless had to be lenient with him because they had a history? Or whatever fondness ordinary people felt? Hell no.
Jay was blackmailing him into being his boy toy/right-hand man.
He could have a King Kong cock and like being choked out during orgasm, and it would still piss Lawless off.
He couldn’t think about Jay yet.
And that’s when he heard the man at his side inhaling the cancer stick. Lawless turned on his feet and started heading toward the door. Dreyers got in step with him.
Two hours and counting.
He needed the stink of the place off his skin. It felt as though it was embedded in areas he couldn’t scrub.
“Looking forward to getting out?”
What? Did the guy think Lawless would miss the place? That he’d choose to stay longer for the shits and giggles?
Not in a million years would he want to be in prison.
It had been his version of Hell being locked up all day long like a dog in a cage.
“You sure as shit made this place different.”
“I can’t stay just to brighten your day, Dillion,” he quipped and made the other man laugh.
“What will you do now?”
“Go back to my life.”
Maybe do a little murdering. Who knows? He’d been without his tools for a long time; he needed some fun.
Lawless looked at the world through eyes that had seen too much. It was predator energy that motivated him.
He liked simple things.
And things that an average joe would pray on his knees to his Lord and Savior over.
The man at Lawless’ side had a lean body underneath the gaudy uniform, and he was easily manipulated.
If he wanted to, he could probably demand Dillion Dreyers take him to a secluded closet for a farewell fumble.
But Lawless wasn’t interested in him, and once they were back inside, he offered a hand, and Dreyers shook it. “Your wife still trying to talk you into getting a cat?”
Dreyers groaned. “She’ll win; she always wins.”
“Get her two, they don’t like to be alone.”
“I’d tell you to keep out of trouble, Penn, but I doubt you will.”
Lawless smirked and walked through the electronic door into a holding area where he would collect the civilian clothes he’d been wearing three years ago and pick up the only two things he was taking from this place.
His silver wristwatch and a box of unread letters.
Lawless had been inhaling the same Wyoming air for too long, but that first breath as a free man as he was escorted out of the final gate hit differently in his lungs, and his stride didn’t stop as he advanced toward a waiting Hawk and Snake.
“We are not hugging,” he warned a grinning Snake. “Control your emotions.”
Too fucking late. His friend and brother grabbed him like a bear attack and squeezed Lawless’ torso before thumping him on the back.
Once freed, he caught the blank icy stare from the VP. “Don’t expect the same from me.” Hawk arched his blond eyebrow as if it was ridiculous even to suggest he’d get with the PDA. Instead, the pair met their fists in the middle and bumped them. “Good to have you back.”
“Ready to get out of here?” Snake asked. “We got your Harley in a trailer if you wanna ride.”
He did. More than ever. “I need something to eat first, get the taste of this place out of my mouth.”
It would take more than food, but all in good time. Lawless had his standards, and he could settle for a juicy burger first.
They found a diner in town. Hawk stayed in the truck like the antisocial demon he was. He’d missed that fucker and all his silent quips.
“Are you ever gonna draw breath?” Lawless asked when he moved the now empty plate away. His stomach felt better after greasy food. “You haven’t shut up for a second.”
“I’m happy to see you,” smirked Snake, tossing a balled-up napkin on his empty plate.
“I can tell by your wagging tail.”
“You know we weren’t expecting you yet.”
“That’s why it’s called a surprise.”
Making a late-night call to the club last night, he’d informed them Archie had finalized his release and then asked Rider to call an emergency meeting with the core brothers but to keep his release hush-hush for now.
As far as Benz knew, Lawless was still behind bars and would be there in the next two weeks when he visited him.
It was petty.
But nowhere did Lawless ever state he wasn’t a petty motherfucker.
Benz wanted him. Badly.
Maybe he’d make the man chase him like a dirty dog.
“So,” Snake posed, a deep tint to his eyes. “What’s the plan, Law? If we’re killing Jay Benz, I need a heads up. My Winter doesn’t like our date nights interrupted, you get me?”
Lawless believed him.
Snake was entangled with his librarian like his namesake would be around prey. Even behind bars, Lawless heard about their relationship across the table when his friend visited.
Lawless didn’t deal with emotions.
They were pesky ant bites, and he hadn’t been tested, but he was almost positive he was allergic.
He was book smart and emotionally stunted.
Oh, he could pretend as well as the next psychopath.
But even then, he would swear on his Mustang that Snake would rather chew off his head than murder anyone. The last time didn’t work out so well for him.
So, in the event of a bloodbath, he would let his friend have the peace he so needed in his life and not tag him in.
“Your date nights are safe,” he answered in his even tone as he rose, and Snake followed suit, tossing bills on the table. They headed outside, where Hawk started the engine.
Lawless cast a smirk over his shoulder.
“Why would I kill Jay when I’m his boyfriend?”
Copyright© V. Theia 2021.