Corpus had its share of cases that made the national news. Mix in an outlaw bike club and the story went viral on social media within fifteen minutes.
And his sisters had access to it and had watched in horror as Uncle Jessie was escorted into court. The questions his youngest sister, Trisha, asked broke his heart. Why is Uncle Jess chained up like an animal? Did he do something bad? Will we ever see him again? Are you going away too?
It was all he could do to hold himself back and not follow the prosecutor to her car and give the bitch a Texas-sized welcome—one she’d never forget. He smoked his Marlboro down to the filter and tossed it on the ground. The status quo didn’t satisfy Lang anymore. He wanted more, or less, depending on what perspective he took. More for his family, less heat from the cops.
Several Brothers had spent the afternoon in court waiting for Jess to be arraigned. Merritt approached, wearing a frown on his bearded face. “He’s fucked,” he commented, shaking his head. “Racketeering, witness tampering, and murder.”
“All true,” Lang confirmed. Why lie out of earshot? “He just got caught.”
“The club can’t afford another shakedown,” Merritt said.
Lang agreed. Time to remind members that representing the club didn’t mean attracting negative publicity. Jess’s lax leadership hadn’t helped. “First line of business,” Lang started. “Fast-tracking Vincent and Merk. Time to patch out.”
“You won’t get any arguments from me—but Patrick, Sampson, and Moco might not agree.”
Lang already knew he’d meet with some resistance. Appointing officers was the sole right of the president. What the charter needed most was new blood. Men with a different perspective. Like any business, the club had centralized power. All men weren’t created equal. Respect was given first, then earned, just like the fucking patches on his back. He fully intended to teach his Brothers the difference.
Charter rules were chiseled in stone like the Ten Commandments. And if anyone disagreed, they’d lose their membership, maybe their right to breathe.
Eventually the other Brothers filed out of the building. Lang imagined they looked out of place standing together in the middle of the afternoon wearing leathers and combat boots. Unlike attorneys and their clients shuffling in and out in their Sunday best, the Sons of Odin always wore their cuts whenever they represented the club, regardless of the venue.
The stares and whispers their presence evoked inspired Patrick and Sampson to retaliate. They flipped off a couple in the entryway and then Patrick lit a joint, blowing the acrid smoke in their direction.
“Contact high,” he laughed at them. “Get the fucking corncobs out of your asses.”
“Hey.” Lang tapped his shoulder angrily. This was a perfect example of the juvenile mentality he planned on eradicating. “Not the time or place. We already have a PR nightmare on our hands.”
The Corpus Christi elite wanted clubs like the Sons of Odin dismantled, but average residents were often the beneficiaries of the generosity of the club. It was always the first to donate when disaster struck the city, and even the paper occasionally touted the members as heroes.
Keeping club image in mind, Lang knew when enough was enough. “Let’s go,” he commanded, leading them to the far side of the parking lot, where their Harleys were lined up like tanks.
relationship with her husband.