All the Sky:Signal Bend

By: Susan Fanetti


The clubhouse was as packed as if it were Super Bowl Sunday. And there were a bunch of damn kids

around, too, so Havoc couldn’t even get himself a lapful of chick. Not just Isaac’s kids, but town kids.

Running around like they were at a playground, or Chuck E. Cheese, or some shit. And there were

grandmas and shit. Fuck. Marie Bakke and Rose Olsen were sitting next to Showdown and Shannon.

Shannon was sitting on Show’s lap—like fucking always. Rose was knitting. Knitting!

He sat at the bar and scowled into his glass. When he heard an eruption of feminine chatter, he turned

his scowl to the television. Fucking pissed him off. He didn’t know why the holy fuck either the town or

the Horde thought this was a night to fucking celebrate. It was a damn outrage, far as he was concerned.

Draining the last of his tequila, he slammed the empty glass on the gouged surface of the bar. “Keep ‘em

comin’, Wrench.”

“You got it, Hav.”

Havoc didn’t think Wrench was going to earn his top rocker. Too soft, too slow, too dim. Even in these

quiet times, he didn’t have much to offer. But he was eager to please and amiable enough. After all the shit

with the Scorpions, and fucking C.J. putting Isaac out of commission for over a year, they’d needed the

help, and he’d stepped up. Havoc wasn’t in any hurry to kick him, as long as things stayed mellow like

they’d been since then.

Mikey would probably be ready for his patch soon, on the other hand. He already had a lot of the

responsibility of a patch. His minimum had passed awhile back, but they were taking their time. Len had

sponsored him, so he’d make the call about when to bring it to the table. It was hard to test the spine of a

Prospect when the club was quiet and working legit. These days, the Horde mostly kept order in town—oh,

and owned a damn pussy wine bar.

Havoc had sponsored Doogie, who’d bailed after the holidays, moving to Iowa to work his uncle’s

farm. Havoc had been incensed. He’d vouched, and the kid had walked away like the Horde had been

nothing more than an angle he’d been playing. People bailing. Pissed him off worse than anything.

On that thought, and as the crowd in the Hall got louder than ever, he scowled at the television again.

Just in time to see Riley Chase and Bart Elstad walking down the fucking red carpet at the motherfucking

Academy Awards.

Because yeah, that made any kind of sense at all.

He fucking hated seeing Bart trussed up like a damn penguin, standing a step behind his woman while

people screamed her name and took her picture and stuck microphones in her face. He fucking hated that

Bart seemed to be doing okay in the Scorpions, that he was married to a goddamn movie star and living in a

goddamn mansion and that he was right this minute smiling down at the little blonde bitch—oh, and now

kissing her while the screen practically went white from all the goddamn flashes.

Havoc knew he was being irrational, but he didn’t fucking care. He knew that it had torn Bart up to give

up the Horde. He knew that his sacrifice had allowed the Horde to fucking exist at all. If he hadn’t given up

his patch and his ink, the Scorpions would have flattened the Horde, one way or another. They’d either be

dead now, or they’d be wearing Scorpions patches, too. Instead, because Bart did what he did, the Horde

was solid. They were even strong. And their truce with the Scorpions was intact. Guarded, but intact.

Havoc didn’t think they’d ever be really solid with that club again. Too much had gone down between

them. And with all this Oscars bullshit, they weren’t in the clear yet. People had gotten interested in the

Horde again. But Bart was on it. Only thing was, now he was protecting the Scorpions’ interests first.

Signal Bend, the movie about what went down on Main Street a few years back, had been released in

the fall. Havoc hadn’t seen it and didn’t intend to, but apparently it was the shit, because it had been

nominated for a bunch of awards, even Best Picture. Riley Chase was up for Best Actress. The guy who’d

played Show was up for Best Supporting Actor. And smug asshole Tanner fucking Stafford was up for Best

Actor. So half the fucking town was now staring at the Horde’s television, watching people in fancy clothes

be fancy.

Havoc sat at the end of the bar, picking some kind of funky, puffy cheese and olive things that he didn’t

even like off the tray nearest him, sulking. It didn’t matter that it didn’t make sense. He was pissed. He’d

had one best friend in his life. He’d brought him up in the club. Taught him how to build a bike. Sponsored

him as Prospect. He’d ridden alongside him for seven fucking years.

It had been a year and a half since then, and everybody was doing okay now. Because of what Bart had

given up, the Horde was solid. He should be glad his friend had found his way in the dangerous world of

the Scorpions. He should be glad that Bart was happy and had a life he wanted. He tried to be. And he was,

most of the time.

But sitting here tonight, watching all the bizarre glitz and glitter that had somehow also become part of