Lockdown by DD Prince
“So, if there’s nothing else…” Dad let that hang.
Nobody said a word, so he continued.
“By decree of Dominion Brotherhood law, it’s been decided: we bring ‘em in, we stay here. The only thing bein’ if anyone needs out for any reason, they can’t come back in until this shit is all done. Should there be some unforeseen circumstance, we’ll have a meeting and vote to decide how it’ll go. Agreed?”
A mixture of nods and chin jerks as well as a few ‘yeahs’ signaled the end and Dad’s gavel came down on the table.
“Three hours. Get who ‘n what ya need and get in. Sorry brothers, but some of you might not like this and I gotta pull rank here and say no bunnies. Too flighty. If you bring in a woman she’s here ’cuz she’s yours. Not havin’ problems with the women because you can’t handle not gettin’ your dick wet for a bit. No disrespect to you single guys, but if you wanna stay on the outside and help the prospects with keepin’ an eye on my businesses and handle the supply runs, no one’ll mind. We’ll lock the gate until shit settles. We’ll have the two prospects, Scooter, two nomads, and whoever else stays in the space above the bar to keep an eye as well as bring in anything we need in terms of food, booze, and beverages. We want their risk kept to a minimum, so I’ll ask Laur to get lists from all your women once a week for anything beyond the typical food. She ‘n Ella and Joelle can make a schedule for group meals and clean up duty. We’ll have a meeting daily for anything needin’ to be dealt with. Any of ya need something and got no woman to put it on a list, tell my woman what it is. Anything else?”
Nobody said a word.
My brother Spencer gave me a look and an eyeroll and I followed his eyes as they landed on Skip. Skip was the married brother most likely to stay on the outside so he could keep doin’ bunnies. But he couldn’t stay on the outside because his wife and two kids needed to be in here, safe. This situation was lookin’ serious. The guy liked his pussy, but he knew his loved ones needed to be inside our fences.
Skip didn’t look happy. He was jiggling his leg with impatience. He butted out a cigarette aggressively.
His problem. Not ours.
“Ya all right, there, Skippy?” Spency asked.
“Mm hm. Yeah, whatever. I mean… it is what it is.” He waved a hand as he lit another smoke.
I closed the journal with the meeting minutes in it and I was the first who stood up.
It was time to round up the girls. We all cleared outta the room and headed out.
I swiped my phone screen and called Jesse before I was out of the building, on my way to the dealership just outside the fences to talk to my girl, Ella.
“Jess? You good man?”
“Deacon, hey. Meh. ‘Sup with you?”
“You need help with anything?”
“Naw, brother. I’m good.”
“We’re goin’ into lockdown mode here in the clubhouse. All members, families have the option to come into the compound within the next three hours and then we lock the door and keep it locked till shit is squared away out there. Can you and your woman be here? I can get extra time if you can head in this direction now.”
He was quiet a sec.
“Could get bad out there, man,” I added.
“Naw, brah. We’ll be good. Thanks , D.”
“If anything changes and you need in, do not hesitate to call me. We can set up a little quarantine love shack for ya inside the fences if need be.”
Jesse let out a snicker. “Right. Thanks man. Much appreciated.”
“Or up above The Roadhouse. I’ll do my best to make sure your old room isn’t given out to anybody.”
“Appreciate it, Deacon.”
“Stay safe, brother.”
“Same, brother,” he returned. “Later.”
We were going into lockdown mode at the compound where I had a room, but who knew how long this would last, so I’d already decided I was gonna see my girl and give her the skinny on what was happening, then drive out to the property with my truck to pick up my trailer and haul it onto the grounds so that Ella and me would have our own space. I was really fucking glad we chose to build something fortifiable when we sat down and drew up plans. We had room for several trailers within the fences without bein’ on top of one another, which was good. I liked my space. Always had.
I knew our Sioux Falls clubhouse would likely be doing the same, but the difference was that they were a much bigger club than we were. Even with all their guest rooms, they couldn’t as comfortably fit wives and kids like we could. Until we grew, that was. I knew we would grow in the next couple years, plus we were all, one by one, pairin’ up so eventually there’d be more kids in our chapter, too. My sister was already pregnant.
I’d tell Ella we could give up our room to someone who might need it. A couple with kids. So far in our chapter, beyond Ella’s folks with her little brother, there were only two such couples, both with two kids. This way, they wouldn’t have to bunk on top of one another or put their kids in a guest room far away and we would have entirely our own space and we could still access the main hall so she could be around people if she wanted to chat with her girls or see her family.
This place was equipped to handle a big crowd with multiple kitchens and loads of room inside and outside for men, women, and the kids, but I liked the idea of having our own space, particularly if things aren’t good outside our gates and it goes on for any length of time.
“Really?” she asked, her hazel eyes huge.
I’d just told her that we had just about three hours to gather our shit and get behind the fence.
“Yeah, kitten,” I told her. “Things could get bad out there. A) we don’t wanna have to all isolate separately when we could all be together and B) the club compound gives everyone at least a little room to roam.”
“But… I could happily isolate just me ‘n you for… for a long time before I felt the urge to see anybody else.” She stood from the big reception desk in our showroom and ran her hand up my chest. She blinked at me and got on her tiptoes.
I touched my lips to hers. “I am very fuckin’ glad to hear that, baby.” I grabbed a handful of her blonde curls and used them to tip her head back. I slid my tongue across the seam of her mouth, and she opened up and let me in. She tasted like Pepsi. I much preferred Coke out of a glass and wouldn’t tell this to her because we had an ongoing Coke vs. Pepsi war, but Pepsi tasted pretty fucking all right off my woman’s tongue.
“Mm.” She pulled her mouth away sooner than I wanted her to. “You’re right though.” She looked up into my eyes. “We should all be together. Strength in numbers. If things go like The Walking Dead out there, we would be unstoppable.”
“You know, your dad kind of could almost pass for Negan if Negan grew his hair a little. I can’t decide if he looks more like Negan or more like Alcide from True Blood.”
“Don’t watch either of those so no idea, Ella. He just looks like Dad to me.”
She smiled. “We should watch The Walking Dead. We can binge it while we’re in quarantine.”
“I can think of much better ways to pass the time,” I grabbed her ass cheek and jiggled it.
She smiled and her eyes lit with something I recognized. It was a cross between amusement and arousal. It was good I had a woman who never said no to sex. Never. Not once in more than a year together. Buddies would complain over the years about their girls not puttin’ out, always complainin’ of headaches or not being in the mood. But Ella Forker had the sex drive of an eighteen-year-old guy. I was a lucky man. And that was one of the many reasons I knew she was eventually gonna be Ella Valentine.
“You gonna put a ring on that?” my MC brother Edge had asked me a few months after Ella and I started up. He was still mourning the loss of Jet, his longtime girlfriend. Everyone felt that loss; Jet was part of our family. I could tell he liked Ella.
“Fair warnin’, Deacon; they stop puttin’ out when you put a ring on it,” Skip, another brother cut in sourly.
Skip’s been married ten years and had a foxy wife and two great kids. Sara was miserable and they fought all the time. I knew he stepped out on her and didn’t know if she was miserable because of that or if her being miserable was why he did it. None of my business.
Not two minutes later, Skip stepped away to take a leak, so I decided that was the time to resume the conversation so I wouldn’t be an asshole shitting on his marriage. I leaned in toward Edge.
“My girl won’t be one to stop puttin’ out because a) Ella’s not the kind of girl to do a bait and switch.”
He smiled noncommittally. “Good to hear, D. I hope you’re right.”
I knew I was right. I knew what I had with her. She was real. No fuckin’ game-playing with Elizabelle Forker. That was one of the key reasons she and I were together.
“And b) Edge my brotha, any man that wants to keep the home fires burnin’ has the ability to do that with how he treats his woman. Treat her right, she’ll be all over you.” I slapped his back good-naturedly.
“Maybe,” he said and shuffled the cards.
“Treat her right; eat her right,” my brother Rider had chimed in.
There were a bunch of us around a poker table that night and we’d all touched our glasses in agreement, even Edge, though I could see he had his own thoughts on that matter. His relationship with Jet was complicated, I knew that much, and I also knew he blamed his extracurriculars for her death. I did not envy that man his demons. He wore them on his face, and it looked like it fuckin’ hurt a lot.
“What about work?” Ella asked, snuggling into me, dragging my thoughts back to now.
“Shuttin’ it all down for now. We’ll be okay. Your father is comin’ in with your mom and brother. Keepin’ a small staff running the cab and courier company with a few drivers, Scott, Deanna and the prospects.”
“Okay,” she said and put her lips to the opening in my button-down shirt to kiss my chest.
“You worried?” I asked into her hair.
“A bit. It’s scary right now. I am glad we’ll all be safe inside those gates, though. Though, Gran’s at the nursing home. If that virus gets into the nursing home---”
“Talk to your parents. If you guys want her brought, she can stay in our room.”
“Yeah, thought we’d either give our room in The Hall to Skip ‘n Sara or Speedy and Tawny. Speedy and Tawny more likely because it’d be close to their room so they could put the kids in one and sleep in the other. But, your gran comes, it’s hers. Let’s go haul the fifth wheel in. We’ll have our space and we can hang with everyone else when we want to.”
“Good plan. I’ll call my mom now while we drive out there. Maybe it’d be better if she stayed with Mom, though. Not sure a new environment is a good idea with the way her memory has been getting unless Mom is right there.”
“Talk to ‘em. We’ll figure it all out. You want, we can give your parents and your gran the fifth wheel and we can stay in The Hall.”
“Deacon Oliver Valentine, do you know how amazing you are?” She scrubbed my jaw with her fingernails and looked at me with love shining in her pretty eyes.
I kissed her.
Amazing? Maybe, maybe not. I was just a guy who loved his family and his woman’s family and wanted to do whatever the fuck he could to get all of us through this shit unscathed.
She locked up the dealership after setting the alarm and we headed out to my truck, which we’d driven in to work today.
At least if things went bad, we’d be able to keep our loved ones safe inside these gates.
When we pulled in, Jenna and Ride were standing near Ride’s car and he had his arms around her. There were two big duffle bags and two suitcases on the ground with a big cat carrying cage. She had a face like heartbreak. Looked like he was comforting her.
They approached, hand-in-hand, while I backed the trailer into the spot where it needed to be so I could hook the power and everything up.
Ride gave me a hand getting things set up while the girls stood off to the side chatting. Rider muttered that his girl was not pleased at the notion that she had to leave her clients high ‘n dry.
“Told her… way more important shit than haircuts, nails, and eyebrows in times like these. Thought she was gonna deck me. Not that I was takin’ anything away from the work she does. Told her there were also more important things than your car runnin’ too since nobody’ll be goin’ anywhere. Or buyin’ a new motorcycle.”
“Though, not really,” I muttered, watching the canopy of my trailer open up. “I mean, depending on the motorcycle.”
“Not really,” he agreed with a snicker.
“I heard that, you guys,” Jenna said as she and Ella moved closer to us.
“Hey Jenna,” I greeted.
“Hey,” she said and pretended to sock my brother in the gut.
“You good?” I asked.
He put her in a headlock and mussed up her hair.
“She’s fine. She’s just in a little snit.”
She grabbed his nuts and ordered, “Two seconds to let go and swear you’ll never noogie me ever again ever, Rider Valentine.”
“All right, gorgeous, whatever you say.” His face had drained of color.
“Swear!” she demanded.
“I swear!” His voice was up an octave.
I winced and felt my balls shrink at the vision.
She released him. He grabbed her face with both hands and laid a wet kiss on her, making her giggle.
She looked at me and sobered.
“I’m nervous. I don’t like this. I’ve been watching too much news and it’s making it hard to sleep. To think, even. When I laugh and forget for five minutes, I feel guilty.”
Ride kissed her temple. “Gotta live, babe. This shit sucks, but get the laughs and joy where you can.”
“Exactly,” I agreed.
Jenna was a good girl, too. Was always put together like she was heading out to be in a fashion show, but perfect for my brother. She loved a good time, was just about as wild as Rider, and she’s got a huge heart in her, too.
Our sister skipped over with a big smile on her face. “This sucks balls but if we have to be in lockdown, there’s nobody else I’d rather be in lockdown with. Slumber party!”
She wrapped her arms around Ella and Jenna, her rounded pregnant belly taking up space as she pulled them in tight.
The girls hugged her, and Ella’s hands went to Jojo’s belly.
“Everyone here?” Ella asked, rubbing my sister’s stomach like she was doing it for good luck.
“Almost everyone we’re expecting,” Jojo answered. ”Dad and Laura should be here soon. Spency and Pip are on their way over now. Almost everyone else is here. Your family just got here, Ella.”
“My gran, too?” Ella asked.
“No. Just your mom, dad and Beau.”
Ella bit her lip. I gave her a sad smile. Had a feeling her grandmother would wanna stay put. Gran Izzy didn’t wanna be a burden to anyone and loved her times with her friends and all the activities they got up to there. She told me herself more than once that she felt her memory slipping away and was afraid the day where she wouldn’t know any of us wasn’t too far away.
“I’m gonna go say hi and then I’ll be back.” Ella kissed me and then headed to The Hall, the large building in the center of the compound that had living space as well as the main space where we had parties. It was like a big open lodge with comfortable furniture and a fireplace but also held a long bar and was big enough to have weddings and other parties in it. In the basement we had a gym and a commercial kitchen. Upstairs were two smaller kitchens, lots of bedrooms, several bathrooms, and my father’s apartment, which had three bedrooms and another kitchen.
Edge, Nolan, Bick, Justice, Bronto, Brady, and Scott all began to work together unloading the Mystery Machine, our minibus, which I could see had been stocked with supplies. They hauled out cases of Coke and Pepsi, bottled water, cases of juice boxes, beer, plus all kinds of groceries and carried it inside.
The guys who were staying on the outside said their goodbyes.
Another SUV pulled in and it was Skip, Sara, and their two kids. Behind them was my father and his woman, Laura, driving in Laura’s car, which Dad had bought her for their first Christmas back together. It was a classic Mustang, sweet ride, and she rode his ass jokingly about him getting it for her and yet always driving it himself.
Laura was a good woman. She was right for my old man and for this club. She fit him like she was always supposed to be at his side and got along well with everyone.
Never seen him this happy with my mother. Not ever close to this happy, even when he and Shelly had their good times (which wasn’t often). Dad and Laura had a thing before my ma turned up pregnant with me. It was good they got their second chance.
Besides, Laura was intuitive. She saw me eyeballing Ella before Ella and I got started and got in my ear telling me all about my girl’s good qualities. If not for Laura, maybe I wouldn’t have made a move. Scratch that. I would’ve eventually made one. I was drawn to my girl like a moth to a flame, but maybe it would’ve taken longer. And if it had, maybe Ella would’ve been hurt at that robbery of the Circle J because I wasn’t letting myself go there yet.
Bottom line: I liked Laura.
“We all here?” Dad asked.
“Most of us,” Rider replied.
“Let’s get in and do a headcount,” he said to Edge, who was now dad’s VP. “If we’re all here, we gather everyone by the gate and have a ceremonial locking of the door.”
It was good he planned it that way. It’s what I would’ve done to make sure everyone was all on the same page.
As Secretary and Treasurer of the club, I was going to talk to the brothers on the side about costs for supplies later on. Dad wanted to absorb all those costs, feeling like he wanted to take care of everybody. I talked him out of it. These brothers loved their club and respected my father, but I knew every one of them would want to chip in.
Not long later, he gave a speech by the gates as he put a padlock on and handed keys to Edge, me, Rider, Brady, and Spencer. We were the only ones with keys. He gave everyone one last chance to leave, telling them that if they chose to go after this, there’d be no hard feelings, but that everyone had an opportunity to stay safe together and boost one another’s spirits while we were here. He laid out the rules and told the women to see Laura and talk over meals and cleaning and shit.
“Jojo can help all your kids with their schoolwork. And…”
“What about men and meals?” Jojo piped up.
Dad gave her a signature “Deke Valentine” look.
She stared challengingly at him.
Dad’s eyes bounced to Fork, my sister’s man. He was standing there behind her with a smile on his face, looking down at her like she had a halo on her head. My sister’s man was not going to be a help here.
“Don’t be a little shit, Joelle, or you’ll be put in the brig.”
“The brig?” Beau, Ella’s kid brother asked with wide eyes.
“Yeah, Beau. Anybody breaks the laws we set here, they can either be kicked out or sent to the brig for time out. “
“Can we bring our video games to the brig?” Beau asked.
“No,” Dad told him.
Dad’s mouth opened but Rob, Beau and Ella’s dad piped up.
“You plannin’ on breaking some rules, son?” Rob looked down at his boy with a stern expression.
“’Course I ain’t. Just good to know what’d happen if for some reason I couldn’t help myself and did.”
I knew this kid couldn’t help himself and likely had plans to break some rules. He was a handful and a half. I’d already told Rob that we should bring him in early to prospect in order to save Rob and his wife Bertie a few gray hairs.
More than one club member sent their unruly teenage son into the prospect program a little early so the entire club could put ‘em in line. Better than military school.
“How young can he be?” Rob asked, gesturing to his full head of grays and we laughed about that.