PatchwhoreBy: Kim Jones
To God for giving me the gift of life, writing and an eternal love.
Reggie: All those nights spent in bed alone will be worth it one day. I hope.
Amy Owens: Don’t replace me. I’m trying like hell to be a better best friend. It’s just taking a little while.
Parents: We’re gonna get rich one day, I promise.
Sisters: You’ll be rich, too. Maybe.
Katy: Thank you for loving my Cook. Your encouraging words help to breathe life into my characters.
Aunt Kat: I don’t think I could’ve done this without your continued support.
Uncle Don: I never would’ve mentioned Aunt Kat without mentioning you—after all, I am the favorite…author.
Natasha: You held my hand. Well, in spirit.
Josephine: You owe me 87 drinks. BY THE WAY…
Sali: My first ever audiobook listener. I love you.
HNDW: This may just be the one that gets that Bahama bottom rocker.
Hang Le: The cover—perfection.
Amy Tannenbaum: Um…hang on. I’m checking my voicemail. Get back with you soon.
Chelle Bliss: My biggest thanks goes to you. For helping me figure out this damn Mac. You rock.
Despite the warm interior of my car, I can’t suppress the shiver that runs through me as I gaze up at the neon sign hanging haphazardly from the front of the bar. Checking the address on my phone again, I frown when it matches the peeling numbers on the side of the building. According to the reviews, Pop’s is known for its rough customers and rowdy fights—catering to bikers and every other outcast in the greater Lake Charles area. If it weren’t a two hour drive from campus, I’m sure it would have been mentioned as a “place to avoid” in the awareness class my parents demand I attend once a month.”
I dial Emily’s number—my other hand lingering on the gear shift. After all the courage it took to get me here, I somehow feel like I need her approval before I can leave.
“Are you chickening out?” my best friend of ten years asks, disappointment evident in that voice that’s dying to sing, “I told you so.”
“Um, I don’t think this is the right place.”
“Yes it is. He checked in there three times last week on Facebook. If he’s hanging out with his new biker friends, then that’s exactly where he is.” I drop my gaze when a burly man makes eye contact with me from a few parking spots over.
“I know Jud…he wouldn’t be caught dead in a place like this.”
“First, you obviously don’t know Jud. Second, he’s a biker now. Bikers hang out in rough places. And three, the most important of all, he screwed half of your sorority sisters. Right under your nose.” It’s been four months, and although the reminder doesn’t rip my heart out of my chest like it used to, it still hurts.
“Are you sure he’s really a biker?” I ask, already knowing the answer. He might have blocked me on Facebook, but was too stupid to block Emily. I guess he thought her being five hundred miles away somehow made him safe from her stalking. It didn’t.
“You want me to re-send the screenshots?”
As she says the words, I scroll through my images and find the evidence in black and white. Or blue and grey—the colors of the riding club he’s now a member of. Eagles—Lake Charles, Louisiana. I thought it took years to become a member of a club. Obviously, I was wrong.
I guess Jud used his charm on his biker brothers like he had on me. And the entire Velta Di sorority on the LSU campus. Because in less than a year, he’d managed to make friends with the club and become a member—completely reinventing himself. He still had the motorcycle he’d had since high school. But gone was the Sperry, khaki, polo wearing boy I’d fallen in love with. Now he wears a leather vest and rides with outlaws.
I look down at my own attire and roll my eyes. I’ve been planning this night for a month. Now that it’s here, I’m starting to feel ridiculous. In my head, it had been perfect. The moment. The scene. The mood. Even the song. I was going to give him a taste of his own medicine. He’d screwed my sisters, now I was going to screw his brothers—aka fellow club members. Or so Emily had said after doing a little research.