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Excerpt from the Bastian’s War series, The Killer.
“I’m Bolo and this,” indicating his still silent partner, “this is Gunner. Glad to make your acquaintance, L0n3W0lf1. Do you have something else we can call you by? We have heard several names and aren’t sure which one is most accurate.”
Trevor thought about it for a minute. What names had he given out recently? What cover identities had he revealed? He decided that if he was going to get into this world, he should go ahead and be himself, but the real self.
“My name is Trevor, but I tell certain people different names to keep them off my back, especially the women, know what I mean?” he said with a knowing smirk and leaned back in his chair as another hand was dealt.
Bolo nodded with a likewise smirk, lifted his beer and drank a few pulls. Gunner just sat and watched, occasionally looking at his cards and keeping up with the play. Trevor couldn’t tell if he was disinterested or was just that adept at keeping track of things without seeming to. Regardless, Gunner was a good player and had already taken a few pots.
“Yeah, we do know what you mean, Trevor, and I am glad you came true with your name. I would have been pretty troubled if you hadn’t.” Was that malice in his eyes, Trevor wondered? “So, what other names have you given then, and do you know who you have used them with? To be straight and honest with you, we have a reason for asking.”
“Well, with women I use one of three. Bruce, Chris, or Trent. Those are actually names of some of my relatives, so they are easy to keep track of. I use Bruce for one-night stands that I am just going to play with and toss aside, Chris, for women I just like talking to, and Trent, for women that I want to see regularly, but have no interest in for the long game. So why are you asking?”
The other poker players were busy not being involved in the conversation, but Trevor could tell that the two women at the table were disgusted and a couple of the men were quietly smirking their approval. No one had anything to say about any of it, except for Bolo. It seemed the other players at the table sensed trouble and just wanted to be as small as possible. Trevor didn’t feel it, he felt in control of the whole thing, but he liked that everyone else was scared. He felt powerful.
“Well Trevor, that is pretty clever. It’s a good way of sorting out the women you spend time with. The only problem is that sometimes these women you are leading along have friends, family, or say, close connections with men in a motorcycle club. You understand that, right, Trevor?” Bolo said. He didn’t even look at his cards as he mucked them. He was locking eyes with Trevor. Gunner just sat back seemingly indifferent, playing his hand. Everyone else at the table looked as if they had all felt a heater kick on.
“I do understand that. But I would hope that the friends, family, or close connections with men in a motorcycle club would also recognize that these are women making their own choices, and that most know exactly what is going on when they connect with me. So, if I have offended someone who you know who falls into that category, then you should know that she was never lead on, lead astray, or pressured to do anything she didn’t want to do already. Besides, there really haven’t been that many, anyway.” Trevor said this as matter-of-factly as possible. It was true, after all: all these women knew what they were doing, if anything, they were dictating their relationship with him.
Bolo nodded and played a few hands without saying anything, the muscles on the side of his jaw working like he was chewing something. Then, without looking at his cards, slowly pushed all-in. Gunner called blind. One other player, looking furtively from his cards, to Trevor, Bolo, Gunner, and back at his cards tentatively called. Trevor paused for a few minutes like he was thinking and trying to get a read off the others, but then folded with a slight flick of his hand. As Bolo watched the community cards being dealt, he looked up to Trevor and said quietly. “Fair enough, Trevor, but I would think about what you say to women when you are trying to hook-up with them. My sister takes what people say very literally, Bruce. And the things you wrote to her didn’t sound anything like you were looking for a Bruce adventure. But you definitely gave her one, didn’t you.”
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