Page 8 of The Stay

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"Okay, and how many are in this MC of yours?"

"Well, I think just three-"


"Yeah, the Prez, Colt, then this other guy who's an alcoholic who nearly got blown up..."

"Wow, impressive," Nix said snarkily.

“And me-"

Nix openly guffawed. "Right, sure, and by the way, I'm the Pope-"

"Go on, laugh, I don't care, what I do know is, Colt’s got my back and he's working to get me out soon and I'll get my own room at the clubhouse."

Nix laughed louder and slapped his thigh.

"Fucking hilarious. Fucking valedictorian over here gets his own bedroom, huh?”

Ash huffed, possibly realizing what he had said sounded juvenile.

"I wasn’t valedictorian, actually, buddy."

"I ain't your buddy, MC jailbird."

"I'm not-"

"We're cellmates, okay, nothing more, I ain't your buddy, or your brother… and the people you think are your friends, trust me, they won’t hang around and stay, no one stays in the end.”

Ash didn’t respond at first and that statement of Nix’s hung in the air, like a noose.

Ash cleared his throat and said in a much softer voice, "I get it. You don’t want trouble, don’t want to get mixed up with a dangerous, powerful MC. I'm on the wrong side of the tracks-”

"You're a million miles from the wrong side of the tracks, dude, what do you fucking know about the wrong side of the tracks?" Nix’s tone sounded aggressive, he knew it, he was lashing out now, he knew it, but he couldn't reign himself in.

He heard Ash shift below him. "Oh right, just ‘cause I haven't got a sleeve of tattoos and piercings you assume I'm a good boy-"

“You pronounce every letter in every word you say, you reek of a stable family, good education, soccer moms and dads who cooked meatloaf on Sundays."

"Yeah, well, shit still goes down behind the picket fences, you know," Ash said.

Nix bit his tongue. Ash made a fair point, Nix would grant him that.

"Anyway, I do have a few tattoos, so..." he trailed off.

Nix couldn't help the small smile that formed on his lips.

"Oh yeah, where?"

Ash snorted. "You’ll see!”

Nix raised his eyebrows. “And piercings, too, then, Mr. Wrong-side-of-the-picket-fence?"

Ash laughed and Nix felt warmth at that sound.

"No, not yet," Ash replied. “You did. I can see the scars on your nose and ears.”

“Not scars, they’ve closed up but…” Nix could already picture Ash’s smirky little grin, Ash was teasing him. He was a little cocksucker. But Nix was still smiling, despite himself.