Gideon took a deep breath, reminded himself that he was a fine, upstanding citizen and a war veteran to boot, which was more than he could say about this group. They were a motorcycle club, whatever that meant. His mother always looked disapproving. He touched his military dog tags hanging around his neck on a ball chain and opened the door. He took a step in closed it behind him without presenting his back to the new room.
He flicked his eyes around the room out of habit. The walls weren’t maroon in this room. The top halves of the walls looked to be painted a soft silvery gray, at least where the light through the windows hit them. Otherwise they seemed more like a silvery pearlescent opal radiating a soft light into the room. The bottom half of the walls were covered in black leather studded with rounded rivets at the top and the bottom, and held in place by black molding. Gideon glanced up. There weren’t any lights in the ceiling confirming his suspicion that the walls were the lights. Despite that there were still decorations on the walls, ones that Gideon didn’t have any time to pay attention to other than yet another rendition of the metal sculptural Heaven’s Heathens logo.
Gideon turned his attention to the other man in the room. He needed to make an impression. He needed this man’s approval to stay in this town. Gideon wished he felt a little more prepared.
Brand sat at the opposite side of a large heavy wooden rectangular table set square in the middle of the room. The table was large enough to sit at least a dozen people in Gideon’s estimation. Brand’s hair was dark brown and grayed at the temples. Brand leaned against the back of the chair, his hands out of Gideon’s sight. His face showed no more emotion than a slight, pleasant smile that conveyed no information to Gideon. Despite that, to Gideon’s eyes, Brand conveyed control and power. He was in charge and Gideon knew it.
Gideon met Brand’s eyes and then lowered his deliberately. “My name is Gideon, sir, Gideon Vonrothe.” He wasn’t sure how to explain exactly what he was here for and decided to stop right there.
He felt his nerves increase. He didn’t know a lot about biker clubs, but Brand had a lot of patches and decorations on the front of his vest. It was the most decorated vest he’d seen yet. On one side there were two, one read President and underneath it was one that read Fear No Evil. On the other side were another two, the top read Jasper and under that was one that read Mother Club. There were silver metal stars on the ends of his collar and a dagger pin and a few other patches that Gideon didn’t bother to pay attention to.
Brand’s lips twitched, respectful. “We’ve been expecting you.”
Gideon’s head jerked up. They had been watching him.
Brand leaned forward. “Tell me. Do ducks give good advice?”
Brand smiled at him and leaned back again. “Have a seat.” He nodded at one of the chairs. “What brings you to Jasper?”
Gideon took the seat offered and sat down. He still wasn’t sure what to say to that, and said the first thing that came to mind. “I’m not exactly cut out to be a farmer.”