XIX

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"Why didn't you tell me?" Charlie immediately asked, entering the bar and standing before Frank, her arms crossed over her chest.

He looked up at her, trying not to be aroused by her angered face. "About?"

"That my fucking brother is using you as bait against the most notorious biker club in the country!" she snapped, the voices in the bar silencing to watch as a woman two times smaller than Frank shout at him.

"Quit shouting," he said quietly, grabbing her hand, her face contorting into sadness almost instantly. His brothers were amazed that Frank would ever be soft, but it was all clear to them now that Charlie was claimed. 

"Why didn't you tell me?" She asked again, her voice breaking as tears welled in her eyes. He stood quickly and wrapped an arm around her, hugging her to him. 

"Enough of that," he said, trying to calm her down. "There's nothing else that can be done."

"Don't go," she said, looking up at him with her eyes red. "You'll be killed, you already know its a trap. Don't go."

His heart ached. "Stop crying," he said, wiping a few of the tears away. "I'll be fine."

"You're not invincible, Frank," she said, stepping back from him, her eyes turning back to anger. "You give so much for this damn club and Fury can't even properly repay you."

"I don't do it so I'll get rewarded," he said. "I do it because the club saved my life, I owe this club my life."

"Haven't you given up enough? You're always put into these situations, what if you don't walk away from this one?" she said, the tears running down her face at the mere thought of losing him.

"I will walk away from this one," he said. "I will come back to you."

By now the tears were never ending and he reached out to hug her again, pulling her small frame into his chest. "Quit with the cryin'," he said, rubbing her back. "I won't leave you so soon."

"You better not," she said, looking up at him. "I'll kick your ass if you do."

"I'd like to see you try," he retorted, fighting the urge to laugh. "Sit down and have a drink."

She flopped down in the chair across from his and took a sip of the Daniels. "I don't want you to get hurt, Frank," she said, looking him in the eye, sadly.

Was this what it felt like to be cared about? To have someone worry for you and want you around? He wasn't used to this feeling, wasn't used to being worried for his own life. Now, now he actually worried about what his death might do to others, he actually worried about dying. 

"I won't."

"How can you be so sure?"

"You'll give yourself grey hairs if you keep worrying."

"Don't joke," she pouted. "This is serious."

"I won't allow the rest of the members to get killed."

"But what about you, Frank?"

He was silent. He didn't know what else he was supposed to do. He was used to being put into these dangerous situations, he was used to not caring about what happened to him. For the longest time, he embraced death. He faced death daily and yet he had managed to avoid it but now he worried about dying, he worried what his death might do to Charlie. "I will come back to you, Charlie," he said, looking at her sternly, but even he could see that she didn't believe him. 

"My brother is a coward, any time a situation gets too messy or too dangerous, you're always the one to go," she said, shaking her head.

"You been hanging around Eagle?" he asked her, knowing she hadn't been in the club long enough to know just how many times Fury screwed him over. 

"Of course I have," she said, smiling softly at him. "He approached me, he was so excited to tell me all about you."

He shook his head. "Don't worry about me," he told her. "I'll be alright."

"If I don't worry about you than who will, Frank?"

"Fury isn't the only one in this club."

"And yet no one stands up to his bullshit."

"They respect him."

"And you?"

He remained silent. After these past months, Frank was beginning to question Fury's authority. He was questioning Fury and his abilities as President. He supposed that before he just followed Fury, deeming any decision he made was good enough, but now that he was actually thinking about everything that had been happening, it was clear Fury wasn't a Leader but a Boss. He didn't lead the club, he bossed the members around and had everyone else do his work. Sure, it came with being a club, but he was supposed to be our leader not our boss. That is what made motorcycle clubs different than say a Mafia or any other gang. 

"I don't know what you want me to do," he said. "Fury is the President. I can't just overthrow him. I won't. I follow his orders and that's it."

"But, Frank--"

"Enough, you're stressing yourself out," he said, looking at her calmly. "This won't be the first time I'm thrown into a trap. I've dealt with the Angels before, I know what I'm getting myself into."

"How do you expect me not to be stressed about this? Frank, I don't want you to get hurt. I don't want you to die. Why does it have to be this way?"

He sighed heavily. "I'm the clubs Devil," he said, the words burning his throat as they came out. 

"No," she said, standing up to look down at him, a weak smile on her face, large tears rolling down her cheeks. "You are the man I'm in love with," she said, his eyes widening slightly. "If you don't come back to me, I'll kill you myself."

He chuckled out loud, the sound making her heart soar. He stood and placed a hand on her hip. "I don't doubt that for a second."

This was the first time he'd have to be careful on a run.

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