Diesel

By: L. Wilder


“You and me both, brother, but with this weather, we don’t have a choice,” Clutch grumbled and kicked up the windshield wipers, trying to clear the snow and ice from the windshield.

We’d just left Topeka, Kansas and were headed down to Memphis, Tennessee; it was a drive we’d taken many times before. A couple of years back, Cotton, the club’s president, had worked out a deal with several of the other Satan’s Fury’s affiliate chapters to broaden the club’s distribution. Together, they’d created a pipeline for transporting illegal weapons, which had grown bigger than any of them had expected. As road captain, it was Clutch’s job to ensure the safety of the route from Washington to Memphis. In doing so, he had to change up the exchange points with our affiliate chapters in Salt Lake, Denver, Topeka, Oklahoma City and Memphis. Each location had to be off the radar with obscure entrance and exit points, and it was up to Clutch to find them and make sure the pipeline stayed intact.

I had no idea how long we’d been driving when I asked, “How long until we get to Norman?”

“We’ll hit the Oklahoma border in about an hour and a half; it’s another two hours from there.” He looked over to me, and when he noticed the look of agony on my face, he mocked, “I’m guessing with that peanut-sized bladder of yours, you need a break.”

“Peanut-sized bladder? Cut me some slack, man. We’ve been in this damn truck for seven hours, and my fucking ass is killing me.”

“I hear ya. Mine, too.” Over the past year, Clutch and I have spent a lot of time together. As a prospect, I did lots of traveling with him, and while all the guys were great, there was something about Clutch that was just easy. I enjoyed my new role as his right-hand man. He was level-headed and rarely let anything get to him, which was a good thing when you were dealing with the brothers of Satan’s Fury, where opinions were dished out whether you wanted to hear them or not. His ol’ lady, Liv, was pregnant and expecting in the next couple of months, so I knew he was eager to get back—meaning we weren’t going to make many stops. I was relieved when he looked over at me and said, “We’ll pull off at the next exit.”

I nodded and stared out the window, praying for an exit to be close. “You wanna grab a bite to eat while we’re there.”

“Might as well. Then, maybe we can make it to the Wellington exit before we stop for the night.”

After a quick pit stop, we stretched our legs and grabbed some food for the road. It started to snow again as soon as we got back on the road, but we still managed to make good time and pulled into Wellington a few hours later. Clutch had a few locations to check, and once he’d found a place he felt would suit our needs for the pipeline, we pulled into the parking lot of a small pizza place right next to our motel. After ordering our food and drinks, I asked Clutch, “You met Liv down in Memphis, right?”

“Yep.” He nodded with a proud smile. “Met her at Daisy Mae’s.”

“Daisy Mae’s? Is that a strip club or something?”

He shook his head. “Fuck, no. It’s a diner. The club owns it and the apartment upstairs. While I was there, I stayed in the apartment next to hers, and one thing led to another.”

“Did you ever consider staying in Memphis?”

“Hell, no. It’s a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t live there for shit. I know where home is, and it sure as hell ain’t in Tennessee.”

Even though I’ve only been a member of the club for a short time, I knew exactly what he meant. I’d found my home, and there was no other place I’d rather be. Turning to look out the window, I noticed that it had finally stopped snowing. We still had a long drive, so I was hoping that it would finally clear up for good. As soon as we finished eating, we walked over to the motel and grabbed a room. After a few hours of sleep, Clutch was up and ready to roll. Relieved I wouldn’t be the one driving, I pulled myself out of bed, used the bathroom, threw some clothes on, and started out to the truck.

It was still dark outside when he started up the engine, but it was clear that Clutch was eager to get going. “Do you need anything before we get out on the road?”

“Is this your way of saying that we’re not stopping until we get to Memphis?”

He gave me a small shrug. “It’s only six hours, brother. No sense in wasting time.”

“Just need a cup of coffee, and I’ll be set.”

“You can grab one when we hit the gas station up the road.”

The minute Clutch pulled up to the gas pump, I jumped out and went inside to get us both some much-needed coffee and a bite to eat; by the time I walked out the door, he was back inside the truck waiting for me. As soon as I got settled, he pulled out onto the main road, and we were on our way to Memphis. Clutch was one of those quiet drivers, spending his time focusing on the road or inside his own head, so I spent the first two hours dozing in and out. By the time we hit Arkansas, I was getting pretty restless; my thoughts turned to meeting the brothers from the Memphis chapter, when I realized I didn’t know a lot about them. Hoping to get a better insight to the men I was about to meet, I turned to Clutch and asked, “So, Gus … he’s the president, right?”