Rob Crew had purpose in his life. He was a devoted husband, doting father, and committed Navy man…then his life changed forever. Cast adrift, he finds friendships in the Rebel Wayfarers Motorcycle Club and fulfillment as he transitions into the role of loyal and supportive club member. He becomes Bear, a man who fills an important position in this brotherhood of bikers.
A caregiver by nature, Eddie’s chosen career focuses on helping the most vulnerable – advocating for those with special needs. Surrounded by loving friends and well away from her controlling family, she is content with what she considers her full and satisfying life…until she meets Bear, an enforcer for the local MC. Even through their encounters are brief, and she’s sworn to never again be involved in the MC lifestyle, she can’t make herself forget the pain in his eyes as he turned away from her.
Their lives intersect at surprising intervals, each contact underscoring the attraction and connection they share. Can Eddie convince Bear that it is okay to move past his pain and love again? Will he give in to his desire for her in time?
“To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.” – Leo Buscaglia
Bear and Ben Jones, Slate’s little brother, have been writing poetry. Actually songs, because I can hear them in my head. Here are a few songs written by the pair.
Interview with Bear (Rob Crew) conducted by Stephanie’s Book Reports, Nov. 2014
Q: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule for us today. I know you have a lot going on.
A: Anything to help you out, you’re the one doing the hard work, I ain’t got shit going on right now.
Q: I would like to start with what I like to call the quick fire questions. These are random questions I want you to answer without thinking. Just give me the first think that comes to mind.
A: Fire away, let’s do this.
Q: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A: You got a glimpse of happy in my house, when I invited you into my home with my family—seeing them safe, happy, and healthy. But, perfect happiness? I’d say it’s probably getting knees in the breeze with my woman’s legs wrapped around my ass, her arms propped on my shoulders while she laughs at some stupid thing I said. Living in that moment when nothing can touch you; when you’re simultaneously isolated from everything, but wrapped up in all that surrounds you—that’s perfect happiness. Like Slate said, being uncaged and in the wind.
Q: What is your greatest fear?
A: Fuck, this one’s easy. Losing Eddie or my kids. If something happened to her…to them? God, I can’t even think about that. Let’s just move it along. Next question, alright?
Q: Which living person do you most despise?
A: Fucking Judge. He gets on radar and he is mine. I will own him. I’ve got enough brothers and friends scouring the earth for him. What he did to Eddie? His own sister? The man doesn’t deserve a kind death, and I aim to give him exactly what he deserves. Just got to find him, but we’re on it. I will own him.
Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
A: Breaking through to Rabid’s kids, man, making ‘em mine. All they ever wanted was someone that cared about them for more than half a second. Showing them they mattered, making them understand that they could trust me and Eddie, that is worth everything that’s happened. He’d jacked them seven ways from Sunday. From talking to Luce, they never knew which man they’d get when he rolled home. Kids don’t need that kind of upheaval every time they turn around. Especially Rafe. Man, that kid is a challenge, but when he lights up with that smile? You can’t help but love him. I’d definitely say my kids are my greatest achievement.
Q: What is your greatest regret?
A: Not getting to tell my angels goodbye. I still talk to them all the time, Eddie made it easy when she put them up on our walls, but there’re always gonna be things left unsaid, things…that need a response for validation, ya know? I trust that Drea watches over my family and me, even now. You can’t second guess life though, right? Everything that happens in all our lives bring us to the place we are today—you, me, Eddie—any one thing in the past changes? Poof, all the good in the present is gone. Hard to balance the loss and guilt with the love and joy, but living has to win out in the end, yeah? Did that even make sense? Fuck, sometimes I don’t know the shit that comes out of my mouth, but…I think there’s nearly a song in all that. Listen to this… Can’t second guess life, even if we’d want to; Our present is the gift, granted but to few… Maybe I’d call it In The End…it would be about getting through…sorry. Sidetracked myself there. You have more questions?
Q: Which living person do you most admire?
A: That’s another easy one, Davis Mason. He is the truest person you’ll ever have the good fortune to meet. Loyal, devoted, trustworthy, dedicated—that man loves the club and our brothers more than life itself, and everything he does is for us. We never have to wonder who’s got our back, because that man would go through hell and back to make certain we were taken care of. Prez is rough and brutal when the situation calls for it, but just like every other Rebel member, I’d die for that man. Rebel Wayfarers forever, forever Rebels.
Q: Thank you. Now I just have a few more questions our readers wanted to know.
You used to be in the Navy and now you are in an MC. How are the two similar or how do they compare?
A: In both the Navy and a MC there’s a hierarchy that you can map out. It’s predictable and helps make life simple to figure out, once you get it all clear in your head. There’re more individual decisions in the MC, but that could just be my opinion, too. I liked the Navy, liked serving my country and at that point in my life the military was what I needed. The discipline and character building responsibilities I found in the Navy have helped make me the man you see before you today. No puffery, just truth.
Q: You got into the club through the bikes but was it a hard transition getting into the rest of the lifestyle that is associated with the club?
A: I ain’t gonna lie, there were some bumps along the way. But Mason’s a master at easing people into the life, look at how he’s worked the situation with Jase—but we ain’t there yet, are we? The brotherhood of the club, knowing I have people who need me the way the Rebel members do—that’s a heady thing, being necessary. It’s easy to get caught up in the people, and ignore the darker aspects of the life—the things we won’t be touching on here, club business ya know—until something happens and you can’t ignore it anymore. You find yourself depending on your brothers, and it’s just a natural evolution to move towards protecting them and your way of life in turn. Even Robert Heinlein said, “A zest for living must include a willingness to die.” My brothers and I certainly have a zest for living, and I’d do anything I need to in order to support them.
But, God help a brother that betrays you, because the full weight of the club will crash down on their ass and nothing…I mean nothing, can save them. God forgives, Rebels don’t, yeah? So, your question was about making the transition from citizen into member, right? Honestly, I can’t imagine my life as being any different from yours. I work a full-time job, just like you do. I go grocery shopping, have hobbies, go to parent/teacher conferences; you can imagine how adamant Eddie is that I don’t miss those, yeah? But, when my brothers need me…when they call on me, I give them my service, because the lives and lifestyle we protect are worthy.
Q: They call you a genius because of the work you do on the bikes. I know you learned the mechanics from the Navy but where did you learn the art behind it? The computer generated template designs and airbrushing.
A: That all started in junior high, back in upstate New York. The art teacher there let me use her computers to putz around on and I found a couple of programs that I could maneuver in pretty well. I used them to create the banners the cheerleaders would hang in the gym. You know the kind, with the football player’s names and numbers all fancy-faded around the edges? I thought I was hot shit back in seventh grade. Then, when I started working for the Baugh brothers and Donny had the idea for BB&C, I couldn’t find anyone to do the tanks and fairings like I could see them in my head. I couldn’t even really describe what I wanted, but figured out how to create it myself. Self-taught, I guess you’d say. But, I think I’m a hack, not an artist.
Q: You have gone through a lot on your past bit it looks like you will have a bright future. What do you see your future looking like?
A: Shit that makes me smile? Eddie and our family, love them so much. Playing music again. You know, I’d really enjoyed it when I played with Dennis, but then it got warped in my head somehow. It became a punishment that I inflicted on myself for years. That shit in your head can twist and scar, man. Sometimes you can’t even see how badly you’ve been wounded until you get past it, right?
Lately I’ve been playing some with Slate’s little brother, Benny, and I’m starting to have fun with it again. It’s been cool to see Mason’s kid pick up the guitar, too. That boy is good…and smart? Chase is crazy smart. If Benny was on the stick he’d pick him up, make him part of his band, Occupy Yourself. Did you know that Benny asked me to co-write some songs with him? That’s been cool, and I can see us continuing with that for a while. Makes me smile, yeah.
Q: I know you have shit to take care of so I will let you go. We really appreciate the chance to talk with you.
A: Hey, no problem. It was fun to chat. You come up to Fort Wayne, you be sure and look me up, yeah? You can find Eddie and me at Checkerz most every Thursday.
Copyright © 2014 – MariaLisa deMora
Rob smiled up at Ashley from his prone position on the sandy beach. “Sweetness, did you know you are the most important woman in my life? I love you, Ash,” he said thoughtfully. She nodded, brown eyes twinkling as she grinned down at him. “I love you so much,” he told her, reaching his arms up and gathering her to him as she fell into them.
“I love you, too,” she whispered in his ear. Laughing, she kissed his cheek and then with a grin, she rubbed wet sand into his hair, pulling away and hopping up from the sand.
“Oh, I’m gonna get you for that,” he yelled at her as she stopped, barely out of reach, holding her stomach and laughing.
Rolling to his feet, tearing down the beach after her as she sprinted away, he called, “Last one to the blanket buys lunch.” She glanced over her shoulder at him and put her head down, arms pumping as she ran hard towards the section of beach they’d claimed as their own with a blanket and lounge chairs.
Rob slowed down with a smile, letting her pull ahead of him, watching as her long, blonde ponytail swung back and forth with her efforts, brilliant in the sunshine. She was so beautiful, and he was astonished every time he realized she was his.
Looking ahead, he saw they had a visitor and knew the moment she saw the person sitting in one of the lounge chairs, because she angled her trajectory towards the chair, leaping over it at the last moment and scattering sand all over her target.
“Aahhh, not on my dress,” came a yell from the chair, tempered with laughter. Ashley danced on the blanket, stomping her feet and waving her arms in the air with a wide grin on her face. “I won! I won! I beat you, Daddy!”
Jerking awake, Rob jackknifed up off the couch to his feet, walking stiffly across the room. It was no use; he could never go anywhere to get away, but he just had to move. Breathing hard, he leaned his back against the wall, looking down at his hands, curling them into fists over and over in an effort to control the shaking.
He saw drops of something on his chest and stomach, and lifting a hand to his face, he found it wet. He hadn’t even realized he was crying. Scrubbing the tears away with his palms, he held his hands out again, seeing the tremors were beginning to subside. He hated these fucking dreams; they destroyed him for days. He would much rather not dream at all, not think, not remember.
Twenty-five years ago, life was simple and easy. When he was thirteen, his parents had moved the family from Painted Post, New York to Bayonne, New Jersey for his dad’s job. He went to school, saw his friends, hung out, and went home…rinse and repeat.
Hell, even just eleven years ago, life had still been easy and good, predictable. Go home and love on his two angels, deploy and sink below the sea, visit ports of call so he could buy things for his family…rinse and repeat.
Now, his life consisted of a new name in a new city; he’d gotten as far away as he could from where he’d lived with his wife and daughter, from his family. He was Bear, badass enforcer for a Chicago MC, had hundreds of brothers, and lived a loveless life. Wake up, fuck somebody up, come home alone…rinse and repeat. Life was fucking easy.
Pulling in a deep breath, he counted to ten and then slowly released it, looking down at his hands. Steady and rock-solid now, it seemed the moment had passed. He grabbed a bottle of water from the refrigerator, intending to head over to the corner of the apartment that held his desk. He spent hours working on the computer. It was engrossing, and the required preciseness of his work soothed him.
Pausing, he stopped and turned, going to the couch and sitting down instead. He reached behind the table next to the couch, pulling out a battered acoustic guitar. Settling the PRS across his knee, he hunched over the instrument, aptly named Angelus, and set his fingers to the frets and strings. Bear closed his eyes, hearing the music in his head. Slowly, his hands began to move, and he softly played the intro to a classical piece.
Copyright © 2014 – MariaLisa deMora