I'm Only Here for the Beard

By: Lani Lynn Vale

I just shook my head.

My kid rolled his eyes at me and went back to the couch. He came back to me with a paper in his hand. “Read this and make sure it looks good.”

I grabbed the paper and read it, my heart tightening slightly when I read the words on the paper.

“You think I’m a superhero?” I asked quietly, my eyes flicking up to my son’s where he was leaning against the wall.

Linc looked at me, really looked at me, and nodded.

“Yeah, dad. I think you’re a fucking superhero,” he grated out. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here right now, now would I? My paper was on someone who inspires me to be a better person. That’s you, bitch.”

I grabbed my man-child into a headlock and brought him in close to me, then pressed a kiss to the top of his head before taking him down to the ground and tickling him like I used to do when he was six.

“Get out of here, kid. Let me read. You get your shit picked up outside or it’ll get stolen.”

My kid left, luckily putting pants on before he walked outside to pick up his football gear, leaving me to read a paper that was enough to bring a grown man to tears.


I pulled my tired body out of bed, walked stiffly to the bathroom, and clambered into the shower.

Yesterday had been long and tiring; and I loved being a Dixie Warden prospect.

Being called out at three in the morning, because another member’s wife was in trouble, was enough to make me feel like I was actually wanted. Needed. Like I could offer the men of the Dixie Wardens something that no one else could.

Sadly, my job didn’t allow me to do that all the time. I couldn’t just take off whenever I felt like it as some of the other brothers could. I had to work six in the morning until five or six at night, Monday through Friday. If I didn’t, I didn’t make rent or have enough money to buy food.

Not and keep Linc in school. A school where he was finally excelling.

Groaning with the need to fall back in bed, I finished my shower, then went to work. Only to do it all over again the next night.

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