Satin Hammers

Chapter Three

“Is Dave still trying to stroke that old knuckle? I wish he’d let Cochise get his hands on it—the man’s been doing it for 40 years.”

“The vibration in my bottom end was a lot different when he shoved a fat one in the rear. I switched to skinny years ago and it’s never felt better.”

“Bruce and I were finishing a head job when the boss walked in. I thought he was gonna fire us on the spot, but instead he grabbed our tools and started humping. There was shit and blood everywhere, but watching that Fat Boy choke and sputter for the first time was great.”

The rapid-fire dialogue Gary and his buddies exchanged over panini and coffee was mystifying, and left Al totally in the dark.

Knuckles. Fat Boys. Head Jobs.

What the hell were these guys talking about?

“Hey Alpha, you look like a queen on the back of Gary’s chopper. When’s your husband gonna get you a bike of your own?”

“We ain’t married, fellas—just friends.”

“Never really thought about it ‘til today,” Al interrupted. “Always been more of a car guy, I guess. Most dudes I see on bikes look sort of… I don’t know… kinda gay.”

“What’s wrong with that? It’s just one man lovin’ another…”

“Not that horseshit again, Julian. Just sayin’ there’s no reason for the get-ups these clowns wear. Leather chaps, fringed denim vests, skin-tight black t-shirts? That shit looks stupid no matter who you’re fucking.”

“Don’t knock ‘em ‘til you tried ‘em,” Julian piped in.

“Chaps?” Al inquired.

“Men.” Julian deadpanned with a wink and a kiss.

“Come on, guys—let’s cut old “fringe Denham” some slack. He’s coming around.” No one in Gary’s tight-knit crew could disagree. Al Denham had indeed become one of the boys.

Al stared at the shiny chrome motorcycles parked in front of Johnny’s Velvet Spike, then sighed, “I guess I should face the facts. My days of driving the old lady to Sears Point in the ‘Vette are over. Gary’s right. You can NEVER go back.”

“That’s the spirit, my friend. Now finish that latté so we can get you on a bike.”

“Slow down, Gary—I don’t have a job, remember?

“Well, that’s something the guys and I wanted to talk about…

“There’s a dude in Nevada whose rich old man bought him a custom motorcycle factory. Name’s Gabriel.… real piece of work. Struts around in a porkpie hat with a guitar over his shoulder like some kind of fat, bald Elvis Costello. Apparently building bikes ain’t good enough for this guy, ‘cause last year he opened a diner in Reno called the Knuckle Sandwich Saloon. Named it after his chopper shop. That’s where we come in. Julian designed the Saloon’s interior, but never got paid. Dude never pays anyone. Guys in the club are tired of getting screwed with their pants on, and we need help from a pro to legitimize our game…”

“What club? What game?” Al asked, perplexed.

“The Satin Hammer MC. The “MC” stands for Motorcycle Club. Decades ago rival biker gangs gave clubs like ours a bad name, so we toned down our colors to avoid heat from the man. Now all you see on our vests are three patches: the club name and turf in rainbow-colored rockers, and our official insignia in the middle—a pink hammer. Our game covers a little bit of everything. Catering and decorating mostly, with a little entertainment and security on the side.”

“I still don’t get it. Until this morning I’d never ridden a motorcycle in my life. When it comes to food and style, I don’t know wallpaper from egg whites. What can an unemployed stockbroker do for a bunch of dudes on bikes?”

“You can start by doing our books,” Julian joked sarcastically.

“And if that works,” Gary chimed in, “you can talk to lawyers about making the club a non-profit corporation so the IRS will get off our ass.”

“SHMC is living proof that any queer can ride a motorcycle,” Julian joked. “Unfortunately, none of us knows how to play it straight. We’re asking you to be our straight man, Alpha Chino. Will you do it?”

Al scanned the wistful looks on his friends’ faces outside the Sausalito bistro, then glanced at Gary’s muscular, opened arms. His friend’s gesture made the decision easy.

“I’m in.”

“Then it’s settled!”

Gary gave Al a big hug and patted him on the ass, then stepped back so the rest of the Satin Hammers could welcome the newest brother to their family.

“Tonight we'll swear Alpha Chino in at the clubhouse. Next weekend we'll ride to Reno and get our new treasurer a free motorcycle. I’m sure Gabriel at Knuckle Sandwich won’t mind…”


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