By Claire Adams
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places and incidents are products of the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2018 Claire Adams
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She had pulled a chair in front of the mirror and was sitting there combing her hair with her fingers like she didn’t realize she was naked. She had thick, dark hair, The kind of hair that was strong enough to steer with while I fucked her last night.
She was looking at me through the mirror, and I saw her smile seductively at me. She removed her hands from her hair and started playing with her nipples without taking her eyes off me. I swung my legs off the bed and stood up. Then I walked to the bathroom, ignoring her the whole time, and pissed loudly while she watched me.
When I was done, I sat down on the edge of my bed and lit a cigarette. Smoke curled around my fingers and rose in tiny ripples that distorted her image for a moment. She had turned her body in my direction. She was sitting suggestively, as though she hoped she could turn me on again. But I had fucked her twice already… and I’d had my fill.
“I don’t know your name,” she said.
Her voice was high pitched and annoying in daylight. I should never have allowed her to spend the night, but I had passed out right after the sex and had woken up to find her curled up next to me.
I didn’t answer her right away. I took another drag of my cigarette before I glanced at her. “Names are irrelevant… don’t you think?”
The question was purely rhetorical, but for some reason, she felt she needed to answer it. “No,” she answered. “I think you told me last night, but I forgot.”
“There was nothing to forget,” I replied. “I never told you my name.”
“Do you want me to guess?” she asked, curling a lock of hair with a finger.
She was trying to be flirtatious, but she only succeeded in turning my stomach. I kept my expression vacant as I fixed my eyes on her.
Her smile faltered for a moment, but she regained it in the next second. “Who’s that?” she asked, looking towards the small picture that hung on my wall.
The man in the picture was a big guy with a thick white beard and a bandana tied around his head. Despite his advanced age, his arms were ripped and toned and highlighted by his cutaway jacket.
“My father,” I replied.
“Aw… that’s so sweet,” she said, clearly taking my answer as encouragement to ask more questions. “You two were close?”
“Oh.” That stumped her for a moment, and her expression almost made me smile.
“Was he also a gang member?” she asked.
I frowned. “What makes you think I’m a fucking gang member?” I asked with deadly calm.
It was clear from her expression that the words had slipped out before she could think them over. She stuttered over her words, and her face went bright red. “No… I meant… sorry,” she said. “It’s just… the way you dress.”
I raised my eyebrows, and she changed tack.
“I like your jacket,” she said, desperately trying to make conversation.
Her eyes fell to the motorcycle jacket hanging from a peg on the back of my door. My colors were emblazoned on the back, clearly indicating my status and my alliances.
“I didn’t know motorcycle clubs had presidents.”
I cocked my head to the side and refused to say anything. She seemed to be growing more and more uncomfortable, but she didn’t quit.
“What’s it like?” she asked.
I raised my eyebrows.
“What’s it like to be president…of a motorcycle club?” she asked. “Is it like Boy Scouts?”
“Are you fucking serious?” I asked.
She seemed taken back by my tone, but then she laughed insipidly. “I’ve always wanted to ride a Harley. Can you give me a ride on yours? Then I can cross that off my bucket list.”
“No,” I said, without hesitation.
Her smile dropped, and she finally seemed to realize that our little rendezvous was over. She no longer held any interest for me, and therefore I had no more reason to be charming. Becoming self-conscious almost immediately, she looked around for her clothes.
I gestured to the small pile at the foot of the bed, and she rushed to retrieve them, seemingly aware of the fact that I was watching her move. There was no longer anything seductive about her anymore. She just wanted to get the hell out of my room.
She pulled on her mini skirt and the halter that she had worn with it. Her makeup had smudged considerably, and she looked like she had two black eyes.
“Have you seen my purse?”
“Over there,” I said, gesturing to the sparkly silver purse I saw underneath the chest of drawers.
She had to bend down to get it, and when she righted herself, she looked at me awkwardly. “I’m… Melissa by the way.”
“Goodbye, Melissa,” I said.
Her eyes turned cold, and she walked to the door with anger in her step. She had the door open when she turned to me suddenly. “You’re a fucking asshole,” she spat.
It was the first time that I’d seen some personality from her. It was the first time I’d seen a little sincerity. “Nice of you to notice.”
“So you were just after a one-night stand?”
“I didn’t hide that,” I shrugged.
“That doesn’t mean you can’t be nice the morning after,” she said.
I smiled at that one. “The point of a one-night stand is a good fuck,” I said. “If you want conversation… make a friend. I’m not it.”
“So is this what you do?” she demanded. “Go to a different bar each night, choose a random hot woman, and take her home?”
“Pretty much,” I nodded. “Yeah.”
“So you just saw me sitting there and decided you were going to fuck me?”
“Actually, I saw your friend and decided I was going to fuck her,” I said. “But then I noticed you…” I saw the corner of her mouth tilt upwards, and I knew she was expecting some compliment. “And I decided you needed a good fuck more than she did.”
The smile died on her face before it had even really materialized. She turned her back on me and stormed off while I put out my cigarette and headed downstairs to the living room. A couple of the boys were already there. Lonny was shooting darts by the television, and Bones was eating breakfast in the kitchen.
“Who was that?” Lonny asked when I came down.
“Who was who?” I asked.
“The girl that just stormed out of here?”
“Oh… who knows?” I shrugged.
I went to the kitchen and poured myself a mug of black coffee. The strong scent eased my throbbing head, and the moment I took a sip, I felt better.
I heard the sound of wheels on gravel outside, and a few minutes later, Devon walked in. He had on his motorcycle jacket emblazoned with the colors of the Fallen Angels. I felt a fierce sense of pride every time I saw the patches that identified us. It didn’t matter how many times I saw it, the feeling was always the same. No wonder my father had clung to this life as long as he had.
“Where’s Zack?” I heard Devon ask.
Devon stepped into the kitchen a moment later. “Morning,” he said, with a gruff nod in my direction. “I have something to discuss with you.”
“Not now,” I said, taking another sip of coffee. “I just fucking woke up.”
“It’s important,” Devon insisted.
“It can wait two seconds,” I snapped, sitting down at the long table that my father had worked on himself seven years ago.
I saw Devon bite his lip impatiently. He didn’t like being told to wait, but he also knew better than to push me. They all did, it’s what made me an effective leader. It didn’t matter that my father had founded this club. It didn’t matter that every member had been hand chosen and vetted by him. It didn’t matter that he had their respect and their loyalty. None of that had any connection to me.
I had had to earn their respect and loyalty on my own… and that included my father’s approval. He had been harsher on me than anyone else, but it was because he needed to be. I hadn’t always liked him at the time, but now I understood his reasons. No Fallen Angel would have ever taken me seriously if it hadn’t been for my rigorous initiation into the club.
When dad had passed away, I had been voted in as president not because I was his son, but because I had deserved the role. Some days, it was the only thing that kept me going.
“Any news about the Knights?” I asked, glancing at Devon.
“What?” Devon asked distractedly.
“Lucifer’s Knights?” I asked again. “Any new developments lately?”
“They’ve been lying low,” Devon replied.
I frowned. “That can’t be a good thing.”
“Maybe we scared them,” Devon said smugly.
“Fuck that,” I scoffed. “I know Harlem Godwin… He doesn’t scare easily.”
“They’ve agreed to stay out of our territory,” Devon pointed out.
“Which is half the size of theirs,” I reminded him. “We may have won Godwin’s grudging respect after the Capelin incident, but make no mistake: he’s not our friend. This truce we have going is a shaky one. The smallest misstep, and it’ll all come crashing down.”
“We can fucking take them,” Devon said confidently. “One Fallen Angel is worth three Lucifer’s Knights any day.”
I didn’t pay any attention to his egotistical postulating. My mind was preoccupied with more important things. “You haven’t heard anything new about his second-in-command?”
“He’s elected one,” Devon replied. “But we don’t know who yet.”
“You don’t have a name?”
I nodded and downed the last of the black coffee. “Ok,” I said. “What did you want to talk to me about?”
Devon looked hesitant suddenly, and I raised my eyebrows at him impatiently. “Well?”
“My sister’s in a bind,” Devon said, launching into it without explanation. “And I need a favor.”
I frowned. “You have a sister?”
“She’s my half-sister,” Devon clarified. “We share the same father.”
“So you didn’t grow up together?”
I nodded. “What’s her problem?”
“She got involved with this guy… his name is Walter something. She wasn’t with him very long before he started…exhibiting signs of violence. She got scared and decided to leave him, but he frightened her into staying with him. Then one night, he nearly choked her to death. He stopped short of killing her and left her in the living room gasping for breath.”
“This is all very unfortunate,” I said. “But what does any of this have to do with me?”
“The night he almost choked her to death, she slipped him a couple of sleeping pills and took off,” Devon said. “She’s convinced he’ll come after her now, and she needs a safe place to stay. I was hoping…you would allow her to stay here.”
“Here?” I repeated. “In the club’s house?”
I cocked my head to the side. “This is a fucking motorcycle club. It’s a brotherhood. This is not the fucking witness protection program.”
“This guy could be really dangerous,” Devon said. “What if he comes after her?”
“Then you’ll have to protect her.”
“I can protect her better from here.”
I didn’t like where this was heading. “Tell her to go to the police and report him.”
“She did,” Devon replied. “They found no record of him anywhere. It’s like he doesn’t exist. The police can’t find someone that doesn’t exist.”
That part caught my attention. “What was his name again?” I asked.
“Last name?” I asked impatiently.
Devon frowned in concentration as he tried to remember. “Walter… I think it was Black.”
“Yeah… yeah, that sounds about right.”
“Sounds like a fake fucking name to me,” I said, as my suspicions rose. “Have you been to his apartment?”
“I checked out the place a few days ago,” Devon nodded. “No one was there… Place was a ghost town.”
“Any pictures of him?”
“None,” Devon replied. “I’ve been driving by his apartment daily since Mila came to me. There’s no sign of the man. It seems he’s disappeared.”
“Why would he have disappeared?”
“He knew that Mila had a brother in a motorcycle gang… maybe he knew I would come for him.”
“It’s possible,” I conceded.
“But you don’t think it’s likely… do you?”
I didn’t reply. Instead, I poured myself another mug of black coffee. “Ok,” I said, at last.
“Your sister can stay here in the house… but just until we find out who exactly this Walter Black really is.”
“Understood,” Devon nodded gratefully.
“Can your sister handle herself?” I asked.
“If you mean can she defend herself, the answer is no,” Devon replied. “She’s… not like other girls.”
I raised my eyebrows. “What does that mean?”
“Well, living here… she won’t be for long,” I said. “She can have the room next to mine.”
I saw Devon look a little uncertain, but he bit his tongue and held back whatever was on his mind. “Ok,” he had no choice but to say.