June 6th, 2014
I believe there comes a time in every man’s life when he questions the loyalty of his wife or girlfriend. Right or wrong, it eventually happens. A pattern of strange disagreements, her taste in music changing drastically, and a constant need to stay late at the office had raised my eyebrows, but it was when she cut her hair that I actually knew.
Her long blonde hair had been her trademark since we met, and as many times as I asked her to change it, the answer was always the same. After ten years, I stopped asking. Roughly five years since I had last asked, she came home with her hair cut well above her shoulders and colored bright red.
I remember standing there admiring her as she walked in, wondering what had changed. As she walked past me and turned toward the bedroom with a bag of new clothes swinging from her elbow, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
She hadn’t done it for me.
She had done it for him.
Now, standing in his driveway glaring at him through the window of his truck as he fumbled to find what I was sure to be his gun, I felt incompetent, incapable, useless, and half sick at my stomach.
I lowered my chin slightly and shook my head. “If I were you, I wouldn’t.”
“Look, I uhhm,” he said as he shifted his eyes toward me.
“I told you once, get out of the truck, Motherfucker. Just get out, and don’t reach for that console again. I ain’t planning on killing you, but I sure as fuck will if I have to,” I said flatly.
I could have brought a few of the fellas, or the entire MC for that matter, but as far as I was concerned, my soon to be ex-wife’s lover wasn’t club business, it was personal. As much as I loved my club brothers, and as much as I trusted them to watch my back, I also knew the importance of keeping my personal life just that, personal.
He glanced down at my clenched fists and did his best to reason with me. “Look I don’t want to…”
I had never been a patient man. Even as a kid, I would peel the wrapping paper away from the Christmas presents and see if I could get a peek at what was underneath long before the day arrived to unwrap them. Often, while sitting on my motorcycle at a stoplight, I lose my ability to sit and wait, and simply ride through the red light.
My mother always said I had low tolerance.
I couldn’t agree more.
I pulled his truck door open with one hand and grabbed a fistful of his hair with the other. Although I had a reasonable amount of practice pulling men from their vehicles by their hair, attempting to pull him out by his provided an entirely new experience altogether.
As his head followed the force of my hand pulling him toward the open door, his eyes widened and he began to scream. A short second later, and I had his entire head of hair in my hand, and he sat free of my grasp in the seat of his truck.
And he was as bald as billiard ball.
Quite confused at what had happened, I gazed at my hair-filled hand and tried to make sense of it all. The amount of time it took my mind to understand I was holding his hair hat and he was now a free man was just enough for him to do what I had told him not to.
I tossed his toupee toward my bike, leaned inside his truck, and reached for his right arm. As I squeezed his right wrist with my left hand, preventing him from reaching for the open console, I began to punch him in the face repeatedly with my right hand, all the while continuing to pull him from the truck and explain why I was doing what I was doing.
I felt fifteen years of my life had been wasted, and that I had been devoted – and loyal – to a lie. With every ounce of frustration packed into each swing of my fist, I continued to pummel him until he was a bloody mess.
When I finally released him from my grasp he fell to the ground. Covered in blood and with both eyes swollen almost shut, he was still conscious. I stared down at him, wiped my knuckles on my jeans, and drew a long, slow breath.
Looking back on the events of my past, there seemed to always be things that I had done in fits of rage or in a moment of desperation that I later regretted. I’d always referred to them as brain farts, and I had plenty of ‘em in my days. Several of the fellas would later claim that this night produced a brain fart, but I didn’t agree with them.
I believed my actions were justified, considering I was married to the woman for fifteen years. If nothing else, what I had done should cause her to remember me for who I believed I was.
A very loyal man with an extremely short temper.
As I gazed down at him, I reached for my pocket, pulled out my knife, and flicked the blade open. As he continued to moan and attempted to roll onto his side, I pressed my boot down onto his shoulder and held him in place.
After glancing over each shoulder, I knelt down, pulled up his bloody tee shirt, and carved a very distinct “V” down from each of his nipples to his belly button.
With his screams of pain echoing into the night, I wiped the blade of my knife against the thigh of my jeans, folded it, and clipped it in place in my pocket. After leaning into his truck and taking his gun from the console, I shoved it into the waist of my jeans and walked to my bike as if what had just happened was a common occurrence.
But it wasn’t.
Natalie and I had been together since we were in high school. Although I never would have guessed we would have grown apart, it happened, and now I was forced to deal with the thought of her being with someone else.
I coughed a light laugh as I tossed my leg over the seat of my bike. Brain fart or not, I liked the end result of my actions.
Her new man had my initial carved in his chest.
She had always liked seeing me with my shirt off, but my guess was that she was going have the new guy leave his on in the future.
I released the clutch lever and twisted the throttle back. A thirty minute ride and I’d be back at the clubhouse; one day wiser, and with one less woman in my life.
With the street lights rushing past me, and the warm summer air pressing my cut against my chest, I thought of what my life had become; and what I felt I had thrown away with Natalie.
Fifteen fucking years.
The only relationship I had ever been in.
I knew one thing, and I knew it for sure.
The next woman, if there ever was another, would have one hell of a time proving herself to me.
With my heart beating out of my chest and my mind racing in ten different directions, I brushed my hand across the face of the screen anxiously. The page didn’t move. I carefully pressed my finger against the screen and flipped the page in the other direction. After a quick study, and confirming it was page I had previously read, I swept my finger across the screen again and stared at the end of what appeared to be the last page.
There was no doubt.
I had reached the end of the book.
“Are you fucking serious? A cliffie? You bitch!” I screamed as I tossed my Kindle across the room and into the wall.
My favorite author had just become a worthless heap of steaming shit. After falling deeply in love despite all of their differences, being torn apart and then reunited, the hero proposed; and I was prepared for a wedding. Instead, in the last chapter, out of the fucking blue, the hero was arrested for murder. Who in the fuck would end a story in such a place, leaving the reader to wait anxiously with knots in her stomach for the next book?
A fucking idiot, that’s who.
Although I generally tried to give myself twelve hours to digest a book before writing a review, I rolled off the edge of my bed, grabbed my glass of wine, and commenced to downing it as I walked over to my desk. As I waited for the computer to go through its startup procedure, I walked to the kitchen with my empty glass and grabbed the remaining bottle of Barefoot Moscato.
After roughly two seconds of considering how much wine I should pour into the glass, I uncorked the bottle, raised it to my lips, and took a much needed drink. I tossed the cork on the counter beside my empty glass and stomped toward my bedroom with the bottle of dangling from my loosely clenched fist.
I walked into the room, sat down, slammed the bottle against the desk, and began to type.
*Kindle throwing alert*
I’ll be taking donations from anyone wishing to fund a new Kindle purchase, because after reading this book, my Kindle is in a thousand pieces.
Can you imagine the story Cinderella ending with the prince finding Cinderella’s glass slipper, but not searching for – or finding – her?
Or maybe in The Notebook, the story ending with Allie receiving Noah’s letters from her mother, but not acting on her feelings?
You can’t, can you?
Neither can I.
The reason I can’t imagine it, and I’m sure you’ll agree, is because most authors follow a proven pattern in the crafting of their stories for romance novels. They have a hero and heroine meet, fall in love, and eventually some type of conflict tears them apart. We frantically flip through the pages, saddened by their separation, and jump with joy when they eventually reunite. At some point the book ends, alluding to them living happily ever after.
I reached for the wine, drank a quarter of what remained, and wiped my mouth with the back of my hand. I slid the bottle beside my monitor, inhaled a shallow breath, and commenced typing.
That, my friends and followers, is not the case in this book.
Not at all.
The author seems to have misplaced the memo explaining the necessity on not only writing a novel, but completing it.
When I reached the point where the book stopped (I refuse to call it an ending)…
I stopped typing, searched through my files, and inserted a .gif of a wide-eyed woman’s head exploding. After laughing to myself for a few long seconds, I took another drink of wine and continued.
As I read through this book, I was relieved that it had it all. A hero I could sink my teeth into. A heroine I wanted to sit down and have a glass of wine with. Scorching hot love scenes, more scorching hot love scenes, and conflict I saw coming, but hoped never came to fruition. After a hundred or so well-written angst-filled pages, the H and h were reunited, and then…
Something ridiculous happened and the book just fucking ended.
Up until the last chapter, this was a five star read for me. After reading all the way to the abrupt ending, I’ll have to give it one and a half stars.
And I’m only doing that because I’m half-drunk and a hell of a lot happier than I was when I started this review.
I inserted a .gif of an obviously drunken woman sitting on the edge of her bed in her underwear with a bottle of wine between her legs.
As I read the review, I finished the bottle of wine. After rereading it, I wished I had another bottle, but knew I had no business driving to get one. Hoping a search of my kitchen would produce a bottle, but knowing damned good and well I had drank my last one, I published the review, excited at the thought of all of the comments I was sure to have when I woke up. I glanced up and stared blankly at the small hole in the wall, and filled with drunken regret for throwing my Kindle. After a few insanely long alcohol induced seconds of lusting over my newest book boyfriend, my doorbell rang.
The sound startled me, causing me to jump from my seat and almost pee in the process. Now, as my mind filled with thoughts of some mass murderer going door to door in search of his next victim, I pulled the blinds from my window and peered outside and toward my porch.
A big, rough, muscular, tattooed biker stood on my porch in his leather vest, jeans, and biker boots.
It was like an early Christmas.
I rubbed my drunken eyes with the tips of my index fingers, blinked a few times, and continued to admire him from the privacy of my bedroom.
He got more handsome with each passing second.
He pushed his hands into his pockets, shifted his weight from one foot to the other, and slowly turned around. After a few seconds of watching him walk toward the street, my curiosity – and the fact I was sexually deprived – got the best of me.
I glanced in my mirror, did my best to fix my hair, and ran toward the door. Dressed in a reasonably clean pair of Victoria’s Secret’s best sweats, I looked pretty presentable – at least for a late Sunday night. After clearing my throat and second guessing my thoughts for a few seconds, I yanked the door open and did my best to look sleep deprived. In my half-drunken state, it wasn’t much of a stretch.
“Hello,” I said in what I hoped to be a sensual whisper. The words escaped my lips as a raspy drunken cough.
Half way to his motorcycle, but fully illuminated by the security light in my driveway, he paused and turned around.
He looked like no other biker I had ever actually seen, but exactly like the ones I had developed in my head from the MC Romance novels I had spent so much time reading. If it wasn’t for the warm and extremely humid summer air blowing in my face and making me half nauseous, I would have thought I was dreaming.
“Listen, this is going to sound like complete bullshit, but I ran out of gas and this is where I ended up,” he said as he waved his hand toward the motorcycle parked by the curb.
I glanced at the vintage Harley, shifted my eyes to where he was standing, and stared. Common sense, which was something I often seemed to lack, should have caused me to turn toward the house, go inside, and lock the door. Instead, I stepped from the house onto the porch and asked for more details.
After clearing my throat of the sweet wine that still heavily coated it, I widened my eyes at the sight of him. “So, you need a ride?” I asked in a fractionally more sultry tone.
He took a few steps toward me, crossed his arms in front of his chest, and sighed heavily. “Well, not exactly,” he said. “I don’t want to leave the bike here.”
I turned my palms up and shook my head from side to side. “I don’t have any gas. The maintenance men cut the grass and stuff, so I don’t have any need for it. But…”
I paused and studied him as I considered what else to say. He rocked back and forth nervously on the balls of his feet as he seemed to consider leaving his motorcycle in the street. He looked rough, but not in a homeless unkempt way. He seemed to be, at least by his appearance, stature, and stance to be a guy no one would ever want to cross, and I suspected very few had successfully done so. His hair was dark, short, and as close as I could tell in the dark, well-cut. His face was covered in a day or two of beard growth, and it complimented him quite well. His bare arms were nothing but muscle, and were covered with various tattoos.
All things considered, he was perfect.
I’m sure most women would have offered very little, if anything, to help him. A biker running out of gas in a residential neighborhood on a Sunday night in the summer wasn’t a common occurrence, and by most people’s standards, wouldn’t warrant much assistance. After what seemed to be an eternity of admiring him and thinking, I blurted out what must have been a subconscious thought.
“What? You don’t have a phone?” I asked.
“Like I said when I walked up, I knew it would sound like bullshit, but it’s the truth. I was riding down Central, and I ran out of gas. I wanted to coast off the main street and get under a street light. So, I kicked it into neutral and coasted as far as I could. That got me to there,” he said as he turned and pointed at his motorcycle.
“And no, I don’t have a phone. Long story,” he said as he turned to face me.
I nodded my head and grinned as if I understood. Half-drunk from my wine induced book review, and half-horny from the shitty romance novel without an ending, I gazed at the sexy biker and gave him my best resolution to his problem.
“Tell you what. Push your bike into my garage and we can lock it up all safe and happy and then we’ll go get gas in my car. Will that work?” I asked.
“Safe and happy,” he said with a laugh.
“Just wait until I get the car out before you try and shove your bike in,” I said.
Still facing me, he nodded his head in apparent appreciation.
Proud of my pearly whites, I smiled a tooth-revealing smile and nodded my head in return. The expression on his face reminded me that my teeth probably weren’t white, but wine soaked. The half-bottle of Madeira I had consumed while reading the second half of the book undoubtedly had my teeth looking like I’d just finished eating a raw steak.
“I appreciate it,” he said as he turned away. “I’ll owe you one.”
I turned toward the house and did my best to wipe my teeth clean with my index finger as he walked away. After carefully backing my car out into the driveway, I got out in enough time to watch him push the Harley into the garage. He situated it perfectly against the inside wall of the garage, studied it for a moment, and turned to face the car. As he walked toward me, I made note of the fact he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring, but I doubted many of his type did, even if they were married.
“This is your car?” he asked as he walked around it with his hand on his chin and his eyes glued to the flawless black paint.
“Only one I got, yep,” I said proudly.
“1966 or ’67?” he asked.
I shook my head. “It’s a 1965. Year my dad was born. He left it to me when he died.”
“Well, it’s a damned fine looking Continental, that’s for sure. And I’m sorry about your Pop,” he said as he opened the door.
He carefully got into the car, fastened the seat belt, and looked around the interior as I got inside and situated myself. His expressed appreciation of the car and his careful manner of opening the door and getting inside led me to believe he wasn’t only a big tough biker. At least a small part of him was kind and considerate, and it was apparent.
“I’m Sienna,” I said as I turned the key and started the car.
He coughed a laugh and grinned as he turned his head in my direction. “Call me Vince. And I’m guessing this fucker ain’t stock?”
The rumble from the exhaust made sneaking around in the car almost impossible. My father had built it as a show car, and planned on using it as a trophy of sorts, only driving it on special occasions. He had a 521 cubic inch 600 horsepower motor built by a local professional shop, and I helped him install it right before he died.
His instructions to me upon his passing were clear.
Drive the car, Sienna. Drive it and enjoy it. And if you ever decide to sell it, don’t sell it because you want something different; sell it because you don’t love it anymore. And only sell it to someone who does.
He had the car as long as I was alive, and actually had purchased it a few years before I was born. His entire life had been spent making the car perfect, and perfect was how I intended to keep it.
“521 cubic inches of earth shaking Big Block Ford, six hundred horsepower to be exact,” I bragged as I backed out of the driveway.
“No shit?” he said with a grin. “You know your cars, huh?”
“I’m an only child, and a daddy’s girl. The only time I spent with him was in the garage,” I said. “So, I know a little about cars, and a lot about this car.”
He nodded his head as he glanced around the interior of the car admiringly.
“So where were you going?” I asked as I shifted the car into drive. “You know, when you ran out of gas.”
“Nowhere, just riding. I go out on Sunday nights and just ride, it clears my mind before starting a new week. Had a poker run yesterday, and as that fucker started spittin’ and sputterin’, I remembered I forgot to fill it up after. I can get two hundred miles on a full tank, and not a mile more. Runnin’ out is the price I pay for not keeping track of my miles, I guess,” he said.
“Well, the station up on Douglas will loan us a gas can. Just remember, two hundred miles,” I said with a grin.
He stared at me for a moment, narrowed his upper lip, and revealed his teeth. As I gazed back at him rather confused, he narrowed his eyes and pointed to his teeth with his index finger.
“You’ve got a big piece of meat or something in your front teeth. Sorry, but it’s driving me nuts,” he said as he tapped the tip of his finger against his teeth.
I glanced in the rearview mirror and curled my lip upward. The side of one of my two front teeth was as red as a ruby. I had obviously wiped the other tooth clean with my finger on the front porch, but missed whatever wine-soaked matter was stuck between my other teeth.
“Shit, sorry,” I said as I alternated glances between the road and the mirror.
He shook his head and grinned.
“I was eating crackers and cheese and drinking wine. Typical Sunday night at my house,” I said as I turned into the gas station.
I pulled in front of the store and after a few annoying seconds of the engine running, shut it off. The sound of the motor running while parked against a brick building became annoying rather quickly, the low rumble from the high performance camshaft made the car sound like an old school race car.
“This fucker was shaking the windows,” he said as he opened the door. “Need anything?”
I shook my head from side to side. “A toothbrush,” I laughed.
“Be right back,” he said as he stepped out of the car.
After carefully closing the door, he walked into the gas station, talked to the guy at the register, and turned toward the back of the building. In the well illuminated store, I could see every detail of what he was wearing. The back of his leather vest had a patch of a winged skull with two crossed rifles sewn on it. I’d read enough books about bikers to know he was a one percenter, the vest was his cut, and he was a fully patched member of the club.
I’d seen a few of the member of the club from time to time over the years, riding down the road or in a bar in Old Town. For a one percent club, they sure seemed to have their shit together, and never made the news for doing anything stupid, at least not that I’d seen. As I sat in the car and watched him walk toward the gas pumps, I recalled seeing on the news that one of their members stopping a bank robbery.
I opened the door of the car and shuffled toward the gas pump. With each well thought out step, I realized although I was far from sober, I was not as drunk as I needed to be to offer myself to him.
I was single, lonely, and really needed to be fucked, but I was far from a slut. The thought of being ravished by a biker was always something lingering in the back of my mind, but actually doing it was a different thing altogether.
“So, one of your guys stopped a bank robbery a while back. Took the gun right out of the hands of the robber, and held him at gunpoint until the cops got there. He was some special forces guy or something,” I said as I walked up to the gas pump.
“Sure did,” he responded.
I shrugged my shoulders as he placed the nozzle back into the pump. “Not the kind of thing most people think of bikers doing.”
“Probably not,” he responded.
Wow. Don’t feel like talking?
I stared down at my flip-flops and realized my toes were in desperate need of polish. Half embarrassed, I turned toward the car as he began to step past me. As I glanced up from my toes, I noticed a man standing beside my car with his hand on the front fender. Before I had a chance to say anything, Vince barked out a demand in a tone of voice that caused the hair on the back of my neck to stand up.
“Step away from the car, Motherfucker,” he growled.
The man, obviously drunk, turned his head toward Vince and all but fell into the fender of the car. After taking a few more steps, Vince placed the gas can beside the car, walked up to the man, and gently pushed him to the side by pressing his forearm against the man’s chest.
“Expensive paint job, Brother. Just want you to be careful,” he said.
“Get your fucking hands off me,” the man howled.
In a split-second, the man produced a knife and began swinging it toward Vince. Immediately, it was apparent Vince was no stranger to fighting, protecting himself, or disarming a knife wielding drunk.
Kick his fucking ass, Vince.
As the man grunted and lurched forward with the knife, Vince raised his left arm high in the air, wrapped it around the man’s arm, and quickly turned away from him. With his back against the man’s chest, and the man’s arm pinned in Vince’s armpit, he reached for the man’s wrist and turned it to the side.
The man wailed in pain and dropped the knife. As soon as the knife hit the pavement, Vince stepped on it and released the man.
As Vince stepped between the man and my car, he bent down, picked up the knife, and shoved it into his back pocket. I stood in awe at what I had just seen. No differently than the men in my MC Romance books, Vince was not only a biker, but a bad-ass biker. Standing and waiting to see his next Judo move, I was surprised to see a police officer walk from inside the store and onto the sidewalk in front of my car.
“Kid inside told me what happened. He saw it all. You want to press charges for assault?” the officer asked.
Still standing between the man and my car, Vince crossed his arms in front of his chest and shook his head. “Simple misunderstanding.”
“Kid said he pulled a knife on you,” the officer said.
“Nope. He took a swing at me. Didn’t see a knife,” Vince said with a shrug of his shoulders.
“Anyone here had too much to drink?” the officer asked as he glanced at each of us.
It had only been thirty minutes since I finished the bottle of wine, and although I wasn’t shit-faced drunk, I was definitely not as drunk as I was going to get. With each passing minute, I felt a little more incapable of standing without teetering over. A sobriety test would land me in jail for sure.
“Can’t speak for him,” Vince said as he tossed his head toward the drunken man. “But, she’s had some wine. Good thing I’m driving.”
The officer cocked an eyebrow. “You’re driving?”
“That’s what I said,” Vince responded.
The officer pointed his finger at me. “Kid inside said she drove up…”
He turned and pointed his finger at Vince’s chest. “You got gas…”
He swiveled to the side and pointed at the drunk. “And he attacked you with a knife when you walked up to the car.”
“Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear,” Vince said.
Wow. He just quoted Edgar Allen Poe.
The officer turned to face me, pressed his hands on his hips, and sighed. “So what happened?”
Raised by a father who was wrongly accused and subsequently wrongly convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, I had very little respect for police officers, especially our city’s finest. I shrugged my shoulders and smiled.
“Exactly what he said happened,” I responded.
“How much wine did you drink tonight?” he asked.
“Not so much that I’m blind or stupid, but too much to drive,” I responded.
He nodded his head in confirmation, apparently disappointed he wasn’t able to make a few arrests.
“How’d you get here?” the officer asked as he turned toward the drunken man.
Obviously not an intelligent man, the drunk tossed his head toward a truck parked a few stalls away from where we were standing.
“Have a nice night,” the officer said with a nod as he grabbed the man by his upper arm and pulled him onto the sidewalk.
After carefully placing the can of gas in the floorboard between my feet, we got into the car and turned to face each other.
“Keys?” Vince asked as he held his hand out.
I reluctantly dropped the keys into his hand. Other than my father and me, he would be the only one to ever drive the car.
“Any secrets to starting it?” he asked as he pushed the key into the ignition.
“Pump it once and turn the key,” I said.
He started the car and slowly backed out of the parking stall. Relishing in the recollection of Vince’s one-sided fight, I glanced out the window and toward the building. The officer was giving the man a sobriety test on the sidewalk, and it was pretty obvious he wasn’t going to pass it. As I shifted my eyes toward Vince, I wondered just how well I would have performed the same test in my flip-flops.
“I appreciate you saying you were driving,” I said.
“No problem,” he responded. “I appreciate you taking me to get gas.”
“No problem,” I said in a mimicking tone. “But we’re not even.”
“Oh we’re not?” he asked over his shoulder as he pulled into the street.
The muscles on his tattooed bicep flared as he turned the steering wheel.
I shook my head and swallowed a mouthful of desire. “Nope. I want a ride on your bike.”
He turned his head in my direction as the car came to a stop at the traffic light. After cocking an eyebrow comically and fixing his eyes on mine, he responded.
“I don’t give just anyone a ride on my bike,” he said flatly.
“Well,” I said as I raised my eyebrow slightly.
“I’m not just anyone.”
I had told myself over the course of the last year that a woman would have to prove herself to me to get me to even give her a moment’s notice, but in the end, that wasn’t necessarily the truth. A stupid mistake on my part had landed me in an upper middle class neighborhood, and within an hour, I had a gorgeous half-drunk brunette on the back of my bike, and was riding down a county road on my way to nowhere.
As interesting as she was, and as different as she seemed to be, she was still a woman, and without a doubt would have all of the characteristics of one – and a woman wasn’t something I needed in my life no matter how cute she was, how well she filled out her filthy sweats, or how cool her car was.
In the end, she was a woman, and women were evil.
For a short ride through the county at midnight, however, having her on the back of my bike was enjoyable. It reminded me of better times, the feeling of being complete, and not necessarily living with much desire to do anything but exist.
The city quickly turned into a few randomly placed rural housing developments, and eventually the developments diminished into a few sparse farm houses. After a matter of minutes, we were ten miles from the city and riding into the path my headlight cut into the otherwise completely dark road ahead.
As I became almost hypnotized by the bouncing beam of light, her hands lightly gripping my waist reminded me of Natalie. The thought was equal parts comforting and sickening at first, and after a few minutes, comforting was the clear winner. The fast approaching rural stop sign reminded me not only had we reached the highway, but that I needed to maintain my focus on the road, and not my passenger’s hand placement.
I stopped at the intersection, pulled out along the side of the highway, and rolled to a stop on the paved shoulder of the road.
“Is something wrong?” she asked as I kicked the heel of my boot against the kickstand.
I flipped the ignition switch off and reached down and turned the key, killing the lights.
“Nope, just stopping for a bit,” I responded.
We both stepped off the bike at the same time, and stood staring at each other illuminated only by what little moonlight escaped through the low passing clouds. I broke her gaze, glanced toward the ditch, and nodded my head in the direction of the large concrete storm water drain passing underneath the intersecting road.
“Grab a seat,” I said as tossed my head toward the large piece of exposed concrete.
Being subtle had never been one of my strengths, and I wasn’t going to try and change things now. In being honest with myself, riding with her on the back of my bike rekindled feelings I was sure had long since passed. Natalie hadn’t been on the back of my bike for a year before we divorced, and she’d been gone for roughly a year.
The last two years I had ridden alone, and although I had many requests to take women on rides, I never fulfilled them. Now that I had decided to, for whatever reason, I wasn’t sure I liked the result.
“I got to be honest with you,” I said as I sat down on the edge of the concrete.
“Okay,” she responded as she crossed her arms and gazed down at me.
“Sit,” I said as I patted the concrete beside me.
“I’ll stand,” she responded.
“I’m thirty-three years old. Married for fifteen years, and divorced a year ago. I’m a different kind of guy than you’d probably ever meet, and a damned far cry from most bikers you’d ever run across.” I paused and patted the concrete again.
She stood, staring down at me, and shook her head lightly. Standing there in the moonlight, still dressed in her sweats and flip-flops, no one could dispute her beauty. As I gazed up at her and fully realized just how beautiful she was, I reminded myself that external beauty acted as a distraction to what was on the inside.
“I was faithful. For fifteen years. I didn’t spend time at strip clubs with the fellas, or any more time at the bars than I had to. When I did, I always played it cool, and never let myself do anything stupid, short of fights and stuff. You know, never messed around. Then, I found out she was in a relationship with a guy. Hell, I guess I should have known, considering the way she treated me…” I hesitated and started to stand up.
She pointed to the concrete. “Sit.”
She walked to my side, sat down, and turned to face me. “Go ahead.”
“Well, fuck. I don’t know why I’m even telling you this. It’s just. Hell, I don’t know, having you on the back of my bike made me think of her or something. I mean, I’m done with her, but you grabbing my waist in your hands reminded me of her. I either liked it a lot or I hated it, I just can’t decide which it was,” I said.
She brushed her ponytail over her shoulder and twisted her mouth to the side. “Did you actually think of her, or did having my hands there make you feel something you haven’t felt in a while?”
I considered what she said, turned toward her, and wrinkled my nose. “You a fucking psychologist or something?”
She shook her head and grinned. “Just read a lot.”
“Yeah, me too,” I said as I gazed down at my boots.
“Really?” she asked.
Still focused on my boots, I nodded my head. “Like I said, you’ll never meet another like me. I sit at home every night and read. Probably five books a week. Rarely sleep. I’m either at the clubhouse, home reading, or somewhere in between.”
“A soft-hearted biker who loves to read,” she said.
“A soft-hearted biker with a short fuse and quick fists,” I said as I kicked the toe of my boot against the concrete.
“I noticed that,” she responded.
“Been an outlaw all my life. Figured joining the MC was my best bet at finding my true calling, and it seems I was right. They put my Pop in prison when I was a kid on a conspiracy to commit murder charge, and he died of pneumonia after a few years. When I turned eighteen I bought a bike, ten years later I joined the MC, and now I finally feel at home. Don’t care much for the government, can’t stand cops, and most of the time I think the country would be better off if Axton Bishop was President,” I said.
“I’m sorry about your father. That’s crazy. My dad did five years for a burglary he didn’t commit. He was at home asleep at the time, but because of an old assault charge, he was in the system. Someone picked him out of a lineup. I’ll never forgive them for what they did to him. He was gone the entire time I was high school. Motherfuckers,” she said as she tossed a rock into the ditch.
“You said he passed,” I said as I shifted my eyes toward her. “Can I ask?”
“Colon cancer,” she said with a nod.
“Sorry,” I said.
“Yeah, me too. And who is Axton Bishop?” she asked.
“Huh? Oh. He’s the president of the MC,” I said with a laugh.
“I’ll write him in Next November,” she said.
“You won’t be the only one,” I said.
“How about when we leave, I’ll wrap my hands around your neck? Maybe that’ll make you feel more comfortable,” she said.
“Wrap my hands around your fucking neck if you ain’t careful,” I said.
“Don’t make promises you aren’t willing to keep,” she said as she stood up.
Just saying it caused my cock to begin to twitch. Realizing it had done so made me to worry about it, and my worrying kept the thought in the forefront of my mind. Within a few seconds, I had a full-blown hard on, and although I wasn’t necessarily embarrassed, I wasn’t proud either.
But, as I had said many times in the past, subtlety wasn’t a strength I possessed.
“You ready?” I asked as I stood.
She turned to face me, and her eyes quickly fell to my crotch. After a short pause, they worked their way up to meet mine.
I grinned and nodded my head toward the bike.
“Guess so,” she said.
As I walked toward the bike, she continued.
“So what’d we decide? You going to wrap those hands around my neck?” she nonchalantly asked.
As I threw my leg over the seat of the bike and acted as if I didn’t hear her, I knew if I ever chose to see her again, I’d damned sure have my hands full.
And I wasn’t totally convinced that would be a bad thing.
I sat in my living room flipping through Netflix’s available shows. After thirty minutes of searching for something new, I decided Netflix never had anything new, and chose to watch another episode of Orange is the New Black.
For some reason, the thought of being tossed into a women’s prison was a constant fear of mine, and watching the show was a good reminder of how much I did not want to be in prison. For me, and I was sure for many women, the show had proven to be the best deterrent of crime ever invented.
Three episodes later, I was bored, horny, and as always, lonely. It really didn’t seem to matter who I had chosen for a boyfriend in the past, every one of them wanted the same thing in the end, access to my late father’s wealth. I wasn’t a rich woman by any stretch of the imagination, but I could easily live the rest of my life without working, as long as I was careful about what I spent my money on.
I lived in his home, had only utilities to pay, and had no car payment. Most would consider me wealthy. I, on the other hand, considered myself fatherless, and no amount of wealth would ever replace the void his death left inside of me or in my life.
I seemed to have some type of attraction to douchebags. Old ones, young ones, skinny ones, gym rats, I had dated them all. The common thread between them all was that they were douchebags. Either unwilling to commit or incapable of doing so, and always a liar, they seemed to flock to me like bees to fucking honey.
I suppose it was quite possible it was me who was attracted to them, and somehow in a subconscious frenzy of idiocy I chose them, knowing they would eventually pull some douche move and be tossed aside like the others, but I didn’t quite believe I was the one at fault. I liked to blame them, because in the end, they were the douchebags.
I sat and blankly stared at the little squares of Netflix choices frozen in time on the screen of my television, angry that I hadn’t received my Advance Review Copy of a new Erotic Romance novel I was supposed to review. After a few moments, I began to think of Vince, how out of nowhere he appeared in my life, and how much it ended up we had in common.
My father described fate as the unexpected result of the natural development of life. I guessed Vince’s appearance was nothing short of that, and as I continued to sit and stare at the television, it angered me that he didn’t have a phone. He explained how he decided he didn’t want a phone after his divorce, and that he had lived for the last year without a television, and relied solely on music for at-home entertainment. At first I didn’t want to believe him, but after talking for a while about it, I realized he was being truthful, and more than likely imposing some weird type of punishment on himself for something he didn’t even do, or deserve to be punished for.
Now sitting on the couch gripping the remote control like I was trying to squeeze the last unavailable ounce of toothpaste from an empty tube, I became mad as his ex-wife for treating him the way she did. No one deserved to be heartbroken, and even bad-ass bikers were included.
I seriously doubted I could ever be in an actual relationship with someone like Vince, and I further doubted that I would ever see him again, but the thought of it was pretty satisfying for the time being.
I relaxed onto the couch and daydreamed about riding on the back of his motorcycle in cut-off jean shorts, sneakers, and a ripped up tee shirt. With one hand wrapped around his waist and the other resting in between his thighs, we’d ride across the country without a worry, fucking at every place we stopped.
His ex-wife would call him back, and after a few angst-filled weeks of separation, we’d end up back together and his ex would get ran over by a train. Together, we’d go to the funeral, only to meet newest ex-husband, who would be with a girl twelve years his junior.
A true romance novel in the flesh.
The sound of a motorcycle woke me from my not-so-deep sleep. I sat up on the couch, confused as to whether the sound was something from my dream or reality. The silence provided all of the proof I needed that the motorcycle was in my dream. Frustrated and in need of a drink of some sort, I rolled from the edge of the couch and wiped my eyes.
A thud against my front door startled me, and the sound of the doorbell that followed did more of the same. Slightly confused and maybe a little overanxious, I ran to the window and pulled the blinds.
Vince’s bike sat in the driveway.
I ran to the door and yanked it open.
Vince was leaning against the frame of the door, and his shoulder pressing against the wooden frame seemed to be the only thing holding him up. His head hanging down, and his face out of view, I suspected he was drunk and was making his version of a bootie call.
As a mild version of flattery filled me, I reached for his wrist to guide him in. As my hand touched his wrist, he glanced upward.
“Holy shit!” I gasped.
Someone had beaten him half to death. Both eyes were swollen, and his face was covered in blood. As he fell into my arms, I noticed both of his lips were mangled. Far too much for me to hold up on my own, he eventually fell from my arms and onto the floor.
As he tried to stand, he turned his mangled face toward me and did his best to smile. His once white teeth were covered in blood.
“You should…” he mumbled.
“Shhh, let me call an ambulance,” I said.
“No!” he grunted.
“You should…see…the other guy,” he murmured.
And he collapsed on the floor.