Chapter 10: Snake
The winter weather had returned with a vengeance, and I had just helped clear the sidewalks of six inches of winter wonderland. Snake was busy on the Bobcat clearing the lot, while most of the Club was off at work or school. We finished up about the same time, taking off our coats and hanging them up by the entrance. “I can’t wait for the trip,” I said.
“I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I joined the Club,” Snake said. “Last year I was in the Sandbox. Not the kind of beach I was hoping for.” He had been part of the Gulf War buildup, spending months in Saudi Arabia before taking part in the liberation of Iraq. His unit had been part of the takeover of the International Airport in Baghdad, and he earned a Bronze Star for actions in the war. “So, when I was finally allowed to end my service, I couldn’t get here fast enough. My father was a Vietnam vet just like Viper, so I’ve grown up with the club.”
“I haven’t met your father, is he down south now?”
“He died five years ago, a year after my Mom. I went into the Army shortly after that.”
“Any other family?”
He shook his head. “Some distant cousins, that’s about it. My family is here,” he said as he looked around the clubhouse.
“Mine too,” I said softly. I smiled as he poured my hot chocolate for me.
“The kids should be here in twenty minutes, they were out making snowmen,” he said. “Help me with lunch?”
“Sure.” I picked up my mug and followed him into the kitchen; he fired up the grill while I started buttering bread for grilled cheese sandwiches. Potato chips and lemonade rounded out the meal. We were working like a well-oiled machine together; he was growing on me. I kept wondering what he would be like if he was a wolf, he was the kind of guy I might choose. Even if he IS five years younger than me.
My thoughts were interrupted by the noise of the door opening and eight young kids coming in. Kelly helped them take their snow suits, hats, boots and gloves off. I went and helped them get seated at the table as Snake brought the food out in trays. We ate with them, laughing and hearing the stories of their morning, and it made me feel warm and happy, like I belonged.
Snake went back in to clean up while I helped Kelly for an hour in the classroom upstairs. When their nap time came, I was tired as well. I went down the hallway to my room, thinking maybe chilling out with a movie with Snake might be fun. I knocked on his door; hearing nothing, I opened it and went in.
I had just closed the door when Snake walked out of the bathroom, a towel being rubbed over his head as he dried off from his shower. I froze, unable to take my eyes away from his body. He wasn’t musclebound, but he was well put-together; I could see his six-pack as he moved his arms, but that wasn’t what really caught my eye.
He was naked, and I saw immediately how he got the nickname ‘snake.’
He moved his towel to his shoulders and froze as he saw me. We just looked at each other, neither looking away, as the mood of the room changed. I could smell and see his arousal as I finally moved towards him; he dropped the towel and pulled me into his chest. I leaned back, my hands going around his waist and up his back as he dropped his lips down to mine. It was dominant, possessive, and I loved every second of our first kiss.
He pulled back, both of us catching our breath, before he took hold of my sweater and T-shirt and pulled them up and over my head. I was taking off my bra before it hit the floor, and he dropped to his knees to remove my jeans. In seconds, I was naked and in his arms and it felt so good, I didn’t want to think about what it might mean.
We spent the rest of the afternoon together, making love over and over until we fell asleep, legs entwined, bodies sticking together, my head on his shoulder. At least, that’s how I found myself when Moose started banging on the door. “Hey Snake, wake the hell up, those burgers aren’t going to cook themselves,” he yelled.
I looked at Snake, he was panicked and I was covering my laughter by burying my head in his shoulder. “I’ll be down in ten,” he said, and we heard Moose move away.
“Busted,” he said as his head dropped back into the pillow.
“Take a quick shower,” I said. I pulled on my jeans and T-shirt, holding my other clothes and boots in my hand. I moved to the door, peeking out I didn’t see anyone to witness my walk of shame, so I ran quickly into my room to take my own shower. Putting on fresh clothes, and pulling my hair back in a ponytail, I looked at myself in the mirror. I groaned, pulling the sweater off and digging through my dresser to find a turtleneck that would cover the hickies he’d left on my neck. By the time I got downstairs, the clubhouse was filling up and Snake was slammed with dinner orders.
I said hello to my friends, then went back and pulled an apron on to help with prep and serving. Between us, we had everyone fed in an hour, and were able to sit in one of the booths together with our steak sandwiches.
He didn’t say much, and I finally asked him quietly what was bothering him. “We didn’t use protection, Vivian. What if we, I mean…”
I laughed a little. “Don’t worry, I can’t have children. It’s a medical condition, I’ve known for years. That’s one reason why it is so hard for me to work with the kids sometimes, knowing I’ll never have them.”
“You’d be a great Mom, I can see that.” We would have had even more uncomfortable conversations except Moose sat down next to me. “Hey big guy, you get enough to eat?” He’d snarfed down two King Burgers, a plate of fries and a chocolate milkshake I’d made for him at the bar.
“For now,” he said. “I can’t believe you volunteered to drive down with this joker,” he said. Moose had to work over the holiday, it was always a busy time for the gun shop and range.
“He grows on you,” I said with a laugh. “Mostly I just hate flying. He doesn’t know what he’s in for, I’m a mad driver and a shitty navigator.”
“Still, two full days driving is going to suck, but at least you get to go.” We were sending a bunch of people down on a flight the day after Christmas; Viper, Doc, Kelly, Teri, Dagger, Stain, Tiny and his wife Katie, Rocket and his girl Taser, and Crash. “As soon as you are done, everyone is ready to help you load.” The clubhouse was going to be quiet on Christmas Eve and Christmas, while we were driving down. We would meet them at the airport at lunchtime on the 26th, so they could drive their motorcycles out of there.
I decided not to rent a bike down in Florida since I had my own now. We carefully loaded all the motorcycles into a long, covered trailer along with the luggage we were hauling. The tanks had been drained of gasoline, and we had a couple empty gas cans we’d fill down there. Everything was ready well before bedtime, so we went back inside where the guys surprised me with a Christmas gift. It was a pair of leather saddlebags for my new bike! I squealed like a fangirl and went around hugging everyone in my family. We partied into the night, then left us to clean up as they went home to be with their families.
I didn’t mind missing Christmas, honestly. With no Pack or parents around, all it was going to give me was bad memories. I started thinking naughty thoughts as we finished up; it was going to be just me and the Snake for two days of driving and two nights in hotels. We were both going to take advantage of the time, and my hesitancy to leave the room worked in my favor.
We’d be gone for five more days than the others. I didn’t care; It wasn’t like I was missing out on a job or anything. I was still living off my savings, and I had plenty more money from my parent’s accounts, having taken the bank information and cash out of his safe.
Werewolves couldn’t depend on human systems after death; we didn’t have wills, autopsies, or Social Security. Instead, we kept our money in accounts that were linked to companies (like the Pack front company) or had all family members on it. The accounts fell to me now as their only living relative. I had enough to rent my own apartment, but Viper and the others wouldn’t hear of it. They wanted me close, where there was always somebody around. I finally compromised by paying rent on the guest room I was using upstairs, plus my full club dues. The food was easy, they kept track of what you ate and drank and settled up weekly. It all made it very easy for me to live here, and I liked it.
I showered and got into bed, just as a soft knock came on my door. Snake was there, wearing only a pair of jockey shorts, leaning against the frame like the sex god that he was. “I couldn’t sleep,” he said.
I pulled him into my room, locking the door behind him. “Come on, we need to talk about this,” I said. “After.” He grinned, dropping his shorts as I pulled off my pajamas. When we were sated, I laid with my head on his chest. “I don’t know if we have a future, Snake. I’ve got a lot of issues.” He didn’t say anything, he just ran his hand down my back, soothing me. “You know I can’t give you children if it goes that way.”
“I don’t care.”
“Those cult people are after me. I don’t want you getting caught in the crossfire, they are dangerous.”
“I don’t care.”
“I’m unemployed and much older than you.”
“I don’t care.” He lifted me up, capturing my lips in a kiss. “I’m getting the better deal here, I’m a soldier who ended up as a short-order cook in a biker club to pay the rent.” I laughed with him for a moment. “I learned a few things in war, Vivian. Nothing is guaranteed for anyone. You don’t know what tomorrow will bring. You can only control your today. And today, what I want is to be with you. I’ll take today, and tomorrow will take care of itself.” We fell asleep together, waking up early in the morning.
We made breakfast for ourselves, then locked everything up and got into the big diesel truck that was pulling the long trailer. As we buckled in, Snake handed me a sheath. “I want to make sure you have a weapon on you at all times. I’ve got the guns in here, but our permit isn’t good outside Minnesota, so our pistols have to be locked up and unloaded under the back seat. This knife is on a leather lanyard, you can wear it under your sweatshirt.” I put it around my head, it hung handle down between my breasts. “Make sure you can get to the handle; it’s friction fit, so just tug down to free it.” I tried it, easily freeing it even in a sitting position. It was a combat knife, leather handle and a seven-inch blade. It felt good in my hands. I carefully put it back in the scabbard.
“Now, some of the stuff is good without being too obvious. Like this aluminum bat here under the back seat, with the gloves and a softball. Or this flashlight in the door, the four-D-cell aluminum Maglite is super bright, and makes a good club.”
“Yeah, our cuts. Let people know that if they fuck with us, they take on more than just the two of us.”
“Well, maybe that will work after we take these WINTER COATS off so people can see them.” He laughed as he put the truck into gear, stopping outside the gate so I could close and padlock it. I jumped back in the cab. “Florida, here we come!”
The weather was good, clear and cold, and we made good time. We stopped for lunch at a Cracker Barrel outside Madison, then went south on 39 to avoid the mess that was Chicago traffic. We drove until about seven, stopping on the far side of Indianapolis at a hotel for the night.
We got naked as soon as we entered the room, and paused only for a late-night room service dinner. Snake was a very good lover, and I could feel myself falling for him with every passing moment. In the morning, I didn’t want to leave, but we had to. The second day was the same, and we made Jacksonville in the early evening. We spent Christmas night walking the beach, eating great seafood and making love until late in the night.
For a while, I could forget what I had lost, what we were going through, and the danger I was in. I just lived for the moment, and it was a good one.