Chapter 12: What the actual f***
I didn’t want her away from me, but I wasn’t going to follow her into a crowded ladies room either. Teri got up to go with her, the female code of bathroom buddies in force. She leaned down to kiss me, stopping just short, her tongue gently licking the sauce from the corner of my mouth. I pulled her in, kissing her, loving the taste of her lips with the tangy Carolina sauce. I watched her walk away, her shorts clinging to her curves as she went.
All of the sudden, Doc smacked my arm. “Shit! What???”
“Just making sure you are still alive,” he said. “You weren’t breathing, you didn’t respond to stimulus and you’re drooling. You looked like Hammer when he was in his coma,” he teased.
I looked away as the door closed behind them. “Can you blame me?”
“Hell no,” Viper said. “When I first met Jean, I was the same way. I walked into more than one wall while looking at her.” It was a sore subject for the Club, Jean had battled breast cancer and died just before I entered the Army. Viper hadn’t dated since then, he didn’t have the heart for it. I was glad he had the Club to help him through that time.
“You better treat that girl right,” Kelly said.
“Yeah, if you two break up and someone has to leave the club, I think we’d vote to find a new fry cook,” Doc said.
“Damn straight,” Taser said. “We need more boobs at the table.” Rocket kissed her, making her squeal as the sauce from his ribs smeared her face.
I reached over for more ribs, placing a couple on her plate. I was getting seriously full, we might need a good walk on the beach before we start the drive back.
We all looked up as a loud crash caused the place to go silent. I saw Vivian push Teri to the side before taking off like a bat out of hell, pushing through the emergency exit. Three guys were taking off after her. “FUCK,” I said as I jumped to my feed. I started to run her way, having to slow down for the chairs and the people who were standing up to see what was happening. “MAKE A HOLE,” I yelled. I could hear the other guys behind me as I pushed the line towards the front.
“Head outside,” Viper said as we reached the entryway. I could hear her bike peeling rubber as it left the parking lot. We ran through the doors, heading for our bikes as the three guys took off after her. Our bikes were lined up the other way, so we almost lost sight of the Jeep by the time we had them started up. Viper took the lead, as always, with Doc next to him. I was in the second rank with Tiny, Dagger and Crash were catching up in back. The others stayed with the girls back at the restaurant, just in case she came back.
By the time we hit the road, the cars were already going full out. We pushed our bikes hard, but the stop signs and lights slowed us down, even as we ran a couple. We made it to the edge of town, and we’d lost them. We sat at the stop sign. “CUT THE ENGINES,” Viper ordered.
It took twenty seconds or so, but we heard engines racing to our left. Viper pointed as we fired them up and took off, pushing our bikes hard on the windy road. We rapidly left civilization behind as we went through the swamp and brush. My gut was going nuts, I had something going great with her, I couldn’t lose her now. Whoever these guys were, they scared the shit out of her to make her run like that.
Ten minutes later, we saw the cars just around a gentle curve, about a quarter-mile ahead. Viper pulled over, killing the bikes, since we didn’t see anyone there. I put the kickstand down on the turnout, jumping off to open my saddlebag.
I pulled out the gun case, opening it up and removing the pair of .45’s I was carrying. I loaded one and tossed the other to Dagger. Viper and Tiny had their own out. “Keep it quiet, we don’t know where they are,” Viper said. “Snake has point, Tiny you cover the rear. Crash, you stay here with the bikes.”
With that, I took off at a fast jog down the side of the road. Our boots thumped against the ground next to the road, sometimes making a squishy sound in the softer ground. The area was a mass of tangled mangroves, shrubs and grasses, with areas of shallow water in between. It was a crappy place to search.
It took a few minutes to get up to the cars. Doc moved up, checking them from the road side as I went up the passenger sides. No one was there, the keys were in them, engines still running. “Snake,” I heard. Viper pointed to the trees, you could see the tires still spinning, the seat and engine under the slimy black water.
My heart sank as I put the pistol in my waistband. Three of us pushed through the branches, checking the area around Vivian’s motorcycle, and not finding her. A couple minutes later, Dagger called out. “Her cut,” he said as he pulled it out of the water.
“Looks like someone came through here,” Doc said. We headed that way, wading through the mud and the water. I could see blood and hair on the branches, and we found her shorts and T-shirt, both ripped, along with her underwear. Viper even found one of her boots. “What the fuck is going on here?”
I didn’t care, I pushed to the front and followed the trail deeper into the swamp. I held up my hand, fist clenched, as I heard something. They guys all froze, taking cover. “You hear that,” I whispered.
“Sounds like a dog fight,” I said.
“Maybe they sent dogs after her,” Viper said. “Get going.” It took ten more minutes, I could hear the howls of pain from one of the animals, something was wrong. I caught a view through the trees, it looked like one huge wolf was humping a smaller one, and she was the one howling in pain.
What I didn’t expect to see was one of the guys who had chased my girl, standing there naked, whacking off while he was watching.
“Da fuck,” Viper said. “Doc, take Dagger with you and circle around to the right, we have to find the other two. We’ll get this pervert.” They took off, moving to the right, as we moved around a little to the left. We kept as quiet as we could, finally getting about a hundred feet away.
The big wolf finished, rolling off the other wolf. She was beat up, her fur matted with blood, especially around her neck. Another wolf lay to the side, it was dead, its throat torn out. The naked man had his back to us.
The smaller wolf shakily got to her feet, and a moment later a naked human was in her place.
It was Vivian.
I started moving forward as fast as I could without making too much noise, my pistol at the ready. Vivian was moving away from the man, scooting back on her butt towards the edge of the clearing. The naked man was stroking his flesh as he stalked her. “You’re a hot little wolf, young one,” he said. I watched him grab her hair, trying to force himself into her mouth, when I saw her hand come up. She had the knife I had given her in it, and she stabbed up into his thigh. “BITCH!” He backhanded her, but she stabbed again, this time getting his stomach.
I was thirty feet away, too much in the way to shoot, and they hadn’t detected us yet. The big wolf suddenly shifted, a large man in his place. As the first guy fell to the ground, he grabbed my Vivian by the neck and hauled her up, lifting her off the ground. “You’re going to be fun to break,” he said with a grin.
I had no more time, the mud and brush were too thick to run to her and she was being killed in front of my eyes. I lifted my pistol, let out my breath, and squeezed the trigger.
BANG. The round hit him in the hip, causing him to let Vivian go. I saw the man fall to the ground and shift back into his big grey wolf. He turned towards me, letting out a ferocious growl as he ran towards me. It sounded like fireworks going off then, I emptied my magazine into him, Viper as well, and even Dagger got a few shots off. The wolf collapsed and died just before it reached us.
“WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK WAS THAT SHIT?”
I ignored Doc’s question and pushed past the dead wolf, intent on saving my girl. I finally broke into the clearing and its solid ground, and I ran over to where she was laying on the ground. I carefully rolled her onto her back, checking her pulse and breathing. I let out my own breath as I heard her heartbeat. Doc knelt next to me. “Jesus H. Christ, they really tore her up,” he said. It was true, she had cuts and gashes all over her neck, shoulders and chest. I could see flaps of skin and puncture wounds on her legs, and her left shoulder was swollen and bruised. “We have to get her help,” he said.
“Take her back, we can take their Jeep,” Viper said. I picked her up carefully, holding her carefully to my chest. “Doc, go with them. We’ll clean up this… whatever… the hell these guys are.”
Doc went ahead of me, following the trail we made in and bending back the branches so we could pass. It took a good fifteen minutes to make our way back to the road, during which Vivian never made a noise. Her cuts and wounds weren’t bleeding as bad, but she was pale and ashen.
We broke through to the road and Doc yelled at Crash to come up. I gently set Vivian in the back seat of the Jeep, wrapping her in a blanket I found in the back. “Wait for the others,” Doc said as he got into the car. “We’re taking her to the hospital.” He started the SUV up and put it in drive, turning around to head back to town.
The bumps as we turned through the ditch woke her up, she groaned in pain. I held her hand, while my right hand brushed the blood-soaked hair out of her face. “You’re going to be all right,” I promised, “We’re taking you to the hospital now.”
She shook her head no. “No…” She coughed a little, blood coming up. “No hospital.”
“Can’t go there… please.”
I suddenly understood. “Because of what you are.” She nodded. “A werewolf.”
“Yes, so were those three. I’m not like you, they can’t take my blood. I’ll heal. Just get me to a hotel,” she said. “And get the medical kit out of my saddlebag.”
“Doc, back up,” I told him. We went back to where the Charger was parked. “Crash, DeWalt needs her saddlebags,” he yelled to him as he pointed to her bike.
He waded in, removing them and bringing them back. Her clothes were ruined, but the medical kit was in a sealed case, along with her other stuff. He went back to see if her bike could be saved; shaking his head, he yelled back that it was totaled.
I looked around in the back of the Jeep, finding a suitcase with some clothes and a couple towels. While the others stayed busy, I carefully cleaned the excess blood and dirt from her, using a bottle of water to help clean the wounds. She bit her lip and cried as I worked, but we both knew it had to be done. When I had her as clean as I could get her, I carefully put a T-shirt over her head.
She held it to her nose, a sob coming from her throat as her eyes flashed in anger. “What is it?”
“Later,” she said, pulling in down over her torn skin. I had a pair of swim trunks with a drawstring, I carefully put it over her legs and had her lift her butt to get it on. The blanket under her was soaked in blood from all the cuts back there, so I pulled it away before she sat down. I tied the string so it would stay in place.
I found another bottle of water in a cooler, along with a Milky Way. I gave both to her as she sat in the seat, shifting uncomfortably. She was looking past me, nervous, shaking. I moved into the seat on the other side, and got he to lie down with her head in my lap. “That better?”
“Someone tore my ass up, and it wasn’t you,” she said, laughing a little before the pain from her ribs hit.
“Just rest,” I said. “You scared me out there, Vivian.” She stilled. “I thought I had lost you. Nothing I saw there changes how I feel about you, and it never will. I love you, Vivian.”
She started to cry. “I love you too, Snake. I’m so sorry.” She fell asleep as we waited for the others to return.