Chapter 19: Make a deal
Sturgis was coming in just over three weeks, and part of me really wanted to go.
The Club went every year to the biggest motorcycle rally in North America. I’d seen their pictures, it looked like a blast, and they raved about the rides and the fun they had out there. I was more comfortable on my motorcycle now than a car, I wanted to join those huge rides, see those people, get the experience of it.
It was the other part of me, the cautious part, the part that kept me out of danger, that was telling me no. Well, that along with Snake. I was tucked into his side in bed, still a little winded from the late morning sex we’d had over the last thirty minutes. Snake had gone down to make breakfast while I slept in, then came back to take care of me. The man kept me satisfied, I loved him, but he was even more protective of me than my wolf. “I can’t protect you there, Viv. We’ve gotten lucky so far, we haven’t met other werewolves who ride, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t those. Sturgis gets bikers from all over North America, the world. All it takes is one rogue.”
“I can defend myself, you know.” I had my silver coated knives, my guns.
“You can’t carry in South Dakota, they don’t have reciprocity with Minnesota,” he said. “As for the knives, weapons aren’t allowed in the bars and venues. You’d have to leave them with your bike, and that leaves you vulnerable in the crowds. The same crowds where just one wolf getting one sniff of you could lead to me losing you.” He pulled me on top of him, cupping my face and bringing me in for a kiss. “You can’t believe how crowded everything is. There’s barely places to park, to walk. No escape routes, no getaways.”
“And all it takes is a few minutes and it’s all over for me,” I said as my head dropped to his chest. “This sucks.” It was true, I could be taken and mated against my will if I was out of the Club’s protection for even a few minutes, I’d already had that proven to me. Once the bond took root, I’d end up following my Mate instead of my husband. I’d never see him again.
“You could go without me,” I mumbled into his chest. The Club shouldn’t suffer because I stay behind.
“My place is by your side,” he said as his hand ran down my back, setting tingles alight where he touched. “It’s always with you.” I was starting to rev up again, my body responding to him, and I could feel him starting to recover. I reached down, encircling him, coaxing him to hardness before placing him at my entrance. I sank down, loving the feel of him inside me as I reached the bottom.
“We could spend a whole week doing this,” I said huskily, my lips brushing over his hard pecs as he cupped my ass and moved in and out slowly.
“I’d love to, but we’ll be a little busy.” I closed my eyes, giving myself over to the sensations. I didn’t want to think now, I just wanted to be- to live in the moment, to give myself completely to him, to feel the release that I craved. He felt my need and picked up the pace. I pushed myself up, my breasts dangling over him as I started to drive down fast. I gasped as he took one in his mouth, sucking hard, I felt the sensation shoot through my body as my first release crashed over me.
I collapsed back on him, and he didn’t slow down as he rolled me onto my back. I was completely at his mercy now, my legs were pinned to my chest, I couldn’t think straight. We came together, my scream caught in his lips as they crashed together.
It took a few more minutes to get my head straight, during which time he rolled us to our sides and held me to his chest. He popped out a minute later, adding to the mess the sheets had become, but I didn’t care. I felt loved, well loved. “Wait a minute,” I said. “Busy with what?”
He was nervous now. “Well, I kind of promised… you know, since we…”
“What did you do, William Brian Hardigan?”
His face fell, I only used his full name when I was pissed. “I promised we’d help take care of the children while the club was in Sturgis.”
“So let me get this straight. You’re not letting me go to the rally, and we’re not taking our own little vacation together. Instead, you signed us both up to babysit a dozen children here at the Clubhouse for a week.”
He nodded. “Basically.”
“Fine, but I’m not going to be the one changing diapers and feeding them. I think Fluffy is going to spend the whole week with you while your ‘friend’ is in Sturgis.”
“I’ll stock up on dog food, then.”
I sent him a glare that could freeze water at twenty feet. “Fluffy likes burgers, fries and shakes,” I said. “If she doesn’t eat right, she might take it out on you, you’ll find a present in your boots or something.”
“She wouldn’t,” he said, but I could see he wasn’t sure.
“The wild side of me is still there, and you know how naughty a puppy can be.”
“I’ll take care of you, Fluffy.” He started tickling me, chasing me out of the bed.
Just then there was a knock at the door. “DeWalt? Moose said to call him at his work. It’s important.”
“Thanks Crash, I’ll be down in a few.” I took a shower, drying off quickly then going out to the closed and pulling on some clothes, I’d taken to wearing jean shorts and Harley T-shirts or halter tops in the summer. I bent over to put on my sandals, wiggling my butt at him as I did.
“Keep that up and you won’t be leaving this room,” he said.
“If you could keep it up I wouldn’t want to leave the room,” I said with a grin. He tried to smack my ass as I walked by, but I was too fast and was out the door before he was out of bed. I smirked at him as I closed the door, ignoring his naked body as he walked to the bathroom. I walked down the hall, past the room where the kids in day care were playing, then went to my office. I closed the door and opened my address book, finding the number. I asked for Moose, and waited a few minutes for him to pick up.
“Bill’s Gun Shop, this is Michael,” he said.
“Hi Moose, it’s DeWalt. You wanted to talk to me?”
“Yeah. A young couple was here when I opened this morning. He said his name was Carson; he was tall, strong, black hair, she was younger with long blonde hair. She said her name was Jessica and she worked with you at your last job in the Boundary Waters.”
Jessica Anderson. She was down here? Something was wrong. Contacting Moose was for emergencies. “I know them. Did they say what they wanted?”
“Just that they needed to talk to you, it was urgent. They said they are staying at a hotel, here’s their contact information.” He read the phone number and room number to me. “Do I need to worry?”
“Not yet. Thanks for the help, Moose. And don’t worry, I won’t do anything stupid.”
“I hope not, DeWalt, I want you sticking around the club. You make Snake almost tolerable to be around.” I laughed and hung up. Snake knocked and came in as I was thinking about how to do this, he looked good in a pair of tan shorts and a Jacksonville Harley-Davidson T-shirt. “I got a call from my old assistant, Jessica. She’s in town, she came to the gun shop and talked to Moose this morning.”
He sat down in the chair by my desk. “It can’t be good if she drove all the way down here. From what you told us, they aren’t letting women wander around.”
“Well, she’s got her mate Carson with her. He’s a good man, treated her well when I was there. He was her security for a while before I left.” I showed him the hotel. “I want to meet them, but I want to make sure it’s safe.”
He nodded. “It could be a trap to draw you out. Given how desperate they are with a dozen pregnant females, I wouldn’t doubt it.”
I looked out the window. “I have to go. She’s a friend, I need to help if I can.”
“Fine, then. But we do it my way.” He went downstairs to talk to the Club members who were around. An hour later, I had called and made arrangements for them to meet me at the Mall of America parking ramp. “It’s a good place, full of humans and law enforcement, and everything is on camera,” he said. A few Club members had been sent ahead to wait there, even before I called, so they would be able to tell if any Pack members were trying to set a trap for me.
It was just after one in the afternoon when Snake pulled into the ramp on the top floor of the East ramp, stopping by their car. I was parked well away in the lot, having arrived while their attention was on Snake’s van. With my braid, sunglasses and Harley bandana, I doubted they’d see me for who I was. He got out and knocked on their door. “Hi, I’m a friend of Vivian. I need Jessica to get in the van with me now.” “I’m not comfortable with you, I don’t know you,” Carson said.
“I don’t care. If you want to talk to Vivian, you do what I say, when I say it. She doesn’t trust you, and I hear she has good reason not to. You stay here, and I’ll bring her back when they are done.” They argued for a minute, but eventually he gave in. Jessica got out of their truck and hopped into the back of the unmarked cargo van. I was already on the way to the ramp; a Club member would watch him to make sure he didn’t follow. If necessary, he would take out his tires. Other members would follow on their motorcycles from behind, making sure we weren’t followed.
I drove back onto the freeway, heading for the meeting place we had set up. The Fort Snelling National Cemetery wasn’t far away, and there was a flagpole and memorial set up near the entrance. I parked my bike and walked over to the visitor’s center, nodding to Crash as he did a circuit of the area. A few minutes later, Jessica was dropped off at the curb and slowly walked to the benches. When she sat down and Crash nodded it was all right, I walked out towards her.
She smiled widely when she spotted me, jumping up and giving me a big hug. “Doc, I’ve missed you so much,” she said. “Thank you for meeting me.”
She looked good, mated life agreed with her, but I could see the strain and the frustration in her eyes. We spent almost an hour talking, as she filled me in on everything that was going on. By the end, she was crying. “I can’t do this, Vivian. I’m not who they need, they will all die if you don’t help.”
“I never said I wouldn’t help, Jessica, just that I was not ever returning to that Pack,” I said. “I won’t endanger myself or my life with increasingly desperate wolves. I do have a way around this, but the Alpha isn’t going to like it.” Snake and I had continued our exercise, spending weeks working through the details until we had a plan. “I will take over the care of the pregnant women, but on MY terms and territory. Here is the offer. All of the pregnant women, plus you, will drive to a place in Duluth I will give you later. My human friends will pick them up and take them to a secret location; they won’t be allowed to know where they are going, they will be blindfolded, and the rooms they are kept in will have no windows. My friends and I will care for them, give them the best medical care I can, and if any survive I will return them to the Pack. If they don’t make it, we will cremate the bodies and that’s it. Your Alpha, their mates, they won’t know where they are.”
She looked horrified. “They’ll never agree to being separated from their mates,” she said.
“Then their mates will die,” I said. “It’s a take it or leave it offer. When they come down, I want all the medical supplies and equipment I left up there sent along, we’ll have a truck for them to load it into. It doesn’t return, it wouldn’t do you any good anyway. Those are the terms. Ask you Alpha if they are acceptable.”
“He’s still up North,” she said, “I can’t reach them. He authorized us to negotiate for him, so we accept your terms. We have no choice.”
I gave her a hug. “I know. I’m sorry, but you understand I have to protect myself. I will call you in two days with the details. Oh, and one more thing.” She looked at me again. “Part of the deal is that if you want to, you and Carson can break your Pack bonds and stay. We both know what is going to happen if this year goes bad. The Alpha will need another mate, and he’s had his eye on you. Your mate won’t stop him, he’ll kill him and take you in a heartbeat.”
“I know.” She was crying as we hugged each other goodbye.
I saw the van pulling up to the curb, he had seen the hand signal that I was done. “Get back in the van, he will take you back to your mate. It’s going to work out, Jessica.”
“I hope so,” she said. She walked away and got in, immediately they drove off. I waited a few minutes before walking back to my motorcycle, which was parked next to Crash’s. We drove back to the clubhouse, taking routes and doubling back occasionally to make sure we weren’t followed.
I was crying the whole time.