Recluse Protection

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Chapter 9

I was given a tour around the clubhouse before I was brought to Gears old room for the night. Luckily, that made it easy to locate the kitchen this morning. My internal alarm clock always wakes me up before the crack of dawn. I waited three hours before I couldn’t take the sight of the walls anymore; I couldn’t pace anymore. Instead, I wandered the halls to the kitchen to scrounge something edible for breakfast. Sad part; I could find a banana to scarf down. What a waste of time; I made my way outside after that, perched on a picnic table to enjoy the sunrise. It’s strange to wake up and not have chores to throw myself at.

I don’t get to experience the sunrise; to enjoy the beauty without chores occupying my mind. I’m already hard at work, tending to animals or repairing something broken. Work never ceases when there’s that much land to work by myself. I rub my eyes; last night was rough; I haven’t been around that many people in years. I was on edge, my fight-or-flight instincts kept trying to surface. My fight instincts were hyperactive; I felt the need to enter a brawl to the death. I refuse to be captured again. I’m sure that would’ve made some serious friends; new kid fighting with someone.

No matter how much I look around I can’t grasp not being home; not able to escape from onlookers. I open the letter Bear had written to me. I don’t think he understands that him hiding me away wasn’t bad. I thank him for it; I know I asked him questions; I asked them all questions. I was young and curious. I thought I knew what I wanted; I slipped away from the place one night to explore and stumbled across a drug deal going bad. I saw a man get carved up, and I bolted; I never asked questions again.

I learned that being there was safe; I was protected by nature, by the men of the Archangels MC; they gave me freedom there. I wasn’t plagued with worry about being found by the gang that hurt me. That land saved my life and kept me sane. Regret fills me; I should’ve said thank you more; should’ve expressed my gratitude more. I shouldn’t have felt embarrassed to express myself, tell him he was the father I wish I had. Told him I loved him more. My head hangs as I wipe tears away, I should’ve said more to him and Gears, they deserved to hear it more.

Look where that ended up. I’ve lost them both and I can’t turn back to fix it. My eyes trail over the words, engraving them into my mind; I don’t want to forget them, ever. I pull out the letter Gears had written to me; I can’t stand the thought of losing someone else. I fold the letters together and glance over my shoulder as the door to the clubhouse opens. “Forger said I might find you outside.” Cobra walks over to sit on the bench with his back against the table.

“I’m predictable.” I give a shrug; not that he can see the insignificant action. “Why are you up so early?” I remember everything Bear ever said about him and Susan. I was jealous when I first heard him talk about them. The amount of love and emotion his voice always held. He adored them, never stopped talking about them; ever. Bear always said Cobra could never get up early to save his own ass, always late to school.

“How do you know I don’t get up early?” I turn my head, greeted with Cobra’s pinched and confused expression. I chuckle and shake my head before I turn my eyes back towards the sky.

“Your father never stopped talking about you. He was proud of you, all you’ve done.” I chuckle and shake my head. “He used to act all annoyed with the fact you slept in all the time, almost always late to school. Then he’d chuckle, leaning back in the rocker with his arms folded behind his head. Saying you were just like him when he was your age. Bear loved that you were following in his footsteps.” I tuck my wallet away in my back pocket.

“He talked about me?” I hear the question in his voice, the hopeful note. I look at him, raising an eyebrow; doesn’t he know his father loved him?

“Oh, yeah, all the time. He always talked about you and your mom; the guys. He was so proud; when he was with me all he could do was talk about the shit you’d get into. The cute things your Mom did for him.” His eyes widen, before turning to look away from me. More interested in the scenery now.

“He never talked about you.” I know his words weren’t meant to hurt me. But I still feel a slight stab of pain from the words. I roll my eyes, shaking my head. If he told people, then I wouldn’t be a secret. I shrug at him, seeing he’s turned to look at me.

“He had his reasons.” I don’t look at him. Cobra sighs as he leans forward to rest his elbows on his knees.

“I don’t get it.” I can only raise an eyebrow at him. Cobra shakes his head in jerky motions. “You saw him the night he died.” I nod slowly; I didn’t realize that was the last time I would ever see him.

“I did.” Cobra sits up, turning to look at me with a pained expression; I can see he attempts to process his emotions.

“Why did he contact you; why didn’t anyone contact me about the meeting?” My heart clenches in pain as I stare at his pained expression. Bear’s final actions leave him unsettled.

“Bear wasn’t the one who called me. I tried to get him to pull out when I grabbed Rubble.” I shake my head in thought. “He said he would pull them away and told me to get out while I could. I don’t think he wanted you there; much less me.” I still remember telling him to not catch lead; I guess he doesn’t listen worth a shit.

“I didn’t know there was a meeting going down.” He shakes his head before he stares at his boots. That affirms my questions from before; this meeting had something to do with Bear’s wager.

“He was trying to protect you; he knew going in that night something was going to go down.” I look away, not mentioning the fact that he had his affairs in order. He knew what he needed to take care of; the information he needed to hand out to have the job taken care of. I just wish he trusted me enough to tell me his wager with the devil himself. I wish I could’ve kicked his ass for trying to wager with scum.

“Protect me from what?” He snorts and turns to face me. “I’m a big boy and can handle myself.” I nod slowly, staring into the distance.

“He was protecting you from the war he started long ago.” I know Bear trusted his son and his abilities to take care of himself and the MC.

“And what he trusted you enough with it?” The hurt that seeps into his voice makes me sigh, my head drops in frustration; I don’t know how to sooth the pain he’s surrounded with. Bear didn’t want to hurt him, the opposite in fact.

“Cobra, it has nothing to do with trust.” I look him in the eye. “I’m ruined, I have been for a long time. Bear didn’t want his son getting into a war he has no place being a witness to.” I finally break eye contact to stare out into the distance. His soul doesn’t need to be ruined. The door opens, and I glance at the figure that sleuths from the building; this must be Susan. She looks around before her eyes narrow on our forms, a pinched expression muddles her features. Not enthused with what she sees.

“Cobra, why are you out here?” I hear his sigh and look forward; not in the mood to be a part of this awkward family moment.

“I’m talking with Hellion.” I hear a pause before soft footsteps. Susan appears in front of me; she really is a gorgeous woman. Probably be prettier if she didn’t have her face screwed up like she smells something atrocious.

“Why is she here?” She asks her son; not caring that she’s technically disrespecting the MC. If this happens in front of people often, I wonder how many people have respect for him.

“It’s club business Ma.” He sighs looking at her; she looks at me before back to Cobra. She attempts to whisper, if you could call it that, while giving me a sideways glance.

“Is she a sweet butt?” I look at her, watching as her eyes meet mine, a blush rising to her cheeks.

“Does it look like I’m a fucking sweet butt?” Her face turns red as she looks at her son.

“No, she isn’t why the hell would you ask that?” He looks at her with an annoyed look, not liking the questions.

“Well, she came in here last night with bags, and you took her to the back rooms! I could only assume that you wanted the guy’s approval for another sweet butt.” She huffs out, making me chuckle; she really has an imagination. Sweet butts aren’t allowed in Church or in the back rooms. Their place is in the middle of the party getting railed by anyone who wants some easy ass.

“That ain’t how it works and you know it. Hellion is here for club business; that’s all you’re getting.” Cobra gives her a hard look; tired of the questions. Susan continues to fish for information, but she isn’t doing it well. I roll my eyes, looking away from the bickering pair.

“She’s not in the club! Why did she go to Church last night then?” She screeches, making my ears ring slight; I hate shooting indoors. Any loud sound after makes my ears ring painfully. I wince at the screech; why do women make that sound? It’s unnatural, I swear.

“Enough! It’s club business who goes to Church, and what’s said there. Drop it and walk the fuck away, Mom.” I have to admit, the pissed off guttural tone he takes on is sexy.

“You are my son-” Susan is cut off by Cobra, he’s reached his limit with the questions.

“I’m the President first! I love you, I really do; but club business is kept in the club. Between ranks until it’s safe to divulge towards patches. You know we’ve been dealing with a leak; this is the best way to contain it. Drop it and walk away.” He shakes his head, pointing back towards the clubhouse.

“We’ll talk about this later.” Susan sniffs at her son, not enjoying the fact that she’s being kept out of the loop and I’m not. She throws a glare at me, making me roll my eyes at it. I don’t give a damn if she gets all pissy with me. Finally, taking the hint her son was giving her, she storms back inside the bar.

“She doesn’t take hints.” He groans and I chuckle softly, shaking my head at his comment. I think she had a second motive for it all.

“She was doing what mothers do best.”

“Annoy the hell out of me?” I shake my head at him; if only he knew how good he had it.

“No protecting you.”

“What’s up with everyone protecting me from shit!” I chuckle darkly; they were protecting him from me. Nothing good comes out of knowing me.

“It’s called love.” He snorts, making me look at him, raising an eyebrow.

“Yeah, well, it’s annoying as hell.” I narrow my eyes at him. He’s lucky he’s been smothered in love and adoration his whole fucking life. Yeah, it’s pretty easy to say that love is annoying when you’ve been surrounded by it your whole existence.

“I’m sure it sucks being loved every fucking day.” Forcing myself to bite my tongue, I stand and jump from the table, turning towards the bar. If I don’t leave, I might just deck his handsome face. Asshole! He has it good, doesn’t he see that?

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