Chapter Thirty One
“I’m fine. That would be my dumb ass brother.” I wipe the blood from my lip. It’s not the first altercation we’ve been in, but certainly the first time he’s flat out punched me.
“That looked pretty bad, even for sibling rivalry.” He gently cups my chin, examining my face. “You might need a stitch or two.”
“I’ll be alright. Just need a first aid kit and some ice.” I’ve more than been through worse.
“On it! Stay right here!”
I sit at an empty table in the back, finding myself checking my phone yet again for any word from Ghost.
Sharp and Bitz yanked my brothers outside. I can see them still going at it through the window when Rider returns, “Thanks,” I mumble, opening the first aid kit.
“Need any help?” Rider takes the empty seat next to me as he examines my body language.
“Yeah, I’m going to push the cut together, then I need you to put those strips over it. Put these on.” I hand him a pair of gloves from the kit, then I pour the rubbing alcohol down my cheek and pat the extra away with the gauze.
“You’re kind of a badass. I wasn’t expecting that.” Rider says as he finishes the strips.
“It’s just a cut? What were you expecting?” I narrow my eyes at him.
“You just got decked by a man, and it didn’t even bother you? And I guess I’m not sure what I was expecting, but that was not it.” He laughed, shaking his head.
“It’s my brother. We’ve had worse battles. If it were anyone else, I probably would have shot them.” I let out a short laugh when his eyes go wide.
“Uh, remind me not to get on your bad side then. Which reminds me, I want to apologize for being so pushy earlier. I’ve been where you are, and I just wanted to help.”
“Eh, it’s not my first rodeo. Next time, just back off. It’s creepy.” We burst out laughing.
“Fair enough.” Rider said between laughs. I guess he isn't so bad.
“Cassie, sorry to bother you. I found Ghost. He’s down the hall, the last door on the right. He’s pretty wasted. And um, just remember not to shoot the messenger.” Jessie whispers the last bit before disappearing back behind the bar.
“What the hell?” I look at Rider with a raised brow. “I guess I’ll be back.” He gives me a quick nod, motioning his hand out to go.
I'm not sure what to expect as I stroll down the hall. When it comes to pissing Ghost off, he’s capable of doing anything just to hurt you back. He can be very ruthless just ‘cause. This is going to go one of two ways, either he got too wasted and passed out, or he’s going to get his ass kicked.
I take a deep breath as I slowly turn the handle, gently pushing it open. It’s too dark to see anything. I feel around for a light switch and flip it on. Sure enough, there he is.
My body reacts before my mind even registers what I’m doing. I lunge at Cathy, yanking her out of bed by her hair and send her to the floor with a loud enough thud to make Ghost stir in the bed.
“Ow! What’s that for!” Cathy cries.
“What do you fucking think? Are you that fucking stupid?” She can’t be, can she?
I’m squeezing her throat in my hand before I even know it. My body acting of it’s own volition. She scrambles for something under her bed that catches my attention and I quickly rip the small knife out of her grasp.
“Cassie! It was nothing. This is part of my job!” She rasps out beneath my tightening hood on her neck.
“You’re the fucking one that told me to give him a chance! Just to turn around and fuck him?! You’re a fucking snake! You know what we do with snakes around here?” I yell as I push the blade through her hand, pinning her to the floor. Her screams filled the room, finally waking Ghost.
“What the fucks going on?” Ghost’s voice is rough, and he sounds pissed, but no where near as pissed as I am.
“Open your fucking eyes, you piece of shit!” I scream. I watch as his eyes dart from me to Cathy and back.
“You said you wanted to be alone. I didn’t.” He says coldly, as if this was the easiest thing in the world for him.
“Yeah, so just run to another woman’s bed instead of giving me some time. You’re fucking pathetic! Here, she can have this!” I rip my engagement ring off and throw it at his face. “I’m fucking done.”
“Cassie! Wait!” He calls after me, scrambling out of bed as the reality of it all sinks in.
“No. Fuck you.” I slam the door and take off back to the bar. I think he actually expected me just to be okay with this. Is he that fucking delusional?
Ghost is on my ass in a hurry, but I keep on. I go straight to over Rider, finding him where I’d left him, “That ride offer still good?” I call over to Rider, not waiting for an answer as I keep my pace.
“Yep! Coming!” Rider replies after he wipes the shocked expression off his face.
“Just fucking wait, Cassie! I’m sorry! I wasn’t thinking. I know that doesn’t fix anything! But please just stop!” Ghost is still right on my ass, but stops when Rider catches up.
I spin around, pointing a finger at Ghost, “Thank you for pointing out how little I mean to you, that I wasn’t even a tiny thought that crossed your mind.” The thought alone makes me sick. I can’t believe this is happening. I don’t even know why I’m surprised honestly, history sure has a way of biting me in the ass.
“Damn it, Cassie! That’s not what I meant.” Ghost chokes out, gathering himself after the hit to his stomach.
“No, it’s okay, Ghost. Message received, loud and clear.” I shake my head, it really did resonate this time.
“What the hell is going on now!” Carter snaps as the three of us come rushing out of the bar, ending the battle of the testosterone between my brothers.
“Ghost thought Cathy would be a better match.” The words burn my throat as I say them, making my stomach churn.
“That’s not it, Cassie! The guys around here all sleep around! So what’s the big deal?”
“Good for them, you want to be like them? Find someone else who will put up with your cheating ass. Because it’s not going to be me! Now get the fuck away from me!”
Suddenly, Carter and Caden gang up on Ghost, using all of their anger for each other on Ghost now. He fucking deserves it. I couldn’t believe Ghost was that fucking heartless to fuck around with a club girl, not even a week after my dad died. At his fucking wake, no less.
“Earth to Cassie!” Rider snaps his fingers in front of my eyes.
“It’s okay. Where am I taking you?” He let out a small awkward laugh.
“Just the first hotel you see is fine. My brothers will bring my truck later.”
“Alrighty then.” He pulls on the throttle sending the back end out a bit, leaving a trail of dust behind us.
I don't know what to think of tonight. First, my heart was already shredded over losing my dad, then crushed to a fine powder finding Ghost with her. If people really die over broken hearts, I don’t think I’ll make it. I want to disappear and forget everyone and everything that ever brought me to this point. I hate myself for ever trusting him again.
I lay my head against Rider’s back, letting his warmth bring me some comfort. I could fall asleep, but not the best idea on the back of a bike. I do my best to keep my mind clear the rest of the drive, focusing on the feel and sound of the bike as I watch blurs of land trail behind us. It's relaxing enough. I know once I go to bed, my mind will race like it always does.
“There should be a hotel coming up!” I yell over the rumble of the bike. Rider gives me a quick thumbs up.
Sure enough, a few miles later, a bright parking lot illuminates the night. I tap his right shoulder a few times to let him know that was it on the right. Feeling some relief as we pull in. No one I know will be here. However, my relief quickly dissipates when I reach for my purse, and it's not there.
“Fuck. We have to go back.” I mutter under my breath.
“Why? What’s wrong?” He removes his helmet, hanging it off the handlebar.
“Forgot my damn purse.”
“Don’t worry about it. I can cover it.”
“Are you sure? I wasn’t the most pleasant tonight.”
“Yeah, of course.” He chuckles. “You were just fine considering the circumstances.”
“Alright. Well, thank you. I’ll have my brothers get you back when they bring my truck.”
“Don’t worry about it!” He wraps his arm around my shoulder. “Let’s get you inside. You’re freezing.”
Okay, so maybe I had it all wrong about him, he’s not half bad.
“Can I help you?” The front desk lady grumbles.
“Two rooms, please.” Rider tells her, placing a stack of bills on the counter.
The lady taps on the keyboard for a moment then handed us two keycards, and takes the cash, “Room 220 and 222, right upstairs.”
“Thank you. Have a good night, ma’am.” Ma’am? I must be in an alternate universe! It’s rare hearing the bikers around here use manners.
I follow Rider up the stairs and down the hall to find the rooms, “I didn’t expect you to stay.” I break the silence as we stand in front of the rooms.
“Not here for no funny business.” He lets out a small laugh. “But I figured after the day you’ve had, you might want someone around, just in case. Never know out here.” He shrugs his shoulders.
“I think I’ll do just fine, but thank you anyway.” If he only knew my history, he would be the one feeling the need to have someone around.
“If you’re good, then good. But I’d regret it if something happens and no one is around for you. So I promise to stay on my side of the hall.”
“I’m too tired to argue. Can I use your phone quick?” I hold out my hand, already expecting the answer to be yes.
“Sure thing.” He reaches under his vest and presents his phone from the inner pocket.
I dial Cade’s number, no answer. So I try Carter next, nothing.
“Ugh. Great. They’re not answering.” I huff.
“Know anyone else’s number?”
“Unfortunately, just one.” I take a deep breath and dial Ghost’s number.
“Who’s calling?” He answers on the second ring, his voice filled with rage.
“Let me talk to one of my brothers.”
“Cassie? Where are you?” His voice instinctively softens, but brings no comfort.
“Don’t worry about it. Let me talk to them.”
“Just tell me where you are, I’ll come to you. We can talk this out. Please.”
“Not happening. I’m done.” I shake my head, glancing at Rider who’s clearly studying me.
“Come on, Cass. After everything we’ve been through? You won’t just talk to me?”
“No! That’s exactly why I won’t! You willingly did this shit. Just forget it.” I end the call.
“So much for that.” I hand Rider the phone back. “Let me know if they call back. I’ll try them again from the phone in the room.”
“Alright, goodnight Cassie.” He slides my keycard, opening the door for me, then gives me the card.
“Night, Rider. Thanks for everything.”