Ghost opens the passenger door for me, and I sink into the seat, clicking my seatbelt in as Ghost walks around to the other side.
Ghost turns the key, and the engine roars to life, sending vibrations through the car, “Damn. I did not expect that.” He blows out a whistle.
“I’m more than just something to look at.” I sigh, shrugging my shoulders.
“You did all of this?” His eyes go wide.
“Who else?” I fake looking around the car for another person.
“Wow. I’m impressed!”
“You think that’s impressive? Turn the music up.”
He slowly turns the knob, eyeing me. The bass from the subs kick in, making the car come further alive with vibrations.
“Holy shit! What else can you do?” He turns the volume back down and puts the stick shift into first.
“Hmm, nearly everything, I guess. I grew up in the clubhouse, so I spent most of my time in the shop with Bitz while Dad was doing whatever. Learning how things work and how to fix them always fascinated me.”
“That’s pretty cool. I’ve never met a chick that into cars.”
“Probably cause you seem to think we’re all club sluts.” I scoff.
“Here we go again. I already told you, I rarely treat the club girls like that. If I had known you weren’t a club girl, I never would have acted that way.”
“They shouldn’t be treated that way, regardless. They do so much for the fucking club, and everyone just uses them for a quick fuck.”
“They don’t do that much.”
“Who the fuck do you think does the laundry? Cooks for sixty-some people? Does the dishes? They do nearly everything around the club.”
“Huh. Guess I never really thought that far into it.” He shrugs.
“Exactly. No one ever does.” I huff. “So what do you do around the club, then? You have a job or what?” Ghost quickly changes the subject.
“Nothing much. I just help Bitz in the shop when I’m not at school. I’ve done a few runs with my brothers, but not much else. Dad likes to keep me ‘safe.’”
“Holy fuck, school? How old are you?” He nearly chokes.
“Um, seventeen. How old did you think I was?”
“At least twenty-something.”
“I’ll be eighteen in a few months.” I chuckle. His state of surprise was amusing.
“Huh. So then you’ll be a senior?”
“No, my graduation is next week. I took a ton of extra classes so I could finish early.”
“That’s pretty cool. I never bothered much with school, didn’t need it.” He shrugs.
“Yeah, I suppose it’s less than thrilling when you could be a gunslinger instead.”
“Got that right.” We laugh for a moment before he speaks again, “So you’ve got brothers, huh?”
“Yeah, Caden and Carter. They’re like five and six years older than me. They used to lead a lot of the runs, and now they just clean up loose ends.”
“Meaning?” He looks over, narrowing his eyes.
“Um, kind of long story.” I nearly whisper.
“We’ve got time, still almost an hour away from home.”
I let out a long sigh, “Well, after our Mom died, they just kind of shut down, I guess. At some point in doing runs for Dad, they found their niche. A few runs had gone bad, and they had killed some people.” I take a deep breath, “They’re kind of known as ‘The Ripper Brothers’ now.”
“Wait. The Rippers are your brothers?” His eyes go wide again.
“Yeah. They’re not as bad as everyone makes them out to be, at least not to me. My brothers are actually pretty cool. They’ve got some issues, though.” I smirk.
“I’ve heard a lot about them. They’re practically legends. Small world, I guess.” He shakes his head. “So, what about you? Why do they call you Ghost?”
“It’s pretty self-explanatory. I’m good at not being seen or heard unless I want to be, like a ghost,” He chuckles to himself, “I had taken a mark out in the middle of town without a single witness, and here we are.”
“Well, that’s no easy feat. Is that what brought attention to you from the Mother Chapter?”
“Yeah, mostly. When I got called up here, the decision was simple.”
“You leave me with more questions than answers.” I narrow my eyes, trying to get a read on him, “Care to elaborate?”
“I barely know you.” His lips tighten into a thin line.
“Yet, here you are driving me home when I already had a ride home arranged.”
“Yep, here I am.” He laughs.
“Alright, then.” I lean my head against the cool window, closing my eyes. I was going to be regretting drinking in the morning. I don’t get his mood swings, and now isn’t the time to try dissecting them.
“I don’t know why I’m driving you home.” He says, breaking the silence after a few moments, “Something just draws me to you. You’re very interesting to me.”
My stomach is doing somersaults, and I can’t be entirely sure if it’s from the alcohol or his honesty, though.
“What do you mean?” I look over at him, trying to get a better read on him.
“I don’t really know. Forget it.”
“No, tell me. You can’t just say something that, then say never mind.”
“It’s hard to explain, I guess. I feel some sort of connection to you, and I don’t know why. I felt it the moment I saw you.”
“That’s so weird,” I say, playing with the frayed fabric on my shorts.
“See, that’s why I said forget it.” He shook his head.
“No, not weird like that. I felt the same thing. That’s crazy.”
“Okay, you’re right. It is weird.” He lets out a small laugh. We're primarily silent the rest of the ride, aside from the random comment on a song here and there. I think we were both too focused on the end of our conversation. Things like this only happened in movies, not to me.
I wake up to Ghost clearing his throat, “Hey, sorry, we’re here.” He nods toward the clubhouse.
“Thank god. I’m so tired.” I mumble.
“Yeah, I can see that.” He lets out a breathy laugh, climbing out of the driver’s side. He makes his way to my side, opening the door for me again. Okay, am I like in a movie and I don’t know it, or am I still just that drunk?
He stays close behind me as we walk into the bar, and it’s still full of members and some people from town. How these guys could drink this much is beyond me, a few mixers, and I’m done.
“Cass! How was shopping, my girl?” Dad calls over to me.
“Oh, it was good! My trunk is packed.” I smile.
“Glad to hear it! The girls saved you some dinner. It’s in the fridge.”
“I think I’m just going to grab my bags and go to bed. It’s been a long night.” I had forgotten entirely about my shopping spree-filled trunk.
“It’s only two?” Dad teases, grinning from ear to ear.
“I’m not as young and spry as you guys!” I laugh, walking back out to my car. I turn around when I hear footsteps following behind me.
“What are you doing?” I raise an eyebrow at Ghost. He looks like a lost puppy or something.
“Figured you could use some help?” He replies, awkwardly shoving his hands in his pockets.
“You might regret that in a second,” I say as I pop the trunk, revealing all the bags.
“You’re right. I regret it. Did you buy the entire store? Who even needs this much shit?” He gawks at me like I have three heads.
“Isn’t it obvious? I need this much shit.” I nudge his side with my elbow.
“Fuck. Apparently.” He shakes his head. “Well, let’s get this over with. Load me up.”
I load his arms with bag after bag, and I take what I can fit on my arms, “I’ll get the rest tomorrow, thanks.” I say, closing the trunk.
“I can come back and get it. Not a big deal.”
“No, that’s alright. Not like I’m going to wear it all tonight, anyway.” He follows me up to my room, dropping the bags on the floor by my bed. I feel slightly awkward as I notice him looking around my room. He’s the first guy other than family I’ve had in my room.
He walks over to the large bookshelf looking from one title to the next, “Book worm, huh?” He asks, looking over his shoulder.
“In my free time. It’s nice to escape into another world for a while.”
“Yeah, it makes sense. I wish I were one of those people that enjoyed reading. Just not my thing.” He tilts his head, shrugging his shoulder.
“You probably just haven’t found the right book then!” I gush a little over-enthusiastically. Sure, it may be a little nerdy to some, but the possibilities are endless with books.
“Eh, that could be.” He says, walking over to my dresser, looking at the photos I have lining the top. “Is this your Mom?” He points to one of the frames.
“Yeah, that’s one of the last pictures of her before she passed.”
“That has to be tough. I’m sorry, I’m sure you miss her.” He awkwardly chews on the side of his cheek.
“Sometimes, yeah. I was young when she died. So I don’t have a lot of memories with her. I think I more so miss the things that we would have done together.”
“Yeah, makes sense.” He looks at another picture. “Who’s this?” He leans closer, squinting at the faces.
I walk over closer to see which picture he was asking about, “That would be my grandpa and uncle. They’re also gone now.”
“Damn.” He slowly shakes his head. “So it’s just you, your dad, and brothers then?”
“Yeah. It’s not all that bad, though.” I shrug my shoulder. It’s hard to remember any of them, so it’s not like I had a ton to miss.
“I guess so. But damn, I couldn’t imagine.”
“Alright, enough of the heavy stuff. It’s been a long enough night.” I fake a laugh.
“Right. Give me your keys. I’ll grab the rest of your stuff for you so you can get to bed.” He holds out his hand.
“If you’re sure?” It’s kind of confusing seeing the somewhat softer side of him.
“I wouldn’t offer if I wasn’t. Go to bed. I’ll be quiet when I get back.”
“Uh, okay. Thanks.” I slowly handed him the keys.