“Cassie, it’s your brothers and Ghost. We’re here to take you home, okay?” My voice is so quiet, nearly a whisper. I don’t want to scare her more. I move slowly and carefully toward my sister when there's no response.
“It’s okay, Cassie. We’re here to help. We’re not going to hurt you. You’re safe now. The Saints are gone.” I try to reassure her, but it doesn’t stop the quivering. I see the slightest nod of acknowledgment she gives me.
Ever so slowly, I put my arms under her legs and behind her back, carefully lifting her. I feel as though I’m carrying a small child. She’s lost so much weight. Rage courses through my body, taking over my every thought. How could anyone do this to a person? How fucked in the head does someone have to be to do this?
I give him a quick nod as I make my way out of the small room. Ghost walks next to us, lightly rubbing Cassie’s arm. For some reason, it infuriates me. He shouldn’t be comforting her, not when he’s the reason she’s here. If Ghost hadn’t pulled that idiotic stunt, she never would have left with Haven. I’ve kept my thoughts on the subject to myself all this time, but I don’t know how much longer I can. Sure, I know Ghost means well, now. But he nearly cost Caden and me our sister.
I do have to admit Ghost is half-decent at doing the whole President role when he isn’t drunk. Sharp had to take over the position from time to time when Ghost would utterly lose himself in a bottle with Cade. I know that Ghost has been beating himself up worse than anyone else could over this situation. Still, it brought no peace of mind to me.
“Trust me. I’ve asked myself the same question a thousand times.” He shakes his head as if to shake the thoughts from his mind, “If I had known, if I had even the slightest idea this is what would come of it, I would never have done it. You know that.” He says to me but keeps his eyes on Cassie as if he's more so talking to her than me.
“Sure, I know that if you had half a brain, you never would have even entertained the idea. Regardless of any possible outcome.”
“We need to have her checked out by a doctor.” Caden’s voice breaks the thickening tension in the van. “She isn’t looking too good.” He chews on the inside of his cheek, as he always does when his anxiety is running high. Most people don’t notice the small gesture, but I always have. Then again, I’m about the only one he spends most of his time with. Poor guy needs a girlfriend or something. Ah, I guess the same could be said for me.
“Agreed.” Sharp nods.
None of us speak another word the rest of the way. The roar of the bikes surrounding us makes the silence between us somewhat comforting, but after the rest of the club turns off toward the Clubhouse, the silence is all too loud. My mind is spiraling with thoughts and concerns for my sister. I’ve never seen her this bad, and I’ve seen her with broken limbs and bullets in her body.
Watching the nurses rush Cassie back to a trauma room breaks yet another piece of my heart. We have been here all too many times. The poor girl needs a break, needs to get away from this life. It’s done no good for her, and I hope after this she finally sees that and considers the club for what it truly is, instead of her idealization of it. I’m a little relieved dad isn’t around for this round of torture on his poor daughter. Trouble sure seems to follow her like a moth to a flame.
I sat down in one of the most uncomfortable chairs the waiting room could possibly have to offer, instantly regretting the action, and stood back up and glanced around the walls for some sort of distraction. I always liked to read the pointless information on the lame posters for some reason. It kept my mind busy, I guess. But, unfortunately, that was not the case this time. The posters are still the same as the last time I was here.
“We should head back to the clubhouse and get cleaned up.” I look between the three of us and our blood-covered leather. “I doubt this image will bring her any comfort.” I try my best to joke, but it comes out more like a pained strain on my vocal cords.
“Yeah, probably right about that one.” Caden sighs, and Ghost just nods.
I almost feel bad for the guy. The expression on his face mirrors the torment in my mind. I’m sure he’s going through his share of torment. The only woman he’s ever loved is once again lying in a hospital bed. I know his hurt is far different than that of my own. Yet, I still find myself comparing. Who has it worse? The guy whose sister was kidnapped or the guy whose only love was abducted, on some account of his own?
Is it really a competition, though? It shouldn’t be. We’ve both hurt for months over this. I need to learn to let things go, even if it is kind of Ghost's fault. Mentally rolling my eyes at my weird thoughts, I take the lead and stroll toward the van.
“Sure, I’ll drive.” I shake my head at the pair going for the passenger side. I hate driving these damn cages. I’ve never owned one, never plan to. Well, now it’s something I have to look into getting as much as I fucking hate the thought of it.
Caden switches between the radio stations, trying to find something half decent to listen to before cursing at the damn thing and giving up, and I see Ghost in the rearview mirror shaking his head from the backseat fighting back a laugh.
Cade burst out laughing, “God, this sucks. Why are we in this fucking club?”
“Lord fucking knows.” I huff. It’s nice to see my brother laugh again. It's a strange occurrence when he isn’t goofing around. Sure, it may be annoying ninety percent of the time. But, the other ten percent was a small blessing, being able to lighten the mood in the darkest of times. I wish that were an ability I had.
“How’s she doing, boys?” Sharp is at the door the second we walk in.
“Not sure. The doctors are working on her. We needed to get cleaned up.” I motion my hand at the blood covering my leather.
“I can see that. So Cassie is just there by herself? Is that really the best idea?”
“The Saints are done for, that was the last of them. That dumb bitch said so herself.” Caden throws over his shoulder as he walks toward the stairs.
“That, and Trish is working. She wheeled Cass back. She won’t let anything happen to Cassie.” I clap Sharp on the shoulder and make my way up to my room.
Walking past Dad’s room sent a shiver down my spine. I haven't been near his room or mine in months. I tried my best to stay out of here, hunting down leads across the states to keep me busy. Of course, she ended up being right under our noses, those sneaky fucking snakes.
My hand turns the knob to my father's door as my body works of its own volition, and the familiar smell of my dad fills my lungs as the door opens, a comfort I didn't realize I was missing. We weren’t super close, by any means, but he was my father and the only parent figure I’ve had the last twenty years of my life. Then, it dawns on me, “Before we go back to the hospital, grab a few things for Cassie that you guys think would be comforting, or help her come around!” I yell down the hall toward Ghost and Cade’s rooms.
“Huh?” Cade poked his head out of his room, looking at me like I was speaking another language.
“Just do it.” I huff, closing dad’s door behind me with his sweater in my fist.