Meet your maker
“Gia, I don't want you to come outside under any circumstances, do I make myself clear?” I warned, making sure she understood.
“You expect me to just-” she began to rant.
I cut her off. “Shh! Just listen.” I clamped my forefinger and thumb over her lips, keeping them closed. Her brows furrowed the more pissed off she got, which I found rather cute under the circumstances.
“I'm not going anywhere, baby girl. He's the one who's going to meet his maker in about-” I checked the clock on the wall for the time, “fifteen minutes. Then we'll have ourselves a party, how's about that?” I sounded rather upbeat for a guy who was just about to be challenged.
Thing is, this wasn't the first time I'd been challenged. It was a common way of life in the MC. You come to expect it.
“Beast,” Jax called over.
He had been waiting over by the front doors like a man possessed. The low rumbling of bikes approaching, alerted us to their presence. They were here.
Jax had gathered the whole gang. Everyone had to be present whenever a challenge took place. Ace clapped me on the back and mumbled 'good-luck'.
“Not that you'll need it, bro,” he returned with a grin.
Blade offered a hand. “Take him down, man.” I returned the gesture and gripping his hand with a slap, appreciating the support.
Jax wore the same pissed expression since Claw called an hour ago. With both hands gripping either side of my shoulders, he held my gaze as he spoke with sincerity. “Look, you know you're more to me than a friend. You're like a brother. You'll piss this, you know it and I know it. But if shit goes down, I'll get Gia out of here. You have my word on that,” he promised, with the fierce loyalty of brotherhood emblazoned in his eyes.
“I know I can count on you to do right by her,” I replied, grateful that he had her back.
“Kian!” Gia called from across the room.
I exhaled with a sharp laugh. “Don't you start with name-calling now, woman,” I warned, using my thumb to point behind me. “These fuckers would get a kicking for calling me by my birth name. You, my baby, are the only one who gets away with it.” I stalked over to her, scooping her up in my arms, then bending down to claim her pretty little mouth.
“Love you,” she mumbled between kisses.
“And I lo-” I began.
“BEAST!” I recognized the booming voice from outside and I stilled, mid-kiss.
“I want you to all witness this. I'm calling you out, Beast. I challenge you to a fight to the finish. Winner takes all,” Claw bellowed, from the parking lot.
“Gotta go do my thing, babe,” I growled, shooting my woman a wink.
She looked as if she was ready to have a nervous breakdown, so I had to make her calm down some. Lauren hurried over to console her, and I heard Blade mutter words of encouragement to her.
“It's Claw that should be worried. Your man's quite a legend in the cage. Which reminds me, I ain't cleaning that fucker, Claw, up off the parking lot when Beast's through with him. Jax can get one of the prospects to do it.”
That comment made me smile. I walked out through the door with my arms outstretched. “Well, here I am, traitor. You ready to dance?”
Claw was standing in the middle of the parking lot. He'd come with the rival gang, the Shadow Wolves. Those boys weren't to be trusted. If they were here, then I knew this wasn't likely to be a fair fight. I saw this for what it was, Claw's initiation ceremony. He wasn't gonna just settle for an underdog role, he wanted to deliver the Blood moon Bears to our rivals. The thought that a punk like him could try to pull something like this off, almost had me pissing my pants with laughter.
Jax stepped out from behind. “Rules are as always. No one interferes. It's one on one, anything goes. Just so long as it is one on one. If you break the rules, I'm going to have me a bloodbath,” he warned, eyeing up the shadow wolves that were all stood around watching with eager eyes.
Claw and I circled each other, kicking up dust from the dirt-covered floor. “Your time has come to an end, my friend,” he commented, actually sounding amused with himself as if he believed in what he was saying.
There ain't nothing worse than some fucker blowing smoke up their own ass with sweet fuck-all to back it up with.
I weighed over two hundred pounds of pure muscle. My head canted to one side as I gave him a 'the fuck' look. I was twice his size and had more experience in hand-to-hand combat.
This fucker was fairly new to the gang as it was. Didn't he get the memo? He was looking at Forest Lake's cage fighting champion. Obviously undefeated or else I wouldn't still be standing here.
I watched and waited with raised eyebrows as he continued to monologue his way around the circle he'd just fucking created. I pretended to listen, giving the occasional humored nod. Those Shadow Wolves were counting on this walking joke? They were whopping and cheering him on, and he was feeding off it.
It was time to disappoint some dogs. I made my move. The bastard either wasn't expecting it or he'd been too engrossed in the show that he'd engineered for himself.
I smashed into his jaw hard with an iron fist, then lunged, pinning him to the ground, crushing him under two hundred pounds worth of grizzly. My teeth ripped into his throat and tore. Claw's screams rung like death-bells in my ears.
Now the fucker knew how I earned my nickname in the MC. Oh, the sweet thrill of the kill. The coppery taste of blood and the distinct scent of death...beautiful.
He threatened my Gia. He'd hurt her once and that was once too many. Rearing my head up I growled. “Gia's mine!”
The boys from the Shadow Wolves had all gone quiet at this point. Some had already started backing off. The bears from the clubhouse spread out around the parking lot, all hungry for a fight.
My mate was mine, my title was mine, so I made my point loud and clear, tearing into Claw's throat like he was the prey, and I was the carnivore. As he gargled an anguished cry, I got me a mouthful of the back-stabbing traitor, turning to spit out a large lump of flesh onto the parking lot floor.
The dirt and gravel drank up his blood as it seeped into the thirsty ground, staining it dark red, almost black.
As he fought back, I fastened my jaws around his throat again, partially shifting into my bear this time. My jaws morphed into something that was depicted from nightmares. Crushing whatever I hadn't ripped to fucking shreds.
Claw groaned and almost managed to shift, fur running over his body as he reached deep for whatever he had left. It wasn't happening. My bear and I held him down in the dirt like the belly-crawling insect he was.
The rough rattle of a dying man's last breath sounded throughout the parking lot and it was all over in a matter of seconds...just like I knew it would be, just like I promised Gia it would be.
The bear within me, burst through my skin. My shift ripping through me in a split-second. I reared up on hind legs, sending out an earth-shattering roar for miles around. I was an animal. Wild and fierce in a frenzy of blood lust. I dared them to step forward to take on the beast.
The shadow wolves made to retreat, having realized, I'm not a force to be fucked with.
Alpha Jax stood proud, admiring my handy work with his arms crossed, bulging his biceps. “Any of you cock-sucking assholes show your faces in Bear Creek again, you'll all get the same treatment,” he sent a warning, throughout the crowd.
Each one jumped on their rides and made themselves scarce. Good riddance too. I'd never met a Dog I liked yet.
“Kian,” Gia screamed as she ran out through the door.
She came to a sudden stop, staring in horror at the sight of Claw's mutilated dead body, then at me in my colossal bear form. Tears streaked her face as she ran towards me, then flung her arms as far as they could reach around my midriff.
“Kian, I was so scared,” she sobbed. “Change back.”
She took a step away as my bones began snapping and contorting. The fur that covered my skin began to recede. All of my clothing lay in tatters on the ground, so when I stood, I rose to my feet a naked, bloodstained beast of a man.
“Baby, what did I say? Didn't I tell you to stay inside? I don't want you to see me like this,” I growled, turning my blood-stained face away from hers.
Shame washed over me. Afraid of her looking at me differently and not wanting to see the repulsion in her eyes. Not from her. Anyone but her.
“I don't care what you are, I love you, Kian,” she sobbed, placing her palms against my bare chest.
She slid her hands across my shoulders and along my neck, then stopped to cup the sides of my face. At first, it looked as if she was going to kiss me but had a second thought after seeing all the blood and fur around my mouth. I chuckled, finding that rather funny.
“Someone needs to clean this shit up,” I muttered, pulling my woman into my side and breezing back through the clubhouse.
I heard Blade say. “Don't look at me, I'm wearing clean jeans.”
I let out a throaty laugh. First, I needed some clothes, a drink, and a cigarette. Then, I was going to get me a taste of my Gia.
That's when I remembered: we needed a new apartment. Shit!