Ryder

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TWENTY FOUR

Ryder’s POV,

Some think of me as a monster. Some only look at me as a piece of meat. Some think of me as a hero. Some think of me as a coward. Some look at me like I have just given up. Some look at me with fear and others just want to be by my side. I don’t know what the truth is, maybe it’s all true. My life has been devoted to a lower power fueled by revenge. I sold my soul to the devil years ago. Maybe even the night my parents were murdered. I had only held on to a piece of my heart and that has always belonged to the girl next door.

I have always felt like a failure. All this time and I had never even gotten close to my revenge. He was always one step ahead of me. Killing my family and holding my girl against her will. What kind of man had I become when I couldn’t even protect what I loved most in this godforsaken world. Why was this so hard? How come I wasn’t strong enough? The life of my child is threatened and I coward in the corner with my tail between my legs. The numbness that has consumed me has taken over and now I know a new kind of darkness. I haven’t given up hope, but the longer I’m without them. The harder it is to see the light. It’s like they have all fallen off the face of the earth. My team can not seem to find them. They can’t be that good at hiding.

“Ryder, the girl is waking up,” Jason said as he came out on the porch. “What do you plan on doing with her?” I took a hit off my smoke.

“Getting her back to whoever she belongs to.” Jason nodded his head at me.

“How are you doing inside there?” I looked at him funny. “Inside that head of yours.” I just shook my head.

“Well let’s see, my wife and child are in the hands of the only man I have been after all my life. The one man who has been able to stay hidden from me for all these years. I’m not powerful enough to save them or even keep them safe. Is it even a good idea for them to be with me? What the hell do you think is going on inside of me?” Jason just sighed.

“I know this doesn’t mean much right now to you, but you are everything to them and I know they are everything to you. We will find them and we will all bring this nightmare to an end. You can’t give up Ryder.”

“Maybe I already have. If I go near them he will kill them. I can’t take that chance and fuck it up. If I fuck it up they will die. What will that do to me? More than likely get me killed.”

“Ryder, I’m not going to act as though I know what you’re going through. All I know is I know you and I know there is not a give up bone in your body. I know your judgment is clouded right now, but this will all work out in the end. I know it will.” I just shook my head at him. I know he is trying to help, but nothing helps right now. I flicked my smoke and headed in to find out about this woman. I could hear screaming coming from down the hall. Jason and I both took off running.

We entered the room and the girl had herself pressed against the far wall. “Stay away from me! Please just let me go!”

“What the fuck is going on in here?” I snapped. Three of my men were in the room with her.

“All we did was try to bring her some food and check on her. She lost it the minute she saw us.” I looked over at her and when she turned and looked at me. She came running into my arms. I wrapped my arms around her.

“Get the hell out of here and send in the girls.” I hissed out. I could feel this girl shaking in my arms and realized none of us knew what she had been through. “Your safe here. Can I take you back to the bed, please? My close friends Tania and Jules will be here soon to help you.” She let me place her back into the bed and I covered her. She had tears pouring down her beaten face. You couldn’t even tell how she really looked. It was sickening to know men did this to her. “Can you tell me your name?”

“Brianna Scott.”

“Hello Brianna, I’m Ryder and I want you to know your safe here and as soon as you’re feeling better we will get you home safe.”

“I have no home, sir.” I sighed.

“You can call me Ryder. Don’t worry about that now. Let’s just get you feeling better. Do you mind if I have my doctor check you out?”

“No that’s fine, but will you be here?” I looked at her and I could see some trust in her eyes.

“I can stay here if you would like.” She laid back and closed her eyes.

“Thank you.” The door opened and she jumped a little, but it was just Tanyia and Jules.

“You okay you can trust them. They are going to stay with you and help you clean up. I’m going to go and get the doctor here.” Brianna nodded her head at me. I got up and pulled Tanyia and Jules to the side. “Listen to me, no sudden moves. I’m sure she is in shock and we have no idea what she has been through. Take extra care.”

“No worries boss, we got this.” I nodded at them and left the room. Jason waited on the outside for me.

“How is she doing?”

“I think she has PTSD. She is scared to death but is trusting me for some reason.”

“Of course she is.” I rolled my eyes at Jason. “Well, you are the one that carried her out of that nightmare.”

“Call the doctor and make sure she comes alone.” Jason nodded and pulled his phone out. A few hours later. I met the doctor out front of the house.

“How are you, boss?”

“I’m okay.”

“So who am I here to see?”

“Her name is Brianna and I believe she was involved in sex trafficking. I found her badly beaten and chained to a wall. I think she has PTSD. She is very scared and wants me in the room with her when you see her.” The doctor nodded at me and I took her to Brianna’s room. Tanyia and Jules were sitting with her in the room. She had a shower and Jules was brushing her hair. She looked a little better. Tania was placing some ice on her face. Brianna looked a little more relaxed. She tried to smile when I came into the room. I had to admit I felt sorry for her. I stood by the door when the doctor walked over to Brianna.

“Hello Brianna, you can call me Pam. I just want to take a look at you. Is that okay?” Brianna nodded her head. Tanyia and Jules got up and moved closer to me. Brianna looked over at us.

“You don’t have to go.” She said to Tanyia and Jules.

“We’re just going to stand here. We won’t leave you.” Jewels stock up. The doctor turned and looked at us.

“I’m going to be doing an examination to which I will need her to remove her clothing. Maybe I’ll be best if the three of you step outside for a moment.” Brianna sat up.

“Please don’t make Ryder go.” She said softly.

“That’s completely up to you.”

“They can stay,” Brianna said. I turned my head when the doctor started to remove her clothes. After about thirty minutes. The doctor was done. She and I talked outside of Brianna’s room.

“So?”

“I’m going, to be honest with you. I’d like to come back and see if she will talk with me alone. She is going to be okay physically. There’s nothing broken but she is covered in bruises and cuts. All things that will heal. Only I think her mental health is not so good. Be warned Ryder, she has already attached herself to you. While it’s good that she is giving some trust. This could become a problem. We know nothing about her or where she comes from.” I nodded my head.

“What do you suggest that I do?”

“Until we know more. I would just let the girls be with her. Try not to spend too much time with the girl. You have no idea just how much she could attach herself to you.” Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen.

“That won’t be a problem. I’ll set it up for you to come back and talk with her. I’ll also talk to Tanyia and Jules. Maybe they can talk to her.”

“That’s a good idea. Call me if you need anything else. Or if anything happens with her.” I nodded and the doctor left. I took a deep breath and went back into the room. The girls were helping Brianna into some clean clothes.

“Just checking in. I’m going to leave you girls be.”

“Ryder?” I turned and looked at Brianna. “Please stay.”

“I can’t right now, but Tanyia and Jules will be here with you for whatever you need.” The pain on her face wasn’t nice to look at. I left the room and just sighed.

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