Gearhead popped his head into the office. “Hey, are you okay?”
I looked up and smiled. “Sure, why would I not be okay?”
“Just that Dusty left today and won’t be back for a while.” He shrugged.
“It is what it is.” Plus, if I ever thought I was going to get over Dusty, this time apart was just what I needed. I’d trusted him way back when, so sure that he really and truly wanted me, and I’d been wrong. But I knew I wasn’t wrong about this. I was going to leave the club and this was another step closer to seeing that happen.
My first step was mailing off a package this morning, which included a demo of me singing and playing my guitar, to a music producer I found in Memphis that was taking on new talent. I had no idea what was going to come of it, but I wouldn’t know unless I tried, right?
“True, well let me know if you need anything.” He turned to leave when I stopped him.
“Actually, there is one thing…”
After several hundred miles and two stiff legs later, I finally made it to my destination as I stretched from the long ride. I forgot what it felt like to ride for that long, but I was distracted with thoughts of Evie and less about stopping to take breaks. Dumbass.
“Dusty?” An older man with graying hair stepped outside from an old worn down door.
“That’s me. You must be Charles.”
Charles Dunken was the northern chapter’s President, and from what I understood, a very long time friend of the Kidd’s.
He smiled, revealing yellowed teeth from years of smoking. “You can call me Charlie. Nice to meet you.” He stuck his hand out for a shake as I did the polite thing and met him halfway.
“Big place you’ve got here.” I looked around and realized how different it was from the main clubhouse back home. There weren’t any lush pine trees and oaks lining this compound. Nope, it was barren and ugly, almost desert-like with green fields for as far as the eye could see.
“Big old place,” Charlie laughed out. “Come inside and meet the guys.” He slapped me on the back as we headed inside.
Our first stop was at the makeshift bar they built out of old pallets. Charlie knocked on the bar before their bar-maid stood up and smiled at them. Shit, I was in trouble. Their bar-maid was tall, beautiful, and blonde. A deadly combination for me, but then again, she reminded me of Evie and all thoughts of finding her attractive went out the window. I wouldn’t be dumb again.
She winked at me. “Pleasure to meet you, darlin’.”
“Likewise.” I kept my voice melancholy as I scanned the rest of the bar.
Charlie handed me a beer before we turned toward the pool tables and all the guys stood around them.
“Gentlemen, this is Dusty Parker from our mother chapter.” They all nodded their hello’s to him before Charlie introduced each one. “That’s Big Mike, our VP.” He pointed to a big fat guy in the corner who looked drunk enough to pass out in his chair. “That’s Jimmy, my son, and our Sergeant at Arms. You two will be working together a lot, so I hope you two get along. He can be a prick sometimes, though.” Jimmy was tall and built like a brick house like me, but he had dirty blond hair and no facial hair that I could see. “Then there’s Peretti, our Treasurer, and Secretary. We’re a bit short-handed right now.” Peretti looked like a short Italian guy but smiled and nodded.
“Then there’s Mitch Connelly, brother of Mandi back at the bar and our road captain.” Mitch was built as well, but shorter than I expected. “And last, we have Tom, our Prospect.” Tom was short with red hair and fair skin.
“Hey.” The prospect smiled and nodded as I nodded back at him.
“Nice looking crew you’ve got here, Charlie. Where will I be staying?”
“We’re a little short on rooms in the clubhouse right now since we’re trying to fix this shit hole up, so we brought in a camper for you. It’s parked out back.”
As much as I hated not staying in the clubhouse, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that I’d have my own space.
As soon as I stepped into the camper, my cell went off. I pulled it out to see Aaron’s name light up the screen. Why would our prospect be calling?
“Dusty,” he stated, completely out of breath.
My heart sank to my stomach at the sound of Aaron’s panicked voice. Something bad happened, I just knew it.
I walked across the bar floor when I heard my name called. Turning, I found Missy standing behind the bar with a beer in hand.
“You look like you could use this,” she offered.
Shrugging, I walked over to the bar and took the beer from her before I slid onto my stool.
“Now that Dusty is gone for a bit, I thought we could talk and hash some things out.” Missy sounded so nonchalant about it, but I wasn’t so sure.
I narrowed my gaze at her. I was in no mood for any games today, especially the one’s Missy loved to play. The whore.
“There isn’t anything to talk about,” I stated as I sipped from my beer.
“I just want you to know that Dusty and I didn’t plan for this to happen. We’ve had chemistry for such a long time that when we were alone, we just couldn’t help ourselves.”
I looked up to see a stupid smirk on her face. Was she trying to die today?
“He didn’t want you to know, but we talked about him leaving you so he and I could finally be together. And… and I just want you to know that I’m sorry, but you can’t deny that Dusty never wanted you. I mean, he fucks as much as he can whenever he leaves here. Usually, it’s with me,” she giggled, “but we got tired of waiting for him to leave the compound to fuck.”
That did it. My temper flared and I couldn’t control what happened next.
Jumping over the bar, I grabbed Missy by the throat and slammed her against the back shelf as glasses and bottles shattered at our feet. Missy screamed and grabbed at my arms, but it wasn’t enough to stop me. I was filled with so much rage that all I could see was red.
“He’s mine,” I growled into her ear before I swung her around and smashed her back against the bar. Missy cried out in pain, but it wasn’t enough for me. “And even if he didn’t want me anymore, he would always be mine. And you want to know how I know that?” I brought my face right up to hers, my hands still tight around the slut’s throat. Her face contorted with confusion as I added, “Because I’m pregnant with his baby.”
I won by the look on Missy’s face; a look of knowledge. I was carrying Dusty Parker’s baby, and when that happened, nothing came between a man and his old lady.
“Evie,” she began to speak but I tightened my grip around her throat.
“You think you’re so clever, don’t you? Making me think that Dusty would ever want you over me.” I laughed at that one.
Missy got leverage and freed herself long enough to elbow me in the face, busting my lip wide open.
“Fuck you!” she screamed, trying to get away from me, but I wasn’t having it.
I grabbed the back of her head, entwining my fingers in her hair before I slammed her face down hard on the bar. Once. Twice. Three times. And then Missy went limp and I dropped her.
My adrenaline was pumping as I shook, but when I looked up and saw the entire club looking at me with horror on their faces, I stepped away from Missy.
“What the fuck are you all looking at?!” But then I remembered what I had said to Missy and I panicked. “Wait. What did you hear?!” They all nervously shook their head. “Pretend you heard nothing and I’ll pretend to not want to kill you.” They all nodded in unison.
Careen stepped forward and reached her hand out. “Come here, Sugar, let’s get you cleaned up.”
I looked around nervously, not realizing what I had done until I saw Missy lying unconscious on the floor at my feet. Her face was all fucked up and blood slowly ran from her skull.
Nodding, I stepped out from behind the bar and let Careen guide me to the back.
“Talk to me, Aaron, what the hell is going on?!” I was full of nerves as I paced in the tiny space that would be my living room and kitchen.
“Missy antagonized Evie. Oh, man, it’s really bad, Dusty.”
My heart fell into my gut. If anything happened to Evie, I was going to lose my shit.
“What happened, Aaron?!” I was getting impatient and very fucking pissed off.
“Evie put Missy into a coma. She beat the fuck out of her. I’ve never seen anything like it, man. Evie went fucking crazy after what Missy said about you. I don’t even think she knows what happened because afterward, she looked freaked out. Evie was white as a ghost.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I knew Evie was a badass, being a Kidd and all, but to put someone into a coma? Fuck me.
“Is she okay? Evie? Both of them?”
“I don’t know. Do you think you can come back for the night? I know it’s such a long fucking drive, but it’s fucking nuts around here right now. Pres is back at his place because Sally fell off her rocker again and he can’t leave her alone right now. Evie won’t talk to anyone. Missy was taken to the hospital where they’re keeping tabs on her, but… I don’t know, man.”
“Okay, just calm the fuck down. I’ll ask to borrow Charlie’s truck and I’ll be back as soon as I can.” I hung up on Aaron and went in search of Charlie.
“Trouble back home?”
I only nodded. “Can I borrow your truck for the night? I need to get back there right away, and my ass is killing me from that long as ride today.”
“Of course, no worries, man.” He reached into his front pocket and then handed me a set of keys. “We’ll see you tomorrow. Take care of whatever you need to take care of.”
I gave him a small nod and then ran for the front door, jumped in Charlie’s old Chevy pickup, and hauled ass back down the highway.