ESCAPING FREE (BOOK ONE)

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Chapter 20

EVIE POV

I couldn’t ever remember being in this much pain. I was finally awake and not feeling groggy anymore, but damn if my stomach didn’t hurt like hell.


Someone knocked on the door as I looked over to find my doctor and a younger man in a dark gray suit standing behind him.


“How are you feeling, Evie?” The doctor asked as he smiled warmly at me.


“Ready to go home,” I grumbled. I hated being doted on and the one stuck up in this hospital. Normally, I was the one taking care of everyone, but not this time.


He laughed. “Well, we can probably get you out of here today. But first, do you mind answering some questions for Agent Johnson here?”


I eyed the man standing behind him, and knew why he was here. How many times did I have to tell everyone that I didn’t remember much of anything?


“Fine.” I just wanted to get this over with so I could go home.


Agent Johnson stepped forward and smiled before he took a seat to my left. He pulled out a small notepad from his inside pocket along with a pen.


“I know you said you don’t remember much, but any details you do remember will help make my life easier.”


I scoffed and laughed at the same time. “Make your life easier? I was the one who was just shot and lost a baby.”


“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you.” He shifted uncomfortably in his seat before he switched gears. “Let me rephrase. Give me any details you can so I can find this bastard and give you and your baby some justice.”


I liked him just a tiny bit after that sentence.


“Like I said yesterday, I don’t remember much. All I can remember is driving my mom to rehab and the next I saw a man in all black; black ski mask, black zip up hoodie, and black pants. Nothing identifiable at all. Then I remember hearing the gun go off and then I woke up in here.” I waved my hand around for emphasis. “That’s it.”


Agent Johnson scribbled on his notepad while he nodded. “How about before the accident? Do you know who raped you?”


I felt like I was going to puke. Of course, I remembered who raped me, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to tell him who it was. No, I knew the club would give me the revenge I so desperately needed. I didn’t want Jimmy sitting behind bars where I couldn’t get my hands around his throat.


I shook my head. “I- I remember being at a party for an MS charity event, and then I woke up in my hotel room alone.”


“Which hotel was that?”


This prick was starting to get on my last nerve. He was going backwards and I didn’t feel like telling him anything more.


“I- I don’t remember,” I lied. “I don’t even remember getting a hotel room that night, to be honest.” Which was half true. I was so wasted that all I knew was that I had a hotel key in my purse and knew exactly which room was mine.


“Perhaps the man who raped you registered the room under his name. We can run a search in the area and get some security footage.”


Shit. I hadn’t thought about that. I should have lied and said it was someone’s house, not a hotel. Stupid, stupid, stupid.


“Hey.”I whipped my head toward the door and saw my dad standing there in his jeans, white tee, and the familiar leather cut. Our eyes locked before my vision went blurry from the tears forming in my eyes.


“I guess that’s my cue to leave.” Agent Johnson closed his notepad and shoved it back into his jacket before he stood up. “Call me if you remember anything else.” He handed me a card that I tossed onto the bedside table.


He left the room with the doctor as my dad came further inside and smiled at me.


“Hey, kid. I’m glad to see you’re finally awake.”


I felt like a zombie, but at least I was finally awake like he said.


“How long have I been out?”


“Three days.”


Three days?! That’s three whole days that Jimmy has been able to run and hide. That’s three whole days I haven’t been able to find the rat bastard.


“I know what you’re thinking, but we’re already on it.” Axel squared his jaw. “We know about Jimmy.”


I let out a relieved sigh, but then my heart raced. “We? As in the club?”


He nodded and shrugged at the same time. “Dusty found the security tape from the office.”


All the blood ran cold in my veins as goosebumps cascaded over my entire body. Dusty. He knew. He saw it, he had to have seen it, and he must be angry because he isn’t here.


“Jimmy found the paper that detailed your whereabouts that morning. We don’t know who, or how, but JImmy was behind your attack.”


“Among other things,” I said under my breath.


Axel nodded. “We know about that, too.”


“Fuck, Dad, I feel like all of my dirty laundry is hanging out for everyone to see!” Those detailed from that night weren’t something I wanted just anyone to know.


“Not everyone. Family. The club is your family.”


The doctor came back in and interrupted. “Good news, Evie. Looks like we can release you now. I’m having my nurse grab your discharge papers now and then you can go.” He smiled at both of us before he turned and left the room again.


My dad turned back to me. “I want you to stay at the clubhouse until we can eradicate this situation. You’re not safe by yourself at your apartment. I know how you hate staying there, but it’s for your own safety right now.” I nodded as he added, “You can stay in Dusty’s room since he won’t be there.”


My gut dropped. Even though I knew we were over, and probably more so now than ever after what he saw on the security footage, I was saddened to hear he wasn’t back for good.


“Does he know?” I looked down shyly at my stomach where our baby once grew.


Axel slowly nodded. “He hasn’t commented on it much, though. You know how Dusty is.”


I knew he probably wouldn’t comment on it ever. For all I knew, he was happy that it was over because he never wanted kids to begin with. But my heart still hurt knowing that he found out before I was able to tell him about it.


Getting out of the hospital felt freeing as I inhaled a deep breath of the fresh air. Axel wheeled me out in a wheelchair per the doctor’s request, and right up to the club’s truck parked at the curb.


“Are you hungry?” He pulled open the truck door before he slowly helped me out of the wheelchair.


I winced in pain as I gripped the door and tried to get comfortable, shaking my head.


“No, I just want to go lay down.” I felt weak and a bit lethargic and just wanted to rest.


Pulling the visor down, I noticed how white my complexion was. I guess that’s what happens when you lose as much blood as I had.


Axel got in the driver’s seat and started the truck, not saying a word, and I was thankful for that. I was tired of all the questions and just wanted some peace and quiet.


We pulled into the compound twenty minutes later as I noticed that all the bikes were gone.


“Where is everyone?”


“I’ve sent them on a man-hunt.”


They were hunting for Jimmy. Good.


“I want to be the one to get revenge, Axel.” I looked over at him with the most serious look I could give him. Jimmy’s blood was mine.


He nodded and shut the truck off.


I was glad that the guys were away from the compound because I knew they’d flock to me as soon as I was wheeled into the clubhouse. But I was glad to see Careen smiling at me when we entered the bar.


“Hey, Sugar, how are you feeling?” Careen stayed behind the bar, wiping the top down.


“I’ve been better,” I replied, shifting in the chair to put myself in a more comfortable position. These chairs fucking sucked.


“Can I grab you anything?” Her voice was motherly, making me smile because I never had that. Not once.


“Maybe some water?” I had been thirsty all morning, and the more I drank, the thirstier I became.


“You got it, babe.” Careen winked at me before she turned to the small cooler behind the bar. “Your dad said you’d be here at the clubhouse for a few days. I’ll be here to look after you.”


I smiled. “Thanks.”


Careen threw the bottle of water to Axel before he handed it to me. Then he turned my chair and rolled me down the hallway toward Dusty’s room.


But as soon as Axel rolled me in there, I felt sad. The familiar smells and surroundings pulled on my heartstrings. I had spent many hours and nights in this bedroom with Dusty, and now it was a far away memory; one that I didn’t think I’d relive anytime soon.


“Do you need help getting out of the chair?”


I shook my head. “No, I can manage. Thanks, Dad.”


Axel stood there looking uncomfortable for a moment, running a hand through his hair before he turned and left awkwardly. I knew my dad wasn’t good with any emotional confrontations and I wasn’t surprised that he left right away. I wanted to talk to him about mom, but I wasn’t sure how to bring it up yet. He didn’t say a single word about it and he hadn’t looked like he had wanted to talk about it either. But I knew it would come up sooner rather than later.


I slowly stood up from the wheelchair and tested my legs before I walked into the bathroom to relieve myself. I had so many thoughts going through my head that I was giving myself a headache. For starters, I wanted to know where Jimmy was hiding out. I wanted to know why this happened. Why he would do such a thing. I wanted to know where Dusty was and what he was accomplishing, and of course, what was going through his mind. I knew he had to be losing his mind over this, especially with the way he acted the other night at the MS charity event.


The poor guy had to be livid, but he still wasn’t here. Did he even want to see me? Did he care enough to visit? I had no idea and I was in no shape to decipher my twisted thoughts right now.


I washed my hands and went back into the bedroom to lie down on the bed. Dusty’s pillow was right in front of my face as I pulled it tightly to my chest and inhaled the faint smell of him still lingering in the fibers. It made me feel close to him even if it was just for a moment before I closed my eyes and let my mind drift off into dreamland.

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