'She was the only perfect part of me. I was willing to be the outlaw as long as she was the shelter from the storm. Without her my life was incomplete and one I didn't want to live.' - Brad
The Lost Innocence
No surely not- no my luck can not be that bad. It just couldn’t- it wasn’t possible was it? I just stared at him while Doctor Murray spoke in my ear, trying to reason with me. But I was in no state to be taking anything in, all I could see was Brad standing in my doorway, with an expression, that caused my breathing to halt.
I just stood there, my eyes glued on the one person that I longed never to know my secret. My head slowly began to get heavy, still, I couldn’t inhale because he was there. Brad was standing there, with a look of fear dancing with rage then throw that in a blender and you’ll see utter and complete raging distress; and that was the expression on his face.
A cold chilling sensation spread across my skin, slowly numbing my and sinking in, to every blood vessel, as the pain of what I was seeing on his became over bearing.
I took a breath in. Just one breath. It was all I could manage.
I begged to whoever was above me to make Brad listen and for a second I thought he did, when I heard the door close- instead, I looked up to see a man more determined than a bull charging for the red flag.
That exactly how I felt right now, a target about to be pierced. Because I knew once he spoke, the words would be thin sharped knives that would pierce my heart and shatter my secret.
Hannah’s eyes were on me, and she was quick to end the phone call. For a few moments she just stared back at me blinking, as if expecting me to disappear. But I didn’t and instead of doing what I knew she wanted, I closed her bedroom door.
I didn’t know what to say, confront her? But while the word was bouncing around my head, I couldn’t form it out loud. ‘cancer’. Hannah had said ‘cancer’. As in..
“Stop looking at me like that.” Her words were as sharp as her crafted manicure nails- slicing through me. “And get out.” Never once had Hannah spoken so rudely and directly to me. In fact I didn’t think she had it in her to speak to anyone like that. “You found the door before, so I think you’re capable of locating it again. Maybe this time- actually fuck off.” Again her words were just as sharp- cruel- and I knew what she was doing.
“You aren’t pissing me off, causing me to leave Hannah.” I stood firmly in front of her, though she had taken two steps back from me, putting more distance between us. “You’re…sick.”
A scoff came off her lips. “So?” Crossing her arms. “Didn’t stop you leaving a moment ago, so what’s changed?”
What changed? She’s fucking sick! But regardless I was coming back to her- regardless of whether she was sick or not, I had walked back to her door, ready to beg and confront her with how I felt.
“Leave Brad. You had no problems before.” She threw it in my face again, that I had just walked out on her. “Your job as baby sitter has been successful. I’m going to sleep now. So when Dad comes home, you can tell ya president you made sure his daughter was all tucked up in bed. Now piss off.”
Again I saw another side to Hannah. She was hurting I could see it on her face, behind that guard she had up, behind the front she had up that everything was fine. I had her hurt her and it was killing her right now that I was still here. But if she thought I was leaving- she was wrong.
Did I just directly say what I was thinking? Like what the fuck! How could she have cancer and no one tell me! How the hell could Reaper not tell me! Why the fuck would they keep this a Wilson secret? I thought I was viewed higher in Reaper’s eyes, that this, something as huge as Hannah being sick- I would have been told. Fuck. Did anyone understand how much I loved this woman?
Then it came back to it. She had kept it from me. I couldn’t stop my finger pointing at her. “You’re sick.” I repeated the same words again, she was sick! And not just a cold, but seriously, life threatening sick- and no one thought I had a right to know?
Fuck them all.
I was laying claim. I would not be blocked out of Hannah’s life, not now, not ever- they were going to learn, that when it came to Hannah, I was to know everything.
The sick and twisted fact rolled through my mind. “Your father hit you, knowing you have…”
“Cancer?” She filled in the word, with a smart ass tone. “Come on Brad, it isn’t that scary it’s just a word. Cancer. I have cancer.” She tossed her phone on the bed. “Come on Brad say it out loud, Hannah has cancer.” She had moved towards me with determination I had never seen in her eyes. “Now that pity you are feeling for me, that sorrow, that how can it be possible. You can take all that,” her words twisting and turning sharper and sharper, piercing through me. “and fuck off with it.”
I was speechless, how could she be so fucking cold? First she didn’t tell me, lied about, and now, now she was being a ruthless cold bitch about it- “You didn’t want me to know?” Saying that hurt more than anything. Did she really not think of me high enough to be told about her health? Did she not understand that I spent nearly every spare second worrying how she was, what was she doing. She occupied all my fucking thoughts!
“Leave Brad, before you do something you regret.” Hannah’s words were still firm, and instead of buckling in tears because of what she was facing, she was stronger than I had ever seen her. “I don’t need you, I don’t need them, I don’t need anyone. I can face this on my own.”
A few moments passed, her words running through my mind again. Hold on…wait a second.. “No one else knows do they?” I finally put two and two together. Why she was being so cold and heartless, she wanted me not to care- not because she didn’t want me to know, because she didn’t want anyone to know. “You’ve kept this to yourself.” I couldn’t believe it, even though I was saying it and when she didn’t deny it, I lost it.
She didn’t say a word.
“You fucking selfish little brat!” I ripped into her. “How dare you keep this from me, from your family! How the hell could you be so fucking selfish!”
“Lower your voice!” She hissed at me, her eyes going to her door. “It’s my health. My life.”
“And I’m fucking positive that if you died it would impact all our lives!” Didn’t she see that? Then what she all said to Reaper the night of the BBQ made sense. Her not being around. Him having to face a world without her. Her going to an early grave.
She wasn’t starving herself to death- she had… she was facing….cancer. I thought I had my head wrapped around the situation before, I thought I had some grips on what was happening but now everything she said at that BBQ along with the fact she had cancer, just…fucking hurt and for the first time in my life since I was kid I was tearing up.
“You’ve got cancer.” I repeated it again, this time, it was slowly sinking in, sinking in deeply….so deep right to my core, soaking my every blood vessel with grief and panic.
I don’t know when it happened or when she closed the gap between us. “Please Brad stop.” The pain clear in her voice. “I can’t handle seeing you upset. Please. Please leave.” She was pleading with me to leave her when she was facing cancer- alone.
She was always strong, it was one of the qualities I admired so much about her. But this sort of strength that she was showing, was incredible and unbelievable.
“How…how bad? What stage?” I was panicking and I needed to fix this. The clubs medical contacts were running through the back of my mind. We would get her the best treatment. A whole team of specialists.
Then the deep bruise on her cheek, down her jaw and the tiredness in her eyes- fuck she was running on nothing.
“Brad, you can go.” Hannah was exhausted I could hear it in her voice, but I wasn’t leaving her. “What are you doing!?”
I found what I was looking for. “Strip.” I gestured for her, giving her the option to do it herself. I was gripping the hoodie I gave her in one hand and I knew she slept in it. “Now Hannah.”
She was alarmed and when she didn’t automatically do it, I wanted so badly to just tell her off but instead I turned and gave her privacy. “Please.” I added. Trying my best not to bite down her throat.
“I can’t wear that.” She muttered, and I wanted to turn around but I had heard her clothes drop to the ground.
“Then pick something else sweetheart, I just want you comfortable.”
“That’s the point nothing is comfortable. Everything is tight.”
She was tiny, what did she mean tight? Then it dawned on me. Her breasts. I had noticed how she had more cleavage than normal. Without over thinking about it, I pulled my hoodie off and extended my hand back behind me in her direction.
Her fingers brushed my hand when she took it, and I felt like such a fucking dickhead for being a typical bloke and for just checking out her cleavage.
I slowly turned around and she looked so uncertain. “You can’t tell anyone.” Her eyes dropped to the ground. “I’m not ready to and I don’t expect you to stand by me. To be honest you were the last person I wanted to know.”
That was a low blow. “Because you don’t want me in your life?” I just put what she was saying to her actions.
Her eyes snapped up, wide. “No because I didn’t want you standing by me because I’m some sick cancer statistic.”
I moved towards her before she took another breathe. Cupping her face, forcing her to look up at me. “I’ll stand by you in your brightest moment and in your darkest moment. And I want to be beside you, because I love you.” My lips brushed hers. “Now we are going to bed, and tomorrow, you are answering all my questions.”
“You’re staying? Here?”
She didn’t realise that as of now, I was never leaving her side. I forced a smile, even though I had never felt sicker. “We are going to increase our movie nights, and our sleepovers.” And I was going to have a very long list of excuses of why Hannah and I were going to be together from now on.
A dim smile lit her face, and her hand was going to me, when I forced her to the ground- when an ear deafening sound echoed through the house; a sound that I was usually the cause of.
I was waiting to make my move, all night I’ve calculated it, waited for everyone to piss off. I thought my chance was gone, when I heard Brad stomp back down the stairs, but as soon as I thought my chance of making a move on Layla was over, I heard him head back up.
Now was my time. My eyes ran up Layla, who had just finished my joint. I swear she held drugs better than most of the boys.
God she was beautiful, with nothing holding me back, I pulled her down, straddling me. Now this is where I wanted her all night. Her honey chocolate brown eyes, looked into mine- and I knew she still was able to make decisions. So as I moved my hand up her back, I knew she was still in a fit state to push me away.
Pushing the strap to her top aside, I kissed her shoulder, and I was going to be kissing and worshipping her all night, if I could. Excitement burst through me when she didn’t push me away but pulled me into her. Dropping my plan of going slow like last years news years revolutions. I gripped her, standing up. Her legs going around me, and her back hitting the wall- as I took her mouth.
Never was known for being gentle, and couldn’t say that I was with Layla. But if anything, she was just as rough back, when her teeth bit my bottom lip- I knew she was my personal born heroin- the drug that would break me.
I didn’t care if my parents walked in right now, or if Brad came down- my patience had broken.
I was feeling her every curve when she gripped my face, pulling my mouth from hers.
“Tyson can you hear that?”
Then I heard it, dropping her to the ground, as the glass windows shattered, into pieces- sending slices of glass through the loungeroom.
The bullets were flying through the house, if ever the house was to be tested for it reliability now was it. A deafening silence followed, a few seconds, one heart beat- that was all that passed, and I was up. My hand unclipping the shot gun from under the coffee table.
The Sergeant of Arms patch on my chest, never burnt more into my skin. But what surfaced from hearing and seeing those bullets fly into my family house (that currently had all the people I cared about in it.) was my fathers blood.
I felt like a moving machine, as I started firing back at the black sedans. But as soon as I got my first shot off, the wheels started spinning, burning- and I wasn’t letting them leave.
I got another two shots off before they disappeared up the dirt road. They could run. They could hide. But their eyes would be permanently closing- when I track them down.
I went for my bike, the idiots should have thought ahead and taken it out.
“Secure the house.” Brad was at my side, and stopping me from mounting the bike.
“What! Like fuck I’m staying here! Get out of my way.” Never in my life had I felt this cold need for to fight back. They had touched my territory- threatened my club- fuck that they just shot round after round into a house that had all the women I cared about.
“Secure the house and the girls.” Brad took the gun off me.
“I’m the best shot!”
“Exactly.” Brad mounted his bike. Never seen Brad this serious. “Which is why you are staying here and protecting Reaper’s daughters.”
The Vice President my dad counted on was here. The man that would lead if Dad was ever taken out- he was standing in front of me. Dad always said Brad kept a cool appearance up to the world but underneath he was a ruthless blood hound. We had a conversation about it once, Dad was positive the only reason Brad spent so much time working on machines was to let his frustration out.
I couldn’t argue with him. I had to respect his word, he was Vice President. Even though blood vessel, every need inside me was to go after those men. The longer I held Brad up, the more of a head start they got.
“Do your job Tyson. Time to live up to the patch.” His words were a cooling reminder- we had roles to act now. This wasn’t a drill, and with one final look at me he was gone and those few words from the VP got me back into thinking clearly.
Protect the girls. Active the crisis list. I was dialling Dad’s number and heading into the house, after sending the crypt message that the club was in crisis to Cameron- he would then notify the rest of the members.
“Tyson?” Mum answered Dad’s phone.
“I need Dad mum.”
“He is with the pharmacist-”
“The club’s in crisis. Get him back here.” I cut her off and hung up. Knowing Dad will call back within seconds wanting details.
I had to get him the answers for the questions he would be asking, first question- are the girls ok.
I started yelling their names while heading into the lounge. Where was Layla?
Hannah came rushing down the stairs. Well that marked one as alive. Brushing past me and into Dad’s study.
“Hannah, you ok?” My phone was already ringing, and I walked into Dad’s office to find Layla and Eve as well.
“Hannah phone.” Layla said, but Hannah had already tossed it in her direction. Catching it, she started doing something with the computer.
“So you three are right?” I double checked before answering Dad’s call. It was as I said that, the monitors lit up and I couldn’t believe it- Layla was piggy backing the power off their phones. Fuck she was smart.
The footage was downloading but it was Layla’s expression that caught my attention. She had seen something. Something in the footage. I watched her slowly back away from the screens.
“Where are you going?” I blocked her path. But Dad’s phone call couldn’t go unanswered so while blocking her, I answered it.
“Someone’s shot up the house, no ones hurt and Brad went after them. Already called in the crisis.” I riddled off the details to Dad, while blocking Layla’s move to go around me. “Club’s active Dad, and ready for you to take over.”
“Is Layla still there?”
I was not expecting dad’s first question to be about Layla. “Yeah she is.” I answered him, my eyes locking with hers. “But she suddenly wants to get out of here.”
“Cyrus’s house was hit before ours. Layla’s under our protection now.”
A tightness went around my throat. That only meant one thing, the Deadly Dozen where without a President or a Vice President; or so severely injured they couldn’t protect their interests.
“Got it. She is under our protection.” My eyes were on Layla’s and I saw the concern spread through her chocolate eyes- she knew, she knew what that meant. And suddenly I had to wrap my arm around her, stopping her from running, hanging up on Dad in the process.