Chapter 13: Normal Breakfast
“Ready.” she turns to me with two plates in her hands.
I run my fingers through my Mohawk avoiding looking at her. She places the plates on the counter in the kitchen and she goes for the fridge.
Whiskey and whatever shit was cooked the night before is my usual breakfast so I shrug before walking to the counter. She has placed the plates with French toasts across each other. Which means I will sit down facing her. And she will be able to look at me. I feel the urge to leave the kitchen and hide in my room. But I don’t. I don’t want to. I am scared that someone else might want to hurt her, touch her and that is enough to make me take my place at the counter. Iris comes back and she has brought both coffee and juice, glasses and cups, milk and sugar. I look at the table. A breakfast. A fucking normal breakfast like the one normal people with normal lives have.
“Hope you like it.” she says shyly.
All I know of women is women in the club. And they are nothing even close to shy. I pin my eyes in hers and her cheeks turn pink. Fuck! I inhale deeply as if somebody has grabbed me by the intestines. I open my mouth to tell her that I would eat poisoned cockroaches if she were to look at me like that. Instead I grab my fork and eat a mouthful of whatever was in my plate. And it tastes fucking good. Sweet. As sweet as she is.
She searches my eyes biting her lower lip in anticipation making something stir in me, something new. I know I need to say something, talk to her, thank her. I can’t. I am fucking scared. If I told my brothers that I was afraid to talk to a tiny, little girl they would laugh at me. But it is the truth. It feels nice having her close, making her feel safe. If I talk, I might say something wrong. Not “might”. I will definitely say something wrong and I will scare her. And she will no longer want to touch me. The moment I think of her touch I feel uncomfortable in my jeans. I know there is nothing sexy in having a girl glued onto to you out of fear but I can’t help swallowing hard upon thinking her body against mine.
“Is that a...wolf?” her voice saves me from my dirty thoughts.
I look up at her and she was looking at my chest. I am covered in ink and though my brothers don’t know about this, most of the designs on my skin are mine. I like the pain the needle brings and I use my skin to tell the words that don’t come when I am around people. On my chest I have a big, Viking tattoo of Fenrir, the wolf that brings the end of worlds. Every tatt on my skin tells the same story: fear, end, death. I turn to her and she is focused on my face. I nod.
“It’s...” she swallows “strong. You are strong.”
She says that as if it is a good thing. Physically I am strong. I have taken down men with my bare hands without breaking a sweat. Mentally I am a fucking mess. And being a fucking strong mess is dangerous and bloody. I reply nothing just finish the rest of my French toast with one big gulp. Seeing this, she smiles one of those smiles that make something flutter inside me and then she leans to me. Instinctively I sit back and drop the fork for fear I might do something harmful with it. Her smile withers and she pauses for a brief moment. And then she pushes one of her French toasts on my plate.
“You are a big guy. You need to eat.” she shrugs.
She then sits down and focuses on her plate, mostly nibbling small bites. Thank you. Say it, stupid ass! I urge myself but a knot is tied around my throat. I lean my head on the right and stay there, taking her all in, her pretty face and those long lashes that crown her big, gray eyes. I haven’t noticed she has such long eyelashes. And her hair. It is long and soft, looking like precious silk, tempting me to feel it. She is so beautiful.
And as these thoughts form in my mind she looks up to me. And my jaw drops. Like literally. I feel my mouth fall open as her gaze sweeps me off my feet with force. That petite girl calling me strong has taken me down and all she had to do was look at me. I take one deep breath to make sure my heart is still beating. It does. Too loudly and too fast.
“Ready, man?” Runner comes into the kitchen.
I swallow to wet my dry throat and get up. I look over Iris’s head and I take a deep breath. I try, I really try to talk to her and thank her for the first real breakfast in my life but the words refuse to come out. I look down at her and then at my plate and nod.
“Any time.” she deciphers my gesture.
I turn my back and leave the kitchen. I regret having asked to go on this run. Bjorn wants me away from Iris and there is a huge part of me that knows that it is the right thing to do. Still, this small voice in my head urges me to protect her, stay by her side. In the loud mess that my thoughts always are, that voice is a steady constant, the only thing that is certain and absolute, the only truth in the chaotic images that torture me. And as I gather the few things I need, I can hear that voice ordering me to stay, not leave her alone, unprotected.
I throw the cut over my shoulders and I feel the burden as a Rider weigh down. I have asked for this and my King has ordered me to do his bidding. All I have to do now is to go and make sure I am coming back whole, safe. That last thought comes in my mind like a bullet train. I pause and back away to the wall. For the first time in my miserable life I don’t wish for something bad to happen to me. Every waking moment I long for death but not here and now. I want to live. I must live and come back to her. I look up at the ceiling and lick my lips messing with my hair. I am going to come back to her.
With the small bag in my hands I go out the bar. The brothers are there and they all look at me. Guess Tor told everyone that I let Iris touch me and they all gaze at me as if I am sick or something. Only Runner is smiling proudly as if I had done something great.
“What?” I throw at them.
“Nothing, bror.” Tor approaches with a broad smile on his face “I was just telling the brothers how you seem...infatuated with our little mechanic.”
There are a few chuckles in the room and some whispers. My brothers love me, I know as much but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t making fun of their psycho brother behind my back. I fist the bag tightly and I throw my head up closing my eyes. My other hand reveals the knife I always have close. I then open my eyes and look at Tor.
“If anything happens to Iris while I am gone, I will kill everyone in this room.” I say and all laughter and whispers stop.
I turn to Vik that mouths “shit” as soon as our eyes meet.
“Not. One. Finger. On. Her.” I say slowly.
“Got it, brother.” Vik throws his hands in the air “Baby girl is psycho territory.”
I cover the knife and walk out the door hearing several sighs of relief as I leave the room. I go to my bike and secure my bag in the back when I feel movement near me. Iris is there in her overalls and her long hair tied up. She is shading her eyes with her hand.
“You should bring her to me when you are back.” she points at the bike “Be safe.”
All I can do is look at her hoping that my eyes are telling her all that my mouth refuses to. I then put on my helmet and get on the bike. She backs away and goes back to the garage. I follow her with my look and hiss between my teeth. She has one of those overalls several sizes bigger. She has done her best to make it fit and what should look like a ridiculous attempt, actually makes her look hotter. I curse through my teeth for acting impulsively. Bjorn had no right to keep me away from her. Hell, no one can keep me away from her.
“Let’s ride out, brother.” Runner gets on his bike and rides away.
I rev the bike into life and throw one last glance at the garage. And I see her look up to me. I beckon at her hoping she can tell that I am asking her to wait for me and then ride away.