Chapter 14: Shattered Dreams
I miss him. I do. There is nothing to be done about it. Two days since Rage is gone and I miss him. I know that I miss a guy that hasn’t said a word to me. If he hadn’t spoken to Vik, I would have thought he was a mute. Not that it would matter to me. For some bizarre reason I would have accepted him anyway. I have accepted him exactly the way he is. Including that raspy voice of his that made me shiver, bearing all his fury against the man touching me. I can only imagine how it would feel to have him talk to me, close to my ear, holding me in his arms.
“Tighter, kid. Dammit.” Bjorn curses next to me “Concentrate.”
“Sorry.” I cough “I was thinking...”
“Well, I hope you and Rage stop thinking and start acting before you drive us all mad.”
I open my eyes and am ready to protest but I shut my mouth instead. I think about what Bjorn said and I admit that he has a point. I have no idea how to do this but I need to be closer to Rage, to feel him again and I want to know him. There is no other way to do this but simply ask him to let me. I look down and nod to myself. As soon as Rage is back, I will ask him exactly that by telling him all those strange feelings that makes my stomach tighten each time I think of him.
“OK.” I say.
“Good. Now take better care of Vik’s bike.”
I smile. Bjorn let me work on Vik’s bike – much to Vik’s dread – and I am at it all day. The fact that he trusted me with it, albeit checking every step I take, makes me happy and fulfilled. I crave for Bjorn’s approval and am glad I am getting it.
“She’s fine. He takes good care of her.”
“Yeah!” Bjorn sneers “The only woman that bastard treats right.”
Blood is drained from my face as I turn to Bjorn not fully understanding what his words mean.
“Is...He is...Violent?” I swallow.
Bjorn turns to me and his eyebrows are knit. He pierces through me and demand that I spill my guts and to this silent demand I withdraw to myself and clam up. Bjorn doesn’t push more.
“No. He is a fucking asshole that lures anything with a vagina into his bed and then never calls.”
I sigh and go back to what I was doing. These men are violent and I know well they are treading lightly on the law side but I have yet to see one treat a woman in a violent way. Or a child.
“Hmm?” I dread to look at him.
“I’m here if you want to talk. Ava, too.”
I keep my head down and hold back the tears welling up. I know he cares and I know Ava cares, too and it is like having a big brother and a big sister. A sister, my chest tightens but this time I can bear the pain without crumbling down into a lifeless pile.
Not long after that we are ready to close. We clean everything up and our workstations are ready for the next day. I plan on finishing Vik’s bike the next day and start on a vintage Impala a friend of the Riders brought to the garage. We say our goodbyes, I lock everything up and head for my room. Across the street the bar is crammed with people. The Riders are having a party and there is an endless string of men and women walking in and out. But since Rage isn’t among them I have little interest on what takes place in the bar. Only that I have to wake up earlier to clean the mess. I shower, brush my teeth, check the locks twice and then get into my bed.
I dare to fantasize how it would feel if Rage was there with me and the thought of him being beside me in the small bed flushes my cheeks. His bulk would barely fit in the room but if he was here everything would be...exactly as they were supposed to be. With the vision of Rage cozying up into the bed with me I close my eyes and sleep soundly.
I have no idea how long I have slept when a noise coming from downstairs makes me jolt. Someone is in the garage! I wonder who would be stupid enough to try and steal from the Riders as I get up and go carefully to the window. It’s late and the party at the bar is long over although I can see some light coming from across the street. I dare to look over the window and down but see nothing unusual. I curse myself for not having a phone in the room or a cell. That is stupid of me and cocky of the Riders. I tiptoe to the door and quietly check that it is locked. Then I press my ear to the door. There is some movement alright but it is faint. And then I hear it. The creaking of the first step up to my room. Whoever is in the garage isn’t here for the bikes or the Impala. He is here for me!
I am spurred into action. All I have to do is manage to get across the street and I will be safe. I move stealthily but swiftly, put on my jeans and sneakers, throw the set of keys in my pocket before fetching the rope that is curled under my bed. I drop it out the window and don’t hesitate to go over the edge. I am not going back. I can’t go back. I’d rather plunge into the concrete pavement and have my head crack open than be dragged back.
The steps get closer but I am already climbing down the rope. My hands are burning as I slide . Panic is rushing through me but I rally all the courage I have in my timid heart hoping it will be enough to carry me across the street. I hear the door of my room creak and then crack open but I am close to the ground. I hurry knowing that the one after me will see the rope for sure. Just a little while. A little more. And my feet touch ground. My eyes are on the bar, hoping to get a glimpse of someone and scream for help. But everything is quiet.
“There you are!” I hear a voice behind me and cold sweat covers my skin.
I don’t turn, just run off across the parking lot as fast as I can. There is light coming from the frame of the door and at that moment that door is my only escape. No one will dare touch me under the Rider’s protection. I hear footsteps closing in and then a sharp pain as I am dragged by my hair. My captor pulls hard and all I can do is scream with all I have, hoping someone will hear me.
“Shut the fuck up!” a man towers over me and punches me.
I scoff. I have taken more pain than that and it will take more to make me faint. I kick him as I hard as I can and get up to resume my attempt.
“Fucking whore!” he growls and his arms wrap me.
Once more a scream tears my throat, calling Tor and Vik and Wood, anyone. And then I feel a cloth over my mouth and nose. Chloroform! That is when sheer panic comes over me. I struggle, trying to fight off the man behind me but the truth hits me: I am taken. I look at the door filled with hope but all becomes hazy. And then I black out.