Chapter 3: Sudden Calmness
A woman is standing there. Not a woman, more of a girl. She has a small, petite figure, a hood over her head and her hands in the pockets of her baggy jeans. She takes one step in and all of the guys in the bar turn to her. It is noon so a few of us are there. Stig is in the computer room, Vince has just woken up sending away the bitches he fucked last night and is drinking his coffee at the bar. Behind the bar there is a prospect – thrall as the club calls them - and I know Tor is in the King’s office. The woman walks in and I see she is a young girl, a little bit too slim and scrawny. I can’t see much down her hood but for some reason I can’t get my eyes off her.
“Can we help you with anything, darling?” Runner gets up.
“I...uhm...” her voice barely reaches me.
I put the bottle down and frown. There is something in that voice that makes my skin crawl. That woman is scared. She is downright terrified and this has nothing to do with her being in the den of an outlaw motorcycle club. She is scared deep inside, she knows no other thing than fear. It is in that voice, in the way she bears her body. I know how that is. Fuck me but I know. My hands go straight for the holster I have my knife in. The minute I touch the handle, the agitation in me calms.
“I am here for the job.” the girl says timidly.
“Oh, good.” Runner says and beckons at the thrall “Call Tor.”
The thrall leaves quickly and vanishes in the hallway leading to Tor’s office. I wrap my fingers round the hilt of the knife just to feel the safety the weapon provides. Why I need to feel safe in my club, surrounded by my brothers all because some skinny bitch walked in I have no idea. I just feel the agitation flood me, making my insides burn as if there is a blazing stick poking them around, making more flames as it does. I can’t keep still so I get up kicking back my chair. Vince turns to me scowling, making his scarred face even more frightening. Both the brothers look at me as if I am to go up in flames any minute. And that is exactly what I am afraid of myself half the time. The other half I just wish that I do go up in flames. And burn down to ashes at last.
“You OK, brother?” Vince gets up anxiously.
“Rage?” Runner pulls closer.
I barely listen as I run my fingers through my hair repeatedly. Shit! It is happening! I feel the rush come over me, I hear the pounding in my ears and the tight pressure on my chest is getting stronger. I groan deep in my throat.
"Bror.” Vince demands.
I hold my knife tightly biting down, feeling my jaw lock tightly. My eyes see red and my thoughts get mixed badly. I knew it was going to be a bad day and I know I have to get out from the bar quickly. The brothers. The brothers are used to seeing me act like crazy. But the girl...
At the thought, my eyes turn to her. She is holding her hood and the moment I turn to her she pulls it down. I pause. It is only for a moment but it does happen. For one brief moment everything just...pauses. It takes me one moment to look at her but it is enough. She has dark hair, long, as far as I can tell by the thick, clumsy bun she has gathered them in. The black hoodie she is wearing is too big for her and the zipper is open letting the black, worn-out t-shirt show. The damn t-shirt is torn in various spots and leaves her belly button exposed. She has a pair of oversized jeans that fall low below her slim waist. All items of clothing seem as if they are meant for someone else, not her. But that is not what catches my eye. That is not the reason everything stops for one single heartbeat. It is her eyes. Her fucking eyes! She has a pair of great grey eyes that dominate her little, bony face. And she is looking at me. She is fucking looking at me with those fucking eyes.
“You here for the job?” Tor’s voice breaks the spell.
Her look is ripped away from mine and focuses on Tor and I feel actual, physical pain when that happens. I am tempted to go over and grab her face, make look at me again, make those voices stop inside my head. But I can’t. She is already scared shitless, she doesn’t need a psycho at her heels. I follow her look back to Tor and see that the King is taken aback by her eyes too as his lips toy with an appreciative smile.
Now, the brothers call me Rage and that is all I am. 6′4″ and 215 pounds of pure muscles from Hell. My real name matters to none, even less to me. But seeing Tor eyeing that grey-eyed girl like that makes me rethink what rage really feels like. My hand fists the knife once more and I grab the bottle with my free hand. My nostrils are flaring and I take deep breaths, feeling my chest move frantically. The voices in my head shrivel. But Tor is my brother and he treats me well. I can’t...
“Come, sit!” Tor invites the girl but she stands still for a while.
And then she turns her eyes back to me. She pins me with those wretched eyes and I feel my arms drop to my sides. And those damn voices in my head are hushed for those brief seconds. I feel her look burn into my skull and pry into my soul. I don’t like what she might find in that nut house so I snarl, look away and fist the bottle. I feel her move away and I gulp the amber liquid down my throat as I sit back down.
“What is your name, darling?” I hear Tor talk to her and more whiskey goes down.
I love my King but right at that moment I hate him with all my being for being able to talk to her. And because I know that if Tor has his eyes on a girl, that girl will end up in his bed.
“I’m...here for the job.” she repeats.
“OK.” Tor nods.
Not a lot of girls that come to work in the bar like to give their real names. Nicknames stuck quickly and that was about it. Common practice. But I would love to hear her name, know her name.
“You do have other clothes, right?” Tor chuckles.
“Why?” her voice is soft and timid.
“Hey, darling. We are not the Hooters to have a uniform. Short skirts or tight jeans would do just fine. Though I wouldn’t mind you showing off that belly.”
There is a loud ringing in my ears hearing him talk to her like that. I know he is a ladies’ man. I have seen the hordes of women going in and out of his room. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the whores Tor is dragging up his room to fuck senseless. I just don’t want her to climb those stairs to the King’s apartment. Not her. Why the fuck is that, I have no idea.
“I...I don’t understand.” she sucks her lower lip “The woman that gave me this address...”
She takes a piece of paper out of her jeans. Her moves are flowing and nervous as if she is afraid that any sudden move will make Tor angry.
“What woman?” Tor asks.
“A lady in a Prius. Ava.”
Everyone turns to the girl. I focus too when I hear her mention Ava. Ava is Bjorn’s woman, his Valkyrie and his soon-to-be wife. Not that I care about any of that. I have seen Ava kill a man with a knife with one move and that is enough to respect the half-crazy Russian. She set up the escort service the club has going on and everyone likes her. Or fears her. She has her way with a knife, no qualms to kill and doesn’t scream when she sees blood even if it’s hers. By my book, she is OK, a true Valkyrie.
“Ava sent you? To work in the bar?” Tor frowns.
“Bar?” the girl looks around as if she is just noticing where she is “No, it’s a mistake. This was a mistake. I don’t...”
She gets up scared out of her wits. Seeing her fragile like that as she wraps her hoodie closer to her body, struck a chord in me. I let the bottle down and even though I have that liberating buzz the whiskey brings, I am alert. Anyone tries to touch her will have to face me. I get up and take one step closer to her eyeing everyone in the room.
“Hey, hey.” Tor smiles not even turning to me “Tell me. I wouldn’t want to face Ava’s fucking wrath.”
“She said there was a job. In a garage.”
“In...in the what?” Tor’s face has a funny look.
“In a garage.”
Even Stig comes out of his computer cave and gazes upon the girl. I look at her frail figure and try to grasp what she is saying. What does a girl like her could do in a garage? She looks so small and delicate, nothing like a mechanic should look. Tor is the first to snap out of his surprise and throws his head back laughing loudly. The girl is still standing by the booth and looks round agitated while Tor is having a blast. Blood boils in me and feel my skin crawl as I watch the King laugh in her face. I can’t hold back and hit my hand on the table hearing it creak. Tor’s laughter is cut cold and he turns to me. I have no idea how I am looking at him but I tilt my head nervously left, cracking my neck’s joints. Runner mutters something that I can’t hear but the smooth sound of his voice is enough to make me calmer.
“Listen, girl.” Tor gets up “We are a motorcycle club. Know anything about Harleys?”
She just nods.
“Well, the garage is not my territory. Follow me.” Tor heads for the door.
The girl trails after him. When she passes by me she throws one last glance before disappearing out the door. I am tempted to go after her and see how things go, make sure she is OK, safe. But I know I have to stop. She is never to be safe, never around me, not with a broken psycho like me.
And to prove my point, the minute the door closes behind her, the voices come shrieking back, louder than before and the pain crawls back in. I take out my knife and look at it. The blade trails over my skin on my arm before I press a little bit too much, enough to cut and see hot, red blood run in a little streak down my fingers. Only then I stop hurting. I smile and drink some more. I knew it was going to be a bad day.