The Hellhound (Riders of Tyr #2)

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Chapter 4: Fulfilled Wishes

Iris

I follow the man out and across the street. He is a blonde, good looking man. Though not as striking as the one back in the bar. My thoughts go back to that one. He is taller than the man I am following and more muscular. And more heavily tattooed. I have never seen a man with more tattoos in my whole life. All his fingers were inked, his arms and his collarbone and even the toes of his bare feet had ink on them. I had no time to look at his intricate designs closely. Mostly because I was caught by his perfect face. He had a divine face with high cheek-bones and a set of striking blue eyes. His fleshy lips were covered with a thick golden beard and his golden hair was in a long Mohawk with strands falling on his face. He is a mere god amongst mortals and for a few seconds there I forgot of all that ails me.

“I’m Tor, by the way.” my thoughts are interrupted by my escort.

He is smiling widely at me and I am surprised at the ease with which others smile and laugh I try to curl my lips into a fake smile but I am not sure I get it right. He nods understandably. I haven’t told him my name and I don’t know if I will. We cross the street and we find ourselves in a parking lot. There are several trucks parked and a few bikes and I glance at them inspecting the kind of clientele the garage has. Tor leads me in the garage where there is an SUV on a workstation and a bike with its parts scattered around. There is also a classic truck in the middle of the garage and I can see someone is underneath it, working on it.

“Bjorn!” Tor hits the truck and the man slides out from underneath the truck.

I look upon the man coming from under the car and I remind myself to blink. There, in dark denim overalls and a black t-shirt underneath that glues on his impressive, muscular body is a man of gigantic proportions. The man is incredibly tall and wide, has his brown, long hair gathered in a man bun and his beard is long and unkempt. He looks at me inquisitively with dark green eyes and I feel sheer fear chill my soul. Men. All men around and that is bad news. Always is. I feel the “flight mode” kick in but I need the job.

“Bjorn, this is...” Tor says lightly and turns to me.

He is a persistent one. And a clever one.

“Iris. I am Iris.” I decide to trust them.

All the gigantic man does is nod, simply acknowledging that I in fact exist and keeps being silent.

“Iris is here for the job.” Tor toys with a smile.

“I don’t give a fuck who serves my beer.” Bjorn’s voice is thick and husky.

Tor raises his brow and only then I notice he has a long scar across his eyebrow. He seems quite amused with the whole situation but I feel uneasy. Handsome as these men might be, they seem dangerous. Really dangerous. And I have seen what dangerous people can do. Still I hold my ground, mustering all the courage I have left in me.

“She’s here for the garage work.”

Bjorn focuses his sullen look on me and I feel as if a train hits me. Tor scoffs lightly and then he places his hand on my shoulder. I squirm away letting out a whimper. Tor withdraws his hand quickly scowling seriously at my reaction. I swallow hard and crouch instinctively trying to make myself more insignificant than I already am. Tor looks at me but says nothing, just turns to Bjorn.

“Come on, man,” Tor basically orders “give the girl a chance.”

I feel ashamed for squirming like an idiot when all Tor wants to do is help. But I hate it when people touch me. When men touch me. And I have seen how Tor smiles at me, how he talked about my belly. He is a man and men want one thing. A scream crawls up my throat but I try to relax as I roll the hem of my sleeve over and over again.

“Take a look at this truck, kid.” Bjorn’s voice yanks me back to reality.

Listening to Bjorn call me “kid” relaxes me. I look at the truck and instantly calm down. People, men I can’t handle. A truck? Any day of the year. So I kick a stool before the truck, climb on it and lean over the hood.

“Hey, man!” I hear Tor speak softly to Bjorn “I am telling on you to Ava!”

I turned at the both of them and I can see that they are both ogling me. I feel the scream finding its way up my throat but I swallow it back. My hands tremble and I am glancing nervously at the exit, ready to run. To run again, away from hurt and pain. What Tor said must have been deterring enough because the giant grunts and turns to the table with the tools. He is Ava’s man by the looks of it. I relax a bit. A woman wouldn’t send me to work with her man if he was some pervert. But then again, I have seen all kinds of darkness in people.

I focus on the rusted engine. Easier to fix. It is an old thing but it still has it in her, I can feel it as I move my fingers through the engine. All my agitation is gone, I am in my own world, a quiet, calm place and I am damn happy for it. Maybe that is why I am not gone yet. I want to work her, be hidden away from the world and fix bikes and cars to eternity, putting order in a chaotic world around me.

“Try it.” I turn to Bjorn after a while cleaning my hands on a towel.

Bjorn throws a mocking smile at me and go at the driver’s seat. He tries the ignition and the engine revs. When the gigantic man gets out of the car his look is gloomy. Tor looks at me impressed and I feel like I’ve gained a few inches.

“Not bad.” Bjorn has to give it to me and turns to Tor.

“Could be a good publicity stunt. Have a girl take care of our bikes.” Tor says and shakes his head “But you are the boss, man.”

Bjorn turns to me and walks up cutting out the light as his massive bulk blocks everything. He measures me with a cold look and I get really, really scared. That man can lock me in those arms and break me in two. There is no escaping him if he so wished.

“You heard him.” Bjorn growls and I have my doubts whether that man is actually a man and not a wolf “I am the boss. You do as I say.”

“OK.” I am surprised I manage to talk.

“Talk to Daniel about money and stuff.” Bjorn turns his back on me and slides under the truck.

I turn to Tor that seems extremely amused by this situation. I need to talk to Bjorn about papers but I don’t dare bother him again. And then it strikes me. A job! I have a job!

“OK, Iris. Daniel is in the office.” Tor says and points at the bar with his thumb “You are hired!”

I am! And yet I don’t know whether I should be happy or scared shitless. There is a bunch of bikers involved and I know exactly which side of the law they are treading on. I am not sure I want to be thrown in their midst, having them looking upon me like men always do. I follow Tor back into the bar this time being more aware of my surroundings.

There is a writing on the back wall that reads “RIDERS OF TYR” and has an elaborate graffito of some Norse god underneath. There is a big bar one the one side and several booths and couches. Many tables are scattered in the area and there is a pool table on one side. Across the pool table there is a heavy door, closed. At the back, there is a long wide corridor that has many doors and ends up in stairs going up and down. In the bar, there are the same people as before. The man with the scared face is drinking coffee at the bar and seems deep in a hang-over and there is a younger man behind the bar serving him more black coffee. At the same table the man that welcomed me first is sitting, drinking coffee as well. And across him the blue-eyed man is...

God! He is running his blade over his skin. He is bleeding as he opens more wounds. I look at the others but they seem unfazed. He has his head thrown back against the wall and his eyes are shut as if he is deeply enjoying what he does to himself, taking in sharp breaths.

“The office is the first one on the right.” Tor says.

The blonde man gets out of his ecstasy and opens his eyes. When he sees me, he loses all the bliss he had and eyes me as if I am the one that cut his flesh. There is rage in those beautiful eyes of his. Pure rage. And all I can do is run away.

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