Chapter 4: Morning Battles
The best thing in this clubhouse is the gym. When Daniel gave me the tour yesterday, I almost wept when I saw it. Fully equipped with several punching bags and a ring. Daniel said most of the boys train – easily deducted if you got a look at them - and some of the tension is resolved in the ring. I understand that. I have some tension to resolve so I woke up early, took my wraps and headed down here.
Tension doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel these days. This is all a bit too much. Daniel, the Riders. I grew up practically alone and now...Last thing I expected was a damn party to welcome me. Daniel told me that there would be some gathering so I expected barbecue and beer. I got that part right. The rest was Harleys, music, booze, weed and women in abundance. And the Riders. I spent the night next to Daniel most of the time and he introduced me to everyone.
First Bjorn and Ava, his pregnant wife. Bjorn said little and I liked that. Ava was a bit more talkative and threw smiley glances at Daniel. There was an easy, casual relationship between Daniel and Ava and I felt the sting of jealousy. Not that I expect this “daughter” thing to get real anytime soon, but I liked how they talked, how he was with her.
Then it was Tor, the King. He almost dropped the blonde sitting on his lap when he got up to greet me. He is young and too cute for a biker but for a scar on his brow. He even got dimples when he smiled for crying out loud! How this cross between a Scandinavian underwear model and an American jock got to be the King of the club is beyond me. He didn’t say much, he had to go back to his girl after all, just that I was welcomed to stay for as long as I liked.
Daniel then took me to another couple. The guy was tattooed down to his bare toes and had a brutally divine face. In his massive arms he held a small girl with big grey eyes that didn’t think twice hugging Daniel under her man’s tough gaze. Rage and Iris. Odd as they looked, they seemed happy despite the crazy twinkle in Rage’s eyes that eyed me as if I was going to attack him at any moment. Which I would cause he made me nervous. But Iris intervened and sweetly, with a small, soft voice asked me a few questions. All in all, I met everyone. Everyone but him.
I punch the bag hard at this thought. I still remember his face. And that fucking smile. I have never seen anyone like him before. I was never big on boys – daddy issues much? – and I never have had a real relationship. Sure, I liked sex, who doesn’t. But that doesn’t mean that I have to wake up next to the guy. For one second, I wouldn’t mind waking up next to him, though. That angular face with the strong lines down his stubbled chin, the messy hair, the effortless way he bore his body. And that fucking smile that for a few seconds made me lose control. A kick comes in fast and shakes the tear-shaped punchbag. Lysandra! I yell at myself.
I try to concentrate on my routine. I lift my knee and I kick once more. Left, left, right. Again. I go through the moves but my head is not in it. It keeps going to a pair of deep eyes, a perfectly carved face and that childlike smile. What the Hell? I chastise myself but it’s as if my brain decided to paint a more vivid image instead.
“You’re good,” I hear a voice and I remain with my leg way over my head and my torso leaning down.
I turn. Speak of the Devil and the Devil shall appear. Hot and wicked as promised. He is in nothing else than a pair of black sweatpants. Which means his athletic, fit torso is on full display with all the pecs, abs and muscles to make him a fine male specimen. His tan skin is smooth and his chest and abs are peppered with dark hair, enough to drive me to the point of being tempted to run my fingers through it. God, he looks...yummy.
OK, I just used the word “yummy” for the first time in my life. I don’t do yummy, not even when it comes to burgers so that’s my cue to get the hell out of here. ASAP. I say nothing just start to un-wrap the elastic bandages around my knuckles and I move to the door. I need to stay away and I will stay away. After all, I will be gone soon. First step is to be gone from the gym and away from that devilish, tempting man.
“Hey, you don’t need to leave because of me,” he gets in my way.
I refrain from looking at him so I glance at the door behind him irritated. That doesn’t mean that with the corner of my eye I don’t get a glimpse of his strong jaw, the stubble around his fleshy lips and his deep eyes looking at me.
“We didn’t get a chance to get introduced last night.”
’Cause you hurried off with a girl, you asshole, I scream in my head. I drive these thoughts away and I take in an irritated breath. It seems that I decided to wake up pissed off because a complete stranger fucked another complete stranger. I am not appreciative of the road my mind has chosen to go down so I decide to get this over with. I turn to him crossing my arms over my chest. Bad idea, I realize instantly but it’s late. If he looked good in his white t-shirt and black cut last night, in nothing but drawstring sweatpants he looks...nice. Better than nice. OK, he looks fucking hot. Happy? And the tousled bedroom hair doesn’t help at all.
“I’m Vik,” he extends his arm to me.
I look down at his hands and I am glad that I am still wearing my wraps so I have a reason to avoid contact. Get this over with, I order my brain. His lips break in that smile and his thick, straight eyebrow raises a little, enough to show me he is challenging me. Good luck with that!
“I’m Lysa,” I try to walk past him.
Avoiding contact is off the table. He grabs my arm and tries to pull me to him. Oh, no, you didn’t. I twirl my arm and now it’s his wrist in my hand. I try to push him down but he is quick. He turns and I barely have the time to block his elbow coming for my nose. Damn it! I raise my leg and hit him in the back of his knee. He kneels but he still has time to grab my arm and throw me over his shoulder on the mat, flat on my back.
“Fuck!” I hiss.
“Goddamn say that again,” he gets up limping and gives me his hand.
I get up on my own and take one step away. OK, that guy is not just looks. He’s got some skill, he’s quick and precise. Seeing him act like a freaking teenager didn’t make me think he has such discipline and control. This is bad, I decide and I walk away. He chuckles behind my back but I find it me not to look back.
“Pleased to meet you, too,” he throws as I go up the stairs.
I am not. Not at all...