Knock On Wood (Riders of Tyr #6)

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Unworthy Feeling

Wood

As we ride back to Berkeley, I know this was fucking wrong. I shouldn’t have done it and I promise myself I would never do it again. I need to let Tamie go, find her way, her peace, her future. I have no future to offer her. I don’t even have a fucking present. All I have is a fucked-up past.

But I am drawn to her like a moth to the flame and I barely resisted kissing her all the time we spent together. I wanted to kiss her when she joked about our scars, when she dipped into my fries and blushed cause she didn’t ask, when she pouted at her ice cream that accidentally fell on the sidewalk. And I want to kiss her now.

I have stopped in the middle of the bridge to let her see the sunset. Her eyes are so big, her full lips slightly open and the rose of the sunset matches her white skin. The sun got her again and has sprinkled freckles on her nose and cheek and she looks adorable. Once more I decide I have never seen a more beautiful woman than her.

“I would love to go to the beach one day,” she says still looking at the sun diving in the sea. “Swim in the ocean.”

I am ready to offer to take her but I remind myself of my promise. I need to stay away from her. Besides, seeing her in a bathing suit will certainly bring the real death to me. I can’t be near her anymore, it’s bad for me and most importantly it is bad for her.

Sure, she feels close cause I am the one that busted through that door and it’s easier to be with me than her sister for now. But that is only keeping her back, held to her past. And my dark soul cannot be a part of her future.

“I am sure you will. Let’s go. Iris will be worried.”

“I left her a message. Just a little while longer,” she pleads and her hand falls to my arm.

The heat I feel coming off her, travelling to me is the same one I feel each time we accidentally touch. And each time, I get a surge of energy, a will to be alive, to be there for her. It’s as if her touch resuscitates my dead soul.

“OK, kitten,” I say and look at her. “A little while longer.”

A little while longer to torment myself with something I can never have. A little while longer next to a girl I don’t deserve. A little while longer with her here, a balm to my pain. A pain I am damned to live with every day till the end of my days.

When the sun finally goes over the horizon, she smiles up to me and takes the helmet I hold for her. I ride back the Rider Lane in complete silence and I stop not entering the yard.

“Thank you for today,” Tamie says as she hands me the helmet.

I see Iris on the porch behind her, waving at me and I return the favor till Rage appears and wraps his arms around his Valkyrie’s waist. I take them in and I don’t feel any hint of pain. I am happy for Iris and I am finally happy for my brother. He has been through shit and he deserves that perfect little house and that perfect woman in his arms.

I glance at Tamie and she looks melancholically at her sister. Anyone that sees those two together and is alone, gets the same feeling, that something like those two have will never happen to them. But Tamie will find a man that will take care of her and help her heal and be the woman she is supposed to be. A wholesome man with his soul intact.

“Would you like to come in?”

“No,” I say abruptly and she frowns. “I need to go.”

“Can we...? If you’d like... Can we do this again someday?”

Every day! Every fucking single day! I want to scream and hug her and kiss her and take her to my room and keep her there. I want to claim her and make her mine completely, keep her close just to feel alive like I do by her side. But I can’t and I won’t. If I have even a sliver of decency left, I will leave that tortured girl alone.

“We’ll see,” I throw at her and leave as fast as I can.

I reach the clubhouse in record time and go in itching for something I don’t even know. There are a few people in, some thralls we are breaking in, hang-arounds and rotters in abundance. Vince sees me and waves at me to join him and Jab. I needed to talk to the man anyway.

“Where have you been all day?” Vince asks.

“Out.”

“Alone?”

“Are you my fucking mother, Vince?” I spit, hoping for a good fight.

A fight would be so good right now. Muscles against muscles and the sweet relief of pain. But I made the wrong bet. One thing the Herre of the Riders is not, is hot-headed.

“I am not your fucking mother, Wood, but I am your Herre and I need to know where the fuck my men are at all times.”

“Across the Bay.”

“We had no business today, right?”

“About that,” I ask a thrall to bring me a beer. “I am quitting the East Rider Studios.”

“What? Why?” Jab is the one asking. “I hear it’s even more fun than the Venus Riders.”

“Even fun gets boring, kid,” I give him a fake smile and a wink.

“Yeah, boring to be around the most beautiful girls.”

“See?” I turn to Vince. “I already got you a replacement.”

“REALLY?” Jab screams and everyone at the bar turns to us.

“Hold that dick in your pants, kid,” Vince laughs. “Tor will have the last say. As for you, man, what the fuck are you going to do?”

Wallow in bitterness and die alone, I want to admit but I need to find an excuse. After all, what man in his right mind would want to quit working on a porn studio?

“I was thinking of helping Magda and Ava out with the bails bonds. Tracking motherfuckers is what I do best.”

“Right,” Vince sips on his whiskey while looking at me.

He knows I am full of shit but he drops it. We have worked closely for a while and he knows that I hide some shit but he doesn’t push. He doesn’t need to. If the Riders were to talk about their fucked-up feelings, we wouldn’t be doing much all day.

“As I said, Tor has the last say,” is all Vince says before a rotter he’s been banging for a while saunters his way. “Now, if you’ll excuse me.”

Vince gets up and grabs the blonde by the waist. She lets out a fake wail as he pulls her to his body. He leans in and whispers something in her ear and the girl breaks down laughing before wrapping her body around his and let be dragged down the hall to his room.

I finish my beer and I have another one with Jab. I like the new kid. He seems almost too nice to be amongst us but for some reason he fits in and hasn’t even flinched at the shit he has seen. All he needs is to toughen up a bit and he’ll be a real Rider real soon.

When I get up to get something harder to drink, I see a new girl come to me with a sultry smile on her face. New girl, determined and eager. Most rotters know that they won’t graduate to Valkyries but we take care of them, no one touches our girls and they get some “allowance” to keep the men happy. This one seems to know the drill. And most importantly? With her blonde hair, green eyes and those fake boobs, she looks nothing like Tamie.

“Wood, right?”

My skin crawls with disgust but I swallow it down. I have some serious issues to solve tonight, I am almost out of control, I have been coiled all day and before I snap, I need something to keep me from bursting. Fucking this girl is good enough.

“I am, baby,” I say the lines. “And you are?”

“Riley,” she mewls and pulls closer.

“Nice to meet you, Riley,” I openly stare at the boobs the torn Rider t-shirt she is wearing struggle to contain.

My mind goes straight to Tamie in that same t-shirt. She filled it up nicely with her own curves and the less she showed, the more I longed for. Motherfucker, I push her thought away and gulp my vodka.

“The pleasure,” Riley rubs her boobs on my chest, “is all mine.”

I narrow my eyes and let my hands fall on her hips. She is wearing Daisy Dukes and stiletto heels. All and all, the poster girl for a good time and I need to have some fucking good time right now.

Still the hand I have on her, is crawling with disgust. My mind keeps saying this is wrong, this is not who is supposed to feel my hands on her but I need to do this, get Tamie out of my mind.

I push Riley to me and she complies eagerly. She wraps her arms around my neck and her heavy perfume hits me. My nostrils protest as Riley's scent moves to replace Tamie's natural, intoxicating sweetness but this is what I need to do.

"Wanna have fun, Wood?" She whispers seductively.

Her lips are plastered with a bright red lipstick. Nothing like Tamie's naturally rosy lips. Fucking forget about her! I scream in my head and turn to Riley. There is still the urge to vomit and purge myself for even touching another woman but I need to do this for Tamie. To rid her of me, to make sure she will be happy.

Riley will do. She knows the drill and she seems capable of sucking dick all night without complaining. I say nothing to her, I just finish my whiskey, grab her wrist and take her to my room.

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