Knock On Wood (Riders of Tyr #6)

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Hurtful Sight


A whole week has passed since that day off and it has been filled with all the emotions. I almost forgot I had other emotions than fear, sadness and grit to survive. The Valkyries welcomed me as Iris promised and we spent most nights having dinner at their houses much to Rage’s dismay that couldn’t handle sharing his wife for too long. But Iris insisted so it was a chance for me to meet the rest of the Riders.

First, we visited Ava and Bjorn and it was adorable to see them with their toddler daughter though she was a handful. Then, we spent a night with Lysa and Vik and I envied their close relationship. I could tell that Vik was doing all he had to keep his wife happy and I was sure that they will make it. Ironhand and Chiara have a lovely home with the biggest open land of the others and the lunch Chiara cooked was the best I have tasted. At Runner’s we had the best of times. Magda sure has a soft spot for Iris and it was the only day Rage was at ease and I could tell that he and Runner were close. Plus, Magda and Iris taught me to play pool and I loved it.

Tonight, Rage demanded some time for just the two of them and Iris agreed with that bright smile on her face. They have left with Rage’s bike before the sunset and I am sitting here, on the porch enjoying the silence.

Enjoying? Who am I kidding? I am on edge. All those days I spent with the Valkyries and the Riders have showed me one thing. I want to see him. I want to see Wood. That was all I could think when Ava was joking with Bjorn, all I wanted when Vik stroked Lysa’s hair, all I wished for when Ironhand caressed Chiara’s belly, all I desired when Runner whispered in Magda’s ear to make her blush. And is all I ever dream every time I see Iris melt into Rage’s arms.

I get up and go to my room. I put on the black dress, the one Wood chose back in that store when we were shopping. I slip on the biker boots he seems to be fond of and I take Iris’s keys before I go. I haven’t asked if I could take her car but I don’t think she’ll mind.

I drive straight to the street the Riders own and park across the street, in the garage. I stand hesitating into the entrance of Valhalla. There are a few bikes parked outside and amongst them I recognize Wood’s which means he is in. My heart jumps in my chest at the thought.

I hear noises and music and I hesitate. I was told by the girls that the parties in Valhalla when the Valkyries are not in are wild and I have seen enough wild parties to know what that means. I scowl at the thought but I know I cannot back down now.

I was taken, hurt, raped over and over again. I was brainwashed to be a good toy, the perfect doll. But I am out. I survived like Iris did, like Lysa and Magda did. I held on, I did as I was told, I kept going and I am out. But I am not whole. Only time I feel whole is when he is around.

I go in the back of the building, the way he brought me in that night I slept in his arms. I look at the panel that keeps the reinforced door locked. I was tired and hazed but I do tend to remember things, I always did. I punch the code and I slip inside.

I head for Wood’s room and I am tingling with anticipation. What if he doesn’t want me here? What if he is just checking up on me out of sheer curiosity? What if that kiss, that night, the looks he gives me are not what I think they are?

I decide to be really brave for once in my life and I stand before Wood’s room. I hear silence inside. Maybe he is sleeping. Or pretend he is sleeping like I do most of the torturous nights. I am ready to open the door when I hear commotion from the other side of the corridor. My flee instinct kicks in and I hide at a corner. I don’t want the other Riders to know I am here.

“Baby?” I hear a woman purr. “I will make you so happy.”

“Just shut up, Riley,” a man answers.

I freeze. I know that voice, that dark voice, coming from a pair of fleshy lips with a thick, dark beard around them. Wood! With shaking legs, I peek around the corner and I see him. He is drunk, I can tell by the way he is struggling to hold the key to his room. His hair is unkempt, his clothes are not ironed as usual. And he has one thick arm around a blonde girl that looks at him adoringly.

Then the girl climbs higher on her high heels and she brings her lips onto his. He doesn’t stop her, he just closes his eyes and kisses her back. A rough, punishing kiss that sheers in my brain. The girl moans and throws both arms around his neck and he finally manages to open the door.

I put my hands in front of my mouth to stop a whimper of pain to come out and betray me. When the door closes with a loud thud, I jump up and realize where I am. I drag myself out through the back door and I manage to reach Iris’s car.

I sit in the car for a while, just staring out of the window to the wall. My limbs are loose, my head is still spinning and my soul is numb. I start the car and I drive back to Iris and Rage. They are not back yet. That is good. I go straight to the guest room that will never truly be my room and I fall on the bed looking at the ceiling. Whether I keep my eyes closed or not, I see the same thing: Wood kissing that girl, her arms around him.

There is a voice in the back of my head, a voice that sounds so much like Daultrey and so much like Freddie. And they are both telling me the same thing: that I am a good girl, a good doll. That is all I am.

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