We spent most of the day together, trying to heal each other, making sure we start anew. We stay in my room, kissing making love, talking or simply looking at each other in an embrace. I never wanted it to end.
But I could see there was something more she needed to do so I was ready when in the evening she asked me to take her to Iris. When Iris opened the door, she broke down crying. It was even more emotional than their first reunion. So much so, that both I and Rage felt the urge to leave them alone.
In fact, we both rode back to Valhalla and we are here drinking beers. Granted, we don’t exchange a single word but we don’t need to. We both silently agree that whatever bad blood was running between us is gone.
“Take care of her,” Rage suddenly says.
“I will slowly gut you otherwise,” he puts simply and takes off.
That’s Rage for you, I smile at his retreating back and I shake my head. That man is a true brother now. More than the other Riders. Tamie lied when she said she can’t give me a family.
The memory of her confession hits me hard. I remember that I am still on a mission. I go down the hall and bang on Stig’s door. I still have that Greg’s phone and I need info now. Tamie confirmed that her second torturer was that asshole. What I didn’t know is that Freddie and Greg had one more brother, the eldest one. I need to find him and show him how I feel about him raping defenseless teenage girls. And this time I will make sure I can prolong his agony.
Stig opens his door and I get a look at his chaotic room. It’s dark but for the huge screen he has there. A video game is frozen there and Stig is still holding the controller.
“Need your help.”
“Sure thing,” Stig opens his door and invites me in.
“Nope, not sure I want to catch something from your pigsty,” I scrunch my nose.
“Sure, call me a pig while asking for my invaluable assistance,” he toys with his lip ring.
I roll my eyes at him. I take the phone and hand it to him.
“I took this from the assholes that attacked Tanya.”
Stig opens his mouth to protest.
“Not a word to Tor. Not yet.”
“He will have your ass, man,” Stig shakes his head.
“Those motherfuckers went after my woman. You don’t have a Valkyrie but if you did...”
I notice Stig avert his gaze and I frown. What? Did I say something wrong?
“Anyway,” I wrap this up. “Freddie had a brother, Greg and he was here to take Tamie along with that piece of shit, Logan.”
“Logan attacked Tanya, right?”
“Where is he?”
I say nothing. I promised Derek I’d give him time. In the unlikely event Logan is alive after he is done with him, the Riders can have him. Mostly me.
“Those assholes, Freddie and Greg, had a brother. He hurt my woman. I don’t know the name but I need to track him down. Plus, someone was giving Greg info on us.”
“Did he say who?” Stig opens the phone that was stupidly not password-protected.
“I killed him before I had the chance to ask him.”
“Man, Tor is seriously going to tear you a new one.”
“I’ll deal with Tor. Find me the third brother, brother. Will you do that?”
“Sure thing. I will look for the informer while at it.”
“Wait,” Stig demands. “I didn’t name my price.”
“You are asking me to go behind my King’s back, Wood. There is a price for that.”
I grind my teeth.
“I am listening.”
Stig looks back into his room. No, no, no. When Stig looks back to me, he has a wide smile on his face.
“Closets too,” he smirks. “Aaand, special breakfast for a week.”
“Seriously?” I glare at him. “You want me to clean your room? Do I look like your mother?”
“Come on, Wood, it bothers you. Now, you get the chance to scratch that itch and make this place squeaky clean.”
“I will feed you cockroaches, asshole.”
“Nope, but I will have some of those pancakes. And some kladdkaka, please?”
“I will send you a link,” the bastard winks at me. “Now, I will finish that boss battle and I will be all over this shit,” he waves the phone.
I want to break his jaw but I need him. My other option is Ava and I don’t want to go there. First of all, she is not as good as Stig is and I would love to refrain from owing the Queen of the Riders a favor. Fighting whatever monsters were bred under Stig’s couch is a safer bet.
“As soon as you get a hit, you’ll let me know.”
“Faster than it takes to bake a kladdkaka,” he throws the phone on a thing that should have been a desk but looks like a bombarded battlefield.
“OK,” I say slowly. “I may or may not be trying to make a Sachertorte right now. If you...”
“Fuck the game. Be right on it,” he closes the door in my face.
I was not lying. I go to the kitchen and check the pantry for ingredients. I want to make a special chocolate cake for Tamie that has chocolate cravings all the time. Might as well make two if it means getting my hands on the man that tortured her sooner. Plus, I need to be busy. What Tamie confessed...
I meant what I said to her. We will make it work. I will take her to the best doctors money can buy. And if they tell us that she can’t be a mother like that, we will find other ways. All I care about is her. Only her. Forever her.
“I should take your patch for this,” Tor eyes me.
He is sitting on his seat at the Thing and he doesn’t look happy. Not at all. I say nothing and take the lashing. He is right and I can’t make him understand.
“You go behind my back and ignore a direct order. For a soldier, you fucked up, Wood.”
I look at him unapologetically.
“And now, what? You need our help?”
“I just wanted to let you know.”
“Too little, too late, asshole,” Tor hits his hand on the table.
Vince shakes his head at me. Tor won’t sic him on me, he knows Vince likes me. I eye Rage. What would he do if Tor asked him to hurt me? Well, if he doesn’t, Ironhand sure will.
“Bad news is I can’t get a hint of who the informant is,” Stig intervenes.
“Maybe that Jo knows,” I offer.
Stig managed to find the third brother and has been watching him since yesterday. He lives in Las Vegas and is in the same business as his brothers only his is an exclusive escort business.
“And to whom will you hand him now? Or will you stupidly kill him before asking him?”
“I just want you to let the Hammers know I am getting into their territory.”
“Oh, you are so cool, Wood,” Tor chuckles cruelly. “You are not going alone. ”
“You will follow my goddamn orders!” Tor demands.
“This has nothing to do with the Riders,” I try.
“So, I am supposed to let one of my men to go for a hunt alone?”
I keep my hard façade but inside I am bursting. Pissed with me or not, Tor has my back. They all have my back.
“I’ll go,” Vince announces.
“I am going,” Rage growls. “Bjorn?”
“I will be keeping an eye on Iris. Don’t worry.”
“OK,” Tor agrees. “Stig will monitor from here and you will report to me every fucking step of the way.”
“Vegas, baby!” Vince hits his hand on the table.
I smile at him before I turn to Rage.
“Brother, are you cool with this? Leaving Iris behind?”
He is not. He grinds his teeth and fusses with his hair. I hear him mutter Iris’s name under his breath while he sways back and forth.
“I need to do this,” he says finally. “Tamie is family. Iris loves Tamie. She needs to be safe. I can keep both safe.”
“We will,” I subtly remind him whose responsibility is Tamie.
“I will race you,” he smiles his haunting Hellhound smile.
“I killed one, you killed one. We are even. I will race you for the last one.”
The brothers. He is talking about it as if it is some kind of game. I don’t want to spoil the fun for him so I smile at him. I wonder if that Jon asshole knows that there is a certified killer and the best sniper in the SEALs out to get him.
“It’s on, brother,” I nod.