Chapter 1 ~ Finding You
The taste of metal swirled inside my mouth. My lips felt dry and cracked as I attempted to move them with strong resistance. How long has my mouth been dry like this?
My entire being lay limp as wave after powerful pain wave crashed over me. The sound of my heart beating wildly in my ears as my head throbbed relentlessly. What had happened to render me this incapable of moving?
Darkness consumed me once more.
The smell of copper invaded my senses as one eye fluttered open, the other would not budge, and felt as though it had been glued shut. Unimaginable agony, once again, plagued my body and I groaned every time I moved... not me moving... Did something move me?
I slowly turned my head, and through the fuzzy haze, I saw a towering, dark figure above me.
“Shh, it’s okay, I got you.” The blurry, dark figure spoke, but this time, I felt my good eye closing again.
Darkness, the familiar and only friend I have now, pulls me under, and once again, I fall into the black hole of nothingness.
The wind whipped past me, slashing like pins and needles at my face. Fuck, it is freezing. The night had been clear, and the stars shone brightly in the sky, as the moon illuminated the bitumen. I should have been wearing my bandana across my face or something to at least stop the bitter sting of the cold.
Heading back to the compound after spending a week with my son, I travelled silently, lost deep within my inner musings, the rumble of my Harley, mere background music to my consequential thoughts. His bitch of a mother cut our time - again - all because she wanted to get back to her new husband and her other family with the excuse of his younger siblings needing to spend time with him too.
My son attended the boarding school, she had chosen for him - which I paid for. You would think I’d be allowed to spend the full two weeks I had been allotted with him? She had to always make everything as difficult as possible.
I had made sure to inform the bitch - in front of my boy - that the moment he turned sixteen, my child was legally allowed to come live with me, and she could do nothing to stop it. This, she was not happy about, good... that bitch had always had it way too easy with my boy Leighton. He had been kept as far away from me as possible, for way too long. I could see this time how badly Leighton wanted to live with his old man, and that’s exactly what I also wanted, more than just a phone call every few days.
His mother fell pregnant with him when we were fifteen years old, we had been going out for about two weeks, and things got out of hand. Trust me, Leighton’s surprise arrival taught me how wrapping your tool is more important than you realise, and since then, making sure no one else got pregnant, has been a priority. I love my boy, but being fifteen, homeless, and a father, was not easy.
Something rather substantial caught my attention, and I came to a stop in front of, what looked like a body, lying in the middle of the road. A car with the driver’s door open and the headlights on a few metres up seemed more than suspicious to me.
I pulled my bike to the side, positioning the light on the pile in front, and I walked over to investigate. Rolling the body over, I noticed how badly the young woman had been beaten. Checking her pulse, I was relieved when I found it still beating, and her skin still warm. It must have happened not so long ago because the blood that dripped from her open wounds looked fresh and not dried, and the blood that soaked her tattered clothing had not been there long enough to stain.
I pulled my phone from the satchel on my bike, dialling the charters President as I walked to the car, hoping my intuition was correct and this indeed, belonged to the young woman lying half-dead on the road.
“Hey Prez, it’s Trigger, I got a problem. Can you send Brutus with the truck? I’m about 20 minutes from the compound, along Highway 94.”
I gathered the bags from the back seat, switching off the motor, locking the car up, and strutted back to the mysterious woman while pocketing her keys. As I waited for Brutus to show up, I called our compound Doctor to be ready the moment we arrived, she was going to need him.
This woman’s wrists were heavily bruised, and from what I could see, there were aggressive scrapes up the side of her. Severe cuts and slashes littered her flesh underneath the torn scraps of material that covered her now shaking body. This helpless creature lay in a pool of blood - the red liquid continuously dripping from her nose.
She was in a bad way.
I yanked my sleeping bag, that was rolled up in the cylinder canister, out from the back of my Harley, and covered the unknown woman’s rapidly cooling form. The loss of blood and the temperature tonight, not helping her in her predicament. Thank fuck, I came along when I did.
My ears picked up the unmistakable sounds of bikes hurtling toward us at lightning speed. Brutus came to a screeching stop with two prospects beside him. He stared at me with a questioning face.
“Don’t look at me like that fucker, this was not me - I just found her like this,” I growled.
“Did I fucken say anything?” Brutus retorts, then turns to the prospects, “grab the bike and put it on the tray,” he orders them. They moved without hesitation. Prospects were judged on how well they followed orders, and these two seemed desperate to become fully patched and accepted.
“Did you see anything suspicious on your way here?” Brutus assessed me with narrowed eyes.
“No. Pick her up, you’ll have to hold her until we get back.” I nodded in acceptance and collected the stranger, as gently as I possibly could, from the ground. A silver Dan Wesson 2.5′ revolver fell to the floor as I lifted her into my arms, Brutus and I locked eyes with concern as he collected the gun. I can only imagine what this poor thing had been through and how badly damaged she is. The sooner the Doc takes a look at her, the better.
She appeared as though she was trying to crawl her way into consciousness, “shh, it’s okay, I got you.” I had no idea why I felt the need to comfort her? But I did.
“You got a good hold of her?” Brutus asked as the tray was locked into place, carrying my bike.
“Yeah, just get her to the compound - she’s losing a lot of blood.”
The Doctor came out of my room and headed towards us in the upstairs kitchen. The club’s President, Deon, sat with me at the table. He was a bulky man, all muscle, with brown eyes and long brown hair that he kept in a ponytail down his back. He was covered head to toe in tattoos and sported a full-faced, light brown beard.
Brutus deposited hot mugs of black coffee in front of us; he was a lot shorter than Prez and I, with blond hair and blue eyes, but the best thing about Brutus, was his fuck off, killer eighties porn moustache. I had known them since I was seventeen, and both of them were my brothers through and through.
“What’s the diagnosis, Doc?” Brutus questioned.
The Doctor was an older man, in his late sixties with grey hair and big bushy eyebrows. He was a portly man - very round in the middle, but he was worth his weight and had patched us up more times than I can remember. Always paid handsomely, of course, which kept his pockets fat and his mouth shut.
“Trigger, it’s lucky you found the young woman when you did. She’s been beaten badly, looks like attempted rape, not successful, there are no signs of forced penetration but the bruising around her hips and inner thighs, indicate someone definitely tried. She’s got three broken ribs, left side, they will take a couple of weeks to heal completely, she has an infection on her wrists where the wee thing has been bound. I left the antibiotics and pain medication, on the table beside her. I’ve stitched up the open lacerations along her side and back, it looks as though she was thrashed with something harder and more severe than a whip, and I’ve set her nose back into place, as it was broken. She will be confined to bed rest for a couple of weeks, I’ll be back tomorrow to check on her, but please, call me when this young woman wakes or anytime you feel she needs it.”
I stand and shake his hand before pushing the envelope containing two thousand dollars tucked inside, towards him, and move towards my bedroom door.
“Trigger, you don’t know her, you don’t owe that woman anything, are you sure you want to keep her here and not take her to the hospital?” Prez asked me with apparent regard.
“The guns been fired, five times to be exact - she may be more trouble than she’s worth?” Brutus warned.
I shrugged, the truth was, I don’t know this woman or owe her anything, maybe it’s because I’m a father and she’s all alone and needs help? But I wanted to care for her. “Call it, my good karma for the year.” Prez nodded in understanding, and I turned and entered my room.
The Doc had really cleaned her up. This strange, mysterious creature remained alluring while she slept. The number of bandages around her frame reminded me of a mummy, I couldn’t help but chuckle idiotically. Making up the bed on my pull out sofa, in my room, I glanced over her frail form once more.
Being the Vice President of The Road Warriors MC, came with certain perks, including a large room, walk-in bath and robe, my own kitchenette and fridge, couches and an 80-inch flat-screen on the wall.
I headed for the bathroom to shower and get changed, it had been a long night, and I was tired, ready for this day to end. She, the unknown, needed her rest just as much as I did.
Slipping under the covers, I fell fast asleep.
Three days had passed, and the mysterious stranger was still fast asleep, the Doc stated that if she hadn’t woken by this afternoon, that he will have no choice but to take her to the hospital.
I sighed heavily as I exited the bathroom, slipping on my jeans, then resting on the end of my bed to slide on my socks.
“Who are you?” The sweetest voice startled me, and my body jerked in surprise, flinging my sock like a slingshot, to the other side of the room.
“You’re awake?” I replied, a little more shocked than I meant to sound.
“I am,” she croaks, looking around. “Where am I?”
I take a moment to analyse her as she watched me through stunning green eyes, well, eye - the other one is still swollen shut. Her frame was not tiny but elegant and feminine. She had a rather plump and full chest, that seemed to be poking through the thin gown. Thankfully, the woman hadn’t noticed, and I found myself cursing the fact that the blankets covered her bottom half.
Her straight auburn hair framed her face and - at a guess - I’d say it stopped about halfway down her back. I had a feeling that when her swelling had gone, this woman was actually quite breathtaking.
“You’re in my room,” I finally replied to which she smiled.
“I can see that,” she chuckled. “You’re him, aren’t you?”
“The one who... moved me?” She questioned herself with a, ‘was that the right word’ kind of a face. “I’ve heard your voice in my dreams.”
“The Doctor thought it would help you to wake up...” I turned to face her more, not realising I had no shirt on, “so I’ve been talking to you.”
Her eye swept curiously over my naked upper half, then grew wide and she snapped her gaze to her hands shamefully. I quickly moved and grabbed my shirt and my cut, throwing them both on in a panicked fluster. “So? What’s your name?” This visitors question amused me.