I wasn’t perfect. I was the first one to admit. I was a girl that had been through a lot of shit and had come out the other end. I was the girl that people looked at with pity at times. And at the age of seventeen I think I had more life experience than the average teenager.
My father died in a motorcycle accident when I was eleven. It shook my world, to the core. It changed who I was as a person. It shaped my adolescent with most of it spent on new antidepressant medication, till we found one that worked.
At seventeen I took a regular medication. Depression, everyone goes through it. Me however went through it stronger, because of the grief of my losing my father.
Which brought me to Hawk.
He took my Mom under his wing. He took us kids under his protection. Hawk was the Mother Chapter president of Australia. He went to lengths- great ones, to make sure us kids went for nothing. He was the man that helped my mom get over my dad’s death. He was the man that let her cry on his shoulder for hours while us kids played with the latest gift he brought.
He was my fathers best friend.
He was a man of pride and honour. He was the type of man that would pick me up from ballet. Even though every person near the studio was terrified of the beast known as Hawk. With his short mohawk.
He was the man that took me to doctors appointments when my mom had to work because she refused to let him pay our way. Gifts were one thing, but there was a time there before mom and Hawk got in a relationship, that she wouldn’t let him pay the bills.
But all that was changing now. And as he said, it took him a hell of a long time for him to get his princess. Which is what he called mom? I was eleven when he stepped in as a father figure and now I was seventeen as they married each other.
My eyes were on my mom who was chain smoking in our living room.
“Mom come on calm down.” I grinned, never seen her this worked up before. “Hawk loves you, he isn’t going to stand you up.”
She gave me a dry expression. “He would have been drinking last night.”
“Yes but I highly doubt the man that who has dedicated six years to getting that ring on your finger is going to do anything to screw it up.” I placed my hands on her shoulders. “Calm down and get ready the car would be nearly here.”
“Autumn.” Mom said my name, the emotions strong in her tone. “This doesn’t mean I don’t still love your father.”
“I know that.” And I held back tears. “So does Jacob, and Mom.” I paused and felt my heart cracking just a tad. “We will always love him, but his dead, and your forever with him ended then. Now you are getting another beginning and Dad would want that.”
Her hand went to my cheek. “When did you get so wise?”
“Maybe the same day my mom admitted to having feelings for the mother chapter president.” I winked at her. Her and I both knowing she had a melt down the day it happened.
She butted her cigarette out. “Okay, I’ve got this.”
“Yes you do.”
Courtney, my best friend burst into the room with flowers. “Okay guys, the cars are here.” She had a wide grin on her face, wearing contacts in for the wedding. Usually always had glasses, which suited her but she insisted on wearing contacts for the wedding. She red hair was styled the same as mine, and both our eyes went to my mom- who suddenly realised this was actually happening.
I knew it was a big deal for Mom to be marrying Hawk and not just because he had been my father’s best friend but because he was a biker and mom swore, she would never get mixed back up in that world. But here she was, about to do it and I couldn’t be prouder.
I just hoped that Jacob had done his one job and keep Hawk semi sober for the event. But knowing my trouble making a brother, he would have been the one handing Hawk drinks all night.
“Do you Hawk Watson, take Emily Bentley as your wife?”
Hawk’s lips twitched up. “Fuck yes I do.” And that sent the crowd laughing, a few cheers and hell yeahs being shouted as well.
“And do you Emily Bentley take Hawk Watson, as your husband?”
Mom smiled. “I do.” And those two words, sent Hawk’s face into disbelief, as if he was expecting her to say no this whole time, and as I was close I saw the tears swell in his eyes before the celebrant pronounced them as husband and wife, and then I diverted my eyes as they gave the crowd the kiss they had been chanting for.
Jacob was standing front row clapping, and gave me a look as I walked down from the alter following the happy couple.
I knew that look, it was ‘well that just happened’ because we both were thinking mom would freak out on the day. But she hadn’t and now they were married and my small family who once had lost a father to the lifestyle, was now entering the MC lifestyle again.
Jacob was already a patched member, so he was already in the lifestyle but my connection to the biker world ended when Dad died. Apart from Hawk visiting all the time- that was it. We never came to the clubhouse, and now I was back in the lot that my father had brought me to when I was a child, I could lie to everyone currently around me and say the tears in my eyes were out of happiness because my mom had just got married but the reality was, they were out of complete fear because it scared me being here, back at the MC.
I was so busy in organising the function I hadn’t stayed still for a second. I was making sure the food got out with the club women’s help. Mom I swore had not left Hawk’s lap for a second.
I was back in the kitchen cutting up the wedding cake, that had just been cut by the happy couple when the kitchen door spun open behind me. I didn’t turn around, expecting it to be one of the girls to help me dish out the cake.
“You okay Acorn?”
I paused, looking up. Hawk’s vest had clearly been washed and hand washed most likely by him for the wedding. His pants were clean, and his eyes were on me- he almost looked panicked.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I replied to him. He always called Acorn since I was little. Even before Dad passed. I arched my eyebrows at him. “Are you okay?”
“Your mom said you wanted to talk to me, and I think it’s time you and I had a conversation.” He took a nervous sharp inhale. “I know I can never replace your old man. Don’t plan on doing that. But I want you to know, I see you as my daughter. And I know you coming back into this world, scares the hell out of you.”
I didn’t say a word.
“But you need to know Acorn, no one is going to hurt you. Cause they’ll have to get through me.” He walked towards me and my eyes followed him. “I don’t expect you to come to club parties or club events. I know it would be too hard on you.”
“Hawk stop.” I said and put the knife, and suddenly I was the nervous one. “Do you remember the day I fell from the tree?” I said quickly and he frowned. “I broke my arm in three places and when we got to the ER and they asked who my father was, and I started crying?”
He nodded his head, and I saw his eyes go back in time for a second.
“And I was crying because Dad had just died, and you knew I couldn’t face having my arm casted without you. So you said…”
“I’m her dad.” He repeated what he said all those years ago. It was a bonding moment between Hawk and I.
I smiled. “Ever since that day, I considered you like a father.” I opened my clutch. “Now I know not everyone would see this as a present. But this is my wedding present to you, and well mom already knows about it.” I handed him an envelope.
He frowned, but took it, opening it and I watched his eyes read over the document. A mixture of emotion going through his eyes. Then his eyes snapped off the paper on to me.
“These are adoption papers.” He looked at me to confirm it.
I nodded my head. “I know it’s only for a year, but I wanted you to understand that you are my father, and have been for a long time.”
He had tears up when mom said I do, but as he looked from those papers on to me, his eyes swelled with tears, and he was quick to pull me into a hug.
“Fuck you know how to ruin a blokes reputation.” He muttered into my hair, the emotion clear in his voice.
“Don’t you cry, or I’ll cry.” I said in his arms.
“Right need to man up.” He muttered, and pulled back, his eyes going back to the paper. “You don’t know how much this means to me Autumn.”
I smiled dimly. “I don’t think you know how much you mean to me.”
He smiled, a genuine smile and then kissed the side of my head. “Come on out of the kitchen, I’ll get the club girls to handle the rest of this. You’ve been in here most of the night.”
I froze. There was a reason for that, I didn’t want to go out there.
“Acorn.” He said firmly and my eyes went to his. “No one out there is going to hurt you. After all I wouldn’t let them hurt my daughter.”
I sighed and straightened my shoulders. I guess I had to put the bad in the past and move on. I knew deep down, that Hawk wouldn’t let me get hurt but I was more scared of the men out there. Loud, dominating- bikers.
“How about you just stay by mine and ya moms side?” he said softly, and I nodded my head. “Come on, lets get you a drink and stop being a slave to the kitchen.”
So with those words I followed him out.
We were standing in the lot, as Mom got on the back of Hawk’s bike. They were leaving for their honeymoon. The party had gone into the small hours and the summer meant it was still warm outside, as they went to leave on the bike.
Cheers and chanting had followed as they rode off. After Mom hugged the life out of me, and then Jacob which made me laugh, cause he hated being hugged. Then Hawk was the next one to hug me and told Jacob I was to be taken home as soon as they left.
Jacob wanted to complain but knew as well as Hawk that I didn’t feel safe here.
So we watched their bike disappear up the road, and Jacob turned to me. “Well lets get you home.” He threw an arm around my neck. “You have no idea how much I’ve drank tonight, so we are catching a cab.”
“You smell like a bar Jacob.” I muttered wrinkling my nose up at him.
“All in all, it wasn’t that bad I guess.” Jacob said, and I nodded my head. Just as we walked back into the lot, the dim roar of motorbikes echoed through the air.
Jacob as well as other members I noticed, turned around as the roar got louder. “Inside Autumn.” Jacob said, pushing me in the direction. My heart began to drum to a heart pulsating beat- out of fear. Most of the bikers were here, from all over. Clearly we weren’t expecting more.
I saw a member rush for the steel gates, but my eyes were on Jacob. My heart racing. Why the hell would he not come inside to? God why did he have to be a stupid alpha biker right now. The roar of the bikes got louder, and then you could hear them slowing down.
Then headlights, multiple ones, turned into the lot, slowing right now. I noticed how all guns from members were raised until the bikes engines died.
“We miss the party?” A man from the first bike barked at the men, as they lowered their guns.
“Nah it’s just beginning brother!” A member shouted at them, and all members switched gears. Quickly welcoming the new bikers.
“Come on Autumn, let’s get you home.” Jacob was back at me side. “It’s just the nomads.” I knew my brother, he wanted to party with them. Talk shit with them around fires, and drink his weight in beer.
“Is there a room, where I won’t be disturbed here?” I asked Jacob. His eyes lit up.
“Nah Autumn you don’t have to stay here.”
“It’s just one night.” I forced a smile. “As long as no one will disturb me. I’m happy to stay.”
“Well let’s get you set up in the church boardroom. No one goes in there without Hawk.” Jacob was clearly pleased with my decision, and I followed him back inside.