I reached over the centre console taking Amara’s hand and kissing the back of it hearing her let out a soft sigh. We have been in the car for hours driving to the courthouse in Portland where Amara will be having to stand as witness for her father’s case again.
Glancing out of the car window as I kept driving I spotted the bikes in front and behind us. The brothers followed us here to support Amara along with looking out for those two prospects who could still be under orders to come for her. I placed her hand on my thigh as I ran my thumb up her hand enjoying the warmth of it while offering support.
“I always thought that being back here would feel like coming home…” She said softly making me glance to her, Bella curled against her chest.
Picking up her hand and gently kissing it, I focused on the road stopping at the light giving me the opportunity to look back at her. “And now?”
She looked over to me, “now I just feel like a stranger ready to go back to California.” Kissing her hand again and smiling from the triumph that my home was now hers I looked back to the road as the light turned green. “Ha, you would make that a way to fuel your ego.”
I shrugged at her, “My home being my woman’s home. Sorry love, I’ll take that anyway I can which is to puff my chest out. Besides don’t pretend you don’t love it, I am the one who makes you scream at night Amar.”
Amara tried to hide a chuckle from the car and I hoped to keep it going. She didn’t sleep well during the car ride and has held onto Bella non-stop trying to emotionally prepare herself over this. Last time she was in court she did it via video but now she was here in person. I can feel the stress and anxiety from my side of the car.
“We passing any places you have hung around? Well when your head wasn’t in a cook book?” I teased trying to keep the conversation going.
A chuckle escaped her as we drove by some athletic fields, “I used to play soccer in that field… I hated it. The only reason why I played for a few years in high school was because my Dad would buy me a huge five scoop ice cream sundae after practices and games. Plus, my friends were on the team so it made it tolerable.”
I smiled trying to imagine her in soccer gear running around on the field, her fire coming out in different times. I bet she was the one player who apologized for her aggressiveness. “What position you play?”
“Mid fielder, god there was so much running around. I haven’t gone on a run since I stopped playing.” She said.
Glancing over to her I had to ask, “did you apologize to other players if you ran into them?”
She turned away from the window to look at me, her mouth opening and closing before muttering her reply, “shut up… I only played for the ice cream and to hang with friends.”
Her response made me laugh before the car went back to its previous tense, quiet ride. I wanted to say something but now of all times, of all things I would want to know about her, my mind was blank. Just as I was about to pull over and take her into my lap she spoke, “How long do you think this will take? God why can’t there be a fast forward button I can press so that I can skip it…”
I brought her hand back up kissing it softly, “how did you get through it the first time?”
Amara let out a sigh as she moved to lean against me, “I was at a safe house’s bunker video chatting in with Esposito beside me. I think I blacked out for it because I can’t remember what else happened.”
I nodded slowly taking a turn, the final turn before we will be arriving at the court house. “You just focus on me. When you are up there saying what you need to say you look to me, any time you feel overwhelmed look at me. I will be there the whole time during your testimony and the second you are off the stand I will get you out that room and place your leather cut back where it belongs on you. You are not going to be alone up there. I promise.” As her head laid against my shoulder I bent down giving a soft kiss on the top of head.
Pulling into the court’s parking lot I parked in a spot, twisting the keys to turn the car off. I watched as other bikes pulled up to park beside us with the sounds of others still coming down the road.
“I have to get out now, don’t I?” Amara whispered against me making me drop another kiss on her head, tightening my hold on her hand.
“Only when you are ready Amara. They can wait.” I whispered back seeing police at the doors to the courthouse looking for any trouble or threats to Amara. She is the daughter of a cop so they owe her their allegiance even if it means working with an MC.
A moment of silence passed and I knew we had to get out, “strawberry short cake.” I glanced down at Amara who looked up at me, “with mint whipped cream and dark chocolate. It’s one of the desserts I gave you after dropping all your orders. So, when I get my own bakery I will name that after you because it was the start of us.”
I bent taking her lips softly as she melted into me before pulling away, “when? I like that sound of when you open a bakery, it means you’re staying for a future with me. You ready?”
Amara took a breath sitting straighter, “you’ll be there the whole time?”
Smiling I took her lips one more time, “Love, no God or devil could drag me away from you again.”
Amara gave a final nod turning away from me as I unbuckled and hopped out of the car looking around the parking lot of the courthouse already spotting the Sorrentino men around. They had taken the territory and Briac had to call in for us to be allowed in. Walking over to the other side of the SUV I opened the passenger door helping Amara step down, her body curled up against my side in a bundle of nerves while leaving Bella in the car. Sounds of motorcycles made me glance to the left seeing the last brother’s pull up who focused on looking for the lost prospects of the M8s. The last loose end for us to finish up.
Seeing movement of something black racing towards us I grab Amara, throwing her to the ground as I hear shots ringing out above us hitting the court building. Multiple shots and yelling continue around me, among the commotion I look up to see cops calling to me making me pick up Amara and rush her into the building. Once we were in I spin her around checking her body for any signs of being hit before kissing her, satisfied that she is unharmed.
“We should go in. They are ready for you.” A Detective said walking over to us after they gave us a few minutes to calm down.
Looking at Amara I pressed my lips lightly to hers, “you ready love?”
She nodded slowly giving me a small smile, “you’ll be in the room.”
“Wouldn’t be anywhere else. Go and look to me when you need to.” I kissed the top of her forehead before she walked away with the Detective who began to run her through the court procession.
Looking to my left Hunter stood beside me, thumping my back as I nodded to him knowing the brothers were handling what went down out there or letting the cops do it. I was glad we left our cuts in our bags or we would have been shot by the coppers who could have thought we worked for the M8s. Walking into the courtroom I sat at the back, my eyes directly to Amara who shifted beside the detective who was still talking her through this.
“She’ll be okay brother. She’s tough.” Hunter said slipping in beside me making me nod.
“I know. Just ready for this shit to be done with you know.” I sighed as he nodded, I knew he understood seeing as he went through similar shit with Birdy.
Briac slid into the bench behind me whispering into my ear, “Esposito got them. Sorry brother.”
“Fuck.” I muttered, I really wanted to get my hands on them and show what happens when you go after a Rider’s Luna. “Guess I’ll send someone after them behind bars.”
My President bangs my shoulder with his fist before leaning back and watching as Amara got called to the witness stand. Her fingers twitching as she took deep breaths while being sworn in. Her eyes shifted to mine as she sat down on the stand making me smile and nod to show her I was supporting her. A small smile lightened her face before turning away to the attorneys to question her.
The case was shut and closed the second those dam M8 prospects opened fire against her in the court parking lot but she still had to go up. In a way she needs this, she needs to be in this court for the final closure of her father’s murder.
I sat there in silence as both sides questioned her about what she saw and gripped the seat tightly to keep myself from getting up when the defence cross-examined her about where she has been in the last five years. The only thing that kept me calm was watching Amara breath or else I would be up there punching the defence attorney reminding him that she wasn’t the criminal.
My phone buzzed in my pocket from an email by my real estate agent making me smile before nudging and showing it to Hunter who chuckled softly shaking his head.
“Jesus, you guys better not be getting soft on me if your giddy about a pot of land, your Bikers not Martha Stewart.” Briac muttered from behind me reading the email making me smile more before glancing over to him.
“Don’t worry Briac when a woman comes and knocks you on your back I won’t hold it against you, instead I will just watch from afar with a smile.” I said as he and Tatt shook their heads muttering ‘never’.
“Oooh,” Hunter started looking at me, “I’ll bring popcorn and beer for Tatt, for Briac hell I’ll bring an entire grill.”
Briac scoffed, “Fuck off. Never.”
“Yeah fuck off brother, me and a woman nope. Don’t see that kind of thing ever happening to me besides I’m busy enough with my shop. Also, I enjoy chasing tail, Stacy got attached but there’s the other one.” Tatt muttered fighting a smile probably thinking about the woman’s name he can’t remember.
I just turn back to looking at Amara who still getting questioned, her eyes shifted to me making me wink at her, still smiling about what came through on my phone. Yes, it sucks what happened to her but I was damn glad it found her in California. Maybe I do sound ridiculous thinking and being excited about these things as Briac and Tatt keep saying, but I don’t care.
I’m a biker who can hunt you down and at the end of the day while you go to the hospital, I go home to my woman. I didn’t lose anything I gained it and if anyone has a problem I’ll remind them with a smile. She’s mine, all mine.