Michael

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Chapter 2

As we went down the stairs and into the kitchen, I could see about fifteen guys and a few girls gathered around the tables. We had passed a living room with several couches, chairs, and a TV. It was not clean, there were beer cans and old plates everywhere. Where the hell am I? I thought, Who are these people? Why can’t I remember all the details of how I got here and why was I taken? I still feel so groggy.

“Hey, look who’s back, the happy couple!” someone yelled.

“Jealous?” Michael smiled and put his arm around my waist, pulling me close to him. I felt his stare going right through me. It took all of my strength to hold back my tears.

While everyone was laughing, talking and eating, I tried to scope out my surroundings. There were shot guns everywhere, clusters of papers stacked up, playing cards on the table, filthy ashtrays everywhere. The guys were all scruffy looking, needed shaves and showers, they wore torn up shirts and jeans, some were already doing cocaine for breakfast, others were groping girls and making comments about their tits. They looked like bikers. The girls didn’t seem to be held against their will. They sat on the guys laps, made out, served them and laughed right along with them. I could see through the doorway into the living room as one of the guys smacked a girl across the face and I heard him shout, “Cause I said so bitch!”

“Well, who do we have here?” said the man from last night who wore the blue bandana on his bald head.

Michael put his hand on my knee, as we sat down at one of the tables and he squeezed it a bit. “This is Allison. Allison, this is Matt.”

I tried not to look at him directly, but couldn’t help but notice his teeth, dirty, yellow and broken. He was definitely older than the others.

“Isn’t she the pretty one, she cleaned up nice.” he said, as he stroked my head.

Michael’s eyes locked on mine again as if to say, keep your mouth shut, and I did.

“Yeah, Michael seems to have claimed her. Paul and I picked her up aways back, after we stopped to pick up our supply from the Gratlands. We just couldn’t resist, it’s time for some new tits and pussy around here! And now, he don’t want to share her!” said the guy, as if he were telling on Michael.

“You owe me Matt, I want this one,” Michael said very matter of factly.

“Yeah, Ok, then we’re even,” he replied.

“Michael, you know I’m here anytime you want baby,” said a girl as she sat down next to him, “I can share,” she winked.

“I’ll keep it in mind,” Michael smiled at her, “but for now, why don’t you go cheer Harry up for awhile. He needs something good after losing his ass at poker last night.” Instantly, Michael changed everyone’s attention off of me and on to a rematch.

“Let’s let our ladies clean this mess up, we’ve got some business to deal with, meeting starts now gentlemen. Let’s move to the living room and get comfortable,” Matt announced.

Michael nodded at me and left. My heart pounded, I didn’t want him to leave my side, never mind to a different room! How crazy does that sound? I thought of grabbing one of the guns right now and running for it, but not knowing exactly how to use one, I chose not to. I tried to blend in, helped clear the table etc.

“Hey! I’m Angie,” said the girl who flirted with Michael.

“Hi,” I answered.

“Why don’t you do up those dishes for us, huh?”

“Sure.”

I tried to scope things outside of the house. There was a huge window in front of me at the sink. Maybe, I should try to hide one of these knives I’m washing, on me? But what if Michael found it? I’d better wait. I could see through the window that there were several small paths, but mostly endless trees. There were a few outbuildings, lots of motorcycles and a few dogs. I didn’t see any other houses or even a road. I was definitely in the mountains.

Just then Michael came up behind me grabbed my waist, kissed my neck, and whispered in a strange tone, “You behaving?” then he quickly walked away to the bathroom. It was almost as if he read my mind. He said it as if it were a warning to me, to stop thinking about escaping and how to hide knives on myself.

“Girl, you hit the jackpot getting Michaels attention, a lot of us have tried, he never seemed too interested,” said Angie.

“How long have you been here?” I asked.

“Two years or so, I can’t keep track. My days and nights all seem to blend together. Many nights I’d have loved to been riding him though! He is sure nice to look at ain’t he?”

I didn’t respond.

“Ladies, let go!” Mike shouted. All the guys came back into the kitchen, grabbed their guns and headed out the door. Michael grabbed my hand, “Ever shoot a gun?”

“No.”

“First time for everything,” he half smiled.

I noticed all the motorcycle keys were left in the ignition. I wondered if I could ride one myself? If I could figure a way to sneak out at night, maybe I could? This might be my chance! I paid close attention to what Michael did as I sat behind him on the bike.

“Hold on tight,” he shouted as he hit the gas and the bike jerked off. I grabbed him so tightly, I could barely feel my fingers. We rode for about 15 minutes, all the while seeing nothing but trees and mountains. Everyone stopped at a clearing ahead, got off and grabbed their guns and disappeared into the wooded area. Everyone except us.

“Come here, I’ll show you.” He came up behind me, put his hands around mine and put them over his shotgun. He said, “Steady your feet, its gonna kick back some. He pulled my finger on the trigger. “Do it again,” he said, letting go of me. “Get a feel for it.”

As I randomly shot bullets, my mind began thinking again, what if I simply turned and pointed at Michael? Hasn’t he thought that I might just shoot him and run? I could hear a lot of shots being taken in the distance. No one would notice if I did. After I pulled the trigger several more times, he shouted, “Ok, stop! I’m gonna set up some cans for us.” He turned his back to me. “You’re not thinking of shooting me, right?” he walked off in front of me.

There I stood, gun in my hand and motorcycle next to me. He must have been 50 steps away from me as he lined the cans up one by one. He finished and turned towards me, casually walking back, half smiling.

Ok baby, let’s see what your thinking, Michael said to himself as he walked towards Allison. He needed to know whether or not he could trust her. Why do I always have to be the hero? When will I learn? I don’t need this complication, his mind raced.

Shoot him! my conscience told me, but I couldn’t. I guess because he had saved me? If he hadn’t intervened last night, I’m sure I wouldn’t be standing here right now. I’d have fought till they killed me, I know it.

Michael walked up close to me, standing inches from my face. He was hard to read. He slowly took the gun from me and just locked eyes on mine for a few seconds, “This is how you reload, watch me.” He took a handful of bullets from his pocket, opened the chamber and placed them inside, one at a time. “You understand?”

“How did you know it needed to be reloaded?”

“I counted them, while you were shooting. Did you really think I’d have left you with a loaded gun behind me?”

I didn’t respond. Thank God I didn’t try to shoot him! It was a test for sure, he wanted to see if I would. Why?

“Line up the barrel here with this end and aim for the center of the bucket,” Michael explained.

I think I did pretty well actually, I eventually hit two of them. When Michael shot he got every one, it seemed so simple to him. He pulled a handgun out from his side and asked, “Want to try this one?”

“Yes.” I wanted to learn. But first I said, “Michael, you know you can trust me now, right? Please tell me, where are we? You could help me, you could just...”

“Stop asking questions,” he grabbed my elbow and glared at me. “I did help you, you forget?”

“No, of course not, but...”

“But nothing, I thought we had a deal? I don’t hurt you and you just have to keep quiet and do what I say. Can you do that?”

“I’m trying.”

“Try harder!” he commanded. “Stop talking!”

“Hey Michael! Look what we got!” Tommy shouted as he walked back from the woods carrying a bloody dear on his shoulders.

“Woah! Thats a nice size, need a hand?” Michael glanced at me with those piercing eyes, took the guns with him and walked away from me. Everyone gathered around the poor dead deer as if it were a treasure.

Back at the house we sat around the fire pit, some of the guys brought the deer around and began hacking it into pieces. I could see the blood pouring onto the ground. They cut the head off, the legs, skinned it... I gagged, got up and ran towards the other side of the house. I leaned over and threw up. Michael ran right behind me, rubbed my back and said, “First time seeing a deer skinned?”

“That’s disgusting, Michael please, I can’t take anymore, really I just want to go to lay down and not have to...” the tears are starting, no matter how hard I tried, they were here. “I can’t take any…”

“OK” he interrupted, “Your OK.”

“I’m not.”

“I need you to keep it together, just five more minutes. C’mon.” He grabbed my hand and lead me past the fire pit where the others were gathered.

“Hey we’ll catch up with you all later!” Michael shouted to everyone as we headed for the back door to the house.

“What! Where are you going?” Matt pushed through the crowd, “You can’t leave now, the fun’s just beginning!”

Michael grabbed my ass and said, “I’ve got a party of my own to tend to first.”

I jumped, gasped, I was startled and I instinctively pulled away, again, I knew he would be furious with me. He grabbed my arm so tight I thought I’d lose circulation. He came up behind me, began rubbing my ass and then pressed his crotch against me and began motioning in and out as if he was fucking me from behind. I didn’t move a muscle, I didn’t say a word. I turned my head to look at him and already knew what he was thinking. He was testing me again, or I should say, proving a point to me. He wanted to make me say stop. He wanted to make me pull away from him. He wanted to show me, I was to keep my mouth shut and do what he said. I did this time. I took my punishment, as he raised his hands up to my breasts, right in front of Matt, and squeezed at them.

“You know we have some business to take care of,” Matt said, watching Michaels every move with me. “I’d be happy to make a deal with you. How about you stay here and help the guys with that deer, while I get to know your lady a little better? Just this once.”

“Hmm, I don’t know, Allison, what do you think? Huh? Maybe you would be happier spending your nights with Matt rather than me? Huh?” He was mad alright.

“Michael, I…” choose your words carefully my conscience told me. “You’ve been so kind to me.” I kept my head down as I spoke to him. “I’m glad to be with you, no offense to Matt, of course,” my voice cracked and I knew I could not keep it together much longer. “I will do whatever you say, Michael.” I made eye contact with him. I think that’s what he wanted to hear. Please be enough. I wanted to shout, Please don’t send me off with Matt, please!

Matt said, “We only got two more months, my friend, there’s a lot to do. Your not gonna get distracted by her are you?”

“No worries my friend. I’ll be back in a bit, promise,” Michael replied as he practically ran, dragging me behind him into the house and up the stairs. He shoved me on the bed and the tears began to fall.

“I’m sorry!”

“Quite!” he snapped at me as he sat on the edge of the bed in silence. He put his hands over his face and buried his head down in deep thought.

“I know, I did it again. I don’t mean to, really, I’m trying!”

He firmly grabbed my cheeks in his one hand and said, “Stop talking!” in an angry voice.

Without thinking, I grabbed his hand in mine and I rubbed my finger in his palm, just as he had done to me before, when I needed to be reassured. His eyes seemed to pierce right through mine, whenever he looked at me. We seemed to have an unspoken connection.

Michael looked deep into her eyes. He felt his palm being rubbed, and knew Allison had a keen sense of people’s behavior. She was smart, for sure. She knew when he had reached his limit and knew how to reel him back too. He thought of this afternoon while they were shooting. She did pass that test, maybe she thought about shooting him, but didn’t dare to. So, his instincts seemed to have been right about her, from the beginning. She didn’t belong here. She would not survive here at this compound for sure.

If he was honest with himself, there was a part of him that would have liked to lay her back right here and now and then climb on top of her. It had been a very long time since he had been with a woman. He had gotten a few blow jobs here and there from a couple of the girls, but he didn’t dare have sex with any of them, mostly being afraid he’d have caught an std. His conscience told him to control himself!

She was naturally pretty, had an innocence about her. She looked to be mid twenties, dark brown mid-length curly hair, brown eyes and was curvy. Perhaps under different circumstances, but Michael knew Matt was right about one thing, he needed to stay focused. He had worked way to hard the past two years to blow it now. There was a faint knock on the door, Michael jumped up.

“I need to talk to you now!” Tommy shouted.

Michael swung open the door, “C’mon.”

“I need you to do something for me, Allison.” He leaned over and faintly whispered to her, “I want you to stay right here by the door, if you hear anyone coming up...”

“Michael, what’s this bullshit?” Tommy sounded angry.

“It’s Ok.”

Michael continued in Allisons ear, “I want you to run into the bathroom and let me know if there’s someone coming, ok? I can trust you, right?”

“Yes,” I said.

He motioned to Tommy to go into the bathroom. Allison stood and listened at the stairway door as she was told, hoping no one would come up. She heard the radio go on in the bathroom and the shower water running, just as when her and Michael had been there several times already. What are they doing? Why don’t they want her to hear them? She couldn’t make out their voices over the other sounds. That was it! That’s why Michael would bring her to the bathroom. He didn’t want anyone to hear his conversations with her. Who’d be listening? The bathroom door flew open and Tommy rushed passed me, glaring at me with a look of disgust.

“Allison, come here,” Michael called from the bathroom.

The radio was still on and the shower was still running too. Michael shut the door behind me and began to undress. Allison instinctively did the same. She was beginning to understand this part of their relationship. He had something to tell her and he didn’t want to chance anyone else hearing them.

He began washing his body, and I couldn’t help but notice, he was definitely fit. His arms were muscular and his chest and shoulders were broad. His stomach was flat and his penis was big and hard! Holy crap! I hadn’t noticed that before! I turned away feeling flushed. His hands rubbed my shoulders and back as he came up close to me and whispered in my ear. “You did pretty good today. I know it’s hard.”

“I don’t think Tommy likes me very much,” I spoke quietly.

“Yeah, well don’t take it too personal, he doesn’t like anybody,” he laughed.

“Have you known him for a long time?” I questioned.

“Yeah, he’s a good guy.”

“Is Matt a good guy too?”

He turned me around to face him, and continued to rub my shoulders with soap. “No,” he hesitated. “I need you to promise me you will not tell anyone about Tommy and I talking in here.”

“Who am I gonna tell? I don’t care to talk to anyone here.”

“It’s very important.”

“Ok, I won’t.”

“I don’t want to threaten you, do you understand how much this means to me?”

“I won’t. Why do we always have to talk in the shower?”

“Umm, cause I like to see you naked!” Michael teased.

But, I knew that wasn’t the reason. “Michael, I think they drugged me. I can’t remember everything, but I don’t know…maybe they...nevermind.”

“Did they rape you?”

“No.” Tears came to my eyes.

“You can tell me the truth, you trust me?”

I hesitated, “I don’t think they did, I’m not sure? I feel like they would have. They tied me up and hit me and I don’t remember anything else until I got here.” I put my arms around Michael’s shoulders and hugged him. “I don’t know what I’d have done if you weren’t here.”

“Does anything hurt on you?”

“No.”

“I could look?”

“No!”

“Listen to me.” he whispered and continued to hold me as I buried my face in his chest. “I can tell you this much, I’m pretty positive they wouldn’t have been gentle with you. So, I’m sure you’d have had some bleeding, maybe swelling, and pain.”

“Your right...then they probably didn’t. I feel better about it.”

Michael knew he’d made the right choice and Tommy was just gonna have to accept it, like it or not. He couldn’t pass Allison off to someone else. He had to protect her.

“Ok, I have to get back downstairs, you ready to deal?” Michael asked me.

“Could I just stay and rest for an hour, I promise I will come back down.”

“Ok, one hour!” Michael left me alone for the first time.

I finished showering, dressed in Michaels same clothes and went to lay across the bed. My mind raced, hearing Michael say Matt was not a good guy was scary. No one here looked like a good guy, not like any of the guys I used to know. I suppose I had been sort of sheltered. I worked in a small office, had my own place, but not any real friends. I was not always street smart. Rarely, did I ever go out to clubs or bars. I suppose I had a very simple life. My mind drifted off to the other night, when I was walking back from the corner store down the road from my apartment and saw the car pulling ahead of me, I didn’t have a clue what was about to happen next.

Thinking a little clearer now, I must be hours away from home, cause it’s several hours in either direction to get to West Virginia or the Shenandoah area, those are the closest mountains. While Michael seemed to sort of be a good guy, who just happen to be in a motorcycle gang, in a hidden compound, surrounded by drugs and alcohol....even though he had been kind to her, she had to protect herself and be on constant guard in this place. I’d better get back downstairs, my hours about up, she realized.

I walked down the stairs as quiet as possible, I didn’t want to run into anyone till I found Michael. As I passed the front door, I couldn’t resist, I knew everyone should be out back right now, I just needed to look, maybe this was my chance to get away. Slowly, I cracked the door, there was no one in sight. However, it was so dark, I could hardly even see in front of me! There’s no street lights up here! There’s no way I would survive in these woods. I’m sure there’s bear and wolves and I have no idea which direction to head in, but I can’t just stay here! I could hear the others laughing and yelling out back and I smelled the smoke from the fire pit. I stepped out onto the front porch, when I heard one of the dogs coming from around the corner and it began barking at me. “Shh! Shh! It’s ok!” I quickly headed back in, shut the door and went to the back of the house. It wasn’t exactly a sweet looking dog. I scanned the yard looking for Michael, finally seeing him sitting by the fire pit.

“Hey.”

“Hey!” he smiled, “Come here.” He pulled me between his legs and then sat crouching over me. Strangely, I felt protected. I was beginning to notice a bit of a split personality with him though, depending who we were around. With me he seemed gentle, always playing the protector, with Tommy he seemed to be hiding something, and with the others he seemed to be glad to go along with the party. I just can’t figure him yet.

“You feeling better?” he asked me.

“Yes,” I lied.

Matt was sitting right next to Michael, watching us. I didn’t like him at all, he scared me for sure.

“I missed you,” Michael said loudly as he pulled my hair back and kissed my neck. I froze, I stared into the flames in front of me.

“Are you hungry?” he rubbed my back and shoulders.

“Yeah, actually I am.”

“Well missy, that’s about the best damn deer Paul has cooked for us yet,” said Matt.

I tried to crack a smile and nodded.

“You want a beer baby?” asked Michael.

“Sure.” I was going to need something to get through tonight.

Michael opened one and handed it to me. I could tell he’d already had a few himself. He moved his hands to my thighs and rubbed them up and down, slowly and cautiously. I sipped my beer and tried to pretend to be comfortable. This was the most physical affection Michael had shown to me, and being in front of the others made me uncomfortable, but I was handling it well, I thought. I hoped he did too. “Baby, you are so beautiful,” he said aloud. I turned and glanced at him, he acted so differently towards me around the others.

Suddenly, the same dog from out front came running towards us, I flinched. “It’s ok, this is Rusty.” Michael rubbed his belly. “Do you like dogs?”

“Yes.” I tried to make friends with Rusty.

“C’mon, lets get some food.” We walked towards a huge table with what I assumed was the deer from earlier, maybe it tasted like chicken?

We sat by the firepit eating, Matt got up, raised his beer and said, “To us, to our hard work, to my guys. We are almost ready. I thank you for your commitment to me,” then he walked around and threw a bag full of white powder to each of us. Most people immediately opened it up, poured some on their hand and snorted it. Michael grabbed mine and stuck it in his pocket along with his. I didn’t care, I didn’t want it anyway.

We finished eating, most of the crowd were getting rouwled up now. I could see a couple having sex on the other side of the flames, not even caring who was around them! It was hard not to look. Others were dancing around, a few were passed out on the ground.

Some taunted with several of the girls, lining them up to give blow jobs, they were harsh, rough and enjoyed doing it. The girls didn’t fight, I think they wanted to?

Michael grabbed my beer can and shook it to see how much was left, which was a lot, cause I’m not a big drinker. “Good,” he said and winked at me.

“Why?” I asked.

“I don’t want you getting trashed.”

“But, it would be ok for you to be, trashed?” I questioned.

“Hmm,...I think I might need to be careful how I answer this one,” he teased me. “You don’t have to worry about me,” he leaned in close to me and whispered, “I always have control of myself.”

“Really, seems like maybe you lost a little control of yourself earlier, hear with me.” just to let him know I thought he pushed it a little too far.

“What? When I did this in front of Matt?” he whispered and pushed my hair back and then kissed my neck again. “Or do you mean when I did this?” He rubbed the inside of my thigh again. “Cause I should have done it like this…” he pushed my leg aside and then ran his hand directly between my legs. Slowly, he moved his finger up and down, pushing it through my sweatpants. “Stop questioning me, make no mistake, I am always aware of my surroundings, aware of who’s watching me, and I am always in complete control of the situation.”

“Michael?” I didn’t move away but looked at him for answers. Why was he testing me

again?

He didn’t stop, he leaned in closer to me as he held my leg tightly in place. He faintly whispered, “Look around you, Allison. They want a show because it shows them I have power over you, everything they do is about power.”

“Michael come here!” Matt shouted from across the yard.

“You’d better come with me,” Michael said to me.

“Oh, you brought your new toy,” Matt looked right at me. I bit my lip in silence and felt Michael grab my hand.

“Ok then, take a walk with me to the office,” Matt said.

Inside I could see huge blocks of the cocaine, they were drug dealers for sure! We sat down at a table and Matt pulled out a block of cocaine. He cut it, took a few snorts rubbed some on his gums, and said, “My friend, I had my doubts about you at first, but you’ve been a great investment for me. You like your reward?” he said as he motioned towards me.

“Yeah, I’m real happy with it,” Michael said in a cocky voice and then winked at me.

“Well, I did owe you, like you said, so fair is fair,” then Matt motioned to the cocaine, “Go ahead, the both of you, enjoy!”

“We’re good, but you go ahead,” Michael answered for both of us.

“You offend me Michael, I got the purest for us.”

Michael leaned in and snorted a line. It didn’t look like it was his first time, he looked comfortable using.

Matt spoke about the Gratlands coming soon and how everything else needed to be cut up and divided evenly, he said we would all be happy with the end profits. He said, “None of this would have worked out if you hadn’t been the one to convince the Gratlands to allow us to do the pick up and deliveries for them.”

“Thanks Matt, your the best.” Michael stood up.

“Where’s your manners, none for your girl?”

“No, she doesn’t need any, don’t like my girl high either, someone’s got to take care of me, right?” Michael put out his hand to shake Matt’s and laughed. “We’ll see you in the morning!” Michael said as we got up and walked out. My heart was racing so fast. I’d never done drugs of any kind before and I didn’t like that Michael had either. His personality changed so fast as it was, I didn’t know what I could expect if he was high. We walked back outside towards the others, there was music playing now, Michael turned and grabbed my other hand and began dancing with me. He was smiling holding me close.

“Hey,” he said very quietly. “So, you know how I said, I’m always in control of myself?”

“Yeah.”

“I think it would be best if we went upstairs for the rest of the night.”

“You ok?”

“Oh, yeah, I’m feeling pretty damn good actually.” Michael stumbled a little and then put his arm around me and we began walking back to the house.

Tommy stopped us along the way, “You ok Michael?”

“Oh, I’m good!”

“Looks like it.” Tommy looked angry.

“Well, I got a special batch from Matt, real pure! I think he must like me better than you!” Michael winked at Tommy.

“Fuck, man.” Tommy put his arm around Michael too. “C’mon let’s get you upstairs and you can sleep it off. How about you just stay down here for awhile,” he said to me.

“No!” Michael insisted, “We’re good, really, I’m going to bed, right now.”

Tommy glared at me in disgust once again, and walked away.

Michael started taking his shirt off before he even hit the top step. Then, he threw his clothes off and onto the floor one by one in a path to the bed. He rolled onto his back staring at the ceiling, hands under his head, lying naked. He didn’t like doing drugs, but knew tonight he had no choice. He’d simply sleep it off.

I climbed into the bed next to him and lay very still, when I heard him, “What are you doing?”

“I’m going to sleep,” I said confused.

“Not like that, take your clothes off.”

I hesitated, “Why?”

He rolled over close to me, “Cause that’s what people do, who have sex together.”

I fumbled under the covers to remove my clothes.

“Did you like the deer?” he asked.

“Not really.”

“It’s not my favorite thing either. You did good shooting today.”

“I did like that. Your really good at it, how did you learn?”

“I grew up with guns, probably shot my first one when I was ten,” Michael said.

“Where’d you grow up?”

“Far away from here.”

“Did you ever have a normal job?”

Michael laughed. “Well, depends what normal means.”

“I don’t know like you could have been a car mechanic, or a bartender or something?”

“Nope, nothing that normal.”

“So, you’ve just always dealt drugs?”

Michael raised his eyebrows at me, but ignored my question.

“We can go shooting again, anytime. We got nothing but time to kill here for awhile.”

“What happens in two months? What was Matt talking about?”

“In two months this whole fucking mess is over, we all get rich, we all get what we want.”

He rolled over facing her backside and he couldn’t help but notice her curves. Control yourself! He said to himself. “There’s no way I’m sleeping anytime soon. Want to play cards? You play poker?”

“Yeah, I guess, Ok.” She’d much rathered to have just gone to sleep, but clearly he was hyped from the cocaine.

“Are you any good?” he teased.

“Umm. yeah?”

He slid his pants on and headed for the small table. I got up and dressed, only having his sweats and t-shirt to put on. My bra and panties were still dirty.

“Well let’s see what kind of player you are.”

After a few rounds, he teased, “Ok, not too bad. You can hold your own.”

“Well it’s easier to take a chance when your not losing any money.” I said.

“True. Gambling is much more interesting when you have something to lose.” As he dealt the next hand he said, “Ok let’s see how brave you are when you have to put up your clothes. How many cards do you want?”

“Two,” I said.

“I’ll take three, oh crap! I got shit!” He tossed his cards up, I at least had a pair. He stood and removed the only clothes he had on, which was his pants and then sat down again and began to deal the next round.

“I’m gonna say your having beginners luck,” Michael said.

“Maybe, or maybe I’m in complete control of the situation.”

“Oooh, ok wow, your in trouble now,” he laughed.

“I don’t know, you have nothing left to lose.”

“No worries, I’ll get the next several and you’ll be the entertainment then.”

I laughed a bit, seeing he was embarrassed amused me. But I had no intention of taking my clothes off in front of him willingly. However, my luck ran out and I lost the next round.

“Ok baby!” He was like a child who just won a prize.

“I’m ready to go to sleep.” I pushed my cards away.

“Oh, I don’t think so. I’ve had to sit here butt naked, it’s your turn. I’m watching, or do you need me to help you?”

“No!”

He laughed, “I’ve seen you naked a bunch of times already, why so shy now?”

“I don’t know, it’s different.”

“Ha! Your too funny! I’m waiting,” he commanded.

I decided to lose my pants, at least I could hide under the table some.

“How many do you want?” he said.

“Three.”

“You have a crappy hand, don’t you?”

But, it ends up, I didn’t. In fact, I had a great hand! “So, if I win this round, we stop here, agree?” I said confidently.

“Hmm... well then if I win? Winner takes all...which means you lose it all, at once, agree?”

“Show me yours!” I said boldy, cause I had a full house and felt confident I’d be winning.

“Your ready to see mine? You sure?” He slowly turned over one card at a time; a 2 of hearts, a 2 of spades, a jack, a 2 of clubs and a 2 of diamonds!

“Are you kidding me!” I shouted, “how can you have 4 of a kind!”

“Ha! Ha!” he leaned back in his chair and put his arms under his neck. “Ok, I’m ready for my show.”

“Really, c’mon let’s go to bed.” I stood up.

“I don’t think so,” he laughed. “One way or another your clothes are coming off, the only question is, do I sit here and enjoy the view or do we go to bed and I enjoy the view over there. Seeing as I’m the winner, I chose here, directly under the light.” Michael was forgetting where he was. Forgetting his responsibilities and not on guard. The cocaine had gotten through his system and he was definitely feeling bold. She was still awkwardly uncomfortable, and he seemed to like it. She raised her t-shirt over her head without making eye contact with him, and then stormed off towards the bed stark naked.

“Hey, don’t be mad, I was just playing with you,” he said as he got up and grabbed my hand. Our eyes met, I froze in his stare as he moved his head slowly closer to mine and I felt his lips, then his tongue and his hands on the back of my head. Gently, he stroked my hair as he had done earlier tonight. He wrapped his arms around my back and pulled me in closer to him as he took over my whole mouth with his tongue. I felt his hand move around to my breast.

I slowly backed away from him, still starring in his eyes. I wasn’t scared of him. He had more than proven to be trustworthy so far, but still he was a stranger to me. A stranger I felt very comfortable with, none of it makes any sense. I broke away from his gaze and hurried under the blankets and rolled on my side, away from his. Michael stood and watched me, without saying a word. He went and turned off the light and climbed in next to me.

I closed my eyes tight, disappointed in myself, maybe it was the beer? I don’t know, I wasn’t myself at all. I shouldn’t have played cards, I shouldn’t be thinking about his kiss. I shouldn’t be thinking about him naked next to me.

Michaels head was pounding now, he knew he needed to forget about Allison, and focus on the situation with Matt, he was so close to getting what he wanted. Suddenly, the bedroom door flew open, “Rise and shine asshole, let’s go for a bike ride!” Tommy shouted.

“No fucking way, my head’s pounding,” Michael said as he sat up.

Tommy looked at me as if he wanted to kill me. I don’t know why. “Yeah, now, right now man,” Tommy insisted.

“Give me a minute.”

“And don’t bring her!” Tommy shouted, as he slammed the door behind him.

Michael got up, pulled his pants on, “Stay up here, ok.”

“Where are you going?” I asked.

“No questions.”

“But, why…..”

“Stop talking! I mean it!” his voice hardened and I knew to back down. He walked out, slamming the door behind him.

Michael knew Tommy needed to talk to him, it had been awhile since they were able to update each other on the arrival of the Gratlands. He also knew Tommy’s patience was running thin with Allison being a distraction. They had been friends for awhile now and nothing could come between them. Over the years they were forced to have each other’s backs, like brothers.

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