Short Circuit (Riders of Tyr #7)

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Knowing

Stig

I can’t sleep. I am just looking at the ceiling, taking in all the noises of the night. He remembered. He remembered our first date and my M&Ms pancakes. Our first what?

Our first fucking date. And I remember it as well, from the moment he called to tease me till the moment it ended. I haven’t told him, but none of my brothers know that I go to this place. And I took him there, back when I wanted to punch his face for testing me like that.

I sit up on the bed and press my eyes with the heels of my palms. I let out a deep breath but it doesn’t seem to do anything to calm me down. I mean I should be dead asleep right now. We fucked almost through the day, on the rug, on the couch, on the bed, in the shower.

You got to be kidding me! My dick should be flaccid and staying quiet for a long long time after this marathon but just being reminded of it, it stirs.

"Fan," I whisper but can’t stop myself from looking at Nathan sleeping peacefully beside me.

The silver light of the moon is shining through the window of his room. I chuckle. He insisted we came up to his room because - and I quote - “I managed to turn my room into a stable by barely staying in it”.

He looks so fucking perfect just like this, the crisp white sheet around his hips, showing just enough pubic hair to make my breath get more heavy, the light throwing shadows that accentuate his sharp features, his eyelashes so perfectly lined under his straight eyebrows. One hand rests on his stomach and the hardness of his abs, his long fingers bringing back memories of how I lose myself in them.

I am hard for him once more. I crave for him, for his scent, his touch. I lean on the elbow and take him all in as if I am staring on an open buffet and wondering where should I start gorging myself with him again.

Another thought crosses my mind. He remembered the M&Ms...

***

“Well, I’ll be damned! Look who’s back!” Vince yells the moment I step into the clubhouse.

I say nothing, just wave at him and head down to my room.

“Tor would likely ask to see you,” Vince says. “You know, report back and all that shit.”

“Well, tell Tor to go fuck himself. I just rode for 5 hours straight and I need to sleep,” I yell back and bang the door.

I throw my saddlebag at the other side of the room and kick some shit that is in there. I look at my bed, exactly how I left it a century of a lifetime ago. I sit and open the drawer next to it. I grab a joint and light it. It’s going to take a lot of weed, alcohol and video games to get over this one. I take a drag and fall back on the bed.

Not even a note. Not one word on the high tech fridge. Not a text, not a peep, nothing. I just picked up my shit and left in the middle of the night. Like a fucking coward. As if Nat was some kind of one-night stand.

Jävla skit! I shut my eyes hoping the joint will hit me before I hit my head on the wall. Instead, a knock on the door comes first.

“Fuck off, Vince!”

“Stiggie?” I hear Ava’s voice.

For some reason, I really need to see her right now. Is it her connection to him? Is it that I trust and think of her as a true friend I can confide in? Whatever the reason, I get up and open the door with relief.

“Back home, Stiggie?” Ava flashes her wide smile.

I am all but breaking down to tears. No, I can’t do this.

“Stig? Everything OK? Is Nath-”

“Yeah, everything is fine. Mission accomplished and all that jazz.”

“Are you sure you are OK?”

I linger with the door open. There is a part of me that wants to let Ava in, in the room, in my life. To tell her that I probably made the most stupid mistake of my life. I left the one man I ever felt something deep for behind. The only man I ever... Helvete! The only man I ever loved. Not even with Takeshi...

But I can’t. I have to leave this all behind. It’s over, this time Nathan and I shared is over, we both knew this was coming. It’s over, it’s all over.

“I’m OK, doll,” I say and give her a fake smile. “Just some intense shit went down. Oh, wait till I tell you how I hacked into an airport,” I try to sound light.

I am not. The image of Nathan flirting with that guy comes back and claims my whole body. Now that I am gone, Nathan will go on and find someone new. Some other pretty boy to play with. The idea of someone else touching Nat makes me go wild with rage.

Of all the Riders, I am by far the coolest one. Even Ironhand before his Valkyrie. Never gave a shit about drama. Life was easy: weed, games, fun. Now? Now, I am ready to go back to L.A, drag Nathan back to Rage’s tattoo chair and have him hit “STIG’S” on Nat’s back with big, bold letters for everyone to see!

I pinch my nose to keep my mind from racing. It’s over, it’s all over. Nathan can do whatever he wants. I can do whatever I want. Except him.

“Sure,” Ava’s look is dark. “I can’t wait to hear about all this... hacking stuff. Whenever you are ready, Stig. I am here.”

I nod. Sincerely this time. I can’t hide from Ava. I don’t know how she does it but she sees right through me. As we lock eyes once more, I am sure she knows. She knows I am gay and she knows what went down with Nathan. Like I know she won’t tell anyone until I am ready and she won’t press me if I am not.

"Tack!"

“Now, you are just using Swedish to distract me,” Ava smiles.

“Is it working?”

“From what I see, Stiggie,” Ava leans in and pins me in the eye, “you are the one that struggles to distract your own self. Good luck.”

That’s all Ava says and walks away. I hate the Queen of the Riders! I genuinely hate her! Actually I don’t, I love her with all my heart but right now? Right now I hate her. Because she is right.

I go back into my room, inhaling all the mellowness the joint can bring. Sleep is out of the question for now, so I do then next best thing: work.

I take off my shirt and sit at my station. I open all the shit I need to check, from my little own projects to security for our ventures. And right down there, there is the cloud backup I use for my photos. Loki himself, the god of mischief, must have put it there cause I click. And the last photo up is him, the light from the TV on his perfect face. The night we watched that movie together, the night we... And right before that, the photo of him in a swimsuit at the escort.

FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! I swipe everything off the desk and throw it against the wall.

“Nerd!” Vince hits the door. “Thing. You OK in there?

No, I am not.

“Coming.”

I grab something to wear and finish my joint. Before I head to Thing I go by the bar and grab a bottle. I chuckle cruelly at the irony of the situation.

I remember when Bjorn drunk himself stupid when Ava left. I laughed then with Tor. I watched as Rage plunged further into madness after he let Iris go. And I laughed again when Vik was drinking, unsure if Lysa wanted him. I shook my head when Runner was deep in shit with Magdalene. I didn’t dare make fun of Ironhand but I judged him when he couldn’t let Chiara go. I pitied Wood from the moment he stepped into the clubhouse with Tamie. Look at me now… Just fucking look at me!

“Bror!” Tor smiles widely when I walk into Thing.

A genuine smile. So do all my brothers, all lining up to greet me, to hug me and pat me on the back. They are my brothers, my family, the only true family I’ve ever had.

“Everything OK back in L.A?” Tor asks. “You did your part?”

I shudder. Only now I realized that me helping Nathan out was a quid pro quo, a deal Tor struck with him, some mysterious shit. Is Nathan going to be back in Berkeley? Do I want him to? Is he going to even want to talk to me after the way I left?

“Är du okej?” Tor asks.

“Yeah, I’m OK. Just tired.”

“Any shit coming back to the club?”

Leave it to Tor to only think of the club. He is the wisest of us all. No attachments means he can rule over all of us undistracted. Like I was, focused and honed like a fox on the hunt. Now, look at the fucking mess I have made.

“No, shit coming back,” I reply.

Except for all the shit that is coming for me...
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