“Hey, uhm...” I hear a voice right behind me. “I think he is trying-”
I turn my head over my shoulder and look at the man daring to interrupt me.
“I mean, you want him to talk, right?” The man dares.
“Do you know what I need?” I growl.
“No, not me, man!” He shakes his hands and his handcuffs jingle.
“Then shut the fuck up!”
I turn to the man I am holding and raise my fist.
“Please, please, stop. OK OK. I will tell you what you need, just please stop!”
Minutes after I get out of the abandoned home I have used wiping my hands off the blood. Fuck! I got some on my shirt, I curse. I take the thing off and throw it in a metallic bin and set it on fire while checking if my t-shirt has any blood on it. Watching the fire, I take out my phone and dial the number of my current employer.
“I have what you need,” I hiss in the phone. “I will send it to you through the usual channels AFTER I see my money.”
I hang up not waiting for a response. When my phone blasts again, I feel even more pissed.
“I said AFTER I get my money!”
“Like every professional prostitute, man, but I am not used to paying for sex,” a voice jokes.
I frown at first but then I hear the slight accent on that voice.
“Tor,” I say coldly.
“What do you want?” I attack.
I got nothing with the man personally despite the fact he is an annoying cockblocking asshole but him calling reminds me... No!
“We had a deal, man. I let you play with Stig, you do a little something for me.”
My fists tighten and I squeeze my eyes together. “Play with Stig”. I have so many emotions in me right now, I want to scream. They all assault me at the same time. I am angry. Angry at him for talking about Stig as if he is a thing, a tool. Angry with Stig for leaving without a single goodbye. Angry at me for allowing myself falling for a guy I knew would leave and rather be alone than talk the truth about who he really is.
Even so, above all things, I am desolate. I am exactly like the building I am in, empty and bleak. I might have been like this before I met Stig, but I hadn’t realized it. Now, all is tasteless, my body lifeless. Nothing matters if he is not here. I should have known the joke I started on Stig would be on me.
It’s been weeks since I woke up only to find the bed empty. Weeks since I went downstairs thinking that I would find him failing at making pancakes. When I didn’t find him, it took me several minutes before I went to check his room. I wanted to just hold onto the hope that he went out, buy us breakfast or some shit.
I had to bite down my bitterness as I dragged my legs upstairs to face what I expected to find. An empty room. He was gone. Without a goodbye, he sneaked out as if I was some clingy girlfriend that would ask him when she would meet his parents.
I know that that look scared him as it did me. I know it was more than a fuck for him. I know it meant more to him. Just not enough to show who he really is. Not enough to face his brothers and tell them he is gay. Especially Tor. Which reminds me...
“I am onto it,” I say to Tor.
“You sure? You in Berkeley?”
I chuckle. I will never set foot there. Never.
“I got this, Tor.”
I hear the King of the Riders inhale. Tor scares me. For many many reasons but the main one is that he is a cunning, crafty motherfucker that is seriously dangerous. His model good looks are his strongest weapon. Anyone looking at him might think that he is naïve, too handsome, too young to be King of the Mother Chapter of the Riders. That’s when he’s got you. That man is older than all the Riders together. And he has a one-goal mind. Protect his club, promote its interests, enforce their position.
“When I said I need this done, Nathan,” I can picture Tor’s pretty mouth twist with malice, “I didn’t mean at your earliest convenience. This is your top priority, you hear me?”
Well, I am not so keen on working on this cause Stig fucked me so good it messed with my head! I want to scream into the phone. I want so much to do this, take my revenge on him, that scorned me as if I was nothing. Expose the secret he so dearly keeps, the one that he left me for. Let Tor know how well his “tool” handles other men's tools and how exactly I played with him.
But I can’t. Not only because it’s petty and spiteful but because it would hurt Stig. And despite everything, I do not wish to see Stig hurt. Even the thought makes my heart weep. Am I stupid or what, right? I shake my head pitifully. That pretty boy broke me badly, tore everything I knew about me down.
“I am a man of my word, Tor. I have been looking into it. I doubt anyone in Berkeley would even dare to oppose you and I have been working the San Fransisco side. Clear. Your ties with the Chuen Yatt still holds and no one would even think about crossing the Chinese. Same goes for most of Northern California. Now-”
“OK, got it. You know who it is not. Have you any leads on who it might be?”
I shake my head.
“No idea. Are you sure these are connected?”
“There is absolutely no connection I could find between even two of the enemies you have mentioned. I did find out about somethings that might lead somewhere but I need more time.”
“Mm,” Tor is thinking. “Come to Berkeley, report to me. There might be things you oversaw or I might make a connection you missed.”
“We can do that over the phone or-”
“Come the fuck back to Berkeley now!” Tor orders.
He is used to ordering his Riders, after all. But I am not one. And the last thing I need is to go back to Berkeley, into Valhalla and see Stig, pretending that nothing happened. Shit fucking happened! Shit I never thought would happen to me. But they fucking did and now I cannot...
“I need more time, Tor.”
“Fine,” Tor sighs annoyed while I hear a door open and the chaotic noise of the bar. “Three days,” he says and hangs up.
Three days to prepare myself for seeing Stig again. Or not. He might avoid me. Though that would raise more suspicions. So three days to prepare for a cold look, a half-hearted greeting. For his baby blues, for those lips I know so well, for his teeth pull that lip ring in. Enough time to get stupidly drunk by then.
“Fuck!” I mumble as I move through the empty courtyard.
Empty? I sense a presence but not before it’s too late. That fucking call had me distracted. Made me think of Stig and all- Not now.
I go for my gun and turn. Three men get out from behind the thick pillars of the warehouse but I cannot see them well as they hide in the shadows.
“Well, you are a hard man to find,” I hear a voice behind me.
The accent is thick. It’s nothing like I have heard before. I turn slowly, lowering my gun. These men got me. Sure, I can take a few of them with me, but I can do that even if I lower my gun. This way, I get more time to know what is going on. If they wanted me dead. I would be dead. It’s why they need me alive that is worrying me.
When I turn, I try to keep my jaw from dropping for several reasons. The most obvious reason is that there are three more men standing there all Japanese, all dressed in expensive suits. Yakuza, I know instantly and that is enough to make my blood chill. The second is the man seemingly in charge of this.
“We have a mutual friend, Mr. Cox,” he says.
He is taller than the other men and more built. He has his black straight hair into a ponytail that should have looked ridiculous but on him it doesn’t. Simply because that man is seriously hot. From his fleshy lips to his sharp cheekbones that man is out of this world. If I was not so enthralled with-
“Stig,” he says.
My breath is caught. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
“Take him!” is the last thing I hear before something is injected in me.