Short Circuit (Riders of Tyr #7)

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Come on, Tyr! Come through one more time, I pray with all I’ve got.

I tighten my grip around Stig’s arm. The motherfucker pierced through his shoulder blade and pushed so hard that he got me too. It hurts but nothing I am going to concern myself with. Not when my boy is bleeding out in the middle of the street. Not when I just got him back. My boy, my precious pretty boy.

“Stop looking so worried,” Stig chuckles. “It makes you look even older. Plus, you shouldn’t strain your heart like that at your age.”

I shake my head and let out a half-hearted laugh. I love him so fucking much. So so much. Whatever happened between us is forgiven. What he did proves how much I mean to him. I will not allow any more shit to come between us. All I need is for him to be well and we will fix everything else.

“Did he hurt you?” Stig asks. “I mean other than that. Doc should check that out,” Stig searches my injury.

“Seriously now, pretty boy?” I put his hand away and lay him back on the road.

We stare into each other’s eyes. Everything has changed and yet nothing has changed. Stig is the most unexpected thing in my well-planned, outlined life. And I couldn’t be happier than see what I thought was life go up in flames.

I let my fingers trace his handsome face, go over every boyish curve and every manly sharp angle. I regard him like the precious thing he is. There is no one in the world like him, my own Norse god of mischief.

Stig returns the gesture by raising his hand to my face and his thumb goes over my lips. My eyes flutter closed when I feel his light, tender touch. He is hurt and we are surrounded by the Riders but my dick goes rock hard in an instant.

“I am sorry, baby,” he apologizes.

“Nothing to be sorry about. I handled myself,” I say in a strained voice.

“I don’t mean only the Yakuza-kidnapping-by-my-ex shit,” he lets out. “I shouldn’t have left you, Nat. Never. Not for a minute. I was a fucking coward, an idiot, a-”

“You sure are but you will have all the time to make it up to me,” I lean in and kiss his lips.

I can’t hold back and pull his lip ring while I lean in closer, enough to show him exactly how my dick has forgiven him.

“Hm.” Vince comments.

I stiffen. I would be a fool if I thought that the Riders would be OK with two men kissing especially when one of them is their own brother. But to hear this macho bullshit while the man I fucking love is bleeding? No fucking way I am having that.

“Listen to me, you fucker!” I jump up and get in Vince’s face. “You can call us faggots or whatever hillbilly shit you want after Stig -your fucking brother! - is safe. Till then, if you make one comment to upset him, I will fucking gut you! How about that deal?”

Vince’s jaw drops. Absolute silence reigns as all the Riders are looking in. I don’t fucking care. They can hand me over to Rage and have my guts spilled on the road but I am not going to sit back and watch them hurt Stig for one minute. I will-

“Well, I was thinking where you and Stig rank on the “Rider’s Public Display of Affection Chart” but OK,” Vince says and raises his hands in surrender.

It’s my turn to have my jaw dropped. I glance at the rest of the Riders and they all look at Stig worried. And nothing else.

“I mean, more than Runner and Magda but less than Lysa and Vik, is what I am thinking,” he mumbles.

I look down at Stig and he simply shrugs. I have no time to think about it anymore cause I see a man with what looks like a doctor’s bag.

“That’s more like it,” the man comments as he kneels next to Stig and opens his bag. “The classic stand-off bullet hole and none of that Valkyrie bullshit.”


“Actually, Doc,” Stig smiles. “This is a katana injury and this,” he grabs my hand, “is my man.”

Tom pauses and looks at me. I squeeze Stig’s hand to affirm what he is saying. I still can’t get over the fact that Stig came out to all of his brothers and friends. And he can’t seem to stop flaunting me around, proud, unapologetic. I too am proud of him. And I am fucking happy.

“Seriously, Stig?” Tom scowls.

Not that again, I roll my eyes.

“Katana?” Tom mumbles. “Fucking katana. You got to be motherfucking kidding me right now.”

And then he gets down to business without even looking up.

“Is he going to be OK?” I ask.

He looks up to me surprised. What?

“And this, gentlemen,” he comments going back to his work, “is how you do it. No panic, no yelling over my head, no threatening to kill me. You,” he points at me and smiles, “I like you.”

I smile back at him.

“We need to take him back so I can have a better look but he is not going to die.”

I sigh in relief and lean over Stig. I caress his face and nuzzle my nose on his, letting that ring he has there scratch me softly. I lean closer and melt into a sweet kiss before I let my forehead rest on his.

“Is it OK to comment that Vik and Lysa are in for a serious competition?” Vince asks.

I laugh over Stig’s lips and he shakes in laughter too, which makes him winch and Doc swear. He is going to be OK. He is here, in my arms, mine. I almost lost him. At the thought, my body loses all its softness and tenses.

“No,” Stig grabs me.

“He hurt you, pretty boy,” I hiss.

“I know, Nat.” He still holds me tight. “But Tor wants him alive-”

“I said nothing about killing him. I can find other ways to make him pay.”

“Aaand,” Stig whispers, “the Hellhound got his smell.”

I look up to where Rage is holding Takeshi. The dude was scary to begin with but now? Now, I am almost shitting my pants looking at him. He is regarding his prisoner as if he is a piece of nice, tender meat and he is a butcher.

“Tor?” Rage asks agitated, behind ground teeth. “Can I kill him now?”

“For the millionth time, Rage, no!” Tor says while pacing. “Doc?”

“I got Stig bandaged for the transport. Help me get him into my car.”

“OK, everyone get ready to ride back to the club. I made a call and Ironhand is driving in to pick this son of a bitch up,” Tor lays the plan.

My eyes are fixed on Takeshi that is regarding Rage solemnly. Tor approaches him and Takeshi turns his attention to him.

“You will be our guest,” Tor smiles. “You will be protected, do not worry. We will have a nice little chat and you will spill your guts,” Tor smiles wickedly. “Figuratively speaking, of course,” he adds and then subtly places his hand on the Hellhound. “How did you find out about Stig? Why you wanted info on us? That’s all I need. Then you can go. See? You hurt my man but I am still willing to make all of this shit between us go away.”

Takeshi moves fast. First, he spits on Tor and then grabs one knife hanging from Rage’s belt and slices his own throat.

Blood is spilled on both Rage and Tor but the King is the first to react.

“DOC! I need him fucking alive. Now!!”

Tom leaves Stig and runs to our prisoner.

“What the fuck?” Vince swears.

“Yakuza,” Stig says. “I should have known.”

“Goddamn it,” I hiss.

“I know, Nat,” Stig shakes his head as I support him to reach the car. “Pretty hardcore.”

“No, it’s not that. I missed the chance to kick his ass for hurting my boy.”

Stig chuckles.

“Ruthless and cold-hearted, yet loyal to those you love,” Daniel is the other one supporting Stig. “All good qualities for a Rider,” he comments lowly.

I pause when I hear that comment. Stig pauses too. Did the Earl of the Riders just propose what I think he proposed? I look at Stig and I see he is excited with the idea. He would get to keep all he wanted in his life: his family and me. Me? I am not so sure.

I mean, I haven’t even thought about tomorrow and right now I do not even what to think about that, not when Stig is still hurt. Not when we are at war with the Yakuza. We? The Riders. I mean the Riders are at war with the Yakuza.

Being a Rider is a lifetime commitment, worse than getting married. Plus, do I fit with them? I know I like Bjorn, though he tried to kill me. I know I like Vik and Runner. I am not sure about Ironhand. I am scared shitless of Rage. I trust Daniel for some bizarre reason. Wood is my kind of guy. I am sure I will like the new guys.

As for Stig… Well, I am head over heels for my boy and I would do anything for him. I am his, all that I have got, the emptiness in the soul before he came along, the nothingness of the strict life I led before he pulled his lip ring in a way that tore me apart.

And then there is Tor. I genuinely do not like Tor.

“Nat?” Stig asks me.

“Let’s make sure you are safe, baby,” I say and place him on the back seat of Tom’s car.

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