Standing in front of me with a look of fury on his face, is Rad.
What the fuck is Rad doing at my house?
Is he serious?
I glance around, noting he is alone, his bike parked behind my truck. He steps back, rubbing his chin as he takes in the scene before him, his eyes lingering behind me longer than I like.
His eyes change then, and it’s like I get to see the moment the mist descends. Rads emerald green eyes fill with dark clouds of smoke, his eyelids narrowing until they’re barely forming slits, revealing the raw emotion he’s clearly feeling.
A pang of empathy sweeps through me as I consider his position, but then I remember he made his own bed, and he has no choice but to lie in it. Knowing Rad though, he won’t be able to accept this.
Jolie and I, let alone Jolie and I having a baby as a couple.
It feels like forever as I watch him adapt to the range of emotions he’s feeling, as I try to gauge his reaction.
If I ever lost Jolie, I’d fucking kill someone. Especially if that someone answered the door mid fuck.
Rad tilts his head to the side, and a coldness fills his eyes, his lips twisting into an ugly smirk, and I know he’s staring at Jolie. My chest is still heaving from the quickie he’s interrupted, and I move forward to block his view of her.
He’s never seeing her naked again.
“Here I was, coming here to be the better man, and you’re banging my woman,” Rad drawls, his eyes bulging with anger, his fists clenched by his side. The vein at the side of his head is popping, but I match his anger with my own.
I step forward, crossing my arms in front of my chest.
“You don’t want this fight,” I warn him, making sure I’m ready if he tries to smack me one. “Jolie is with me.”
Rad scrunches his eyes up, a hollow laugh escaping his throat as he hollers for Jolie. “Come out here, Jolie, and tell me this clown is fucking with me.”
“Are you fucking deaf?” I say to Rad through gritted teeth, a rage bubbling inside me as I sense Jolie behind me, her faint scent alerting me to her presence.
“Bradley, don’t do this,” she pleads, her hand on my arm, trembling beneath Rad’s glare.
He stares at her, his eyes dragging down her body as I push her behind me, narrowing my eyes at him.
“You’re fucking Jax? You said it was a one off,” he snarls, reaching out to grab Jolie’s arm. “How long has this been going on?”
He grabs her roughly, and I barely have time to register my reaction before it’s happening. My hands grip his throat, and the strength within me feels almost supernatural. My fury is unrivalled, and I’ve lost my shit a good few times before. But this...I want to kill him.
His eyes are bulging as he fights me, socking me straight in the face. I’m sent backwards, falling against Jolie who gasps.
“Are you okay?” I mutter, scrambling to my feet as Rad barrels forward, his head ramming into my stomach as we fly into the brick wall.
My back takes the brunt of the fall, and white hot pain shoots up my back. Rad is raining punches on my face now, and all I can hear is Jolie screaming. Rads fist jams into my eye, then the other repeatedly, and for a second I’m so dazed I can barely breathe. The fist that’s blackening my eyes moves to my mouth, and the pain that slices through my lips tells me he’s done some fucking damage. Liquid oozes down my face, but before I’ve got time to register it, he’s punching me in the stomach, alternating between that and steel capped boot kicks.
The pain is intense, but there’s more at stake here than my health.
“Fucking bastard,” Rad spits, as I try to get the upper hand by rising to my feet—difficult when you’ve got Rad knocking ten shades of shit out of you. “I’m taking back what’s mine, you hear me, fucker?”
Nah. Jolie isn’t his.
I’m not gonna lie here and take this beating either.
Because I’m a daddy. To the unborn child that’s in the soft belly of the woman who is sobbing hysterically for me to get up.
The fear in her voice rouses something deep within me, and I move to my knees, lifting my fist to meet the twisted snarl that belongs to Rad, connecting with his jaw. The look of surprise on his face as he falls backwards is fucking priceless, but I don’t give him an inch. I kick the cunt whilst he’s down, straight in his ribs, wishing I had my fucking boots on. Barefoot I can’t do much damage, but it makes me feel better.
Arms circle me, soft fingers pulling at my chin as she begs me to stop.
“Baby, stop. Baby,” she whimpers, her voice cracking. “Please, I can’t—”
She’s breathless, and despite wanting to rip Rad’s throat out, I have to put Jolie first. I slip an arm around her waist, guiding her back towards the house as she sobs, looking behind us in terror.
Rads still on the floor, but he won’t be for long.
I slam the door shut, locking it behind me as I head for the kitchen, barely able to see through my rapidly swelling eyes. I’m squinting as I locate my phone, and Jolie grips me tightly, refusing to let me go. Activating the voice control, I instruct my phone to call Stone.
He answers, and as I speak I’m aware my tooth must have cut my lip, because I can barely move my mouth.
“Come and get Rad,” I manage, hanging the phone up. Jolie helps me onto a stool, and I groan in agony.
Jolie is moving around the kitchen, opening cupboards and running water, before she presses a washcloth against my face.
“It’s antiseptic, please let me help you,” she begs as I hiss with pain, clenching my bloody fists together.
My body throbs in agony, but I hold it together for my angel who is trying to help me.
“You need a hospital, Jax, your lip is, fuck!” Jolie curses, and I nod, now unable to open my eyes.
I’ll kill that cunt.
“I’m okay,” I say, and Jolie makes a strangled noise as warm liquid oozes down my chin. I fall forwards onto the floor, and Jolie grips me, falling to the floor with me.
“Don’t talk, I’m calling an ambulance,” she whispers, pressing the washcloth to my mouth as I grit my teeth in agony.
I find Jolie’s warm body and circle my hands around it, as she speaks into the phone, her voice getting fainter with each word. It’s almost comical to think I’m almost passing out after a fight, but it isn’t who I am anymore.
I’m out of touch.
I locked the door, Jolie is safe.
Soft lips press against my forehead, and Jolie whispers to me that the ambulance is on it’s way.
I’m slipping in and out of consciousness, but I’m trying to fight it with everything I have. Jolie will panic. I have to think of her.
There’s a smashing noise in the background, and I jolt my head up, crying out in pain as my lip opens up again. The dizziness hits then, and Jolie holds me tight, burying her head in my neck.
There’s another sound now, one I’m struggling to identify. I can hear someone whooping outside, and it fucking terrifies me. Rad is deranged, and my heart freezes in place, the image of Rad breaking in to finish me off and take Jolie too much to bear.
The floor vibrates beneath me and I feel a numbness run all over my body, like icy fingers tracing my very bones lightly.
It feels like the end.
“It’s okay, um, everything will be fine,” Jolie is crying, but I can hear the steely strength in her voice. “I’m so sorry, Jax.”
I’m the one that’s sorry.
She’s scared, and I can’t even see, what fucking use am I? I’m swallowing blood from my nose, taking gulps of air when I hear bikes in the distance, loud engines revving nearing by the second.
My body heaves a sigh of relief, my fingers tightening around Jolie as I hear the bikes circle over and over.
It’s the last thought I have before I lose my fight, the darkness sweeping over me as I try to smile at Jolie, to tell her it’s okay.