I've been away from Jacob for three months and one day now. My face is resembling a normal one, and all that is left of the bruising is a yellowish tint. I have been finishing up some online classes, so I can be fully caught up in time for the new school year to start here. School starts back in a couple of weeks, and I will officially be a senior in high school after missing the last almost two years of school because of Jacob. I go to individual therapy twice per week, and group therapy once per week. My therapist feels that in another couple of weeks, I should perhaps try to find a job because it will give me a sense of stability and purpose. I think she is right! Milly said that she will get her son to hire me at one of the businesses that he owns in town or talk to one of the other club members that own businesses to see who os hiring. I used to be a people person, so I would love to get a job where I can learn to be around people again. Plus, I want to earn my own money so I can get a car and a cellphone. I haven't had either one of those since my parents died. God, I miss texting.
I turn 18 tomorrow. I didn't think that I would live to see this day coming. It seems like just yesterday that I actually almost died, and for the past two years I wanted to die. Milly said we will celebrate with the other girls at the center for my special day. I can still remember the last birthday party I had with my parents. My mom made my favorite, lemon cake, and my dad gave me a locket with his and mom's photo in it. He wasn't my biological dad, but I thought of him in that regard and loved him so much. I miss my parents greatly, but I am thankful for the new family that Milly has provided. I met Katrina, who is Thumper's mom. She told me how Milly helped her, so I am hopeful for a favorable outcome.
I train three days a week with Jumper, even though I really don't feel that I am learning to do a whole lot. I'm not as big as most other people, and some of the training is really tough. Last month, Thumper quit coming to the trainings. Jumper said that the gym and his own training are keeping him pretty locked down because he has some fights of his own scheduled. I like training with Thumper though, especially on hand-to-hand stuff. I know it is wrong to be thinking that way of him, but his hands feel so good on my skin. Milly told me that he's 19, so he isn't much older than I am but he looks a little older than he is. I'm sure it is due to his very large body. That very large delicious looking body. I have such a huge crush on him, but I know that he would never look at me that way. Here I am, a measly 4'11 so everyone is a giant compared to me. I'm not sure where I got my shortness from, because my mom said that my biological dad was over 6-foot tall, and she average height. The one thing my mom did bestow upon me were boobs. I'm a full C-cup. They are a curse more often than a blessing. I get a lot of inappropriate stares towards me, and I hate it.
Today, I have therapy and training. What a day!? Katrina or her daughter Farrah always take me where I need to go, which is nice because I have become friends with them. They are amazing people. Farrah takes me to the clubhouse and we go in together. As I am walking towards the gym room, a few of the members say hello to me. They have all become friends with me, and I really am grateful. The door that is right next to the gym opens as I am almost to my destination. Out walks Thumper with a very pretty woman, and I can see that they are adjusting their clothing. I can't help but stop in my place and stare at them as they exit the room. I turn my head to follow their movements. I feel so stupid for having a crush on Thumper. "Stupid" I whisper yell at myself, because that is obviously the type of woman is interested in. Farrah starts yelling at her brother about something I can't make out so I continue to the gym. Jumper and I warm up, but I'm just not in the mood to train today. I need to go lick my wounds and get over my little crush that I thought I had. My therapist said that my crush is based on because he was the first nice man that I have encountered since escaping Jacob, maybe she is right. It's just a phase. Although, what if it wasn't just a phase or because he's been nice to me? What if I have a legitimate crush on the man? Either way...
I apologize for wasting Jumper's time and walk back out of the gym, and ask if Farrah was still there because I needed a ride back to the center. Mr. Keegan said no that she had to go to a doctor's appointment, but would be back but I can wait in his office until she could return. I decide to sneak out and go back on my own. Milly's isn't that far, and I have yet to venture out on my own since arriving in this town. I set out on foot, taking my time so I can enjoy my beautiful surroundings. I hear something loud coming up the road ahead of me, and see several motorcycles coming my direction. I put my head down and pick up my speed a little, trying to blend into the sidewalk. I didn't realize that I would be this nervous on my own. I should have stayed at the clubhouse and waited on Farrah. I shouldn't have snuck off on my own.
The motorcycles pass me by, and I am relieved...until it sounds like they are coming back. I glance slightly over my shoulder and see them all coming back my way. I keep walking, as quickly as I can. They get so close to me, that I can smell their exhaust. "Hey, sugar tits." one calls out. I keep walking, they keep creeping. "I said hey, whore." he calls out again. I just keep walking. I hear the bikes stop so I think I'm in the clear, until a large hand grabs my arm and slings me around. I am face to face with the man on the bike. "You speak when I talk to you. You are going to make a good whore for my men." he says with a nasty smile. I can smell the strong body odor on him and his breath smells like hot garbage. I look at his chest and see that his vest patches are not the same as Atoned Souls, so he must be with a different club. I am shaking so hard that my teeth are chattering. The man slaps my face and starts pulling me towards his bike. I am so scared that I can't say anything at all. I hear squealing like tires on a car, then I hear some screaming and the man let's go of me. I fall to the ground, holding my face where he struck me. I can't look up for fear that I am about to die. Why do men hurt me like this? I manage to look up just enough to see Thumper sitting on top of the bike man, hitting him in the face over and over again. I can only watch in amazement at how effortless it is for him to hit someone else. I look around and see that the rest of the bike men are all on the ground or they are stumbling around holding various parts of their bodies. Thumper jumps up off of the man, kicks him in the ribs one good time then looks at me. I can see the anger in his eyes. I turn my head and look down at the ground I am sitting on. What if he hits me too? I am still shaking so hard that I feel my bones rattling.
"Were you out here walking by yourself?" Thumper ask me.
"Yes. Farrah left and I didn't want to be a bother by sitting around the clubhouse waiting for her to come back. I'm sorry. Please don't be angry with me. I didn't mean to upset those men. I didn't mean to upset you, Thumper." I look at him, tears rolling out of my eyes, trying to give the most pleading look possible in hopes he will forgive my ignorance.
"I'm not upset with you. Those men are from a club in the next town. They are monsters, and they will not hesitate to hurt you. You have to stay clear of them. You got it? If you see them coming your direction, run into a nearby store or business office or something so you can get away from them. Everyone in town has the MC's phone numbers, and they can call for help for you." he states. I nod that I understand, still rubbing my face from the slap. "Now, why aren't you training?"
"I wasn't feeling up to it. I just want to go back to the center. I should be on my way." I say, standing up and dusting myself off. I start to walk off and he grabs my hand. Not hard, but just enough to make me stop dead in my tracks.
"I've never had a female in my truck before...not even my own mother. I will give you a ride back to Nanna's, but don't you tell a soul that I brought you there." he says while gently pulling me towards his truck. I look up at it, then to him, then back at the truck. I stretch my arm up to open the door, but it is useless. Curse you, short legs! I try to jump and reach it, but that is useless as well. "I can't reach the handle." I say with a defeated tone.
"You really are short, aren't you?" he says. "Here. Let me lift you up to the seat. If you can't reach the handle, I know you won't be able to climb up there." he says as he puts his hands on my waist and hoist me up to the seat in one swift motion, then shuts the door.
He gets in the truck and we start moving. I move into the door as close as I can so I don't take up too much space in the truck seat. "I'm sorry, Thumper." I say tucking my chin into my chest as much as possible.
"Don't ever apologize to me, Heather. I'm sorry for snapping at you. It's been a long day. I'm just tired and I get cranky when I'm tired." he says, barely glancing over at me.
"Maybe you shouldn't have sex with people then. If you are tired, that will only tire you more." I mumble without thinking.
I feel the truck stop, but we are not at Milly's. I look around, confused. Why did we stop? I start to panic and cry, because I am afraid that he is going to beat me. "Calm down. Breathe slow and deep." he says and reaches for my hand, using his large thumb to rub circles on the top of my hand. "You are absolutely right." Shit. He heard me. "But I didn't have sex with that girl you saw earlier. Now, let's get you back, Nosie Rosie." he said. Boy, do I feel stupid now.
We get to Milly's and he helps me get out of this monster truck of his. "Remember what I said. No one hears about me letting you in my truck." he says as he climbs back in and drives off. I go inside and get ready for the evening chores and to help prep for the dinner service. After dinner, I shower and get ready for bed. Tomorrow I turn 18!!! I am scared and excited all at the same time. I know that I won't get a fancy party, but I will be surrounded by the girls here at the center and Milly, who has been nothing but great to me. That is all that I can really ask for. Plus, anything that I do get is way more than I deserve. I lay in bed trying to sleep, but my thoughts go to Thumper. His hands on my waist, pulling me close to him. His hand holding mine, rubbing it softly. I know that I need to stop thinking this way about him. He obviously doesn't like me at all, and probably even hates me. My life stinks.