Chapter 14- Surprise children
What the fuck is John on about. My father died in a war. He wasn’t even around when I was born. “Brad stop the car” “Pal, don’t be stupid” “I said stop the fucking car” I yell at Brad. He slows down and pulls over on the side of the road. I get out of the car, slamming the door behind me. Brad gets out after me. “What the fuck, man?” Brad asks me.
“Are you fucking serious right now, Brad?” I huff out a breath. “Your wonderful father in there just sprouted off shit about my life and you are acting like it means fucking nothing.” My anger is starting to consume my thoughts. “He is lucky I don’t unclip my whole magazine into his fucking head” I yell at Brad. Brad looks at me with anger in his eyes.
“That man was protecting you against the scum in this world. You should be fucking grateful that he kept you alive and not killed you because of who your father is” Brad spits at me. “Be grateful” I scoff. “I didn’t even know who my father was until he opened his fucking mouth” I scream back at him. “Brad, just get back in your fucking car and fuck off” I yell at him.
Brad turns and walks back towards the car. “Think about what you do or say next, Josh, because I will not hesitate to put a bullet between your fucking eyes” Brad spits at me. He gets in the car and slams the door behind him, his tires screeching as he takes off. I stand still in my spot. Running my hands through my hair.
The only person I need to speak to right now is my mother. The woman who birthed me and then raised me to believe my father was dead. I pull out my phone from my pocket and dial her number. “Josh, are you ok, son?” she asks as soon as she answers. “No, mother. I am in the middle of nowhere, just finding out that my Dad isn’t my Dad. Maybe you could explain this to me?” I say to her. I hear her huff on the other end.
“Where are you exactly? I will come and get you” She says to me. I send her my location and say bye to her, hanging up the phone. I find a bench to sit on, and I wait for her to arrive. I know this will be one hard conversation for the both of us, but it is needed. I need to know the truth. I need to see if I have been working against my biological father to hurt my baby sister.
A couple of hours pass, and I see my Mum’s old beat-up Ford coming towards me. She slows down and comes to a complete stop next to me. I get into the car, and she smiles at me, but I don’t smile back at her. Her smile drops instantly. “Where do you want me to start?” she asks me. “From the beginning mother. If that is who you really are?” I say back to her.
She takes a deep breath through her nose and lets it out of her mouth. “Twenty-seven years ago, I met a man named Baxter. He was this bulky, muscled, tattooed twenty-year-old man. He took my breath away. The day he asked me to be his girlfriend, I thought all my Christmases had come at once. He swept me off my feet” She says. I keep quiet to allow her to keep talking.
“He was in the biker gang by the time I met him. He was just about to take over from his father. He treated me like a queen. I never went without. Being only eighteen myself. I didn’t know much about life. Two years later, I found out I was pregnant with you. Your father didn’t know. I knew then I didn’t want to bring you up around that: all the fighting, all the sex and drugs and alcohol. I knew you needed better. So, I left. I packed my stuff and left while he was out on a run.” I watch as a tear falls down her cheek. “I got as far as Old Town before John approached me. He was angry with his brother. Not allowing him in the club. Baxter knew that John wasn’t strong enough to fight like him. He didn’t have the balls to do anything of the sort” she sniffles.
“I didn’t know what to do by the sixth month of pregnancy. I had started showing. Keeping it a secret any longer would have been harder. John made himself known again. He only had to take one look at me to see why I ran. He came to me one day and pretty much laid it all out on the table. He told me that if I didn’t keep you a secret, he would kill you and hurt me, and I couldn’t let that happen. You were the only thing I had left in my life at this stage” Her sobs are starting to get louder.
“John told me he wouldn’t hurt me if I raised you as a single parent. I had to follow his rules and wasn’t allowed contact with the outside world. All I know now is I will most like to die by his hands. I am so sorry I never told you this before, Josh. You have to believe me that if I had my way, you would have known about your father and not the lie I told you for the past twenty-four years.” She tells me.
I can see this is troubling her, so the only thing I know to do is hold her hand. “Mum, I forgive you, but it is time to face Butch. He needs to know the truth, and hopefully, we can work beside him to make sure that John doesn’t hurt another person. You know John is hell-bent on killing Butch’s daughter?” I ask her. She shakes her head no, with a shocked look on her face. “Is that who Katherine belongs to?” she asks me. I nod my head yes at her question.
She continues driving down the road heading towards Old Town. “Mum, turn the car around,” I tell her. She quickly glances at me with her eyebrow raised. “If you want to live, you will do as I have said. Turn the car around” I tell her again. Mum slows down and chucks a 180, heading back the way we came. “What are you planning, Josh?” Mum asks me. “It’s time to meet my father and for you to explain what the fuck happened,” I tell her. Authority in my voice.
I see Mum shiver from the corner of my eye. I can tell she is nervous, especially when she knows Butch moved on. She stops at a motel on the side of the highway. “I need to sleep Josh,” she tells me. I nod my head and get out of the car, heading into the reception to book a room.
Getting the key, I get Mum from the car and help her into the room. She lays on the bed and is asleep within minutes. I use this time to research anything I can about Butch and the Devils On Wheels MC. Article after article about these guys. All the good they do for the community. The kidnapping of their child made it to headlining news. What the actual fuck.
Mum sleeps for another few hours. I am too wired to sleep. My eyes are still scanning everything I need to know about Butch and Katherine. When Mum finally wakes from her sleep. We get packed up and hit the road. The drive to the compound is silent. I am too far gone in my head even to notice Mum is pulling up the long driveway.
My heart rate starts increasing the minute the prospects come into view. “Who are you and what business do you have being here?” one of the guys says to Mum through her opened window. “I need to see Baxter,” she says to the boy. He gives her a strange look. “She meant Butch” I clarify for her. “Who are you?” the kid asks. “My name is Wendy. He will know who you are talking about as soon as you mention my name” she tells him. He turns and runs off towards the clubhouse.
He comes back a few minutes later, opening the gate wider for us to drive through. “Park your car in the lot and wait in it until you are asked to step out,” the boy tells Mum. She does as she is told and drives the car into the lot. Sitting in the car with the engine off, I see movement from the corner of my eye.
The first person I see is an older version of John. “That must be Butch,” I say to myself. Mum nods her head slowly. Butch approaches Mum’s door and opens it for her. “Step out with your hands where I can see them,” he says to her. She does as she is told. I am still sitting in the passenger seat, waiting for what is going to happen.
My door is being opened by the guy who is always on Katherine. “Get out. Hands where I can see them” he says to me. I do as I am told. He pats me down and removes my phone from my pocket. “Ah, your John’s little lackey,” Butch says to me. I slowly nod my head while taking a good look at him. I can see Katherine standing on the porch. Her arm is around her mother.
“It’s been a while, Wendy,” Butch says to Mum. She just nods her head. “What are you doing here?” he asks her. Mum clamps her lips shut. “John” is all I say in return. “And who are you?” Butch asks me. “I’m Josh. I’m Wendy’s son” I tell him. Butch looks at Mum and then back at me. “Looks like we need to have a private conversation, don’t we?” he says to us, turning around and heading back towards the clubhouse.
All the men and women move to make room for us to walk through. Katherine’s eyes never leave me. She knows exactly who I am, but I have never touched her. I was just apart of that shit. Mum and I follow Butch into the building and to a room off to the side. The table in here is as big as my apartment. Must be their chapel.
I watch as Butch takes a seat at the head of the table. To his right is his wife, and next to her is Katherine. Mum and I sit at the other end of the table. Didn’t want to be too close for him to hurt Mum or me. “Speak,” Butch says. Mum takes a deep, shuddering breath.
“Baxter, I….” she says. “The name is Butch” he cuts her off. “Sorry, Butch. We have come here today because there are a few things you need to know. Twenty-five years ago, I ran. I ran because I was pregnant” Mum tells him. His wife and Katherine gasp at this revelation. “I knew I didn’t want my child to brought up around everything you did, do. So I took off to make a life for myself. I needed to raise my child away from all the fighting, sex and drugs” Mum tells him. I look at his face to see it is still stony. No emotions at all.
“I was doing good until I was six months pregnant. That is when your brother found me. He threatened to kill the baby and me and drop us on your doorstep. This was just after the news Jane had died. John had a vendetta against you. He wanted you to hurt like he was. He threatened me that if I didn’t do as he said he was going to bring the baby to you, dead or alive” I watch as a tear falls down Mum’s cheek.
“John, he got his claws into Josh here and raised him to hate you. Think you were the enemy. He made up a bullshit story that I have had to stick to for the past 24 years. That Josh’s father died in a war. John groomed Josh, from the moment he could walk. I never wanted it to be this way, but I had no choice in the matter” she tells him.
“You always have a fucking choice. So, tell me, Wendy, what the fuck are you doing here?” Butch asks her. “Butch, meet your son Josh,” she tells him. Conviction in her eyes. The gasps can be heard all around the room. “He is mine?” Butch asks. Mum nods her head. “So, you mean to tell me that I have had a son out in this world for the past twenty-four years. This son of mine is then also working with his Uncle to kill his sister” Butch says. I watch the reactions on his wife’s and daughter’s faces. Katherine looks like she is about to pass out. His wife looks as if she wants to jump the table and kill us.
Butch stands from his chair and walks out the room, slamming the doors behind him. I turn in my chair to look at Mum. Her eyes are down on the table. She knows she has fucked up. I grab her hand in mine and whisper into her ear, “You’ve done the right thing”. She shakes her head at me, “I completely fucked everything up, Josh” she tells me.
We are sitting in the room for 30 minutes before Butch comes flying through the doors. “It’s the fucking truth” he yells out.