It's Now Or Never

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Chapter 24- How much longer?

Joel

The past couple of weeks have been hard on every single member of the club. No one wanted to go out and do runs. No one wanted to open up the businesses. Butch had to force everyone to try and get back to normality, even though he was broken inside.

I would spend every waking moment at the hospital with Kate. I would hold her hand and talk to her like she was still there with me. “Please, beautiful. I need you to come back to me” I say to her. I tell her about the club and her parents. I talk about Tracy and Savage. He finally claimed her. Only took them nearly a year to get their shit together.

“Kate, please. Show me something” I would ask of her. But I would get nothing in return. Her heart rate was always steady and her breathing was being done by a machine. The doctors have said that she isn’t brain dead and that is why they are leaving her on the ventilator. I just wish she would open her eyes for me.

Two months have passed now. I am making my normal trip into the hospital to sit with Katherine. I learnt from the physiotherapist how to do exercises with her so her muscles wouldn’t deteriorate. The sooner she wakes up, the sooner she will be back to her normal self. I have hope in her abilities.

Morning to night, I sit with Kate. I cry, I smile and then I cry again. I need her with me. I need her by my side. I wish I had told her all of this. I wish……. I just wish she was here with me right now. The hospital room door opens and I turn my neck to look at who is coming in. “How is she today?” the small voice of Diana asks. “No change” I tell her softly.

Diana walks over to me and places her hand on my shoulder. “She’ll come back to us, Joel. She is a Fowley after all” she tells me. I just wish I could take her words and run with them. The pain in my heart from the way I treated Kate is killing me. What I would give to be able to swap places with her.

Diana moves around to the other side of Kate’s bed and holds her hand. “Hey, Princess. Can you please show us you are still with us? We all miss you at home.” Diana says to her. I’m holding her other hand gently. Katherine’s fingers tighten around my hand.

“Katherine, can you do that again?” I ask her, but get nothing in return. My heart rate had increased but now is breaking once again. “What happened?” Diana asks. “She squeezed my hand” I tell her. Diana looked hopeful but that glint in her eye vanished when she saw my emotions surfacing again.

“She will come out of this. I just know it. You gotta have faith” Diana tells me. I give Di a small smile and stand up. “I really should get some work done, before Butch fires me” I tell her with a little laugh. Di smiles at me and shakes her head. “You are the only fucker he will take it easy on. The rest of them, may God have mercy on their souls” she says and laughs out loud.

Leaving the hospital, I kick start my bike taking off with a cloud of dust behind me. I ride back to the clubhouse, with a feeling of dread the whole time. There is something not right as I pull up to the gates. There’s a man standing on the path next to the driveway watching the clubhouse. I slow my bike down and look at him, trying to work out what he wants.

I get off my bike and slowly approach him. Keeping my hands at my sides, ready to grab my gun if needed. “Can I help you?” I ask him. He turns to look at me. His face is all beat up. Black and blue bruises from his eyes to his chin. “Are you Butch?” he asks me. I shake my head no. “Do you know where I will find him?” he asks again.

I keep staring at him. “What do you want with Butch?” I ask. “I have a package for him” he tells me. “I can give it to him” I tell this guy. I’m not sure if he even knows what’s going on. His eyes are spacy. He is swaying on his feet. “Mate, what the fuck happened to you?” I ask him. I watch as his eyes roll into the back of his head and he hits the concrete underneath him.

Moving quickly over to him, I bend down and check for a pulse. I can’t find one on his neck or wrists. “Holy shit” I yell out. One of the prospects hears me and comes running over. “Buster” he calls my name. “Frosty, get Butch out here” I tell him. Frosty runs off into the compound to get Butch. Two minutes later Butch is standing next to me looking down at this guy.

“Roll him over” Butch says to me. I roll the guy over and notice the stab wounds in his back. “Fuck” Butch yells out. “John has done this” he says. Anger lacing his voice. Butch bends down and helps me pick the guy up off the ground. We take him into the compound and lay him on the front porch. “Check all his pockets” Butch tells me.

I stick my hand into the front of his jeans and pull out a USB drive. “There would have to be something on this. He did tell me he had a package for you before he went down” I tell Butch. Butch takes the USB from me and walks into the clubhouse. I finish checking this guys pockets and come up empty. All he had on him was the USB stick and that was it.

I stand up and move into the clubhouse. On the main TV is a picture that makes my blood boil and vomit rise up my throat. On the screen is my Katherine. My Katherine who is in a coma in the hospital. Someone has been in her room with her of a night. They have been filming her. Touching her. Making rude and lude comments to her.

I turn around and storm back out of the clubhouse. My bike is still sitting out the front of the compound. I walk straight through the gates and jump onto my bike. Starting it as quick as I can, I take off down the road towards the hospital. Not obeying speed signs, I get there as quick as I can.

I run into the main doors, “Sir, it is past visiting hours” a woman yells at me. “If it is past visiting hours, why the hell did my boss get a video of a man, in his daughters hospital room, after visiting hours?” I ask her. She can’t answer me. “My bosses daughter will be having round the clock protection. If you do not like it, find somewhere else to work” I tell her. Pressing the button for the elevator.

Finally the elevator comes to a stop on Kate’s floor. I walk through the doors and wait for others to open from the inside. I make it to her room and hear voices from the inside. I put my hand on my gun, and slowly open the door. Two doctors are standing at the foot of her bed. “She has been in a coma for just over two months now. Poor girl tried to take her own life” the doctor on the left says to the other.

“I would too, if I was stuck with those bikie scum out there” the other doctor says. His voice sounds familiar. I push the door wider and walk in. “I’m sorry sir, visiting hours are over” the first doctor says. “I’m not leaving this hospital. Katherine will have 24 hour a day 7 days a week protection” I tell him. He looks at me nervously.

I take a good look at the other doctor in the room. He won’t look me in the eye. I move in closer to him and can feel him tense up beside me. “I know who you are. You are no doctor here” I whisper into his ear. He lets out a rugged breath. I nod my head at the other doctor, telling him to leave the room. He takes my cue and walks out. “Now we are alone. What the fuck are you doing here?” I ask him.

“Go fuck yourself.” He says back to me. “Nah, I wouldn’t mind taking you for a bit. Just think of all the fun we can have. Especially when I go in dry” I say to him and lick his ear lobe. He pales even more. “Please, John told me to come here and act like a doctor and get into her room. I promise I never touched her” he tries to reason with me.

“I saw the video. Did touching a barely alive woman make you feel all manly?” I ask him, stepping back from his body. Grabbing my gun out of my cut and applying the silencer. “Did you feel all big and tough, touching and threatening a woman who is in a coma?” I continue to ask questions. He never turns around to look me in the eyes.

“Tell me. Did you feel like a fucking man every time you came in here with the video camera? Every time you touched her body? Every time you made a disgusting comment towards her? ANSWER ME. DID YOU? I yell at him. He shakes his head at my questions. “No, no, it was nothing like that. I swear. I never even wanted to do it, but John said he’d kill my wife and kids if I didn’t” he cries out.

“I don’t have any sympathy for pricks like you. You were there when John assaulted this girl. Did you know she is blood to him? Might not be direct parental blood but that is his niece. His only fucking niece and he raped her and tortured her, all for what? Revenge on his woman’s death, that no one here committed” I yell at him.

“I don’t care you have a wife and kids. You made your bed and now you are to sleep in it” I tell him without an ounce of care in the world. I raise my gun to his head and pull the trigger. I watch as the bullet enters into his skull and exits through the back of it. He drops to the floor and the blood runs out onto the floor below him.

Pulling my phone out of my pocket, I dial the number to my Pres. “Buster” he answers. “Kate’s room at the hospital had an accident. There is blood all over the floor. I don’t know how it happened. Kate is unharmed though” I tell him. Butch grunts down the line. “See you in thirty” he says and hangs up.

There is going to be a bit of damage control done here, but that’s ok. He wasn’t even a real doctor. I lock the door to Katherine’s room. I don’t need any nurses coming in and seeing the dead body. Grabbing a sheet off the shelf in the corner, I cover the body. Guys like him, grind my fucking gears. Don’t pull the wife and kids card on me. You are in the fucking wrong in the first place.

True to his word, Butch walks in the room not even half an hour later, two prospects in toe. “Clean this mess up and then stand guard at the door” Butch tells the prospects. They nod their heads and get to work. “Hopefully, shit will change now” he tells me.

~~

2 months later

Joel

Another two months have passed. Katherine has sent us on a crazy ride over the last couple of months. One minute she is crashing, the next her body is reacting to our voices. Doctors think she will wake up now. She is breathing on her own now, so that tube has been removed. One less thing to worry about.

John hasn’t tried to send any more men in to watch Katherine. He knows he got caught the last time. I sort of feel sorry for that guys family, but he fucked up by listening to John in the first place.

Sitting by Kate’s bed, like I have done for the last seventeen weeks, just holding her hand. “Come on, baby. We all miss you at home” I tell her. Like I have told her for the past seventeen weeks. Her hand twitches again but this time she holds on and doesn’t let go.

“Kate, open your eyes baby girl. Please open your eyes” I plead with her. Her eyelids flutter but then everything stops. I sit back in my chair and look down at the floor. Letting the tears fall from my cheeks. Katherine squeezes my hand again. I don’t get excited like I did the last time, knowing that she would just stop again.

Her hand keeps squeezing mine and I gasp when I look up.

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