Claire woke up with a pounding headache. She did it to herself, drinking too much from nerves and chasing the demons away. She sighed and rolled over in her bed, hugging the pillow to her chest. Almost all their friends supported Toby and it killed her. She thought back to everyone knowing but her that he had been cheating, again.
She was lost in her own world most of the time and when it came out he was expecting a baby, it was all the more devastating. She couldn’t get pregnant. The fertility doctor said he had done all he could. She had hoped in time they would adjust and maybe adopt. It was only months later that Toby’s mistress was pregnant. He was elated. Claire was devastated.
The tears started to come and she couldn’t stop them. Each wracking sob caused pain to spike through her head. She curled into herself and put her hand on her stomach. No matter how hard she tried, she was the ultimate failure as a woman.
She couldn’t keep her husband, couldn’t keep her marriage together and couldn’t bear children. Didn’t matter how successful she was in her business life, she was still a failure in her personal life. She dozed off and woke up with a stuffy head and swollen eyes from crying.
The warm shower helped her feel more herself. Her stomach was queasy and she probably needed to eat even though she wasn’t hungry. She grabbed some water and got in her car. She was going to go find breakfast and check the town out. She ended up in a tiny coffee shop with a steaming cup of strong coffee and dry toast.
She didn’t pay any attention to the group of bikes that rolled up. She was jotting notes down about the furniture in the garage. Sketching ideas out and supplies she would need. She had spread out over a good portion of a table top when a large presence interrupted her. She quickly gathered her things without looking up.
“Good morning Miss Stewart.” Max’s deep voice greeted her.
“Good morning. Do you need the table? I was just leaving.” She looked up and smiled at him. He had kind eyes.
“Are we running you off?” He glanced back at the group of guys that was too big to fit at one of the booths.
“No…I’ve taken up too much time at this table anyways.” She stood up and the guys all got a good look at the smooth legs and tiny shorts she had on. She stuffed the sketches and swatches into her ever present messenger bag and dropped a twenty on the counter for her coffee and toast. Skirting around the men, she made her way outside and down the block and out of their sight.
“She really is lost in her own world.” Hunter mumbled as they sat down at the empty table. “Did Miss Betty give any more info up?”
“Told Stella that her husband got another woman pregnant. And she is looking for a fresh start. Miss Betty is a little concerned about her drinking and not eating much.”
“Who’s her husband?”
“Football player Toby Stewart. Stella did a little searching around. She didn’t tell Miss Betty who the ex is though.”
“Dallas Cowboys…Toby Stewart?” Hunter was shocked.
“The one and only.” Max sat back and watched Gabe as he searched his pockets.
Gabe had pulled out his phone and pulled up a few old pictures of them. A wedding picture popped up from a gossip site. She was stunning in her couture gown and an enormous diamond on her hand. They were married on some exotic beach with just a few friends. She was glowing, he looked like an asshole. A big asshole at that.
He clicked a link that took him to a detailed story about the crumbling five year marriage. He skimmed through the details and his eyes widened slightly at the insinuation that Claire couldn’t have children and perhaps it was best for everyone that this happened the way it did.
He scrolled through several pictures. Her smiling in a store and him sitting with a blond on his lap in a club. A picture of her on the phone crying as she’s walking down a street and one of him with a large hand covering a baby bump, the same blonde. Several more pictures accompanied the article that showed her and Toby in a heated conversation in a parking lot. He was looming over her with his hands on his narrow hips as she was looking up at him, tears streaking down her face.
“Jesus Christ…this article is brutal.” He looked at Hunter. He shut the browser down and sat back.
“Not our business.” Hunter snapped at the club Vice President.
“Yes sir.” Gabe rolled his eyes. “What’s on the agenda for the week?”
Max and Hunter both launched into the construction and repair schedule. Some of it included meeting Claire at the warehouse store in a few days and pulling things out of the garage for her and transporting them. The rest of their meal was quiet as they all ate. Gabe was distracted, thinking about the woman that was climbing in the garage and her story.
They paid the waitress and left her a large tip, thanking her. They rolled past the warehouse on their way to their next job and saw Claire with the doors open, sitting in the middle of the floor, by herself. She never looked up at the thunder that was rolling down the street.
Hours later, the boys were on their bikes rolling back up the street towards the clubhouse. Claire was still there and it looked like she had been cleaning. She was standing on a ladder half hanging onto the edge of the roof, cleaning the large glass windows. Hunter saw that several men were watching her from across the street. He hit the gas, causing the bike to burp loudly and the men scatter. He checked his mirror and saw her as she was climbing down.
He was exhausted as they rolled through the gates of the club compound. He was starving and didn’t want any shit. He saw Kristin’s car was parked in his reserved spot and it immediately pissed him off. He pulled in, blocking her car. He stormed into the clubhouse, finding her in skintight jeans and a club shirt.
“Get the fuck out. What part of staying off of club property did you not get Kristin?” He stormed through the clubhouse. He couldn’t even look at her. She had been nothing but three years of trouble and he was beyond done.
“Are we still on this dumb shit Hunter?” She whipped her blonde curls around to face him.
The clubhouse started to clear out to let the toxic couple fight it out.
“Looks like we are, since you’re here after being told to not come back.”
She sighed. “It meant nothing.”
“You sleep with the President of a rival fucking club and you tell me it meant nothing? You are a piece of work.”
“We weren’t together!”
“Doesn’t fucking matter… It was a rival club President. Anyone else would have been fine. No one trusts you here, not with club business, not with their men…or their women. I don’t trust that you didn’t repeat club business.”
It hit her that he was angry. “You’re serious about this?”
He stopped and turned around and started storming after her. Dragon cut him off before he got to the idiot blonde bimbo.
“Prez…take a walk.”
“Get her the fuck out. Now!”
“I need you to move your bike Prez.” Dragon swallowed hard.
“My bike is not fucking moving. I told her not to come back here.” Hunter crossed his arms over his chest.
“I need my fucking car!” She screamed at him.
“You’re trespassing on private property. You were told to not come back, you parked in a designated parking spot. What you don’t seem to understand is that your problem is not my problem.”
“You fucking asshole! You think he’s the only one I slept with behind your back?”