Chapter 1: Rockford
I climbed out of the cab of the large lorry, and raised a hand in thanks to the driver. He just nodded back as I shut the door. I watched as the tail lights disappeared from view.
I was lucky to get a ride. Usually anyone that slowed down, would speed right back up when they see the scar on my face. It made me look like trouble. Perhaps I was.
It was too dark tonight for the driver to see the scar. He didn’t see it until he began to drive off. Then he was already committed. He kept giving me sideways glances though. Probably making sure I wasn’t going to stab him or something.
The scar was a gift from my father, who actually wasn’t my father, as it turns out.
I guessed I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, that seemed to be the story of my life, so far. The knife was meant for my poor excuse of a mother. She moved out the way, leaving me in the path of the blade. Then she left, leaving me at the mercy of the man who hated us both, although probably me more than her.
When my father yelled to one of his men to clean up the mess and get rid of her. He wasn’t referring to the blood. He wanted me out of his hair permanently. The man in question I’d known since I was a toddler. Instead of getting rid, he patched me up and sent me on my way. Felix was his name
He said it was to risky to take me to the hospital. The result was a scar that ran from my forehead across my eye and down my cheek, and an eye that was next to useless. It wasn’t the first time the man I had known as father had hurt me, but it was sure as hell going to be the last.
Still at least I was alive. That was a year ago.
After that I lived rough. An old man, a vagrant, Harry took me under his wing. Showed me the best places to sleep, the easiest mark’s to rob. In return I shared the spoils. That’s until I returned to the squat tonight and found him dead. A knife in his chest along with a bloody note.
He was the closest thing to a father figure I had. I should have been sad, upset, but life had hardened me a little too much.
Besides I needed to get the hell out of dodge. A warning from the man I had called father. I was his dirty little secret, and he wanted me dead. Not for any other reason than that it would look bad if anyone else found out that his woman had been pregnant by another man when she was still with him. An unwritten biker rule that you didn’t touch another man’s woman, and your woman never went near another man.
I shoved my hand into my jeans pocket. My fingers touched the letter in my pocket. As soon as I saw it, shoved into the broken door of the squat, I knew who it was from. I recognised the writing on the front. My name written in neat script ‘Dani’. She always called me that. Everyone else called me by my full name that I hated, Danielle. I hadn’t even opened it. Just shoved it in my pocket. She’d walked out on me, left me with the vicious bastard who gave me the scar, and now she led him right to me. Maybe he’d killed her too, or maybe I was the price to take her back. After all Rattlesnake Knox was the president of the Sin City Blades. He didn’t do loose ends.
I hadn’t even intended to read it, but finding Harry dead, I’d decided that I should. It didn’t tell me much, didn’t say she was sorry. Just a name.
Find Daniel De Marco. He has a garage in Rockford. Tell him Katarina sent you.
I shouldn’t really trust her. She’d abandoned me after all. Lead Rattlesnake to where I was. This could just be a trap. It was definitely her handwriting though. Besides what choice did I have.
I couldn’t stay in Vegas, not with Rattlesnake and his boys out for my blood. It wasn’t like I had a lot to lose.
Rockford wasn’t much to look at. A small town. If the information in the letter didn’t pan out, I’d move on. Find somewhere bigger. Less likelihood of being picked up by the cops when I turned someone over.
I wandered around until I saw the garage. It wasn’t a garage that sold fuel, it was more of a fix your broken down car sort of garage.
It was around nine in the evening, so it was shut up tight. I carried on walking. Maybe I could ask around. Heading a bit further into town I spotted a bar. It looked fairly busy, maybe I could blend in. Ask about someone called Daniel De Marco.
I pushed open to door of the bar. As I walked in the silence was deafening. I felt like turning around and walking straight back out. I couldn’t lose face though.
I should have realised this was a biker bar, maybe even a club. The bikes parked out front should have told me that. The muscular tattooed men in cuts, confirmed it.
I walked over to the bar. Trying to hide my limp. Another gift from Rattlesnake.
The girl behind the bar stared at me. I didn’t flinch, I was used to it. People would either stare at me disgustedly or out of pity, or would purposely look anywhere except my face.
I pushed my long dark hair behind my ear, so she could get a better look at the scar, and the milky white eyeball.
“Beer,” I stated.
“You got ID?”
I rolled my eyes, she only looked about seventeen. She was wearing cut off shorts and a bright red boob tube. Her face was plastered with makeup.
“If you’re old old enough to sell it, I’m old enough to drink it,” I scoffed.
She narrowed her eyes, and scowled at me.
She was about to say something, no doubt to tell me to get out, but she didn’t get a chance.
“Serve her,” a gruff voice demanded.
I glanced to my right.
A huge guy stood there. I could tell by his patch that he was an enforcer, I’d had a few run in’s with Rattlesnake’s enforcers. None which ended well.
I felt my heart beat a little faster. If Knox was the frying pan, this was the fire. These bikers were the Crimson Eagles. Knox’s arch Nemesis. The president was called Hawk. If he knew that he had the supposed daughter of the Sin City Blades in his place, he would be rubbing his hands together in glee. That’s if MC presidents ever felt glee. In my experience that wasn’t the case, except if they were causing pain or suffering.
The girl shoved a beer toward me, and I pulled out a five dollar bill from my pocket. As I put it on the bar, his heavy hand covered mine.
“On the house,” he gruffed.
The girl rolled her eyes and walked towards the other end of the bar.
I looked at him.
“Thanks,” I mumbled, as I took a pull from the beer and shoved the money back in my pocket.
In a way I was grateful, it was my last five dollars.
His dark green eyes stared at me.
He was good looking and he knew it. I short beard covered his square jaw, hiding a scar. It was noticeable because the hair didn’t quite grow there. His hair was dark, and cropped short. He wouldn’t have looked out of place in an office, but I guess his good looks belied the tough man beneath. His body didn’t though. His muscles were well defined, and covered in tattoos.
It didn’t take him long to get down to business.
“Who are you, and what are you doing here?” he demanded.
I rolled my eyes. He buys me a beer then starts an interrogation.
“Just passing through,” I sighed.
I decided there and then, that he wasn’t the person to ask about someone called Daniel De Marco. I had a funny feeling that this Daniel character was likely to be someone in this MC. It could even be him. The last thing I needed was to get involved with another MC. I was done with all that. Especially if they were enemies of Knox.
I knew the saying, the enemy of your enemy is your friend, but I knew better than to trust someone just because they bought me a beer. It had taken me weeks to trust Harry. I was still pissed that the only friend I had, was taken from me.
“You got a name?” the man pressed.
“Do you?” I countered.
He held out his hand, “Razor,” he smirked.
I shook his hand.
“Dani,” I responded.
“Nothing,” I interrupted, “its just Dani.”
He smirked, then he clicked his finger at the girl.
“Get me a beer Bianca and some food.”
After sliding a beer in his direction, she headed out the back.
“You want something?” he asked.
I shook my head.
“Nah, I’m good.”
I wasn’t good, I was actually starving but I wasn’t about to tell him that. I could barely of afforded the beer, let alone food as well. Besides I’d gotten used to not eating much.
“You look to me like you could use a damn good meal,” he added.
I rolled my eyes.
“I better get going.”
The last thing I needed was for him to think I owed him. I knew what bikers were like. They liked to be paid in kind, and I wasn’t spreading my legs for anyone.
I headed out the bar.
Nice one Dani, you go got jack shit in the way of info, and you turned down a hot meal.
I decided to head back to the garage, which was a couple of blocks away. I doubted it had much in the way of security, and there might be some cash stashed away. More importantly I might be able to find some information on Daniel De Marco.