Biker taken the lost sou.., p.11
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       Biker Taken (The Lost Souls MC Series Book 6), p.11

           Ellie R. Hunter
 
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  Chapter Twenty-One

  Oak

  It’s too hot and muggy to be standing around the bar waiting for Mark to finish up with Denzel. My eyes hurt from exhaustion, my ass aches from the ride into the city and my head is full of Shellie and her incessant worrying on my behalf. The last thing I need is listening to Micky drone on about his plans to marry Flo. I’m happy for my brother, but I’ve been listening to him for six years go on about marriage. Until I see a ring on that woman’s finger, I won’t believe it.

  “I’m going to talk to Mark when we get back about taking some time out and I’m going to take Flo on a ride until Willow’s Peak is far behind us. Serenade her and spoil her, just the two of us, man. She’s going to fuckin’ love it,” he continues.

  “You do realise you’ve sayin’ this shit from the first day you met her, six years ago?”

  He shrugs and lights a cigarette, blowing a long stream of smoke into the air.

  “Nothing is going to get in my way this time, not the club, and certainly not any Raging Riders motherfuckers,” he grunts, “anyways, when are you going to let Shell make an honest man out of you?” he asks.

  “We’re perfectly happy the way we are. She knows I love her…”

  “Come on, man, every woman needs a ring on their finger. It changes everything for them, Shellie isn’t no different.”

  “Me and Shellie are just fine the way we are.”

  My tone shuts down the conversation and I turn my attention to watching the door to Denzel’s office. It isn’t long before Mark is pushing through and looks, as always, like he wants to be anywhere but here.

  He heads straight for the exit and Micky and I follow him out to our bikes. A single Raging Rider rides past us before picking up speed and rides off, not before getting a good look at the three of us.

  “How did it go in there?” Micky asks him, nodding back to the bar.

  “We should get out of here before any more Raging fuckers show up. I’ll tell you when we get home, but for now, he’s giving us more work,” he says, sliding his helmet on.

  “How much?” I ask.

  “Three runs a month,” he sighs, climbing on his bike, “Come on, let’s go. Rayna wasn’t well when we left, I want to make sure she’s okay.”

  “She’s carryin’ a human in her belly, of course she isn’t okay,” I grunt, causing Micky to laugh.

  “It’s the most natural thing in the world man, you make it sound disgusting,” Micky continues to laugh.

  “Come on, let’s go.”

  Mark pulls out into traffic first while Micky and I ride after him. Traffic is pretty light at this time of day and we make it to the cross junction pretty quickly. The lone Raging Rider we saw moments ago rides towards us with a brother of his and they both stop at their red light.

  Three on two are good odds on our side but with this amount of witnesses and innocent people I don’t like their odds not getting caught up in the middle.

  Our traffic light turns green and the three of us ride past the two Raging Riders and keep one eye on our mirrors, tracking their movements.

  Expected and predictable, they both make a U-turn and speed up behind us. Mark reaches for his gun and I do the same.

  “Swerve your bikes,” Micky yells, as they start to shoot at us.

  They take two more shots and they both miss us. Turning and aiming my gun at them, the one closest to me gets his shot in first and the bullet rips through my side.

  Hissing through the ripped pain, I shove my gun back in my pocket and grip onto the handlebars and rev the engine. Keeping one eye on the road in front of me and one eye in the mirror on the Raging cunts, it’s not long before they take a left and disappear out of sight.

  Mark comes up beside me and frowns when he sees me holding my side. Blood is coming fast. I can feel the wetness on my hand without having to look.

  “We’ll stop at the next motel,” he yells.

  It isn’t far so I nod, and push harder into the wound as well as trying to ride straight. The longer we ride, the dizzier I become. The blood is coming fast and no amount of pressure is stopping it.

  Riding into the car lot of the motel, I’m thankful we’re finally here. Mark rides to the far end and I park up beside him.

  Micky parks up and jogs over to the office, while Mark lifts my cut and t-shirt to assess the wound. I daren’t look down. It takes a lot for me to pussy out, but I draw the line at gunshot wounds.

  “It’s only a flesh wound, it doesn’t look too deep.”

  “Good, I ain’t got time to die today. Shellie would put my balls in a pie if I show up late again.”

  She bloody would as well, I dread to think how much this will set her off again. I’ve spent months trying to convince she has nothing to worry about and now I’m going to go home with a bullet wound. It’s not going to be easy to convince her again, if ever.

  “We’re in room ten, at the end,” Micky calls out on his way back over to us.

  After grabbing a black bag from his side bag, he and Mark both help me off my bike and into the room. Once inside, I slump down on the bed and shrug out of my cut. Mark helps me out of my t-shirt and I fall back on the mattress.

  “Tell us about the meet,” I grunt, needing a distraction.

  I listen to everything he says, Denzel wants to up our runs, it means a shit load more time on the road and a shit ton more of cash.

  “Three runs is going to mean we’re more noticed…” I begin to say but hiss through my teeth as Micky cleans the wound.

  “He assured me that each run will be different. The guys will be fine with it, the more cash they make the happier they are,” he says.

  “We’ve got more problems than making more cash,” Micky pipes in, “We were in a bad position back there, this could’ve been much worse,” he carries on, pointing at my side.

  My eyes grow heavier with every word spoken and I relax my head back on the pillow.

  “We’ll sort that out when we get back and we’re with the others. For tonight, we’ll stay here so Oak can rest. I think he’s lost more blood than we thought.” Mark orders.

  Having my eyes closed, I don’t see them moving around and after a few beats, I hear nothing.

  ****

  Mark is already up and sitting by the window when I wake, while Micky is still crashed out on the other bed. His snores are enough to wake the dead yet he sleeps through it all.

  “How are you feeling?”

  I try getting up and the side of my stomach tightens and pain shoots across my abdomen. It’s nothing that will keep me down a minute longer.

  “Not too bad, what time is it?” I ask, searching around me for my t-shirt.

  Mark gets up and walks into the bathroom, when he come out a second later, he throws my T-shirt at me and the side is damp.

  “Just after five, I washed the blood out as much as I could and tried drying it with the hair dryer. It will do until you get home.”

  “If I’m allowed home, another night her not knowing where I am I wouldn’t be surprised if she throws all my shit on the street.”

  “She’ll understand when she finds out what kept you, surely?”

  “I don’t think so. She’s driving herself crazy thinkin’ I’ll end up dead every time I leave the fuckin’ house.”

  Throwing the T-shirt over my head, I gingerly pull it down over the bandage Micky dressed last night and stand up.

  “We need to leave, I need to get back and explain yesterday to her.”

  “You good to ride?” he asks, making sure.

  “Yeah, I’m good.”

  Even if I weren’t, it would still feel better than knowing Shellie will be going off her head at home. I promised her I would be back for dinner.

  “Yo, Micky, wake up, we’re leaving,” Mark calls, throwing my pillow at our brother.

  He comes alert sharply and bolts upright.

  “What the fuck?” he groans, rolling his neck and stretching his arms.

 
If we leave now, we’ll make it back before everyone wakes up, you know how much you like to wake Flo up,” Mark teases, knowing how to get Micky moving.

  It works, he jumps off the bed and slips into his boots and is ready to go in less than two minutes.

  “If we get back and I’m the one to wake Flo up, I’ll light the BBQ tonight and cook steaks,” he grins.

  “Let’s get movin’ then,” I boom, forgetting how loud I can be and how early it still is.

  I ride to the clubhouse with Mark and Micky, Shellie should be asleep in my old room and I want to talk to her and explain about the shoot out before she hears it from anyone else and it sends her imagination straight to Crazyville.

  Before we get close to the main house, Michael storms towards us with Pope and Big Ron before we’ve got our bikes stopped, and demands, “Where have you fuckin’ been brother?”

  “It’s been a long night, we’ll meet in the back room in ten minutes,” Mark tells him, heading for the house.

  I make my way into the bar and through to the back room, choosing to finish this off before waking Shellie.

  By the time Mark joins us and updating Michael is over, I want a hot shower and my woman with me. The consensus was everyone was happy with the extra cash that will be coming in and Michael wanted to use yesterday’s shooting to retaliate and Mark had to talk him down. The only good news was Michael announcing his engagement to Kitty. I didn’t see that coming, not with him loving the shit out of Ray. I see he loves Kitty but he’s different with Rayna.

  Forgetting everything, I find my old room empty and I should’ve known she would’ve gone home. Trekking my ass back to my bike, I make the forty-minute trip into town and to our house. The early morning sun that shined upon us as we rode back to the club slowly disappears behind dark, black clouds that loom over Willow’s Peak.

  I’m hoping it’s not an omen of what’s to come at home. The whole street knows when I return home thanks to the rumble of my bike and usually I thrash the throttle and create the effects of a thunder storm. But, today, I try to keep it quiet and not piss my woman off any more than she’s already going to be.

  Her car is in the drive and the curtains are still drawn. Parking by her car, I cross the lawn and climb the porch steps.

  Sliding the key into the lock, I find it already unlocked and I push it open slowly. When I do, a dish comes hurtling towards my head.

  “You asshole,” she screams, as another dish flies my way.

  I move fast to the stairs and hide myself from the flying dishes.

  “Shell, darlin’, calm down, I’m home now,” I try to soothe her.

  “Screw you, John, you fucking lied to me, again,” she screams, “Where have you been?” she demands.

  “If you stop throwin’ shit, I’ll tell ya,” I call out, and the hall becomes a flying dish free zone.

  “Let’s hear it then, I can’t wait to hear how you try and get out of this.”

  I step down the stairs and head for the kitchen and see the stack of plates she had ready to throw at me and wince. She really was ready and waiting for me to get home and nothing I didn’t expect. Throwing shit is her forte when she’s mad with me.

  “After we left Denzel’s, we had a run in with a couple of Raging Riders…”

  “You’re obviously alive so why stay out for the whole night?” she cuts me off and demands, “You promised me you would be home for dinner. Where were you?”

  “We stayed in a motel…”

  “You’d rather stay in a motel than come home?”

  “Will you stop interrupting me?” I say, raising my voice against what I want.

  “Fine,” she snaps, pulling out a chair and taking a seat, “I won’t say another word.”

  “We had to stay at the motel, because we got into a shootout with the Ragin’ fuckers and one of their bullets got me under my ribs. I was losin’ blood and after Micky cleaned me up, I fell asleep. As soon as I woke up, I came straight home to you.”

  She doesn’t say anything. Her eyes lock onto mine and never strays. It’s like she’s shut down and not the reaction I thought she was going to give.

  I sit opposite her and take it slow when my side begins to feel like it’s burning.

  “So, you got shot?”

  I nod and lift my T-shirt up to show her the bandages. She still doesn’t move and if it’s possible, she shuts down even further.

  “I’m fine and I should’ve called, I knew you would’ve been worried but I crashed out before I could get to a phone.”

  “Okay.”

  “Okay? Is that all you have to say”

  A short laugh escapes her and she shakes her head.

  “What shall I say?” she sighs heavily, “Shall I say that this happening to you is everything I worry about and you’re the one who tells me I don’t need to, but look what’s happened to you, John. You’ve been shot.”

  “It’s barely a scratch, darlin’.”

  “Okay, well, I need to go to the store, we’re running out of everything and you should grab a shower, I can smell the sweat from here.”

  I watch her leave the table and pack her purse into her bag as if it is a normal day with household chores to do.

  “Are you okay, darlin’?”

  “Of course I am, you’re the one in bandages and you say you’re fine, so we’re both fine,” grabbing her keys she barely looks my way on her way out.

  She’s nothing but fine.

  Chapter Twenty-Two

  Shellie

  Thank God the roads aren’t busy. I’m trying to concentrate on my surroundings but every part of my body is numb.

  Rain drops hit the window screen and the sky opens up and the storm that’s been brewing since yesterday erupts.

  The sound of the rain soothes the pain in my head that’s forming and when I pull into the parking lot at the store, I sit there watching the rain drops drizzle down the window. It brings a peace I haven’t felt in a long while.

  For months, years actually, he’s begged me not to worry about him and then what happens, he gets fucking shot.

  Everything I’ve been worrying about has happened and now it has happened, I don’t have any energy left to go crazy. He got shot at and he could’ve died, he’s lucky the bullet only skimmed the skin. They all live too much on the edge and risk their lives daily, and for what, to make money and do as they please? They’re all going to end up dead.

  Slamming my fist onto the steering wheel, it does nothing to squash the frustration. The man I love was wounded and he didn’t try to call me and let me know.

  Throwing open my door, I don’t care it is pouring with rain, I walk as normal into the store and let the rain soak me through.

  I forget a cart and grab a basket as I walk from aisle to aisle. We need everything and I have no desire to get anything. I begin throwing in items and by the time I get to the checkout, there is a queue thanks to the customer at the front being friends with the checkout girl. She’s spending more time giggling than she is working and it’s the last thing I need.

  “He’s taking me out for dinner tonight, so it’s only the two of us before all his family arrive and everything is non-stop,” the girl says to the checkout girl.

  “He is so sweet, and totally loves you.”

  “I know, I’m so lucky, I can’t wait till Saturday when I become Mrs Henderson.”

  I tune out their conversation and squeeze the tears away. This girl at the front of the line has to be a good five years younger than me and even though I’ve been with John for six years, I’m nowhere near becoming Mrs Johnson. “Look, some of us actually have places we need to be, can you hurry this up please?” I blurt out and immediately feel a hundred years old for moaning.

  More giggling continues but my outburst works and they hurry it along. The checkout girl ignores me as she rings my groceries up and I’m back in the car before I itch to slap her.

  ****

  He’s waiting on the porch for me when I drive
up and he walks over to help me with the groceries.

  “Should you be holding this much in the state you’re in?”

  I can’t help the sarcasm, I can no longer cry so the bitch in me is coming out instead.

  “A couple of bags is no trouble,” he mumbles.

  He ends up taking all five bags and leads the way into the house.

  “Sit down, I’ll unpack this lot.”

  The shock hits me hard but I sit down and let him rock on. He’s never unpacked the shopping before and I don’t think I’ll see it again from him.

  “You were longer than usual at the store. I was beginning to think you might not be comin’ home.”

  “There was a girl gushing over her upcoming wedding with the checkout girl, they thought no one else needed serving,” I shrug.

  “Christ, everyone’s getting’ married. Did I tell you Michael and Kitty are engaged now?”

  “Really?”

  “Yeah, found out when we got back this morning.”

  “Will you ever ask me to be your wife?” I blurt out, unable to stop myself.

  “Are you lookin’ for a ring now?” he asks.

  “Does it really matter what I’m looking for? I’m just asking a question, don’t worry about it, forget I said anything.”

  He puts down the last bag and surprises me by not shutting the conversation of marriage down and kneels in front me, taking hold of my hands.

  “I personally don’t see the point in marriage, I don’t need a ring or a bit of paper to show I love you and I’m loyal to you. I don’t need everyone around us to witness us say a few words and declare our love. I’ve loved you from the beginning and nothing is changing that.”

  “Getting married isn’t all about proving our relationship to other people, it’s about making that final connection to one another. I would like to have that with you.”

  By now I normally would’ve let the conversation go, but I can’t do that now.

 
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