Biker taken the lost sou.., p.13
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       Biker Taken (The Lost Souls MC Series Book 6), p.13

           Ellie R. Hunter
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  Slugging my ass up to the porch, the door isn’t locked and I throw it open. Banging and clanging comes from the kitchen and that’s where I head.

  “What the fuck was that?”

  “I’m fed up of waiting on you to come home all the time.”

  “I told you I would be back today, but you had to rock up at the club and show me up.”

  I’m not apologising this time, she’s crossed a line today and I’m not holding it in.

  “I showed you up? You show me up all the time,” she screams.

  “Why are you still here then?” I shout back.

  Her eyes start to go crazy and she grabs the mug that is closest to her, I duck in time as it hurtles over my head and smashes against the wall.

  “Stop fuckin’ throwin’ shit.”

  “Why? Are you the one who cleans it up? I don’t fucking think so,” she argues.

  “I’m the one who fuckin’ pays for it all to be replaced, but I’m tellin’ you now, throw one more thing at me, I ain’t gonna replace it.”

  I won’t either, I’m getting sick of having to pay for new dishes all the time.

  “Really?” she mutters, sarcastically and takes her time reaching for another mug.

  Holding my hand up, I struggle to keep my voice low when I say, “Throw it and I’m leavin’, I won’t come back, Shell.”

  An evil laugh bursts from her and she keeps a hold on the mug.

  “Why don’t you just admit you don’t want to come home at all. It will make our lives a lot easier…”

  “Of course I want to come home, but not when all I get is your crazy ass screeching at me again and again. Believe it or not, I was only havin’ one drink and I was coming back, now this is the shit I get, I can’t win with you, can I?” I yell.

  Moving further into the kitchen, I open the refrigerator and grab a beer. I need to take the edge of the day.

  Slumping onto a chair at the table, I take a long pull from the bottle and watch Shellie as she turns her attention to cleaning the broken mug.

  “Leave it, I’ll do it later. We need to talk and get this sorted once and for all.”

  Reluctantly she does as I say, and using my boot, I kick the chair out for her to sit.

  “We’ve been in a good place lately, which makes today uncalled for. You’ve told me your worries for me and you know I don’t do shit purpose, so today, we either put this crap behind us or one of us has to go, cause neither of us can carry on living like this.”

  A stray tear falls down her cheek and she rapidly swipes it away with her sleeve.

  “You’d kick me out with nowhere to go because I want you to spend more time at home with me?”

  Her voice is tender and the anger is gone.

  “You know I wouldn’t do that to you. I just said one of us in the heat of the moment. I’d stay at the club and you’d have this place, we’d work something out.”

  “You’d have your perfect life that way, wouldn’t you? Me here without you and you at the club without having me show up and embarrass you.”

  Inhaling deeply, I roll my neck and try my damnedest to rise above the petty arguing that only leads us in circles.

  “It’s not what I want at all but I will leave, Shell. You put all the blame on me for not being here, but I can’t be here twenty-four seven, and I think that’s what you expect from me so shit like today is bound to continue and I can’t do it.”

  “I don’t expect you here all the time, you’d drive me crazy if you were. It feels like you put the club first and it hurts.”

  “It doesn’t matter what I say, does it? You’re always going to have a comeback against me. This is what I’m talking about, you never let shit go and it goes on for too long. One minute we’re fine and then as soon as I do something you don’t like, boom, a fuckin’ argument. Fuck, today you didn’t even give me the chance to fuck up before you were shoutin’ your mouth off.”

  She hangs her head in her hands and her hair falls and covers my view of her. Leaning forward, I tuck it all back behind her ear and force her chin up so I can get a look of her.

  “I love every crazy bone in your body and I love my club, I’ll never choose between you and I’ll never put one against the other. Sometimes the club will need me and sometimes you will need me, and I’ll always be there for you. You’re my woman, Shell and you always will be, but you know this and you know when it comes to the important shit, I’m here with you. Stop pickin’ fights with me.”

  “I don’t want to fight with you, John…”

  “Then don’t,” I cut her off, “Be happy, be the woman I met and who wanted to live life like I did. I miss her, I really fuckin’ do, darlin’.”

  A small smile plays at the corner of her mouth and her hand finds mine over the table.

  “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have shown up at the club like that...”

  Someone pounding at the front door snaps her away from her apology and she releases my hand.

  “I’ll get it.”

  I sit back and drain the rest of my beer when I hear Mark ask to talk to me. He walks in behind Shellie and takes in the mess around us.

  “I’ll leave you to it,” she says, slipping back out the room.

  Mark takes the chair Shellie was just sat in and sits himself down. After hearing the bedroom door close upstairs, he pulls out his smokes and lights one up.

  “I won’t keep you long, looks like I interrupted something,” he begins.

  “It’s nothin’, and it’s sorted now. What’s up?”

  Well, I hope it is anyway.

  “You saw the way Michael reacted to Blow, what do you think about him missing the next run?”

  I wasn’t expecting to hear this. Mark never excludes Michael from anything, he accounts for an outburst or he can always diffuse a situation Michael leads out of control.

  “I don’t think it would hurt, the guy looked as hot headed as Michael is, the two together could lose business for all. However, Michael won’t put up with being excluded for long. Do you have a plan of what to say to him?”

  Sighing, he says, “Ray’s going to cut my balls off when she finds we’ve got another run before the baby’s due but if Michael were to stay behind, she might not be so bad and if there’s anyone Michael would stay for it, it’s my wife.”

  I nod, agreeing with him. Mark’s known from the day Michael first laid eyes on Rayna, that he liked her and over time it turned into love. Him and Rayna are the real deal and he has infinite trust in her and doesn’t worry about anyone coming between them, not even his blood brother.

  “When are you gonna tell him?”

  “Not until I have to,” he huffs.

  “For a smooth run with no kick offs, Michael stayin’ behind would be a good bet, but it isn’t gonna be a permanent solution.”

  “I hear you, anyway, I best get back. Keep what we spoke about between us, yeah?” he asks stupidly, rising to his feet.

  “Of course I will, I’ll see you out.”

  Walking him to the door, I wonder what it would be like to run a club and have to constantly reign in a reckless brother. Mark handles it well but I know my friend, he takes every one and every problem to heart and doesn’t stop until everything is running smoothly. It’s bound to take its toll and with Rayna struggling through this pregnancy, my friend has it coming from all directions.

  “I’m gonna stick around here, I’ll see you at the club tomorrow.”

  He turns around on the porch and looks worried for me.

  “Is everything good with you two?” he asks.

  It takes a lot for one of us to ask each other’s business so when we do, it’s normally over something we feel is serious.

  “It will be,” I assure him.

  “Good, okay, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

  We’ll be fine, shit will work out, I know it will.

  Chapter Twenty-Six


  “Where’s your brother?”

  “They’re all aroun
d me,” Mark shrugs, not rising to Blow’s provocation.

  “I don’t see Michael?”

  The guy isn’t leaving it alone. I step closer to Mark and brace myself in case this is situation takes a dangerous turn. It’s already tense and one too many comments will tip Mark over. He already feels bad about leaving Michael behind because of this ass-face and it won’t take much to vent it.

  “He has other business today. I’ll tell him you send your love though.”

  Mark seems to be the only one who can talk to Blow without actually punching him in the face.

  “Let’s get this done, I haven’t got time to stand around talking.”

  We oversee the exchange and Blow hands over the package of cash, which is what we do this for. Mark doesn’t want us hanging around and orders us to ride as soon as our van has been unloaded.

  Half the ride is mind numbing, in a good way, always in a good way. Shellie and I are in a good place again and after our chat the other day, I believe we’re finally moving forward.

  As Michael isn’t with us, I ride behind Mark and slow down as he signals to pull into the gas station coming up.

  It’s getting late and we’re already three quarters of the way home, we topped up the gas at the last gas station we passed, I don’t know why we’re stopping now.

  No one apart from Mark climbs off their bike and he jogs over to the payphone while we wait. I should’ve known he would check in on Rayna. It becomes clear quickly something is wrong. Jumping off my bike, I walk over and the closer I get I hear him losing his mind.

  He slams the phone back on the receiver and punches the side of the phone booth.

  “Hey, what’s goin’ on, Mark?”

  “It’s Rayna, she’s having the baby. Micky said she was bleeding and it was bad. Michael’s taken her to the hospital.”

  “Don’t worry about this, Mark, you know Michael will look after her and he’s got her to the hospital, she’s in the best place. Michael ain’t gonna let anything happen to her.”

  “Fuck,” he roars, “She knew this was going to happen, I should’ve listened and stayed home. I swear, if anything happens to her, I don’t know what I’ll do.”

  “Let’s go then. We’ll ride straight to the hospital and she won’t be alone.”

  Jogging over to our bikes, neither of us waste a second. Loyal more than ever, the others ride hard and fast with us and without knowing the final destination.

  For as fast as we’re riding and with little traffic on the roads, we should be at the hospital by now. Yet, it feels like forever and the road never seems to end. Mark’s shoulders are tense and as I ride up alongside him, he barely takes his eyes away from the road ahead.

  He thrashes his throttle and he roars back in front and I pull back and get back in line. Even though the bikes are loud, especially altogether, there is an eerie quietness surrounding us. Only Mark and I know what’s happening, but one man shuts down, all men shut down.

  The hospital finally comes into view and if possible, Mark rides harder. Outside, Micky and Flo are waiting and while Flo’s eyes are red and puffy, Micky looks like he’s seen death.

  Flying off his bike, Mark passes straight past Micky and Flo and runs into the hospital, in turn, Pope and I run in after him, everyone else staying with the bikes. No doubt, the hospital will kick up a fuss with the mass of metal outside their doors but until we know how Rayna is doing, none of us give a shit.

  “Where is she?” Mark calls, not stopping to ask anyone, just running through the halls.

  Trying to keep up with him, he takes the last corner and Michael is standing shirtless and covered in blood. Mark comes to a stop and takes in the sight of his brother.

  “Where is she? Micky said to get here as soon as I could.”

  Anger radiates from Michael and my heart beats a little too hard waiting for his reply.

  “And where’s your shirt?” Mark demands.

  “She had the baby on the side of the road and was bleeding out quite bad. By the time I got her here the baby wasn’t breathing and I had to wrap her in my shirt to keep warm.”

  Pope throws him his hoodie as Mark steps closer to him and he smiles, “She? I have a daughter?”

  “Yeah, man,” Michael grins.

  “What about Ray? Where is she?”

  Everything happens fast and I know without a shadow of doubt, this moment will stay with me for as long as I live.

  The doors open behind Michael before he can fill Mark in and a bunch of doctors walk off, but one stays behind and seeks Mark out of the forming crowd.

  “Mr Blake?” he ends up asking.

  Mark moves in front and jerks his chin.

  “That’s me. How’s my wife?”

  The doc looks over the crowd and the man actually pales.

  “I’m afraid your wife passed away.”

  Time stops.

  No one moves.

  No one says a word.

  The doctor is talking but I guarantee no one is soaking in what he is saying. He leads Mark through the doors and Michael and I follow him in.

  My mouth dries and I can’t swallow for shit when I see Rayna’s lifeless body lying on the hospital bed. It looks like her, but it doesn’t. She’s always been full of life and easy going, now, she looks empty and haunting.

  Mark slowly steps towards her and my heart breaks for my friend and he leans over and kisses his wife for the last time.

  They were worried he would miss the birth, none of them thought he would miss his wife’s last moments.

  I just spoke to her yesterday and now we’ll never hear her voice again.

  “Take me to my daughter,” Mark orders, squeezing her hand for the final time.

  I completely forgot about the baby for the last few minutes. The baby is here but Rayna is not. This is fucked up, and it’s too much.


  The night shift is ending and the day staff are beginning to make their rounds when Mark leaves the baby for the first time.

  His eyes are dry but they aren’t far from pain. Bloodshot and tired, they find me waiting and Big Ron asleep in the waiting room.

  “How is she?” I ask, standing up.

  “She’s perfect, she looks just like…” he stops himself before he says her name and a fresh wave of grief falls upon him.

  Pulling him into my arms, I hold him tight and try to take some of his pain away. I feel useless.

  “I’m so fuckin’ sorry, brother,” I whisper to him.

  Mark is never one to show affection in public, he and Rayna were quite conservative with their love for one another and when he’s grieving, you wouldn’t know it. When his parents died, he went quiet and subdued. Now, he holds onto me like he needs me to keep him on his feet and I do what he needs. I keep strong for him and keep a hold of him until he’s ready to pull away.

  His chest heaves and I can feel the building release he will unleash soon.

  “Tell me this isn’t happening, Oak. Please,” he begs.

  “I wish I could, but I can’t.”

  I can’t hear him crying, but I feel the shudders ripple through him and I’m glad no one is here to witness his breakdown. He wouldn’t like it and while he isn’t thinking straight, I’ll think for him.

  I push him away and hold onto his shoulders, “Listen to me, brother, whatever you need you tell me and I’ll make sure you get it. Don’t think about anything but yourself and that baby girl. We’re all here for you, I fuckin’ promise you that.”

  He looks back at me but he isn’t seeing me and I don’t blame him. Micky and Flo walk into the room and I don’t think Mark needs to see Flo’s pain.

  “Go back to your baby and be with her, she’s goin’ to need you now more than ever. I’ll go back and get you everything you need and Micky will be here in the meantime.”

  He nods slightly and his walk has turned in a shuffle as he heads out of the door.

  “He doesn’t look good,” Micky murmurs and Flo bursts into tears.
  “No shit, his fuckin’ wife has just died,” I snap, reaching down to pick up my cut, “I’ll be back soon, don’t leave this room and don’t leave Mark. Wake him up,” I say, nodding to Big Ron in the corner seat, “and make sure he doesn’t let anyone near Mark who he doesn’t want to speak to.”

  I know Micky is hurting as much but right now, it’s like everyone is out for themselves with Mark and the baby being a priority.

  Stepping out of the hospital I fill my lungs with the early morning breeze and feel a monument change. Nothing is ever going to be the same again.


  I make a brief pit stop at home and Shellie sleeps peacefully in our bed. Creeping around her side of the bed, she stirs and wakes as I sit beside her.

  “You’re home,” she smiles.

  I go to speak but nothing comes out. A lump is blocking my throat and nothing is getting past it.

  She leans up on her elbow and her free arm comes up and holds the side of my face.

  “What’s wrong? You look green.”

  Now I’m home and my woman is still here and breathing, it’s guilt that Mark no longer has his that I cry for him. I cry for their baby and I cry for Rayna as my friend and a decent woman I had much respect. Not only could she hold down one Blake, she held down them both. Without her now, Michael will only be controlled by Mark and even then, there are limits.

  “John, you’re scaring me, what’s going on?” she asks, hugging me.

  “Rayna’s gone,” I manage to tell her.

  “Gone where? Has she left Mark?”

  “She’s dead, Shell. She had the baby last night and it killed her.”

  “Oh my God…”

  Her arms loosen around me and her shock sends her back on her ass. Scrubbing both hands on my face, I dry the tears and it doesn’t make me feel better for crying.


  Her stuttering is how we all feel and I collect her in my arms and we both sit there, soaking it in, hoping it will feel real enough to believe.

  Chapter Twenty-Seven


  The club is holding it together and when Mark gets back from the hospital, it will be one less problem he won’t have to worry about. Michael called before they left and they should be back any minute now.

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