Bounty:Fury Riders MC(4)By: Zoey Parker
My foot got caught up in a broken bit of pavement, and I stumbled, almost going down. I caught myself before falling and kept going, but I was slower now. He was catching up to me.
My hat had fallen off at some point, and I felt my ponytail swinging behind me. That ponytail was what did me in. He caught hold of it, yanking me back.
At first, all I felt was pain. Searing pain in my scalp. My head was jerked back and I lost balance. More pain as I fell to the ground. A crashing sound. My camera. The overriding feeling of terror.
It all happened at once. I was on my ass, crawling backward to escape the knife-wielding maniac who loomed over me.
“What’d you see?” he snarled.
I blinked up at him. There was a street lamp just over his head, casting his face in shadow. My hands skittered over bits of broken glass and jagged shards of concrete as I backed away from him.
“N-nothing,” I stuttered, my eyes darting around. Wouldn’t someone see us?
“Nothing? You always scream at nothing?”
“I had tripped,” I said. “I tripped and fell.”
“Try again.” He kicked at my leg—not hard, just enough to frighten me even more.
“So if I look at this camera of yours, I won’t find any pictures of me on there?” He kicked the now broken camera with the toe of his boot. He wouldn’t find anything on there now.
“I swear you won’t,” I said. It wasn’t a lie. The camera was toast. He wouldn’t know what to do with it. I couldn’t feel worried about the camera, or upset that it broke. I’d never use it again anyway. I was about to die.
He came closer, about to crouch down. I flinched back, covering my face with my arm. I was too scared to scream. I squeezed my eyes shut, waiting to die.
Then I heard a grunt and a surprised cry. I opened my eyes to find a second man, one who hadn’t been anywhere near us before. He was fighting with my attacker.
I curled into a ball, still too scared to move. I wanted to run, to scream for help, but I couldn’t. All I could do was stare at what was happening in front of me.
My attacker swung at him, but the blow was easily blocked. My “savior,” or whoever he was, was a head taller and much more muscular. I saw his biceps ripple as he rained one punch after another. Now the man who’d followed me looked much weaker. Anyone could look strong when they were menacing a woman, I guessed.
They were both wearing leather vests, with different patches covering the back. The one the attacker wore had a picture of a wolf and said Vicious Wolves. The other had a motorcycle and said Fury Riders. Gang members. Jesus, what had I gotten myself into? Some sort of gang war?
I bit my lip, watching them fight, hearing my attacker’s grunts as the other man made contact with his face, his stomach. Blood poured from his mouth. He was staggering on his feet, unwilling to go down, but hardly able to stand. One eye was swollen shut. I was sure I’d throw up from either fear or disgust. It was an ugly scene.
Then he went down. But the other man, the Fury Rider, wasn’t finished. I crawled further away, still too shaky to stand. I didn’t want to see what would happen next, but I couldn’t keep my eyes off them. I watched in fascinated horror as the Fury Rider kicked the Vicious Wolf in the ribs. When the bloodied man rolled onto his side, curling up defensively, the Fury Rider kicked him in the back. My kidneys nearly hurt for him.
The man on the ground stopped moving. The man on his feet was clearly tired out, or tired of fighting someone who was no longer fighting back. He stopped kicking, towering over his foe with his fists clenched. Breathing heavily, but not hurt in the least. I couldn’t remember seeing my attacker land a single blow.
Conflicting emotions rushed through me in the span of a few seconds. Horror at what I’d seen. Relief at being saved—if that was what I was. And a strange sort of victorious feeling that made me want to jump to my feet and pump my fists. That son of a bitch had gotten what he deserved.
My eyes flickered down to him, then up again to the man who’d beaten him. I was breathless, grateful to him and afraid of him. My dark savior.
He looked at me, our eyes meeting for the first time. I had been an afterthought to him, I realized. He wasn’t fighting for me, so much as he was fighting an old fight. I remembered the conflicting patches. They were from opposite sides. If I was the prize, if the Fury Rider was trying to save me, he could have done that with one or two blows. The pummeling was personal.
His eyes were dark, but it could have been the shadow in which he stood. Still, I felt an electricity in them. It flowed from him into me. I’d been breathless already, but he nearly made my heart stop. I froze again, this time because I was taken aback by him. He had a strong presence. He would have been intimidating even if I hadn’t just watched him beat a man nearly to death.