Bounty:Fury Riders MC(5)By: Zoey Parker
We were connected through our eyes until he looked away. He then looked around, as if just remembering that we out on the street. He looked back at me.
“Come on.” He extended a hand down to me.
No way was I going with him. I had no idea who he was or what he wanted with me. He might not have saved me at all; he might have been out to hurt me, just the way the man on the ground had been.
“I just want to go home!”
He glanced at the ground, then at me. “Right now, you need to get out of here and go anywhere else. You have to come with me. Now. Before they find you.”
“I’ll tell you, just come now.” He was pissed now, and not taking no for an answer.
It was either wait here to die or go with him. I could go under my own power or let him drag me bodily. I swiped the broken camera from the ground and gave him my other hand so he could pull me to my feet.
I wanted to ask who he was but was too afraid to speak. I wanted to know where he was planning to take me. Wherever it was couldn’t be worse than the trash-strewn street I could have lost my life on.
I had to jump over the body of the man who’d nearly attacked me. He wasn’t moving. I wondered vaguely whether he was still alive—and I knew I didn’t care.
He had stabbed and maybe killed someone, and could easily have killed me. I wished I had the time to hit him myself, but I was being dragged away by my savior…who seemed just as dangerous as the man on the ground.
This was what I got for not being able to mind my fucking business.
I was only out for a ride, trying to clear my head. Anything was better than the tension at the clubhouse.
It had been a tough week after three of my guys were killed. The clubhouse was like a morgue. I knew everybody was trying to keep their spirits up and be brave for each other, but it wasn’t easy. The strain was heavy, always there.
And all of them were looking at me, wondering what to do.
I didn’t know what to do, besides killing every one of the men who killed my guys. I wanted revenge. So did everybody else. But running blindly into revenge was the last thing we needed. One of us had to be cooler than the rest. If we went straight into it, angry, wanting to make them pay, we would be sloppy. Against the Vicious Wolves, we had to be smart. They’d have a plan in place. We needed one, too.
So I rode to get my head on straight for a little while. Riding always helped me focus. As I rode, I remembered the stories my dad used to tell about the neighborhood. It used to be working-class, clean and respectable. Families moved there because they thought it was desirable, and it was back when Dad was a kid. Factories supported the community, and nearly everyone living there had a job at one of them. Kids played on the streets. Mothers scrubbed their front steps on Saturday afternoons. Nobody locked their doors. Sure, times could be tough—when the factories started laying off employees in stages, everyone had hope that things would pick up.
They never did. The factories shut down, and the neighborhood turned into a slum. It was still that way, ugly in the daytime and a war zone at night.
Somehow, I felt comfortable there. More comfortable than anywhere else. Maybe because my dad grew up on those streets. When I looked around, I saw what used to be. Happy Christmases and kids playing stickball and going door to door on Halloween. Families growing and living together. The families living there in the present, few though they were, tried hard to make it a good place. But too many other people were working against them. Many abandoned buildings were used as drug dens, or as places for homeless people to sleep.
I got to the main strip, pulled up at the pizza place to get myself something to eat. They knew me there and had my normal two slices ready in just a minute. I folded them both over and ate standing by my bike.
A few people said hi, and I nodded when my mouth was too full to respond. Most were too afraid to look at me, much less say hello. They knew my club, and they knew our rep. We weren’t people to fuck with. They would rather ignore me. I was all right with that. I didn’t want to have anything to do with them.
I’d been away long enough. I didn’t want the rest of the club to start wondering if I was avoiding them. They needed to have their leader in front of them so they knew I was taking care of things.
Only I didn’t feel like I was. Three guys—three—had died. I felt like I was losing my grip, and the tighter I held on the more out of control I felt. It seemed like all I could think about was Rick…Lance…Jake. All of them dead. My friends, my brothers. I couldn’t afford to lose any more of my men. I couldn’t even afford to lose them.