Melody Beswick thought she was bringing herself and her thirteen month old son home to his father. It was her last ditch effort to make a better life for her and her boy. One in which Noah had a father to look up to and guide him. While she knew Grinder wasn’t perfect, she believed in him, and love always found a way, right?
Melody never thought her dreams for herself and her son could twist into such nightmares, and that it was so true, the old adage, that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. She’s about to find out that another adage is true, that sometimes it’s better the devil you know, when instead of finding Grinder, it’s his cold and critical brother Archer at the end of her long drive that she must contend with.
With no other options, and no place else to go, Melody is about to make a deal with this devil that she can’t refuse. Who knew it could, quite possibly, be the best decision she’s ever made?
Silence hung between us, an almost physical veil. I waited while he looked at me, coal dark eyes raking me over, bouncing across every detail of my face. Finally he pulled back the curtain, breaking the silence first.
“So, what made you come out here?” he asked, leaning back in his chair.
“I wanted Noah to know who his father was. I wanted to see if I could change Grinder’s mind.” I said truthfully, and it was true… mostly. I swallowed hard, my eyes tearing and Dragon’s expression drew down into something considering… I could see the gears turning as he twisted his mouth back and forth. Finally he pulled a pack of cigarettes from his cut and held them up.
“You mind?” I shook my head. “You want one?” he asked and I found my voice.
“I don’t smoke.”
“Hmm, you look like you could use one, can I get you a drink instead?” he asked. I shook my head, and he sighed. “Archer told me you got all the way out here just to find out Grind was gone.”
I nodded and felt my face crumble, the pain welling fresh. I couldn’t stop myself. Between that and the stress, I started to cry. I hid my face behind my hands and looked up sharply when his chair creaked. He held out a black bandana to me and I took it with shaking fingers.
“You wanna see him?” he asked and I looked up sharply.
“He’s here?” I asked confused.
“Buried here, yeah. In a plot at the local cemetery, for any brother that didn’t have any place else to be buried. For brothers that don’t have any other family than the club. I got some questions about that, but they can wait. This is important.”
I nodded numbly, and asked, “Can we go by Archer’s apartment first?” I asked. “I’d like to bring something, you know?”
“I do,” he said, and sighed, “Tell you what, if you have us stop there, can I stop someplace too? I’d like to pick up some flowers for my wife if we’re going out there.”
“Of course,” I said, surprised he would ask.
“Okay then, you good to ride? I don’t do cages.”
“Sure,” I agreed.
We went back to check on Noah, and to tell Archer, Rush, and Nox where we were going. They wanted to go too, but Dragon vetoed that.
“You know where he’s at, you can go anytime, let the lady mourn the father of her child in peace. She don’t need an audience for this,” he’d told them. I don’t think he cared that I was standing right there, and I wasn’t about to try and correct the president of the mother chapter.
“I need to go by the apartment,” I murmured and Archer fixed me with his cold, gold-green gaze.
“You have a key,” he drawled.
Dragon turned to leave the room and looked over his shoulder, “One of you knuckleheads should have brought her out to see ‘im by now,” he shook his head and muttered “Jesus Christmas,” and with that parting shot, he left the room. I felt my cheeks burn hotly and quickly gave Noah a kiss. I ducked my head, following him out and back across the grass to the club’s main building, trotting to catch up to him.
“I wish you hadn’t said that,” I murmured, and he arched an eyebrow and looked sideways at me.
“Any of ‘em ever lay a hand on you?” he asked.
“No, why?” I asked.
“I don’t just mean here, but back in Arizona either,” he said.
“No, I mean, Grind once or twice but they were mistakes and we kept them just between us. I mean, it was my fault really. I got him too worked up and…”
I fell silent when he stopped and eyed me, “If he weren’t dead I’d have Reave cut his balls off. That’s not what this club is about, Honey. Never has been, never will be. I got some questions for sure about the happenings back in Arizona, but they can wait. Come on.”
Text Copyright © 2016 A.J. Downey
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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