No, no, no, don’t die, dammit. Fuck my life.
It is two in the morning, I just got off work from the bar, and tonight has already been a long damn night. We have been busier since the Desert Ghosts Motorcycle Club arrived in town. They must be working with the Hellions on something to be here, returning as often as they do.
Staying in this small place, they only have two options for a spot to grab a beer. Tiny’s, where a man that is far from tiny will be serving them, or find me and the girls at Ruthless. Since they are in business with the Hellions, they come to Ruthless. Although not Hellion owned, it is known as their place to grab a drink and unwind.
I am on my way to pick up Axel, my son, when my little Honda Civic begins dying a slow, painful death as my dashboard lights up like a Christmas tree. I have just enough time to pull it safely to the side of the road before it shuts off completely.
No! This can’t be happening, I think to myself as I try to restart the car.
Turning the key over in the ignition, I am left with silence surrounding me. Click. Click. Click. Nothing.
Looking over at my cell phone, I think of my limited options for aid. Who can I call at two in the morning to come give me a ride?
I don’t want my mom to have to get dressed and then get Axel dressed to come out here. Plus, I am still going to need to have the car towed. I knew I should have signed up for one of those automotive clubs, but damn that would be another bill. A bill I certainly can’t afford.
Picking up my cell phone, I dial the one person I know that can help me get a ride and get my car towed all in a quick manner as well as keep it within a reasonable budget.
“Hey, Doll, sorry to call so late,” I say when she answers.
“No problem; what’s wrong, Tessie?” she asks, the sleepy tone in her voice reminding me normal people don’t keep my kind of schedule.
Shit, I woke her up. I feel even more guilt now, but she is one of the few friends I have. Plus, she will come get me, no question, since Tripp and Rex are away on a transport. I would’ve been tempted to call Rex; however, I have promised myself no more. Luckily, he is away, so the urge is gone, leaving me with Doll. If they were home, Rex would’ve been at the bar tonight, either to troll for fresh pussy or give me an orgasm in the stock room before the night was over. Rex and I have a fucked up history - one centered around sex, sometimes a little more, but mostly it is just about getting off. Well, that was until recently when I made the decision to cut him out of my life as much as possible.
“My car broke down out on Miller’s Hill Road. It won’t start back up and I need to get home. I’m sorry for bothering you. I didn’t know who else I could call,” I say as I hear a noise in the background.
Doll is mumbling something, but I can’t bring myself to focus on her as my blood runs cold when I hear Tripp’s voice say his name.
Shit, Rex! He can’t come get me. No. No. No. He cannot come with me to get Axel. Panic is setting in as I run through how this night is going. He will ask me where my son is. He always asks me about Axel. My plan was to get Doll on her way and call my mom to keep him overnight. If Rex is too close, I won’t have time to make the call. Then he will wonder why we can’t go get him.
“No worries, Tessie, Rex will be there shortly to get you,” I hear her say his name, snapping me out of my thoughts.
“Rex? I th… thought they were on a transport,” I stammer, questioning why he is back.
“Oh, they got back about an hour ago. Tripp heard you talking so he called him while we’ve been on the phone. He’ll pick you up and get your car taken care of. Do you need a ride tomorrow?”
“No, Doll. Thanks, you’ve done so much already. I gotta go. I need to call my mom so she’s not expecting me right away for Axel.” With that, we hang up.
Making a quick call to my mom, I ask her to keep Axel overnight for me. Since he’s already asleep, this works out better for him anyway. Regardless of who comes, none of the Hellions are going to lay eyes on Axel.
Knowing my son is settled, I have to prepare myself to see Rex. I seem to lose all self-control when he’s around. I always have. Boundaries, I have given myself mental boundaries with him. He is never going to grow up, so I have stopped holding out for that. He is also never going to commit to me or anyone else, for that matter. I have given up on that pipe dream. With that said, I have to set the boundaries for my body more firmly. No more allowing lust to takeover.
Rex is sex walking, period, end of story. He has shoulder length, dirty blond hair. Eyes that are piercing blue, a body that’s got defined muscles, and ink that makes you want to lick every inch of his skin. The thing about Rex, he knows he is the whole package. He knows he looks good. He’s confident in his bedroom abilities, as he should be. There is also this edge to him. The same edge that all the Hellions carry. The thing that draws the barflies to them like a man lost in the desert to water.
Headlights coming my way draw my attention. Then a wrecker pulls up in front of my little car. I hold my breath as the driver side door opens, my mouth dropping open when it’s not Rex who climbs out.
At six feet tall, with broad shoulders and all muscle, the man coming to me is another example of the edge all the Hellions carry. His long-sleeved, black T-shirt pulls tightly against his well-defined chest, abs, and arms. His normally spiked blonde hair is hidden under an old, worn out, baseball hat. The jeans he is wearing are well washed and fit him like a pair of broken in shoes, comfortable perfection. Black motorcycle boots stop in front of me, drawing my attention back to my situation.
“Hey, Tessie, let’s get you loaded up and home to your boy.”
“Shooter,” is all I manage.
“Yeah, baby, you get me. Rex called. He couldn’t make it, but didn’t want you on the side of the road.”
This is the moment my heart should sink a little that Rex isn’t coming to help me. What surprises me, though, is I don’t feel short changed in the least bit. I don’t feel let down. For once, I feel absolutely nothing for Drexel ‘Rex’ Crews.
Damn him! Brother or not, right now, I want to kick his ass. I swear I heard him speaking to someone else as I answered the phone, “Suck it harder, bitch.” Instead of dropping the barfly, he calls me to pick up his woman off the side of the road. Only Tessie isn’t his ol’ lady; she’s just his back up pussy; the pussy he doesn’t want to hold onto yet won’t let go of, either.
Tessie is beautiful. She deserves so much better than Rex or any man the likes of us. She’s petite, maybe five-feet-four, with dark brown hair and brown eyes that dance when she smiles. Her perky breasts are what most may consider small, but they fit her body perfectly. She has a round ass, but not overly large, just enough to really grip as she rides you. With Tessie, though, it’s more than that. She is genuine, caring, and sweet. Loyal to a fault sometimes, she puts up with a lot of shit, not only from our club, but all the guys going into the bar.
I won’t lie to myself; I have watched her for years with Rex, envious as hell. Tessie accepts him as he is, whatever he gives her. I have never met a woman who can easily understand and take a man truly at face value the way Tessie does, not only with Rex, but all of us.
I have been a patched member of the Catawba Hellions MC for five years now. My boss, Ryder, introduced me to the club after he patched in with the Haywood’s charter. His wife Dina’s father was an original before he passed away tragically in a car accident years ago.
I make the almost hour commute daily to work at Ryder’s Restorations in Charlotte. Most days, I paint cars for him. Occasionally, I step in on some fabrication, but it’s rare. The pay is good, business is good, and the guys at the shop are good. I could relocate to a place closer to work, but I don’t want to be in the city. I like being close to my club and not having neighbors close by. This life is simple and calm compared to what I have seen in my past.
I am going through the routine of hooking up Tessie’s car to the wrecker. My buddy here in Catawba has a towing and recovery business. He said he would come get her, but I couldn’t do that to Tessie. She’s a single mom, by herself on an old road in the middle of nowhere, and it is beyond late. A familiar face might make things a little better, especially since I don’t know how disappointed she is over Rex not coming personally.
Glancing over my shoulder, I see she’s watching me.
“Need help?” she asks, sticking her hands in her jean pockets.
“Nah, baby, I got it. Go ahead and get in. I’ll be a few minutes, and then we’ll get you home.”
She nods at me before proceeding to get in the truck. The 1993 silver Honda Civic she has been driving certainly has seen better days. Once we get this to the shop, I’m going to give it a complete over-haul. She has a kid to get home to.
Jobs here are few and far between. The bar is really the only place she could go right now without leaving her mom behind to work in the city. It’s a small town, people talk, and Tessie hasn’t had an easy life.
With the car secure, I climb in behind the wheel to tow it back to my place. Looking over to the passenger seat, I see she has fallen asleep against the door already. Reaching over, I buckle her in, and she startles and wakes.
“Shooter, thank you.”
“Anytime, baby. You need me to take you to your mom’s or your place?” I ask, wondering if she needs to pick up her son.
“My house, please. Mom didn’t want me to wake Axel.”
The exhaustion is written on her face, but more than that there is loneliness in her eyes. I don’t know why, yet I feel the need to apologize that it’s me that came to get her.
“I’m sorry Rex couldn’t make it.”
“I’m not,” she says, gazing out the window into the dark night.
How do I respond to that? Rather than involve myself in another man’s business, I stay quiet. Her phone rings from her purse saving me from continuing our conversation.
“What, Rex?” she answers with a dull tone. There is a pause for him to speak. “Yes, Shooter came. I’m on my way home.” Her brows draw together in frustration, but her voice remains impassive. “No, you can’t come over tonight.” She sighs deeply. “Rex, I told you, no more.” Another pause. “You couldn’t come get me because you were doing who knows what to some barfly. I’m not stupid. Rex, I told you, I’m done. The fact that you want to come over tonight shows the complete lack of respect you have for me. We’re over and have been for years. Hell, we weren’t actually ever officially together, so there is nothing to be over.”
Her voice never raises, never sharpens. She is calm, cool, and detached as she continues after allowing Rex to reply. “We’re nothing more than friends. Move on, Rex. I’m going to. Goodnight.” And with that, she swipes her thumb across the screen to end the call.
She lightly bangs her head against the window as we pull up to her house where she starts to unbuckle. Quickly, I reach in my back pocket and get my business card out of my wallet.
“Look, Tessie, if you need anything, I don’t care the time, call.”
When she looks at the card then up to me, a slight smile crosses her face. “Andy ‘Shooter’ Jenkins. You look like an Andy.”
“In all the years you’ve been coming to the bar, I’ve only know you as ‘Shooter’ and ‘Jenkins,’ never Andy. You look like an Andy.”