Pushing open the glass doors, I needed to get as far away from the hospital as possible, seeing Vivian like that, in a hospital bed, bruised and battered and had gotten under my skin. And I do not, can not, will not ever let someone especially a woman get under my skin. My existence depended on not becoming too close to anyone, remaining emotionally unattached. Zipping up my worn leather jacket, I jumped onto my bike, putting her into neutral, turned the key and kicked down hard. The soul-satisfying rumble of the motor made me smile as I clicked it into gear and took off down the street.
Riding my bike as if I stole it, I zipped in and out of traffic until I reached the open road. The Rogues clubhouse came into view as I rounded the corner. An old abandoned bar had been converted into a clubhouse, the neon sign hung from the roof blinking off and on intermittently, buzzing as it swung in the wind. A veranda wrapped around the front, with tables and mismatched chairs placed haphazardly was a dumping place for bottles and ashtrays.
The front doors were made to mimic old saloon doors, sprung back quickly as you pushed your way through them. Inside was dark, dusty and dim, a large bar snaked its way from wall to wall. The wall behind it mirrored, glass shelves held various bottles of liquor, stools sat lined up like soldiers in front of the slab of timber that had been painstakingly sanded and stained.
A jukebox glowed in one corner of the room, and on the other side, a pool table whose green felt had seen better days. The stains of blood and drinks covered the once vibrant surface. A large oak table took up the middle of the room, twelve heavy chairs surrounded it. One word carved into the middle to remind anyone who was lucky enough to have a seat at the table why they were there “ROGUES”.
Fishtailing the tyres, I turned off the road into the car park. Rows of bikes lined up the chrome shining in the sunlight. Kicking down the stand and unzipping my leather jacket, Taking a deep breath I headed into the clubhouse knowing full well that the bomb I was about to drop was not going to be well received.
The council had taken their seats, the clubhouse void of anyone else. Twelve wolves made up the council, there was only one way into the inner sanctum to fight the wolf that held the seat you wanted to the death. Every wolf here had done just that, there were no bloodlines, no gentlemen’s agreements to secure your place. Only one has the final say, only one's words mattered and that was the alphas, that was mine for now.
The council members stood as I entered the room, Nodding my head I motioned for them to take their seats. Chairs scraped across the floor as they took their seats. Twelve sets of eyes glared at me, confused as to why a meeting was taking place.
“Gentlemen, we have business to discuss” sitting down, I folded my arms across my chest, “I have met with Alpha Edric, who had a very interesting proposition for me”.
A groan broke out from around the table, “Quiet” Nicholas Black slammed his fist on the table sending glasses flying everywhere. As the Beta of the pack, he commanded respect, and since we had grown up together I knew that Nick had my back and always would.
Nick looked around the table and scowled, a not so gentle for the wolves to remember their place, and what the hierarchy was. Nick looked menacing at the best of times, his 6ft 6” frame was muscular, tattoos covered his bulging biceps, square chiselled jaw with a broad nose, large brown eyes and a mop of sandy blonde hair, that he constantly brushed away from his eyes. Like me, he had fought his way to the top, but his ambition never exceeded a childhood vow he made to me at eight years old. When I looked at him, I still saw the scared eight year old who watched a rival pack tear his mother, father and sisters from limb to limb. Blood covered and terrified we had fled into the darkness as our world burnt to the ground.
For years we had scavaged, moving from town to town, abandoned building to abandoned building. Slowly but surely more and more stray wolves joined our ranks until we turned of age and got our wolves and became a force to be reckoned with. The pack expanded, grew in strength and size.
Nodding at Nick to sit down, “As your Alpha, you will sit here respectfully and listen to what I have to say” glaring I rose to my feet. “Unless one of you wolves want to challenge me here and now”. Raising my eyebrow I tapped my foot on the floor, waiting.
The room went quiet, wolves dropped their heads and shuffled their feet nervously, not daring to look up in case it was interpreted as a challenge.
“Right, then shut the fuck up and let me speak”
“As I was saying, I met with Edric at his request, the Red Crescents do not want to go to war”.
“Ha, of course, they don’t the cowards” Arthur Michaelson growled. “They are running scared, it is now time to attack”.
Standing up from my chair quickly, it flew backwards hitting the wall behind me, I slowly walked over to Arthur never taking my eyes off him, stalking my prey. Once I reached his chair, I stood there for a minute, not moving, hardly breathing and just when he opened his mouth to talk, I wrapped my arms around his neck, violently twisting it to the side. The sharp cracking of bones breaking reverberated throughout the room. Arthur’s lifeless body slumped in the chair.
“Does any fucking one else want to interrupt me?” a cruel smile crept upon my face.
“Someone get him the hell out of here” I commanded.
Before I could sit back down, Arthurs body was dragged out of the room and thrown into the dumpster in the alley behind the clubhouse.
“The packs will be merging” A look of confusion came across their faces as a nervous tension rose, as they tried to figure out what this would mean for their position in the pack.
“Edric will be the alpha of the pack” Nicks mouth dropped as I delivered the news.
“You cannot be serious Alpha” he implored shaking his head. “What are you
“Do not fret my old friend” giving him a wink.
“Edric has offered his daughter to me, as soon as we are married I will be the Alpha of the Red Crescent Rogues”. Slapping Nick on the back with gusto, “Now let's have a drink to celebrate”.
Chairs scraped along the floor as they were pushed backwards, whispers lingered in the air as wolves out of earshot began to discuss what they had heard in disbelief. Nick lined up the shot glasses across the bar, grabbing a bottle of whiskey, he started pouring, the amber liquid splashing down the side of the glasses.
“Rogues, grab a shot” he yelled, raising his glass to the air “To the Alpha of the Red Crescent Rogues”.
“HERE HERE” voices sang on in unison. And at that moment, I knew that the voices may have been in unison but the pack was anything but.
“Argghh”, I grimaced as the morning sunlight found its way through the gaps in the curtains. My phone vibrated on the bedside table. Ignoring It, I rolled over. “What the fuck” sprawled out next to me was a sleeping naked woman. Her long brown hair covered her face, clothes and beer bottles were scattered around the floor next to the bed.Fuck, I did not want to have to deal with early morning pleasantries, my breath smelt like a kitty litter box, and at this moment, I would rather cut my arm off than risk waking my unwelcome house guest. Sliding off the bed, I tiptoed to the bathroom, carefully shutting and locking the door behind me. Hopefully, she would be gone by the time I finished. Looking at the mirror, two bloodshot eyes stared back at me. Three days worth of stubble covered my face. Large dark rings had formed under my eyes, caused by lack of sleep and way too
"What in the hell is going on, Vivie"? Cat burst back into the room, a look of betrayal on her face. I knew she was hurt that I didn't tell her about the proposal."It's nothing, an empty proposal. He shoved a ring on my finger and left like the smug jerk he is" I sighed, wishing the bed would swallow me up. I had seen Cat like this before, and there was no defence that I could use that would get me out of trouble with her. I should have rung her and let her know as soon as it happened."Well, Thomas damn Bradley always gets what he wants V, please do not be another notch on his bedpost'. "And throw that frigging ring back into his face", she huffed.Closing my eyes, I knew deep down inside it had already come to that. I was already under the wicked spell