Clio:Gonna go get a new phone, this one’s had it, get some clothes at a thrift store, go grocery shopping and then bake and relax with a new book.
Leslie:Want to meet me for lunch 2morrow?
Clio:That wud be so cool. Say 1 at the sandwich shop we used?
Leslie:Be there. BTW you Chance is taken with you honey, he’s pissed you didn’t hang around 4 him.
Clio:Oh :-( had to get to bank b4 it shut. I came back, but every1 had gone. I’ll see him tomorrow afternoon when I bring brownies.
Leslie:Take care, honey, see u 2morrow.
“Clio didn’t bring brownies, guessin’ Clio didn’t make lunch either. No one’s heard from her since?” Chance asked, scrolling through the message’s Leslie had sent asking where Clio was and if she was alright.
“No. I’m worried about her, I kept messaging Clio all weekend and no answer, that’s not Clio, she never lets anyone worry needlessly. I found out where Clio lives, I snuck into Benny’s this morning, I still had keys, Clio’s living in the roughest part of town. It is too dangerous for me to go alone, I wondered if you’d come.”
“Stupid question. Bear, Rooster, Chatter, Shotgun,” Chance yelled as men poked their heads into the room.
“Load up, we got a problem.”
“Lemme get dressed,” Rooster yawned.
“Now or your ass on the line Rooster,” Chance warned. “Give me Clio’s address.” Leslie rattled off an address that made Chance wince. Damn, his sweet girl was living in that hellhole?
Chance looked up as Bear lumbered into the common room and was followed by Chatter. Chatter glowered at everyone and walked straight past, he briefly slapped Chance on the back, his way of showing support and made his way to his bike outside the clubhouse. Shotgun followed with Rooster, they were shoving each other and stopped when Chance gave them the stink eye.
“Stay here,” Chance ordered Leslie, she shook her head.
“No, I got the address, I’ve known Clio longer than you, Clio may need help that a man can’t offer. I’m coming either with you or without you, I can sense it, Clio needs my help,” Leslie insisted, and Chance sighed.
“You stay behind my brothers and me, the first sign of danger, lock yourself in the car and leave. Come here, fetch my brothers, got me?” Chance demanded. Leslie nodded and jogged to her car, started the engine, and followed the five men from Hellfire. Twenty minutes later they pulled up outside a rundown apartment block, and Leslie wrinkled her nose in disgust. If she’d known Clio was in such dire straits, Leslie would have made the girl live in her spare room!
Chance swung off his bike and looked around, just gone twenty minutes past eight, he could see two young men collapsed on the steps, high as kites. A skinny, ugly man stood watching them, his hand hovering around his waist. Chance looked to the apartment block and cringed inwardly, fuck what had his girl been living with?
“Anything happens to our bikes you won’t know what fuckin’ hit you,” Chance warned the skinny guy as he stomped past him.
“Stay put, woman,” Bear said, putting a hand on Leslie as she climbed out.
“I’m coming in,” Leslie shot back, indignant.
“Woman, you seein’ this place? Stay here, fuck knows we don’t want you stabbed with a needle,” Bear growled.
“I need to find Clio.”
“Woman, I know you’re friends. Bad enough Hellfire gotta go in, you need to stay where we ain’t gotta worry about protecting your ass. Askin’ for Clio, stay here unless we come for ya.” Leslie thought it over and nodded and locked herself back in the car. Bear stared at the skinny guy who was watching.
“Anythin’ happens to the woman, I’ll break your fuckin’ neck,” Bear growled and stormed off after his brothers. He caught them up on the top floor and found Chance banging on the door.
“Clio!” Chance bellowed. No one answered, Chance banged again and frowned at the door.
“Kick it in,” Chatter growled. Chance raised a foot and Rooster stopped him.
“Fucks sake,” Rooster grunted and knelt, pulling a lock pick from his pocket.
“What’s going on?” a voice asked, and turning they saw a scruffy, unkempt man standing in filthy tighty whities. Chatter sneered. Chance took one look and moved into the guy’s space.
“Yeah, dude, why you yelling?”