Chance's Hell

Page 15

“I had the same reaction, they are uncannily alike,” she agreed. Chance glowered at Phoe, but I could tell there was no heat in it.
“Told you to wait, woman,” he said.
“Didn’t want to, wanted to meet Clio without your growly persona around her. I like her, she’s cute, will make you a great old lady and Queen Bee,” Phoe said, patting his chest. Chance caught Phoe’s hand and bit her fingers. Drake glowered and yanked her away from Chance who smirked at his cousin, Drake’s glower turned into a full-on disapproving look. Phoe giggled and patted both men on their chest and then turned to her husband and ran her finger over his mouth. Drake promptly bit it and then sucked it with a look over her head at Chance. Message received. With a wicked grin, Drake let go of Phoe and came over to me, slowly, so he didn’t frighten me, Drake bent over and dropped a kiss on my cheek.
“Welcome to the family Clio,” Drake drawled with a wicked glint in his eyes. Roughly Chance shoved Drake to one side as Chance firmly took his place by my side and then rubbed my cheek and placed his own lips where Drake’s had been. Phoe broke into a riot of giggling, and I ended up joining her as the two cousins glared at each other.
“Right let’s get shit sorted, Killer will be here in ten minutes. You asked us to give you last night, we gave it to you. Artemis is riled, you’re riled, and shit’s going to hit the fan,” Drake said hooking a chair with his foot and sinking into it. Phoe hopped on his lap as Chance sat on the bed and lifted his legs up. Instantly I curled into him, and Chance wrapped arms around me as he tended to do.
“Don’t know if you can go through it again baby, if not I have a recording from Lio, Drake can listen to that on headphones,” Chance suggested. I shook my head not wanting to go through it again, and Chance threw Drake his phone and Drake plugged some earbuds in. Phoe snatched one before he could stop her and when he tried to say something, Phoe waggled her finger in his face.
“This is Hellfire, and you can’t cut me from it. Drake, you know you don’t get to interfere in Hellfire business!” Phoe warned and tucked the bud into her ear. For a few seconds, I thought Drake was going to argue, and then he punched a button on Chance’s phone, and they grew quiet. While they listened, Chance held me against his chest as his fingers drew lazy daisies on my back.
It wasn’t uncomfortable although it should have been, Phoe and Drake listening to my interview, I guessed when they got to the part about the camera being live. Their bodies both tensed and I was aware when they heard about the snuff film. But instead of wanting to wallow in shame, I felt a prick of pride, I’d survived that. And thankfully, Tommy and Slimy Sam hadn’t got what they wanted. I was safe and fully aware Chance was by my side, he’d look after and treasure me, and Slimy Sam would be caught soon.
Despite Chance thinking I was innocent, I knew more than he thought. One of my foster homes had been a biker, Staffey had been his name, Samuel Staffey and he’d been one of the best foster parents I’d ever had. He went by the name Staffey, and we’d tried to stay in touch, Staffey had raised me from the age of seven to thirteen.
He’d broken up with his then-wife, and I’d ended up back in the system. I’d not liked his wife much, a woman with the name Diana, she’d not liked me much either, thinking Staffey paid too much attention to me and not her. I’d loved Staffey with everything I’d had, and he was the last man to break my heart. After losing such an incredible father figure, I’d locked my heart away from any further pain.
I wondered where Staffey was now, if he was still riding his Harley and if he was alone or had someone now. Staffey had been such a kind and gentle man, no one would have thought him a rough and tumble biker. But Staffey could mix it up with the best of them. And even while doing so, Staffey maintained a smile on his face. He’d been a cuddly man, and tactile, always hugging and ruffling my hair, putting me on his shoulders or giving me piggyback rides. I swallowed a lump in my throat, and Chance heard and gazed down at me.
“Clio?” Chance murmured so not to disturb the listening pair.
“Was just thinking about someone,” I whispered still struggling for control. Deep inside it hurt knowing I’d lost Staffey and if my gentle biker had been around, Tommy would never have got hands on me. I’d not be living in a dump where my life and virtue was at risk.
“A man?” Chance asked, but there wasn’t rancour in his voice, just curiosity.
“Yeah, he was my foster father from age seven to thirteen, I got moved on from there when his marriage broke up. Staffey was my father to all intent and purposes, it just hit me how much I missed him. This would never have happened if Staffey was still around.” A glint lit in Chance’s eyes.
“Staffey?” he asked with a tone of surprise in his voice.
“Samuel Staffey his name was, a gentle man, he rode a Harley too, I don’t think he belonged to one club, but Staffey called himself a lone wolf. A lot of clubs we visited made him welcome, they all seemed happy to see him when Staffey rode through and stopped for a drink,” I said. Drake’s gaze caught Chance’s and something invisible passed between them.
I wondered what they knew that I didn’t and was curious enough to ask when the door opened, and a redhead walked in. No, actually she didn’t walk, she strutted in, and my mouth nearly fell open. This was who they were waiting for? She was tiny, smaller than even me, and a smooth curvaceous little figure and red curls, this was Killer? Then she turned her eyes on me, and I felt a chill run through me. Whoever this woman was, her appearance was deceptive, there was no doubt, she’d killed in the past.
“I’m Artemis, Chance, what you got?” she demanded and moved to one side as a man entered behind her. I blinked as I stared at a younger version of Lou Diamond Philips, with long hair to boot, and a firmly muscled body.
“Spank you red, you pull that stunt again,” the native American warrior snarled at Artemis.
“Maybe I’ll spank you this time, slowpoke!” Artemis returned and grinned at Phoe.
“What Artemis do this time? Actually, you know what, I don’t want to know, you’re here now,” Drake said. Artemis grinned at him and poked her tongue out at the irate man next to her. In retaliation, he swept her up off her feet and landed a smacker on her hips. Artemis seemingly not satisfied with that dragged his head down for a kiss that made me all hot and flustered.
“That’s Ace, Drake’s VP, they run Rage MC together. Artemis is his wife and mother of their two sets of twins. She also runs a group called the Juno Group, who specialise in the rescue of women and child traffic victims. Before that the Juno Group was a mercenary outfit, available to the highest bidder,” Chance explained as we waited for every to settle down.
“Listen to this,” Drake said chucking Ace and Artemis Chance’s phone. We all settled in to wait again as Ace and Artemis got caught up. By the time they had, Ace’s eyes burned with a fury that was surpassed by the rage in Artemis’s, no pun intended. Artemis tapped on the screen a few times to hear something a second time and finally put the phone down.
“Slimy Sam, no other name?” she asked all business.
“No, Slimy Sam is what I called him, his name is Sam because I’ve heard others calling him it, but other than that I know little.”
“What about where Slimy Sam lives?” Artemis asked, and I shook my head.
“I don’t know, it’s not in my block, he may be local because Tommy and Randy Ron knew him. Some of the other drug users also used to call Slimy Sam by name, I think he bought his supply from Tommy, but again I can’t be certain. They were the type of people I avoided if I’m truthful,” I said. Artemis nodded her head along with Phoe.
“Quite right,” Phoe agreed.
“Ain’t got time for those types of assholes. Hate to say it Clio, but while Slimy Sam is fresh in your mind, I need to you describe him and answer some questions,” Artemis said. She reached down and pulled a sketch pad from the rucksack and handed it to Ace, who in return tore a page out and gave it to her.