“Don’t doubt you will, fuck baby, she’s the first woman I’ve ever touched in anger, seeing her there sobbin’, acting the victim, knowing she wasn’t, I flipped. Pyro called and told me he’d caught Maura plastering the front of the tearoom with those pictures. Bitch had covered Hellfire with them and was wandering down the street attaching them to streetlights, I saw red.
Maura was violating you again, and I wanted to kill, bury her, she forced me to do something I’ve never done, and that’s grab a woman. That fuckin’ bitch could have destroyed our relationship when I touched her, and instead, you see the real me,” Chance said.
“I will always see you, no matter what, your temper is nasty, and you’re a handful, stubborn, pig-headed, hot-tempered, and quick to judge. But you’re my man Chance,” I said, stepping into his space and resting my head on his chest.
“Got any good points in that lot?” Chance grumbled.
“Your ego!” I exclaimed and pinched his side. “You’re unfailingly patient with me, kind, generous, loving, funny and mine.” Chance grinned and dragged me forward for a kiss.
“I’m wide awake now, I might go to the tearooms and start baking early, no point going back to bed now,” I huffed, and Chance grinned.
“I’ll come with,” he said, and we walked out of the clubhouse.
By two o’clock, I was shattered, and Leslie called Chance to come and get me. I could barely keep my eyes open, and Chance hesitated over putting me on his bike. Arguing with him, I climbed on the back and waited patiently for Chance to follow suit. Chance rolled his eyes and mounted the bike before gunning it out of the forecourt. I was asleep the moment I got home, and Chance carried me to bed.
The week passed, and while there was no further communication from Lio or Artemis, everything seemed to die down. On Saturday night we’d had a hog roast celebrating the opening of the tearoom and Chance and mine’s relationship. It had been a splendid night, Staffey had attended with Leslie, and all of Hellfire and the prospects showed up. My heart was warmed at seeing Staffey and Leslie together, they seemed to be getting along fine now Staffey had broken through her barriers.
The big gestures hadn’t stopped, more flowers and jewellery, teddy bears and Leslie’s favourite books. Staffey was going all out to woo her, and I encouraged every effort he made. Leslie didn’t know how to handle Staffey’s attention, but she was coming around to it, and Staffey showed no signs of slowing.
Chance and I hadn’t settled our disagreement, but he seemed more relaxed, and I was more accepting of his high-handed ways. Chance inadvertently put his foot in it every day, but I became more tolerant and learned how to handle his high-handedness. We didn’t argue again, but there’d been a few upsets which ended up resolved in bed.
I was settling into my new family, so much had changed from a mere two-and-a-half months ago. Everything was so different, and yet I remained the same, deep down inside was still the scared little girl who hated confrontation, but I was stronger now. Hellfire had done something extraordinary and given me confidence and the strength to be the person I’d always wanted to be. I was no longer the survivor, the victim, without Chance and Hellfire, I’d have collapsed under the weight of the attack.
But this Clio, I was a fighter, I may not know my beginnings in life, but I knew who I was now. I was kickass, a good person, and I’d family, a family that would back me to the hilt, literally to hell and back. I’d had plans for my life, I’d been struggling to make them a reality, but Chance had given me a future, made my plans and dreams a reality. It would have been easy to love Chance because of his generosity, but that wasn’t the reason. Chance made me happy and filled my soul with love.
On Sunday we’d spent the day on the lake again, with me firmly entrenched in a life jacket and a book. I left the fishing to Chance this time to his amusement, praising him for his catches and refusing to look at the fish. Chance thought my newfound squeamishness amusing and teased me every time he caught a fish. Several times Chance released the fish back into the lake saying they were too small, when he’d caught four, he napped for a while before taking us home. I will say that while I disliked the fish, they cooked wonderfully and true to my word, I made Chance gut and grill them.
The second week of the tearoom opening, was just as busy as the first, and it appeared we’d had a successful start. The following Sunday, late in the afternoon, we’d checked the sales, and I was astounded at how much profit we’d made. With sales so high that we didn’t have to worry about paying the staff and making money ourselves. Leslie was ecstatic with the figures, and the restaurant was successful for night dining. The advertising had paid off, and Kris was taking bookings over the phone and internet. As far as I was aware, the tearoom was booked three months in advance, which was fantastic.
We’d even had two food reviewers come in, and the chefs had received high praise for their delicious and delightful dishes. The staff were making a killing in tips, and even with them giving twenty percent to chefs and prep cook, they still were nearly doubling their wages. Leslie and I refused to touch their tips, we weren’t Benny, the staff earned them and deserved it, they were working their butts off for us.
The second-week sales matched the first, in fact, they beat them. We’d started seeing return customers and those possibly who’d be regulars like the old lady with her afternoon tea. I was over the moon at how we were managing, it was busier than we’d expected, and I think we even surpassed Chance’s expectations. Life was freaking good.
I straddled Chance’s bike shuffling tight up behind him and wrapped my arms around his waist. We were going for a ride with the brothers, and my excitement knew no bounds. I’d never ridden with a ‘pack’ before and was so excited I could barely sit still. Chance had chuckled when he mentioned it, and I was out the door and, on his bike, before he could blink. Tati was sat firmly behind Big Al, firmly snuggled into her man, and Leslie was seated behind Staffey. Everything was wonderfully perfect.
Chance roared out first, with Bear and Big Al behind him. Two by two, the others fell into place, and people stopped and watched as Hellfire roared past. Many waved and received waves back, kids shouted and held big grins. I suppose every little boy wanted to be a biker and every little girl wanted to ride behind one. As we approached a set of lights, another bike came out of nowhere. To my surprise, I spied Rage MC’s cut and behind the rider sat a woman with long blond hair, with Hellfire’s patch emblazoned on her cut.
I watched as Chatter fell back and Drake took his spot with Phoenix letting go of Drake’s waist and raising both arms above her head, before whooping in delight. I gave my own ecstatic yell and fist pump which Tati and Leslie both echoed. Phoenix gave another wordless yell and received it back from the brothers. People watched with mixed expressions, many smiling at the Rage head old lady yelling her delight.
Chance gunned the throttle, and we shot forward the roar of bikes echoing off buildings, we passed out of Spearfish and Chance picked a road and we sped down it. A feeling of peace settled in my stomach, this is where I was meant to be, this was where my life had been heading without my knowledge. I felt one with the road, and the feeling of sheer freedom nearly choked me. On the back of this bike, no one could stop me, wrapped around my man, we free to do as we wished. The feeling was indescribable, I honestly didn’t have the words to describe it, you’d have to be on a bike to understand it. I finally understood Staffey’s love for bikes and the road.
Chance pulled over after two hours at a roadside bar, and one by one, the brothers fell into place next to us. Phoe leapt off Drake’s bike and barrelled over to me a massive grin on her face, laughing I met her halfway, and we collided in each other’s arms.
“I knew you were the one!” she exclaimed hugging me tightly. “The love of the road, it was there in your eyes, it’s fucking amazing isn’t it!”
“Yes,” I squealed as excited as Phoe was, Leslie came over laughing. Tati was far more refined and elegant and then gave up the ghost and tackled the three of us.
“That’s what it’s about,” I heard Drake tell Chance who nodded.
“Fuckin’ right brother, knew you’d find us as soon as we informed Phoe we were riding today,” Chance replied. I let go of my girls and flew across the short distance and leapt at Chance, he caught me in his arms as I wrapped my legs around his waist. Pure joy spilt from me, and it was mirrored in his eyes. I grabbed his head and kissed him soundly before breaking it and placing my hand over his heart where the Hellfire patch was tattooed.
“I want one,” I said wildly, and Chance’s body locked as his eyes burrowed into mine.
“A tattoo?” Chance asked.