I clung tightly as he pulled slowly down the road, giving me time to get used to the motion of the bike. Chance had instructed me to lean when he leant, and I wore jeans, a thick leather jacket that was too big for me, and a helmet. Disgruntled I wore one when Chance didn’t, I couldn’t put up an argument when he insisted, I wear them for safety. He told me he’d go slow for a while until I was used to the sway of the bike and then he’d open her up.
I don’t know when I relaxed enough to enjoy the ride, but my head resting on Chance’s broad back, the smell of leather and oil in my nose forced me to relax. I began to enjoy the ride when Chance opened the throttle up and let the Harley go. Power thundered beneath me, and the vibrations of the bike caused no amount of conflicting emotions. By the time we hit Hellfire, I’d loosened my death grip on Chance’s waist and was holding on far more gently. The rush of the ride overwhelmed me, and I knew that just once wasn’t enough.
As Chance glided into Hellfire and the spot he always parked his bike in, sadness hit me. The ride was over, but I perked up when I realised we’d be riding the bike home again. I was out and out grinning when Chance turned to look at me, and his answering smile told me Chance was aware exactly how I felt.
“That was amazing, I want to do it again,” I exclaimed as Chance yanked my helmet off messing my hair, I smoothed it down again. Chance dismounted first and then lifted me up and off the bike. I flung myself in his arms and dragged his head down for a kiss, Chance happily obliged and a wolf whistle cut across the forecourt. Chance flipped someone the finger over his shoulder and continued kissing me to my amusement. When he ended the kiss, he turned to face the whistler.
“Clio, this is Pyro a brother in Hellfire,” Chance said, turning to the grinning man. Pyro leant in and snatched me from Chance’s arms and swung me in a circle and gave me a hug before Chance grabbed me back.
“What the fuck?” Chance bellowed at Pyro, his volume making me wince. Pyro kept grinning at us both, and I smiled back at this likeable brother.
“Well, now you got a woman, we all gonna get one, that’s the way it went with Rage, can’t wait for my old lady to stroll up. She’s gonna be sweet and gentle, an angel,” Pyro grinned and ducked as someone swung a meaty fist at his head. I turned to the newcomer and smiled when I recognised Bear.
“Hi, Bear!” I chirped, and the talking mountain grinned at me.
“Hey Goddess,” Bear rumbled back. Chance began frowning. “Brother, the name Clio is a Greek Goddess, one of the nine muses, Clio represented history.” Bear surprised me with his knowledge, and then he looked shamefaced.
“Own up!” I teased guessing what made him wear that expression.
“I looked it up,” Bear admitted, and Pyro hooted in laughter and Chance broke into a grin.
“Goddess is mine, find another nickname for her,” Chance ordered and dropped a kiss on my head.
“Took me all this time to find Goddess, now I gotta find another,” Chance’s grumbly VP mumbled and glared. Oh boy, dissension in the ranks.
“I’m sure Bear that whatever you pick will be as wonderful,” I said, and Pyro snorted. Bear turned instantly on him.
“Babbling like a fool, what’s the matter with you, want the girl to think we’re whacked and desperate for a woman?” Bear chided in a deep tone. I found Bear adorable, he wasn’t only as big as a bear but rumbly and cuddly too.
“It’s okay, I don’t think anything,” I replied, and Pyro turned to me and opened his mouth and Chance thumped him on the back of his head.
“Don’t fuckin’ say it, brother,” Chance warned, and Pyro sent us a shit-eating grin and shot off toward the garages. Excitement filled me, I was standing on Hellfire, and I could see the garages close. They weren’t unknown to me, there were eight bays, broken into, four for vehicle inspections, two for builds, one for paint and one for fine detailing. Strangely enough, they didn’t design bikes.
“Chance, why don’t you design bikes?” I asked, the question was on my mind, and I wanted an answer so I could understand.
“My father, Enigma and Drake’s father, Arrow, were brothers. When they were little, they and three friends saw bikes riding through Rapid City on their way to Sturgis. It began a passion with them, Arrow, Fury and Axel opened Rage MC. My father and Bullet opened Hellfire MC, Dad gave Rapid City to Arrow and searched for a home for Hellfire. Dad could have picked Sturgis but chose Spearfish instead as it didn’t have an MC.
Arrow planned to open a garage on the land he built Rage MC on but died before he could do so. It had been agreed by our fathers that Rage led the way in bike design and Hellfire in car design, that way we wouldn’t take business from each other. When Drake came of age, I helped him build the Rage garages. The asshole in charge of Rage back then couldn’t do shit to stop us and Drake built the garages, parts store and opened a shop same as we have. But theirs carries Rage merchandise,” Chance explained.
“You carry Hellfire merchandise,” I noted, Chance gave a nod of agreement.
“We own a bar together, and we’re searching for a shop to set up a tattoo business. I’d open one here, but we have Rio’s although I’d enjoy putting that fucker out of business.” Chance glowered at the thought of this unknown entity Rio.
“Drake opened Made by Rage a couple of years ago, one of the old ladies Lindsey is a freaking whizz and makes quilts, blankets and shit and sells them. Two of the Rage brothers Gunner and Manny create woodwork and make shit, I want to do something similar, got brothers with skills who’d rather hide them.”
“So why don’t you?” I asked curiously.
“You know babe, that’s a damn good question, just never have time,” Chance mused his gaze taking in a few of his brothers.
“Levi can paint, really paint baby, Celt grew up glass blowing, brother has a workshop at home and makes us something every Christmas. Then we have Shotgun who makes leatherware, you know belts and holsters and shit? Maybe it’s time we invested in our brothers, just can’t be Made by Hellfire,” Chance chuckled as he led me towards the clubhouse. The bays were busy with mechanics and brothers coming in and out. We approached the clubhouse, a two-storey square building painted grey with blue embellishes.
Chance pushed through the double doors, and I was facing an enormous room, the walls were painted cream, and one wall was covered in posters of concerts and bike events. On my left, there was a massive banner saying Sturgis was centred in the middle. The wall opposite held a wooden bar with bar stools dotted around it. Behind the bar was a giant flag with the Hellfire patch. The back wall facing me had a large pool table between two doors and on the wall was hundreds of photos of the brothers and various women.
Dotted around were scruffy armchairs and sofas and there were lots of small tables with beer cans and glasses left on them. There was a third door set into the wall with the Sturgis banner, it hung above the door which was also covered in posters. The door was next to a small window through which I spied an immense table with chairs. As I looked closer, I saw a far smaller desk behind that table backed up against the outside wall with a laptop on it and several filing cabinets.
“Clio!” a voice exclaimed, and I turned and saw Leslie hurrying towards me. Before I could reply, two arms wrapped me in a warm hug and my arms wrapped around her. She held me away from her and studied me as I gazed back at her, she looked so much happier. Leslie’s brown hair was cut in her usual bob, but she’d had blond highlights added. Her curvy figure was tastefully clothed in trousers, and she wore an off the shoulder knit top. Leslie was never going to be called tall, but we were similar in height. Her warm smile chases away any cold left in my bones, and I hugged her back heartily.
“Hey Leslie,” I mumbled and received a heartfelt squeeze.