“Yup, we claimed each other, and I claim Hellfire, I want a patch too, with Chance’s old lady under it,” I said decidedly. Chance’s hands grabbed my ass as he kissed me before putting me back on my feet.
“Levi, you’re inking my girl tonight,” Chance rumbled over his shoulder, and I nodded. “On your shoulder,” Chance said, looking at me. I nodded again. Levi broke into a grin and dropped a kiss on my head. Drake and Phoe looked misty-eyed as Chance wrapped an arm around my shoulder and walked me into the bar.
Drake followed behind with Phoe, I supposed because he was a president of another MC and then by rank, starting with Bear everyone else fell in behind us. The bar was full of people, I’d noticed other bikes outside but not thought anything of it. The walls and floors were wooden with a long sweeping bar set against one. Four huge assed pool tables were placed in one corner, and tables and chairs were dotted haphazardly around the bar.
As Chance walked through, he greeted lots of people, some a head tilt, others a full-on, one-armed man hug. Drake was greeted similarly, and Phoe was treated the same by bikers and women alike. A man as big as Bear stood behind the bar with a sloppily grin on his face.
“Well blow me, it’s finally happened, Hellfire’s Pres has claimed an old lady,” he boomed across the bar as we approached.
“Magic,” Chance replied and reached over to clasp arms with the giant.
“Well let me see ya pretty lady,” Magic insisted as he leaned forward and checked me, head to toe. “Gotta fuckin’ approve Chance, she’s a stunner and a catch. Yo, I’m Magic, this is my bar lady, and neutral territory, you’re welcome here girlie.”
“Hey, I’m Clio,” I replied, overwhelmed by the big man and his friendliness. Chance steered me to a free table, and I saw Hellfire spreading out amongst the other patrons. Drake and Bear joined us, Bear carrying a tray of drinks. Tati and Leslie remained with their men.
“Neutral?” I asked, turning to Chance, who again wrapped an arm across my shoulder.
“Magic had run this bar since I was a nipper, he rides with whoever he wants and in doing so gained respect. He opened this bar as a place for clubs to meet without fighting, no one wants to get on his nasty side. Magic’s broken a guy’s back before by just slamming the asshole over his knee. You enter the bar, any shit is left outside until you leave, and you don’t even start shit on the ride home.”
“Wow, he’s got a lot of power,” I said as the big man gave me a terrifying grin.
“Magic gained respect, brokered deals, settled disputes, made himself a name, a name that’s respected, this is a sanctuary. Anyone starts shit here, Magic buries them, rumours are he’s put the bodies of those who started trouble behind the bar. Don’t know if it’s true, don’t care, just know the dude has a solid heart,” Chance said as my eyes grew wide.
A sound of a chair dragging across the floor made us look up and a man wearing a cut with a patch I didn’t know approached. As he got closer, I saw his cut had the president patch, and his patch said Satan’s Warriors, even so, he gave us a friendly nod and joined us. Minutes later, a VP from The Devils Scythe and an enforcer from Unwanted Bastards approached. I was wary of the enforcer, but he was grinning at seeing Chance acting possessive. They began discussing bikes and any trouble happening in their regions. That’s when I realised that Chance had a loose liaison with them, and I decided not to judge on their name.
I met several old ladies, who held power positions and met the crazy old lady of the President of the Fallen Warriors. I was intrigued by this club because every single one of them was ex-military. The president watched his own lady with indulgence as she ended up dragging Phoe, Leslie and I to the dance floor. Several other old ladies joined us, and I realised that although they were separate clubs most of the bikers here had each other’s backs. They shared a love of the road, and I was with them on that. Hours later, we left after having a great time, and by seven that night, I was wincing in pain as Levi tattooed the Hellfire patch on my shoulder.
“Get out!” Lio yelled on Wednesday, three days later, dashing into the tearooms. He turned to the wall and yanked the fire alarm as Phil Gold rushed in behind him and began ushering people out. I spun around stunned as Lio shot around the corner and grabbed my arm. Leslie scurried past herding customers and staff out of the shop.
“Lio, what the hell?” I cried as he dragged me out from behind my counter and began dragging me from the shop.
“Bomb threat Clio, it’s credible,” Lio snapped and dragged me outside where I saw police cars screeching up outside and officers appearing. A dog van arrived, and the dog began barking up a storm. I gazed up at Lio in stunned shock, a bomb threat? For real?
“Clio!” Leslie cried, running over to me and grabbing my arm. “We need to get Clio safe, the crowd is too big, Lio!”
“I agree, you there, escort these two women to Hellfire’s forecourt,” Lio ordered an officer who was staring at the shop.
“Will do sir,” the officer replied and took our backs. As we pushed our way through the crowd that had formed, I saw the police pushing people back behind a barrier. Bone, one of the prospects, was looking for me, and I yelled his name when something was jammed into my back.
“Keep walking bitch,” Slimy Sam hissed, and I froze in horror. The gun jabbed me again, and I swapped horrified gazes with Leslie. Slimy Sam led us to an alley and Leslie turned to scream as Slimy Sam struck her with the gun. Leslie collapsed in a heap, and I screamed, long and loud enough to catch Bone and Lio’s gazes. Awareness of what was happening crossed their faces, and they began running.
Slimy Sam aimed at the crowd and fired three times, and everyone began screaming and panicking blocking Lio and Bone’s way. Sam shoved me into a blue Impala and hogtied my hands behind me. I kicked out trying to fight free, but Slimy Sam hit me with the gun and stunned me for a few moments. When I’d recovered, I was tied feet and wrists, and Slimy Sam was pulling out of the alley firing blindly into the crowd. The Impala roared, and then Slimy Sam shot off with me held captive. Scared, I dragged myself up, and my eyes momentarily caught Phil Gold’s and then we were gone.
“He’s got Clio!” Bone yelled, running across the forecourt for his bike. Bone’s keys were in his hands, and he was on the bike, throttling it before anyone understood Bone’s words. “Fucker’s taken the girl, blue Impala, giving chase,” Bone yelled at Rooster who reacted and ran for the clubhouse shouting. Brothers spilt from every direction and Lio belted across the forecourt.
“Asshole called in a bomb threat on the tearoom, I got Clio out, but Sam was impersonating an officer and fucker got her. I got a partial plate, and we’ve got officers hitting the road. Chief’s called an active kidnapping,” Lio cried skidding to a halt in front of Chance who had turned to stone.
“Sam’s got my girl?” Chance whispered.
“Hit the road in two’s split up!” Bear yelled, grasping the situation immediately.
“Drake? The girl’s gone, kidnapped, Rage need to ride now, call Hawthorne and Artemis,” Rooster said down the phone as Chance remained standing still. Images of how he’d found Clio last time Sam had got his hands on her flooded his mind. For the first time ever, Chance was paralysed with fear.
“Call in allies, flood the roads,” Bear growled, but Chance couldn’t act.