If this was a movie, now would be the part where I tell you I miraculously walked after that and all is well. However, this is no mainline cinema production and after the rods were out of my legs all that changed was the fact one leg had healed better than the other. Which meant I could balance twenty pounds of weight on my good leg. I’m six foot three and a hundred and ninety pounds—you do the math.
I regained mild sensation in my limbs but, that don’t matter much either. They still feel like dead weight every time the physical therapist tries to get me moving.
With no surgical procedure left to try, I’m being discharged from the hospital and the fate of my legs relies on an hourly paid therapist who doesn’t really give two flying fucks if I walk again. The doctors here have also referred me to a shrink—apparently, it’s alarming when a crippled bastard doesn’t clap his hands in elation after finding out he’s being discharged. I suppose to them fresh air is a mediocre consolation prize.
After being locked inside a hospital for months, one might look forward to being thrown into the world that chewed him up and spat him out. He might even find comfort at the thought of going home but, I didn’t have a home. All I had was a room in the Satan’s Knights clubhouse and like my legs, the explosion left my home, my bed and all my belongings in ruins.
Upon my arrival to the concrete jungle, I along, with the three nomads Wolf managed to turn, all took a room in the clubhouse. After the explosion, I heard Styker, Cobra, and Deuce had relocated to a motel. However, as a man who has been stripped of his independence, that wasn’t an option for me. The motel wasn’t wheelchair accessible and even if it was, I needed someone to help me wipe my ass. Wolf, of course, thought that someone should be him and while I’ve been wiggling my toes like a trained chimp at the circus, he had his other monkey’s—Stryker, Cobra, and Deuce— turn his house into a crippled man’s oasis.
Now, it’s discharge day. The papers have been signed and instead of rolling out of here on my Harley, there is shiny new wheelchair that offensively awaits me and a bag of clothes sitting on the foot of my bed that I refuse to have the nurse help me put on.
If I don’t comply maybe they’ll throw me on the street like yesterdays trash and be done with me.
A knock sounds on the door, dragging me away from my thoughts. I’m about to tell the nurse to go fuck off somewhere when I hear Wolf’s deep voice echo off the sterile walls.
“Why the fuck are you still wearing that dress?” he growls, curling his lip as he eyes my hospital gown with disdain. “Riggs is downstairs waiting with the cage.”
He grabs the bag of clothes sitting at the foot of the bed and dumps them onto my lap.
“The fucking clown charges by the hour,” he adds, clapping his hands together.
And you thought I was being a smart ass when I said we’re all his monkey’s.
A sane man would think better than to argue with Wolf. After all, he didn’t get his name because he had the disposition of a lamb. Like a master predator, he lives amongst the wild and silently stalks in the shadows. He destroys anything that stands in his way and defends what he holds dear. Loyal to a fault, he is the heart of the Satan’s Knights.
He’s also a glutton for punishment.
But, so am I.
A fact we both surrender as we continue to stare at one another. This isn’t his first attempt at saving me when I don’t want to be saved.
“I’m not going,” I tell him definitely as I swipe my hand across my lap and send the bag flying off it.
“The fuck you talking about?” he grinds out, combing his fingers through his salt and pepper hair. The times have changed. Murder and mayhem have hardened Wolf and as a result, his patience has thinned.
“I should’ve died in that explosion,” I tell him. Balling my fist, I lift it and pound it against the center of my chest as I glare at him. “I wanted to die,” I reveal. “But, no one asked me what I wanted. No one gave me a fucking choice.”
Stryker pulled me from the debris.
Jack Parrish and his vice president, Blackie, gave consent every time they sliced me open.
And if it was up to Wolf, he’d keep tugging on those puppet strings.
“I’m done letting you motherfuckers play God. From here on out, I decide what happens to me.”
“Let’s get something straight, kid,” Wolf growls. “I didn’t lie to my brothers and sacrifice my loyalty to my club for nothing. I put my life on the line for you.”
“I didn’t ask you to,” I remind him.
“No, your mother did and before your father killed himself, I swore that if you or she ever needed anything I would make sure you got it,” he fires back.
The instant the words leave his lips, he lifts his chin. Regret fills his eyes and apparent frustration wears on his face as I narrow my eyes.
“I thought my father died from hepatitis.”
“You and the rest of the world,” he mutters, scratching the scruff lining his jaw.
I’ve always known my father was a dangerous man. Being the former president of the Satan’s Knights motorcycle club, he was no choir boy. He was a criminal. a hellion who lied, cheated and stole from others. A stone-cold killer with ice in his veins.
Since a young age, the story of his death had been ingrained in my brain and it goes like this, Cain was a drug addict. Years of swapping dirty needles finally caught up to the menace and he contracted Hepatitis C. Two years after he was diagnosed, he learned he also had liver cancer. The doctors gave him six to eight weeks. He survived two.
It’s the story my mother told me anytime I asked about my old man.
The very same tale Wolf has spun for the last eight years. I never had a reason to doubt him. Especially when every man wearing a reaper backed him with the same story. Sure, Wolf lied through his teeth but, I was never on the receiving end of those lies and every deceitful thing he’s ever said or done was to protect me.
At least that’s what I thought until now.
Until this very moment when all his lies—all the secrets he’s harbored—they pour from his tortured eyes like venom. The exposed truth weighs heavily between us and as before he can spin another bullshit story, I demand the truth.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I ask angrily.
“I came here for answers,” I remind him. “You were on the balls of your ass, desperate to save what my old man created and, I offered myself to you on a silver fucking platter. I figured I’d repay my debt and in the process, I’d learn more about the man who fathered me. All I got in return was a rap sheet a mile long, more faceless enemies and a fucking wheelchair. I’ve undergone the knife more times than I can count and, I can’t fucking walk. You owe me something!”
Silence engulfs the room as I watch Wolf take two steps toward me, closing the distance between us. Leveling me with a glare, he rolls his neck from side to side. It’s the first time I fear what will come from his mouth but, I’ll never admit that.
“Lies,” he calls, pointing an accusing finger at me. “Yeah, I was desperate. Yeah, I took you up on your offer but, don’t for one second tell me it was to repay a debt. I never asked you for a goddamn thing. Everything I did for you was done without ever expecting something in return. You chose to hightail it out of North Carolina because you fell for my niece and you needed an excuse to ease your fucking conscience after bailing on her. You want truth? You want answers? You’re a fucking pussy just like your old man,” he roars.
Anger rolls off him stunning me into silence. It’s not the vulgar comparison to my father that shocks me. It’s the fact Wolf knows about my relationship with Kelly. I thought I did a good job hiding my feelings for her. After all, I had succeeded in making her believe she was nothing more than a willing a body. A much needed distraction to pass the time. A reason to move on with a life I was tired of living.
She never knew she was everything that forced my vital organs to work.
The air that inflated my lungs.
The blood that pulsed through my veins.
And when I closed my eyes, she was the glimpse of heaven I never deserved.
She was everything but the only one who knew that was me.
Me, and now Wolf.
“Wipe that look of surprise off your fucking face,” he growls, gripping the side rail of the hospital bed. His knuckles turn white and I imagine he’s wishing it was my neck he’s strangling. “I knew it from the moment she stormed into Sin’s chapel that first day. I knew it when you looked at her and saw a piece of yourself.”
His words are like gravity to my memory, pulling me down and grounding me back in time to the day I first laid eyes on Kelly Monroe.