Devil to Pay: Cutter
Bedlam Horde MC 5 First Chapter
“You fucking cunt!” He screams in my face, droplets of spittle hit my nose and cheeks. It’s disgusting–he’s disgusting. And for some insane reason, I continue to stand here rather stunned because he’d run into me. It was my beer he’d caused to spill down the front of the both of us, and he has the nerve to call me a cunt?
I guess I don’t apologize fast enough for his liking, not that I was planning to, because the next thing I know, my face stings and burns something fierce from an intense pain radiating throughout the whole left side of my face where he struck me.
That fucking, disgusting bastard hit me. I might hang around the club but I’ve never let him touch me. Stringy hair. Beard so unkempt he probably has animals living in it. Short, squatty, hairy. Beer and donut belly. I swear he’s one more dozen glazed away from cardiac arrest.
I. Loose. My. Shit.
Grabbing the closest thing to me, it doesn’t even register that I’ve grabbed up a heavy glass bottle of Jack until I see the label when I’m cracking him upside the head.
His stings. Mine bleeds. I split his skull open like a ripe melon. There are screams from the women and shouts from the men.
He slumps down onto the floor–slumped in a grotesque heap when I realize Junk, one of the brothers, has pulled his gun, aiming at me. Junk opens fire inside the clubhouse. Women shriek, dropping down while I bend low, running for my life. He keeps popping off shots like a madman.
Instead of running for the road in front of the compound that leads into town, I turn an immediate right and dip behind a couple of metal drums to the far side of the garage where the brothers work on their bikes. After giving myself a couple of seconds to catch my breath, I crawl on my hands and knees to the door off the side, cracking the door as quietly as possible, and slip inside, closing it behind me.
My heart races a mile a minute and I swear they’ll be able to hunt me down because it’s beating so loudly.
It’s unbelievable that they don’t storm the garage to take me out in the most painful ways a man can end a woman. I shudder. As a little girl, I never dreamed of a life where I got drunk and fucked bikers for a warm bed and a bite of food to lessen the pangs of hunger that plagued me night after night since the day that my stupid, good-for-nothing–shit. I just realized that if I survive tonight, I’ve put myself back on the streets struggling to survive.
I can’t put myself back out there. Sex for money. Different men. Degrading me. Humiliating me because they think they’re so much better than me and the little bit of money they slap in my hand afterward gives them that right. Why? Why is the man who pays for sex any better than the woman who sells it?
At least with the Death Bringers, I felt safer than going off with some no-name “John” to suck him off and possibly lose my life for no other reason than the man is a psychopath. My realization probably wouldn’t make sense to most people, but it makes sense to me, and really, that’s all that matters right now under the circumstances.
I don’t know that I would’ve moved away from the streets so soon if it hadn’t been for that damn Bible Belt Killer. I guess I have him to thank for scaring me enough to “offer” myself to a biker gang in order to keep me safe. How ironic is that? Ironic or moronic? The jury is still out on that one. But as the jury deliberates, I, at least, have a full belly.
What a tradeoff.
The sounds of Harleys rumbling to life and roaring out of the lot fill the night. Once the final engine drifts away, I stand up to begin frantically searching the key hooks for a key belonging to one of the still intact bikes.
There’s a small pile by my feet by the time I find the right one. The problem is, I’ve never ridden a motorcycle on my own. I’ve ridden bicycles and that’s going to have to be enough. It takes me the time between finding the right key to pushing the bike silently as possible off the compound before starting the engine to make my peace with the universe and pray for balance.
We’ve got gators down here. Swamps and gators to both sides of the road.
Jesus, I laugh to myself. I fucking hate Florida. How I ended up here–no I know exactly how I ended up here. I followed a dick.
Stupid Aja always choosing wrong. If the wrong guy shows himself, I’m down. If the wrong opportunity presents itself, I’m there.
I’m not stupid because I got with those men or followed those opportunities. They pay out faster and when you’re living day to day not knowing where you are going to get your next meal let alone a safe, warm bed to settle in for the night, you pray for the faster to squelch those hunger pangs and keep you from freezing to death during the night.
No–what makes me stupid is that I get so bogged down in whatever the men or opportunities demand of me to keep me alive, that I never plan or save to try and get myself out of these bad situations. Everyone has an ulterior motive. That’s the one lesson I’ve learned well in my twenty-two years.
Women my age are graduating from college. Finding jobs. Starting their lives while I’m over here majoring in what “John” will be gentle and possibly tip well. Who’s the best mark to pickpocket? And most recently, which bikers won’t backhand me for accidentally skimming his dick with my teeth while I’m giving a blowjob.
I’m probably a quarter-mile away from the compound moving in the direction away from where I heard the bikes heading toward town when I decide to chance mounting the one I stole. It’s bigger than I thought it would be when I’m sitting on it, straddling it. Balancing will be a bitch given my need to lean to one side simply to set my foot on the ground. And yes–to survive in my world, you need to be able to tell which direction a car is traveling or people are walking.
My whole body vibrates from the rumbling of the engine. All my concentration needs to be on steadying the mammoth beast underneath me while I press the accelerator. The front tire wobbles severely making me feel pretty sure that I’m about to lay it down when I manage to find my balance. From that point, it’s like riding a bike–a bicycle. If I don’t wiggle or shift, I’m able to stay upright.
And no, I refuse to go too fast despite my fight or flight instinct telling me to fly away from here as fast as possible. At least not until I feel confident enough with my riding abilities to not kill myself in the process.
The light of the headlamp reflects off all the eyes peering at me from off the shoulder of the road. Those eyes could belong to anything.
I have to keep my eyes in front of me while keeping track of the eyes on me, at the same time trying to keep this monstrosity on the road. And if that’s not bad enough, bike engines rumble in the distance behind me.
Bikes travel through this area. Thousands of them a year. It could be a coincidence, some friends heading down to one of the beach cities. Chances are better that those belong to the men hunting for me.
Focus, Aja. You’re going to kill yourself.
I let out a long breath and focus because it’s going to be a long night.
Despite being on the road for hours, the adrenaline high is keeping me upright, keeping me going.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so thankful to have the light bounce off that giant peach on the ‘Welcome to Georgia’ sign in my life.
Georgia has several coastal, tourist towns. The first one I come to, that’s my next target. It sickens me to contemplate resurrecting my old life, but tourists carry cash and cards and I need cash and cards because I have nothing save a couple of bucks shoved in my pocket.
Like a boon from the universe, I spot my first mark. An old man, and at their ages, probably his wife, walking into a diner. Clicking my blinker, I slow, turning into the parking lot.
And so it begins.