When I was younger, I was abnormally tall. Too tall for my age, all legs and feet and awkward limbs. My brother and his friends would pick on me at school. Kids are cruel, and I was an easy target. Years of guys and girls lumping shit on me taught me that I was worth nothing. I was smart but I was awkward, no easy come back or defence ever sprang to my lips. Instead I’d shuffle away, hunched shoulders, blushing and trying not to cry.
My parents were also bikers – my dad an enforcer for the Rebel Reapers MC, my mum his old lady – which, despite us living in a good area, made me white trash. Or at least in the eyes of the school world.
I was dreaming, I knew I was. I’d experienced this dream before. It was a flash between three separate memories. The worst memories of my life.
The first was me at fourteen, being shoved down a set of concrete stairs at school. My body thumping loudly and thacking painfully as I rolled to a stop. I’d picked myself up, tears streaming down my face. At the top of the staircase, arms crossed stood my brother, eyes cold as he glared down at me.
“Guess I didn’t push her hard enough. She’s still walking.” The people around him, the popular people, the ones who hung off his every word, chuckled nervously as they watched me scramble to collect my things. I felt something wet hit the side of my face. Looking up I reached for my cheek. Spit.
Laughter came from the stairs.
“Get out of here, Agnes. No one wants you here.” I scrambled, books, papers, backpack and ran. I got to the gym owned by our MC, body hurting. Inside Syd, one of the old fella’s had taken one look at me and grown silent. I’d scrubbed my face clean of tears and looked up at him. “I want to learn to fight.”
The dream moved ahead a few years. Prom. Blake Jimson had asked me. I was excited, thrilled. Mum had taken me shopping, Dad had handed me cash. Blake had picked me up, we’d done photos, my Dad had given him a curfew and off he’d gone. Dinner first, then off to the dance.
We’d never made it to the dinner. Instead he’d taken me to my brother’s girlfriend’s house. They’d pulled me out of the limo. In a flouncy jade dress and kitten heels, I’d been no match for them. They’d pulled me into the middle of her yard and proceeded to hold me down as each of the guys pissed on me. Five of them, one after another. Then they’d zipped their pants, grabbed their watching dates, and taken the limo to the dance.
I’d sat on the curb. My phone was in the clutch they’d tossed at me as they drove off. I pulled it out, debating. Mum and Dad would kill someone. Probably my brother. I’d already had enough of them trying to intervene. I could call Syd, but he’d also lose his mind. Instead I called the Prospects. Three of them arrived. Despite my asking for a car they’d come on bikes. Stinking of piss I’d mounted Ice’s bike. 25 year old Ice. He hadn’t complained. Hadn’t said a word as I’d pressed my face into his shoulder and cried.
They’d taken me to the gym, I’d washed and changed into workout clothes from my locker and then strapped my hands. I’d exited the change rooms, starting to warm my body up before heading for a punching bag.
“You want me to take you home?” I shook my head, eyes on the bag not on the big boy-man beside me. “I’m good.”
“Dad said curfew at 1am. I’m meant to be at dinner with Blake till 7 then prom at 7.30 till whenever then afterparty. Then I’m meant to be home by 1am. I am not going home until that time.” I glanced up at him then back down at the bag, pulling my hands up into sparring position. “They can’t know about this.”
I didn’t answer, just started beating the shit out of the bag.
The dream shifted again, this time moving forward to last year. I was home, dancing in my underwear, singing at the top of my lungs as I tidied my house. It was something I did regularly. Underwear, old loose t-shirt and the rocking tones of whatever band I felt in the mood for. The knock on the door was unexpected but not unwelcome. I threw it open with a grin expecting my parents or Flo. No one else every came.
“I didn’t lock it you could have-” I stuttered to a stop. Eyes blank, Ice looked me up and down. The shirt was long enough to hit me mid-thigh, shielding anything.
“Agnes.” His voice was soft, “let me in.”
“Agnes.” His voice was distant as I stared at him, knowing. Knowing they were gone.
“No.” My voice was soft. “No. No, no, no, no.”
“Agnes!” I sat-up, jerking and rolling away from the hand on my arm. I rolled off the bed, hit the floor and came up swinging.
“Whoa.” Ice held up his hands. “It’s okay.”
“Ice?” I shuddered, my eyes flicking from him to the room at large then back. “What?”
“You passed out. I took you home.”
I straightened, eyebrow raised.
“My home.” He amended.
“Right.” I ran a hand through my hair. “What am I wearing?”
“Flo helped.” He gestured to my outfit. “It’s the only thing I had on hand.”
I huffed out a laugh. “A negligee? You just happened to have that hanging around?”
He didn’t respond, just stood on the other side of the bed, his blank dark eyes on me.
“Right.” I pushed to my feet, groaning. “God. My mouth tastes like arse.”
“You know that for a fact?”
I raised my middle finger in reply.
“Come on.” He shifted, moving to the bedroom door. “Let’s get you fed.”
In the kitchen he made me bacon, eggs and toast. Despite my best efforts I wasn’t hungover. In fact, apart from the taste in my mouth, I was feeling good.
He leaned against the bench sipping coffee and watching me. Warmth pooled in my belly.
“So.” I swallowed another bite. “Did we…?”
“Damn.” I winked at him.
His eyes watched me as I shovelled food into my mouth. I didn’t know what that look was. For years I’d watched him. Ice was hot. Like H.A.W.T hot. He was massive, his size belying his ability to move without sound. He’d done some fucked up shit in his life – I knew that. People whispered about it. Recruited as a kid, used in war zones, doing shit that gave him a shit ton of money but left scars on his soul. Got out when he was only in his mid-twenties but with the look in his eye that said he was a lifetime older.
I wanted to hump him into next week. I wanted to ride him until that look left his eyes and all I could see reflected back was his need for me.
But it was never going to happen. I’d been dropping hints for years and he’d never once taken me up on it.
I took a shower, found a spare tooth brush in his medicine cabinet and got dressed. My clothes reeked of sweat and booze. I didn’t care. Ice handed me a helmet and off we roared. His custom chopper was a sweet ride. Sexy, sleek, it was huge like the man riding it and loud as a cannon. The vibrations under my butt made me nostalgic. My Dad’s ride had gone to my brother and he’d sold her the same week to a rival club.
I held on to Ice, enjoying the play of muscles under my fingertips as he guided me home. Coming up to my house the motorcycle slowed and I felt his loose muscles tense.
I straightened, moving to look over his shoulder. “Jesus.”
My things were out on the lawn, a bunch of neighbours picking over them. Ice pulled up and I leapt off, running up to the clutter.
“What the fuck!” I ripped the helmet off my head, tossing it to the side. “Get off my lawn!”