Chapter 27: First Rides
I can’t tear my eyes off her as she is working swiftly and purposefully on my bike. I may not look the part - my bike being in the worst condition that all my brothers’ - but I love that Harley. And it represents me, the damage I have inside. She is part of me and she is dented as I am, still rolling though. She is there when I need her and she always delivers.
Seeing Iris touch my bike made me feel hot. It is crazy, I know but as Iris is on her knees, screwing the foot pegs in place in her overalls, her long hair in a clumsy ponytail, her fingers all over my bike, I feel hot. Every touch, every gently stroke, resonates on my skin and I am ready to jump out of it, tempted to go over, grab her and have her touch me like that, bend her over that bike and kiss the hell out of her.
“Check the brakes while you are at it!” Bjorn stirs me away from my fantasies.
“Brakes are fine, boss. Just finishing up.”
“How long?” my voice comes out heavier than usual.
“It’s almost ready.” she turns to me and smiles.
Damn, she has a bit of motor oil on her little nose and she looks like a Rider’s wet dream. Every day of the last week I have been dreaming of this ride, the only way to have her against me, touch me. I know exactly where I will take her but I am not so sure whether she will like in or not and that makes me shiver with anticipation.
“I’ll be back in a while.” I turn my back on the garage and I leave.
I go back into the clubhouse and Tor is having his lunch with Daniel and Ironhand. Runner is leaning back having eaten his full. All turn to me as I go up to them.
“Hey, bror.” Tor points at a seat next to him.
I take it and I lift my chin to all those in the table.
“Care to join us?” Daniel says.
“Nah. I am eating out. I am...I am taking Iris out in the city.”
Tor stops chewing, Daniel drops his fork, Runner leans in. Only Ironhand just keeps on eating.
“Is that so?” Daniel manages to say.
“You paid a shitload of money to buy her that car, you take her out and she has been living in your room for how long now? What the fuck is going on?” Runner asks.
“You tapping that?” Tor smirks.
“Tor,” my voice is icy cold “you are my King and I respect you. But talk about Iris like that again and I’ll break your fucking neck.”
“Yeah, yeah. You know who told me the same thing a while ago? Bjorn about Ava.” Tor’s smirk widened “Just saying. You all start dropping like flies on me.”
“Not me, brother. No woman can hold me down.” Runner hits the table to emphasize his promise.
“Truth be told I expected Bjorn to go down hard. He was the first to marry after all. Last motherfucker I imagined with a Valkyrie is you, Rage. No offence, brother.”
“Iris is not...”
“...not your Valkyrie? Keep saying that to yourself.” Daniel smiles at me.
“Runner, you got it?” I frown at the brother across me stop the talk.
“And while in the subject of Iris not being Rage’s girl, he had me get a leather jacket for her.”
I press my lips together and breath through my nose audibly. I feel the urge to punch him across the face.
“Is that so?” Tor gulps his beer.
“You are acting like fucking kids.” I growl.
“I heard that one, too. Who was it? Ah!” Tor snaps his fingers together “It was Ava. The one getting married next month? The one knocked up? Follow my train of thought?”
I get up and glare at Runner.
“Yeah, I got it.” Runner gets up, goes down the corridor and I follow him.
He enters his room and comes back with a bag. The club has a tailor to make our cuts and I wanted him to make Iris a jacket so she can ride with me. I asked Runner knowing he would be better with measurements and such.
“In there.” Runner leans against the door and crosses his arms “You really like her, don’t you?”
I don’t reply.
“Damn it, Rage. I remember how you were the night she was taken.”
I shake my head to make the memories go away. Iris is with me now and she is fine and I am not letting anyone hurt her again. I clench my fists and my chest draws deep breaths.
“It’s OK, brother. I am here for you.”
I say nothing just nod before I go to leave the bag in my room. I am ready to go get her when there is a knock on the door.
“Rage?” I hear Iris.
“Can I come in?”
I go over the door and open it for her. She is out of the overalls and she has let her hair down. I trace the sweat running down her neck and I suddenly feel thirsty. Her cheeks are flushed and her breath is more shallow creating a turbulence in my mind. All this talk with the Riders about her being mine has led me into paths deep into the woods. And I am lost in a haze of desire seeing her so live and vibrant before me. All thoughts of taking her out for a ride are out the window and I am tempted to lock her in the room and spend eternity with her. I shake my head violently. I cannot allow myself to go down that road.
“Your bike is ready” she steps in “but I need a shower.”
And back down that road I am. I bite my lips upon hearing her say these words, instantly picturing her naked body. I have seen more than my fill of her back, her slender waist, the two dimples on her back that make me sweat. But instead of sating my hunger for her, I yearn for more. How would it feel to touch her, take her all in, savor her every move? I am pinned on the floor at the thought. I can hear her shuffling behind me and when I turn she is bent over the one drawer she needed for her few belongings, her sweet ass in the air.
“Fuck!” I curse under my breath and she turns to me.
“What’s wrong, Rage?” she straightens her back.
“Get ready.” I step away, afraid I might do something I will regret “Take care. No water on your back.”
She lingers a bit more before getting in the bathroom. I hear her move in there and then the running of water. The thought of her being naked in there is too much to bear. I go for the bag and take the leather jacket and the boots out. I leave the jacket unfolded on the bed and the boots on the floor before it and exit the room with agitated strides. I cross the street and I see my bike is ready in the lot. I throw my leg over it and start the engine.
I put on my gloves and check the helmet I got for her. And I wait. It seems to me that I have been waiting for an eternity. Not just now, all my life. I have always felt like I was at the start, waiting for the signal to go, not knowing where to. But this time I see it. There is goal in my head, a thought forming, a dream even: keep Iris safe. Lie. Not just safe. I want to keep her, keep her in my life, let her in and allow her to decide if I am worthy to be tidied up as she did with my room.
From down beneath the hell of my existence the Hound shrieks in laughter, telling me no one is safe around me, that I’ll take her down into the pit with me, that no one can save me, not even her. But I ignore it. I do that more and more easily. The Hellhound is there, I feel the itch under my skin but as long as I am near her, it stays off. If that little girl can keep me safe from my own self, I sure as hell can keep her safe from anyone else.
My feet are twitching on the peg and I run my fingers through my hair as I exhale. And then I hear the door open. I turn slowly. It’s her! And my jaw drops. Had I known how good she would look in a leather jacket I would have never gotten her one. Or have given it to her sooner. And ask her to wear it for eternity. She is in her loose, worn jeans that fall low and I catch a glimpse of her flat belly, making my fingers jumping to get out of the gloves and onto that skin. She is zipping the jacket higher and I follow the move as the leather wraps her figure, goes round her breasts and engulfs her shoulders. She walks up to me with a wide smile, her eyes shining brightly. She is happy. I made her happy and I am damn proud of myself.
“So?” she stands before me “How do I look?”
I look at her up and down and my face melts into a stupid expression. If Iris looked better before, she looks stunning now. She is like a flower, blossoming slowly and I know that once she blooms fully, that will be the end of me.
“You look...” I have no words “Your hair.” I cough “You need to tie up your hair.”
“Yeah, about that. Can you help me? I tried after I got the jacket on but it hurts.”
She hands me a black rubber band and turns her back on me. I have killed, maimed, tortured more people that I can count, I have brought fear in the hearts of my enemies, I have seen grown men piss themselves just because I walked up to them. And yet I am looking down my hands like an idiot, at one rubber band as if it is lethal. I look at the back of her head, the long hair flowing down her back, shining under the sun. Iris looks over her shoulder to check what is taking so long and I decide I am done looking like an idiot.
I bite down my jaw, take off my gloves and run my fingers through her hair. And I am done for. She sighs deeply and for a moment there I am sure she likes my touch as well. If I keep this up I am going to be undone right there, in the middle of the street, under the scorching sun just because I am touching her ebony strands. That’s how much I want her. I quickly gather her hair and then she turns to me, her cheeks redder than before.
I wet my lips and I see her eyes follow my tongue. She studies me a lot, I can tell as much and I can’t tell what she is thinking most of the time. But right this moment it doesn’t take a genius to know what goes through her mind. She inhales deeply, still concentrated on my lips and without even knowing she nibbles on her lower lip. Fuck, I look away.
“Now, hold on to me tight. Lean with me, follow the move of the bike, don’t fight it. If you scared tell me so or squeeze me tight. I’ll stop. And I won’t speed.”
She nods but makes no move just looks at the seat behind me. I do too. I am hit by the realization. I am taking Iris on a ride. Fuck that! I am letting someone on my bike. Fuck that, too! I am letting someone else to sit behind me and touch me for a long period of time. That is either going to end up in flames or in heaven. I am hoping for the latter.
“Ready?” I ask.
That quiet girl gets me more than anyone in the world. Everyone thinks what is going to happen to her on my bike, how she might be hurt or terrified. No one thinks for one minute that I am the one that is scared shitless. I am the one with his sanity at stake constantly. But she does.
“I am ready.” I beckon her to get on.
She supports herself on my shoulders and then she wraps her legs around me. My fingers tighten around the handlebars but I can’t tell if its excitement or fear. Maybe it’s a little bit of both. But when Iris adjusts onto the seat and pulls near, her whole front glued to my back, fear decides that this match is lost and sheer excitement takes hold of me. That is till Iris throws her arms around my waist and knits her fingers over my belly. That’s when bliss makes her entrance. My fingers are sweating but they have a will of their own as my right hand leaves the handlebar and lands over her fingers, making me curse for the gloves.
“You OK?” I tilt my head to her and she shifts behind me.
Perfect is the word I would use myself. I grab both handlebars and start the engine.