I take in a sharp breath by the sting on my back. The piercing pain makes me close my eyes. But I welcome the pain, I long for it. It liberates me. I keep my eyes shut and let myself lost in the sensation.
“Am I hurting you?” Rage breath caresses my skin.
I raise my head and look back at him. His forehead is creased and he clenches his jaw. A smile blooms on my lips in reassurance. He would never hurt me, I know that with certainty. Still, he worries too much, still doesn’t trust his own self around me. I do. I trust him with my life, my soul, my love, my whole being.
“I am fine, Rage.”
“Are you sure about this?” he searches my eyes. “I’m going to need two more days on it.”
“I am sure.”
He picks up the needle again and focuses on my back. I barely contain myself and fall back on my chest. The day after the Ava’s wedding, Rage claimed me in front of the Riders, named me his Valkyrie. Everyone but Wood came up and congratulated us. I wanted to go to Wood and ask him to be happy for me. I consider him a friend, a person I like and trust. But I didn’t get the chance. He walked out and hit the road, asking to be on the other side of the Bay with Vince. One last thing remained for me to be officially a Valkyrie, the thing that would let the whole world know I was a Rider’s woman. The tattoo.
I didn’t even blink when Rage told me that I had to have it, that I had to let everyone know, that it would protect me. I asked for the sketch he had drawn for me. And I had already decided where I would have it. I thought I would spent the rest of my life hiding my back. But now I will proudly show it to the world. I would cover my scars with the tattoo, letting Rage heal me once more. I had one more request. For him to be the one doing it.
My request spurred him into action. He bought an abandoned store in the street – who would be crazy enough to open something so close to the Riders? – and he turned it to a tattoo parlor. The Riders never knew that all the intricate designs on his skin was his, that he had done most of the work himself and they were quite surprised. I wasn’t. It is what he enjoys doing and he doesn’t mind touching others to do it. And he is good. Though the Riders, the rotters and most friends of the club got in line to commission designs from him, he declined them all for now. He said he would finish my back first. And that’s what he has been doing for the past week.
“Enough for today,” he pulls away and throws the black gloves in a bin.
“I can take some more,” I sit up.
“Well, I fucking can’t,” he applies ointment on my back and covers it with bandages. “I’ve been hard ever since you took that damn t-shirt off.”
I blush. I still can’t get used to how much he wants me, this breathtaking, magnificent man. When he is done, I turn and slide on the leather seat to be close to him. His eyes narrow and his hands fall on my thighs, pushing them open so he can nest between them. We are getting more and more accustomed to each other’s touch, constantly exploring our bodies and I for one know that I will never have enough. I let my fingers tangle in his mohawk and I push against him. That is all I need to do. Rage leans to me and takes my lips thirstily and digs his fingers in my skin. Yes, I relish his touch and sink in the desire claiming me.
“Are you going back to work?” Rage kisses my lips lightly as we lie naked on the leather seat, me on top of him.
Sweat has covered his body and I am holding back from licking him clean. We just made love twice and though I am sore, I want him more. When he mentions work, I sigh and move.
“I do,” I pout and get off him.
“What’s wrong, Iris?” he pulls his jeans on.
“Well, I am done with the Eleanor,” I dress quickly. “I know it’s stupid but I will miss that car. Bjorn told me it’s already sold. I put so much work on it and she looks so good, so perfect...Anyway, I hope the guy that gets her will treat her like she deserves.”
“Yeah,” Rage smirks enigmatically.
“Hey, I know you don’t like cars but I like this one OK? No need to make fun of me.”
“OK,” he usher’s me out the parlor and closes up shop before escorting me back to work.
Bjorn comes out to greet us. I glance over his shoulder at the Eleanor. She is an imposing car, with the original black stripes done on it, the shiny silver color making her classier. I have tracked down the original leather seats and did some improvements of my own. I am proud of the work I’ve done and now she will go. I know it’s stupid to cry over a car but I can’t help feeling melancholic.
“I checked her. She is set, ready, better than she ever was,” Bjorn catches my eye.
“When will the new owner take her?”
Bjorn glances at Rage and then comes back to me with a strange twinkle in his eyes. Are they making fun of my girl-crush? Like they love those damn bikes less.
“I guess the new owner will pick her up any moment now.”
“OK,” I try to hide the sadness in my tone and pass him by to go to my workstation.
“Hey, kid,” Bjorn makes me turn to him.
As I do, he throws me a set of keys and I catch them. I scowl and look at him. These are the keys for the Shelby.
“Want to take her for a ride?”
“I don’t have a license, Bjorn, you know that. I have no identification whatsoever.”
“You know how to drive, though, right?”
I shake my head. It was him that taught me how to drive a car and he even let me take the Shelby out for a spin. I frown but Bjorn says nothing just pats Rage on the shoulder and walks away. I look at Rage with an inquiring look but he just shoots back a light smile. He walks up to me, takes out an envelope from his cut and hands it to me.
“This is for you.”
I open the envelope and I see a bunch of papers, a driving license and a passport. I look at them and they have my picture. Stig has asked me to take the photo a few days back saying something about the employee archive. I look at the name. Iris Hunter.
“I picked the name. Hunter of Nightmares. My nightmares,” Rage says. “Hope you like it.”
“You asked for this?”
“Stig has set you up with everything you need. You can ask him to set up more, grades at school, even degrees. He is a crafty motherfucker.”
“I like the name,” a happy tear runs to my cheek.
I shuffle through the rest of the papers but one catches my eyes. It’s the title for the Eleanor. In my name. I gasp and look back to him. It can’t be. I shake my head and I read again. It says that the car belongs to Iris Hunter. I am Iris Hunter.
“I bought it the day it came in. The day you saw it. For you.”
“What?” my eyes widen. “We weren’t...I wasn’t...”
“You were mine the moment you walked through the door,” Rage grabs me and twines his fingers in my hair. “You were broken and that damn cage made you happy. I want you happy.”
“I am. I am happy. I am so happy,” I let the tears run and I kiss him passionately.
He did this for me even before he has even touched me. He always loved me exactly like I loved him. Rage! My Rage, my life, my love, my man. I break the kiss and I walk up to Eleanor. And I smile raising my brow. Hell, yes.
“Want to go for a ride?” I turn over my shoulder to Rage.
He smiles and comes to hug me from behind.
“I love you,” I tell him nesting in his neck.
“I love you, too,” he tightens his grip around me.