Authors: Ellie R Hunter
The Lost Souls MC
Ellie R Hunter
Ellie R Hunter
© 2016 Ellie R Hunter
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.
This book is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the characters and situations within its pages and places or persons, living or dead, is unintentional and co-incidental.
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Also by Ellie R Hunter
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The Lost Souls MC Series
Table of Contents
I’ve had more significant moments in my life than most people and they’ve made me the man I am today.
I could be facing the last day of my life or this could be yet another significant moment I can add to the list.
Am I scared? Am I fuck.
Am I worried I won’t live to see another day? Nope.
My life has been full and longer than I ever thought I’d live to see. I’ve experienced every emotion from love to loneliness, pure fucking joy to feeling grief a human can barely survive. Then there is anger. I’ve met anger many times in my life and the last twenty odd years, I’ve directed the anger at myself. I hide behind the drink and behind a false sense of happiness.
I don’t regret much but I do regret letting her go when I should have grabbed hold of her and kept her with me. I should have been selfish; I should have done more to make her happy. So many should haves, I fucking despise them.
I told myself it was selfish to make her stay when she wanted too much from me. I loved her so much, I couldn’t do it. All I wanted was for her to be happy and if that took her marrying someone else and having their kids, it had to be done. It’s all fucked up.
There hasn’t been a single day since she left where I haven’t thought about her and what she is doing now, who she’s with and if she had the children she desperately wanted.
I don’t know what I could have done differently, I needed her but I needed the club too. I was a Lost Soul and I wore my patch proudly.
I regret losing her but I don’t regret not leaving the club for her. I needed it as much as I needed her. One was bound to lose and it broke my heart that it was her.
Being a Lost Soul was in my blood from the moment I slipped my arms into the leather cut. Which brings me to now, if I do die, I will die a Lost Soul and while I might be leaving some brothers behind, I will be joining brothers I lost a long time ago.
Dying isn’t so bad when you’ve lost as many people as I have, knowing they are waiting for me on the other side with a cold beer, it brings me some degree of comfort.
1984 - When it was good to be alive
This time yesterday, Mark and Rayna were saying their vows and we were all getting ready to party the night away. Christ, my best friend is married, and I couldn’t be happier for him. Rayna is a doll and I know she loves him as much as he does her. He has found his reason for being alive.
Shrugging into my cut, I look back at the empty bed and wonder when Shellie, the girl who I found in my bed when I got in after last night’s shooting, left.
Shit, last night comes back to mind and a chill run through my body at how close we all were to being gunned down. Poor Benny, he was only young and so full of life.
It didn’t take long for me to fall asleep but as I did, the warm, soft skin against me felt good. Her fear and shock of the events she witnessed had her clinging to me and she too fell asleep. We were two strangers in the cold light of day, but in that moment, we were connected in shock and from bullets.
Thinking she might be downstairs, I make my way down to the kitchen to find Rayna and Flo drinking coffee, but no Shellie.
“Where is everyone?” I ask, pouring myself a large black coffee.
“Micky is still in bed,” Flo smiles lazily, like she always does when she speaks of him and Rayna says, “Mark is over in the clubhouse with Shellie, he wanted to talk to her about last night while it was still quiet.”
I smile at Rayna and down the rest of my coffee. It’s late afternoon already and Mark will be waiting for everyone to hash out the repercussions of ruining his wedding night.
“Make sure Mickey wakes up soon, and gets over to the clubhouse,” I say to Flo before leaving the two of them in the kitchen and making my way over to Mark.
Crossing the distance between the house and the bar, the sun is warm and the place is quiet. It takes a few seconds for my eyes to adjust from the brightness of the sun to the dullness of inside the bar and when they do, I see Mark and Shellie sitting at one of the tables, talking.
Mark sees me walking towards them over her shoulder and grins.
“I thought I was going to have to wake your ass up,” he laughs.
He’s my oldest friend so I can hear the strain behind his laughter. He’s acting light and jovial for her benefit. I pull out a chair next to Shellie and she looks away from me. I ignore her avoidance and make myself comfortable draping my arm along the back of her chair.
“I told Flo to wake Mickey up, he should be here soon too.”
“Good, I was talking with Shellie and she wants to stay. She doesn’t have anywhere to go and needs a job,” he says, like she isn’t sitting with us, “I said she can work the bar.”
This doesn’t make me happy. I don’t want her working around this band of delinquent assholes.
“Is this a problem?” he asks, seeing the distaste on my face.
“Nope, no problem.”
It shouldn’t be a problem either, I don’t know this girl and she won’t even look at me now, it’s not like we did anything apart from sleep.
“Why don’t you go and familiarise yourself behind the bar, it will be busy soon and you’ll need to be on your game.”
She slides off of her chair without having to push it back and I keep my arm draped over the back. Watching her walk off, I can finally see her body. Unhidden from blankets and fear, she is striking. Shorter than I usually like, she stands at, I guess, just over five foot and she’s slim. Almost tiny, but her presence stands as tall as I am.
“How old is she?”
“She says she’s twenty-two and her driver’s licence confirms it, she’s legal.”
My attention should be on Mark and his plans to avenge the liberties taken on his wedding night but I can’t peel my eyes away from the beauty behind the bar. She moves gracefully but with conviction. She knows her way behind a bar, that’s for sure.
“Did you stay with her last night? I couldn’t find you this morning and I know Ray put her in your room.”
“Yeah, I found her in my bed and was too tired to go find somewhere else to get my head down. Nothing happened.”
I feel like I have to add the last part, I shouldn’t have to but I still do.
“I didn’t imply it did,” he smirks, the prick.
“Anyway, my best friend got married yesterday and it turned into a fuckin’ shoot out, Michael’s goin’ to want a blood bath, what about you?” I ask, focusing on the important issue for today.
It’s not often you get to witness Mark switch from a logical, rational planner to a dark, cold machine, but it’s as clear as day today.
“I won’t be keeping Michael on a leash, I’m going to stand beside him, beside you, beside every Lost Soul and we’re going to fight. I can’t see through the anger yet to form a plan, but I promise you, they will pay.”
“I don’t doubt you, Mark, and I’ll be right there with you. Have you seen Michael yet?” I ask, knowing Michael and how hungry he is for Raging Rider blood, it will only be amplified now after Benny’s death.
His body has been moved since he was brought in last night and the tables have been put back in their normal places.
“He’s sitting with Benny out the back, he said he’ll sort out a burial for him and wouldn’t say much else.”
“Christ, Michael doesn’t usually give a shit about anyone, but when he does…”
“He cares deeply,” Mark finishes off.
Michael has always been hot headed, had a fiery temper, and most of the time, he’s quick to be an asshole. On rare occasions he can be kind and thoughtful. It’s so rare though, I can’t remember the last time he was like this. When their parents died, he was angry, and rightfully so. Only the people close to him and who have known him his whole life was able to see the pain simmering under the anger he projected.
“You won’t be able to talk him out of going after them this time, he’s going to want to kick off sooner rather than later.”
“And sooner it will be,” he vows and I believe him.
Michael underestimates Mark most of the time, they both think differently and they hardly ever agree to the same thing. But when they do, it usually has catastrophic consequences.
“I’m going to find Ray, make sure everyone’s in the back room in an hour,” he says, rising out of his chair.
I nod and avert my eyes back to the bar. Tapping my fingers on the table top, I watch her every move. Last night she was hooking up with Benny before shit went down and today, he’s gone and she’s all I can see. Life is crazy sometimes, I’m fast learning to roll with it and not to fight against it anymore.
Hauling my ass up, I wonder over to the bar and lean against it. She sees me here but she doesn’t stop straightening the bottles of liquor on the top shelf.
“Are you from around here, darlin’?” I ask.
“Born and raised, unfortunately,” she grimaces.
“Why is working behind this bar more appealing than staying in town? You must know that the men here are wild and out of control most of the time.”
It’s why I didn’t like the fact Mark gave her a job, she doesn’t look big enough to handle herself.
“It’s a job I’ll get paid for,” she shrugs, “and thank you, for this morning.”
Talking of this morning, I ask, “Why did you leave without waking me up?”
Her cheeks begin glow a bright shade of red and she busies herself with the liquor bottles again. I find myself amused with her and a playful part of me begs to come out and deepen her blush, to make it permanent knowing I’m the one who’s causing it.
“I didn’t want to wake you, and Mark was so kind to me last night, I wanted to say thank you and he was waiting for me when I opened the bedroom door,” she says, turning to face me.
Her answer isn’t enough to warrant her to blush.
“What has ya cheeks flamin’ red?” I push on.
Something is whirling around her head and I want to know. This time, she turns her back on me and reaches for the broom and begins sweeping.
“I don’t mind, I can wait. I will find out one day.”
Sliding onto a stool, I perch myself and settle in. With all the shit the club is facing, she is the breath of fresh air I need.
“Where are you stayin’ tonight?”
Mark did just say she didn’t have anywhere to go.
“I haven’t thought that far ahead yet,” she says, turning to face me.
She leans on the bar, further up to me, and looks weary.
“Stay with me, again,” I find myself blurting out.
“Because you want to, and because I slept better with you next to me.”
On the surface it sounds like I’m giving her a choice, but deep down, I know I won’t stop until she agrees to stay in my bed tonight.
“I slept better too,” she murmurs.
“It’s settled then, we both sleep better together,” I grin.
“I haven’t said yes yet,” she chuckles.
“Yeah you have. I need to go and make sure everyone’s awake. If anyone gives you any trouble, let me know.”
“Will do,” she smiles, flashing her brilliant white teeth.
Sliding off the stool and heading for the stairs, I feel her eyes on me until I’m out of sight and for tonight, I know at least, sleeping beside her again will be the highlight of my day.
Starting with the first, I bang on each door numerous times and by the time I make it to the end of the hall, doors are opening and brothers are coming out to see what the commotion is.
Once the last door is open, I say loud enough for all to hear, “Everyone in the back room in twenty minutes.”
While I wait in the back room alone for the others, I think back to a few months ago when I would never have thought this would be my life style, I would’ve laughed at the thought. Now I’m living it, it’s real and strangely, it feels normal. The urge to protect what’s yours and the ones around you, to make sure the family you’ve chosen to unite with and stand side by side with are as safe as you are. It all feels like this is what we should have been doing all our lives.
To be who we need to be, not who others want us to be. We are free.
The room starts to fill with brothers, but none of them are chatting and laughing like usual. It’s very solemn and grief hangs heavy around us.
Michael is the last one to show up and strolls into the back room holding a bottle of whiskey in one hand and his gun in the other. He falls into his chair opposite mine, and next to Mark’s and I can feel his rage. Everyone can.
I didn’t see anything until it was too late so I sit listening to Tommy’s short and sharp explanation of what happened. He rarely speaks and everyone around the table stares at him in wonderment rather than interest to what he has to say. He’s a watcher rather than a speaker, so when he says there were ten Raging Riders approaching our club and then opened fire, that is definitely what happened. I continue to sit and listen to Michael rant about seeking revenge and I listen to Mark soothe his brother like only he can.
Mark looks around the men in the room and the air shifts around us.
“They’ll all get what they deserve and God help whoever gets in our way,” he promises, and not one brother disagrees with him.