Authors: Kara Parker
As Mike walked out into the kitchen, David put his gun back in his holster and began to hog tie Rick while Olivia watched. Finally, he was done, and there was nothing else between the two of them, just open space. He stood, and Olivia moved towards him and wrapped her arms around him. David gripped her tightly and brought her head close to him so he could breathe in the smell of her hair.
“I was so worried about you; I thought you were dead,” Olivia said, her face crushed against his chest.
“I can’t believe you went to the Reapers,” David said, shaking his head. “They still blamed you for the raid; they could have killed you. You shouldn’t have done that.” David pulled away from her and took a step back. “That was so dangerous, what were you thinking?”
“I was thinking I didn't know where you were. I was thinking that you were dead or dying somewhere. I was suspended and desperate,” Olivia said.
“You’re suspended?” David asked.
Olivia nodded and said, “They found out about the investigation, and you asked me not to say anything until you talked to Mike, but now I have to bring Rick back with me and try and get re-instated.”
David shook his head. “I never should have involved you in any of this.”
“I think I was always going to be involved. If anything, it was better this way. At least I knew what was going on,” Olivia said.
“You shouldn’t have to do this stuff. You shouldn’t have to come out to the middle of nowhere and save me,” David said, shaking his head.
“I’m a cop; this is exactly what I should be doing,” Olivia said, walking towards him. She reached out to caress his cheek, but he jerked away. “What’s wrong?” Olivia asked, and when David heard the crack in her voice, his heart almost broke.
“The guy is supposed to save the girl,” David finally said, shaking his head.
“It’s a brand new world,” Olivia answered with a smile. “Cats are lying down with dogs, raining is falling up into the sky, and girls are rescuing boys.”
Finally, David felt like he could look her in the eye, and he took her chin in his hand and tilted it up, kissing her, remembering the taste and the feel of her.
“Now what?” Olivia asked.
“I just never wanted you to see all of this—Rick, a traitor, and Mike not believing in me,” David said, whispering into Olivia’s ear. He couldn’t bear to look at her at the moment. He couldn’t stand the fact that she had endured all of this. He wanted the Reapers to be better than this. He believed so much in them, but all Olivia had seen was the Reapers letting him down.
“It is a pretty ugly house,” Olivia said with a laugh. “Love that couch.”
David shook his head and looked around. “Maybe we could just move out here,” David said. “We could live off the grid, be a couple of weird hermits who live in the desert and make our own aspirin. People would tell stories about us, and teenagers would sneak onto the property at night and brag about it the next day.”
“That sounds awful,” Olivia said, looking up into his eyes. “Let’s just live in a city where we can have cable and buy our aspirin at the store.”
“I don’t know what to do,” David said, shaking his head. “The club is ruined, Rick’s a traitor, and when I think about what it’s going to take to repair it, I can’t even think of where to begin. We’re always going to be running and fighting and at war with someone. We’ll always have to watch our backs, and we don’t have enough members to protect each other.”
David pulled Olivia closer to him and wrapped his arms around her. He could feel the warmth from her body. Faintly, he could feel her heartbeat, the steady rhythm of it was almost hypnotic. David had never worried about having to choose between God’s Reapers and a woman before. In his mind, that would be no choice at all—the club would always come first. The club was his family, only they weren’t fickle and they wouldn’t run out on you. But now the club was almost gone, and Olivia was in his arms, tempting him to another life.
He could be normal with Olivia; they could have a real life together. Not a life on the run and not a life of waiting for the other shoe to drop, but a normal life. It was the one thing David had always sworn he didn’t want, but now that it was within reach, it was so very tempting. But he had sworn an oath to the Reapers, and he had meant it. He couldn’t abandon this club when it needed him the most. The Reapers still existed. They were still there; they were weakened and small in numbers, but the men who made up the club were still alive and free. Yet, David still had no idea how he could keep the rest of them together.
“I know I’ve told you this before, David. But your life doesn’t need to be like this. You can still go straight, and you wouldn’t have to do it alone. I could be there with you.”
Could I? Could I really go straight? Could I leave the drugs and the guns behind?
David knew he would sleep better if he did. Plus, there was the true reward if he went straight, he could still be with Olivia. However, there were good parts to being a member of God’s Reapers; there was excitement and fun and the sense of belonging. David wasn’t ready to let go of that yet.
“I can’t leave the gang,” David finally said, shaking his head.
“Then bring the gang with you,” Olivia said, putting her hands on his cheeks and forcing him to look at her. “You said it yourself, there aren’t enough of you for things to go back to the way they used to be. There just aren’t. But there are enough of you to make a go at a real business. You own those warehouses; you all know how to fix bikes and cars, so why don’t you just focus on that?”
“You want me to open a garage?” David asked, shaking his head. It would never work; it was an utterly insane idea. It was like asking a fish to just walk around on land, to just try it and see if it liked the sensation.
“Why not? What’s wrong with a garage? Sure, it’s not as glamorous as the drug trade, but there will definitely be less arrests. And this way you can keep giving money to the Reapers who are in jail, and you’ll have jobs for them when they get out, good jobs that have no risk of parole violations.”
As Olivia spoke, David could see the world she was inventing take shape. The garage turned into an actual garage, his members with real, paying jobs. They would still be doing what they loved, but they would be getting paid for it. He could see the garage filled with bikers all working together; there would be classic cars in the back that they could restore.
“They’ll never go for it,” David said, shaking his head. She didn’t understand how impossible change was. God’s Reapers was an institution; it had history behind it, myths and legends and rituals. How could David take all that away but keep the gang itself together? God’s Reapers had been built on living free. Could David really be the one to finally tame them?
“But would you?” Olivia asked, staring up at him, imploring him to see the reason that she presented. “David, do you even like the illegal parts of the gang? You keep talking about looking over your shoulder and going on the run, like these are things you have to do. You don’t like the gang because of the things they do; you like the gang because it creates a sense of brotherhood, because it gave you a family. You can still have that family. In fact, you could keep it even safer.”
She was right. She was beautiful and she was right and she was a cop and the Reapers would hate anything she said—just because she was the one saying it. His stupid brothers, but no, they weren’t stupid.
Maybe I can make them see
, David thought. He couldn’t help but wonder how future members of God’s Reapers would view him. Would they see him as a leader who brought the gang through tough times, or a coward who took the easy way out? But hindsight is twenty-twenty and David couldn’t make decisions based on his legacy. He needed to make decisions that were for the good of the club, for the members who were standing before him now, not some hypothetical people from the future.
The picture of a life free of the game had been so enticing to David; it might be the same for some of the others. David grabbed Olivia’s shoulders and kissed her deeply, but their kiss was cut short as the members of God’s Reapers came into the house.
“I need to take him,” Olivia whispered, and she reached up and kissed him one last time before pulling away. The Reapers were moving through the house, talking to each other and whispering in low voices. It was a sort of code, and David understood it. They didn’t like Olivia. Yes, she had helped them this one time, but she was still a cop and she was still the enemy. A snake might bite and kill the wolf attacking you, but that doesn’t make the snake your friend.
Olivia hefted Rick onto his feet. He had been gagged and tied up on the floor facing the wall. But now as Rick stood, David could see that his silence was a choice. As Rick was turned to face David, he stared into David’s eyes, and his look was one of pure, calculated fury. He did not struggle against his bonds but settled into them, as if to remind David that they were no true bonds at all. Rick had a lot of friends, and David had just made a lot of enemies.
David didn’t think to offer Olivia a hand in dealing with Rick. He was sure that she could handle him on the drive back to Marina’s Crest. Besides, it would look better if she brought him in alone. David didn’t know if she was going to mention the help from the Reapers or their relationship. She gave him one last look over her shoulder—pushing Rick before her—and a smile. Then, the door was closed, and David was alone with his brothers.
Rick made no movement on the ride to the station. Olivia had locked him up in the backseat, buckling him into his seatbelt and taking off down the dusty road. Rick had not stopped looking at her once. Every time she looked in the rearview mirror Olivia could see him staring at her. It made her tense and nervous, and she was worried that he might be planning something. However, as Marina’s Crest came into view, he remained motionless.
The elation at finding out that David was alive and unharmed had not quite worn off yet. Olivia had spent the last few days in a near constant state of tears, and now she was almost crying again, but they were tears of happiness and relief. Having Rick in her car helped as well. She had him, not only did she know about the drugs, but he had just tried to recruit David to kill her. If nothing else stuck, that charge would, and it was enough to send Rick away for a long time.
Olivia arrived at the precinct and parked her car. She opened Rick’s door and finally removed the gag.
“You didn’t read me my rights; this doesn’t count as a real arrest. You amateur, you’ve just thrown your whole case away!”
“And that would be true, if I was an officer of the law arresting you. But as of two days ago, I am suspended, so this is a citizen’s arrest,” Olivia said, grabbing his arm and hauling him out of the car. “And you’ve watched too much television. You only get your Miranda rights after you’ve been arrested and the questioning starts. You know, that’s like on the first page of our training manual, but everybody always gets it wrong.”
“Whatever keeps you quiet, man,” Olivia said, shaking her head.
“I can give you money, lots of money, hundreds of thousands of dollars. Don’t you want to be rich? Think about it. Don’t throw away a chance at easy happiness.” Rick was rushing now, his words were racing past each other, and he was stuttering, as they walked through the parking garage and Olivia pushed the button for the elevator.
“I don’t want your drug money,” Olivia said with a shrug of her shoulders.
“What are you? An idiot?” Rick hissed at her. “Just think, Jesus, just think about it for one second. You’re being real stupid, you know that?”
“Do you really think insulting me is going to help?” Olivia asked, as the elevator arrived and she shoved Rick into it. “Also, you just tried to bribe me. Maybe someone should read you your rights. You seem to be doing a terrible job of handling yourself.”
“I want my fucking lawyer,” Rick said.
“That sounds a bit more rational,” Olivia answered. Her heart was rising in her chest. She had done it. She had discovered a drug kingpin in the rising and she had taken him out. She had been pushed around, beaten down, and she hadn’t quit. She was a good cop, and hopefully, if they let her, she would be a great detective.
When the elevator doors opened, it felt like every head in the room turned and watched, as Olivia marched Rick through the precinct's bullpen and over to Detective Farraday’s desk. Farraday stood, raising her eyebrows as Olivia approached, and she looked concerned.
“You still on the biker drug case?” Olivia asked. “By now I assume you know that someone had planted that call to take out the Reapers in order to take over the drug trade. Because there are still plenty of street level deals happening, right?”
Detective Farraday nodded, and then a light turned on somewhere, and she turned to face Rick, confusion in her eyes.
“This is the man,” Olivia said, pushing Rick forward. “His rights have not yet been read to him.” Detective Farraday stared at Olivia for a moment, and then her eyes flicked to Rick and she nodded, deciding as she completed the action. She pulled her handcuffs off her belt and cuffed Rick’s hands over his already tied up arms.
“You have the right to remain silent,” Farraday said, as she pushed Rick towards an investigation room.
“Farraday! Waters! What’s going on here,” the captain said, as she looked over the scene outside of her office. Detective Farraday kept walking, pushing Rick forward, as Olivia squared her shoulders and walked over to face her boss.
They sat in the captain’s office, Olivia sitting on the other side of the desk, as they waited for Detective Farraday to enter the room. Finally, she came in, and the captain turned to Olivia and said, “Speak, in the most efficient way possible.”
Olivia spoke, deciding what to tell and what to keep private as she spoke. She wanted to be honest with them and tell them everything, but there were certain things they could not look past. Olivia could never tell them that she recorded Rick’s anonymous call, and she kept the details on her relationship with David vague.
“There is a storefront on the western side of town. In the basement, you’ll find a drug processing plant. And it’s hard drugs, heroin and meth.” She looked between her captain and the detective, pleading with her eyes for them to understand her. “You raided God’s Reapers’ headquarters on an anonymous phone call. I’m telling you right here and now what I’ve found; it’s there. Is that really not enough?”
“Captain, I could get a warrant and be there within the hour,” Farraday said, and Olivia could see the other woman leaning forward in her seat, eager to work.
“Except that you are suspended and had no right to do this investigation,” the captain said, her eyes focused on Olivia.
“I was suspended by my partner, who everyone knows is a bad cop and who I personally saw taking a bribe. I saw it, Captain. I can only imagine how big it was for Lance to accept it. Just on the elevator ride up Rick offered me hundreds of thousands of dollars to let him go. He’s running a good business and cash flow doesn’t seem to be a problem,” Olivia said.
The captain brought her hands up to the table as she thought about it. Olivia and Detective Farraday leaned forward in their seats, both wanting desperately to hear what she had to say.
“Get the warrant. Have detective Evans begin to question Rick—”
“He wants a lawyer,” Farraday cut in.
“Then get him one, and get me someone from internal affairs. I want a full investigation into Officer Townsend. Search his house and his bank records; let’s see if a large sum of money turns up. You’re dismissed, Detective Farraday,” the captain said. However, as she spoke, her eyes never left Olivia’s. As Farraday left, she closed the door behind her and Olivia and the captain were left alone.
“I told you not to investigate on your own. I told you it was bad police work,” the captain said.
“I know,” Olivia said quietly, looking at her hands, “but David was kidnapped after you suspended me. I couldn’t not look for him. I needed to make sure he was ok, and then all the rest...happened.”
“David Creely, a known felon and a member of motorcycle gang. Can you tell me the nature of your relationship with Mr. Creely?”
Olivia let out a little laugh and threw her hands in the air. How could she explain what she and David had? They had gone from antagonists to a one-stand stand to enemies and then to whatever they were now. It had happened too quickly and amidst too much chaos, but despite her better judgment, Olivia had fallen in love with David. It wasn’t the danger that she was attracted to; it was the exact opposite. It was that David was strong and resolute in his principles; he was hardworking and driven. He was amazing, and Olivia, quite suddenly, couldn't imagine her life without him in it.
“Was...Is your relationship with him sexual?” the captain asked.
“Yes, but it’s more than that. I think I might love him.”
“Well, I haven't told him that yet. So maybe I should do that before I go running all over town with the information,” Olivia said. She never thought that she would ever have to sit in a room with her captain to discuss her love life.
“Do you really think that’s sustainable?” the captain said. Her inflection wasn’t cruel or mocking. It was straightforward; she was presenting the evidence for Olivia to decide. A cop and a biker, how could Olivia ever hope for such a thing to work?
“I don’t know if it’s sustainable. But I know there’s only one way to find out. And I know who I am, I’m a good cop, and there’s nothing that could ever change that. Not even David. I love him, but I am still me, even when I’m with him.”