Authors: K E Osborn
Having Dylan show up on my doorstep tonight, I have to say, was not only a major shock but a relief at the same time as it was as scary as fuck. Seeing him again after eight long years has been hard. He’s turned into a strong, handsome man and I couldn’t be prouder of him. I just wish that the reason he’d come to see me was not because he and his Old Lady are in danger. I knew Chops was behind Dylan running the moment I saw him on my doorstep. That old bastard has always been the one behind all the crap at the club.
I don’t know what Mad Dog sees in him.
Why they’re best friends, I’ll never know.
He was one of the driving forces behind my leaving. Always making advances on me when Mad Dog wasn’t around. I never told Mad Dog, but I sure as shit should have. He would have put a bullet right between his eyes and now my son wouldn’t be in this mess. This one is on me and I have to fix it. I need to find a way to make sure Dylan and Willow are safe. The only thing I can think of is to do the unthinkable.
Leaning across my bed, I pull my mobile out from the charger and take a deep breath. I haven’t spoken to
in eight years. I have no idea how this phone call is going to go or if he will even answer, but I have to try—for our son. Swiping the screen and entering the pin code, I dial up Mad Dog’s number. I know it off by heart even all these years later. My heart’s racing in my chest as a cold sweat runs all over me. Hearing his voice will be difficult. I miss him every day, but I did what had to be done for my sanity. It rings and with every high pitched tone my heart skips a beat at the thought of him not picking up.
“Amelia? Are you in trouble?” His deep voice booms down the line at a fast rate like he sounds panicked.
My shoulders tense and I clench my eyes tightly shut hearing his voice. It tears at my heart and my breath hitches imagining his face.
“No, I’m fine.”
He exhales and groans. “It’s been eight years, woman. Why are you calling me?” His tone is gruff and clipped, now he’s gone from panicked to angry.
My fingers dig into the bedsheets and fist into a ball, the silky sheets feel like sandpaper against my skin. “Mad Dog, how could you let our son leave like that and go on the run?”
“He’s come to you?” he asks desperation in his voice.
“I need to know he’s safe Frank—”
“Don’t call me that, Millie… and yes, he should be—”
“What do you mean… should be? Is he or isn’t he? It’s a simple question.”
He exhales and I chew on my bottom lip. “I called church the day after Dylan left. Told everyone he went nomad and took Willow with him. Everyone was asking questions, but I told them all that Steel was gone for good. I told them no one was to go looking for him or his Old Lady, and that she had proved herself loyal to the club by not going to the cops. I made my point to Chops, in particular, that Steel is still a brother and therefore his Old Lady is not to be hunted down and in no way harmed. Any harm that came to him or Willow would result in immediate depatching and they would meet with wreaking havoc.”
Taking a deep breath, I slump my body against the headboard of the bed and relax slightly. “So Chops won’t be coming after them?”
“No! He knows wherever Dylan and Willow go she
be protected. I just hope they find somewhere safe.”
Shaking my head, I sigh. “I don’t think that’s going to happen. Our son is lost. He doesn’t know where to turn or what to do for sanctuary. I’m asking you for help. Please Frank, please find somewhere for them to go.”
There’s a pause and then I hear him exhale. “Okay. Leave it with me. I’ll make it happen. By the morning, they’ll have a place to go. But Millie, don’t tell him, just let the call come.”
Nodding even though he can’t see me, I smile. “Okay… How have you been?”
“Really? You really want to ask me that?” His tone clipped and deep.
Shrugging, I tilt my head and wince. “Sorry, it’s just been a long time. Hearing your voice again—”
“If you tell me you miss me, I’m going to fucking crack the shits woman.”
Huffing, I swallow hard and nod. He’s still angry. “Okay, sorry, I get it. Just keep safe.”
He grunts and I try not to laugh at that, I know what that means.
“Don’t call me that Millie!”
Giggling, I smile and nod. “Mad Dog, thank you for helping me with Dylan. Thank you for calming the hound, and thank you for answering the phone.”
He scoffs. “I nearly didn’t. I almost threw the phone against the wall when I saw your name light up. Then I thought you haven’t called in eight years, so I knew something was up.”
“So you do still care about me?”
“Fuck woman, don’t be a bitch. You left me remember.”
Nodding, I frown. “Hardest day of my life.”
He groans. “I can’t do this with you. Millie, look after Dylan. Make sure he answers his phone tomorrow and takes the offer. I can’t talk to you anymore. Have a good life.” He hangs up the phone and my chest tightens as the end call tone sounds in my ear. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. I wanted to hear his voice a little longer. But I made my bed so I have to lie in it. At least, he’ll arrange something for Dylan and Willow and that eases my mind. But the ache in my chest as the water forms in my eyes tells me I’m not as over Mad Dog like I thought I was. Swallowing hard, I take a deep breath putting my phone back on charge and slide down into the bed. Pulling the sheets up over my neck, I curl into a ball as a tear freefalls down my cheek. I close my eyes and think of all the time I had with the man I’m still in love with, but who I had to leave behind.
After the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a very long time, Willow and I get up and move out to the kitchen where Mum is making a massive big breakfast for us. The full works, she’s spared no expense as I stumble into the kitchen to the mouth-watering smell and sizzle of bacon in the pan. Willow walks over to the dining table and pours some orange juice for us, but I head straight for the coffee. Even though I slept like a log, I still feel like I have two weeks’ worth of sleep to catch up on. That plus the worry of what my next move will be is weighing heavily on my mind even more now. We can’t stay here, the longer we do, the more danger I’m placing my mum in.
Mum looks over at me as I sit at the table, and as if to read my mind she exhales and shakes her head. “Dylan, don’t worry. Opportunities come along. Something will soon, I’m sure.”
“Thanks, Mum, I just have no idea where to go from here—” My phone rings in my jeans pocket and I furrow my brows wondering who the fuck is calling me. We’ve been on radio silence since we left the club and I only turned my phone back on this morning.
Mum smirks and turns to continue cooking as Willow sips on her orange juice. Pulling out my phone I look at the screen to see its Gator from Aldinga. Scrunching my brows even tighter together, I wonder why the fuck he’d be calling me. I almost decide not to answer, but chance it to see what’s going on. Standing up and walking through the doorway, I pull back the screen door. It creaks as the metal scrapes along the track and I walk outside to a bright, beautiful summer’s day. The freshly cut grass fills my senses and the lemon tree down the back of the yard is in full bloom with bright, bulbous lemons dangling from its green leafy stems. Walking over to the rickety old wooden bench, I sit down on it thankful I’m wearing jeans I don’t get splinters in my arse. Swiping across the screen, I answer the call.
“Gator?” I ask to confirm it’s actually him.
“Hey, brother. How’s life treating you?”
I tilt my head and exhale wondering if he knows what’s happening. “Interestin’, would be the word I’d use right now. Is somethin’ goin’ down, Gator?” I want to get to the point so he can fill me in so I can get back to thinking of what the fuck I’m going to do.
“Straight to the point, hey. You must be doing it real tough, brother. Listen, Mad Dog called me, told me you’re in need of a place and some protection for your Old Lady.”
I exhale slumping back and running my hand through my hair. “Shit! How did Dad know I was looking for a place?”
“He said your mother rang him looking for help.” I open my eyes wide. “Mad Dog rang me asking for my guidance and if I could offer you a place to hang your cut. Aldinga is far enough away from Virginia, so your Old Lady shouldn’t run into Chops. You and Flame can join our chapter under our watchful eye. You can patch in straight away as a member, and Flame can stay in the clubhouse with you under guard. I’ll make sure she has someone with her at all times if you want… after all, you helped us out when we needed it. You’re a mate, a brother. I can offer the same help to you… I can offer you a new home… What do you say, brother?”
Shock floods through me making my blood run ice cold, but I honestly have no other ideas at the moment. Aldinga is an excellent chapter—although recently burdened with some heavy shit coming down on them—that’s all sorted now. He’s right, though, it’s far enough away that we wouldn’t run into trouble and, at least, it’s still in South Australia. Willow could still see her parents if she wanted to. If we’re stationed at Aldinga, the protection element for Willow will be there. I wouldn’t have to worry, and we wouldn’t be on the run. Just one problem—it’s a biker club—Willow doesn’t like clubhouses very much. So living at one will be hard for her. But surely if it keeps her alive she’d be open to it?
“If I say yes, I have your word that Willow will be protected undoubtedly? And if I’m not around no one will touch, harm or harass her?”
“You have my word, brother. She’s your Old Lady, we respect that unconditionally here.”
It sounds like an offer too good to refuse. I’m not going to check it over with Willow because I’m pretty sure she’ll say no to living at a clubhouse. But there are no other viable options. I need her protected and I miss the brotherhood. Plus, living in a car can’t continue.
“Gator, this is so fuckin’ ace of you to do this for us, brother. Thank you. We do have a pet with us, though. Is that okay?” I don’t tell him it’s a fucking pig. I don’t know how he’d react to that. It’s best to let him assume it’s a dog.
“Yeah, that’s fine brother animals are allowed. We’ll await your arrival and get a room ready for you.”
“Thanks, brother, we’ll arrive sometime today. I really appreciate this and I owe you.”
“No brother, you don’t. See you soon.” He hangs up the phone and I take a deep breath and let it out slowly slumping my body. Shaking my head at the lifeline thrown my way, I stand up running my hands through my hair and walk back inside to see Mum chatting to Willow. She notices me and smirks widely like she knows exactly what’s going on.
“Who was that, my boy?” Mum asks still smirking.
I purse my lips and flare out my nostrils at her. “Gator.”
She tilts her head and nods. “Oh yeah? What’s he got to say?”
Stiffening my posture, crossing my arms over my chest and leaning against the cupboard, I look down at her shaking my head.
“I’d like to know how you are after calling Dad to sort this shit out?”
She stiffens and then fakes a smile as Willow furrows her brows paying close attention.
“I have no idea what you mean, son.”
I half laugh and shake my head. “Uh-huh,” I murmur and walk over grabbing her head forcefully, pulling her to me then lean in kissing her forehead.
She laughs and smacks my chest with a spatula as I huff thinking how hard that call would have been for Mum to make. But she did it anyway—for me. Letting her go, I move around the dining table and take a seat next to Willow, who’s half smiling but her eyebrows are slightly furrowed like she’s confused by what’s going on.
“Is something happening?” Her voice is high pitched like she’s afraid of what I’m about to say.
“We’ll be hittin’ the road again today, babe.”
Her lips fall downward in a frown and she exhales slumping her body. “Can’t we stay a couple more days?”
Reaching my hand out to hold hers in a comforting squeeze, I tighten my grip on her skin. “I’ve found somewhere more permanent for us to stay.” I don’t elaborate as she nods chewing on her bottom lip slumping into her chair. The silence in the room is deafening as she says nothing, not asking the dreaded question I was certain she was going to ask.
Where are we going?