Authors: Carmen Faye
Tags: #dpgroup.org, #[email protected]
Unfortunately, Nicole wasn't one of their own and the Horsemen had a good, profitable alliance with Gabriel's stable. That connection was through Antonio, who Cole just gunned down as fast and hard as he could, along with Davis -- and who knew what connections Davis had or who was going to be pissed off about his death come morning.
"Not good," he muttered and put his hand down on Nicole's thigh. "But worth it."
When Nicole Bower saw the first pack of five Chrome Horsemen pass by them on the boulevard, speeding in the other direction, it sent a thrill through her. She looked over her shoulder and saw them making an illegal U-turn, then roaring even faster to catch up to her and Cole. It was like real Wild West stuff with the Calvary and everything.
She didn’t even know these men, but that didn’t seem to matter to them. They were here to back-up Cole, simply because he said he was in trouble and they came hunting for that trouble with guns and grim faces.
After three more blocks, however, she said to herself, "This is getting ridiculous," because there were over forty riders around them now, all armed, and none of them joking. Riders shot their bikes forward, up the side of the pack, to come to rest in the middle of intersections, to block traffic for the rest of the pack.
When she looked down crossing roads, she often saw three of four bikers running down the side streets while keeping up with them. These men were called "outriders." Cole had explained them to her during pillow talk the day she officially moved in with him and asked him about is work with the club.
"Outriders," Cole had told her, "and that was my first real job with the club’s security service, follow or pace the main pack or convoy."
They were kept back for two reasons. The first was to give an attacker a false idea of how many men are guarding the convoy. The second was that in case of an attack, they would be the ones who are going to engage the attackers and hunt them down.
The men riding in the main pack only have one goal: to see that the package makes it safely to where it is going. If an attack came, the pack sped up to escape the area, only returning fire if it will help them get the package get out of the danger zone.
That was their job and their only job. While the pack is doing this, the outriders come in from behind and from the sides, assessing the situation as they do and focus on the attackers themselves with the intent of killing them."
He explained this in as few words as possible, but that didn't stop Nicole from thinking just how dangerous everything was. When she told him that, he just laughed.
"Riding as fast as you can into the middle of a gun fight to go after the people firing the guns at you is dangerous, yes. But you eventually get good at it." he assured her.
She had grinned at him, "Don't make fun. This is all new to me."
"That's not going to be true for long," he told her and then brought her to him and kissed her until her toes curled up with rioting pleasures.
By the time they made it to the clubhouse, Nicole had lost track, but was sure there were at least fifty riders in the main pack and one limo. Brian, the man who would have been her new driver if Antonio and Davis were successful in kidnapping her earlier, remained right behind them in the limo that used to be her car.
The bar they pulled into the parking lot of was the clubhouse for the Horsemen, called
. They pulled in surrounded by armed men and thundering engines. As soon as they were parked, Brian beeped the horn of the limo and continued down the boulevard with a parting wave out the window as he guided the long car into light evening traffic.
The sound of all the engines and watching the large group of men fanning out, guarding them as Cole took her by the hand toward the club was calming, almost soothing. Gabriel wasn't going to be able to get her here. Not a chance. But, of course, she couldn't just stay here.
"What's the plan now?" she asked as Cole took her hand and gently pulled her through the front doors of the club.
"World domination. But then, that's always the plan…there is no other plan. However, what we are going to do right now is to talk to Big Jim, the president of the Horsemen. We'll have a clearer idea of what we can do and what we should do after that. My first instinct is to ride over there right now while your pimp Gabriel still believes you’ll back in his stable within an hour or so. Just ride right now and kill him. Get this over with. And I would, too, in a heartbeat if…"
"If what, Cole?"
"Well, we have agreements with Gabriel and a profitable partnership. Big Jim would not enjoy the news that I just went over there and killed one of our regular customers – well, without his permission anyway."
"How would he feel about Gabriel killing you?"
"He would seek retribution, but that may not come in the
eye for an eye
Odds are, they'd probably work out some concessions on Gabriel's businesses or cite a cash value to cover the cost to the club for no longer having me as a resource.
Most of the time, things like this were handled with cash and plenty of it. No one wanted to go to war and everyone likes cash, so it was normally the preferred method to put the guns away and get back to business.
She listened, then nodded her understanding, and asked, "So, how much are we talking here?"
"For my death? Probably one to three hundred grand would be asked and then negotiated down to nearly half that much. I'm a patch-holder of the club -- they couldn't let my murder slide, but they wouldn't want a war over it either.
"For you? To put an end to any claim he believes he has on you? Over a half million, I'm sure. You are obviously a profit center on Gabriel's accounting ledger; you are all black ink. He will be claiming damages, not merely the loss of a resource."
Once they were inside of the doors, she noticed only eight men in the whole building. All of them had a gun in hand as they watched the streets outside of the window. Two of them waved to Cole, who waved back as he guided her toward the bar.
"What will Big Jim say?" she asked as more men began filing into the bar. Most of them were silent, even brooding, but a handful were on adrenaline rushes, talking and joking loudly against the quiet place. Music wasn't even playing right now. Maybe they turned it off when they announced that Cole needed help and forgot to turn it back on.
"That's going to be hard to guess, baby. Yep, kind of hard," he told her and squeezed her ass in his large hand as she got up on the barstool, "Been wanting to do that for almost a week now."
She wiggled a little, "We could jump into the ladies’ room for a quickie. Doesn't look like many ladies are here right now."
"Oh, wow," he sighed with restrained desire, "don't tempt me with that right now. We really have to see Jim right away." Cole asked the man behind the bar to give him a notepad and pen.
He wrote a brief request to see Jim, adding that he and Nicole would remain in the bar for at least three hours before using the hotel directly across the street. "That's our hotel," Cole explained to her. The Horsemen used it as a makeshift safe house. Cole wouldn't need to register or show ID there, or anything else. As far as the manager and employees over there would be concerned, the couple didn't exist and the room they were staying in would be logged as empty."
Nicole watched as the bartender took Cole's folded note and set two longnecks down in front of them. She reached for hers right away. Her nerves were shot, she was confused, and very scared. Just a while ago, Cole killed Antonio and Davis! Right in front of her! They were dead! "What makes your president's mind so muddy on this?"
Cole took a drink from his bottle while shaking his head slightly. Setting the bottle back down, he told her, "Not muddy. He's not a confusing man. Not at all. Generally, you can bet your paychecks on which way he's going to look at things, but I can't call this one right now."
"Big Jim is, beyond a doubt, fully committed to the club, to its safety and its profits. You might believe that every president should be, but in the real world, this isn't the case at all. But for Jim, it is. All of his decisions, plans, and decrees are directly related to one or all of those areas. So, it is not Jim that is confusing; it’s the situation." Cole turned to her, "If it was just me and, for some reason, Gabriel was after me like this, sending men to kidnap me into indentured servitude, Big Jim would kill him. Literally. I'm a member of the club. A rider. A patch-holder. That kind of shit is not tolerated at all."
"But it isn't just you and I'm not a member," she put it together.
"Exactly, and you used to work for him, and he may not simply trust on face value that you left with your hands clean. Walking in, not knowing you, he has to consider the possibility that Gabriel has a valid reason to be after you like this. I have to admit, I didn't think Gabriel’s men would get this aggressive with you. I really didn't. But maybe when you called them and let them know where you were, it was too tempting of an idea."
"I never said where I was!" she protested.
"I believe you, but you forgot about Caller ID. He got my home number when you called from my home phone. It was just a matter of researching the number after that to bring them to my doorstep and to you.”
She looked blankly and then her eyes widened, "Oh, shit. What a fucking idiot I am," she groaned. "I'm so sorry, Cole! Fuck, I didn't think about that at all."
"Why would you? You haven't been on the run from people with serious resources looking for you before, but it tells me we need to spend some time discussing survival basics and teaching you some tricks to avoid this in the future." Then he lifted an eyebrow, "Why did you use my phone instead of your cellphone?"
"The cellphone was in the bedroom and I wanted to make the call before I lost my nerve, and I felt the long walk back there would give me enough time to do that."
"What did you tell him?"
"That I was never coming back and, even if he did find me, if he was looking for me, I wouldn't do the show again, not willingly. I said it was over and to leave me alone."
Both of Cole's eyebrows lifted this time and he nodded his head thoughtfully, "What did Gabriel say to that?"
She picked up her bottle again and motioned to the bartender for another, "I don't know. I lost my nerve and hung up on him after that."
He put his hand on her thigh and rubbed it with deep and soothing care, "Not to worry. In the future, it might be wise to refrain from calling him at all. Honestly, that's just going to make things worse at this point. Like I told you at the house, I know what to do. I'm good at situations like this and if you can trust me, we'll be fine."
She nodded and then finished her beer, "I trust you. I really do."
He studied her face, "I truly believe that you care about me and that you want to me with me, and there was no way you could fake the orgasms that you have, but it is all right if you don't fully trust me yet. Trust takes time and it is generally stronger the longer you wait to buy in."
She met his gaze with understanding, but a smile of humor, "Are you forgetting that we share each other's memories? Our thoughts and even our feelings? My empathy level with you is… well…it's shocking; that's what it is. I can feel the level of arousal you are at when we are having sex. Hell, I can feel you are uncomfortable in that area right now. I really wish you would at least let me suck you off. Seriously. I want to. I love sucking your cock, which brings up another reason I can trust you," she added, nodding her head with certainty. "You have a beautiful cock. Any man with a cock like yours has to be trustworthy. It would simply be unfair if you were an asshole with a cock like that. Talk about mixed signals from the universe. Shit."
"Glad you like it," Cole told her. "I've been working on it all my life."
"Well, stop and let me take care of it. Seriously," she told him as she slid gracefully off her stool. "I'll whisper in the bartender's ear that we'll be in there and slip him a hundred, asking him to knock on the door if Big Jim summons us. And I'll use every trick I know to get you off fast. Come on," she said, pulling at his arm. He looked bewildered and she told him, "Cole, I don't like performing sexual acts all that much, but I love doing them for you. I really do and you have been without for what? Five days now? Six?"
He slowly allowed her to pull him from the stool and stood up to his full height, "That's not exactly a long time," he pointed out.
"Not when sex isn't on your mind and you have other entertainments to work on, sure. But my money is on your last few days being filled with strong desires and loneliness just like mine were, and you should take advantage of this moment of downtime we have since, with the variables, you don't have a clue what we are doing next."
"We might just be going across the street," he offered.
"Which would be fine with me and if you knew that for a fact, I would agree that this could wait. But you don't. We may be riding south, Cole, all the way to Florida or heading north to some place Jim wants us to hide while he gets this worked out. Or another attack could happen, or…"
Cole lifted both hands up with his palms facing her, "All right, cease fire. I'll go. Willingly even."