“All right, fuckers,” Beast says to Thorn and me as we grab our stools and sit down. “Which one of us is payin’ for the first round?”
The three of us just arrived at the Smiling Skull, after a long ride on a late summer day. The Skull is a biker bar a few towns over from Tanner Springs — where we live, and where our club, the Lords of Carnage, is based. It’s one of the few neutral territory biker bars in the area. Apart from the occasional bar fight, the Skull is a place where rival clubs come to drink in mostly peaceful coexistence. This uneasy truce is largely due to the vigilance of Rosie, the diminutive, brassy sixty-something woman who owns the place. She’s barely five feet tall, and looks like she weighs less than my arm. But somehow, she manages to keep a bunch of huge, tattooed and drunken men from killing each other.
“I think it’s your turn to pay, brother,” Thorn smirks at Beast with a gleam in his eye. “Seeing’s how Gunner managed to beat your ass at arm wrestling back at the clubhouse earlier.”
Beast’s face turns instantly stormy. It’s a look that would send most able-bodied men running for the damn exits. Beast is fucking huge, a monster at six-seven, and close to three-hundred pounds of solid muscle. It’s a major coup that I managed to beat him arm wrestling. It’s a feat no one else in the club has managed — and I’m not about to tell him or anyone else how I did it.
“He’s right, brother,” I nod, twisting the fork in just a little more and enjoying the hell out of it. “You owe me one. At least one.”
Beast blows out a disgusted breath. “Fine. I’m buying. Goddamnit,” he says gloomily.
“Jack and coke for me, spiked with vodka,” I say, standing. “I’m gonna hit the head.”
“Why the fuck do you gotta drink that vile mixture?” Beast complains. “Why can’t you just drink a goddamn beer or a whiskey or something?”
“Who knows?” I grin at him. “Maybe that vile mixture is the secret to how I beat your ass at arm wrestling.”
“Fuck you, brother,” Beast growls.
“Love you, too,” I shoot back.
Thorn starts laughing uproariously as I make my way toward the back of the bar. Scanning the crowds as I move, I notice various clusters of men from most of the MCs around the area. Some of them raise a finger or lift their chin at me in greeting. A few others, from clubs we’ve pissed off in the past, glower and turn away from me. It’s all good. Like I said, the Smiling Skull’s neutral ground. And besides, it’s still pretty early in the evening. Most fights start later on, when people are drunker and looking for a way to blow off steam.
One noticeable absence from the bar is any representation from the Iron Spiders. I make a mental note to mention this to Rock and the rest of the Lords of Carnage later. The Iron Spiders are — or were — an MC to the south of our territory in Tanner Springs. They were making some pretty serious attempts to fuck us over and destroy our club. They almost managed to inflict some serious damage. Until we took matters into our own hands and cut off the Spider’s head, that is. We ended their president, Black, and took out a few of their other officers in the process. Ever since then, the Iron Spiders MC has gone completely underground. No one’s seen hide nor hair of them in months, as far as we’ve been able to determine. Which may mean that the Iron Spiders are no more. Or it may mean they’ve gone silent while they regroup.
The second option is more likely.
And when they do, the Lords of Carnage will be waiting for them.
In the meantime, though, fuck ‘em. I ain’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth. And the Iron Spiders being wiped off the map is one hell of a goddamn gift horse.
Inside the men’s room, I take a much-needed piss and think of a couple other one-liners to roast Beast with. I’m already cracking myself up as I push the door open and walk back out into the bar. Across the room, I can tell that Thorn’s regaling Beast with some bullshit story to try to cheer his ass up. I’d almost feel bad that I’m planning to go back over there and keep rubbing his nose in his defeat. If it wasn’t gonna be so damn much fun, that is.
As I pass by the near end of the bar, the sound of an argument makes me turn my head. A high-pitched, angry voice pierces through the other noise in the room. It’s a girl, probably in her early twenties. She must have just gotten here while I was in the head, because I can’t imagine how I would have failed to notice her if she was here before that. She’s about the furthest thing from a typical biker chick or club groupie I’ve ever seen in a bar like this. She’s petite, not much taller than five-two or five-three. She’s got shoulder-length wavy light blond hair that actually looks like it isn’t a dye job. She’s wearing a simple white T-shirt dress and flat sandals, and no makeup except for maybe some pale pink lipstick on her soft, full lips.
She literally looks like a breath of fresh air in this smoky, dingy dive. She sticks out like a sore thumb.
The chick is talking with a rough-looking guy who she can’t possibly have come in here with. She’s flailing her arms, looking agitated and frustrated as the guy shrugs his shoulders and takes a swig of his beer. She’s a brave one, I’ll give her that. He could crush her with one arm, if he had a mind to. As I pass by them, I can’t tell what she’s upset about, but I make out a couple of words.
“…Know where she is…”
“You can’t… her away…”
Frowning, I mentally shrug and put it out of my mind. This shit is none of my business. People get up to all sorts of crazy-ass bullshit, and if this girl wants to hang out in a biker bar and argue with the local wildlife, that’s fine by me.
I get back to my brothers and grab my seat. My jack and coke is sitting there, waiting for me. I lift the glass at Beast and Thorn.
“To Beast,” I announce. “He may not be the strongest guy in the world, but he’s still my brother.”
“Goddamnit, Gun, are you gonna fucking let this go?” Beast explodes.
“Christ, I hope not,” Thorn sputters, laughing so hard there are tears in his eyes. “This shite is priceless!”
“Sorry, brother, but Thorn’s right,” I chuckle. “It is pretty goddamn funny.”
Eventually, I let Beast change the conversation, mostly so I can bring it up again when he’s not expecting it. He and Thorn start shooting the shit about some biker wannabe they saw in town the other day who drove up on a tricked out rice burner, wearing so much Harley shit it looked like he bought out the whole store. “I mean, Christ, with all the shite he was wearing, he could have just used that money and put up a down payment on a real bike,” Thorn says, shaking his head. “It was comical, though, I’ll give him that.”
I’m nodding and laughing along with them, stealing occasional looks at the blond chick at the other end of the bar. She’s still arguing with the rough-looking dude. From behind, I can see the curve of her ass through the fabric of her dress, and the back of her shapely thighs, which look toned and muscled. I take a swig of my jack and coke, and think about how good it would feel to grab that ass and pull her onto my cock, sinking myself deep inside her. I imagine the sounds she’d make in her throat when I fisted my hands in her hair and started fucking her for all she’s worth, and how her pussy would tighten around me as she came, right before I exploded inside her.
Jesus. I’m hard as a rock.
I try to pay attention to Beast and Thorn long enough to make my cock go back down, but the girl’s a flash of light in an otherwise dark bar, and she’s goddamn distracting. As I continue to cast glances in her direction, another guy joins them — of the same dirtbag stock as the first one. He’s shaking his head and giving the girl a leering grin. Even from here I can he’s being patronizing as fuck. Whatever she’s mad about, they seem to find it more amusing than anything. Eventually she throws up her hands, sets down the beer she’s been drinking, and stalks off in the direction of the bathrooms. The first dude leans over to the other one and says something to him that makes him laugh out loud.
Then, as I watch, the first dude slides his arm over toward the girl’s beer and slips something small through the opening of the bottle.
Oh, fuck no.
There is no goddamn way someone is going to roofie a woman on my watch.
“Gentlemen,” I mutter at Thorn and Beast. “I have a little business to attend to. Watch my six in case I need backup.”
GUNNER: LORDS OF CARNAGE MC is available NOW on AMAZON!