Authors: Evelyn Glass
This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places, events, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons—living or dead—is entirely coincidental.
Wreck Me copyright @ 2015 by Evelyn Glass. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles or reviews.
"Hey Wade! Where you off to?" Boxer asked.
Jim Wade turned around to face Boxer but continued walking backwards toward his bike.
"I thought you'd stay for the show." Boxer pantomimed massaging tits on his own chest with a goofy grin.
Jim gave Boxer a smile that he didn’t feel. “Naw, man, I need to get some sleep. I haven’t been to bed since before the product run yesterday.” He’d had to set things straight with one of their business contacts who thought he
bypass them in their dealings. It had been a twelve-hour ride roundtrip, and it was a good enough excuse to head out.
He didn’t want to mention today’s date—it would be dragging up old shit.
But Boxer protested. “Come on, Wade. I’m sure one or more of the lovely ladies inside would be more than happy to tuck you in!”
Jim shook his head and grabbed the leather jacket slung over the seat of the motorcycle, bearing the silvery image of an eagle with giant talons clutching an American flag that was ripping in half. It was the patch of the MC, the Steel Talons, and he wore it proudly. He’d been patched in twelve years ago, and his biker brothers were the only family he had now, the only people he trusted.
Slinging his leg over the bike, he told Boxer, “I’ll see you early in the morning, man. We have to take inventory, make sure nothing went missing with the break-in last week.”
Disappointed, Boxer approached him and slapped him on the back as he revved the engine on the bike. “Sure, man, I’ll be here all night. I might need a bucket of cold water poured over me in the morning, though, ‘cause there’s a bottle of Patrón with my name on it in there, and I plan to get fucked up.”
Jim gave him a salute and rode off, the night particularly dark, clouds covering what sliver of a moon there was. How appropriate, he thought, considering the anniversary he was recognizing tonight. He cursed into the wind as an image of Trina popped into his mind.
His old lady had been a good woman, but she’d been weak. She’d claimed not to have a problem with his lifestyle, but when it came down to it, she didn’t have the heart to be an old lady, and she’d grown to hate the MC.
He cursed again, this time directing his anger inward, for being so blind to her coping mechanisms. He’d been so caught up in the game he hadn’t realized she was addicted to pain pills till it was too late. One year ago tonight, he’d come home from a party at the clubhouse to find Trina on the floor, not breathing. Next to her were an empty bottle of Vicodin and an empty fifth of Stoli.
Her overdose had shattered him, and Jim had thrown himself into club business without second thought. He’d been trying to pick up the pieces of his life ever since but couldn’t seem to make a complete picture without his old lady. It probably served him right – karma was a real bitch. He’d made other people suffer, and there was no better way to make him suffer than to take away the one tender, loving thing in his life.
His bike wavered beneath him, the road slick, and he gripped the handlebars tighter, trying to maintain control. But it was too late, and as his bike swerved off the road, his last thought was,
This is what they call poetic justice, you lousy shit.
“Hey, Susan, we got a call!”
Susan MacGregor looked up from the patient she was checking in on, a young girl who’d broken her arm on the soccer field that afternoon. She’d brought the girl in earlier, and they’d bonded as she set the arm. Now it was her partner, Eric Mendoza, who was rushing toward the double doors that led to the ambulance bay at the hospital. She quickly said goodbye to the girl and followed Eric out the door.
“We just got back. Where are Rosen and Bailey?” They had another unit on duty tonight who should have been on this call.
Eric jumped behind the wheel as she clicked her seatbelt. “They’re too far out, we’re closer. It’s a call-in from some guy driving home, saw a motorcycle smashed against a light post just off Route 5 near the reservation.”
Susan made a bitter face. “It’s about time. I knew one of those guys who thinks he’s a badass would eventually bite it. Serves them right for drinking and driving. Or riding, or whatever they call it.”
Eric slid a meaningful look at her. “Get it under control, MacGregor. He’s still a patient, and we have to treat him like everyone else. Besides, you don’t know that he’s been drinking.”
“That’s all they do,” she scoffed. “They throw their weight around, intimide everyone into doing whatever they want, treat women like property, and get drunk. When was the last time any of those bikers donated to charity? I bet the list of them with felony records is as long as my arm.” She shook her head in disgust as she tied her long, blond hair back from her face. “How bad do you think it is?”
Her partner shrugged. “I didn’t hear anything about pools of blood or body parts on the road. I guess we’ll see soon enough.” He rounded the curves of the winding road from Olympia toward the accident, and Susan guessed they were about five minutes out. She called it in, making sure the dispatcher knew their position, and grabbed the first aid kit, ready to jump out of the truck as soon as it pulled to a stop.
Mendoza was right. Biker asshole or not, whoever had been the lucky lottery winner was still her responsibility, and in five years on the job, she hadn’t lost anyone yet. She wasn’t about to start now.
Searing pain swept through Jim’s body. He squeezed his eyes to keep them shut against bright lights that flashed around him, but they bled through his eyelids, making his head throb with each blink from blue to red. As he tried to roll away from them, he felt something stabbing into his side and vaguely remembered where he was.
The road by the reservation… the slick spot… the crash. Dammit. The last time he’d seen those lights flashing up close had been a year ago, when he’d called 9-1-1 and they’d come to try to revive his old lady. He took a self-assessment as voices gathered around him. He needed to tell them what hurt and what didn’t.
Jim blinked several times and squinted, his vision slightly blurred, the lights blinding. Then someone dropped to their knees beside him and blocked some of the offending emergency beacons. “Sir, are you awake? Can you hear me, sir?” The voice was male, with a slight Latino accent. “Can you tell me your name?”
One question at a time would have been fine. Jim tried to nod and winced at the pain in his head. “Jim Wade,” he grunted.
“Mr. Wade, can you feel all your limbs?” This time, a female, a raspy quality and harsh tone. “We need to assess your injuries-”
“Hell, yes, I can feel them, and they hurt like a motherfucker,” he cut her off, not caring how surly he sounded. “I don’t think it’s bad, just bruises and scrapes, but my head’s pounding like a desperate man in a three-dollar hooker.” Apparently, his vision wasn’t as poor as he’d thought, because he saw the sour expression on the woman’s face.
Then again, he must’ve suffered a head injury because his next thought was,
That expression doesn’t take away from her looks at all.
“Mr. Wade, could you please be still?” The woman sounded impatient, and Jim realized he was squirming in his pain. He stilled, letting them check vitals and check his body for damage. He hissed in a breath of pain as someone – he didn’t see which one – pressed on his thigh and caused a burning sensation.
It took a few minutes, and they put the required neck brace on him before transferring him to a gurney and loading him into an ambulance. He managed to look around and see a couple of badges with black-and-whites checking out the scene. He listened carefully as the Hispanic medic told them, “It doesn’t look like there was alcohol involved, but they’ll do a tox screen at the hospital. I think he just hit a patch of water and lost control.”
No shit, Jim thought, wishing like hell he was drunk. Maybe then his head wouldn’t hurt so bad. He settled in the best he could and waited it out, raising an eyebrow as the sexy blonde climbed into the back with him and the other guy took the wheel. “You got a name?” he asked, closing his eyes against the nausea that suddenly slammed into him like a brick wall.
She didn’t answer right away, and he stared at her lips, which were pressed into a thin line. He imagined that, under normal circumstances, they were full and red, and he couldn’t help imagining them around his cock. Finally, staring at a monitor like she was watching the most intense scene in her favorite movie, she answered shortly, “It’s Susan.”
So much for conversation
, he thought, looking away from her. He shut his mouth, knowing when someone considered herself of a higher class. Inside, he laughed.
If she only knew
Irritated more at herself than anything, Susan’s movements were jerky, and her bedside manner completely out the window. Of all the dumbass bikers she had to care for tonight, it had to be this one. She scowled, remembering his raging diatribe when they’d wheeled his wife into the emergency room the year before. He probably didn’t remember Susan from that night; after all, he’d been in a blind fury.
She wasn’t clear on the details anymore; she made so many runs a night, so many nights a year, she couldn’t keep track of everything. What she did remember clearly was the pain in his eyes and how fucking gorgeous he was, even with all that raw emotion. Oh, and three very large men in the same club jackets holding him back as he fought to get into restricted areas.
The man had passion, at least, and support. She may not respect much about his kind, but she had to admit that their sense of loyalty went far beyond anything she’d ever experienced. She glanced toward the front of the bus, her blood heating with resentment. Did anyone care that she worked nights like this so she could go to medical school? She didn’t plan on cleaning up messes on the highway or wrapping kids’ twisted ankles forever. She wanted to be a surgeon.
But because she was small – both short and narrow – and blonde, and because she had tits, nobody really took her seriously. Mendoza was the closest thing she had to an ally in this business. Maybe Jim Wade didn’t have any moral ground to stand on, but he had a network of support, even if his buddies were typically drunk or high.
Taking a deep breath but still refusing to look directly at him for fear of losing her cool in the face of his physical attraction, she asked, “Mr. Wade, have you been using any mind-altering substances this evening?”
She heard him chuckle, a rough, deep sound that resonated from his chest. “So, that’s your problem, huh? You assume I’m some cokehead or maybe rip-roaring drunk? It’s alright, sweetheart, I’m used to being misunderstood. Damned if anyone believes a guy on a bike could be clean and upstanding. People sure as hell don’t think we have any feelings, either.”
Against her will, Susan found herself staring at him in astonishment. What nerve had she struck that made him go off like that? He must have hit his head pretty hard. She narrowed her gaze as he cut his eyes in her direction, crossed her arms over her chest and asked, “If you’re sober, then how in God’s name did you end up lying on the side of the road with the top layer of skin taken off most of your right thigh?”
He looked away again, his expression surlier than ever. “Maybe it was a hit-and-run. Some dick ran me off the road and disappeared before anyone could call the pigs.” She wouldn’t have bought it, even if his voice hadn’t been dripping with sarcasm. She continued to watch him, waiting to see if he had any honesty in him.
“What does it matter to you anyway?” he finally huffed.
Susan closed her eyes and counted to ten so she wouldn’t lose her patience. “I don’t really know if it does matter to me. Blame it on my inquisitive nature and morbid curiosity, if that’s what butters your toast.”
His blue eyes glittered in the bright lights above him, and Susan held his gaze. If only he wasn’t in that stupid collar so he could turn all the way toward her. She couldn’t read what that sparkle meant from that awkward angle.
“I’m not sure about my toast,” he said thoughtfully, “but I know what could easily spill my milk.” He winked and Susan clenched her jaw, turning away to face the monitor once again. What a jackass.