Authors: Aimee-Louise Foster
Book 4.5 - Aces MC
Text copyright © 2016 Aimee-Louise
This book is
dedicated to that special person in my life, he knows who he is xx
Mitchell 'Duke' Groves - President
Ethan 'Diesel' Stokes - Vice President
Andy 'Bear' Harper - Sergeant at Arms
Daryl 'Justice' Hayes - Treasurer
Frank 'Hound' Watson - Secretary
Mark 'Woods' Davies - Road Captain
Connor 'Spike' Stokes
Jake 'Locke' Dixon
Caleb 'CJ' Jones
Paul 'Rex' Regus
Charlie 'Stoney' Henderson
Jacob 'Skinner' Burns
Tyler 'Whip' Watson
Blake 'Recon' Washington
Elijah 'Lyric' Grey
Amy Stokes - Diesel's sister
Harlow 'Ink' Webb - Diesel's old lady
Taylor 'Ash' Miller - Duke's old lady
Maggie Watson - Hound's old lady
Louise 'Angel' Walker - Spike's old lady
Sam Barkley - Prostitute
Chloe Watson - Salon worker
Paige Watson - Stripper
James Hudson - Doctor
Jayden Watson - Hang around
Cade Smith - Hang around
"I'm fucking sweating pints." I removed the
embroidered hanky that my mum had given to me, from my pocket and wiped my brow
before working my way down my cheek towards my neck. Unlike the UK, Afghanistan
had clearly defined seasons. I'd experienced the bitterly cold winters and the
blistering hot summers but even after twenty-one months out here, I still
wasn't used to the climate.
Our commanding officer had told us last week that we were still needed out here
for another three months as our team were responsible for striping down the
operation centres that we weren't handing over to the Afghan army.
"Here take one of these." Winks passed me a
chilled bottle of water from the cooler and I gratefully took it placing the
bottle onto my forehead to try to cool myself down.
I let out a heavy sigh, "Thanks, that's just what I needed." I turned
the lid cracking the seal and lifted the bottle to my lips to swallow the cool
liquid, feeling the refreshing sensation as it hit the back of my throat and
trickled inside hydrating my body. I lowered the half empty bottle and glanced
behind me as a loud noise came from the scaffolding.
"Get your arse down from there Cook." Boyd
shouted, surging forward to address him.
Cook gave Boyd the bird to a bout of sniggers from the rest of the detachment,
all sitting around on their break.
"Watson, give me a hand with this mate." Cook pointed to a huge bolt
at the top of the scaffolding that he was trying to loosen.
"What are you doing?" I asked rising to my feet and casually making
my way towards him.
He shrugged, "What do you mean?"
I rolled my eyes, "We've just had a break, give us five minutes to prep
and we'll be with you."
Cook sighed, "Some of us would like to get home eventually to our loved
ones, we're not all fortunate enough to have our girlfriends out in the
field." He stated sarcastically in reference to my long term girlfriend
Tia who was also out here in Afghanistan.
"Give me a minute I just need to get my safety equipment on." I
strolled towards the table where our equipment was stored. "And I'll bring
yours up also, you're gonna end up hurting yourself."
I heard some of the guys laugh and knew that Cook was taking the piss behind
me. I shook my head sniggering to myself as he always had the ability to make
people laugh, that's one of the reasons we got on so well. Army life wasn't for
everyone and there had been some real shitty days over the past four years but
it was that camaraderie that kept us strong and the endless banter from Cook.
My dad had tried to install the importance of family over
the years to the point of where he tried to force it. Being one of four
children, it was inevitable that we weren't always going to get along but dad
pushed and pushed, and I think he was part of the problem regarding the
breakdown in communication between us all. I was closest to Paige growing up,
still am although I'm thousands of miles away. I always referred to Paige as
being like marmite, you either loved her or hated her but that's my draw
towards her as she keeps me on my toes and I never knew what was going to come
out of that mouth of hers.
"Watch out!" I heard the shrieks behind me but
didn't have time to turn around before I was hit by something with considerable
force. Everything after the impact happened in slow motion as I watched my
detachment run towards me panic stricken, and the throbbing in my ears made everything
sound like I was underwater.
I tried to push up from the ground only to be held firmly by Boyd leaning his
body weight on mine, "Lay back down Watson and don't worry, we're gonna
get you out."
Get me out?
I didn't understand what they were saying and why would I
worry, it's not as if my life was in any danger!
The gravel crunched beneath my boots as I made my way across
the yard towards the clubhouse. It was quiet considering it was late morning but
the only noise I could hear were the faint sounds of the
gun being used in the garage at the far corner
of the yard. I knew that my dad wouldn't be here until this afternoon as he had
a hospital appointment, Paige had done some digging for me in order to make this
whole process run smoothly. He'd find out eventually that I was home but there
were a few things I needed to take care of, before being bombarded with
questions from my mum and dad regarding why I'd returned early.
I pulled on the heavy metal door, it squeaked as it opened
which would alert people to my presence but again the place was deserted.
Stepping into the clubhouse I looked at my surroundings. I'd spent many days
here over the years at family functions and parties, and it hadn't changed much
over that time. What was a fun and exciting place as a child, soon lost its
appeal when I knew how much my mum and dad had sacrificed in order to fulfil
their duties at the club. Those very duties had taken them away from their
biggest duty of all, looking after their children. That mistake and lack of
judgement had resulted in Harry becoming a big part of our lives.
I was still coming to terms with Paige's ordeal although it
had been some weeks since her revelation. She'd completed a stint in rehab for
her drug abuse and had attended counselling sessions to help her come to terms
with the abuse but that wasn't something she'd learn to live with overnight.
That was going to be a long process and I was pleased that I was back here to
help Paige with her recovery. She'd carried that secret around with her for years
and I now understood why she was so temperamental.
Paige had always been hot headed but either way you couldn't ever not admire
the way she wore her heart on her sleeve and told everyone exactly how things
were, whether you wanted to hear them or not. I sniggered to myself as I
strolled further into the room thinking of the many people she'd upset over the
years including myself.
"Can I help you man?" I turned towards the voice
to see a stocky bloke of similar age to me and smiled when I saw he was a
prospect. Poor sod, I bet he'd been put through his paces, I wouldn't do that
for love or money.
I extended my hand and moved towards him. "Hi I'm Jayden," I stated
as his eyes widened by my gesture and speed as I was nearly upon him. He looked
uncomfortable as to what to do but released his hand from his pocket, and held
his arm out ready to accept my hand shake. "I'm here to see Duke."
He drew his brows and let out a low sigh assessing me. "Does he know that
you're coming?" he asked hesitantly.
"No but if you let him know that I'm here, we'll be able to sort this out a
lot quicker." I couldn't help my smart mouth, like Paige it had gotten me
in to trouble over the years but it was always better to be up front.
"And if you know anything about this club, you'll know that you can't just
rock up hoping to speak to Duke. He's a busy man." He folded his arms
across his chest and starred at me waiting for a response.
Not such a pussycat after all, he did have a little fire in his belly.
"I'm Jayden, Hounds son. He's not expecting me but I'm sure he'll be
pleased that I'm here."
"I sure am!" I turned on my heels in the direction
of the voice to see Duke stroll towards me with his arms held open wide. He
scooped me into his embrace and gave me a manly hug patting me on the back. His
gesture surprised me but I went with it, patting him on the back with the same
gusto. Duke soon pulled away and held me at arm's length assessing me, "I
spoke to your dad this morning and he didn't mention that you were home."
He stated confused. I pursed my lips and I noticed Duke's expression change as
a wry smile crossed his face, "He doesn't know does he?" Duke dropped
his hands from my shoulders and placed them into his jean pockets as he rocked
back and forth on his heels continuing to assess me. I shook my head,
"Well this is interesting, so you either want to surprise him or you're
coming here to ask me something before he knows you're home."
I drew my brows, not quite understanding how he'd worked it out already but he
was a shrewd man and not much escaped him.
"The latter but can we go somewhere private to chat?" I asked
glancing around the still empty clubhouse but I now felt the added strain of
getting this information off my chest.
"Yeah not a problem, follow me." Duke turned and sauntered in the
direction of his office and I followed eager to get the conversation started.
"So what's on your mind Jayden?" Duke perched on
his desk and folded his arms across his broad chest.
I let out a long sigh and took a step forward so I was standing directly in
front of him. "I've just got back and have nowhere to stay. I know it's
not protocol for a civilian to stay at the clubhouse but it will only be for a
couple of days until I sort myself out." I placed my hands into my jean
pockets as I assessed his expression but he wasn't giving anything away.
He pushed from the desk and I immediately stepped back giving him the room he needed
to pace. Duke was well over 6ft tall and had a presence about him that you
could only be in awe of. I watched as he paced back and forth rubbing his chin
thoughtfully before he sat in his chair at his desk facing me.
"Why have you left the army?"
I knew this question would be asked as I had only served four years but my
response had been well rehearsed. "I've served my Queen and country for
four years and I'm now ready for the next chapter in my life."
Duke leaned on the desk and rested his chin on his steepled fingers, "And
what does that new chapter look like?"
I shrugged, "I don't know yet as it hasn't been written." I stated
casually. I didn't want to alert him to anything and I tried to keep my cool
under his scrutiny.
Duke nodded his head slowly and leaned back into his chair, "Are you
thinking about becoming a prospect because I would happily sponsor you. The
skills learned from the army would be invaluable to the club like CJ's and
I smiled, flattered by what he'd said but club life wasn't for me. I'd seen the
way it had affected lives over the years and I now just wanted time to do whatever
I wanted, whenever I wanted and not have to listen to anyone giving me orders.
"I appreciate your words Duke and I'll seriously think about it." He
didn't need to know at this stage that it wasn't for me.
Duke was still assessing me as he chewed the inside of his
mouth and I felt a little concerned as to how this was playing out. Duke stood
again and made his way towards me, "You will need to pay board and help
out around the clubhouse."
I nodded my head, "That's fine I will pull my weight."
"But that's not all. You'll have to tell Hound that you're back as I'm not
keeping secrets from him, he's a good friend."
I understood and admired his loyalty to his friend and I wouldn't have expected
him to keep my presence a secret, I just needed to sort out where I was going
to live before I spoke to Mum and Dad as I knew they would be on my case as
soon as they knew that I was home.
"I totally understand Duke, and I will as soon as I'm
Duke nodded his head slowly, "So when do you want to move in?"
Duke chuckled, "I thought as much. Go and get the rest of your stuff, you
can hold up in room three."
"This is my stuff," I stated pointing to the rucksack on my back.
"Well you travel light, I'll give you that." Duke strolled towards
the door smiling to himself, I followed him out of the office and down the
corridor feeling a little less anxious then I did when I arrived.
Duke turned the brass knob on the wooden door and pushed it open. "It
needs airing, it hasn't been used for a while but you should have everything
you need." I looked at the sparse room that would be shocking to some
people, it was basic but had everything I needed. "And if you have any
problems, tell someone who cares." I looked up at Duke as he gave me a
cocky wink, "Don't forget to tell your dad." Duke turned on his heels
and walked back in the direction of his office leaving me to it.
I let out a sigh as I removed my rucksack and slung it onto
the bed. Glancing around the room I made a mental note of a few essentials I'd
need but it wasn't much. I was pulled from my thoughts as my phone rang and I
quickly retrieved it from my jean pocket. I smiled as I read the name and swiped
the screen to answer.
"Well hello my favourite brother, how you doing?" a jovial Paige
I sniggered at her greeting, "I'm good."
"Well have you got a room at the Inn?"
She was on form today, "I have indeed, I'm here now just dropping my stuff
"Well good, at least that's one thing you don't have to worry about."
"Easy Paige, people will start to think you care about something."
"Wanker! I do have feelings I just don't show them very often."
"I'm teasing chill out." It was great to wind her up because it was
"Any more thoughts about telling mum and dad that you're back?"
"Nah not yet, I want to hit the gym first and let off some steam. Where's
the club's gym?"
"It's on Epping high street, above the parade of shops that's opposite the
Paige sniggered, "It's legit."
"I know but it's like sticking your two fingers up at the establishment."
"Exactly! Okay babe, I'll leave you to blow off some steam but we'll have
to meet up soon."
"Not a problem, take care Paige."
"And you, mwah!"
I placed my phone on the bedside table and grabbed for my rucksack, emptying
the contents onto the bed. I selected my jogging bottoms and a t-shirt and
quickly changed into the garments so I was ready for an intensive work out as
this was the only thing that would relieve some of the pent up frustration. I
had bulked up nicely since the accident as I had a lot of time on my hands and
I wasn't letting that go to waste.
Once dressed I grabbed my towel, toiletries and a change of clothes and stuffed
them into a smaller holdall before I made my way out the back of the clubhouse
and around the perimeter avoiding the garage in the grounds as I wasn't ready
to have a conversation with my dad. I'd call a taxi to pick me up further down
the street so I wasn't spotted.
Left, left, right...left, left, right...left, left, right.
This combination allowed me to get the power needed to take a big swing with my
right arm and make contact with the punch bag. It didn't require much movement
of my lower body as I was able to create a good stance to make the desired
"Do you fancy sparring with me?" I glanced up from the punch bag towards
the ring and saw a ripped bloke in his mid twenties, looking at me. "My
sparring partner hasn't turned up again and I have a fight in a couple of
I nodded my head slowly, it wouldn't hurt to help him out and I wouldn't be
required to move around too much. "Yeah sure."
"Have you done it before?" he asked placing his foot on the middle
rope and using his weight to push the rope down so I could get into the ring.
"It wasn't an actual sport in the army but me and a few of the lads did it
for fun." I said straightening up and standing in front of him.
He looked me up and down assessing me, "You look fit enough but what's
with the limp, Army injury?"
"Yeah, something like that." I wasn't going into details, he didn't
need to know the extent.
He furrowed his brows taking in my blatant dismissal of that line of
questioning before he extended his hand, "I'm Caleb or CJ for short and
I shook his hand, "Watson, Jayden Watson."
"You mentioned that you were in the army, how long have you been out?"
"You ask a lot of questions!"
"Ooh, touchy. Well I'm the manager of this fine establishment." He
stated releasing my hand and extending his arms out wide, proud of his
surroundings. As he did, the sleeve of his t-shirt rode up slightly and I
noticed his ink.
He cocked his head, "Got an issue with the club?" he asked glaring at
"Not in the slightest my dad's a patched member." I replied folding
my arms across my chest.
I saw the realisation on his face, "Hound and Maggie's son. The blue eyed
boy from the army."
"The very one," I bowed as he chuckled.
"Hound never said you were coming home, we would've had a party."
The Aces parties were legendary, even civilians wanted to attend because of
what they'd heard.
"I served four years, and now I'm ready for a change. Do you want me to
spar or not?" I quickly changed the subject again hoping he'd get the hint.
CJ narrowed his eyes, "You're a dark horse Jayden. Don't like talking
about yourself much do you?"
"You remind me of someone else."
"His name was Locke but I'll explain more later over a pint."
I worked him hard for an hour and although I was physically fit
through being in the army and keeping my upper body strength even when I was
hospitalised, I was shattered and CJ could see that. He was talented, quick on
his feet and could not only hit hard but could also take it.
"You've been a great help this afternoon, thanks mate. Do you fancy
I used my teeth to bite the flap to release the Velcro around my glove, before
turning my attention to CJ, "Yeah that sounds like a good idea, where're
"There's a lively pub just down the high street, I'll take a quick shower
and we'll head down there."
"Aren't you supposed to abstain, you have a fight in a couple of
CJ chuckled, "The fight is a little different to what you probably
I looked at him confused, "Surely a fight is fight?"
"It's not a conventional boxing match, it's bare knuckle." I raised
my brows taking in what he'd just said. I'd seen some videos on YouTube over
the years, it could be brutal and I wasn't surprised because I'd been on the
receiving end of one of his punches even if it were in a glove.
"What? You never did it in the army?"
I shook my head sniggering, "Not with a face like mine, that's far too
"Yeah right," the sarcasm was evident in his voice as he pulled up
the top rope and cocked his leg so he could leave the ring. "The showers
are down there," he stated pointing towards the corridor.
"Cheers mate," I grabbed my rucksack from the floor and slung in over
my shoulder. My knee joint was hurting where it had rubbed in my prosthetic leg
but I didn't want to touch it here in the open for everyone to see.
I glanced over my shoulder as I adjusted my rucksack, "What's up?"
"I appreciate your help."
CJ smiled, "I'll meet you back out here after your shower."
I turned on my heels and walked in the direction that he'd pointed to earlier,
pushing open the heavy glass doors I revealed a modern looking shower room. I
wasn't sure how long this place had been open but it was busy enough with
varying clientele, the club had done well.