Authors: Kelly Clark
“Jason is big…”
“I’m big too. You don’t think I can take him?”
“I know you can, but he’s an asshole. He doesn’t play fair.”
“It’ll be fine,” Hull said. “I’ll
his ass, he’ll slink off to lick his wounds, and I’ll do what my father would have wanted me to do. You worry too much.”
Rebecca sighed. “I worry for the both of
since you don’t worry at all.”
Hull laughed and kissed her. “Some things never change,” he said. And then, right there on the couch, they made love again.
The Harris plant was an old factory that had long been closed down, on the outskirts of Oklahoma City. It was on a dusty and desolate road, and the cops never went out that way. The perfect place for a brawl.
Hull and Rebecca both rode their bikes, side by side down the empty highway. They pulled into the plant’s lot, once it had
but now it was broken and mostly gravel. The plant itself stood
the lot, a giant long dead, the windows shattered and the gray paint peeling.
Jason was there already, along with what looked like all of The Hammers. Hull parked and Rebecca parked next to him, throwing the kickstands of their bikes down and climbing off of them. Hull was wearing blue jeans and a black tee shirt, and Jason was decked out in full Hammer’s gear, Chaps, a black leather vest with their sigil on the back.
“Let’s just go,” Rebecca said, keeping her voice low. Hull shook his head, turned to her and kissed her.
“I love you,” he said.
“I love you too,” she replied. And then he turned and made his way into the center of the circle that was forming. Jason stood in the
the circle made up of the club. Rebecca made her way to the front and stood next to Gloria.
“Rules?” Jason asked after Hull was standing in front of him.
“You tell me,” Hull replied.
kicks. Fight like men.”
“Do you know how a man fights?” Hull asked, and
titer rose in the crowd.
“Are you ready to get your ass kicked?” Jason asked, putting his fists up.
“Let’s go,” Hull said, and he stepped forward. The fight was on.
Hull landed the first hit, and then the second, powerful punches to Jason’s body. Jason could scrap, but Hull had learned how to box while he was a Navy Seal. Jason was worried about his
and left his body wide open. Even after only two hits, he would have a massive purple bruise on his ribcage the next day.
Still, Jason wasn’t a slouch. He had no finesse, but he was powerful, and he landed a
punch on Hull’s jaw which sent the man backpedaling and kicking up dust from the gravel.
“Let’s go, bitch,” Jason said, and
stepped forward, swinging at Hull’s head again, but Hull ducked under the punch and brought his
fist up, slamming it into Jason’s jaw and sending the man sprawling. He tried to get
but Hull was upon him, pinning him down and slamming his fists into his head, his neck, and his chest. It hadn’t been much of a fight.
When Hull was sure Jason
, and he could tell just by looking at him, the man’s face was a sea of red and purple and blue, his eyes already blackened, blood pouring from a broken nose and a mouth now missing a few teeth, he got up. “I win,” Hull said, and about
of the crowd began to cheer.
Rebecca had been tense, worried, but now it all fell from her, and she smiled and began making her way towards Hull. He grinned when he saw
and opened his arms to her. He didn’t see Jason standing up behind him, rushing forward as he pulled something from his pocket. Others saw it, and they hurried to stop him, but they weren’t fast enough. Jason held a switchblade, and the black flashed out from the handle with a glint of silver and an audible clack. And then the blade was buried in Hull’s back, just before the first of the bikers reached Jason and wrenched him away, throwing him to the ground.
“No!” Rebecca yelled out, as Hull fell to the gravel. She dropped beside him, pulled his head up into her lap. She had no way of knowing at that point, but a doctor would tell her that night, that the blade had pierced both his kidney and his lung. It had
in the worst spot it could, and Hull had no hope.
He was looking up at her with glassy eyes.
“He’s a fucking cheater,” Hull said, and he tried to smile but he couldn’t. Perhaps he knew there was nothing to smile
there was nothing anyone could do to keep him alive.
“You’re fine,” Rebecca said, hoping against hope. Not far away a couple of
bikers were holding Jason down, kicking the shit out of him. She thought they might kill him, pissed off about his cowardice, and she found herself hoping they would.
“I love you,” Hull said, his voice shaky and sounding as if he was far away.
“I love you too. Be quiet. Someone will call an ambulance.
Hull opened his mouth as if to say something else, but he never did. His eyes darkened, his last breath came out in a ragged sigh, and then he was gone, his blood pooling around him and the woman he loved.
Rebecca cried. That night, the next, and for a hundred after it. The men did end up beating Jason to death, and then The Hammers spent the time to dispose
of both bodies
themselves, to keep the police from being involved. Jason and Hull just became two men missing, never to
. Wesel became the president of the club, and he visited with Rebecca, making sure she would stay on as club mechanic. She told him she would. She had nothing in her life other than The Hammers now. The club had taken everything from her, until it was the only thing left standing. She rode her
she fixed her club’s bikes up, and motorcycles became her life once more. It was the only thing she could do to keep her mind off of everything. As long as she lived, she would never be able to mend her own broken heart. But a motorcycle was loud enough to drown it all out, even a broken heart.
Tonya Campbell was late for
road was littered with branches after a violent thunderstorm the previous
and the fire department had partially closed the road. Tonya was glad it had rained because it had been unbearably hot over the
three weeks and the surgery had
suffering from heat stroke.
When she pulled into St James Medical Facility, she waved at Jonnie, the gardener and parked her battered old VW Beetle in her usual place.
''Hi Jonnie, how you doing?'' she shouted across the parking lot. Jonnie was pruning a border of roses adjacent to the surgery.
''Great Tonya. How's your mom?''
''Not great,'' Tonya replied.
''Send her my love. She's a tough old thing. She'll be fine.'' Tonya wished she shared Jonnie's optimism.
The rain had brought the temperature down by a few degrees and everything smelled fresh again. The surgery was built about ten years previously and served the community of Sandpoint, Idaho. The town is situated on the Lake Pend Oreille just outside the Kanikusu National Forest a major tourist attraction. In summer, the
was full of hikers and in winter full of skiers. Tonya was grateful that she was born in such a picturesque
and she had no intention of leaving.
''Here she is,'' Gretta said thankfully. ''Tonya, Mrs. Bain here says she has an appointment this morning, but I can't find it anywhere in the system.''
''Hi Mrs. Bain. How are you?'' Tonya asked.
''I need to see the doctor about my, you know what,'' Mrs. Bain whispered.
Tonya knew very well what Mrs. Bain was
. Mrs. Bain was a regular because she had the worst case of bunions any doctor at the surgery had ever seen.
''No Mrs. Bain, your appointment is for tomorrow morning at eight o'clock.''
''Does that mean I've got to come back again? It's such a nuisance. I can hardly walk.''
''I'll see what I can do, Mrs. Bain. Bear with me a moment.''
Mrs. Bain, who was around eighty and bent double, looked at Gretta. ''She's
receptionist is our Tonya. Without her this practice would collapse,'' she said.
Gretta was just eighteen, the daughter of one of the town's mayor. She'd decided to spend the summer getting some work experience by assisting Tonya on reception.
''Alright Mrs. Bain, Doctor
will see you. He can squeeze you in before morning surgery.''
''Oh but he's such a bore. Isn't there anybody else?'' Mrs. Bain complained.
''I'm afraid it's either Doctor
or a trip back here tomorrow,'' Tonya answered. ''Hurry up, though, the waiting room will be filling up soon.'' Mrs. Bain shuffled from the reception area and sat down in the waiting room next door.
''Sorry I'm late Gretta. Was she horrible to you?''
''We have a lot of
and a few of them can be very awkward. But you'll get used to dealing with different kinds of people soon enough.''
Tonya sat down behind the reception desk which
of wood and metal and painted a gaudy shade of green. It was seven minutes past seven in the morning. Surgery began at seven thirty and Tonya looked to see which doctors were on duty that day. Dr. Aldroyd, Dr. Day and Dr. Crosby. Five minutes later a steady stream of patients began to come into reception. She took their names and referred them to the waiting room.
At ten Tonya's cell phone rang. On the display, she could see that it was her mother. She answered nervously.
''Hi honey,'' her mom said. ''I'm afraid it's not good news. It's cancer again.''
Tonya felt herself welling up. Cancer was a word that struck into her heart like a rod of hot steel. ''Oh mom. How can that be? Are they sure?''
''I'm afraid so.''
Tonya felt sick. Her mother had been in and out of
for a couple of years with various
but breast cancer was the
of them. She'd had a small operation to remove a lump six months ago, and now it would appear to have returned.
''I don't know what to say, mom. We'll just have to fight it again.''
Tonya's mom wasn't old. She was only forty-five, Tonya was twenty-two.''Listen I'll try and come home early, okay?''
''Alright my love. See you later.''
Tonya put her phone down and stood up. ''Gretta, can you take over for a while. I need some fresh air.''
Outside, she found a corner in the yard, crouched down and let the tears flow. After a while, she felt in her skirt pocket for a tissue and was dismayed to find she didn't have one. As she walked back to the surgery door, Dr. Crosby came out, presumably on his way to see bed-bound patients.
At just thirty-three, Dr. Crosby owned several medical facilities, many pieces of real estate and a sixty-foot yacht. He was at a point in his life where he didn't have to work, but he enjoyed contact with patients and continued to work as a doctor at his facility.
also happened to be the best-looking doctor the ladies of Sandpoint had ever seen. He was tall and dark with tanned skin and a perfect body. He was always pleasant to
but she was wary of him, he liked his
way. Tonya didn't
but he had the hots for her. She was exactly his type. Leggy, slim and blonde with large breasts.
''Tonya, are you okay? You look dreadful,'' he said when he saw her smeared mascara and blotchy skin. She tried to put a brave face on it, but another wave of emotion enveloped
and she burst into tears again. He put his arm around her. He smelled lovely and on any other occasion it would have turned her on. ''Tell me, what's the matter?''
''It's my mom. She's got cancer again.''
''Has the breast cancer come back?''
''Well don't despair, Dr. Andersen is a good doctor. Your mom's in the best hands. She's been having regular
so I assume they've caught this in time.''
''I suppose. But it's not only that,'' she said. She looked across the parking lot and saw Jonnie. A fat lot of good his prediction had been. ''It's money. She's already got medical expenses of sixty thousand dollars. She can't
and all my money goes
. We can't afford it.''
''Come and talk to me tomorrow,'' he said. ''We'll see what we can do.''
Tonya wondered what he meant. Perhaps he was going to offer her a raise, but it would have to be significant to pay off the mounting debt.
Tonya found her mom in the backyard. They lived together in a quiet residential street just outside the center of town. Her mom enjoyed
and they had the best-maintained borders in the street. The house was comfortable without being
but they still had a
and it was draining Tonya's finances. The last thing she wanted to do was sell the house she'd been
''Mom. You shouldn't be lifting such heavy things,'' she said when she saw her carrying a large bag of compost.
''It's okay. I
''I wish dad
here,'' Tonya said as they walked back to the house. ''I miss him every day.''
''You and me both honey. I
Tonya's father had died in a car accident three years earlier. He'd been driving alone, minding his own
when a man swerved across
and collided with him. The man had been drinking and taking drugs, and of course, he was uninsured which meant Tonya's mom got no compensation at all. Her dad wasn't the sharpest pencil in the box when it came to financing, and he'd failed to take out any life insurance. Tonya was still cross with him for neglecting his financial duty to his wife and daughter. But it was too late things were what they were.
''How was work love?'' her mom asked.
''Okay until you called and told me your news.'' Tonya ran the tap and filled the kettle. ''I had to go out and cry.''
''Oh, honey. Maybe I shouldn't have rung you.''
Tonya looked at her mom. She looked tired and drained. In her youth,
'd been Miss Sandpoint and a regular in local fashion shows. She had the same golden hair as Tonya, but she'd put on a bit of weight and no longer looked her best. Tonya blamed the steroids she'd had to take the first time she had cancer.
''Dr. Crosby saw me and asked me what the matter was.''
''Oh, I like him.''
''You and all the other women in the town. But he's a
's a very demanding man.''
''I wouldn't mind being demanded by him.''
''Mom. Jeez. What a thought for your daughter to have. Her mom with her boss.''
''What did he say to you?''
Tonya put two cups down on the kitchen table and opened the fridge. ''He told me to go and she him tomorrow.''
about our financial situation.''
''You what? You did what? Tonya, I asked you never to tell anybody about our finances. Its' nobody's business but ours.''
Tonya cringed. She knew how her mother hated what she'd done. But she'd wanted to get it off her chest. ''Sorry mom. But I sometimes need someone to talk to.''
to me. What do you think he wants?''
''I have no idea. I'll see tomorrow.''
The next morning Tonya wasn't late, she was ten minutes early. She was anxious to speak to Dr. Crosby.
hung her jacket over her chair and went
the waiting room to a corridor
which the doctors each had their
consulting room. She knocked on Dr. Crosby's door.
''Come in,'' he shouted. When she entered the room, there was an aroma of
showered male. He was, as always, impeccably dressed in a suit, white shirt, and red tie.
''Dr. Crosby, you asked me to come and see you today.''
''Ah, yes. Tonya. Please sit down.''
He loved the way Tonya dressed. She always wore a modest skirt and a blouse. He liked it most when she wore a white
because he could, more often than not, see her bra.
''You have some financial
and I'd like to help you,'' he said as he was filling out a form on his desk.
''Any help would be much appreciated.''
He stopped writing and looked in her eyes. Mediterranean blue and as honest as any eyes he'd ever seen. ''I will pay off all your debts.''
Tonya spluttered. ''What? Did you say......''
He nodded. ''You heard me correctly.''
''Wow. I don't know what to say. It will take me a lifetime to pay you back, though.''
''No it won't because it's a gift, but I want something in return.'' She looked at his face as it took on a stern appearance. ''I want you to be my girlfriend.''
Tonya began to wonder whether there was
something wrong with her hearing. What the hell was he
? His girlfriend?
''Er.....how exactly do imagine it working?''
''|Simple, I pay your debts off in full, and you date me. I like
and I think you're
''But wouldn't that make me your whore?''
He laughed. ''How?''
''You're paying me to be your
and I assume that includes having sex with you,'' Tonya said frankly.
''I can't imagine anything better than having sex with you.
Look at you, you are so beautiful.''
''I.......I don't know what to say. How do I know you would be faithful to me? I mean you have a bit of a reputation with the ladies.''
''You would have my word.''
Tonya smoothed her skirt and stood you. ''Let me think. It's all a bit surreal not to say
a bit weird