Made to Riot_The Ancestors MC, page 7part #5 of Beards and Leather Series
“Then let’s do it,” said Bryce, running back out into the hallway.
I rushed after him, my heart pounding in my chest.
“I said, put it down!” shouted one of the cops.
Then a gunshot rang out, followed by the sounds of some kind of fight breaking out. I couldn’t believe something like this was happening in my hospital. I could only thank God that it was just me, Jeff, and the two nurses in; I couldn’t imagine what we’d be dealing with if we had any patients in.
Another gunshot sounded, followed by more commotion. It sounded like the men who’d come for Bryce and the cops had come to blows. The sounds grew louder as we made our way down to the end of the hallway. When we finally reached the turn, I looked down towards the main entrance. Sure enough, the cops and the criminals were all over each other, fists flying here and there, each side attempting to gain the upper hand. Thankfully, none of them seemed to notice us.
“Right here!” I shouted, pointing down the other end of the hallway towards a door with a metal push-bar across the front and the word “exit” in glowing letters.
Bryce didn’t waste any time. But as we headed down the hallway, I could hear the whimpering of girls.
It was the nurses.
We came across a small reception desk. Looking behind it, Katie and Jenny were both hiding, crying softly in fear.
“Hey!” I said to them, taking a look down the hallway to make sure we hadn’t been spotted.
“Anya!” shouted Katie. “What’s going on?”
“Who is that?” said Bryce, running over to my side.
“It’s the rest of the staff,” I said. “We can’t just leave them here.”
Bryce quickly thought it over before nodding in agreement.
“Come on, you two,” he said, grabbing the girls by their arms and pulling them up. “It’s not safe here.”
I was a little shocked by how eager Bryce was to help the two girls; I guess I had been wrong in my guess that he was only looking out for himself.
The four of us made it to the end of the hallway to the exit. But right as Bryce prepared to open the door, a crash sounded. The door flew open, revealing yet another tall, well-built thug, this one with a long braided beard and eyes hidden behind a pair of narrow sunglasses.
“Damn,” he said, looking me and the nurses over, a sinister smile forming on his lips. “Looks like I picked the right door.”
But before he could make another move, Bryce’s fist cut through the air, connecting with the thug’s jaw. A sick crack sounded, and the man stumbled backward, collapsing in a heap; he was out cold.
I stood still for a moment, looking over the man; I couldn’t believe that Bryce could knock a man of his size out in a single punch.
“Out, now!” Bryce shouted, snapping me back to my senses.
The way out now clear, the girls and I ran out through the exit, stepping over the knocked-out man and into the cool evening air.
The sun was setting, the sky filling with swirling oranges and whites. Once we’d made it out to the back parking lot, I turned to the three girls in tow, looking them over. Anya seemed fine, but the two young girls, the nurses, were barely able to stand through their fright.
“What now?” asked Anya.
“Your car—where is it?” I demanded.
Anya pointed to a generic-looking sedan parked on the far end of the lot.
“You have the keys?”
She nodded her head.
“Then let’s go.”
I knew I was going to have to take charge of this little escape operation. Anya could handle herself, but these two nurses were dead weight. I wasn’t into the idea of leaving them in the middle of a cops-and-bad-guys punch-up, but I didn’t want to have to drag them around town either. Once we were out of danger, they were gone.
I ran over to the sedan, the girls following close behind. Anya moved over the driver’s side door and began fumbling with her keys, trying to find the right one. The keys dropped onto the pavement with a metallic clatter, and the nurses started crying harder, as though this meant we were done for. I sighed, trying to keep in mind that these nurses likely hadn’t had to deal with anything in their lives more trying than Starbucks being out of their favorite Frappuccino flavor. Running over to the driver’s side, I snatched the keys off of the ground, jammed the right one into the keyhole, and opened the door.
Anya began awkwardly entering the car, as though it were the first time she’d done so.
“No way,” I said, my tone stern. “You there, them there.”
I pointed to the passenger’s seat, then to the back seats.
Thankfully, none of the girls put up any kind of protest. They got into the car, and within seconds we were off, the hospital shrinking in the distance. I hated being behind the wheel of a wimpy little car like this; after spending so much time laid up, I wanted to be back on my bike just as much as I wanted to get revenge for this shit that I’d been put through.
As we drove, the nurses continued to whimper, and now that we were safe, it was starting to wear on my nerves. I saw a Target coming up on the right and figured it was a safe place to drop off the extra cargo. I pulled into the parking lot and came to a halt.
“All right, ladies,” I said. “This your stop.”
The girls looked at me with big wet eyes.
“Here?” said one.
“Yeah, here,” I said.
“You’re just going to drop them off at Target?” asked Anya. “What, so they can get some shopping done?”
My blood started to boil.
“We can’t drive a couple of college girls around town all day; this is a safe place. They can hang out her until their boyfriends or whoever can pick them up.”
None of the girls said anything.
“Now!” I shouted.
The girls clambered out of the car, shutting the door behind them. Once they were out, I peeled off.
“Very gentlemanly,” said Anya, watching the two girls wander towards the entrance as we drove off.
“What, you want me to get them a nice five-star suite downtown?” I asked, pulling the car back onto the main road. “They’re safe; that’s my good deed for the goddamn day.”
“Well,” said Anya, crossing her arms over her chest. “Now what?”
“‘Now what’?” I asked. “Now we find a place to hide out where we can plan our next move.”
“‘We’?” asked Anya.
“Yeah, ‘we’. You just split some goon’s head with a fire extinguisher; they’re looking for you now just as much as they’re looking for me.”
“Great,” said Anya, sounding defeated. “So much for doing something nice.”
“Hey, you saved my ass in there,” I said. “I owe you for that. I know this is some bullshit that you didn’t want to get caught up in, but you’re in it now, whether you like it or not. But the least I can do is make sure you get to the other side safe and sound.”
Anya sat sulking. She clearly knew that I was right, but that didn’t make her feel any better.
“So, I’ll ask again: you know of any place we can hide out for a few hours?”
“Well, we can’t go back to my place,” said Anya. “My brothers are probably there and they won’t be too happy about me bringing back some random man.”
“Angry brothers are the last thing I feel like dealing with right now,” I said. “Not to mention we don’t want to risk having these assholes find out where you live. That’d be bad. Very bad.”
She thought more as we drove. Then, her face lit up.
“I know,” she said. “There’s this old cabin in the woods on the outskirts of town. It’s by where I used to live when I was little; I’d play there all the time.”
I looked around the town, taking in what a little Podunk it really was.
“You mean to say that you’ve never left this place?” I said.
“I mean, I’ve left it before,
“So, let me get this straight—you live in the same tiny-ass town that you grew up in, and you live with your brothers.”
“What’s wrong with that?” she asked.
“I know we just met, but you don’t really strike me as the small-town type.”
It was true; this girl had “made for the big city” written all over her.
“I’m not … it’s just … well, time passes by quick, you know?”
She was right about that.
“And I can’t just leave my brothers on their own,” she continued. “They need a woman around.”
“What, they can’t find women of their own?”
“They’re … not the best catches, if you know what I mean.”
I let out a little snort of a laugh. It was easy to imagine the type—a pair of shiftless, deadbeat brothers being taken care of by a sister who had her act together.
“Are they both thugs, or just one of them?” I asked.
“What?” asked Anya, shocked.
“You heard me.”
“How … how did you know?”
“I’m into some shit myself,” I said. “If you hadn’t figured that out already. And this kind of life attracts the kind of men who can’t take care of themselves. Plenty of guys in my crew wouldn’t know what the hell to do with themselves if they didn’t have their old lady looking out for them.”
“Old … lady?”
“Wife, live-in girlfriend—you know what I mean.”
“What exactly are you?” Anya asked.
I clenched my jaw, my eyes still on the road. I didn’t normally tell people what I did for a living, but considering this girl had nearly gotten killed on my behalf, I figured it was the least I could do.
“I run with an MC near Atlanta,” I said.
“Motorcycle club. The Ancestors.”
“The Ancestors?” Anya asked, saying the word as though she’d heard it before.
“You know us?”
“Yeah. I mean, sort of. Half of the patients we get at the hospital are thugs who hang out at Rooster’s coming with injuries from bar fights. I’ve heard them mention your … club before.”
I smirked. I hated to admit it, but I loved to hear about our reputation spreading.
“Well, that’s my crew. Though, who really knows anymore.”
Goddammit, I thought. Why the hell did I mention that?
“What do you mean?”
Might as well give her the full story.
“Those assholes after me … after us, they’re men hired by one of the guys in my club.”
“What?” she asked, as I pulled a hard right.
I gritted my teeth thinking about the situation.
“Some asshole named Donny. My pops disappeared a while back, but before he did, he vouched for me to become a full-fledged member. That didn’t sit right with a couple of members of the crew. Most got over it when I proved myself, but Donny had a real bug up his ass. He tells me it’s because he doesn’t think I’ve earned my stripes, but I’m thinking that it’s because he knows that with my pops gone there’s a power vacuum to fill.”
“And if you’re out of the picture, then he can be the one to fill it.”
“You got it.”
Silence hung in the air. I thought about how glad I was that Spider, dumb motherfucker that he was, had decided to gloat about who’d hired him. I guess he figured he’d make the betrayal of a club brother known to me in my last moments on Earth. But he hadn’t counted on me being able to hold my own against the biggest bruisers he had. I just needed a little time to get my head right, then I’d go after Spider and Donny.
They’d both pay.
“Turn here,” said Anya, pointing to a small road that led into a wooded area.
“You weren’t kidding about this being off the beaten path,” I said, looking out the windows at the dense trees that now hung over us.
Anya said nothing, her eyes focused on the road ahead.
After a time, the road went from paved to gravel, and the sun dipped further down beyond the horizon. The sky became darker and darker, and stars began to show in the black.
“Almost there,” said Anya.
Soon, a small cabin could be seen in the trees.
“There it is.”
I pulled off the road towards it and brought the car to a stop. I killed the engine, leaving the lights on, the car’s headlights illuminating the place in a strange glow.
Anya stepped closer to the cabin, looking it over as though making sure it was actually there.
“Nice place,” I said, looking over the run-down little wood building.
“Hey,” said Anya, stepping towards the cabin, “you wanted to hide out? Well, this place was made for that.”
I stepped closer to the place. Anya pulled open the front door, the heavy wood creaking on the hinges.
“Come on in,” said Anya.
I stepped into the little building, the air dusty and stagnant.
“Hold on,” said Anya, stepping outside and disappearing into the dark.
“Hey!” I said, a little pissed that she’d run off like that.
But my anger vanished as soon as the growling of a generator started, followed by the lights of the place flickering on.
“That’s more like it,” Anya said, stepping back into the cabin.
The place was a dive, to say the least. The old furniture in the house was covered in dust and grime, the kitchen was unusable, and the TV in the corner was smashed, a stray stick shoved through the screen. But it was off the beaten path, and we weren’t likely to be found here.
“Let me get this straight,” I said, stepping over some debris and standing in the middle of the living room, “your parents let you play here when you were a kid?”
A sheepish look appeared on Anya’s face. “Trust me—it was a lot nicer back then. Fewer shards of broken glass lying around.”
I looked around some more before clearing off a spot on the couch and plopping down. I didn’t want to admit it, but my sides were starting to hurt.
“Still a shithole,” I said.
“Maybe so,” said Anya, “but when you’re a kid, a place like this is heaven. I’d come here for hours, pretending I was a princess in a big, faraway castle. I can’t believe that I actually had time for things like that.”
“What,” I asked, ignoring the throbbing pain radiating out from my side, “you don’t have time for pretending to be a princess when you’re not working? Not like you got a husband or anything to worry about. Or kids.”
She threw me a sardonic look as she leaned against a sturdy wooden. “Oh, I’ve got kids, all right—two overgrown, stupid kids.”
“Huh?” I asked, not sure what she meant.
“My two brothers, Connor and Eddie. One’s a damn drunk, the other’s a low-life criminal. Maybe you two’d get along.”
“Hey,” I said with a smirk, “I may be a criminal, but I’m no low-life.”
“Sure,” she said, matching my smirk with one of her own.
“So, you got two brothers that you have to … take care of? What’s the issue, they got brain problems or something?”
“No, just … they wouldn’t last very long without me. Our parents are both gone, and I’m the only one who can even kind of survive in the real world.”
“They just sit around doing nothing?”
“Connor works as a security guard at a factory in town … but he manages to drink up just about every dollar he makes. And Eddie, well, the less said about him, the better. When he does manage to kick in some money for rent or bills, I don’t even want to know where he got them from.”
I hated to admit it, but as soon as she mentioned her drunk of a brother I felt the need for a tall glass of whiskey. But I figured the least I could do was listen to this chick talk about her miserable family without seeing if she’d mind going on a booz
“Sounds like some bullshit,” I said. “What kind of grown men rely on their kid sister to take care of them? I mean, I may have to crack some skulls for my bread every now and then, but I can at least make my own way.”
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