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Here was on a dirt road at the edge of a property overgrown with trees and hedges. A small gap in the brush allowed room for a narrow driveway. It was dark and there were no street lights to guide our way up the to the house, the path seemed to go on forever. A mild fish odor permeated the air. My empty stomach rolled, and I covered my mouth and nose with my hand to keep from getting sick.

Flickering lights appeared in the distance. As we approached the house I realized what we were seeing weren’t lights at all, but plastic torches stuck into the ground at awkward angles, creating a makeshift path through the grass around to the back of the house.

The house itself was three stories and built on a foundation of pilings. The majority of the bottom floor under the house was open area, filled with shiny motorcycles and cars parked in every inch of available space. Two doors took up the far wall, one with a deadbolt and a metal bar across it and another a few feet off the ground with two concrete steps leading up to it. Wrap around balconies made up the second two stories and lights flashed through every window, revealing shadows of the people within. The music vibrated off the wet ground, shaking the water off the tall blades of grass onto my legs.

“Do the bikers live here?” I asked Nikki.

“No, this house belongs to the guy they’re throwing the party for.”

“And who is that?” I asked. Nikki shrugged.

“Beats me. All I know is that Skinny said it was a coming home party.” Skinny was Nikki’s sometime boyfriend, sometime pimp.

When we reached the back of the house, I got my first glimpse of the bikers and my stomach rolled again. I stopped dead in my tracks.

There they were, surrounding a fire pit in the center of the massive yard, flames and billowing smoke shot up as high as the house. I was so caught up in what I was going to have to do I’d forgotten to stop and think of who I was going to have to do it with. There were seven or eight men, some sitting in lawn chairs, some standing with a beer in their hands. They all wore leather vests with varying amounts of patches adorning them. Some wore long sleeved button down shirts under their vests; others wore nothing at all. Women who looked like they took their fashion cues from Nikki laughed and danced around the fire. One girl was on her knees, bobbing her head up and down on the lap of a man who casually talked on his phone while guiding her head with his hand.

This is just a means to an end.

I turned to tell Nikki that maybe we should reconsider the plan, but she was already gone. Scanning the yard, I spotted her with an arm already draped over a tall guy with a red braided beard. An American flag bandana tied around his forehead.

Strong arms wrapped around my waist from behind and hauled me hard against a wall of muscle. My immediate reaction was to shake him off, but when I struggled to break free he held me tighter. His hot breath smelt of garlic and liquor, assaulting my senses when he spoke with his lips pressed against my neck. “Hey, baby girl. I’m ready to party. How ’bout you?” Grabbing my wrist he forcefully wrenched it behind my back until I was sure my shoulder had dislocated. He shoved my hand down the front of his jeans, rubbing my clenched fist up and down the length of his erection. “Feels good, don’t it, baby girl?”

I opened my fist and grabbed his balls, squeezing them with all the strength I could manage.

“You bitch!” he yelled out.

Releasing me, he dropped to his knees in the grass. Hands cupped over his privates, he fell onto his side and raised his thighs to his chest. I raced up the steps that led into the house.

“You fucking bitch! You’re going to fucking pay for that!” he called as I disappeared into the house sliding past a ton of party-goers. I took the first set of stairs I came across and ran all the way up to the third story. I tried the handle of several closed doors down a narrow hallway, but they were all locked. It wasn’t until I was almost to the end of the hall when one finally gave.

I hadn’t even taken a step inside when I quickly realized the room may have been dark, but it wasn’t empty.

A smattering of neon paint on the walls made the room look like as if it were glowing. I couldn’t see much in the way of features, but I could make out two bodies in the center of the room. At first glance it looked as if someone was standing behind another person who was lying down. It took me a second to register it, but after I did, there was no mistaking what it was I’d walked in on.

Skin slapping against skin. Moaning. The smell of sweat and something else I couldn’t quite place. It seemed like hours I’d been standing there, but in reality it wasn’t more than a few seconds. I should’ve turned around and closed the door the instant I realized the room was occupied, but I couldn’t tear myself away from the scene playing out in front of me.

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