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“Your jeans are all wet,” I said flatly, staring at the soaked through dark denim sitting low on Bear’s hips, probably lower than they usually did with the weight of the water pulling them down further. There wasn’t a spot on his chest or arms that hadn’t been touched by the needle of a tattoo gun. Colorful and vibrant against his smooth muscular skin.

“Nurse said to put you under warm water if you freaked the fuck out, so I made a run for the shower,” he said. “Didn’t think much about what I was wearing.” He leaned over to pick me up off the toilet and I waved him off, freeing my arm from the towel I rewrapped it under my arms to cover my breasts.

“I can walk,” I assured him.

I stood up, shaky at first, holding onto the counter for stability. “I got it,” I said again, this time saying it more to convince myself when my knees buckled. “Just need a sec is all.” Bear growled and bent down, slinging my right arm over the back of his shoulder. “I said I got it!” I yelled, although clearly I hadn’t got anything.

“Fucking stubborn, bitch,” Bear muttered, walking me out of the bathroom and into a small bedroom. He sat me on the edge of the mattress and went back into the bathroom.

The door opened and a man appeared, his eyebrows knitted together, I could only assume this was the King person Bear had called. Short dark hair, a dark tight v-neck t-shirt stretched against his muscular chest. He was a huge wall of man. At least six feet tall, although Bear was about his height or even taller. He reached overhead and grabbed onto the molding of the door, his biceps and shoulders rippled as he leaned into the room. He was also covered in tattoos but whereas Bear was covered, this guy still had a few spots of bare skin visible amongst the ink. Leather studded thick bracelets wrapped around his forearms. He released the molding and folded his arms over his chest, his new position revealing the buckles, it was then I realized they weren’t bracelets or cuffs at all, but belts. His skin was dark and tanned, his eyes a unique fluorescent green.

He didn’t look at me. Not once.

“What do you need?” The man asked Bear as he came out of the bathroom, still shirtless but buttoning up a dry pair of jeans. He slicked back his wet hair with his hand.

“Gotta go to Jessep. I need you to help me stock up. I’m taking the bread truck. Too risky to ride,” Bear said, slinking past King he walked out of the room then reappeared a moment later.

“Cleanup?” King asked. “That why she’s here?” The slight chin tip in my direction, the only acknowledgement of my presence.

Cleanup? What’s a cleanup?

Every instinct in my body had told to me seek him out, but I didn’t think about what it was I was really asking of him.

Probably because I didn’t exactly know.

“Seems that way,” Bear said, rifling through a duffle bag on the floor and putting on a fresh pair of black socks. He shoved his feet into a pair of thick black boots. He turned to me. “What’s the address of the farm?”

“It doesn’t have a number. Just Andrews Farm on Andrews Farm Road.” Like a lot of the groves in Jessep that had been there for as long as ours, the roads came second and were usually named after the farms they connected. “It’s the only grove on the street. Mailbox at the end. Little white house. Blood,” I said, still hoping this was all a nightmare and that I wasn’t giving a biker my address to clean up the body of my mother.

“How long ago?” King asked and Bear again turned to me for the answer.

“I’m not sure,” I said because I didn’t know how long I was at the MC or when it was I came here. “Ummm… it was Friday after my shift at work. Around six pm, maybe seven?” I scrunched my nose, trying to remember exactly. “I think?” I added as I tried to recall when my life had forever changed.

“Is she inside or outside?” Bear asked again, and instantly I recalled the way her body looked slumped over the side of the house, my throat tightened.

“Outside,” I choked out remembering the moment when I convinced my mother to switch guns with me.

“I need to get out there before the smell…” Bear started and my stomach rolled again.

King nodded. “I got what you need in the garage. How many?” he asked and this time Bear didn’t turn to me for the answer.

“One.”

“No,” I said, tears pricking the back of my eyes. They both looked at me with confused expressions. “No.” I repeated, shaking my head vigorously. “Two. There are two,” I said, holding up two fingers while staring blankly at the ceiling.

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