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But I can chop the fucking knob off.

And so I did.

With a guttural roar I severed the knob from the door with the sword, revealing the silver mechanism underneath. I pushed my fingers into the small space and pinched the two ends of the small metal bar together, unlatching the bolt.

The mid-morning sun blinded me as I walked out from the cover of the garage apartment and into the light of day. After my eyes adjusted, I followed the driveway past a three story stilt home. I wasn’t sure where I was until I got to the bottom of the narrow driveway and spotted the causeway to my right and knew right away that I was still in Logan’s Beach and that if I took a left I’d eventually find my way back to the highway.

I wish I had my dad’s truck or my bike.

There was no way I’d take a chance of going back to the MC to get it. I shook my head, refusing to acknowledge what had happened to me there. Not yet anyway.

One horrible event at a time.

One tragedy to focus my grief and anger on.

Someday I would allow myself to be upset and angry at the MC, at Chop. I would curse the world for what he did to me, or TRIED to do to me, but not today. I started off down the road. Toward Jessep. Toward home. The injuries caused by Chop and his thumb made each step more excruciatingly cringeworthy.

With newly found determination, I limped forward.

Today was for my parents.

Today was for my dad.

And today I would be strong, for them. For him.

Tomorrow, tomorrow I would cry.

Not today.

Just not today.

*     *     *


We were turning back into King’s driveway when his phone rang. “Pup,” he said. There was a short pause. “You see what direction she went?”

I spotted a figure limping down the road and instantly recognized the wild pink hair.

“Never mind, we see her,” he said, ending the call.

“Where the fuck does she think she’s going?” I muttered, leaning over the steering wheel. I brought the truck to a stop with a squeal of the brakes and considerable effort to throw the shifter on the steering wheel into park.

“I’ll take it back up to the garage while you deal with that,” King offered. I nodded and hopped down onto the road, quickly catching up to Thia, who was moving a lot faster than her limp should allow. She was wearing a plain black t-shirt.

MY t-shirt.

It was so big and bulky on her I couldn’t tell if she was wearing anything underneath until the breeze picked up the hem, revealing the same blood stained shorts she’d worn the night before.

“You’re wearing my shirt,” I pointed and grunted, matching her furious pace. It wasn’t the shirt that was bothering me, but leave it to me to point out something trivial when my blood was boiling because she didn’t stay put like I told her to.

“I’ll send it back to you,” she said bitterly, focusing her eyes on the road in front of her.

“Where the fuck do you think you’re going?” I asked, grabbing her shoulder and spinning her toward me. “I told you to stay. Shit, I locked you in. How the fuck did you get out?”

“I’m not some animal you can cage in! I’m going home! Don’t worry I won’t burden you anymore. I’m going to tell the sheriff what happened, which I should have done in the first place. You won’t ever have to think about me again. You’re off the hook.” She tried to wriggle from my grasp but there was no way in fuck that was going to happen. The more she spoke, the angrier I got and the more my fingers bit into her arms.

“You think it’s that easy,” I said between gritted teeth. “You think you can go home like none of this ever fucking happened? ’Cause, trust me on this one, it doesn’t fucking work that way.” I expected her to show a little fear, to cower, even if it was only slightly, but the girl was bold, breathing through her scrunched up nose like she was about to breath fire, challenging my every word with her stare. “I got news for you, little girl. You can’t go anywhere. You seem to forget that the MC knows who you are and now that you have a connection to me, you’re as good as dead out there by yourself. So like it or not, you’re stuck here, at least for the time being, so get back up to the fucking house before I grab a hold of that crazy hair of yours and drag you there.”

“I know it was all a fucking lie!” she snapped, locking her eyes with mine. Fear and anger radiated from her as she stared me down.

“What?” I asked, threading my hand in her hair I gave her a warning tug and her head snapped backward but she stayed strong.

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