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Chop might have had the same color eyes as Bear’s but they held none of the beauty. Chop’s burned with instability, rage, and violence.

This was a mistake.

I’d gone to the compound seeking… what exactly had I been seeking? Help? Protection? Safety? All I knew was that in that room, with Bear’s old man only a few inches from my face, I felt anything but safe.

When I didn’t answer right away, Chop shrugged. “Okay have it your way.” It was when he pressed the ring to my lips when I suddenly found my voice.

“Bear gave it to me,” I blurted out.

“Bullshit! Where did you get it?” he roared, again trying to force the ring between my lips.

“I was ten!” I screamed and when I opened my mouth the ring slipped in and smacked against the back of my throat. I gagged and Chop took a step back, examining the ring in the light of the lamp. I didn’t know if he meant for me to continue but I did anyway. “He gave it to me in Jessep when I was ten years old because I did a favor for him.” I didn’t know if I would get Bear in trouble by telling Chop exactly what happened so I kept it vague. “He told me that if I ever needed his help to come here and show the ring and he would help me.”

Chop waved me off. “Shut up,” he commanded, still twisting the ring around in his hand like he couldn’t believe it was there. A twisted smile took over his face and he let out a burst of laughter. “He’s a dead fucking man walking but the kid has always been funny.”

“What does that mean?” I asked, not sure if the new round of teeth chattering was from being freezing or from fear.

“It means that my boy gave this to you because he never expected you to show up and take him up on it,” Chop said, putting the ring in a pocket sewn to the inside of his cut. “He wouldn’t have done shit for you, except maybe show you his cock.”

“No! He said that it’s a biker promise. It’s your way…”

“Darlin’ we ain’t got no such code and I know that because all of our codes have to do with killing. Like what, where, who, and when.”

Bear lied to me?

Yes, Bear lied and I was a stupid little girl who fell for it. He never wanted to help me. He just didn’t want me to tell on him.

“Can I at least talk to him?” I asked with one last shred of hope. It didn’t matter that the ring that I’d been clinging to for seven years was a joke. I still needed help. “I just need to…”

“Bear isn’t a Beach Bastard anymore. He took off his cut like the cunt pussy he is and walked out that gate because he’s a coward. He’s not a biker anymore. He’s not a friend. He’s not even a fucking man. Do you know what he is?” Chop asked, stepping back in front of me. I shook my head, frozen in place by his stare. “He. Is. Death. A dead motherfucker who just happens to still be breathing.” He pressed his nose into the space between my neck and shoulder and inhaled. I cringed, and tried to pull away, but his big muscular body kept me trapped. “But I’m gonna fix that real fucking soon,” he whispered, his hot breath against my ear made me feel like I was going to puke.

“If he’s not here, then I should just go,” I said, every internal alarm I had reaching deafening volumes inside my head.

Run. Run. Run.

I felt behind me for the door knob and when I found it I gave it a twist, but it didn’t budge. “Locks from the outside,” Chop said wickedly, his eyebrows jumping suggestively.

Grabbing me by the shoulders he threw me onto the floor. I landed on my side and pain tore through my ribs. Chop knelt down and straddled me, his thighs holding me prisoner on the dirty carpet. “He chose that motherfucker King over his brothers. And he’s going to fucking pay.”

“Let me go!” I wailed, writhing underneath him, trying to break free, but he was as stuck in place as the doorknob. I tried to beat my fists against his chest but he grabbed my wrists and twisted them painfully. “Please just let me go!” I cried out.

“Don’t worry, little one. I’m not going to kill you. In fact I’m going to make sure one of the boys gives you a ride out.”

“You are?” I asked, knowing that he wouldn’t be on top of me cutting off circulation to my hands if his only plan was to drop me somewhere else.

“I am. Boys are going to drop you off first thing in the morning.”

“Morning?” I asked, only half the word audible, the rest came out as a breathless whisper.

“Yes, morning. Because first we want to make sure that if Bear sees you that he knows that he’s a dead man but anything he wants to keep breathing better not be stupid enough to step over onto this side of the causeway.”

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