Authors: Chelsea Camaron
“Sure thing, buddy. Stay where you can see us, though.” I send him off to be a kid. Letting go is hard to do.
“Have you set a date yet?” Morgan asks me in what I think is her attempt at casual conversation.
Proudly, Shooter pipes up, “Tomorrow at sunset.”
“Look at you. Smug bastard,” Ice replies at Shooter’s puffing of his chest when he made our announcement.
“I’m hoping you and all the boys will be there,” Shooter adds, still smiling.
“Oh. My. God,” Morgan emphasizes.
“Sweetheart, that shit is for the bedroom, not with our friends,” Ice chimes in playfully.
Suddenly, Morgan grabs me by the wrist, taking me with her towards the house. “We have to find something for me and the girls to wear.”
“Brooke is ruining you!” Ice calls out as his woman keeps dragging me.
When I give Shooter a look, pleading with him to save me, he only shrugs his shoulders and mouths, ‘sorry’.
Once inside what I assume to be Brooke’s room, I can’t help laughing as Morgan looks in the teen’s closet.
“Dammit. All her clothes will get me in trouble. Wait, maybe I want to be in trouble,” she mutters to herself. She stops and brings her finger up to tap on her jaw as she contemplates whether she wants to be ‘punished’ or not.
“Anticipation makes it hotter,” I add, letting her know my mind is just as dirty and so is my man.
We both fall into a fit of giggles. It is an odd thing for me. Since Shooter has come into my life, I laugh, I relax, and I breathe.
“Does it ever dull out?” she suddenly asks me seriously.
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know. Forget it,” she backtracks.
“We ol’ ladies have to stick together. I know we don’t know each other well, but I would like to change that,” I state honestly. I don’t have many friends. If I am real with myself, I don’t have friends outside of the Hellions. Not that it is a problem, but Morgan seems nice enough.
“How long have you been with a biker? The sex with Ice is ah-maz-ing; I just wonder if it dulls out.”
“Hell no, it never dulls out.”
“How long have you and Shooter been together? Casey, my best friend, she says the sex is hot because bikers are hot. She has been with regular guys, and she says it’s not the same.” She looks at me nervously. “I’ve only ever been with Ice. Don’t get me wrong, he seems happy with umm … what we do, ya know, but does it ever waver? The last year has been the best of my life, but I feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop sometimes.”
“Shooter and I have this long history together.” For some reason, something in me changes with Morgan, and I share with her something I don’t talk about much these days. “He saved me. I was being attacked.” I shift on my feet uncomfortably. How will she take my story? “I was violated. It could have been worse, but Shooter, he saved me. He is my rock. I don’t have a ton of experience, but what I have with Shooter is off-the-charts amazing.” I giggle nervously as she looks at me somberly.
“How did you overcome that?”
“Time, patience, love, understanding, and Shooter. He saved me from myself.”
Tears fill her eyes. “My sister … she was… umm … kidnapped. Things happened. She is doing better, but I worry that she will never feel normal again.”
“You want me to be honest with you?” She nods her head. “What is normal? You were a virgin until Ice. You have great sex, and the man obviously loves you, but you still have sexual insecurities. She will have those same insecurities, only she will question whether her body is still normal. Again, though, I ask, what is normal? Everyone handles trauma differently. When the right man comes along, he will make her feel whole again.”
She reaches out and squeezes my hand in comfort. Watching her, I can’t decide who needs it more, me or her, so I wrap my arms around her and hug her tight.
“Mercy, she hasn’t always been a friend to me. In her own time, though, she will give your sister exactly what she needs.”
“Thank you,” Morgan whispers before we part.
Looking back at the closet, she smiles over to me. “Wanna go shopping tomorrow morning? Or do you have hair and make-up appointments?”
“No appointments. I would love to go shopping since I don’t even have a dress.”
?” she shrieks at me. “No dress! This is a travesty we must address.”
We laugh together before finalizing our plans for the next morning.
After going back to the party, Morgan pretty much spends her time either at my side or Ice’s. We have a lot in common as we both adjust to life as ol’ ladies to our badass bikers.
“Are you ready now?” Morgan asks excitedly.
We only went to three shops this morning before we found an absolutely perfect one shoulder, empire waist, off-white sun dress. The layers of fabric below my breasts flow freely around and behind me slightly. The one shoulder strap is done to look like roses with one big flower where the strap joins to the top of the dress. My not so large breasts are scooped up by the built in bra, giving me a hint of cleavage I don’t normally have. The dress is not over-the-top; it is simple elegance, much like me.
The hotel receptionist made a few calls for us and set up a nice spot on the beach for our vows to take place. She also found a local minister to perform the ceremony on such short notice.
Rex is actually being thoughtful and agreed to rent a car at the airport so none of us had to slow our preparations to pick him and my mom up from the airport. I hope the trip isn’t too much on her body.
“I think so,” I reply, smiling at Morgan.
“Is it everything you’ve dreamt of?” she asks, pulling me into a coffee shop.
We order—well, really, she orders—two Cuban espressos as she swears everyone in South Beach is addicted to the ever so small shots of caffeine goodness, while I think on her question. Is this everything I have dreamt of?
“Well, is this your dream come true? If not, what do we need to give you that?”
“Morgan, are you a dreamer? Do you have your wedding planned out along with your version of Prince Charming?” I question, wondering if I am the only woman ever to not dream of her wedding day.
She looks at me shyly before dropping her head. She doesn’t answer, which makes me more curious.
“I’ll be honest with you. Until Shooter, I never thought I would get married. I certainly didn’t believe in Prince Charming. I guess you should know since he will be here today. Shooter is not Axel’s dad, and Rex is the complete opposite of prince anything.”
“Rex, the Hellion? As in, Shooter’s brother?” she questions with a surprised gasp.
“Yeah, Rex, Catawba Hellion VP. So more than Shooter’s brother; he’s Shooter’s Vice Pres.”
“Do I even want to know?”
“I’m not a barfly, if that’s what you’re thinking. I was once Rex’s barfly, I guess you could say. It’s a long and complicated history he and I share. Axel is the best thing to come out of it for both of us. We’re still working on the new dynamic of our relationship, but Rex is there for his son. Being with Rex for years without really being with him warped my ideals of marriage and relationships. For a long time, I was waiting for him to wake up and want any kind of future with me. I was willing to accept anything from him. Then Shooter and I kept getting thrown together. Literally, he was tossed into my life by chance circumstance when my car broke down.”
“Damsel in distress … the stuff fairy tales are made of.” She smiles sweetly at me.
“Our story is far from a fairy tale, but he is my knight. Maybe not in shining armor, but he is my knight that rides in on his horse of steel to save the day; how about that?” We both laugh.
“Well, how do you feel about it? Is there anything else you want or need?”
“Honestly, I have my man and my son, so I just need my momma, and everything will be complete.”
“Simple. I like that about you, Tessie.”
We finish our coffees then head back to the hotel. Shooter and Axel are in our room when we walk in.
“Hey, baby,” he greets before coming over and kissing me breathless.
“Hey, handsome.” Will I ever get tired of kissing this man? Doubtful.
“Fred flew in with your mom and Rex,” the man who makes my world spin says with a smile. “My parents are driving but left early enough that, although tired, they will get here about an hour before the ceremony.”
“If we have to wait for them, we can. I’m sorry I didn’t think of all that when I asked for this.”
“Baby, I don’t give a shit who is here, as long as when we lay down tonight it’s as husband and wife.”
“I love you, Andy.”
“I love you, too.” He kisses me again right as there is a knock at the door.
“Thank goodness someone is here to save us from all their kissing. Morgan, I hope you aren’t like this, too,” Axel says to my new friend as he bounces past us.
“Party is here, so open the door, fuckers,” Rex shouts from the other side of the door.
Axel immediately opens the door and runs to hug my mom. Rex enters our room, leaning down to give me a half hug before greeting Shooter in their half hug, man back slap thing. When his eyes land on Morgan, I can’t help laughing.
“Hey, girl. What’s your name? You know what, we don’t need names. I’ll call you Angel, because you’re sure to be calling me God later tonight.”
“If you want to keep your balls, I wouldn’t call her anything but Ice’s ol’ lady,” Shooter replies, laughing as Morgan turns red and backs up to the wall.
Obviously, she has never encountered anyone like Drexel ‘Rex’ Crews.
“Does that shit really work?” Morgan fires back at him once she has a moment to let his words sink in.
Yes, this one has just the fire and attitude needed to be with a biker. I smile at her.
“Worked on her,” Rex tosses his thumb over at me.
“Not really. It’s me she’s marrying, fucker,” Shooter chimes in.
“You’re the better man, brother.” Rex looks at me seriously. “She deserves nothing but the best.”
Tears pool in my eyes. I don’t have the same feelings for Rex that I once did. That ship has truly sailed. However, there is a piece of me that will belong to him because he gave me Axel. There really is a heart inside that man. He just doesn’t know how to show it or doesn’t want to. I haven’t figured out which it is yet.
“Rex,” I whisper.
“Tessie, I did you wrong. I’m man enough to own that shit. I’m also man enough to stand at this fucker’s side when he claims you for eternity. You’ll possibly always be the best thing that I ever had, but he was made for you.”
“The best is yet to come, Rex,” Shooter states, looking to his brother.
“You’re standing at his side?” I ask, wondering what these two are conspiring.
“He’s family. We’re a weird but functional unit. I asked him to be my best man.”
Rolling up on my tiptoes, I pull Shooter’s head down to kiss him. “I love you, Andy.”
“I think I’m gonna be sick from all the feels in this room.” Rex grabs at his stomach dramatically. “It’s too much emotion for my small heart to take.”
“Shut the hell up. Let’s go, brother,” Shooter says, releasing me.
“Go where?” I ask curiously.
“Guy stuff, Momma. You wouldn’t understand,” Axel chimes in, taking both Shooter and Rex by the hands and dragging them to the door. “See ya later, Gigi. Love you,” he adds, making his way out the door.
Shooter glances over his shoulder at me as he exits and mouths, ‘I love you,’ before filing out the door behind my little man and my ex.
Morgan leaves not long after the boys so she can get ready. I think I have a new friend in her that will last a long time.
“Momma, want me to curl your hair?”
Tears glisten in her eyes. “I would love that.”
When Momma first got sick, it would really upset her that she struggled to wash and brush her own hair. There is a bond we share, not because she is my mom, but because we have been there for each other at our lowest.
When I first came home after the attack, even though I tried to hide my problems, there were nights she would come to my room and just run her fingers through my hair in silent reassurance that I wasn’t alone. When I was a little girl, she would do the same thing to put me to sleep after a bad dream.
“Did the trip take too much out of you, Momma?”
“Rex was good about helping me maneuver around, and I used my wheelchair in the airports, so I wasn’t walking too far.” She wipes her eyes as she settles in on the hotel toilet seat while I plug in the curling iron. “Tessie, I’m proud of you.”
“Let me finish. Things haven’t been easy for us.”
I run my fingers through her hair to get the tangles out. “Me and you always.” Picking up the brush, I separate her hair into a section, apply some holding spray, and begin to curl her hair.
“Shooter is an answer to my prayers.”
“Momma—” I start as I see the tears roll down her cheeks.
“Tessie, there will come a time when I won’t be here. Until Shooter, I was worried about you. I tried to teach you, to guide you, but I got sick. Because of that, I haven’t always been the mom I wanted to be. I’ve prayed for you to have what I didn’t have, for Axel to have what I didn’t give you. Shooter does that. He puts my heart at ease for you. Tessie, you are my world.”
Tears freely run down my cheeks as I release the curl and set the hot iron down.