When Mace was at his worst, low sided by some punks in a bar, Raven was there. She was there for him while he healed and it was only natural that Mace should find himself in his feelings over her. What wasn’t there to like? She was sweet, kind, sexy, and cool with her burner chick aesthetic, sharp wit, and generous soul.
Raven so did not want to get involved with the Sacred Hearts MC. It so wasn’t the way to stay off of local law enforcement’s radar. She just seemed to keep finding herself in the wrong place at the wrong time and the flirty biker was hurt. Like, really hurt, and it went against ever fiber of Raven’s being to not give aid to those in need.
Raven’s sure that getting involved with Mace is going to be the worst mistake of her life, but then again… she’s been wrong before.
“Woo boy,” I muttered under my breath and stared down 15th SW at the fencing and row of bikes on one side and the bikers smoking on the small back landing across the street. I leaned heavily on my staff that I carried practically everywhere with me. It was as much for my Burner chick aesthetic with its decorative wraps and dangling charms as it was to clobber anyone that decided to make a grab for me.
I’d learned that lesson…
I sniffed, my dread lock wig swaying against my back as I looked from one side of the street to the other. With a sigh, I lifted my leather plague doctor mask off my face and perched it on top of my head.
I wish I could say I stood out, but this was Washington. Just outside of Seattle to be exact, and we were right above Georgetown, which was an artsy neighborhood in its own right. The only place I would have been more at home would be Fremont – but I had to avoid Seattle proper now for reasons I didn’t feel like getting into.
Keep that door closed. Locked. Throw away the key.
I was staying in White Center for that same reason. The other reason being that rough as the neighborhood was? It was in the King County Sherriff’s jurisdiction, which may or may not afford me some protection. I mean, although I saw Seattle PD cruisers, they stayed on the north side of Roxbury while I most decidedly stayed on the south of it. I mean, I was streetwise enough to know that in the grand scheme of things, it didn’t matter.
All cops are bastards. King County wouldn’t hesitate to hand me to Seattle, even if I didn’t have a warrant. Being under investigation was usually enough. What was it cops always liked to say when it came to senseless acts of violence? She was in the wrong place at the wrong time. What I had been through? It hadn’t been senseless. It had been calculated, and the cops weren’t your friend when it was all in the law enforcement family. City, county, or state… it didn’t matter. That thin blue line was a towering blue wall when it came to a girl like me.
I was just your average girl who needed to keep her mouth shut. I wasn’t just public enemy number one for my protesting and social justice leanings. No, it went deeper than that now, and I was well aware that they could say whatever they wanted about me and the King County Sheriff’s Department would just hand me over, no questions asked. The last place I wanted or needed to be was within Seattle city limits.
I’d been warned…
I listened to her move, almost whisper quiet, putting things away. She was different here in her home as opposed to how she’d been in the bar. Quiet, reserved, almost tired. It wasn’t a physical tired. It was almost a weariness of the soul. I could relate entirely too well. Mine stemmed from loneliness, hers was something different. How, I just couldn’t put my finger on yet.
It wasn’t a mystery I was in any kind of hurry to unravel. I had time. Nothing but time, really. Prison had done one thing for me; it had instilled an almost superhero-like level of patience. An appreciation that anything and everything could and would come in due time.
I had no desire to go back into the system, and I admit to having similar feelings of frustration as the first time I’d ever been caged or locked up. Except instead of concrete and metal bars, the prison I was in at the moment was a prison of my own body. One of pain, and new limitations imposed by injury.
It rankled me and left me feeling restless with nowhere for that restless energy to go. Add to it, I just couldn’t fucking get comfortable, no matter how hard I tried. My mood was swiftly starting to deteriorate.
“Here.” I startled and looked back over my shoulder where Raven kneeled behind me. She handed me some pain pills and held onto a glass of water.
“Thanks,” I grated, a bit ashamed to admit I needed the drugs.
“You shouldn’t wait so long between doses,” she chided gently, and I sighed after swallowing the pills down.
“Addiction runs in the family,” I told her. “I’d rather not go there.”
“Ah.” She made a sound of understanding, but it sounded like that understanding ran deep, just from that one syllable alone.
“You got an addict or three in your family tree?” I asked, and she smiled and stuttered a bit of a laugh at my bad poetry.
“Something like that,” she confessed.
“Then you know,” I said and grunted turning to settle back down.
“I know,” she said quietly and rose as noiselessly as she’d arrived and departed the room. She was in a nice pair of athletic leggings and an oversize tee with the neck cut out, so it hung artfully off one shoulder, the cotton midriffed so she was modest, all the important bits covered, but damn.
She was lithe, graceful on her feet, and the long shining fall of her light bronze hair begged to have my hands in it. I wanted to revel in her, bring her silky hair to my nose and breathe her in deep. Her scent was something else, too. Rich, deeply herbal, and natural. She was the goddess Persephone, all rich earth and green growing things, and I wanted to know her – but I didn’t know how.
Text Copyright © 2021 A.J. Downey
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, event, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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