Sienna – First Sneak Peak

Sienna

Death is like a wind blowing, touching you all over. It’s the kiss from the sun on your face. It’s that overwhelming sensation, the experience of everything, but feeling of nothing. My mother told me death is an inevitability of our life. It is the ride that gets us there which makes all the difference. I’d like to think I chose my end well, in a way that many would mourn and others would rejoice and the ones who wanted me dead, well those ones must be cringing hoping I don’t haunt their dreams.

Is this it? Am I dead? Am I experiencing it all and feeling nothing?

At this moment I have no worries, no past, future or present. I am just for this moment, one with the universe, I am the evolution of completeness, death. Acceptance, rejection, love, need, desire, pain, it is all gone. Now I’m just a memory to the living, and they are nothing to me.

Well, it isn’t that simple, because he is still there, Kaleb, the screams of his voice, the emptiness of not holding him long enough. Oh baby, how I miss your sweetness, and that half dimpled smile. I crave the smell of your cheeks, and the feel of your soft brown hair gliding like silk through my fingers. I miss your beautiful eyes gazing at me like I was a wonder, and those hands you shove in your mouth. Oh, my precious son, how I wish I could have had a last moment with you, so I could savor it until my everlasting days finally dissipate.

A time or two or maybe three, I wondered what death would be like, would I feel anything? What did our eyes see? Would our minds still function? Maybe our spirit would lift out of our bodies like we saw on the movies, or Youtube videos and I could watch over him. But that is not how this works. I am stuck, and if I listen carefully I hear a loud sound of nothing.

God didn’t want me to survive this, because we both knew the day was long overdue, and I was finally meeting the end I was meant to. Kevin Stone was never meant to marry me in the first place, we were both out of our minds. What was I thinking? I try recollecting his face in my mind, or picture that disapproving gaze but all I get is his electric blue eyes, a common genetic characteristic in his family, a piece inherited from his mother. When I see them, it’s as though he is judging me.

I wish he was always there, his disapproving frown, those blue eyes that are just so majestic I wonder if magic flowed in his veins occupying my nonexistence like Kaleb has. If only Killer’s ability to be an emotionless soul was a gift, not a curse then I could imagine him crying. I could hear him yelling my name in agony, but this is not the movies, and I am not the girl who is going to become a visible ghost. Sadly, it is tragic really but Kevin’s Stones face is not in my memory, but his words are, they torment me, no matter which way my mind chooses to go, his voice is there, on repeat. I am not sure if it is my guilt which causes it or my desire.

It is like I am getting shot all over again, but the pain is not echoed with shock, it is covered in his lack of grief, in his silence, and whispers. We all want people who help us in our time of need, we want people to comfort us, and tell us we are worth something. I wanted Kevin Stone to hold my hand and tell me it was alright. I was stupid to think that he would feel like I was something important to him, silly of me to believe that my death would bring some emotion. I can’t picture it, it is like he isn’t even there.

The man they call Killer, who was once a boy I CALLED Kevin Stone never knew emotions, which explains why even in death I can’t picture him. I can only hear his words because it was his words that changed my view of him, it softened pieces he once hardened. I always considered him a soul touched by the chill of nothingness until he showed me differently by what he chose to say, and his eyes that revealed the truth each time he chipped at my exterior.

I’ve loved Kevin a little every day since he was just a boy and I was a young girl, who knew too much. I’ve wondered if to him I was the girl who should’ve died along with her adoptive parents, but didn’t. Did he think I was a waste of air? Did he want me to die? Surely, if he did he changed his mind by now. He married me, regardless of everything he knew.

Would he wish me dead once he knew the truth? My betrayal was something that couldn’t be undone, there is no redemption for me. Too many people close to me were hurt, and the scars are not the ones easily healed.

Maybe I loved recklessly, when I should have loved him moderately.

The day Marcus Bray spared my life, gave me a fresh start, he also allowed me to hold on to the most important part of my past. And for years I held on so tight, I feared one day I’d break and I did. I broke, I told the truth, and Kevin Stone was there. He chased me out of Liston Hills, pushed me away.

The emotionless man I knew back then sent chills down my spine the day he ran me out of my home. Kevin told me I was vermin, a disease, sickness and he was right. Only his timing was wrong because at 16 I only tasted the desire of wanting. It was after I left Liston Hills did I experience the freedom of taking and fear of the ones needing from me. It was a long time after I left my home, and built resentment toward Kevin did I finally drink the bliss of evil intent.

Parts of me enjoyed it, I craved the power Gabriel DeMarco came with and I wanted a piece of it for myself. And in my thoughts I could now be honest and say that Kaleb was never a mistake, he was made because I thought if I produced a child I could finally get in with the DeMarco’s and they would accept me, but they didn’t. They wanted me gone.

I should’ve known better after what they did to Beggar. But I didn’t. I refused to believe what was right in front of me when Gabriel told me I should run. I never listened, I chose to stay when Gabriel got locked up. I thought that I had finally proven myself to his family and they’d care for me. But they wanted me dead and I had to protect myself. It was a terrible thing to do, killing his uncle and brother, blaming it on Marco Catelli. I didn’t think they’d catch me, so at first, I stayed and then eventually they found out. I should’ve known better than to convince myself I was special enough, that I would get away with it. So when they came after me, there was only one person I could turn to and that was my cousin, Kylie Bray. I never thought she would be here with him. I never imagined I would see his face again, it was like I was back in the Liston Hills, transported to the day I met him.

I expected him to chase me away, but I guess even an unemotional person has some logic when it comes to a pregnant woman needing assistance. He cut me open, saved my baby’s life, and in the months that followed unexpectedly he tore my heart apart with his words, bit by tiny bit, he cut me fast, that I didn’t even have a chance, because when I finally noticed it was too late, my heart was at the mercy of Kevin Stone. I always envisioned Kevin Stone with Natasha Bray. Especially after he broke me, chased me away from my family when I was just 16. He left me stranded with nothing, not even a backward glance. He was right when he said I should’ve gone, I should have gone back home, and eventually I did, I found my way back.

There were times after everything had happened when I would lie in my bed, thinking about all the moments we could have, should have and as the years went by it became just made-up thoughts and slowly Gabriel DeMarco took chips of that armour and weighed me down. And I fell for him. Oh boy, did I fall for that man!

There was just something about him that was different. I’m not sure if it was the power but when he looked at me he touched a part of me, he only knew existed. It was dark, and sensual, like a promise of something sinister. There was something special about Gabriel. Gabriel DeMarco was a puzzle I wanted to put back together, piece by piece. He was a mystery that I felt connected to. Yet, once I found out all there was to know about him, I found the dark parts were dripping in blood. He killed for a lot less, he hurt people, poisoned many in a blink of an eye, but when he touched me it felt like I was touched by something soft. I craved it. I craved him.

I never had a choice but to fall for Gabriel.  I cared for him deeply, he made it easy to accept a lot of things many would run away from, and then he left and I stayed behind with a bag full of his shit. But he gave me the biggest gift of all, my son. A piece of us together we would share until the end of all those who will follow after my boy, Kaleb.

I made my enemies a long the years, some because of Gabriel true, but most of them were my choice. The list of people to fend off grew over the last two years and the ones I protected grew with it.

One of the latter was my sister, and my need to protect her. I’ve always chosen Harlin over everything and anyone else. Killer warned me that day by the water that choosing Harlin over everyone else wasn’t the best option, but I did it anyway. I knew it wouldn’t end well, but then death was already facing me from all corners. I was going to die, didn’t matter who did it, or how. Death was inevitable.

When I came to Frost and stepped into these people’s lives I knew that I was already running on borrowed time. I had one mission to do when I walked back into the Bray’s lives and that was to make sure my kid had a home, and people who loved him cared for him. I got selfish and my heart took over for a while and I became Kevin’s wife.  With my death, he became the full custodian of Kaleb. I can’t regret the choices I’ve made because my love for Harlin wasn’t bound by blood or a simple birthright. Our bond was forged over circumstance, a small blossom of memories that were good, but for the one secret, I hid, made it forbidden. It tarnished both of our lives in a way but it also gave us a fighting chance, a direction that was meant to be different, a fresh start.

I restructured my face, adjusted everything that made me Harlin’s sister so I could watch her grow, even if it was from afar, but so close that I could hold her for those MOMENTS. And Harlin, she got to be with her dad, he wasn’t the best, since he was the President of the Sin Riders, a Motorcycle Club known for smuggling arms, but she found a deeper relationship in Kylie Bray when The MC moved to Liston Hills soon after Marcus gave Harlin back to her father. They changed her name back to Dakota soon after and when that happened it was like she completely blocked me out of her mind. It was like she never had a sister, I was a long dream buried in her mind’s eye. I know this because, at the time when I finally stood in front of her as Sienna, she looked right through me as she placed her small tiny hand in Kylies’. She said it was cool to meet Kylie’s cousin. I remember standing there by that stupid overly sized fountain at the Stone’s house and watching the two of them bump each other.

I was burning with jealousy. Over the years I didn’t see Dakota much until my mother got sick, and I had to move in with Kylie, Natasha, and Mason. They were all calling Harlin, Diamond. I didn’t like it, so I was adamant about calling her Dakota until she told me she hated the name. I wasn’t sure of why I was riddled in hate so much. Looking back I guess I wanted her to find Sienna special as she did with Taylor.

I was the same person right? A face didn’t change who you were, or what your favorite dish was, did it?  We argued about it, but for some reason, she looked me dead in the eyes and smiled and said, ‘You know what SIENNA, I don’t care what you want, I care what I like, and if you have an issue with what I like, guess what?’

‘What?’ I asked her. She smiled and said, ‘I don’t care.’

I wanted to believe she knew it was me, she was just angry I changed who I was but that wasn’t it. I was so wrong, and by the time I figured that part out I told her and she didn’t believe me, she stabbed me, left that mark on my stomach. But I never stopped caring about my sister, I couldn’t, because I knew different, I recognized her.

Overtime, after my mom passed I saw her more often, she saw Kylie almost every day at the Manor, because Kylie chose to stay with her dad a long time ago, disregarding her mothers wishes.

It helped me get what I wanted. I finally got to see Harlin and when I did, I appreciated her relationship with Kylie. I figured she had an extra pair of eyes, an extra protector.

Our lives became intertwined in a way she couldn’t understand because she only knew me as Sienna Bray, her ‘besties’ cousin and the crazy girl who insisted she was her sister.

Harlin convinced herself Taylor died. Harlin was right. The day she became Dakota Larken and got the nickname Diamond, Taylor Frankfurt did die, and Sienna Bray had to gingerbread up, come to life.

Nevertheless, I held on so tight I suffocated myself and in the end, it was all in vain. She’s still out there AND I am now dead, gone. I guess I spent so much of my life wanting to believe that even if she never knew it was me, never believed I would be there, she was safe. But Sienna Bray is dead now too, she’s nothing but dust trapped in a black hole with nothing besides a few fragmented thoughts of a son, she loves, a husband she can’t picture, and a sister who remembered her as a dead little girl. I still think my life could’ve ended worse.

 

Killer

 

Kevin

We were never meant to end this way, but death has been calling us since the day we were born. I guess it wanted me a bit more than you, and I can understand why. I never skated the ends of life unless I had reason to question the tides, and I have always had a reason, with Harlin being my first. I am not sure how death has taken me. There was always more than one way I could die, but I hope in my end it was you I faced so your memory would be the only thing I would take from this world.

I have loved you before I even knew what it is to love a man. I knew who you were then, and who you became the day you asked me to be your wife. Even knowing everything, I reached for you with open hands, palms toward the skies because you made me believe in something greater. How does a god not exist when you are such a marvel being Kevin Stone? Wonders like you come from something unexplainably magnificent.

These passing months have been some of the best times of my life and you know better than most, I had one hell of a good one.

I wrote this letter because I hope you find it and read it every time I cross your mind, or maybe you could read it once and just chuck it in the trash bin. I wouldn’t hate you if you did either of them, each decision will have a logical reason as to why you chose to do it. Of that point, I am as certain as I know you stole that ice-cream.

Time comes, it never stands still, even when we feel like it does. I felt like that when you opened the door to your home. It was the beginning of summer and it was my first day back in Liston Hills, my first day as Sienna Bray.

Your hair was a bit longer than I remembered, your eyes still the same blue that stared back at me the first night we met. It felt like time stood still then. Maybe, in a way it did, or it was just the gravity from the ground keeping me frozen so I would remember that moment, because, it was always going to be important. After all, it was the day I met you, my husband.

You’ve always owned my heart Kevin Stone, and you never even said hello. I am not certain what I did to deserve you, but you felt I did something right because you made me your wife. And I need to admit that my heart was borrowed to many, including Gabriel for a while or two but it came on right back to you.

I’m not sure what death is like, but I hope it doesn’t have memory. I don’t want to spend my life thinking about who you giving those cold eyes to, or think about how many hearts my son decides to play. It’s a shame we never got more time, but I hope the few names I left you, will at least help appease that government of ours.

I love you Kevin Stone, Taylor Stone

 

Braindead, coma, collapsed lung

A story can be told in many words used to describe a situation. I have always been an unfeeling asshole, a man who despite not wanting for anything never tasted the fullness of having everything. I thought I finally would get to taste that on my wedding night but it never came. My wife ended up becoming a shooting poster for some fucking trigger-happy deadman. Because when I got my hands on whoever it was, he or she was going back to their maker.

“Any news on when they taking her off life support? It’s been a month already,” Bull’s question and the statement remain a nudging factor in my mind. A month, no sign of healing, no indication of whether it’s goodbye or not.

Covid hitting the country came at a hefty price for all of us, but more so for people like Sienna, who was in the hospital, and had zero access to the outside world. River’s wife, Hannah was a doctor. One of the many covering double shifts most of the nights because the surrounding towns were full up, and the hospital beds and ventilators were short. It is always an eye-opener when you are in the midst of living your life and shit starts snapping from every angle. However, nature takes its place and makes everything else selfish acts of wanting, because my choice to keep my wife on a ventilator was exactly that, a selfish act.

And two weeks ago my selfish act became worse when Hannah decided to pop and brought Lana into this world. I haven’t seen the baby or mother since the night she left the hospital. River invited me over a few times, said I should bring Kaleb but I couldn’t do it, there was still so much I needed done, too many bridges I had to cross before I decided to put a forced smile on my face. Sienna never minded the real me, the serious cold man she knew. She loved me anyway and in return I told her things, I explained how I felt and wanted to feel, the former meaning nothing.

Our club managed to get some extra ventilators and so did the local bank just so the hospital wouldn’t become a full-on ICU, with the increasing amounts of patients coming in from all over the State. Didn’t help some people chose not to wear masks, and others chose not to sanitize.

Personally? I didn’t give a fuck. If it was my time to die then so be it, the chances of me dying, however, were low, and a good thing too since I had a kid to raise. Kaleb was older, he was starting to mumble jumbled words, it was a shame his mother wasn’t around to see it.

A month is a long time to miss out on a fast-growing kid’s life, especially when the kid is at the prime time of his babyhood. But what did I know about raising a kid? I left the raising part to my sister, Frost, she handled it like a pro and I handled the rest.

I made sure to be around most of the time. The two of them stayed in the home I got for the 4 of us instead of spending all the time at the clubhouse. I considered the clubhouse a huge risk, and unsafe since Sienna’s shooting wasn’t our first rodeo with surprise trigger puppies wanting to use our place as a shooting range.

We had quite a few of those under our belt. It was a surprise to see after all this time the sheriff didn’t try to chase us out of their town and none of us were dead, yet.

Good thing too, because I didn’t want to be the bearer of bad news to my kid when he asked me one day why his mother died either, so I made a plan and purchased a life support machine and the other stuff we needed to set Sienna up in a private room which was initially a janitor’s closet.

This wouldn’t have been possible in another town. The hospitals around the state were full, and the staff were not budging on anything. But for a small-town hospital like this one, they were bendable to an extent and that extent bought Sienna more time.

And people say money couldn’t buy you any time!

Three million dollars bought my wife a month longer than she should have had considering the entire world was currently facing Armageddon.

I stare at the nurse by the testing station, standing with her notepad and pen in her hand listening to Sienna’s doctor give her orders.

Since Hannah was now under lock and key with the baby, and Joe who was currently dealing with a crying sister and a homeschooling system, River wasn’t going to concede and let Hannah get back to her job anytime soon.

I know this because I asked him once, and the NO he said was one I knew all too well.

If the President had his way he would keep his wife just as a wife, nothing else.

So while that fiasco didn’t go well, I took it upon myself to get someone a bit more on the ball with Sienna’s status.

So I turned to the lady I am currently staring at.

This was the part that tested my patience, and I won every time.

There was one flaw to my plan when I decided to get Sienna everything she needed, and that was I couldn’t see her every day. No one I knew beside Hannah could, and when she could and the coast was clear I’d sneak in and see my wife’s sleeping form, just lying on the bed. Her back flat against the bed, which was slightly too high. Sienna didn’t like sleeping on her back, she never liked blankets much either. She always complained about a high pillow. But Hannah had the baby so seeing Sienna now became a bit of a tricky exercise. Doable, but tricky.

“How much longer are you going to keep this up, brother?” Bull queries, and I know he means well and it is his bullshit way of saying he cares but he forgets I don’t care. I’ll keep her alive as long as I want.

“They’ll switch it off when I tell them to switch it off. Until then, she’s good.”

“Fair enough, just make sure you remember this isn’t what she wants,” Bull pauses, and opens his mouth to close it again.

“Spill it.”  

“I don’t blame you, if I were in your position and that was mine I’d do the same.”

He is right, Sienna didn’t want life support, she left strict instructions if anything happened to her to not put her on life support, but I never really gave a fuck what she wanted before, why should I start now? I always took what I wanted and did what I felt was the right thing, if not for all then for the ones who needed my protection.

Sienna never needed my protection, until the day she drove her car to the gate. She was the kind of woman if, given the chance to think for too long she’d run, she never knew it but running was the one thing she kept constant over the years until she had no other option but to come running back to me. The longer it took her to turn to me the sooner I knew that day was fast approaching.

“Sienna doesn’t know what the fuck she wants. She married me.”

Bull laughs and I shake my head at the big man, we called our Road Captain. A few years back he was a shell of a man he once was. He lost his wife, saw a ghost from his past, and finally realized that all his choices decided his outcome. He chose a fucked up path and the universe gave him an even more fucked up answer. It refused to give him something that was not his, so the brother turned to weed and that shit stunk and he just sat there all gloomy as shit. A lot of my effort later, here he is laughing at my truth.

“How’s your kid? I got back a few days ago from Liston, but didn’t see Frost or Kaleb around the club. Can I ask why?” His words are meant to tread carefully, but I know Bull enough that he doesn’t give a fuck if he sees Kaleb or Frost, because my sister harassed the brother endlessly with errands and Kaleb reminded him of a son he could’ve had. A shitty but truthful story.

There were only three people at the Clubhouse who would give a fuck if Kaleb and Frost were around recently, since the rest were busy. One was currently with them, Spade. The other was our President, River who was on ‘Joe’ duty. Which left the other one who wasn’t worried about my fucking son, he was focused on my sisters ass. STORM. The fucker! He was testing my levels.

I touch my eyebrow, a reminder of the piercings I removed when Kaleb started using to pull at them.

“He’s good, Frost’s been keeping him busy. When are After and Mercy getting back?” He knows I know Storm got him to ask, and Bull also knows that I won’t be so open to questions if he does it again.

“He’s a dick, but he’s good to your sister and he’s been out on the streets doing all kinds of shit tryna find out who aimed that gun, cut the brother some slack.”

Even though things with Sienna were unstable at best and no one knew if she’d see the light of day, we kept trying to find out who wanted her dead. It was easy to blame the DeMarco’s because they were a notorious crime family, and Sienna was top on their hit list. However, she was also the mother of one of their own. So it led us in another direction. It wasn’t difficult to find a list of alternative people who Sienna managed to piss off, but there was one on the list I didn’t like there, her sister, Dakota, aka Diamond, my sister’s best friend.

Several times I’ve tried to get Diamond to meet me since she was staying with my brother, Michael. I even attempted to arrange a meeting with Michael but my older brother didn’t budge on his decision to keep Diamond with him and Diamond didn’t blink an eye at his refusal.

The thing is – Diamond was Sienna’s sister, and the both of them hid a deadly secret, that many dangerous people wanted to get their hands on. I always found the ones who kept secrets together became the enemy of each other.

In the end if more than one person knew it, it wasn’t a secret, but a whispered confession, and when people whispered, tales spun a web of unforgiving lies. And death followed.

Bull’s phone rings. I watch him use his big-ass hands to pull it out of his jacket pocket.

“Yo.” He listens for a beat, a small smile edged on his lips.

“Kills and I was just talking about you. How’s the trip? Got some news?” He asks. I assume he is talking to Mercy. After wasn’t in the business of voluntarily calling Bull before she called anyone else.

My attention is on him, but my mind is somehwere else as I wait patiently. The rackus from the people talking behind me remind me of why we were currently here. Not that I need to be reminded, but the brain is a saddest controlling the deepest parts of your thoughts, taunting you until you do and feel is that sick feeling of hopelessness.

“Doesn’t smell good, you right. Snakes with them as we speak, I’ll pop you a text once I get word, until then focus on the road, try not to stop, and please don’t piss off the cops.” He flinches as he ends the call. I don’t need to imagine what she said when he said that. It was Mercy we were talking about. The woman was a sweet lay until you pissed her off, didn’t take much too.

“They en-route, but Diego DeMarco isn’t hearing shit. He’s saying he doesn’t know anything. After had a bit of an altercation with the man, but Mercy insisted she handled it without any hiccups. She said the only problem was the house you sent them to but they’ll get into that once they’re home. Snake and Knight are still busy finishing up in New York.”

“What’s their status?”

“They managed to find the lady you talked about. Knight said they were meeting her at 2, but I heard this morning Beggar and Zero might be on something with the two dead zones.”

The nurse I came to see twenty minutes ago finally sees me but I don’t blink my eyes when I see her. She knows why I’m here. The testing stations are busy. People scattered everywhere, some coughing, others agitated by the long queus. I got tested just last week again, I didn’t want to take a chance with Kaleb. The kid was getting big, and no one knew what was happening with Covid. There was too much speculation and bullshit to filter out the truth.

The virus was known to most of the earth’s population but nobody had any idea where it originated from. Some accused China, others insisted it was nature, a few even said it came from bats and labaratories. All I gathered were the number of people dying every day. Hospitals were full and amid everything, we were looking for a killer hiding under our noses because of ‘lockdown.’

None of this was easy with the restrictions put in place. Some people chose to wear masks while others didn’t.

“Give me a minute. Gotta talk to the nurse quickly and find out what’s happening.”

“Sure brother, not like I have anywhere else to be!” That was a loaded statement because I had Bull watching Sienna today. We managed to get a camera in her room so it made our lives a bit easier and the Club less on edge.

The weather is more humid than I’m used to and my jacket is making me work out a sweat, but with the patrols happening more often I didn’t want to get stopped by one of the cops while I was on my bike.

But the humidity didn’t take away the clearer skies, the cleaner air in the mornings.

There were fewer fumes in the air. I felt it when I was riding my bike, saw it with a naked eye at the lake. Maybe the earth just needed cleansing. It’s a pity it came at the cost of so many lives, most of those lives I’ve spent years trying to protect only to die by natural causes but this is the way of the world.

The earth has finally decided to fix itself. Whether it was lab born, grown in the ground, or passed from the ocean, Covid19 was here and I had a feeling it was going to stay for a while longer.

 “Mr. Stone,” The nurse addresses me with a raised voice. She walks a few steps closer to me but I am cautious to keep a respectable, safe distance.

I’m not sure why she insisted on calling me Mr. Stone when I told her my name was Killer. Granted, she didn’t seem like a bitch, which made a difference. She was in pink scrubs with flowers on her collar AND an adult size mickey mouse watch on her wrist.

“Nurse. See you guys have your hands full. The clubs offer still stands if you need an extra hand or two.” The offer was extended from River. The brother was stuck between a hard and soft place, the latter solely on his own selfish need to have his woman at home, and not be in the middle of the pandemic.

“We good for now, if it changes we’ll let you guys know. I called you this morning to save you the trouble of coming over.”

“And I came over anyway. Saved you another phone call.”

Not sure if she is smiling or frowning with the mask hiding most of her face, but judging by the dimple on the side of her left eye I am going for the former.

“I checked on your wife this morning, she is doing much better than she was a week ago. Her skin complexion is pink, her ribs are healing nicely and bruises not noticeable but not much has changed. Dr. Sanders sent for a few more tests, but unfortunately still no signs of her recovering anytime soon. I’m not sure how long you want to keep her on a life support, Mr. Stone. I read Sienna’s file, she insisted she didn’t… ”

“My wife doesn’t know what she wants, and if she could speak for herself she’ll tell you that all she wanted was more time.” My words are abrupt and I stare her down. I heard this from more than enough people, I didn’t need someone telling me this shit again.

“Your wife has a 40% chance of surviving.”

“That’s 10% more than she had last week, she’s making a lot of progressive.” My point is made when she drops her head and checks the time on her watch.

She is an attractive woman. If not for her mask you would see her full lips and rose-colored cheeks. I know this because Arline Curtsey is the new red-head in town. She was the military nurse brought in to assist with the influx of patients. When she received the call to head out this side she had barely touched down from Mexico.

She’s been stationed at the same three sectors for the last five years, so I was surprised when I saw her two weeks back. She still doesn’t recognize me but I bet if I brought a certain brother over here, she’ll remember a whole lot more than a fellow soldier. I’m sure Spade would agree with my statement.

I’ve served my country as a soldier, Marine, and executioner, and not many besides Marco Catelli, a crime boss, can say the same but for this lady standing in front of me. She was half African American, quarter Spanish and quarter Russian. A curious combination of American. She was smart and agile but had no interest in motorbikes, and clubhouses. I know because I asked her twice.

“There are other people that need that ventilator, and those machines, even that bed. Kids! Young people who can live and have a much higher chance of surviving.”

“Are you saying my wife is not important? Because if it weren’t for her, you would be short of a lot of stuff, not just ventilators.”

She lifts up both her glove covered hands, palms up, facing me.

“I am grateful, don’t get me wrong, but I had to watch three young teenagers die in less than 48 hours, and in that time your wife has made zero progress in recovering. You and I both know that whether it’s today or tomorrow or next month you’re stalling on the inevitable.” She pulls her mask down, and I see her face, flushed and the lines creasing around her mouth from dehydration.

“Look Mr. Stone, in another time and place this will be romantic, and I would be hopping to that room thinking she is such a lucky woman, but this is not that time. The world doesn’t need a knight, it needs more ventilators.”

 Her intentions come from a good place, but it isn’t going to change my decision. One thing about becoming a soldier, you learn to choose facts and logic over anything else and her logic told her Sienna was going to die. My facts told me, I didn’t care what her logic said.

“My answer stays the same.”

I know they needed the ventilator but I paid for it and decided what I did with it and that was to keep my wife on it for as long as possible.

 Arline was right with one thing, I knew the time was coming when I’d have to make a choice and pull the plug but that choice wasn’t going to be now.

“Your answer is costing more lives than the one you are trying to save.”

“Sienna is my only concern at this point and when the time comes and I change that, I’ll let you know.” I’m honest with her. I wasn’t in the business of giving out false hope. Promising shit I wasn’t sure I was going to deliver was a fuck-up even an unfeeling asshole like me wouldn’t do.

I turn my back, walking towards Bull who is currently tugging on his mask. The brother has lost some serious weight over these months. He gave up his cannabis-stick addiction and decided to spend more time with Spade, Snake, and Texas in the training room. There wasn’t much of a choice when everyone was stuck in a house together. My wife was supposed to be one of those people, alive and well.

“Mr. Stone, wait.”

“Quit while you’re ahead Nurse.” My words are meant to deter her.

“There was something that did happen last night.” Her statement stops me dead but I don’t turn my back to her.

“What?” I ask her but it comes out as a command. I ignore Bull flinching as he watches our interaction.

“A man phoned, asked how she was doing. He refused to give me a name so I made a choice of my own and gave him nothing. He was weird.”

“Why do you say that?” I query, “Did he have an accent?”

“Not really much of an accent but he sounded like he was in his late 50’s early 60’s.”

“What was weird about him?”

“He mentioned he was her father.”

 “I see.” Two words spoken, nothing else as my steps take me further away from my wife.

Every day I do this, and each time it’s like a string of sorrow pulling me back, telling me to stay, begging to be tugged and everyday I ignore the dark light, the shards slicing my eternal being and I leave.

My legs feel like I’ve been riding for hours as it shakes. Knots tickle my stomach walls, as the tightening in my chest constricts my breathing. Sorrow, it is something I can feel, it is empty, a curse put on an unfeeling failure like myself.

What is happening to me?

“You hanging in there?” Bull asks me for the 10th time this fucking week as I make my way back to the parking lot. I am starting to lose my patience with these brothers. They spend time worrying about me when they should be finding answers.

Fuck, Kaleb hasn’t been in the clubhouse since this shit started, I didn’t want to take the chance of anything happening to him. I knew Gabriel would want his kid. Sooner or later I would have to deal with his crazy fucking family. My logical choice was to send the kid away to be with my parents while we sorted this shit out, but I wanted him with me, which was a selfish feat.

“Ask me that after we sort this shit out.”

The letter with the USB drive burns in my pocket. Today I knew I was going to leave Sienna alone for abit, it was more than a month on life support. When she got to the hospital 32 days ago, the doctors had her in surgery for hours, and I only got to see her the next day, and even then it was a fuck show. When I got into the room there were tubes, a mask and shit covering her entire face, and chest. The oxygen tanks and machines were not a pretty sight for the leveled mind to understand what the fuck it all meant. She was the shell of the woman who became my wife that day, but I sat at her bed and waited. Days passed and nothing. My focus changed a bit from trying to save her, and waiting for her to wake up to finding out who did it. I first considered her letter having some sort of idea of who the fuck wanted her dead. But beside the info the governments been looking for, there was nothing there besides words on a piece of paper. I have thought about how many things I would say to her, how words might fail me, how I would shake her, and grab her in my arms. I’ve thought of every possible scenario of when she’d wake up so I could tell her these days without her, my breath is like fire in my chest.

I want to tell her, I am the unfeeling ghost but with her I am just her Kevin. Then my mind just quietens and I think about her smile, and how she lifts her head to stare at the sky laughing. I remember how I didn’t like it so much when she laughed because she wasn’t looking at me. Now, when I think back on it, I see the faults in my actions, the immaturity of a newborn not understanding it was learning to feel.

Her laugh, her smile, those evil cunning eyes, her mouth that I never got to taste enough, it made me angry, because I couldn’t deny that I didn’t want to keep my eyes off her knowing she will break me one way or another.

In a way, now, thinking about it, I am thankful for not having her smiles directed at me, because I don’t think I would be able to do what I need to, now that she’s gone.

To get some answers I would need to be the ghost and her sister is first on my list. I had a hunch about what I might find, and the club knew better than to go out looking for a way to get Diamond to talk, because they UNDERSTOOD she was mine and I always delivered.

Getting a hold of Diamond was now my biggest landline because she had to know Sienna was Taylor, and the sacrifices she made to keep her safe. Diamond wasn’t a blind batshit crazy genius like people thought. She was smart, sly and extremely dangerous because she understood human behaviour on a level that even a room full of psychologists wouldn’t even be able to comprehend.

And I needed to know the code for this USB drive and only Diamond would know that.

“I’m leaving, tell River I’ll be back soon, and keep my sister away from that asshole.” My warning is clear, and Bull doesn’t say a word as I walk away.

I head out, not glancing back. A cold man was the way I once considered myself, but since the day I watched the woman I vowed to spend my life with, the one I chose to have my babies get shot, something in me was born, and my once unfeeling soul felt a burning fire for answers, with it an undeterred need for vengeance.

I knew the path I was taking didn’t just end with bloodshed, because the people I was going to end would just be the beginning. Vengeance never sat dormant, nor did it perish in time. It was waiting for a perfect moment to be born, a gap in the story to rear its head. Beggar showed me that, the day she put a bullet in Zero’s brother. The brother still wonders how she could love him and kill his family. He is perplexed by the uncertainty of her actions, but her words was always something he could believe. She never said she wouldn’t do it. Beggar was many things, a killer, a messed up woman still finding her way to in a life given to her. But one thing she wasn’t was a liar. A liar like me. I made promises I couldn’t keep, decisions I had no intention of ever admitting. Everyday I lied easily, to everyone, myself included.

My phone beeps with a message and I slip it out of my pocket as I reach my bike. The black and grey chrome machine glows, calling to me, because even this unfeeling bike knows its rider is going to cause some serious damage.

THE JET IS SET TO LEAVE, I SUGGEST YOU SUIT UP, IT’S GOING TO BE BUMPY. I’LL MEET YOU WITH KENT AT THE PENTHOUSE.

MARCUS BRAY

Coming November 30th, 2022

The Satan Sniper’s Motorcycle Club members are back, and this time they are not just carrying ammunition but these bikers are holding a deep secret, that might just be the end of them.

“We were never meant to end this way, but death has been calling us since the day we were born” Sienna

Death is like a wind blowing, touching you all over. It’s the kiss from the sun on your face, the experience of everything, but the feeling of nothing. Death is an inevitability of our life. It is the ride that gets us there which makes all the difference.

I knew Sienna was going to be a problem from the day she drove back into our lives, but the more I pushed her, the stronger my need to protect her grew. Never thought it would come to this, me saying goodbye. Romance, love, a happy ending, and marriage were supposed to be how our story got told, but none of that got to happen. She was shot, left to die, and for once I couldn’t save the person I swore to protect.

I’ve spent years in the army, saving as many people as I could, killing just as many too, all for my country, only to lose the one person I wanted to keep alive in the end. Even after knowing what she’ll eventually bring to our doorstep would be chaos I still can’t let her go.

My brothers think I am going to explode, but all I want to do is find out who killed my wife and then bring a reckoning to their lives. But when I go hunting what I find might just be the end of me.

The Satan Sniper’s Motorcycle Club returns with its 6th book, filled with romance, mystery, and a storyline that is fresh.

This book might just be what you need to read when you open a book so give it a try.


 

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By Shan R.K

Shan R.K is a Multi-Genre Author, with 13 books published in 9 different categories.