Brothers At Arms MC-

 THE NEW CHAPTER BOOK IS

Chapter One

 Dressed in jeans, a tank top, and a long duster type jacket, along with her well-worn cowboy boots, Marty walked the streets of Fergus. She looked around the dusty little town. It wasn’t a big town and she could see signs that claimed it had Crystal City as a sister city.

 It was almost dark and she still had to find the Brothers Tavern. She had heard it was the last place where her sister might be and she really had to find Sami. Why, she wasn’t sure but it had been her father’s last wish.

She came through the alley and finally found the back door of the bar. Now all she had to do was wait for Sami to show up. She spotted a crate near the door and used it to climb a few feet up to hide her small backpack in between the branches of a tree at the backend of the alley. Once she deposited the backpack, she returned the crate sorta where she found it and sat down to wait. She couldn’t afford to lose her bag and she didn’t want anyone else to know about the pack either. She figured it would be safe in the tree. She settled in to wait and see if Sami would show up or not.

Everything happened so fast. One minute Marty was sitting against the tree alone while staring at the back door of the Tavern when suddenly she heard a sound. She turned to see the back door being pushed open. Next, a little girl with long reddish hair was tossed out into the cold as the door slammed shut.

The little girl looked to be about four or five years old. Looking scared, she held a stuffed rabbit close to her tiny chest.

Marty wondered what this was all about. Who would throw a little kid out into an alley behind a bar?

The air was a bit on the cool side tonight and the little girl had been put outside without a jacket. She kept crying as she wobbled backwards out into the alley with tears running down her face.

The poor thing looked scared to death.

A rumbling sound broke the silence; it was the sound of a motorcycle coming down the alley.

The rider didn’t have a helmet on. He wore a look of hate and rage on his face. One of his hands left the handlebar as he pulled a wicked looking knife from his waist. His eyes were locked on the little girl and it looked like he was going to hit her, either with the bike or the knife.

The little girl seemed to hear the sound of the rumbling motor and froze. Turning her head, she opened her mouth as if to scream but no sound came from her throat.

The man on the motorcycle wasn’t slowing down and it seemed like he was intent on running her over.

Marty moved to draw her weapon from the holster at the back of her jeans. Swiftly, she swept the little girl into her arms while aiming her gun at the rider.

 He snarled and swung out his arm jabbing the knife at her.

Marty didn’t even feel the blade slice down her side as she glared at him.

He tried to snatch the girl from her arms but Marty wasn’t giving her up. She raised her foot as if to kick the biker away from her but he swerved and she missed. Everything happened too fast as the rider scraped by them.

 He revved his bike and sped down the alley.

She got one shot off as the biker made his turn at the end of the alley.

He looked like the bullet hit him as he seemed to lose control of his cycle but he adjusted his ride and took off.

With a loud bang, the back door of the bar was thrown open as men poured out of the bar with their guns drawn. They fanned out, standing almost shoulder to shoulder, forming a wall of muscle and testosterone ten feet wide and well over six feet high. They all had their weapons drawn and sadly, for her and the little girl they were pointed directly at them.

Holy shit she thought to herself.

 One of the biggest bikers she’d ever seen growled, “Sam, what the hell? I threw your smart mouthed ass out of here a couple of months ago. I told you then to never come back here again.”

Marty shook her head trying to focus on what the big man had said, as she tightened her grip on both her weapon and the little girl. “I-I’m not Sam and this isn’t what it looks like.”

“Drop your weapon and then put my daughter on the ground,” the big man told her. “And you’d better put her down gently.”

“How the hell did she get Angel anyway?” One of the large men beside him growled. “One of us would have seen her if she’d come into the bar.”

“Listen,” Marty cut in. “I’m not Sam. I’m putting my gun back into my holster now, nice and slow.” She lowered her arm slowly. 

The little girl wound her tiny arms along with the stuffed rabbit around her neck and hung on tight. She buried her face in Marty’s neck and refused to look at the men.

~*~

Zeus frowned as he watched his little girl hugging Sam tight. She never used to like Sam and this caused him to worry. Sam never cared for his daughter either. Something was off with this picture. He looked over at Memphis and shook his head.

Memphis looked just as surprised as Zeus was.

Sam simply held Angel a bit closer as she gazed down at her. She rubbed the little girl’s back and squatted down to put her on the ground.

Angel made no move to release her tight hold or drop her feet down and stand on her own. Instead, she clung to Sam like a little monkey with a stuffed rabbit.

Sam stood up again while holding Angel and looked at the lineup of men. “What the hell did you guys do to her anyway?”

Zeus’s eyebrows shot up to his hairline. “What did we do to her? What the hell are you talking about? What the hell did you do to her?”

His daughter Angel made a sound like a whimper at the rage in her father’s voice. She clung to Sam even tighter.

Sam began rubbing her back and murmuring, “It's ok baby, don’t worry, I got you.”

Zeus stepped forward.

Sam tried to step back but with the girl in her arms, she lost her balance. She started to fall.

Zeus grabbed her arm and hauled her back onto her feet.

His daughter wrapped her arms around Sam’s neck a little tighter.

Sam looked like she couldn’t breathe as her face had gone white and she stumbled against him.

He continued to hold her arm and wrapped his other arm around her, bringing her body close for a moment.

Sam peered up at him and she looked confused for a moment. Then her eyes rolled up and she passed out.

Zeus bent forward to swing both her and his daughter into his arms.

Angel refused to let this woman go.

Suddenly, he felt a warm stickiness soaking through his shirt. He shifted the girls away and his eyes widened when he saw the wet spot was blood. He turned and marched back to his men. “Memphis, find Grave Digger, she’s hurt.” He turned to the back door.

Diabolus was there to open it for him.

Zeus walked down the hall and into his office. He laid the woman on the sofa. He tried to loosen Angel’s hold.

Angel shook her head and refused to let her go.

“Baby, you have to let go of Sam,” Zeus told his silent daughter. “Grave Digger needs to check her out. I think she could be hurt.”

Angel shook her head again and refused to go to her father’s arms. Instead, she slid to the side, wedging herself between Sam and the back of the sofa, but she wasn’t moving far.

Zeus stepped back and shook his head. He looked over at his brother Memphis. “What the hell is going on here? She never liked Sam and Sam never liked her either.”

Memphis stared at the woman and shrugged. “Better question is what the fuck was Angel doing out back? Donna was supposed to be watching her.”

Before Zeus could answer him, another brother came into the room.

Grave Digger glanced around the room and frowned when he saw the woman on the sofa. “What the hell is she doing back here? I thought you kicked her out a couple of months ago.”

“I did.” Zeus crossed his arms over his chest and glared at the woman on the sofa. “She’s hurt though and Angel won’t leave her.”

Grave Digger stared down at Angel who was in fact holding onto Sam. “What the fuck? Angel hates Sam.”

Zeus nodded. “I know that but for some reason, she won’t leave her now.”

“Well, let’s see what we’re working with here.” Grave Digger moved to the sofa and knelt beside the woman. He brushed the long coat away from her body and found a dark red stain on her t-shirt. Lifting the bloody clothing away from her skin, Grave Digger frowned. The knife wound was barely more than a scratch but it was just deep enough to open her side and the cut was bleeding heavily. “Bring me my kit,” he called out.

Someone set a first aid kit down on the floor beside him. 

Grave Digger rolled her over enough to remove her shirt so he could check her back. Grabbing her holster, he handed it up to Zeus.

Zeus gave it to Memphis as he kept his attention centered on the woman and the doctor.

Digger cleaned up the wound and was busy taking care of his patient.

 “What the fuck?” Memphis growled.

Zeus turned his head and stared at him. “What?”

Memphis held up the holster Zeus had handed him a moment ago.

“What about it?” Zeus asked.

“Look at it man, carefully brother.”

Zeus took the holster back and dropped his eyes down to the worked leather. It was smooth and the holster was well worn but what drew his eye was the golden disk embedded into the leather. The golden disk was engraved with a sharp shooter's stamp and the numbers of a year, ten years ago. There was a name engraved on the disk as well. Martine Shaw. He looked up at his brother. “What the fuck does it mean?”

“Damned if I know.” Memphis shrugged. “Sam must have stolen it or something.”

Grave Digger snorted.

 Zeus raised his head and looked over at him. “What’s so funny?”

Grave Digger glanced at him. “This woman isn’t Sam Wyatt.”

“How do you know that?” Zeus frowned.

Grave Digger tossed down another bloody rag and picked up the girl’s right hand. “Cause Sam never had her hand smashed like this. She might look like Sam but she isn’t her.”

Zeus stepped closer and saw what Grave Digger had seen. At some point in her young life, this woman’s hand had been shattered by something. The original wound itself was dead center of her right hand and it had been hard enough it would have shattered the bones under the scar. Long healed, the scars remained and he couldn’t help but wonder what the hell happened to her. The more important question was…Who the hell is she and what is she doing here? “How is she?” he finally asked his medic.

“She’ll live,” Grave Digger told him as he applied super glue to her wound and pinched it shut. It was the best he could do for now. “She lost a lot of blood but she’ll live.”

“Why isn’t she awake then?’ Zeus asked.

“She’ll wake up when she’s ready to wake up,” Grave Digger explained. “Like I said she lost a lot of blood and when she came down from that adrenaline high she just short of crashed.” He looked up at Zeus and asked, “I was told you guys all heard a gunshot before you tore out of here, did you find anyone else injured?”

Zeus shook his head. “I don’t think we even looked.”

Just then, another brother, Diabolus joined them in the office and he looked pissed. “Wrong boss. Blocker called me. He was out searching for trouble and he ran across it. When I joined him, I found a wrecked bike and its rider, three blocks away from here. She nailed him in the neck and he got that far before he died from blood loss. She got him spot on, right in the artery, and you ain’t gonna believe what he was wearing.” He then handed the biker’s cut to Zeus.

Zeus glared at his brother then looked down at the cut. The patches on the cut read Dragon’s Breath MC.

Grave Digger picked up the holster and frowned. He stared at the golden disk and read the name engraved on it. “Holy shit,” he swore under his breath. He raised his eyes to the girl still passed out on the sofa. “So that’s what happened to her.”

Zeus glared at his medic. “What ? What happened to who?”

Grave Digger shook his head. “Boss, this woman ain’t Sam.” He lifted the holster and said, “This belongs to Martine Shaw. Ten years ago, she was the best of the best, the top sharp shooter in the nation. What was so unusual about that was the fact she went up against grown men and still beat them.” He shook his head and said, “I actually got to see her shoot once and man, it was a piece of heaven I can tell you that. Pure fuckin’ art if you ask me.”

Zeus narrowed his eyes and glared at him. “So? She’s a crack shot, what’s the big deal? Women can shoot too.”

Grave Digger snorted. “Yeah, women can shoot I agree, but she was barely fourteen when she won this title…just a kid. After that competition, she just disappeared. No one has ever heard or seen her again. Most of the judges and the men competing complained it was a fluke. They wanted a redo but no one could find her.” He shook his head. “Now, I know why. It looks like someone smashed her hand to make sure she couldn’t ever shoot that good again.”

Zeus swung his gaze over at the woman and found her eyes were open. Up close, her eyes were gray but he knew Sam’s eyes were blue, but the two women shared the same heart shaped face, the same long dark hair. They were almost identical in looks… shit, they were even about the same height. Like Grave Digger said, this woman wasn’t Sam Wyatt, but she sure as hell looked like her. “Lady, just who the hell are you?” He stared at her.

She didn’t give him an answer as she turned her head and found Angel staring at her.

Angel smiled and reached out for her.

Zeus was stunned as his daughter hugged the woman. Angel hated Sam. Also, Sam would have pushed the little girl away and made a nasty face saying for her to get her grubby hands away from her. But this woman didn’t act that way. She just wrapped her arm around his daughter and held her close.

“I asked you a question and I never ask twice, sweetheart,” Zeus growled out.

Gray eyes turned back to him and she whispered, “My name is Marty. Who are y’all?”

“We’re the Brothers at Arms MC.” Zeus stared back at her.

Marty groaned and tried to sit up, but she did so with a cute little monkey of a girl and stuffed rabbit attached to her neck.

Grave Digger helped her to sit up and then sat back on his heels. “Are you okay, honey?”

Marty nodded. She looked down at her side and shook her head. “I didn’t realize that biker had gotten so close to me. I never even felt it.”

“You were lucky he didn’t go deeper.” Grave Digger shook his head. “He could have laid you wide open.”

Marty hugged the little girl closer. “He was after her, not me. I just got in his way.”

Zeus sucked in a breath. “That bastard was after my Angel? Why?”

Marty nodded then shrugged. “I have no idea why. After she was tossed out the door, he came roaring down the alley. I thought he was going to kill her. Like I said, I got in his way and he swiped me. I was going to kick his bike and he swerved at the last minute and that must have been when the knife got me. I didn’t even feel it.”

“How the hell did Angel get out in the alley in the first place?” Memphis wanted to know.

Marty leaned her head on top of the little girl and didn’t say anything.

The little girl just gripped her rabbit tighter to her chest as tears ran down her face.

Zeus growled and turned to Diabolus. “Get the body under some cover and set a watch. We need to know if any more of the Dragons are in town.”

Diabolus nodded and disappeared.

 Zeus looked at his brother and said, “Bring my cage around to the back. I’ll take Angel and Marty back to the compound. Angel needs to get to bed soon anyway.”

“You’re taking the woman home with you?” Memphis exclaimed. “We don’t even know why she’s here yet.”

Zeus shook his head. “I’m not letting her leave my side until I get some answers but Angel is terrified right now and I need to see to her. Find Donna and asked her how she lost my daughter in the first fucking place.”

Memphis nodded. “I’ll find out and meet you back at the clubhouse.”

Just then, an explosion rocked the street.

Everyone in the office felt it as glass rained down from the window. The people in the bar were screaming as pure chaos ensued.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

Zeus covered Marty and Angel as dust and shattered glass flew everywhere.

The explosion must have been close by as there was billowing smoke coming in through the windows when he and the brothers picked themselves up off the floor.

 Zeus got up from the sofa and looked down at Marty. “Are you alright?”

Marty nodded and looked stunned for a moment then gazed down at Angel.

The tiny girl was cowering in her lap and fresh tears were rolling down her cheeks while she still clutched her rabbit.

 Marty held her and began humming a tune nobody else recognized.

Zeus watched as the tune seemed to calm his daughter.

Memphis and a couple other brothers went outside to see what blew up.

Zeus just sat and watched his daughter be comforted by a woman that he didn’t know at all.

Memphis returned a few minutes later, shaking his head. He looked at Zeus and said, “You ain’t driving your truck anywhere boss, someone must have put a rag in the gas tank and lit it up. The brothers are trying to put it out now.”

Zeus dragged his hands over the top of his head and swore, “What the fuck is going on around here tonight? First, they try to get at Angel, then the body of a Dragon shows up dead and now this?”

Memphis turned to look at Marty and while he didn’t say anything, the message was clear. He thought she had something to do with the events that happened tonight.

Marty looked up at him. “I swear it wasn’t me. I had nothing to do with this.”

Zeus shook his head and glanced at Memphis. “Find me a cage. I need to get them back to the compound. We have better protection there than here out in the open. Then close this fucking place up and everyone get back to the clubhouse. We need to figure out what the fuck is going on around here.” He swung his glare to the cut Diabolus brought back with him. “Just what the hell do the Dragon’s want now?”

Memphis snorted. “You know damn well what they want. They want our territory and us dead.”

“Yeah.” Zeus nodded. “I know that, but why now and what does she have to do with this?” He motioned his head at Marty

“I don’t have anything to do with this,” Marty stated again.

“Why did you come here tonight, of all nights then?” Zeus asked her.

Marty bit her lip and looked away. They wouldn’t be happy if they knew the real reason she came here. They all hated Sam and had kicked her out a while ago. Damn, she needed to find Sam as this had been the first time in two years she’d even gotten close to finding her.

Marty knew they would want to know why she was looking for Sam and she wasn’t ready to tell them that. That was between her and Sam. She looked down at her hand and felt the ache she had learned to live with. It had taken her ten years to accept that she would never have full use of her hand again. Not like she had in the past, but she had retrained herself to use her hand again and she’d done it ten times better than the doctors told her she ever would. She really needed to find Sam and this place had been her last hope.

Dammit, she was always a day late and several dollars short. She would have to start her search all over again.

~*~

Zeus borrowed his brother’s vehicle then drove Angel and Marty back to the compound. They were escorted by two of the bikers as Memphis stayed behind to deal with the cops and the fire department.

When they pulled into the compound, the front doors opened and men spilled out of the clubhouse.

Zeus shut the truck off, the men formed a line and some of the men had frowns on their faces when they saw Marty sitting there. They clearly thought she was Sam and they weren’t happy she was back.

Marty looked down at the little girl sitting beside her.

When her dad stopped the truck, Angel had snapped off her seat belt and climbed on Marty’s lap. Angel was wide awake and leaning as close to Marty as she could get. Her little arm remained wrapped round Marty’s arm and Marty hugged the little girl close to her then whispered something into her ear.

Angel leaned away so Marty could take off her own seat belt.

 Wrapping her arms around Angel’s body, she whispered, “Shall we go inside?”

Angel nodded.

By the time Zeus got out and around the truck to open her door, Marty was ready to get out. She hesitated as she stared at the men in front of the truck. Looking over at Zeus she said, “The natives seem a little restless tonight.”

Zeus shrugged. “You have to understand something here, Sam Wyatt made an ass of herself around here. She pissed off quite a few of us before we got sick of her and booted her ass out.”

“And the fact that I’m not Sam won’t make a damn bit of difference, will it?”

Again, he shrugged.

Marty glared at him. “Look, why don’t you just tell me where Sam went and let me go? I’m not here to start any trouble.”

Zeus stared at her. “Why the hell would you be looking for Sam? She's nothing but a backstabbing trouble maker.”

“I know, I heard and I understand but honestly, I really don’t want to look for her but I made a promise. So I have to try.” Was all she would tell him.

“Well come on then, we’re all gonna need some answers.” Zeus tried to take his daughter but she wouldn’t let go of Marty. He growled in frustration and stepped back.

Marty slid from the truck and once she was on her feet, she secured Angel in her arms as she moved forward.

When they reached the line of men standing between them and the clubhouse, one of the men growled, “What the hell is she doing back here and why are you trusting her with Angel?”

Zeus looked around at his men and explained, “This isn’t Sam, she saved Angel from being killed tonight. Angel won’t let go of her, so I’ve got no choice but to let her hold her.”

“What the fuck do you mean she saved Angel from being killed tonight?” another voice called out.

Zeus held up his hands. “I know what you’re thinking because I had those same thoughts. Nobody has heard the whole story, and that includes me. Nobody but her and Angel know what happened before we found them in the alley behind the bar, but I do know she shot at someone who would have taken Angel, or worse would have killed her. That attacker died three blocks away from the bar because she shot him in the alley. What is interesting was the fact this biker was wearing a Dragon’s cut.”

The grumbling among the brothers began and grew to a loud crescendo.

Zeus raised his hands again and the crowd settled down. “I closed the bar and everyone left in town will be here soon. We need answers and we will get them soon.”

“So why are you driving Memphis’s truck?” one of the men asked him.

Zeus glared at the bunch of them. “I was gonna bring my own truck but wouldn’t you know… someone stuck a rag in the gas tank and lit that fucker up.”

The roar of the crowd almost deafened Marty as everyone turned their glare toward her. 

Angel whimpered and tightened her hold around Marty’s neck. Marty gently began rubbing her back and trying to hush her whimpers.

Zeus turned his head and saw how upset his daughter looked. He turned and told his men, “Look, I know what you may be thinking but we’ve got no proof that any of this is her fault. We all need to back up a step and wait until everyone gets here before we go off half cocked. Right now, we have to get inside and I need to look after Angel.”

The men parted as Zeus grabbed Marty’s elbow and escorted her into the clubhouse.

As Marty passed them, she could hear their low grumbles and snide remarks but she ignored them as she carried Angel inside. When she entered, she saw three women in the kitchen area.

 When they saw her, they all stopped and stared. Or rather—they glared.

She looked around and saw the room was split up into two areas. One area was close to the kitchen and had tables all lined up to sit at while the other part was a bar, there were some sofas and a pool table.

Zeus led her to a table close to the kitchen.

She sat down and adjusted Angel to be more comfortable on her lap.

The little girl laid her head in the crock of Marty’s neck. Hugging her rabbit, she closed her eyes.

~*~

Zeus just watched his daughter settle in and he had to shake his head. He still couldn’t believe she was holding onto this woman so tight. She didn’t even know her. And the fact that she looked a lot like Sam made it even harder to understand. Angel would never get close to Sam as Sam had made it clear she didn’t want the child near her.

One of the women brought over a tray with a coffee carafe and a single cup. She set it on the table in front of Zeus.

Zeus just stared at her.

Instead of calling her out on her rudeness, Marty just reached inside her long coat and brought out a bottle of water. She unscrewed the lip and took a swig. Before she redid the lid, she offered the little girl on her lap a drink.

Angel grabbed the bottle and drank from it. When she was done, she handed the bottle to Marty, she smiled.

Marty put the lid back on the bottle and placed it into her coat.

In the meantime, the men began to gather around the table while continuing to glare at her.

Just then, the doors opened and the missing men joined them. Memphis, Grave Digger and Diabolus were among the men that came in. The three of them came to stand near Zeus and they all stared at Marty.

Memphis tossed a backpack onto the table. “The men found this near the tree across the alley when things died down. We think the explosion knocked it out of the tree.” He turned to Marty and snarled. “Does it belong to you?”

Marty nodded, noting the slight burn marks on the pack. “Yes, it’s mine.”

“Care to open it and show us what’s inside?” Memphis snarled.

“No, I don’t think I care to,” Marty told him. “What’s in that bag is my business, not yours.”

Memphis looked at his brother and at Zeus’s slight nod, he grabbed the bag and tore the clasps off. Then he dumped the contents out onto the table.

The men around the table gasped at what was discovered there and Zeus frowned.

There was a not so small banded stack of cash and several legal papers along with a map and a notebook. There was also another handgun in a holster, and a knife inside a leather sheath.

Grave Digger reached out for the knife then paused and looked at Marty. “May I?”

Marty didn’t look happy but she nodded her head slightly.

Grave Digger picked up the knife reverently. He pulled it from the sheath and gasped.

The room went quiet at his reaction to the knife.

The workmanship was outstanding as the blade was engraved elaborately. Grave Digger juggled the blade in his hand and he knew it was balanced to a T.

“Where did a girl like you get such a blade?” Diabolus snarled. “That’s got to be worth a helluva lot of money.”

Marty didn’t say a word.

Grave Digger tipped the knife over and studied the handle for a moment. Then he looked at her and asked, “Is this what you’re doing these days?”

Marty shrugged slightly.

Grave Digger looked over at Zeus.

Zeus shook his head at him.

Grave Digger gathered her things up again and put them back in the bag. Then he handed her the pack.

Marty reached out and took it from him. “Thank you.”

Zeus looked over at her and finally asked, “So what happened tonight? Why were you out in that alley and what did you have to do with the biker and saving my Angel?”

Marty shook her head. “First of all, what I was doing in the alley had nothing to do with Angel or you guys. I wasn’t looking for trouble but as usual, trouble found me.” She sighed and without looking at anyone she told them, “I just got to town and found your tavern. I decided to wait until closing time to see if Sam was there. About twenty minutes after I got there, the back door opened just enough for someone to push this little girl outside in the cold. She was alone and scared. She was crying but she didn’t make any sound. I was waiting for the door to open again, you know? For someone to come looking for her, when I heard a bike roaring down the alleyway. He was coming up fast and he didn’t look like he was joyriding either. So I scooped her up and the next thing I know he’s reaching for a blade. He was going to run her down, possibly stab her, so I reached for my weapon. I tried to kick him out of the way but he swerved. I didn’t even feel the cut he gave me when he passed. So when he was at the end of the alley, I got a shot off. The next thing I know you and your posse burst out of the tavern and we all were at a Mexican standoff.”

“Wait a minute,” Memphis snarled, “Back that up a bit, you saw someone push Angel out into the alley?”

Marty shrugged. “I saw the door open and a woman’s arm pushed her outside. She was wearing a lot of bracelets and they jangled kinda loud.”

Zeus reached out for his daughter.

Angel flinched at the gesture.

Zeus pulled his hand back as his fingers tightened into a fist. He looked around the room. “Did anyone find Donna?”

The men all shook their heads.

 “Fucking hell,” Zeus swore. “What the fuck?”

Grave Digger nodded. “I checked the biker she said she shot at.” Then he snorted. “I’m a little surprised he made it three blocks. Her bullet hit its mark and went right through his neck. The shot was true.”

Diabolus snorted. “How could anyone hit a moving target on a bike?” He shook his head and said, “Damn, she got off a lucky shot.”

Marty and Grave Digger locked eyes.

She shrugged her slim shoulders. “Ok, you're right, I got off a lucky shot.”

Zeus looked over at Marty and frowned when she downplayed her skills. Then he noticed Angel was asleep in her lap. He shook his head and stood from the table. “That’s enough for now. Angel needs to get some rest and we can ask more questions after we’ve all had a chance to cool off.”

Marty stood with the sleeping child in her arms. She grabbed her pack then followed him down the hall and into a bedroom made for a child. She walked over to the bed and carefully laid the little girl down on the mattress.

Angel woke up enough to panic.

Marty sat down on the bed and held her on her lap again.

Zeus sighed. “Are you ok to stay here with her tonight? She doesn’t seem to want to let you leave.”

Marty shrugged. “I’m ok with it if you are.”

Zeus snorted. “I don’t have a choice. I don’t think you do either.” He took a step toward his daughter but stopped when Angel flinched and hugged Marty a little closer. He shook his head and whispered, “Baby girl, I don’t know why all of a sudden you’re so afraid of me but I get it. I won’t bother you anymore tonight. You get some sleep though ok? Marty said she would stay with you and I want you both to know you’re safe here.”

Zeus turned and walked out of the room, closing the door behind him.

 

Chapter Three

 

Zeus joined the others in the main room. He went over to the bar and grabbed a beer. He chugged about half of it down before he joined the others at a table. As he sat down, he looked over at Memphis. “What did the cops have to say about my fucking truck?”

Memphis shrugged. “They asked if you had any enemies that wanted you dead.”

Zeus snorted. 

Memphis went on, “I didn’t mention the attack on Angel because then he would have wanted to see the biker and how the hell do we explain that? Just what the hell did you bring that bitch back here for anyway? I mean how do we know she didn’t set up that hit?”

Zeus took a swig of his beer and said, “We need to ask her what the hell she’s looking for Sam for and why she came looking for her at our place.” He shook his head. “What I don’t understand is the connection between her and Angel. I mean for the last year and a half, Angel hasn’t said a word to anyone nor has she gotten close to anyone, even me and I’m her dad. She still flinches whenever I come close to her.”

Memphis shook his head. “That might have something to do with how her mom died.”

“Dammit, I didn’t hurt Anne. Why would I hurt the mother of my child?” Zeus snarled.

“No one here said you hurt Anne, we all know you didn’t have anything to do with that, but even after all these years, we still don’t know what happened or who killed her.”

Zeus nodded at his brother. “You and I both figure Angel saw who did it and she’s been afraid of just about everyone ever since that day.”

“And that brings up another bone of contention, doesn’t it?” Memphis shrugged. “Why is she so taken with Marty?”

Zeus looked over at Grave Digger. “Yo, Grave Digger, what was with the knife in her bag?”

Grave Digger shook his head. “Boss, that wasn’t just any ole knife in her pack. That was a Samuel Shaw knife.”

“And just what the hell is a Samuel Shaw knife?” Memphis wanted to know.

“He’s a blacksmith of the old school. He learned the craft from generations of his family. They made a very good line of blades and they have shipped them all over the world. They are the number one best of the best. This one though, had his signature on it, so it was custom made and that is hard to find”

“What the hell was she doing with one of those?” Memphis asked.

Grave Digger shook his head. “Well, think about it, Samuel Shaw, Martine Shaw?”

Memphis looked at Zeus then back to Grave Digger. “You think she’s part of that family?”

Grave Digger nodded.

“Then what in the fucking hell would she want to do with Sam Wyatt?” Memphis snorted. “That doesn't make sense any way you slice it, brother.”

Grave Digger shrugged. “I don’t know but from the first day Sam was here, she did nothing but cause trouble. Kind of makes you wonder what she was really doing here don’t it?”

Memphis scoffed again. “We all know what she wanted.” He looked over at his brother Zeus. “Boss man here, already had a woman and she never stopped trying to get between Zeus and Anne. Not even after Anne died, the cold bitch still tried to get into his bed.”

Zeus didn’t say anything but instead drained his beer. Then he stared at Memphis. “Yeah, she tried to get into my bed but that didn’t stop her from sleeping with several others here, did it?”

Memphis sneered. “Naw, she did the only thing a whore like her could do. But she kept hoping she could work her way up to your bed.”

“Like hell, that shit wasn’t happening.” Zeus shook his head. “She should have listened better when I tried to tell her that.”

“Brother, she wanted you real bad.” Memphis teased him.

“Naw, she didn’t want me, she just wanted the title of President’s woman.” Zeus snorted. “She didn’t give a shit about me. She just wanted to be able to boss everyone around, including me. She actually thought she could tell me what to do and I would just do it.”

Memphis just shook his head sadly. “She was an idiot, that’s for sure. Thank God, she’s someone else’s idiot now though.”

Grave Digger looked over at Zeus and asked, “So what are you gonna do with Martine?”

Zeus shrugged. “I don’t know. I think we have to at least entertain the idea that she came looking for Sam for a reason. And I think we’ve earned the right to know what that reason is. I’m not just going to let her go find Sam then come back and set us up for something stupid.”

“You think she’s working for the Dragons?” Grave Digger asked with disbelief in his voice.

Zeus came back with, “Do you know for sure she isn’t?”

Grave Digger shook his head.

“You might want to take her guns away from her while she’s here,” Memphis suggested. “If she can shoot a biker half a block away while he’s on the move, then she might just start shooting us one by one.”

Grave Digger scoffed as he shook his head.

Zeus looked over at him. “Ok Grave Digger, what the fuck? What else do you know about Martine Shaw that we do not?”

Grave Digger looked animated again as he told them, “When she disappeared from the shooting circuit ten years ago, after that splash she made to win the whole thing, I tried to find her as I keep an eye on that circuit ya know? It seemed as if she had just up and disappeared. I couldn’t find anything on her for three years. I then saw an article about an up and coming very young karate champion. At seventeen, she had mastered a black belt competition. I looked all over YouTube for the video of the competition and I watched it. Her work was flawless and at seventeen, she was one of the very best anyone has ever seen.”

Zeus shrugged. “So she has ambitions? She has to be the best in whatever she does, that just makes her vain and dangerous.”

Grave Digger shook his head. “No boss, you don’t understand. She didn’t do it to become the best. I heard the interview after the competition was over. One reporter asked her why she had to be the best of the best. Do you know what she said?”

Zeus shook his head.

Grave Digger went on to explain, “She said she never wanted to feel helpless again. She said she only felt helpless one time in her life and it almost cost her life. She said never again. That she learned how to protect not only her life but the lives of the people around her.”

“So you’re saying even without her weapons, she could still kick our asses?” Memphis asked with a raised brow.

“Pretty much.” Grave Digger nodded.

Memphis snorted. “I’d like to see that happen.”

Grave Digger gave him a steady glare. “Don’t back her into a corner like an animal, Memph or you might not like how she comes out of that corner. Especially if she comes out fighting.”

Zeus just stared at Grave Digger for a moment then he stood from the table. “I’m going to bed. Tomorrow, we can try to ask more questions. She isn’t going anywhere until I know she isn’t a threat to us.” He walked down the hall.

Memphis watched as his brother went to his own bedroom. He looked over at Grave Digger and shook his head. “Tomorrow should be a helluva interesting day.”

~*~

Marty woke up to a whimpering sound. She turned her head and saw Angel with tears running down her face. She shifted her body around and felt a cold wet spot between them. She looked down and found Angel had wet the bed.

Marty looked at her and she could see the fear in her eyes. “Oh, baby girl,” she whispered. “It’ll be okay, accidents happen.” She sat up and grabbed her phone. It was like two a.m. and the night light cast a shadow over the entire room.

She had taken her long coat off earlier as well as her jeans and boots. She turned around and smiled. “Well kiddo, let’s get you cleaned up and then we can come back and get some more sleep, alright?”

Angel just stared at her.

Marty asked, “Do you have some clean clothes, pajamas maybe?”

Angel nodded then pointed to the dresser on the other side of the room.

“Well, let's figure this out,” Marty told her. She stood from the bed, walked over to the dresser, and opened one of the top drawers. She found clean underwear and a pair of pajamas. She went over to her long coat and began pawing through the pockets for her own clean clothes and then she turned to Angel. “Come on little Angel, let’s get us a bath.”

Angel reached out for her hand slowly.

 Marty waited for her patiently. Then she leaned down and whispered, “You’ll have to show me where the bathroom is because I don’t know where it is.”

Angel smiled then taking her hand; she went to the door and opened it. The hall beyond was dark but Angel knew her way around. She led Marty down the hall to the main bathroom. Looking over her shoulder, she raised her finger to cover her lips as if to say be quiet.

Marty nodded as she opened the door and they went inside. She closed the door carefully and turned on the light.

 Angel squinted at the bright lights then showed Marty the tub.

Marty started the water running then turned to Angel. “Ok sweetheart, let's get our wet clothes off, and get you clean again.

Angel backed away from her while shaking her head.

 Marty shut the water off and sat down on the floor. She motioned for Angel to come to her and when the little girl sat down beside her, Marty wrapped her arm around her. “You know something kiddo, I guess I don’t blame you. I’m a stranger to you and I don’t know that I’d want to get naked with anyone either. How about this? How about all you take off is your jeans then we’ll both be in our undies and a shirt and I’ll get in the tub with you.”

Angel seemed to consider this idea as she cocked her head at her.

“Baths can be fun if you know how to do them,” Marty told her.

Angel just stared at her for a moment then she stood and began taking off her wet jeans. She walked over to the tub, turned and waited for Marty to join her.

About the time Marty stood up, she spotted something on the top shelf and smiled. She looked over at Angel and reached for the bubble bath. “Should we add bubbles to the mix?”

Angel nodded and smiled.

Marty turned the water on again and dumped in a good wallop of the liquid bubbles.

Angel clapped her little hands and swished the water around.

Pretty soon the tub was half full.

Marty climbed in and held out her hands for Angel to join her.

When she lifted the little girl into the tub, she could see it had been a while since her last bath. Her feet were stained with dirt and grime but Marty didn’t say anything about it. She just set the little girl down into the warm water.

She played with the little girl for a while as they made bubble mounds on their hands and blew them at each other.

Finally, Marty raised the washrag and began gently washing her legs and arms. When she ran the washcloth over her back,  Angel hissed. Marty stopped and wrapped her arms around the little girl. “It’s okay darlin’, how about we wash your hair instead?”

Angel nodded slowly.

Marty felt tears pricking in her eyes. She slowly soaked Angel’s red hair and began washing it with shampoo then rinsing it out. After they were done, she cuddled the little girl in her arms, and whispered, “I don’t know who hurt you baby girl, but I never will. You will be safe with me, always. I know it might take some time for you to trust me but I can give you that time.” She sighed deeply then told the little girl, “When I was your age, I had a sister who liked to hurt me. She did it because she was just mean. I never did anything to start it but I used to hide it from my dad. I didn’t want him to know what was going on and I didn’t want to get my sister in trouble. I knew she would hurt me worse if I did.”

Angel turned and stared up at Marty, the look in her eyes was years older than it should have been. Angel reached out and touched the scar on the back of Marty’s right hand. Then she looked back up at Marty.

Marty nodded. “Yes, my sister did that to me. It was the one time my dad caught her and boy, did she get in trouble for it.” She shook her head. “It was too late to matter, but that didn’t stop my sister.”

Angel got up and turned around to unbutton her shirt.

When she finally took it off, Marty could see the bruises on her back and legs. Tears ran down her cheeks as Angel sat down in the water again. “Oh baby, I’m so sorry,” Marty whispered while holding the little girl close to her.

 After a minute or so, she got to her feet. Carrying Angel out of the tub, she began drying the little girl with a towel. She then put her in clean clothes. Finally, she stripped off her own shirt and underwear. Putting her clean clothes on, she took the clothes both she and Angel had been wearing and rinsed them out in the tub. She hung them up to dry on the shower pole.

 After she was done, she took Angel back to her room. She found extra blankets and a sheet set in the closet then fashioned a bed on the floor since Angel’s bed was wet.

She stripped off the wet sheets and threw them into a corner. Gathering the little girl up, she laid down with her on the floor. “Go back to sleep sweetheart. Morning will be here before we know it.” She kissed Angel on the forehead and watched over her as the little girl fell asleep.

Sleep didn’t come for Marty for a long time as she had too much on her mind. Who had done this to this sweet child? Who had abused her? She found no answers, but she vowed that she would.

Finally, she closed her eyes and slept.