Sammy Franklin stared at herself in the mirror. She kept hearing his voice in her head telling her as he’d hurt her that she was fat and ugly. That she was a whore, a nasty dirty whore. She felt tears sting her blue eyes and wanted to cry. She had known for years that she enjoyed rough sex, even needed it to get off. Sammy had accepted that about her needs when she was eighteen and she hadn’t looked back. At least not until him and that night.
Sammy brushed her strawberry blonde hair off her forehead looking at the small scar on her brow. She felt tears slipping down her cheeks. They felt like hot brands of pain filling her up because she wasn’t good enough. She suddenly wanted to throw something at the mirror to watch it shatter into a million pieces. Anything to make this pain go away, only she didn’t because she needed to get over what he’d done to her. Other wise he won. Over the past few months a lot of things had changed for her. Her best friend had become an old lady to a Blue Bandit’s MC vice prez.
That shouldn’t have changed her life, but it had, because she’d somehow been pulled into that very same MC. They had adopted her because of Sarah and Josh, her friend and her son. Now she was finding bikers camped out on her front lawn, following her to work and Spangles when she managed to work up the courage to go there.
Not that she managed that often and she hadn’t brought herself to go home with any Dom’s since that fateful night. Sammy wiped the tears from her cheeks.
She needed to get herself back together. The bikers were a pain in the ass because if they weren’t following her around they were bringing her food. It was strange really. One or another of them would show up at Hal’s diner where she worked with food. Or they would come in and insist that she sit with them while they ate and insisted she eat too.
Most of the time she told them no and went back to work. Except when they brought Animal. She couldn’t bring herself to challenge him. He would just look at her with those dark brown eyes that commanded her to obey and she couldn’t refuse him. He was like the ultimate Dom. The man barely spoke and still she couldn’t seem to tell him no.
It frightened her because she wasn’t sure that she should feel so subservient to him. He was a biker after all. Her mother had always taught her to stay away from those types. They were a bad element she’d always preached.
Of course, she had also told Sammy she was a sexual deviant when she’d kicked her out after finding her having sex with Johnny Tompkins. She’d been tied up and blindfolded at the time and it had been a very awkward scene because Johnny had run out when her mother had started screaming. Sammy had been tied to the bed so she’d had to listen to her mother rant for over half an hour before she’d untied her and told her to get the fuck out.
Sammy walked out of the bathroom with one last look at her puffy eyes. She walked to the bed sitting down on the edge before she peeked out the window beside her to see a tall, dark figure lurking near the building. He leaned back against a tree and she saw him lift his hand to wave at her.
She jerked back.
How did he always know when she was looking? She hadn’t moved the curtain and she’d barely leaned forward. The lights were out so she knew it wasn’t that he saw her.
He just always knew. It was freaky, just like him.
He haunted her. He hovered outside most nights that he wasn’t working at the tattoo parlor. She didn’t know why he only seemed to work three days a week. She would have sworn that he worked more often than that when she first met him but he was here four nights a week every week.
Sammy laid back on the bed her mind racing over that thought. She’d never admit it but him being outside soothed her somehow. She slept on the nights he was here and she didn’t when he wasn’t. When she peeked out the window and the figure lurking outside didn’t wave she knew it wasn’t him. Those nights she laid here staring at the ceiling wishing it were dawn because then she could quit pretending that she was sleeping. When Animal was outside though she didn’t lie awake. She felt safer, she realized. Perhaps it was the fact that he seemed to be the ultimate dominate.
She knew that if the man who’d hurt her came back Animal would make short work of him. He’d be dead before he even got anywhere near her. She closed her eyes even as her mind raced. She wanted to get over what had happen four months ago, but she couldn’t seem to get past it. It was frustrating because she had always been a very sensual woman. Now she was just a scared frightened mess every time she even entered Spangle’s, the bondage club she used to love.
She was also sexually frustrated and a bit cranky that she’d let his abuse change the way she lived her life. She’d tried to let Mark help her get past it. He was a man she’d been with on several occasions in the past and trusted. Only when she’d entered the room and seen the blindfolds, whips, and other things that used to turn her on, she’d turned tail and ran. She had thought that she’d be able to get over what he’d done but she couldn’t.
That was the first week that Animal had begun following her around. It was also the week that Marta, Josh’s grandmother, had kidnapped Josh while Sammy tried to stop them. She’d felt even less effective after that because they’d taken Josh and she’d been unable to stop the large goons who’d taken him. Animal had come running out of the small Café with Rebel, but they had already been in the car zooming away with Josh.
Sammy had decided then and there that she was going to learn to defend herself. Her first step had been going to the gun range with Sarah, who as it turned out was a crack shot, so that she could learn to shoot. That was three months ago, and she was getting quite good. Not as good as Sarah, of course, but she could take out someone if she had to. She needed to learn hand-to-hand combat now and she knew who she wanted to ask to teach her. She had just been putting it off because she didn’t want to ask him.
He was the only man she could trust to do it even if she wanted to deny it. Animal was a standoffish sort and yet he was the one she’d ask. He was the only man she could ask because all the rest of them made her too frightened and for some reason Animal made her feel safe. It was odd that she felt that way because the man had little give in him. He was an Alpha’s Alpha. He seemed to exude dominance like a scent or pheromones.
When he was around he dominated the room, took all the focus from any other man straight to him.
She hated it.
She didn’t want to be attracted to him because he was kind of a dick. Sammy rolled over onto her side, punching the pillow to fluff it before she closed her eyes again. She needed to stop thinking about this mess and get some rest. She didn’t know if she’d be able to sleep tomorrow because she didn’t know if Animal was working or if he’d be lurking in the dark shadows beside her bedroom window.
Animal Harris stood in the darkness watching the silent window of Sammy’s apartment. He knew that she was likely finally getting some much needed rest. The past two night’s he’d worked and he knew that she didn’t sleep when he wasn’t leaning on this tree. It should worry him that he knew that about her, but it did.
It was an odd relationship they had. She seemed to hate him and yet she couldn’t sleep when he wasn’t around, and she didn’t eat when he wasn’t there to make her. She’d been broken by a fucking putz masquerading as a dominant. He knew that her trust had been damaged and for a submissive that wasn’t a good thing. Dominate submissive relationships had a very delicate balance to them and that idiot poser had destroyed it. That was why she didn’t go to Spangle’s and flutter around like a sexy strawberry blonde butterfly anymore.
Animal had watched her go home with other men for months and he’d considered taking her to his private room at Spangle’s. As one of the six founding members he had that privilege.
He never had though because she’d seemed too soft, too tender for him.
He wasn’t the type of dominant a woman went home with unless she needed the lifestyle and he was sure every time he saw her there that she was only playing. He had been sure that Sammy wasn’t a true submissive. Although, her reactions to him since meeting her in person had made him begin to think that perhaps he’d been wrong.
Those reactions were why he had talked to Reaper about cutting back on his shifts at Ink Bandit’s. He’d told Reaper that she didn’t sleep unless she knew he was there and since Sammy was his old ladies best friend Reaper had allowed him to cut back on his shifts. He didn’t need the money he made at Ink Bandit’s. He made enough off the club and his one sixth of Spangle’s. He just loved art and he was good at inking.
Sammy was good at art too he’d discovered a few months ago when she’d drawn a tattoo for Sarah. He’d done the work because he’d wanted to know that he’d inked her work on her friend and not someone else. Again, they were in a strange relationship. He ran a hand over his thick reddish brown hair, before leaning his head into the tree in defeat.
Stay neutral towards Sammy wasn’t working anymore. He was becoming possessive and he was hard for her almost constantly. She was sexy as fuck and he wanted so badly to collar her. It was fucked up because she was still not part of the lifestyle he was. Not the dominant lifestyle but the biker one. The whole club dynamic confused her and she seemed to resent the fact that they were trying to take care of her. It was what family did and that was part of the reason he’d joined the Bandits to start with.
They looked out for one and other even as they lived and let live. Animal shifted against the tree, his boot propped on the rough bark. The nights out here in the dark were uncomfortable and by the time someone else took over watching her at seven he was barely able to stumble onto his bike and head home.
He would catch about five hours sleep and then head over to the dinner if she was working or her house if she wasn’t. He’d make sure she ate something because whatever that sick fuck had done to her had made her refuse to eat. If he ever found that son of a bitch he was going to fucking rip his intestines out and feed them to him.
Animal wasn’t sure why Sammy being hurt made him think of doing things he hadn’t done since before he’d joined the Blue Bandit’s. Who he’d been before he came to this town four years ago wasn’t pretty and he’d thought he’d left that part of his life in the dirty room on the side of route nine when he’d done something he’d regret till the day he died.
Although, he was glad it had woke him up and made him realize that he was following a very dark path he still couldn’t forgive himself for it. He’d left the Headhunter’s MC the very next morning and never looked back. He’d shown up here broken and cold. He’d met Pansy in a bar on the other side of town. He had been returning from a run and stopped to get a burger. Animal had been at the bar nursing a whiskey wondering if it was worth living with the knowledge of what he had done.
Pansy had sat down next to him. He hadn’t spoken until after his food came.
Then he’d asked “You any good at Ink?”
“What?” He’d asked looking at the man with dark hair and eerie light green eyes.
“Ink?” He asked point to the tat Animal had on his arm.
“Oh, yeah. I’ve done Ink before. Why? You need a tat?” Animal had asked thinking he could use some more credits if he decided to stick around. He’d been doing Ink for the Headhunter’s for over three years. He hadn’t known it at the time but Pansy had known that already. Pansy had recognized the tattoo on his forearm of a tiger trying to claw through the skin.
He knew because of that tattoo who Animal was and what he was running from. Pansy had saved his life that night and Animal would be grateful for Pansy interference for the rest of his life.
“We’re looking for an artist. Come by Ink Bandit’s tomorrow.” He then ate his dinner without another word. Animal had watched him wearily but he hadn’t said anything else until he stood to leave.
“Sometimes we have things we don’t like about ourselves. Those things shape us into the man we could be. Come to the shop. Might surprise you.” Then he’d left Animal looking after him wondering what the hell the man knew about him. The next morning he had been on his way out of town when he saw a sign for Ink Bandit’s. He’d pulled in the parking lot and went inside. That was when he had discovered that even a broken men could belong somewhere.
Animal shifted again looking at the window to Sammy’s bedroom. His mind circling back to the woman inside the room and what happened to her. He knew that she’d been hurt but no one, not even Sarah had been able to get her to talk about it. It was making him feel a little savage. He wanted to kill the son of a bitch. Sammy was losing weight and she only slept when he was here, but the thing that disturbed him most was Spangles.
Having watched her for over six month’s he knew that her behavior about sex and bondage had changed. She used to come into the club and dance with abandon for hours before she went home with her preferred dominate. Mostly from a small group of three men she was used to.
Only one night she’d tried a new one and that son of a bitch had broken her trust and likely hurt her. He wanted to murder the man every time she sat at the table in the corner at Spangles, pale as a sheet, with her hands clutching a glass of whiskey as she desperately pretended she didn’t need release although they both knew she did. It infuriated him.
Every time he watched her he boiled with a rage so deep he felt it in his bones. Animal looked at the silent house, his eyes scanning the perimeter looking for anything out of place. Only settling when he saw nothing out of the ordinary. He knew he was getting too engaged with Sammy and he didn’t do that. Not since–well, not since that fateful night when he’d made a mistake.
She wasn’t for him. He was damaged and she didn’t need that on top of her other issues, but the thought of her with another man made him feel a bit untamed and he wanted to rip the faceless man’s nuts off. Which meant he should turn this over to Pansy or Iron, but he couldn’t seem to do it. He’d tried a week ago to just let them take over.
He had lasted about an hour at home pacing and wondering what the hell was going on and if she was safe. He ended up riding over to her place. He had walked toward this tree were Pansy had been standing. He looked towards the apartment seeing her standing at the window looking out. She was a few feet from the curtain and he knew she thought whoever was out here didn’t see her but he did. Pansy had looked at him with a nod.
“Animal,” he had said.
“How long has she been there?” He asked knowing Pansy could see her too.
“Hour.” Pansy replied.
“She was waiting.” Animal said realizing that she knew he was supposed to be there and she had been waiting on him to show.
“Yep, seems to like when you’re here. Might do you both good. You look frazzled and I suspect that’s cause you need to be here as much as she needs you here.” Pansy told him stepping out of the darkness.
“You know I’m not right for her. I can’t be here for her.” Animal told him.
“Seems to me that it’s time to let the past go and take a chance on the future. We’ve all done things. I know I have, but at some point we have to let it go and hope that we can do enough good to out weight it.” Pansy told him.
“Pansy, I know you think that everyone should get a second chance but not me. I am not for her. I need to walk away.”
Animal stared at the window where she stood waiting. He knew what she was waiting on and he knew that he shouldn’t give in to the urge to give it to her so she would go to bed and rest. She needed to learn not to rely on him. But even as that thought entered his head he lifted his hand and waved to her silently. He saw her body relax and after only a second she was gone from the window.
“No, you’re right where you need to be, Animal.” Pansy said before he walked away leaving Animal to stew about his need to be here for her and the fact that he couldn’t get her sexy ass out of his head.
Sighing, he stared at the apartment walls that separated them and wondered what the hell he was thinking. If he had even a lick of common decency he’d call someone else to watch her place and forget she existed. Only he knew even as the thought curled around inside his head that he wasn’t going anywhere. Common decency apparently wasn’t his strong suit.
copyright Michelle Woods 2015 All rights reserved.
copyright Michelle Woods 2015 All rights reserved.