Mason2018-10-01T14:13:11+00:00

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Mason

Davis Mason grew up dirt-floor poor in the rolling hills of rural Kentucky, escaping that life only to find himself adrift on the hard streets of Chicago in his teens. Determined to never again feel the sting of poverty and hunger, he is willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure he has enough power and money to make that happen.

Introduced to what seemed a perfect brotherhood within a motorcycle club, Mason is shaped and honed into a deadly weapon by their sadistic president. As he slowly works his way up the ranks to gain control of the club, he’s resolved to make it better…stronger, able to withstand any challenge.

Betrayed by his bloodline, he cuts all ties with family and begins the process of building a new one. Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of the club he destroyed, he founds the Rebel Wayfarers MC and surrounds himself with loyal, trustworthy brothers. Mason throws himself headlong into the hard job of making certain his brothers have everything needed for themselves and their families, and he works to balance those needs within both the well-mannered citizen world of business, and with the anything-goes biker world of the MC.

Flirting with happiness time and again, just when Mason believes it’s finally within his grasp, he’s torn between what he wants…and what he knows he should do. He finally has the security and family he’s always wanted, but will Mason ever find the love and passion he craves?

“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” – Nelsen Mandela

Candid interview with Mason and his Rebels

Rebel Wayfarer’s Character Interview conducted September 14, 2015 by Erin with FMR Book Grind and Turn the Paige Book Blog.

Today is the day that I, Erin, get to interview the hot, sexy, tatted men of the Rebel Wayfarers MC. I am so excited, and I hope that I don’t babble too much. These men make me drool something fierce and I hope I can keep my wits about me to get through this. So here we go!

Erin: WOW!!! *I walk in the door and see the most panty-combusting group of men I have ever laid my eyes on. I am already having to wipe the corner of my mouth.* Hey guys! I am so happy to be here!

Gunny: Hey, Erin. Nice to meet you. How’s it hangin’?

Tug, reaching out to smack the back of Gunny’s head: You don’t ask ladies how’s it hangin’, dillweed.

Gunny, turning to glare at Tug: Fuck you, old man. Since when do you get to tell me what to do?

Mason, standing and reaching out a hand, gesturing towards the couch nearby: Ignore them, pretty lady. Come on in, rest a spell.

Erin: I want to start off with a few easy questions. I would like to give anyone who is not familiar with you some background info. * thinking to myself that if someone doesn’t know who these guys are they are living under a rock*. So in the interest of getting to know you, could you all please tell us what your “job” within the MC is?

Mason: National president, kinda like everybody’s favorite uncle some days, and their worst nightmare the others.

Bear: Um. I…the bikes are what I do. Build bikes, customize them, work with the fab shops. My pretties, the guys call ‘em. My sanity is more like it.

Slate: Fucking liar, Bear. You settle people’s shit when needed, but yeah, you roll that iron for the club. Truth spoken there, I guess. I’m just a local guy, standing in the top spot in the Fort, makin’ sure our shit stays tight there.

Jase: Hi Erin, I don’t think we’ve met before. I manage several businesses in Fort Wayne for Mason Industries. Not quite the finance guy, but I am responsible for the profitability of things here in northern Indiana.

Gunny: Job? Club job? I work for the city. What the fuck you talkin’ about?

Tug: Jesus, Gunny. Can you go for two minutes without fucking up? So sorry, pretty lady, he’s like the unwashed cousin most days. I’m retired, you might say. Retired to the Fort, where clearly these barbarians need lessoning on how to behave.

Gunny: Fuck you, Tugboat.

Bear: Guys, can we just…

Mason: Shut it. Alla y’all.

Erin: Now I know that Mason is basically the centerpiece of this club *and what a glorious centerpiece he is (cue the drool)*. What was your first impression of him?

Bear: Yeah. Well, you see him. He just fills up space. I guess if we were doing a word association I’d say ‘powerful.’

Slate: Scary as fuck! Standing behind the bar in Chi-town, the man bowed up at me when I used Watcher’s name, flat out accused me of spinning tales. He was scary as fuck. Then, the man set me up, put me against some powerful people there, all so he could take my back. Fucktard. Love the man like a brother, but he’s a fucktard some days.

Jase: I’d have to agree with Slate. My first impression of Mason was fear. Not on his part, nope, I don’t think he can spell fear. Not that he’s stupid or anything, cuz he isn’t. Well, not all the time. Did you see the truck he bought for his boy, Chase? That’s stupidity, for sure. Anyway, my first impression was fear on my side of things. The team’d gone into Jackson’s after a game and I thought for sure Daniel, he was the captain of the hockey team in Chicago, I thought he had lost his mind when he took us to that bar. It belongs to the Rebel Wayfarers, for God’s sake. Then, I dunno, things just settled out okay. Mason turned out to be one of the best men I could ever hope to know.

Mason: Y’all need to shut up this shit. Seriously.

Gunny: I was afraid of him, too, but not for the pansyassed reasons these bastages have spouted. I was afraid of him because he saw things, things people didn’t want seen. Secrets that hurt when pulled to the surface. I was afraid when he would look at me, scared he could see the fear ball I tried to hide for so long. No, shut up, Tug. It’s my turn, bastard. So fear, but also…like you wanted him to be proud of you, so you did better than you thought you could. Does that even fucking make sense?

Tug: Yeah, for once you’re making a fuckton of sense, Gunny. Mason pulls the best out of everyone he latches onto. Now. Now that he’s found his place, found his role, his calling. My first impression though? Tough motherfucker. He’d been beat within an inch of his life, betrayed by someone he trusted, yet he came out of it with his fucking head high, not held there with pride, but with a sure belief that he could do any-fucking-thing he needed to. Tough motherfucker.

Erin: Now Mason, what were your first impressions of your brothers?

Mason: These men in this room with me today are my inner circle. The most trusted men. Trust them with my life, have done so, would do so again without question. Tugboat has known me longest, and I’m proud to call him, and the rest of these rat bastards, brothers. Tug saw a kid out of his depth and offered me wisdom, telling me that blood didn’t always mean right. Slate, well, I’ve never met a man with a greater want to be part of something larger than himself. He makes people around him better by expecting better. That’s a talent you can’t train, needs to be gut-deep, and makes him a valuable asset no matter where he sets his ass.

With Bear it was…pain. That was my first impression, and you know it, brother. Don’t look at me like that. You know it’s true. You showed me your angels that first day, and the loss rang through that garage like the lash of a whip. He’s moved out ahead of it, finally, that wave that kept catching up with him for years. Moved past the pain, accepting it finally so he could make room for something else in his life. Glad to see it, proud of you, brother. Jase – this dude is my court jester, always got a fucking joke to throw into the mix. Helps diffuse things, but don’t let that fool you. Man is fucking tough. Hockey tough, he likes to say. I call it Rebel tough.

If Slate had the market on wanting, then Gunny held it for needing. Man found what he needed in the Rebels, fucking glad we were there for him, know he’s there for us now. Any ask we have, he’s stepping up to the plate, ready to knock it home for us. Love these men, my Rebels.

Erin: Mason, you have a knack for reading people and knowing where they will fit. It is almost like you are clairvoyant. What was the defining moment that you just knew these men would become your family?

Mason: Erin, didn’t I just go over this? Pay attention, gal, I don’t suffer fools. Each man holds a different place in the club, and that place evolves with need.

Tug: (not distinct)

Mason: I hear you, old man, don’t gotta whisper. I know that was rude. Ya know, Tug says he’s retired now, but that wasn’t always the case. He was my sounding board for years, still is. Holds an important place in my life, my brother.

Finding that person to bounce things off of is critical, because when people hand you power like this, like the title of national president, it would be far too easy to get all cocked up and high on yourself. Like I just did with you, and I’m sorry, gal. That was uncalled for. I need people that I can trust to tell me when I’m fucking up, not to just suck my cock and tell me what a good job I’m doing all the time, because I fuck up. A lot. I just have good men in place to help me deal with the shit that comes from that fuckupism.

Sometimes you see the need, and then look for the person to fit the role. That was Bear. I knew what I wanted, a garage that could turn out bikes people wanted, would beggar themselves to own. A business to support my brothers, and our club in a way that took some of the money worries away. Then I found Bear, and he was custom made for the role. Still is, loves his pretties. The man makes some of the damn finest custom bikes in any of a dozen states around here.

Jase was different. Captain didn’t come to us so much as we pursued him. Wooed and won him, and I knew where I needed him, but had to get the shit in place for what I wanted him doing. I knew we needed him, the man, and found his niche so we could keep him.

Jase: Awww, you love me!

Mason, laughing: Shut the fuck up.

Erin: Guys, same question. What was that defining moment that you knew that Mason and the Rebel Wayfarers were your home?

Bear: Well. Crises make for dramatic stories, right? I was in Des Moines, and had gotten sideways with a few guys I was investigating for the club.

Slate: Sideways? That’s a weak fucking description, brother.

Bear: My story, Slate. Leave it. So I’d gotten sideways and then in the middle of everything, Mason and Slate and a dozen other brothers sweep in to the rescue just like the cavalry.

Slate: Saddle up, motherfuckers.

Tug: Shut it, let Bear tell it his way.

Bear: So I’m layin’ there in my blood listening to Mason’s voice coming from across the warehouse, and I realize, I would die for this man. For Mason. For the club. I would die and count it good. Worth the cost. Rebels forever…

All, voices low, intense: …forever Rebels

Bear: Yeah, so that’s when I realized it was more than I’d thought. That it was deeper than family. That there’s a trust and truth behind the connection we have. My brothers. I knew it went both ways, that if needed, they would step in front of a bullet for me, too. I’m a fucking Rebel, man. It’s not a label, not a posture of pride, it’s who I am. Rebel to the core.

Slate: I can’t do any better than that, man. Tears, brother. Got me wet in me eyes.

Bear: Fuck you.

Slate: Not my type, man. But, back to the question, I knew on day two, I think. But, I’m a stubborn fucker, so I held out. Mostly because for so long I’d wanted something like the brotherhood I found, so looking at it, watching the men…it all seemed too good to be true. Then the day I patched in, I nearly got fucked in the ass by someone who didn’t get it, didn’t understand the truth behind the letters on my vest: L&R, Loyalty and Respect. We settled shit that day, and I knew I’d found it, that it wasn’t a fluke. This was the real deal, and I was lucky enough to be inside it.

Jase: I think the incident that solidified things for me was when the club members rescued Sharon, my sister. I wasn’t anything other than a hangaround at the time. A friend of the club, but far from prospect or member. But, without knowing she was my family, they saved her because she was Rebel. She worked for the club, so she belonged to them, and they felt a responsibility to her that went bone deep. So they rescued her. Because it was the right thing to do. Not always the easy thing, but the right thing. I knew from that moment on that I’d never have to worry about losing the family I’d built, because they don’t let go…won’t let go.

Gunny: Everybody’s fucking longwinded tonight. I lost my Marine brothers, found my Rebel brothers. Found my place. There, good enough?

Slate: Fucking poetry, Gunny. I’m wet in the eyes again.

Gunny: Fuck you.

Tug: Pretty lady, are you sure you want to deal with these buffoons? I’m a little older, graybeard status rides easy on my shoulders. Means I’ve seen shit, and dealt shit, and now just don’t give a shit. But the Rebel Wayfarers is one of the best-run clubs I’ve ever been privileged to see, much less be part of. How could you not count them family?

Erin: I would like to get a little more personal and have a little fun with it. Are you game?

Slate, motioning to his crotch: How personal we talkin’?

Mason: Jesus, man. Tie a knot in it. You got Ruby, and she’ll nut you if you don’t watch your shit.

Slate: Truth. Nuff’ said.

Erin: How many tattoos do you have and which one means the most to you?

Mason: Full sleeves on both arms, rib pieces both sides, club tat on my back. Some tribal stuff. Couple of smaller ones scattered here and there. I have a memorial tat on my calf, names of the family I’ve lost. The piece that matters the most is the phoenix. It reminds me every single day that life comes full circle. You rise in triumph and glory, and then things wind up in ashes. It’s how you fight to rise again that can define who you are. Don’t let things shove you around, make you into whatever circumstances would dictate. Like Jung said, ‘I am not what happened to me…I am what I choose to become.’ That means you get to choose what your responses are, what your new life will be. Become what you want, direct your own destiny.

Bear: Um. I don’t actually…

Slate: Pussy don’t have no tats.

Bear: I just never wanted …

Mason: Sensitive point, Erin. Sorry. He ain’t even got a club tat. Motherfucker.

Bear: I just don’t like…

Mason: Not even a club tat. I even hooked him up with my favorite gal, Dagger, and he fucking stood her up. Made the motherfucker pay for the session anyway. Like I said, sensitive subject there. Move it along. Who’s next?

Slate: Oh, me, me. Do me next! I have a fuckton of tats! Got an angel with bowed head, naked upheld sword and his chromed 9mm pointed down, with the phrase “My Brother’s Keeper” on my left shoulder, then “the journey is the reward” on my left-hand ribs. Wanna see? No, okay.

Check it, on my right forearm I’ve got “we live with the scars we choose.” That’s the one that matters most, we’ll circle back around, yeah? Custom dragon on my chest, it’s a big fucker, took a bunch of chair time, his wings stretch from shoulder to shoulder and his tail drops down to tickle my dick. Then I’ve got “the past is practice” in a tribal band on my left bicep, and the ever-ominous, “three can keep a secret if two are dead” on my right-hand ribs.

Told you I had a bunch!

Left wrist and forearm, “never let your fear decide your fate” and then alongside that an accompanying black line drawing of a compass that kinda looks like a dream catcher, feather tied to the southward-pointing vane. This one on my right shoulder is a blackbird. Sweet cheeks, I see you’re overwhelmed at the sheer number. But there’s a story for each of them, yano? You got the time, or if you’re buyin’ the beer, I’ll story you for each of them one day. But another day, yeah?

On my back, reserved for the club, is my club tat, complete with rockers. Full color, that motherfucker hurt like a bitch. Finally, I’ve got “bleed with me and you will forever be my brother” low on my back, down below my club tat.

The one that matters most is easy, like I said. The tat I got for Estavez’ daughter, Mela, to celebrate her ease in finding herself after a hard fucking start in life. Like Mason said, you can let what happens to you define you, or you can slough that shit off and take the lesson that matters most, live with the scars that are important. Choose to allow things to change you, live with those choices, make yourself a better person. “We live with the scars we choose.” Profound shit, man. Pro-fuckin’-found.

Jase: I’ve got a bunch, too. Most of them unimportant. This one, the one on my right shoulder? Each date means something. The top one is the day I met DeeDee, my ole lady. Second is the day I patched into the club. Third is the day I retired from hockey. That fourth date is when she married my ass, made me the happiest man in the world. The final one is the day we lost a close friend. I got long arms, though, I can make room for lots more significant days. Just don’t want any more like that last one. I’d rather have good days than bad, but it’s important to remember both.

Gunny: Pass.

Slate: The fuck you mean, ‘pass.’ You don’t get a pass, motherfucker.

Gunny: Pass.

Slate: Gunny, you can’t—

Mason, with a scowl: Drop it.

Tug, pulling his shirt over his head, showing the tattoo on his back of a soldier carrying a fallen comrade in a fireman’s hold, with block-lettered words below, ‘Some gave all’: My back piece. It’s for my son.

Mason, reaching out to grip Tug’s shoulder, silently.

Erin: What is your favorite part of a woman? *holy hell where did that come from?*

Mason, barked laughter: Titties. Love to watch them pretty titties bounce. Soft pillows to lay my head, handfuls to play with, mouthfuls to suck on. Titties all day long, baby. Don’t give a fuck if they can pass the pencil test, or hold up a bottle of beer, or any of the other useless tests you women put yourselves through to see if your titties are pretty. Love any titties. Big, small, soft, firm, titties on a woman make me hard, every single fucking time.

Bear: Lips. I love Eddie’s lips. She can communicate entire conversations without speaking, just with the way she holds her mouth.

Slate: Hair does it for me. Love to get both hands wound up in my Ruby’s hair, using that grip to tug her. Pulling her head back and forth, working—

Jase: I like the whole package, but if I had to narrow it down to a single part—

Slate: Did you just interrupt me?

Jase: No, it was my turn.

Slate: It was not. I wasn’t done talking about the blowjob.

Jase: We weren’t talking about favorite sex act, Slate.

Gunny: Legs. No, I like a woman’s arms.

Jase: Make up your mind.

Slate: Blowjobs, love ‘em.

Gunny: Ass. Definitely ass. Love ass. Full on, fukerton. Look it up, man. Ass, definitely. Mmhmm. Love that ass on Sharon.

Jase: SISTER.

Gunny: Woman. Mine.

Tug: Hips and legs, I’m an ass man, too, but not the way Gunny means. I love the roundness and softness, the way a woman gives when I push. Soft and sweet, love to wrap my hands around her hips, pulling her back—

Bear: Shut up. That’s my mother you’re talking about.

Mason: MILF, man. Own that shit.

Bear: Shut the fuck up.

Erin: What is your favorite thing to do in your down time? *I can think of a few things I could do with these men!*

Mason: Spend time with my brothers and family. I don’t know what ‘down time’ is, because I’m always ‘on’ but that’s okay, because I love my family. Can’t think of anything I’d rather do.

Bear: I’m back playing guitar and doing little shows at Marie’s. You should come by sometime, me and Slate’s brother play almost every weekend. Benny, he’s the lead singer for Occupy Yourself, you might have heard of them? Writing lyrics has been a release for me, and I am enjoying putting those thoughts to music.

Slate: Have you seen my babies? Damn, woman, you got ovaries? If there are babies in the house, you need to see them! Love my little ones so fuckin’ hard. Love makin’ ‘em more. Mmmm, yeah. My Ruby, she fucks like a–

Jase: The Foundation, definitely.

Slate: You did it again.

Jase, ignoring Slate’s frown: When I’m not playing chauffeur to the tribe, I’m on the ice with the kiddos. Being able to bring hockey to kids who would never experience it otherwise means a lot to me. Some of the kids got skills, too. I see them going far, like Jonny and Kane. Tyler, too. Skills, man. They got ‘em!

Gunny: Garage.

Tug: What is this ‘down time’ of which you speak? My life is the club, making the club better. I’m with Mason, there’s no defining time without including the club’s needs.

Erin: Where is the one place that you would like to take your woman for a getaway? You know sometimes we all need a little alone time, just to get away and focus on our relationships. I will even make this easy. I would go to The Keys. I am a big ocean lover. There is just something about that crystal clear water that makes my whole being relax. *cue babbling. Pull yourself together. This interview is not about you!*

Mason, looking down, smiling: West coast, sittin’ our asses in the hot sand, watching the waves roll in. Sea breeze bringing salt; lickable sweat coating her throat. Fuck yeah, there you go. Sand, sea, willing woman. Paradise.

Bear: Eddie and I have been talking about a cruise, but I dunno. It sounds like a lot of eating, and if we wanted to get busy we’d have to stay in the room, and then what’s the point. I’ll just keep her in my bedroom for a week, have the kids leave food on trays in the hallway. I can keep her busy that way, for sure.

Slate: Loved takin’ my woman to that island Mason rented us. So fucking remote, we had to take a fucking boat to get there. Had to put my scoot in storage for a week. Fucking worth it, seeing her runnin’ bare through the waves. Tackled her a couple times, gentle though, she was huge with our baby.

Jase: Babies, man, as in two of ‘em.

Slate: Fuck you, I know how many kids I got.

Jase: But you didn’t know. That’s the point. She was preggers with twins and you were clueless.

Slate: She didn’t tell me. All I wanted to know was if everything was okay, if they were healthy. And they were. So there. But, yeah, vacation, right? Critical lesson. On that beach, man, I found out fast sand and snatch don’t mix. But the sun kissing her body brown, no tan lines anywhere? I could keep that woman naked all the time and be happy. Fucking Indiana and snow six months a fucking year.

Jase: Home. I’d take her home anytime. My home is wherever she is, so that makes it easy. Home in our house, home in the clubhouse, home in Canada or the USA. My special place is wherever DeeDee is. Don’t tell her, though. I think she’s got her heart set on Mexico. I don’t speak the lingo, though. Hey, that rhymes. Lingo, though. Ha. So sounds like most of us like the sea and sand.

Gunny: Had enough fucking sand to last a lifetime. I bought a cabin on a lake over in Ohio, want to take Sharon there, find our quiet spot and just stay there for a while.

Slate: What the fuck, man. I didn’t know you bought a cabin.

Gunny: Well, you don’t know everything about me, fucker.

Slate: I should. I’m your chapter president. I should know everything about you, motherfucker.

Gunny: Did you know I’m about tired of your stupid shit, Slate? You want to push and pull at me all fucking day, you need to be ready to accept the beatdown that comes at the end of that fucking day.

Slate: Easy, Mountain Man. Bought a fucking cabin and didn’t tell a brother. Fukerton, my ass.

Gunny: I ain’t after your ass, brother.

Slate: Thank God.

Tug: Easy one for me. Vail when the snow files. I want to see Maggie there, in the mountains where the air is crisp and clean. Vail, or its like. Or Cabo. I could do sun and sea, too.

Erin: Now I am going to get serious for a few minutes. Mason, you have had quite a few bad experiences in your life. I am interested to know how you think those experiences have defined your life and helped make you the man you are today.

Tug: Mason, be nice.

Mason: Brother, it feels like I’m fucking repeating myself.

Tug: No, this is different, man. She’s asking about how you came to be, not what tenets you live by.

Mason: Yeah, so different. Sorry, again, Erin. To become a man, I think there’s a recipe that can be followed. Good or bad, we all walk the same path at the beginning. Fear, loss, even rage, these are all emotions that all men feel. How you deal with them, that’s what can define you. See the patch on Slate’s vest, the one he pointed out earlier, L&R? Earned, freely given, loyalty and respect can go a long way to making a man who he needs to be. But, to find a space where that L&R can be tested, so you can find your mettle, be it strong or weak, that’s a gift. Deacon—

Tug: Brother…

Mason: No, it’s true. What Deacon did to me was a gift, because he showed me with every action, told me with every word, illustrated with every betrayal that what he was…wasn’t what I wanted to be. Without that clear, brutal example, I might have drifted for years longer before finding my way. My lodestone. The club. A gift, because it wasn’t anything I wanted. My daddy bein’ what he was. Ma gone. Deacon was the clearest picture I could grab hold of. Then I found you, old man, showing me that lightness has a place, too. It’s all good, Erin. Every single fucking thing that’s happened to me, around me, because of me—has a reason. It’s up to us to find out what that reason is.

Erin: Mason, where you see your club in 5 years, 10 years? And how do these men here with you today help you get there?

Mason: Tall order, asking me to tell the future, baby. But these men are the ones I trust to keep the club on the straight and narrow, to keep us moving the direction we need. I’ve been approached by international interests, taken a few trips across the pond, as they say. So far, I’m keeping us national. There’s something to be said for America, and I’m proud to be a citizen of this nation. So in five years, or ten, I hope that the brotherhood we’ve built stands true and strong, continuing to support the brothers and their families in ways that matter. I hope that the brothers we have now will bring on other worthy brothers, enriching our family in ways we cannot even conceive of today.

Erin:I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for agreeing to this interview. I was nervous coming in here today but you all made me feel right at home. You have the luckiest women in the world by your sides and I am so jealous! I can’t wait to get back and get this posted to the blog! I am a devoted fan and hope this interview gets you quite a few more! *stands to shake hands with everyone and gets surprised with hugs instead! Holy hell these men smell good! They are like walking pheromones! And all that muscle to squeeze on! I am pretty sure I need a clean, dry pair of panties!*

Mason: None of that hand shakin’, Erin. We’re friends now, yeah? You stay safe, doll baby. You need us, you call us. I’ll say it now, and these men are my witness. You need us, Rebels will roll. Yeah? Shiny side up, babe.

Copyright © 2015 – MariaLisa deMora

Mason’s Kentucky: Through William Gedney’s Eyes

Call me Mason

1988

“Davy, hon, you don’t have to do this.” DeeDee’s soft voice came from behind him, but he ignored her, because as he stared at the man who stood across the rude ring from him, he knew she was wrong. He did. He had to do this, because he couldn’t keep going the way he was…the way things were now. He needed to get off the streets, and this was the fastest way for him to accomplish his goal.

Deacon, the club president, had been clear: Beat a member in a no-holds-barred fight or accept a beating with unyielding strength and courage, and he would win the right to a place in the Rebel Fiends. He rolled his shoulders, pushing her words away with his actions, silently communicating he needed her to shut her mouth and stop undermining his determination. He needed this, needed it to move away from the brink of barely surviving. He had to do this, had to beat the club’s champion, had to become a member, had to…

In his escape from Kentucky, he had stayed two months in Fort Wayne with his cousin and her old man, Winger, but Chicago was where he needed to be; he knew it in his gut. So he headed up here weeks ago, only to find less of a welcome than he had naively expected. He had managed to endure so far, but only narrowly, always sleeping with one eye open, whether it was in shelters when he could find an open bed, or under bridges when he couldn’t. Surviving. Clothes dirty, pants ripped, belly empty. Alive and breathing, barely existing. But not living.

Drawn to the bikers gathered in bars and homes he had seen around since his first day free, he found himself lusting after the machines they straddled as they rode down the streets. Drifting closer to the fringes where their lives bordered on the rest of the world, he found the idea of the clubs to be a gripping attraction, luring him in. Winger had introduced him to the compelling culture shared with his men in Fort Wayne, and he recognized the bond the men in that club had between them, the tight brotherhood, and Davy hungered for the connection nearly as much as the bikes themselves.

Sauntering into the uneven space that had opened between the two men, Deacon looked first at the member selected to face Davy, a man about five years older than him called Ripper, who nodded, and then at him. Setting his jaw, he dipped his head once sharply and, taking a deep breath, settled himself more firmly into a ready stance. He hadn’t grown up wrestling the boys in the family compound without learning a few things; this kind of harsh competition sat firmly in his wheelhouse. He was born for this. His daddy told him so frequently as he pocketed the earnings from Davy’s bouts. As he shifted his gaze from Deacon to his opponent, he easily recognized the bunching and shifting play of muscles under the other man’s skin, a glaring signal the man was expecting to come at him explosively, trying to take him off guard.

Outwardly, he didn’t react, but inwardly, he snorted, because, clear as if he were holding a flashing sign, the man was telegraphing his intentions. I’ll have to teach him how to handle himself better. He had time for the thought before Deacon’s hand came down in a sharp knife movement, signaling the start of the fight. Ripper’s head went down and he charged across the ring, arms pumping to give him greater speed. Davy sidestepped the rush, turning with him and hitting him three times over his left kidney, hard but quick, each fisted blow finding its mark. Twisting aside, he danced away and across the open circle of men to the other side before Ripper could slow and turn.

His opponent went down heavily on one knee, a pained and surprised sound bursting from his lips. With his size advantage, he probably wasn’t accustomed to taking the brunt of the punishment in a fight. Davy stilled, but didn’t shift his focus. If the fight were over, someone would let him know, but he couldn’t afford to be taken by surprise because he was distracted or overconfident.

Surging to his feet with a grunt, Ripper approached him more guardedly this time, reaching out a long arm to try and grab one of Davy’s hands. Scowling, because the man was taller than him by four inches and had a longer reach, Davy batted away his hand three…four times, patiently waiting for the moment when the big man would overreach, be off-balance…now.

He seized Ripper’s wrist and pulled him close, bringing up his other fist and battering at his ribs until the man bent over, reflexively trying to protect himself. Davy saw an opportunity and seized it, shifting his hands up, grabbing onto the sides of Ripper’s head. With a roar, the only sound he had made during the fight, he brought the man’s face down onto a bare, bony knee as he lifted it, inwardly wincing when he felt the distinctive crunch of nose cartilage.

Releasing the suddenly lax body, letting it slump down, he backed to the edge of the circle again. Settling into his waiting and ready pose, he kept his focus solely on the man lying motionless on the floor. It didn’t escape him that he was unmarked from the fight. The only time Davy had allowed Ripper’s flesh to touch his had been when he was taking a punch from Davy’s knuckles, or on the man’s face, when brought down onto his knee. He knew simply dominating and controlling the fight didn’t imply his rival wasn’t still a threat. It also didn’t signify he wasn’t still in danger. These were men living a life bound only by their own rules; while honorable in their own way, it didn’t mean they wouldn’t jack him if it mattered to them.

“Jesus fuck, boy.” Winger muttered the curse in awe from behind him. Huffing out a short breath, he felt more secure with the reminder his friend was at his back as he flexed his fists and relaxed minutely, watching as avidly as the spectators as Ripper lay there, still unmoving.

Deacon spoke from across the circle. “Damn it. Ripper, you just cost me fifty dollars. Gonna take a bill from your next envelope, boy.” He pulled out his wallet, twisted the chain attaching it to his belt out of the way, and dragged out a small wad of bills, handing them to the man next to him. “Under a minute, too, goddammit. Too fast to even be entertaining. Jackson, you motherfucker, how the hell did you know the boy could fight like that?”

Grinning, Jackson accepted the money, folding and tucking it into the front pocket of his jeans. “You’re a city boy, Deacon. Y’all get raised a lil different from us country folk. I took a chance he’d be a tough bastard. Didn’t know the boy’d whup ass like he did, though. Owned the fight, man. Flat out owned it. That’s purely a bonus, a joy to watch.” He looked down at Ripper, beginning to stir on the floor. “Not a joy for Rip, though. Motherfuck, our boy took a lickin’.”

Taking several deep breaths, Davy rolled his shoulders and watched Deacon through narrowed eyes. No one had addressed him directly yet, and he was beginning to wonder if the fight was a set-up for their entertainment, rather than initiation into the club. He felt DeeDee’s palm settle onto his spine, the small patch of warmth silently telling him she had his back, too. He gave an inward snort again, because there wasn’t a fat lotta good her support would do him. She was a woman, and he knew women only had one place in this rough world, and it wasn’t in a fight ring defending a man’s back. She was only here on sufferance, because when Winger set the match up, he had vouched for her presence, promised she wouldn’t interfere.

Deacon finally met his eyes, and Davy raised his chin, giving the man his full attention. Being the singular focus of his stare made some men nervous, but it brought a grin to Deacon’s face. “All right, boy, you’ve earned your chance to be a member. Get a vest and we’ll give you a prospect patch. What’ll we call you?”

“Mason,” the sixteen-year-old boy said curtly and nodded. “Call me Mason. Much obliged, Deacon.”

Copyright © 2015 – MariaLisa deMora