Andrew Jones grew up in a small town in Wyoming, and as a teen watched his family implode following his father’s death. Driven by a need to provide for his little brother and remaining family, he begins looking for work, restlessly traveling from job to job on his Indian motorcycle, looking for something he cannot define.
Meeting Davis Mason, President of the Rebel Wayfarers MC in Chicago, is a central point in his life. Andy earns the name Slate, and over the following years gradually assumes the persona as first a prospect into Mason’s MC, then full patch member. He has finally found the brotherhood he longed for, the sense of connection and belonging…a family and a home.
The only thing missing from Slate’s life is a woman who can love him…all of him. He finds his match in a daughter of the MC, and his dreams become filled with silent smiles, unruly red hair, and her soft curves. She’s wary and afraid, having been hurt in the past, but Slate works to gain her trust, slowly building something between them.
Just as their relationship begins to grow, ghosts from their previous lives threaten to ruin everything. His brother comes to town, bringing his band and his own brand of troubles. Slate watches helplessly as events conspire to put the woman he loves in grave danger.
Can he save his woman from the dangers brought to her doorstep by the past, or will she and their love be a casualty of conflict within the club.
Fan-created trailer video by Angel Dust.
Chapter 4, Motorcycle
11 years ago
Standing across the street from the Harley Davidson showroom in Cheyenne, Andy was almost drooling at the sight of the motorcycles lined up across the front of the store. He wanted a bike in the worst way, and he could almost feel the wind on his face just looking at them. Things in Enoch had gotten hard, with lots of changes over the years. Work at the feed mill had dried up months ago, because it was cheaper for them to make the products in Mexico somewhere. He’d quit the grocery store last week when Mr. Hawthorn told him that the store was being sold.
Thank God he’d been saving his money for years now, in two bank accounts. Every penny went into one of those two accounts, if it wasn’t spent on bills, food, or clothes for him or Ben.
The first account was for Ben’s college, and it was finally reaching a respectable balance. Andy worked with an investment manager at the bank to get the money into a high-return account, which would mature right when Ben’d need it for school. His grandparents knew about the money, and were proud of what Andy had done to provide for his brother in only a handful of years.
Andy’s living arrangements had been back and forth for a while, between his grandparents and his mom, and then he’d moved out on his own several years ago. Recently, he’d taken a job at a ranch, taking care of their windmill equipment, and part of the pay was room and board. It was an ideal arrangement, since it meant he didn’t have any rent to pay, which was especially important now since he wasn’t working anywhere else.
That second bank account was nearly as healthy as Ben’s college fund, and it had long been earmarked for a motorcycle for Andy. When he was thirteen, his dad had driven the two of them down to Cheyenne for Frontier Days, while his mom and three-year-old Ben stayed home. His dad had run into some old friends, and one of them had taken Andy on a couple of short rides on a bike. And, just as simple as that, he was hooked.
Not long after that, his dad bought him a cheap dirt bike, and Andy rode it all over the ranch. It had freed him, and fed his imagination too. On the bike, he had pretended he was a famous daredevil jumping river canyons, a Hollywood actor living the bad-boy life, or a lawman hunting criminals. He could be anything, and everything.
Asking himself again why he wanted a bike so badly, he leaned back against his truck fender. He knew the answer, of course, but it was a mental exercise he felt the need to complete again. He wanted a bike, because in the truck—even driving a hundred miles an hour—he felt caged. Only on a bike did he really feel free, and the carefree lifestyle of riding the road appealed to him. He’d been the responsible one for so much of his life, holding everything together with willpower alone; he couldn’t imagine if all that pressure was simply gone…poof.
He loved his GeeMa and GeePa, and God knew he loved Benny. He even loved his mom, but he didn’t like her. He loved these people in his life, but he wanted to be more than…anything he’d been so far, more than they expected.
He’d stood in this spot at least once a year for the past three years, and every time he’d talked himself out of the purchase, because in his heart, he knew that it was more than purely buying a motorcycle. He’d also be buying himself a departure, an exit strategy. Once he bought a bike, he knew he wouldn’t want to stick around Enoch any longer, especially now, when there was hardly anything holding him here.
Looking both ways for traffic, he strode across the road, pausing for a second to look at the bikes parked in a line in front of the building again. These were all owned by employees or customers, and it was amazing to see the many different kinds people rode. He’d been promising himself a Harley and had saved enough to pay cash for a used one, which was saying—he’d saved a lot.
Stepping into the store, he was straightaway at ease; the smells and sounds were like coming home. He listened to the rumble of pipes from the garage behind the counter, taking note of the singing from a bike being revved. Strolling towards the counter, he caught the eye of an older man with a full beard and the required black Harley t-shirt. The old guy came over and stuck out his hand, introducing himself, “Harddrive, man” and they shook. “What brings you in today?”
“Andy,” he replied, “and I think I want to buy a bike today.”
Harddrive shook with laughter. “Kid, you’ve walked into the wrong candy store.” He chortled some more. “These aren’t cheap, man.”
Andy nodded. “I know, but I want to see what’s available today before I go to the bank.”
Harddrive scrutinized his face for a minute, then nodded and threw back his head, roaring, “Man wants to see some fucking bikes. We got bikes, motherfuckers?”
There were answering shouts in the affirmative from workers and customers alike, and Harddrive put his arm around Andy’s shoulders. Steering him outside, they made their way to the end of the row of bikes parked out front. One by one, he patiently explained about each one: what the engine was capable of, what the style felt like when taking an extended ride versus a short one, the history of the make or model, the climate needs of some bikes, and a dozen other facts that came so fast it was hard for Andy to process.
Walking through the building to the back, they looked at used bikes for sale, and Harddrive continued the commentary, telling him about every one they looked at. Andy saw there was a pretty red and white number coming up, and he was looking forward to learning about that one, but listening to Harddrive explain about an inline shifter on one of the bikes, Andy realized he’d skipped the one he liked.
“Um…what about that one there, the red and white one?” he asked, barely stopping himself from saying the bike was pretty.
“That’s an Indian, and a pain in the ass to fix,” Harddrive explained. “It’s a nice bike, good for both town and touring, beautiful, classic style with large fairings on the wheels to capture or deflect rain or dirt. The seat’s comfortable, nice and wide, with a brace to keep your ass from sliding off. Pain to repair, though.” He moved on to the next bike in the row.
“Who makes the Indian?” Andy asked, and his tour guide guffawed at his naivety.
“Indian makes the Indian. That, son, is a Roadmaster, an Indian Chief Roadmaster.”
Andy kicked the gravel for a minute, and then asked, “Is that one…is it…is she for sale?”
Harddrive focused on him. “She speakin’ to you, son? Tell me what you’re thinking.”
“I’m thinking that’s a pretty bike. It looks like it has enough heft to feel comfortable going up and down mountain roads, but not so heavy as to bog down on a high hill. It looks like someone needs to take care of her.” Andy cut his eyes over to the old man. “I’d like to hear her run, see what she feels like. Is she for sale?”
Harddrive nodded slowly, “She’s a good bike, man. Let’s get the key.”
Copyright © 2014 – MariaLisa deMora