Always and Forever
I watch her from my seat at the back table in The Black Rose bar. Tami. She has no idea how beautiful she is. She’s young, naive and inexperienced. Still, her innocence is beautiful, and I want it all for myself.
I see her leaning over the bar top, and her toned body does not go unnoticed by the other man who she’s collecting some cash from. All I want to do is run my hands through her soft golden blonde strands and over her silky skin.
I’ve been watching her for this past year or so, and her twentieth birthday is coming up. I used to think when she was first brought here that she would find a normal life away from the bar, the club and chaos. But she generally looks happy here and has made a home for herself amongst the thieves. Myself included.
I’ve waited with hopeful eyes, seeing her change from the timid girl she was when we first found her to a woman finding her place in our world. She became one of us.
I’m not the only one who sees it either. I know that now is the time to go after her. I’ve waited long enough. I’ve been waiting for her to want to find herself, to know who she is after all she went through so early in her life.
Pawn is sitting in the chair next to mine, drinking his beer in quiet contemplation. He, like me, is watching as Cowboy strolls unknowingly into my territory, then sitting at the bar on a stool. He is making Tami blush with whatever he tells her as he brings the beer bottle up to his lips, smirking at his own swagger. He downs the rest and tilts his head back as he sets the bottle on the bar. Tami chuckles lightly at him and leans forward to take the empty bottle from him. Her shirt falls with her movement, exposing a light pink lace bra. Cowboy’s eyes stay focused on her tits.
Heat surfaces on my cheeks as I’m watching him stalk her like a lion ready to pounce on his prey. Her innocence shines through, not recognizing the predator sitting in front of her, smiling his sharp, white teeth.
My other problem is Pawn. We’ve been friends for a long time and prospected together. He likes her as much as me. I believe that we’ve both held off going after Tami because we both know how much the other one wants her. We don’t want to lose our friendship because we are brothers too. Fuck it though, it’s time. If one of us doesn’t claim her, and soon, Cowboy or one of the other brothers will. I have no doubt about it.
“Are you both about done staring?” Vegas teases as she slides into the seat next to us.
“Should you be in the bar?” Pawn gives her shit with a smirk.
“Funny, smartass.” Vegas runs a loving hand over pregnant belly. Dana sits down next to her, also sporting a pregnant belly. These bitches are happy as hell and are also very fucking nosy. “Dana and I are wondering what the hell you two are waiting for.”
“Don’t know what you’re talking about.” Playing stupid, I take a pull at my beer, trying to play off that I don’t know.
“Really?” Dana says. “Okay, then. We can go ahead and tell Blade and Axl to not hold the brothers back anymore? You see, Vegas and I have done you two shitheads a favor here. We’ve been telling the Prez and VP that Tami isn’t ready for a man yet, but Vegas and I see it.” Dana takes a breath and looks over to the bar where Cowboy sits, and watches Tami go about her job stocking and cleaning. Looking back at us, she continues, “She’s very ready, curious and lonely.”
Dana has the most expressive eyes. I can see her concern for Tami. She wants us to have her, and she wants Tami to be happy. I can’t say a word back and we all know why. What will happen to Pawn and me in the long run? Can the guy who loses here still stay in the club and can we stay friends? What a fucking dangerous game of roulette.
“You do nothing, like you both have been, and you both are going to lose. Is that what you guys want? It’s gonna suck either way.” Vegas lets out a long exhale. “You two have to come to terms with one of you having her and one of you letting her go. We know you two wouldn’t say the words out loud.” Vegas points her finger at both of our faces, “It’s time to men, boys.”
She and Dana get up from their chairs to head back to the office, abandoning Solo and I in the heavy silence they’re leaving in their wake. Dana says as she gets up, “All bets are off. We can’t hold her back for you two anymore.” They walk away as we sit here with their words now drifting like ghosts around us.
“Solo, I don’t,” my throat tightens at the words we’ve left unspoken for so long. “I can’t separate our lives and I can’t choose between the two of you.” My gaze leaves Tami and I look at my beer bottle, tuning it around on the table.
“I hear you, brother, but the Ol’ Ladies, they are right. One of us doesn’t go for her, she will end up with one of the other brothers. And if I’m going to lose her, I would rather go down trying, man.” I can hear the determination in Solo’s voice.
“Alright, but how are we gonna do this?”
“We aren’t going to do shit, man. Tami is going to decide for herself,” he states, and I know that, in his mind, he’s already won. Fuck, but if I don’t try, I will always wonder.
“No matter what, whoever she chooses, the other one walks away, and we stay friends till we die, brother.” Holding my fist out, Solo bumps his fist with mine and agrees.
“Aye, brother, until we die.”
Both of us willingly face the consequences of what could be the end of our friendship, all in the name of love.
Cowboy and some of the other MC brothers do flirt with me occasionally. I’ve held off their advances for a long time, waiting for Solo or Pawn to make a move for me.
I’ve come to decide that they aren’t interested. I’m just a simple girl and they must enjoy the experienced club girls that they can have whenever they need. God knows I’ve caught both doing some crazy stuff around here. Even though Cowboy is older, he’s sexy and also likes flirting with me. Not to mention, the two I’ve been waiting for have been ignoring me all night.
Cowboy has his southern charm and, God, those dimples of his are sexy. He takes his hat off and sets it on the bar top. I can’t help but look over his shoulder and see Pawn and Solo fist bump each other and my heart sinks. Turning back around, I do what I normally do and get lost in my chores, doing my best to become invisible to the world. The loneliness creeps in around me once again.
Hours later, the bar has finally closed and I’m picking up the chairs to set them on the tabletops. I hear a chair scratching across the floor and I jump around at the sound. Terrified, my heartbeat is pumping in my ears. I hold my hand at my throat and see Solo standing there with a chair in his hand, flipping it over, then setting it on the table.
“Didn’t mean to scare you, Tami. I’ll give you a hand with the chairs. What are you doing here alone? Where are the security guards?” He asks me, seeming to appear mad that I’m alone in the bar.
“They left. I told them that I was leaving, but, sometimes I like to stay here at night and finish it.” Solo nods along to what I’m telling him.
“It takes me about an hour to sweep and mop the floor.”
“No, sweetheart, how long have been doing this alone at night?”
Oh shit, I just got myself and the guards in trouble. “Not long,” I lie and go to grab another chair.
Solo’s hand lightly covers my own, halting my movement. “I’m not mad, Tami. Look at me?”
Letting go of the chair, I slowly bring my gaze to gaze into Solo’s dark brown ones. My heartrate picks back up now that I’m being this close to him. My eyes take advantage and rake over his face. They notice every detail of his strong features and dark short hair. My body hums in anticipation of what will happen next.
Solo runs his hand up my arm and over my shoulder, stopping right under my chin. His hand tilts my face a little more up to his. His eyes look down at me as his thumb rubs across my cheek. I close my eyes at his soft, intimate touch. Never having a man look at me this way, it scares me and excites me all the same.
“Tami, I’m not mad.” His voice gets closer to my ear. “Feel this.” He takes my left hand and places it over his heart. “Do you feel my heart beating?”
Opening my eyes, I find his looking into mine. “Yes, it’s beating so fast,” I answer and hear the awe that’s lacing my voice.
“I’ve waited a long time to be this close to you. I see you.”
My eyes dart back and forth between his, looking for answers in them that I know I can’t find today. “You have?”
Solo chuckles and kisses the corner of my mouth. My body feels frozen to the spot. “Yeah. Now let’s get these chairs up and the floors clean, then I’ll take you home.”
Making an effort to relax a bit more, I join him in doing just that, working together in a steady rhythm until it’s all done. Then we walk out to the parking lot.
Solo walks over to his bike and hands me his helmet. I hesitate at his offering, not sure if I’m ready to ride at his back, and, also, my car I bought is right next to us.
“I’m-a- thanks, but I think I’ll take my car tonight.”
“Okay,” Solo brushes off my denial easily. “I’m going to follow you home, though.”
“That’s good.” What’s wrong with me? That’s good? Shit. Shaking my head, I smile at him and jump into my car. Solo does follow me home.
After a long day at work, the emotions catch up to me as I lay awake and wonder what the hell is going on in the universe. Why now?
Thank God today is Wednesday. The Black Rose is closed, and the other thing I didn’t mention to Solo last night was that I always work late on Tuesday nights so that I can clean houses on my day off from the bar. I’m fortunate that Vegas and Dana pay me the same wage I do at the bar to clean their houses. I walk down the hallway with a cleaning supplies bucket and an excited Dana and Vegas are trailing behind me with their coffees in hand.
“Stop, woman!” Dana yells at me. “Here, I brought you a coffee to sit with us,” she whines.
“You brought me a coffee to interrogate me.”
“At least I bring my hostages coffee,” she smirks.
“I have a lot to do today, Dana,” I say in protest.
“It’s okay, I don’t care when you get it done.”
Vegas chuckles next to her as she’s sipping her coffee, then says to Dana, “I just would like to have this moment noted and acknowledged, the date and time when you turned into a boss bitch, like me.”
If the devil was a woman and beautiful, it would be Vegas, minus the horns.
“Duly noted,” Dana agrees, nodding her head at her. “Tami, sit and spill it all about what happened last night to us pregnant ladies,” she bats her eyes at me.
“Fine.” Dropping the cleaning supplies, I sit in the bay window while my demon bosses sit across from me on the bed, tentatively waiting for me to spill. “Cowboy flirted around with me a little last night. Not completely unusual there. But he was a little more aggressive than normal. Then, when I was cleaning up the bar last night, Solo showed up there, and then he followed me home.” I shrug, hoping they will let me go soon.
“Nah-ah, nice try, rookie,” Vegas calls me out on it. “You left out a whole lot more after Cowboy. Backup and start there again.”
Shit. Giving in, I tell them exactly what happened after everyone left the bar. Two teary eyed pregnant ladies hold their coffees in their laps.
“Should you be drinking coffee while pregnant?” I ask.
Vegas wipes a tear away. “We can have one caffeinated beverage a day. I made Dana give up her coke to drink a coffee with me today.”
Nodding my head along, not really understanding, I move to stand up. Dana holds her hand out. “Wait, what is going to happened next?” She eagerly asks.
“I really don’t know what is going to happen next. I’ve been alone so long and never had a boyfriend, so I really don’t get what to do or say.”
Vegas nods along in understanding. “Babe, first you have to do is narrow down the options, okay? Since you’re getting used to the whole dating thing, maybe only flirt with the guys you know you want attention from.”
“Okay, that’s a good place to start.” Only flirt with the guys I like, easy enough. The only question I have is, how do I know what, or rather who, I want attention from?
(C) Scarlett Black 2018