Birds Of A Feather by René Van Dalen
With my forehead pressed to the tiles I let the hot water run over me. I just stood there as it cascaded over me while the shit in my head churned around and around and around.
Penny’s loss was like a bleeding wound in our hearts. And then there was Bakkies’ betrayal of his brothers and the club that lay like a dense blanket of grey fog over all of us. There were hardly any smiles to be seen these days and tempers were fraying as the men prepared to exact the vengeance due to her and her unborn baby boy.
And in the middle of it all this turmoil there was our personal problem, mine and Hawk’s. And considering the enormity of Rider’s loss it seemed like an insult to want what we wanted.
Once again my period had come and gone, leaving us with yet another month of nothing to report on the baby making front.
Not that we haven’t been trying. Jesus, not a day went by that my Viking didn’t give it to me and still no luck.
Why? That’s the thing that swirled around and around in my head.
Why wasn’t it happening for us?
Was I too tense or training too much? Or maybe I was training too hard?
Or…maybe…just maybe, the fates hated us and were punishing us for our darkest sins?
Closing my eyes I lifted my head and let the water rain down over my face.
But then again, maybe, just maybe, I should be thankful we haven’t been blessed with a child yet.
The club was about to engage in a war, a war that would pull me into the darkness with them because of my special set of skills.
While we were preparing to exterminate the Harrison Syndicate I haven’t been able to work with Skelly the way I usually did. I missed that part of my life and so did the Crow. The Crow’s bloodlust was nowhere near satisfied by playing with her toys. She was bored, and a bored Crow was a very dangerous entity. At this stage her toys were hardly recognisable as the humans they used to be. And to keep her from killing them I needed to give her an outlet.
Before, when the Crow became bored, I would line up a couple of fights at Underground. Now I couldn’t because I would be too exposed. And according the men in my life too vulnerable. It sucked.
Grabbing the loofah I poured shower gel on it and vigorously scrubbed my body. My skin was rosy and glowing when I finally finished and stepped out of the shower. Steam swirled around me as I dried off and moisturised from head to toe then pulled on panties and a sports bra.
He was the first thing I saw when I opened the door.
My beautiful Viking was sitting on the couch under the windows, barefoot and bare chested, his jeans zipped up but not buttoned. My breath hitched as I took in the deliciousness that was my man.
And then I looked up into his warm golden eyes.
One look and I knew he was in the same place I was.
Sad and disappointed.
His eyes didn’t leave me as he held out one of those oversized hands of his and I immediately went to him. Pulling me onto his lap and surrounding me with his muscled arms he hugged me close. I nestled my face into his neck with a soft sigh. Settling my head on his shoulder he pulled away slightly and peppered little kisses over my cheek and temple. I shivered when his breath stroked over the shell of my ear followed almost immediately by the low rumble of his voice.
“We’re going to keep on trying, little bird. I know in my heart it will happen for us. The time isn’t right yet. When it is, we will get our wish.”
I nodded and kissed his neck. “I know, my Viking. I’m just so envious of the other women. They make it look so damned easy. Go off your birth control, fuck like bunnies, and bam! Pregnant.”
My man chuckled and his arms tightened.
“We’re not like everybody else, baby. Nothing in this life has ever come to us the easy way. So I’m not expecting us to have an easy time getting pregnant.”
I nodded with a heavy sigh. “It’s just as well I’m not pregnant with what is coming for us.”
Stroking one of his big hands up and down my back Hawk dropped his head and kissed my neck then looked up and gave me a soft look from his yellow eyes. A softness he only ever showed me.
“We’re both too tense, baby. We need something to take the edge off and we’re not going to find it here at the clubhouse with all the shit swirling around us. I think we need a couple of nights at your house. We haven’t stayed there in a while and this time we’ll be naked in that hot tub and I won’t have to get out and ride home with a hard on that just won’t quit. Like the last time.”
I snickered evilly.
“That sounds like a plan and I’m already looking forward to it. The two of us, naked in the hot tub, where my nosy neighbours might see us.” I teased.
“If one of those fuckers looks over the wall I’ll take their fucking heads off.” My man snarled possessively.
I bit my lips to stop the laughter. “I thought you liked people watching you fuck.”
The hard smack on my ass was totally unexpected.
“Eina! (Ow) What the hell?”
The bastard grinned and stroked his hand soothingly over my burning ass cheek. The grin didn’t stay long though. It was replaced by a possessive glint in his eyes.
“No one sees this body but me. No one gets to look at my woman’s pussy but me. Anyone who does won’t live long after they do. It’s mine, all mine.”
Memories of what had happened in Durban tried to crawl out of the dark corner where I’ve stashed them. I shoved them back and shut the heavy steel door with a clang that reverberated in my head. They were better left in the dark where no light could ever penetrate. Forgotten.
“Little bird?” His voice, so soft and rumbly, pulled me back into the present.
“I’m here, my Viking.” I reached up and kissed his beard covered jaw.
“Good. I don’t want you to go wandering off in that head of yours. Don’t feel like dealing with Crow today.” He muttered in an annoyed tone and I couldn’t help it, I had to laugh.
My old man didn’t like it when Crow tried to intrude in our private time. He didn’t demand a lot from me and he understood that I was Crow and Crow was me. The two halves made a perfect whole. Made me who I am. And he loved me, both sides of me. But he wanted me in his bed, not the Crow.
Crow and I were so heavily intertwined that we could never be separated. I learned the hard way not to lock her away. Ever since the Durban fiasco I’ve left the door in my mind partly open, allowing her to watch, sometimes not so silently, as I went about my life. And it has changed me, made me a bit more brutal in my dealings with people. Even with the man who held my heart.
Before he delivered Jane Warne to us my other half hadn’t fully trusted him. Now he was hers as much as he was mine. It amused her that our Viking hadn’t fully realised it yet.
Fucked up? Sure, but it is what it is. And I am what I am.
A killer hiding behind a smile.
“Sorry, I got a bit lost in my head.” I apologised with a quick smile and changed the subject.
“What do you have going on today? Any free time?” I asked, hoping he would say yes.
“I have a couple of hours free this morning. I would have loved to ride out to Kosmos and sit on the deck at Zeffers but it’s too dangerous right now. How about instead of riding out we spend some time at Jagger’s pool?” Those golden eyes twinkled with devilry. “We won’t be disturbed and we can soak up some sun.” He winked broadly. “No clothes required.”
Pretending shock I widened my eyes but I couldn’t pretend for very long, the grin slipped out.
“I’ve never skinny dipped, in a pool with a man that is, this might be interesting.” I teased.
I saw his quick grin before he rubbed his temple against mine and gave a tiny growl. By now I knew his growls, and this one was part contentment part dominance. My man liked control and he liked that I gave it to him when I so obviously liked control as well.
“I’ll see what I can do about that. Just one more thing before we concentrate on us. Until this war is done you’ll be using your cage to go to work. No exceptions, little bird. Understood?”
Such a bossy Viking.
“Yes, I do, and I actually agree with you. I’ll wait to ride my lady until you tell me it’s safe.” I smiled as his arms tightened, lifting me so I could straddle him, my legs on either side of his hips. He drew me close until my pussy rested against the front of his jeans. Jeans that covered a hard bulge.
I slowly rocked against him and grinned into his eyes.
“You know we’re going to have to use condoms until after this is over, right? No more ripping my panties and sliding right in like you’ve been doing.” I warned with a wink.
He dropped his forehead against mine and groaned softly.
“I know, baby, believe me, I know. But I also know that after we put this behind us I’m going to fuck you every single hour of every day and plant my baby inside you. Can’t wait to see my little girl with her Mumma’s eyes and curls running around causing havoc in the clubhouse.”
I was stunned. Hawk Walker wanted a girl?
“A girl? You want a girl? I thought all you badass bikers want a boy first.”
He shook his head and gave me a slow smile. “Not me, little bird. I want a girl.”
I gave a soft snort and shook my head at him.
“You do know that it’s the man who determines the sex right? And in your family boys outnumber girls. Your grandparents had two boys and a girl. Your parents had a boy. Bulldog has two boys and two girls. Ice has two boys. That makes for seven boys and three girls in your family tree. We can’t count Gail’s girls because that’s all Johan’s doing. And that means we’re going to have a boy.”
A wide grin crinkled the skin at the corners of his eyes and at first I didn’t realise what he was saying because I was lost in the beauty of his eyes.
“If that’s the case then I’m warning you right now, baby, we’re going to keep trying until I have my baby girl.”
I suddenly realised what he was saying. My mouth fell open as I slowly shook my head from side to side. He grinned slyly nodding while raising his eyebrows as he continued to stun me.
“You give me a boy I’ll be fucking happy, little bird, but prepare to be pregnant for a while because I want my girl.”
Never in my wildest dreams had I ever thought my badass alpha bikerman, Hawk Walker, would want a little girl. I had thought he would want boys to continue his legacy so he could walk around thumping his chest and bragging about his boys. Now I knew better. My man wanted a girl and if it happened she was going to be a spoilt as shit club princess and the apple of her daddy’s eye.
Poor kid, she was never going to have a boyfriend or go on a date.
“Fine, but I reserve the right to say enough if we have two boys.” I bargained.
“Let’s make that three because it gives us the chance for a girl.” He countered.
“You are crazy, you know that don’t you? I will have to carry your monster sized spawn. I think we should just stick with two. I could handle two, I think. And I’m not getting any younger. I’ll need time to recover between pregnancies.”
He gave my ass another hard smack and I gasped as it burned so good.
“I call bullshit. You’re strong and you’ve looked after your body, you’ll carry my boys easily. My baby girl is going to be tiny like her Mumma, I just know it. Give us a chance to have her, baby.”
Slowly shaking my head intending to say no, I couldn’t believe what came out of my mouth next.
“I must be off my head to listen to you. The minute we have a girl I’m done having babies. Can we agree on that?”
Laying sweet kisses along my neck and up to the side of my mouth the tip of his tongue drew a wet line over my bottom lip while his fingers played with my nipple. Heat bloomed inside me and I got lost in the sensations. I rubbed against the hard ridge in his jeans and my breath sped up.
“Four, give me four tries and if we don’t have our girl then I’ll accept it.”
With the sensations speeding through me I would have agreed to anything.
And then it hit me. I had just agreed to have four children.
My plan has always been to have two and call it quits after that. How the hell had I allowed him to talk me into having four? In the back of my mind Crow gave an evil little snigger and stepped back into the dark. The bitch was happy about this!
I dropped my head to his shoulder with a loud groan then gave his neck a soft bite. “You just used my own body against me, didn’t you? That’s so not fair.”
His hands stroked over my back as he shook with laughter. “Just a little, baby. I was an only child and hated it. I wanted what Ice had, a lot of siblings to play and fight with. I don’t want our baby to be an only child. We have a big house with plenty of room for a bunch of hellions to run around in. I want it to be filled with love, laughter, screaming and fighting…all the things I missed out on. All the things that makes a family.”
I slowly shook my head from side to side where I lay with my forehead on his shoulder. “Lord help us, it’s going to be a freaking madhouse.”
“Yes, but it will be our madhouse, little bird, filled with our hellions. And when they piss their Mumma off she can escape to her studio and take her frustrations out with paint on a canvas.”
“I can’t believe I’m agreeing to this crap.” I moaned in his neck as he once again started shaking with laughter.
Slapping my butt he lifted me and set me on my feet in front of him. “Get dressed, baby. Time is running away from us and I have shit to handle this afternoon. Let’s get out of here for a few hours.”
My man slowly rose, gave my butt one last slap then gave me a wink.
We got dressed and after a call to Jagger we grabbed some drinks and a couple of snacks from the kitchen and made our way to the eco pool.
It was a glorious late summer’s day. The water sparkled under the hot sun and the ferns and plants at the edges gently waved as they stirred in the ripples coming from the waterfall. Birds called in the trees and we were enveloped in blissful peace. A peace we desperately needed.
We spent the few hours we had skinny dipping, making love and eating. We focused on each other, keeping the darkness surrounding the club from intruding into our golden bubble.
Much too soon real life intruded and we had to return to the clubhouse.
I retreated to my small office a few doors from Hawk’s to work on a drawing for a client’s tattoo while he met with his officers and lieutenants. The door to his office was firmly shut and a prospect was posted outside to discourage any interruptions.
Having grown up in a club I knew what it meant.
Serious talks were happening behind that closed door. Talks that would decide how far the club was prepared to go to avenge their fallen.
And I knew exactly how far all of us were prepared to go.
We wanted vengeance for Penny and her baby boy.
And maybe even for Bakkies. He made a regrettable decision while under unimaginable pressure and that decision ruined a brother’s life, a brother everyone loved and respected. To some extent I understood why he did what he did. He was desperate to save his family but it had already been too late. Not that he knew that at the time.
The bastard who had forced him to betray his club had been dealt with.
But he wasn’t the head of the snake.
That would be Winifred Harrison.
The club…and the Crow…were done playing by the rules.
Rules that most of us didn’t believe in anyway.
We were going after her with every weapon in our extensive arsenal.
The bitch was going to regret crossing swords with us.