She put her hand up to stop me.
“I don’t give a fuck what excuse you think you have. You did what you did and it drove me away.”
“That’s bullshit, Indy, and you know it. Me fucking up was the perfect excuse for you to run and stay away. You hated the club. You wanted a reason to stay away without owning it.”
“Oh, that’s just rich! Is that really how you spin it in your head? You cheat on me at the clubhouse party with some club whore and I’m the one with the problem?” She shoved her hands on her hips but they slipped right off because she was drunk. “I catch you sticking your dick into another woman and I’m the one who is the asshole?”
“No. I’m the asshole. You’re the coward.”
Her eyes rounded. “A coward!”
“Yes! A coward! You turned and ran. And it was easier to blame me than to be honest. You wanted an out. And my stupidity gave it to you.”
“So it’s my fault you cheated on me?”
“No. But you turned your back on everything. Your family. Your friends. The club. And I’m tired of you blaming me for it. I may have given you a reason to leave, Indy. But you chose to stay away.”
“Why wouldn’t I choose to stay away? I’d rather be gone than hang around with a bunch of backwater hillbillies on Harleys, who treat their women like shit.”
“And I suppose you’re so fucking perfect!”
When she scoffed, I lost my patience.
“You want to be gone. Fine! But them out there. You owe them your respect. They’re your family.” I pointed to my chest. “I’m your family.”
“They’re not my family and neither are you,” she yelled, her eyes burning right through me. “You’re nothing to me!”
Her words inflicted the pain she intended. Right into my heart. But I didn’t have time to react, because one minute she was looking at me like she hated me, and the next minute she was vomiting all over my boots.
“Brilliant,” I said, stepping back. Without hesitation, I threw her over my shoulder and walked her through my bedroom to the small bathroom attached to it. She struggled but was no match for me in size or strength. When I let her down beside the toilet she threw up again.
And then again.
I left her to get some club soda from the clubhouse kitchen.
But by the time I got back to the bathroom she had passed out with her arms wrapped around the toilet and her face pressing against the seat. Drool dripped from the corner of her mouth.
“I guess some things don’t change,” I said, using a wet washcloth to wipe her lips. I smoothed away a lock of hair from her cheek and felt an all-too-familiar ache in my chest. Even passed out, she was the most beautiful girl in the world.
Lifting her into my arms, I carried her to my bed and carefully laid her down. She stirred and moaned, but then settled into my pillow. She wore a heavy bauble on her ring finger, but it had moved so I could make out the tattoo underneath.
I smiled. My heart suddenly hopeful.
It was still there.
After all these years, my name was still there.
What the hell happened to me?
I attempted to open one eye but immediately closed it again when sunlight assaulted my retinas. My face was mashed against a pillow. Drool had dried in the corner of my mouth and I was desperate for water. But I wasn’t going to move. I wasn’t going to move ever again. I would just lie here, wherever here was, until the pain subsided, or I died.
Which seemed like a really good idea until my stomach decided otherwise.
Feeling sick, I pushed up on my hands and looked around me through squinted eyes. “What the hell?”
I was in Cade’s bedroom in the clubhouse.
But I didn’t have time to wonder how the hell I got there, because a few seconds later my stomach tried desperately to escape my body via my mouth. I made it to the small bathroom just in time to throw up violently. Not once. Not twice. But three times.
“Oh God, let me die. . .” I moaned. Sweat beaded on my brow and I wiped it away. When I was sure I wasn’t going to throw up again, I shakily rose to my feet and stumbled to the bathroom sink. I splashed water on my face in an attempt to pull myself out of my nightmare, then rinsed out my mouth and stared back at the pale mess in the mirror. I was a mess. A big, hungover mess.
What happened to me last night?
And then it all came flooding back. The party. The shots. The cocktails. The slurring. The insults. The harsh words I had flung at Cade and my meltdown that followed. Don’t kid yourself, Cade, I never belonged here. Who would want to belong here? As more fractured memories rushed at me, I swung back to the toilet and vomited again.