I finished reading Should Have Known by Matthew Harms a few days ago. It was the kind of book that I couldn’t put down. In fact I stayed up late when I reached the end, just to finish it because I had to know how it ended. Should have know is a psychological thriller that keeps you guessing and turning the page. After I finished reading it, as I lay in bed I thought about the story for about a half hour before dropping off to sleep, and yes Matt. You need to write a sequel. In full discloser, I met Matt online when he contacted me on Twitter and asked me to be a guest on his Podcast. If you have not checked out Matthew’s podcast on YouTube, you are missing out. Matt also does ghost writing and author coaching at Pen for Hire. Below is the book’s description on Amazon.
Jason Carpenter and Richard Colt are childhood friends estranged by events that set them on two very different paths. While one climbed the ranks of a Fortune 500 company this is more than meets the eye, the other fell in with a mercurial crime boss intent on growing his empire at all costs. Years go by before the hand of fate thrusts them back into each other’s lives, and putting them to the ultimate test. Jason, once the rock of their relationship, suffers a terrible tragedy at the hands of a fanatical serial killer and Richard mush rise up from his self-made prison to keep his friend from slipping further into madness. They must find a way to face the combined adversity of their own situations while enduring scrutiny from both the police and a career newsman with his own version of events to tell. It will be the hardest test of their friendship to not give into the demons that plague them from within and without. When all the cards are on the table each one will feel like they should have known. . .
In my opinion, this was a great book and you should consider reading it.
If you have Kindle Unlimited you can read the book for free or buy it on Amazon for $2.99
Amazon wouldn’t let me review this book after I read it because they have a policy that you must have purchased at least fifty dollars worth of merchandise at Amazon before you are eligible to post a review. Personally, I think this is a bad policy that hurts authors. If I would have been able to review it on Amazon I would have gave it five stars. So if you are looking for a good book read Should Have Known, or if you are looking for a ghost writer, someone to write your screen play, maybe some author coaching or you are an new author and want to get some exposure, contact Matt and sign up to be a guest on his podcast.
I am currently reading Ghost Rider, Travels on the Healing Road by Neil Peart. When I am finished I will let you know what I think. Until then stay safe and keep reading.
I would like to wish everyone a happy Easter weekend. I have been busy editing a lot of my work and I am getting ready to take another long distance motorcycle trip coming up at the end of May and for the most of June. For the Easter weekend all of my books at Smashwords.com will either be free or over fifty percent off, so check out the link below. I hope everyone has a great weekend.
When I left my Nephew’s house in Silver City new Mexico, he rode with me for a ways. We headed up highway 180 which would take me up into the mountains. I wanted to go that way, rather than heading west on the I 10 to avoid the summer heat. He rode with me for about ten or fifteen miles, then we pulled off onto a side road lined with trees and parked the motorcycles. He smoked a cigarette and I smoke a cigar. We shot the shit for a while then said our good-byes. He headed home and I headed north on the 180. The 180 took me through some scenic areas, the weather was good, except for a little bit of rain. I stopped at a sporting goods store that my nephew told me about and looked at their wide selection of guns and other manly things and then had lunch. The only memorable thing that happened was when a woman in a truck turned left in front of me. Luckily I wasn’t going too fast, so I avoided a collision. It got my heart rate going and I did say a few cuss words but that was the extent of it. I descended the mountains and headed across some rolling hills and grass land. By this time it was starting to get hot again. It seemed like I could see forever. The scenery was good and I was enjoying the ride. I passed by the Petrified Forest and then cut over to Holbrook Arizona. By this time it was blazing hot, so I pulled into a Derry Queen, had a burger and a milkshake and then hit the I 40 freeway and headed west. I wasn’t in a big hurry to get home so I stopped in Flagstaff, pulled off onto the old route 66 and rented a hotel room for the night
I had dinner in the hotel restaurant and the food was good After that I went up to my room, put on my Tucumcari bathing suit and went down to the hotel’s in door pool and hot tub. When I got down there I went into the pool for a dip. There was a family there with their kids. After taking a dip in the pool, I went over to the spa and sat down in the hot bubbling water. Across from me in the hot tub sat a young pretty collage aged woman, and believe me she knew how to fill out a bathing suit. We had a pleasant conversation. She told me that her name was Sam and that she and her boyfriend were on vacation and that she lived in Kansas. She said that they were going up to see Brice Canyon in Utah. I told her about my trip and carrying the chopper across the country to deliver to my Grand Son. She thought that was cool. I enjoyed our conversation but she decided to call it quits and headed up to her room. I stayed in the hot tub for a little while longer and then called it a night. Later, after I was home from my trip I used this incident in one of my novels, only the main character took things a little further that what we did.
The next morning after breakfast, I loaded up the bike. The young woman from the hot tub came out of her room to put some stuff in her car. She smiled and told me to be safe and I bid her farewell. I never did see the boyfriend. I got back on the I 40 heading west. The wind was blowing hard and I fought the wind all way home. After coming down the mountain I crossed the Colorado River and entered the state of California. Now I had to deal with the heat as well as the wind, but I was getting close to home. I stopped in Ludlow to take one final break and cool down. I only had fifty miles to go. From Ludlow to Barstow, the wind was brutal but I arrived safely. I was running on fumes when I hit town, so I filled up the tank and then headed home. I pulled into my driveway about five minutes later. I had been on the road for a moth to the day and had put almost seven thousand miles on the bike. I went into the house to greet my wife and dogs and it felt good to be home. It was a rough trip, but I enjoyed it. I saw things and did things that I would remember forever. Some might ask if I would do it again? the answer is yes. In fact I plan to go on another cross country trip again in June. I am heading back to Alabama, but this time when I leave Alabama I might cut over to Florida, head up through Georgia, South and North Carolina on my way up to New Hampshire to see my daughter and grandkids. I will probably stop at Gettysburg again on the way home. Maybe I’ll write about that trip as well. I hope you liked my tale. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. If you’d like to check out my books click on one of the links below. Sign up for my news letter or shoot me an email. Until the next time keep the rubber on the road and the shinny side up.
After leaving Gettysburg I headed west on a two lane road. They say, “All roads lead to Gettysburg.” The town is set up like the hub of a wheel with several different roads branching off like the spokes of the wheel. The two lane road I left on took me to the 81 interstate and I headed south. For the first part of my trip the weather was good, but when I got down into Virginia that changed. I saw a massive storm ahead of me and the sky opened up. It was raining so hard that it was unsafe to be on the interstate so I took the first exit that I could find and wouldn’t you know it. I found myself at the exact same spot where I had to pull off on my way up north and took refuge under the awning of a hospital. There I was standing under the same awning watching it rain. I wondered if it just rained every day in this exact same spot. After standing there watching it rain for a while, the storm moved on. I smoked a cigar in the parking lot, climbed back onto the bike and continued south on the 81. At the end of the day, I pulled off the interstate for a break. I had wanted to make maybe fifty more miles that day, but I was tired and it was starting to rain again. I pulled into a cheap motel in the bad part of town, but there was a gas station and a place to eat nearby so I stopped for the night. After I checked into my room, I stepped outside for a smoke. There was a woman outside that was staying in the room next to mine. Sometimes your first impressions of someone is not exactly right. She looked like a tweaker. As I sat on the front porch to smoke we began to talk. She told me about her life. She was going through some hard times and trying to get into an apartment. I asked her if it was a safe place to stay and she said that on the side where my room was that it was okay. It was where people that were traveling through stayed. She said on the back side of the motel was where people lived their full time and that people like to party on that side. She said that she would keep an eye out on my bike. I went off and headed down the street to a pizza place and had dinner and then went to the convenience store and gas station and bought some munchies and beer for the room. After having a beer and enjoying the munchies I watched some TV until bed time. I set my handgun on the nightstand next to my bed and then went to sleep.
The next morning I hit the highway heading south and crossed over the boarder into Tennessee. The weather was good that day. I had to deal with one major traffic tie up where a motorhome caught fire and then I got caught up in rush hour traffic in Knoxville, but I remembered the words of the chapter president of our motorcycle club the last time I went to the National Rally when it was in Alabama, and I kept my head on the swivel. On interstate 40 now I headed west and stopped for the night west of Knoxville. The weather continued to be good, so the next day I motored through Nashville and Memphis, crossed the Mississippi River and entered the state of Arkansas. I stayed the night in Arkansas and headed west the next day. As I passed through Arkansas and across the pan handle of Texas it started getting hot and windy. When I would stop for a break, I would slam a bottle of water, soak my long sleeved white tee shirt in water, then put it on under my vest. By the time I made another fifty miles down the road, my tee shirt would be dry. By the time I crossed into the state of New Mexico I was out of it. I was dehydrated, tied and sleepy. I got hit by a violent gust of wind that felt as if God had just picked up my bike and gave it a violent shake. That woke me up real quick. “Okay I’m awake!” I said and pushed on for another ten miles or so and pulled into the New Mexico welcome center. After drinking two bottles of water, I checked out the little museum, then soaked my shirt in water once more and headed west. I stopped in Tucumcari New Mexico for the night. It had been a long hard day.
Two year prior, I went on another trip. I rode with my club brothers to Alabama, then down to New Orleans and home. On that trip I also stayed at Tucumcari on the way home. I hadn’t brought a bathing suit and it was hot so I headed to a dollar store, bought a bathing suit and went swimming in the motel pool. On this trip, I brought my bathing suit, but I left it hanging in the bathroom of the first motel I stayed in by accident, so on this trip I once again went to the dollar store and bought a bathing suit so I could swim in the pool. This is my second, Tucumcari bathing suit. Back at the motel I went swimming, had my supper and then settled in for the night. The following morning after breakfast, I headed west. At Albuquerque I took the 25 freeway south. If you have ever been on the 25 in New Mexico you know that there are long stretches of desolate road between the cities and towns. It was blazing hot that day and I was starting to get dehydrated. It got so bad that I thought I was going to get heat stroke, so I pulled off the freeway, drank a half a bottle of water and then continued on. Luckily there was a gas station and restaurant about twenty miles down the road. I gassed up the bike, bought two bottles of water and asked the woman behind the counter if I could sit down in the restaurant and cool off for a little while. She said that I could so I drank my water, cooled off under the air conditioning and then headed south. At Hatch New Mexico, famous for their New Mexico Chilis, I headed west on a two lane highway and cut over to Deming New Mexico and then headed up into the mountains to Silver City to visit my nephew Matt and his family. I spent a few days there visiting with my nephew and other family members. We had a barbeque one day and they invited people over, me and Matt sat around a bon fire during the night and sat around the fire smoking and drinking and having a good time. I enjoyed my time there, but I needed to get home. I had been on the road for almost a month. The day I left Matt rode with me part way. To beat the heat, we headed north on the 180, which would head through the mountains. (Keep your eye out for part VI of my 2019 Grand Motorcycle Adventure: Homeward Bound.)
I said my good byes and left Salisbury New Hampshire heading west on a two lane highway. The weather was a bit chill, but it warmed up and there was no rain. I traveled down a windy road that wove its way through the forest. The scenery was beautiful as I passed through small towns and farms. I rode along the shore of a large lake for a while and crossed over a couple of rivers. I had to take a detour because they were doing some construction on a bridge that crossed a river. On the other side of the river was the state of Vermont. In Vermont I headed south on the 91 Interstate which took me down into Massachusetts and headed west. I passed through the state and entered the state of New York. I stopped for gas and had a shot conversation with a couple that also was from California. They lived in Rancho Cucamonga which is about seventy miles south of Barstow where I live. At the end of the day I stopped at a motel on the outskirts of a good sized town They charged me $129.00 for the room. I was thinking that this was kind of expensive and I mentioned it to another biker while I was having a beer in the motel bar. He said that it actually wasn’t because they were having a little league training camp in town and all the motels would be full or more expensive. I had dinner at a restaurant which in its former life was an old house, then bought some beer and munchies for the room and settled in for the night.
I woke up the following morning had breakfast and headed out. The weather was good. I headed west through the state of New York and then headed south into Pennsylvania. The roads in Pennsylvania sucked. They were full of potholes. I stopped at the welcome center and took a selfie underneath the Welcome to Pennsylvania sign. A lot of people that I know knew that I was in New Hampshire and the accident in the northern part of the state where seven people on motorcycles were killed had made national news, so I posted the pic on Face Book to let them know that I was okay. My destination for the day was Gettysburg and I arrived before the sun went down. If you’ve never been there, what you have read about and what you have seen on TV doesn’t do it justice. The battle took place in the country side surrounding the town as well as in the town itself. There are buildings in the town that still have cannon balls stuck into their walls. There are trees growing in the town that were there when the battle took place. They call them Witness Trees. One of the trees had to be cut down and they found a bunch of mini balls imbedded inside the tree. When I arrived I found a motel, checked in and then went looking for somewhere to eat. When I was done with that I took a walking tour of the town and went on a ghost tour. Gettysburg is supposed to be one of the most haunted cities in the US. The tour guide told of people who have drove through the battle field at night and had the ghost of a Confederate soldier appear in the back seat of their car or have seen ghost walking the streets at night. People have reported hearing cannon fire and gunshots out on the battle field at night. After the ghost tour, it was now getting dark, I walked out to the edge of the battle field and sat down leaning against a tree and smoked a cigar. it was eerily quiet and when I looked out into the dark I saw thousands and thousands of fire flies flying about over the battle field. There are still at least five hundred Confederate soldiers buried where the fell out on the battle field. There are no markers, but the National Park service considers them to be at rest. Seeing those fire flies made me think about the souls of those of those brave men buried in shallow graves so far away from home. Finished with my cigar, I headed back to the motel and called it a night.
The next morning I woke up early and went to a museum that had artifacts from the battle on display. They had a theater that showed a short movie showing how the battle progressed. Finished with that I went up to the visitor center and took a bus tour that took us through town and then out on the battle field. It was a double decker bus with an open top. I rode on the top deck. While we headed through town, the bus driver pointed out things of interest that pertained to the battle and then he headed out onto the battle field itself. He stopped at the various monuments and talked about what happened there. When he stopped at Little Round Top, he let us take a short break and walk up the trail to the top of Little Round Top. During the battle the Union troops occupied Little Round Top. The Confederate lines were in the trees across a field over a mile and a half away. They had to charge across a mile and a half of open ground while under cannon fire as well as gunfire from the Union troops on Little Round Top. They were decimated. This was the site of Pickett’s famous charge. As I stood there looking across that open ground I was in a somber mood, thinking about the terror and brutality those soldiers must have felt, as they tried in vain to take the high ground. When the bus tour was over, I bought a couple of tee shirts at the visitor center, then climbed onto the bike and rolled out leaving Gettysburg behind. The next time I have a chance to go there I plan to stay for a couple of days. I’d like to ride my motorcycle down into the battle field at night. Leaving Gettysburg behind, I was New Mexico bound.
(Keep your eyes out for My 2019 Grand Motorcycle Adventure part five the ride home-New Mexico.)
The next morning Jess and I went out for breakfast and then took the Rocket Three over to the Triumph dealership in Concord New Hampshire. I had delivered the toy chopper to my grandson, so that mission was accomplished. I don’t remember if it was that night, or the next evening when I called the dealership and they said that the bike was fixed. They said that my rectifier was bad. Jess’ old man drove me over there, I picked up the bike and followed him to a restaurant and we had something to eat. My grandson Aben went with us. Jess’s two sisters, flew out from California along with one her sisters two kids and old man, so we had a full house. I had planned to go to Laconia Bike week, but after the trouble I had with the bike, I didn’t feel like riding over there, plus I was tired from the long ride. I was having a good time hanging out with my grandsons and grand daughter plus, plus meeting Jess and Nate’s friends. Nate was Jess’ old man. I went with Nate over to one of his friend’s house and we played darts and drank beer. They had friends over and we had a good time. They were cool people. One morning we took a drive over to Maine, went to the beach, went to see a light house and we had lunch at a sea food restaurant. We took a drive down the coast a ways and saw some pretty scenery, plus we saw a turtle crossing the road. It was rainy that day, but I had a good time anyway. One of the reasons I wanted to go to Maine was that I had never seen the Atlantic ocean. In the picture of me below, I am standing on the beach because I wanted to put my foot prints in the sand of the beach on the Atlantic, even though the tide would wash them away I didn’t care. When the day came for me to leave, Jess had Aubrey, my grand daughter make me a sack lunch she wrote me a little note, which I have thumb tacked to my bedroom wall above my computer that said, “Be safe. Have a great ride home! I hope you liked my lunch I made 4 you. Sorry if the sandwich is soggy. Love Aubrey.” She put little hearts on the top and the sides of the note. After saying my good byes, I rolled out heading west on a two lane highway toward Vermont. The road snaked its way through the forest, went by a lake and a river. It was a beautiful ride, but I only made thirty-four miles and the bike quit on me again. There I was stuck on the side of the road once more out in the middle of nowhere. I called the Triumph dealership back in Concord and they sent a tow truck out. When the tow truck driver finally came, I helped him load up the bike and he took me and the bike back to the Triumph dealership. After I delivered the bike to the service area, I went to their waiting room and called Jess. She was busy doing something that day, and right now I don’t remember what it was. She might have been at work, so I sat there in the waiting room for the next couple of hours waiting and eating the lunch that Aubrey made me. Jess finally came and took me back to her house. I called the Triumph Dealership the next morning and they said the bike was fixed. They said that they didn’t get the plug on the rectifier plugged in all the way, so that caused the battery not to charge. Jess took me over there and while I was there, I bought an extra battery to put in my saddle bag for the ride home, just incase. Because of my third breakdown, I staid a few extra days than I was planning to. I went to my grandson Shane’s graduation from eighth grade, and hung out for a couple more days. The night before I was going to leave we had a barbeque at Jess’ house, drank beer and partied with their friends. It was a good time. While I was there sitting on the couch, I went onto Face Book and saw a post about a woman who is part of our motorcycle club. She had rode out from Oregon to the national rally in Alabama and on her way home, she was going through Las Vegas Nevada and crashed. I sent a text to our chapter president asking about what happened. He said that a car slammed on his brakes in front of her and she hit it. She broke her leg and had some other injuries and was in the hospital. This was not something I wanted to hear, especially since I was heading home in the morning and had over three thousand miles to ride, and then in the morning I woke up and checked the news and learned that a guy driving under the influence who was driving under a suspended license crossed the double yellow line, and killed seven people on motorcycles in Northern New Hampshire. This was some very bad MOJO. The night before I find out that my sister in the club crashed and now seven motorcycle riders in the northern part of the state were killed by some reckless driver, but I still had to go home so I figured that the only thing I could do was ride as safe as I possibly could.
(Keep your eye out for part IV of my 2019 Grand Motorcycle Adventure: The ride home.)
When you ride a motorcycle all day for several days in a row, you get tired. I was drinking five hour energy drinks all the way across the country. In the morning after a good breakfast, I would feel great, but after about fifty miles down the road I would feel exhausted. The tiredness from the days on the road accumulate, so when I pulled in the the clubhouse where they held the rally in Alabama, I was ready to relax and party. Thursday night we partied at the clubhouse and had a great time. Friday morning we went on a short ride for lunch and ate at a restaurant that was a combination micro brewery and restaurant. After that we went to a park where there was a scenic area where you could stand at the railing and look at a majestic looking water falls that flowed down into a canyon. The scenery was green and pretty. Is was much different than the high desert of Southern California where I am from. It surprised me how many of these big burly bikers, and their wives who were following my post on Face Book that wanted to get their picture taken with me and the toy chopper. Some of them I knew before hand and some of them I was just meeting. After we finished at the park we headed back to the clubhouse and partied. And believe me, the Alabama brothers and their old ladies know how to let their hair down and party. I was having a good time feeling now pain when I turned in that night.
The next morning, it rained and it rained hard. If you’ve ever been to northern Alabama, you know what I am talking about. I learned a valuable lesson. Do not, and I repeat, do not leave your helmet hanging over the mirror on your motorcycle by the strap with the inside facing up. Our ride that morning was delayed by the rain, but it let up a little and we were about to head out. I went our to get on my bike and my helmet was full of water. I emptied the water out of my helmet, took it back into the clubhouse to dry and rode with someone in a cage. Our club has a few chapters in northern Alabama so we spent the day visiting other chapter clubhouses and hand a great time. That night we had the big party and we partied hard. I had a great time and it got pretty wild. Sunday morning everyone started for home. Shaggy and Burnout started west for California and I headed north. Some of the brothers from Alabama rode with me part way and we stopped at a park that had a scenic view point that over looked the Tennessee river. We took some pictures, shot the shit for a while and then said our final good-byes. I headed north and they head back to the clubhouse. For the first part of my trip that day the weather was good. I rode through Chattanooga Tennessee passing through a portion of Georgia then hit Interstate 40 east and then took the 81 north and headed up into Virginia. The rain started up an hindered my progress so I found a motel and spent a night in Virginia. The next morning I headed north once more. In northern Virginia. I stopped in Staunton Virginia for a while and stopped on Donaghe street and took my picture under street street sign bearing by last name. At one point I saw a dark cloud ahead of me and got slammed by rain. It was coming down in buckets. I pulled off the interstate looking for somewhere to get out of the rain and the only place I could find was a hospital. I parked the bike in their parking lot and stood under an awning and watched the rain come down. The storm passed and I headed north once more passing through a portion of West Virginia and then crossed the border into Maryland. For the most part, the weather was good that day. I headed up through Pennsylvania. The roads in Pennsylvania were full of potholes. I had just crossed the border into New York, when the engine on my Triumph Rocket three shut off.
I pulled over to the side of the interstate on the shoulder and turned the ignition off then tried to restart the motor, but the battery was dead. There I was standing on the side of the interstate calling my insurance company to get a tow. They told me that they would call me back. They did and said that the soonest that they could get a tow truck out to pick me and the bike up would be in about four hours. I was on the phone with them when the state police showed up. First it was a woman by herself. I was on the phone with the insurance when she pulled up. I hung up my phone so I could deal with her. They wanted me off the interstate. A short time later another New York State Police car showed up. This one was a man. I told him what my insurance agent had said and he told me that he could have a tow truck there in twenty minutes, so I told him to call them. The woman left and the male state trooper stayed until the tow truck showed up. When the tow truck arrived the State Trooper left. The bed of the flat bed tow truck was covered in oil so we had to be careful pushing my bike onto the bed. The nearest Triumph dealership was in Syracuse New York, about fifty miles north of where I intended to head east. We arrived at the Triumph dealership about a half hour before closing time. They took a quick look at my bike and told me that my battery was toast so I bought a new one. They installed it and said everything checked out fine, so found a motel and checked in. I knew that Syracuse must be close to the Canadian border because the flag pole out front flew both the American flag and the Canadian flag. While I was there I met some people from Canada. One was riding a Can-AM Spider another guy was riding a Triumph and a couple of people were riding Harley’s. I went out side to smoke and found a set of keys on a table. I turned them into the front desk. Later I found out that it belonged to the guy riding the Spider. He was very happy to get them back. I went out for dinner, bought some munchies and beer for the room and then settled in for the night, and of course I took a picture of me and the chopper.
The next morning when I woke up it was raining. After I ate at the motel’s Continental breakfast, I packed up my gear and checked out. When I left the motel it was just drizzling a little bit. I took an alternate route, headed south for a bit and then caught a turnpike heading east. I had no sooner got onto the turnpike when the rain started coming down hard. It was raining so hard that I didn’t feel safe to be on two wheels. There were no underpasses or bridges to get out of the weather so I took the first exit I could find and pulled into a McDonald’s restaurant. I stepped into the McDonald’s, soaking wet, dripping water and feeling like a drowned rat. Sitting at a couple of tables was a group of old men. The youngest must have been in his seventies. They looked like the regular McDonald’s crew. One of them looked up at me and said, “Buy yourself a cup of coffee and pull up a chair.” So I did. I sat there talking with these old guys for about forty five minutes drinking coffee and listening to their stories. I told them about my trip which they thought was cool and they told me stories about what was happening in their lives. Finally the rain stopped, we said our good-byes and I got back on the turnpike heading east. The rain started up again so I pulled under a bridge to get out of it. While I was sitting there under a bridge I took out my cell phone and checked my Doppler Radar App. There was a big storm, but it was moving away from me. I spent most of the morning riding until I hit rain, then waiting for the storm to move on and then riding until I caught up to it again. I stopped at one rest stop and this guy walking toward me asked, “Did you get caught up in that big traffic tie up?”
I said, “No.” He told me that an eighteen wheeler crossed over into the east bound lanes and tipped over. He said that the driver was okay though and no one else got hurt. I guess I had just missed it. As I continued on, the rain stopped but I still had my rain gear on. I was just about to cross into the state of Massachusetts when the gages on the bike started to act up so I pulled off the interstate. I was no longer on a toll rode. On my side of the interstate, was an old abandoned gas station so I pulled in, turned off the bike had a smoke and a butt break then I tried to start the motor, but it wouldn’t start. My brand new battery was dead. Back on the cell phone, I called my roadside assistance and they said that they would call around to see if they could find a tow truck to come get me. They called me back and said that no one wanted to look at the bike. He said that all the shops were swamped with people servicing their bikes for the riding season and the nearest Triumph dealership that would take a look at my bike was down in New York City in Manhattan. That was at least a hundred miles south of where I was going and in the wrong direction. When I had talked to my daughter Jess, after my first break down, she said that if I broke down again, to call her and they would come pick me up and put my bike in the back of her old man’s truck, but they were one hundred and ninety four miles away, so it would be a while for them to get to me. I called her and told her about my second break down and asked if her offer was still on the table. She said it was and that they would come get me. After talking with my daughter, I looked around me taking in my surroundings. Someone had left an old Lazy Boy chair in a grassy area beside the abandoned gas station. I still had my rain gear on and I wouldn’t get my butt wet, so I sat down to wait. I tried to stay positive and not let things get me down. I walked across the bridge over the interstate to a truck stop and gas station that was open and bought some munchies and something to drink and then went back to where I had left my bike and spent the next two or three hours waiting around sitting in my Lazy Boy. Finally, Jess and her old man along with two of my grand kids showed up. We loaded my bike up into the pickup and tied it down. Climbing into the back seat, we hit the interstate heading east. My plan had been to head to Boston and take the 95 north up to New Hampshire, but I was leery of the big city traffic around Boston. Jess’s old man took a different route. I think he took Interstate 91 north off of the Massachusetts turnpike, headed up into Vermont and then took a two lane highway east and crossed into New Hampshire. I figured to take the same route on the way home. We finally arrived at Jess’ place late that night. I was tired and ready for bed, but I had reached my destination. Even if I rode the last one hundred and ninety four miles in the back seat of a truck. (Coming in a couple of days My 2019 Grand Motorcycle Adventure Part III new Hampshire.)
Hello. My name is David Donaghe and I write short stories and novels. I also ride motorcycles, and practice martial arts, as well as shoot guns, drink Jack Daniels whiskey and other things, but I won’t go into all of that. I am a member of a family oriented motorcycle club. We have chapters in various states across the country as well as a couple in Europe. Other than partying like bikers, our chapter supports our local veteran’s home as well as Toys for Tots and well also help the police and fire department deliver toys to the children of Barstow CA at Christmas. In 2019 our National Rally was held in Alabama. That year, no one but me was planning to ride out. Everyone else had to fly because of work and time restraints, but two members of another chapter, Shaggy and Burn Out (Their Road Names) from a Southern CA chapter were riding so the plan was for them to meet me in Barstow on June 1st. Earlier in the year, my daughter Jess and my Grandson from Salisbury NH flew out to CA and came to visit me. While the were here in CA she bought my grandson, Aben a little toy chopper, but when she left, Aben left in out back by my pool. Aben was about four years old at the time. I called Jess after she made it back home and asked her if she wanted me to mail it back to her, but she said no for me to just bring it with me when I came. My plan was after the National Rally to head up to new Hampshire, so I said okay I’ll do that.
So when June 1st rolled around, before I left home, I took a picture of the toy chopper sitting on my motorcycle and I planned to document its trip across the country posting pictures of it on Face Book. I met Shaggy and Burn Out at Los Domingos restaurant in Barstow CA. If you are ever traveling through Barstow and you like Mexican food, check out Los Domingos. They are the bomb. After we ate breakfast, we headed out on the I 40.and stopped at Ludlow CA to cool down. The temperature on the high desert of Southern California can be brutal. After a short break we rolled on heading east, crossed the Colorado river and entered the state of Arizona. After getting gas, we stopped at Flagstaff for Lunch and then rolled on stopping at Gallup New Mexico for the night and headed out the next morning. The weather continued to be good, all though it was a little windy crossing the pan handle of Texas, and rolled on through to Clinton Oklahoma. So father the scenery was mainly brown desert, but once we entered Oklahoma things started to green up. We spent the night in Clinton and in the morning, while I was waiting for Shaggy and Burn Out to get their gear ready, I was outside smoking a cigar and I stuck up a conversation with a young man who was in the Navy reserves. Come to find out, he lived in Victorville California, thirty five miles south of Bartow. At each stop along the way I took pictures of me and the chopper and posted them on Face Book. So after packing our gear and eating at the motel’s continental we headed east. It had rained during the night, but it wasn’t raining when we left the motel. That soon changed.
When we crossed over into the state of Arkansas, we got hit so hard by rain that it wasn’t safe to be on the interstate on two wheels. We took an off ramp, headed down a frontage road and pulled into a little Baptist church, pulled our motorcycles up onto the front porch under their cover awning and waited out the storm. We spent a good forty five minutes shooting the shit under the awning, while I was smoking cigars and watched it rain. I used this incident in one of my novels later, but I embellished it a little bit. After it quit raining we headed east once more and spent the night near Little Rock Arkansas. That night we had dinner in a barbeque place across the road from the motel and the food was delicious. The following morning we headed east once more. When we got close to Mississippi river, we could see where the interstate had recently flooded. Water had reached the interstate and for a while traffic was at a stand still while they offloaded a truck that had been damaged by the flood. One we were clear of the traffic tie up, we rolled on, crossed the Mississippi river and entered Memphis Tennessee. We continued on and spent the night at a motel just west of Nashville. That night we called Uber and took a ride into down town Nashville and partied on Broadway. If you like live music and you like to drink, you’ll love Broadway in Nashville. The street is nothing but bars, the buildings are three stories tall and their is a bar on each floor playing live music. There is usually people playing music on the sidewalks as well. That night the Country Music award show was in town and they were having big name concerts. The place was packed. We hit the bars, Shaggy got toasted and Burn Out and I had to baby sit him. We were sitting in one bar up by the front where the band was playing when three young women in their early twenties came in. One of them brushed up against me, laid her hand on my shoulder and said, “Hey old man. Show me your moves.” They tried to drag me out on the dance floor, but I refused. I was sixty-two at the time and I was old enough to be these young women’s grandad. I thought about saying yes, but I am a married man. All I needed was for someone to post it on Face Book and I might find the locks changed on the front door when I got home, or maybe get shot lol. We had a great time and all three of us were feeling no pain when we caught the Uber back to our motel that night. The next morning we headed east, took highway twenty four in Nashville and then rolled down toward Alabama. It rained off and on, we pulled into a rest stop and put on our rain gear and pulled into Section Alabama close to noon. I was excited and looking to have a good time with my club brothers at the national rally for the next four days.
(This is becoming a long post so I am going to break it up into a few parts. I will post My 2019 Grand Motorcycle Adventure part two in a few days.)
Are you looking forward to the new year? I know I am. 2020 had its issues, but maybe 2021 will be better. I am also looking forward to my two new novels coming out at the end of January. Blood Bond, book three in the Mike McDonald Action Adventure Saga and Door Number Two book four in the same series. They are both on presale at a discounted rate. I am almost finished with the first draft of the galactic War book five of my series known as the Space Corps Chronicles, and I am working on the second chapter of my new Western novel, The Mojave Kid. I would like to have some people review my books, so if you are interested let me know and I will send you a coupon code so you can download one for free from smashwords.com Also sign up for my email list. Click on the links below to check out my books. They were fun to write and I think that you will enjoy reading them. In June I am planning on going on a motorcycle trip with my club brothers from Barstow California to Alabama. From there I will ride up to New Hampshire to see my daughter and grandkids. As usual it will be a grand adventure and when I get back I will tell you about it. I hope you are having a great new Year. Stay safe.
To check out my book at smashwords click the link below
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. I just thought I would make a post to let everyone know what is going on with me and my writing. I recently was a guest host on a podcast with Matthew Harms from Pen for Hire where we discussed my writings and books. It will go live on YouTube on Dec 31st. I also recently was invited to post an article on the Author’s Lounge regarding my biker paranormal box set the cave Man Action Adventure Box Set. I have also started a new author face book page as well as a Draft2Digital author page. From now until Jan 1 all of my books at smashwords.com are either free or 50 percent off, but if you are a reviewer and want to review any of my books at smashowords I will send you a coupon code if you chose to read any of the books that are not free. I look forward to hearing from my readers, so check out the links below, sign up for my author news letter on the contact the author form and have a very Happy New Year.
Book number four in the Mike McDonald Action Adventure Saga is now available at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com for pre sale. Get it at smashwords for only .99 while on pre sale. Read the first two chapters below.
Life sucks. That’s the way I felt that morning setting in my shabby little office sweltering in the heat. The overhead fan osculating above me barely put a dent in the one hundred fifteen degree temperature. A bead of sweat tracked down my face. Glancing about I took in my family photos hanging on the wood paneled walls. I took in my faded business license hanging next to a picture of Beth and me. We were smiling in the picture: a remnant of happier times. What do I have to show for myself? I wondered.
I had a used car lot in a desolate town near the California Arizona border that barely made pay roll and a trophy wife that didn’t love me anymore. If the rumors were true, she wasn’t faithful. I tried not to believe the rumors; I just wished she wouldn’t yell so much. We had two grown kids that didn’t come around and a big house with a huge mortgage in the ritzy part of town. It was her house and if it weren’t for her real estate business, we couldn’t afford the payment.
In the service area, a mechanic was using an impact wrench and the noise pounded through my brain making my head throb.
“Fuck it. I’m taking the rest of the day off,” I said. Maybe I’ll call up Ray and we’ll take in a round of golf I thought. Ray was my best buddy from high school. I picked up the phone and dialed the number.
Judy, Ray’s secretary, answered on the third ring. “Cunningham’s Hardware,” she said.
“Judy. This is Bill Caldwell. Is Ray in?” I asked.
She paused and then said, “No Bill. He’s not. He went home early.”
She’s acting wired, I thought.
“I was thinking about doing the same. Maybe I’ll see him on the golf course. Bye now,” I said Hanging up the phone. I punched my secretary’s extension on the intercom.
“What’s up Boss?” Brittney asked, her voice sounding seductive.
“Hey Britt, I’m taking the rest of the day off. It’s too damn hot. Tell the crew that they can have an early quit,” I said.
“They’ll like the sound of that.”
“Tell ’em not to get used to it,” I said then turned off the intercom.
Grabbing my suit coat off the back of my chair, I crossed the room to the door and strolled down a narrow hallway passing between tiny offices with glass windows. Two of my sales people were in one of the offices shooting the shit; one of them laughed.
“Hey Bill. Thanks for the early quit,” a young red headed sales clerk said and waved.
I waved back. At the reception area, I caught a whiff of Brittney’s perfume. She leaned forward offering me a view down the front of her low cut black dress. Her long blonde hair cascading down her back glistened in the sunlight coming through the window. When Brittney first came to the office, she made it obvious that she was available.
“It’s tempting, but I’m married,” I said showing her my wedding ring.
“Nobody’s that married,” she said. The first time Beth came to the office after I hired Brittney, they both took an instant dislike to each other. The hackles on their necks stood up and I thought they were going to have a catfight, so I hustled Beth out as soon as I could.
“You could do better,” Brittney said, after my wife left.
“Don’t work too hard. You can have an early quit too,” I said stepping up to Brittney’s desk. I’ve never cheated on Beth, but Britt sure makes it tempting, I thought.
“I’m going to leave in a few minutes, but if you’re ready to leave that bitch that you live with, and run away with me, I’ll get my purse,” she said then giggled.
“You keep that kind of talk up and you’re gonna get me shot,” I said.
“Go on. Have fun at the golf course. I’ll lock up after everyone leaves,” Brittney said rolling her eyes.
“You’re a jewel, Britt. I don’t know what I’d do without you,” I said.
“How about a raise?” Her bubbling laughter followed me out the door.
The sun hit me like a blowtorch making me sweat. Crossing the parking lot, I headed to my ten year old Cadillac. Its paint was old and faded, but it ran good. It was Beth’s car originally. I take possession of her hand me downs and I drive them until they’re ready for the scrap heap, then give them an overhaul and put them on the lot. A hot breeze bit my face making my eyeballs burn. I tossed my suit coat into the passenger seat, sat down behind the wheel, slammed the door and turned the ignition. The engine turned over slowly but started after a few seconds. This old girl is getting tired, I thought. A knocking sound came from underneath the vehicle when I backed out of the parking space. The old Cadillac belched out a puff of blue smoke from the tailpipe filling the driver’s compartment with the smell of exhaust. I waited for an eighteen wheeler to rumble by and then turned left heading west through down town Tortilla Flats.
Passing a drug store, a gas station, Cunningham’s Hardware, and a Bank, I glanced about at the dilapidated buildings. Every other store building set empty and the occupied buildings had seen better days. Paint on the storefront walls was starting to fade. Some of the bricks on the brick buildings looked chipped and in needed mortar. I passed a boarded up building. The letter Z had been painted in red on one of the boards within a circle and a slash mark across the circle: a remnant from the town’s darker days. The town needed make over.
Turning left on Crestview Lane, I headed south. Shaking my head, I couldn’t believe that I lived in the High Desert Estates. I came from the other side of the tracks. The road curved winding though two to three hundred thousand dollar homes sporting stone pillars and manicured lawns. The people with money liked living here in what people called the Heights, but I hated it. It was one of those “Gated Communities,” where you pay dues to the planning committee and you can’t even fart without asking for permission. I turned onto Jack Rabbit Road heading home.
“Oh shit, she’s home,” I said when I pulled into my driveway and parked next to my wife’s Beamer. Something’s got to be wrong, I thought. Sitting behind the wheel, I stared at my luxurious white stucco two story home and felt nauseous. I wanted to run in, get my golf clubs and head to the golf course without getting into a fight with Beth. Maybe she’s calmed down by now? God I hope she doesn’t start yelling again, I thought. Climbing out of the Cadillac, I hurried across the lawn to the front door. The neighbor’s French Poodle’s barking made my throbbing headache worse. “Come in to my yard, you little shit. I’ll pinch off your head and roll it down the street. God I hate that yappy mutt,” I said to myself. “Honey I’m home!” I said when I stepped inside the front door.
The hairs on the back of my neck stood up and for a few seconds, I stood on the piece of Marble tile at the entranceway taking in the room’s essence. Things didn’t feel right. The large wide screen TV blared assaulting my ears, but nobody sat watching it. Beth’s purse set on our leather couch along with a pair of sunglasses: men’s sunglasses. Breathing in the smell of Beth’s perfume, I crossed the beige carpeted living room to the stairs.
My heart jack hammered inside my chest and my breath came out in short little gasps. Grabbing the banister for support, I started up the stairs ignoring the family photos adoring the walls. A moaning sound wafted down the staircase from my bedroom: the bedroom I shared with my wife. A sharp pain shot across my chest and I stopped gripping the banister for support. My knees sagged and I didn’t want to go on. Part of me wanted to turn around and run, but another part of me wanted to see who was up there in my bedroom with my wife. Stumbling along, I continued to the top of the stairs making every step deliberate. Stopping at my bedroom door, I peered into the room. My eyes widened, my bottom jaw dropped, my hands balled into fist at my sides and I felt heat rising in my cheeks.
“Oh, God! Oh Fuck!” my wife squealed. She was in the middle of our California King sized bed on her hands and knees. My best old ex friend Ray stood behind her taking her doggy style from behind. For a fraction of a second, I watched his big hairy ass pumping away and then glanced at Beth. Her belly was turning to fat; her breasts jiggled back and forth reminding me of a Guernsey cow. Breathing in the smell of hot sweaty sex, I thought about crossing the room to my gun cabinet and putting a bullet in both of them. I hadn’t killed anybody in over twenty years, but, but that was back in Nam.
At six PM that evening, I stumbled into The Trail’s End Saloon. After finding my wife, and Ray having sex in our bedroom, I drove around with no destination in mind. The car’s air conditioner barely put a dent in the heat. Sweat beaded up on my forehead and soaked my shirt. Stopping at a Quick Mart, I bought a six pack of Bud and parked by the Little Colorado, a river north of town. I killed the six pack watched the river flow and let the tears stream down my face.
The Trail’s End Saloon was your typical cowboy bar, with sawdust on the floor, antique barstools, old time pictures of various rodeo events, cowboys, horses and pictures of the town dating back to the early twenties. Pictures of an old fire brigades, pictures of the founder’s day parade from 1950 and pictures of the fire that burned the town in 1920 hung on the wall.
Above the mirror, a florescent tube provided a backlight for the area behind the bar. On both sides of the mirror hanging vertically were two Confederate flags. Two sets of crossed swords set on display above the flags. My buddy, Bob Drayton was an old rebel at heart. Stopping to let my eyes grow accustomed to the dimly lit barroom, I breathed in the smell of tobacco smoke and stale alcohol. A few drinkers lined the bar and a few couples sat at the tables throughout the room. A crowd of young people gathered around a dartboard making noise. The Jukebox played George Straight’s, All My Exes Live in Texas. Staggering to the end of the bar, I found a seat and took a pack of Marlboros from my coat pocket. I shook out a cigarette, grabbed a book of matches from the bar and attempted to light the smoke, but I put the wrong end in my mouth trying to light the filter.
Shaking out another cigarette, I managed to put the right end in my mouth this time. Flame from a lighter, flared in my face. Bob Drayton stood behind the bar holding his lighter. After lighting the cigarette, I tossed the matches on the bar. Bob, a tall lanky fellow with premature gray hair and a graveyard complexion, peered into my soul.
“Who pissed on your Corn Flakes?” Bob asked.
I shook my head. “You don’t want to know.”
Bob rubbed his hawk like beak, and then wiped the bar down with a towel. “Let me guess. You found out about your wife and Ray?”
“Jesus H. Christ! Did everyone know but me?” I asked.
Bob took two bottles of Budweiser from below the bar and popped the tops. He set one down in front of me then pulled up a stool. “I think you knew. You just didn’t want to believe it. I never liked Ray Cunningham. Even in school. I never did see what you saw in him. He seemed phony to me.”
“Hey Bob! How about some service down here?” someone yelled.
“Blow it out your ass!” Bob replied. He motioned for a barmaid to see to the customer.
“I would have called you on that, up until a few hours ago when I caught the son of a bitch fucking my wife,” I said and took a pull from the bottle.
Bob paused for a moment. “Did you guys throw down?”
“No. I thought about putting a bullet in both of them, but I backed out of the room. They didn’t know I was there,” I said and then snuffed out my cigarette.
Bob lit a cigarette of his own and tobacco smoke hovered in the air. He brought out two more beers, popped the tops, set them on the bar and leaned back in his chair.
“There is no door number two,” he said.
I took a pull from my beer thinking my friend had lost a few cards from his deck. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“Haven’t you seen them old game shows? Behind door number one is the new car, behind door number two is the vacation to the Bahamas, only you don’t know which door to choose?”
“Yeah, so what?” I said.
“There is no magic door that opens to the perfect woman, the perfect job or the perfect life. Life is what you make it. If your life sucks, change it.”
I thought it over. “What about you? You don’t have a perfect life.”
“No one does, but mine is as close to perfect as I can make it. Do you remember when I worked at the gas station before I bought this place?”
“Yeah. I remember,” I said.
“I hated it. Always getting dirt under my finger nails, but I hung in there and saved my money. When this place came up for sale, I put down every dime I’d saved down for the down payment and I haven’t regretted it since. I love this bar, and I enjoy my life. It’s not perfect, but it’s mine.”
“You’re a rare breed. Most men I know don’t enjoy their work,” I said blowing cigarette smoke across the bar.
“Make your own door number two. Sell that car lot; leave that bitch that you’re married to and get out of this shit bird town. A third of those ritzy houses where you live are empty and another third of them are for sale. Why do you think that is?”
I shrugged. “The town’s in a slump, but it’ll come back.”
“My ass! The town’s dead and it doesn’t know it. Have you noticed all the empty buildings on Main Street? There’s a big world out there and somewhere there’s a woman who will make your sun shine. Somewhere there is a job or business that you will enjoy. Buy that Harley that you always wanted, but Beth wouldn’t let you have. See the country.”
It hit me. Bob is right. I could blow this pop stand. What do I have to lose?
“It’s like when we were kids. It’s a do over. My life’s a do over. I can leave this town and start over somewhere else. Jack Ryan has been trying to buy me out for years.” I started to feel better.
Bob took a pull from his beer, leaned forward placing his elbows on the bar. “Outstanding. Send me a postcard when you find your door number two.”
“I thought you said there was no door number two?” I said laughing.
“There isn’t. You have to make your own. Do me one favor before you leave.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Knock Ray Cunningham on his ass.”
“You can count on it,” I replied.
At nine AM the next morning, I rolled into the parking lot of my used car lot. Sweat beaded up on my forehead and rolled down my face. Other than for a hangover, I didn’t feel too bad. After closing down the bar, I went home and crashed on the couch. Beth had an unwritten rule; when I come home drunk, I sleep on the couch. While Beth was busy getting ready to go in to the real estate office, I pretend to be asleep. When she left, I packed a gym bag filling it with a change of clothes, my shaving kit, my 45 caliber handgun and a box of bullets. After a quick shower and shave, I paused in the front doorway and gave the living room one last look. Breathing in the scent of Beth’s perfume, I closed the door and headed into my used car lot.
In the reception area, Brittney sat at her desk looking as sexy as ever. I looked down at the deep valley of cleavage between her breasts and then into her deep blue eyes breathing in her fresh scent. She gave me a curious look.
“You. In my office,” I said then sauntered down the hallway.
“Yes sir,” Brittney replied, giving me a mock salute. She opened the door and stepped into my office behind me. “What’s up Boss?” she asked.
Turning, I grabbed her by the waist, picked her up and spun her around. She let out a little squeal when I sat her on my desk and kissed her. Her lips tasted like fresh strawberries.
“Don’t tell me. You found out about your wife and Ray?” Brittney said letting out a short gasp.
“It seems I’m the last to know. You’ve been dropping hints since I first hired you. You still interested?”
“Hell yeah,” Brittney replied.
I kissed her again, unbuttoned the front of her red dress and fondled her for a few seconds, enjoying the softness I reached under the hem of her dress, pulled her panties down, dropped my trousers and took care of business.
“Britt. Go out to your desk. Get on the PA and tell everyone that I’m calling a staff meeting in a half hour,” I said after we finished.
“Okay Boss. Can I tell them what it’s about?”
“You’ll all find out in a half hour,” I said.
When Brittney left, I dialed Ryan Motors and an elderly woman answered the phone.
“Hello. This is Ryan Motors, your friendly Ford dealer,” she said.
“Hello, Louise. This is Bill Caldwell. Is Jack in?”
“Hi Bill. I’ll transfer you,” she replied.
Outside, the noise of one of my employees using a sledgehammer reverberated into the open window of my office.
A rough gravelly voice came on the line. “Hello Bill.”
“Jack. Do you still want to buy my place?” I asked.
“Yeah if you’re willin’ to sell. Name your price.”
“How does four hundred thousand sound?” I said.
“That includes your entire inventory?”
“Everything on the property,” I replied.
Jack paused and then said, “That’s a fair price.”
“There’s two things I insist on, or there’s no deal.”
“What’s that?” Jack asked.
“I need the money by five PM, and you keep all of my employees on the payroll. Make it cash.” I listened to a few seconds of silence.
“The part about your employees is a given. You’ve got good people, but I don’t know if I can come up with that much cash so soon. Let me call my accountant. I’ll get back to you.”
“You do that,” I said hanging up the phone. Next, I called my lawyer and arranged for him to meet me in my office at two PM. After that, I called the Gray Hound bus depot. Twenty minutes later, my phone rang. “Caldwell Motors,” I said after picking up the receiver.
“Bill, this is Jack Ryan. You’ve got a deal.”
“Good. I took the liberty of having my lawyer draw up papers. He’s stopping by around two. Does that sound good to you?” I asked.
“That’s gonna be a little tight, but I’m sure we can make it.”
“Good. I’ll look forward to seeing you,” I said then hung up the phone.
My employees filed into my office ten minutes later and I sat on my desk facing them. “There’s no good way to say this, so I’m just gonna come out with it. I’m selling out to Jack Ryan.” There were a few sighs and a few gasped breaths. “The good news is that he is going to keep you all employed. You might even get a raise. They have more capital than we do.”
Brittney looked hurt. “What about you? What are you going to do?” she asked.
“I’m leaving town. Most of you know about what was going on with Beth and Ray Cunningham. I’m done with this town and I’m done with Beth. I’m taking the Gray Hound out at midnight.” My employees looked stunned and I saw tears in a few eyes. Brittney looked ready to ball. “Cheer up. I want you to go back to work. Clean this place up. I want it in tiptop shape when Jack Ryan takes over. He’s a good man. You guys will do fine.”
After my employees left, I tied up some loose ends. Finished with that, I did nothing for a few hours, but play a few computer games. I felt antsy and kept watching the clock, but then my lawyer came in at two PM carrying a leather briefcase. A few minutes later, Jack Ryan and his lawyer strolled into my office. Jack was a massive cowboy sporting a large handle bar mustache with features that looked chiseled from stone. Jack’s lawyer looked over the papers saying that all was satisfactory, so Jack and I signed the papers and then shook hands.
“I’m gonna miss you Bill. I don’t know what I’ll do without a little competition.”
“You’ll do fine. What are your plans for the place?” I asked.
“I want to put my trade ins over here. I might branch out and start selling Chevrolets.”
“Whatever you do, you’ll do all right,” I said.
After Jack Ryan left, my lawyer produced a set of divorce papers. Heaving a sigh, I signed the papers, instructed him to file them in court as soon as possible and signed the deed to my house over to my wife.
“Where can I get hold of you if I need to?” my skinny little lawyer asked.
“Fax anything you need me to sign, to my brother in LA. You filled out those power of attorney forms allowing him to sign on my behalf right?” My lawyer nodded. “You’ve also got my cell phone number if you need to get hold of me directly.” When I shook hands with my attorney, I felt as if someone had punched a hole through my heart. For the rest of the afternoon, I sat at my desk trying to stay busy. I kept second guessing myself, wondering if I was doing the right thing. At four thirty that afternoon, I punched the intercom button between my office and Brittney’s desk. “Hey Britt. Tell the troops to take the rest of the day off,” I said.
“Wahoo. Two early quits in a row,” she said, and then laughed.
Brittney and I stepped out the door together an hour later and we were the last to leave. After locking up, I handed Brittney my keys to the front door.
“Give these to Jack Ryan in the morning,” I said. Brittney nodded and started toward her car looking pissed off. “What’s up with you?” I asked.
She whirled around facing me. “You come in here this morning, fuck me on your desk then out of the blue you say you’re leaving town and I’m not supposed to be pissed?”
“I’m sorry,” I said raising my hands. “But I got to get out of this shitty town. You could come with me,’ I said.
She paused for a minute thinking. “You know I can’t. If it weren’t for my mother, I might consider it.”
“How is she?” I asked.
“About the same.”
“How about hanging out with me until my bus leaves at midnight?”
Brittney paused and then walked with me to my Cadillac. Opening the passenger door, I leaned down and kissed her on the cheek. “Let’s stop by the Colonel’s and get a bucket of chicken. I thought we could go up to the Little Colorado and have a picnic,” I said and then pulled out of my parking space.
“That sounds nice,” Brittney said.
Turning left on Main Street, I weaved in and out of traffic. Three scruffy looking bikers passed by going the opposite direction. They wore the Road Dogs patch on the back of their vest: one of our local motorcycle clubs. “I need to make a quick stop,” I said and pulled into Cunningham’s Hardware.
“You don’t have to do this,” Brittney said sounding pissed.
“Yeah, I do,” I said pulling into a parking space.
Climbing out of the car, I hurried across the parking lot. Inside the hardware store, I ignored the hustle and bustle making my way to the employee area. Ray’s secretary said something about Ray being busy and not wanting to be disturbed, but I ignored her pushing his office door open. Ray sat in a red patent leather rocker on the other side of his desk with his back toward me. He was talking on the phone and looking out the back window of his office, but then he whirled around looking surprised to see me.
“I’ll have to get back to you,” Ray said to the person on the phone. His face looked as red as his hair and I wondered if he had been talking to my soon to be ex-wife. “Bill what the-”
Crossing the room, I gave him a right fist to his big nose, knocking him over backward. Charging around the desk, I took the sunglasses from my coat pocket and threw them in Ray’s face. “You forgot these the other day when you were at my house fucking my wife!” I yelled.
Ray stumbled to his feet crying that I had broken his nose, and then hollered to his secretary to get him a towel. Blood dripped onto the floor. The secretary stood in shock for a few seconds and then threatened to call the cops.
A shit eating grin crossed my face. “Tell them that I will be down by the Little Colorado,” I said and stormed out the same way I came in.
“Do you feel better now?” Brittney asked when I climbed back into the car.
“Yes much better,” I said and then smiled.
We headed down Main Street, went through the drive through at Colonel Sanders and headed west. A mile outside of town, I turned right onto a dirt road leading north. A warm breeze blew sand against the car and a tumble weed tumbled across the road in front of us. Traveling over a bumpy desert road, I drove through a sea of cactus, sagebrush and Joshua trees until I stopped at our picnic spot in a turn out near the river. Cotton Wood trees lining the riverbank offered shade.
Brittney and I had our picnic on the hood of my Cadillac and the food taste great; I love Colonel Sanders. After we ate, we spent the evening skinny dipping, making love in the back seat of my Cadillac and drinking beer. The water and the beer were cold; a refreshing relief from the day’s heat, and the conversation was good. I liked the smell and feel of the leather on my ass as Brittney rode me like a wild pony. Her breasts bounced up and down in my face threatening to blacken both my eyes. It was the best sex I’d ever had. The cops interrupted our party a while later and I had to explain about my dust up with Ray. They said that Ray hadn’t pressed charges so I was off the hook.
Thank God, we had our clothes on when they showed up, I thought.
“I wish you wouldn’t go,” Brittney said when she dropped me off at the bus stop.
“It’s something I got to do,” I said, breathing in the smell of diesel exhaust. I kissed her long and hard on the mouth. A tear tracked down her cheek. “You can have the car,” I said tossing the keys to the Cadillac.
“Beth will love that,” she said and then laughed.
Fifteen minutes later, wondering what adventures awaited me; I leaned against the window, closed my eyes and the bus rumbled out of Tortilla Flats disappearing into the night.
Joe Garcia and Jerry Simpson sat hunched down in the seat of an old blue Chevy sedan watching room fourteen at a rundown motel in a seedy section of Jacksonville Florida. The pealing yellow paint on the motel was starting to fade and potholes filled the parking lot. Across the parking lot set a swimming pool with two feet of stagnant water. Flies and mesquites buzzed the air above the pool. They had been sitting there all morning. Jerry took pictures with a thirty five millimeter camera of a busty blonde entering room fourteen.
“Mother of God, it’s hot,” Jerry, said wiping a bead of sweat from his face. “I’ve taken two rolls of film. Do you think Mike will be satisfied? I want to get out of this heat. The humidity’s got to be over ninety percent.”
“You heard his orders. We stay here until Ramon leaves, then give Mike a call. You know how anal he gets about following instructions.”
“I know, but can you at least turn the engine on and run the air conditioner?”
“That I can do that,” Joe said and started the engine.
“That’s a little better,” Jerry added. “Now if we only had some beer.”
“I wonder why Mike took this case? We’re a long ways from Saint Charles. He usually tries to keep us out of the bigger cities.”
“You know why. When that Spanish chick batted her brown eyes he was hooked.”
“He does have the ladies falling all over him. It’s hard to believe he used to be an insurance salesman in California,” Joe said, glancing in the mirror.
“It’s even harder to believe he used to be a Sunday school teacher.” They both laughed.
“Yeah, I walked in one time and caught him reading his Bible. I asked him how he could justify his lifestyle, with his Christian beliefs. Have you seen him when the shit goes down?”
“I know. He scares me. What’d he say?” Jerry asked and then brushed a strand of sandy blond hair out of his face.
“He said that God uses men as his sword of vengeance.”
“You heard about his wife?”
A sea gull flew over dropping a large glob of bird shit that hit the windshield.
“Shit. Fucking sea gulls,” Joe said. “I think everybody’s heard that story. He and his wife were on vacation on his Gold Wing when they pulled into a bar so she could use the bathroom. Some outlaw bikers jumped them. The bikers beat the shit out of Mike then raped and killed his wife.”
“I heard that after he got out of the hospital, he killed every one of those sons of bitches.” Thunder rolled and Jerry looked into the overcast sky wondering if it was going to rain.
“You know what I find hardest to believe?” Joe asked.
“That Mike used to ride a Honda Gold Wing.” They both laughed.
“Me too. Mike McDonald looks like he was born on a Harley Davidson,” Jerry replied. “How does he keep up with it all? He owns the detective agency, the charter fishing business and the bike shop.”
“He relies on his employees. It’d be too much for me to keep track of,” Joe said.
Joe Garcia and Jerry Simpson watched room fourteen for several more hours. A thunderstorm pelted the land, lasting about twenty minutes, but it left everything hot and sticky. The blonde left, a red head took her place and a younger prettier brunet in turn replaced her.
“Ramon sure has a hard on for the ladies. That’s the third one today,” Jerry said, taking a bite out of an apple.
“They must be doing dope in there.”
A heavyset Hispanic woman dressed in a white cleaning uniform with pink stripes knocked on the door of room fourteen and said, “Housekeeping.”
Jerry laughed. “Lorrie looks different in her fat suit.”
“It’s hard to believe that under all that padding is a fine looking long legged Chicano.”
The door to room fourteen opened and Lorrie stepped inside. A few seconds later, a black Lincoln pulled into the parking lot and Ramon Delgado stepped out of room fourteen. Jerry Garcia took pictures. Lorrie stepped out behind Ramon heading for the washroom. Ramon Delgado, a tall skinny Hispanic with arms filled with prison tattoos, glanced toward the street giving Jerry Simpson and Joe Garcia a cold hard look.
“Damn that guy has a big nose,” Jerry said lowering his camera.
“Oh shit. This doesn’t look good,” Joe replied, ignoring the comment.
“I know man. Those dudes look Columbian.”
Four Latin men climbed out of the car and laid brief cases on the hood. Ramon unconsciously rubbed a thin scar that ran down his right cheek. He said something to the Columbians, and then looked back at the blue sedan parked at the curb. The Columbians followed his gaze.
“We’ve been made,” Joe said.
“Let’s see what he does.”
Ramon’s nostrils flared. He pulled a cell phone from his pocket and dialed a number. After talking on the phone for a few seconds and then he put it away. Ramon gave Jerry and Joe another look and then followed Lorrie into the washroom.
“He’s onto Lorrie! We’ve got to go help her!” Joe yelled, grabbing the door handle. He reached for the 45 ridding in a holster on his hip. Joe’s heart did a drum roll inside his chest.
“I hear you!” Jerry said, grabbing the stub nose in his shoulder holster, and opened the passenger door. A low rider Chevy Impala rumbled down the street behind them. The world erupted into the sound of automatic weapons fire. Bits and pieces of glass and metal flew through the air. Bullets riddled the car.
Joe took a round in the back of the neck, blood spattered against the driver’s side window of the blue sedan and he fell into the front seat of the car. It felt like someone hit him in the back of the neck with a sledgehammer. He sat up and took two more rounds in the chest. Blood soaked his shirt and spewed from the hole in his throat.
Jerry dived out the passenger door, rolling to his feet, and crouched behind the car firing several rounds at the Impala. Lightning struck across the street, the sky opened up and a violent thunderstorm assaulted the land. A Latino wearing dark clothing jumped out of the low rider and opened up with an AR-15, stitching Jerry down the body with bullets. Jerry cried out, falling into the gutter, and his last conscious thought was, Mike is gonna be pissed about this one.
Ramon Delgado strolled from the washroom wiping blood from the blade of a folding knife on his pants. He hurried over to the car that Simpson and Garcia had been sitting in. Pulling a 45, he looked down at Jerry Simpson and fired two rounds into his head. He pointed the handgun at Joe Garcia and fired two more rounds. Empty casings flew into the air and landed on the sidewalk. The rain stopped as quickly as it started washing away the blood in a crimson stream.
Ramon squatted down and stuck his finger into the blood on Jerry Simpson’s chest. He wiped a spot dry on the rear door of the blue sedan and then drew a happy face on the side of the car door. After writing something in blood with his finger above the picture, he stood up and hurried back to the Colombians.
“Let’s do this before the cops get here,” Ramon said. They exchanged brief cases full of money for two brief cases full of cocaine. The Colombians got back into their vehicle and sped away. Ramon jumped into his red Corvette, backed into the street, spinning his tires and then headed west.
Mike McDonald’s phone woke him from a deep slumber. Pulling his arm from beneath a naked blonde’s body, removing his hand from her breast, he reached across her to grab his cell phone from the nightstand next to his bed. The naked red head on the other side of him moaned in her sleep as the cabin cruiser rocked on its moorings. Shivering from the cold, Mike looked at the digital clock setting on the nightstand. It displayed two AM.
Instantly awake, Mike answered the phone. “McDonald’s Detective Agency.” Mike’s heart raced and his stomach churned.
“This is Sergeant Dawson with the Jacksonville PD. Did you have people up here working a case? I found your card in the wallet of a shooting victim,” a gruff voice said after a short pause.
Mike’s breathing accelerated. Oh, God no, Mike thought. “Yes I did. It was a divorce case. They were on a stake out. What happened?”
“They were involved in a gang related hit. They’re dead. I need you to identify the bodies. We have two male victims shot multiple times, plus a female with her throat slit.”
Whoever did this? I’ll kill the bastards! Mike thought. “I’ll be there as soon as I can,” Mike said slamming the cell phone down on the nightstand causing the two naked women in his bed to jump in their sleep. Mike slid from between the two women and sat on the edge of the bed. Goose bumps formed up on his arms and legs. The blonde sat up, the blankets falling away from her chest.
“Mike Honey. Come back to bed.” Her voice sounded sleepy.
“No Baby. I got business. You go back to sleep,” Mike replied.
The blonde lay back on the bed and fell asleep while Mike dialed a number on his cell phone.
“This better be fucking good,” a sleepy voice coming over the phone said.
“Jack. It’s Mike. We got trouble. Get over here. Be ready to ride.”
“What happened?” Jack asked.
“I’ll tell you when you get here,” Mike said. He cut the connection and then dialed another number. Another sleepy voice answered.
“Marshal. This is Mike. Meet me at my boat in fifteen minutes. Be ready to ride.”
“I’ll tell you when you get here. Haul ass,” Mike said.
Mike dialed one last number and a deep gravelly voice answered on the fifth ring.
“Do you know what time it is Chief?”
“Elliot. Get your ass over here. We got trouble. Be ready to ride,” Mike said.
“I’ll be there,” Elliot said, and then hung up the phone.
Stepping over a black and tan German shepherd dog sleeping next to the bed, Mike threw on a pair of jeans, a black tee shirt and his motorcycle boots. Dressed, Mike went into the head and took a piss. He stood looking at himself in the mirror. His features looked haggard and somehow he couldn’t believe that his people were dead.
Finished in the head, Mike went into the galley and started coffee. The dog padded in wagging its tail.
“Good morning, Lucky,” Mike said and then gave the dog a friendly pat on the head. He opened the door leading up to the deck and let the dog out to do his morning business. Lucky scampered up to the main deck and jumped over the gunwale and onto the dock. While the coffee brewed, he went back into the cabin where the girls slept, put on a black skullcap and took his leathers from the closet. For a few seconds, Mike stood looking down at the two naked women sleeping in his bed. They looked peaceful. Lucky jumped back onto the boat and Mike filled his food dish with canned dog food, and watched him chow down.
Twenty minutes later, three Harley Davidson motorcycles rumbled up to the marina. Mike climbed up the steps leading to the main deck and stepped into the low lying fog hanging over the harbor. Three hard looking bikers sauntered up the dock appearing out of the fog and Lucky, now finished with his breakfast rushed up on deck to greet them.
“Come below and have some coffee. It’s colder than a penguin’s ass hole, out here. We’ve got a long ride ahead of us,” Mike said when the men came aboard. The boat rocked with their added weight.
“What’s this all about?” Marshal asked.
Mike passed out cups of scalding hot coffee. He paused, leaning against a wooden cabinet, and looked at three of his best friends. There was Jack Logan, a gray headed rawboned man with a face that looked like saddle leather. There was Marshal Cain, a short stocky blond headed guy in his thirties whose body rippled with muscles. He had a tiny scar on the cleft of his chin and arms filled with tattoos. Mike’s eyes moved to Elliot Coe, a massive Seminole Indian who looked nothing but mean.
“What’s up Mike? You look worried,” Elliot said.
“Our crew working the Delgado case in Jacksonville got hit. I have to identify the bodies,” Mike said.
A second of stunned silence followed.
“What about Lorrie?” Logan asked.
“Mother fucker!” Elliot said his face turning red with anger.
“My sentiments exactly,” Mike replied.
“Let’s roll,” Marshal Cain said tossing back the rest of his coffee. Lucky looked up at the rough looking bikers wagging his tail.
“No you can’t go, Lucky. You stay here. Guard the girls,” Mike said to the dog. Lucky went back into the bedroom and lay down.
Mike put on his leathers and followed his employees up the dock to the street. He threw his leg over his nineteen eighty four black Harley Davidson shovelhead, turned on the key then jumped up into the air and came down on the kick starter. On the third try, the engine came to life. Mike turned the throttle letting the Thunder Header pipes roar. All four of them wore a motorcycle club vest over their leathers. The top rocker over the main patch said, Green River Boys. The main patch was a picture of a motorcycle parked next to a flowing river. The bottom rocker said Florida. A few years prior, during his war with the Lost Souls motorcycle club who killed his wife, Mike hooked up with the Green River Boys in Wyoming and they helped him with his war against the Lost Souls. Before Mike left Wyoming they made Mike an honorary member of the club. Once Mike settled in Florida he started a chapter in St. Charles with Mike serving as the chapter president, Jack Logan as the VP and Elliot Coe as the sergeant of arms.
They rumbled though the sleepy little village, with Mike leading the pack, and took Highway 64 heading east across Florida. The fog cleared up and the wind felt good against Mike’s face. At Avon Park, they headed north on Highway 27 then took Highway 4 east bypassing Orlando. At Daytona Beach they headed north on Highway 95. The sun came up over the Atlantic and the weather turned warm. It had the makings of another hot and sticky day, but a mist blowing off the ocean provided some relief.
They rolled into Jacksonville at six AM and pulled into a Glencoe station.
“Let’s get some breakfast,” Mike said noticing a Denny’s across the street.
“I could use some grub and about a gallon of coffee,” Jack replied.
“My ass is numb after that long ride on this rigged,” Elliot said.
They motored across the street after paying for their gas and sauntered into the restaurant. Mike led them to the end of the breakfast bar and they climbed up on barstools.
“What can I get you guys?” a waitress asked.
“The food smells delicious. Give me the Grand Slam. I’ll have the eggs over easy, bacon and some hash browns,” Mike said. His stomach growled making the waitress laugh.
“Somebody’s hungry. Would you like toast?”
“Yeah,” Mike replied noticing the cute little dimples that appeared in the waitress’s cheeks when she smiled.
“Whole wheat or white?”
“Make it whole wheat,” Mike replied.
“And to drink?”
“Coffee, and keep it coming,” Mike said shooting the waitress another smile.
The waitress smiled back and then moved down the line taking orders. They talked, smoked and drank coffee while waiting for their breakfast. Mike glanced about the restaurant. It had the typical Denny’s look: trying to put off an image of a fifties diner. Mike’s stomach rumbled when he saw the cute waitress bringing their food. They wolfed down the meal as only hungry men can. Finished with breakfast, they swung their legs over the motorcycles and motored across town to the police station. Sweat beaded up on Mike’s shirt when they marched up the sidewalk and entered the Jacksonville police station. The air conditioner inside the lobby was a welcome relief. Mike stepped up to the counter.
“I want you guys to go over to the site and check things out. Maybe somebody saw something,” Mike said.
“You got it Boss,” Jack replied wiping sweat from his brow.
“If you need me, call me on my cell.”
“Where do you want us to meet up?” Elliot asked.
“I’ll call you when I’m done here.” After his amigos left, Mike presented his credentials to the receptionist. “My name is Mike McDonald. I had some people working a case at the Shady Palms. Someone killed them last night. I’d like to talk to the Detective in charge,” Mike said to the pretty, blonde haired female officer.
“I’m so sorry about what happened to your people. Let me check the log book to see which detective is on the case,” she said pulling a book from under the counter. After finding the case, she dialed a number on her phone and spoke into the receiver. “Robert there is a Mike McDonald here to see you about last night’s shooting. Okay. I’ll send him in.” The receptionist said.
Mike opened a hard wood brown door to his right and stepped into the reception area. The blonde led him down a long narrow hallway. Mike couldn’t help but notice the tight fit of her uniform as her shapely bottom swung back and forth in front of him. The smell of her perfume wafted on the wind. She stopped at an office doorway.
“Officer Robert Gonzales is handling the case,” she said, opening the door.
“Thank you,” Mike said and stepped into the room. A short older Hispanic man wearing a dark brown suit stood up from behind a desk and met Mike halfway across the room. A Cuban cigar set in the ashtray on the desk; smoke rose from the ashtray.
“I’m Detective Gonzales,” the man said extending his hand and they shook.
“I’m Mike McDonald, from McDonald’s Detective Agency.”
“Have a seat,” Gonzales said.
“This must be hard for you, but could you tell me what your people were doing at the Shady Palms?” Gonzales asked, leaning forward and resting his elbows on his desk.
“They were working a divorce case. I brought the file,” Mike said handing over the case file. The detective scanned the file for a few seconds.
“Ramon Delgado is a cheap thug. He’s into drug dealing, burglary, and auto theft. We think he’s trying to step up to the next level,” Gonzales said.
“What makes you say that?” Mike asked leaning forward.
“Your people took pictures. We have the film. The pictures show what appears to be a drug deal going down. The guys Ramon was buying from looked like Columbians. Delgado realized your people had him under surveillance and called in reinforcements who opened up on your people with automatic weapons.”
“I’d like the pictures.”
“You’ll get them when we’re done with them. I’d like to take you to the morgue to identify the bodies, then we’ll go to the impound lot. Delgado left you a message written in blood on the side of the car. I’d like you to tell me what it means. He might have some sort of grudge against you. Then we’ll go out to the Shady Palms.”
“Let’s roll,” Mike said.
“Would you like one of these?” Gonzales asked picking up his cigar.
“Yeah. I could go for one,” Mike said and then smiled.
Gonzales handed Mike a cigar and Mike followed him out the door to the parking lot. A dog barked down the street and a motorcycle rumbled past. Mike got in on passenger side of a white unmarked police car and Gonzales drove them across town. Mike gazed out the window watching the scenery. They passed a strip mall, several gas stations and a bank. He noticed a bum wearing a green Army jacket standing in front of a liquor store. How can he stand to wear that coat when it’s so hot and sticky outside? Mike wondered when they pulled up to the curb in front of the morgue. Mike gazed up at the white stone building towering above them as Detective Gonzales led him up the steps to the county building that housed the coroner’s office and the morgue. They took the elevator down to the basement. Gonzales led him into the back where the bodies were stored. The odor of formaldehyde and other chemicals permeated the room.
The portly baldheaded coroner’s assistant slid open three steel drawers. Mike looked down at the pasty colored bodies of his former friends and employees.
“The Bastard did her in the washroom,” Gonzales said looking down at Lorrie.
“The son of a bitch better hope I don’t lay my hands on him,” Mike replied letting out a slow angry breath. After identifying the bodies, Gonzales drove Mike to the police impound lot. He showed his police identification to the guard at the gate and drove onto the lot. They pulled up next to the bullet riddled blue Chevy. Mike glanced in the driver’s side window noticing the puddle of dried blood on the front seat. Bits and pieces of glass from the shot out windshield covered the floor. Bullet holes filled every square foot of the car’s body. A half-eaten apple lay in the passenger floorboard.
“What do you think about this?” Gonzales asked pointing to the rear passenger door. Mike knelt down looking at the side of the car. Drawn in Jerry Simpson’s blood was a happy face with the words: Have a nice day, Mikey.
Mike jumped up, his face turning red and he could barely speak. “I guess that’s this asshole’s idea of a joke. He must not like the fact that I’m working for his wife.” For a fraction of a second Mike’s mind flashed back to the past. I should have killed him back then when I had the chance, he thought.
“We’ll catch the Bastard,” Gonzales said.
“Not if I catch him first.”
Finished at the impound lot, Gonzales drove Mike to the Shady Palms motel. Marshal Cain, Jack Logan, and Elliot Coe stood in the parking lot talking to the manager. After getting out of the car, Mike stepped up to Logan.
“What did you find out?” Mike asked.
“Not much. A neighbor saw a red or green low rider cruising down the street, then heard gunfire, but other than that people were closed moth about the situation.”
Mike looked around, trying to visualize the attack. He walked over to the curb noticing pieces of glass and some dried blood that the rain hadn’t washed away on the ground.
“We got the same story,” Gonzales said walking up to Logan. Gonzales looked at Mike and said, “Would you like to see the washroom?”
“Yeah. I would,” Mike said and followed Gonzales across the motel parking lot. Inside the washroom, Mike saw signs of struggle. Clothes lay scattered about, laundry baskets lay in disarray, and blood covered the floor. It wasn’t easy. Lorrie put up a fight, he thought. After taking a tour of the crime scene, Gonzales drove Mike back to the police station. Marshal Cain, Elliot Coe and Jack Logan followed on their Harleys.
“What do we do now?” Marshal asked when Mike stormed out of the police station.
Mike paused, lighted a cigarette, and tried to keep his hands from shaking.
“We head back to Saint Charles, and I’ll make some calls. I’ll have our contacts at the DMV see if they can come up with an address on Delgado.”
“If we catch him?” Elliot asked.
“If I get the son of a bitch in my sights, I’m gonna shoot him,” Mike said.
“I do like the way you think,” Elliot replied.
Mike threw his leg over his motorcycle and started the engine. His shirt was soaked with sweat from the one hundred percent humidity. The sky looked overcast and threatened rain. They hit the interstate heading south: three hard men with blood in their eyes and revenge in their hearts.
Gavin McMillan turned his, Lincoln Continental Mark II onto Baker Street, in the Bronx at two fifteen AM. A light snow fell from the sky, he had the heater on and he had the collar of his Armani coat buttoned up close to his neck but still he shivered from the cold. Glancing at his face in the rear view mirror, Gavin took in his wrinkled features, his receding hair line and the age spot on his left cheek. His gray eyes looked tired and his face looked haggard, but he didn’t think he looked too bad for sixty five. He puffed on a Luck Strike cigarette, smoke filled the driver’s compartment and he let out a wheezy cough. God I hate coming down to the Bronx at this time of night, he thought. Especially on a night like this.If people would mind their own business, this type of thing wouldn’t be necessary.
Driving through one of the seedy sections of the Bronx, he pulled over to the curb and parked in front of Baker Street Tattoos, which set next to an Irish pub, known as the Paddy Shack. A green neon light in the window flashed an image of a four leaf clover to the outside world. A scrawny red headed young man with a scruffy goatee wearing baggy pants, a worn wool coat and a watch cap stood in front of the tattoo parlor dancing back and forth on the balls of his feet. When he saw McMillan pull up, he stepped off the curb, opened the passenger door, a blast of cold air filled the vehicle, and he sat down in the front seat closing the door behind him.
Rubbing his hands together to keep warm, the scrawny young man said, “It’s a hell of a night to be out and about Mr. McMillan. I trust that you brought the money?”
“Half now and half when the job is done, as agreed,” McMillan said.
“This lad sure must have done something to get under your skin.”
McMillan’s hands gripped the steering wheel tighter. “That’s not you business, O’ Grady. Do what I am paying you to do and don’t ask questions,” McMillan said.
O’ Grady put his hands in the air. “Take it easy Pops. I was just making conversation. When the Baker Boys take on a job, we get it done and we don’t talk about it.”
“Look, Shawn, I also want your boys to trash his house. I want his computer, and any CD ROM disk that you find and any paper files with the firm’s logo on them.”
“We’ll get it done. Tomorrow’s Monday, we should have this wrapped up by Wednesday. I’ll be expecting another envelope filled with cash by Friday,” O’Grady replied.
“Make yourself available next Saturday evening around midnight. We have another shipment coming in. I’ll need three or four of your boys to unload the stuff and then I want your boys to put it out on the street as quick as you can. I want to make a quick turn around on this one so we can all make some fast money.”
“Are we meeting at the usual place?” O’Grady asked.
McMillan paused watching the tiny snowflakes hitting the windshield. “Yeah, and Shawn, if you screw me on either one of these deals, your dead,” McMillan said.
Shawn chuckled. “I told you Pops, when the Baker Boys take on a job, we get it done, but that goes both ways. If you leave us hanging out to dry, it could become a very explosive situation. You know how us Irish lads like things that go boom,” Shawn said and then laughed.
Glancing at the flakes of snow falling off of O’Grady’s body getting the custom leather front seat of his Lincoln wet, anger surged through McMillan. He handed over an envelope filled with cash. “Here’s the first half of your money. You’ll get the rest when the job is done and I have the merchandize that I requested now get the fuck out of my car you’re making a mess.”
Shawn O’Grady took the money and then sighed, not wanting to get out of the warm vehicle. “See you later Pops,” he said and then stepped out to the curb and slammed the door. McMillan pulled away from the curb, caught the nearest onramp to the interstate, his windshield wipers barely clearing away the snow, and headed for his high dollar home on Stanton Island while snow fell onto the streets of New York City.
The beeping sound of the alarm on his cell phone woke John David McDonald from a sound sleep. The first thing he noticed, before he opened his eyes was the tingling sensation in his arm. The second thing he noticed was the pleasant sensation of a female breast in the palm of his right hand. He opened his eyes and smiled, taking in the naked form of Connie Brooks sleeping next to him in his California King sized bed, in the bedroom of his Manhattan apartment. He pulled his arm from underneath her and leaned back taking in her beauty. He admired her shapely back, her long raven dark hair, the swell of her breasts and her tanned muscled yet soft body. He glanced at the small butterfly tattoo on her shoulder. Good Lord am I ever glad that I took Mike’s advice, back when I was helping him out of that bit of trouble in Nebraska and contacted her on the web, he thought. She has been a ray of sunshine ever since she arrived.
His thoughts drifted to his soon to be ex wife Nicole, who was in the process of suing him for divorce along with custody of his two kids and was living in his two story house in Long Island. He had been in a deep funk since Nicole kicked him out of the house and separated him from his kids, but having Connie here had let some happiness back into his life. When he found her on the web and then called her, he didn’t think they would hit it off. Having her come to New York City for a visit had been one of the best decisions that he had made in quite a while. It had taken his attention away from his bitter divorce, as well as the unpleasantness down at the firm. John David sighed. That is something I have to deal with today. I hope it doesn’t get too ugly, he thought. Anger shot through him. Why couldn’t Gavin had just kept things on the up and up? It’s not like we’re not making enough money. Now the firm is in jeopardy. John David slid out of bed, crossed the bedroom in the nude and headed to the bathroom down the hall. Goose bumps formed up on his exposed flesh. He stepped into the shower, turned up the hot water, and let the invigorating water chase the fogginess of sleep from his brain. He had been in the shower for about a minute, when the bathroom door opened. Connie Brooks stepped into the shower with him. She didn’t say a word she just pressed her succulent body up against his and kissed him. Their tongues touched, John David felt himself growing hard and his hand found her left breast. Connie’s nipple hardened under his hand.
They stood there kissing under the hot water prolonging the embrace, and then Connie pulled away. She turned around bent over slightly pressing her ass up against his crotch and said, “Do me in the shower.”
She positioned herself, granting him access; he guided his stiff member into her moist center and did what he was told. Connie Brooks let out a squeal of ecstasy as John David slammed into her from behind bringing her to a quick orgasm. She fell against the shower wall, her legs weak and barely able to stand when they were through. “Thank you Sir. I needed that,” Connie said, and then turned around and kissed him again.
“So did I,” John David said. “You just put a bright spot in what is going to be a very bad day.”
“Why don’t you just call the police?” Connie asked.
John David sighed. “I want to give him a chance to do the right thing. He hired me when I was fresh out of law school and made me his partner. It’s sad that it has come down to this.”
“I am sure that whatever happens, you’ll be able to handle it. You’re strong. When you get home, I’ll put some more sunlight in your day,” she said and then kissed him again.
Finished in the shower, they dried off John David took a blue robe from the hook on the bathroom door and handed it to Connie and took a brown one off the hook for himself. “How do pancakes, fried bacon and eggs sound for breakfast?” he asked.
“It sounds wonderful,” Connie said and put on her rode. “But do you have the time?”
“I’ll take the time,” he said.
Finished in the bathroom, they stepped out into the hallway. “I’m going to go get dressed,” Connie said and retreated into the bedroom.
“I’ll start breakfast,” John David replied. He headed into the kitchen and draped his bathrobe over a barstool at the breakfast bar. He crossed the kitchen, took a white apron from a hook on the door of the broom closet and put it on. Connie came back into the kitchen, catching him bent over with his ass in the air retrieving a flat of eggs from the refrigerator. She let out a giggle, stepped up behind him and gave him a playful slap on the ass. John David stood up, holding a flat of eggs in his hands and turned around facing her. “Have a seat, my dear. Breakfast will be in about ten minutes.”
Connie, now dressed in a pair of tight designer jeans and a gray sweater, sat down at the breakfast bar to watch the show. “I must be special. It’s not every day that I have a naked man serve me breakfast,” she said and laughed.
John David grinned. “I’m not naked. I’m wearing an apron,” he replied.
“Might as well be,” Connie said.
John David took a frying pan from a lower cupboard and went to the refrigerator to retrieve the bacon. Connie admired his bare ass when he bent over to get the frying pan. He started a pot of coffee, poured a pitcher of orange juice and fried the bacon. Soon the smell of frying bacon and fresh brewed coffee filled the kitchen.
“What made you decide to get in contact with me?” Connie asked.
“A few weeks ago I went to Nebraska to help my brother Mike out of a jam. While he was in jail, we talked. He mentioned having lunch with you and your girl friends at Denny’s after he came back from the war. He said that you asked about me and that I should look you up on the web.”
“I remember that day. Sharon was there. After that, they started hanging out and then got married. It’s terrible what happened to them,” Connie said.
“Yeah that really messed Mike up. He’s still not over her,” John David said.
“I remember that he looked real handsome in his uniform.”
“You might not recognize him if you saw him today. He’s changed. Not just his appearance but his personality as well,” he said.
“For one thing, he rides a Harley now. He hangs around with bikers, hell he is a biker. He’s a bit rougher around the edges, a bit more serious.”
“I can understand that. You can’t have something happen to you like what happened to him and Sharon and it not change you. Then there’s what he did afterward,” Connie said.
John David sighed. “Tell me about it. It’s still hard to believe that he took on an entire outlaw motorcycle club pretty much by himself, but what’s hardest for me to believe is that he’s not in prison,” John David said. He finished cooking breakfast, set a plate down in front of Connie, and poured them each a cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice. Taking a stool from her side of the breakfast bar, John David took it around the bar and set it down where he could sit facing her while they ate.
“These eggs are delicious. What happened in Nebraska?” Connie asked.
“They were holding him on a trumped up murder charge. There was this woman, a Mrs. Chandler who owned a ranch. She had a section of land down by a river and this local real estate developer wanted it. She didn’t want to sell, so the guy hired some Irish and Italian gangsters to put some pressure on her to sell. Mike called up his biker buddies and they went to war. Again, I am surprised he didn’t wind up in prison.”
“Mike always had a kind heart. He reminds me of you in that way, but when we were kids it seemed like you were the one always getting into trouble,” Connie said.
“Yeah, until we got older. What Mike did to help that Chandler woman was a good thing. He might be rough, but you are right. He does have a good heart; just don’t try to hurt any of his friends or family. Then he’ll kill you. He has a low tolerance for assholes.”
Connie giggled. “Do you remember that time when we all went skinny dipping at City Creek?”
He laughed and took a bite out of a piece of bacon. “How could I forget? It was one of the highlights of my youth.”
“I had such a big crush on you after that. I am glad you listened to your brother and reached out to me,” Connie said and smiled.
“Me too. These past few days have been outstanding. You’ve put some happiness back into my dreary life.”
Connie reached across the breakfast bar and took his hand. “Your life’s not dreary. You’re a high dollar attorney; you have a nice house and a nice apartment. You’re just going through a rough a patch right now,” she said.
John David sighed. “A nice house that my soon to be ex wife is going to take.”
“So what? Once you get this business settled at the firm and put your nose back to the grindstone, you can buy another house. And now you’ve got me,” Connie said. She leaned across the breakfast bar and kissed him.
Finished with breakfast John David said, “I guess I’d better get these dishes done then head down to the firm.”
Connie stood to her feet. “You go get dressed. I’ll do the dishes.”
He went to the bedroom, picked himself out a blue leisure suit from his closet and then dressed. Stepping back out into the living he waited until Connie had finished the breakfast dishes and said, “I hate leaving you like this, but this is something that can’t wait.”
“I know. You can’t just stop your life because I’m here.”
“While I’m gone you could either watch TV or take a subway down to the village and do some shopping. I’ll be back in a few hours,” John David said.
“I’m a big girl. I can entertain myself. I might head back to the bedroom and finish that romance novel that I was reading. Take all the time you need. I’ll be here when you get back.” John David stepped up to her she kissed him he pulled her close breathing in the smell of her perfume prolonging the kiss. They broke the embrace, said their good-byes and John David stepped out the door.
Heading back into the bedroom, Connie paused looking about the room and noticed John David’s cell phone sitting on the night stand next to his bed. “Shit. He forgot his cell phone. Maybe I can catch him before he gets to the elevator,” she said to herself. She dashed across the room, grabbed the cell phone and ran to the front door. In the hallway of the apartment building, she ran down to the elevator but John David had already taken the elevator down to the parking structure. “Shit,” she said and hit the down button hoping to catch him in the underground parking garage before he left for work. Inside the elevator she breathed in a slight smell of tobacco smoke as the elevator descended to the parking garage.
When John David stepped out of his apartment door, he had some extra pep in his step and a smile on his face. He couldn’t remember when he had felt this happy. I need to call Mike and tell him about this, he thought. He headed to the elevator whistling a snappy tune while he swaggered along. He hit the down button on the side of the wall at the elevators. The elevator doors slid open; he stepped inside and pressed the button for the parking garage and then took a pack of cigarettes from his coat pocket. He took his Zippo from his pants pocket and fired up a smoke. His stomach dropped as the elevator descended to the parking garage. When the elevator reached the bottom, the door slid open and John David stepped out. He crossed the parking garage to his BMW, climbed in the vehicle and started it up. Looking up, he saw Connie step out of the elevator and wave her arms at him to get his attention. John David opened the driver’s side door, climbed out of the vehicle and started over to see what she wanted. He took three steps; the BMW exploded showering the bottom floor of the parking structure with flaming debris. The explosion propelled him forward, he felt a sheering pain shoot through his head, his vision went white and then he slipped into unconsciousness.
I left Cedar Glen Nebraska with mixed emotions. I left behind some friends, including a woman that wanted more than I was able to give, but I also left a piece of my heart. How could I settle down with a good woman when I was still in love with my dead wife? My wife Sharon and I had lived in Southern California and we were going on our first vacation. We took my Honda Gold Wing and we stopped off at this biker bar on the old route sixty six and got ambushed by an outlaw bike club who called themselves the Lost Souls. They raped and killed Sharon, shot and stabbed me, and left me for dead. That was their mistake. After waking up from coma that I had been in for three months, I regained my strength and went to war. I almost single handedly wiped out an entire motorcycle gang, but in Green River Wyoming, I met the Green River Boys who helped me with my war against the Souls. I now consider the Green River Boys my brothers.
After the dust cleared, I started back to Southern California to rebuild my life, but somewhere on the road, I realized that I had nothing to go back to, so I turned around and headed back to Wyoming. After partying with the Green River Boys for a few weeks, I headed east. I have a brother in New York City that I wanted to see, and there was also some unfinished business with a woman I met while I was in the hospital in Cap Rock Utah. She was a nurse. She wanted me to give up my vendetta against the Souls, but that was something I couldn’t do. After my war with the Souls was over I rode down there and went to the hospital to see her, but she had quit her job and took a job at a hospital in New York City. When I left Wyoming that was the plan: to head to New York City.
When I came home from the Persian Gulf War I thought that I had left the violence behind, then those bastards raped and killed my wife, so I went to war. After that I headed east looking for a little bit of peace, but trouble has a way of finding me. This time it came in the form of a woman with coal dark hair by the name of Christine Chandler. She had a ranch in Cedar Glen Nebraska, and she had her back against the wall. When I first laid my eyes on Chris, I immediately put my personal plans on hold. There was a land developer, some worthless bastard named Tom Boxer who wanted a section of her land and Chris didn’t want to sell. He thought that by rustling her cows, hiring some Irish and Italian gangsters to intimidate and harass her that she would sell. What he didn’t count on was me and the Green River Boys. Once again I went to war and in the process, Chris and I grew close, but then there was my dead wife Sharon. Like I said, I was still in love with her. I guess I always will be.
I hit the I 80 heading east on a cold December morning, twisted the throttle and put my face in the wind kicking the speed up on the old 1984 Shovel head up to seventy five miles an hour. The weather felt chill, but I had on a good set of leathers and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. That soon changed. After I crossed the border into Iowa I noticed a dark cloud in the distance. I saw lightning flashes and I felt a drop of rain hit my cheek, but I put my head down and motored on down the road. A light rain fell from the sky, which quickly increased in its intensity to the point where gumball sized drops were pounding me like an unloved step child, water covered the road and I couldn’t see because my glasses kept fogging up. When I lowered my glasses, the rain drops hit me in the eyes, semi trucks flew by me drenching me with water. It was to the point where it was too dangerous to be on the interstate on two wheels and I was looking for a place of refuge. I noticed an exit coming up and I saw an old Baptist church on a side road fronting the interstate. I took the exit, made a right turn then another quick right and headed down the road to the church. I pulled into the parking lot, crossed a grassy area and pulled the Harley up onto the church’s front porch and parked the Harley under a covered awning. Shivering from the cold and feeling like a wet dog, I set the bike on its side stand. I climbed off and took off my wet clothes. I draped them over the bike to drip dry and then took my duffle bag off the bike and changed into a dry set of clothes. Taking off my boots, I changed my socks and hung the wet ones over my handed bars to dry. Rain drops dripped down onto the front fender. I put on a fresh pair of socks, emptied the water out of my boots and then put them back on.
“This is just fucking great,” I said staring out from under the awning watching the rain. I took a cigar from my vest pocket, took a Zippo from my pants pocket, made flame and lighted the cigar. My hands shook from the cold. Water pooled up in the grass next to the front porch. I took my bible out from my saddle bag and sat down on the porch leaning my back against the church’s front door and started to read. Some people might have thought it strange that I would sit here in front of a church reading the good book considering all the things I’d done and my violent past, but if you’ve ever read the book then you know that God did his own share of killing back in the day. Sometimes God uses people as his sword of vengeance, I thought and settled in to read. I had barely read a chapter when I heard the sound of a motorcycle pulling off the interstate. A woman rolled into the church parking lot, she had on a black novelty helmet, a black bandana over her face, a long sleeve red flannel shirt, jeans and black boots. She was soaked to the skin. I stood up, motioned to a spot on the front porch next to my bike and yelled, “Pull up here!”
She pulled the bike up on the porch, killed the motor and set the bike on its side stand. “Good Lord that rain is coming down hard,” she said and climbed off the bike, dripping water onto the porch. She took off her helmet, hung it on her handle bars and then took off her bandana revealing the pretty face of a woman in her early fifties. She had dark brown hair and green eyes.
“It sure is. Let me turn around so you can change out of those wet clothes.”
She let out a chuckle. “I’m not shy,” she said and started unsnapping her vest. I turned around anyway out of respect. She hung the vest on the handle bars, took off her shirt and pants along with her bra and panties. She draped everything over the bike. Her boots and socks came off next. I heard her rummaging around in her saddle bags after she dried off with a towel and then put on another set of clothes. “You can turn back around now,” she said.
When I turned back around, I noticed that she had on a dry pair of jeans, a white wife beater tee shirt and she wasn’t wearing a bra. Her nipples pushed up cotton stretching the fabric of her tee shirt. She bent over, putting on a pair of tinny shoes. When she stood back up I stepped forward extending my hand and said, “My name’s Mike McDonald.” We shook. I breathed in a faint trace of perfume.
“My name’s Shannon Stacy Shannon,” she said. Noticing my cigar, she said, “You wouldn’t happen to have another one of those would you?”
“Sure,” I said, handing her a cigar from my shirt pocket and my lighter from my pants pocket. She fired up the cigar and tobacco smoke lingered in the air. Taking her in, in a glance, I admired what I saw. She had a hard, lean body for a woman in her fifties, plus a beautiful face to go with it. He hair, tied back in a ponytail hung down to her ass. “Where are you headed to Stacy?” I asked.
The weather felt chill because of the rain, Stacy went to her gear back, took out a light jacket and put it on. “I’m headed out to California to see my daughter and grand babies,” she said. “She lives in Riverside. It’s in Southern California.”
“I used to live close to there, over in East Highland, which is just east of San-Bernardino,” I said.
“How about you? Where are you headed?” she asked.
“I’m heading east to New York City to visit my brother. It’s a cold time of year to be riding a motorcycle in this part of the country,” I said.
“Tell me about it,” Stacy replied. “When I come home I’m taking the southern route. I might visit some friends down in Alabama.”
“The old boys I ride with have a couple of chapters down there,” I said.
Looking at my vest hanging over my handle bars she said, “The Green River Boys. I’ve heard of them. They’re some good people. I ride with the Gypsies. We’re a family club. The chapter I’m with is in southern Indiana where I’m from. I glanced at the patch. The main patch depicted an old Gypsy wagon with a motorcycle parked behind it. It had a top rocker that said, the Gypsies and no bottom rocker.
“Aren’t you afraid of traveling all that way on a motorcycle by yourself?” I asked.
She laughed. “No, for one thing, I am a black belt in Chinese Gung Fu, but then I have this,” she said pulling up her shirt. She had a compact forty five in a holster clipped to the inside of her pants.
“Remind me not to piss you off,” I said and laughed.
Stacy chuckled and said, “You said you were from California originally Where do you live now?”
“I’m in transition right now. I had some business in Idaho and Wyoming, spent some time in Sturgis for the rally then I stopped in Nebraska for a while. I’m on my way to visit my brother in New York City. After that I thought I might head down to Florida.”
Stacy’s eyes widened. “I heard of you. You’re that guy who went to war with the Lost Souls.”
I sighed and said, “Those bastards raped and killed my wife.”
“I lost my husband last year to a motorcycle crash. That’s what we did together. Ride motorcycles. Now I ride alone. This was his bike.”
I took in the 1989 Harley Davidson Soft Tail Custom. It was painted black with red flames on the tank. “That’s a sweet bike,” I said.
“It never gets any easer, does it?”
“What?” I asked.
“Losing a spouse.”
“Not for me,” I said.
“Do you mind if we sit down? My dogs are getting tired,” Stacy said.
“Not at all,” I replied.
We sat. Stacy pulled a flask from the pocket of her jacket and said, “Care for a hit of this? It’ll take a little edge off the cold.”
“What is it?” I asked taking the flask.
I smiled. “There ain’t nothing wrong in this world that a hit of Jack won’t make better.” I took a hit from the flask, took a puff from my cigar and blew smoke rings across the porch. We passed the flask full of Jack back and forth lost in conversation, enjoying each other’s company. The next thing you know, the flask was empty and we were sucking face. We made out on the front porch of the church for a while and then fell asleep in each other’s arms. We were both beat down by the rain and the road in needed a break.
Sunlight hitting me in the face woke me two hours later. I had my arm around Stacy’s body with my hand on her right breast. Her nipple hardened to my touch. Stacy softly snored while she leaned up against me. I breathed in her fresh womanly sent. Stretching, I turned loose of Stacy’s breast and let out a moan. Stacy began to stir. “Wake up Sunshine. It quit raining,” I said.
Stacy stretched and pulled away from me. “Good Lord. That nap felt good. I was tired,” she said.
“So was I,” I replied. We stood up. I took a couple of trash bags from my saddle bag and handed one to Stacy. “Here. For your wet clothes,” I said.
“Thank you,” Stacy replied.
We put our wet clothes in a trash bag rolled everything up tight and packed everything back onto our motorcycles.
“If we’re gonna make any miles today, I guess we’d better leave,” I said.
Stacy took a business card from one of the compartments on one of her saddle bags. It was from a nail salon in Bedford Indiana. “Give me a call if you’re ever in Bedford,” she said and then kissed me. Her lips taste of cherry flavored Chap Stick. “It was nice meeting you Michael McDonald.”
“It was nice meeting you too, Stacy Shannon, but you can call me Mike. We climbed into the saddle, fired up our motorcycles, and motored off the porch. We had to put our feet down when we crossed the wet grass to the church parking lot. From there we headed out to the road and back up to the interstate on ramps. I hit the onramp heading east and Stacy took the west bound onramp continuing on her journey to Southern California.
I rolled on the throttle trying to make up for lost time. The weather stayed, cool but the rain, when it came was manageable. I stopped only when I needed gas then after filling up I took a quick smoke break and got back on the road. I crossed the Illinois border and motored on. I took a quick lunch break and then continued. The wind buffeted the bike, beating me like a piñata at a ten year old’s birthday party. The temperature dropped my hands felt numb and chills shot up and down my back. I called it good, twenty miles west of Chicago as the sun went down over the Midwest.
I pulled into a Holliday Inn and parked my bike under the awning next to the lobby. Killing the motor, I put the bike on its side stand, took off my gloves and rubbed my hands together to regain some feeling. A young dark haired woman went by and smiled. “I must be cold out there on that motorcycle,” she said.
“I about froze my ass off,” I replied.
She smiled. “Sorry for you luck,” she said and then entered the motel.
I climbed off the bike, lumbered inside and stopped for a few seconds enjoying the warm air. I took in the plush green couch and love seat in the lobby along with the TV in a massive entertainment center. The blast of warm air brought some life back to my cold old bones. I stepped up to the counter. A young woman with long red hair and blue eyes smiled at me and said, “Can I help you?”
“I’d like a room,” I said.
“Smoking or non smoking?” she asked.
“Smoking,” I said, “and I’d like a room with a window that looks out over the parking lot.”
“Did you ride in on that motorcycle?” she asked.
“Yes I did,” I said.
“Then you can park the motorcycle right where it is under the awning. Make sure that it is parked up close to the curb so other vehicles can get past it,” she said.
“Thanks that will be fine,” I said breathing in her fresh young scent.
“You will be in room 302 up on the third floor. The elevators are to my left. The cost will be sixty five dollars,” she said.
I handed her my credit card, she charged my card and gave me my room key. “Is there somewhere close where I can buy some beer and some munchies?” I asked.
“Turn right going out of our parking lot and there’s a conveyance store that will have everything you need. It’s about two blocks down.”
“How about somewhere to eat?” I asked.
“The motel had an excellent, Mexican restaurant. It’s called, Santana’s Place. The food is great and you get a ten percent discount if you are staying at the motel.”
“Thanks. Mexican food sounds great,” I said.
“We have a continental breakfast that starts at six thirty AM and last until ten AM. We also have an indoor pool and spa that stays open until ten PM. Thank you for staying at West Side Holliday Inn.”
I motored down the street to the conveyance store, swaggered inside and headed to the beer cooler. I took out a six pack of Bud, grabbed a big bag of potato chips and some other munchies and headed to the counter. A pimply faced young kid behind the cash register rung up my items and said, “Will there be anything else for you?”
I looked over his shoulder at the cigars in the display case. “I’ll have five of your Thompson’s and a cutter,” I said.
He took the cigars out of a box rung up my purchases. He bagged everything up and I gave him two twenties. He gave me my change and said, “Thank you for shopping at Snappy Mart.”
Outside I hung the bag over the handle bars of the bike and motored back down to the motel. I headed up to my room; put everything away including all of my gear from the bike and then took a quick shower. Finished in the shower, I changed clothes and then headed down to the restaurant just off of the lobby. The hostess, a young pretty Hispanic woman showed me to my seat. Several people sat at tables throughout the restaurant. A few minutes later, a young Hispanic waiter brought me some chips and salsa plus took my drink order and left me a menu. I ordered a Bud Light. I thumbed through the menu and decided on the two enchilada meal with beans and rice. I gazed about the restaurant people watching while I waited for them to bring my food. Fifteen minutes later, they brought me a big steamy plate filled with enchiladas, beans and Spanish rice. “Enjoy,” the waiter said when he set the plated down in front of me.
“It looks delicious,” I said and dug in with gusto. One thing about spending all day riding a motorcycle is that you are hungry when the day is done. The food was some of the best Mexican food that I had ever eaten and that surprised me, because from what I had heard the Mexican food in the Midwest wasn’t as good as what we had in California. Finished with my meal, I headed back to my room and changed into my swimming trunks. I grabbed my beer, my munchies along with my cigars and headed down to the indoor pool and Jacuzzi. I had the place to myself, so I eased my tired old body down into the hot bubbling water, popped the top on a beer and fired up a stogie. I had just settled back to enjoy myself when a strikingly beautiful young woman who couldn’t have been any older that twenty one or twenty two stepped up and said, “Do you mind if I join you?”
I took in her luscious frame, her pretty face, her long blonde hair that cascaded down both sides of her large breasts which her tiny yellow bikini top could barely contain. Her body tapered down to a thin waist, then flared out to a wide set of hips attached to a pair of long sensual well toned legs. I smiled and said, “Be my guest.” As she slipped into the water, I took in the tiny v of yellow cloth that called itself a bikini bottom. It was obvious from the lack of material that she had to keep the house pretty clean down there.
“Aw that water feels magnificent,” she said and settled down into the water until everything was covered but her neck. Noticing my beer, she said, “Do you mind if I have one of those?”
“Not at All. Have some chips and some licorice if you want,” I said. Grabbing a beer, I leaned across to hand it to her, she rose up and leaned forward to meet me half way and I got lost in the deep valley of cleavage between her breasts. I felt a stirring sensation inside my swimming trunks and my heart rate intensified. She sat back down in the hot tub. Noticing the direction of my gaze, she gave me a mischievous grin. Tiny dimples formed in her cheeks when she smiled. “I’m Mike McDonald,” I said.
She said, “I’m Erica, Anderson.” We stood up, shook hands and then we both sat back down. “Nice tats,” she said taking in the tattoos on my upper body as well as the scars. “Did you ride in on that Harley?” she asked.
“Yeah, I’m heading to New York City to see my brother,” I said.
She popped the top on her beer and said, “I’m heading home to visit my parents in Hoboken New Jersey. I’m taking a couple weeks off from college. Do you mind if I sit over there with you?”
I grinned. “Not at all,” I replied.
She crossed the hot tub, took a seat next to me and then laid her hand on my thigh. She stroked my thigh for a few seconds, then reached between my legs and grabbed me. My heart did a drum roll. She stroked my hardness for a few seconds then whispered, “I don’t know why I’m doing this. You’re almost old enough to be my dad.”
“But I’m not,” I said. She let go of me then straddled me, pulling my head down and put her breasts in my face. She worked her hips back and forth rubbing her female parts against my crotch. I reached up, cupped her breasts enjoying their softness, and then lifted up her top exposing her breasts. She leaned forward, I took a nipple in my mouth, she let out a soft little moan and then I heard the door to the pool and spa area swing open. “Why don’t we take this up to my room?” I said.
“Yeah, it’s a little too public here,” Erica said. She pulled her top back down we climbed out of the water, and gathered our things. Erica dried off, put on a white tee shirt over her bikini, wrapped her hair in a white towel and we headed back into the motel. Inside the elevator, Erica pressed her succulent body up against mine and kissed me. I enjoyed the feeling of her hard young body pressed up against mine and felt something rising in my lower regions. Reaching behind her, I pulled up her tee shirt, pulled down her bikini bottoms and cupped her shapely ass.
When the elevator door opened on the third floor, I pulled her bottoms back up, we stepped out of the elevator and I led her down to my room. Using my key card, I opened the door and we stepped inside.
“I need to pee,” Erica said and headed into the bathroom. While Erica was in the bathroom, I put the beer in the refrigerator and set our things on the table next to the TV. I heard the water running in the bathroom, the toilet flushed and then the water went off. She stepped back out of the bathroom, wearing only the white tee shirt. “Your turn,” she said shooting me a smile.
“I won’t be long,” I said. Stepping into the bathroom, I noticed her towel and her bikini lying on the floor. I took a quick piss and then washed my hands. Stepping back into the room, I noticed Erica lying on the bed on her stomach. She had the tee shirt pulled up exposing her bare bottom, and believe me that got my attention. When I approached the bed, she rolled over spreading her legs. She had a tiny strip of hair between her legs running up her pubic mound, but other than that, it was a bare runway.
She ran her hand down her stomach to her vagina, spread the folds apart and said, “I thought maybe you’d like to eat your desert first.”
“Most defiantly,” I replied. Climbing onto the bed, I laid down put my head between her legs and dived in for a box lunch. Erica’s breathing accelerated and she let out a squeal. After a minute or so, she rose up, I backed off and she pushed me down on the bed. She went to the foot of the bed; cat like, she climbed onto the bottom of the bed, pulled my swimming trunks down and my manhood sprang free. She grabbed hold of my shaft, gave it a few strokes and then went down on me for a couple of minutes. She straddled me and then flung off her tee shirt. Reaching down between her legs, she grabbed hold of my manhood, and then lowered herself down onto my hard shaft. For the next fifteen minutes, she road me hard, bringing me to the brink, and then slowed her rhythm. Her breasts bounced up and down in my face. She let out several little moans as she increased her tempo. My heart hammered inside my chest and it was all I could do to keep up and hold on.
“Oh God, oh fuck!” she said, and then went rigid as waves of orgasms passed through her. I held out for as long as I could, but finally I exploded inside her. She collapsed onto my chest and I put my arms around her. I felt physically drained, but I had a smile on my face. “Oh God. You wore me out,” Erica said.
“I wore you out? I’m lucky you didn’t give me a heart attack,” I said and then let out a chuckle.
Erica jumped up, bent down, grabbed my hand and said, “Let’s go take a shower.”
She led me into the bathroom, we stepped into the shower, I turned on the water and she pressed her naked body up against mine and kissed me. Our tongues touched, her nipples felt rock hard against my chest and I reached around grabbing her behind and pulled her to me. I enjoyed lathering up her trim body while we made out in the shower. Ten minutes later, we stepped out of the shower and back into the room.
Erica turned on the TV, found a channel playing cartoons and climbed in between the covers leaning against the headboard of the bed with her breasts exposed. “Bring the munchies, and the beer,” she said.
“Yes my dear,” I replied. I took two bottles of beer from the fridge grabbed the bag with the munchies inside and set them on the nightstand next to the bed. Tom and Jerry was playing on the boob tube. I handed her a beer, took one for myself and crawled in next to her. She snuggled up next to me and took my arm. That’s how we spent the remainder of the evening: drinking beer and eating licorice in the nude while watching cartoons and I enjoyed every minute of it, especially when she did a bit of exploring under the covers with her hand. I leaned back, put my arm around her and a big smile spread across my face. At that moment in time, all seemed right with the world.
A woke up at six AM with my arms trapped under Erica’s body and my hand clutching her right breast. My stiff member was pressed up against her backside and for an instant I just laid there enjoying the sensation. I watched the rise and fall of her breasts for a few seconds, but an urgent need to pee caused me to pull my arm from underneath her and I headed to the bathroom. After pissing like a race horse, I stepped into the shower and turned the water on as hot as I could stand it. The cascading water cleared my head. A couple of minutes later, the bathroom door opened, I heard Erica use the toilet. Finished on the toilet, she opened the shower door and stepped inside to join me. “Good morning Sweet heart,” I said.
“Good morning Sir,” she said and then kissed me. After lathering up each other’s bodies for a few minutes and then rinsing off, I turned the water off and we stepped out of the shower. Erica dried herself off with a towel then put on her bikini bottoms and then her tee shirt. “I’m going to go to my room and put on some clothes. I’ll meet you down in the lobby in a half hour for the continental breakfast.”
“That sounds like a plan. I’m so hungry that my stomach thinks my throat’s been cut,” I said, “and I have an urgent need for some caffeine.”
Erica laughed and then kissed me. After that she was out the door. While I was drying off, I thought about the past night’s escapades and smiled. Erica was an adorable young woman. She was a little too young, but that didn’t bother me. Age is just a number, I thought. Finished in the bathroom, I dressed and headed for the elevator. The smell of fresh cooked food caused my stomach to rumble when I stepped into the dining room, to the left of the lobby. I headed for the coffee pot, poured myself a cup and sat down at a table. Erica hadn’t made it down from her room yet and I figured that I would wait for her before starting breakfast. I settled back in my chair, gazing out the window took a tentative sip of my coffee and let out a contented sigh. I watched the travelers come down from their rooms to breakfast and I was on my way to get my second cup of coffee when Erica entered the room. She saw me and smiled. For a fraction of a second I just stood there taking in her beauty. She had her hair down and wore a blue sweater that clung to her body and a tight fitting pair of jeans that looked as if they might split at the seams if she moved the wrong way. “I saved us a table,” I said, motioning to the table near the window. “I was just gonna get another cup of coffee. Do you want a cup?”
“Yes please. One cream and two sugars,” she said. I poured the coffee and took the cups to the table. “Everything smells so yummy,” she said, taking my arm and we headed to the serving line. I loaded my plate down with eggs and bacon along with biscuits and gravy. Erica had some pancakes with maple syrup. We took our food to the table and sat down. Erica took a sip from her coffee cup and said, “About last night?”
“What about it?” I asked.
She looked down at her hands resting on the table. “You don’t feel wired about it do you?”
“Hell no,” I said looking her in the eye. “Do you?”
“No, I just thought that you might because you’re so much older than me,” she said.
“We are both consenting adults. Who gives a fuck what people think? I like you, and I enjoy your company. I do feel a bit flattered though. What made decide to come on to me?” I asked.
She shrugged, leaned back studying me and said, “I don’t know. There’s just something about you that I am attracted to. I’m glad you don’t feel wired about because I like you too.” She took a piece of paper from her back pocket and handed it to me. It was ripped off the small pad of the motel’s stationary that they put in the rooms on the nightstand by the bed. She had written her phone number on it. “Here’s my number. Give me a call when you get to New York City. Let’s hook up again,” she said.
I folded the paper and put it in my back pocket. “I’d like that,” I said.
We started eating. Erica took a bite of her pancakes, which were smothered in maple syrup and said, “These pancakes are amazing.”
I reached across the table and wiped a tiny drop of maple syrup from the corner of her mouth. “I just might have to try a stack after I finish this,” I said and dug into my biscuits and gravy. Fifteen minutes later, we both leaned back rubbing our bellies. I had indeed finished one plate and went back for a short stack of pancakes. “You were right. Those pancakes were amazing, but I think if I eat another bite, I might pop.”
“I know,” Erica said and smiled. “I don’t usually eat this much. It must have been all the exercise I got last night,” she said and laughed.
I laughed. “Maybe so. I know I worked up an appetite. That was the first time I was ever in bed in a motel naked with a woman drinking, beer, eating licorice and watching cartoons. It was fun,” I said.
Erica laughed “As you get to know me better you’ll find that I’m not like your average girl.”
“I’m finding that out already,” I said.
“What’s on the agenda for today?” Erica asked.
“When we’re done here I am going back to my room to pack my things and hit the highway,” I said.
“We could travel together. You could follow me on your bike, or I could follow you,” she said.
“That will work,” I said. “We’re still about eight hundred miles from New York City . We could stop somewhere in between and find a nice motel for the night,” I replied.
“That would be good. Let’s pack our things and then checkout. I’ll meet you in the lobby. I need gas before we hit the turn pike though,” Erica said.
“Me too,” I replied.
We rode the elevator up, Erica got out on the second floor and I rode up to the third. I packed my gear and then headed back down to the lobby. The weather outside was overcast and a bit chilly. I was out attaching everything to my bike when Erica stepped out the door carrying two small traveling bags. “Did you check out?” I asked.
“Yeah, I’m ready to go,” she said.
“Me too. There’s a gas station across the street. Follow me over there,” I said. I motored out to the street and Erica followed behind me in her small car. When the traffic cleared, I crossed the street and pulled up to the gas pumps. Erica pulled up to the pump behind me. Breathing in the smell of gas fumes, I filled up Erica’s Toyota first and then filled up the old shovelhead. I was about to turn around and go back to Erica’s car to tell her something about our travel plans when I stopped dead in my tracks. Standing in front of my bike was the ghost of my dead wife Sharon. My heart jack hammered inside my chest and for a second, I couldn’t catch my breath. The air temperature seemed to drop a couple of degrees. She wore a white tank top, cut off jeans and flip flops, looking much like she did in life. She had a serious look on her face.
“Hurry Michael, Johnny needs you,” she said and then disappeared. Goose bumps formed up on my exposed flesh and a shiver shot down my spine.
I pulled out my cell phone and called my brother’s home phone. There was no answer, so I tried his cell. The voice of a distraught woman, who sounded as though she had been crying, answered the phone. I recognized the voice when she said, “Hello.” It was a voice from my distant past.
“Connie? Connie Brooks?” I asked.
“Yes, this is Connie,” she said.
“This is Mike McDonald. What’s wrong Connie?” I asked.
“It’s Johnny. We’ve been talking on the phone and on line. He invited me out here for a visit. Someone tried to kill him yesterday. I’m here at the hospital. He’s in a coma,” she said and her voice began to crack.
“What happened?” I asked pacing back and forth.
“It had something to do with his partner at the firm. There was some problem with the books. When he went to go into the firm yesterday morning, he forgot his cell phone and I rushed down to the parking garage to catch him. When he saw me, he put the car in park and stepped out to meet me. The car exploded, throwing him across the parking garage. He has a head injury. I’m here all alone, Michael. I went back to the apartment to change clothes and come back to the hospital, but when I got there, someone had trashed the place. I don’t know what to do, Michael.”
“Where are you now?” I asked and stopped pacing.
“I’m at the hospital,” Connie said.
“What hospital?” I asked.
“The New York Presbyterian in lower Manhattan.”
“Look Connie. Stay there. I am about twelve hours away. I’m on my way out for a visit. Let me make a call and I’ll call you right back. I am going to get some people down there to help you. Don’t be afraid when you see a group of hairy bikers swagger in like they own the place,” I said.
“I won’t Michael. They have two police men guarding the door to Johnny’s room.”
“I’ll call you right back, Connie,” I said.
I cut the connection and then called Big Al, the national president of the Green River Boys in Green River Wyoming. Big Al answered on the second ring.
“Hey Bro what’s up? We just got back to Wyoming this morning.”
“Al, I’m outside of Chicago. I called my brother’s cell and his girl friend answered. He’s in the New York Presbyterian in lower Manhattan. Someone tried to kill him last night. They put a bomb under his car and someone trashed his apartment. He’s in a coma. His girl friend is at the hospital alone and afraid. Her name is Connie Brooks. I need people there ASAP. I’m still at least twelve hours away,” I said.
“Say not more, Bro. I’ll make the call to our chapter president in upstate New York. They’ll come down there in force. Let me call him and I’ll get right back to you.”
“Thanks Al,” I said.
I paced back and forth some more waiting for the call back. My cell phone rang. “McDonald,” I said.
“They’ll be on the road within a half hour,” Big Al said.
“Good. I got to go,” I said.
“Be safe Bro,” Big Al said ending the call.
I called Connie back. She answered on the first ring. “Help is on the way. Stay in the hospital, around people. When you see a group of bikers swagger in, that will be them. They are some good guys. They will take care of you,” I said.
“Thank you Michael,” Connie said. “You be careful on the road.”
“I will,” I said and ended the call. I put my cell phone in my pocket and then hurried back to Erica’s car. By this time she was wondering what was going on. “There’s been a change of plans. I have to get to New York City as fast as I can. Someone tried to kill my brother last night. He’s in a coma, in the hospital. Don’t try to keep up with me,” I said.
Erica climbed out of her vehicle, put her arms around my neck and kissed me. “You be safe. Call me as soon as you can,” she said.
“You too. Don’t try to make it all the way to New Jersey today. Find yourself a nice hotel somewhere about half way. I’ll call you when I get there,” I said and headed back to the Harley. I fired up the shovelhead, put on my helmet and motored out into the street. At the entrance to the turnpike, I paid my toll and headed east going through the gears and pouring on the power until the speedometer said, ninety miles an hour. A tiny piece of gravel flew up from a truck’s tire and hit my face. That burning white cauldron of anger that lies just below the surface, bubbled up inside me when I thought about what those bastards had did to my brother.
We live in interesting times. What was once science fiction is now becoming science fact. A headline of the Business Insider states, “Elon Musk says he plans to send 1 million people to Mars by 2050 by launching 3 Starship rockets every day and creating ‘a lot of jobs on the red planet.'” Another headline from Fox News states, “Another fast radio burst in deep space that repeats has been found and scientist are stunned.” Scientist believe that some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn could hold life. Can you imagine a future where we have colonies through out the solar system? I can.
At the same time there are things happening today that are not so exciting, such as the erosion of our freedom and the move toward a one world government. With the COVID 19 BS they started out by limiting our freedom of assembly and our freedom of religion. As time progresses how much more of our freedom will we lose? Now can you imagine a future where the entire solar system is ruled by a totalitarian government? I can. That’s why I wrote the Space Corps Chronicles.
Book one, the Battle for Europa is a tale of revolution in the twenty fourth Century. Earth and colonies in the solar system are ruled by The Council of Economic Unions on Earth. The council rules with an iron fist. When Shawn Gallagher, an ice miner on Europa launches a miner’s strike, it is a ruse for rebellion. The ice on the surface of Europa will turn red with blood in the Battle for Europa.
In book Two, the battle for Mars, the miners on Mars form a trade union and call a planet wide strike, the Council of Economic Unions on Earth order the federal forces on Mars to take a firm hand, but when the federal Marines execute the union leadership live on the vid stream, Eddie Falcon, leader of the so called terrorist organization known as The People’s Fist calls for all out war on Mars.
In book three, the Battle for Planet Earth, Eddie Falcon, leader of the People’s Fist, a resistance organisation launches planet wide protest patterned after the Occupy Los Angeles movement of the twentieth Century. When the federal forces of the CEU use deadly force against civilians Eddie Falcon wages all out war across the planet. With the help of their brothers from the New Republic on Europa and the People’s Republic of Mars, Falcon hopes to win their final battle, the Battle for Planet Earth, not knowing that an even larger threat is looming, threatening to draw Earth into a galactic war.
During our American revolution they say only three percent of the population took up arms against the British occupation. There will always be that small majority who will stand up and fight for their freedom, and that is what the Space Corps Chronicles is all about. You can get the first book, The Battle for Europa free at smashwords.com and Amazon will price match it. Keep a look out for book four in the Space Corps Chronicles, The Galactic War.
If you should chose to download any of my novels please post a review and let me know what you think of it. Also if you would like to know about any of my upcoming books click on the contact the author link.
Last month following my post, “Introducing Mike McDonald” I announced a contest for this month. If you have already downloaded Thunder Road, you will be able to answer the following ten questions. If you do, and send me the answers on the Contact the Author Link, I will send you a coupon code and you can download, In the Wind, book two in the Mike McDonald Action Adventure Saga for free at smashwords.com. If you prefer to get your eBooks at Amazon, then ask them to price match. If you have not down loaded Thunder Road yet, you can get it at smashwords for 60% off, and then send me the answers to the questions and get In The Wind for free. Okay so here are the questions:
What was Mike McDonald’s wife’s name?
What branch of the Military was Mike McDonald in?
What was the make and model of the two motorcycles that Mike McDonald owned?
What was the name of the horse that mike McDonald bought his wife for a wedding present?
What was the name of Mike McDonald’s Dog?
In what city and state did Mike McDonald kill a biker with a knife?
What was the name of the bar where Mike McDonald killed Powder?
In what city and state did Mike McDonald meet Big Al?
In what city and state did Mike McDonald shoot someone in a graveyard?
Where was JD Quinn hiding when Mike McDonald found him?
I wish you the best of luck in the contest. I look forward to giving away some free eBooks. Click the links, sign up for my newsletter and email alerts, or in you read any of my books and want to let me know what you think. Keep your eye out for book three in the Mike McDonald Action Adventure Saga, Blood Bond, coming soon. Have a great and glorious day.
I just thought I would introduce the main character in my (Mike McDonald Action Adventure Saga) In book one, Thunder Road Mike McDonald, a Persian Gulf War vet wakes up from a coma and can’t even remember his own name. With the help of his friend and pastor, Mike regains his memories and his strength. While on vacation, riding his Honda Gold Wing, Mike and his wife Sharon are attacked by a ruthless band of outlaw bikers known as the Lost Souls. They rape and kill Sharon, beat Mike half to death and leave him for dead. That was their big mistake.
Ride along as this former religious man and Sunday School teacher goes to war using guns, knives, pipe bombs and his fist. His vendetta takes him from the streets of LA, to a lonely cabin in Utah, and to the woods of South Dakota and Idaho. In Green River Wyoming Mike hooks up with a friendly motorcycle club known as The Green River Boys who help him in his vendetta which ends in the woods in Idaho at hunting lodge at the end of a winding mountain road, known as Thunder Road.
Quotes by Mike McDonald:
“My mouth taste like I just gargled with cat piss.”
“Corn beef hash: the human equivalent to dog food.”
“My head feels like some monkey is up there busting up the joint.”
Click the link to order Thunder Road
If you liked Thunder Road book two, In The Wind is available on pre sale and will be released on April 25 2020
Or contact me directly by email. I love hearing from my readers, even if you didn’t like the book.
Hello. I am looking for at least five people to sign up for my author news letter and be a part of a contest next month. I am going to ask ten questions about the main character in my book Thunder Road (Book one in the Mike McDonald Action Adventure Saga.) To know the answers you need to buy the book. For those who answer the questions correctly, I will give you In The Wind, (Book two in The Mike McDonald Action Adventure saga) for free. I will send you a coupon code and then you can use it at Smashwords.com to download it for free. Let me know if this is something you might be interested in by clicking the contact the author link above.
Hey. I am back. I haven’t posted here in a while. In fact I took a break from writing all for a while but now I am back. Some of my books which were published by small presses went out of print but I am bringing them back in eBook format for now and then later in print. You can order some of them on Pre Sale now. Check out the links below.
I’d like to wish everyone a happy New Year. I look forward to my two new novel’s Blood Bond and Door Number Two coming out at the end of January. They are now on pre sale, but for New Year’s Eve you can get them for free along with the rest of my ebooks at smashwords.com