Out of the Ashes

By: Anne Malcom

The Sons of Templar MC #3

“You don’t let me out of here, I’m going to fucking kill you,” Bull uttered quietly. A calm had settled over him. A calm that starkly juxtaposed the unbridled fury he had been unable to control in the last twenty-four hours. The fury that was unleashed when they got word Laurie had been taken. In broad daylight. Twenty-four hours. How long they’d had her. How long the innocent, sweet, fuckin’ ray of sunshine had been poisoned by darkness.

He regarded his best friend with a cool stare. He was never out of control. Never betrayed emotion. Never had bitches apart from club girls, which didn’t count since there was nothing below the surface. Bull hadn’t realized how empty that shit was until he found Laurie. Till he found depth. Something else to live for, despite the club. Something else to die for.

“You’re in here for your own good. Good of the club. For Laurie.” Cade paused as Bull’s entire frame tightened at the mention of her name. “You’re no good to her walking round smashing shit and killing people out of control,” he said quietly.

Bull walked up to him, the steps reverberating in the room they had locked him in. “Look at me, brother,” he said quietly. “I look out of control to you?”

Cade stared at him.

“That’s my woman out there. You don’t get it, ‘cause you don’t got that shit. But you keep me in here one second longer I’ll never fuckin’ forgive that shit,” he promised.

Cade sighed, stepping aside. Before Bull could move his best friend slapped him on the shoulder. “With you, brother,” he uttered quietly.

Bull nodded slightly, the only response he gave. He was too busy walking out the door into the bright light of day. Too eager to get out of the fuckin’ room and get to finding her. Then, like serendipity, something happened to cast a shadow over that day and every single one after it. A van, screeching to a stop outside the gates. Bull’s heart stopped as he watched a small body be thrown out of it before it sped away, dust flying as it did so. He didn’t register the yelling, the flurry of activity. He sprinted toward that small form, everything in him turning to ice. He had a hope, a desperate hope that the cold forbidding feeling that settled in him at the sight of that prone form was wrong. But as he reached the gate, flung the prospect kneeling on the ground aside, that hope was extinguished. In fact, everything in him was extinguished, leaving a gaping hole in the middle of his fucking chest.

In front of him was his beautiful girl. The only way he could recognize her was the golden locks matted and corrupted with dried blood. Everything else was foreign. The face, beaten beyond recognition. The fresh tattoo covering half her cheek. The ripped clothes barely covering her battered body. The body that he had held in his arms not two days ago. The body that held every inch of him. Kneeling down, gentle as anything, he gathered her into his arms. He pressed her to his chest.

“No, baby,” he choked out, unable to swallow the horror that felt like it was killing him. He pressed his lips to her head. He wished, no, fucking prayed for whatever was out there to save her. To somehow repair the broken body. The broken mind that lay underneath it. Wipe away the horrors a gentle mind had endured. And if that wasn’t possible, if she was gone forever, to take him. Wherever it was that you went after. Take him as well so he could escape the pain and the weight of the guilt he felt. So she wouldn’t be alone. That he wouldn’t be alone.

But no mercy was granted to him. She faded away the next day, succumbing to the mindless brutality inflicted on a gentle soul.

She faded away; he endured. He didn’t follow her. He was engulfed, strangled, in darkness. Haunted by demons that embedded themselves into his mind and sentenced him to a life without light. Without sunshine.

Four Years Later

“Lexie! Have you seen my shoe?” I yelled as I straightened from inspecting under my bed.

“What shoe?” a voice yelled back.

“You know, the cute ones with the ankle strap and patent leather?” I called as I abandoned the shoe search in my room and decided to look downstairs. I needed those shoes today. They were not only the only piece of footwear that went with my current outfit, but they were also my most kick ass heels. Heels that would contribute to a kick ass look, which I needed to help me feel mentally prepared for the day. Because my thoughts were on my dearly departed shoe, they were not on me navigating the mess that was my hall, which meant I tripped over an ill-placed box.

“Great Caesars Ghost!” I exclaimed with irritation as I caught myself from a header.

I really needed to get around to unpacking those boxes. They were a health hazard. Someone - namely yours truly - could break a leg from tripping on those death traps, and crutches were not conducive with my fashion choices. I mentally added unpack house to my to do list.

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