The prompt line is: The best of the best weren't available...so we got the best of the mediocre."
It will be highlighted in bold in the story. Happy reading!
“You were in the army?”
He smirked. “What, you didn’t think a badass biker could follow orders?”
“Honestly? Not at all.” I shook my head.
“Tell you what, you sit down to eat and I’ll tell you all about it.” He waved at the table where my dinner waited.
“What about you? Don’t you need dinner?” I settled into the chair and lifted the covers on the plates. “Wow.”
No pizza and hot dogs for these guys. They’d brought me chicken fried steak, asparagus, and mashed potatoes with sour cream and fresh chives.
“Good, huh?” He sat across the table from me. “Grub went all the way to London to chef school, and even graduated with honors. But the stuffiness got to him and he said he needed to roam free.” Scott grinned. “Not much space in England so he came home. He brought a pretty sweet Norton Commando (1967) with him, though.”
I laughed, entertained by Scott’s placement of value on the machinery rather than the international travel or skill set.
“I’m impressed with both the education and the motorcycle.” I gestured to my plate. “And the food. Did you get anything to eat yet?”
“Yeah, I’m good. You eat what you want.” He waved at me to dig in. “I just wanted to see how you were doing.”
I nodded, not sure I should encourage him, but enjoying his company despite my misgivings about him at first. “So you were going to tell me all about being in the Army.”
“Yeah, there isn’t much to tell, really. I did a four year stint and got out. But in that time I saw a lot of the shitty results of war.” He shook his head as a I dug into my meal. “I thought it would be you go over there, shoot a few people, sneak around and look cool, then come home. But it wasn’t like that at all. Video games might show you what it looks like, but they don’t factor in the fear, the heat or the cold, or what happens when your buddies die. I see guys gettin’ frustrated when they die in the games and I’m like, dude, you just reset and you’re fine. In war, there’s no reset button.”
I cut up my steak and asparagus into bite sized pieces as I considered his words. “Did you lose a lot of friends over there.”
He shook his head, but his shoulders tensed. “Not a lot. I didn’t try to make friends. More that Iwas doing my time just to get through. But there were a couple of guys...” He didn’t finish and I didn’t press him. “When I got out, I was kinda at loose ends and Schnoz found me - Michael, I mean.”
I chuckled. “Is his nickname Schnoz because of the size of his nose?”
Scott grinned. “Roadname, and kinda. It’s more that he can smell flowers or spices or blood from miles away. He’s a huge fan of spice cake. I swear the man maps out routes based on bakers of spice cake.”
I laughed. “Seriously?”
“Yup. When he’s leading the ride we always stay somewhere close to a bakery.”
“I’ll have to remember that.”
Scott paused and tipped his head. “Why, you plannin’ on coming along on a ride?”
I blinked. I had been suggesting that, but that didn’t make any sense. I wouldn’t be here after my contracted work ended.
“No way. Motorcycles are dangerous.”
“Aw, are you scared of them?”
“Yup.” I didn’t mind admitting it. “My cousin died in a motorcycle crash and my family made it clear the rest of us wouldn’t never get near one.”
“Oh, yeah, but you weren’t in an accident. How do you know you won’t like it?” He gave me his best smirk.
I raised an eyebrow. “How do you know I will?”
“You just need a professional to show you how it’s done. Someone who knows the value of all that power between your legs.”
And there’s the cocky biker we were missing.
“Uh-huh.” I didn’t bother to respond and tucked into my meal.
“Aw, come on, Numbers. I promise to take good care of you. I wouldn’t let anything happen to you.”
For some reason I believed him, but I wasn’t about to tell him that. I needed to keep him talking about himself. “What happened when Michael found you?”
Scott shrugged. “To be honest, I don’t really remember much. I was pretty much hammered off my ass. But the next day I woke up with a pounding headache, an upset stomach, and an offer to join the Concrete Angels.”
“Had you ever ridden a motorcycle before?” Somehow I couldn’t picture him not ridin
“Yeah, but not continuously. You know, it was just a fun hobby. But Loki and Schnoz were on a recruiting mission to get some guys who had more than the usual amount of experience, and...” He paused as he tilted his head. “Flexible morals when it came to the rules set by society.”
I swallowed my food. “So not straight-laced at all.”
“Nope. Is that what you are?”
“I used to be before...before my assault.” It was hard to admit, but it was good to say. My therapist told me the more I could talk about it the better I’d feel. Healing cost a lot, but the payment was almost always in fear.
He didn’t say anything for a while and I didn’t feel the need to fill in the blank space. I used to be as straight-laced as they came, following the rules and the numbers, so sure I was right and doing the world good. But when my supervisor used me as his personal sex toy and no one would back me up about it, my morals became a lot more flexible to cover survival in a man’s world.
“Can you tell me a way to help you out of that panicky head-space. I’m not a therapist or anything, but if I can anchor you in the here-and-now, I’ll do it.”
Despite my distrust of the Concrete Angels in general, I believed Scott cared and would live up to his offer. If I let him.
“So the best of the best weren’t available?” I raised my eyebrows.
“How ‘bout we got the best of the mediocre? Well, mediocre at therapy. I’m not anywhere close to mediocre at other things.” He winked.
I laughed in spite of myself. “Okay, Scott. I need light and fresh air most of the time. But the biggest thing...”
I trailed off, afraid to admit the one thing I never received. Hell, I hadn’t even told my therapist about it.
“I need to know someone is around me I can trust to have my back and defend me against assailants when I’m most vulnerable.”
That was the problem in the FBI. They all had his back and couldn’t believe such a high ranking officer of the law would ever do such a heinous, illegal crime. He was an upstanding member of the community, a member of the PTA, a deacon of his church, and a long time FBI agent. I was considered a younger woman agent trying to make a name for myself based on ruining a highly decorated man’s career.
I raised my gaze to meet Scott’s beguiling green hazel eyes. “I’m a former FBI agent in the compound of the Concrete Angels. I don’t have anyone I can trust.”
Scott didn’t flinch or blink. “You can trust me.”
That's it for me this month. It's kinda long but the story just kept coming. Check out the other authors who wrote something to that line.