(Next Chapter is what you’ve all been waiting for.)
(Chapter 12 will not be the last Chapter, looks like I’ll be typing a chapter 13.)
“JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!”
“I’m sorry! Why don’t you bitch a little fucking more dude. Seriously!”
“DON’T SMACK MY FUCKING ARM INTO THE DOOR ASSHOLE, IT’S FUCKING BROKE!”
“If you don’t shut your big fucking mouth, I’ll break the goddamn thing all the way off and shove it so far down your throat it’ll scratch your balls from the inside!”
Otis tried to think of something else to yell, but the imagery of his hand scratching his balls from the inside of his body was too much, and he cracked up and laughed. JB however, was still not amused. It had been hell o everyone getting Otis home, and now they were taking him right back out, to go to the Rat Ball of all things. Instead of making him rest, the doctor said to make him rest. Not go gallivanting about the fucking county. But noooo, Otis just had to go and say hello and thank you to everyone, and he just haaaaaad to see Ariel. It didn’t matter that the only reason she left his side today was to shower and get ready, leaving JB to care for him. Even Deacon had ditched him, and wasn’t even coming to help him out tonight. He was off doing something. JB muttered angrily about all this as he began lowering Otis step by step down the stairs, the wheelchair the only thing Otis was listening on. JB didn’t know that Otis was merely doing it to piss JB off and save his strength for dancing with Ariel.
JB finally got Otis in the passenger seat, and then heaved the ungainly and heavy wheelchair in the back of the truck. The hospital had been going to give him a light weight model, but Otis was just too goddamn big. Grumbling about bastard crippled friends and darkly making death threats on the inventor of the wheelchair as a torture device for friends and family of said bastard crippled friends, JB climbed behind the wheel and began to drive to Rat Hall. They didn’t talk much on the drive. Otis knew when he was pushing his best friend to far, and this was surely one of those times. Instead, he flipped down the mirror visor and appraised himself. The Rat Ball was an actual event, where you dressed a little nicer than usual, and had a good time with a live band. Everyone dressed nice, it wasn’t a ‘black tie’ event, but you wore a nice outfit. It was considered a ‘No Cut’ event, meaning there was more than one Motorcycle Club there, and you left your vest at home and left your problems at the door.
The River Rats had started off as an outlaw biker gang, a bunch of young guys disillusioned with the world and their place in it. They just wanted to have a good time. When friends and brothers started dying from drugs, driving intoxicated, the men grew up quick. The club was more about having a good time, and keeping the neighborhood clean. They kept most of the other gangs out, and the people who dealt the harder drugs knew they wouldn’t sell much in the River District. Since most of the guys smoked it, it was pretty easy to sell and buy pot in the district. But the minute you peddled something else, your selling rights were revoked.
Otis shook himself out of his musings and again checked his appearance. He had shaved, both his face and his head, leaving nothing but a goatee and a moustache. He had take out his usual 1″ silicone ear skins and replaced them with a pair of teardrop shaped obsidian pieces he had bought just to have a nice looking pair of jewelry for his ears. They were a concave, black, shiny affair, and they went well with his shoes and belt. Being that he wanted to look nice and presentable, he had worn a black silk shirt with a black vest over it, and black dress pants. There was a hander kerchief in his pocket, which was a splash of bright red. It was as JB had said, ‘the look of a personage that is pimping.’ Because his friend was a jackass. Otis leaned back and closed his eyes, feeling the cool leather on his freshly shaved head.
JB snorted. If Otis kept looking in the mirror, he’d fall in love with himself and never leave. JB hadn’t gone all out like Otis. He had gotten permission from his PO to stay out late, so he would get to fully enjoy the ball. He’d kept it simple, got his hair trimmed, some black dress pants and a blue dress shirt. He wore his black cowboy boots and he was ready, and dressed up to what he considered the nines. Some would disagree, but as far as he was concerned, he took a shower, he was going above and beyond.
As they pulled up, Otis grabbed the cane. He had bought it years ago, or so it seemed, and it was the completion to his pimp-ness. Really though, he could never remember exactly where he had bought it, or who he had got it from. It was black, made from mahogany with a really nice shine on it. The head was what had attracted him to borrow it. It was double faced, and looked silverish. One face was a raven head, with blue gem eyes. It flowed back, the feathers turning into fur as it formed the other side, a snarling wolf with black gem eyes. It was a beautiful cane, and Otis had always loved owning it. It was part of every serious outfit he wore, including his tux for his prom. Tonight, it was good for more than just looks; it was going to support him tonight. He had a feeling that he would need to lean on it a few times.
“C’mon man let me help you in.”
Otis looked at his friend.
“Fuck off you old mother hen.”
JB managed to look pissed, before the smile broke through the fake storm cloud he was trying to pull over his face.
“Come on then asshole; let’s go have a good time.”
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Ariel was nervous as she sat in the back of the car as her parents drove. She was nervous about the infamous ‘Rats Ball’, and she was nervous because she was worried Otis wouldn’t think she looked nice. She had chosen a bright red dress that she and her mom thought went really good with her fair skin, red lips, and black hair. It wasn’t a grandma dress or something a hooker would wear, just enough to give a hint of her sexiness. Her father of course, he disapproved, but he would rather have her dressed like an Amish wife than wear anything that showed off her body. He didn’t want to admit that his little girl had grown up. Her mother didn’t wither, but she was at least resigned to it, if not trying to at least accept it.
She let her mind wander as they finally arrived, and she got out of the back seat only to see Otis start to walk inside, aided by a cane. There was no mistaking him. The broadness of his shoulders, the height, his ears, just the way he stood told her it was him. The fact JB was clapping him on the back also gave it away. She smiled brightly, the diamond studs in her ears not even coming close to the brightness that her genuine happiness added. She slowly walked towards them, calling out to Otis.
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Otis heard a familiar voice call his name and turned around to see an angel straight from heaven. Judging by the red, she could also be a devil up from hell for a night of fun to. Either or, he intended to spend that time with her. Ariel fairly sparkled, her eyes and jewelry bright, and the red dress added to her beauty. JB waved and then Ariel waited to see what Otis would say. He just gaped.
“Hey, fish. Speak. Be a human!”
Otis shook his head and glared at JB, only to be speechless as soon as he looked at Ariel again. Finally gaining control over his brain and tongue, he told her.
“You look beautiful. Like an angel.”
Ariel smiled and blushed, while JB made gagging noises and acted grossed out. They may have been adults, but they were all still big kids and laughed at his antics. Ariel’s parents walked by, telling them to hurry. Otis stuck out his arm and Ariel took it, and they walked in together, JB mumbling as he walked behind them.
“What’s next? I get to dress like a servant for His Highness and the Queen?”
His grumbles were lost though as they entered the room.
The River Rats didn’t have the dance in their business club house; it was basically an old abandoned warehouse. Instead, the Ball was held at an older hotel in the district, a relic from its glory days when it wasn’t a bad thing to be from the area. There was an old ballroom with a floor for dancing, and dozens of tables scattered through it. It was a beautiful sight.
Hours later, Otis wearily limped to a chair and sat down. They had ate, drank, and he and Ariel had danced several times to the music. He was starting to hurt though, and his arm was aching. He smiled wearily as she laughed when JB spun her in a circle. She was so beautiful it almost hurt. He had no idea what he would do without her already. Some people would argue she wasn’t anything but trouble, but she made him happy. The woman in question popped him out of his introspection but hopping down into the chair beside him. It was the only way to describe it; she hopped down into the seat.
He smiled as she sucked in great gasps of air, and then he started laughing.
“You look a little tired darling.”
She smiled, her cheeks flushed and her brow slightly damp with sweat. The dancers had kept a frantic pace, and she had barely managed to keep up, she was surprised Otis had. She slowly stretched, arching her back and groaning. It was probably one of the most erotic things, to him anyways, that Otis had ever seen. He smiled, but there was a certain hunger in his eyes that even Ariel could recognize. She bit her lip, and then made a choice.
“Can you drive your truck?”
Otis nodded, slightly confused.
“If JB can get a ride home, do you want to go back to your place and watch a movie or something? It’s a little too crowded in here for me.”
Otis nodded again, at a loss for words and Ariel left to tell her parents what was going on. He walked over to JB and didn’t even give his friend a chance, just told him to find a way home. JB was going to get pissed and ask what the fuck, until he watched Ariel hug her parents and walk towards Otis.
“Mhm.” Otis hummed. His vocal skills where very, very, very off tonight.
“Be good to her dude. She has been through a shit ton lately.”
Otis had the good grace to look very offended that JB thought he would be anything less than wonderful to her, tonight or any other night.
“Ready to go?”
Otis managed a stuttered yes before she drug him out of the door to get in his truck and go back to his place.
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Cole watched his baby girl walk out of the front doors with Otis. He really wanted to hate the boy, but he just couldn’t. He was a nice kid, hard-working, with a bit of a past, but Cole really wasn’t one to talk about that. He had seen a lot of his old friends tonight, and was really enjoying himself. His wife had even managed to convince him to take a spin around the floor, ending in a great kiss beneath the chandelier to the hooting and hollering of the room full of bikers. He slowly stood and walked over to where Otis’s friend JB sat. Sitting down, he waited for the young man to finish drinking his water.
“No beer JB?”
The young man smiled and held up a small chip with the Roman numeral for one on it.
“Honest program Mr.Cole.”
Cole snorted and looked at the man.
“Little young for that aren’t you?”
It was JB’s turn to snort and stare at the older man askance.
“You wait til you was of age to walk on the wilder side?”
Cole laughed and shook his head no, and JB’s icy façade cracked and he smiled.
The two men started talking, because Cole had went through an addiction spell of his own years earlier, before Ariel. He hadn’t used the program, Trish had threatened to leave him for good and it straightened his ass up in a hurry. Some of Cole’s friends had sat down with them, and as they traded stories, the other men began to really pay attention to the charismatic JB. He was telling the stories of his addiction and the things he had done that made some of the other men wonder why he was still alive, and when he spoke of the program and the peace and help a higher power, whether it be God, Buddha, Allah, or anything could give you over your addictions, the others listened. After the conversation petered out, JB’s throat was raw and he drank deeply of some water. An older man stood and placed his hand on the boys shoulder.
“Son, if you can, I’ve got some friends in my family and club that could really use the advice and way you just talked.”
JB looked at the others as many of them asked the same thing and he began to nod.
“Sure guys, I’d love to help.”