One Light Coming, A Biker's Story: book 3 of the seriesby Edward Winterhalder & Marc Teatum
One Light Coming, A Biker's Story: Chapter 2
From behind his sunglasses, Jake could tell the cop was checking out the chrome on the otherwise shiny black Shovelhead. Watching the trooper talk into his radio, Jake figured that the cop was running a check on the bike’s registration. After a few minutes, the trooper emerged from his cruiser, and with a swagger, strode over towards Jake.
“You know you’re not supposed to be sitting here,” he said flatly.
Jake just looked up and initiated the battle-of-the-stares; Jake behind his dark shades and the lawman behind a pair of mirrored lenses, the kind that many cops seem to favor.
“That’s a great looking scoot,” the trooper continued, “But you’re going to have to move on now.”
Just as Jake swung his legs over the motor, thinking that once again he was waiting on a woman who might be more trouble than she was worth, he heard a familiar voice.
“Jake! Over here!”
Jake glanced over his shoulder to the beauty that was waving at him just outside the arrival doors. She looked even more dazzling than he remembered; the cop couldn’t help but notice either. Karen wore a pair of cut off jean shorts rolled and cuffed up to her ass, black leather boots and a white t-shirt under a black linen jacket. Her auburn hair had gotten longer, almost halfway down her back, and it was moving sensually in the breeze.
“Buddy, that sure was worth waiting for. Make it quick. I’ll watch the bike,” the lawman said.
Jake took off his sunglasses for a moment, and it was then he noticed the tattoo on the officer’s thick muscled left forearm that read RIDE HARD, DIE FREE.
“Thanks,” Jake said, replacing the sunglasses as he crossed the street to meet Karen at the curb, dodging a few kamikaze taxis in the process.
“Hi, baby. It’s good to see you,” she whispered, fluttering her eyelashes like a butterfly and surprising him with a kiss.
He stared into her hazel eyes.
“It’s good to see you, too. So much for being inconspicuous.”
After a moment, he picked up her leather duffel bag.
“Is this all you’ve got?”
“No, there’s some more over there,” she said, pointing to a Skycap standing next to two matching leather trunks pretending to be suitcases.
“Christ! I thought I told you to travel light and low key.”
“I did. This is stuff I just had to have. A girl needs certain things she can’t do without, like …”
“Give me fifty dollars,” Jake interjected impatiently, and whistled for a cab.
Karen fished a single bill out of her small handbag and gave it to Jake as a Brown & White Cab car pulled up to the curb like a NASCAR driver making a pit stop. Jake leaned his head into the balding middle aged driver’s compartment scanning the hack license for a name and number, burning the info into his photographic memory bank.
“Listen here, Mr. Peter Hansen. Take these two trunks to this address by the end of your shift and leave them on the porch,” Jake said, scrawling the destination on a scrap of paper.
As he handed it to the driver Jake leaned in closer.
“If they are not there by the time we get there tonight, I’m going to find out where you live and come after you. Got it, sport?”
The driver silently nodded in agreement as Jake stuffed the fifty into his shirt.
When they got to the big twin, Jake handed Karen the spare brain bucket he had brought along. He swung a leg over the bike, and with a twist of the throttle and two jumps on the kick starter, the motor roared to life. Karen climbed on behind him with a level of competence that drew smiles from both Jake and the state trooper.
“See you in the movies,” Jake said to the trooper over the roar of the motor.
“Ride safe,” was his reply, as Jake kicked the shifter into first gear and pulled away from the curb.
♦ ♦ ♦
Within ten minutes, Jake and Karen were out of the airport and heading north along Revere Beach Parkway alongside the ocean. The smell of the salt air and Karen’s arms tightly wrapped around his waist felt good, but the way her legs held on to him was even better.
“I could go for a cold beer,” Karen yelled into his right ear.
She must have read Jake’s mind, for that’s exactly what he had been thinking.
Jake nodded acknowledgment as he guided his bike into the rear parking lot of the Cove Lounge, a bar one block from the Atlantic Ocean that was a favorite of both independent Harley riders and motorcycle club members who lived in the Boston area. As Jake and Karen climbed the back stairs, he nodded to the prospect who was keeping watch over a pair of club bikes parked below. They made their way through the afternoon crowd and found a pair of stools near the middle of the bar while the jukebox played a classic Warren Winters Band rock tune in background.
“Not quite what you’re used to, I suppose,” Jake said as he signaled the bartender for two drafts.
“Oh, please don’t start off like that. I’m coming back, remember?” Karen answered.
“Coming back? What makes you think I want you back?”
She was obviously stunned by Jake’s off the cuff reply.
“I just thought that I’d, that you, that,” she stammered.
“Look, I said I would help you disappear. But I don’t think I can start back up with you where we left off, as if nothing had happened.”
The bartender dropped the two cold brews in front of them.
“Thanks, Jesse,” Jake said, “How you been?”
“Been this, been that. You know how it goes,” the bartender said, and went back to watching the television that was mounted above the far end of the bar.
Jake took a gulp from his glass and set it down on the bar.
“That’s fine. Well, whatever you can do I’ll be grateful for,” Karen said ruefully, staring down at her glass.
“I just don’t want to get tore up again. I care enough for you to help now. But don’t look too far down the road.”
“I get your message. It’s just that after what we’ve been through, I guess I just expected you to …”
“I’ve got to make some phone calls to see if I can get the ball rolling to get you a new ID. Sit tight for a few,” Jake said, cutting her off in mid sentence.
He launched himself off of the barstool and strode to the pay phone near the back door.
Although he was a guy who basically kept his nose clean—Jake had never served time and his brushes with the law had come from nothing more than a few speeding tickets and an occasional fight—he did have a few friends who had connections and some who were connected. He punched in the phone number and waited, keeping an eye on Karen as he turned around and leaned against the wall. Sometimes just looking at her made him lose his breath, for she was a very beautiful woman by any standard.
He thought she might even be worth whatever trouble she was likely to cause him, and he knew she could cause a lot. She had a body and face that men would fight for, and a head on her shoulders to boot. Karen had been educated in a small urban college, and she kept herself informed enough to have an opinion of what was going on in the world.
She was, for him, the best of both worlds, and he started to feel guilty for the harsh way he had spoken to her. But then again, she had walked out on him, not he other way around. He thought he had gotten over her, but maybe not.
“What?” a gravelly male voice barked at him, right after the sixth ring and just as Jake was about to hang up.
“Hey, Jughead, it’s Jake.”
“Hey, dude, what’s going on? I haven’t seen you since the Halloween party.”
“Yeah, it’s been a while. How ya been doing?”
“I’m okay, I suppose. Could be better” Jughead said.
“It could always be better, no?” Jake said, segueing into some small talk, because this phone call was not going to be like ordering Chinese takeout.
You don’t just blurt out the type of request he was going to be making.
“Hey, man, I need to know if you’re still in the name game,” Jake said, finally getting to the point.
“Jughead’s the name and names are my game. What can I do for you?”
Jake turned his back to the bar and lowered his voice.
“I need a game changer.”
“Something kind of fancy?”
“No, nothing fancy, just something standard for a twenty-five to thirty year old.”
“Is this for you?”
“No. It’s for a woman.”
“Shouldn’t be much of a problem, but it may take a while.”
“Whatever. I’m not looking for favors or anything. Just don’t take me to the cleaners, okay?
“Cost of the game is still the same, young man. Five hundred.”
“How do I reach you?”
“I’m still at the same number.”
“I’ll call you when I’m done,” Jughead said, and hung up without further ado.
Relieved that he was able to expedite the situation he found himself in with Karen, Jake dropped the handset back into the cradle. On his way back to the bar, he paused and took a deep breath, for some guy talking to Karen had already taken his stool. It was no surprise, for Karen attracted men just as moths are drawn to the proverbial flame.
“Some things don’t change,” he muttered to himself as he approached the bar. Nudging aside a guy that could have doubled for a fireplug on steroids, Jake took his place between them, next to Karen. Although the intruder had a big neck and body, it didn’t take a stock market analyst to see that other than the bulk, there wasn’t much muscle.
“Excuse me, but she already has a date,” Jake said.
“Hey, don’t get touchy, man.”
“That’s fine by me. I just want you to know your company is unwanted here, okay? Why don’t you rejoin your buddies so me and my sweetie can finish our beers in peace,” Jake said, staring the intruder straight in the eye. The fireplug seemed to have trouble making up his mind whether to walk away or prove how stupid he was.
“If you feel froggy, go ahead and jump. It’s your call, partner,” Jake said.
The fireplug snickered and drew himself up from a slouch to his full height.
“He isn’t kidding, mister. No need to prove your manhood,” she said.
She smiled sweetly hoping to help diffuse the situation.
“And even though you are kinda cute, I think I’m gonna leave with him,” she said, nodding in Jake’s direction.
Karen breathed a sigh of relief as the fireplug returned to the table where his two buddies were sitting. The last thing she wanted was for Jake to get into a fight with some jerk over her. Been there done that she thought.
Jake downed the rest of his beer—Karen followed suit. He tossed a ten dollar bill on to the bar for the beers.
“See you later, Jesse.”
“Take care, Jake. Come again,” the bartender said, as he scooped up the money and empty glasses.
Jake took Karen by the arm and steered her to the back exit. As they descended the stairs Jake glanced around to reconnoiter the parking lot for anybody who might have followed him and Karen from the airport. He still wasn’t sure what kind of trouble she was in or with whom actually. He’d been lied to by Karen before, and once you lose trust in someone, it’s hard to get it back.
With one strong kick the Shovelhead burst to life, and he and Karen climbed aboard his Harley. He slammed the shifter into first gear and they took off like a rodeo bull busting out of its pen, showering the parking lot in a small cloud of dirt and gravel.
♦ ♦ ♦
Fifteen minutes later at a deserted spot along the beach, Jake pulled over and shut the V-twin down.
“Why are we stopping here?” Karen asked.
Jake draped his helmet on the handlebars and headed for the seawall that held back the beach sand from invading the paved surface separating the homes from the ocean. He stared out into his own space and didn’t notice Karen had joined him.
“Jake. Are you okay?
After a beat he turned to face her, and looked into her glittering green eyes.
“Tell me. What exactly went wrong out there in Chicago? I don’t hear from you in a year and when I do it’s only to help you out of a jam.”
Karen turned her head to face the ocean, as if the unending vista and soon to disappear sun might give her some strength. As the sun slowly sank below the horizon it cast a glow along the top of her hair, giving her an almost saintly look. She took a deep breath as if searching for a place to begin.
“He just got to be too strange. All his days were spent remaking what God gave people. The length of their nose wasn’t right or a chin that wasn’t straight enough. When people walked into his office, they wanted to be made better looking. They didn’t like the vision God had created. They wanted one that they created, one that better matched the pictures in the glamour magazines, on television, in music videos or the movies. And he could do that for them. It was his decision as to how much or how little to do,” Karen said, briefly pausing to brush away some golden sand from the seawall.
“It wasn’t long before I realized that he thought he was God, with the ability to control someone’s future. His patients and colleagues even treated him like that. But the stress of having to live up to what everyone else thought of him got to be too much. He got depressed and started to write out prescriptions to himself for all sorts of antidepressants, and then started taking them like candy every day.”
“Did he ever suggest that you needed to be changed? Did he ever hurt you in any way?”
“No, he never did. He never suggested that he work on me. It’s strange. With me, he couldn’t see anything that he wanted to change. And truthfully, in the end, that’s why I had to get out. He’d get strung out on pills and then rant and rave about all the work that he had done, how he made people better than God could. But there was one thing he couldn’t improve upon, and that was me. It really drove him nuts. He got more insane about it as time went on and it just got to be too weird. I told him I wanted out and he wouldn’t hear of it. You see, if I left, then it would mean he wasn’t perfect, wasn’t God like. And he just couldn’t take that. I guess I was just spending everyday waiting for that other shoe to drop.”
With a slight quiver in her voice, Karen turned back to the setting sun and closed her eyes as she tried to pry a few more rays of heat from the large orange ball in the sky.
Jake kept looking at the sinking sun; it proved a perfect metaphor for what he was feeling.
“Look, like I said before, I just don’t want you to break my heart again. The phone call I made back at the bar was to set things in motion for you. It’s not going to happen overnight. We’ve got some time to kill before you’ll get the paperwork that will let you get on with a new life.”
“Don’t worry, Jake, I’m not going to bite you.”
“That’s not what I’m worried about.”
With nothing more said, Karen and Jake slowly walked back to the still warm Harley. They climbed aboard America’s freedom machine and hit the road. When they got to Jake’s apartment, they were greeted by Karen’s luggage sitting on the porch, not that Jake had harbored the slightest doubt the cabbie wouldn’t do as instructed.
♦ ♦ ♦
Jake and Karen spend the next few days enjoying each other’s company, doing all the things they once liked doing together. Long rides along the coast on his bike, walking barefoot on the beach, stopping at a rustic restaurant for lunch, or riding up to the mountains of New Hampshire filled the hours they were together.
And, of course, there was the sweet excitement of rediscovering how good they were with each other. In some ways it was as if the Dr. Cerrone interlude had never happened. The thoughts in their heads about what to do and how to do it seemed to run as smoothly as a well tuned motor. There were no big issues to deal with. Each deferred to the other rather than seek to dominate. Jake had never been the possessive type, but he was protective of the women he had loved. He figured it all came down to respect. Respect for the other person’s wants, needs, and desires—and respect for the other person’s mind. In the grand scheme of relationships, this ability was rare, and they both knew it.
One day while heading back towards Boston in the shadows of a setting sun, after riding along the New Hampshire coast where they had been putting some scenic miles on the Harley’s odometer, the chemistry between them was as it had been in the beginning—extraordinary! When they finally got back to Jake’s place, he locked the bike in the garage and they headed upstairs hand in hand, giggling like a couple of teenagers. It had been a long time since the flames of romance and desire had burned inside him, and once inside, he soon had a cozy little fire going in the hearth.
From across the room, Karen gave Jake a demure glance, and slid out of her jeans and sweatshirt as if shedding skin. She left on the long black athletic shirt she wore as an undergarment and seductively approached Jake with the smooth grace of a panther ready to pounce on its prey. As his reluctance to get involved emotionally and physically dissolved quicker than a tablespoon of honey in a hot cup of tea, he removed his shirt and welcomed her into his arms. They both knew that this re-consummation of their relationship was long overdue and felt right as rain.
Read the Reviews
WHEW! Kick Your Machine into Gear and take an unforgettable ride with the Brotherhood. After reading “One Light Coming,” I didn’t have to be a biker to feel that I’d embarked on a riveting adventure with gripping scenarios around every turn in the road. Jake Axelrod and those he meets in this “on-the-run journey,” pave the way to a trip you’ll want to take with every turn of the page. This is a book for bikers, bystanders and all who have wanted to feel the wind propel you to that special Freedom found only on a motorcycle! You’ll never see bikers on the road again without wondering about the stories behind their lives. Take the Ride! HARLEY-LUJAH!!!
—L. Curran, Amazon
When I had this book delivered to my office, I made the mistake of opening it at my desk. I started to read it and could not wait to turn to the next page! I had to tear myself away, and was anxious the rest of the afternoon to get home and dive back to it. It feels like each character in the book is a living breathing real person, each with their own history and personality. The biker culture is nicely woven into the storyline, but it is not only about leather and chrome (although that part is pretty darn cool too). It goes deeper, and shines light onto the brotherhood, the respect and the genuine pride that powerfully bonds bikers and their Families. This is not your standard suspense/action/romance novel. It has punch. It has Umph. It has an attitude, with flames and skulls. And it will make you think about what true friendship, love, loyalty and freedom really are. Now, throw your leg over that bike, and enjoy the ride!