Undeniable - 1
Dedicated to undeniable love.
There will always be a reason why you meet people. Either you need them to change your life or you’re the one that will change theirs.
Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life is the day you were born and the day you find out why”
I don't remember the day I was born but I remember the day I found out why.
His name was Deuce.
He was my “why”.
And this is our story.
It is not a pretty one.
Some parts of it are downright ugly.
But it’s ours.
And because I believe everything happens for a reason, I wouldn’t change a thing.
I was five years old when I met Deuce, he was twenty-three, and it was visiting day at Riker's Island. My father, Damon Fox or "Preacher", the President of the infamous "Silver Demon's" motorcycle club -mother chapter- in East Village, New York City, was doing a five-year stint for aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon. It was not the first time my father had been in prison and it wouldn't be the last. The Silver Demon's MC was a notorious group of criminals who lived by the code of the road and gave modern society and all it entailed a great big fuck you.
My father was a powerful and dangerous man who ruled over all Silver Demon's worldwide and was highly respected but mostly feared by other MC's. He had government connections and ties to the mafias but what made him his most dangerous and most feared was his many connections to average everyday people. People who didn’t run in his circle, people who were off the grid. People who could get things done quietly.
His way with words and his killer smile made him friends everywhere he went and considering he'd been riding since he'd still been in my grandmother's womb, when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere.
My father's shortcomings, the constant crime and the club lifestyle weren’t strange to me, it was all I knew.
I was holding my Uncle “One eyed” Joe's hand as we walked through Riker's family visiting room. Since my father was my only parent, my Uncle Joe and Aunt Sylvia had been given temporary custody of me. My mother, Deborah “Darling” Reynolds, had split a few weeks after I was born. Many men would have crumbled under the responsibility of a newborn baby, especially a biker, a biker who couldn't handle more than a few weeks without needing the open road.
But not Preacher.
Aside from going to prison every once in awhile, my father was a good dad and I’d never wanted for a thing.
Dressed in an orange jumpsuit, his long brown hair pulled back in a ponytail at his nape, Preacher spotted us immediately and jumped up. He was hindered slightly by the handcuffs around his wrists and ankles, looped together by a chain, and the prison guard standing behind him who shoved him back down.
"Eva," He said softly, smiling down at me as I climbed into an uncomfortable plastic chair. My sneaker-clad feet didn't reach the floor and my chin barely cleared the table. Uncle Joe slid into the chair beside me and put his arm around me, pulling my chair close to his.
"Daddy," I whispered, trying so hard not to cry. "I want to hug you. Uncle Joe says I can't. Why can't I?"
My father blinked. Then he blinked again. I didn't know at the time but my big strong, rough and tough father was trying not to cry.
Uncle Joe squeezed my shoulder. "Baby girl," He said gruffly, "Tell daddy 'bout the spellin' bee."
Excitement battled my tears and won. "I won the spelling bee, daddy! My teacher, Mrs. Frederick's, she says even through I'm only in kindergarten I can spell as good as a third grader!"
My father grinned.
Seeing this grin and not wanting to lose it, I kept going.
"Do you know how old third graders are, daddy?"
“How old baby?” My father asked, laughing.
"They are eight," I whispered excitedly. "Or sometimes nine!"
"Proud of you baby girl," My father said, his eyes shining.
I beamed. When you are young, your parents are your entire world. My father was my world. If he was happy, I was happy.
Uncle Joe squeezed my shoulder again. "Eva honey, why don't you go get somethin' from the snack machines so daddy and I can have a word."
This was typical. At the club everyone was always "having a word", words I wasn't allowed to hear. Most times, I didn't really care since all the boys loved me and gave me lots of hugs and let me ride on their shoulders and bought me presents all the time. To a five-year-old biker brat, an MC full of surrogate big brothers and daddies is the equivalent to a normal child being able to celebrate Christmas every day.
I took my Uncle Joe's money and skipped off to the snack machines. Two people were in line ahead of me so I did what I always did when I was bored, I started singing. Unlike most children my age who were listening to New Kids on The Block or Debbie Gibson, I was listening to the music played around the club. A particular favorite of mine was Summertime by Janis Joplin. So there I was shaking my butt and singing Summertime way, way out of tune waiting in line for stale potato chips in the Ricker's Island family visiting room when I heard,
"You like Hendricks's too, kid?"
I swiveled around and met with a pair of denim-clad legs, the knees worn clean through. I looked up and my eyes widened in delight. He was tall and tan, his arms and legs were thickly muscled and his waist was trim. His forehead was wide, his jaw, strong and square. His head was shaved, only a fuzz of blonde hair showing and his forearms were heavily tattooed with different depictions of elaborate dragons. I’d never seen a more beautiful man. Overall, he looked tailor made from The Man Cookbook.
There are three different types of men in this world. There are weak men; men who run and hide when life slaps them in the ass. Then there are men; men who have a backbone yet occasionally, when life slaps them in the ass, will rely on others. And then there are real men; men who don’t cry or complain, who don’t just have a backbone, they are the backbone. Men who make their own decisions and live with the consequences, who accept responsibility for their actions or words. Men who, when life slaps them in the ass, slap back and move on. Men who live hard and die even harder.
Men like my father and my uncles. Men I loved with all my heart.
Men like Deuce.
"I like Hendricks's," I said. "But Janis rules. I listen to "Rose" almost every single day!"
He grinned down at me and dimples popped out all over the place.
"I like you, kid," He said, still grinning. "You got good taste in tunes and you've got a pair of chucks on instead of those stupid fuckin' high tops everyone's wearin'."
He liked me. This was hands down the best day ever.
"I hate high tops," I said, wrinkling up my nose.
He winked. "Me too."
I was so throwing out all my high tops when I got home.
When it was my turn in line I stood on my tiptoes and popped change into the machine. I took my time studying the selections, deciding on small bag of salted peanuts. Moving out of the way, I watched as the man bought two bags of potato chips, three candy bars and a big chocolate chip cookie.
"Wow," I said. "You're really hungry."
He laughed. "Not for me." He pointed across the room. "My old man."
I spared a quick glance at my father and Uncle Joe. Their heads were bowed over the table still "having a word".
"Can I meet him?" I asked.
His eyebrows popped. "Uh, he’s kinda cranky."
I laughed. All the men I knew were kinda cranky.
I slipped my hand in his and looked up, ready to go meet his father. His hand was warm and comfortable like my bed was after I'd slept in it all night.
He stared down at our joined hands, his expression confused.
“Ready,” I told him, tugging on his hand. Shrugging, he led me to a nearby table where an older man with a long gray beard and a shaved head sat, cuffed the same way my father was. He released my hand to take his seat and I climbed into the seat next to him.
"Hi," I said cheerfully.
"You got somethin' to tell me?" The old man asked his son.
"She likes Janis," He replied.
The old man studied me, "You like Janis, kid?"
I nodded. "And Steppinwolf and Three Dog Night and the Rolling Stones and Billy Holiday-
"Billy Holiday?" He interrupted, sounding surprised.
I popped some peanuts in my mouth and nodded. "She rules."
The old man grinned and his entire face changed. I knew immediately, a long time ago this cranky old man had been as beautiful as his son.
"I like Billy Holiday,” He said gruffly.
"I like you," I said spontaneously, because I always said stuff spontaneously. "Do you want some peanuts?"
"Sure kid," He said, smiling. "I'd love some."
I poured the rest of my peanuts into his hand and he popped them all into his mouth at the same time.
I jumped at the sound of my Uncle Joe's voice. He was walking briskly across the room towards me. Once he reached the table not only did Uncle Joe looked pissed off but so did my two new friends.