Rambler: Chapter 8


Phoenix actually stomped inside and huffed. Crossing her arms over her chest, she barked, “Listen old man. You can’t—”

“I’m sorry, okay?” Thunder cut her tirade off.

She seemed to halt as if she didn’t know what to do.

Rambler stepped closer. “Have a seat.” He motioned to a chair.

Silent, and looking shocked… she sat.

“Listen girl. I loved your mother. More than life itself.” Her father shook his head. “And dammit, you look just like her, except for your eyes.” He leaned back in his chair and his gaze swung to a framed picture. He turned it around.

Phoenix gasped as she stared at the old photo. “S-she’s beautiful.”

He nodded. “In more ways than just her looks.”

Gazing back up at him, she whispered, “Then why?”

He shook his head. “Why what?”

“Why did you believe she was… that she did all that?”

He tapped his fingers on the desk. “I only loved her ever in my life. Never loved anyone before or after her. I was…” He sighed. “…Broken for a long time.” He scoffed. “Course, I had a club to run and business, so I made it through each day.” He leaned forward. “When I saw you…It brought all the pain back. Full force.”

“So that’s why you acted like you hated me?”

He let out a sigh as he pushed his fingers through his hair. “I could never hate you. But you can see why anger is better for a man like me.” He glanced over at Rambler. “I only trust a few men in this world. One of them is in this room, the other one was Mac.”

Rambler listened to this and tried not to wince at the mention of his brother. You’d think he would have gotten over it, but he hadn’t. The same with Thunder, carrying a wound for that long.

“So…” Thunder leaned forward taking the photo back. “Please stay here for a bit? Let’s find your mother together.”

Phoenix stared at him with raised brows.

“I apologize from the bottom of my very cold heart, little girl. I acted badly when you first showed up. Can you just forgive me and we can start again?”

Speechless, Phoenix slowly nodded her head.

Rambler tried to hide his shock and his joy. The old man came around finally.

“Good.” Thunder nodded.

“So how do we find her?” Rambler broke the silence.

Thunder stared at her. “I do know where she isn’t…I know she isn’t with Odin. In fact she hasn’t been. I-I felt like he must have killed her. Cause let me enlighten you, I have looked for her. I’ve spent more than 50,000 dollars in PI fees, hunting for her, all this time.”

Phoenix’s eyes rounded. “You…”

Nodding, he said, “Every day for twelve years and for you as well. Do you think for one fucking minute if Odin had her, I wouldn’t have gotten her back? Or killed him myself?”

Phoenix looked stunned by all this. “I-I had no idea what you would have done, as I never knew you existed.” She looked up at Rambler. “I asked him if you had looked.”

Thunder laughed a little. “No one knew I was looking, not even him. I did it all without the club’s knowledge. This was my woman and daughter. My business alone.” He looked troubled. “How have you managed all this time?”

“It was the Moons…”

He cocked his head at her.

“The old man who saved me. His family took me in. I was raised among the Apache.”

He blinked. “Really now?”

Phoenix looked down at her hands. “There were plenty of people in the tribe that helped. I was lucky really. Yes, I lost my real parents and my memory, but I was never mistreated by them.”

“I-I thought you were dead, honestly.” Thunder shook his head. “No sign of you. Your mother either. Both of you disappearing off the face of the earth. When you weren’t with Odin…What else could I think? Then as the years went by and none of the men I hired to find you, could find you…”

Phoenix had entirely calmed down. Pain showed in her eyes. “I-I truly thought you just didn’t care.”

“Well now, you know better,” Thunder spoke quietly.

Rambler let the silence fall for a few minutes, then he asked, “So, how do you know your mother is alive?”

“Newspapers,” she replied simply.

“What?” Thunder asked as he frowned at her.

Phoenix pulled her purse off her shoulder and opened it. Taking out a pocketbook, she opened it then set squares of newspapers on the desk.

Thunder reached over and grabbed a square, unfolding it. His eyes widened as he read aloud, “To my lost Beebee, I left Kansas and will check again for your reply. I love you.”

Rambler blinked his eyes in confusion. “What does that mean?”

Thunder’s hands shook. “Beebee is what she called Phoebe. When she was 2 she couldn’t say her own name and would call herself, Beebee.”

A tear rolled down Phoenix’s cheek. “I remembered the Beebee, but not my real name all this time.”

Rambler reached out and grabbed a square then looked down at it. “This one says Illinois.”

Phoenix nodded. “She only says where she was, not where she is.”

“How did you ever find this?” Thunder asked as his eyes sparkled with unshed tears.

“Moon, he brought one to me. He’d said I screamed out that name in a nightmare, ‘don’t leave your Beebee.’ ” Phoenix shrugged. “ Then he saw this and he knew it couldn’t be a coincidence. But I still don’t know if I can find her through this.”

Thunder picked up his cell and tapped in a text. “I don’t either but I know someone who can.” He set the phone down.

Rambler met his gaze. “Wizard?”

Thunder nodded.

“Wizard?” Phoenix looked puzzled. “What the heck is that?”

“Not what but who.” Thunder stared at her.

Thunder gathered the scraps of paper. “Are there more?”

Nodding, she replied,” I have them in my bags.”

“We may need them all.”

She tilted her head at him. “Why?”

Shrugging, he grunted, “It is some kind of puzzle.”

Curious, Rambler leaned forward. “What do you mean?”

Thunder sat back in his chair. “Shelby loved word puzzles of all kinds. You know like the ones they have in newspapers.” He let out a small chuckle. “She would have me buy those books even. You know, like the coloring book kind.” His smile disappeared. “If I hadn’t been so hellbent that she left me, maybe I would have seen this myself.”

A knock sounded on the door.

“Come!” Thunder called.

Wizard came in. He was almost the size of Rambler. Tall, wide shoulders with long dark hair pulled into a ponytail. “Boss.”

Nodding, Thunder motioned for him to sit.

Wizard moved over and did so.

Thunder pointed to the stack of small paper squares. “Got a puzzle for you Wiz.”

Their IT man looked down at the newspaper slips. “Oh?”

“Yeah and this is let’s say, top priority and you have to keep it between just the people in this room.”

Phoenix raised her head and stared at him.

Rambler did too. Who didn’t he trust here in the MC?

“Gotcha.” Wizard took the stack carefully.

“There are more.” Thunder nodded at Rambler. “Take her to her room to get the rest.”

Rambler nodded.

Phoenix stood up. She paused and looked down at her father behind his desk. “I will stay on a bit. Till we find mom.”

Thunder stared at her for a full minute. “We’ll see what happens, little girl.” Then he swung his gaze over to Rambler.

Rambler stared back.

Thunder gave nothing away in his expression.

He wondered what his Pres was thinking. Or what he seemed to be implying. He turned and escorted her out.

They went down the hall.

Phoenix remained quiet.

Opening the door to her room, he let her go first.

She went over to her bags that were now on top of the dresser.

“So, you are going to stay?” he asked her.

She nodded as she unzipped the backpack. “For a while.”

“Good,” he told her.

She paused and turned around. “Why do you care so much?”

Rambler grinned. “Who am I gonna tease to get my jollies?”

Blinking her eyes at him, she seemed to study him. “You are an odd man, Rambler.”

He moved closer and was right up on her. “I find you to be odder. You…” He reached his hand out and swept her hair out of her face. “You are just about the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, yet you don’t even know it.”

She stared at him with round eyes. “See! Now that is what I mean! Why do you talk like that? I mean do you need your eyes checked?”

Rambler grabbed her up suddenly and moved his face right up to hers. “One day soon, I’ll show you just how beautiful you are.” He lowered his mouth to hers and crushed her lips under his.

At first, her small body went stiff and she gasped a bit. Then as the kiss went on, she seemed to relax into him.

Rambler took this as a yes and pushed his tongue in through the seam of her lips. He delved in. The flavor of her was out of this world and his body went rigid. His cock even throbbed in his jeans. He kissed her deeply and explored every crevice of her sweet mouth.

Sighing through her nose, she was limp against him. Finally and with great hesitation, he pulled away. She tottered a bit on her legs and he caught her.

Staring up at him with those amber orbs, she was breathing heavy.

Rambler smiled down at her. “Damn…”

Swallowing heavily, she gave him a short nod while silently agreeing, though she looked like she really didn’t even know her own name.

He laughed. “You need to know something here,” he finally spoke.

Her gaze remained locked on his face. “W-what?”

“I intend to have you,” he almost growled the words.

Her eyes widened. “Have…I-I don’t understand?”

Pausing, he stared at her flushing face. “You really don’t.” It wasn’t a question. He realized just now that she must be a virgin. “You’ve never umm… been with a man?”

She shook her head. “I never even been kissed and I think if it had been like that, I would have remembered it.” She smiled nervously.

Rambler almost smiled. Almost. Damn, a virgin. This was a rare thing in his world or even in the world. She’d never known sex. Fuck, he hadn’t thought ahead on this… that was for damn sure. If he took her like his mind and body wanted, it would have to be permanent. Considering she was also Thunder’s daughter, it would need to be. Rambler stepped back. “Grab the clippings and let’s go.”

Phoenix batted her eyes again in confusion. Then she turned back with shaky hands and did as he said.

Rambler then escorted her back down the hall.


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