‹ Prequel: Charming the Charming
“Shit.” Helen cursed squeezing her eyes shut as the tattoo needle buzzed over her bare skin. “This hurt a lot more than I remember it.”
The tattooist let out a laugh as she wiped Helen's forearm down. “We're almost done. Why the crow?”
Helen looked down at the great open winged black bird being drilled into her skin and smiled to herself. “Think of it as a declaration to the life I am committing to live.”
The woman looked up at Helen with a squint in her eyes. “Fair enough.” She dipped her head and went back to work when the shop door opened with a chime of the bell.
“How's it going?” Juice's voice floated over the counter as he arched his neck for a sneak peek.
“Hey you, no peeking!” Helen gazed over with a half smile. “It's fine. I thought you had Church?”
“We did.” He nodded knowing better than to say any more. “But the boys have me on a run for booze and some pretty uncomfortable things on this list.” He waved a piece of paper at her.
“Buck's party I am guessing?” Helen sucked on her lower lip.
The tattooist glanced over as she dipped her gun into another cap of ink and gave Juice a casual smile.
“God I hope not you should see some of this stuff. I mean twelve inch fisty dildo? Why do we need one of those?”
Helen stifled a laugh. “Yeah it sounds like you should be scared. Hey, Luanne gave me the day off so I will be home tonight, will you be?”
Juice shrugged. “I have no idea babygirl but I a guessing not. Clay said something about making me stay back to work on the system.”
“Okay.” She nodded. “I have a lunch date with Gemma after this to go over some stuff for the day. I might call Tara later and see if she is working at the hospital tonight. Oh does Jax have the shirts?”
Taking a moment to think Juice nodded. “He has them at his house.”
“Can't wait to see what's going on over there.” Again Juice tried to catch a peek but failed as the tattooist tactfully swivelled her chair in his view.
“Well you'll just have to wait, mister.” Helen poked her tongue out and smiled.
“Ha alright babe. See you in the morning.”
“So old lady tattoo?” The tattooist looked up again as the door clunked shut behind Juice.
“You must be one hell of a lady to land a Son.”
Helen shook her head. “Just stubborn.”
As Helen left the shop and walked across to her car parked at the front the hairs on the back of her neck stood up and a chill ran down her spine. She turned looking to her right before doing the same to her left. The feeling of eyes boring through her was relentless even as she shut her car door proceeding to hit the central lock button. It was the most unnerving feeling Helen had experienced and even as she drove away it followed her.
“So I guess you guys made up again?” Gemma asked as she sat across from the young woman in the booth of a restaurant. She looked down at the tattoo wrapped in plastic.
It was lunch time and Helen had dropped by the garage to pick Gemma up for their lunch date. The wedding was fast approaching and there were still a few things she needed to pad out.
Helen nodded as she stuffed the last of her chips in her mouth. “Yup. He can't get rid of me that easily. I know he had the best intentions in mind, but really?”
Sitting back Gemma let out a slight laugh. “It's the way they are baby. Over protective to the point of hurting everyone around them.”
Helen nodded as she pulled out a pad and pen from her bag. “I have your dress and Tara's at home plus mine. Jax has the shirts, I asked Juice this morning about that. Not doing flowers, a veil or any of that hoohar.”
“Shoes?” Gemma asked as Helen ticked a list off.
“With the dresses.”
“And Juice booked everything that needed to be?”
Helen nodded. “Yup. I have all the receipts for that. Rings are paid for and Juice has them sitting away somewhere.”
“What about a man to give you away?” Gemma asked as she knew the Knowles sister's were without a father.
Putting down her pad and pen Helen leaned forward. “I was thinking of asking Chibs. What do you think?”
“I think Chibs would love that, baby.”
Helen smiled. “I hope he will say yes.”
“Have you heard what he and the guys have install for Juice's buck's night?” Gemma asked as she speared a leaf of lettuce with her fork.
“Juice did come into the tattoo shop waving a piece of paper around with a worried look over his face.”
Gemma tried to hold back a smile. “Just you wait and find out. It's become the tradition around here.”
Puzzled at what Gemma had meant Helen shook her head. “And you have what planned for my hen's?”
“You'll find out. The girls from KerraKerra have already taken over getting you dressed for the night.”
With a smile she sunk back in her seat eyes glancing out the window.
“You okay, honey?” Gemma watched as Helen's skin paled.
“I am just tired. Luanne has been busting my ass at work taking on more functions, movies and girls. We are going to need to hire another someone to take over my old duties.”
“That stupid old whore doesn't know when enough is enough. She has always been that way since I can remember. Listen I'll drive you back home and you can get some sleep before Juice comes home.”
Helen nodded. “You're a doll, Gem.”
Hot shower water stung the tattoo on Helen's arm as she washed away the excess ink blotting her skin. Savouring the water cascading down her back she let out a tired sigh and stepped from the shower onto the fresh bath mat Juice had put down the night before.
The sound of Harriet stomping through the house was the only noise that could be heard but as Helen wrapped a towel around her slick skin the goosebump prickling sensation that had plagued her outside the tattoo shop rose it's ugly head again.
Something wasn't right.
She listened as Harriet whined at the newly installed front door and paused for a moment with her first thoughts jumping to the gun Juice had brought home for her not long after the business with Jimmy O in their house.
“Helen are you in?” Chibs's familiar Scottish accent came from the other side and with a sigh of relief she stuck her head out from the bathroom.
“Give me a second to put some clothes on.”
Chibs nodded at the front door hearing Harriet on the other end. “I am not making a damn move with that dog behind there.” He said more to himself as Tig's rendition of Juice's telling on how Harriet had torn out the throat of an Irish lacky ran fresh in his mind.
Soon enough the front door opened and Helen stepped aside letting Chibs in, Harriet watching as he sat on the couch next to the spot where Helen usually sat.
“You said you needed to talk to me urgently. Has JuicyBoy fucked up again?” Chibs pushed his dark sunglasses to the top of his head and watched as Helen swayed nervously in front of him.
“No. No.” She shook her head. “I needed to ask you something.”
“So what is it, darlin'?” Chibs asked with raised brows.
Helen took a spot next to Chibs and placed her hands over his. “I...you're Juice's best friend and a close part of our family. So I am going to ask would you maybe...want to give me away at the wedding?”
Chibs watched as she nervously bit at the corner of her lower lip and a cracked a wide smile over his face. “Of course I would wee lass! Why were you so nervous to ask?”
She shrugged. “I haven't had to ask someone to step in on a 'father duty' before.”
Curling an arm around her shoulders Chibs pulled the young woman into a half hug. “Well I would be honoured to.”
Helen nodded and pecked Chibs's cheek with a small kiss. “It means a lot.”
“When you're in the club you're apart of it for life.” Picking up her arm he examined the crow tattoo and it's reaper mask. “We're all family here, girl.”
“Where are we going?” Helen asked as she sat bundled in the back of her car surrounded by the KerraKerra girls and Gemma at the wheel.
“I hope that blindfold doesn't smudge her make up.” BabyDoll's voice could be heard from the passenger seat.
“If you took it off it wouldn't smudge anything.” Still protesting Helen wiggled her hands that had been handcuffed behind her back.
“Oh baby don't whine so much.” Gemma said as she turned the steering wheel into a corner. “We're here now.”
Before the car doors were open Helen could already hear thudding music playing from where ever she had been kidnapped to.
“Don't trip.” Starr unlocked the handcuffs and slowly guided Helen with her seven inch stripper heels away from the car.
“Don't trip? I will be lucky to not go arse over tit here girl.”
She heard Starr laugh. “You'll be fine. I'll get you in there no worries.”
Walking with her arm linked with Starr's Helen wondered what the KerraKerra girls had in store for this her hen's night. With the wedding just days away she only hoped it wasn't anything to land them in jail. No. No actually that would be something she should be worried about since she guessed Juice's buck's night was kicking off right about now.
“This seems kind of familiar.” Helen mumbled as she walked a familiar route to a door she heard open.
The music that had thudded through her car now enveloped ears.
“Welcome to your hen's night.” Tara's voice reached her side and a hand pulled the blindfold from her heavily smoked eyes.
Helen looked around as the studio that had been KerraKerra's porno set hours beforehand had been transformed into an in house party lounge with animal print and stripper poles to boot.
“This is amazing!” She smiled and turned to thank the girls.
Luanne pushed her way through the sea of KerraKerra girl's that littered the studio handing a pitcher over flowing with whiskey and cola to Helen. “Let's party bitches!”
The clubhouse was alight with liquor and howling bikers all gathered to give one of their own the best marital advice that could muster.
“Run. Just run. Don't look back and high tail it out of there.”
Juice burst out a laugh at the old man's words. “Piney it can't be that bad, man.”
Piney sat back in his seat. “You say that now, but come talk to me five years. You'll have wished you took my advice.” Coming down from the cabin to join in the festivities Piney watched as the club he had founded turned into a bunch of drunk hounds.
“Dad don't scare the kid.” Opie landed a hand over his father's shoulder and looked at Juice. “It's only that bad half of the time.”
“Nah.” Juice shook his head. “It won't be bad any of the time. I already know that.”
“You've had enough bad to last you a life time.” Chibs chinked his beer bottle against Juice's as the other's nodded thinking of the foul times that had befell their brother.
“Did Gemma say what they were doing for her party tonight?” Juice looked at Jax and Clay who shook their heads in response.
“Only that there would be jelly wrestling.” Clay grinned.
“Yeah we're gonna have to crash that.” Tig looked around. “This is a complete sausagefest.”
“But not just yet.” Jax stepped forward trying to hide a devilish grin. “First our brother needs his wears.”
Juice raised a brow. “What are you talking about?”
“Oh you'll see JuicyBoy.”
Sliding a leg around one of the dance poles Helen let her body wind around it's cold metal surface moving her along to the dirty beats swirling through the pornography studio. Strobe lights of every colour pierced through the darkness, some blinked and others held a solid spotlight in other women grinding against their own poles.
Biting her bottom lip Helen threw herself into a swing and dip the way she used to when she was younger and working in the party scene. So much had changed since then and the woman Helen was left with was someone so different that if the old her saw the current her in the street she would have just kept walking. Meeting Juice had been the trigger for some of the most awful experiences that had shaped her and the most amazing times that left her with a sense of fulfilment. Never had Helen thought this is where she would be before the age of thirty.
It's a life she had imagined Tara having after seeing her with Jax, even when she'd skipped out on Charming. With a smile Helen stepped from the pole to find her sister.
As she strutted through the sea of women that made up the KerraKerra family Helen noticed a small crowd gathering at the entrance and heard a voice bellow out. Following the commotion she snuck through the crowd and immediately clamped a hand over her mouth.
“So it turns out I had more to be scared of than just the fisty dildo.” Juice's cheeks burned red as he stood in front of his bride forced to wear leather assless chaps, fake moustache and nipple clamps.
“Oh honey what did they do to you?” Helen stifled a giggle and traded it for an over exaggerated frown as she put her arms around Juice.
“This!” He pointed to the fake moustache. “Is stuck on with quick try bonding adhesive.”
Helen's eyes widened before she broke down in a laugh that hurt her ribs. “I'm sorry baby. Let's get you a drink and try and sort your mess out.”
“It's not funny, Helen!” Juice whined as he moved through the studio following Helen into Luanne's office.
“Just sit down. We have clothes here and I am sure we can do something with that thing on your face.”
He watched as she stumbled over to a box nearly falling face first into the desk.
“You are rat shit drunk. How about you sit down and I'll look for clothes?”
Helen nodded. “Sounds like a plan.” Quickly she fell into Luanne's chair and began rummaging through the draws. “There will be clothes in that box.” She flung a hand out to her right. “I haven't had the chance to sort them into wardrobe. Here.” Helen passed out a pair of scissors with a small compact mirror.
Juice looked up from the box with the nipple clamps happily thrown across the room. “Thanks.” He took the tools and began to chop away at the moustache.
“How did they get that junk on you anyway?”
“Don't ask.” He slapped away the last of the fake hair from his upper lip and bent to grab fresh clothes from the box when Helen leaned over the table and placed a hand on his wrist. “Hey. Lock the door and pull the shutters.” Sliding her hands behind her little black dress she slowly pulled the zipper down until it hit the top of her panty line.
With a lick of his lips Juice turned and locked the door and dropped the blinds.
“Whoa are they getting' dirty in my office?!” Luanne turned to Tara who had glanced over to see the action.
“Guess you'll be ordering a new desk.”
A car sat in the dark of the night watching the door to KerraKerra. Watchful eyes had seen Helen enter her hen's night followed by her biker and his brothers. Smoke coiled from lips ruined with a scar and those eyes began to narrow. Lucy had been watching Helen for days. Excitement began to thrive in the pit of her stomach as the thought of the revenge she was planning was only mere days away.
“Come on Lucy. Just a few more days.”