Eighteen year old Ashley Chester nervously smoothed her white shirt. So this was the biker's spring festival? Freddy had dreamed of coming here? It was horrible! All the noise and the smell of beer and exhaust fumes!
Ashley put a strand of her short mouse-brown hair behind her ear. Freddy Mason, her boyfriend, had been so excited. He had finally talked his rich father into buying him a Harley Davidson. He had been so cute, like a boy opening a long awaited Christmas present. And now he wanted to show off his newest plaything. And maybe he had wanted to show off his girlfriend too, Ashley added to herself, sobering quickly. As if there was anything to be shown off with a girl as plain as she was.
Ashley sighed. Freddy had been her only boyfriend, indeed the only boy who had ever shown any interest whatsoever in her. She was grateful for that, and he was cute, so when he had wanted to go with her to a biker festival she had given in. She could learn for her Spanish exam later. But had it to be this place, in this remote forest?
There were about seventy men and women around a large fire in the clearing. They had started consuming beer, and worse, long before the sun even started to set. Massive speakers on a makeshift stage were pumping out loud rock music and about twenty people were dancing to the hard rhythms. Two bikes were cruising around the dancers, and to Ashley's shock they both had half naked girls on the back. What had she gotten herself into?
Freddy had no clue what to do either, it seemed, he just sat on his shiny new toy grinning and obviously hoping that the admirers would crowd around him. Which no one was doing. Ashley got off of the back of the Harley before someone noticed her. She wished her brother was here with her, but he ended up having a wedding to go to, so he had had to cancel this trip -- and leave her alone at the noisy biker's festival. Ashley wished she could hide under the earth like a seedling did. She straightened her blue jeans and white shirt yet again and put her hair behind her ears in a nervous gesture. She really should be studying for the Spanish exam in two days and not here where girls went around half naked! Ashley pointedly looked away from those shameless people -- and right at one of the approaching bikers.
His skin was white, but except for that, the only color she saw was black -- black hair, black eyes, black moustache and black biker clothes just partly hiding his bulging muscles. Only his white-toothed grin was a sharp contrast to all the black, but it was hungry, even predatory, and directed at her. She gulped, and his grin widened even more. The biker suddenly turned toward Freddy, and Ashley noticed that five of his friends had followed their leader, all dressed in the same garb, down to the silver lined black wolf on the shoulder of their jackets. They turned to her boyfriend, after grinning in Ashley's direction. Ashley felt as if they had a secret she wasn't in on, and it made her uncomfortable. Freddy didn't seem notice the smiles directed toward his girlfriend; he was just happy that someone was finally paying attention to him. He was oblivious to the feigned friendliness in the leader's voice as the man finally turned toward him and shoved a clear bottle with a lightning bolt on its side into his hand.
"I'm Brett, and this is my Wolfpack." The leader of the bikers had an oily voice that grated on Ashley's nerves, but didn't seem to bother Freddy. "Have a drink. You're new, right? A hog, huh? How loud is she? Do you have her adjusted?"
Freddy answered the questions enthusiastically, embellishing whatever he thought he could get away with and making up answers to questions he didn't know. Ashley sighed at having to hear him once again repeat how great the bike was and managed to only slightly roll her eyes as she listened to him bump the numbers up from what he had told her before. But Brett simply nodded and clapped Freddy's shoulder in congratulations. He took the bottle back, drank a slug himself and then passed the bottle on -- to Ashley. She took the glass bottle in surprise, wishing she had gone farther away, but she hadn't wanted to leave the side of the only man she knew in this crowd.
Reluctantly Ashley sniffed at the bottle, which drew a laugh from the gang, and then looked toward Freddy. He frowned slightly and gave her a sign to drink, not wanting her to make the wrong impression on his newfound "friends". Ashley sighed and took a sip, then coughed. God, what was that? It burned all the way down her throat and made her eyes water. She had had very little alcohol in her life, the last on her eighteenth birthday a few months ago, but never anything as potent as that. The gang laughed again, and Freddy's face turned red. Embarrassed herself and not wanting her boyfriend to look like a fool Ashley took another sip, and this time she was able to avoid coughing, if barely. How had anyone managed to bottle liquid fire? What could possibly be in this killer stuff? She considered emptying the bottle on the ground, but of course didn't. What kind of seedling would grow if watered by this?
Brett took the unlabeled jug again, clapped Ashley's shoulder, and smiled at her. She could barely see him through the tears in her eyes. Quickly she blinked them away and smiled back at the gang leader. Her throat felt rough, so she didn't dare to say anything, and luckily it wasn't necessary. Brett smiled at her once more, then passed the bottle toward one of his gang. He turned back toward Freddy and resumed talking about the 'additions' he had made to his Harley. Freddy was happy to be the center of attention again and readily bragged some more.
Ashley took a deep breath and gulped the fire in her throat away. Just as she thought she would be able to breathe freely again, she was handed the bottle once more. Apparently it had completed its round through the pack already and it was her turn again. Or was it a fresh bottle? It still had roughly the same level as when she had gotten rid of it. Ashley sighed inwardly, but feeling everyone watching her she closed her eyes and took another sip. This time she could stomach it a bit better. You can get used to anything in time, she thought, quickly getting rid of the bottle by passing it on. After just three sips she felt a bit lightheaded. Devilish stuff!
The talk between Freddy and the pack had turned toward a test drive of the new Harley. Of course her boyfriend had agreed to it, grinning like a happy schoolboy. Ashley loved it when Freddy was in this mood; he looked so cute when his eyes were sparkling. And she was relieved that this test drive would get her out of the clearing full of vulgar women, even if it meant being with Brett's Wolfpack. At least six bikers were better then seventy. So she settled herself on the back of the Harley behind an excited Freddy while the gang went to fetch their own motorcycles. If they managed to make this just a quick ride, Ashley mused, she might even get home early enough to review her last three lessons for the Spanish exam.
Her thoughts were drowned out in a roar of noise when the wolves returned with their motorcycles. Ashley couldn't hear anything until Brett turned off his foreign model and the pack followed his lead. She sighed in relief as her ears stopped ringing from the terrible noise from the engines. However, her relief turned to shock as she listened to what the leader had to say.
"You takin' your girl behind you?" Brett asked Freddy. "Don't you want to show us what this hog can really do? Come on, I'll take her behind me, so you can show us how fast she is. Girl, hop over here, we want to see him let loose!"
Ashley was speechless, and even more so when Freddy readily agreed. What was he thinking? How could he leave her alone with this animal?
"Freddy!" she started in on him angrily, but Brett interrupted immediately.
"Don't worry, baby, we'll stay together. Besides, I'm a more experienced biker, so you'll be safer with me."
Brett smiled at Ashley and offered her the jug yet again. Ashley looked at Freddy, who looked at her apologizing with his sky-blue eyes. Ashley couldn't believe it. She took the bottle to her lips, taking a whole mouthful this time. Then she coughed again and sighed. If it would make her boyfriend happy, she'd ride with Brett. But she'd never ever go with Freddy to a biker festival again, that was for sure.
Sighing again Ashley dismounted and climbed onto Brett's machine. One of the gang, Jimmy, assisted her on it, but despite that she felt uncomfortable immediately. This seat was much shorter than the Harley's, and she felt dangerously close to Brett. She opened her mouth to point out her objections, but before she could say anything the roaring noise was back as the machines started. Freddy never even looked in Ashley's direction, his determination to prove himself and his machine clearly written on his face. Jimmy ran to his own bike in a hurry, already a bit behind the starting pack of wolves. To Ashley it felt like she was being dragged away, suddenly alone in a thundering wave of blackness. Where was her brother? Couldn't he be with her, protecting her, instead of attending the wedding of his fiancé's sister?
.... There is more of this story ...