Titan (EEMC #2) - Bijou Hunter
PART 1: LOST AND FOUND
ANDERS “TITAN” VAN DER HAAS
Pain has been the one constant in my life. My earliest memories are of crying in a dark closet, nursing the latest beating. Even a bright spot in my life, like the time I earned a little ribbon for spelling in school, was marred by the pain of the whipping from the night before.
Drugs and booze helped. A lot, actually. Once I got old enough to steal a beer from my grandfather’s stash or pop one of my grandmother’s OxyContin, I found relief. Life got easier when I was wasted.
But heroin was a whole new ball of fucking pain.
A pretty girl got me hung up on that addiction. Melanie said I was the most handsome man she’d ever seen, yet my scarred body made her sad. She was certain heroin would make my pain disappear. I still remember the way she smelled that night she first hooked me up. Shit, Melanie was beautiful, and I felt like the luckiest, most powerful man on that high.
In reality, I was a fucking moron. That pretty girl saw nothing worth loving in me. Melanie’s heart belonged to Lonnie Root—the president of the Killing Joes Motorcycle Club. That pretty girl might have been a liar, but she wasn’t dumb. Getting a big guy like me hooked on drugs I couldn’t afford meant I’d be loyal to her man. That’s how I became the club’s new enforcer.
My size always got me into trouble. If I wasn’t a giant in a world of norms, I could have lived my life with less hassle. People always noticed me, though, and they never liked what they saw. I was a freak or a monster or a dupe to be used as a weapon. I never had any damn use except for my size.
For over a decade, I remained a slave to heroin. Those years are difficult to remember. I murdered people—good or bad, didn’t matter—for the Killing Joes. I fucked women who disliked me, and I called myself a brother to men who didn’t care if I lived or died. My high was the only good thing in my fucking life.
My eventual rejection of heroin and the Killing Joes wasn’t spurred by a great internal desire for a better life. There’s only one reason I’m alive and clean—Bronco Parrish didn’t take the shot.
The president of the Elko Executioners had me dead to rights in that drug den. Barely conscious, I’d been hiding out there for weeks. The entire club was scattered, scared of a war Lonnie started, but we weren’t equipped to finish.
That day, Bronco had his shot. I’ve never understood why he didn’t pull the trigger. The man wanted revenge. The Killing Joes ambushed his friend. My life should have been over.
Bronco has never told me why he didn’t put a bullet in my head. He swears he doesn’t know. Early on, Bronco claimed he didn’t care how the video footage from the bar where Wheels was murdered proved I wasn’t there. He assured me that he wanted every member of the Killing Joes dead. Yet, he walked away when most men would have ended me.
For weeks, maybe months, I wondered why Bronco Parrish let me live when he shouldn’t have. He killed other guys in my club. The man wasn’t weak. Did he see something in me worth saving?
Many men in my line of work were angry kids who wanted to burn down the world. When I was young, I rarely got mad, though. Mostly, I felt sad and confused. Why was everyone such an asshole to me? Why couldn’t I catch a break with a single fucking person? I just wanted to feel love like everyone else. Was I a monster like my grandparents claimed?
Bronco’s choice that day left a door open for me. I could walk through it and do something different. Or I could remain on the ground of that drug den and do more drugs. Either path would lead to an early death, but dying in a blaze of glory sounded better than OD’ing in a dirty house where my body would rot for days before anyone noticed.
Melanie got me hooked on heroin, so the Killing Joes could have a giant on their payroll. After my epiphany with Bronco, I turned my size against my club. But killing them wasn’t enough. I needed more if I expected the Executioners to let me into their world.
Bronco Parrish didn’t know what to think of me showing up