Redwood Nine Ch. 06byRoyceConnors©
The American Dream
Friday morning became a culmination of events, as the guys looked at an empty lot and nothing to do. Jake had JT and Piney bring their bikes inside and both were given a thorough going over. Every filter was changed, tires changed and set to the right pressure, every point on the bike that moved one way or another, was lubricated and made to operate smoothly. Jake looked them over after they were done and had JT start his first. He waited until it was warmed up and then listened to the engine, giving the throttle little twists to hear the response. He adjusted the carb and the timing, getting it to idle smoothly, the exhaust sounding sweeter in tone. He revved it up and let the throttle go and watched for the engine's response, happy with the way it performed.
"Start yours up now, Piney. Let's see if we can make this old Indian sing a war cry again. The paint came out nice, looks good. Indian's are lucky to have DuPont in their corner, they like to show off their paints on the bikes. Harley-Davidson should take some lessons from them. Smart looking bike. Okay, let's hear it, son, let her rip."
Piney and JT heard the first use of the word son come out and wondered what brought that out. Piney, gave the throttle a prime and then the starter, rising up and kicking down hard. The twin cylinders came to life instantly, rumbling out the slash tip pipes and echoing in the yard. Jake waited until it idled and did a few minor adjustments and checked it out.
"Damn, Piney, your dad would be real happy to see and hear his bike like this again. I think we should go see him after work and show him the bikes and the hard work you've put into them. You should be proud boys, either one of those bikes is worth having and riding. I know I'll be asking to have a turn on them."
JT and Piney looked at each other and then back to Jake. The same thought was shared between them and both offered their bikes to Jake.
"Be my guest, Jake. I'd be happy if you did take it. You'll know right off if something isn't right, long before I do."
"Same with mine, Jake. I made it look pretty, but it wouldn't be running as nice as it is, if you didn't work your magic on it. Dad's going to be real happy when he sees it, thanks to me, but he's going to be happy with you, when he hears it."
Jake smiled at them, raising his eyebrows and looking at them to make sure. The guys assured him they would be honoured if he took the first ride. Jake sat on Piney's bike and walked it out of the garage backwards, then turned and put it in gear. The bike started off smoothly, no hesitation to want to go, as Jake gave it a bit of throttle. The sound reverberated back to the guys and they smiled, hearing the power and tone come to them. JT backed his bike out and got it ready for Jake, when he came back from riding Piney's. They stood against the wall of the office, lighting up cigarettes and enjoying the sun shining on them.
"Just think, Piney. It was barely a week ago that we boosted that Impala and talked about getting bikes and starting a club. That was just an idea I had and look what we have, man. Bikes, a clubhouse, jobs, chicks and guys we can call brother and ride with. Like, how did all that happen so fast?"
"JT, I've always known that you can put your mind to something and figure on how to make it work. I know I don't have those smarts and most likely, never will. You saw something that day in your head and you knew it was something good, something right. You've always had a good heart, brother, knew it since we were kids. You were the only kid who would talk to me and play with me in school. You knew I wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but you stuck up for me and didn't mind it. That day when I saw you get humped on by Dave, Kenny and Robbie, I saw red and lost it. It hurt me in here, JT, in my heart. I loved you like a brother ever since and I know you've loved me the same. I don't have much of anything I can say I ever counted on, but I know I can count on you, like you can with me."
"Always, brother, always. We're just two spirits wandering through life and we found we had a connection and began moving through it together. It's like, I can't imagine my life without you in it. It's like, you've always been there, no matter what shit happens to us. Yeah, we can always count on each other, Piney, no matter what."
JT and Piney shook and hugged, affirming their connection as brothers, then leaned against the warm wall and let the sun splash on their faces, as they finished their cigarettes. The faint throb in the air, let them know Jake was coming back. As it got closer, they could hear Jake was letting it out and then started to slow and downshift. He pulled in the lot and roared up to the bay.
JT and Piney could see the smile on his face, knowing the ride had impressed him enough to cause it.
"How was she, Jake?"
"Piney, you are gonna love it. She rides smooth and she has lots of go in her yet."
"Yeah, we heard you coming up the road, it sounded good."
"Mine's all ready for you Jake. Jump on and take her out, let me know how it is."
Jake went over and started it up easily, the engine warmed and ready to go. He revved it a couple times and let it coast around and then twisted the throttle and let it rev up close to the limit. JT and Piney cheered Jake, as he waved back at them. He turned left and the guys listened, as Jake let the engine wind out between gears, getting the most power out of every gear. The sound brought an excitement to them, knowing they would shortly be in control of that power themselves. Piney sat on his bike and enjoyed the feel of it, as JT looked it over.
"You gonna paint yours, JT, or leave it as is?"
"Right now, I don't mind the army look, but yeah, looking at yours and Otto's, I'd like to paint it up nice. Do the frame all black like Jake's, not sure what colour I would like it to be, but I wouldn't mind something like Otto's, that has a few colours to it."
"Yeah, I like that look, too. I like that metallic he used on the orange part, that's sharp, man, real sharp."
JT nodded, trying to imagine a paint scheme in his head and putting colour to it, when the roar of the engine blared out to them. Jake must have been enjoying himself immensely, his smile broad and heartfelt, as he pulled into the lot and stopped where he started from.
"I love this bike, not saying yours isn't good, Piney, just that it brought back memories, of my days riding one like it in France. Felt like I was running the course again between posts and looking for Jerry. Good running bike, JT, not a thing wrong with it. So, what say we get mine going and we go for a run. Let's go to...Black Mountain and back, there's some good roads to ride and give the bikes a chance to get settled in to running again."
JT and Piney started their bikes and waited for Jake. He kicked it hard and it fired up easily, not needing much to warm up and be ready to go. Jake put his helmet and goggles on, then looked over at the guys.
"You might want to think about something for your head to wear and definitely get something for your eyes. Won't take but one bug, or stone to make you decide, trust me. Get a bug in your eye, better get prepared to hang on and ride out some big pain there, it's gonna hurt."
Jake's warning had JT and Piney thinking, knowing what the pain Jake described would feel like and compounding that with holding a bike up at the same time, made sense to them.
"Let's stop somewhere, so Piney and I can get some sunglasses then, that should work for now. We'll figure on head gear later."
Jake nodded and motioned with his arm to follow. For the first time, the lot was alive with the sound of motorcycle thunder, riding out of the gate in unison. They rode together, Jake out front leading and JT and Piney riding side by side, discussing how their bikes were. Smiles were broad and well worn, as the first mile was passed. Jake pulled into a convenience store and the guys went in to buy sunglasses. After looking at several styles, they bought the ones they liked and went back out wearing them, acting like stars with them on. Jake laughed and told them to get on, firing up his bike, then JT and Piney did as well. The clerk came to the window to look at them, feeling the vibration through it. She stared at them as they left, seeing the freedom they must have been feeling, their hair blowing back in the wind, unconfined by the worries of other men and safety, fully in control of their destiny, as engines were given a free rein to go. She could feel how it aroused her inside and smiled at them, something sensual stirring in her loins, as she walked back behind the counter.
Jake took them west along Kettleman Lane through Lodi and picked up the I-5 hwy. and headed south. He had each of them ride beside him, so he could look the bikes over, as they rode, looking for anything wrong. Once he was sure they were okay, he gave his Panhead a good twist of the throttle and his bike roared ahead of them, climbing up to seventy miles an hour. JT and Piney followed suit and closed the distance between them and stayed at the safe distance Jake told them to. Jake leaned into the bend, as it swept to the right, taking the cutoff to I-205 towards the coast. Smiles grew bigger, as they followed his lead and cruised behind him, feeling themselves become more like one with the bikes. Man and machine uniting in a common bond to move forward, each depending on the other to accomplish their duty to perform.
When the road straightened, he looked back and smiled at the guys then turned back and twisted his throttle wide open. The light blue Harley belted out its cadence rapidly, as Jake went faster still. JT and Piney weren't sure enough about their bikes to go that fast yet, so Jake backed off and the Harley burped and popped with the back pressure as it slowed down again. JT and Piney caught up and they formed their triangle once again, moving as one entity on the road.
The flat farmland of the valley gave way to the view of foothills in the distance, as they skirted past the small town of Tracy. It wasn't long before the road began to climb up, as the hills began, along with the I-580. The air cooled, as they went higher, but Jake kept up the same speed, riding comfortably with one hand on the throttle, his eyes ever vigil for the signs of police cars. They crested the mountain and began descending, coming up on Livermore. Jake pulled into a roadside diner and stopped near the door, Piney and JT doing the same. They shut off the bikes and did their best to untangle their hair, as Jake took off his helmet and ran his fingers through his shaggy hair and smiled at them. They gave up and joined him, walking inside and finding a table by the window.
They sat and waited, looking at the menus and shortly, a forty something woman, dyed blonde hair and a decent display of feminine wares showing in the front, came over to take their order. She looked them over and then noticed the bikes out front.
"You with the other guys? They left about ten minutes ago, you just missed them."
She could see the looks from them, that they didn't know what she was talking about.
"The other bikers that were here. Around ten of them. Had jean vests with patches on them. Oh, you don't have patches. So, you're not with them?"
Jake looked at her and smiled, shaking his head.
"Sorry, darlin', not us. We just like riding motorcycles. No club members here. So, which way did they go?"
"Took off towards the bay, Oakland, I think."
Jake just shrugged his shoulders to dismiss it, but he was more concerned about running into them and worried about invading their turf. Things had changed since he rode and the clubs he met up with, up and down the coast. Somewhere, it had all turned bad and the whole image of motorcycle clubs was changing and not for the good.
"Well, I hope they have a nice ride. Me, I'd like to try your house special, it looks okay."
The waitress wrote down his order and looked to JT and Piney.
"Sounds good, I'll have one too."
"Make it three and it's easy."
She smiled at JT, as he shot her a smile.
"What would you like to drink with that?"
Coffees were the choice and she wrote it down, peeking up to look at JT. She smiled and said she'd be back with their coffees. She went and put their order in and poured three cups and tucked sugar and cream packets in her apron. She balanced the two cups in one hand and picked up the third and moved gracefully back to the table, placing all the cups nicely in front of everyone. She took out the cream and sugar and placed it on the table and left to stand behind the counter.
Jake looked at JT and glanced at the waitress, then back, whispering to him.
"Think Karen has an eye for you there, JT. Just as much came right out and said hi, I'm yours."
JT looked at Jake and glanced as casually as he could, over at Karen and noticed she was looking at him. They made eye contact and she smiled her prettiest at him. JT smiled back and turned his attention to Jake again.
"Looks like. Looked at me right now, like she'd devour me. Never been with a woman who's older than me."
"Oh, JT. Have you got some living to do, my son, my son. You have no idea what lovin' is all about, until you've been with a woman who's been there, seen it and done it. It's not all hurried and fuck like rabbits, no, no, no. An older woman wants to take time, enjoy everything and make it last. She'll teach you things about pleasing them and you, no young hotsy-totsy is ever going to do. Take my girl, Marlene for instance."
Jake stopped, just as Karen walked up with their orders. Once again, she placed them nicely in front of everyone, then asked if they'd like more coffee, her eyes never leaving JT's. He said sure, even though no one said if they did, getting her smile to come out broader and more suggestive. Her hips gained a little more sway in them, as she went back for the pot. She came back and topped off everyone's cup and placed more sugar and cream on the table. As she went to go, she casually placed her hand on JT's shoulder and turned back.
"Just call if you need anything."
They thanked her, but she was more interested in JT's response, which was turning and looking up and winking at her. Her smile brightened and she bounced off to serve other tables.
"Put some pep in her step, JT. Get a night with her and she'd just eat you up. That's the kind of older woman I'm talking about. To you that is. Hell, I'm almost old enough to be her dad, but I'd give her a go if she let me."
JT looked at Jake and was enamoured by him in so many ways. One minute he was talking like a father to him and calling him son, then he would be just as bold and blunt as his buddies, talking about bikes and chicks. His compassion for Stan and Piney, in their loss and his honour in commemorating it. His take on life and how it shadowed his own, making his own decisions on right and wrong. He reflected on the changes in his own life because of him and put it down to the trust and respect he bestowed in him. Hearing him now, telling him he should experience the pleasures of an older woman, then he remembered Jake was going to tell them about Marlene.
"So, back to Marlene. You were going to tell us about her. What little goodies can you share about her?"
Jake looked about and leaned forward, keeping his voice to a whisper.
"She can suck a cock like you've never imagined. No gagging with her. Just loves to enjoy it. That's how she woke me up the other morning. She knows more positions to get into, than I ever imagined. I thought I'd been around some and done a few things, but after being with her, all those years, I knew squat. Turns out her husband spends more time making money, than enjoying it. Poor Marlene sat at home being bored and neglected, so she wanted sex and lots of it and she knew who to turn to when she wanted it, me. She got a hold of these books about sex positions and stuff, from the east some where and figured on trying them with me. Jesus, boys, honestly, some of the things we did, I didn't think were humanly possible to accomplish, but we did it and man, just....just trust me, when I say, if you want to know what sex is, more than just fucking, don't pass up a chance with an older woman that you get to share some valuable life lessons with."
JT and Piney sat there, hanging on every word, engrossed in the secret world of sex, being shared by an elder, experienced in the pleasures of the unknown. They finished their meals and coffee and JT looked around for Karen and caught her attention. He motioned for the check and she went to the counter and then came over and handed it to him, then she walked back to the cash register and waited for him. Jake gave him a ten dollar bill and told JT to tip her nice. JT took the money and the bill and then noticed the writing on it. She had put her name on it, but added a tiny heart after it and an arrow. He turned it over and saw her phone number, then smiled and walked over.
Piney and Jake watched, as JT shared some words with her and she responded with smiles and whispered comments. JT shook her hand and she didn't want the connection to end, letting it hang on, until he walked away from her tucking her number in his pocket. JT was smiling, as he motioned for them to go and Jake and Piney joined him, as they walked outside. Jake had everyone check their gas for the ride back and felt a ride down the road to the station was the best idea. The guys donned their new shades, as Jake put on his helmet and goggles, then one by one, they let everyone in a one hundred yard radius know, they were ready to ride.
They rode down 580 into Livermore and pulled into the first station a mile away. All of them topped up and Jake went in to pay. As the guys sat on the bikes waiting, they could hear the far off rumble of motorcycles coming. They looked down the road for the source, waiting to see what came around the bend. One by one, bikes started coming around the bend into view, the sound of their engines increasing. Jake came out and stood with the guys, watching the growing spectacle, of a club riding together. Eyes made contact with them, looking at each other as they passed.
Jake wasn't showing any emotion to the club, but something JT could see on his face, said he had issues with it. He had no idea what it was, but the look he wore made him concerned. There was no hope in talking, as the deafening roar of thirty bikes was captured in the concrete canyon. Eventually, the end riders came into view and rode past, staying in formation, then began becoming a fading rumble of sound, as they crested the hill and disappeared over the other side of it.
JT and Piney looked as amazed, as kids watching a parade, while Jake just stood firm, his head turned and his eyes focused on the hill, a set on his face that showed his inner feelings on what he saw.
"Holy shit, that was awesome, man. Fucking spectacular. I could feel it in my feet, the ground was shaking so much. See, Piney, that's what I was talking about, when I said what it would be like if we have a dozen riders together. You can feel it and hear it, all that power in the air and we'll be leading it."
Jake heard JT's feelings on what happened, then added his own.
"JT, it is great to ride out in front of your club. It's a proud moment in any man's life, when his brother's choose him to lead. You have to always remember though, that with that power to lead, comes a responsibility for each and every member who is riding behind you. You lead them to a destination on every ride and it's up to you to decide if it's a safe road, or one filled with trouble and danger."
JT understood what Jake was saying, but knew that more lay between the lines of what he said. He decided the direction the club would take in life, whether it was a legitimate organization, or one that shunned law altogether.