A Ride With Harley Short Story 11
Copyright© Cassandra Parker 2019 All rights reserved.
The right of Cassandra Parker to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 First published by Cassandra Parker.
Parker, Cassandra (2019-12-31). Forever Together. Cassandra Parker. E-book Edition.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted
Forever Together is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental. All locations except known towns, cities, and those listed at the back of this book are fictitious.
Any errors are entirely made by the author.
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This story is dedicated to Jennifer Reginato, her daughters Amanda, and Stephanie, and her late Husband.
My dearly departed Andrew Purcell who always believed in me.
My sister from another mother departed Trellis Cash-Gambrell.
R. Harley, my angel, this one’s for you wherever you might be in the heavens. Not a day goes by that I don’t wish you were here by my side. I will love you for eternity.
To Kim Williams for her editing, proofreading and endless hours reading aloud while I followed along in print.
Amber whose enthusiasm and encouragement helped me over the rough spots.
The years have passed but the memories are sharp and clear. You never forget your true love, your soulmate. For me, he was Harley. We had quite a history going back many years before we actually met. It’s funny how many times our paths crossed. It’s as though we were meant to meet.
He once told me he had a vision of me when he was in the hospital after crashing his motorcycle while drunk and high. In his vision, he said I told him that kind of lifestyle, sex, drugs, and alcohol was not for him and to come find me. That was in August of 1969. I would have been twelve years old. He said the vision he saw was of me at age eighteen.
Fact is, he told me he had several vision of me. One of them occurred after he helped with search, rescue and recovery from the F3 tornado that hit April 5, 1970. Harley had come across a dead infant and had the horrible task of telling a newly widowed mother her infant had died. That night he had a nightmare. In it, everyone died. He was standing amidst piles of bricks, glass, and dead babies. He fell into a deep crater of debris and was unable to move. He said that’s when I appeared. I took his hand and leveraged him up until he was standing on the ground. He awakened in a cold sweat. I sat beside him on his bed and told him to leave Portland and come find me. I would soothe him. He said
I wrapped my arms around him and said, “Rest easy. I have you.”
I walked along the beach remembering the times I shared with Harley. We were supposed to meet at noon. I guess he was running late. I looked across the beach at the water and then back at the boardwalk.
A man stood beside a bench. He wore a brown bomber jacket and had a helmet tucked under his left arm. I gazed into his face at his blue-gray eyes and goofy grin.
“Did you think I wasn’t coming?”
I ran to him. He enfolded me in his arms. Harley lifted my face. His right thumb grazed my cheek. The calluses were rough, but he was gentle. He lowered his lips to mine in the sweetest most loving kiss I had ever experienced. I sighed with contentment.
Harley pulled back and smiled. “I thought we’d have a picnic on the beach.”
It was then I noticed the basket he had set beside his feet. “Did Garrett make it?” I asked in eager anticipation.
“He made dessert. I did the rest.” Harley pulled a checkered blanket out and spread it on the sand using the basket to anchor it in place. “I remembered how much you enjoyed my fried chicken and potato salad. So that’s what we’re dining on.” He set out plates and the food.
I gazed suspiciously at the scrumptious repast. “This isn’t one of your pranks, is it?”
“Who me?” He cast an innocent glance in my direction complete with batting his eyelids. “Would I do such a thing?”
“Don’t play innocent with me, Mister.” I poked his chest. “You would and you did. Remember the birthday dinner for Garrett? You made the most awful, foul tasting meal in history. When we learned Garrett was running late, you let me eat it!”
“Yeah, I remember. You ran to the bathroom.” Harley chuckled. “Enough about past pranks.” He opened a small cooler from inside the basket and poured two glasses of Vernors Ginger Ale.
“Can I ask you a question?” I sipped my drink. Nothing like a cold Vernors.
“Mari, you can ask me anything.” Harley finished loading our plates and handed me one.
“How’d you get into motorcycles and vintage cars?” I picked up a drumstick and nibbled on the crispy skin. Harley’s chicken is as good as Mom’s in a different way. Mom’s fried chicken is made from my grandmother’s recipe and is often called sweet southern. Harley’s has a bit of tanginess and a little kick along with the sweetness. Both are delicious.
“Whoo boy!” He put down his plate and stared at the sand. “Not sure how to answer that.” He raked a hand through his hair. “Hmm…I guess you could say my family is an offshoot of some relatively famous car and motorcycle companies.”
Harley thoughtfully chewed his food. “When I was little I spent summers at my grandparents lodge. They had this mechanic who let me watch him work. The man could repair any vehicle whether it was a luxury automobile, a vintage touring car, a truck, or a motorcycle. He’d listen to the sound and knew what needed to be fixed. As I got older, he let me help. By the time I was fourteen I could repair or modify any vehicle.”
“When did you learn how to ride?” I asked as I swallowed a fork full of potato salad.
“I was riding motorcycles by the time I turned twelve.”
“So young!” I don’t know why I found his revelation surprising, but I did.
Harley made his living customizing motorcycles for Police Departments around the country as well as bike enthusiasts. He also restored vintage automobiles and customized cars.
“When did you first race motorcycles?” I asked, curiosity getting the better of me.
He laughed, “Third degree, huh?” He chewed thoughtfully on his chicken before answering. “I was fifteen when I entered my first race. I opened my first company at age sixteen, and continued to race until I wrecked my bike after Woodstock when Ashley rejected me and I got messed up with drugs and alcohol, but you know about the bad stuff.”
“Yeah,” I felt myself smiling. “I know all about that.”
“Not quite,” Harley mumbled, reaching for his drink.
“What don’t I know?” This man continues to be an enigma to me.
“I’d rather not say,” he sipped his drink, studying the glass as if it was an alien artifact.
I sat patiently waiting for him to reveal his dark secret. It took him awhile before he began talking. “We promised to never keep secrets from each other, so I’m going to honor that. I really think I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for Garrett. He not only was a father figure to me, he was my mentor, and he saved me from being a murderer.”
“A murderer?!” I gasped. I never pictured him capable of such a crime. Biker dude, yeah, biker enthusiast yeah. Murderer, no. It was shocking to me.
“Almost,” he glanced at me and shrugged. “Does that make you love me any less?”
“No,” I sputtered. “I never saw you as anything worse than a biker. Certainly not a killer.”
“I didn’t do it, almost, but Garrett stopped me.”
“How? What? Why?”
“Give me a second!” Harley laughed.
I was almost sixteen when my beloved Grandma and Grandpa Harley died. After their funeral the attorney, William Socoff of Socoff and Becker attorneys at law, read their will to the family. It was shocking to everyone. My grandparents left me their entire estate. I was going to become the owner of the lodge, and inherit their considerable fortune. Elizabeth received grandma’s doll collection, Brad was given a choice of up to any eighteen items he wanted. Mom and Dad could select one heirloom a piece. All of it hinged upon my approval. The staff were taken care of in a separate document and given their items in advance.
“That’s not fair!” Elizabeth screamed. “I don’t want some ratty old doll collection.”
“Miss Davis,” Socoff said.
“That collection has been apprised at over a million dollars. The only condition placed upon it, is you must keep it within the family. It may not be sold, or thrown away. You may bequeath it to any member of the family including any children or grandchildren you might have in the future.”
“Oh, alright,” Elizabeth said, slumping in her seat.
Brad sat looking at the list of items he could pick and marked several before handing the sheet of paper to the lawyer.
Mother immediately circled one item before giving the list to Father. Father folded his arms and shook his head.
“I’m not picking. This is a sham.” He shouted jumping to his feet and storming from the room, followed by my Mother and Elizabeth. They all returned within minutes.
I frowned at Father before asking the attorney my question. “I own the resort now. Is that correct?”
“Yes. Garrett Geadasach Geddes will keep your inheritance in holding until you turn eighteen. He is the executor your grandparents selected.”
“Okay. Just like, he’s the one for my inheritance from Grandma and Grandpa Davis,” I smiled while nodding my head. “So, I can say what happens to the staff, am I right?”
“You are correct.”
“Then, I want to retain all the current staff and grant them a twenty percent raise in salary. And I’d like enough funds to start my own business.”
“We’ll get it taken care of.” Garrett said.
Looking over Brad’s list, I smiled. His list included the sports car, a photo album containing pictures of our grandparents, his parents, and himself as an infant. Although his father was a Davis, he shared a similar relationship to the Harleys as I did. His great grandmother was a Harley. So my grandparents, in a way, were his grandparents.
Brad asked, “Any problems with my list?”
“No, not at all. I approve your list, Elizabeth getting the doll collection, and my mother’s selection. In addition, I would like to grant Garrett, Elizabeth, Brad, and my parents two million dollars each if possible.”
“It is possible and is most generous,” Socoff answered.
“Master Harley, it’s not necessary to give me such a generous gift. I’m just a servant,” Garrett commented.
“Nonsense. You are more than a servant. I consider you part of the family.” I lay a hand on his shoulder and squeezed gently.
“He is a servant. And the money you’re granting us is a pittance when you consider everything we’ve done for you.” Father groused.
“Excuse me?” I stared at him in surprise. I thought back to my earliest memories and could not remember anything he actually did for me except one.
“Just what have you done for me? You hated me since I was born. Why? Because I didn’t resemble you? I look like Grandpa Harley. You sent Garrett away from me because he and the staff gave me a birthday party. Oh, you did give me a party for my first birthday.”
I’m one of the few people who can remember things from their earliest years. I’m not sure if I consider it to be a gift, or a curse.
“I believe you made Mother hate me because she miscarried after falling where I had polished the floor. I was a toddler for Pete’s sake! I merely wanted to help. You refused to come see me in the hospital in Spain, and from Mother’s expression after I got out I think you forbade her to visit me. Then you sent me to a boarding school where I was the youngest and smallest student living there. That’s what you did for me.”
“I gave you a home. You didn’t want for anything. I tried to give you an excellent education by sending you to the boarding school. And in Spain, there wasn’t anything we could do. If your condition worsened, we would have been notified and we’d have come. For all that, you deign to give us, your parents, a paltry four million dollars.”
Father ranted and raged over the reading of the will.
“He will never receive control of this estate. I’ll see to it, this will is overturned. My wife and I are the rightful heirs.”
The attorney tried to placate him. “The will is valid, Mister Davis. Your son has been most generous. He’s sharing two million dollars with each of you.” Socoff’s patience was growing short.
“Harumph! What was the total estate worth?” Father demanded.
“I’m not at liberty to say.” Socoff smiled grimly.
“It’s okay to tell him. I have nothing to hide,” I said.
“A little over a hundred million. One hundred and ten million dollars to be exact. Granting each of you in this room two million dollars a piece leaves Mister Harlan Davis with one hundred million.” Socoff glanced up from the papers.
“He is not going to receive this estate! Harlan, I demand you tell this idiot to turn the estate over to your mother and I.”
I sat watching in awe as Father’s face went from pink, to red, and then fiercely red. “No.” I shocked myself saying that one word.
“What did you say?” He stood and shook his fist at me.
“I said, no.” I spoke, rising from my seat.
“You do what I say or I’ll show you who’s boss!” Father balled both hands into fists. “I’ll kill you first!”
“Mister Davis, be aware you threatened your son with bodily harm in front of me. I am an attorney and I must warn you should anything happen to this boy, I will not hesitate to press charges against you in the best interest of my client.”
“Your client was the Harleys,” Father sneered.
“And because of the will, your son is now my client.”
“Wow! I now have two lawyers?” I turned to Garrett.
“Aye, you do. The attorney for your Davis Grandparents and now Mister Socoff for the Harleys. We will retain both as part of your legal team.” Garrett said, patting me on the back.
Father raised his fists. I immediately adopted the defensive boxer’s crouch Garrett taught me years ago.
“I wouldn’t think of hitting me if I were you!” I growled.
“I’m not afraid of you. You’re just a sissy.” Stepping forward, his fists came up swinging at me.
Caught off guard, Father hit me in the nose and eye. I did a swift uppercut, reeling him backward a few steps. I was hesitant to do anything more for fear of harming him.
“I’ll kill you, you bastard.” Father slashed out pummeling me any place he could.
I thought he was calling me a bad name. It never crossed my mind he didn’t think I was his child. The beating I was receiving made me angry.
“I knew it! You’re nothing but a wimpy sissy.” Father’s blow hit me hard in the right kidney.
I doubled over from pain. My breath seemed to escape and I had trouble sucking air in. As I remained bent, Father continued to pound me. Finally, my temper kicked in and I came up swinging. My fist smacked his cheek followed by a kick to the legs. I stepped back hoping he would stop this nonsense.
Father dropped to his knees. He quickly unbuckled his belt. He rose swinging the buckle end at me. Father savagely beat me to the floor and continued pounding my back, sides, and head with his belt. He used it as a whip.
My temper cut loose. With a roar I lashed out with my feet and knocked him down. I straddled his back and wrestled the torture device from his hands. I wrapped it around his neck in a noose pulling it tight.
“Harley!” Garrett shouted.
Brad tried to yank me away, but my rage gave me the strength to toss him aside. I heard both Mother and Elizabeth screaming. The lawyer shouted into the telephone. I continued to apply pressure and coldly watched Father’s face turn from red to purple. His eyes bulged from their sockets and his tongue protruded between his lips.
“Harley! Stop it! You’re killing him! You don’t want to be a murderer!” Garrett encircled my waist with one arm while his other hand forced his fingers between the belt and Father’s neck.
Somehow he made me let go. Blood poured from my wounds. Garrett tugged me into his arms and held me tightly.
The screech of sirens grew closer. I stared into Garrett’s face with panic. “It’ll be okay. You didn’t start this. It was self defense.”
“Did I hurt him seriously?” I stared at the ambulance paramedics lifting Father onto a stretcher. Inside the vehicle they placed a mask over his nose and mouth before whisking him away.
“I don’t know. I am certain you’ll have to answer questions asked by the police. Just be honest. I need to get you to the hospital.”
I gingerly touched my side. My kidneys were sore. I suspected I will be urinating blood for a few days. I gasped and cried out when my hand came in contact with my ribs. Garrett helped me into the front seat of the limousine. Mother, Brad, and Elizabeth climbed into the back.
Father had to have surgical repair of his crushed wind pipe. He spent a month in the hospital recovering before being released with recommendations for speech therapy at home. While in the hospital he gave the police a lengthy written statement making it appear as though I caused the altercation.
I remained in the hospital for two days because of the blood in my urine from my kidneys. I also had two broken ribs and a fractured wrist where the belt buckle hit me.
Officially the incident was listed as a family dispute escalated into violence and both parties were at fault.
I stared at a slice of cake. It was a Garrett special with five different types of chocolate, coconut shavings, and red roses. It was Harley and my favorite.
“You almost choked him to death,” I whispered. I could not envision my beloved Harley doing anything so violent and heinous regardless of the situation or person. His story just didn’t match with the man I knew. Tears clouded my eyes.
“Awe, Mari, don’t cry,” Harley put his arms around me. “It’s in the past and I didn’t kill him. He beat me pretty badly before I even struck back.” Harley rubbed my stomach. “Our son is growing quickly.”
I grasped his hand and held it in place. “How do you know it’s not a girl?”
“I just know,” he said with a twinkle in his eyes. “It’s time to go. But, let’s take a short stroll first.” He gathered everything and put them back into the basket, including the blanket.
Harley held his hand out and helped me to my feet. “You have nothing to fear from me, Mari. I love you.” He gently kissed my cheek.
“I know. It was just such a shock to me. Your father isn’t a nice man, but I never pictured you trying to kill him.” I tugged his arm around my waist. “I love you regardless of your past. You are my world.”
“Some day our child will be your world.”
I wished it were true. Having his child would let me keep a part of this most remarkable man. I gazed across the sand at the waves washing in and back out.
Timeless. Gray, green, and blue water in an eternal dance across the sand forwards and backwards.
“You will always be my world, Harley. I’ll love you forever.” I turned to him and lifted my face.
His lips were soft and delicious with a hint of the chocolate cake lingering. It deepened ravenously with hunger and wild abandon.
“Forever together,” he whispered and pulled away leaving me bereft of his embrace.
I opened my eyes and glanced around. Harley was nowhere in sight. I realized I was carrying the basket. Turning, I saw instead of two sets of footprints in the sand, there was only one. Mine.
“Forever together, my love,” I whispered and blew a kiss into the sky. “Forever together.”
Ride With Harley Novels:
Book 1 Harley’s Redemption
Book 2 Harley & Me
Book 3 Harley’s Return
Book 4 Garrett & Harley tba
Ride With Harley Boxed Set:
Ride With Harley Books 1 & 2
Ride With Harley Short Stories:
1 Sweet Agony
2 Halloween With Harley
3 A Harley Valentine
4 Outlaw Ride With Harley also titled Outlaw Ride
5 The Dance
6 Ghost Rider
7 Halloween With Harley 2
8 Christmas With Young Harley
9 Come Ride With Me
10 Riding Out The Storm
11 Forever Together
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I really enjoyed this.
It was awesome
Cassandra Parker Delivers A Gut Wrenching Story
As a fan if Cassandra Parker already, I couldn't wait to jump at the opportunity to read her short story. I wasn't disappointed. In fact I hoped the story wouldn't come to an end because I thoroughly enjoyed reading about two of my favorite characters, Harley and Mari, and Garrett of course. I didn't expect the end either, it hit me right in the gut and that's the sort of ending I honestly love. I know more stories are coming out in the future and I can't wait to read them all, but I'll impatiently wait.