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The Crow and The Sparrow

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Phil fumbled with his phone. casting concerned glances over at the small woman who was once again unconscious on the the street. He had seen someone coming out from behind the Dog and had been ready to call Juice who was his backup for the night. The figure was small and didn’t look like they were any danger to him so he had gone over to check and sure enough there was a tiny battered woman. Her face was a mess and he couldn't really make out details of her features what with the poor light and the general damage she had taken. What he could see clearly was the emblem on the chest of the hoodie she wore, The reaper with the anarchy symbol was the same as the one he wore daily. He had panicked a little on seeing it and then when she had mentioned Gemma and Tig his heart rate had jumped up again, they both terrified him and if she was a friend of the Club and he left her here then he could kiss his top rocker goodbye

“Juice, We’ve got an issue, I need you to head over to the van, Yeah now” He hung up and waited for the more experienced member unwilling to risk the wrath of the others if he made the wrong choice.

“Jesus man what the fuck did you do!” Phil jumped when Juice leant over this shoulder to stare at the woman the prospect was currently crouched over

“I didn’t do anything. She came from over there” Phil gestured to the lane. I figured she was just some hang around but i had to check on her when she collapsed Did you see what she was wearing?”

“So Darby and his boys got too rough. They’re all assholes, so it doesn’t surprise me, but we cant be taking folks in we’re on stakeout and you shouldn’t be fuckin’ worried about how she dressed when she’s a mess like that”

Phil wrinkled his face in confusion until he caught onto just what Juice was saying “Jesus no! I would never…. Look she had a Son’s top on. Says she knows Gemma and Tig”

Juice crouched to look more closely and the unconscious lump and Phil heard his muttered curse “Fuck, Get her in the Van, gently. I’m gonna call the Club. Has Darby left?”

Phil shook his head and then looked down at the woman “ How should I…..”

“Figure it out prospect, she will need to lie in the back” Juice snapped before walking off behind the van to keep himself hidden from sight.

Phil had just shut the rear door of the van after placing the poor woman in the back when Juice came back over. “Right I am gonna go back. wait over there but the corner to so I can keep an eye on things here. You need to head back to the Clubhouse with her. Happy is heading this way to cover for you. Don’t run any red lights, and keep below the speed limit, You get pulled over with her in the back looking like that and your gonna be looking at a long stretch. You did the right thing, calling man.”

Phil had nodded and moved to get back in the van “Im not sure whose gonna meet you there but you probably want to make sure Gemma knows what’s going on - get one of the others to call her”

The trip to the lot was uneventful and Phil’s passenger was silent the entire way. As he pulled up outside the clubhouse he could see two figures waiting. One was unmistakably Gemma. Phil swallowed hard and prepared for what ever was coming his way, there was a good chance that he could be heading out for a body drop at the hospital if the Queen was pissed someone had used her name. He wasn’t even out of the truck before it started

“Who the fuck is coming out of Darby’s place and saying that they’re something to do with this club?” hands on hips foot tapping Gemma was clearly pissed.

“Take it easy Ma, the prospect called first and I had Happy pass on the message bring them in. They could have something useful to tell us before we dump them at the hospital”

“Or it could be a trap. What happens if we bring them into the club house and Deputy Hail and his cronies turn up? We’ll be in shit creak then all because the prospect didn’t want to leave some used up slut at the side of the road. Where is your head at? We don’t need this…”

Jax had moved to the back of the van only half listening to his mother. He flung the door open and gestured to Phil to bring out the woman. He scowled when he realised that who ever it was was mostly covered in a Son’s hoodie. Gemma pushed passed her son and pulled the hood off of the unconscious body and let out a curse.

“Oh Christ. Jax get her in the club house and into one of the clean dorm rooms” She had turned on her heal and was heading in before either man had moved. Jax gently took the woman from Phil and gestured with his head “Make sure that the back of the van is cleaned out, bleach it and then head back out, take one of the repo’d cars” Turning to follow his mother, who was now waiting impatiently with the clubhouse door open he took a second to glance down and realized what had upset his mother. It was hard to recognise her with the bruising and blood but he was pretty sure he had seen this face less than 24 hours ago

“Oh hell Ma. Is this that woman that was here last night? The one who stayed with Tig? What the hell is she tied up in ?”

“I don’t know baby but what ever it is she didn’t deserve this” Gemma reached up to stroke at the woman hair. In the slightly brighter lights of the club house it was easy to see that she had been worked over and that this may be beyond what they could help with, without the help of a doctor.

“Chibs!” Jax hollered for the Scott who was mid pool game with Opie. “We’re gonna need you brother, and your med kit”

Putting down the pool cue Chibs started to head back to his dorm not questioning the VP and Opie headed over to Jax “Holy shit man!”

Jax nodded “I know”

Chibs was laying out supplies in one of the dorm rooms having already laid a couple of towels on the bed when Gemma lead the group in. “Get ‘em on the bed Jackie boy” Chibs muttered as checked over his things “and get the table lamp on so I can see what the fuck I’m doing here”

Jax knew the moment that Chibs had seen just who he was treating when he felt the other man still and draw in a breath “Oh, mo chailín what have they done to you?”

Jax watched as the older Scott leant forward and tried to brush her hair away from her face where it was sticking to the blood and cuts there. “Gem, help me get her out of these clothes, Jax go and get me some warm water and clothes. We’re gonna need more than I’ve got here”

Chibs felt his heart break more than just a little at the sight of Belle, lying limp and unresponsive on the cot. Her face was swollen and bloody and gods only knew what damage was underneath her clothes. With Gemma’s help they managed to get her stripped down to her underwear and the damage done became clear. Her arms and upper torso were more bruise that skin, she clearly had something wrong with one hand. Her thighs had their own share of bruising, her knees where cut up pretty badly and one ankle was swollen. Her back was in much the same mess as her front, they could see bruises that looked like boot prints, and there were marks that could have been from a bat or stick of some kind.

“Poor Girl” Gemma broke the tense silence of the room. “Do you think that the beating was all they did?” She glanced down at the bruises on Belle’s thighs.

“Fuck knows Gem. The bruises don’t look like hand prints, and she was dressed but the kind of animal that would do this, they wouldn’t hesitate. The poor lass didn’t deserve this. Why the fuck would she even be at the dog!”

“I don't know baby, but what ever the reason it didn’t end up well for her. Maybe one of the other boys would have seen”. The door opened and Jax came back into the room with Opie a mixing bowl filled with clean warm water and a stack of clean cloths carried between them. Opie’s eyes widened and he looked away after taking in some of the damage. Jax just stared.

“Hey!, I think the wee lass has had enough indignity to last her tonight, how about you put your eyes back in your head Jackie boy!” Jax glanced quickly at Chibs

“Sorry man, its just shocking to see her looking like that, ya know. She gonna be ok ?”

“I don’t fucking know! She’s battered all to fuck and i’m guessing there’s broken ribs, probably a broken wrist and a sprained ankle, not to mention head trauma. There could be internal bleeding”

Jax nodded as Chibs listed out the young woman list of woes. “Ok man i’ll head back out, but you shout if we can help”

“Aye brother” Chibs kept his eyes on Belle and didn’t move until he heard the door close. “OK Gem, lets get her cleaned up. We’ll start at her head. I need to check her skull and see if there is any damage”

They worked slowly. cleaning and bandaging as they went, They found 2 large lumps on her head, one at the temple and one at the back of her skull and a couple of shallow splits in the skin that had stopped bleeding themselves. Her face after cleaning required stitches both butterfly and sutured and ice packs. Chibs managed to straighten her nose and he couldn’t feel any other breaks but there was a chance that her cheek bone could be fractured, Her throat had finger shaped bruises on it and it felt like she had at least 2 broken ribs. He worked slowly, cleaning her body and bandaging as he went. Gemma had changed out the water twice before they got to her feet. The rolled her to the side so that they could remove the soiled towels before settling her in the bed.

“Put an extra cover on her Gem. We need to keep her warm, she’s gonna be in shock. I don’t know how much blood she lost”

“You got any idea when she’s going to wake up?”

Chibs sighed and took off his glasses rubbing at his eyes “I don’t know Gem, If she isn’t showing any signs of coming round were probably gonna need to get her to St Thomas”

Gemma moved back over to the bed and gently brushed Belle’s hair back. “Why don’t you go grab a drink baby and I’ll sit with her for now”

Chibs smiled gently “You sure Ma? It’s been a long evening” Gemma just shooed him out before pulling up a chair next to the bed and holding the young girls cold hand.

Chibs had sat at the bar nursing a whisky. In his head all he could do was catalogue the injuries that he had recorded on Belle’s body. Internally he was raging. She was a tiny thing really, small and bird like, and every time he had seen her she had been gentle and sweet. If there was ever anyone who didn’t deserve this to happen it was her. He had seen the bruises on her body the day before and he figured that it might be time to pay a visit to her asshole brother. Something in his gut told him that if he hadn’t been responsible for this directly that he was involved some how and men like that didn’t listen to words, they only understood one language and he would be more than happy to speak it.

“Chibs” He was pulled from his thoughts by Gemma and as he stood she said the first positive thing that he had heard since Belle had been brought in “She’s waking up”

Belle struggled to open her eyes, She felt tired but something told her that she needed to wake up. In her head she could feel the blows landing. Oh god what if she was still at Darby’s, or what if he had taken her somewhere else. She knew from the pain that radiated from just about every part of her body that the beating had been real. Her heart pounded, if she was still there, then she was dead, there was no way around it. She couldn’t guess at a lie to tell Darby that he would believe and she didn’t think she could take another beating. A large part of her wanted to pretend to be asleep but somewhere inside she could hear Gemma telling her that she needed to be tough. If she was going to die then she didn’t want to do it afraid and curled up in a corner. She deliberately drew in a deep breath and concentrated on trying to get her eyes to open. She could feel her eye lashes flutter and then she felt another hand squeeze her own before the sensation left her again. Her breath was coming in pants and her head pounded in time with her heart beat. There was some kind of commotion that she couldn’t focus on as all of her thoughts focused on just how bad she was feeling, and then the hand was back.

Chibs rushed to dorm room that Belle had been resting in, as soon as he entered he could hear her breaths coming in harsh pants. He knew that had to be hurting her, with the damage to her ribs. Moving to the bed he took a hold of her hand trying to reassure her. “Easy there lass, Easy. Your safe, at the club house.”

It took Belle a few seconds to make sense of the voice she could hear, and another few to put a name to the face it conjured. Chibs! She tried to control her breathing, to let him know she heard him. Her hand squeezed his, it wasn’t much and she couldn’t squeeze hard but she knew he felt it

“You’re in the Club house Belle and you’re safe. Gemma is here too, the prospect found you and brought you here”

Belle tried to speak but couldn’t get any noise to come out, her mouth was dry and still; tasted of copper.

“Hey baby” she heard Gemma’s voice. “I’ve got you some water” Her head was lifted slightly setting off another round of explosions and she felt a bottle pressed to her lips, Her moth hurt but the water was cool and soothing in her throat.

“I….it….h…hurts” It seemed to take everything she had to get the simple statement out

“Aye lass i’d imagine it does. You’ve taken quite a beating, your eyes are pretty swollen so don’t try and force them open. I know you want to rest but at best you have a concussion at the very least and I’m pretty sure you’ve got a broken wrist and ribs in your collection too. Now wee one can you tell me who did this to you?”

Belle listened as best she could, could she trust these people?. She had worn their hoodie and it had gotten her a beating. They were obviously into something illegal, but they had treated her kindly, probably more kindly than she deserved and they had brought her here and treated her injuries.

“D….” her voice broke again as she struggled to speak through swollen lips and a sore dry throat. “Mr D…Darby and my b…b…b…brother” The bottle was pressed to her lips and more calling water followed.

“Shite and arse!” Chibs hand squeezed hers almost painfully “I’m sorry lass”

Belle tried to smile, but it hurt too much and she was sure it came out as more of a grimace. “Listen here now, we will keep you here. If you need to see a doctor then we’ll get that set and we will deal with these assholes, you hear me! The Son’s will look out for you wee one”

Regardless of her worries Belle couldn’t help but feel comforted by what he was saying.

“Do you think you can manage some pain killers Lass?. We can’t have you sleeping too much but we can take the edge off”

“I..I think so” She felt two tablets being pressed to her lips and managed to take them and some water in. Choking them down her body was wracked with even more pain. It took her a minute or two to catch her breath. Her head was back to pounding and she was seeing flashing lights behind her eyelids.

“Take it easy baby” What she thought was Gemma’s hand, felt nice and soft against her head as she stroked her hair back in a soothing manner. Belle felt her body start to relax and she waited for the painkillers to kick in. She let her mind drift and came to the conclusion that the Sons may not be entirely good but they were better than the people that had done this to her.

“Gemma” her voice seemed far away

“It’s ok baby I’m here, just rest”

“Darby, he” her voice cracked and she swallowed heavily “ He was on the phone. He said that he’ll use the garage and the rest goes to Oakland”

She felt Gemma’s hand stop and just rest on her head. “Darby said that baby? Is that why he hit you?”

“Nooo” she felt far away now, floating on a warm raft “He said ….. I told you …..things. Mum .. said” She wasn’t sure that she was making sense anymore but the more she floated the less she wanted to speak

“Darby thought you told us things? That’s why he did this? What did you tell him?”

“Gemma!” Chibs was here she thought, he was a kind man, had he always been here ? she couldn’t remember

“Hmmm I said no…… he was mad…hmmmm I’m …I’m tired” she could hear her voice had a slur and she felt a little nauseous but her grip on what was happening was gone and she let herself float

“Ok baby” Gemma looked at Chibs - “Get Jax to call Clay and let him know. I’ll stay” Chibs nodded and left the room

“Ah Belle, I’m sorry this happened to you, but you made it through. You looked out for us, now we’ll look out for you”