Wednesday, 3rd March 2004
The powerful engine rumbled as the Triumph Tiger slowed and rolled down a snow-covered ramp. It was 8am when Joe Bremner rode into the underground car park in Jordanhill. A leather gauntlet was removed and the four-digit entry code was punched in. It was an upmarket apartment block.
The elevator would have been silent on its ascent if it weren’t for the sole occupant humming the classic Deep Purple number, ‘Smoke on the Water’. The muscular, six-footer unzipped his leather jacket, removed his distinctive blue and white helmet and ran a hand through his long, unkempt ginger hair. Joe’s beard bore no signs of trimming. The growth had a windswept look cultivated by many bikers through neglect.
Even in his riding boots and leathers, Joe walked along the corridor of the fifth floor with stealth. If unseen, it would be hard to say he was there at all. By the time he arrived at the door with the gold number 20 in the centre, he was ready to make more than one rapid entry.
He pressed a forefinger against the tiny doorbell and dimples parted his whiskers as he heard the multi-chiming bell within. Anticipation created intense heat deep inside as Joe’s body reacted to mental images. There was a pulse behind the zipper of his well-worn ‘originals’.
The door opened after a second ring. Standing within the apartment was a tall, blonde woman in her late 20’s. Her right arm was raised as she held the door open with long, slender fingers. Long golden tresses hung over her bare shoulders and contrasted with the diaphanous black baby-doll which barely reached mid-way on her thighs.
Joe sneered and lowered one hand to rub the front of his jeans before he spoke.
“Are you Stephanie?” he asked and appraised the beautiful body from head to toe.
“Yes,” she whispered, and arched an eyebrow. “What do you want?”
“Are you alone?”
Stephanie nodded and glanced down at the bulge inside the biker’s jeans.
In response, Joe’s whiskers parted.
Long dark lashes fluttered as the blonde’s blue eyes scanned her visitor. Stephanie’s glittering, crimson lips trembled and after a gasp, she worried her lower lip with her immaculate white teeth. Her breathing was rapid and shallow.
Big Joe stepped forward, wrested the door from the blonde, and then closed it quietly. Joe placed his hands under Stephanie’s arms and lifted her bodily from the plush carpet as he carried her into the apartment. In the centre of the spacious room he stopped and placed her down again.
Stephanie teetered on the 3-inch heels of her fur-trimmed slippers, and lifted her hands up across her nightdress and ample, barely covered breasts. Her eyelashes fluttered.
“Take it off,” Joe growled and threw his riding gauntlets onto a nearby chair.
“Please,” Stephanie pleaded and her hair hung lower as she inclined her head forward a little.
Joe’s massive hands played with the top section of the flimsy black garment. He looked into the young woman’s eyes for a few seconds as strong fingers gripped the material. The fine ribbon securing the baby-doll snapped, and the garment fell open to give a view of the sumptuous body within.
Stephanie’s pretty face was cradled in Joe’s large hands and her lips felt the pressure of his as he sucked on her sweetness and molested her mouth with his tongue. The kiss ceased only to allow the assault to move to her slender neck. There were gasps as soft shoulder flesh was bitten deep.
The blonde trembled with delight as Joe sucked hard on the succulent flesh of her neck, shoulders and breasts. He slurped and sucked at her, causing whimpers and moans. Joe lowered his right hand and caressed the tender body until his fingers reached the moist junction of her parting thighs.
There was a squeal as one finger was thrust inside, and then slipped out. Stephanie was lifted as a strong hand cupped her between her thighs. Joe’s other hand went behind her and she was lifted vertically and carried her into her bedroom.
Stephanie was thrown onto the large bed without ceremony. As she got up onto her elbows and looked at her assailant she saw him undoing his broad leather belt and pushing his jeans down.
There was no underwear to prolong the moment, so without further warning the woman was looking at the biker’s engorged cock. It was throbbing and standing upright, ready for use. The dimensions of Joe’s manhood were of similar scale to the remainder of his body.
When Stephanie’s thighs were pushed apart she made no sound, but looked up wide-eyed at the whisker-covered mouth lowering to assault her lips once again. In a simultaneous motion she felt the biker’s tongue being forced into her mouth and his massive tool being thrust between her legs, burying itself to the hilt inside her, in one swift motion.
As Joe’s hips thrust back and forward in a steady rhythm he gorged himself on Stephanie’s mouth, neck, shoulders and breasts. He held a nipple between his teeth and rolled his tongue across the firm bud of flesh.
Stephanie whimpered and dug her fingers into the duvet. She let go of the bedding to grip Joe’s leather jacket. She used her strong, slender fingers like talons and called out.
“Fuck me you big bastard!” She threw her head back, her mouth open in ecstasy. “Harder … fuck me harder, faster!”
Joe knelt on the bed and lifted Stephanie by her buttocks. Her long legs wrapped around his waist and locked at the ankles. Soft, rounded buttocks were cupped and gripped by large, strong hands, and the two people joined in a ritual which went back to the earliest of their ancestors.
The woman was treated like an object rather than a person, and the man performed like an animal intent on enjoying every moment of the coupling. They both rose well to the challenge. One grunted and snarled, while the other moaned and sighed.
It was 20 minutes after entering the apartment when Joe and Stephanie lay side by side on the bed. They were both enjoying a post-coital cigarette, but there was no conversation until Stephanie turned and dug a long hard fingernail into Joe’s hairy chest.
“Joe,” she said with a smirk, “you are fucking incredible.”
“Yeah, I suppose I am,” he said and laughed. It was a sound like happy thunder.
“As soon as we finish our smoke, I’ll undress you and you can let me see how tender you can be.”
“You know I don’t do tender,” he said and half-turned to look at her face.
“Don’t worry,” she said, “I enjoy it when you’re trying.”
At 11:15am Joe threw his right leg over his bike and settled onto the saddle. There was a folded piece of paper jammed between the dials. Joe’s brow furrowed as he first looked around the underground car park and then lifted the note.
‘If you want to save your brother’s life – meet me at the Balgray Reservoir south of Barrhead. At noon he’s a dead man. You’re being watched. No phone calls and don’t try to get help at Byres Road.’
Joe gritted his teeth as he crushed the note and thrust it into a jacket pocket. When the bike left the concrete ramp and skidded on the snow covered roadway it didn’t faze the rider. It struck Joe, his journey might not be as rapid as he would like – but it would be fucking rapid.
Traffic in and around Glasgow was moving at a snail’s pace. In many places there were drivers out arguing about blame for a collision. The southbound roads were covered in a layer of fresh snow and visibility decreased as the pretty, but treacherous flakes increased in number.
It wasn’t good weather to be on two wheels, even if the rider was experienced, and courageous. The M77 motorway southbound was so hazardous, only the inside lane was being used. It remained the case until a lone motorbike rider appeared in everybody’s offside mirrors.
At 11:30am, after a hair-raising exit from the city centre, Joe found himself behind a line of vehicles. They were trailing a snowplough which made it dangerous for anybody to pass. Joe decided to take his chances with the minor roads, knowing they wouldn’t be properly cleared.
The exit down onto Nitshill Road had a breeze blowing which created a sloping white ramp along the length of one lane, and forced all traffic to use the other lane. It became a ramp of deep slush.
The bike was not designed to be ridden on several centimetres of snow, and a boot shot down regularly to keep rider and machine moving forward. At the Rouken Glen roundabout Joe fought to stay upright. He took a right and headed south at a slow, but steady speed. He was moving, and made no effort to check time.
Joe negotiated the slippery road surface, fighting and countering every skid. His arms and legs ached, as strong as they were. When he tackled the next two roundabouts he caught glimpses of the reservoir to his right. He stopped focussing on the road and the hazards, and started thinking about who would be hard enough, or stupid enough to threaten his brother Max.
At the Newton Mearns roundabout Joe felt his machine slip away from under him, but he got a strong leg out and steadied himself. When the bike was upright again he kept the revs low and followed the short strip of minor road towards the reservoir. He was on high alert, but there didn’t appear to be anyone around.
Is this some sick joke by one of the guys, he wondered.
“Over here!” a man’s voice shouted. “Over here Joe!” A man in black leathers was waving frantically 100 metres ahead, near the water’s edge. There were groups of bushes around the area but most of the foliage was white, thanks to the snowfall. It was a remote spot, but overlooked from the motorway flyover, 200 metres distant.
Joe kept the engine ticking over to avoid falling in the deeper snow. As he went forward he could only see one person.
The man in leathers wasn’t wearing a helmet and it wasn’t his brother. Could another biker have found Max?
As Joe concentrated on the deep white, slippery surface he steered into a single track where a bike had been ridden recently. There were deeper, wider tyre marks either side, made by a four-wheeled vehicle.
When Joe was 20 metres from the stranger, he stopped his bike and dismounted. He turned away from the machine to flick the stand down. He removed his riding gloves and left them on the saddle. His right hand moved down and back, to check the stud of his scabbard was undone. Joe turned and walked forward, eyes narrowed, scanning the immediate area. The guy in leathers was wearing shoes, not boots.
The wide back wheel of a bike was standing out from between the snow-covered bushes. It was a Triumph, just like Joe’s and bore Max’s number plate. The bike had a thick layer of snow covering saddle and rear mudguard.
“Where’s Max?” Joe said as he continued forward, and moved his right hand around to his blade.
“He’s just here.” The stranger moved his left hand and a rope appeared. It had been held up behind his leg and led into the bushes.
A big man in leathers was lying on the ground. He edged forward on his left elbow and leg. He had a gag stuffed into his mouth, held in place with his red neckerchief.
The rope was looped around his neck and his right hand was pressed hard against a bleeding wound in his right thigh. His wrists were bound by a short length of rope. His right eye was open and bulging, and his nostrils flared as he breathed. The left eye was purple and closed.
Joe’s blood boiled when he looked at his older brother’s battered and bloodied face. Most of Max’s face was bruised and had bled recently.
“You’re a fuckin’ dead man,” Joe said to the man in black, and unsheathed his knife as he advanced.
“I don’t think so,” the stranger said as he raised his right hand and aimed an old Army pistol at Joe’s head. “Do you remember a phone call a few days ago?”
Joe kept walking. He had felt his feet slide, so running would serve little purpose. He focused on his enemy’s face and ignored the firearm. Joe was intent on murder, gun or no gun.
The man said, “I told you to keep away from my wife you arsehole, but no, you’re too fucking hard aren’t you – well you’re not as hard as a fucking bullet.”
“Ah, so you’re Henderson,” Joe said, and shook his head. “Steph is your ex-wife you prick,” Joe walked faster. “Don’t you know what that fuckin’ means?”
Only four metres to go, Joe thought, and then he’s fuckin’ mine. Joe lost his footing.
Henderson squeezed the trigger and his arm leapt upward.
There was a loud ping, as the bullet ricocheted from Joe’s helmet. He ran, ducking left and right as he slipped on the snow. He got to within two metres of his target and raised his knife. The second bullet ripped through Joe’s throat at close range. The snow directly in front of him was sprayed red.
Joe’s features screwed up, and he fell forward onto his knees, grasping his torn throat with his left hand. Blood gushed between his fingers, chilling as it oozed over his hand. A fresh warm spray burst out between his fingers. As the final seconds of life drained from him Joe turned to his brother, already badly injured and tethered.
“He can’t help you Big Joe,” Henderson said, and drew back his right foot to kick his dying adversary.
Joe threw the knife to Max with the last of his strength. He gazed at his brother’s face and mouthed the words, “Kill him.” Joe didn’t see what happened next. A black leather toecap connected with his face and he fell forward. The deep, fresh snow accepted Joe’s weight like a soft foam mattress.
When he kicked Joe, the man in leather slipped and fell onto his back.
Max’s head filled with a torrent of emotion as he watched his courageous brother fall. Max let go of his bleeding leg and dived forward to grab the knife from the snow. As he pulled his arms back together to throw, he saw the murderer lying in the snow aiming the pistol.
“No witnesses big bad Max,” Henderson said and squeezed the trigger. There was a click from the old weapon. He looked at it in disbelief and tried to fire again. Another click came from the ageing Webley. The cowardly assassin scrambled to get to his feet and fell onto his hands and knees. He was four metres away from the injured biker.
Max the Knife was the biker leader’s name in the club. His skills with a blade would be badly affected by having the use of only one eye, and both his wrists bound, but he’d still try. When the handgun failed, Max made a lightning assessment. He took a breath and forced himself up on one knee for a few painful seconds.
As Henderson fumbled with the gun, he ignored the threat of the knife for a second too long. He looked up and managed to turn away as the blade fly towards him. The weapon missed his throat, but sliced deep across his right cheek lifting a flap of skin.
Blood poured from an open cheek and torn ear, and there were screams of pain. Henderson got up and ran forward to kick Max in the face, but his foot was grabbed by the desperate biker and pulled. The killer landed on his back and realised his mistake. Even tethered, the biker would win the fight.
Max’s face was hit twice as his desperate adversary kicked and shouted.
“You’ll fuckin’ freeze to death you greasy bastard,” Henderson shouted, and kicked repeatedly for his life. He clamped a freezing hand to his bleeding, stinging face as he scrambled to his feet.
Max managed to pull the gag from his mouth and gasped for a decent breath. He untied the neckerchief and retied it around his damaged and bleeding leg.
“You’re a fucking dead man,” Max shouted as Henderson crawled and scrambled through the bushes. Max had stared at the clean shaven face and grey eyes during the brief struggle. He memorised his enemy for their next and final meeting.
A black 4 x 4 came around the bushes and steered towards Max, but he rolled out of the vehicle’s path. Two wheels of the large car bumped over Joe’s dead body, pressing it deeper into the snow. Joe’s bike was hit next and fell over into the snow. The engine died.
Max looked at his younger brother’s body again. For the first time since childhood tears rolled down Max’s cheeks. “I swear it Joe, I’ll find him and fuckin’ kill him.” Max’s vision was blurring and he had difficulty breathing. “I swear on my life Joe ….”
Loss of blood, and extreme cold took over. Max’s good eye closed, and he lay down.