Author's notes: Thanks to everyone who reviewed my previous chapter. If it wasn't for you guys I'm not sure if I would have ever gotten around to writing this chapter. They really pushed me to keep writing even though it took me a while. Sorry. Don't kill me, please.

Chapter 3

Chibs studied the room, deducing a frantic nature. Red hand prints had been stamped and smeared across the floor. He traced the sight of blood, following its path into the shadowy darkness of the nooks and corners of the silent home.

At first he thought about calling in the guys before continuing but the quiet wasn't absolute. There was a nervous shrill to the air; an untamed silence alerting and unsettling that begged urgent investigating.

Chibs took slow, tentative steps as he walked around the blood careful not to lay his foot in it. And as he looked on the pool of blackened blood, there was a pang in his heart he inwardly sneered at because inside he knew he cared for the kid even after the actions the kid had taken in which, in the eyes of the club, was only and will ever be betrayal. Nothing would change that notion. Nothing could change the penalty for it. Somehow, the kid had escaped Mr. Mayhem's gavotte. Chibs showed the kid no mercy when it came to letting him know even though the club president had been easy to forget – not so much forgive – his faults for whatever reason he, in turn, had not.

But despite all that, Juice still held a spot in his heart Chibs was afraid to regard because by some unspoken club rule that wasn't supposed to be so, anymore.

He caught himself getting carried away with thought. Usually, he was so astute and definitive but something about this place his mind feared enter. Something about this place hindered him. But his heart found emergence past resentment indoctrinated in him and it told his eyes to look up and seek him. Seek Juice.

In the silence broke a sound. Brown eyes searched but found nothing. The sound became a whisper. Chibs followed it leading him sightlessly down the painted crimson path just above a floor drowned out in blackness.

"No… no… no…" The whispers said, quiet and dreamlike in its secrecy but as Chibs neared its source the whispers turned harsh and anguished. "No… no… I'm sorry… I'm sorry… I'm sorry…"

Then, it finally dawned on him to use his phone as a source of light. With nervous hands he found his phone and with the light shining from the activated screen he scanned the room, first for a light switch but before he could he had found him.

A body curled into itself hid underneath the kitchen table. Hands pressed firmly against his ears and blood trailing away from him.

Chibs rushed to his side, falling to his knees beside the young man not caring weather his knees would bruise or not. He could see now the blood was coming from a gash on his head… a lot of blood.

"Juice! Juicy-boy! Fuck!" He said panicked. He laid a hand on the kid's shoulder. Juice shook under his palm. Violent tremors had a hold of his body.

He examined him and from the little he could tell the kid had no other wound other than that horrible looking laceration on his head. And though the wound was much to worry about, it didn't account for the amount of blood he had seen.

"I'm sorry… I'm sorry… I'm sorry…" he said so quietly Chibs wondered how he was ever able to hear those small cries. Juice's hands were still up to his ears all the while he lightly shook his head side to side. "Stop. Please make it stop."

"Juice," Chibs called out but just like before Juice did not react to his verbal queues. He took another look at the wound on Juices head this time trying to get a closer look. It took some strain to see through the dark and heavy shadows that surrounded them but after a while he was able to see the ugly, sizable bruise surrounding the bloodied gash. "Fuck!" he cursed as he considered the kid just might have a concussion as well.

"Juice, c'mon, we need to get you off the floor." Juice did not respond but Chibs did not expect anything other than that but he spoke to him anyways just in case the kid was actually able to hear him though he doubted it. From what he could tell, the kid was in some state of trance probably caused by any bruising in the brain the kid may have. Speaking to him was a small measure in making sure the kid stayed conscious, even though Chibs wasn't one-hundred percent sure Juice was. At this point, it was hard to tell. The kid was alive, that was good enough.

Chibs got back up to his feet and reached for Juice still under the table. He obtained an arm and with a groan he began. It was easy enough to pull him from underneath the canopy of wood and shadows, an ease that grew disturbing when Chibs hardly broke a sweat when he finally had the kid in his arms. A man Juice's age should not weigh as much as he did. It should never be easy to lift him up but he could not blame the kid for a weight loss he had noticed but hardly cared to regard when the kid was progressively spiraling south in the eyes of the club. Everyone had noticed it. The kid was unstable, edgy – depressed wasn't too farfetched of an idea – though the kid denied anything ever being wrong at every turn of the question. And even as Chibs carried him towards his bedroom, the kid shaking and trembling in his arms, he wasn't sure how much he would allow himself to care or if he would at all. The only thing he had in mind of doing was fixing that gash on his head, get him to stop bleeding, bring him to a healthy state of consciousness because it wasn't the kid's time to go. There would be a time for that. Now not being it. Mr. Mayhem has not judged him yet.


Author's notes: Please review letting me know what you think.