Alaric Stephens was riding his Harley Davidson 2009 model year Fatboy, having just entered the town of Silverhill, Texas and decided to pull into a restaurant and bar that reminded him somewhat of an old English pub with its heavy wooden beams and part wood, part stone walls.
He was a big, sturdy, muscular man, standing 6'2" in stocking feet, weighing about 205 pounds, with a medium brown crewcut. He was clad in a pair of heavy leather pants, a 3XL t-shirt with a picture of a Harley Davidson Fatboy on it, a zipped up worn leather jacket and combat boots.
The only part of the building that didn't match that iconic pub image was the 30 foot wide, six foot high plexiglass window across the front.
He found a seat next to the big window and glanced out for a moment at his bike sitting a short distance from the front entrance. He hadn't been in there for more than two minutes when a pleasant looking woman about 40 or so stepped up, asking "What would you like today, sir?"
He thought for a moment, then replied, saying, "A 12 oz. New York style steak, rare, a large baked potato and a King Cobra beer, please."
She smiled as she wrote down his order, then turned and walked back to a door in the back wall, poked her head through it and passed on the order to the cook and a young male who was busy sweeping the floor. The young man stopped for a moment and brought her the beer.
She took the bottle, walked back to the table and set the bottle on the table, pulled a bottle opener from a pocket and removed the cap. She then walked over to the bar area, picked up a tall glass, filled it with water and brought it to the table, placing the glass in the middle of the table.
Alaric thanked her, picked up the bottle, raised it to his nose briefly to sniff the contents, then grinned and took a nice, long drink.
He was actually surprised to find this specific beer here, there were plenty of places that stuck to the more common American beers. That didn't stop him from enjoying the beer as he looked up at the 50" flat screen TV hanging at the far end of the bar counter near the kitchen.
He didn't watch the TV for long, it seemed to be showing a recap of a recent college football game that didn't appeal to him at all.
Alaric shook his head, he'd seen things in his four years of service in Iraq that made football games seem completely juvenile to him. He'd never gotten past private first class in those four years, largely because he cared more about keeping his buddies safe than following silly rules. Hell, there were several times during those four years that most of his company would have been wiped out if he or others obeyed those rules.
He had finished about 2/3 of the bottle by the time the waitress brought him his steak and potato, and he thanked her again.
He cut a small piece of the steak, caught it on his fork, then brought it up, taking that first bite. Would it be done right or not?
He chewed on it for a moment, then grinned and turned, giving a thumbs up to the waitress next to the bar, the steak was perfect!
He turned back to his meal, settling down to enjoy it, it had been a long time, over four years, since he had last tasted a good steak. He was smiling as he continued to eat the steak and the potato, which had also been done to perfection, properly cooked without being dried out.
Some people liked to have a pat of butter or margarine on their potato. He didn't, he preferred to have his au naturel. Mmmm...
He finished eating about fifteen minutes later, having finished the beer as he ate. He relaxed in the bench seat, quite contented.
The waitress noticed that he was no longer eating a few minutes later, came over and asked him if he wanted anything else.
Alaric replied that he was fine, waited to receive the bill, then paid it and left a nice tip for the waitress before he exited the restaurant.
Katerina Paulsen was exiting a large supermarket on the other side of Silverhill when someone ran up behind her and hit her with what looked to be a homemade spiked blackjack; the first hit struck her on the right side of the head, the ball on the tip of the weapon wrapping around and striking her in the eye. The attacker struck several more times, first on the head, then between the legs, before running away from her.
Kate was known to many of the folks in Silverhill as "that freak", "the damn tranny" and by many similar epithets. She had come out three years ago, started her transition and tried to cope with the harassment that came her way from coworkers and many others in the small town.
It was at this point that a stranger stood over the fallen girl, he appeared to be a tall, weatherworn individual of indeterminate age. What was truly odd is that Bob Andrews, one of the town's two unofficial firefighters, was exiting the market and walked away without seeing the person.
The odd individual continued to stand over the badly hurt girl, he seemed to be waiting for someone or something, perhaps guarding her?
Alaric spent a few minutes checking the items in his hard case saddlebags on the back end of the Fatboy. There was a medical kit he had bought three days after his army service had ended, he had been trained as an auxiliary medic while in his second two year tour in Iraq.
During his last year, he had spent as much time patching members of his company up as he had out in the field fighting in various battles.
Everything seemed to be where it belonged, one last quick glance caused him to decide to pick up some bottled water for the trip.
Perhaps fate was intervening, who would know? He pulled out, then drove for a few minutes before he reached the supermarket.
He parked the bike near the entrance and was about to enter when the coppery scent of fresh blood drifted to him on the late fall breeze.
"Blood?" he muttered, "Why would I be smelling blood here?" He quickly scanned the lot, then noticed the fallen girl and the strange man over her. "Oh, shit!" he swore as he opened the saddlebag with his medical kit, pulled it out and raced across the parking lot to the fallen girl.
He dropped to the ground beside her, opened the kit, then spent a moment doing a quick examination of the girl. Some jerk had used a weapon to hurt her, the eye was smashed, hanging from the inner corner of the socket, the skin over it half-shredded. Gods, it was a nasty mess.
That was only part of it, though, his examination soon found the other area that had been injured. Whoever had done this deserved to have his balls and johnson cut off and stuffed down his throat! This young person was just trying to live her own life, intending no harm to others.
While he was checking her for any other injuries, he found a gorgeous tattoo above her left breast, an intertwining bunch of bright red roses.
He started pulling items from the kit and swiftly tended to her wounds, then reached into his leather jacket and pulled out a cell phone. He quickly dialled 911, then reported that he had just provided initial medical attention to a person who needed further hospital care immediately.
The operator assured him that an ambulance was on its way, although it would take some time as it would be coming from Waco.
He thanked the operator, assuring her that he would continue to monitor the girl until the ambulance arrived.
He ended the call, then looked up at the strange one now standing by the girl's feet. "And what brings an angel to this place, pray tell?"
The angel turned his head and looked down at Alaric, saying, "She needed me to guard her from further harm until you could get here."
"You're an angel, could you not have stopped whoever did this to her? Why let it happen, dammit?" Alaric screamed at the angel.
"Because what she needed even more than me was a man like you, Alaric, a man that respects one and all and tries to treat everyone as fairly as you can. She needs a man who can be a protector and a friend, one that will keep her safe from those who would do her further harm. As for the person that did this, he wasn't too bright. He jumped on a cheap motorcycle and raced onto the highway right into the path of a semi."
Alaric sighed, shaking his head. "I'll bet that truck's driver is wishing that he stayed home today. I assume he is okay, if a bit shocked?"
"That is a rather accurate description of the truck driver's current emotional state, yes. He wasn't physically harmed at all."
"She'll get her wish, I suppose," Alaric opined, "There isn't any way to save the eye or her genitals, the bastard made sure of that."
"True," the angel agreed, "But now she will have you to stand with her, she'll recover and she'll thrive under your capable care, Alaric."
"Huh," Alaric grunted, "I've made sure that she'll make it to the hospital in Waco, we'll see what happens once she is being treated."
"Guard her well, Alaric, and help her to heal. You were always happier when your mates were up and going again, thanks to your help."
With that, the angel vanished as the sound of a rapidly approaching ambulance, siren blaring, lights flashing, approached the supermarket. The tires of the ambulance squealed as it spun into the supermarket's parking lot, then screeched to a halt beside the kneeling Alaric.
He stood aside as the paramedics checked Kate, then passed on what he had found injury wise to the two men.
One of the paramedics pulled a stretcher from the ambulance. They carefully lifted Kate onto it, strapped her down before covering her with a blanket and loaded her into the Ambulance. The paramedics informed Alaric as to where they would be taking Kate, then they were gone.
Alaric quickly placed the remainder of the items he had needed back into his medical kit and walked over to his Fatboy. He leaned down, carefully dropped the medical kit into its customary place in the saddlebag, then closed it, climbed on and drove away.
It wasn't until he was halfway to Waco that he realized he had not bought the bottled water he had intended to get at the supermarket.
The afternoon had slowly faded into evening as Alaric sat near Kate in a recovery room at Central Texas Urgent Care in Waco, Texas.
The operations had resulted in the removal of the eye and the sewing of the tattered skin over the empty socket, as well as the removal of Kate's penis and testicles, which had been crushed by the blackjack; there had been enough intact skin to perform an emergency SRS.
Kate finally woke up, the time was 11:40 PM. She knew immediately that she was in a hospital, the scent was unmistakeable.
What surprised her, no, shocked her, was that a big, very muscular man was sitting in a chair not far from the bed.
"Hello," she whispered, then repeated it in a stronger voice, "Hello. Why are you here?"
Alaric slowly raised his head and looked at her, then sighed. "I found you a few minutes after you were attacked. I had training in the army as an auxiliary medic, so I checked you and gave you what treatment I could until the paramedics arrived to bring you here."
Kate smiled briefly, noticing that the pain was only a dull ache. She supposed that they had given her morphine or something similar to have her feel so little of the pain that she had felt when the attack happened. "So where am I and what has been going on since the attack?"
"Well, the idiot who attacked you wasn't paying attention when he ran off, he drove his 350cc motorcycle into the front end of a semi. As for you, the bastard did a number on you. You lost your right eye, and the damage to your genitals required that you undergo emergency SRS."
"You mean...?" Kate whispered, the shock quite apparent. She was far too poor to be able to afford SRS on her modest income.
Alaric nodded. "I imagine that, once the packing comes out in a few days, you're going to have to adjust to your new status."
"I know what I will have to do at that point, yes," Kate agreed. "But that still doesn't tell me while you are here."
"Do you believe in angels at all?"Alaric asked.
Kate nodded, and Alaric continued speaking, "When I found you, there was an angel standing over you, keeping you safe from anyone and everyone else until I could provide basic immediate medical attention to you that would allow you to reach here while still alive.
"That angel told me that I was to stay by you from now on, to protect you and to be your friend if you wish," Alaric muttered.
"You would do that for someone you don't know? What makes me so special, worthy of such attention from you?" Kate enquired of him.
"You're a person, deserving of love, kindness and respect like any other. I have no ties to anywhere, so I'm free to do what I want."
"Even if that means being with me, someone who will be visibly scarred for the rest of my life because of that bastard?" Kate asked him.
"Even then, from now until the day I die, I'll be there for you, that is if you want me to be with you?"
"A man who will love me, be kind to me, respect me and protect me from assholes like the one who did this to me? Mister, I don't even know your name yet, but in just this short talk, you've treated me better than the folks of that damn town ever have. Hell, yes, I'll have you!"
Alaric was a Good Samaritan, there in Kate's time of need, someone who looked beyond the surface and saw the true person within.
Kate was a person who had been sorely wronged by others for no better reason than that she didn't fit in with their bigoted ways.
Now Alaric and Kate would have each other to lean on, each of them giving love, respect and kindness to the other one when needed.
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