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Authors: London Casey,Karolyn James

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BOOK: EMPTY SECRETS (A Back Down Devil MC Novella)
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Christ,

Jace said.

She

s stabbed
…”

The sirens were even closer.


What
the fuck do we do now?

Blaine asked.

Jett had two options. He could put
the chick down and leave her be. Hope she wouldn

t
bleed out and die. (Run the risk of having his fingerprints on her and having
this mess somehow get tied back to him.) Or he could somehow prop her up on his
motorcycle and get her to the clubhouse.

Nice guy or dick guy.


Fuck,

he yelled.

We have to get her to the
clubhouse. Just to check her. Make sure she

s
going to live. Then we can drop her off at a hospital or something. I don

t know. I can

t leave her like this.


You

re in love with her already,

Blaine said and laughed.


Help
me figure this out,

Jett
growled.

He stuck two fingers to her neck
again and checked her pulse. Still good. Still strong.

The chick started to stir a little
and Jett put his lips to her ear.

I

m not going to hurt you,
beautiful. I

m trying to
save you. I need you to fight and ride with me on my motorcycle.

Her lips fluttered for a second and
that was it. She didn

t
move again. She didn

t turn
her head again. But her pulse was still there.


We
have to hurry,

Jett said.

She

s fucking bleeding out.

Just what I need

some bitch to die in my
arms.

three.

 

*ONE HOUR EARLIER*

 

Lena took the knife from the
butcher

s block and turned,
swinging it in the air.

I can do this. I can survive
this. I can

She dropped the knife. It landed,
pointed down, in the cheap, linoleum floor, an inch from her big toe. She
looked at the chipped orange nail polish on her toe and the knife.

Her hands were shaking already.


Lena?

a voice called out.


Hold
on
…”


Dear,
what is

oh, my
…”


It

s okay, Annie,

Lena said.

Annie looked at the knife and then
Lena.

Did you cut
yourself, dear?


No,
I didn

t,

Lena said. She held up her
hands and showed them to Annie.

See?
All good. I just

my hand
must have been wet. The knife slid out and hit the floor.

Annie touched her cheek and then
touched the cross around her neck.

Well
thank the Lord you didn

t
cut yourself. Or drop the knife on your foot. Oh, dear, that would have
…”


It

s okay,

Lena said.

I

ll be right in, okay?


Okay,

Annie said.

Yell if you need my help.

Annie shuffled away and Lena let
out a needed sigh. She helped poor Annie a few times a week because everything
was connected within
the family
. That

s
how Victor had put it a long time ago.
When the family needs something, we
take care of it.

That was a time when Lena maybe
liked Victor. Okay, fine, maybe there was love. A flicker of love between them.
Just because there was something about Victor and the power he had. Stupid
money and stupid power. Men flaunting that shit like it mattered and woman dumb
like Lena falling for it. The same vicious cycle over and over.

What had started as a fun little
date, turned into a second and third date, turned into Lena spending a weekend
in a hotel room with Victor. She eventually was let into his violent world. He
told Lena he was doing it because he loved her, because he wanted her to see
what it was like to be him. In truth, Victor showed her violence to keep her tame.
To make it so she couldn

t
leave him because the violence would then turn to her. Victor was handsome in a
clean cut way. He had manipulative eyes and a manipulative smile, but worse
than that, his heart was the most manipulative thing about him. There was no
such thing as emotion. He just ran with his environment and came out alive.
Because if it all fell apart, he would bring out the muscle. And not his own,
which he didn

t have much
of. Victor

s muscle was in
the form of weapons, or thug bullies, that wore suits. The guys were massive
and they

d always take
their suit jackets off before hurting someone. Under the suit jackets they wore
guns and sleeveless shirts.

The sight was terrifying.

But it all had gone too far.

Too fucking far

Lena crouched and pulled the knife
out of the floor. She stood back up and held it tight in her hand. She pictured
Victor in front of her. Eye level with her. He was short, but that didn

t matter. It never mattered. But
it was

weird. Lena always
pictured cuddling up to someone bigger than her. Strength, calmness, love.
Everything in silence. That

s
where the power came from.

Not this life.

She stabbed the air and licked her
dry lips. She wondered just what she would have stabbed on Victor. Knowing her
luck and worry, she

d end
up cutting his arm or something. And then he

d
kill her. Without hesitation.

Lena knew too much.

And after what she had found out


Lisa?

a weak voice called.

Oh, my, it hurts!

Lena put the knife down. She rushed
from the small kitchen, through the small dining room, to find poor Annie
standing next to her old green recliner chair cradling her left hand. There
were tears in her aged blue eyes.


Lisa

I

ve
been calling for you
…”

Lena had long gotten used to Annie
calling her the wrong name. It was all just part of Annie

s life now. She was old,
confused, and was just enjoying what time she had left in this world. The woman
had a rainbow array of pills that needed to be taken throughout the day, with
times of clarity that were beautiful and sharp, and other times of anger and
confusion that broke Lena

s
heart.


What

s wrong, Annie?


You
made the coffee too hot.

Lena saw the coffee mug tipped to
the side on the tray next to the chair. The coffee had been there for hours
now. It was impossible to be hot, but Lena knew not to argue with Annie. She
approached the woman carefully and asked to see her hand.

Annie had long and crooked fingers.
Lena knew they had to have once been long and slender fingers. Beautiful
fingers on a beautiful woman.


Your
hand looks fine to me,

Lena said softly.

I can
get you some ice if you

d
like. But I think you

ll be
okay.

Lena looked Annie in her eyes and
smiled.


He
never loved me, Lisa. Never loved me.


Who
didn

t?


My
sweet Anthony. He never loved me. He always wanted
…”
Annie slowly turned her head and sighed.

Oh, my, look at that mess.


It

s okay, Annie,

Lena said.

Here, sit down. Let me put on
the evening news for you. Okay? I

ll
make more coffee if you

d
like.


How
about a cup of tea?


I
can do that.

Lena helped Annie to the chair and
got her comfortable. Another member of
the family
would be coming soon.
They all traded shifts with the full-time nurses. Lena hadn

t gotten much about Annie over
the time she knew the woman, but from what she heard from whispers was that
Annie was very wealthy and
the family
were all around her, waiting for
her to let go, so they could pounce. Her husband - Anthony - had been
tragically killed in a car accident twenty years ago. Rumor was it had been a
complete inside job.

That was definitely something about
the family
. They didn

t
care. They lived to kill and killed to live. Another vicious cycle that Lena
had been accustomed to seeing.

She carried the entire tray into
the kitchen and slowly cleaned up the mess of coffee. From the corner of her
eye she saw the large knife resting there.

I can do this. I can escape all
this. Even if I

Lena closed her eyes.

Fuck, she couldn

t fight her feelings on this.
She was afraid of dying. And what normal person wasn

t, right? Sure, when time was up, it was up. A day,
week, month, year, whatever. Some people lived beyond a hundred years, and some
didn

t even make it out of
the womb. That was the cruel sense of time. But with Victor, it was different.
He controlled it all. If Lena messed this up, he wouldn

t just shoot her. He

d

hurt her. Bad. She

d suffer greatly.

But she couldn

t continue living like this.

Lena finished cleaning the tray,
made tea, let it cool down, and then carried both back into the living room.
She put it down next to the chair and Annie looked at her.


What

s this for?

Annie asked.


Your
tea.


I
didn

t ask for tea. Oh, I
hate tea. Too bitter.


I

m sorry. I must have
…”
Lena grabbed the mug.

Can I get you anything?


I

m okay right now. Thank you for
all you do for me. Taking such good care of me. Victor is lucky. I can hear
wedding bells, Lena. Oh, you don

t
know what it

s all like
until you marry into it all. Such a sense of family. Protection.

Lena nodded.

Yes. That sounds quite amazing.

Annie didn

t respond.

Lena went back to the kitchen,
completing the hundredth lap of the day. Kitchen to chair, chair to kitchen,
rinse and repeat for hours on end.

This time was a little different.
This time Lena took the knife and put it in her bag. Damn, it was sickening to
think she was stealing an old woman

s
knife to kill Victor with. But this was the life.
The family.
This was
what Lena had been put through for years.

And now Victor had other women.

That was the line for her. That,
and Victor had started using force to keep her under control. It started with
placing his gun on a table. Then he wouldn

t
speak. He

d sit there and
act like the gun wasn

t
even there. Then he started to point the gun at her. And finally, after a night
of too much drinking, Victor pulled the trigger. But the gun had been unloaded.
He did it for fun. For a laugh. Because he was an asshole.

Then came the other women. Lena
knew about at least three. An elderly man in
the family
, a guy they
called Uncle Tony, pulled Lena aside one night in a smoke filled room to
explain to her that all men had needs that went beyond one woman. There was a
woman to love. There was a woman to care for. There was a woman to show off.
And there was a woman to fuck. All of which had different purposes.

Lena had enough. And whatever came
after enough was when she heard whispering that Victor was pissed at her for
getting upset about his choice of women. Truth was, Lena didn

t know a thing about the other
women Victor was fucking, but she wasn

t
going to share. That

s not
how it went. Plus, she didn

t
love Victor. She didn

t
like him. She wanted out.

And she wanted to kill him. She
wanted to stab Victor and flee. Run like hell and be gone because it was the
only way to escape. She couldn

t
break away from him. She had to get rid of him. Would that make everyone in
the
family
want to retaliate against her? Yeah, it would.

Lena knew the stupidity and the
risk of it all, but she couldn

t
help herself. She wanted Victor to be stopped, at all costs. Because if she killed
Victor

and they caught
her, they would just kill her then. They wouldn

t
torture her like Victor would have.

Or the way Victor was torturing her
right now.

Annie had a cat clock on the wall
in the dining room. Lena nursed a crappy cup of coffee and looked at the clock.
The cat

s eyes and tail moved
in opposite directions, the clicks of the seconds slowly moving time along. The
last hour with Annie was the longest. Especially tonight, because Lena was told
-
not asked, but told or else she

d
pay a fucking price
- to meet with Victor near an old warehouse in Frelen.
Those were the scariest places for Lena to go to. That

s where they all did business. Not usually in Frelen
because of a motorcycle club that ruled the town. But that didn

t mean
the family
didn

t have pull within the city.
Victor had told Lena that the motorcycle club was nothing but punk losers. They
went by the name Back Down Devil MC. They bullied everyone in Frelen and held
tight to law enforcement and had no real power.

Lena could always see the look in
Victor

s eyes when he spoke
like that. He hinted that he wanted to gather up some guys and start a
war
.
The word was horrifying to Lena because Victor was always very serious. Drunk,
sober, whatever, he meant what he said.

A nurse showed up ten minutes
early. Lena reviewed the day with her. Everything was normal. Well, as normal
as could be for an elderly woman waiting to pass on. Annie had no real family
and never would. Everything she had was tied to
the family
and they
wanted her fortune.

BOOK: EMPTY SECRETS (A Back Down Devil MC Novella)
5.73Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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