Ryder: MC Biker Romance (Great Wolves Motorcycle Club Book 8) (15 page)

BOOK: Ryder: MC Biker Romance (Great Wolves Motorcycle Club Book 8)
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Chapter Twenty-Three

 

Ryder

 

We were ready but
still I felt something cold prickle down my spine when the quiet of the night
was shattered by the window erupting in a million pieces.

I wasn’t going to
risk one Great Wolf, I couldn’t afford to, so we were on the hillside watching.
Cruz and the rest of the MC watched and didn’t do a thing to stop it as the
Great Wolves MC Southwood Den was consumed by fire like it was made of
toothpicks.

They’d thrown
their little fire bomb in the main conference window. I wondered if Cruz felt
anger as the Hawks wrecked the place. He straddled his bike and watched. It had
been his home base. We knew it was coming but still a fire is a powerful thing
and almost hypnotizing.

The Devil’s Hawks
had ignited the blaze at the Great Wolves MC Den. They were so fucking
unoriginal. They circled in the exact same way we had done at their place the
day before.

The fire spread quickly,
but there were also a few popping noises that traveled up to our perch. The
fire got worse after the popping noises.

I turned to look
at Cruz.

“Wet bar going
up?” I asked.

“Yeah, Everclear
might have been left open, oh and there might be a box of aerosol cans in our
cleaning supply closet.”

“Your Den has a
cleaning supply closet?”

“As of this
morning yes. Thought we should be more respectable.”

“Ah, well it
appears that your cleaning supplies made things worse down there.”

“It’s looking like
there won’t be anything left of it.”

“You’re going to
be in need of a new Den.”

“Damn. Funny we
were just talking about that.” Cruz’s lips curled slightly up at the corners.
I’d call it a smile.

The Great Wolves
Southwood had a shitty home base to begin with and watching it go up didn’t
fill me with rage or any type of loss. It appeared not to phase Cruz either.
Good. I didn’t want to piss these guys off, and they all agreed that sometimes
to build something you have to clear shit out. We were letting the Hawks do it
for us.

It was all there.
The ride up, the fire bomb, the circling by members of the Devil’s Hawks,
complete with their cuts and jackets in full high definition.

“So glad it was
fully insured,” I said.

“Your Sawyer is a
useful guy to know brother,” Cruz said.

“Yeah, he is. And
you have proof it wasn’t you if the insurance man asks.” I tapped the camera.
There were three cameras actually, positioned around the perimeter. We’d have
every angle we needed.

I called Jules
again to let her know that we’d predicted exactly right.

“Did he destroy the
club,” she asked. Her voice was tense. I figured it must suck wondering what
was going on. She had to wait to hear from me. But it couldn’t be avoided. She
couldn’t be seen anywhere near me.

“He did, but unfortunately,
he sent his boys to do it.”

“Daddy wasn’t
there?” Jules asked. Her voice was pinched. The strain of trying to make this
work was getting to her. And to me.

“No.”

“Shit. We needed him
to lead the charge.” She was right. We had a good bit of evidence now against
his top guys. But we didn’t have him. The victory of catching Hawks in the act
wasn’t as good as catching their Prez.

“We’ve got one or
two more things to try.” I didn’t want to escalate this but I would. I had Cruz
and the Southwood MC behind me.

Ridge was making
sure the protection services were operating without a hitch while Cruz and I
stoked this war. Bret was running the shop. It was all going the way I needed
it to. Which made me nervous as fuck.

The Great Wolves
Southwood were my army in this simmering war between the Hawks and the Wolves. They
were ready to fight for Southwood territory. They knew the only way to succeed
was to stand up to the Hawks. They also knew that meant fire, rage, and blood.

We shared one
mission, take down Daddy. Sonny Maldonado was the reason the Devil’s Hawks were
strong and feared here in Southwood. If we could take down Daddy, we would
break the Devil’s Hawks hold and give the Great Wolves a chance to survive here.

But he had to give
me more. Sonny Maldonado could blame today’s destruction on his guys right now,
and that wasn’t enough.

“Be careful, my
Daddy’s not going to take this well.”

“You be careful.”

“I know. Stick
close to The Judge. I am.”

We hung up.

The Hawks drove
off. I stayed a beat with Cruz, and he ordered his guys to get moving. It was
time for us to regroup at the garage and plan the next step. Their home here
was gone. The firefighters were showing up, and we were going to have to deal
with official shit.

Cruz could handle
that, especially since we had our evidence.

“I’ll meet you at
the garage after I’m done here.” Cruz headed down to the Den and the chaos. He
was going to put on a good performance. Outrage, accusations, loss, he knew his
script, and he was ready.

The trace of the
smile he’d sported was gone as he went down to do his job as Prez.

I was about to
head out myself when a familiar bike and rider roared up behind me.

I wished for a
moment I was packing. But I wasn’t. Never did. Well. Fuck. I’d act like I was.

“What the fuck are
you doing here?”

“Best you shut up
and listen to me.”

That’s when the
next step in my plan to trap Sonny Maldonado changed.

Chapter Twenty-Four

 

 

Jules

 

It had been two
days of nerves. I felt fear and threat at every turn, down every hall, in every
elevator ride to my apartment, and I had to pretend like I didn’t.

What was Daddy
waiting for? Ryder visited me at night, reassured me, and I did the same for
him. We had it all planned but had to keep waiting for Daddy to do the next
thing. That was driving me insane.

The fires at the
two clubs were in the papers. Fire investigators suspected a “firebug” and were
still looking at the evidence. I knew they’d get it when Ryder thought it was
time. When Daddy made a move against them or me.

But it didn’t
happen. Two long days. Ryder’s next step or Daddy’s? Who would blink?

I was working in
The Judge’s office, trying to distract myself, trying to be normal, and trying
to be sure I had collected every scrap of evidence against The Judge. That’s
when Daddy finally made his move.

I had smelled the
cigarette smoke before he walked in. I braced myself for whatever he had
planned.

Daddy walked into The
Judge’s office like he owned it. I guess he sort of did.

“Irene?” I called
out but got no answer from The Judge’s secretary. The Judge heard cases in the
courtroom. I was about to be alone with Daddy.

He burst through
the door, and it was just Daddy and me. He was as pissed off as usual and ready
to punish me.

“So, you think you’re
pretty smart don’t you girlie.” He called me girlie, not by my name. And each
word came out of his mouth like he was spitting.

“What are you
doing here?” I backed up a few steps. The Judge’s office was still in disarray.

“You know why I’m here.
Your old friends the Great Wolves are acting up. They forget who runs this
town.”

“What does that
have to do with me?” I asked and tried to pretend I had no interest.

“It has everything
to do with you.” Daddy came forward and grabbed my arm. He squeezed hard, and I
winced. “Come in here.” He called out into the hall.

I had to blink to
be sure my eyes were seeing what they were seeing.

“Bret.” Boone,
Daddy’s favorite henchman, was behind Bret and had a knife to her throat. I
didn’t move an inch. My feet were nailed to the floor as Boone pushed Bret
further into The Judge’s office.

“We’re here, why
don’t you tell your fucking goon to let go of me?” Bret was as tough as ever,
but I was scared for her.

“You marched her through
the courthouse?”

“Yeah I did
girlie. Boone knows how to keep Bret really quiet and the knife low. So useful.
Also another reason I’m grateful that The Judge listened to me and shot down
those metal detector ideas a few years ago.” Daddy smiled, and it sent a chill
through my veins. He spoke straight into my ear and squeezed me hard with an
iron grip. He was always pulling the strings here. Way more than any judge or
lawyer in the place.

He was going to
show me something. He was here to prove that he had me and that no matter what
Ryder and I did he would do worse. This was worse.

“You’ve been
friends with this one a while haven’t you?” I didn’t know that Daddy remembered
that Bret was my friend before she was a Hawk or a Great Wolf.  The path of her
life turned ugly every time the Hawks were on it. And this. Oh God. I hoped
this was a show.

He picked Bret
because of my history with her. I realized now Daddy didn’t miss anything.

“She has nothing
to do with this,” I said.

“That’s pretty
funny. She’s a Great Wolf now, and you’re a big fan of the Great Wolves.”

“Fuck you, Sonny,”
Bret said. He didn’t acknowledge her.

I had wanted to
provoke him. I had wanted to flush out his worst instincts. I had. But I
thought I would pay the price for it. Instead, he was going to make me watch
others pay for my disobedience. I was going to have to watch him take it out on
people who didn’t deserve it. How had they picked Bret up? I thought she was
guarded. I thought Ryder and the Wolves were all watching each other’s backs?

But here she was,
Boone, towered over her, he was three times her size, and I knew he was mean.
I’d seen it over and over. I also knew he would hurt Bret if Daddy ordered it.

“Let Bret go,” I
told Boone. My words sounded small, and the fear I had was impossible to mask.

“See I could just
kill you. That would be the easiest. It would take care of a lot of my
problems. But it would also create new ones. I need The Judge, he seems to need
you, and the town knows you’re with him,” Daddy was explaining why I wasn’t at
the end of Boone’s knife. I felt like his cigarette smell breath was going to
make me vomit. “No, much better to let Bret take the fall. Any more bullshit
from the Great Wolves and I kill Ryder next.”

I was panicked.
Boone had the knife at her throat. Boone would do what Daddy ordered. He’d
proved he was Daddy’s favorite weapon these days. I swallowed hard and felt
desperation. What could I do to stop this?

Maybe I could tell
Daddy what I had been up to? Threaten him in some way. My mind raced and then Daddy
nodded. I jerked as hard as I could to be free of his arm, but it was
impossible.

Boone plunged the
knife into Bret’s stomach. It was easy with his massive arm. She was so small.

 “Goddamn it.” She
said, and blood began to spill from her onto the tarps I had on the floor of The
Judge's offices.

“Bret!” I yelled,
and Daddy grabbed me tighter.

“That’s a-fucking-nough
out of you. You killed her you, idiot.”

Daddy let me go,
and I raced to the floor. Bret’s eyes were closing. Boone stepped back. I
scrambled for my phone and started yelling for help.

“They’ll be here,
in a few minutes.” Daddy said. Like he’d arranged for the courthouse to be a
ghost town so he could do whatever he wanted. Where WAS everyone?

Daddy and Boone
walked slowly out of the office. I screamed again and again. Was I supposed to
try to stop the bleeding? How? There was so much.

I’d done this. I
wanted him to show himself and get caught. He showed himself alright, but he
was as free as anyone on the planet.

Daddy ordered a murder
in the courthouse and walked away. God. What had I done? Why had I thought we
could do this without getting someone killed? We were so stupid.

I screamed again.
Finally, I heard sirens.

Irene was back. The
Judge lifted me up. I couldn’t stop screaming.

Daddy was right. I
had done this.

He would hurt or
kill anyone who I trusted, or leaned on, or loved. And no matter how smart I
thought I was I could never be as vicious as he was.

So he would always
win.

The Judge let me
go with Bret. I couldn’t leave her side. She was pale and bleeding, and it was
all my fault.

They loaded Bret
into the ambulance, and I followed. As we drove, panic, and guilt washed over
me.

My plan had blown
up in my face, and Bret paid for it not me. The sirens wailed. Maybe Bret could
survive if we got to the hospital fast enough? I held her hand and prayed that
I hadn’t caused her death.

Finally, the
ambulance stopped. I knew I’d have to be out of the way for the medical
professionals.

 I hopped out of
the back of the ambulance and was more confused than I’d ever been in my entire
life.

“This isn’t the
hospital. What the hell is going on?”

We were in the
back of the Great Wolves Auto Body.

“We need to get
Bret to the hospital.” I had no idea what was happening. A group of Great
Wolves emerged from the back of the shop.

“That looks
legit.” One said as he pounded the hood of the ambulance.

And then Ryder
walked out, and I stormed forward.

“What’s happening.
Bret needs you. Boone knifed her in the stomach.”

“He did a shitty
job.” I whirled around, and there was Bret, looking a hell of a lot better, and
a hell of a lot less stabbed.

“Ryder?”

“What?”

“Boone, he fucking
stabbed her. Daddy ordered it, and I saw it and, are you playing with me,
Bret?” A massive headache was blooming in my forehead.

“Close the garage
door. We don’t want to blow this.” A guy with a patch that read Cruz gave some orders
and Great Wolves scrambled to do what he said.

“Pretending.” Bret
lifted her shirt and showed me her tiny stomach. Not a scratch on it but a hell
of a lot of blood.

“Yep. I think I should
get an academy award.” Bret said, and a big dude with a cut that read Nero shot
me a mean look.

“I think
we’re lucky this one hasn’t gotten anyone
actually killed.” This Nero was not a fan of mine. And he wasn’t wrong either.

“Come on in. I’ll
explain.”

Not long after I
was introduced to some of the Great Wolves crew. Ryder, Ridge, Nero, who still
looked at me with suspicion, a guy named Polk was hovered around, I read Cruz’s
patch. He was their Prez.

“Can you please
explain?” No one was doing much to help me out, and then another biker walked
in.

It was Boone, Devil’s
Hawk Henchman, Daddy’s right-hand man.

“What the fuck?” I
moved backward. This was the man I’d just watched stab Bret in cold blood. This
was the man Daddy had sent to guard me, scare me, haul me back to Southwood,
and here he was in the company of the Great Wolves. And they weren’t trying to
kill him?

 “Boone’s been
offered a spot as Great Wolves probie,” Cruz explained to me.

“Under me, I’m his
boss, you owe me that one,” Bret punched Boone’s arm. They were friends all of
sudden?

“Sit down,” Ryder
said and offered me a place on the couch of the Auto Body office.

“No, explain,” I
didn’t want to sit. I was getting a bit hysterical and couldn’t stop it. I also
felt dizzy.

“Miss,” Boone stepped
forward and then he looked at Ryder.

“May I?” he asked,
and Ryder nodded.

“Yeah, you better
hurry up.” Ryder stood next to me and offered nothing to help.

“Jules I’m a
federal agent. I’ve been in the Devil’s Hawks under cover. My mission was to
infiltrate and gather evidence against your father.”

“What?”

“The Hawks here in
Southwood are particularly awful, but we’ve been unable to nail down evidence.
It mysteriously disappears.”

“I bet I know
why.” The Judge and the system in Southwood were all dirty. They were all under
Daddy’s thumb.

“I was ordered by
your father to kill Bret. Obviously, I’m not going to do that so I approached
Ryder and explained what was about to go down.”

“We had to make
your Daddy think it was real,” Ryder said to me.

“You were all in
on it? The club?”

“No, just the six
of us. We couldn’t risk it getting out.”

“Who drove the
ambulance?”

“Ridge, my guy,”
Ryder said.

“Boone told us he
was ordered to pick up Bret. Your Daddy was pretty clear about what they were
going to do. Right in The Judge’s office,” Ryder told me.

“How did you get
an ambulance?” I had too many questions to verbalize.

“It was in the shop,”
Ryder told me.

“Oh yeah, we just
got a hospital contract,” Bret said, and she seemed more interested in that
than the drama that I’d just seen.

“Bret recorded
your Dad ordering the hit on her. That’s about as good as we’re going to get,”
Ryder said.

“Yes, it is. We
have a solid case on your father’s activities,” Boone said. “But my cover is
essentially blown. The six of you know. And my boss has extracted me after this
so as to keep me from being Sonny Maldonado’s next murder.”

Looking at Boone,
I had a hard time reconciling that anyone could hurt him. I also had a hard
time shifting my feelings. He’d scared me. He was Daddy’s muscle. And here he
was trying to help me?

“I’ll meet you at
the police station. I’m sorry you had to undergo that trauma in The Judge’s
office. I need to debrief and stay out of sight.” All of a sudden the speech
pattern of a thug, the monosyllabic henchman, was gone. Boone was a Marine or
FBI. I was sure of it.

Boone turned and
left the office. It was still hard to process all that had happened in the last
few hours.

They had outdone
me on trapping Daddy. Between the video of the fire and the order to kill Bret,
there was enough to put Daddy away for a long time. Maybe forever.

And I had the
extra insurance ready to go.

BOOK: Ryder: MC Biker Romance (Great Wolves Motorcycle Club Book 8)
6.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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