Swing (Tidals & Anchors MC Book 1) (4 page)

BOOK: Swing (Tidals & Anchors MC Book 1)
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Dallas sat back and looked at me completely dumbfounded. I guess it wasn’t what he was expecting to hear; that his own father didn’t think he was man enough to lead Tidals & Anchors. That if he couldn’t keep the chair, he’d choose death, and have me carry it out. But it was the truth and I hated keeping things from my best friend. No matter how much it might hurt him.

We were both quiet. Dallas was most likely taking in everything I had just told him and I was wondering where exactly they wanted to take me. I hadn’t left Bend since I was born with the occasional protection run, and I sure as hell wasn’t afraid of Pardon, so why should I leave?

Eight

D
allas left without saying much else. He told me to be ready by nine o’clock that night and that he and some of the boys would come get me. He also told me to do my best to stay inside and not answer any phone calls from anyone in the club other than him. He would tell Pardon that he couldn’t find me and that my house was empty, making sure that no one would come looking for me.

Whatever. Like I gave a fuck. Not one person in the MC would come after me because they knew what I was capable of.

I was lying on my back on my bed, staring at the ceiling above me and thinking of the mark before Alaska.

The old man with the narrow blue eyes that watched my every move. He was stubborn as fuck and even when I slid my favorite hunting knife underneath his fingernails, he still didn’t seem to care. He had resigned himself to the fact that he was going to die. That it was going to be slow and painful, and that it was because he tried to make a direct deal with prison guards to steal business from the MC.

“Come on, Warner. You should’ve known better,” I had said to him when I first tied him to the chair. “You knew that Pardon would find out and you did it anyway.”

“Fuck Pardon,” he spat back at me. “Fuck Tidals & Anchors, and fuck you too!”

I laughed and drew my knife from it’s sheath, leaning against the old work table that belonged to Leon and looked at him.

“What made you do it?” I asked, tapping the metal against the table.

“Fuck you, Nero.”

I smiled at that. Even with as helpless as he was, he still wasn’t afraid of me and that was a rare thing indeed.

“I’m asking to satisfy my own curiosity, Warner. Tell me and I’ll make it faster than I usually would. Don’t tell me and I’ll make this the most hellacious last moments of your life.”

Warner spit blood on the floor before he looked up into my eyes. If they alone could tell me the story of why he went behind Pardon’s back, they would. But what I wanted was words. I wanted confirmation of what happened and I wanted to be damn sure that I would be doing the right thing.

“Harold,” he finally said, looking away. “He told me to help him get the MC out of the shit your father got them into. I obliged.”

“Harold’s been dead for years. Try again,” I said quietly, moving away from the table. I crouched down in front of him and used the edge of the blade to lift his chin, forcing him to look at me. “Tell me the truth.”

“That
is
the truth. My father was friends with Leon in the Navy. Harold had given my grandfather a letter that my father gave to me. He said he was worried that when Leon took control of Tidals & Anchors, that he would do some stupid shit like this. He said to do whatever it took to get the club back on track and earning straight.”

My legs gave out beneath me and I ended up on my ass, mouth slightly open. I didn’t know if what he was saying was true, but it sounded a lot like Harold. When Leon was thrown out of the club and Pardon took over, he ran the club further into crazier shit than Leon had and now I was faced with a man who claimed that my grandfather had given
his
father a letter telling him to save the club.

“Let me see it,” I said, regaining my composure.

“You think I fucking carry it around like some sacred relic? I’m not apart of your club Nero. I read the letter and put it someplace safe,” Warner said angrily.

“Where’s the fucking letter, old man? I need to make sure you’re not lying to me.”

He shook his head and chuckled, but didn’t say anything else. It was almost as if he knew I was starting to believe him, but he still knew he wouldn’t tell me where the letter was.

It left me wondering if I could kill him. If I could do this to the man that Harold had entrusted to save the MC. With a deep breath, I grabbed one of his hands.

“I’m gonna need these,” I said quietly as I started to rip up his fingernails. One by one, I pulled up all ten off of their beds, leaving his fingertips looking like bloody stumps. Then I did something I never thought I would do. After gathering up the fingernails and tossing them onto the table, I got up and went behind him.

“I’m not doing you a favor right now,” I warned him as I started to cut the ropes that held him in place. “I’m giving you time to bring me that fucking letter and then maybe I’ll think about if you’re worth keeping alive. Now get the fuck out of here. I don’t want to see you again until you have that letter.”

I sighed and rolled over onto my side. I had taken his fingernails because Pardon always snuck around Leon’s old workshop to see if I did what I told him I did. He didn’t think I knew, but after coming back one night to clean up and seeing the door slightly ajar, I caught on quickly.

It had been a couple of months and I hadn’t seen Warner since. Maybe he left Bend, maybe he didn’t. Either way I still didn’t have that letter and it ate at me a lot.

Then there was Alaska. I still didn’t know why she had barreled into the clubhouse that night. I still wasn’t sure if I gave enough of a fuck to ask Ricki. I couldn’t ask her now without some repercussion falling on Dallas for trying to keep me alive.

I ran my hands irritably over my face.

“FUCK!”

To hell with waiting around for Dallas and his band of heroes. I was going to get some answers before I was forced to leave Bend. I got off of my bed and went into the living room where my phone was still sitting on the table.

Looking at the blinking light in the top left corner made me roll my eyes. I brought the screen to life and saw I had six missed calls from Dallas. When I went into the call log, I saw they must’ve been within seconds of each other by the times that were displayed.

I jabbed the call button with my forefinger and waited for him to answer.

“Where the hell have you been?” he asked.

“In bed. What’s up?”

“We’re coming to get you now. Pardon didn’t buy my story and he’s trying to get ahold of some of the nearby charters to come after you. Be ready, Nero. We’re on our way.”

With that, the line clicked and the screen eventually faded to black. I stood there for a moment feeling angry. Someone who didn’t earn the chair was in it and the person who
should
have it, would have to go on the run.

I’ll be back soon for you, old man,
I thought grimly as I went into the closet and pulled out my backpack.

I’ll be back for you
real
soon.

Nine

I
was standing inside the spare bedroom of my new apartment staring at the wall. It had been about a month and a half since Dallas and the guys got me out of Bend and everything seemed to be quiet. I had a drop phone that he would call me on from time to time to update me on the Pardon situation.

I honestly thought that the reason he called me was to make sure that I was still alive and in Poulsbo where they had left me. I hated this place. It was a smallish town that I stuck out like a sore thumb in. I understood why he took me so far away; there were no charters of Tidals & Anchors MC for at least two hundred miles.

It’s safe to say that life was boring, but because I looked like I did, it was an endless parade of pussy too. On the nights that the boredom made me more restless than usual, I would go to one of the local bars and bring a lady home with me.

I had decided to make a game out of it. I had drawn out the bars in the downtown area on mural paper and pinned it to the wall in my spare room. Every time I fucked a girl from a different bar, I would cross it off.

It wasn’t exactly my style, but it kept me out of trouble and kept me occupied on the nights I wanted to go home to Bend. I ran my hands back through my hair and decided I’d go to Coasters tonight. I had passed by it a few times and it seemed to be a little seedier than the other bars, which had me really wanting to check it out.

The cool thing about this town was that I could go out dressed exactly as a I was, in a white v-neck shirt, a pair of blue jeans, and some sneakers, and I’d still get laid.

Actually, I think I
will
wear this,
I thought as I left the room and went into the small kitchen. I pulled open the fridge and grabbed my jug of water, taking a healthy swig before putting it back and closing the door. I went over to the counter I kept my apartment keys on and put them into my back pocket. I checked the other pocket to make sure that my wallet was in there and headed out.

The downtown area was a mile or two from where I lived for now. Usually I walked it, but I wanted to take the bike out today since I hadn’t ridden it since I got here. Part of it was wanting to give it a break and part of it was wanting to make sure that we hadn’t been followed. Dallas’ paranoia was contagious as hell.

I went out to the small garage space I managed to rent from the landlord and pulled the door up. It was just big enough to hold my Harley and a few boxes of shit I hadn’t unpacked yet, but as long as I had somewhere to put it, I didn’t really care.

Using my foot to bring up the kickstand, I walked the bike out, balanced it again, and then went back to close the garage door. A happy sigh escaped me as I sat down in the leather seat and put the keys in the ignition, bringing my one true love to life. I reached up and pulled my sunglasses down from where they had been sitting on top of my head, over my eyes, and pulled out to the end of the small driveway. When I was sure that no one was coming down the street, I pulled out and headed toward downtown Poulsbo.

Washington state,
I thought shaking my head as I rode. I had never left Oregon, and he dumped me in Washington fucking state. I understood in a way; it was the closest place to take me, but
fuck.
California would’ve been nice too.

I pulled up to Coasters in less than five minutes. I may or may not have obeyed the speed limit. Being on my bike again had made me feel amazing and nothing was really much of a concern on the short ride.

I backed it into an empty spot in the front and walked in. Pulling my sunglasses off of my face, I slid them into the dip of my shirt, and did a quick glance around before I decided on the bar. There weren’t many people in there, but it was late afternoon so I knew it should start filling up soon. If it did, anyway. If it didn’t, I’d just walk down to the next bar and see what my choices were.

The female bartender came over and gave me a big smile. “What are ya having?”

“I don’t know yet,” I replied with a laugh. “You’re kind of blocking most of the selections.”

Her face turned red in embarrassment as she slid out of the way. I leaned forward a little and finally decided on a Shock Top Raspberry Wheat.

“I’m Mary Ann,” she said, as she began to wipe the bar top. “The menus are over there. Let me know when you’re ready for some grub.”

“This place usually pick up?” I asked, as I turned the two sided piece of plastic over. The choices were what you would expect in a dive bar. Limited and two kinds of meat; chicken or beef.

“Pick up?” she asked, leaning back against the booze shelf behind her. “Yeah. As soon as the sun goes down, the regulars come in. Can’t say it’s as busy as the other places, but it’s nice in here.”

I placed the menu down, crossed my arms on the bar, and leaned forward. I liked Mary Ann and if I didn’t find a gal to bring home tonight, I wouldn’t mind bringing her with me. Her hair reminded of gold would like if it was soft. Her eyes were slight and I couldn’t quite make out the color, but she was nice enough and she made me smile.

“What would you recommend?” I asked with a grin.

“Recommend?” she echoed. My grin widened when she blinked in confusion. Ricki once told me that my grin, smile, whatever my mouth decided to do, always knocked women on their asses.

“To eat,” I clarified with a finger tap on the dull plastic.

“Folks usually go with the burger for the most part,” she replied with a shrug.

“Sounds good to me.” I slid the menu back toward her as she pulled out a flip pad. “Bacon, lettuce, pepper jack cheese, well done.”

“Fries?” she asked, glancing up at me.

“No thank you.”

“I’ll go put this in for you,” she said with a nod.

“Swing.”

“What?” she asked looking at me.

“’I’ll put this in for you, Swing,’” I said raising my beer bottle to my lips.

I laughed into the neck of the bottle as she walked away shaking her head. If I was going to take her with me, she might as well know my name, was my feeling on the subject. Hell, even if I didn’t end up taking her home, I still thought she was nice enough.

My phone ringing in my pocket interrupted my thoughts and I sighed as I dug around for it.

“Yes, Dad?” I asked into the speaker. I didn’t even have to look anymore these days to know it was Dallas.

Laughter was his response. It was good that he still had a sense of humor with all of the shit that was going down.

“How you doing, man?” he asked after a moment.

“I’m alright. Out getting a burger and a beer,” I replied. I picked up the bottle, chugged the remainder of the beer, and held it up. Mary Ann was on her way back from the kitchen so she nodded and took it from me, replacing it with another. “Thanks, darlin’,” I said to her.

“How long have you been out today? Sounds like you’re already on the hunt,” Dallas remarked.

“Well, Dad, I actually just got here a little while ago,” I replied.

“Cut that ‘Dad’ shit out. It’s creepy,” he said. There was a pause as I heard him flick his lighter on.
Inhale, exhale.
“Listen, the reason I’m calling is because I think we have to move you again.”

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