Chapter Thirty Three
“Right.” I release the parking brake pushing the gas to the floor, clumps of dirt spit up behind the pick-up. The short ride is spent in silence. When I pull up to the hotel, she hurries out of the door before I even get a chance to say anything.
“Do you have some sort of law against letting people sleep?” He muttered as he gained his bearings and stood up.
“Something like that.” I laugh, “Cassie needs her pick-up. She’s at the hotel east of us. Make sure you get it to her.”
“Yeah, yeah. Fuck off.” Caden shakes his head as he climbs back under the comforter.
The pounding in my head is a telltale sign of my lack of sleep. So I go back down to the bar and take a couple of swigs from the whiskey bottle, and head to my room. Hoping the drink will take the edge off enough to help me sleep.
Incessant ringing coming from my nightstand tears me from my short-lived sleep. I fumble to find the silence button on it. But the call ends before I succeed. I open my left eye to peek at the screen to see nearly fifteen missed calls from Carter and Caden. My stomach instantly twisted into knots. I quickly tap Caden’s recent call and wait impatiently for him to answer.
“Wow. Fuck if anyone else sleeps, but princess Ghost here gets all the sleep he wants!” Cade spits out.
“Call me just to let me know I’m your princess?” I joke, stifling a laugh.
“Nope, you better get to the hotel. Not looking good.” Cade sighs, and I can already picture him shaking his head with a hand in the air.
“Could have led with that!” I holler, instantly knowing somethings wrong with Cassie. I jump upright out of bed and stumble down the stairs trying to shove my boots on in the process. The bar is humming with business as usual. I scan the crowd finding Slayer in the mix, I wave him over, and he meets me at the bottom of the steps.
“Can you track Cassie’s necklace again?” I huff out in between breaths. I need to quit fucking smoking.
“Follow me.” Slayer shakes his head, the expression on his face practically screaming, I pity you.
“Did the Rippers call you?”
“Nope, why?” He narrows his eyes on me.
“Not sure what’s going on yet. They just told me to meet them at the hotel.” I pause for a minute, chewing over the words I'm going to say next, “They said it doesn’t look good. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but why would they call me if Cassie is okay with them?”
“Trouble sure follows that girl anywhere she goes.”
“No shit.” I let out a long breath I didn’t know I was holding. “Anything yet?”
“Hmm. Not finding any signal, she might just be in a shitty area. I’ll keep at it and let you know what I find. You better get over there.”
“Guys!” I bellowed through the bar. Half of them are already pulling their leathers on. One of the Rippers must have called one of them.
“We know!” They all yell back.
Sharp and Bitz are the first ones out of the door, with Chap quick on their heels. I stay frozen for a minute watching everyone tear off through the door. How can this possibly be happening? Again!
I speed up around everyone just in front of Sharp and Bitz, taking the lead down the highway to the hotel. I fly into the parking lot, my backend sliding out behind me as I hit the brakes, sending a mixture of rocks and dust across the lot, “Where is she? What’s going on?” I ask her brothers as I kick my stand down and climb off.
“Just come look for yourself,” Carter answers me first.
“So we came to drop the pick-up off like you so kindly ordered, but when we got here, the lot was empty. Got here around what, like nine?” Caden looks at Carter, who gives a quick nod in agreement. “Wasn’t long after you got back to the clubhouse. But the weird thing was, all the damn debris.” Caden points to all the broken glass splaying across the lot.
“And?” I huff, “Get to the point, guys.” My heart is thundering so hard against my rib cage it may just beat out of my chest.
“That’s what I’m doing.” Caden rolls his eyes as he darts inside the hotel lobby.
“Show him the tape,” Carter orders the lady I paid off last night.
I lean over the counter to get a better look at the small screen in front of me. A few seconds later, the parking lot is littered with black SUVs.
“What the hell?” I turn to Cassie’s brothers, “I thought we got them all?”
“I’ve never seen these guys before. Maybe another chapter of theirs?” Carter says.
“That. Right there,” Caden points to the guy Cassie was with last night, “that’s Haven. Fresno’s son.”
“No. That’s Rider. He told Cassie he’s new to our southern chapter.” I shake my head in disbelief. This cannot be happening.
“I know for a fact. That’s Haven.” He points to the screen again.
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me! He was at the wake last night! How did no one fucking notice him?” My voice thunders through the lobby, the poor receptionist flinching at the sudden outburst, and I raise my hand, apologizing to her.
“I didn’t notice him.” Her brothers say simultaneously. A few others muttered the exact words.
“This is unbelievable!” I throw my hands up. I can’t even believe this shit. I take my phone out of my pocket and find Slayer in my texts - “Find anything yet?”
“Still working on it. The last ping was about thirty miles north of you guys.”
I turn to the lobby filled with bikers and catch them up on our conversation. We’re out the door and on our bikes in seconds.
“That’s one of the safe houses!” Sharp barely audibly calls over the rumble of the bikes.
If this is the one I’m thinking of, it’s not heavily guarded. And with close to all of the Saints dead, I can’t imagine they recovered the numbers quick enough to replace all the security.
It’s empty when we pull up. It doesn't look like anyone's been here since we blew through it. I reach for my phone again and see the missed call from Slayer just as I’m about to call him.
“What you got?” I spit out as soon as he answers.
“Still showing the same location, so look for her necklace. They might have figured it out and ditched it.” I end the call and order the guys to start looking. The field surrounding the run-down house is overgrown. This could take more time than I’m willing to lose.
We spend nearly an hour looking for it before I call Slayer again, “Think you can pinpoint it any better? Can you ping me or something and see how close I am?”
“Let me try. I didn’t even think of that.”
“Found it! Damn it!” I yell, picking the necklace up and stuffing it in my pocket. “There goes our only fucking lead.”
“We’ll find her. We always do.” Bitz says in an attempt to reassure me. Which, yeah, sure, we may find her, but she’s never the same after a run-in with these scumbags. The person we find may look like Cassie, but she might be completely different.
“Let’s go home, boys. Need to think up a plan, make some calls.” Sharp barks the order, and the club is quick to obey his word. The amount of respect this guy has earned is something I can only dream of earning.
I hop in the shower, trying to scrub the last twenty-four hours from my body. I still feel disgusting for what I did, which inevitably led to Cassie disappearing once again. I hear faint knocking at my door over the running water cutting my shower short. I wrap the towel around my waist before opening the door.
“Can we talk?” Sharp barges right in through the door.
“Uh, I guess?” I quickly glance down at the towel, “Give me a minute.” I grab the white t-shirt and sweatpants I have lying across the bed and duck back into the bathroom, “So, what’s up?” I mutter, running the towel over my hair as I come back out.
“As you know, this place has always been run by the family, so it’s up to Cassie or one of the Rippers to step into the Presidential position. Neither of the brothers wants the responsibility. So since Cassie is the only other option left, we thought you should hold her place until we get her back.” He rambles out in one breath, knowing I’ll be against it.
“Yeah, I don’t know about that. Cassie and I aren’t on solid ground right now.” I lean back against the wall, staring at the floor. Hell, we’re hardly ever on solid ground—all in thanks to me.
“That doesn’t matter, and you know it. Whatever you two got going on will pass, always does.” He shook his head, “You two just can’t learn to compromise and work shit out before walking away.” He runs his hand through his beard down to his chest, “You’ll figure it out. But for now, someone has to step up. You’re probably the best fit right now, considering you weren’t as close with Hawk as the rest of us.”
“I don’t know how fitting I’ll be with Cassie gone.” I sigh. It’s the truth. I’m never the same without her. I’m always too consumed by guilt that I just end up a drunken waste of space. I can’t imagine this time will be any different.
“You’ll do just fine, boy. We’ll help ya.”
“I’ll give it a shot. Not making any promises.” I cross my arms to my chest.
“Works for me. First order of business, find Cassie.” Sharp starts for the door but pauses just in front of me. “Let’s go.” His hand grips my shoulder, pulling me along, not giving me the option to argue.