Chase Nygaard’s POV
Outside Sons LA Building
Everyone but Joe and Vic jumped in the back, and before the door was down, I had the U-Haul moving. As we made the first turn and headed away from the Clubhouse and all the cops, I stole a look at Spider Monkey. “Anything showing up on the cameras yet?”
“No, none of the cops seem to have noticed. All streets clear.”
“I love it when a good plan comes together. Did you see all those bags the guys brought out? Holy freakin’ Hannah, there must be tens of millions, and we got in and out without a scratch!” I made another turn, making it to a 4-lane road. Our rally point was just a mile ahead.
Vic's mental send broke in. “Chase, I’m hit. Joe’s helping me to the car now. Someone came up behind us and put two into me.”
Oh FUCK! I knew I shouldn’t have said anything to jinx us. “I’m coming for you.”
“NO, you need to get everyone away from here before the cops show up. We’re almost there; we’ll meet you at the rally point we were at before we came here.”
He was right; we needed separation from the Law Enforcement convention that was happening at the Sons clubhouse.
“Oh shit,” Spider said. “Vic’s injured!” She was watching the cameras on the screen; I stole a glance to see him being helped down the street towards their car. “We have to go back.”
“We can’t. Joe’s with him, he’ll bring him to our staging point. I need you to focus on watching for any signs the police know about us.”
“We’re out of camera range,” she said with tears streaming down her face. “You have to help him!”
“I will. As soon as we get to the rally point, I’ll go. I’m a doctor, remember?” I wanted to run the red lights, but the last thing we needed was to get pulled over. Vic would have to apply pressure and hold on a few more minutes. “Sawyer, Carson, Vic has been shot.”
Sawyer replied. “We know, Joe is updating us. They’re a couple of blocks behind us. He has a through-and-through with arterial spray from his thigh, and he took one through the lungs. Joe said he’s coughing blood.”
Two major wounds; this wasn’t good. “There’s a drugstore about five blocks from the rally point. Pick a guy to walk back there and buy supplies. Rubbing alcohol, sterile pads and wrap, a shitload of paper towels, ammonia-based cleaner, blankets and garbage bags. Clear out a working space for me back there; I’ll operate on him out of sight.”
“On it. We brought some plastic sheeting and garbage bags with; we’ll put that down and make room.”
“Good. As soon as they pull in, get him into the back of the truck and on the plastic. I need my medical bag; it’s in the trunk of the rental car. Any guys with O-Negative blood?”
“Three,” he said after a few seconds.
“I’ll need blood from each; I’ll run the line straight down to him. I’ll need an assistant, Carson, unless there is someone more qualified than you.” As a Beta trainee, Carson had taken Emergency Medical Technician training in the ’80s.
“I’m it,” he said. I pulled into the lot and out of sight behind the buildings backing up to a concrete wall so no one could see in the back. “Stay here and monitor police radio,” I told Spider Monkey as I got out.
“I want to help,” she said as she took her belt off.
“Please stay here. We’ve got this.” She nodded as I got out and slammed the door. I went to the back, where the door was open and one of the guys was already jogging for the drugstore. Three more warriors were waiting for Joe’s car, which was just making the turn in. As soon as Joe stopped the car, the two picked up Vic from the passenger seat and carried him to the back. Carson and Sawyer pulled him in, placing him on the plastic sheeting where I was waiting. The belt wasn’t holding enough pressure on the wound; as soon as my medical bag was next to me, I put on gloves and pulled out the surgical tray. Tearing off the cover exposed a bunch of hemostats, retractors, sponges, scissors, and a scalpel. I took out a bottle of Betadine and made sure plenty of gloves were on top.
“Carson, his femoral artery has been hit, that’s first, or he’ll bleed out in a few more minutes. I want you to put bandages over the entry and exit of the chest wound.”
“On it.” The boys left in the truck trained their tactical flashlights on the wound as I removed the belt and cut away his jeans. I poured Betadine on his right thigh, then used the scalpel to extend the exit wound so I could get in there. Feeling inside, I found the artery and clamped above an below the tear with the hemostats. “Good news, it’s not ascended,” I said.
“Good. I saw that shit in Blackhawk Down; I don’t want to lose my breakfast.” Carson was finishing up. “What’s next?”
“Transfusion kit is on the near side by the blood bags. Get lines going and start feeding him blood.” He pulled out the tubing and needles, and the first volunteer already had his arm out. I pulled out a stitch kit, pre-threaded, and a small retractor. Widening the wound so I could see, I cleaned the edges of the damaged artery, then stitched it back together.
Carson had a transfusion line going by the time I was ready to release the clamps. “Hang an IV bag; he’s lost a lot of blood.” Carson pulled his gloves off and grabbed another bag, one of the men coming over to hold it. He moved to the other side, placing the needle in the back of his hand and taping it down. I released the downstream clamp, allowing the artery to backfill, then slowly released the clamp.
The stitches were holding.
“Carson, grab a stitch kit and close for me down here. Nothing fancy, just close up the wounds.”
“You got it.” He moved down and grabbed another stitch pack while I moved up to the chest. He’d been hit on the back right side of his chest with a pistol round, and there was no exit wound. “Roll him onto his stomach,” I said.
The guys picked him up and set him down again, and I cut his shirt away and doused it with Betadine. Cutting the skin and retracting the muscle, I could see his fifth rib shattered by the bullet. I reached in for a rib spreader, thankful that Pack doctors brought so many things needed for emergency surgeries. For us, you might not have a chance to go to a hospital if the patient was in wolf form. I placed it between the ribs and cranked it so I could see the chest cavity.
The bullet had flattened against the back rib, then ricocheted down and right until stopping by his ninth rib. Feeling around, I found and removed the bullet, then checked for fragments. I pulled out a few pieces of bone, but the 9mm round had stayed intact. I sewed up the lung and started the exit process just as Carson was changing to a third donor.
I left a chest tube in after reinflating his lung so I could catch any drainage as he healed. Once I had him stitched up, I sat back and relaxed a little. I cut off the rest of his clothing, then the guys carefully lifted him to a clean piece of plastic covered with paper towels. We cleaned the blood off him as best we could, then I taped six-by-six gauze pads to his chest and thigh. Finally, I wrapped his chest with gauze and his leg with an Ace bandage. A shot of a strong antibiotic, and I was done.
The guys had collected all the trash and bloodied items, rolling them up inside the plastic sheet before placing the whole thing in a garbage bag. I stood up, stretching my legs and back, and looked at my brothers. “We need to talk,” I said.
“Yeah,” Sawyer said. “But first, you need to talk to Spider Monkey. She’s freaking out.”
That figured. I walked up to the cab, where she was listening to the police radio and surfing the internet for news. I smiled as I got in, and I could see the relief in her body as she knew Vic was all right. “He’s going to make it,” she asked quietly.
“Yes. Vic’s badly injured, but stable. He was hit twice; one bullet went through his right lung, the other hit his femoral artery in his right thigh. I got him patched up the best I could, now we wait.” I reached over and took her hand; she was shaking.
“I almost lost him,” she said as she cried.
I pulled her into my side and held her as her emotions released. A minute later, she was better. “Spider, any news on the place we hit?”
“The news doesn’t know anything, but the cops found a tunnel between the Clubhouse and the warehouse we hit. Frame, most of them escaped. The dead and the arrested are all low-level guys; the leadership used them to hold the cops off until they were in the tunnel.”
Fuck. The cats were the leaders, and they escaped? I had to let the guys know. “Stay here; I need to talk to my brothers about what we do next.” She nodded and went back to her computer while I went out to our rental car. I told the guys about the tunnel and the missing leadership, and they were as pissed as I was. Whoever they sent first must have come out of the tunnel just after they left. “How are we doing here?”
“Cleanup is done. The guys got the blood out of your rental car. Thank Luna it had leather seats.”
The U-Haul had to be returned by Spider Monkey, and Vic had rented the car. I didn’t want to drive a U-Haul back home, and we still needed to deal with the jet Sawyer had brought down. “We need to get you guys out of here before the manhunt for the missing Sons takes off. Start shuttling your men to the airport; it will take three trips. Spider Monkey can drive you the last time and come back here.”
“That’s reasonable,” Sawyer said. “My pilot is Pack. He knows we’re coming and will have the jet ready. He’s in a hangar, so we can drive in and transfer people and luggage out of sight.”
“How much did we get from those bastards?”
“Fourteen big bags, all filled with fat stacks of cash,” Carson said. “They must have been preparing to ship it down to Mexico, and we caught them at a good time.”
I nodded. “I told Spider she’d get a full share, so you guys split seven between your Packs, and I’ll do the same with her.”
Sawyer just shook his head no. “That’s not fair. We flew down, hit a target, and left again. You, Spider and the Brotherhood did all the heavy lifting on this.”
Carson looked at me as they stood shoulder to shoulder. “We already decided. We’re each taking two bags for our Packs, and we’ll take care of the men who are here out of our end. The rest is yours; you divvy it up as you see fit. Just don't go driving through the ghetto tossing stacks of cash like on Breaking Bad.”
I tried to talk them out of it, but they had already decided and were stubborn about it. “Fine. Just be careful with how you let the cash out to your people. It’s easy to attract attention, and you don’t want to give the IRS a reason to look at your under a microscope.”
“We will.” Carson drove off with the first group; it took about forty minutes for them to return. In the meantime, one of the guys walked to McDonald’s and brought back breakfast for us. Carson took the second load, then finally it was just my brothers and Joe.
“Let me know how Vic is doing,” Joe asked. I could tell he felt guilty because he got hit while they were together.
“I will. Say hi to Mom for me,” I told Sawyer. Carson had it easy at our old Pack, while Sawyer was learning a new one. Our mother was shifting between the three Packs, making sure the new Lunas were getting up to speed quickly. She was spending another week at Sawyer’s before coming our way for Christmas; she didn’t want to miss her three Grandchildren over the holidays. “Try to talk her into staying, you know it’s dangerous for our Pack right now.”
Sawyer gave me his best Vito Corleone impersonation. “This I cannot do,” he said as I laughed. “You know Mom. If I tell her the babies are in danger, she’ll insist on going to protect them, and she’ll rope us into coming with her. It’s bad enough you’re taking six of my warriors to help out.” Carson just nodded, they’d had this conversation without me as well.
He was right. “Safe travels, my brothers.” We hugged again, and Spider went behind the wheel to drive them to the Long Beach airport. I went back inside the U-Haul, keeping an eye on Vic. He was running a slight fever, but that was normal for his injuries. His blood pressure was good, and his breathing was close to normal again. I hated to move him, but I couldn’t carry him into a hotel like this, and I needed to stay with him.
I heard Spider coming, and she parked next to the U-Haul then jumped out. “How is he? What are we doing now?”
“We need to move him into the backseat,” I said. “Then you drop off the U-haul, and I drive you home.”
“What about Vic?”
“He needs a few weeks to recover. I hate to drive all the way back to your home, but I don’t have a safe place any closer, and I want you out of the way. The shit is going to hit the fan after this raid.” I smiled at her as I opened the back door. “You did real good, Spider. I’ll drop you off and we’ll be out of your hair by sundown.”
“The FUCK you will,” she said as she opened the other back door. “Vic can heal up at my place; we can both watch over him.”
“I don’t want you involved more than you are,” I said.
“Too bad I don’t care what you want,” she retorted. “When we started this, I told you that I didn’t want money, but I did want something. You said if I asked, it was mine.”
Oh shit. I should have seen this coming. “And what do you want?”
“I want Vic in my bed, of course. Now load the bags in the back, we’re wasting time.” She was right again. Only six bags of cash fit in the trunk, so the rest and our luggage I put on the floor in the back seat. I picked up Vic and walked down the loading ramp with him; Spider helped me get him situated laying down across the back seat. We covered him and the bags with fleece throw blankets the guys had bought at the drugstore.
I put the truck’s ramp up and closed the door, verifying we hadn’t left anything incriminating behind. “I’ll follow you as you drop it off.”
“What do I say about why I’m bringing it back early? I told the woman I was moving to Madison with my boyfriend.”
“As little as possible. If it’s the same woman, tell her you found your boyfriend in bed with your best friend, and the move is over just like your relationship.”
She gave me a big hug. “Thank you for saving him,” she said.
“I’m glad I could help. Now let’s get going, morning traffic is a bitch around here.” She hopped in the truck, and I followed her back to the street. With luck, we’d be back at her place by dinnertime.
I drove more carefully than ever before; if I got pulled over, neither of us would ever get out of jail.