Loco’s POV (Long Beach Sons Master-At-Arms)
The President said go, and we went. I took the keys for the two black Chevy Suburbans off the board by the office door; they were the only four-wheel-drive vehicle we had. I grabbed a couple of Prospects who showed promise, and seven patched members I trusted. “No cuts, no phones. Pack for a few days. Bring anything you have that is warm, including a sleeping bag. Get pistols, and I’ll get rifles from the Armory. We’re heading to Minnesota.”
“Minnesota? Shit, Loco, that’s brutal fucking cold up there,” Hawk said.
“Quit bitching. We’re out the gate in fifteen.” I wasn’t kidding, either; Reaper was still zipping up his bag as I had the Prospect put it in gear. He jumped in as the gate was opening, while I was in the passenger seat glaring at him. The second Suburban was right behind us. I looked at the clock, it was just after two in the morning. “Get sleep while you can. We’re driving straight through, shifting drivers each tank. Fold the seats down and get out your sleeping bags.”
They settled down by the time we hit the freeway. Even in the middle of the night, we ran into traffic slowdowns, but we got out of town. The dash navigation system had our travel route displayed on Google Maps. It was a long drive; thirty-two hours through Las Vegas, up to Utah and Colorado, then picking up I-80 in Nebraska into Iowa before taking I-35 north through Minneapolis. With minimal stops and traffic, we should make it there by early tomorrow afternoon. I used my phone to pull up the weather forecast for Minnesota, and I cursed my luck. A major blizzard was dropping out of Canada, bringing high winds and zero visibility. It would hit about the time we did. I turned my phone off, putting it in my bag. Until we returned to Los Angeles, I wouldn’t use it again. With the Feds after our Club, we had to be careful about cell phone use. “I hope you packed warm,” I said to Vincente as he drove. “Big winter storm is going to hit about the time we get there. Forecast in two days is twenty below zero.”
“That’s fucked up, man. My cousins work in Iowa, and I get cold just hearing them talk about the weather. I’ll stay in California.” He looked over at me. “The warmest thing I own is a sweater.”
“We’ll stop at a Wal-Mart or something, grab some clothes if we have time,” I said.
“What are we doing?”
I just shook my head as I looked out the window. “I’ll brief you when we get there.”
The drive sucked, and we beat the storm to Duluth by about two hours. We took thirty minutes at Walmart, buying the warmest snowmobile suits, gloves, and boots we could find. We made it to Two Harbors just as the flakes started to fly. “What’s the plan,” Hawk asked as we ate the crappy Taco Bell food we’d gotten at the drive-thru.
I pulled up the map on the navigation system, setting Rori King’s home as the destination. “The storm is going to be here any minute. We need to find a place to hide out, somewhere close to this house.”
“There should be lots of homes up here that are empty,” Chrome said. “Smart people are down south now.”
“And those people will have their homes winterized, and alarm systems will be on. No, we need to find someone who is home and take over.”
We passed the entrance road that led to Rori’s house, turning in at the next left. The street wound between lakefront homes and the less-expensive ones across the street. I waved for the other Suburban to stop, and drove down and back looking for the right place. I saw an old dude working out in his garage with the door open, and had the Prospect pull into his driveway. He stopped and looked at us as we parked, and I hopped out and smiled. “Say, I’m looking for the Andersons,” I said as I walked around to him.
He looked at me for a minute, then pointed a few doors down and across the street. “They went south, they won’t be…” and he never got a chance to finish as my pistol smacked into the side of his skull. He dropped like a sack of beans into the snowdrift by the garage door. I waved to the other guys and walked into the open garage, dragging the old man behind me. Hawk and Reaper jumped out and joined me as I went into the home through the door.
His wife was in the kitchen, and she dropped the bowl she was washing when she saw us entering with our guns drawn. “Don’t make a noise,” I said. “Is anyone else home?” She shook her head, no. “Are you sure? I’ll kill both of you if you are lying.”
Her eyes got wide as her husband was carried in, and she started to cry. “It’s just Henry and me; the grandkids won’t be here until next week,” she said. “Please, don’t hurt us.”
“Do what we tell you, and you’ll be fine. Check it out, boys.” I had them put the man on the couch, and let her sit with him. A few minutes later, the guys were back. “Nothing, boss,” Hawk said.
“Any place down there we can hold them,” I asked. “We might need them.” It would be good to have them available in case a neighbor came over, or there was a phone call. We might be here for a while.
“There’s a storage room down there, no windows. We can take the mattress from the spare bedroom, lock them in.”
I walked over to the retired couple; she was shaking, and he was groggy. “These men are going to take you down and lock you up. Don’t resist them, don’t try to escape, and don’t try to contact anyone. If you do, you are both dead. Do you understand me?” They just nodded. “Good.” I helped the man to his feet, and Hawk led him down. I called the Prospect over. “Grab a first aid kit and clean up his head, and leave them some Tylenol.” He nodded and left.
I made sure the Suburbans were parked, our stuff was inside, and the house closed up before calling everyone together in the living room. The house had a huge bay window looking out over the frozen lake. “Our target is over there,” I said as I pointed to the big house on the point. It was barely visible through the snow that was starting to come down faster. “Chase Nygaard and Rori King live there,” I said.
“The Brotherhood is up here?”
“Those two are. Our President thinks they were the ones who took Harleigh Ryder from the hospital. She’s our target; she’s the last of the Ryder family, and you know what happens to a traitor’s family. They all have to die.” The guys nodded; they knew how much the Club had lost already trying to get her. “I’d like to have fun with her before killing her, but no matter what, the bitch is dead. If she isn’t at the house, we grab Rori or the babies. Harleigh isn’t blood; he’ll give her up to get his family back.”
“Let’s go,” Chrome said.
“We wait,” I said. “Manilo sent some people here, and they didn’t come back. Chase has enough money to have good security, and he had a bodyguard in Orlando. We wait until late tonight when the storm hides us, and the police are too busy to respond.”
“How? Nothing will be moving!”
“It’s a half a mile. There are two ATV’s out in the garage. We can drive over, snatch her and disappear into the storm. Now, let’s check the news and weather, and get something to eat. Prospects, see what’s available in the kitchen.”
There was a television in the living room, and Reaper found the remote. The local weather was wall-to-wall storm coverage, with cameras showing empty roads and the State Patrol telling everyone to stay inside. I wanted to call in, but I knew I couldn’t. My instructions were clear; get Harleigh, and bring her back.
I went to the fridge and grabbed a beer. It was already getting dark, and it was only four in the afternoon. I made sure we got a rotation going to watch our prisoners, and the Prospects were starting to cook dinner. We found Netflix on their cable and put on a movie as we all sat around.
Waiting was the worst part.
Chase Nygaard’s POV
Arrowhead Pack House
I looked over at my mate as my Mom walked out with her new boyfriend. “What the hell is going on in my life,” I said as I shook my head.
“They aren’t the only ones with a problematic relationship.” She paused as someone sent her a mental message. “I need to go feed the babies.”
“I need to check our other human. Spider Monkey and Vic hit it off as soon as they met, and we have work to do if we're going to stay out of jail. I’ll bring your parents back; we should tell them our news.” I gave her a deep kiss before we parted, then went down to the tunnels to head over to the clinic. I walked in to find Spider Monkey sitting on a chair with her laptop out as Beta Teri, our resident computer expert, looked over her shoulder. Vic was watching football on the small television in the corner. “How are you feeling, Vic?”
“Pretty good, Chase. My nurse is a big help in my recovery.”
“Possum has a good bedside manner.” I could smell she had been in here recently.
“Me, you idiot,” Spider said as she looked up from her screen. “He swears that my kisses are better than any pain pills. Now he grimaces and I have to go give him another smooch.”
I laughed a little as I checked his chart. He was doing well. “What are you two up to?”
“Covering our tracks,” Spider said. “I’m in the Caltrans system right now. Teri is helping me copy the traffic camera archives from three days ago over the archives from the last two days. I don’t want any traffic cameras showing us driving down or back. I’ve already done the same thing for the Los Angeles cameras.”
“Is there anything you can’t do, Spider?”
She thought about it for a moment. “Probably not. If I run into trouble, I can find a way, using Teri or my other friends.”
I finished my check of Vic and looked over at Teri. “Keep her out of trouble.”
She laughed. “Yeah, right. She’s a Steel Lady; she LIKES trouble. Why else would she show up with a hot guy and a bag of cash, and immediately need me to help her hide from the cops?”
“You have a point. Spider, you really should get over to the party, you’d like it.”
“I hear. Doc said he’d give Vic a sedative that would make him sleep deep in a few hours, and we’ll go over then. In the meantime, I need to keep the big guy in bed.”
Vic groaned a little. “And keep me out of pain,” he said with a smile.
She handed Teri her computer and went to sit on the bed, leaning over and kissing him passionately. “That help?”
“Always.” I smiled and walked out of the room, heading to the office where Doc was talking with Rori’s Mom, Possum. “Doc, can you keep an eye on Vic for twenty minutes?”
“Sure.” He got up and left me with Possum.
“Mom, Rori and I need to talk with you and Roadkill for a few minutes. She’s feeding the babies over in the Pack nursery.” She smiled, and we went down to the tunnel to head back to the Pack House.
When we walked into the nursery, Rori was nursing Cheryl while her stepfather was giving Mark his bottle. I kissed her, then took Cheryl and burped her. “Mom, Dad, we have news,” Rori said. “I’m pregnant.”
Mom squealed in happiness and rushed over to hug her adopted daughter, while Roadkill just smiled broadly. “Congratulations, baby,” she told her. “I can’t believe you got pregnant while still nursing!”
“I’m highly fertile, apparently,” she said as she returned the hug. “We just found out this morning; it’s still early. We are due around Labor Day.”
“You poor girl, pregnant all summer,” Dad said. “Do we know if it’s just one this time?”
“Still too early, honey,” Mom answered. “In a month or so, we can do an ultrasound and find out. I can’t believe I’ll have another baby to love!”
“You’re the first to find out,” I told them. “We’ll tell Mom and Coral when she comes back to the Pack House. The rest of the Pack will find out tomorrow.”
“What a great Christmas present,” Mom said. “This is so exciting!”
“Thanks, Mom,” Rori said.
Cheryl picked that moment to scrunch up her face and let loose a diaper-straining poo. Rori just laughed at me and pointed at the changing table.