Chapter 1 - Hawk
Hawk’s bike crashed to the ground, but he didn’t give it a second thought as he tore across the wet grass and headed straight for the body lying on the cracked front steps. He dropped to the grass, easily ignoring the shouts from his club brothers that were now pulling up. Unlike him, his brothers took the time to shut down their Harley’s and kick down the stand before moving to form a protective barrier around him. He didn’t acknowledge them as he pulled the lifeless body to chest and roared out his pain. The men surrounding him bowed their heads and stood guard as he rocked with the body and broke down.
It had been a mere fifteen minutes since he had gotten the call from a neighbour, but it felt longer. Mrs. Roberts had been his neighbour since childhood, and after his parent’s death, she had kept a close eye on him and his brother. Hawk had stayed with his brother until he was old enough to fend for himself, and then he had left to join the marines. When his platoon was caught in a roadside bomb, and Hawk took a piece of shrapnel to the face, he got out. When he came home, the Devils Soldiers MC was the perfect place for him. He was scarred, he was angry, and he needed to be close to men that had gone through similar experiences as him. It turned out to be the best choice he’d ever made.
His brother had taken a completely different route. He understood Hawk’s choice, but had his mind set on being a cop, and for a good reason. A man entered a liquor store one day with a gun. He was strung out, and desperate to steal the money he needed to buy his next fix. The junky killed everyone inside, including the brother’s parents. Hawk had been eighteen and his younger brother Jeremy had been just sixteen. Jeremy sailed through the academy and was quickly hired onto the local force. But he hadn’t been happy doing regular police work. Jeremy needed a challenge. He chose to go undercover and join a team intent on taking down a local mob boss named Marshal Colton.
Marshal was a spoiled rich kid who had a shit ton of money and time on his hands. Instead of going to college and getting a decent job, he bought most of the businesses in town. Then he opened several sleazy strip clubs and dance clubs. The last straw was when he began selling drugs, and they caught wind he was selling to young girls. Jeremy was determined to do whatever was necessary to shut him down. He was hired on by Marshal as a fighter, something both brothers had trained in all their life, and was becoming a close trusted employee.
But something went terribly wrong, and somehow Marshal discovered that Jeremy was a cop. That was when Mrs. Roberts called him to relay a van had pulled up to the house and a body had been dumped on the lawn. Hawk shook himself out of his thoughts and pulled back slightly to stare at the still warm body of his brother. Blood covered his face, and his bare chest was riddled with bruises. It obvious to Hawk his brother had been badly beaten before he was shot in the head.
A heavy hand landed on Hawk’s shoulder. He ignored it. His brother was dead and he felt like someone had ripped his heart out. He wouldn’t show anymore weakness in front of his club, but he was breaking inside. His brother was the only blood family he had, and now he was gone.
“We need to get out of here,” Diesel, his club president and best friend growled. “Whoever dumped him could be back. We need to be gone before then.”
Hawk knew he was right. His brother had taken pains to make sure Hawk was left out of this. No one knew they were brothers. As soon as Jeremy started the undercover work, his department changed all its records so it appeared Hawk had died in the liquor store shooting with his parents. It would never do if they discovered Hawk now. He placed his arms under his brother’s back and legs, then pushed himself off the ground. He cradled his brother close to his chest, uncaring of the blood that was coating him.
His club brothers continued to surround him as he made his way to a waiting van. As soon as Hawk reached it the doors were thrown open, and strong hands helped him climb inside. He moved into the furthest corner and sat, refusing to release Jeremy. He wasn’t surprised when both Diesel and Wolf jumped in with him.
“Half the men will get our bikes back to the compound and clean out the house,” Diesel explained. “The rest will protect us and make sure we get back to the compound safely.”
Hawk didn’t even acknowledge his words. Both his mind and body were shutting down, and he knew from his time in the marine he should try to stop it. Unfortunately he didn’t care. He needed to shut down or he was going to lose it. If that happened his brother’s would have no choice but to contain him, and that wasn’t fucking happening.
“I want the man responsible for this,” Hawk growled.
“You’ll get him,” Diesel vowed. “Let’s get your brother sorted and make sure he’s given a proper burial first. You need time to sort yourself, then we’ll make plans.”
“I don’t need time,” Hawk growled in annoyance. “I need fucking vengeance. I’ll take tonight, but tomorrow I’m going after the fucker with or without your help.”
“You’ll have the entire club’s help,” Wolf promised. “But we do this smart and we do this together. We’re not fucking watching you go in with guns blazing only to get yourself killed. You shut us down, you know what will happen.”
Hawk raised his head and started at Diesel and Wolf. “You won’t fucking lock me up,” he growled.
“Then don’t even think about being an ass,” Diesel warned. “You’re in this club for a reason and you’re the fucking VP, the rest of the men will be watching you and taking your lead.”
Hawk ignored Diesel and dropped his head once more to his brothers chest. It made it clear he was done with the conversation.