16. A Deal With A Traitor
"You'll be okay by yourself?” I asked Vanessa, quickly glancing at my daughter before returning my gaze to hers.
The both of them were in my room, watching what ever came up on the TV late afternoon. I didn’t have my laptop around, and neither did Vanessa, to bring up some of Leilani’s favourite shows. Speaking of, she seemed to be heading in a cookie coma as she was leaning against Vanessa’s arms, her eyes half closed as she watched the screen. Vanessa, however, was wide awake, looking at me with questions I couldn’t answer.
“Yeah, we’ll be fine,” she answered, turning to Leilani before turning to me with a deeper frown. “Where are you going?”
“Nowhere,” I said, jabbing a thumb over my shoulder. “I’ve got Church.”
She raised her brows. “Church?”
I smirked, remembering she didn’t understand club lingo. “A club meeting.”
“Oh,” Vanessa said, staring at me with an indescribable look. I raised my brows, silently urging her to continue with whatever questions she had, even though I couldn’t tell the full truth. That was how it was with the MC. Since the club was filled with men, and women were allowed to prospect, we kept things away from our wives and girlfriends for their protection. All the old ladies seemed to understand and accept this part of being associated with The Angel’s Demons but Vanessa wanted to push more. I made a note to let her know some of the club rules and to understand that this was our way of living. “Is everything okay?”
Cocking my head to the side, I frowned at said. “Everything is fine. Why?”
She shook her head and shrugged. “Nothing, I just hope everything is okay…”
Smiling, I pushed myself off the threshold of the door and walked into my room. Leilani’s eyes were glued to the TV but Vanessa’s eyes were on me. Leaning down, I kissed her and she kissed back eagerly. When I pulled away, her eyes were open and I kissed the tip of her nose.
“Everything is fine, Bambi. All you need to know is Marcus’ death will not be in vain.”
“Okay,” she whispered, turning her eyes to the screen. I watched Leilani again to see her own eyes on me. She had a cute little furrow to her brows, like as if she was trying to ask me her own questions.
Turning my smile to her, I leaned forward and pressed my lips against her forehead. “I’ll be back. You’ll be good to Vanessa?”
Her eyes were on my lips, trying to read my words, and once she got all the information she needed, she nodded. I kissed the crown of her head, kissed Vanessa’s temple, before heading out the door.
The clubhouse was more silent than usual because the guys were at Muerte’s office and other than Leilani, the kids weren’t around this time of day. Walking through the halls, my heavy boots thudded against the floor but it was drowned by the low hum of the guys the closer I was to Muerte’s office. With two taps to the door, I walked in, nodding at everyone before taking my seat of one of the chairs. Muerte hit the gavel, commanding us all into silence. Arms folded and leaning back on my chair, I waited for whatever he had to say.
It didn’t take long for him to have a dig at me.
“It’s good to have you at Church this time around, Don,” Muerte said but I ignored him. All the guys were used to this dynamic between us, knowing very well the main reason I went nomad was because we couldn’t see eye to eye. “This meeting isn’t gonna be the same like other meetings. It goes against every rule we’d built in the club but it is important. For Marcus’ sake, we’ve gotta be lenient for the next couple of months.”
“What do you mean?” Buddy asked, lighting a cigarette before passing the lighter to Goliath. Goliath did the same, offered a cigarette to me but I turned it down.
Muerte sighed. “Adam Knox is gonna be a part of the meeting.”
As if a hurricane hit out of nowhere; protests erupted in the room. Muerte held his hand up and kept it there until the room fell silent once more. Well, not before someone murmured ‘fucking traitor’. A few of use laughed at that.
“Like I said, I know this is unusual but if we want to take down The Serpents, we’ve gotta have enough self-awareness to know we can’t do this alone.”
“So he’s coming here?” Tennessee asked in what seemed to be disbelief. I wasn’t sure with the scowl evident all over his face.
“No,” Muerte responded, lifting his phone. “We’re gonna call him right now.”
Dialling Knox’s number, he tossed his phone to the middle of the table and we all waited in silence. Folding my arms, I leaned forward, resting my elbows on the table while waiting for the other line to connect. After a couple more rings, he answered the call.
“It’s me,” Muerte said as a way of greeting. He didn’t beat around the bush. “On our end, my boy Crey has agreed to go under cover. Don said you’re able to help. Although, it’s pretty clear you need our help when your boys can’t cross the line of the law.”
A few seconds of silence went by before Knox responded. “We have a location, somewhere a little outside of the perimeter of Miami. Crey will work closely with us to get the information we need to take them down.”
“That ain’t how it works,” Muerte shot back with frustration. “Crey will work closely with you. What are the details because you’ve got your own men you need to protect and I need to protect mine.”
Silence filled the air. It took so long for him to respond that at first, I thought he ended the call. Finally, a sigh sounded through the other end of the line. “Initiation is fucked up. I don’t know if you want to do this considering your stance on women.”
Knox didn’t have to explain further. Judging from my knowledge and the expression of others, more so the horror on Crey’s face, this mission wasn’t going to be easy. Rubbing a hand over my face, I pinched the bridge of my nose and sighed. We weren’t even on the first step and already shit got difficult.
“Is that all?” Muerte said and my eyes shot open at his lack of surprise.
“According to my source, that’s just phase one.”
“It could’ve been anything else,” Crey said, disgust splayed across his face. “A drive by, burglary… anything but fucking rape!”
“To even get to the initiation process, it would take months,” Knox interceded the second Crey stopped talking. “The serpents don’t allow any and everybody to enter the gang. It’s kinda like prospecting but… worse.”
“There is a difference between prospecting and initiation; don’t compare them to use,” Tennessee added in. For a long moment, a beat of silence passed between us. When nobody wanted to say anything, I decided to speak up.
“There’s got to be another way,” I chimed and turned my eyes to Crey. “Maybe we could have you be a supplier, build their trust enough that somehow, you could be on the inside. Get close to the leader, be friends with him, crack open a couple bottles of beer and if you have to, fuck the same woman.”
His eyes hardened at my last suggestion and I shrugged.
“How does one get onto the Serpents radar as a supplier,” Goliath asked. “Where do we even start?”
“We go to them,” I answered with a shrug. “Offer them something that they didn’t know they want or needed. Something that is too difficult to say no to.”
“And what is that? Auto theft?” Buddy snorted in a joking manner. However, we all looked at him as if he’d solved Einstein’s equation. “What?”
“Man, sometimes, you say the dumbest shit but this one sounds brilliant,” Goliath said, scanning the room. “I think we’ve got a plan.”
“Where do we start?” I asked, lifting my gaze from the phone to Crey’s. “I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t want some shit car. They’d want to go high, something only the elite can afford. How are we gonna steal a car with that much security?”
As I asked my question, I searched around the room one last time. All the guys looked pensive, trying to figure out the next step from that. Suddenly, Knox’s voice reverberated through the room, almost as if he’d just had some sort of light bulb moment.
“McKenna…” Knox said but all of our responses were delayed.
“You mean shorty at the garage?” Goliath asked in surprise. I was surprised too. Frowning, I leaned back in my chair, literally contemplating the woman who works for me. There was so much more I didn’t know about her. She was more badass that I first thought.
“She’s one of the best,” Knox responded with a sigh. “She’s never been caught and knows how to get in and out without a single trace. Has stolen Lambos, Ferraris—”
“She can’t be that good if you know,” I said, cutting him off. “How the hell is she not in prison?”
“I know a guy who worked with her. He was undercover for a certain case and she found out later on. He promised McKenna immunity if she help and she took it. She wanted out.”
“But things didn’t end up great,” I murmured to myself but didn’t realise I said it loud enough for Knox to hear it from the other end of the line.
“Yeah, we’re still working on her situation making sure she’s safe. But know this, if she is involved, it will be high profile and put those who want her on their radar. If you do decide to have her a part of your ‘mission’, she’s gonna have to leave Miami. It wouldn’t be safe for her to stay.”
I looked at Muerte and so did the rest of the guys, waiting for his call. As if hearing our silent question, he nodded. “We understand the risks.”
“Good, now you just have to try and convince her to be a part of it,”
“Guess you’re not so good after all,” I murmured, smirking before continuing. “No matter how much you try to hide behind that badge, you still got the club in you.”
“Don,” Knox said and I waited for his response. “Fuck off.”
“We’ll, speak again,” Muerte said, leaning forward to end the call. “We’ve got a plan, boys. Now, it’s a waiting game.”
Muerte hit the gavel, dismissing us all. It took most of the guys to start heading out the door. Some diverted to other conversations that I wasn’t interested to hear. Unfortunately, I can’t cancel out whatever they had to say.
“I was starting to like her,” this came from Tennessee.
“Dude, you just wanted to get in her pants,” came from another club member – Marco.
“Don’t worry, man, you might still be able to have your shot with her if she doesn’t agree,”
“It’s damn near impossible when she doesn’t pay attention to anything else but cars!”
“Shut up the both of you,” Goliath intervened and shoved both guys out the door. They didn’t listen; they continued to bicker. Rolling my eyes at their muffled voices, I stood from the chair and headed in Muerte’s direction.
“We need to talk,” I whispered, low enough so only he could hear. His brow lifted in surprise. Before he could respond, someone, Buddy from the sounds of it, called from behind.
“Muerte, we’ve gotta go,”
“We’ll talk later,” he said, patting my shoulder before walking around me. I stared at the spot he left, reached into the pocket inside my cut to pull of his letter. I was going to return it to him and while doing that, I was going to confront him.
“When,” I said, quickly turning before he left the room.
“Later, Don,” he said but before I could say anything else, he was out the door.
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