20. Dead Or Alive?
Vanessa stared at me, wide eyed and scared at my revelation. I could hear her breathing deepening, an audible manifestation of her worry, and she blinked her gaze away. I didn’t say anything. Instead, I took another sip of my beer and placed it between us. I continued to watch her, to see what she’d do.
Vanessa didn’t disappoint. With lightning speed, she grabbed the neck of the bottle and took a large swig.
“What—” she started in a hoarse voice. She cleared her throat. “What happened?”
“A question we all want answers for,” I said dryly and pursed my lips. “Last night, I got a call from Adam Knox. You remember him?”
“Yesterday, they were supposed to meet up and debrief with the situation going on with the club. Only, Crey never showed up. Actually, he never really answered his calls or his messages…”
‘He never answered my calls or my messages’ were the exact words Knox relayed to me. ‘Don, something bad happened. I know it in my gut.’ I didn’t remember his next words after that. My thoughts had travelled to the worse place imaginable. If Crey was dead, I hoped—no I prayed—it was swift. But knowing how the Serpents were, another part in my mind had doubt.
“Do you think he’s dead?” She whispered, her dark solemn eyes flickering to me.
“I don’t know,” I replied. Slowly, I shook my head as if I almost didn’t want to believe it. “I won’t give up until I find him. Even if it means I have to find his corpse.”
Vanessa didn’t say anything. She watched me with sympathetic eyes. Sending a tight smile, I reached forward and grabbed my bear. For a split second, I avoided her gaze while downing what was left in the bottle. As I took the last drop, my phone rang.
“Yeah,” I answered. Vanessa continued to watch me, her eyes unflinching. Her shoulders were tense. From the tight clasp of her hands, I knew she was waiting for an answer. A good answer? I wasn’t sure.
“We found him,” Goliath’s voice echoed through the speakers. At this, I shot to my feet, unintentionally knocking over the chair behind me.
Vanessa stared at me with wide, startled eyes, pleading for an answer.
Rubbing one hand down my face, I sucked in a breath and asked. “Dead or alive?”
“Alive,” he answered. I breathed a sigh of relief but stalled at his next words. “But barely.”
“Where you at?”
“I’m driving towards the hospital. I’ll text you the address,”
“I’ll be there,” I said and ended the call. It didn’t take long for the text to come through. I glanced at Vanessa as she stood to her feet. I pointed at the chair she vacated. “Stay here.”
“I said no!” she fired back. Dropping my arm, I gave her room to explain herself. “Honey must be going out of her mind. While you men go ape-shit and figure out how this all happens, she’s gonna need somebody. I can be there for her.”
Clenching my jaw, I leaned forward and grabbed the keys to my bike. “Alright. Let’s go.”
I pulled up to one of the hospital parking spaces. I turned off the engine and Vanessa’s tight hold loosened. She was off the bike before I got a chance to take off my helmet. She waited impatiently as I took her helmet. Climbing off my bike, I secured it and turned to Vanessa.
“Come on,” I said and took her hand in mine. Together, we walked to the front entrance. I was vigilante of my surroundings; I made sure to park where my bike could be seen by most. So if shit went wrong, I had witnesses. Plus, it was positioned in a way where I could see everyone coming in and out of the parking lot.
While scanning the area, I recognised Knox’s police cruiser. I fought off the anger flaring inside me but I didn’t realise I fisting my hands – more so, Vanessa’s.
“Don,” she whispered and I looked down to see her wincing in pain. Immediately, I released my grip.
“Sorry,” I murmured, bringing her hand to my lips. She smiled as we stepped into the building.
Everyone was there; the guys, the old ladies and even some of the children. Honey and her kids were surrounded by the club. Buddy held her as she cried silently, almost seemingly not wanting to disturb other visitors who were waiting in the room. Her face was buried into his chest and she clung to the edges of his cut. Her boys— Trevor and Michael—nodded at whatever Goliath was saying. The second Vanessa and I stepped into the room, all eyes turned to us.
“Don,” Knox said, the first to head my way. “We need to talk.”
“What the fuck, nigga?” I growled out, unable to rein my anger any longer. I pushed him so hard he was forced to stumble back. Grabbing his collar, I pulled him close to me until our noses barely touched.
“Don!” Vanessa yelled but I ignored her.
“How the fuck did this happen?”
“They figured out who he was,” Knox explained, gripping my wrists. Despite my threatening posture, he didn’t seem scared. Neither was I considering I was assaulting a police officer. I could get my ass in jail because of this but I didn’t care. Not until he gave me answers.
“You were supposed to protect him,” I whispered and pushed him again. “You were supposed to keep an eye out so shit like this doesn’t happen.”
“That ain’t how undercover works, brother,”
“I’m not your fucking brother!” I sneered, staring at Knox with so much disgust.
“Y’all shouting ain’t gonna make things better,” a voice—Tennessee’s judging by its drawl—called out. I was right when I turned to face him. Tennessee took a couple of steps forward. His eyes darted from me to Knox and then back to me again. “Have you seen Muerte?”
Blinking, I scanned the room. I recognised all faces of the club. All except for his. “He’s not here?”
“We’ve been trying to call him for hours but he’s MIA,”
Reaching for my phone, Vanessa skated past me and walked straight for Honey. She hugged Honey and both of her sons. Patricia joined the both of them, trying to be a part of the comfort to provide for Honey. Finding Muerte’s number in my contacts, I pressed call and held the phone to my ears. A minute later, it was still ringing. Frustrated, I cut the call and glanced at Tennessee. “Why isn’t he picking up?”
“I don’t know,”
Furrowing my brows, a thought crossed my mind. I looked at Tennessee. “You think they got him?”
Again, he shook his head. “I don’t know. I thought maybe he was with you.”
I called him again. After what felt like years, the call disconnected . I shook my head.
“He ain’t answering me,” I said, putting my phone away and looked at Tennessee. “What did the doctor say?”
His lips disappeared into a thin line. With a sigh, he plopped down next to me. I watched him, waiting for an answer. His silence wasn’t comforting.
“It’s not good, Don,” he said, and my heart seemed to beat harder, welcoming fear as its new companion. “All I know is that if he survives, it’d be a fucking miracle.”
Closing my eyes shut, I breathed deeply and leaned against the uncomfortable chair. “Where did you find him?”
At my question, Tennessee frowned and from the way his eyes shifted, he remembered something.
“I got a call from an unknown number. When nobody answered for the first few seconds, I was gonna hang up but then I heard his voice…” he said. I raised a brow questioningly and he continued. “…Crey’s voice. God, Don, he sounded… he didn’t sound good. And when we arrived— fuck! I thought he’d die there and then. Right in front of my fucking eyes. I called the ambulance. I had to. So far we’ve had no questions from the cops and I think Knox had something to do with that.”
“It’s alright, man, you did what you had to,” I responded and patted his back in reassurance. My brows furrowed as another question crossed my mind. “Did you manage to trace the call?”
“Untraceable,” he said so simply as if trying would be useless. “At first, I thought it was them but that wouldn’t make any sense.”
“What do you mean?”
“If they left him out there to die why would they call us? Why would they show mercy?”
I had no answer to his question. Instead, I added into a pile of others that were filling my well of curiosity and confusion to this entire mess.
Subscribe to my newsletter via my website www.deanafaye.com to catch the preview of the next chapter!