36. It Will End in Blood
Answering the call, I put it on the loudspeaker and placed it at the centre of the table. At first, there was silence. Then a sound drifted through the speakers; it wasn’t the sound of breathing, more like the sound of air. Resting both hands at the corner of the table, I frowned at the phone before shifting my gaze to Knox. Arms folded, he shrugged, returning his eyes to the phone and we waited.
“Don,” Muerte’s deep voice echoed throughout the room. I didn’t respond straight away; my hands tightened into fists, and I gritted my teeth.
“Where is she?” I snapped.
I let out a humourless chuckle. “Like I’ll believe you. Put her on the phone,”
“Not before we talk,”
I didn’t look over my shoulder when the door swung open. From my outer vision, I saw Knox pressing a finger to his lips, waving the new visitors in. From their whispered voices, I recognised that they belonged to Tennessee and Goliath.
“What do you want?”
“I want you to back off?”
“And if I do, what’s next? Every man in this club knows what you did. You think you can come back, and everything will go back to normal?”
I was met with silence. Didn’t he think this through?
“You were the one to rat out Crey,” I continued, tired of his silence. Not expecting my accusation, Goliath’s and Tennessee’s eyes widened with surprise. They wanted answers but I held up my hand. “And I’m pretty sure you’re the one to kill Mateo. All I want to know is why?”
“I promise Vanessa will return to you unharmed. I don’t want to hurt the girl. Whatever accusations you have against me will be dealt with through my lawyer.”
Shaking my head, I straightened my posture and paced around the room. This fucker was ridiculous. Ridiculous but smart as giving a direct answer would incriminate him. But I knew, Knox knew, Vanessa knew, we all knew that Muerte was not only responsible for Mateo’s death but for the Davies as well.
The Angel’s Demons hadn’t been clean for long. This winter, it would be five years since we became law abiding citizens.
“Where are you?”
“She’s here, if you want to talk to her,”
“I swear to god, Muerte, if she is anywhere near those Serpents I’ll—”
“Don,” Vanessa’s voice whispered through the speakers. I stilled and changed my tone.
“Baby, are you okay?”
“Y-yeah, I’m fine,” she said with a shuddering breath. “I’m good, I… Don, I’m sorry—”
“This wasn’t your fault,” I interrupted her and continued. “Are you hurt?”
“No, I…” she paused and cleared her throat. “I haven’t seen anyone else other than Muerte, and he promised not to hurt me.”
His promises were worth shit. Besides, he said he didn’t want to hurt her but that doesn’t mean that he would. I knew if I took one wrong move, he’d hurt her. As much as I hated it, Muerte pulled the strings.
“Yeah, he said,” I said, twisting my lips. “Give him back the phone.”
There were some whispered and shuffled before I could hear his breathing at the other end of the line.
“Say we back off. What then?”
“Then I leave,”
“I’ll return to Mexico,” he said, saying ‘Mexico’ in Spanish instead of English.
“You’d rather abandon the club, your brothers, just like that?”
“There’s a difference between abandoning the club and being forced to. Do I gotta choice?”
“You can face the consequences of your actions,” I spat, seething. I tightened my grip on the table, damn near on the verge of throwing it across the room.
“The next time we meet it will end in blood,” Muerte said. “You know that. It doesn’t matter that we’ve gone clean, we are still the demons of our past. No amount of cleanliness can erase that part of us. Not even holy water.”
“I never killed a man in cold blood,” I responded. “But there’s always a first time.”
Understanding the meaning of my words, Muerte’s tone changed with his final words. “Goodbye, Don.”
He dropped the call. I straightened my posture, feeling eyes on me. Judgemental eyes. Two plus two equal’s Knox. I turned to him, unapologetic, and letting him know with my own eyes that I was serious with my intentions.
Muerte was right; it will end with only one of us breathing.
“You’re gonna kill him?”
“Don’t ask stupid questions,” I replied in annoyance. “You know how things are, Knox.”
“You never agreed with his proposition. We can arrest him. Not only would he charged for the murder, but he can get him on kidnapping too.”
“If your father was alive, he’d put the bullet in Muerte’s head himself,” I said, reminding Knox’s father and his friendship with Mateo. “He took the blood of a brother, his twin brother, a patched member. Our payment is in blood.”