I have been in many situations in my life and I have always had a reaction; but at this moment there is nothing. I was always clear and ready for anything but being blindsided by this has me in shock. Briac shot Amara. She’s dead. My heart felt like it was ripped out, the pain numbing me, stopping me from talking or taking revenge. We may not have been together long but she owned my heart completely. The lightness she brought to my world was something I was becoming dependent on.
Everything around me felt loud yet quiet at the same time. It was all screaming to me about what just happened but I couldn’t focus on it. My failure to take her out of the city, to Esposito before this could even happen. Ignoring the rising tension in the club about her place beside me.
I needed her to breath, I needed her to live. I could feel memories of previous pain coming back, memories going back to that house. To that foster house with all that blood. I needed her to help pull me out of that blood to let me live. But if she isn’t here I don’t want to feel. But feeling the pain of her gone was the only thing I have left of her now. I would rather feel this pain then forget her.
I failed her.
My fingers went to their usual spot on my thigh to twitch on my blades but they weren’t there. Someone must have unstrapped them in fear that I would use them on Briac. And I will. He killed Amara. Riders of Silence don’t kill innocent people. He has gone too far and I will get justice for Amara. A spark of anger appeared in my ripped chest distracting myself from the pain.
Blinking I realize that I am in a passenger seat of a SUV. Hunter must have put me in here, leaving from the graveyard as he is driving. I have no idea how but I was so numbed, so frozen, that I must have let him lead me into the vehicle. That and I am guessing there were still brothers holding my arms to make me complying before I got out of my numbness and moved to snap their necks. Hunter tried talking to me but I just sat there wiping my face to get the blood off. Amara’s blood. The image of her body lying there reappeared. I wanted to go to her, to hold her body one last time but Hamlet wouldn’t let me get close, more brothers coming to hold me back as I cried out her name.
The warmth that I will never feel from her body made my body cold.
Soon enough I found myself walking into the clubhouse, still feeling frozen, hearing nothing but the silence to lead me. But the anger was slowly thawing me out, ready for me to strike. Our club looks after people, we fight people who dare tell us what to do yet Briac had bent down for the M8s? Hearing a whine, I look to see Bella running over to my feet whining and looking around for Amara.
That rising anger sparked into a consuming rage. They took her from me, my own brothers took my woman from me. I have always put them first. Always watched their back and they took my woman’s life in front of me. My body began to shake from the rage, red filling my eye sight as my breath became heavy needing retribution. I heard a bottle open and saw Briac pouring a bottle of whiskey. Next thing I knew I was grabbing his cut punching him in the face before people pulled me off.
“I PROMISED SHE WOULD BE SAFE. THAT SHE WOULD BE FINE AND YOU KILLED HER!!! SHE WAS GOOD, SHE WAS INNOCENT!!! I LOVED HER AND YOU PUT A BULLET IN HER BRAIN!!” I shouted fighting against brothers to get back to Briac whose nose was bleeding. But I didn’t care I needed to shed his blood. “I have done everything for this club and you kill the woman I love for that pathetic excuse of a club. They disrespected us and you bowed down. You are many things but I didn’t think weak was one till now.”
Briac held his nose as blood dripped down his face looking at me as he grabbed a bottle of whiskey, “my office now.”
Hunter pushed me forward as Hamlet, Briac and myself entered the office ignoring everyone else. Stepping into the room Hunter reached to grab a hold of my shoulder but I shoved him back into the wall, “I have always been there for you ever since we were children, I have always been in your corner. Were it being gunfights to dragging your battered body out of the fighting put to get your head out of your ass to be happy with Birdy and you help them kill Amara! You knew what she meant to me and you abduct her and let them put a bullet in her head! You’re not my brother anymore.”
Pain flashed through Hunter’s face as he held his hands out, “I’m sorry brother. Just calm down we can explain it all.” Calm he wants me calm? The rage within me only consumed me more. I will not be calm.
“Explain fucking what? You put a bullet in Amara’s head because you guys were scared to go against the M8s?!” My body was shaking as I looked at my brothers feeling betrayed that I would even call them that. “We could have taken them not befriended them!”
“Amara isn’t dead.” Hamlet said making my head snap to him confused. I saw the blood, I saw her body. “It was staged.”
“Your reaction and hers had to be real.” Hunter said softly, “I am so sorry brother. We wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t necessary. It was the last plan available for her and the club.”
My back went against the wall as my knees gave out making me slide onto the ground leaning against the wall running a hand over my head while looking at the brothers. A scratch and whine at the door had Hunter open it to find Bella running to me who I picked up smelling Amara’s light perfume on her coat instantly calming me down. “She’s alive?”
“Yes, she’s alive and safe. M8’s can’t get to her or draw her out.” Briac said taking out a tobacco pipe from his desk, stuffing tobacco in it and lighting it as he looked back to me, seeing how I was barely able to put this together. “The revolver I used didn’t have a bullet in but sheep’s brain. Made the bang and spread it onto Amara’s head making it look like it was her brain that blew. M8’s saw what they wanted to see. A body, gun and a grave.”
“Why? Were the M8s really threatening families? Why didn’t you tell me they were putting more pressure on the city?” I asked looking back and forth between them.
Briac got up passing me the bottle of Whiskey as he puffed his pipe, “as Hunter said your reaction had to be real. Reaper called saying he knew about you two and your meeting with the Sorrentinos when you got the guns. They had rats all over the city to know our moves and weaknesses. So, he threatened to use other 1% clubs and new mafia ties to hit us as soon as tomorrow. Because of that the Sorrentinos didn’t believe we were going against them but working with M8s to go into guns. Taking Amara out of the equation made M8s trust us which is perfect for working with the Sorrentinos to take down M8s as allies. Plan is for the M8s to invites us inside to a location which we will be sure that Reaper is present, while the Sorrentinos will be outside waiting. M8s will be gone by the end of the night with limited risk of casualties.”
Nodding slowly, I tried to wrap my head around what he said. I didn’t care about the M8s at this moment I only cared about Amara. “She’s alive? I could have acted perfectly well if you told me.” My words were barely heard as the image of her on the ground came to me.
It made sense, as I suspected Briac and Hamlet had gotten in touch with the Sorrentinos I just didn’t think they would ‘shoot’ Amara in front of me. Fuck. Her anxiety and panic attacks are going to be crazy and she doesn’t have Bella no doubt any meds on her.
But she was alive. The woman I loved was alive, I understood why Hunter called out to me, he didn’t want me to see the brain came from the gun and not her head. I could have failed to protect her but my brothers stepped up to protect her before something happened.
My body warmed with that thought, the arching pain that was there a minute ago slowly dwindled but I knew I wouldn’t feel the same till I see her in front of me. Holding her body against mine.
“We needed to have control in the situation Ryker, we didn’t have it last time and Birdy was almost killed. We have control now with Amara being safe and we have a perfect in on taking down the M8s.” Hunter said softy making me look at him seeing that he still had a pained expression for betraying me, even if it was a fake execution. I nodded slowly as I stroked Bella who curled up on my lap oblivious to the situation. I wasn’t sure what to say though, this still feels out of my control. Which I don’t like.
Hamlet shuffled running a hand through his hair, “We wouldn’t betray you like that brother. She’s your fucking Luna don’t need a bunch of men around a table making some stupid vote for that shit. Just needed you to think it so the M8s would back off and we could protect your woman without you starting something we aren’t prepared for. Now we are prepared and can kill all M8s in the area while solidifying with Sorrentinos instead of them trying to fight us too. We were going to just send you and her off to a safe house but that didn’t work. Sorry.”
Briac nodded, “yeah she your Luna, next church I’ll address getting rid of the vote. Too 1950’s... If a brother wants his woman he has her don’t need us weighing in, might safe us that drama in the future.”
I just looked between them confused, “What the fuck … What has happened to today. Amara killed but isn’t actually dead, Briac is smoking a pipe, and you all still didn’t tell me where her being safe is. I still don’t see why didn’t you tell me or her?”
“You would have gone cowboy if we kept you in the loop. And this was the last resort. Sorrentinos didn’t believe us with the M8’s rats around. Needed to make it real so both sides are happy. Plus, couldn’t take the rise of word getting out this was fake.” Hamlet said taking a shot of something looking exhausted. “She’s safe and now you can go killing M8s without worrying about her.”
Briac puffed his pipe, “I’ll have you know I started smoking with a pipe when I got deployed. Listen, I am sorry Ryker, I hated to have you think we betrayed your trust to make you choose. But I wanted to make sure that she was alive, you were alive, this club would make it out with no one hurt, make the perfect plan to take down M8s and keep Sorrentinos as allies.”
Sighing I nodded again still not caring about M8s or mafia just Amara; everything was just spinning in my head. “Where is she? With our nomad Smoke?” I took a big swing of the whiskey needing to feel the burn instead of the pain that is still in my chest thinking about this night. The images of Amara dead on the ground still haunting me despite the fact it was fake.
“No, uh Smoke is busy. But she is safe…with the Sorrentinos.” Briac said taking back the whiskey.
My head whipped up to look at him. “You sent her to the fucking Italian Mafia!”