Chapter 1 - Nightmares
Clouds of dust and debris clouded my vision as I looked into the scope trying to find my shot. “Damn it Flash, take the fucking shot!” Captain roared in my earpiece.
“I’m trying.” I clenched my jaw and returned my focus to the scope. My target was in sight ready for my bullet to pierce through his head. And easy shot for someone like me. I squeezed the trigger slowly, my finger gradually applying more pressure. Then I spotted movements on the corner of my eye making me pause.
There down below huddled in a corner clutching a child to her chest was a terrified woman. Her mouth was moving in pleads, begging for her and her child to be let go. I couldn’t do it. I was a trained soldier who killed assholes like my target but I didn’t kill the innocent. “I have my sights on some civilians in there Cap. I can’t-”
“You will do as I fucking say Flash! We’re down here ready to take this fucker down, you miss this shot and the plan is going to sh-”
Before he could shout another word a loud explosion rang through the air. The sudden force threw me backwards making me land on my back with a groan feeling an ache in my head. “Shit.”
I scrambled to peak over the roof of the building I was perched in. “NO!”
The building was now demolished, crumbled to heaps of rubble and clouds of dust. My team was gone.... and it was my fault.
It’s your fault. It’s your fault. It’s your fault.
With a gasp, I sat up in bed drenched in sweat and breathing harshly. My bedroom was dark, the only source of light came from the moon peeking through the curtains of my window. Glancing over at my nightstand I read the time on the clock.
“Fuck” Swinging my legs out of bed I leaned over and ran a hand through my hair. Another night, another nightmare. Being out all these years should mean I would be able to push all of the bad memories away but instead, I’m plagued by them continuously.
All day and all night the darkness seems to follow me. There wasn’t an escape except for those rare times I allow myself to drown in alcohol. But I don’t deserve an escape. I deserve this torment. I deserve it all.
Knowing I won’t go back to sleep anytime soon I stand to my feet and get ready for the long day ahead of me. After a long freezing shower and quickly getting dressed I exit my bedroom and made my way out of the back rooms towards the bar.
I walked by several closed doors where I knew my brothers were residing. Most likely passed out from drinking or their latest fuck. If I was a betting man, I would assume it would be due to both. That is the brother's way anyways.
It was too fucking early or maybe it’s too late, I really didn’t know anymore. The club was now empty and everyone was still sound asleep. I hated the silence. Silence reminded me that I was really alone.
My head filled up with those thoughts and there wasn’t a way for me to push it away. No distractions to keep them at bay. They raged and raged until I was consumed by it all.
Inhaling harshley through my nose I threw myself on one of the bar stools and eyed the rows of liquor that seemed to call my name. Maybe just one drink.
One drink turned to two and next thing I knew I was being woken up to a cold wet substance on my face. God I hope that was water.
“Rise and shine dumbass. You’re drooling on my fucking bar.”
I sat up to see the club floor was now filled with members of the clan. Brothers sat at tables across from each other joking while supporting women on their laps. Others stood with cigarettes in their hands talking quietly in small circles.
The Clovers were practicing on stage for their next performance tonight making most of the men in the room give all of their attention to the women’s sultry dance moves.
I looked over to see none other than the boss, Cash McDavid leaning against the bar with narrowed eyes and a class cup in his hands.
How long was I asleep?
I groaned and went to take another drink when the bottle was snatched from my hands. I snarled at him only for the brown-haired man to merely smirked in my direction. His brown eyes were twinkling with mischief. If it were any other person I wouldn’t hesitate to break their hands for touching me or my drink. But not Cash.
Unlike the rest of the clan, McDavid wasn’t afraid of me. Quite the opposite. I knew he came from the Irish Mob, hell he was the prince of one of the clans. There was a lot of shit that my leader went through and I doubt a fucked-up soldier would make him show an ounce of fear.
“Meeting time Flash.” The humor in his eyes left and was replaced with seriousness. That made me sober up. Cash was an easygoing guy and never one to show his true feelings except when it comes to the clan. When the humor is gone, shit is about to hit the fan.
Nodding my head I stood feeling a flash of dizziness before it was gone. I followed Cash towards the conference room held in the back of the hall where clan business was taken care of.
We walk in and I see the best of the main brothers sitting in their preferred seats. I leaned against my usual spot on the wall closest to McDavid. Reaching into my pocket I pulled out my cigarettes and lighting one. I inhaled allowing the smoke to enter my lungs before exhaling.
Fuck that was good.
“Let’s get this meeting started boys.” McDavid orders slapping a hand on the table getting the guy’s attention.
“No loud noises Mc. My head is fucking pounding.” Wiggs groaned out leaning his head back in agony. Troy Wiggins was one of the first full members of the club and was the biggest asshole of us all. The prick was a walking horn dog that humps anything with a rack and a party boy.
Out of the whole clan, Troy was the one who always seemed to have a different woman on his arm every night. We’re surprised his dick hasn’t fallen off yet.
It didn’t help that the girls found him irresistible. With his exotic dark skin and neatly shaved face that allowed the view of his sharp features and charming smile. Women were weak when it came to that asshole.
I rubbed my hand on my growing stubble and shook my head. I didn’t need a woman anyways. The ones that showed up to the club weren’t the type I was looking for. Meaning I didn’t want someone my brothers have probably fucked the night before. The rest of the guys didn’t mind sharing their women but not me.
“Maybe if you stopped getting pissed drunk and sticking your dick in anything that has tits and a nice ass then you wouldn’t be in this position Wiggs.” McDavid spits back.
“And leave all those beautiful women to you? Fuck off McDumbass, I’m not falling for your games..” Wiggs shoots back with a smirk.
“It’s not my fault-”
“If you called this meeting to compare dick sizes with Wiggs, can I get back to the actual work I have to do? Gotta keep this club of ours afloat.” A deeper voice calls out interrupting the two men.
All heads to turn to the only person wearing a suit in the clan. Jude wore a grin on his face seeing Cash’s scowl. He leaned back casually in his chair with his arms behind his neck. Normally anyone who spoke out like that to McDavid would have gotten a bullet in his head but it was Jude.
Only the second in command could speak this freely without dying. Jude Acostas was Cash’s best friend and probably one of the few people he trusted with his life.
Jude was once a famous singer and musician but once his popularity seemed to fade away so did his contract with the record label. He didn’t take it too well. One thing led to another and the label’s building was set on fire along with millions of dollars worth of equipment and deals.
After that, Jude made a life as a criminal. Starting off as a gambler and con man, he was able to work his way to the top of the ranks in Vegas. Soon it became too much for Jude to handle alone and left his life in Vegas and came here where he met Cash.
The rest is history. They teamed up and now they owned one of the most popular clubs in uptown Chicago. The Golden Clover.
Cash tapped his finger on the table with glowering at his partner before his eyes roamed the rest of the clan “We’ve got a problem.”
The tone of his voice made the men in the room perked up. Wiggs smirk was now replaced with a deep frown and Jude crossed his arms never wavering his steel gaze from our leader.
“It seems that Lu’s boys think that they can come on our turf and steal some of our guns. The warehouse across town was broken into and a few of our fringes were killed.” Cash stood up and loomed over the conference table, fury evident in his face “I want those fuckers to pay for killing one of our own. I’m sending a team to show those pricks what happens when you mess with the brothers.” He turned his sharp gaze over to me “Flash. I want you and Wiggs to take care of it. We have located one of their drop sights, Dom will give the rundown.”
Wiggs eyed me before smirking widely excitement evident on his face “Hell yeah. I get to make a run with Flash!? I’m on it boss.”
I say nothing but my lips twitch upwards which makes Wiggs even happier. Then I nod at Cash who is satisfied with my response before taking another drag of my cigarette. Not that I’d ever say no. Cash is the one who gave me a purpose and somewhere to stay when I had nothing.
That’s not true. You still have them.
I shook off the thought and lean away from the wall “When do we leave?” The question left my lips gruffly.
“As soon as you get your shit together. Don’t waste anytime.” McDavid waved a hand towards us before smoothing back his brown slicked back hair. I looked over at Wiggs who was in deep conversation with Gage, most likely figuring out what team to take. Good. He can take care of the details. I didn’t care how we did it or who we took, I just wanted to get this run over with.
“Hey Flash, I’ll get the boys together. We’ll meet at the bar. Gage is giving us the hook up.” Wiggs says walking up to me tucking his hands into his jean pockets “You good to go?”
I nodded my head but said nothing. Wiggs didn’t take offense to my lack of words, he and the rest of my brothers were used to the silence from me. He smirked and patted my arm making me glare in his direction. He pulled his hand back quickly and coughed nervously “I’ll see you in a bit then.”
That’s what I thought dumbass.