“She’s dead,” I said, hands on my head as I walked into the waiting room where my brothers were waiting for me. Hawk was the first one on his feet, my Vice President and best friend since we were born. He caught me before I could fall to my knees.
My baby sister was dead.
They were already calling it accidental but I knew better. Someone had plunged that needle into her arm, giving her a fatal overdose.
How could I possibly know that?
My sister was on the right side of the law.
That’s right, the sister of an outlaw biker was a cop. And not a dirty one. Growing up in the life we’d had virtually the same experience. Only I thought it was a good one while she hated every second of it.
She’d even arrested me once.
We didn’t talk about club business and I didn’t ask about her deputy sheriff duties.
People who heard about it thought it was strange, but it worked for us.
Dad hated it but accepted it because he’d rather have a daughter who was a cop than not have his daughter at all.
Not that it mattered anymore. She was gone anyways. She wasn’t supposed to be the one to die young. That was supposed to be me. Either by taking a bullet from an enemy or the law or in a blaze of glory on my Harley.
She’d been working undercover in the city. All the pretty city cops who could have infiltrated the cartel were known so they’d recruited from the county. She’d been so thrilled when she got the assignment.
I was happy too. As bad as we were, drugs were a line we didn’t cross. There was weed in abundance at the clubhouse, but anything harder than that or liquor would get you tossed out on your ass quicker than you could snort it or shoot it.
Hawk held me on my feet while my dad had my mom in his arms. Her head was in her hands as she rocked back and forth against him, her grief already consuming her.
Bender, my sergeant at arms, stood on my left, opposite Hawk. The rest of my brothers crowded around us, our heads bowed as we all felt the loss of the MC princess.
Jenny’s team and squad cried too. For once we all had a common goal, figure out who the fuck did this and why. Then get revenge. Although the other side of the room probably wanted justice. All I could think about was revenge.
I was numb when the doctor came to speak to my parents. He was very clinical. He’d told them that she would need an autopsy and that they would be called when her body could be transported to the funeral home. All her belongings were being handed over as evidence.
“I’m sorry for your loss,” he ended his speech.
Unable stand the white painted walls of the hospital and its sterile smell anymore I walked quickly towards the exit. The entire club flanked my side as we walked to the row of Harleys in the parking lot. Getting on I pulled out first, followed by Hawk and Bender, then Hands. By the time all twenty bikes were on the road, the roar and rumble of the engines brought me peace.
Once we made it back to the clubhouse the soul suckers and two whole old ladies my guys had between them were already there. Stepping over the threshold, I tapped the image painted on the door. It looked like one of the dementors from the Harry Potter movies. A python wrapped around its body. Before Jenny it had been only a python but she’d demanded it be upgraded after reading all the books and seeing all the movies. Dad could never refuse her. His only demand was that the python stay too.
It was Tuesday and honestly I was thankful for the small miracle that this hadn’t happened on a Friday or Saturday. Those nights we opened the club house as a fully functional bar to rake in extra cash. I’d go on a killing spree if I had to deal with a crowded club right now.
“I’m so sorry,” Liza, Hands’ old lady, said as she came up to me. Megan was behind her, offering condolences too. Hands’ hugged Liza who cried into his chest. She’d been close to my sister growing up. Megan hugged me before turning to Greaser, our mechanic. He hugged his old lady like Hands’ did his and the only thing I could think was thank fuck I didnt’t have to help somebody else grieve while trying to handle my own shit.
Rain, the soul sucker who gave the best head, handed me a shot of Jack before sitting herself in my lap and draping herself around me.
“Church!” I bellowed through the room. Knowing her place Rain removed herself from my lap. I downed a second shot before lighting a joint and heading to church.
Sitting at the head of the table, Hawk sat to my left, Bender to my right and Hands next to him. Echo sat across from me on the other end of the long table, his laptop open ready to type away anything I ordered him to look up. Kid couldn’t shoot worth a damn but he was still the most dangerous member of this club. He could have us all wiped out with just a few strokes of his keyboard. And empty our bank accounts.
I’d never cross him.
“Echo,” I began, the room going quiet as I started to speak. “Hack Rodeo City Police’s records. I want to know everything my sister was working on, her contacts, her handler. I want full recon on the structure and players of the cartel she was infiltrating. Starting from the top with the man in charge all the way to every dealer on every street corner in the city. Then I want to know how much the Riversville Sheriff’s office knows about her assignment.
“Bubbles, do we have any contacts in the city we can ask for more information?”
“No,” he said blowing out the smoke of the cigarette he was smoking. “But were still on good terms with the Bloodhounds. It’s their city. I’m sure they’ve got a cop or two on the payroll.”
“Set it up,” I told him. He stood immediately, taking his burner phone and leaving the room. “We’re voting this now. Retaliation for the death of Jenny.”
A chorus of ayes went throughout the room. Not having anything else to say I hit the gavel on the table, dismissing them but staying in my seat. Hawk and Bender stayed with me while everyone else filtered out of the room.
“You okay brother?” Hawk asked. His cringed at his own question before I could even answer. Taking a hit of the joint I passed it to him.
“No,” I let out a dark laugh.
“What do you need?” Bender asked.
“And we’ll get it,” Hawk growled. We sat there in silence passing the joint back and forth and telling stories about Jenny.
“I’m telling the story about how she arrested me at the funeral,” I told them.
They both laughed and it made me smile. Jenny loved making people laugh. She would have been happy to see us sitting here like this. Happier if we weren’t passing a joint around, but still.
“She took you out so hard,” Bender snorted.
“Because I let her.”
“Keep telling yourself that,” Hawk laughed.
Ignoring both of them I took the last hit before putting out the joint.
Standing I walked back towards the bar room of the clubhouse. I headed straight for Rain. She smiled seductively at me as I tugged her to a corner booth. Unbuckling my pants I pulled out my soft dick, waiting for her to get to work.
Brenda walked over, setting a beer on the table. I took a long sip as Rain worked her hot mouth along my shaft. She’d done this to me countless times before. My hand rested on her head, pushing so she’d take all of me. I wasn’t in the mood for teasing or to fuck. I wanted my dick sucked. The release would decrease my stress level.
When I came down her throat she released me. Tucking myself back into my pants I grunted a thanks, dismissing her.
She looked hurt. I really should stop fucking her. No matter how many times I told her I didn’t want an old lady and that she of all people would never be my old lady, she still held out hope.
It was her own fault. I was honest. Too honest. To the point of being mean but she thought she could change me.
Finishing my beer I wandered through the corridor to the clubhouse stairs and up to my bedroom, letting sleep consume me.
Nearly a week and a half had passed since Jenny's death before we were finally able to have the funeral. The medical examiner couldn’t release her body until he’d decided on a cause of death. He’d eventually ruled it as undetermined, still allowing police to investigate without classifying it as a murder.
Which it was.
“And now we’ll hear from Jenny’s older brother,” Pastor Tom said. Standing I buttoned and straightened my cut. Black slacks, black button down, black tie and my cut were my chosen attire.
I almost laughed. Jenny would have loved this. It had to be the strangest funeral in history. On one side sat every single outlaw this shitty little town had. The other side was filled with city cops in dress blues and the sheriff’s department from town.
We’d agreed to keep the funeral neutral.
“Jenny was two years younger then I am. She shocked the shit out of us when she came bursting through the door and said she wanted to be a cop. I thought pops was gonna have a coronary then and there. We tried talking her out of it but she was stubborn. When she made up her mind there was no changing it. She always said her proudest moment was arresting me.”
I had to pause as laughter erupted from both sides of the aisle.
“There’d been a fight at the bar. Okay, I was in a fight at the bar. My baby sister handcuffed me. But me being me, I didn’t go easy. I made her work for it. And it took her dying for me to admit it, but I didn’t let her take me down, she just did. Skilled and effective, just like dad and I taught her.”
“She dropped me on my ass and I couldn’t sit right for a week. I was so damn proud of her. She was good. Too good for this world which is why she’s not here anymore. If you’re up there Jen,” I said looking up towards the ceiling. “Give nan a hug for me and keep a beer cold. I miss you like hell already. I love you, sis.”
Tears filled my eyes as I finished saying my goodbyes and stepped down from the pulpit.
Jenny’s partner spoke next. She talked about her work and how glad she was to have gotten to know her.
After the funeral the cops and outlaws went their separate ways. The day she died had been somber at the clubhouse, but today would be a party, celebrating her life. It’s how she would have wanted it.
I got shit faced but somehow still managed to avoid Rain’s advances. I’d vowed to not let her toch me again. No more. Not unless she calmed her shit about wanting to be my old lady.
The party lasted well into the morning hours which is why I nearly choked Bubbles when he stormed into my room at seven in the damn morning.
“Call church,” he said.
“Can it wait?”
“No, Prez. Call church.”
“Jesus. Church. Get the guys here.”
Twenty minutes later, freshly showered I walked into church. Everyone else was already there, waiting for me. Some of the guys were looking a little worse for the wear and had probably only gone to bed an hour or two earlier. Fresh coffee sat in the middle of the table, no doubt courtesy of Megan or Liza. Pouring a cup I added a ton of sugar and took a sip.
“I finally got some intel from the Bloodhounds.” I stared blankly waiting for him to continue. “The cartel deal out of a club in Rodeo City. They can never get close because all their guys are known.”
“Undercover,” Hawk perked up suddenly.
“Hell yes!” Bubbles agreed enthusiastically, slamming his hand on the table.
“Slow down,” I ordered. “If the know the Bloodhounds they’ll recognize bikers a mile away. Only one undercover. Me.” Half my guys went to protest that it was too dangerous to send their president in alone. “My club. My sister. My call.”
Nobody dared dispute it.
“But the thing is,” Bubbles said. “If you want to blend in you need to look,” he stopped suddenly.
“Look?” I asked, my palm up waiting for an explanation.
“Preppy?” I gawked. He nodded unhappily. My hand absentmindedly ran over the scruff of my beard. It wasn’t as long as some of the guys, but it had been on my face for at least five years.
“Here too,” Bubbles said pointing to my head.
“Damn it,” I growled. But it had to be done. “No cut either.” I was going to feel damn near naked.
“Dismissed,” I said, slamming the gavel before tossing it frustratedly on the table.
Twenty minutes later I was sitting in front of the mirror, unable to recognize my own reflection. Megan stood behind me, putting gel in my new cropped haircut that was slightly longer at the top and combing it to the left. I ran my hand across my freshly shaved face.
I looked like a damn toddler.
“It’ll be worth it,” Hawk said, clapping my shoulders. “You sure you want to go alone?”
“It has to be done. Another one of us will draw suspicion.”
“I know,” he sighed.
“I’ll put a tracker in my boot. If I miss a check in you know what to do.”
“Good luck,” he said, knowing he wouldn’t see me again before I left.
Climbing back up to my room I let myself fall into the bed. I was exhausted and I needed to be fully functional and alert tonight. Sleep came quickly thanks to exhaustion.
Grabbing the fake ID Echo had made in less than an hour and another burner phone I walked out of the clubhouse and towards my truck.
Worse than my hair and beard was that I wouldn’t be able to ride there and back. I didn’t need that kind of heat.
Once I’d finally waited in line for an hour and got into the club I went straight to the bar and ordered a bourbon. Sipping it slowly made my way around the crowded club. I made sure my eyes trailed over each girl that walked by in case anybody was looking at me. But in reality I was looking for one of the three people Bubbles had shown me a photo of. Echo couldn’t get any info on the cartels top three. They were virtual ghosts. But between him and Bubbles we were able to get som intel on a few higher ups. One level above them was the level below the head of the cartel. Getting one of these guys would put us a huge step closer to figuring out what happened to my sister.
Unfortunately I didn’t see any of them that night.
Or the next night.
Or the one after that.
And so it went for three weeks.
“You’re going back?” Hawk questioned in church. “It’s been three weeks and you’ve gotten no trace of these guys!” His hands were splayed flat on the table as he tried to keep himself in check.
“One more night,” I said. “Then I’ll call it.”
“Are you sure this intel is even good?” Hands asked, his question directed at Bubbles.
“I called my guy from Bloodhounds again today. He swears the intel is good.”
“And it checks out with what I was able to find,” Echo chimed in.
“Were you able to hack the club’s security yet?” I asked him.
“No, I think it’s analog.”
“Does that mean impossible?” I asked not even pretending to understand his geek speak.
“Not impossible. But if it’s closed circuit I’m basically just chasing my tail. But I’m still trying.”
“Try harder,” I grit through my teeth.
Ducking his head he typed even faster than usual as the joint he was smoking hung dangerously loose from his lips.
“Anything else?” I asked.
Hawk just stared at me. “This is the last night. I swear,” I told him.
“It better fucking be. Having you gone every night has been stressful as fuck.”
“It will be. Something is going to break tonight. I can feel it.” He just scoffed at me, not believing my words.
Going back to my room I killed time until it was time to leave.
At least in the weeks that had passed my hair had grown a little longer and wasn’t ridiculously short. Although it was still much shorter than I would have liked. I also got to have a few days worth of stubble on my face.
Walking into the club I made my usual rounds. Only this time when I was pretending to check out the women, I actually did. Just one.
She was beautiful. Her curvy body was encased in a green strapless dress. Her long brown hair cascaded down her shoulders and swung wildly as she danced to the music with her friends. The bright red lipstick only accentuated her plump lips. That dress was so short it was driving my wild wondering what she was wearing underneath.
I must not have been discreet in my staring because her friend whispered in her ear before she turned and looked at me. I held my drink at my lips to hide my smirk.
Her mouth hung slightly open as she stared. Her eyes lingered on the ink peeking from under one of my rolled up sleeves. If that turned her on she should see my chest and back. She said something harshly to her friend before turning her back to me again, giving me a view of that perfect round ass.
Moving towards the dance floor I had already made up my mind.
I had to have her.