Wicked Embers: Rebel Souls MC #1

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0.04 Nathan

“Rachel!” I yelled as that son of a bitch knocked her out. The big guy said his girl. How did she know him? He threw her over his shoulder and carried her out while the other guy had his gun on me the entire time. Once they were out of sight I went to stand but quickly collapsed. My leg was bleeding everywhere.

Fishing my phone out of my pocket I dialled Hawk.

“Yeah?”

“José took Rachel. Get Echo to start tracking her phone right fucking now.”

“Shit,” he cursed lowly and I heard movement. “Where are you?”

“Her place. I need Doc; I’ve got a slug in my leg.”

“Fuck, Blade.” I ignored his string of curses. I knew he was running through the clubhouse getting Echo and Doc.

“I need a prospect with a van to come get my bike. I need you with Doc and Bender to get here now.”

“On the way,” he said before cutting the call.

I dragged myself to my feet and hopped to the kitchen, wrapping a dish towel around my leg. It already looked like the bleeding had slowed.

“Rachel?” I heard a feminine voice call.

Shit.

“What the fuck happened here?” A petite blonde asked as she entered the room. She got one look at me and one look at the blood before she was pulling a very impressive looking taser from her purse. It looked like a gun. “Nathan?”

This is a complication I didn’t need.

“You must be Jamie.” The other two girls with her looked terrified.

“What did you do with Rachel?”

“Nothing.”

“Explain yourself right fucking now or I swear to God I’ll shoot this at you.”

I had no doubt she wouldn’t.

I liked her.

“Who is Joe?” I asked, not answering her question.

“Rachel’s ex?” The tall brunette said. “What’s he got to do with this?”

“How well do you guys know him?”

“They dated for almost four years. So pretty well.”

“What does he do?”

“He owns a shipping company,” the little redhead said.

He was the damn courier for the cartel. Fuck.

I heard the roar of engines and knew my guys were here. They didn’t seem to notice. Jamie still had the taser pointed at me.

“He took Rachel. His friend shot me.”

They gasped collectively. “I’m calling the cops,” the tall one, who I was pretty sure was Chrissy based on Rachel’s descriptions, said.

“I wouldn’t do that, sweetheart,” Bender said, reaching around her and grabbing the phone at the same time Hawk relived Jamie of her taser.

Jamie took one look at my guys in their cuts before she paled completely.

“You’re in a motorcycle club?” I nodded. “Does Rachel know?”

“Yeah. She freaked and kicked me out. I was leaving when Joe and whoever he was with came in.”

As I was speaking Doc started examining my leg.

“Call a lockdown,” I said to Hawk. He pulled out his phone and made a quick call.

“Fuck. Fuck. Fuck,” Jamie let out a continuous string of curses as she paced. “She freaked out because she grew up in the life. We both did.”

“What?” I said at the same time as Chrissy and Annie.

“Her dad was my dad’s VP. They were both killed in a deal gone bad. As soon as we were old enough we took off and never looked back. Why do you think she chose the most boring job in the world?”

“Hey!” Chrissy said offended. “She works some interesting cases for me.”

“Still accounting,” Jamie retorted.

No wonder she freaked out.

“She hates club life.”

I was so fucked.

“What club?”

“It’s back east.”

I wouldn’t press for details. Yet.

“You’re gonna be fine,” Doc said. “No need for stitches. Whoever shot you is either a shitty shot or he just wanted to make sure you couldn’t get away.”

“Prospect, take the girls to the club house.”

Two of three went to protest but Jamie said something that made the other two listen. “Make it clear that they’re under my protection. Keep the soul suckers away from them. Let Megan and Liza take care of them.”

“They found Rachel’s phone dumped about five miles up.”

“Fuck,” I cursed, running my hands through my hair.

“She has a GPS tracker in her necklace.”

“What?” I asked completely dumbfounded.

“This isn’t the first time she’s been kidnapped.”

“Jesus Christ.”

“The deal our dads died in was getting her back.”

“And you give her crap for only dating boring guys!” Chrissy yelled at her. Jamie ignored her. Apparently there was a lot the girls didn’t actually know about each other.

“Bring her to Echo. Leave my bike. I can ride.” Chrissy and Annie looked terrified but I immediately recognized the look in Jamie’s eyes. She’d done this before. She knew what was going to happen.

Walking up to Jamie I leaned down and whispered in her ear, “in front of my guys I’m Prez or Blade. Not Nathan.” She nodded and I knew I didn’t need to explain myself.

Rachel had reason to freak out.

But now my thoughts about her not being cut out for club life had changed. She grew up in it.

Pushing the thoughts away I reminded myself that now was not the time. Get her back whole first and then focus on making her my old lady.

I was left standing in my girl’s apartment with Bender, Hawk and Doc. “What are the chances she knew her ex was cartel and is in on this?”

“No way,” I said immediately to Hawk’s question. “You heard Jamie. She hates club life. She’s never be willingly involved with the Cartel.” He nodded but I could tell he didn’t believe me.

“What’s the plan, Prez?” Bender asked.

“Hope like hell her gps necklace works then get my girl back.”

“Not much of a plan,” Doc chimed in. Didn’t I fucking know it.

“Get back to the clubhouse Doc. I’ll need you there once we get her back.”

“You don’t want me to go with you?”

“Nah.”

He grabbed his bag of medical crap and left the three of us alone.

Hawk was itching to say something and he was barely keeping it in. “Got something to say?” I tossed at him.

“You’re delusional. You think this is all some happy fucking coincidence? That this girl just happened to be at the club you were staking out? That her ex just happens to be the guy we’ve been looking for for over a month. Wake the fuck up. She’s involved!”

“No she’s not,” I said, my voice as cold as ice. “You didn’t see the terrified look on her face. So shut the fuck up man.”

“You’re going to get us all killed if we go after her. She’s leading us into a trap.”

I’d had it with his shit. Pulling my arm back and making a fist I clocked him square in the jaw. His head snapped back as he cursed. When he came back up he was wiping blood from the corner of his mouth. He stood straight, toe to toe with me. We were evenly matched. Before he could retaliate Bender was between us.

“We need to get to the compound,” he said.

“They’re probably holding her in the city. We’ll be closer here.”

“We need more guys and a plan. There’s just as much a chance they’re holding her in the desert.”

Nodding at him because I couldn’t deny he was right. This whole thing was my fault anyways. If I’d had any sense I would have jumped the big guy first. Blind rage took over when I saw Joe or José or whatever the fuck his name is. It’d gotten me shot and my girl taken.

“Toss this room and the kitchen. See if you can find anything with his name or picture. I’ll search her room and bathroom.”

Not only was I going to search it but I was going to pack a bag with some of her stuff because when I got her back, I wasn't letting her go.

Walking into her room, I was met with the still crumpled bed sheets from last night. The smell of sex still lingered and I couldn’t believe it’d been less than twenty-four hours since I'd been inside her. It seemed like days ago.

Opening her closet, I found a suitcase and tossed it on the bed. As I opened her drawers I searched them while tossing bras and underwear into the suitcase behind me. I didn’t find anything useful in her dresser.

Moving to the nightstand I found an interesting collection of items, none of which she’d ever need anymore. I was claiming her so condoms would no longer be necessary. And a vibrator? There was nothing that plastic dick could give her that I couldn’t. Shaking my head I forced my wandering thoughts to come back to the present. First find her then fulfill every single one of her darkest desires.

I tossed her entire room and didn’t find anything useful. Grabbing the suitcase, I realized I couldn’t get it back on my bike.

My brain really had turned to mush since meeting her. Setting it by the front door I texted one of the prospects to come pick it up. “Find anything?” I asked.

“No. But I texted Echo. He’s trying to locate the GPS signal. Apparently it’s a pretty high tech system. Jamie is helping him but she’s not sure what the code to find it is.”

“Who would know it?” I wondered out loud, mostly to myself.

“Jamie’s sure she knows it,” Hawk shrugged. These girls had secrets buried in secrets.

“Have Echo search Rachel’s phone contacts for Joe. If we can’t trace her maybe we can trace him.”

Without another word I walked out of my girl’s apartment. I was the first to ride away with Bender and Hawk on my tail. We reached the compound in record time.

Usually we called it the clubhouse but during lockdown it was a compound. Nobody in or out without permission and we rode in pairs.

Walking in to the clubhouse I was met by my old man and mom. “What’s going on?” He asked.

“Cartel took my girl,” I answered simply. “Church!” My riders separated themselves from the soul suckers currently attaching themselves to them. Hands and Greaser kissed their old ladies and kids, the only kids in the club, and followed me.

“Alright I’m only going to say this once so listen the fuck up. While I was undercover I met a girl. She’s going to be my old lady so getting her back is priority one. My girl happens to be the ex of the José were looking for. She knows him as Joe. And before any of you fuckers ask, no, she knows fuck all about him being cartel. She’s not involved. Anybody got shit to say?”

I glared around the room and was met with dead silence. My old man had a look on his face that said we’d be talking later but he was smart enough to know to keep it shut in front of the club. Father or not I’ll put him in his place.

“Echo?”

“Okay. So I’m tracking Joe’s phone. It’s on the move, heading west into the desert quickly. As of right now I’ve got not way of knowing if your girl is with him. Her GPS tracker is loading as we speak but it’s taking too long.” He was nervous as he was speaking. He didn’t like giving me any news other than the news I wanted. What he was delivering wasn’t that. “As soon as I’ve got a location I’ll let you know.”

“Good. I called the Huntsville chapter. They’re riding out soon. They’ll be here in two hours. We’re on lockdown. Nobody in or out.” I was met with nodding heads. “Dismissed. Stay close. When I call church again I expect all of you in this room in less than a minute.”

I was the first one out of the room despite usually being the last. I found Rachel’s friends sitting in a booth with Megan and Liza. They were crying.

“Gimme a minute,” I said to the old ladies. Once they were gone I slid into the booth. “This isn’t how I wanted to meet you all,” I started, trying to soften the tension.

Jamie snorted.

“I can’t risk you guys getting hurt too. Rachel would never forgive me. That means until this dies down you guys are stuck here. What do you guys do?”

“I’m a lawyer,” Chrissy said. I knew that.

“We run a yoga studio,” Annie said for her and Jamie.

“Do you have court?” I asked Chrissy.

“No and I can switch all my meetings to phone consults.” I instantly liked her. I knew she wasn't going to make trouble. It was Jamie I'd have to worry about.

“Do you have people who can cover for you?” I asked the other two.

“Yes,” Annie said while Jamie bit back whatever answer she wanted to give. Annie rested her hand on Jamie’s thigh. The gesture was intimate not friendly.

“I’ll have Liza and Megan show you guys to a room. If you need anything, ask one of them.”

“Prez,” I heard from behind me. Turning I saw our lawyer, Jordan walking towards me.

“JJ,” I said in greeting.

“Hawk got me up to speed. I just wanted to come check to see how much damage control I’ll need to do.”

“None. You know me, everything above board.” He snorted.

“Haven’t seen these ladies before,” he commented.

I heard Chrissy make some type of noise in her throat before she cleared it. I wasn't the only one who heard it because Annie and Jamie were looking at her with their mouths hanging open.

“Chrissy,” she said, introducing herself.

“As in Chrissy Frank?”

“One in the same,” she grinned.

“You took a friend of mine for all he was worth in a divorce hearing.”

“Cheated on his wife did he?” JJ, gulped before nodding. “Guess next time he’ll think twice.” It was JJ’s turn to gape at her openly.

This was going to be interesting.

“You’re a lawyer?” She asked.

“The club’s, yeah.”

Before they could talk anymore I pulled him away. He could flirt on his own time and I knew damn well he was charging me for this visit. “There’s nothing to worry about yet. As soon as there is, you’ll be the first to know,” I told him.

“What’s with the three newbies?”

“Friends of my girl.”

“Fair game?”

“Good luck. You’re going to need it.”

“I need a challenge,” he smirked.

“Just don’t do it on my dime.”

“I’m off the clock,” he shrugged.

Once he was gone and I was finally alone, everything I’d been holding in came flying to the surface. I hadn’t had a moment to myself since she was taken. Finding her was taking too damn long and God only knows what they were doing to her in the mean time.

I broke the most important rule. Protect your girl at all costs.

Hopefully she would forgive me.

I just found her. I couldn’t lose her.

The only thing I wanted right now other than Rachel was a drink. But I couldn’t have that either. I needed a clear head when Echo found a location on her.

The minutes ticked by and my stress only grew. Bender, Bubbles and Hands had all made separate attempts to come sit with me and talk. I’d yelled at all three of them. After that nobody was stupid enough to try.

Two hours had gone by when the telltale sign of rumbling engines approached the front gate. I was on my feet, out the clubhouse door, ready to greet Reaper, the President of the Huntsville chapter.

“Blade,” he said, shaking my hand and pulling me into a one arm hug.

“Reaper,” I greeted back. His guys piled into the club house. “Church,” I hollered as we walked through the door. There was twice as many guys in here now, standing room only.

“I’ve got a location,” Echo said before I could even say anything. His laptop beeped and his eyes lit up like a kid at Christmas. “Gimme a second and I’ll see if I can hack a camera in the area.”

I had zero patience on a good day and today was not a good day. I forced myself to take deep breaths.

“She’s in the warehouse district on the outskirts of town,” he said turning the computer. Sure enough, I saw my girl being dragged by her hair, out of a van and towards an abandoned building. She was screaming but there was no sound on the video. I banged my fist on the table and all heads turned to me.

“Any idea how many guys are there?”

“I’ve counted at least ten plus two snipers on the roof.”

Fuck. We'd never be able to sneak up on them.

“I’ve got an idea,” Reaper said. “Brainy brought a new toy.” I had no idea who the fuck Brainy was. Some kid who must barely be eighteen stood. He was by far the shortest in the room, weakest too. Also the only one wearing glasses. Reaching into his bag he pulled out a drone. If Echo could get hard from a piece of tech, this would be the one. I was not a tech nerd and still I knew that piece of equipment was beautiful. And expensive. “We can use this from a distance to distract them. Two guys go in on foot from about a mile out, climb up to the roof, take them out and then we move in."

“Seal?” I looked at our resident, dishonorably discharged navy seal. This was definitely his type of op.

“I can get it done Boss.”

“Mick,” Reaper called, to which a kid with the same army haircut as Seal nodded. Guess some habits you could never really break.

Thirty minutes later with plans firmly in place, we exited the meeting room.

Doc was coming with us while their medic stayed back. I didn’t want anyone else but Doc to have to potentially touch her in a vulnerable state. Five of my guys were staying back with ten of his to guard the compound. Echo stayed put to monitor from his laptop while Brainy got to play with his new toy. He was riding in a van with one prospect from each charter.

Hands and Greaser kissed their old ladies while the rest of the club picked a soul sucker grope before we left. Rain came up to me even though I did my best to side step her. “I’ll be waiting for you when you get back.” Her long fingers trailed up my chest. I pushed her hand away before speaking.

“This mission is about getting my girl back. I’ve told you. You will never be my old lady. I’ve already got one.” None of the women knew what was happening or why we were on lockdown, just that we were. But she needed to know. I couldn't have her pulling this shit once Rachel was actually here.

Her mouth hung open as I pushed past her.

I rode out first, Reaper to my left with his line of guys behind him. Hawk rode on my right, Bender and the rest of my men behind me. The prospects not in the van bring up the rear. Seal and Mick rode out twenty minutes ahead of us. When we reached their bikes, on the side of the dirty road, the only way in or out of this place, we stopped and waited. Our coms were on as we waited.

“Send the drone in,” I heard Seals voice in my ear. The back of the van was opened while Brainy sent the drone up, his eyes on the live feed of the drone on the laptop, like it was a real life video game.

I heard gunfire and saw Brainy jerking the controller in his hand, dodging bullets. It didn’t take long for the gunfire to stop.

“Clear,” Seal called. We started our bikes again and headed straight for the compound, guns out and ready to fire. I didn’t know who was taking them out but all twenty-two of us are firing bullets and the cartel guys were dropping. I heard bullets hitting bikes and fuck if I wasn't actually thankful for the destruction. Hitting bikes meant my guys were still whole.

Once the outside of the warehouse was clear, Reaper and his guys went around back. I was walking towards the side entrance, ready to breach when the side door came flying open. I had my gun up, finger on the trigger when Rachel stumbles out.

Her brown hair was covered in blood, matted to her face. She was limping and I couldn’t tell if the blood that was covering her was her own or someone else’s. Her clothes were torn to pieces. Shielding her eyes from the setting sun, she walked further towards me. Her eyes were distant like she wasn't seeing me. She lifted the gun again, aiming it right at me. I immediately dropped mine and walk slowly towards her. The closer I got the more confused she looked. When I was close enough to reach her I grabbed the gun and pushed it to the side. “Rachel? Baby, it’s me. Nathan.”

A look of recognition crossed her face before she collapsed. I was able to sweep her into my arms before she landed on the ground.

“Doc!” I yelled as I cradle her close to me.

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