Crossroads: Book 1

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Elena Cochran begged her father to take a safer job after nearly being shot to death. They end up in a small town of Georgia on a secret she doesn't know about. For her protection, her father hired the president of a motorcycle club unbeknownst to her to be her 'bodyguard.' Elena only knows of him being her annoying, hot, tempered neighbor, but everything about him intrigues her. With all he has gone through and has seen, Michael (Red) Gilbert believes he has no heart - just a pesky organ in his chest. He's sure that he's damned to Hell and there is no hope for him. Michael is supposed to protect Elena from a man who is closer to him than he realizes. Consequently, the only other person she needs protection from at the crossroads, is him.

Romance / Action
4.8 22 reviews
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

****** WARNING: Profanity, sexual content, violence, and some touchy subjects lie ahead.

If you do not want to read such things, then please don’t read it; you have been warned :)

Reader’s discretion is advised.

This is meant to be an entertaining, mysterious, fun story of love, betrayal, and dark family secrets.

Constructive criticism with suggestions and examples for improvement IS strongly encouraged as I am new to this writing world.

Happy Reading! I hope you like the story!


“Jace! I told you not to do this! I knew it was dirty money – the damn cops are all over us!” I yell at my right-hand man. We’ve always had each other’s six when shit hits the fan, but he can be so stupid sometimes.

“Can’t believe you, man! You wanted to go on a drug job without me, knowing I can read people better than you!” I shout at Jace over the gunfire. “Undercover cop, really?” I maintain my ridicule amongst the bullets flying in the air and men yelling profanities at the cops on the other side of the door. The whole damn cavalry is outside our motorcycle clubhouse, ready to shoot each of us over some dirty traced cocaine - the deal I didn’t want to do in the first place.

​“It was a detective!” Jace cries out, like that somehow changes things. “I’m sorry!” he yells while grabbing some guns from behind our kitchen counter. He tosses me a Glock .21 - there are ten rounds. I’m certain of it. With the familiar hard polymer in my hands, I notice that the doors are beginning to fold in. Jace, me, and the rest of us barricade ourselves, armed and bracing to fight. They could take us, but we aren’t ones to roll over and become their bitches. We’re waiting until they come bursting in to retaliate. In the meantime, we just let them continue shooting the place up.

I dive to hide from gunfire on the floor behind one of the couches, I glance around to make sure my brothers aren’t getting shot. So far, they’re all okay - hiding, waiting. There’s a pounding in my chest. I should be used to this sort of thing. I get shot at a lot - it’s the price I pay for being the club president. Some tough decisions have had to be made, and periodically that means playing God. There’s not a lot of pride in the choices I have made, but they have been made nonetheless. I live with the consequences.

Speaking of consequences, I wish to hand Jace over to the cops out of spite to put a stop to this maddening raid. God knows he needs to suffer some consequences for being so fucking impatient. I glare at the blue-eyed idiot as he hides behind the end of the counter in the kitchen. He is shaking like a rattlesnake. Blond hair is flipping off little beads of sweat onto his pale face.

I don’t turn my men in.

​More shots fire, the sounds vibrate throughout the building, peppering all our belongings with holes. The gunpowder and lead fill my lungs. There goes my lovely couch, coffee pot, wine bottles, and the intense explosion of glass fills the room. Shitmy flat screen sixty-two-inch television. Damn cops!

​Stupid Jace. If only he waited for me to do the transaction, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

The firing stops. It’s our turn, suckers. I start to signal, but then there is one shot. The silence is deafening. Immediately, I know something is wrong.

Frantically, I search the floor from the ground behind a tattered couch, I see Paul. The heart in my chest stops. Paul is shot - he is only nineteen! Fresh out of high school. He had a tough childhood. I remember when Paul first came to us in search of brotherhood. Out of all the prospects I’ve witnessed, he was the one that proved himself the most. We accepted him with open arms... now he’s shot.

I stare at his long, lean body -it is limp on the floor, covered with bullet fragments and shattered glass. My vocal chords turn raw while I wail out his name as I rush to him. He’s still breathing, but blood is pooling in the center of his chest. I scream for our medic, but the cops entered our clubhouse and are now tackling each of my men. As soon as I pull off my shirt, I press it down hard on Paul’s wound, letting the thick warm blood soak into my shirt and my hands.

“You’re gonna be okay! You hear me, Paul! Stay with me!” Hands grab me. All I see is red. I whip myself around to straddle and beat the man with a badge. His cheekbone and nose crunch under my fist, teeth fly from his mouth, blood smearing his face, it gives me tremendous satisfaction. Even though my knuckles burn - I can’t stop. I don’t want to stop.

Two sets of hands grab me to pull me off the fool. When they stand me up, I shout amongst the chaos, “Check on my brother you motherfuckers. He’s dying!” They ignore me. He is just a kid, had his whole life ahead of him, and unlike me, he had a heart. When they snap the hard, cold metal around my wrists, they force me to walk out. My pulse picks up speed when I notice paramedics enter the house.

I’m jammed into the cop car and they take me right to the precinct, and toss me in a cell, picking at the skin around my busted bleeding knuckles. The iron bars, the hard, cold benches, and the smell of stale sweat is nothing new to me - except they could never hold me before. An assaulted officer though – yeah, I won’t be leaving here for a while. Damn pigs. Fucking Jace.

“Michael Gilbert a.k.a Red.” The smugness oozes out of the damn officer as he strolls up to my cage. Still studying my bloodstained hands – Paul’s blood - I say a silent prayer for him. I’m not sure why I pray. My mom, maybe? She would always drag my ass to church while I was growing up. Lord knows, she still prays for me on her knees. I hold my head, a lot of good that has done for her.

A small pang erupts inside my chest at the thought of her... it’s been a while since I’ve seen my mom. Slowly, I lift my head and rest it on the concrete surface behind me and glare at the shithead.

“Someone wants to have a little chat with you,” the pig sings. The bastard motions for me to come up to the door, opening it, he snaps cuffs on my wrists. The dude is shorter than me, rounded, probably from eating out every day. I debate whether to pummel him and run for it. Something tells me that it won’t end on a high note for me, seeing how a few more cops enter the area.

The cop grabs my arm to lead me towards the interrogation room that I know all too well. The door opens to the same black tile floors, three white walls, and a large mirror that takes up the fourth wall. I notice they added a camera in the far corner - that’s new. The douche walks me to the center of the space, where there is an aluminum table and matching armchair. On the other side is a second chair, but it has some padding on it.

The man with the badge takes me to the aluminum seat without the padding and forces me to sit. My back is bitten by the ice-cold temperature of the chair, making me jump forward– suddenly, I miss my shirt. I left it with Paul.

The cop instructs me to keep my hands upon the table as he attaches the cuffs to a metal bar in the center. I sit there in silence as he leaves, staring into the mirror in front of me. I know it’s a two-way mirror. Someone is probably on the other side, watching me like a damn pervert. Lifting my middle finger, I give whoever is on the other side the bird.

Minutes later, a decent-sized man walks in wearing a uniform with a golden badge signifying that he’s an investigative detective. Great. He’s in shape, with no beer belly or much fat around the gut like the others around here. Gripping a manila folder in his hand, I see strained brown eyes with dark circles under them. His dark hair has some greyness that has sprinkled its way in; the man also has a thick dark mustache. With hesitation, he pulls out the seat in front of me, letting the obnoxious scraping of the aluminum scratch the tile floor before he sits. After staring at me like he knows all my dirty secrets, he throws the folder down and opens it. Looking, I know it’s my portfolio; the first thing he pulls out is a document with my name on it.

“Red.” My eyes dart back up to him at the mention of my road name. “You have quite the record here. Quite the reputation--” The detective has a faint southern accent. Before he continues, I cut him off.

“Aw, you know my nickname, and I don’t even know who you are. I’m flattered,” I state coolly with a smile.

Without missing a beat, he introduces himself as Elijah Cochran, Detective Cochran. I nod as he removes a picture from my file and places it in front of me. I don’t look at it.

“Do you know who this is?” He motions towards the polaroid.

Not looking, I tell him, “No,” while keeping my eyes on his. My fingers pick at the ripped skin around my knuckles again. My mind reverts to the cop that I nearly killed and Paul...

“You didn’t even look.” His voice is a frustrated growl.

I glance down at the black and white photo. Shit. I know exactly who the man is. Marcus. I give my best poker face while repeating my answer.

“No.” Marcus is the devil incarnate. He is even more ruthless than I am.

The detective fidgets with the corners of the file and informs me, “I once heard a rumor that he sold his wife into slavery. Do you know why?” He leans back in his chair. “Because she didn’t do it for him anymore. So, Marcus sold her after beating her to a pulp.”

I roll my eyes. No new information there.

He leans over the table, interlocking his fingers, and says, “He has two sons. Did you know that?”


“One is Paul’s age. Word on the street says that this man is training his son to take over the drug business.” He tells me with a strained smile, “he’s a drug lord.”

The drug lord, I want to correct him. Marcus also buys and sells women on the side. The devil’s prodigy has killed three of his men for just looking at him the wrong way. Of course, Detective Cochran probably doesn’t know that.

I have dealt with him, not by choice. I wasn’t in a position to say ‘no’ because he threatened my mom. Working for him once was enough. Annoying as he is, he keeps trying to get me to do little things for him here and there, but I continuously decline. To get him to stop dangling my mother’s life in front of me to take those jobs, I have moved her away from this God-forsaken town.

Detective Cochran locks eyes with me while pointing a finger on Marcus’s face in the photo. He warns me, “I’m only going to ask you one more you know who this man is?”

“No,” I repeat.

Fantasies of murdering Marcus a few times have filled my imagination on occasion, but I know better than to cross him. I don’t think his mother ever loved him. The demented asshole never hesitates when it comes to taking a life - man, woman, or child.

Detective Cochran slams his fists on the table; it barely makes me flinch out of the memory of Marcus. He takes out more pictures; photos of me with Marcus scatter between us. The content shows the side of my head, but they’re a little blurry - if no one knew who I was, they wouldn’t be able to tell it was me. “You’re lying!” The detective’s nostrils flare.

Well, I’ll be damned.

I lean back into the cold chair, letting it bite on my hot skin. A small humorous smile stretches on my lips because this guy can read people too. I thought I had the perfect poker face. I should work on that more.

***Thank you for reading the first chapter. I just got started on this site and hope to upload a cover tonight :) ***

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Further Recommendations

Rebecca Boberg: Enjoying the characters & their stories. Would like more detail in plot development & character development. Make a book

Christi Floyd: Really enjoyed it.

Stummy: Might have to read this again. Sweet story with a nice plot.

Preddysun: The story is not anywhere near being finished but so far I've enjoyed it. Good pacing and description. Will edit my review done with the book ❤️

Coffeetogo: This one definitely didn't disappoint! Loved the thrill and action, a great plot and the characters & personalities kept it so interesting! Definitely a page turner-I could hardly wait to see what came next- yet didn't want to read too fast and have it end. Great flow, great writing! 5 stars for ...

Rashmi Burnwal: Its a cute story with a happy ending,a heart warming and heart touching story so if you are a sucker for romance just read it🎉🥰

Martina: Good story. Cannot wait for the next chapters keep up the good work

Nancy Cain: An amazingly intriguing story and I absolutely loved each character and heart-stopping situation! Not even mentioning the hilarious banana 😂😂😂😂! Can not wait to see where this goes? Thank you for sharing your writing with us!

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Tina Figueroa: I love everything,and there are no words to describe how amazing this book is.Please you have to read the series,I did an it was so worth it

Maryke Le Roux: Awesome story thank you so much for the story

Maryke Le Roux: Awesome story thank you so much for the story

killarney385: The change of scenes was it for me. I love how the main character has his fate always backed up and how this plot intertwines with the other of the previous books. As usual, the grammar is simple enough to show the emotions in place.

Fridah Lizz: I love the plot and the character development. There are a few grammatical errors but generally the book is great

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