Crossroads: Book 1

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Chapter 2

​​​​​Mike


If this detective realized what was good for him, he’d let his interest with Marcus go. However, being in a profession where he doesn’t get paid for just letting things go, he continues to push me.

“There is evidence to show that you’ve worked with him. You’ve contacted him. Where is he?” Detective Cochran demands while I roll my eyes. His voice sounds tired, like he’s lost a lot of sleep over the last few days. Narrowing my eyes, I stare at him. It’s always best to not say much.

After a few uncomfortable moments, he adds, “What would your mother say about you working for him? Carol, is it?” His grin is smug, waiting for my reaction.

A low rumble escapes deep within my chest; the urge to leap across to smack his head into this glossy aluminum table is strong. It could use a few dents. How do they keep it so shiny, anyway?

“Carol Gilbert,” the detective sighs. “How long has it been since I’ve seen her - eighteen years?” he reflects out loud to himself while stroking his goatee.

Wait. What?

"What the fuck are you talking about?” I feel the blood boil in my veins. A prick of fear sears my spine. How is my mother involved with this? How did this prick know her? I screw my eyes shut for a moment, processing this additional information. It’s pissing me off. As my eyes dart back open, my nails dig into the palms of my hands.

​His features soften, gathering that I am confused. Speaking quieter, he tells me, “I went to school with your mom. I was also good friends with your dad - Jack. Before he disappeared, he asked me to keep tabs on you at one point, to make sure you’d turn out okay.”

My breathing quickens as his brows shoot up. The detective opens the folder to reveal all twelve speeding tickets from this year alone- all overdue, of course. Then he takes out jail records from my high school days to now, a copy of my damn high school graduation diploma from six years ago, photos of the side of my face or the back of my head in illegal gun and moonshine deals; the dude even has my old damn report cards.

“I guess I let him down,” Detective Cochran chuckles to himself. I remain quiet, not believing this guy. There’s no way he knows my mom or my old man. No way. He’s lying.

​“Look.” He has the audacity to continue while leaning into the table, “I knew them.” He pauses as he lifts the sleeve of his arm to reveal a tattoo. My brows furrow as I sit up straighter. It’s not just any tattoo; I’ve seen this one on my own shitty father. The detective lifts his arm to me - on his right forearm, the tattoo is weathered black. It’s a shape of a skull with two pistons as a set of bones crossed in front of it, revealing the colors of my old man’s motorcycle club–the Outlaws.

What the...

His voice lowers even more while his head ducks down to meet my gaze. I still can’t take my sights away from burning into the man’s tattoo. “I was his VP, Red. Trust me when I say that I had known him.”

​This man. This... snot-nose of a detective was my dad’s vice president? Can’t be. My dad has told me stories of that man, Cobra, they called him. I’ve heard that he liked to home in on his victims, stalk them, and then give them a quick, bloody, instant death. There was something about how he preferred taking his victim’s lives with a knife to the jugular from behind, so that he didn’t have to witness their souls leave their bodies for fear of his being dragged out with them.

My father told me once why Cobra had to leave the MC and Georgia. Something about a pregnant woman... Lilly? I remember the name. It’s been in the back of my mind for years.

Who the fuck is Lilly? Is that woman who this man ran after? Where is Lilly now? Where the hell is my father?

“You’re not a bad person, and all this shit that you’ve done in your past is just that. The past.” The detective leans back in his chair as I fight another eye roll. This guy - thinking he can wheedle me for his personal gain. “You are loyal to your men, and they are loyal to you and your Devil Henchmen MC.” He nods his head once. “It takes a damn good leader for men like that to have respect for you at your young age. Since I knew your father, the Reaper - I can trust you.” His shoulders square up. “You’re a good man despite all you’ve done.” He taps the table with two fingers near my folder. “You’ve gotten yourself into some deep shit, putting a cop’s life in jeopardy. I want to offer you a deal.” My eyes narrow as he says, “I could use your help, Red.”

​I scan his face; his forehead is beading with the slightest glistening of sweat. I can tell his pulse is in overdrive. Sincerity is written on his faintly worried face. His eyes are laced with honesty and hope even though they’re cold; I can see right through him. His hands aren’t trembling at all over the documents which tells me that if I don’t comply, chances are I’ll do some jail time. He’s offering a lifeline...

Shit.

He’s telling the truth. I glance down at my bloodstained hands and figure a deal is most likely a good thing. Paul has to be a part of this. I need to make sure that he’ll be okay; my brothers and I need to get something out of this too. Sitting up, I lean over the table, causing the cuffs to clink. “What kind of deal?”​

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