Crossroads: Book 1

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Chapter 52

Mike


With Axel behind me carrying the boy, we trudge down the steps. “Jace, come in,” I try again.

No answer.

“Have any of ya’ll seen Jace?” I question with a bit of panic into the radio.

I turn a corner and nearly run into a fellow figure dressed in all black. “I’m right here,” Jace says.

With a sigh, I punch his chest. “What the hell? You were supposed to be upstairs with me. Why weren’t you answering?”

“Sorry, I must have had bad reception. I was placing a few bugs in a few of the rooms,” Jace tells me.

“Did you not hear the gunshots?” I probe with a hint of anger.

“I did – but I thought you were okay. As soon as I heard the boy yell something, I heard a thud – figured it was him. So, I continued what I was doing. I’m sorry, Red.” Though he shrugs, he sounds sincere.

My eyes narrow at him. It’s hard to see his face behind the mask he’s wearing. He wouldn’t lie to me, would he? He’s never lied to me before. Why would he start now?

“Alright, we got the package. Let’s move out,” I speak into the radio.

Back at the clubhouse, my brothers and I head down the cement stairs beneath the bar’s main floor. We walk along a brick corridor and turn into an all brick room with a thick wooden door with a small barred window on the door.

I tell Axle to deposit the boy on a steel chair. I tie his ankles to the chair’s legs and tie his hands behind his back with zip ties. The ones on his wrists, I make extra tight; I don’t want him performing the ‘break my thumb to get out’ move. Then, I tie a rope around his abdomen and connect it to the back of the chair for added insurance. His head still hangs low from being unconscious.

“Ron and Jace, feel free to stay with me. The rest of you can go do whatever, but stay close,” I order.

The boots sludge along the floor and up the steps as the rest of the men leave. “What now?” Ron asks.

I pull up another chair and sit directly across from the sleeping mongrel. “We wait,” I tell him as I pull off my ski mask.


About an hour passes before I notice the boy’s face twitch. I kick his chair. “Wakie, wakie, sunshine,” I call.

His head eventually lifts then falls back; I must have hit him pretty hard. His head is probably pounding right now. “Hey! Wake up, pumpkin. We gotta talk,” I say louder.

His head pulls forward, and the eyes start to flutter open. They instantly bug out as they focus on me. He’s awake now.

“Remember me?” I smile.

“What the – what do you want?” he blurts while he jolts in his chair -figuring out quickly that he’s trapped.

I lean forward and rest my elbows on my knees. “Who told you there was an intruder in the house?” My head tilts to the side; my voice is calm, cool, and collected as I stare at him.

“What?” His frantic blue eyes dart behind me, looking at Jace and Ron. “What are you talking about?” he’s playing dumb.

If he wants to do it the hard way, then so be it. It’ll be fun for me. I take a buck-knife out of my pocket and open it up. My finger flirts with the blade for a minute; his eyebrows furrow with uncertainty.

“Ahhh!” he screams in pain. “Fuck!”

Without warning, I stabbed him in the thigh - just off enough to the side to avoid the major artery.

“Look, I have a few questions for you. You can either drag this out painfully, or you can cooperate. Your choice.” I grin sweetly.

Suddenly, there’s wet splatter hitting my face. He spat at me. Using my hand, I calmly wipe it off. The dried blood from his nose crinkles above his lip as he pulls a smile. I wonder what that smile would look like with a couple of teeth missing. Standing up, I reach for my back pocket and place powdered black brass knuckles around my fingers.

“You know,” I start. “I really don’t appreciate being spat at.” His eyes bug out. Right then, I smash the brass into his mouth. The sound of the brass clanking against his jaw and teeth is something that brings me more joy than it should. I hit him again, and again until blood falls from my fist and down his chin. I don’t want to knock him out; I just want to make him bleed—a lot.

His head rocks side to side. I fist his brown hair to lift his face so he can look at me, that damn piercing is shining in the light. “Who told you someone was in the house?” I ask coolly.

“I don’t know!” Blood splatters out as he grunts. “It was an anonymous number.” He coughs, probably choking on his own blood from his mouth.

I take out his phone from my vest; his eyes go wide. I try to unlock it, but I need his damn thumbprint—stupid phone lock safeties.

Stepping behind him, I reach for his thumb; he tucks them in a fist. “Give me your thumb, boy,” I tell him collectively.

He growls as I try to peel his thumb out. In reaching for the more delicate digit, I pull the pinky back – breaking it with a snap. He cries out, and his palm opens. I smile; works every time.

With his thumb, I unlock the phone then step back in front of him. I take my seat and scroll through his texts. Once I see the text, I press the little ‘i’ for information then press the phone icon. I put it on speaker.

That annoying woman’s voice fills the room. “I’m sorry, but the number you have reached has been disconnected...” I end the call.

My sights land on his. “New question.” I lean forward. “Where’s Marcus?”

“Who is Marcus?” He looks confused.

I shake my head. “Don’t play dumb, that’s how you end up bleeding.” I lean back in my chair.

“I don’t know any Marcus!” he shouts, blood splattering down onto his shirt and pants.

With the boy’s phone in hand, I go to his call history. He doesn’t have any names in this phone, just numbers. Smart kid. “Please! I don’t know any, Marcus! Let me go. Just let me go!” he pleads. It all goes in one ear and the out the other as I scroll through his phone.

“Maybe he’s tellin’ the truth,” I hear Ron whisper in my ear. I refuse to believe that. I find the latest call.

“Gag him,” I order. Jace walks up and wads a bandana in the boy’s protesting mouth. Then I press the recent number and put it on speaker.

It rings. The boy is looking nervous with his wide blue eyes, and I sit forward in my chair.

The other end picks up. “Isaac, are you okay?” The familiar panicked deep voice answers the call. I smirk, I know this voice, and now I also have a name for this kid.

I let this...Isaac give out a throaty cry for help just because. “Isaac? What’s going on? Are you okay? Where are you?!” Oh, the man on the line sounds quite worried.

My thumb hits the ‘end call’ button. I lean back in my chair. “You didn’t know that your father’s name was Marcus?” I ask with intrigue, ripping the bandana out of his mouth.

Isaac doesn’t answer me. “Who is Declan to you?” I ask, tilting my head.

No answer. He just stares at me with narrowed eyes. I take a deep breath. “Well, I’ll let you rest on all this for a bit. Tomorrow will be a fun day.” I grin sinisterly.

Isaac wiggles in his chair and yells words at me that I don’t listen to.

I place the phone back in my vest pocket as I walk out the cell door and close it. Jace and Ron follow me out.

“Ron, I need you to stand guard tonight.” I hand him the keys to lock the door.

Ron nods his head. “Sure thing, boss.”

With a turn, I make my way up the stairs and out of the club with Jace behind me. The phone keeps buzzing in my vest pocket. I take it out when I reach my truck and notice it’s the same number I dialed. I silence it, turn it off, then tuck it away in my center console.

Jace nods to me as he drives out of the parking lot.

When I check my phone, I notice there’s a text from Elena. With a groan, I hit the steering wheel. I need that distraction. I thought perhaps that making her attacker bleed would be enough for me, but it’s not. Reaching back into the console, I take out the yellow lined piece of paper that caught my eye earlier.

Without much thought, I reach for the scotch bottle from the glove compartment and take a swig. I dial the number and wait for the other line to pick up.

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