Crossroads: Book 1

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Chapter 90

Mike

“All the Intel I’ve gathered tells me that he will be there,” Jace assures me for the umpteenth time. “Paul, Ron, Jax, and Tick have also double-checked.”

With my arms crossed, I bring one hand up to rest my chin while I nod. Looking at the proof in front of me, I try to wrangle in as much faith as I can that I’m going to catch that son of bitch tonight.

Jace takes the map from the table and folds it up. “Let’s do this,” he says enthusiastically.

Some brothers and I suit up, grab our gear, and head out.


This feels wrong. A lot of his men are here, but he’s not. That bastard!

I reach for my two-way radio. “Do you, by any chance, see him over there?” I ask Ron, who’s positioned on the other side of the run-down factory building. Cobra willingly gave my men a picture of what the scoundrel looks like so we can all search for his face everyday damn day.

“Negative,” he responds.

Fuck.

There’s a pit in my stomach. Something’s not right. I can feel it.

“He should have been here by now, Red,” Jace says into the radio.

Jace is right. He should have been. I can’t help the twisted feeling that I was given false Intel. I narrow my sights through the scope of my rifle, praying that what I’m feeling can’t be true.

There’s not a traitor in my club, is there?

This isn’t the first time I’ve been given false Intel. Someone is messing with me; I just don’t know who. This isn’t the first time we’ve tried to ambush this guy and failed.

My phone buzzes in my pants, so I reach for it. It’s an unknown number. I swipe the lock and open the text.

The organ in my chest stops.

It’s her.

It’s Elena.

She’s at work and whoever is holding the phone is outside of the restaurant, taking a picture of her from the parking lot through the glass windows.

The text reads: I know it was you. You’ll pay for it.

Shit!

DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH HER! I punch each key as I text back angrily shaking digits.

In reaching for the radio, I tell my men to fall back and head to the clubhouse. I’ll meet up with them later, right now, this is between Marcus and me.

I run down to my bike, constantly trying to call Elena through my Bluetooth. All the calls go to voicemail. I don’t leave a message; I don’t want her to worry, I just want to hear her voice to know if she’s okay.

Blessings are being counted. None of the blue lights are chasing me as I zip through traffic, run red lights, and nearly cause several accidents through the dark of night in the heavy rain to get to my heart: Elena.

If her heart ever stops beating, I do not doubt that it will be the end of me. She will be the death of me, I know it. Rage is boiling over the surface; my blood is getting hot despite the cold downpour, thinking about how close he is to her. If he touches even a single hair on her head, I will fucking end him.

In the parking lot, I see him. He’s standing there in the rain with a stupid ass umbrella keeping the heavy drops of water off his much too expensive black trench coat.

Sneaking a peek through the windows, I see Elena, who is completely unaware of the tension outside of the restaurant. I move my sights into the dining area and see Squirelly sitting there, looking on his phone and occasionally glancing up at Elena.

Then his eyes dart from his phone to the parking lot.

He knows. Someone must have told him what happened.

Squirrelly reaches for the back of his waist for his pistol then stands up to charge out here, but I slightly shake my head.

He sits back down, but his hand stays on the handle behind his back. I hear a click of two guns, forcing my eyes to cut around me. One rifle is pointing in Elena’s direction, and the other one is pointing at me.

My wide eyes find Squirrelly’s. Don’t do it, man. Stay where you are. I try to tell him with my body language as I raise my hands. Taking my stare off my brother, I make my way to stand in front of the man whose son I’ve murdered.

Squirrelly faces forward to find Elena, who still has no idea as she packs orders for the trickling clueless paying customers. Customers who thankfully have their food prepared for the dine-in experience. Thank God this place isn’t so busy - the town would go in a tizzy if they saw this scene.

“You got here pretty fast,” the man under the umbrella praises with a deep gruff in an attempt to make small talk. This guy smokes way too much.

The hell with small talk. “What do you want?”

“Where’s my boy?” he bellows deep.

My face skews to show that I have no idea what he’s talking about. “I’m sorry. What?” I lie.

“Don’t lie to me. I know you took him. I know you killed him. The tracking on his phone leads to you. I’m not gonna ask again, where’s his body?” His emotion is raw and focused. The knuckles wrapped around his umbrella are turning pale. He’s trying not to lose control.

I’ll be damned. He actually cared for his asshole of a son. With how savage this man is, I didn’t see that coming.

A smug smile tugs at my lips, “He’s closer to home than you think.” I hold back a snicker with how true that is. Burying Isaac in his own backyard, poetry at its finest.

The man walks closer to me; the rain is pouring down, causing my eyes to narrow into slits from the heavy drops. With each step he takes, the puddles beneath him splash up, his face is grave, and his dark eyes are burning with fire.

“Have you figured it out yet, boy?” he asks, flatness in his tone.

“Figured out what?” This prick is so annoying.

“Who you really are. Has your precious mother told you yet?” Now, he’s smiling at me. An evil grin full of sadism.

My mother? What the hell does she have to do with this?

I don’t answer him. Instead, my eyes glance over to Elena just to make sure she’s okay and that she can’t see what’s happening in the parking lot. So far, she seems to still be fine and unaware. Squirrelly is watching her and me with a scowl on his face.

My sights zero back in on the man in front of me, then to the men at his flank. One still has a rifle pointing at me, and the other still has his sights in on Elena.

The blood in my veins is boiling at an all-time high. The volcano will erupt at any moment, and red will be all I see. My chest tightens, the pulse in my ears is loud. I could take all three of them. I’d die, but I could still end them. I think about the pistol in the waist of my jeans and the knife in my boot. I play out the scenario in my mind. I would die, but at least Elena would be safe.

My thoughts of murdering these three men evaporate when the bastard shoves his hand towards me. “The name is Randall,” he introduces himself with now a friendly smile.

I cock my head at this man’s insanity with how quick his temper changes.

“Randall Gilbert,” he says. Gilbert?

I feel my face fall for a fraction of a second. No. It can’t be. I try to keep my expression neutral; I won’t let him get in my head.

“Is this any way to treat your uncle?” After a moment, his hand falls to his side, hurt and disappointment etches across his features at my refusal to shake his hand.

Bullshit!

Half uncle, I want to say. Ever since mom told me about the terrible uncle I have and how he influenced my father into disappearing, a small part of me believed it was this guy in front of me. I shoved it all off to the side because that would mean that I share DNA with this psycho.

All this time, I refused to believe it.

Randall steps closer to me, nearly in my space. “That’s right,” he hisses, those dark eyes dart all over my face. “Jack is my half-brother, that makes you my nephew. Which means, you killed your cousin,” he strokes his chin. “You know, the deepest circle of Hell has a reserved spot for people like you.”

Like he has room to talk. “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree apparently,” I point out dryly.

With a chuckle, he says, “No, it does not.” Randall turns his head to look inside McDonalds. “Elena is absolutely beautiful.” He turns to face me again and tilts his head. “How much do you think I could sell her for?”

My fists tighten, and I go back to the thoughts of murder. My skin is burning despite the cold globs of rain splashing on my skin, soaking my clothes. Red is creeping into my line of vision.

“Easy, tiger,” Randall drawls. “Just tell me where Isaac is, and I’ll leave her alone.”

It can’t be that easy. He’s been sending threat letters to Cobra for months about taking his daughter away from him for trying to shut down the Marcus operation. He’s not just gonna leave her alone just like that.

I can’t trust him, and he knows it.

“Take my word for it, Red. I won’t lay a hand on her pretty little head,” he promises with a smirk.

*****

Dammit. I want to call mom and have her tell me that it isn’t true; that I don’t share a single chromosome with the devil incarnate. But why on God’s green earth would Randall lie about that?

No answer comes to mind.

Fuck!

I slam my front door shut. I couldn’t stay in that parking lot or walk inside after uncle Randall left. She’d ask why I’m soaked to the bone, and there’s no way that I’d be able to hide my anger from the lot party that took place. I didn’t want to lie to her...again. Besides, I know Squirrelly will make sure she’ll be safe, and uncle Randall gave me his word as a gentleman that he wouldn’t touch her.

Gentleman. I snort at that concept.

My feet trudge around the corner and into the kitchen. I open the cupboard for the much-needed whisky. Not bothering with a glass, I unscrew the cap and tip it back while kicking off my boots and soaked socks. The burn of the alcohol sears down my throat, matching the fire I feel inside.

Legs give out, and my body slumps on the couch, the wet clothes stick to my skin. The reflection from the dark TV is staring back at me. I watch myself as I nurse my frustrations and self-hatred from the bottle.

He’s in my blood. I’m related to him. I am no better than him. I may as well be him.

I take another sip and take out my phone to send a text to Elena.

Don’t see me tonight.

She can’t see me like this; I may not be a mean drunk, but I still don’t think it would be good for her to see me like this.

The world, as I know it, has completely changed. My life has turned a complete one-eighty in a matter of minutes with this new revelation: the man I’ve been trying so hard to stop and would kill is actually my own flesh and blood.

Another swig washes down my throat. I killed my cousin. To make matters worse, fucking Declan is also my cousin -my only cousin left. I know that the brother he is missing is Isaac. I’m sure of it.

It pisses me off that I share DNA with Dickadouche too. I take another gulp.

Before tonight, I knew I wasn’t necessarily a bad guy or a good guy...but now? I feel like I may as well be the spawn of Satan himself. I definitely have the genes for it.

***********
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