COMPLIMENTARY FIRST FOUR CHAPTERS
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Mia fuckin’ Ryder.
I sat at the train tracks. Desperately trying not to think about her, but it was easier said than done. She came into my life like a fucking hurricane, destroying everything in her path. A girl from the right side of the tracks, which for some reason I couldn’t ever fucking fathom.
Falling for a man like me.
I had made mistakes, too many to fucking count, but life didn’t give you a do-over. All that was left for me to do was to accept them, even fucking embrace them. They became a part of me, as much as every tattoo that covered my body. Every one of them meant something to me. They were my battle scars. Far worse than the ones I got in war. In the eyes of others, they were just colorful, intricate art.
But to me...
They were my solace and my pain.
Nothing had changed since the last time I fucking lived in this godforsaken town. No welcome home party from family or friends, no thanks or parades from the town residents for serving our country.
Not one fucking thing.
Everything I had done, I had done for my family, for the MC, for her…
I fought for my fucking brothers.
I fought for my goddamn country.
I fought for my girl.
I might fucking die for them too.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and all that fucking shit. I once read that every warrior hoped a good death would find him. I always went looking for mine, but not even the Reaper wanted me. I thought fighting for something I believed in would make me a good man.
In the end, it never mattered. I would always be on the wrong side of the tracks, and they would always lead me to the wrong station. Changing my people, places, and things throughout the years didn’t help change the outcome of the choices I’d made. Of the things I’d done.
At the end of the day…
I was already nailed to the cross.
I was fucking born on it.
“It ain’t gonna suck itself, sweetheart,” I stated with a predatory regard, eyeing the busty blonde up and down.
She was a new club whore with a banging body, huge tits, heart-shaped ass, and way too much fucking makeup on her mousy face. She'd been eye-fucking the shit out of me since she showed up at the clubhouse a few days ago. I was never much for dabbling in the club bunnies that bounced from one cock to another, but that didn’t stop me from letting them suck my cock. After the day I’d had, I fucking earned it.
“Here? On your bike?” she coyly asked, gazing all around her. Trying to pretend like she’d never done this before.
We were tucked behind a row of trees on the club's property. My go-to spot for quickies, and the only place I could ride to on my bike. My pops gave me a sleek Harley Davidson Sportster for my sixteenth birthday almost two years ago. I’m pretty sure he didn’t pay for it, but who was I to complain, it was a sick-looking bike. It had all matte black components, custom fenders, seat, and gas tank with the club logo painted on it. Not to mention the killer engine and exhaust system, visible on the sides. A set of shortened handlebars, and a massive front headlight that completed the badass machine.
The clubhouse was barely visible in the distance, making it impossible for anyone to see us. Not that I gave a flying fuck.
“You said you wanted to hang out.”
“No, sweetheart,” I chuckled. “What I said was I had somethin’ hangin’ for you.” Gesturing to my cock.
Her eyes widened. Dark and dilated. Biting her pouty red lip that I couldn't wait to have wrapped around my dick.
“Can see how you would confuse that, though,” I sarcastically added, grabbing a strand of her fake platinum blonde hair.
Women’s place in an MC’s life was always in the fucking background. The club came first no matter what. We all carried the same principles—honor, respect, and brotherhood. A family made up of ruthless motherfuckers right down to their goddamn bones. All led by the shadiest son of a bitch known to man.
He was the president of the mother chapter, Devil’s Rejects, in South Port, North Carolina. The first chapter established, making him the top fucking dog of the MC. Even though every chapter below had a president of their own, they couldn’t make executive decisions without his final approval. Getting a visit from him only ended in death. He would only step in if he was fucking crossed or shit hit the fan in a catastrophic way.
Other than that, the chapters did whatever the fuck they wanted, it was a fucking free-for-all. My old man could do no wrong in everyone's eyes, when in reality that was all he ever fucking did. Cops’ pockets were greased with dirty money to turn a blind eye to all our illegal activities. Everywhere we went, people looked the opposite direction and moved the fuck out of our way. Devil's Rejects were known to all, spread out all over the community, the state, even nation fucking wide.
The only enemy we had was the law.
She smirked, cocking her head to the side, slowly licking her luscious lips as she casually reached for the front of my vest. Teasingly skimming her long red fingernails down the front of it, never taking her sinful eyes off mine.
“Creed,” I murmured, wanting to hear my name fall from her lips.
“I know your name, Creed. Mine’s—”
“Not fuckin’ important, yeah?”
She arched an eyebrow, looking down at the rugged fabric of my cut.
Our black leather vests or cuts as we called them, were the MC's brand, our signature trademark recognized by everyone, especially women and civilians. They were each chapter’s identification, who we were and what we stood for. On the back of our cuts were the club’s colors, a badass looking tattooed pin-up girl with huge fucking tits sporting devil ears and a tail. Straddling a custom chopper, holding a skull with flames beating out of its eyes in one hand and an AK47 rifle in the other. Above the logo was a crescent-shaped red patch that read “Devil’s Rejects” in black acidy lettering. Below the logo was another crescent-shaped patch with Southport, NC stitched on it.
On the front left of our cut was a “one-percent” patch that was worn with fucking pride, indicating we were outlaws. There were no rules to follow unless it came to the club or our brothers, fucking laws became obsolete. Devil’s Rejects had been around since the forties and had more than proven their loyalty to the MC world. Quickly becoming one of the most feared clubs in society. One of the select few that was branded as a “one-percent” club. We were diehard bikers who would stop at nothing, even murder, to prove ourselves worthy.
Honorable fucking killers.
I’ve seen the brutality firsthand. It’s not a pretty sight. Fucking Neanderthals, not to be fucked with, or else. Nothing happened in Southport without our knowledge or control.
Not one damn thing.
Our cuts were our holy grail.
Her fingers skimmed the right front panel of my cut, over my “MC” patch that only true motorcycle clubs sported. You’d never see this on a HOGS vest because let's face it, they were just a bunch of pussy-ass wannabe riders on expensive bikes, never willing to get their fucking hands dirty.
“Where are the rest of your patches, Creed?” she purred. “All the other bikers have years lined up under this MC patch, here. Haven’t served much time, huh?”
I narrowed my eyes at her, growing more annoyed and irritated as the seconds passed. I was never one for fucking chit chat.
“You don’t talk much, do you?”
I pointed to the name “Prospect” stitched on the right of my cut, where my name and rank would be as soon as I turned eighteen. The black leather was a blank canvas for now, but eventually, it would be filled with random duty patches scattered around. All representing what I had done and what I’d fucking do for the club and the brothers.
For now, I was at the bottom of the fucking chain, itching for my day to come. I couldn’t really complain much, though, having my old man as Prez definitely had its fucking perks. Respect was one of them. Anyone fucking crossed me, they’d be crossing Pops, too. A fucking death wish you didn’t want to sign up for.
I spent the last seventeen years of my life watching him rule with an iron fist, annihilating what so many Jameson men built before him. My future was sealed the day my parents found out I had a cock. I would follow in the long line of men in my family, taking over as MC Prez one day.
As of right now, I was just another fucking prospect doing the shit jobs that they didn’t want to do. Making myself available at all hours, whether it was to dig a fucking grave, getting my hands dirty in more ways than one, or going on a fucking food run for the lazy bastards. I’d seen and done more shit than any mother would ever be proud of, but that never mattered. I was thrown in with the wolves too many goddamn times to count, just to see if I would come out alive. I did every fucking time, with a fat ass smile on my motherfucking face, just as ruthless as the rest of the brotherhood.
Always proving myself worthy to the club, but mostly to my father. He wouldn't just let me sign my life away. He wanted my fucking blood on it. Holding the shit I had done for the club over my head. Reminding me, if I ever stepped out of line, just how easy it would be for him to use the leverage he had to make me march right back in line where I belong. Following him, the Prez; his rules, his authority, his final word, once again. One day soon, I would patch in as a brother, whether I wanted to or not.
It wasn’t a lifestyle. It was a way of life.
The only one I’d ever known.
I slipped my hand behind her neck, gripping tight and tugging her toward me not moving from the place I sat on my bike. Causing a gasp to escape from her lips at the sudden change in my demeanor. Patience was never one of my fucking virtues. It was a Jameson trait that ran deep in my blood. I determined the who, what, when, and where in life.
Anyone who didn't approve could go fuck themselves.
Bottom line, I lived and breathed for my mother and my baby brothers—Luke, who was fourteen years old, and Noah, who was eleven. Everything else was just a means to an end for me.
“Shhh…” Silencing her with my index finger, I brought my mouth inches away from her lips. Her breathing hitched the closer I got, my warm breath assaulting her senses. “Only thing I want from this mouth,” I paused, pecking her lips, “is for it to be wrapped around my cock,” I rasped, emphasizing the last word as I guided my thumb into her pouty mouth.
She sucked it like a goddamn pro, eagerly reaching for my belt and unbuckling it.
“Good girl,” I praised, removing my thumb with a pop. Guiding her closer to me by the nook of her neck. “Now pull out my cock,” I groaned into her ear, causing her skin to immediately warm under my touch. She did as she was told with unsteady hands, never taking her eyes off mine.
I didn’t know her fucking name. I didn’t care to learn it either. None of these girls mattered. Besides, I was never any fucking good with names.
“Stroke it. Harder,” I ordered as I continued to kiss down her neck to her tits that were on full display.
“Like this?” she breathed out.
I groaned, cupping her breasts and burying my face in them. “Yeah, babe. Just like that,” I groaned, into her breasts. Jerking her head back by her hair, lowering her to the ground. Not letting go until she was on her fucking knees in front of me. She suddenly released my cock when I placed my own hand around my shaft, stroking myself up and down in front of her face.
She looked up at me with hooded eyes, craving to taste me. I continued to jerk myself off until she sucked the head of my cock into her greedy mouth. Moving down toward the base of my shaft, taking me in, inch by inch.
“Deeper,” I demanded, gripping onto a fist full of her hair. She gagged as soon as I felt the back of her throat, but her hand never stopped working me over. Making it easy to quickly find a rhythm that had my head slightly leaning back, and my mouth parting.
My eyes remained focused on her as she sucked my cock like she had something to prove. Her hand followed the movements of her mouth, while her other hand tugged at my balls simultaneously. My breathing became erratic, fueling my need to rock my hips in the opposite direction of her heady movements. Wanting nothing more than to take full control and fuck her face.
“Gonna come,” I growled.
I wasn’t a complete asshole. I at least gave her a fucking warning.
She tried to remove her lips off my cock, but I gripped onto the back of her head, shoving it deeper. Moving my hips forward one last time and coming hard in the back of her throat. Shaking out my release, I pulled my dick from her mouth with a pop. “Swallow,” I sternly ordered.
She peeked up at me through her lashes, immediately doing as she was told. Wiping the corners of her mouth, trying to fix her red lipstick that was now painted all over my cock. I tucked myself back into my pants and buckled my belt when she seductively glided her way up my body, going right for my mouth.
I jerked back. “If I wanted to taste my come I’d lick it off your face, sweetheart. Ya got a little somethin’ right here.” I gestured to the corner of my lip.
She pulled away, snarling, “Fuck you!”
I grinned, scoffing out, “No, thanks. Got requirements for that position, and you obviously don’t fuckin’ qualify, darlin’.”
“Creed!” I heard Luke’s voice echo through the trees. “Ya out there?”
I revved my bike a few times, getting ready to take off.
“What the hell? You’re just going to leave me out here?” She stomped her foot like a three-year-old, reminding me exactly why I never stayed around after my balls were empty.
“Use those legs for somethin’ other than just spreadin’ them open,” I crudely mocked, riding off, hearing her scream something or another behind me. I sped up the path into the clearing, making my way over to Luke, who had a shit-eating grin on his face when he came into sight.
He shook his head. “Another one? That’s number three and it's only Friday,” he called out over the rumbling noise of my bike.
“Mind your business, little brother.”
He rolled his eyes, kicking some gravel beneath his shoes.
“What are you doin’ here? Just get out of school? Where’s Ma?” I questioned, pulling up right in front of him. Using the toe of my black combat boot to flip out the kickstand.
I should have been in school, too, instead, I was riding around all fucking day, getting everything in order for the club meeting. I was already falling behind in most of my classes from skipping all the damn time. I refused to sit in that hellhole and be told what to do by a bunch of teachers who didn’t give a flying fuck about me. Not like I needed an education for my future.
“She’s inside takin’ care of business with Dad.”
I chuckled, pointing to the clubhouse. “Christa is in there. He ain’t gonna be happy she came uninvited, again.”
“Is he ever happy?”
I laughed, knowing he was right.
Christa was one of Pops’ main fucks. She was another whore barely off her momma’s tit. I had witnessed my old man fucking club whores more times than I cared to fucking count. The bastard never bothered hiding the fact that he stuck his cock in every slut that spread her legs for him. I couldn’t pinpoint a time when he wasn’t cheating on my mother, and she wasn’t crying herself to sleep over his infidelities. You’d think after so many acts of betrayals, she would wake the fuck up and leave him. Instead, she stuck right by his side, acting like nothing was wrong, giving him more sons. Probably hoping that was enough to prove her loyalty to him and the club.
Which was a crock of shit if you asked me.
Or maybe she just wanted to remind everyone that she was still his old lady. Except old ladies weren’t allowed on the property unless invited, usually during big parties, when they were needed in the kitchen where they belonged, cooking for the members. On those days, it was a free for all. The rule allowed the brothers freedom to not worry about catfights that would break out due to their dicks getting wet by a pussy that wasn't their wives’. If the old ladies thought their men were keeping their cocks tucked in their pants, they deserved to be cheated on for being so fucking stupid. Ma already knew what Pops was up to, it wasn't a secret. He didn't give a fuck how it made her feel, he knew she had too much to lose by leaving him.
Leaning back, I killed the engine on my bike and grabbed the pack of smokes from the front of my cut. Placing the nicotine-fueled stick between my lips, lighting it up, and blowing the smoke into the air, away from Luke. He hated the smell of cigarettes, giving me shit for years on how I was killing myself slowly with every puff or some bullshit like that. He finally gave up recently, knowing I was a lost cause. Smoking was my vice, quickly becoming addicted to the nicotine that calmed me.
My refuge from the shit storm I lived in.
I was exposed to it all my life, everyone around me smoked like fucking fiends, one cigarette after another. I took my first drag when I was eleven, and shortly after that, I smoked my first joint with the brothers. It wasn’t all that bad, I could’ve gotten into much worse shit. Drugs and booze were prevalent in my daily life, just as much as the women were. My body was already covered in ink.
Just another one of my vices.
“What’s up?” I asked, setting the cigarette on the corner of my lips.
“Well… I kind of… I mean…” he stumbled over his words, shuffling his feet around. Looking everywhere but at me.
“Out with it, Luke.”
He visibly took a deep breath, finally locking eyes with me and blurted, “I need some advice.”
I cocked my head, curious.
“On… you know... life and stuff…”
“Pussy?” I stated with raised eyebrows, cutting to the chase.
“Never mind. Forget it.” He abruptly turned to walk away from me, but I wasn’t going to let him get away that easy. I got off my bike and grabbed him by the arm.
“Not so fast. Spill.”
He turned back around to face me. “How do you know I want to talk about a girl?”
I grinned, letting go. “It’s always about a girl. You hittin’ it or you wanna hit it?”
“I got a girl, Creed.”
“You got a dick, Luke. That’s what you got. So stop pussyfootin’ around and tell me what I can advise you on, other than whether or not you’re gonna put it in. You sure as fuck better put it on,” I reminded, referring to him wrapping it up.
“Yeah… yeah… I know.”
“Gonna be fifteen soon. Balls got to drop any day now.”
“I mean… when did you—”
“Eleven. Woke up in the middle of the night with my dick in her mouth. Lasted about twenty seconds once she started ridin’ me,” I laughed, remembering how much of a one-pump chump I was.
“Couldn’t tell you what she looked like in the dark. Pops needed to make sure his firstborn son loved pussy as much as he does and he wasn’t raisin’ a homo.”
He jerked back, surprised by my revelation. Those were the exact words my father used the next morning. I reminded him that I was only eleven, which earned me a backhand to the face. Telling me I should be thanking him for what he provided, not mouthing off.
I shook off the memory. “It’s okay, Luke. Can’t rape the willin’.” I smirked. “I’ll always be honest with you. Not gonna sugarcoat shit, ain’t got the time or patience for that. Had to learn things the hard way, don’t want that for you. Everythin’ I do is for Ma, you and Noah and don’t you ever fuckin’ forget it.”
We were all in this life for the long run, left to deal with our shitty luck. It wasn’t Luke or Noah’s fault. They didn’t ask to be born in this fucked up world any more than I did. I would die for my baby brothers and a part of me still held on to the hope that they wouldn’t have to live this life forever. Deep down I knew I was a goddamn fool, just like my mother. She was holding onto the notion of a better husband and father while I was holding onto the notion of a better life.
Pops would give his last dying breath for his sons to follow in his footsteps. Come Hell or high water, we had no say in our destiny. It was already mapped out for us.
“I know. I just… I really like her, you know? I don’t want to mess it up.”
“So, you’re sayin’ this isn’t about pussy? It’s about love?” I chuckled uncomfortably.
He nodded, placing his hands in his pockets, waiting for what, I wasn’t sure.
I walked past him to sit on the top of the old wooden picnic table in the far back of the clubhouse. Resting my elbows on my knees, flicking the ashes from my cigarette down to the grass.
Trying like hell, to come up with some genuine advice for him. Thinking back to all the chick flicks my mother would watch with envy. The same shit over and over, boy meets girl, boy asks girl to marry him, and they live happily ever after with three kids, a dog, and a white picket fence. A bunch of fucking bullshit that wasn’t real life, but there had to be something I could pull out of my ass to tell him.
“Look, Luke… don’t think I’m the best person to be askin’ love advice from. Love is… well, love is fuckin’…” I shrugged, taking another drag of my cigarette, not knowing what to say.
The sounds of motorcycle engines revving suddenly filled the air around us from the front of the clubhouse. Soon this place would be crawling with the elite of the fucking elite, and I was due inside at any second.
“It’s fine, just go. I know you have obligations with Pops and the club,” he sighed, disappointed. Watching me twist my watch around my wrist.
I ignored him. “You like her? Like, wanna date her and see where it goes, yeah?”
“Yes,” he simply stated, hopping up onto the table next to me. “She’s different, Creed. Not like the girls from around here, that’s for sure,” he admitted, rubbing the back of his neck. Trying to act like a man, when he was still such a kid.
I don’t think I would ever be able to see my baby brothers for anything other than my responsibility. It had been that way since the day they were born. My mother wasn’t a bad mom, she just had too much of her own shit to worry about. At the end of the day, she just didn’t know any better. Raising three boys wasn’t easy, and my dad was no help. All she did was fall for a guy from the wrong side of the tracks, getting knocked up young, with me. Trying to grow up ever since. She did love us, though, and tried to show us affection often, making up for my father’s lack of.
He didn’t give a shit about anything but the MC.
“She’s just moved here from Dallas, Texas,” Luke informed, pulling me away from my thoughts. I took another drag of my cigarette, flicking it out in front of me.
“Her daddy is in some kinda sales. Makes good money that’s for sure. She wears nice clothes every day, has long brown hair, blue eyes, and smells so fuckin’ good.”
I smiled, glancing over at him, watching his face light up as he talked about his girl. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me proud that he wanted to do right by her. That our upbringing hadn’t jaded his thoughts about women and love like it had me.
“Anyway, we’ve been hangin’ out at school. I haven’t even kissed her yet. So, I just figured you have a lot of experience with girls… maybe you could give me some advice. I even wanted to ask you if maybe you could pick her up tomorrow night and drop us off at the movies? I’d ask Ma but…”
“She’d embarrass the shit out of you.” We both laughed, knowing it was the truth. “Tell me if I’m followin’. You don’t wanna just fuck her, but you want to play fuckin’ house, yeah?”
He leaned forward, cocking his head to the side, and nodded.
“Feelin’ okay?” I reached over, trying to feel his forehead. He jumped down from the table, out of my reach. “You know you’re a Jameson, right?” I laughed.
“Fuck you! Forget about it. Forget I ever said anything. I’ll figure this out on my own, douche bag.” He shoved my shoulder and I immediately groaned in pain. Grabbing onto it, trying to deter the throbbing ache.
“Ah, hell, can’t take a joke now, little brother? Man up,” I let out, laughing it off.
“What happened to you?” he instantly asked, reaching over. Pulling my hand, cut, and shirt away from my shoulder. “Why is your shoulder all bandaged up?”
“Luke, I’m fine.”
“Bullshit. Did you get shot at? Where is Dad sending—”
I pushed him away. “Don’t need babyin’, Luke. I’m fine. Promise,” I reassured, holding three fingers in the air. “Scouts’ honor.”
“Since when are you a boy scout?”
“Since I ate a fuckin’ brownie. Now get your skinny ass back over here and finish what you were sayin’.”
He chuckled even though he was still worried, sitting back down next to me.
“She know how ya feel?” I questioned, changing the subject.
“I think so.”
“Then go for her, Luke. You like her, you show her. Treat her with respect. Simple as that. Think and act with your brain and heart.” I rested my hand on his chest. “Instead of your cock.” Nudging his shoulder. “Ya feel me?”
He took a deep breath, contemplating what to say next. I narrowed my eyes at him.
“I also want to give her this. What do you think?” He reached up, unhooking the chain from around his neck.
I knew exactly what he was referring to before he even showed me. Pops had given all us boys a St. Columbanus, the patron saint of motorcyclists when we were born. A medallion on a silver chain. It was supposed to keep us safe, protected, and signify the life we were born into.
The MC life.
The back of each medallion had the time we were born engraved on it with the words “Ride or Die.” When we were babies, Ma would pin the medallion to our onesies, but as we got older, we wore it around our necks.
“Luke, I don’t think—”
“There you are, you piece of shit,” Pops’ voice bellowed from the back screen door, interrupting me. “You fuckin’ deaf? You not hear the bikes pullin’ up? Get your ass inside right now, before I think twice on lettin’ you attend.”
“Pops, it was my fault,” Luke interfered.
“Don’t.” I put my hand up, silencing him.
“Did I tell ya to speak? You are just like your fuckin’ ma, always speakin’ when not spoken to. You’re weak, and worthless like her too.” He came through the door, down the three steps. Grabbing Luke by his shirt and pulling him from the table. Knocking his necklace out of his hand, making it fall to the dirt below me. “Do I need to teach you another lesson, boy?”
I could see Luke’s hands working into fists, his face flushed and his jaw clenched like he was about to say something he’d surely fucking regret.
“You’re a Dick,” Luke muttered under his breath.
“What was that?” Pops tugged him closer to his face.
I got up, stubbing my cigarette out on the wood. Immediately grabbing Luke by his arm, yanking him out of Dad’s grasp. I stepped up, placing Luke securely behind me.
“Ain’t his fault. My fuck up. Won’t happen again,” I gritted out, trying to remain calm. “Luke, walk away.” I spun, shoving him back.
“Come on, boy, don’t be a pussy. Spit it out, what did you say?” Dad antagonized further, needing to take out his aggression on someone.
I gave Luke a stern look, warning him to keep his goddamn mouth shut. The last thing I wanted was to go hand and fist with our father, but I would if he put his hands on my brothers or mother in front of me. I think a part of him knew not to cross that line with me. Which was why he never hit them in my presence, but that never stopped him from unleashing his wrath through his fists, nonetheless.
“Nothin’, Sir,” Luke replied, understanding my silent warning.
“Now run along, the real men have important business to take care of. When you grow a pair of fuckin’ balls, you’ll be able to play, too,” he provoked, wanting to have the last word.
Pops watched Luke walk in the direction of Ma’s car, where she was standing with nothing but pain and regret in her eyes. It was always worse when she tried to defend us, his anger would just turn to her. Furious that she was trying to raise us into a bunch of pussies, when all he was trying to do was make us into men.
I reached down, grabbing Luke’s necklace. Shoving it in my pocket before Dad saw. Making a mental note to give it back to my brother later.
He nodded to me. “Get your ass inside.” With that, he turned and walked up the back steps.
“Thanks, baby,” Mom called out when he was back inside, bringing my attention to her.
I smiled, waving her off. Looking at Noah who was sitting in the passenger seat just shaking his head. She kissed Luke’s cheek and whispered something in his ear I couldn't make out.
I took a long, deep, reassuring breath. Looking at the only thing that was ever truly important to me.
After I watched them drive off, my eyes went back to the clubhouse. The Prez had called in Church and I wasn’t talking about the one where you sat in a chapel, praying to the lord above, asking forgiveness for your sins.
Because God didn’t want us.
And Hell would spit us the fuck out.
I walked inside the old machine warehouse that was converted into the clubhouse decades ago. The run-down building was in the middle of nowhere, just outside of town with nothing but acres of open fields surrounding it. It was its own organization, governed by its own laws. The exterior was painted black with a massive mural of the club’s logo on the front of the warehouse. Over the large steel door was the club’s plaque that read Devil’s Rejects MC, Southport, NC.
The building also housed several small loft apartments where club members would fuck the whores who were always hanging around, or use them for crashing occasionally. Some members even used them as their homes. Club whores were prevalent in the MC, fucking any brother at any given time. At times, we would get girls passing through town, just looking for a bad boy and a good fucking time. Knowing they’d find it here. There were a couple of girls who were nice, they just had a rough go at life and found shelter in this fucking place. The majority of them, though, were bouncing around from one cock to the next, hoping one of the brothers would be stupid enough to make them their old lady one day.
“You keep your fuckin’ mouth shut. Understand me?” Dad threatened in a tone I was all too familiar with. Standing next to my post outside the door.
“Gonna let me in?” I replied, cocking my head to the side, referring to the meeting.
“After what you did for the club today. You fuckin’ earned it.” He patted my back. “You’ll be eighteen soon, we won’t have problems anymore. You’ll stand where you’re meant to be. By me, son. By. Fuckin’. Me,” he stated with pride.
I just nodded.
I took my position outside the door, standing guard, and confiscating our guests’ weapons and phones before they walked into the room, an action necessary when civilians attended meetings. All the patched in brothers took their places at the long rectangle table where brothers sat on the right and guest attendees on the left. My father always sat at the head of the table with his gavel in front of him. Usually these meetings, church as we called them, were always the same.
Alongside him was the Vice President, Striker, who had been with the MC for over two decades. He was more than my father’s right-hand man. They were like blood brothers, having grown up together. I grew up with his son, but really wasn’t a fan of the bastard. Personally, I always thought their friendship was all a crock of shit.
Then there was Diesel, who went from being a nomad to the Sergeant of Arms. Nomads were the Grim Reapers, they worked for the club, killing anyone we said had to go without a second fucking thought, or explanation. He took me to my first titty club when I was fourteen, even bought me a fucking lap dance with a happy ending from the young brunette with pouty lips, a luscious ass and tight pussy. He was the brother I was the closest with.
Below his title was Stone, the Secretary. He transferred over from the Arizona chapter and had been with us since last year. I’m pretty sure he was responsible for “buying my bike,” for Pops. He was in his mid-twenties and never spoke much, but when he did, he would have you laughing your ass off. He was the funniest son of a bitch I ever met. Cracking jokes at the most inappropriate times. He liked pussy as much as he liked making people laugh. The women flocked to him for his sense of humor alone.
Last but not least was Phoenix, the treasurer of Devil’s Rejects. He counted our money as much as he did our goddamn drugs. I got my first tattoo when I was ten years old by that cokehead, acquiring several more pieces of ink from him since. I stopped counting how many a few years ago. It was hard to say no when he offered all the damn time. He was a dope-ass artist, who was high as fuck all the time, but it only made him better at what he did.
Monthly meetings with just the patched-in brothers were less formal, compared to the ones when civilians attended. Pops preferred that church with business associates, be held on our turf, so he could still remain in control. In case shit ever hit the fan, which happened from time to time, the brothers would have direct shots from across the table. Not only were each of them loaded, there were guns rigged under the table where they sat, as well.
No one went in strapped other than the brothers.
“Finish up here, there should only be a few more we are expectin’. Gonna start in about fifteen minutes, lock the artillery up, and come in. Stand in the back, pay attention, and keep your fuckin’ mouth shut, ya hear?”
I nodded again, not really listening to a damn word he said, focusing on getting the guns checked. He walked into the meeting room and just as I was about to lock up shop, I saw a black limo with dark tinted windows pulling up to the front on the security screen above the door. I didn’t have to fucking guess who it was, I knew exactly who sat behind the glass. His driver got out and opened the back passenger door, letting out several men including a tall man, with jet-black hair and tan skin. Only confirming what I already knew.
He was a corrupt gangster straight out of New York City, who was feared by everyone that had ever crossed paths with him. They called him El Diablo or some shit. I didn’t care for him. I never had. But he was the only man I ever saw my father somewhat cower down to, which probably should have meant something to me.
He’d show up from time to time unannounced. Stepping out of his chauffeured limo, wearing his fancy fucking suits and designer shoes. Not a hair out of place. Always rolling up deep with several bodyguards at his sides. All of them strapped and ready to kill, or be killed, for him. I couldn’t figure out why my old man was wary of him. To me, he just seemed like a pussy hiding behind an expensive suit and his men. Pops couldn’t figure out that Martinez worked for us, not the other way around. The MC was his supplier for guns and sometimes drugs.
He needed us. Plain and simple.
He buttoned his suit jacket, covering up the guns he had holstered underneath, and signaled for his men to stay put like fucking dogs, heeling behind their goddamn owner.
“Well if it isn’t Creed Jameson,” Martinez announced, walking through the steel door toward me. “Last time I saw you, you were still on your momma’s tit,” he paused, eyeing me up and down with a patronizing regard. “Very nice tits, if I remember correctly,” he baited, standing tall in front of me with his hands in the pockets of his slacks. A smug look plastered on his fucking face. “Do you know who I am, son?”
I didn’t falter. I didn’t give a flying fuck who he was. No one came onto my turf, disrespecting my mother.
“Not your son.” I nodded through a clenched jaw, crossing my arms over my chest, sizing him up.
I’d be lying if I said his solid muscular build, evident through his black three-piece suit, hadn’t taken me back a little. We were the exact same size, 6’3, broad and stalky. Except I had fucking youth on my side, Martinez had to be in his late forties, but still had that pretty boy fucking face.
“I know exactly who you are,” I stated, not backing down. Speaking my goddamn mind. “A pussy who hides behind his expensive fuckin’ suits. Those goons suck your cock too?”
He let out a throaty laugh, his head falling back. “You have a set of real brass balls, son,” he mocked, trying to brush past me, bumping into my shoulder. I stiff-armed him with my good arm right across his chest. Stopping him before he reached the door.
“Gonna need you to hand over all your guns.” I peered down at him. “Includin’ that Glock strapped to your leg.”
“Aren’t you cute.” He grinned. “The fuck I am, you little shit. I’m already going in without my men. I’m not handing over my guns, especially to a hotheaded little Dick, whose fucking balls have barely dropped. You want to step up to me? I won’t hesitate to put a fucking bullet in one of those balls,” he spewed close to my face.
I didn’t waver, grabbing onto the lapels of his suit, getting right up into his face. “Read the sign, motherfucker. No weapons beyond this point. You respect the club, or you get the fuck out.” I smiled, releasing him, smoothing out the wrinkles I caused. Looking him straight in the eyes. “Let’s try this again. Hand over your guns,” I repeated in a cocky tone.
“What the fuck is goin’ on out here?” Pops roared, barreling through the double doors, stopping when he was face to face with Martinez.
“I’m disappointed, Jameson. You should really teach your boy here some manners. Or should I teach him some for you?” Martinez snarled, arching an eyebrow, reaching into his suit jacket.
My father looked from him to me and back to him again.
“I suggest you tell this little ankle biter to shut the fuck up and let me pass. I’m your boss. I’m either coming in loaded, or I’m not coming in at all.”
“I apologize for my son’s behavior. I forgot to tell him you’re the only exception. It won’t happen again.”
“Damn right it won’t. He won’t live to talk about it if it does,” Martinez threatened, only glaring at me.
Dad eyed me. “Creed, stand down, boy. Martinez is a guest in this club. He doesn’t need to check his weapons.”
I jerked back. “Are you shittin’ me?” I scoffed out, caught off guard by his response.
“Creed! Enough! I will deal with you later. Martinez, come on in, we were just about to start.” He gestured toward the door.
Martinez walked past, body checking me in the shoulder, causing me to wince from the shooting pain radiating down my arm. I didn't sway, standing tall, resisting the urge to slam him up against the wall and fuck up his pretty boy face. My pissed-off old man, followed close behind him, shooting me a warning with his glare.
I backed away, shaking my head, surprised by the turn of events. I locked up the weapons, and followed them in, closing the door behind me. Taking my place by the far wall, right where I could keep an eye on the motherfucker, from across the room.
Martinez grinned like a fucking fool when he saw me, leaning back into his chair. Crossing his ankle over his leg, he unbuttoned his suit jacket, allowing the entire room to see that he was still locked and loaded. Fueling my anger.
He placed his hand on the table. “Since when do we let children attend the meetings?” he taunted.
“Since old fucks like you—”
Pops cleared his throat, bringing his attention back to him. If looks could kill, I'd be lying in a pool of my own blood at that moment.
Surrendering my hands, I shut my fucking mouth even though I had so much more to say.
The gavel sounded three times, announcing church was now in session. Silencing all the banter going on around the room, bringing everyone’s focus to the Prez. It was the first time I was ever allowed in on church with other associates present, and I watched with a fascinated regard as my father took center stage. His demeanor read nothing but dominance and control, portraying the perfect image of the fearless, powerful, envied leader that he so desperately clung onto.
The older I got, the more my mother loved to remind me how I was the spitting image of him. From our deep-set gray eyes, narrow face, high cheekbones, square jaw, and pointed nose, to our stubborn, bullheaded personalities. With our dark brown hair that was always long on the top and shaved on the sides, reminding me of a military cut. Only Pops head was speckled with grays. We were both tall, slender, and had ripped tattooed bodies. He’d been having me work out with him since my voice changed and I was able to carry my own. Teaching me how to shoot everything from handguns to assault rifles, hitting targets at seventy-five yards out since I was fourteen.
“Let's just cut through the bullshit and get right to the problem at hand. Disagreements have arisen in the past few weeks, which led us to find out a group called Sinners Rejoice has stepped foot onto our territory. Tryin’ to steal our business, our women, and actin’ as if they are one of us. Goin’ as far as usin’ our goddamn name,” he paused, looking around the room until his intense stare fell on Striker. “You wouldn't happen to know anythin’ about these allegations, would you?”
All eyes went to Striker, our VP and probably one of the shadiest son of a bitch in Devil's Rejects.
He stood, adjusting his balls, shoving more chewing tobacco into his mouth, before replying, “Ain't heard shit, Prez, but tell me who I need to find and I will have the fucker in the ground before dawn.”
Pops’ laughter echoed through the room. “I beg to differ, motherfucker.”
The lights dimmed and a picture illuminated on the far wall behind my father. I didn’t have to look at the images to know what they were. I spent the last few weeks trailing his ass, taking those exact pictures. The same reason why my old man was so fucking proud of me.
“So, tell me, Striker, what the fuck do you think you’re doin’ in these pictures? Because you sure as shit ain’t sellin’ Girl Scout cookies.”
“It ain't what it looks like, Prez,” he stated, looking at the images of him with the rival gang members, leaning into each other, exchanging words.
“Is that right?” my father drawled out. “What about this one? It ain’t what it looks like either?”
Another picture clicked over to Striker handing the same man an external USB stick. One picture after another, adding to the incriminating evidence that slowly brought down a trusted member.
Striker put his hands up in a surrendering gesture. “No, no, no, this is a misunderstanding. I... I... I—”
My father stood. “You... you... what? Gave the enemy intel? Betrayed every single person in this room? What, Striker?” He walked to the opposite side of the table, closest to me. “Cause to me that’s exactly what it fuckin’ looks like. And now, not only are you a fuckin’ traitor. You’re actin’ like a fuckin’ pussy.” He suddenly slammed his fist down on the table, not making anyone jump, except Striker.
“You have till the count of three to come clean,” Pops warned, never taking his fist off the table. One,” he coaxed in a soft, calm voice.
“I... I...” Striker stammered, running his hands roughly through his silver hair, trying to find the words.
“Prez, please it's not what it looks like. We’re fuckin’ brothers! I love you. I love this fuckin’ club. Please, you’re my family! I... I...”
I looked from Striker back to my father. There was an eerie silence that filled the room. A quiet before the storm.
He narrowed his eyes at Striker, cocking his head to the side, and murmured, “Three.” Before he even finished saying the number, he pulled out the semi-automatic from under the table, aiming directly at Striker’s head. “Bang, bang, motherfucker!” Pops voice bellowed, followed by a deep chuckle. “Made ya flinch, didn't I?”
Striker lowered his hands, placing them on his chest, laughing along with my old man. “You had me there for a second, I'm not going to lie, asshole.”
Pops swung the gun around his trigger finger a few times, stopping every time the barrel was aiming at Striker like a damn game of fucking roulette. Eyeing him with a menacing regard. “On second thought.”
The gun went off, shooting Striker right in the shoulder. Then again in the groin, inches away from his cock, causing his body to jolt back from the unexpected blows. His back hit the wall hard as he shuddered to the ground, groaning in pain. He had one hand holding his shoulder, the other his leg with blood spewing from between his fingers.
I didn’t know what was worse. That no one in the room batted a fucking eye, or that I didn’t either. Not one of us was shocked by my father’s actions. Not one of us was surprised by the consequences of betrayal. But most of all, not one of us stunned by the sight of a man bleeding out in front of us.
In four calculated strides, Pops was over to him, slowly crouching down in front of his wounded body. Getting close to his face, the gun inches away from Striker’s heart.
“You got a cigarette?” he asked out of nowhere.
Striker leaned his head back against the wall, blood seeping from the corner of his chewing-tobacco-filled lips. As if he already knew his fate and the only thing he had left to do was to accept it. I always knew my father wasn’t a man you’d ever want to fuck with, Striker knew that too. I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to believe that maybe this was all one big misunderstanding. As much as I thought he was a crooked son of a bitch, he did love my father and the club. Proving his loyalty hand over fist, time and time again.
“No, why?” Striker bellowed.
Pop deviously grinned, leaning into his face. “Because I like to have a smoke after I get fucked.”
“Prez, I didn’t—”
He shoved the barrel of the gun into his heart. “Shhh... save your breath for the devil, we all know you're going to fuckin’ Hell.” He got closer, making the sign of the cross as he murmured, “Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. And all that fucking shit.” With that, he pulled the trigger.
One. Solid. Blow.
Killing his best friend without so much of a blink of an eye. Except this time, his blood was on my hands. I provided the evidence, sold his soul to the Prez, and signed his death certificate all in a matter of hours. My father may have pulled the trigger, but he would never have put him to ground.
If it wasn’t for me.
“One down. Now, where were we?” Pops declared, sitting back down at the head of the table. Cracking his knuckles one by one.
Exercising his power and getting off on the fact that he just killed a man point blank. Thriving on the adrenaline that only taking someone’s life always gave him.
No one gave a flying fuck that there was a dead body in the room. This wasn’t the first time I saw someone murdered in cold blood, and it wouldn’t be the last. I wish I could say I wasn’t desensitized to the cruel brutality of the world, here one day and gone the next.
As fucked up as it was, we protected our own.
“Oh yes,” Pops stated, pulling me away from my thoughts. Four faces projected up on the wall. “These cock suckers.”
“This is all extremely entertaining, the shooting and all, bravo,” Martinez interrupted, lighting his cigar and clapping his hands. “But what the fuck does this all have to do with me?” he questioned, blowing smoke out between his words. “I'm a very busy man, and as much as I like what you have going here, I don't have time for it. So, let's cut to the chase. I have other places to be.”
“Creed spent the last few weeks followin’ that fuckin’ traitor over there around. Not only did he find the proof we needed. He also got the USB file back.” He pulled it out of his pocket and threw it onto the middle of the table. “It contained orders, serial numbers, and shipment schedules for the next month. They could have intercepted all the gun and drug cartels from here to fuckin’ Cuba. Creed saved our asses.”
Martinez arched an eyebrow. “You called me in this meeting based on what a fucking child found?”
“Creed,” Dad gritted out, cutting me off. “I’ve had suspicions about Striker for a while now. Havin’ Creed follow him around for the last few weeks. I sent him because Striker wouldn’t suspect Creed, he also wouldn’t be lookin’ out for him like he would anyone else if he started gettin’ suspicious. I found the opportunity to test my boy and I took it. A man of your stature could understand that, yeah?”
“I wouldn’t send a boy to do a man’s work,” Martinez argued, shaking his head.
I didn’t falter. “How can you let this piece of shit into our territory and talk to you like that? If it was anyone else, they'd be layin’ on the goddamn floor bleedin’ out next to Striker!” I interjected not giving a shit anymore.
“Enough, Creed!” Dad snarled.
“No, Jameson, the kid’s right,” Martinez chimed in, bringing our attention back to him. “Where are my manners?” He took a long puff of his cigar, snubbing it out, blowing a ring of smoke in the air. “Let's hear it, son. I dare you to fucking impress me,” he added, gesturing for me to take the lead.
I glanced over at my father and he nodded. Pushing off the wall, I walked to the front of the room, feeling everyone's eyes on me. One pair, in particular, burning a hole right through my body.
I cleared my throat, making my presence known. “These four men.” I pointed to each of them on the wall. “Hunter, Cross, Cruz, and Felix are the men Striker was in alliance with. They’re from San Antonio, traffickin’ women from across the border. Sellin’ them off to the highest bidder. They wanted in our turf, seein’ as though Southport has access to water, easier to transport not only the women but also the drugs and guns. They wanted in on the club’s routes, to catch us with our fuckin’ pants down and our cocks out. Striker was makin’ it easier for them by handin’ them that USB stick. I didn’t know what was on there until this afternoon when Pops and I looked it over. After Striker left, I went in blind. I shoulda called in for backup, but I’d rather commit crimes by my fuckin’ self, only way I know who’s goin’ to fuckin’ snitch on me. Heat fell on me, but I got the USB. A bullet grazed my shoulder as I made a run for it. Didn’t get followed, made sure of it.”
“Unless you put them to ground,” Martinez mimicked in a Southern tone. “You made sure of—”
I threw four grenade clips on the table in front of him. “Two would have done the job, but four is more my style.”
He eyed the clips for a few seconds, then turned his attention back to me. “I personally would have tortured them until they gave up names. Instead, here we are with nothing but grenade clips. Rookie mistake.”
“You givin’ me shit?”
“I’m giving you a lesson, boy.”
I narrowed my eyes at him. “I’ll be sure to remember that. The next time I’m wipin’ my fuckin’ ass.”
“On that note,” Pops chimed in, hitting the gavel down on the table. “Score, Devil’s Rejects four, Sinner’s Rejoice zero. Meetin’ adjourned. Diesel, get one of the other prospects to clean this fuckin’ mess.” He nodded toward Striker. “Time to get fucked up.”
Banter filled the air as everyone stood, and headed out the door, stepping over Striker’s limp body on the way out, like he was just taking a nap. I walked past Martinez, knocking into him like he had done to me earlier. Ignoring the shooting pain in my shoulder once again.
After everyone picked up their guns and headed out, leaving to get ready for the night, including Martinez who more than likely was too good to attend a party with a bunch of biker rednecks, I went and hung out with Luke and Noah to kill the time, mom must have come back sometime during the meeting. The boys were out back playing some ball, while she was in the kitchen with the other old ladies preparing for a night that promised to be nothing but a good fucking time, with booze, drugs, whores, and the occasional causalities.
The club always threw parties after business was taken care of in the meetings. Old ladies usually weren’t allowed to attend, but my father must have made an exception this time, probably trying to play nice with my mother. Making up for the altercation I knew must have happened earlier with Christa. She happened to be nowhere to be found tonight, which was odd since she was on the property all the time. I'm sure my father had something to do with her absence.
On nights when both my parents were at the clubhouse, Luke and Noah would hang out in Dad’s room. Playing video games and staying out of everyone’s way. Neither one of them ever showed any interest in the MC life. After helping Ma get the boys situated in Pops’ room at the back of the clubhouse, I joined some of the members outside for a few drinks. They congratulated me for my contribution to the clubs and brotherhoods well-being, wanting to hear how it all went down.
As the night progressed, people started scattering everywhere, the clubhouse was busting at the seams, inside and out. Everyone shooting the shit and getting fucked up. Colorful lights danced in sync to the music blaring through the speakers, filling the night air with a combination of rock, oldies, and blues.
People playing pool and darts for money. Snorting lines of coke, smoking weed and cigarettes while whores found brother’s cocks to grind on to the beat of the music. I made my rounds, flirting up new girls, gaining potential pussy, all while avoiding the chicks that I already had the pleasure of pissing off.
I walked back inside, sifting through the crowd, going straight to the makeshift bar. Stopping dead in my tracks when I saw them. Wondering when the fuck he rolled back in.
“The fuck?” I said to myself, watching my mother and that motherfucker Martinez at the bar.
Standing too fucking close to each other, talking in an intimate way. I watched from afar, ignoring everyone around me, shocked as shit at what was happening in front of my very own eyes.
“Creed! Fuck, man, you are one badass son of a bitch,” Phoenix greeted, patting me on the back.
I shrugged him off, focusing all my attention back at the fuckery going down before me.
“What the fuck, bro?” he asked, not understanding my sudden swing in mood.
I didn’t pay him any mind, too consumed by Martinez and my mother enjoying themselves like they were on their first goddamn date. My vision tunneled, the music muffled in the background. All I could hear was my heart pounding out of my chest with every second that passed between them. It didn’t matter that she was wearing her cut that read Property of Jameson, letting everyone know who she belonged to.
He must have had a death wish coming in here and disrespecting my father, who I hadn’t seen all night. My mother was fucking gorgeous, but she was also taken and not to be fucked with, especially the way he was eyeing her with a predatory regard.
He leaned forward, whispering something in her ear. Her head fell back in laughter, bringing her breasts inches away from his face. Exposing herself through the tight black tank she wore under her cut. His eyes shifted down, and a devilish grin marred his face, it was quick but I caught it.
His words, “Very nice tits, if I remember correctly,” played over and over in my head like a goddamn broken record.
I shook off the thought as my mother swung her long blonde hair to one shoulder, grabbing a piece and twirling it around her finger like she was a fucking school girl, as she continued to speak to him. His attention hanging on every word that fell from her lips as if she was telling him her life story.
When the bastard laughed or smiled, her eyes would light up like a goddamn Christmas tree, the way they used to for my old man. Clinking their bottles together, eyeing each other, more laughter, more touching, more banter. I wanted to look away, I wanted to fuck off and get another drink, but I couldn’t. If it were anybody else’s old lady, I wouldn’t give a flying fuck. But the devil was seducing my mother, and that shit didn’t fly with me.
I saw him reach over to brush a strand of blonde hair away from her face, and it took every ounce of my being not to lose my shit. He let his fingers linger there a little too long, caressing the side of her cheek with the back of his hand. It wasn’t till he leaned in and kissed where his fingers had just been, that made me snap.
Before I realized what I was doing, I rolled up to Stone, who was on the opposite end of the bar. Without any hesitation, I pulled the Glock from the back of his jeans. Cocking the gun, making it over to them in three strides. Aiming the loaded pistol to the side of his pretty boy fucking face.
“You sorry ass motherfucker,” I drawled out, pressing the gun into his temple.
“Creed!” my mother shrieked, taken back.
Stone came running over. “Creed! Back the fuck down, NOW! You don’t know who you’re fucking messin’ with!” He grabbed ahold of my injured shoulder, trying to turn me so he could grab the pistol.
“Urrrrrgggg! Motherfucker!” I growled out in pain but didn’t falter.
“We need to stop meeting like this, son,” Martinez casually said. Not fazed by the loaded gun to his fucking head.
“I ain’t your fuckin’ son.”
“Creed! Put the gun down, now!” Mom pleaded, reaching for my arm. I roughly pushed her hand away, causing her to stumble.
“You should really listen to your mother, boy. She’s the only smart one in your family.” He winked at her, only fueling my urge to splatter the walls with his fucking brains.
“Honey, listen this is all a huge misunderstandin’.”
I chuckled. “That’s exactly what it looked like, Ma, when his face was in your tits a few minutes ago!” I shouted, causing everyone around us to stop what they’re doing and turn their attention to us.
Phoenix and Diesel came barreling through the crowd, pushing people out of the way to get to me. “Creed, be reasonable, bro. Don’t wanna do this. Prez won’t fuckin’ like it. And Martinez won’t think twice about putting a bullet in your head,” Phoenix gritted out in my ear.
“Have that backward. Who’s holdin’ the gun to whose head?” I taunted not backing down.
“It is not what you think! Now put the gun down, Creed!” Mom ordered again.
“You stickin’ up for this cocky ass motherfucker?”
“He was just keepin’ me company while your father is off doin’ God knows what.”
“I know what, but that’s neither here nor there,” Martinez interrupted, baiting me with a snide smile.
“You got some brass fuckin’ balls, steppin’ in here, fuckin’ around with the Prez’s wife,” I stated through a clenched jaw. Putting more force on his temple.
“Oh, is that what you think is going on here? Believe me, if I was fucking around with her, you’d hear her screaming my goddamn name.”
“You cock suckin’ son of a bitch!” I got up in his face, my finger itching to pull the trigger.
My mother screamed, “That is enough! Jameson!” Hollering at the top of her lungs for my father.
“He isn’t going to hear you, sweetheart. Last I saw, he was riding off into the sunset with a brunette with huge tits on the back of his bike, heading up route sixty.”
“Shut your fuckin’ mouth!” I shoved the gun further into his head, causing him to sway. The look on her face alone caused the adrenaline that had been coursing through my veins to soar high, I couldn’t fucking see straight.
“Have you ever shot a man? Have you had the pleasure of feeling what it’s like to end someone’s existence with a bullet? There is no feeling like it. Do it, son! Pull the fucking trigger! Here, I’ll help you out,” Martinez goaded, grabbing the barrel of the gun, moving it to the middle of his forehead. “Right here. Right here is the sweet spot.”
I stilled my hand, squeezing the trigger ever so slightly.
“Do it! I don’t have all fucking night to die! Come on, Creed! Show everyone in this room that you have the balls to shoot a man point blank like your daddy! Do it! You pussy, pull the fucking trigger!”
“Creed! Don’t do this!” Phoenix pleaded, grabbing ahold of my shoulder.
“Creed! Creed! Creed! Creed!” All I could hear was my name being yelled in the distance. Echoing in my ears, driving me to the point of insanity.
“Fuck you!” I yelled, my lungs burning from the anger I felt rising. Sweat pooled at my temples, my breathing becoming erratic. “Fuck!” I swiftly jerked my hand a few inches to the right of his face, pulling the fucking trigger.
Martinez didn’t even flinch. The bullet flew past his head through the air, ricocheting off the rusted steel beam behind him, and into who was really yelling my name.
“NO!” My mother’s ear-piercing scream resonated from deep within her lungs, echoing off the warehouse walls and through the room. Her body almost caved to the ground in unbearable pain.
I glanced over at her, narrowing my eyes. Searching deep into her petrified expression. I’d never seen that look on her face before. It immediately had my heart pounding against my ribcage, racing hard.
Her trembling hands covered her mouth. “What did you do?! Creed? What the fuck did you do?!” she bellowed in a quivering tone, shaking her head in fear.
Causing me to inadvertently stumble back as I slowly turned, trying to follow the sight of her horrified glare. My chest heaved, unable to hold back my hammering heart any longer. I could hear the drone in my ears loud and clear. Everything that followed happened in slow motion, like reels from a black and white movie, projecting out in front of me. The sound of the bullet replayed in the background.
I jerked back when the scene came into focus, the image that would forever haunt me for the rest of my sorry excuse of a fucking life.
The gun fell from my grasp to the floor with a loud thud as all eyes went to the horrid mess before them. Chaos erupted, people running to and from the room one right after the other. Women screaming out in terror, brothers ushering bystanders out, pushing them to the doors, quickly. The music ceased, and the lights came on, only illuminating what I had done.
“Do somethin’! Don’t just stand there!” Ma begged, looking around the room. Black-streaked tears ran down her cheeks, pooling on the floor beneath her.
My world was caving in on me, my walls crumbled down, and the floor felt like it was swallowing me whole. Bile rose in my throat, threatening to exit my body at the sickening display in front of me.
My life as I knew it…
Luke's eyes widened as he lost his footing, trying to remain upright. “Cre-ed,” he cautiously breathed out, looking at me with a gaze in his eyes that would forever be etched in my mind.
As if the man standing in front of him wasn’t me, his brother.
As if the man standing in front of him wasn’t his own flesh and blood.
As if the man standing in front of him hadn’t protected and defended him all his life, but instead a stranger…
Who had just shot him in the chest.
I couldn’t move.
I couldn’t breathe.
I couldn’t take my eyes off the antagonizing expression written across my baby brother’s face. As his hands moved down toward his chest, so did my eyes, following the trail of blood that was seeping through his white shirt. He slowly lifted his shaking hand, placing it near his heart. Gasping for air, peering back up at me as blood trickled out of his mouth.
“He-ee-lllp m-eee,” he sputtered, reaching his now blood-soaked hand for me like we were the only two people in the room.
“NOOOOOOOO!!!” Mom fell apart. The terror in her voice ran deep in my being.
A mother’s worst nightmare came to life.
Before I knew what was happening, she was lunging across the room, catching Luke’s limp body as it collapsed to the ground. He was unable to hold himself up any longer.
“JAMESON!” she yelled, calling for my father. “DO SOMETHING, CREED! HELP! NOOOOOO! Please God, NOOOOOO!” she hysterically repeated, trying to stop the bleeding with her shaking hands on Luke's chest. Cradling her baby in her arms, rocking him uncontrollably.
I acted on pure impulse, my body moving on autopilot as I rushed to them, falling to my knees at the last second. Ignoring the instant sting the hard cement brought on. His body started to convulse, more blood spewed out of his trembling lips as he looked up at me with vacant eyes. I placed my hands over my mother’s, trying to help her stop the blood from gushing out. Searching to find where the bullet hit him.
“EVERYONE OUT!” Phoenix ordered. “NOW!”
I heard people scattering around us, like a herd, leaving a path of destruction in their wake.
“Luke! Buddy, you stay with me, goddamn it. Do you hear me?” I demanded with tears sliding down my face onto his broken body, letting my eyes roam over what I had done. Quickly removing my cut, I pulled my t-shirt over my head, balling it up and pushing my ma’s hands out of the way.
I gently laid him on the floor. My eyes blurred with nothing but tears, making it hard to see what I was doing. “Stay with me, Luke. Do you hear me? Stay with me!” I held his face in my hands, blood smearing on his cheeks. “Fight! Fucking fight!”
I ripped his shirt open and found where he had been hit. Discovering the gaping hole right above his heart. Hastily shoving my blood-soaked shirt on his wound.
“Hey! Look at me! I need you to put as much pressure as possible on this, Ma,” I grabbed her hands, placing them back on the wound. She looked up at me with swollen eyes. “Now!”
Stumbling up to my knees, I tore off my belt. Immediately rolling him to his side to wrap the belt around his chest and pulled tight. More blood rolled from the corner of his mouth onto the floor.
“Luke, look at me. Come on! Open your eyes, stay with me.” I slapped his cheeks.
I was shaking so fucking bad. My heart thumped in my chest, vibrating throughout my entire core. Every last part of me was dying right along with him. I’d done some shady ass shit, been in some life or death situations, and never been so scared in my fucking life as I pulled Luke in my arms, checking to see if he was still breathing.
Checking to see if he was still alive.
“Creed…” Mom wept, her voice broken and torn. Looking up at me with pleading eyes to save him. “God, please take me instead,” she pleaded over and over.
“Luke,” I cried, cradling his frame against my chest. He was unresponsive.
“FUCK! We’re losing him!”
I held my dying brother in my arms while I watched my mother slowly dying on the floor in front of me.
“SOMEONE call 9-1-1!” she urged, desperately looking around the room.
“SOMEBODY HELP! WHY IS NO ONE HELPING?! Why are you all standin’ there, DO SOMETHIN’!” I screamed over and over again until my throat was burning and raw.
No one budged.
They all knew what calling 9-1-1 meant. Cops being called to the clubhouse was never allowed. It was a code of conduct no one would fucking break. Even if it meant innocent lives were lost.
“FUCKING CALL 9-1-1, YOU FUCKIN’ PUSSIES!” I locked eyes with the brothers, silently pleading for them to break. “Oh my God! I’m so sorry! I’m so fuckin’ sorry,” I bawled, rocking Luke in my tight grasp.
Mom trembled, wrapping her arms around him, still putting pressure on the wound with a shaking hand. “Please God! Please help my baby! Please! I'll do anythin’! Don’t take my baby! Please, not my baby! JAMESON!” She took him out of my arms, cradling his limp body, holding onto him for dear life. “Momma’s here. Stay with me, I can't lose you. You hear me? Stay with me!” she whispered, still trying to get the blood to stop. “FUUUUCK. JAMESON! HELP! Where are you?!” she pleaded, pulling him closer, rocking him back and forth, blubbering incoherent words while trying to comfort him. Holding onto hope that this was all a horrible nightmare she'd wake up from soon. “Creed, they aren’t doin’ anything’! Call 9-1-1! NOW!”
I sprang into action. Running to the phone that was on the far wall. My hands shaking as I started to dial. Bloody fingerprints covered the numbers.
“Give me that!” I heard my father grit out, coming in out of nowhere. Yanking the receiver out of my grasp and hitting end. Quickly dialing another number. “Yeah, Joseph,” he said calmly to the on-call doctor he had on payroll. “I need you here, stat.” He hung up like this was normal, like he didn’t fucking care that his son was lying in a pool of his own blood.
“Joseph?! Why aren’t you callin—”
He peered back at my mother, rendering her speechless. “Jesus Christ! What the fuck happened?!” he snapped, running his hands through his hair. Taking in all the gore that lined the room. The rusty smell of blood assaulted his senses, potent in the air.
I peered around the room for the first time since the ricocheted bullet hit Luke’s chest. Phoenix, Stone, and Diesel were the only ones left in the room, hanging their heads in remorse. Then my eyes landed on Martinez. His cold, dark, soulless eyes staring back at me, fueling my hatred for him.
“Your son here decided to fuck with the devil,” Martinez stated, peering down at my mother, holding Luke’s lifeless body. “He was trying to have a pissing contest with me tonight and clearly he lost. Teach him how to have better aim next time.” The motherfucker turned and walked to the exit, turning at the last second, peering down at my mother. “My condolences, Diane,” he added in a tone filled with sympathy. “I know what it’s like to lose someone you love. My mother was brutally murdered right in front of me. She died in my arms.” He bowed his head, turned and left.
I wanted to run after him and finish what I had started. I wanted him to pay for this, but I couldn’t. An invisible force held me back. I was the one who pulled the trigger. I was the one who killed my baby brother.
This was no one’s fault but mine.
I reached for the phone again but Pops shoved me back. “What the fuck did you do, boy?”
I couldn’t help it. The fucking shame was eating me alive. “It was an accident! I swear to fuckin’ God it was an accident!” I repeated, barely being able to get the words out.
“Momma? What’s going on?” A sleepy-eyed Noah came walking in. “Where did Luke go?”
Diesel acted quick, scooping him up before he saw anything. Ma looked up, torn, as Noah was rushed out of the room.
“Let him call 9-1-1, Jameson! It was an accident! Where the fuck were you?!” Mom questioned, bringing our attention back to her. Her eyes still focused on the hall where Noah was escorted out.
“Accident or not, we can’t call the cops! You want your son to go to prison?” he replied, ignoring her question. Not giving a fuck what Noah was about to walk into.
She shook her head violently, finally understanding. “No! Not Creed! I can’t—”
“It was an accident!” I shouted back, reaching for the phone again.
He jerked it away, shoving me harder. Causing me to stumble from weakness, ready to pull a gun on me. “We will all go to prison over this!” he said, his eyes dancing from me over to the brothers.
She shook her head again, closing her eyes, trying to compose herself or possibly praying to God. “You fuckin’ bastard,” she wailed.
“I’m tryin’ to save all our asses! Do you want to lose another son?”
I stepped away from him until my back hit the wall. The truth of his words was too much for me to bare. I slid down the wood paneling, slowly sinking further into the corner of my own mind. Into my own personal Hell, tuning them out. Pulling my knees close to my chest, letting tears fall down the sides of my face. I thought about all the happy memories I’d shared with Luke.
I remembered the first time he crawled.
His first words, the first time he said my name.
I opened my eyes, locking them with his. I willed myself to look away, but I couldn't. I forced myself to face what I had done.
Remembering the love those eyes once held. Every time I told him I loved him and the first time he said “I love you” back and every time since. Telling him how I would always be there for him no matter what. Promising to always protect him. How earlier that day, we were shooting the shit about girls and life. I reached into my pocket, pulling Luke’s necklace out. Holding it up to my lips, clenching his protector in my hands, and bawling harder.
The irony wasn’t lost on me.
All those memories were gone in a blink of an eye, now replaced with blood. So much fucking blood.
Joseph hurried in with MC brothers behind him.
Pulling my baby brother from my momma’s arms.
Momma praying, sobbing, falling apart.
Luke's lifeless eyes staring at me.
Joseph filling syringes.
An MC brother picking Momma up off the floor and taking her out the door as she kicked and screamed.
The black bag being zipped. Swallowing Luke's bloody body.
Nothing but chaos…
An MC brother trying to stand me up.
Blink… Blink… Blink…
Luke was buried on Thursday, September twenty-sixth in the middle of the night. Four A.M. to be exact. Phoenix, Stone, and Diesel carried him in a black body bag to the furthest field beyond the woods, located behind the clubhouse. A few other MC brothers babysat my mother, who was sedated on the couch inside. Pops slipped a Xanax in her water a few hours before. It was the only way he could get away with burying Luke the way he did. He was going to let her come to the makeshift grave once the dirty work was over and there was no evidence left of my brother.
Every time I closed my eyes, all I could see was Luke’s lifeless eyes staring back at me. I remember every step I took, following behind my father. I remember the thick suffocating fog in the night air that came after the rain we had gotten the day before. The way the wind blew a cool breeze through the trees, skimming the surface of my overly heated skin. I remember the sounds of twigs cracking beneath our boots, the noises from the birds and owls along with whatever else lurked in the woods.
Most of all, I remember feeling so much fucking hatred for my father for not giving Luke, his son, a proper burial. Just wanting to throw him in a field along with countless other bodies the club had taken.
Luke deserved better.
He didn’t fucking deserve that.
I watched Phoenix, Diesel, and Stone start digging his grave and I swear to God all I wanted to do was dig my own fucking grave beside him. I would take being buried alive over having to live with what I had done.
My father ordered them to stop digging, took the shovel right out of Stone’s grasp. “You did this. He’s dead because of you, boy. Now, I’m not going to make my brothers pay for your sins. You dig that grave and lay your brother to rest in it. I want you to remember that he’s six feet under because of you. Next time you better keep your goddamn mouth shut. Mouthin’ off to Martinez, you piece of shit. Coulda’ cost a huge alliance.” He threw the shovel at my face, daring me to defy him.
I didn’t argue.
I didn’t say a word.
He was right.
I gripped the shovel tight, welcoming the pain from the blisters forming on my palms, and dug Luke’s grave while everyone watched. I could sense that the brothers didn’t agree with what my old man was making me do, but they knew better than to open their fucking mouths. Not wanting to end up like Striker. I knew this was the real reason he drugged my mother. There was no way in hell she would allow him to punish me this way.
I kept my emotions in check, forcefully driving the blade into the hard ground over and over again. I didn’t deserve to mourn the life I had taken. I deserved far fucking worse than what was happening to me.
The closer I got to finishing digging my brother’s grave, the more pissed off I got. The thought of Luke’s body rotting away in this black insect-infested hole without any barriers to protect him where he would just rot away.
A year from now…
All that would be left of him were his bones. I prayed to God he already took Luke’s soul and he wasn’t left to wander the world as a spirit. Unable to rest in peace. I tried to tell myself that the Lord couldn’t be that cruel, but in the end what fuck had he done for me?
Not a goddamn thing.
“That’s enough,” Dad ordered, pulling me away from my thoughts. “Get your ass out of that hole and come get your brother. You’re goin’ to carry him into the ground by your damn self, and then you’re goin’ to bury him by your fuckin’ self too.”
“Prez, we can—”
“You can shut your fuckin’ mouth! That’s what you can do!” he cut Phoenix off, looking from me to him and back to me. “I’m not going to tell you again, Creed! Get your brother and lay his fuckin’ ass to rest!” His large hands grabbed me by the front of my shirt and lifted me out, shoving me over by Luke’s body.
I regained my footing before landing on him. Taking a deep breath, I did as I was told. It took everything inside me not to fall apart when I picked up Luke’s body into my arms. Carrying him over to the hole, stalling, wanting to remember every last second before I gently placed him in his purgatory. I wanted to unzip the black bag, I wanted to see his face one last time, to properly say goodbye. There was so much I wanted to say, but no words would make things right. No amount of time would bring him back. So all I did was cradle his cold body as close as I could to my broken heart.
Wanting to at least remember the feel of him in my arms.
“I’m so fucking sorry, little brother,” I whispered. My voice cracking with each word that left my lips.
“Let go of him, Creed! And get your ass out of that hole!” Pops gritted his teeth.
“Please… let me say goodbye. Just fuckin’ allow me that…”
“I don’t give a fuck what you’re pleadin’ for! The only thing you deserve is to be lyin’ in the ground instead of him. Now get your ass up here so you can bury him!”
“Jesus Christ! Just let me—”
“Fuckin’ Hell!” He jumped into the hole to pry Luke out of my arms. Ramming me back as hard as he could, making my back connect with the uneven earth. I winced in pain, welcoming the sting from my wounded shoulder, needing to feel anything other than the remorse and ache in my fucking heart.
He wrestled Luke’s body from my grasp, and just threw him to the ground as if he were nothing. As if Luke meant nothing. He fell with a loud thump, landing in a contorted position that could be seen clear as day even though he was in a black fucking body bag.
I immediately stepped toward him, wanting to lay my brother in a more peaceful position. I didn’t take a second step before my father punched me in the damn face. My head whooshed back as I stumbled. He gripped the front of my shirt, jerking me forward. Getting right up in my face.
“Prez, come on, that’s enough,” Stone coaxed.
“Yeah, Prez, leave him alone. He’s been through enough,” Diesel added.
“You listen and you listen good, boy,” Dad clenched, ignoring the brother’s pleas. “I don’t give two shits about you, or what you’re feeling. You’re lucky I’m savin’ your sorry ass from servin’ a life sentence in prison for murder, you ungrateful dick. When I tell you to do somethin’, you fuckin’ do it. Do you understand me? I won’t hesitate to remind you of your fuckin’ place in my clubhouse.”
He took one last look and pushed me back, stepping over Luke’s body to climb out of the hole. He instantly turned to yank me up by my arm, throwing me to the dirt. I tried crawling to my feet, but he didn’t falter, chucking the shovel right at my face. The rusty metal caught my mouth, causing me to spit out blood. I shook it off, getting up on unsteady legs, trying my hardest to stand up straight.
Couldn’t hold me up any longer.
I could have taken him, I could have fought back, defended myself, but I deserved everything he was dealing out and more.
I deserved it all.
I picked up the shovel once again, letting the dirt fall over Luke. I buried my brother that night with only the light of the moon shining above me. The next day, I watched my mother fall apart on the ground that her son lay beneath. I watched her once again being torn from the makeshift grave, kicking and screaming for God to give back her baby. I watched my father not give a fuck about the scene playing out in front of him, and the MC brothers shake their heads at the lack of sympathy he had for both his sons and his wife.
From that day forward, I carried the pain that I murdered my brother.
I carried the agony of not being able to say goodbye to him in the depths of my core.
Every day I found myself at the train tracks by the clubhouse, wanting nothing more than to just disappear. Finding myself in the middle of nowhere, relishing the freedom.
The past. The present. The future.
Then. Now. Forever.
My fucking life.
Wishing I could get on the next train and never look back. But it was just that. A wish. A glimmer of hope outside of the bullshit that was my life. Except, I still had Noah to think about, more than ever before. Every time I looked in his eyes, I was reminded of Luke. Reminded of what I had done to him. Maybe that was my punishment. Being responsible for my brother in ways I had never been before. With each passing day, I felt the same guilt I did the day I took my brother’s life.
Mistakes and regrets.
Choices and decisions.
Life and death.
It all blended together in an array of colors that painted a scary picture. There was no looking back…
I couldn’t even bring myself to go where Luke was buried.
Knowing, that I was the only one to blame.
For putting him to ground.
COPYRIGHT OF AUTHOR M. ROBINSON
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