Authors: Jayne Blue
Great Wolves M.C. - Book Two
Copyright © 2015 by Jayne Blue
All Rights Reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the author or publisher, except where permitted by law or for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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Table of Contents
When you die, you’re supposed to see your life flashing before your eyes. Turns out that’s bullshit. Unless my entire life could be summed up in the wild eyes of an overweight, bearded biker I call Tiny.
As I hurtled toward the edge of a two-hundred-foot cliff at eighty miles an hour, I saw Tiny waving his fat-fingered hands in the air and yelling “fuck” in a voice that sounded underwater. I had a thought that at least I’d get to go out like every member of my M.C. always dreamed. Not with a bullet in the head or riddled with cancer, but flying over the great expanse of Green Bluff with the raging Great Wolf River beckoning below. Yeah, I thought that for maybe half a second. Then I realized what a bunch of assholes we were just before the world went black.
White-hot pain stabbed through me. An anvil landed on my chest.
“Sly! Holy fuck, Sly!”
It was this second bone-crushing weight against my chest coupled with another round of “mother fuckers” that clued me in that
I wasn’t actually at the pearly gates or the gates of hell just yet. I opened a tentative eye to see Tiny raising a fist, ready to smash me in the sternum again.
I got a hand up. “Tiny! Leave off, will ya?”
He sat back, tears and snot commingled in his beard. “Are you back? Are you breathing?”
I nodded. “If you quit beating me in the chest, I think so.”
Tiny sat back on his heels and buried his face with his good hand. I guess I needed to be grateful he just had the one. Tiny’s other arm was bound in a sling on account of his own brush with death last month. His came from a bullet in the chest. If he’d have pounded me with the full strength of both fists, he likely would have caved in my chest if I
“I’m okay,” I said, coughing. Everything on me felt stiff and the starlit sky seemed to churn like a kaleidoscope before stabilizing, but I was whole somehow. “What the hell happened?”
Tiny ran a hand over his face then held his good hand out to help me to my feet. My stomach roiled when I got there and I took a staggering step sideways before recovering my equilibrium. Tiny patted me on the shoulders and back, then pulled me into a bear hug before letting me go.
“You just kept coming,” he said. “Why didn’t you stop? Prez, were you trying to kill yourself?”
I raised a brow at him then stepped as close to the precipice as I dared. It was full dark now and other than Tiny’s and my own labored breathing, the only other sound was the rush of water from the rapids far below.
“Not on purpose,” I said. This was supposed to just be a leisurely ride up to the bluffs. Tiny’s first attempt to get back on his Harley after being shot to pieces last month. But that drama was over. It was club business that had gone bad and we’d put it behind us. At least I hoped so. Now I wasn’t so sure.
“My brakes were just fucking gone,” I said, both to myself and Tiny. “As soon as I crested the last hill, the pedal just went to the floor. Nothing in the front either. Just dead.” I turned back and looked at Tiny. “Why aren’t I dead?”
Tiny shook his head. “You don’t remember jumping?”
I didn’t. Not even a little.
“You flipped off the back, your bike kept going.”
I peered down the ravine as much as I dared. It was pitch black down there now. Whatever was left of my bike was probably scattered to bits. Tiny came up and slapped me on the back again.
“Let’s get you back to the club, Prez. You want me to call down and have ’em come get us in the van?”
I nodded. “Good plan.” It was. I’d crashed my bike plenty of times and got back on, but after this one, I knew I was going to need a minute before I felt ready to climb onto Tiny’s. Plus, with his gimp arm, no way could he maneuver with me on the back. I didn’t finish the thought before Tiny was on the phone calling for help.
I took one last look over the cliff face and shuddered. That was a hell of a long way down. I said a silent prayer of thanks that it was just my Harley down there in bits and not me. As Tiny gave the broad strokes of what happened over his phone, my relief gave way to a different emotion.
This might have just been an accident. Shit like this
just have happened. Except I knew in my gut that wasn’t it at all. Someone fucked with my bike on purpose. I’d just ended a war against the club and hoped like hell we’d earned some peace. It didn’t look like we’d get it. No. Trouble was here all over again and this time, someone wanted me good and dead. I was lucky to have escaped with my life. This time. I knew in my gut I probably wouldn’t get that lucky again.
Word about my little accident spread like wildfire and by the time Tiny and I got back to the clubhouse, it looked like the full membership of the Great Wolves M.C., Green Bluff had assembled. Our clubhouse was actually one of the things I was most proud of since taking over the charter from my dead bastard of an uncle, Blackie Murphy.
It used to be little more than a pole barn in the middle of nowhere at the foothills of Mount Shasta. But I tore that place down in an act of symbolism and practical purpose. In Uncle Blackie’s day, the Great Wolves skirted the law and morality more than I’d ever been comfortable with. I grew up at Blackie’s knee and more times than not under his fist. When he died, the club went to me. It was a vote of confidence and a chance for a new direction. It had taken me eight long years, but we were out from under the yoke of illegal shit Blackie had kept us in. Now the Great Wolves had legitimate businesses and the clubhouse was at the heart of it.
I built a sports bar and restaurant that catered to the single crowd of Green Bluff, California. The Wolf Den. I started small. Just the locals. In time, the Den became a local lucrative hotspot and I proved to the other charters there was money to be made in legitimate ventures. From there, I started my other passion project: fitness and sponsoring MMA fighting. I started a gym on the other end of town. Now the Great Wolves Gym along with the Wolf Den were franchised all over the country. It was good, clean money and a real future for the brotherhood free of all the shit from Blackie’s generation.
That was the good stuff. The bad stuff seemed to keep coming too. Though we’d carved out a clean piece of the American Dream, Blackie’s old associations and club rivalry kept trying to tear down what I’d built. Turns out when you make it out clean, the dirty like to try dragging you back into the filth.
“You in one piece?” Colt got to me first, his coal black eyes glinted with concern. He put on a smile and wrapped an arm around my shoulders, steering me into the Den away from the gathering crowd.
I gave a quick wave and a thumbs up, leaving Tiny behind to regale everyone with his new war story while Colt, Sawyer and I ducked into the office. Colt Reddick was my Sergeant-at-Arms. He’d been with me longer than anyone save for my actual V.P., Dex McLain. Dex was away on club business and a much-deserved honeymoon.
Colt locked the door behind us and I settled myself behind the desk of my office. I plopped my boots up on the edge of the desk and crossed my arms behind my head. Colt took a position on the corner of our long conference table and focused those dark eyes at me. Sawyer paced by the window. “You wanna tell me what the fuck?” Colt asked.
I shrugged. “Damndest thing, Colt. Back brakes were gone and the front wheel locked. I don’t remember doing it but Tiny said I jumped off backwards before the damn bike went over the cliff.”
Colt scrunched his face and rubbed his dark stubble. “And you don’t think it was accidental. I mean, what the fuck? Are we in it with the Pagano family again? I thought we settled that.”
So did I. The Pagano family had backed the club with mob money for years under Blackie’s days and we’d only recently ended our associations with them once and for all. There’d been a body count associated with it. One of them for one of us. With my own hands, I’d had no choice but to take out one of my own members. There’s only one way to deal with traitors and it fell on me to handle it. I’d paid for my club’s passage from the dark side with a little bit of my soul. I had no regrets. My brothers in the club understood, even though I knew it tarnished me in their eyes just a little. The president patch comes with a heavy burden and I wore it with my eyes wide open. Bloody as it was though, we’d made a clean break. The Pagano family coming after me now made no sense.
“I don’t know, Colt.”
“Should we get Dex back here?” Sawyer’s posture shifted at the window and I knew the answer to this question could upset a delicate balance I’d worked hard to maintain. Dex was my V.P. Yes, he needed to know what was going on. But summoning him back here could be seen as a vote of no confidence for the job Colt was doing in his absence. And there was another thorny problem too. With Dex patched in as V.P., Colt’s chance of ever running this club went down to nil. I sensed no jealousy from him yet, but Colt could be a strong leader when it came down to it.
“I think it deserves a phone call. We shouldn’t jump to any conclusions until we have a better handle on what’s what. I’ll fill Dex in but I don’t want him cutting his trip short. As always, he should watch his back. That’s all.”
Colt and Sawyer both nodded. “When’s the last time you took that bike into Benny’s for a tune-up?”
And that was the crux right there. I’d taken it in a couple of days ago. Benny Hurley was like an honorary member of the club. I couldn’t conceive of anything bad happening to any of our rides under his watchful eye. Still, some questions had to be asked.
“Why don’t the three of us head over to his shop tomorrow and poke around. I don’t want to raise any alarm bells. At least not yet.”