Biker taken the lost sou.., p.19
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       Biker Taken (The Lost Souls MC Series Book 6), p.19

           Ellie R. Hunter
 
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  Danny and his men have done a right number on Sparky and he now has my full attention. He told me to take him seriously and I didn’t.

  Chapter Thirty-Eight

  Cas

  This has felt like the longest ride in history. My brother and best friend could be dying or already dead in the back of the van and all I can do is thrash my throttle and ride close beside him, making sure no more harm comes to him.

  The entire ride has been a mesh of violent and murderess thoughts, turning into plans for the near future. My ego and belief in my leadership skills convinced me I would get them back from intimidating Danny and his men. I’ve been wrong many times in my life before, but this time it is costing me in blood. The prospect slows and takes the corner into the club gates with care and I slow my bike. Dex pulls up close to the doors and I’m off my bike by the time he comes to a full stop. I get to the van door before he climbs out from the van and relief flows through me when Sparky’s chest is still moving. He isn’t awake but he is alive. I can live with that for now.

  The rumble of bikes fills my ears and the parking area fills with brothers and Pope is the first one at my side, helping to carry our brother into the bar. Slade joins us, climbing in the van through the back door and holds Sparky’s head in the palms of his hands. Sparky groans and his eyes open again briefly.

  “You’re home, brother,” Slade tells him.

  “Someone open the fuckin’ door,” Pope yells.

  I don’t see who it is, I’m focused on Sparky, and the three of us make it inside to brothers pushing the bar tables together to make one big table. By the time we reach it, they move away and give us space. Heaving Sparky onto the makeshift bed, doc is here already and pushes us out of the way.

  “I called him, told him to be here before we got back,” Slade informs me.

  I nod and keep my eyes on the doc and what he is doing. The more he pokes and prods Sparky, the more noise Sparky makes. I’ll never forget this sound, the sound of my brother being alive.

  The cut on his cheek opens when he screws up his face in pain and blood trickles down to his ear. I grab his hand and force him to concentrate on me.

  “Have you got him?” he asks, through gritted teeth.

  “He wasn’t there.”

  I can’t hide the truth from him, I wish I could, but I can’t and I won’t.

  The last time I saw tears fall from his eyes, he was on the verge of losing Bonnie, the time before that, was when we saved Alannah from Hunter. Apart from them two times, he is always the one to be strong.

  “He tried to make us choose who was going to die,” he whispers, true pain laced through his words.

  I squeeze his hand and let him know he’s with us, safe and surrounded by his own men.

  “Did you see them kill him?” I ask, dreading to hear his answer.

  “He has to be dead, he wasn’t fuckin’ about.”

  It’s not an answer, and I’m losing him again. His body might be here but his mind is still with Oak back in the basement.

  “Listen to me, Sparky,” I growl, close to his ear so he can it’s my voice, “he’s not dead until we see a body, okay, you hearing me?”

  “He’s dead, he has to be.”

  “Leave him, Cas, you’re making him move and I need him still.”

  I glare at the doc, and force myself to do as he orders.

  He cuts Sparky’s t-shirt off and a collection of growls and anger radiates around the bar at the sight of his bruised, mottled torso. I haven’t seen his bare skin in years due to his tattoos, but even the ink doesn’t hide his injuries. If anything, the bruises hide his ink.

  Pope physically shakes staring at Sparky in anger. He rolls his neck and when Melissa catches his eye, he’s across the bar before anyone can stop him. He yanks her up roughly by her arm and she flies to her feet, they barely touch the floor as he drags her over.

  Her screams fill the silence and he pulls her against him and covers his hand over her mouth to shut her up. She’s closer to him than I like but Pope is doing his thing, and to be honest, I don’t have any restraint left to keep her safe because of her brother’s actions.

  “Look at him,” Pope roars, his voice deep and feral, “this is what your fucking cunt of a brother has caused.”

  She tries hiding her head into his chest but he forces her to look at Sparky. He holds onto her chin and she has no chance of getting herself free from him.

  “You telling me you still don’t believe he could do something like this?” he asks her.

  “Please…I can’t…” she whimpers.

  “Please what? You’re gonna stand here and if he dies, so do you,” he warns her.

  “Where is he?”

  Everyone turns to see Bonnie fastening her pace coming through the door. Slade and Ricky move out of the way and her gaze falls to Sparky on the table. Her skin pales and she freezes. Bonnie is never one to be stuck for something to say or to hold back, but right now, seeing her man in a bad way, she is breaking in front of everyone. I cross the distance between us and block the view of him from her.

  “He’s alive, and the doc is going to tell us any minute now that he looks worse than he is.”

  I’m reassuring myself more than I am her and I hope it’s the truth. It’s all I can handle hearing right now.

  I move to the side to let her pass and she wastes no time going to her husband. Her choked sobs as she holds his hand widens the crack even more in the guilt I already feel and know it will only widen knowing his son will have to see him in this state as well.

  The doc hisses in frustration at her and I walk over to her and pull her back with me to give him the room he needs.

  She turns into me and her tears soak into my t-shirt. In all the times I’ve made contact with her, it has been when we’re both angry and I haven’t thought too much about it, as she holds onto me, I can’t help feel just how small she is. Everyone knows how big Sparky is compared to her, but as I wrap my arm around her in comfort, I’m surprised my brother has broken her in the last few years.

  “Do you think his old lady is liking her man like this? How do you think his little boy is going to be when he sees his daddy?” Pope continues his verbal assault.

  “Please, stop, I can’t watch this anymore,” she whimpers.

  Bonnie stops crying and turns away from my chest.

  “Who is she?”

  “She’s the sister of the man who did this to Sparky.” I tell her.

  She takes three steps towards her and Melissa freezes in Pope’s hold. The two women stare at each other, while Melissa is staring, keeping watch for Bonnie’s next move, Bonnie is staring at her like she is visioning killing her.

  Bonnie is capable of anything when it comes to her little family and we all know it, unfortunately for Melissa, she has no idea of what the woman in front of her has done in her life.

  “If you don’t kill her for this, I will. Her brother has to pay one way or another.”

  Her voice is calm but cold, quiet but the words are clear and everyone, especially Melissa, hears her.

  Bonnie knows how this world works, an eye for an eye, family for family.

  “If Oak doesn’t come home, I’ll let you,” I tell her.

  Melissa doesn’t strike me being stupid or blind, she can see the situation has changed now and any doubt she did have that I wouldn’t kill her has vanished.

  My phone rings deep in my pocket and when I pull it out, Danny’s number flashes before me. I answer and I’m met with a cocky laugh.

  “I should’ve known you’d find us,” he begins.

  “I did warn you I wouldn’t fuck around.”

  “You never intended on meeting us, did you?”

  “You never intended on bringing my men, I think we’re quits.”

  “You have one back and killed two of my men in the process, not to mention a burnt down house I have to deal with now…”

  I cut him and growl, “Cut the shit, you have one hour to delive
r Oak to me or I will slide my knife across your sister’s throat…”

  He barks out a laugh and says, “No you won’t, you don’t hurt women.”

  He is mocking me again, but worse of all, he is underestimating me.

  “I don’t hurt Lost Souls women and she don’t mean shit to me, she’s nothing but a reminder of who’s blood runs through her veins. I don’t advise you call my bluff; you have one hour.”

  I snap the phone shut and squeeze it in my hand. I look over to Melissa and she shrinks against Pope.

  “How do you wish to spend your last hour?” I ask.

  Sparky’s groans distract me from killing her purely for the audacity her brother has and I return to Bonnie’s side.

  Vanilla fills my nose and I turn my head to see Alannah frozen beside me. I hadn’t seen her come in. Her eyes rake over Sparky’s body and she closes her eyes briefly before opening them with something I can’t read in them.

  “He’s alive,” I whisper, in her ear, reminding myself of that fact as well.

  “Oak?”

  “He’ll be home soon.” I say, and close my hand around hers when her fingers skim against mine.

  Danny has fifty-six minutes left to bring my brother home or I’ll be forced to do something I thought I’d never do and kill a woman for her brother’s mistakes.

  Chapter Thirty-Nine

  Cas

  Alannah took Bonnie back to the house a while ago, with the promise that I’ll never leave Sparky’s side. I shouldn’t have to promise that shit but I did to keep her happy.

  It’s taking longer than I thought it would for the doc to fix him up and the longer it takes, the worse I know he is going to be.

  “Come on, Doc, talk to me. How is he?”

  He stops cleaning the wound on his ribs and frowns when he looks at me.

  “The wound on his arm is from a gun, it’s only a flesh wound and it isn’t deep and he is severely bruised as you can see for yourself. The cut on his cheek will leave a dirty scar for sure. I’ve given him some fluids, but he didn’t need much. I’m going to stay the night and keep an eye on him, if I’m not happy in the morning with him, I will be taking him to a hospital, so be prepared to come up with a story for his injuries.”

  It must be bad for him to say he is staying the night, he never sticks around for long. He does his job and goes normally.

  The countdown on my phone says Danny has seventeen minutes left to deliver Oak.

  “Oak will be back soon; do you need more supplies? They’ve had him longer than Sparks, he might be in worse shape.”

  He rattles off a list and Dex and Ricky shoot out to the back to where we keep our own limited supply and the doc carries on fixing up Sparky.

  “We should get him upstairs,” Slade murmurs.

  “Come on, he needs a bed, not a hard table.” Pope adds.

  “Be careful with him, I’m still not sure if his ribs have splinted in a break, they could puncture his lungs.”

  “Do not tell us to be careful with him, we fuckin’ know already,” I spit, losing my patience with the doc.

  Six of us stand around the table and prepare to lift him and everyone looks to me for the count.

  “On three,” I nod, looking at everyone, “One, two, three.”

  All at once, Sparky lifts into the air and carefully we make our way to the stairs. Like a funeral procession, Pope and Slade hoist him up to their shoulders so he remains flat as we take every step up slowly and they lower him back down when we reach the top of the stairs. His door is already open and together, we place him on his bed. He doesn’t react to being moved, whatever the doc gave him, it has knocked him completely.

  “I can have a bed brought in for you if you wish?” I say to the doc as he waits by the end of the bed.

  “No need, I’ll take the couch.”

  “Okay, I’ll be back soon. If anything happens, get word to me immediately.”

  He nods and I leave the room with Pope and Slade following behind me.

  Thirteen minutes left.

  I grab two beers from behind the beer and walk over to Melissa. Dex moves on knowing I can handle her and I not too kindly, pull her up to her feet.

  I don’t explain myself and lead her outside, pushing her down onto a chair at one of the tables with a clear view of the gate.

  I open the two beers and pass one over to her. She accepts quickly with a shaking hand and takes a long pull.

  I go to take a swig but as soon as the beer hits my tongue, I don’t stop. I drain the bottle dry and throw the empty bottle over my shoulder.

  “I’m sorry for what my brother has done,” she murmurs, quietly, sounding afraid to speak.

  “It’s not you who I want to be sorry. He has eleven minutes left, if he makes it in twelve he’ll be sorry then.”

  She closes her mouth and her hand turns white as she tightens her grip on the beer bottle.

  “You should drink that,” I say, jerking my chin at her beer, “you might need it.”

  She looks away and is saved from me carrying on when Ricky comes out of the bar.

  “Rick, go and tell Bonnie that Sparky’s been moved and what the doc said is wrong with him. Make it clear he is sleeping and there’s nothing she can do for him but look after JJ.”

  “Sure.”

  A sharp pain shoots across my forehead and I pull out the pills the doc gave me.

  Stress is definitely a trigger. Popping one in my mouth, I sink it and shove the bottle back in my pocket.

  “What you looking at?” I grunt, when I look up at her and she is watching me.

  “Are you ill?” she asks.

  “No, instead of your brother being a pain in the ass, he’s a pain in my head.”

  “Migraines then?”

  I nod and focus on the main gates.

  “I don’t get involved in my brother’s life, I don’t even see him that much anymore. I shouldn’t be here and I think you know that…”

  “Shut your mouth, I know you shouldn’t be here but for this club, I do what I have to,” I say, cutting her off, “my club is my family as much as he is your brother, we have wives and children, we have people we will kill for and people who do anything to protect what’s ours. We didn’t start this, Danny did, and if you want to go home and forget all this ever happened, you best hope your brother feels for you how we feel for our family.”

  “He will bring your family back, I know he will,” she says, adamantly.

  “I hope for your sake, he does, but no offence, I don’t think you know who your brother really is anymore.”

  I leave her to think about that and it goes quiet between us and I tap my fingers on the table top.

  He’s cutting it fine, whether he’s doing it to be shitty or he was just far from here when I gave him the ultimatum, I don’t know.

  Oak is a big part of this club. For fucks sake, he was one of the originals back when Alannah’s father formed the Lost Souls. He has stuck it through all these years, never once has his loyalty wavered. The joker who has everyone laughing up the bar, he has to come home, it’s where he belongs.

  Noah whistles from the front gate and I jump to my feet.

  “I told you you’d get to go home if I got my brothers back.”

  “Yeah, it’s been a mini vacation for me,” she mutters, standing up.

  “Come on, it could’ve been worse for you, just think, if I treated you like your brother treated mine, you wouldn’t be walking out of here, would you?”

  This shuts her up and I walk close beside her as we make our way to the gates.

  A van pulls up and slows to a stop as we join Noah. A young man climbs down from the passenger side of the van and it doesn’t surprise me that Danny hasn’t shown his face.

  “Let her go and you can have your man back,” he shouts from the road.

  “Noah, aim at his tires, if he tries to grab her and run, shoot the shit out of them.”

  “Will do.”

  I release her arm
when Noah has a steady aim on his target and watch her dart across the road. She doesn’t stop until she climbs in the van. The guy closes the door behind her and slides the side door open. He climbs in and I wait with baited breath to see what condition my brother is in.

  A second man helps lift Oak out of the van and lay him on the ground. This is different to when we found Sparky lying on the floor in the basement, Sparky was unconscious but Oak is fucking dead, his stillness is completely fucking different.

  The two men jump into the side of the van and rush to close the door behind them.

  “Shoot them,” I yell, freeing my own gun and taking aim and running onto the road. I sprint around the van and the driver tries to drive through me. Shooting at the window, Melissa’s screams are barely registering to me. Running around to the driver’s door, I pull it open and don’t hesitate to shoot him between the eyes. His body falls back on Melissa and her screams intensifies.

  Slamming the door shut on them both, I round the van and find Noah finishing off the two men who honestly thought they could deliver our dead brother and leave alive themselves.

  How did Danny believe I would hand his fucking sister over after this? He must really underestimate how far I will go to claim revenge for Oak and the pain Sparky is in now.

  “It was only the two of them,” he tells me, but I can see for myself.

  Happy that they are dead, I turn to my brother and it truly sets in he is dead. Stumbling towards him, I drop my gun and fall to my knees.

  He has been beaten for sure, but it’s the great gaping hole in his head and stomach I can’t look away from. I’ve failed him.

  He would have had faith in me to save him and I haven’t. He was the first one to put me forward to become president after Michael betrayed us and what I have done, nothing to bring him home alive.

  Boots crunching rapidly against the gravel behind me gets louder the closer they get but I can’t turn away from Oak to see who is coming.

  Someone falls to their knees beside me and I find Pope as stunned silent as I am, trying to find a pulse. It’s no use, he knows as much as I do, he no longer has one.

 
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