Biker taken the lost sou.., p.20
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       Biker Taken (The Lost Souls MC Series Book 6), p.20

           Ellie R. Hunter
 
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  “Cas, what shall I do with her?”

  I finally look up and Noah has Melissa in his grasp. I promised her she would live if my brothers were returned, but I also promised her she would die if they didn’t come home alive.

  One alive and one dead doesn’t count.

  “Take her back to the bar and tie her to a chair, watch her like a hawk until I come and find you.”

  I don’t give her another glance as she is dragged back into the bar, kicking and screaming.

  Oak is now surrounded by his brothers, by his club, and no one is saying anything. Not finding any words to say.

  A man with such a large gust for life is now nothing. I can’t believe it.

  “Dex, get their van in the garages and lock it down,” Slade orders.

  Silently, as one, like we were with Sparky, we lift Oak off the ground and carry him into the bar and lay him on the tables still pushed together for Sparky.

  The bar fills with brothers and they surround Oak and again, no one says a word.

  “Someone get me his cut,” I say, I don’t shout, I can’t muster the energy to do so.

  It’s been laid on the bar for the last three days so it doesn’t take long before it is put in my hands.

  I lay it over his stomach, covering the hole and ignore my phone when it rings, filling the silence around us.

  It stops and within seconds it rings again. Again, I ignore it and squeeze Oak’s arm in my hands.

  “I’m sorry, brother. So fuckin’ sorry.”

  I can’t even express how much.

  The phone vibrates against my thigh as it rings in my pocket again, and I pull it out knowing who it is going to be.

  I answer and breathe though the violence I am going to inflict on him.

  “Where’s my sister?” he growls down the line.

  I bite my tongue so fucking hard, I taste my own blood.

  “I gave you Oak, where the fuck is my sister?” he yells.

  I could scream and shout back at him, but I don’t. Calmly but deadly, I remind him of a few things.

  “I warned you what would happen if Oak didn’t come home alive. You trying to play with the men hasn’t worked out, has it? Forget about your sister, keep your mom and brothers safe because I’m coming for them, I’m coming for you all. Their blood is on your hands.”

  I end the call and launch the phone at the wall. Shooting across the bar, I lean down and come face to face with Melissa.

  Her cheeks are stained with tear tracks but her fear isn’t enough for me. I need blood and more than Oak’s has been split.

  “You should’ve believed me when I said I’ll kill you. First, I’m going to get your brothers and when you’re all tied up in a pretty row, I’m going to slice your mother open like a fuckin’ fish while you all watch.”

  I barely hear myself over the rush of adrenaline pumping around my brain. Fresh tears spill over onto her cheeks and not one part of me wants them to stop.

  She can cry for us, for Oak, for every fucker who didn’t have to die by her brother’s hand.

  “Good, I’m glad you fuckin’ believe me.”

  A bottle of whiskey is shoved into my hand and I waste no time in swigging straight from the bottle.

  “Cas?”

  Alannah’s voice filters through the haze and I find her by the door.

  “I heard shots.”

  I’m finding it hard enough, my brother’s too, I can’t find the words to say to her. Oak is more than just her uncle from the club. He truly was her family. If it wasn’t her father raising her as a baby, it was Oak, or Micky, and now they’re both dead. Another soul for her to mourn and miss. For us all.

  I wish I could save her from this pain she’s about to endure forever, but all I can do is prolong it for a couple of minutes.

  I walk up to her and she lets me push her back outside. As soon as we’re alone, I grab at her and pull her into my arms.

  “He’s home, isn’t he?” she asks.

  “Yeah, babe, he’s home.”

  As soon as my chest heaves under my words, she knows.

  “I’m so sorry, babe.”

  For the first time in years, my eyes water and a tear rolls down my cheek and into my beard.

  “Say it, say the words, Cas.”

  I tighten my hand in her hair and press her head against my chest so she can’t move from me. When she’s upset, she’s a pacer. I want her as close to me as possible.

  “He’s dead,” I barely whisper.

  Her body tenses for a second and then her legs give way. I keep hold of her and follow her down to the ground. She clings to me as her sobs grow louder and I hold her with every ounce of strength I have.

  I don’t know if I can feel her pain, or if it’s mine. I keep her in my arms until her sobs soften and I know I won’t cry myself in front of her.

  “I want to see him.”

  I nod and together, we stand and I reach down for her hand. I love her more than life itself and if my touch can take even an ounce of pain away from her, and it’s all I can do, I will.

  Every brother is still standing or sitting around Oak in the same position as when I left them a few minutes ago. Lana grips my hand back when Oak comes into her view.

  “Oh God, it’s true,” she whispers.

  We come to a stop at his side and she pulls away from me. Gently, she strokes the leather cut and when she goes to lift it away, I stop her. She looks at me but she doesn’t question me.

  I can see the fight in her to look at his face and when she does, I can hear her heart breaking.

  More tears fall down her face as she strokes his hair away from his face.

  “Tell my dad I love him, and know I love you just as much,” she sobs.

  Her hands begin shaking uncontrollably and she stumbles away from him. I catch her immediately and keep her with me, finding a chair close by for us to fall into.

  Nobody leaves until the sun comes up.

  Nobody moves all night.

  Nobody speaks at all.

  Surrounding our fallen brother, the Lost Souls mourn for John ‘Oak’ Johnson.

  Chapter Forty

  Cas

  Before most people went to mourn on their own, Oak was moved to his own room. He had a place in town but it was his room here, he called home. The doc left a couple of hours ago saying he would be back to check on Sparky tomorrow and I found myself watching over him instead of trying to get a few hours’ sleep. He’s the only brother who doesn’t know of Oak’s fate and I will be the first one he hears it from when he wakes up.

  Nowhere you turn in the club is pain free. We’ve been hit many times, but Oak’s death is more than we’ve ever dealt with before.

  Sparky begins to stir and the tiredness that was threatening to creep in vanishes.

  “Where am I?” he asks.

  His throat is dry and his voice crackles. I pour him a glass of water Bonnie left a while ago, and help him sip.

  “You’re in your room at the clubhouse, the doc says you need to rest.”

  His eyes focus on me and I know what he’s silently asking me.

  “I don’t remember a lot at the end, fill in the blanks for me, Cas,” he urges.

  “He’s gone, they returned his body last night.”

  His head rolls around the pillow and I don’t know if it’s the grief or pain from his injuries, probably both, that has him crying out.

  I slip off the chair and kneel over the bed, “Tell me what happened, brother.”

  “We were fuckin’ helpless, that’s what happened,” he moans.

  His mouth closes and pushing him is tipping him over the edge. I can’t imagine what he had to witness but I know my VP, he is strong.

  “I need you to tell me, Sparks. We bury Oak and then we’re gonna fight like we’ve never fought before.”

  He struggles to sit up and doesn’t allow me to help him. I sit back in the chair as he rests against the headboard and holds his ribs.

  I don
’t like the way he is looking at me, full of anger and hurt. It’s reflecting in every set of eyes that look my way over the last day.

  “Talk to me, please.” I beg.

  “We were cocky sons of bitches because we betted our lives you would find us in time, and it got him killed, that’s what happened,” he spits at me.

  I reel back and hear from him what I’ve been thinking since Oak was brought home.

  “Do you need anything?” I ask, rising to my feet.

  “I need my son and my wife, Oak took the bullet so I could have a life with them. I want them here.”

  I clear my throat going to speak, but I can’t find any words suitable to say. I nod and leave, closing the door behind me.

  I can’t bear to look at Oak’s door as I pass heading for the stairs. There aren’t many around the bar as I walk through but the few who haven’t crashed out or seeking comfort from their loved ones stare at me until I burst through the door and inhale the fresh air.

  I cross the short distance to the main house, and hear Leo’s cries before I even open the front door. Kyla is pacing the hallway with him and smiles weakly when I hold my arms out for my son.

  “He wants his mom, but I didn’t want to wake her yet,” she tells me, with Ricky coming up behind her and leading them both past me.

  Alannah sat stone faced all night, not taking her eyes off of Oak. I took her back to the house shortly after the sun came up and stayed with her until she fell asleep.

  Leo quietens in my arms and his little chest sobs against mine.

  “I’m here, son. Daddy’s got you,” I murmur, pressing my lips to the top of his head and walk into the kitchen.

  Bonnie sits staring at the table with JJ playing with his toys on the floor. Her eyes snap to mine and she stands, expecting news.

  “He’s awake and asking for you and JJ,” I say.

  “It could’ve been him,” she sobs.

  “Well it wasn’t and he needs you, don’t keep him waiting.”

  She doesn’t hang around to be told twice and grabs JJ before rushing past me and out of the house. He wouldn’t talk to me; Bonnie might be the only one now to get anything out of him.

  I don’t want to wake Alannah yet, the longer she’s asleep, the less time she spends hurting. I slip out the back door with Leo and walk over to the closest tree, offering the most shade from the afternoon sun.

  I slide down the trunk and lean heavily against it. Stroking my thumb across his cheek, the tenderness lulls him to sag against my chest and I breathe in his clean hair.

  “Your dad’s messed up, son,” I admit out loud.

  He has no clue what I’m saying and I shouldn’t be laying this at his tiny feet, but the words pour from my mouth anyway.

  “Because of me, you won’t know who your uncle Oak was.”

  My chest tightens and it becomes difficult to breathe. Another tear falls and I make no moves to wipe it away. I hold onto my son and relish in the fact I haven’t let him down, yet.

  “He looked out for me and your mom but I still couldn’t save him. Your mommy keeps everyone alive by talking about them all the time and I’m going to do that for Oak, to you, and to everyone. He was loyal and made you believe in yourself. He believed I could lead this club, but I’m not so sure anymore”

  More tears fall and I press my lips to my son’s head, one after another as I try to fight the pain. The club will never be the same again. There won’t be a fight with Danny and the Devils Bastards, there’s going to be carnage, blood and death.

  Oak paid the ultimate price with his life, I’ll make it mean something, I just hope the club doesn’t crack beyond repair before revenge has been taken.

  Epilogue

  Sparky

  Bonnie is packing our shit and JJ is still asleep after a night of us all being unable to sleep. I don’t care if I don’t sleep again, it only means I get to spend more time with my wife and son. We’re leaving the clubhouse after this meeting Cas has called and I’m going home with my family. Slowly and painfully, I make my way into the back room and half-smile when Slade pulls out my chair for me. I slump down and nod when everyone mumbles their greetings.

  Cas brings the gavel down and the bang reverberates between my ears. I don’t look his way and others notice too.

  I ignore every word he says and focus on the only empty chair in the room. Oak’s chair. He should be here with us, instead, he’s lying in his bed upstairs dead as a doornail. All because that cunt Danny thinks he can take the piss and because Cas didn’t find us fast enough. Not one part of my body doesn’t hurt and not one part of my soul cares. I’ve seen brother’s die before, but Oak, he was right beside me. I thought I’d taken the bullet for him, but all I had was a flesh wound. No one tries to talking to me and I don’t try adding my thoughts into the meeting, thinking back, I don’t even know what they spoke about. Cas brings the gavel down and I don’t hang around. As fast as my injuries allow me, I head into the bar and see Bonnie waiting for me with JJ on her lap with our bags.

  She looks nervous when she sees us pouring out of the back room and stands with JJ on her hip.

  “What’s going on, brother?” I hear Cas ask, from behind me.

  I don’t bother to turn around, “It’s fuckin’ obvious, isn’t it?”

  “You’re not leaving,” he grinds out.

  I haven’t spoken to him since he left my room two days ago. I can’t stand to look at him.

  “I’m going home with my wife, if you want to stop me, you’re gonna have to kill me,” I warn, keeping my back to him.

  “Don’t do this, Sparks.”

  I half turn to face the man who I’ve put every piece of trust I had in and my blood boils at the sight of him.

  A man is lying dead because of him and he thinks I want to stay here and call him brother? No chance.

  “Don’t make me stay, I can’t be here right now.”

  My voice lets me down and I sound like I’m begging. Maybe I am. The last time I was here, life was so different, I felt alive.

  He lets his emotions show and I know he’ll let me walk out of here without further arguments.

  “Dex,” he calls out, “take every prospect with you to Sparky’s and surround his land. Anyone gets close who doesn’t wear our patch, shoot them.”

  This isn’t what I wanted.

  “It’s the only way I’m letting you go home,” he murmurs.

  I nod once and agree, if only to get the fuck out of here.

  “Take their bags and don’t let him lift a finger,” he adds.

  I hold my wife’s hand and nobody follows us as we leave.

  Limping my way across to Bonnie’s car, I release her hand so she can strap JJ in his seat, and I awkwardly climb into the passenger seat without causing more pain.

  The doc gave me more than enough painkillers to keep me going for a while. I have a feeling I’ll be sinking some as soon as I get home.

  Bonnie climbs into the driver’s seat and hesitates putting the key in the ignition.

  “What are you waiting for?”

  “Maybe we should stay?” she says.

  “Maybe we’re never coming back here, drive Bon and don’t stop until I can’t see this place anymore.”

  “Sparky,” she gasps.

  “My name is Jason.”

  She brings the engine to life and drives out through the gates. I don’t look back and I let the memories of the past swallow me up.

  A flashback to kneeling beside Oak floods my vision. I tried throwing every threat I could at that fucking prick to stop him from pulling the trigger and I got myself knocked out. I was no fucking help to my friend and now he is gone. He’ll never sit at the bar again, making us all laugh. He’ll never try to keep us in line and give us advice when we fuck up. After everyone Oak helped save over the years, no one could do the same for him. Fuck the lot of them.

  Sparky died when he did. It’s time for Jason to man up and take care of his family himself. Never again w
ill I leave the fate of mine and my family’s life to anyone else but me.

 


 

  Ellie R. Hunter, Biker Taken (The Lost Souls MC Series Book 6)

 


 

 
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