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Diesel (Dead Souls MC #5)
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No one tells me what to do.
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I didn’t want to admit it to any of their faces, but having families of their own did make them soft. I sat there with my phone in my hand as all the guys left the lodge, my mind spinning wildly. I knew what each of them were thinking, even though they didn’t come out and say it. Knox was stressed with all of this because he wanted it wrapped up before Monroe went into labor. Grave was on edge because Everly was probably giving him a hard time about being scared for her life because her brother was out on bail. Brewer was still recovering and wasn’t at full strength, which made him feel incapable of taking care of the woman and the little girl he promised to take care of.
And Rock? Well, he was simply trying to keep his newfound family together.
I closed my eyes and blocked them from my mind. It never shut off. It never shut down. My mind never stopped analyzing people in front of me. The way they talked. The way they sat. The way they jiggled their leg and the way their hands were callused. It told me so many things about that person. The dog hairs on their leather jackets or the hickies on their necks. The way someone drummed their fingers or the cheek they decided to chew on. Hell, even the way their eyes darted whenever they recalled a story to tell me.
It all served a purpose, and it all served to paint an accurate picture of the person standing in front of me.
That was why this thing with Mick hit me as hard as it did. I personally groomed Mick for our club. I completely trusted him. I personally introduced him to the guys. I vouched for him. My entire reputation had been slaughtered by this weaselly, greedy little asshole. And now I felt as if I couldn’t trust my own gut.
I felt as though I had something to prove to my club. As their President, as their friend, and as the guy that brought Mick aboard, I had a fucking mess to clean up.
But I knew it would come at a price.
I hadn’t spoken with the President of the Black Hornets in a few years. Even though we both lived in Redding, I made sure to keep my distance. Dean and I were on good terms, but they were a rough group. Loyal to their core, but tough as fucking nails. Even for my standards, they rode a line I never dreamed of toeing. They were muscle for hire, and usually the clean-up crew that everyone called to get them out of tough situations.
I knew if I called him for a favor of this magnitude, there would be a price to pay I’d have to shoulder. Because I sure as hell wasn’t saddling that price on the men in my club who now all had families.
We needed the muscle for whatever Rex had planned next. We needed the brotherhood, to help us heal after one of our own ratted on us. And a friendly reunion between the two clubs was in order anyway. What better way to bring about a reunion than killing someone that both clubs hated?
I opened my contacts and scrolled through my phone until I reached Dean’s number.
I stood there, staring at the screen of my phone. And my mind flew back to Brynn. That beautiful young girl with so much life ahead of her. My heart stopped in my chest as my finger hovered over the phone. She had been vibrant. Beautiful. Full of life and laughter and a light I could never get to shine in my own life. I wondered if she’d still be poking her head in shit that didn’t concern her if she were still alive.
I wondered if her and I would still be together if she hadn’t died.
Back in high school, we hadn’t been much. Just a couple of teenage kids stealing quick fucks in the stairwell to relieve stress during exam weeks. But that young girl had been beautiful. Long, flowing red hair and dazzling hazel eyes. A broad smile that knocked me off my feet and petite little lips that unleashed and filled any room with the incredible sound of her laughter. I had been taken by Brynn. By Dean’s daughter.
Until she died.
I still couldn’t think about it without getting angry.
Contacting Dean would open up all those old wounds. I knew it would. But that was the downfall of my character. A father was always supposed to protect his family, and Dean failed Brynn. His daughter died because of his own fucking negligence with his own fucking club, and we all paid the price for it. Dean. His club. Me. And most importantly, Brynn.
The entire damn town paid for his negligence.