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“It’s not a dead girl, asshole. She’s alive, but she’s here and she’s pretty banged up.”

“So take her to the fucking hospital…” I began, ready to end the conversation and bribe one of the maids to make a liquor store run for me.

“Bear!” King snapped. “She’s here, in the garage apartment. Gus saved her before the MC could work her over worse than they already did, but he’d heard your old man say he was gonna dump her here, for you.”

Why the fuck would the MC do this?

I didn’t have to think about it too hard. Knowing my old man and how he operated, I knew there was only one reason why he’d beat up a defenseless girl. Well, actually there was a few. But there was only one reason why he’d beat up on one and dump her somewhere he knew I would be told about it.

To send a message.

The realization set in as King kept talking, although I couldn’t hear what he was saying. It was the pink hair. I hadn’t seen it in a long time. Not since…

“Look at her fucking hand, asshole,” King barked, bringing me back to the present. I could practically see through the phone the vein in his neck that always pulsed when he was angry.

I used my fingers to zoom in on her hand and my breath caught in my throat when I saw what she was clutching between her fingers.

A ring. A Bastard skull ring.

My Bastard Skull Ring.

“I’m on my way.”

CHAPTER SIX

Bear

The numbness that had been good to me over the last several months had been replaced with the familiar anger that drove me my entire life. The anger that allowed me to take lives. The anger that allowed me to hate enemies I’d never met. However, this new kind of anger bubbling inside me was for one man and one man only.

Chop.

I was still half drunk. It was hard not to be. If I wanted to be completely sober it would take months to clean my system out. Maybe years.

The broken lines of the highway blended into one long streak of white and yellow as I pressed down on the gas pedal, the engine shrieked and groaned in protest. The red line of the speedometer pulsed with hesitation, climbing higher and higher as I pushed the old bread truck to its limit.

I’d given the ring to the little girl as a fucking joke. A way to placate her, make her feel good for not calling the fucking law. I never expected her to show up to the damn MC. What could she have needed my help with anyway? I honestly thought she’d forget all about the ring and the fake story behind it.

I was so fucking wrong.

Just because it was that same girl in the picture King sent me didn’t mean it all wasn’t an elaborate trap set up by Chop to get me back to Logan’s Beach.

My old man was a cocksucker, but he was a smart cocksucker. He wouldn’t come after me in public, and with all the surveillance around King’s house he’d be sure to stay as far away from The Causeway as possible.

But the girl?

She could be on the Bastard’s payroll for all I knew. All she needed to do was guide me to a quiet spot without surveillance so the Bastards could take me back to the clubhouse and hang me in the middle of the courtyard so they could throw beer cans at my body until I started to smell.

But what if she really was just going to the MC because she needed my help? Needed me to fulfill a promise I’d had no intentions of ever following through with.

In the picture she was clutching the damn ring like it was the most precious thing in the world to her. I felt a pull from the bottom of my fucking gut, but like every unwanted emotion tumbling through my brain, I pushed that shit right back out.

My stupid joke ended up on King’s doorstep. The plan was to get to Logan’s Beach and quietly clean up the mess I made. Then I would send the girl on her way and head right back out.

Each bump in the road caused me to glance up and look into the rearview mirror. The back windows were blacked out and about as useless as a monk with a ten-inch cock. My bike was strapped down to the back of the truck with heavy nylon straps that attached to hooks in the floor.

A tied up mechanical beast wasting away when it was meant to be flying down the road.

Like me.

I’d rented the truck under an alias from a junk yard that operated solely on paper tickets, no computer system of any kind. I wasn’t hiding from the club. I wasn’t a fucking coward, but I wasn’t about to advertise my arrival and put King’s family at risk either.

I wasn’t hiding, I just needed time.

Time to do what, I wasn’t fucking sure.

Over the last few months the only thing I’d accomplished was being a wasteland for booze, coke, and loose pussy and as soon as I handled my business I was going right back to it.

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