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“After you, motherfucker,” I growled, rolling over to my side, taking out his leg. I threw him off balance and he fell sideways. I grabbed the gun I kept hidden behind my belt buckle, and before he could lift his gun again, I’d already aimed and fired, sending him to the place in hell reserved for pieces of shit like him.

And me.

I ran over to where Bear was pinned beneath the rubble. Shots rang out, the table exploded, shards of the glass top rose off the table like someone had just canon-balled into a pool of water, then crashed back down, sending bits and pieces of shrapnel soaring through the air, stabbing into the skin on my neck and chest like a million tiny knives, not much bigger than a grain of sand.

A bullet whizzed by my head and lodged into the wall behind me, narrowly missing my forehead by less than an inch.

I stood straight and aimed my gun toward the snarling man who wore a look of disappointment on his face, pissed that he’d missed his intended target.


I took more time to aim than was safe, standing out in the open with no cover, but my little back up gun only had one bullet left and I needed to make it count. I squeezed the trigger and the man’s eyes went wide as the bullet pierced his throat. He choked and gurgled on his own blood as he crumpled to the floor.

I tossed the gun and started clearing off the rubble off of the couch. After what seemed like forever, but was probably only a few second, I cleared a block that revealed Bear’s face and neck. I leaned down and put my ear to his chest.

Still breathing.

I had to move quickly. Eli was standing just outside and God only knew what that crazy motherfucker might be armed with.

I reached behind Bear and tried to wrestle a gun from one of his holsters under his cut. I had no doubt it was fully loaded. Bear was always prepared. I hadn’t successfully freed the gun when seven more men came bursting through the hole in the wall. All armed. All guns aimed at me.

I froze.

The front door opened and another four men came barging through, followed by Eli. “I know I made my own entrance, but I had to use the front door, you see. It’s more civilized that way.” Eli said, pushing his dark sunglasses back up the bridge of his nose. He looked around the room and turned up his nose. “And Lord knows someone has to remain civilized in this godforsaken shit town.”

I wouldn’t blame any man for giving up if they were in the same situation I was in. Unarmed, facing a firing squad.

I wasn’t just any man.

I had things to live for. People to live for.

My girls. Bear. Grace.

My family.

“King of the Causeway,” Eli sang, reading it off of a street sign on the wall Preppy had made for me when we’d first moved in. “They worship you here.” It was a statement, not a question. He blew out a long sigh. “It’s too bad you know. We could have done some business together, you and I.”

He sounded just like Isaac before the shit when down with Preppy. But now? Now that you killed Isaac without so much as a thought of the repercussions…well, I don’t do business with stupid men, King.” He stressed my name as if it were a ridiculous thing to say.

I cracked my knuckles and hissed through my teeth. “You best be careful about who you call stupid, motherfucker,” I spat. “Isaac came at me and my people after I’d already offered to cut him in on our business. If you want to call someone stupid, it should be him,” I chuckled. “Oh wait, you can’t…’cause I made the fucker’s head explode.” Maybe I was the stupid one after all, because I knew that taunting Eli wasn’t the brightest thing to do, but I needed to let that motherfucker know that he wasn’t dealing with someone who was just going to roll over and die.

That wasn’t a fucking option. So while Eli spoke I formed a plan.

“That wasn’t your fucking call to make!” Eli said, his pale face turning red. He took off his dark sunglasses. His right eye was missing, nothing but a gaping hole in its place. “I decide who lives and dies in this state. Not you! Not anyone! Me! That is my call!”

I spotted my other gun, the one I had threatened Bear with earlier on the ground only a few feet away. “Isaac made it my call when he aimed his fucking guns at me and my boys and raped…” I was about to say my woman, but quickly corrected, “some biker bitch who didn’t like what he was offering.”

“I don’t care if he raped your fucking cunt mother!” Eli seethed. “And what you did was stupid, because it’s going to cost you…your life.” He nodded to his boys who began to descend upon me. Leaning back against the wall I found what I was looking for and clicked the switch with my shoulder.

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