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“What are you afraid of more? Him killing you? Or not getting your patch?” “Patch, ’course,” Thor scoffed, scrunching his nose.

“Stupid little shit,” I muttered, heading toward Bear’s room.

“Seriously man, if you don’t turn around, I got to shoot you or they’ll shoot me.”

“So fucking shoot me!” I called back over my shoulder.

“Fuck man!” he groaned. “Just don’t be long. And don’t let no one see you! FUCK!”

The Lynyrd Skynyrd blasting from inside of Bear’s room changed to Johnny Cash, and in the millisecond of silence between songs, I heard a slight commotion inside, like furniture scraping against the floor. I pounded my fist on the door. “Bear, get your fucking ass out here.” Looking around I didn’t spot anyone but a few of the BBBs on the balcony across the courtyard who winked and crooked their fingers at me. I pounded again. When he still didn’t come to the door, I walked over to the end of the hall to the old elevator shaft, which no longer housed an elevator, and pulled at the crumbling knee wall in front of it until I found a piece of concrete that was big enough to accomplish what I needed. I walked back over to Bear’s room, pulled my arm back, and launched the block through Bear’s window.

A women inside screamed as I stepped through the window, ducking underneath the jagged shards of glass that still clung to the frame. Bear was lying on his bed. Naked except for his cut, a petite Asian girl was straddling him, the source of the scream.

“Get the fuck out,” I told her. She hopped off Bear and pulled down the scrap of material that had been bunched up above her tits until it barely covered her ass. She ran passed me, grabbing a pair of seven inch clear platform heels on her way out the door.

“You ain’t supposed to be here,” Bear said. The bruising on his face was still as bad as if he’d received the blows only hours before. His movements were stiff at best.

“Yeah, Thor told me that right after he let me in.”

“Tight fucking ship we’re running here.” Bear let out a frustrated breath and ran his hand through his messy mane of blond hair. “And I’m supposed to be captain of the SS Fucked up when shit’s sinking faster than the fucking Titanic.” An alarm sounded. The sound of muffled voices from the floor below rose up to Bear’s room.

“Alarm’s sounding,” Bear said flatly. “Calvary’s a coming.” He rolled onto his side and pulled a cigarette from his pack on the nightstand. He lit it and leaned back onto the bed, pulling off a condom and tossing it into the trash.

“Pops said I can’t play with you no more,” Bear laughed, taking a swig from a bottle of whiskey he picked up off the floor next to the bed.

“I figured that when he didn’t answer my calls. When we were in the weeds with Eli.” Bear flinched at the mention of his name. “And I don’t give a fuck what your old man thinks right now ’cause we got a fuck of a lot of trouble and no fucking time, so cover your fucking cock and get in the truck and I’ll fill you in on the way.”

“We always got trouble,” Bear mumbled. “What the fuck is new about that?” He swung his legs over the side of the bed and rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands.

“This is what’s new, asshole,” I said, tossing him the phone.

“You came all the way here, stormed your way in, practically ripped perfectly good Asian pussy off my cock, and more than likely cost Thor his patch, because you wanted to show me your new phone?” Bear asked, slurring his words. He held his cigarette over the floor and ashed it directly onto the carpet. An unused ashtray sat less than two feet away on the small two-person dinette table.

“Press play,” I said, losing the bite in my voice. Bear rolled his eyes at me and clicked the screen. The light from the phone flashed on his face as the video played and although I couldn’t see the screen, the reflection on his skin told me what he was seeing. I took a couple of deep breaths to push down the urge to reach out and strangle something, anything, someone.


As Bear watched the situation unfolding in the palm of his hand, and the reality of what was going on set in, his entire demeanor shifted. He turned rigid, his shoulders stiffened, and his eyes focused. His brows furrowed in confusion at first, but by the time the video was over and the screen went dark his fists were clenched in anger.

“If you care about her half as much as I think you do, then get your ass up, tuck your dick into your pants, and get in the fucking truck.” Bear stood from the bed and pulled up his pants. He walked over to the dresser and pushed it off the wall, exposing a hole in the drywall. He reached inside and felt around, producing two pistols, making sure both of them were loaded before placing them in the holsters under his cut. “Let’s fucking go,” he said, shoving his feet into his boots which had been sitting by the open door of the tiny bathroom. He didn’t bother with the laces.

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