Hell or High Water (The Four Horsemen MC Book 8)(7)

By: Sara Rayne

And sadly, so was his gumbo.

“Anytime, bro.” Coyote pocketed his super phone then carefully tucked away the new patch he’d been working on.

A few weeks ago, a rival MC had captured Coyote and chopped off two of his fingers before the Horsemen could rescue him. Sewing was part of his physical therapy, but the white symbol on the black leather gave Voo the creeps.

Climbing down from the stool he’d been parked on since sunrise, Coyote peered under the lid of the smoldering gumbo pot. “Supper’s ruined, but you made a half-decent smoke bomb. There’s a plus.”

“Voila merde.” Voo knocked a container of spatulas off the counter. The metal utensils clattered to the tile. “I burnt it like it was damned.”

“Chill, bro. It’s just fuckin’ gumbo. Not like anyone lost a finger.” Coyote’s casual teasing had taken on a sharper edge since his imprisonment. Voo was determined not to take it personally, but sometimes the remarks cut too close.

Voo glowered at the pot.

“What? This your first time screwin’ up a meal?”

“Non.” He fixed his gaze over Coyote’s shoulder. “The first time I burned something, I was nine. My parents used to drop me at my grand-mére’s whenever they went to tend their meth lab. We was makin’ couche-couche when we heard their cabin blow sky-high.”

The stench of burnt human hair and chemically melted flesh had entwined with the smell of the ruined meal. The scent haunted him to this day. He forced himself to take a deep breath of the acrid air in the now too-quiet kitchen.

Coyote cast his eyes to the ground. “I didn’t know.”

“Now you do.”

Voo had earned a reputation as a tight-lipped motherfucker. But Coyote’s gregarious personality had died in the godforsaken basement he’d been caged in, and Voo couldn’t bear the stony silence surrounding the young man.

The problem was, Voo’s thoughts tended to be on the dark and narrow—at least when he was sober. Coyote wouldn’t get much cheering up during his stay at Hades.

“Burning gumbo is bad juju. There’s a bad storm on the horizon, friend.”

Coyote stilled. “You believe in that stuff?”

“Would I be going with you to the rez tomorrow night if I didn’t?”

“You do a lot for me.”

Voo read the inner struggle on Coyote’s face. How could a man survive the kind of ordeal his club brother had and not have his faith shaken? Voo had learned long ago not to question the spiritual presences in his life. They had kept him safe while everyone he loved drowned.

“I believe, brother.”

The rumble of a motor in the parking lot drew their attention.

“Sounds like the breakfast crowd comin’ in.” Coyote crossed to the back window, lifting the café curtain.

“Should be Jagger and the Crows.” They usually came stumbling in for red-eye gravy and toast about this time in the morning, too high off their latest performance for even the road trip home to subdue them.

Voo hadn’t had a chance to speak to Jagger since the Apocalypse Rally. The Crows were trying to book more out-of-town gigs, and Voo was as busy as a one-handed street juggler with VP business for the Four Horsemen. He’d been looking forward to catching up with Jagger.

“Not unless they finally got a record deal. There’s a goddamn limo parking out back.”

Voo’s jaw clenched.

“You know this asshat?” Coyote shaded his eyes for a better view. “He’s in a suit… I’m guessin’, lawyer?”

“Worse. So much worse.” Voo pulled out a bottle of Jack hidden behind the spices in a cabinet. He poured himself a double, waited a second for the burn to kick in, and poured himself another.

“What could be worse than a lawyer?”

“My brother-in-law.”

Voo cursed the day Apollo Devine had tracked him down in Hell. When a man holed up in a desert and built himself a hotel and diner named after the Underworld, it meant he wanted to be left the fuck alone. Take the hint.

“And when the fuck did you get married?” Coyote squinted at him, tapping a finger on his chin.

“I didn’t. The wrong sibling died in the flood.”