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

By: Sara Rayne

“Want me to get rid of him?”

A few months ago, the question wouldn’t have come with such a deadly undertone. “Nah, I got this.”

“Let me know if you change your mind.”

I’ll give it some thought, bro. Schooling his features, Voo gathered up the gumbo pot and set it in the alley outside. The bitter smell of the burnt rice invaded Voo’s nose, making him gag.

The last time he’d burned gumbo would be engraved on his soul through this lifetime and into the next.

On a late August day as hot as Satan’s ball sac, the rain should’ve been welcome. But it had filled him with as much dread as the blackened pot on the stove. The sound pattered across the roof as the kitchen filled with acrid smoke. Artie hadn’t even noticed when she walked in, her face tight with worry, blonde hair soaked.

“The storm shifted. Katrina’s headed straight for us.”

Voo rubbed the tattoo on his right shoulder, a broken heart made of ocean waves—his reminder of what fate awaited a dishonest man. The last burnt gumbo had heralded the third-deadliest hurricane to hit the United States. He’d lost everything he cared about.

What would he lose this time?

He’d have Angel, the new prospect, scrub the pot later. Right now, he needed the foul scent out of his nose while he dealt with whatever bullshit Apollo had brought with him.

Coyote had opened all the windows by the time he returned, and Voo shot him a grateful look. Removing his apron, Voo pushed through the stainless steel swinging doors into his dining room. The place was quiet, the black-and-white-checkered floor shining from Angel’s fresh mop job and every red tablecloth in place.

Apollo straddled one of his red vinyl counter stools. The blond man looked more like Voo’s beloved Artemis—Bon Dieu rest her soul—than Voo could stand.

“You lost? I done told you, you ain’t welcome here.”

A shark with a Colgate smile, Apollo didn’t blink. “Is my attire inappropriate? I certainly satisfied the ‘shirt and shoes’ requirement.”

“Unless you’re wearin’ a coffin, I find you underdressed.” Voo didn’t believe in wishing a man dead. Yet he’d long-prayed the spirits would carry his fiancée’s brother to his well-deserved fate.

Apollo had wallowed in the outpouring of sympathy after Katrina, shamelessly accepting donations and fundraising. Unbeknownst to his fawning supporters, he’d also been pocketing large insurance payouts from the housing development he’d owned—the same one his sister had drowned in.

“Haven’t you seen enough of my family in coffins?” The guise of geniality slipped from the man’s symmetric features.

All of the Devines were flawless. Artemis had stepped into a beam of moonlight and stolen Voo’s heart. Possessed of gilded-blond hair and deep aquamarine eyes, the Devine siblings were poster children for perfection, right down to the strict upbringing by overbearing parents.

Apollo snagged a photo of Voodoo and Lex from the wall, studying it while Voo resisted the urge to smack it out of his slimy hands.

“Who’s the new wife?”

“She’s a friend.”

“A decent Artemis replacement. Looks a bit like her.” Apollo smirked. “In the face anyway.”

“She’s the daughter of a club member and about to be the Prez’s stepsister. Make one more comment on her appearance and kickin’ your ass will become a team sport.”

“You love to ‘climb the ladder’, don’t you?” Apollo shot back. His sister had enjoyed tweaking her family’s nose about her engagement to a staff member. Voo had been happy to serve whatever purpose she had for him.

He saw no reason to stop now.

“Non, I’m simply better at it than you.” It was time for Apollo to go. “This counter’s reserved for payin’ customers.”

“I can’t find a menu. What do you serve here?”

“You can eat shit and die.”

“This is your version of customer service? No wonder you only serve bikers. I thought diners like this were built on the ‘Southern hospitality’ business model.” Voo could say one thing for Apollo, his douchebaggery knew no bounds.