Chief (A Brikken Motorcycle Club Saga)By: Debra Kayn
As Chief is my 50th novel published, I would like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way.
MY FAMILY — Thanks for holding down the fort.
MY PUBLISHERS, MY EDITORS, my agent, every author who gave me an ear and a hand — Keep the lessons coming. I'm listening.
MOST OF ALL, MY READERS — Thank you for reading. Thank you for talking to other readers. Thank you for supporting me.
CHIEF STOOD OVER THE still body on the bare floor and planted his boot in the middle of the man's forehead. Sanders, the double-crossing motherfucker, should have kept his mouth shut about his deal with Brikken Motorcycle Club.
Now, two men were dead.
The only way to survive and make sure the club's successful business of chopping motorcycles and sending them down to Southern California required him to make sure loose ends were tied.
It only took one rat to squeal to the Feds, who were always monitoring their activities too closely. He needed to keep eyes on his enemies and his MC brothers close.
"Wipe the place down." Chief stepped away and swept his gaze around the small apartment looking for anything of value.
The bare walls yellowed by tobacco smoke gave no insight to the dead man on the floor. No television, no extra pair of boots, no stacks of magazines on the one end table. Only two spoons and a dirty syringe on the arm of the couch showed what kind of existence the man lived.
Chief scattered the junk mail stacked on the kitchen counter. Going by the lack of contents in the place, Sander's cousin probably lived off government assistance and spent all his money he made from stealing on drugs. Unfortunately, listening to Sanders talk bought the fucker a premature death.
His riders conversed in low voices behind him doing their job to clean all evidence away. He walked down a short hallway and swung the first door open. An unmade bed took up most of the floor space. He stepped inside and moved the pile of dirty clothes out of his path with the toe of his boot.
Movement came from the other side of the room. He lowered his gaze to the floor. A mouse ran along the base of the wall and escaped under the closet door. He cocked his head, sensing there was something he was missing in the room.
From all appearances, Sanders' cousin barely existed and he lived alone. Not even a pile of pocket change sat on any surface in the apartment, no empty beer cans beside the bed.
A low crooning came and went. He held his breath and listened. Several seconds passed with no sound. He shifted to leave and spotted the closet door move. That was no damn mouse.
Taking out his knife, he sidestepped closer. His men had checked out the apartment before killing Sander's cousin. He'd received the all-clear and believed the apartment was vacant of anyone else.
A soft putter came from inside the closet. He reached above the bi-folding door and pulled, opening the closet. No clothes or hangers hung on the dowel. He lowered his gaze to the box on the floor of the two by four-foot closet. Shards of cardboard led a trail to the bottom corner where the mouse had already done its work.
The large box moved. He bent down, and using the tip of his knife, flipped the lid open. Bare skin peeked through the opening. His chest tightened, and he reached down with his other hand and propped the other side of the box open.
A thin, gangly girl, curled as tight as a potato bug hid at the bottom of the box. He took her condition in with a glance, scooped the mouse off her bare thigh, and tossed the rodent across the room, splattering it against the wall.
The same soft whine reached his ears at the same time the child's body constricted into a tighter ball. His chest expanded in irritation. The Brikken members who'd cleared the apartment had fucked up.
He grabbed the child's skinny arm and stood her up on her bare feet outside the closet. She stared at his boots without making a move to dart away. That alone surprised him. Kids were meant to run away from danger, a raised hand, a big man, a mouse.
His sons knew about the dangers out in the world and were taught at a young age how to stay aware of their surroundings. He hoped if they were in the same situation with a strange man wielding a knife over them, they'd scream their fucking heads off and run.
He slipped his knife into the sheath at his side. "Look at me."
The girl raised her chin and sniffed. Tear tracks marked her flushed cheeks. She had the lightest brown eyes he'd ever seen, reminding him of gold.
She couldn't be more than ten years old, probably younger than his youngest son. All skin and bones and knobby knees.
"What's your name?" he asked.
Her full bottom lip trembled, but she kept her eyes on his face the way he'd told her. The voices of the others in the front room grew louder. Within minutes, they'd need to leave the building.
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