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Posts tagged ‘Birdie’

A to Z: V is for Vengeance

Last time, we left Icarus understanding exactly what had happened to Cassie. Today, we’re sticking with Icarus as he has to decide what to do next.

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Icarus walked down the stairs, feeling about twice his true age. He hadn’t been able to clear his head. But, he knew he couldn’t waste a lot of time wallowing in his guilt and fear. They had to get Cassie back, and burying his head wouldn’t help accomplish that.

Birdie waited for him at the bottom of the stairs, and he could see the concern pinching her face. She was too young to be looking at him like that. It should be the other way around. “Where’s Trace?” he asked in an attempt to get the attention off him. The two of them were usually attached at the hip when they were at the clubhouse.

“Chief wanted to talk to him. About what happened when you were there. I don’t need to be told when I shouldn’t be litening in. It’s club business.” He studied her face, but other than gnwing at her lip, she didn’t show any sign of that being a problem. Still he had to be sure. If he did decide to quit, he wanted to know whether she’d feel she needed to stay or not.

“Are you okay with that?” he asked.

She shrugged one shoulder. “It is what it is. I’m more concerned with the bruise on his cheek, and the fact he winced when I hugged him.”

In the chaos of realizing Cassie had been taken, he’d almost forgotten about Trace falling. “He had the wind knocked out of him. I don’t think it was much worse than that.”

“It’s bad enough. I can’t believe that fucker put his hands on him again.”

Icarus’ lips twitched up at that. That was his girl, fiery to the last. “Never change,” he murmured, putting an arm around her shoulders.

“I don’t plan to,” she said, kissing his cheek. “I’m going to wait for Trace up in my room. You’ll get her back, Dad. I know you’ll do everything to make sure that happens.”

“I can’t let her go again,” he said. “Especially when she didn’t want to go this time either. And this time there’s more I can do about it.”

Birdie gave him another hug then went up the stairs and disappeared into her room. He felt a little steadier as he headed out of the house and saw Trace leaving Chief’s side. Before he reached him, the president called two of the other lingering men to him. Wraith and Hawk. He didn’t hear what Chief told them, but they both nodded and headed back for their bikes. He could imagine what orders Chief had given them, as they both had a strength with surveillance. And Wraith had always seemed to have an uncanny ability in finding people. Even more so than Hawk. They’d make a good team for this.

Icarus just wished he was going along. He wouldn’t be leaving without Cassie if they found where she was being kept, though. And he was sure Chief didn’t think that was the best way to go about it. He just wanted to get her back.

“Chief,” Icarus said, coming up beside him, “I’m sorry for earlier.”

“You have nothing to apologize for.”

“I lost it a bit.”

The older man let out a sound halfway between a snort and a laugh. “If that was you losing it, I’d like to have you at my side in a crisis. The woman you love was taken from you. I get it. I’ve never told you about Eric’s mother, but trust me when I say I get it. And I wasn’t able to get her back. Are you feeling better now at least?”

Icarus had never known much about Bull’s mother, except that she’d died when he was younger. But, even Chief’s vague explanation told him quite a bit. He didn’t really need to know more. And he stll had to answer Chief’s question. “Better? No. But, my head’s a little straighter.”

“Good. That’s all I can ask rght now.”

“You’re not going to keep me out of this. I’m going to get my vengeance, sir. You won’t keep me from that.”

“We’ve never been about vengeance, Grady.” Icarus knew the older man meant business when he used his real name. “It’s always been justice. That’s not going to change now.”

“And sometimes those are one and the same.”

“Sometimes,” Chief agreed. “Just make sure this is one of them before you take a step you’ll end up regretting.”

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Will Chief try to keep him out of it? Will Icarus get his vengeance? Or will he end up regretting his next step?

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A to Z: B is for Birdie

Last time I left you with Icarus heading into a meeting. But, just what was exposed during that meeting? What decisions might have been made? Well, this scene picks up just after that meeting.

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Icarus’ hands were shaking even as he pushed his chair back from the table. He’d barely been able to get through closing the meeting. Not after Arrow had given his report. Thank goodness that had waited until nearly the end. He may have left in the middle of everything to find Cassie and wrap her up somewhere safe.

“Dad.”

He looked over and saw Trace approaching him. His face was about as bone white as Icarus’ felt. It had been a long time since he’d felt this much fear. “Trace, I know you’re worried-”

“Don’t try to put me at ease, Dad. I can see it in your eyes, too. He’s going to come after us, isn’t he?”

“We can’t know that.” His son looked him straight in the eye, though, as if he didn’t believe him. Damn, he’d certainly changed in less than a year. Back then, he probably wouldn’t have made that eye contact, and if he had he would have dropped it instantly, afraid of retaliation. Not so anymore. Icarus wasn’t sure anything could make him prouder. And it made him admit, “But, yeah, he probably will.”

Icarus hadn’t thought Trace’s face could go any paler, but he proved him wrong once again. “Don’t let him get Mom. Whatever you do, don’t-”

“Stop, Trace,” Icarus said, even the thought sending a sharp blade right through his chest. “You have to know the last thing I’d do was let any harm ever come to your mother again.”

Trace didn’t say a word, though, as he headed out into the hallway. Icarus understood. Sometimes there were some promises it was completely impossible to keep.

Out in the hallway, he saw Birdie waiting. Trace went right to her, laying his forehead against hers. Icarus wasn’t worried about what Trace would tell her, he knew the rules of the club. None of their business got spread outside the four walls of the meeting room. And non-members weren’t allowed inside those walls. Except in certain circumstances. And even though Birdie would always be part of the club as his legal daughter, she wasn’t in the club.

Still, this was something she should know if she was going to remain safe. Cassie and Trace weren’t the only ones that man had hurt.

“Birdie,” Icarus said, trying to keep his voice level and calm. “How about you two come inside. We should discuss something.”

Birdie looked concerned, and he wondered how much she knew already. None of the men would discuss this outside the meeting room, but depending on how long she’d been standing there, she might have picked up on some of it. The door to the room was nearly soundproof, so it was unlikely she’d overheard anything without her ear pressed to the door, and she knew better. But the men might have murmured as they left, if they hadn’t realized she was there yet.

And she had always been good at picking up undercurrents. She had to know something was going on, even if she didn’t know exactly what it was. And he didn’t want her worrying needlessly.

Not that this would be needless worry.

This wasn’t the first time Birdie had been in the meeting room, though it was a rare occurrence. The last time had been because her personal business became club business. This time her safety was club business, and that was something Icarus would never take lightly.

“What’s going on?” she asked as soon as Trace closed the door behind them. “It’s not Brad again, is it? Did the Crows go after him again? I know you said we have a truce with them now, but that doesn’t include Brad, does it?”

Knowing the way Brad had used Birdie for his own agenda, a part of Icarus wouldn’t mind sending him to the Crows as a sacrifice. But, he knew it wouldn’t be right.

“This doesn’t have anything to do with the Ivory Crows or Brad,” Icarus told her.

“It’s my stepdad,” Trace said, moving closer to Birdie. “He may be stirring up trouble again.”

That took most of the color out of her face. “What do you mean, may be?”

Icarus quickly told her what Arrow had overheard. That Henry Kearns was back on the force after more than six months of medical leave. That there were rumors he was opening an investigation on the Riders of Justice. “I don’t want you to be scared,” Icarus said. “This might not turn into anything. Just please be careful if you two go out there. I don’t want to know what he might do if he finds the two of you alone.”

“I won’t let him hurt her,” Trace insisted. “That’s the last thing I’d ever let happen.”

“I know,” Icarus said. And he did. But, there were certain things you couldn’t plan for. “Go on now. When we find out more, we’ll know just how to handle this. For now, all we can do is wait and see.”

But, he’d known there was a possibility this could happen. And he’d be prepared when the worst came down.

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What is Henry up to? Is he going to come after them? Will they be able to prepare for whatever he has in mind?

Fiction Friday: Into the Sun – Chapter 5

Continuing today with the next chapter of Into the Sun. Have you read the previous chapters yet? If not, you can catch up first. Now, here’s the beginning of Chapter 5:

By my second day as a prospective member of the Riders of Justice, I started to regret my decision. I hadn’t realized what being a prospect meant. Kitchen duty, washing all the bikes, cleaning bathrooms. Pretty much whatever grunt work the full members wanted to assign to me.

For the first time, I felt like I belonged. I was greeted like a brother, like a nephew. Like a son.

Icarus was usually waiting when I came down for breakfast. There was always a chair waiting for me with them. The first day, he took me for a ride, showing me the local landmarks so I’d always be able to find my way back, even when I went out on my own. I realized we weren’t that far from home. I must have taken a winding route when I’d first left. It would only take about an hour to get there on my bike.

And there was Birdie. Always there, keeping up a conversation while I did whatever tasks had been assigned to me for that day, even when I didn’t feel like talking. She had enough words for both of us. She also seemed to sense when I needed silence.

When the chores were finished, she climbed on my bike, and we went riding. Icarus was upset the first time we came back. She, once again, told him she was an adult. His protest seemed to be more for appearance sake, because he smiled when he turned away.

I gritted my teeth through the worst of the tasks. I kept my mind focused on it. On what becoming a member could mean. More than just a place to stay. A family, a cause, a place to belong. I’d never belonged before.

Just possibly, justice for mom. And me.

Six months. I had to do this for six months before the members voted on me, or I earned my way in. Then, maybe I could bring up the idea of getting Mom away. I hoped it wouldn’t be too late for that.

I wiped the last of the moisture from one of the other member’s, Smoke, bike before something wet nailed me right in the back. I cried out and turned as I heard Birdie laugh. Her laugh always did something to me. I still reached down toward the bucket as I turned. When I came back up the sponge was already flying out of my hand.

Her laugh cut off when it hit her below the shoulder. Suds ran down her arm and chest. My mouth went dry as my gaze followed the path of some as it ran along the edge of her bikini top.

“Oh, that does it,” she said, but she dropped the hose.

She dunked the sponge into the bucket again. I only had time to think oh no then it sailed back to me. It hit me right in the center of the chest, and she started laughing again.

I loved that sound so much.

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