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