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Posts tagged ‘Chief’

A to Z: X is for By eXample

Last time, we left Cassie finding some hope that she’ll be free and safe again soon. Today we’re back with Icarus, who is finding his own hope.

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Icarus couldn’t sleep. He’d given up on it around midnight, coming down to the living room instead. A few people had been around, but most of them gave him the space they could obviously tell he needed. He’d poured himself a glass of whiskey then continued to stare at it for the last couple hours. This was how it had strted befre too. The inability to sleep. Using alcohol and drugs to try to numb the pain. Then, Chief had arrested him. He didn’t want to know how far down that dark path he’d have gone if it hadn’t been for that.

He couldn’t do it again. He needed to keep a clear head so he could help bring Cassie home once they knew anything.

He finally set the glass aside when he saw Devil approaching him. “You think that’s better than going off half-cocked when the person you love is taken?” he asked, nodding at the glass.

Icarus shook his head. “No. Just another way of doing the foolish thing. Although your way did see Hawk safe. A lot better than this will for Cassie.”

“Only because you and the other guys were right behind me. And, speaking of Hawk, he and Wraith just got back. Chief is bringing them in here so you don’t miss any of it. He wanted me to clear the room out for now.”

“Then, I guess you’d better get to that.”

Devil gave a quick salute and went to do that. There were a few grumbles, but everyone else left the room. They’d be clued in as soon as they had a plan in place. Icarus had to smile a little despite everything. A big change had gone over Devil in just the last couple months. Ever since he’d stopped denying who he was and who he loved. He was definitely coming into his own, just like Icarus always thought he would.

Chief came in, Hawk and Wraith trailing behind him. Hawk nodded at Icarus, but his gaze didn’t leave Devil. Chief came straight to Icarus. “They found her,” he said.

His gaze shot back to Hawk, but the other man gestured toward Wraith. “He’s the one who talked to her. I wanted to take the guys on guard out and bring her out of there, but I was told I was acting just like my lover boy,” he said with a wink at Devil.

Icarus looked back to Wraith. “You really were able to talk to her?”

He nodded. “They had her alone in a room. I slipped in through the window. She was doing okay. I told her to hang on at least until morning. That we hadn’t abandoned her. That there was no way you wouldn’t come for her. She knows, man. She’ll be waiting for you.”

He took a deep breath then nodded. “Okay. What are we going to do?”

“You,” Chief said, pointing a finger at him, “are going to go up and get some sleep. You’ve always believed in leading by example. So, you need to start doing that. In the morning, you’ll take a few Riders, and you’ll get your woman back. You know what matters, Grady. Protecting the ones you love. That’s the example we lead by here. Justice only comes once that’s secured.”

Icarus drew in another deep breath. “You’re right, Chief. I forgot it a little bit, but you’re right. We get Cassie out of there, then I can worry about making sure he never comes after her again. He doesn’t get to take what I love wthout consequences.”

Chief sighed. “Not exactly what I meant, but close enough. Now, go up and sleep. All of you. We’ll get her back in the morning.”

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Will they get her back? Will Icarus get his justice?

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A to Z: U is for Understanding

Last time, we saw how Henry’s men got to Cassie. Today we’re back with Icarus as he starts to understand what happened.

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Icarus stared at his phone even after he’d ended the call with Chief. He couldn’t do anything else. He felt some of the men gather around him, but he couldn’t even make himself look up.

“Dad, what’s going on?” Trace asked from right in front of him. “What happened to Mom?”

Icarus wasn’t even sure he understood it. Actually, he did. Only too well. “He sent men after your mom,” Icarus said, his voice dull. “Chief didn’t give me all the details. We’ll talk about it when we get back to the clubhouse. But, he has her. I failed her.” That’s what he understood best of all.

“No, Dad,” Trace said, but Icarus couldn’t listen to him right now.

“Everyone, on your bikes,” he ordered. “There’s nothing we can do here. We have to regroup and come back.”

“We can’t just leave her with him,” Trace argued. “You don’t know what he’ll do.”

Icarus forced himself to meet his son’s eyes. “I do. But, there’s nothing we can do right now. We have to figure out what happened and how we’re going to get her back. I won’t stop until we do, though.”

He expected Trace to argue, but his son seemed to understand how things were as well. He hated it just as much as Trace did, but he wasn’t going to risk Cassie getting killed by going in half-cocked.

But, he could barely focus on the road in front of him as they headed back toward the clubhouse. All he could remember was the look on Cassie’s face as he got ready to ride away. The fear. That’s what had stood out the most. That he wouldn’t come back to her, that he’d fail.

Well, those fears had been realized, hadn’t they? He’d failed her. Icarus slapped his palm against the handlebar as they stopped at a light. It didn’t help diffuse any of the emotion surging through him. Yet, he did it twice more before Bull glanced over at him and shook his head. He knew it didn’t do any good.

When they pulled into the yard, Chief stood on the porch as if he’d been waiting for them. He probably had been. Barbie stood beside him. As they started climbing from the bikes, she hurried down into the yard toward Bull. Except she came right to him instead of her husband. “I’m so sorry, Grady,” she said, her arms wrapping tight around him. “So, so sorry.”

“It’s not your fault,” he told her but glanced over her head at Bull. As if he could explain it. But, his friend only shook his head.

“It is,” she told him. “I should have stopped it.”

He felt Bull stiffen next to him. “What are you talking about, Barb? You promised me you wouldn’t take any risks right now. How could you have stopped anything without breaking that promise to me?”

Chief walked down to meet them. “She went on her walk, Eric,” Chief said. “They grabbed her then. And drove up here shortly after you left. Cassie and Raven were still on the porch.”

Bull was suddenly pulling Barbie away from Icarus, his arms going around her. “Are you all right? Did they hurt you?”

“I’m fine,” she said. “We’re fine, Eric.”

That last part struck Icarus as odd, but Chief was already continuing. “They threatened Barb. If we didn’t send Cassie out, he’d shoot Barb right there.” His lip twitched slightly, but Icarus didn’t see anything funny in the situation. “He thought she was my old lady. Didn’t realize she’s even more important than that to me. Because she’s yours,” he said, looking at Bull. “But, I wasn’t going to hand Cassie over. Because she’s yours,” he said, nodding at Icarus. “And both of you are mine.”

Barbie set her hand on Bull’s chest. “I think she figured it out,” she said then reached out for Icarus’ hand and placed it on her stomach. “She wouldn’t let me, us, be sacrificed.”

Icarus looked up into her face then and realized why she and Bull had been acting odd the last couple weeks. “A baby. You’re having the first baby of the club.”

“I tried to stop her,” Chief said. “I couldn’t fail you like that. But, she took the impossible choice out of my hands, Grady. I’m so sorry.”

“It’s not your fault,” he said, choking on the words. “It’s not any of your fault.” He made sure to take Barbie in with that. “Henry sent those men here and ordered them to take her. And I’d have never forgiven myself if you’d been hurt,” he told her. “But, now we have to figure out how we’re going to get her back. Because I won’t leave her in that hell a second time.” He turned away. “I need a few minutes then we’ll meet to discuss this.”

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How will they get her back? Will they get her back? Icarus isn’t putting blame on them, but will he forgive himself?

A to Z: T is for Taken

Last week, we left Icarus realizing he’d been drawn away from the clubhouse for a reason. Today, we go back a little in time to see exactly how they got to Cassie.

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Cassie felt like her feet were glued to the porch. What was happening? She was supposed to be safe here. Grady had promised her she would be. They shouldn’t have been able to find her.

But that was definitely Jake driving that SUV up the drive. She’d always felt a little uneasy when he’d come by the house to see Henry. Jake was probably only too glad to do Henry’s bidding.

“No,” she whispered. “No, I can’t go with him.”

“You won’t,” Chief said, stepping up behind her and putting a large strong hand on her shoulder. “Go in the house. I’ll take care of this.”

But before she could do what he said and take Raven with her, the SUV jerked to a stop and the back door opened so fast she could only assume whoever was back there had kicked it open. Someone stumbled out, another figure following right behind.

Chief’s hand tightened slightly on Cassie’s shoulder. “Barb,” he breathed.

Looking closer, cassie saw Barbie was exactly who had stumbled out of the SUV first. “No,” she gasped, taking a step forward. She couldn’t let Barbie be used against her.

But, Chief yanked her right back. “Grady would never forgive me if I let something happen to you.”

“You can’t let anything happen to her either,” she insisted. “She’s your son’s wife. Eric would -”

“I know, ” Chief said gruffly. “I know, Cassie, but it’s my job to protect you today. I can’t fail.”

She wanted to argue with him about that. She wasn’t any more important than Barbie was. Barbie had been a part of this group from the beginning. And a part of all their lives longer than that. It would devastate just about everyone in this club if something happened to Barbie. Whereas Cassie really only meant something to Grady and Trace.

“How’d they even get to her?”

“She doesn’t like to watch the men leave. Especially lately. So,  she says good-bye to Bull and goes for a walk. They’d have seen her from the other side of the property.”

Cassie didn’t know why the ‘especially lately’ part was significant, except that Bull had been acting more protective of her lately. So, she wondered. “You have to let me go, Chief. I won’t forgive myself if she gives her freedom or life for mine.” Or, if Cassie was correct, her baby’s life. “You have to let me go.”

“This is an impossible choice,” he said, and she could hear the battle in his voice. “I think of Grady as much of a son as Eric. And you’re his. I can’t choose one of you for the other.”

But, the man was pushing Barbie closer to the porch, and Jake stepped out, his gun pointed at Cassie. “Send her down here, old man, or both of them die.”

“I know that’s not what your boss sent you here for. He wants her alive. But, I’m not sending her back to that hell. There’s no way.”

“Then, I guess you’ll be saying good-bye to your old lady.”

They didn’t even know. Cassie doubted they cared who Barbie was really with. It was all the same to them. And she wouldn’t be able to live with it. “Don’t,” she said, jerking away from Chief’s hand. “Don’t hurt her. I’ll go with you.”

Chief choked out her name, and she knew what he was thinking. But, she couldn’t let that stop her. She kept her shoulders straight and her head up as she headed toward Jake. She might be quaking inside, but she wasn’t going to show them her fear. Barbie glanced up at her as she approached. “Don’t do this,” she said. “It will kill him.”

“I have to,” she said. “Henry hasn’t left me a choice. I’ll see you again when this is over.”

If she survived this. Because she knew Grady wouldn’t rest this time until he knew she was safe. She just had to hold on until then.

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Will she survive? Will Grady be able to get her out of it? What is going to happen next?

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