Last time, we left Cassie and Raven in some potential trouble. Today we’re back with Icarus about to face Henry.
Icarus was glad for the speed, and to be taking point on this ride. If he’d had to be stuck behind any of the other bikes, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to stand it. He still couldn’t believe he’d let Cassie rip that promise out of him. He needed to be the one to handle Henry. And for good this time. He’d thought they’d dealt with him once, got him to back off.
He should have known it wouldn’t be good enough. That man was never going to leave them alone.
Once this was over, Icarus would take Cassie, and Trace and Birdie if they wanted to go, and find somewhere far away from this where they could just be together. But, he had to take care of Henry first.
He finally slowed as the house came into view. He took his bike around to the same place they’d stopped the last time they’d come here. When Henry had held Birdie as leverage to get Cassie and Trace back. He hadn’t won that time. And Icarus swore he wouldn’t this time either.
Once everyone else had pulled in beside him, he glanced around, his gaze finally landing on Bull. “I need you to take point,” he said. His oldest friend, and the biggest man there, he trusted him with his life. Or in this case, the woman he loved and their son’s lives. “I promised it wouldn’t be me.”
They worked out the details of how they would handle the rest of this mission, and Icarus followed behind Bull and the men he’d called to stand with him: Smoke, Jumper, and Devil among them. They were all good men. Hawk and Arrow were on lookout duty, like usual. “You okay for this?” he asked Hawk.
‘”Sure thing, Cap,” he said, but Icarus could see him moving stiffly still.
Trace fell into step beside Icarus. “It should be us,” his son said. “We’re the ones he keeps coming after.”
“That’s not the way your mom wants it. She wants us to come back to her.”
Henry was already waiting on the porch when they crossed the street. He was expecting them, which left an uneasy feeling in Icarus’ gut. “Hiding behind your bullies, Hartson?” he called out to Icarus.
“You’re the only bully I see here,” Icarus responded, trying to remain calm. This man kept trying to take everything from him and had succeeded once, nearly two decades before. He couldn’t go back to that time.
Before he could stop him, Trace lunged forward, through the rest of the Riders. “No,” Icarus said. Again and again as he tried to grab his son. But, the other men seemed to move aside for him. He couldn’t reach him in time.
Icarus started forward, but he still couldn’t move fast enough. Trace was already starting up the steps, his fists clenched at his sides. He couldn’t hear what the boy was saying, but he saw the sneer cross Henry’s face. Then, his hand came up and faster than any of them could move, though Icarus noticed several of the men lunging forward, Henry’s hand struck out, knocking Trace aside.
The boy fell back, missing each of the steps and hitting the ground. He didn’t stir at first, and Icarus’ chest felt hollow. If something happened to his son…but no, he was moving now, pushing himself back up. But, Henry was moving toward him, aiming his foot as if he meant to kick the boy.
Icarus couldn’t do it. He couldn’t let this man take away his son one more time. He drew the gun from the inside pocket of his vest and aimed it at the man who once again threatened everything dear to him. “I’m sorry, Cassie.” This was a promise he just wasn’t going to be able to keep.
“You shoot me again and you will never see Cassandra again,” Henry said, not looking all too scared about the gun in Icarus’ hand.
Icarus’ lip lifted in a snarl. “If you’re dead, you won’t be able to keep her from me. And if you put another hand on my son, that’s just what’s going to happen.”
“If you kill me, you’ll never know where my men took her.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” But, from the smug look on Henry’s face and the ice gathering in his own belly, he was afraid he did. “She’s safe.”
“Yes, she is,” Henry said. “With my men.”
“No, you’re lying.”
“You really want to test that theory? If I turn up dead, my men know exactly who to go after. And you’ll end up in a cage again, exactly where you belong. So, either way, you won’t see her again. But, if you walk away now, everything else will be forgotten between us.”
“Don’t believe him, Dad,” Trace said, drawing himself up beside Icarus. “I don’t think he’s lying about Mom, but he wouldn’t just let us ride away and forget about this.”
Icarus knew the truth of that. But, he didn’t see what other option he had. He was still hoping Henry was bluffing. He motioned for the other men to fall back, but didn’t turn around until he was right on the edge of the yard. When they were at the bikes, he ignored the clamor of voices, everyone wondering what they would do now. Instead he took out his phone and dialed a number. “Chief,” he said, his voice trembling, “tell me he’s fucking with me.”
“I’m so sorry, Grady.”
Well, this is really not looking good. What is Icarus going to do now? Will he get Cassie? Just what did happen?