Authors: Kara Parker
This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons--living or dead--is entirely coincidental.
Bound by Lies copyright @ 2015 by Kara Parker. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles or reviews.
Part 3 of
God’s Reapers MC
Olivia drove her Jeep down the dusty roads of Marina’s Crest, occasionally reaching up to angrily wipe the tears from her eyes. It was dangerous; sometimes her vision would get so blurry that the world was reduced to nothing more than splashes of wavy colors, the blue of a car, the orange of the desert. Everything was fuzzy and meaningless, and she didn’t care. She felt like she could barely breathe, and so she was constantly taking in heavy, deep breaths as she tried not to sob. She was out of control of her body, sometimes her limbs felt weak, and other times they shook. Olivia Waters was a mess.
She didn’t know where David was. He was supposed to call her, and he hadn’t; he hadn’t been at home either. She suddenly felt so small and alone in the world; David could be anywhere, and she had no idea how to find him. She wanted to put an APB out on David, declare him missing and have the entire police force search for him until he was brought back to her. However, she wasn’t a cop anymore; she was just a disgrace.
Someone had taken David. They had gone to a lot of work to make it look like he had just left. His motorcycle was gone, and his burner phone was left behind; it had all the markings of a man who had finally decided to say fuck it all and take off. However, Olivia knew better. David wouldn’t have left the club—and he wouldn’t have left her. He was too invested in what was going on and too worried about his brothers to leave now.
Without even realizing it, Olivia was driving towards Hillary Sweetie’s house. She acted like each turn was a subconscious decision, but that was a lie. She knew exactly where she was going. She knew that she shouldn’t go that woman’s house. There would be no fooling Hillary like she had fooled Joey. Hillary knew Olivia, and she knew Olivia was a cop. There was also a very good chance that Hillary hated Olivia and blamed her for putting the Reapers behind bars. There was the chance that Olivia could show up at Hillary’s and she would call the remaining bikers—and Olivia would find herself in a shallow grave next to David.
Olivia pulled her Jeep into Hillary’s dusty driveway, and after she stopped, she looked at herself in the mirror. Her eyes were puffy and red, and there were bags under them. Her hair was a mess and her skin pale. Olivia scoffed at her reflection. How many times had Olivia looked disdainfully on Hillary’s bleached hair and her cheap nails, who was she to judge? Now, it would be Hillary’s turn.
Olivia heard the sound of a door slamming open, and Hillary was standing there, shading her eyes in the sun and staring out at the strange car in her driveway. Without giving herself time to change her mind, Olivia hopped out of the Jeep and stuck her hands in her pockets. She gave Hillary a shrug, as tears began to slide down her cheeks all over again.
“Officer Waters?” Hillary called out. “You alright?” Olivia shook her head, sending the tears down to sizzle on the hot desert sands. “Poor dear,” Hillary said, walking over to Olivia. The woman, who Olivia realized was only a few years older than herself, took Olivia’s face in her hands and looked down at her sadly. With her thumb, she wiped away a tear and said, “Why don’t you come on inside and have a sit in the cool air?”
Olivia nodded and allowed herself to be led into Hillary’s trailer. A TV in the corner was on mute with
Keeping Up with the Kardashians
creating an odd backdrop to Hillary’s poor trailer. Hillary sat Olivia down at her scratched-up table and put a glass of lemonade in front of her and one for herself. She then reached up and pulled out a box of fiber cereal. With a wink, she reached inside and pulled out a bottle of vodka. She topped off the two lemonades and sat down across from Olivia.
Olivia wiped her eyes and looked away, embarrassed, before taking a sip of her drink, feeling the sharp sting of the vodka as it cooled her dry and raw throat.
“I’m sorry to come here like this,” Olivia finally said. “I know the Reapers think I’m this big enemy—”
“Oh, I know that’s not true,” Hillary interrupted with a wave of her hand. “I done told Rick and Mike that a thousand times. I said that Olivia Waters is a good girl. Sure, she’s a cop, and no one likes them, but it ain’t fair to lump her in with all them other pigs.”
“Thanks,” Olivia said, and she meant it.
“Them bikers,” Hillary said with a shake of her head. “They drive you crazy, girl. I could have told you that.” Olivia laughed, only it came out half a sob, but she nodded and smiled at Hillary who continued with a knowing look. “Oh, I seen you and David Creely. I seen the way the two of you were talking to each other. You spoke like enemies, but you acted more like lovers.”
“I think I might love him,” Olivia whispered, her eyes were looking outside, and she was focused on two birds resting on an old stump, far back from Hillary’s trailer. She couldn’t bear to look Hillary in the eyes as she spoke. She hadn’t told David that she loved him; she hadn’t really said it to herself yet. However, it was the truth, and she knew it as soon as she said it. She finally looked at Hillary who gave her a sympathetic smile, and then she reached across the table and took Olivia’s hand in her own.
“I know, girl. I can see it in your eyes. I loved a biker once too, you know. No, not Rick or Mike. His name was Tommy. Oh, he was so handsome and so brave and so confident. There’s something about bikers, you know? You date these men who complain about their bosses and poke at their flat tires and then take the car to the shop. There’s something lacking in them, you know? But bikers are real men. They’re tough and fearless; they do what they want when they want. They say, ‘Fuck the Man’—and they mean it. There’s something primal about them. It’s like the whole world could crumble to dust and all them accountants and lawyers would be crying and scrambling around and these bikers would just shrug their shoulders and say, ‘Bring it on.’ There’s something in them that a woman just responds to.”
“What happened to Tommy?” Olivia asked.
“He died young in an accident. Most of them die young; it’s a dangerous world they live in, and there’s nothing we can do to protect them.”
“I don’t know where David is. I think someone is trying to make it look like he ran away, but I know that he didn’t. I know that he wouldn’t leave me like that. And I know how that sounds, I know that women say that all the time, but I mean it. I know it in my bones.”
“I believe you,” Hillary said. “I’ve seen David up and leave this town a hundred times, but he’s a different man now. He’s older and wiser; he’s more invested. I think he might be in love, too.”
“I got suspended,” Olivia said, and she forced her tears back. She couldn’t cry anymore; it wasn’t solving anything. “And now I can’t find him and I can’t use any police resources to find him. I feel so useless. What if he’s trapped somewhere and waiting for me to come and rescue him, and I’m just driving around and crying like some idiot who’s not worth a damn?”
“David’s a smart guy, maybe a little too smart. However, he has value still, and as long as he has value, no one’s going to try and kill him. Both Rick and Mike value him; that means everything in our world.”
“Do you think they would know where he is?”
“I think they would.”
“But would they kill me if I showed up? I’m a cop; my kind just arrested their kind. We’ve always been at war with each other; we’ve always been enemies. I don’t know how to prove to them how much I love David, how I just want to know that he’s safe.”
Hillary finished her drink and wiped her mouth, looking at Olivia and appraising her. She stared into Olivia’s eyes, and Olivia could see the other woman’s brain working something out. She was doing some form of mental calculus, measuring Olivia’s worth against the bikers’ values.
“There’s no way to know what might happen,” Hillary said, shaking her head. “Bikers are an unpredictable bunch. However, they value respect and honesty. If you go to them and you’re straight with them, they’ll be straight with you. That’s the only advice I can give to you.”
Olivia nodded. “Thank you,” she said. She wondered who Hillary had been before she had met Tommy and been caught up in this life. She wondered if Hillary ever regretted meeting her dashing young biker. Olivia didn’t want to end up like Hillary, but she knew that she didn’t have to. She could find David and get her job and her life back on track. Olivia wasn’t quite sure how she was going to do all of that, but she knew that there was a way. She just needed to figure it out.
Olivia wasn’t a quitter; she could figure out how to do all of those things. She loved David, but she wasn’t going to throw her life away for him. She was going to get David and her badge back. Hillary was right; there was a way to navigate the world of God’s Reapers and still keep her head. She needed to have honesty and respect, both for the Reapers and for herself. For once, she was determined to get everything she wanted.
“You are welcome and you’re always welcome here. Us girls, we gotta stick together. Plus, only someone who’s been with a biker knows what it’s like,” Hillary said with a shake of her head. Olivia looked at Hillary and smiled sadly. She wondered how much sadness this woman had seen, how many tragedies.
Olivia knew that Hillary was addicted to drugs, and she knew that it was her proximity to God’s Reapers that had brought her to the drugs. Hillary was a friend, but she was also a warning. The men of God’s Reapers weren’t playing at anything. Their lives were deadly, serious, and dangerous, and there were consequences in getting mixed up with them. However, Olivia didn’t care about the Reapers. She only cared about David, and she no longer cared about the consequences. She needed to find him.
David Creely awoke to a blinding, searing pain in his head. It pulled him out of a deep sleep, like he was a stuffed animal in a machine and the claw had come down and grabbed him, lifting him up inch by inch into consciousness. His mouth was dry, and his head was pounding. For a moment, when he awoke, everything he saw was doubled. He was lying on an old fold-out cot with scratchy sheets, a lumpy mattress, and a cheap pillow. As his eyes finally came into focus, he saw a bottle of extra strength aspirin and a glass of room temperature water on a table next to the bed.
David struggled to sit up; his head was spinning and pounding. Finally, when the spinning stopped, he reached over for the aspirin and took three in his hand and swallowed them by chugging the entire glass of water. His eyes now functioning, David looked around and tried to figure out where he was. It looked like he was in a basement. The floor and walls were all cement that was cool to the touch; there were no furnishings; and he could see the rafters of the house above him. There was a light bulb hanging from the ceiling and a set of metal stairs against one wall that led up to a solid-looking wooden door on what must have been the first floor.
David took a series of deep breaths, as he waited for the aspirin to set in. Gradually, the events that led him here came back to him. He could remember what had happened, even though the memories were fuzzy and vague. He had been attacked, chloroformed, and presumably brought here by Rick. David had no idea why he had been left alive.
The name came to him suddenly, like a gust of wind that bends trees in half.
Where was Olivia? Was she safe? Had Rick gotten to her? Was she trapped in this house with him somewhere?
He jumped to his feet and the world spun dangerously, but David pushed through the pain and nausea. Stumbling towards the stairs, he steadied himself on the railing, as he half dragged himself, step-by-step, towards the door. He reached the solid wood door and tried to turn the knob, but it was locked from the other side. The pounding in his head began to subside, as David leaned down to look at the doorknob, hoping to see if he could jimmy it, or pick it, or knock it down.
Then, he heard muffled voices from the other side. It was a man’s voice, low and quiet and calm. David strained to hear, trying to make out what he was saying, but nothing came through. The door was too thick for David to hear, and the man’s voice was too low. He jumped back, as he heard a screeching sound, and he realized it must be someone pushing a chair back and then the sounds of footsteps heading for the door. David stood up and looked frantically around searching for a weapon of some kind.
“Are you awake, David?” an unfamiliar voice called from the other side of the door.
David remained silent, poised and ready to attack anyone who would come through.
“You need to eat something, son,” the voice said. “It’ll make you feel better. I’m going to bring a sandwich, but I want you seated at that bed when I come down.” At the mention of food, David’s stomach grumbled loudly. He hadn’t realized how hungry he was until that moment. Now that the aspirin was kicking, it was bringing his appetite back with it.
“Where am I?” David demanded through the door.
“You're in my basement. I’m a friend of Rick’s; he’s on his way over to talk to you now, David. Listen, we could have killed you if we wanted, but we didn’t. Rick wants to talk to you, that’s all. He wants to help you understand what’s been going on. So why don’t you go back down to the bed, and I’ll bring you some lunch. You can let yourself recover, and then we can have a conversation like adults.”
There was no mention of Olivia, and David didn’t dare bring her up.
Was it possible they still had no idea of her involvement?
David hadn’t said anything about her to Mike or Rick; maybe no one knew they had been working together. However, now there was a problem. If David asked about Olivia, it might put her in danger, but he needed to know if she was alive.
“Alright,” David said. He walked back down the steps and sat on the bed, leaning back against the wall. After a moment, he heard the door open and a shotgun poked through the entrance. Finally, after a long wait, a head followed. David recognized the fat, bald man from the drug drop-off site; he was the one who had talked so casually about killing all of the Reapers. David tensed and watched the man, as he made his way down the stairs. He was holding his gun in one hand and a shopping bag in the other.
“Morning, Creely. Sleep well?” the man asked, throwing his head back and laughing at his own terrible joke. “What? Are you not in the mood to laugh? Well, Rick will be here soon and you two can talk. In the meantime, here’s some grub. It’ll help your head get right. I’m Bill, by the way. Nice to meet you.”
“Fuck you,” David spat. He wasn’t in any kind of mood to play nice with his captors.
“Hey now. I’m the one with the food and the water and the gun, so maybe you should be a little nicer to me,” Bill said. He was at the bottom of the stairs, and he dropped the bag of food with a loud thump and waved the gun in David’s direction. David remained on the bed, glaring at Bill as the man retreated back upstairs. Once the door was locked, David got up and picked up the bag of food. There was a large bottle of water, a bag of oil and vinegar chips, and an Italian hoagie; all foods David was fond of.
David had no sense of time in the basement. He ate his food and then he waited, sometimes closing his eyes to rest for a minute. Finally, after what felt like an hour, there was a knock from the other side of the door.
“You on the bed, David?” a voice called out, and David knew it was Rick.
“Yeah,” David called. The food and aspirin and water had helped. David’s headache was gone, and he was ready to get out of here.
Rick opened the door and came slowly down the stairs until he was standing in front of David. He put both of his hands behind his back and began to pace back and forth in front of the bed. To David, he looked like some political huckster, or a door-to-door salesman who was trying to sell him a vacuum.
“I want to start by apologizing for all this,” Rick said, waving his arms around the room. “I want you to know that kidnapping you wasn’t my idea. Mike wanted it and I was forced to comply.” At this, he raised his hands to the heavens with a gesture that said, ‘What else could I do?’ David said nothing; he just glared at Rick and waited.
“You know, David. I always knew that you were a smart and resourceful man, but even I am impressed that you tracked me down and figured this all out. I am very impressed indeed. Did someone help you?” Rick asked.
“Nope,” David said. “Didn’t need no help. I smelled a rat, and I did a little digging and found one.”
“And then you went to Mike with it, but Mike didn’t believe you. Well, he might have a little bit; he came to me with your accusations. However, I assured him that you must have made the whole thing up in order to shift the blame to another person. I told him that you had concocted this story so that the shame of your failure would fall off of you and onto me. I told Mike that you were so desperate for his approval that you invented this story in order to get it. I was right about that last part at least.”
“You lied,” David spat.
“And he believed me,” Rick said. “What does that say to you, David?” David said nothing. He crossed his arms, and his eyes scanned the rafters, as if he was looking for something, but in reality he just didn’t want to look at Rick’s smug face. “It means that your trust was misplaced,” Rick said. “Mike is an old man and the club is an outdated business model, David. It isn’t worth your loyalty. Mike doesn’t deserve your loyalty. Look at all this work you did. And where do you find yourself now? Trapped in some basement and betrayed by a man you trusted. But I want you to know that none of this is your fault, David. You trusted Mike, which was a mistake. You should have come to me instead.”
David’s brow creased, as he looked at Rick. The conversation had taken an odd turn, and David wasn’t quite sure what Rick was saying.
“The motorcycle gang is an outdated institution,” Rick continued. “It is not a thing that is meant to last. There are too many members, too many variables, too many hands held out, and too many people who know too much. There are too many voices that want to be heard. There should only be one voice, one loud enough to drown at all the others. That’s my voice, David. Marina’s Crest is located on what could become another Silk Road. We could make a lot of money. I’m talking about millions of dollars, but we can’t do it with a bunch of loud bikes and outdated loyalty oaths. It needs be run with the same ruthlessness and intelligence of a business. That’s what I’m making, David—a business—and I need a second-in-command to help me run it. I need someone smart and clever, and I think you are the perfect candidate.”
“What?” David demanded.
“Join me. Fuck the Reapers, David. They’re dead and gone. I did away with them with one well-placed phone call. It was time for them to go and for something better to replace them. Think about it, David. You know that I’m right.”