Delinquent (Devil's Fighters MC Book 2)

BOOK: Delinquent (Devil's Fighters MC Book 2)
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This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places, events, 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.

 

Delinquent copyright @ 2015 by Evelyn Glass. 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.

 

Book 2 of the
Devil’s Fighters MC
trilogy

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

To Alyssa Kelley, the world was a question mark. After swearing off Pinebrook, she was going back to her hometown for the second time in the span of just a little over two weeks.

 

The drive from the New Orleans International Airport across ninety miles worth of Louisiana was still a hot and monotonous affair, but for some reason it didn’t feel as miserable. Alyssa’s perspective had shifted. The southern heat still made her clothes stick to her skin with maddening determination, but she didn’t care.

 

Anything and everything she had ever hated about where she came from had become an ally—from the insufferable heat to the marshy landscape, to the corrupt agents in Pinebrook’s police corps to the ruthless motorcycle gang that ruled the town. Everything was a reason to move faster. Every single component of Pinebrook’s rotten reality spurred her on and acted as a constant reminder that she needed to get Xavier out of there sooner rather than later.

 

Alyssa had carved herself a way out of Pinebrook and its dead-end reality years ago, but Xavier’s story was a completely different one…and it was now permanently inked on Alyssa’s skin. It stuck to her being like the clothes sticking to her body in the heat.

 

It had taken her a few days to really absorb Xavier’s dark tale of how and why he had become a competitor in the Devil’s Fighters’ illegal fighting rings. It just wasn’t the kind of story that one can listen to without being deeply affected by it, and the fact that the one telling it was her best friend/long lost boyfriend/newfound lover had been especially heartbreaking. Still, the time to wrap her mind around the enormity of it was over.

 

Alyssa had taken Xavier’s words in, had given herself some time to deal with their overwhelming impact, and was now wearing them like a badge of honor. Xavier’s story also was a constant reminder. It wasn’t just a sad tale; it was concrete, gut-wrenching facts. And every day those facts worked towards spelling out the minutes, hours, and days left before Xavier or Alyssa simply couldn’t take it anymore.

 

She knew there was an expiration date on Xavier’s life, as well as on their relationship (if one could even call it that). During her time in Pinebrook she had always made sure to steer as clear of the Devil’s Fighters as possible, and so she didn’t know much about their ways, but she wasn’t naïve enough to believe that Xavier could remain unscathed much longer living the life he lived. However, she wasn’t going to wait for something to happen to him. Soon after learning his truth, Alyssa had made it her mission to get him out.

 

After unexpectedly reconnecting with Xavier and hearing his story, making the decision not to return to her life in Vancouver without him had been a no-brainer. Going about it, however, was much more complicated.

 

For starters, it would take time. She may not know much about the ways of the Devil’s Fighters, but even Alyssa realized that Xavier could not simply walk away from the club—that is, not if he wanted to stay alive. She knew that, should they ever be so stupid as to run away, the Devil’s Fighters would hunt them down. She was as sure of that as she was about her own name. As impatient as she may be to get the both of them out of Pinebrook for good, Alyssa knew they would have to pace themselves.

 

But the Devil’s Fighters weren’t the only obstacle. Ironically, Xavier, himself, was an impediment on his own path to freedom. Try as she might, Alyssa couldn’t shake the feeling that he didn’t think he deserved to be saved. It was as if he simply didn’t believe that he could ever amount to a different life, a
better
life. His resignation tore Alyssa up almost as much as the story he had told her.

 

And then there was her. Alyssa herself was an obstacle to her own plan. No matter how hard she tried to keep a level head and a firm hold on her emotions, it was undeniable that a lot had happened over the past couple of weeks, and her head was spinning with the depth of it all. From her parents’ passing to Xavier re-entering her life so unexpectedly and with the force of a tornado, her world had literally been turned upside down.

 

She wished she could give herself the luxury of just sitting with it for a few days. She desperately needed to be alone with everything that she was feeling in order to finally be able to process it. But she knew she didn’t have that richness. She knew her focus needed to be outwards rather than inwards right now.

 

And so Alyssa pushed her emotions forcefully under the surface and left them there. She could feel them bubbling under her skin sometimes, begging for release, but she always refused them. The nights were the hardest—when the world was silent and she was truly, utterly alone. She hoped that would change once she got back to Pinebrook and to Xavier. Maybe if he was sleeping next to her in her bed, she would be better able to keep her focus.

 

And there it was again. There was no guarantee that Xavier would even want to sleep in her bed. Why was she doing this to herself? Why was she deluding herself that in some way they could pick up where they left off eight years ago and spend every free minute of their time together? She knew things had changed (Boy had they changed!), but there was a part of her that couldn’t help but hope. She longed for the lost simplicity of their relationship. There had been a time when being together was easy. There had been a time when being together was the natural choice.

 

Now, it was much more complicated, and external circumstances weren’t the only culprit. It was them. They had changed, too, and Alyssa was still trying to figure out whether they had changed for the better. Was being older and wiser really an advantage? Alyssa didn’t feel wiser at all, just warier.

 

A pang of
something
(pain? regret? nostalgia?) hit her then. Never in a million years would she have expected to be wary of Xavier. Instead, here she was, trying to figure him out like she would a stranger. She supposed that, in a way, that was exactly who he was—a stranger. There had been a time when she knew him and his green eyes like the back of her hand. That time was long past, and she didn’t know the man the boy had turned into.

 

Alyssa knew her focus should be solely on the practical aspects of her predicament. She knew she should only think of coming up with a plan. But she couldn’t help thinking of the emotional part, too. Xavier the Boy had been the best relationship of her life, the one she still compared all others to. She couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to be in a relationship with Xavier the Man. Was that even doable?

 

Probably not. She shuddered as she thought about Benedict Lenday’s threat, warning her to stay out of Xavier’s life. So, a relationship was out of discussion as long as the Devil’s Fighters had him within their coils. Alyssa felt a renewed surge of hate just thinking about the motorcycle gang that ruled the town of Pinebrook. She wondered how it had even come to that. Who let them get so out of hand that they now even had more than half of Pinebrook’s police on their payroll?

 

Alyssa shook her head. The more she thought about the situation in her town, the crazier it all seemed. It was an old, familiar sensation, and she hated it. She had thought she was done with that place forever. Instead, here she was, driving more or less full speed towards it.

 

She jumped and cursed softly when her phone rang. There had been something oddly soothing about driving through the swampy Louisiana landscape; it allowed for some of that much-needed solitude Alyssa yearned for. It annoyed her to no end that the world would be intruding again so soon.

 

She groaned out loud when she read the name of the caller on the display of the car’s Bluetooth. For a moment she contemplated not picking up, but she knew that would only postpone the inevitable.

 

Alyssa took a deep breath and pressed the button to take the call.

 

“Hello?”

 

“Are you out of your freaking mind?”

 

Alyssa cringed. “Hey, Anna.”

 

“Don’t give me that. I just got in to work. Is it true that you’re not going to Montreal?”

 

“It’s true.”

 

“Were you thinking about informing me?”

 

“Yes,” Alyssa said, and it was the truth. She didn’t like the idea, but she would have told Anna. Eventually. “I would’ve called you.”

 

“Why
didn’t
you call me?”

 

Alyssa sighed. It felt like she was being chastised by an older sister…which in a way was exactly what was happening. “You were on vacation. I didn’t want to disturb you.”

 

The excuse sounded lame to her own ears, and predictably enough Anna called her on it immediately.

 

“Bullshit,” her friend said bluntly. “Care to explain why you’re not going to a conference you had been looking forward to for months?”

 

“I just have…stuff to do in Pinebrook. Josh is covering for me, and Mark and the other associates are fine with me taking the time off. What’s the big deal here?”

 

Alyssa really didn’t see it. Yes, she should have probably updated her friend and co-worker on her plans to be gone for much longer than they had initially expected, but it wasn’t like she was leaving the clinic high and dry.

 

When Anna’s voice came again, it was much calmer than it had been. “It’s not about the time off, Aly,” she said. “You’re going through some pretty heavy stuff, not to mention you’ve got a lot of personal days stacked up. Of course you can take time off; that’s not the point.”

 

“What’s the point, then?”

 

“The point is I’m worried about you. The point is I can tell something’s going on, and I want you to feel like you can tell me about it.”

 

Alyssa sighed again. She had known exactly what the point was, of course, but that did not mean she wanted to hear it. “Nothing’s going on, Anna,” she said. She was appalled at just how easily the lie rolled off her tongue. When had it become easy to lie to one of her best friends? “I just have a lot on my plate right now, that’s all. I need to sort it out so I can focus again once I’m back to work.”

 

“I understand that,” Anna said. “But it still feels like there’s something you’re not telling me. I mean, you could just as easily sort it out here in Vancouver. Instead, you’ve chosen to go back to a place you always told me you hated.”

 

“I still hate it,” Alyssa said, and that was
very
true. “I still have some of my parents’ affairs to take care of. The house isn’t sold yet for one thing, and I’d like to meet the people who are going to buy it and live there.”

 

That was also true. Although it was not the main reason why she had only gone back to Vancouver briefly after her parents’ funeral, taken care of things at the veterinary clinic where she worked, and was now driving down the highway towards a hometown she despised.

 

“Are you sure nothing else is happening?”

 

“I’m sure,” Alyssa said, trying to keep the exasperation out of her voice. She longed for this third-degree to be over. “I promise.”

 

God. She had only been in Pinebrook for two weeks and already she was making false promises. That place was toxic.

 

“But what about Montreal?” Anna said. “Can’t you go anyway and then fly back to Louisiana?”

 

“No,” Alyssa said, a little more curtly than she had intended. “Some things are just more important, Anna.”

 

There were a few moments of silence at the end of which her friend let out a sigh that traveled all the way through the line.

 

“All right,” Anna said, finally relenting. “If this is really what you need right now, I’ll support it.”

 

“Thank you,” Alyssa said, relieved. “And yes, it is what I need.”

 

“You’ll let me know if you need anything though? You know I don’t mind flying over.”

 

“I know,” Alyssa said. “Thank you. But I’m good for now, really.”

 

The thought of Anna coming to Pinebrook was horrifying. Alyssa couldn’t even begin to imagine what her friend’s reaction would be if faced with the town’s harsh reality…or, for that matter, with the fact that she was planning to defy the most ruthless motorcycle gang in the territory in order to rescue the man she loved, who just so happened to be a professional competitor in illegal fighting rings. 

 

“So how was your vacation?” Alyssa asked out of the blue, desperate to move on to a new and lighter topic of conversation.

BOOK: Delinquent (Devil's Fighters MC Book 2)
2.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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