Devil's Inferno (Blacksteel Bandits Motorcycle Club Book 3) (6 page)

BOOK: Devil's Inferno (Blacksteel Bandits Motorcycle Club Book 3)
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CHAPTER TEN

 

“Man, that Red is pissed,” laughed one of Baldie's flunkies. His laugh echoed around the warehouse, making it twice as horrible as his boss snapped his cellphone shut, cutting off the call.

 

The second flunkie managed to restrain Miranda, clamping her wrists together with a zip tie. He managed to hoist her arms over her wrist with hook hanging from a chain. The restraints forced her to stand on her tiptoes or else her sockets burned. Flunkie Two seemed proud of his work as he stepped up to Baldie. He jerked his thumb toward Miranda, his tone lascivious,  “What should we do with sweet-tits?”

 

“Don't touch me!” Even on her tiptoes, she could kick someone in the balls. Miranda's heart slammed in her chest, prepared to crush some nuts if need be. In the back of her mind, she took note of her setting.

 

Faint light filtered in through the dust caked windows. A chill swept across the industrial floor and sunk into Miranda's flesh. Other than the sole light bulb, artificial light didn't puncture the darkness of the warehouse. Various hooks and clamps hung on the chains, swaying gently in an unseen breeze. The instruments made a sick shiver curl around her spine, bringing about images of blood-drained livestock and a butcher shop. The scent of dust and oil mingled with a stomach-churning acridity in the air.

 

Baldie chuckled, his voice taking on a slick and amused lilt. “Oh, come on, sweetheart. If you like Red, you'll like one of us just as much.”

 

The loogie splattered across his cheek. Miranda glared lividly at him, her nose wrinkling and eyes dark with rage. Baldie swiped the spittle away, his ice-blue eyes harboring a chilly frost. There was a half-beat of silence as he sauntered closer to her.

 

His hand moved in a blur. Her face snapped to the side, pain cracking along her cheek. The blunt throb his knuckles left behind bit across her face. Tears burned at the back of her eyes as a whimper gasped from her throat. Before Miranda could reign in her shock, Baldie caught her by her chin. He forced her eyes to his and lowered his face. She struggled against his hold, his fingertips holding her in a bruising grasp. “You better hope he comes for you, or else your ass is mine.”

 

Miranda ceased her struggling and turned her eyes on Baldie. She bit out a growl, “He'll come.”

 

“You think?” The man chuckled and tilted his head to the side. He brought up his other hand, showing Miranda his prepaid cellphone. “I called Frannie's phone and he picked up. You don't what Frannie does, don't cha?”

 

Miranda glared, uncomprehending. What did Francesca do? She ratted on Miranda, for one. Something tussled at the back of her thoughts. Did Baldie mean her less-than-reputable job?

 

His smirk broadened as he supplied the answer for her, “She sucks sad fucks off.”

 

A sick coldness careened through her stomach. While part of her knew he was lying, a smaller part of her wondered. It would be easier to leave Miranda behind. It wasn't like she didn't spill all the information she had. Tyler could locate the next step and finish off Pete without her. Doubt coiled around her thoughts.

 

“I guess we'll see at ten, yeah?” Baldie laughed and released Miranda's chin with a forceful yank. Her gaze fell to the floor, the cogs in her brain turning. She didn't hear Baldie's other goading retorts or the guffaws of his flunkies. They clicked the light off, darkness consuming every inch of light. Their footfalls died away into the distance, interrupted by the churn and sliding of metal doors.

 

Left in the dark, restrained and secured to a chain, Miranda felt the tears ease down her cheeks.

 

* * *

 

An hour out of San Marta, a quiet manmade reservoir was tucked away into a far neck of the woods. Tyler had noticed it on the paper map he and Miranda used. The sun blared down, nearing high noon, as the black sports car rolled up to the edge of the water. He stepped from the car, dragging Francesca over the gear shaft and across the driver-side seat. The forest's chirps and chitters went silent as soon as the woman was dragged out of the vehicle. His fingers clamped, vice-like, on her elbow. She didn't put up much of a struggle, now, after an hour of driving.

 

He led her onto the dam, letting her overlook the flowing manmade waterfall. Nausea clawed up Francesca's throat, quickly, and pinched her features. With just enough momentum, Tyler could force her up and over the edge of the wall. The way down would be long and loud and wet. She wobbled slightly, looking over the edge of the dam.

 

Tyler shook her arm, threateningly moving her toward the water. She locked her legs and bore down all of her weight into her heels, resisting movement toward the dammed up river. “Where are they?”

 

“I-I don't know,” she answered, digging her heels farther into the soft dirt. Her hazel eyes gazed at the water with fear.

 

“Don't lie to me!” Tyler's grip tightened on her arm. A small part of him felt bad for his strategy. Terrify-the-woman-until-she-spoke was pretty common among all less-than-reputable motorcycle clubs, though.

 

“I don't know!” She cried, fighting against his pull. Her feet scrabbled at the ground, trying to force distance between herself and the water. She clenched her eyes shut, trying to rack her brain for any small detail Tyler may approve of. “They use the van for a lot of shit.”

 

“For what?” He ceased his pulling and his grip loosened, just slightly. His mind piqued, trying to stack his questions all in line. All information helped him out. “Who owns it?”

 

“I don't know.” Francesca shook her head, emphatically. Tyler's fingers tightened, jolting her out of her momentary safety. Tears brimmed on the edge of her lashes. She fought to keep her voice level, but a crack shattered across her voice. “Please, if I die, the girls I oversee and my family…They'll get–”

 

His eyes focused on the woman he still held in a bruising grip. In his waistband, her handgun sat snug and in his pocket, her car keys sat comfortably. She was unarmed and terrified. It didn't help that Baldie left her with him. That sort of abandonment, undoubtedly, played havoc on her mind. He wasn't helping much.

 

“Shit,” Tyler growled, releasing Francesca from his grip. He paced down the dam a couple feet, running his hand through his hair. The water rushed below them, filling the space of silence easily. It even drowned out the sounds of the forest all around them. He turned sharply and paced back to Francesca, right where he left her. The woman watched him, worry and concern in her large, glassy eyes.

 

He sorted out the problems in his head as he paced back and forth: Miranda was being held by Pete's lackeys; Pete was stealing and lying to the Bandits; Francesca feared for her life, her girls, and her family. He rubbed the bridge of his nose as a migraine clawed over his brain. There had to be a way to fix this.

 

Guilt swelled in his heart. If he hadn't gotten Miranda involved, she wouldn't be in trouble now. Hell, he didn't know what they'd already done to her. The sheer thought sent a sick roil rumbling through his gut. He swallowed it down, trying to shove all horrible imaginings from his forethought. Wondering what they were doing wouldn't save her.

 

“Fuck, I should have contacted her family,” Tyler hissed to himself, running his hand through his hair, again. He stopped suddenly, just in front of Francesca. Realization pinged through his head and his gaze shot to the woman's face. It was all falling into place.

 

There was one part that still needed to be called, though.

 

CHAPTER ELEVEN

 

Miranda kept track of the passing hours by the light through the dust-encrusted windows. With every passing moment, her shoulders burned a little hotter. She flexed her fingers, working blood into them. Her toes ached from standing on tiptoes and her calves screamed from her position. The tears she had spilled hours ago dried on her cheeks, leaving the skin dried and taut.

 

As the sunlight moved from morning to noon to evening, she listened to the world outside the warehouse. Every so often, she'd listen for the crunch of a lone car trundling by on the rocks outside. She couldn't tell if they were coming or going, but – judging from the rattle of their vehicle – it sounded like the same car every time.

 

Blue darkness inched its way across the floor, followed by the chill of nighttime. Miranda shifted uneasily. Baldie's last words to her resonated in her head. What if Tyler wasn't coming? All the information he needed was on her work laptop. She bit her bottom lip, both guilty for her lack of trust in Tyler and ashamed of herself for being so easily taken in. Her stomach ached with hunger, puncturing her thoughts. She hadn't had a blasted thing to eat all day.

 

Just a little longer, she told herself just before a door rattled across the warehouse. She squinted her eyes as the door rolled up. A slice of night silhouetted two figures against the light from a bright streetlamp. They stepped into the warehouse and the door closed behind them. Their heavy footfalls echoed through the building, taunting Miranda's sense of hope. As they neared, she realized a heavy cologne tucked around them, suffocating the very thought of either being Tyler.

 

“Can't believe we gotta stay here while Mike gets the boss,” one muttered as they closed in on Miranda.

 

“Yeah, but you know what a gloryhog Mike is,” the other snorted. They stopped a few feet from Miranda. She glared into the darkness, hoping her sight was centered on one of them. The second man chuckled. “At least the sight is pretty, yeah?”

 

An angry flush burned over her cheeks. How could they see her in this darkness? She blinked, suddenly realizing something. She was bathed in the light from a window high in the wall. The constant light screwed with her night vision. No wonder she couldn't see very well. There wasn't much time to writhe in embarrassment. A click echoed through the air and bright light flashed in her face. She hissed and jerked her head away as the beam of light surveyed her whole body.

 

“Well, she's in one piece.”

 

“Still would rather get some points with the big boss,” groused the first man, crossing his arms. The flashlight made Miranda's eyes water, unable to see the men clearly.

 

Bam! Bam! Bam!

 

The metallic pounding rang through the air. Her two guards hissed, but only one traipsed to the door. Miranda heard the door go up and saw a slit of light as someone wiggled into the space. The door quickly shut behind him, leaving her and the guard with the flashlight. Both of them listened, intently, with piqued senses. In a few moments, the slash of light reappeared. This time, though, it was opened a bit more so two figures could duck under the door. Their footsteps echoed in the air of the warehouse.

 

“What the Hell's going on?” The man who stayed behind with Miranda stepped to the figures.

 

“Frannie wanted to get one last look at the whore,” the second man said, airily.

 

Miranda tensed, realizing Francesca Munoz was here. Rage and anger puckered her thoughts. The three figures, obscured by darkness, writhed in the shadows.

 

“But, Mike said no one was to hurt her 'til ten.”

 

“This whore has been causing problems for my man, sweetie,” Francesca's voice ballooned out from the darkness. Sickness latched onto Miranda' gut. If pain hadn't licked across every muscle of her body, she'd charge at the woman. Chains or no chains. She didn't have long to relish in angry fantasies, though. “Now, if you two could leave, I need to talk to her, girl-to-girl.”

 

“Girl-to-girl?”

 

Francesca slid something from her purse. There was a brief silence before lascivious and cruel chuckles slid through the air. Sickness crawled down Miranda's spine and she resisted the urge to vomit. She didn't even know what Francesca held, but judging by the sounds the men made, it wasn't polite.

 

Miranda's stomach churned as one of the men snickered, “Well, whatever you do to her, you can do with us present.”

 

“Yeah!”

 

Tears burned at the back of her eyes. Was she going to be touched with these two watching? Baldie had made some unspoken promises of what would happen should Tyler not appear. Until now, her hope had numbed the fear and disgust. Now, terror hit her full in the gut, making her stomach churn wildly.

 

“Get out,” Francesca growled. “This is between me and the
puta
.”

 

The two men, taken aback by her sudden venom, shuffled awkwardly. They made some paper-thin excuses, before bumbling off in the dark, taking their flashlight with them. Their heels scuffed the cement, as if they were dawdling in an attempt to catch a glimpse. Miranda got the impression Francesca watched them go with silent disdain.

 

A flare of light, a hiss of fire, and the scent of phosphor tickled the air. For a brief second, Francesca's face graced her sight, a cigarette dangling from her lip and a burning match pinched between her fingers. It wasn't her face that scared Miranda, though. It was what she handled in her hand, as she lit her cancer stick: A dildo. Her stomach churned with disgust and fear. She wasn't going to use that on her, was she?

 

“Don't touch me with that,” snarled Miranda as Francesca leaned into the circle of light. Hatred and disgust roiled in her thoughts. If her muscles weren't screaming from pain, Miranda would kick out her feet wildly at the woman.

 

“This?” Francesca eyes flickered from Miranda to the dildo. She held up the sex toy into the light. Miranda flinched and jerked back, sick to her stomach at the very thought of being used against her will. The woman's fingers nimbly popped the top off the dildo. Miranda's eyes widened, catching the glint of steel.

 

It wasn't a sex toy, at all. A small knife jutted from the base as Francesca held the sheath in her hand. The tip of the knife jerked toward Miranda's face. An involuntary scream burst from her lips a second before she realized the knife had bypassed her face. The edge sliced between her extended hands, pain peeled away at her wrists.

 

Miranda's legs gave out under her, pain aching along her knees as she fell to the floor. Dust and dirt mushroomed up around her, swathing her in clouds of particles. She rubbed feeling back into her wrists, despite her biceps hissing in discontent.

 

“Tyler sent me,” Francesca whispered as she dropped to the floor beside Miranda. “He has a plan.”

 

“A plan?” Miranda echoed the woman, her eyes widening. Delight filtered into her thoughts. She was right! Tyler wouldn't ever leave her behind. She couldn't further question Francesca, though. Outside, the fleshy pounds and howls of a fight briefly bustled through the air.

 

“That's our cue, come on.” Francesca took her by the wrist, ignoring any protests as she hauled Miranda to her feet. She could barely stand. Pain laced along her muscles.

 

She didn't lead Miranda to the front of the warehouse, though. She led her to the back. Confusion sliced through her thoughts. “Why are we going this way?”

 

“You'll see.”

 

“But–” Before Miranda could continue her disagreement, her dark-adjusted gaze realized where they were heading. While tied up, she couldn't have spotted this shaft of light. A small square painted the floor, originating from a window. In the wall, however, a rectangle was outlined by light. A door!

 

Francesca shoved it, fearlessly. The door opened with a metallic creak and night spilled in. Miranda followed close behind the woman, the scent and feel of fresh air a delight on her lungs and her skin. The sun had already sunken behind the horizon, leading the world into dark-blue night.

 

“Where's Tyler?” Miranda asked, her eyes darting about. A fog still strangled her thoughts, but the fresh air started to dissemble her mental knots. The fight. Miranda's body lurched toward the corner of the warehouse, intent on finding him. Francesca barely had the chance to grab at her when someone careened into her.

 

Miranda squeaked as a pair of familiar arms wrapped around her. His scent, his body, his heat all melted into her as Tyler pulled her closer. He breathed in her scent, sighing happily, “Mir.”

 

“Tyler,” she breathed, burrowing into his chest. She ignored the scent of blood that coiled against his shirt and the damp, red spots. Relief and joy filtered into her thoughts. He had come back for her. Baldie was wrong. His arms tightened around her, as if he'd never let her go.

 

The roar of a motorcycle stopped her dead in her happiness. Her eyes widened as tension sluice through Tyler. Her was coming. Pete was coming.

 

The name echoed through Miranda's head like a warning bell. She jerked in Tyler's arms.

 

“Guys, we have a car to catch.” Francesca's voice interrupted Miranda's chaotic thoughts. Tyler released her and she turned, finding a jet-black car sitting amongst the trees. Her eyes narrowed. Why hadn't she noticed the car before? And why did it seem familiar?

 

The door opened and a man stepped out. He stood tall, dressed in expensive black clothes. As soon as she saw him, Miranda knew it was. Her heart sank and she shot Tyler with a glare. Her lover didn't dare look her in the eye. The man spoke, his voice taunting memories of her childhood from her head, “Miranda, we must go. Now.”

 

She didn't answer him. Her gaze flared across Tyler's face as a single question shot out of her mouth, “What did you do Tyler?”

 

“Your dad is going to take you home,” he whispered, still unable to meet her gaze. She would have laughed – how many times had he said that in the past! - but she couldn't locate her amusement.

 


What are you going to do
?” She hissed, realization slapping at her thoughts. She was going home. Tyler wasn't. He was going to confront Pete, but how and why? To foolishly sacrifice himself? He should know Pete would do anything to get to Miranda! But, if her family knew…Miranda's gaze swung to her father, but she couldn't read his impassive expression.

 

In his green eyes, though, she could see a storm brewing. He wasn't going to take 'no' for an answer, even if he had to drag his daughter into the car himself. Sickness clawed up Miranda's throat. Her family would happily sacrifice Tyler, her Tyler, to guarantee her safety. Tears bit at the back of her eyes. “But, I can't–”

 

“Just go!” Tyler shoved her toward car. She swung around, fire and heat in her heart and her gaze. Tyler melted under her expression, pain creasing his face. He wanted to touch her, one last time, but didn't trust himself to let her go. “Please, Mir, just go.”

 

His expression, his softened words, stunned her into silence. The roar of the hogs grew louder as she stared at Tyler, eyes wide and tears brimming in her eyes. Was this really the end? He was going to sacrifice herself as her father raced her into comfort and safety?

 

“They're getting closer!” Francesca hissed, grabbing onto Miranda's arm. Her nails dug into her arms, like talons of a bird, before she dragged her toward the car.

 

She couldn't argue. She couldn't disagree. Her body felt like mush and she couldn't resist Francesca's demanding shoves toward the car. She couldn't say 'no' to Tyler's plea, either. Numbness clung to her body as they trundled into the darker part of the parking lot, to an almost unseen road. Francesca sat beside her as her father glared at the road, throwing Miranda disappointed huffs and glances.

 

As the car jostled her down the road, the sound of motorcycles died away. She stared at the phone Tyler had slipped into her hand, just before their hug broke. Flipping the prepaid phone open, a number flashed across the screen.

 

Her numbed mind stared at the number, uncomprehending. Without thinking, she called the number, held the phone to her ear, and waited. The phone rang three times, before someone picked up. Miranda's eyes widened as Lloyd's voice filled the opposite line, “Miranda. Is it that time, then?”

 

BOOK: Devil's Inferno (Blacksteel Bandits Motorcycle Club Book 3)
11.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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