Devil's Inferno (Blacksteel Bandits Motorcycle Club Book 3) (7 page)

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

 

He watched the car bustle down the drive. It didn't take long until the sleek vehicle became one with shadows and the pavement. Tyler turned abruptly, and dashed to the front of the warehouse. He needed to give Miranda time to get away. Then, if everything went right, Lloyd and the Bandits would arrive. He just had to taunt Pete enough to keep him busy.

 

Tyler froze as he rounded the front of the building. A half-circle of bikers awaited him. Smack in the middle of them, a familiar mug leered at him. Pete Delaney didn't look like much. Average height and average build with a generic hairstyle and grey eyes that sometimes looked blue in the right light. He was the last man anyone would notice. That was part of his charm. He could get anywhere with his 'Joe Schmoe' act and no one would remember his unmemorable mug. Though, under his kutte, thronged muscles bunched along his body, lithe but steely.

 

“Well, well, Red Ferguson, I finally caught you.” The man laughed as he swung off his hog. His Average Joe act awash as he approached Tyler. “Not that you were all that secret. Before Francesca, two other dunderheads noticed you in a bar fight. Of course, I'll have to call Frannie for letting this slide, but-”

 

Pete continued to blather on and on. Tyler tensed, fingers curled into fists as he prepared for Pete's first strike. Mentally, he cursed himself. It wasn't just Francesca who gave them up. There were others in San Marta who put the spotlight on Tyler and Miranda.

 

“So, did you save your slut?” Pete chuckled, taking another step closer. “It won't do her any good. Once you're dead, I'll find her.”

 

“Leave her alone. She doesn't know shit about you,” Tyler bristled, his lips twisted into a scowl.

 

Pete's eyes turned icy cold, his lips thinning as he growled, “You two found Francesca. That's enough.”

 

Red rage pinioned through Tyler's thoughts. Fear scraped across his synapses and the will to protect her reared in his head. Pete knew they had found Francesca. There was no way to hide that. He needed the man out of the way. He didn't want to trade repertoires with Pete. He wanted Pete dead, if only to end this for everyone involved.

 

He just needed to distract Pete until the Bandits came. If they came.

 

Pete laughed and danced out of Tyler's thrown punches. He ducked and dodged as the sloppy blows whizzed over his head, barely missing him by a fraction of an inch. Tyler finally snarled and launched himself at Pete, tackling the man to the gravel.

 

The world flew out from their feet. Pete landed in the rocks with a gasping grunt. Pebbles and gravel went flying as they rolled around in the rocks. Dirt and dust kicked up around them, shrouding them in a whitish cloud. Arms swung, knees jerked upward, fists went flying. The air resonated with the sound of their blows echoed. Rocks dug into Tyler's limbs as he and Pete scrabbled against one another. He managed to shimmy atop Pete, raining blows onto his face. Curses flew from his lips, his arms going up to block Tyler's knuckles from connecting.

 

A gunshot rang out, slamming into Tyler's alertness. He jerked forward, the air in his lungs suddenly made of pain and heat. Something exploded into his chest. Pain and heat coiled down his limbs.

 

“Mike? The fuck you think you're doing! You could've hit me!” Pete barked as he punched Tyler off him.

 

He grunted, more air expelling from his lungs before he slumped to the rocks beneath him. Heat and pain ate away at his insides. His brain still scrabbled to make sense of the pain, the heat that dribbled down his chest. Now, his jaw throbbed, colored with bruises from Pete's knuckles.

 

Somewhere, out of Tyler's dimming sight, someone – Baldie? - apologized, “Sorry, boss, I saw a shot and took it.”

 

Pete climbed to his feet with a grunt. Tyler could hear the glare in his voice. “Next time, don't be so fucking rash.”

 

The feet in his line of sight turned toward him, in the most threatening fashion shoes could manage. They seemed to observe him before one foot pulled back. It rocketed into his side, adding another touch of pain to his thoughts. Over and over, the booted foot slammed into his side, coaxing air and peace from Tyler's body. Something warm and wet gushed beneath him and, somewhere in his mind, he thought the sensation originated from the hole in his chest.

 

Another kick to his side, more gushing redness, more copper staining the air and tickling his nose. Tyler gasped, pain clawing up his lungs and his throat. Nausea fought through his throat and, faintly, he wondered how painful vomiting would be. Probably painful.

 

As his world narrowed to a small slit, rounded with darkness and pain, Tyler only had one gracious thought: Miranda got away.

 

* * *

 

Miranda caught sight of Tyler slumping against the ground, a pool of red beneath his body. She let out a shriek, but the roar of the motorcycles swallowed her scream. The crew swarmed into the parking lot of 1523 David Drive, a part of the business district that lay abandoned. The motorcycles wound around Pete and Baldie, a tight circle bathed in the headlights of the choppers. She hopped off the motorcycle as soon as it rolled to a stop and rushed to Tyler. Lloyd, meanwhile, climbed off his motorcycle and strutted to Pete Delaney.

 

“So, you were skimming from the Bandits, Delaney.”

 

“Tyler, Tyler, please!” Miranda sobbed, her heart shuddering in her chest. She knelt beside him, gathering him up in her arms. Her fingers slid into her pocket, touching her phone.

 

“Mir?”

 

“Yes, yes, I'm here!” She held him closer, fear coiling around her lungs. Her phone lay forgotten beside her knee. She could barely breathe. In the light of the motorcycles, he looked ungodly pale. Tears burned at the backs of her eyes.

 

“It was just a little bit, Lloyd! Just something to start up a business.”

 

“A business peddling drugs and sluts, Delaney?”

 

“Mir,” a breath rattled his throat. “Why did you come back?”

 

“I called Lloyd. Tyler, everything is going to be fine!” Miranda tried to swallow down the plea in her voice. She could feel herself bargaining with fate, needing a miracle.

 

“It was for the club, Lloyd!”

 

“Still, I'm glad to see you, before…” His thought trailed off, his brow furrowing, “Before I…”

 

“Don't say it!”

 

For a split second, his eyes focused on her. The tears wobbled on Miranda's lashes as hope spouted through her thoughts. This was a good sign, right? “You know, don't you?”

 

“Yes,” she sobbed, unable to control the tears that streaked down her cheeks. In the background, flesh landed on flesh as multiple fists rained down on a fleshy body. Miranda didn't hear the Blacksteel Bandits deal with Pete, nor did she listen as they rounded on Baldie. All she cared about was the man in her arms.

 

Faintly, Tyler's brain seemed to skitter across an adjacent thought. His eyes swiveled around, but only succeeded in making him sick to his stomach. “Where's your dad?”

 

“Back at the hotel,” answered Miranda, swallowing her distaste. There had been a short argument with words thrown hastily around. Mostly from her father. Quite frankly, Miranda wasn't sure if she'd have a job or a family to go back to, after everything she said. “I told him I wasn't going to leave you behind.”

 

“Mir, go back to him,” he wheezed, though amusement gently colored his words.

 

Even inching closer to death, Tyler cared. It made the tears burn hotter at the back of her eyes. Why did he care about her family? Why did it matter if they cared for her? It didn't matter, though. Tyler always worried about Miranda and her family. Even when he should be hauled to a hospital to care for his wounds.

 

A sudden thought slammed into her head. She felt stupid. Miranda scrabbled for her phone as Tyler touched her cheek. His focus was fading. She punched in 911. Just as the operator picked up, someone plucked her phone from her hand. She swung a fiery gaze on Lloyd, her lips twisting into a scowl and her eyes wide with fear. “What the Hell are you doing?! Don't you see he needs–”

 

“We'll take him to the hospital,” Lloyd said, without inflection, as he pocketed her phone.

 

Miranda's thoughts buzzed around with pain and fear. “It could be too late by then!”

 

“He's a fighter. We'll get him there in time.”

 

“And if we don't?” She spat the words out with venom and pain.

 

The implication hung heavily in the air. Miranda turned her tear-streaked face to Tyler as his head slumped against her. Her gaze flicked from his face to the pool of blood beneath him. A fresh spring of tears poured from her eyes, before Lloyd relieved her of her burden.

 

Miranda knelt there, staring at the blood on her hands and soaking through her clothes.

 

* * *

 

Sounds started coming back, first. From the dark, deep void of wherever his brain resided, Tyler finally recognized awareness. Machines beeped, shuffling feet, the whirr of a mechanical unit. His sense of smell oozed back in, bringing with it the stinging of antiseptic. Closer, someone shifted.

 

“Tyler?”

 

He recognized that voice. His eyes flew open, greeted with deep green eyes and a brow pinched with worry. She hovered over him and, when his eye opened, her smile split across her lips.

 

“You're up,” Miranda breathed, relief dotting her face. For the first time in four days, she breathed easily.

 

With his eyes cracked open, Tyler was able to make out the room. White tiles, white walls, white curtains betrayed the setting: a hospital. As if the beeping machines and scent of antiseptic weren't enough. Outside the room, the sound of something on wheels – a wheelchair, a gurney, or maybe a linen cart – squeaked by his door. A small rolling tray table stood guard beside the bed, across from Miranda. Atop it, a plastic pitcher and two cups sat, one filled and the other dry. Overhead, the majority of the lights were turned down to almost darkness.

 

Tyler winced, clenching his eyes shut. Words formed on the tip of his thoughts and on the tip of his tongue. He worked his tongue around the now foreign words. Despite his best effort, Tyler still slurred the words together, “How long've I been'out?”

 

“Four days,” answered Miranda. He cracked his eyes open, his gaze trailed over her body. Darkness ringed beneath her eyes and, if he wasn't mistaken, he thought he could hear the faint rumble of hunger beneath her shirt. He was willing to bet she hadn't eaten for the past four days.

 

As he thought about the four days, information poured into him. Tyler clenched his eyes shut. Short snatches of memories tickled his synapses: a loud motorcycle ride, the air loud and whipping at the side of his heads as he felt blood drain down his chest, his torso, his leg, the chatter, the noise, the chaos as he was hauled out of the cold night air and into a bright hallway. The outside world became muffled as words passed over his head. Darkness wobbled across his consciousness, tugging the memories in frayed strips across his brain.

 

Then everything went silent and dark. Completely.

 

“What happened?” He managed the words as Miranda stalked to the other side of the bed. He could hear the pitcher tipping over, the water pouring out. She pressed the cold glass to his palm.

 

“After I left, I looked at the phone you slipped me. I called Lloyd and he came as quickly as he could.” She answered, brief relief still jabbing at her thoughts. The last four days had been pure Hell. She had managed the police investigation and held off Pete Delaney's attorney. Even her family had come around, but not to wish wellness on Tyler. Her fingers knotted into the hem of her over-sized t-shirt. “When we got back to the warehouse, Pete and Mike already shot you, you lost a lot of blood. The rest of your club rushed you to the hospital.”

 

“What happened to Francesca?”

 

“Lloyd is helping her,” she answered, a faint smile teasing at her lips. Lloyd was a good guy, even if he was involved in the Blacksteel Bandits. Then again, he could be a worse person. “I'm not sure how they're going to fix everything, but Lloyd seem pretty sure of himself.”

 

The words sunk into Tyler's thoughts as his gaze flicked about the room. He lifted the plastic cup to his lips, the water quenching his dry taste buds. Lloyd was helping Francesca, as they agreed, and now they took on the next tier on their own. Gratitude filled his thoughts. He wasn't sure if he could handle dismantling a cartel.

BOOK: Devil's Inferno (Blacksteel Bandits Motorcycle Club Book 3)
2.17Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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