Authors: Lina Andersson
Marauders: Book Four
by Lina Andersson
THE FREAK CIRCLE PRESS
Lina Andersson 201X
All Rights Reserved
Lina Andersson has asserted her right to be identified as the author of this book under the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Cover art & Design by Kalle Andersson
ALSO BY LINA ANDERSSON
THE MARAUDERS SERIES:
Arrow of Time, Book 1
Perfect Collision, Book 2
S-Duality, Book 2.5
Center of Gravity, Book 3
Speed of Light, Book 3.5
Thank you to all those who in any way have been prepared to share their different experiences, either directly to me or to other people who’ve made the information available to the public. It takes courage.
As always, a huge thank you to Susan Fanetti for all her help. Another thank you to Catherine Johnson, who saved my ass when I in total panic.
And to the rest of the Freaks for making my general existence so much more fun.
When an object is vibrating at the same natural frequency as a second object, and forces that object into a vibrational motion.
I fight then like a man, but the vandals are victorious,
And laugh and rush uproarious
Around the corner swift as the wind;
They leave me there disarmed, despoiled and wholly beaten,
And guzzle till they’re sick with the cherries they have eaten
At the fruit-shop of gardener Lind
“Marauders” - Gustaf Fröding
She’s Not Worth It
IT WASN’T THAT IT was stupid per se, but I was still so nervous I was about to throw up. I didn’t have any other options, though. I had to do it.
I was parked outside gates leading to a garage located in Greenville, Arizona, and I knew that somewhere inside those gates was Tommy Miles. He might not be my last hope, but he was something pretty damn close to it. The last time I saw him, about six years earlier, I’d told him to go fuck himself, and that if I ever saw him again I’d feed him a high velocity bullet—he was welcome to chose if he wanted it up his ass or down his throat. Guess that made me, Billie Jensen, a less than charming woman.
Tommy and my brother, Zach, had been best friends since they were born. Tommy’s dad and my dad were friends, and they’d both been in the Air Force.
On occasion they’d been stationed at the same place, but even when they weren’t, we’d still spent every vacation or holiday with the Miles family. So, no matter what the distance was, Tommy and Zach had managed to remain friends. When Tommy was fourteen, his father died, and just a year later, his mom had been admitted to a psychiatric institution. She’d never been very stable, and I had frankly always been a bit scared of her. It was Tommy’s older brother, Dwayne, who had made the decision that she needed professional help, because he didn’t want Tommy to live alone with her. So when Dwayne went to college, he’d sent his younger brother to live with us. I’m sure it was overwhelming to Tommy, but to me it hadn’t made much difference with one older brother or two, because Tommy had been like a brother. He’d always been a part of our lives in one way or another.
Dad had been looking forward to getting sons, and when Zach was born he gave him the full name Zachary, because he’d thought it sounded like a strong, manly name. Even if he wasn’t exactly disappointed that I was a girl, he had decided I should get a strong, manly name, too—or at least a manly name. So, I was named Billie. I quite liked my name, though. I’d never felt very girly, and my name confirmed I could be one of the guys—at least in my own head it did.
After silently counting to ten for the umpteenth time, I got out of the car, threw my bag over my shoulder, and walked towards the gate. It wasn’t business hours, but I knew he most likely was there anyway. From what I could tell, he basically lived there. I’d been following him for the last two days. Not in a crazy stalker kind of way, but just to gather up my courage to face him.
Zach and Tommy had served as Scout Snipers in the Marines together, and when Zach died it was just the end stretch of my entire life falling apart, even if it had been the absolute worst part of my slide downhill. It wasn’t a horror just to me, but to Tommy as well—something I hadn’t been able to admit until lately. The last time I’d seen Tommy had been… strange. We’d both been pretty messed up, and we’d dealt with it in all the wrong ways. I’d accused him of some horrible things towards the end, just before I told him I’d kill him if I ever saw him again. The threat might sound like a bad thing, but it was even worse when you took into account that Tommy basically had been my brother for years. He’d been a part of the family, but none of us had seen him since that day, and it was my fault. I’d taken his entire family from him. I should’ve contacted him a long time ago, but I’d chickened out every time. The longer it took, the harder it got, but I’d reached a point where I
to talk to him.
I walked across the lot and to the door leading into the clubhouse belonging to the Marauder Riders MC. If I could have chosen a place to meet him, a clubhouse wouldn’t have been it, but he didn’t seem to be anywhere but there.
I took a deep breath and opened the door. The beer and weed stench hit me like a slap in the face, so I decided to not take any more deep breaths.
“Can I help ya, sweetheart?”
It was an understatement to say that I hated being called ‘sweetheart,’ but I decided to let it slide, since I didn’t think it was a good idea to piss people off right off the bat. They would be pissed enough anyway.
“Yeah, I’m looking for Tommy Miles,” I said, and I tried to look…
I wasn’t even sure what I was trying to look like, or what I
have been trying to look like, but either way, it wasn’t working. The guy took a few steps towards me and put a hand on my hip.
“Tommy’s busy, darlin’, but I’m sure I can help you with whatever you want from him.”
“I doubt it. Listen, he’s an old friend, and I really need to talk to him.” I took his hand from my hip. “Just talk.” He was still smiling widely, and I decided to try another approach, because obviously a woman could only have one business with a man in this guy’s head. “My brother served with him.”
“Yes, my brother Zachary Jensen. They were friends.”
The name seemed to ring a bell, because he took a step back. Then he turned towards the bar and yelled at a young kid behind it.
“Go get Tommy.”
“I don’t give a fuck. Go get Tommy!” He turned back towards me and extended his hand in a surprisingly civil manner. “I’m Sisco.”
“Billie,” I answered and took his hand.
“Want a beer?”
“No, thank you.”
“No. I don’t… do that.”
I heard screaming from down the hall in the direction the young guy had disappeared, and when I turned towards it, I saw Tommy stumbling through the hallway while simultaneously buttoning up his jeans and pushing a blonde in front of him. The young guy was walking behind him, and he looked very unhappy.
Tommy halted for a second when he saw me, then he started to rush towards me, and he didn’t look happy, either—not that I had expected him to.
are you doing here?”
“Listen,” I started, but he wouldn’t let me finish.
By then he was standing right in front of me, and I’d forgotten how tall he was. Having a huge former Marine towering over me was a lot more intimidating than I remembered.
“Fuck no! I’m not going to listen. You’re gonna turn around and get the fuck out of here. We have
to say to each other!”
I wasn’t going to give in that easily, but another imposing man, with a big mustache and the label ‘president’ stitched to his vest, came towards us. And he wasn’t the only one. The clubhouse was silent, and most guys were gravitating towards us with very unfriendly faces.
“Missy,” mustache started, “I don’t know who you are, but you need to leave.”
“Tommy, five minutes.” I held up my hand with my fingers spread. “That’s all I ask. Give me five minutes.”
“Get out!” Tommy repeated, and the president grabbed a hold of my arm and started to lead, almost drag, me outside.
“Please,” I tried again and heard, more than felt, how choked up I was, but Tommy just crossed his arms over his chest.
By then, I was almost already out the door, and judging by the guy dragging me outside, I wouldn’t be able to get through the door a second time. My suspicion was confirmed when the president stood in front of it with his arms crossed and glared at me.
“Miss,” he started.
“Billie, my name is Billie Jensen,” I said and started searching through my bag. I wasn’t giving up, not a chance in hell I’d give up.
“Well, Billie Jensen, I’m Brick. I don’t know what history you have with Tommy, but he obviously doesn’t want to see you, so you need to stay away.”
“I know, and I don’t even blame him, but I need…” I found a pen, and took it along with a piece of paper that was probably an old receipt. “Brick, I need him to contact me. Please give him my number and tell him it’s life and death.”
Brick raised an eyebrow and gave me a knowing smile.
“It’s not about getting laid,” I continued. “I have vibrators for that. I’m not an old fuck that came to get some more. He’s an old friend of the family, he served with my brother and we grew up together. He is, or he was, family.”
That seemed to get to him, and he took the piece of paper from me with a nod.
“I’m not giving you any promises.”
“I know. Just give it to him. I’m in Phoenix.” My phone rang and I had to pick up. “Mom?”
“Yes, honey,” she replied at the other end of the line.
I looked at Brick. “Just give it to him, that’s all I ask. I always answer,” I said and waved with the phone I’d just answered. Then I turned around and started walking back towards my car. “Mom, sorry, I was in the middle of something. How is he?”
“He’s just fine. He wants to talk to you, though.”
“Sure. Put him on.”
“Hey, little guy. You okay?”
“Yeah. I’m having pineapple.”
“That sounds good, honey.” I sat down on the curb and tried to stop myself from crying. I was not going to cry. No way. And if I would cry, it wouldn’t be over Tommy Miles. “I’m on my way home, so I’ll see you in a while. We can talk then.”
TOMMY COULDN’T FUCKING believe that bitch’d had the nerve to come looking for him. She’d basically accused him of killing her brother. Like he’d ever have been able to hurt Zach. He’d been his best fucking friend since they were kids, and she’d said that what had happened had been his fault. He’d held his best friend, his brother, in his arms when he died. He’d told Billie the full story, something he hadn’t been able to do until then, and she’d said it was his fault. She’d told him to stay the fuck away, so he hadn’t just lost his brother, he’d lost his entire fucking family at the same time.
“You okay?” Brick asked him when he came back inside after throwing Billie out.
“Not really,” he admitted. There was no point in lying to Brick.
“She left you her number.”
“I don’t want it.”
“Tommy, look at me.” He did as Brick had asked, but avoided looking at the piece of paper Brick was holding in his hand. “She left me her number, she said it was life and death, and she said you were family once.”
“I’d say ‘were’ and ‘once’ are the key words in that sentence.”
Brick took his hand and shoved the paper in it before giving him a stern nod.
“She’s in Phoenix, she wanted you to call, and she used to be family. Think on it.”
Brick left him with those words. At first Tommy crumbled the paper into a small ball in his fist, but after a few seconds, he cursed and pushed it into his pocket instead of just throwing it away.
“I’ll think on it,” he mumbled, mostly to himself.
The last time he’d seen Billie had been the morning after Zach’s funeral. He’d been injured when Zach was killed, so he’d been sent home. He’d done his years as an active by then. They both had, Zach and he, they’d basically been on their way home when it happened, but had talked about doing a few more years.
When Tommy got his honorable discharge, he’d accepted it without any thoughts of further service. There was no fucking way he’d continue without Zach—he wouldn’t even know how. It had actually been hard to know how to continue without Zach even outside the military, and he’d ended up leaving everything behind just to find something that was just his in an attempt to get away from Zach’s ghost. He’d ended up in Arizona, where he’d found the Marauders.
Tommy went back to his dorm room and lay down on his bed. He found the note in his pocket and carefully unfolded it. It was just a number, nothing else. It was still enough for him to recognize her handwriting, though.
Billie’d been Zach’s tomboy baby sister who’d hung after them like a tail during the early years. Zach and Billie’s dad hadn’t treated her any differently than he’d treated Zach, which meant she’d done the drill exercises right along with them in the Jensens’ backyard. She’d been tough as nails despite being a scrawny little chick.
Then she grew up, and as much of a tomboy as she’d been, it was hard to miss the fact that she was
. Zach had been very uncomfortable with Tommy pointing that out, until Tommy’d said that the chick was basically
little sister, too, it wasn’t about that, but objectively speaking: their little sister was hot. By then she wasn’t following them around anymore, and it’s safe to say he wasn’t the only one in town who’d noticed what she looked like.
With a growl, he ran his hand over his dark buzz cut. She was his little sister, too, and she wanted his help with something. So he picked up the note and his burner, then he dialed her number.
He didn’t have to be nice to her, but he had to at least find out why she’d come to find him. It had to be some fucking emergency for her to have done that.
“Billie Jensen speaking.”
“So why are you in Phoenix?” he asked, ignoring the twitch in his cheek muscles that wanted to smile about the fact that she still answered the phone in the same way she’d done since she was five years old. He didn’t introduce himself, either. She would know it was him.
“We live here. Dad was stationed here when he retired, and we stayed.”
“Still living with your parents?”