Tear Me Away (Desert Wraiths MC Romance)

By: Amy Kiss

I shrugged, though inside it kind of hurt to go against the leader. “They can clean up just fine."

The warm gaze stared into my own. I could spike, amp my reflection and he would keep staring. He was the only one who could. Part of the reason I’d joined up with the Wraiths to begin with.

"Alright, Good." He made to turn away, then thought better. "No issues, right?"

I thought of the girl again. I shook my head.

Nico clapped his hands and actually blew a smile. "Hot damn. It'll be weeks before the Sand Shits get another supplier. Their customers are gonna be mighty open to new deals till then."

"The Scorpions aren't going to just stand by and let us take their business, “Canyon said.

"It's our business," Nico said. “They held it for a bit, but now we're taking it back."

"I know jefe, but I'm saying they ain't just gonna let us off. We gotta be ready is all."

"It's true," Dyno said. "If we move too quick, it's a pretty hard tell we knew about their guy. They might not have hard proof we took him out, but who else would do it?"

"Maybe he just skipped town." Nico said. “Maybe one of the relatives or some cop found out he was the guy supplying the shit that's been getting people to shred their lungs. Guy who'd poison a bunch of paying customer is bound to make a ton of enemies."

They took turns spitting on the memory of Shane Tyrell. He went by Shiny, but near the end, we’d come up with the clever nickname Shitty. Still too nice for scum like him. Guy had been paid up by the Sand Scorpions motorcycle club to approach us with a deal. Only thing was, the stuff he was slinging held 20 ppm HCl among the crystals. Burned right through our customer's lungs when they sucked in their daily poison. A couple of our own had bit it. I'd seen men die a 100 different ways back in Afghanistan, but none so bad as this, screaming out flecks of lungs until we goosed em with morphine.

"Hey, Ghost, how'd he bite it?" someone asked.

"Knife in the throat."

Nico nodded. "Poetic."

A murmur of approval washed over me, from men who had never delivered death. One death was the same as another to me, so long as it didn't drag out. Half those 100 deaths I’d seen as a soldier had been at my hands.

This one felt lighter though - an old calculation I had used to conduct now showing a positive value.

The man had been rightly delivered to the gates of hell.

Now our people could return to killing themselves in slow motion. But hell, who was I to judge.

I saw again the woman peeking out through the car, the gentle swell of her dark hair. The hazel eyes burst wide as she saw death stumble towards her. How would she judge me, if she knew the whole of it?

She’d haunted my thoughts the whole ride back. Even with the night crawling under my amplified senses, my engine purring under me and the contentment of a job well done, my thoughts kept turning to that face.

I blinked her out. No reason she should be in there to begin with. Club business would be going up, and I needed to have a say in the security factor. That was my purpose here. Or anywhere really. Protect the organization at all costs. Since when I did I give a damn about my own life?

Nico was laying out expansion plans, people we were to approach. Canyon, that dumbass, suggested sneaking up on them in the dark, making them feel unsafe. I didn't know much about business, but I knew plenty about pleasing customers, and fear wouldn't buy you much loyalty. Not to mention these other guys weren't exactly trained in night ops.

I put up formal, public, daylight meets and Nico agreed, though a tinge of disappointment went through the grown men around me. I think they wanted us attacked. They wanted to see me earn my reputation.

I played with an empty shot glass, and watched it tremble in my massive fist. I had only spiked a little tonight. The residuals were getting worse. If I'd actually had to let it rip, I'd be a jittering mess on the floor by now. The fearsome Ghost reduced to a baby's rattle.

I filled the glass with something hard and downed it.

The timbre of the meeting softened, the plans all laid and just needing time before they could be hatched.

"You think we can just move on them?" Canyon was asking.

"Move on who?" Nico asked, leaned back, legs propped high on the table.

"The Sand Scorpions."

"They outnumber us 3:2," Dyno said.

"So we take out that clown, Gyro. No leader, they all fall apart."

"Jeez, Canyon. Do you just say this shit cause you don't got a brain to process your own words?" Nico shook his head. "They got a VP. They got a sergeant, same as us. Imagine if a guy like Ghost took over. You think he'll just run off screaming at the sight of blood?

"Oh, yeah," Canyon said, but he wasn't done being stupid. "We got Ghost. Ghost can take out half their crew on his own."

"Yeah, I could. But I won't. “I shoved in my chair and walked out.

The desert glowed under the moon. I spiked a drop and watched every inch come alive. Scorpions stalked lesser insects. A couple snakes coasted behind waiting to strike in turn. A coyote loped along the horizon sorta aimless, its belly likely full for the night. The sand swarmed at my feet, grains catching a ride with the wind only to go tumble into cousins not far away.

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