Undaunted: The Kings of Retribution MC, page 1
The Kings of Retribution MC
Copyright © 2017 by Crystal Daniels & Sandy Alvarez
All rights reserved.
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, character, places, brands, media, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used as fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
Book cover created by Mayhem Cover Creations
Edited by Cat’s Eye Proofing & Promos
To our husbands David and Esteban
About the Authors
First and foremost, we would like to thank our loving husbands David and Esteban for their encouraging words and support these past few months.
A special thanks to Nancy Henderson for helping us navigate our way through our first adventure in writing a novel and being an early reader. We are so grateful for all the advice you have given us.
A special thanks to Cat Parisi for your amazing job editing our first book. You are Fantastic!
To our Beta Readers Fiona Tulle and Melissa Pascoe. Thank you for all the feedback. Your fresh perspectives were just what we needed.
A special thank you to Mayhem Cover Creation for our beautiful cover.
To the rest of our family and friends, we would like to thank you for all your continued support.
Everyone involved has helped our dream become reality and we are grateful beyond word for each and every one of you.
I live and breathe this life. Bikes, women, whiskey. There isn’t anything better. I am who I am and make no excuses. I may not be what society would call an upstanding citizen, but the way I see it, our time on earth is limited. And I don’t plan on wasting any of mine. I refuse to let other people’s opinions keep me from having the courage to live my life the way I choose. There is only one day a year I throw all that shit out the window, allowing the negativity and darkness to creep in. And that day is today. The Club’s throwing a big party for my twenty-fifth birthday. They do it every year. They fire up the grills, bring in all the families, then as night falls the old ladies and kids go home and the women and whiskey start to flow.
I love my brothers, but I’d much rather lose myself in booze—which is exactly what I’m doing right now.
I have a home not far from the clubhouse, right on the lake. I got one just for the peace and solitude. There are times when I need to be alone—away from the club, away from my brothers. Times like now. My birthday isn’t a day for celebrating. To me, my birthday will always be a reminder of the worst day of my life.
“Hey, son. Happy Birthday.” Jake acknowledges, patting me on my back as he takes a seat beside me. I’ve been sittin’ outside in the cold for the better part of an hour. Lucky for me, the alcohol is not only good for drowning my sorrows but works wonders at keeping me warm.
“Thanks,” I answered dryly.
Jake has been in my life since I was eight. He married my Aunt Lily, my mom’s younger sister. “Why don’t you call it a night? Go home. I know you’re not into any of this shit today.”
I look to him and lift my beer to my lips, drinking the last swallow. “I think I’ll just take a bottle to my room. Tell the guys I’m out for the night will ya?” I ask as I make my way back inside. Stopping at the bar, I grab my poison of choice before making my way to the stairs that lead to my room.
Jake understands the struggles today brings. No matter how many years pass, tragedy and pain will forever stalk me.
Once I’m in my room, I strip out of my clothes. Sitting on the edge of my bed, I twist the cap off the bottle before taking a long pull. There was a time when I would try finding the answers to all my problems at the bottom of a bottle. I started drinking heavily when I was twenty, after someone I was in love with betrayed me. That on top of the pain I still carried from losing my mother, alcohol became my way of self-medicating. Before too long, Jake noticed a change in me. He sat me down one night, telling me something that would make me realize the path I was choosing was wrong. “The pain of your tragedy will never go away, no matter how much you drink, son. But the memory of your mother lives on inside of you. How do you think she would feel to see the son she was raising, not living the happy life she so desperately wanted for him?”
I never could let go of the past, or it’s never let go of me. I still live with the ghosts of what could have been.
Today is just another reminder of just how fucked up life is. It’s also the only day I allow my old habits to seep in.
Fifteen years ago, on my tenth birthday, was the first of many losses in my life.
As a nurse, my mom worked a lot of hours, but on my birthdays, she always took the day off. She’d gotten up early that morning. She made pancakes with bacon because it was my favorite. Most mornings she was rushing off to work while I had school, so breakfast was usually cereal or fruit. My mom had the entire day planned. We were going to meet my Aunt Lily and Jake to spend the day with them at the Lake. The lake was somewhat of a tradition on my birthday. The weather wasn’t warm enough to swim, but my mom would bring lunch and Jake said he’d bring a ball for us to throw around.
I was close with my Aunt. She would stop by at least once a week and help me with my homework while my mom would be working. Jake would show up with her on occasion. We’d talk about football, and how excited I was to be starting camp in the summer.
We loaded up the car after breakfast and soon after, we were on the road headed for the lake. I’m not sure what happened. Not from memory anyway. One minute I was sitting in the backseat playing my Gameboy, then the next, I heard my mom screaming as the car plunged over the side rail. The last thing I remember is my seatbelt pulling tight, locking me in before losing consciousness.
The next time I opened my eyes, I was in a hospital room and my mom was dead.
I had several broken ribs, a broken arm, tons of scrapes and cuts, and a severe concussion that kept me out of it for two days. I wasn’t
After I was strong enough to leave the hospital, my aunt took me home to live with her and Jake.
I lost so much in the span of two weeks, but I became a part of The Kings of Retribution MC family in the process.
Those men downstairs, are more loyal than most. Jake took me in, raised me as if I were his own son.
That’s when I met Reid and his little brother, Noah. We became instant friends. Fuck, the three of us were always getting into shit and raising hell.
Lives changed even more just a few years later when Aunt Lily passed away from Cervical Cancer.
Two of the most important women in my life were gone. It seems losing people was becoming a theme in my life. I never knew my old man. My mom never talked about him—good or bad.
Jake became more than an uncle, he became the father I never had. Though he was dealing with his own grief from losing the woman he loved, he never let that stop him from being a constant in my life. He put his own heartache aside and focused on raising me with the help of the club. Through every milestone, Jake was by my side. First crush, first girlfriend, even my first fight. Which I kicked that punks fuckin’ ass. He was there through it all. The proudest moment he and I shared was when I earned my patch. I’ll never forget the look of pride in his eyes, as he realized through all our trials and tribulations, I’d made it.
Bennett was a big part of my upbringing. He has been with the club since day one. He and Jake grew up together. Childhood friends. Bennett is the one who taught me how to use a gun at thirteen. I caught on quick, he said I was a natural. It didn’t take long before I was soon able to outshoot anyone of the brothers. I just learned early on that with determination and dedication you could accomplish anything you set out to.
Bennett has an old lady, Lisa. They’re high school sweethearts. She stood by him through two tours in Iraq as a medic and his decision to join the MC. Lisa is truly Bennett’s ride or die.
Seven years ago, I thought I had everything figured out. I had the club, my brothers, and a pretty woman I loved.
Turns out, she didn’t love me.
Stephanie Williams. She was my high school sweetheart, we met my junior year. She had strawberry blonde hair and soft brown eyes. Every spare moment I had, I spent with her. Almost three years together.
Up until the day I turned twenty.
I rode out to her parents’ house, where she was still living. I went to pick her up for the party the club was having. I knew I was a couple hours early, but I was anxious to see my girl. That time of day she was usually out back in the guest house her parents let her stay in. I parked my bike and made my way around to the gate that leads to the back of the property.
What I wasn’t prepared for, was catching the girl I loved sucking some other guy’s dick as I passed the large living room window.
I enjoyed beating the shit out of the punk, but it did nothin’ to ease the pain of betrayal I was feeling.
Turns out money was more important to her than I thought. Once daddy threatened to cut her off, she started seeing one of the guys that worked for his firm. She fuckin’ kept me around because the prick couldn’t satisfy her in bed. Her words, not mine. She told me she could never marry a biker anyway.
Fuck Love. I decided from then on that I didn’t want or need it.
Some of the other brothers have divorces under their belts with women who thought they could handle the club life, but in the end, couldn’t deal.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have what Bennett and Lisa have.
Jake had that once with my Aunt Lily. Even though it’s been years, I’ve never seen him interested in another woman. I know he gets his release like the rest of us brothers do, but that’s it. He always goes home alone at night.
Although, I have noticed he’s developed a bit of sweet tooth the past couple of months. I’m guessing a certain little redhead that opened a bakery in town might have something to do with his little donut obsession lately.
It’s just not for me. I’m not looking for a permanent woman. I’m happy with the way things are now. No strings attached pussy. They all know the score beforehand. We have a good time, then it’s time for them to go.
Fuck. I take pride in knowing I paid my dues and earned this VP patch I wear on my cut today. Sure, there were plenty of times along the way my dumb ass almost fucked it up. My brothers never let up though, and sometimes taught me the hard way to rein that shit in. Which believe me, I did. The day my brothers voted me in and gave me the title was one of pride.
I’m the man I am today because of them.
I still suffer from insomnia and the occasional nightmares that I’ve been dealing with since I was ten. I’m not sure if they’re actual memories or something my mind has conjured up. I found that smoking a little weed helps with insomnia from time to time, but I don’t partake in it as much as I used to.
I live and breathe club life. Being a Kings of Retribution MC member holds much more meaning than just wearing the cut and having a title.
I have killed and would lay down my life for any one of those men because they are my family.
This is who I am. I don’t need more.
Halfway through the bottle, I feel my eyes getting heavier, and I give in to the liquor induced sleep.
“Alba, stay right here with me and be very quiet. Okay?” I tell my little sister as I sit her down on the closet floor.
She looks up at me with her big blue eyes. “Bella, I’m scared.”
“I know. Me too,” I admit to her as I quietly close the closet door, and lock it just like mommy has taught us.
“Where are those little shits?” Daddy yells.
“Nick leave the girls alone.”
“Shut the fuck up, you bitch.”
The sound of a sharp, smacking noise makes me jump—he slapped her.
Alba starts crying, so I hold her telling her it’s going to be okay. We cling to each other tighter as we hear Daddy banging on the door.
“Open this door, goddammit!”
I startle awake, my heart pounding, as sheer panic grips my insides, until I realize it was just a dream. Sometimes the dreams can be so vivid that there’s a blurred line on reality, and it takes me awhile not to feel the suffocating feeling of dread known as anxiety, a black hole that can swallow me whole.
Our father passed away when Alba was only five, and I was six. She doesn’t remember much about him at all, and I have only a few memories of him. None of which are good. No child should have to live with that kind of evil clogging their brain. It doesn’t help when you have the kind of parent that repeatedly trades one no good man in for another.
A few years after my father died, mom met and married husband number two, who was a good man, but he soon realized he didn’t want the burden of two small girls to raise.
About six months after he left, she decided that we needed a change, so she got in touch with an old friend that lived in Polson, who offered for us to stay with her until we could get our own place.
Mom packed us up and we left Wyoming, the only home we had ever known.
After getting settled in the new town, mom found a job at a diner. Three months later, she moved us into a two-bedroom apartment. We’ve moved a few different places since then, but we’ve been in this house the longest—going on two years now.
She met Lee last year. He came into the diner one day and asked her out. Within six weeks he was living with us. A couple months after that, they married. My mother can’t seem to break the cycle. She has blinders on when it comes to the opposite sex. She’s not good at being alone. It’s like she needs a man to feel good about herself, only in return, they all bring her down. Hopefully one day she’ll open her eyes.
It didn’t take long for Lee’s true colors to show either. As soon as they married, he suddenly developed a back problem and couldn’t work an
As soon as I was old enough to work, I got a job, and now with Mom’s hours cut at her job, a lot of the burden is being put on my shoulders.
Lee is a low life. Scum of the earth type of guy if you ask me. The man wakes up drinking and passes out at the end of the day from all the booze. He also has a nasty temper and hasn’t been afraid to use it on my mom in the past. I’ve seen the proof on her arms before. He’s careful not to leave evidence on her face for everyone to see the kind of man he really is though.
Let me rephrase that because he isn’t a man. More like a piece of shit!
He also keeps mom’s bank account drained every month. The lazy fucker can’t even hold down a damn job long enough to collect the first paycheck.
I roll over and look at the clock glowing on the nightstand, which reads 6:00 am. I wish I could say I’m getting up to go to school, but after graduating I didn’t really have an option to do the whole college thing. I needed to keep working so I could help pay the bills, help keep a roof over mine and my sister’s head, and make sure we have food to eat and clothes to wear because our Mom struggles enough as it is.
My goal is to save enough money so I can get my own place, bringing Alba with me. I want her to have the chances I didn’t. Like going to college, living and experiencing life... soaking up as much as she can without all the negativity that our current situation is offering.