UNBREAKABLE: The Kings of Retribution MC, page 1
The Kings of Retribution MC
Copyright © 2018 by Crystal Daniels & Sandy Alvarez
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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.
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Book cover created by Crystal Daniels
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Giving up on sleep, I roll out of bed and walk over to the chair in the corner of my room where I tossed my jeans just a few hours ago and pull them on. I don't need to look at the time to know it's early…too fuckin' early. I haven't slept a solid six hours since she left. Grace has been gone six months. Six months and one single text telling me she wasn't coming back to Polson. My gut is telling me she's runnin' from something, but what? Do I think us getting close scared her? Yes. Do I believe that is the sole reason she skipped town? No.
Something bigger is going on with Grace, and I refuse to give up until I find her, bring her home, and demand she tell me why she ran. Another thing my Little Bird will have to come to terms with is, she is mine. I know with absolute certainty Grace wants me as much as I want her. I've given her two years of slow. Two years of letting her get used to the idea of us. If she thinks runnin' away is going to detour me, then she has another thing coming. There is one thing about me she will come to realize real soon, is that I am a very patient man. I knew from the first moment I laid eyes on Grace I was a goner. Some people may think I'm crazy or call me a pussy for waitin' around on a woman for two long ass years, but when it comes to a good woman, the right woman, a man will do damn near anything to make her his. Besides I'm a forty-six-year-old man. My days of chasing meaningless pussy are over. Sure, when I was a young and dumb kid in high school, I had my fair share of meaningless fucks, and after Lily passed, I went through a rough patch where I tried to mask the pain with random club whores and bed hoppin'.
Once you reach a certain age in life though, that shit becomes old real fast. That or you meet a woman who has you realizing you want more. When I walked into Grace's bakery, I was met with the smallest, most delicate woman. She stands at 5ft 3in and has the unruliest mass of red curls I'd ever seen. Her porcelain skin was free of makeup, and I instantly became obsessed with the smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose. When she looked at me with those crystal blue eyes of hers, I felt like I had been punched in the solar plexus.
I felt something I haven't felt since my late wife, Lily. I never thought in my wildest fuckin' dreams that I could feel for another woman what I felt for Lily. I have not been serious about another woman since her death fifteen years ago…until Grace. Within five minutes of meeting her, I sensed she had to be handled with kid gloves. Not only was she skittish around men, but I could see there was fear and pain hidden behind her eyes. I wanted to put a bullet in the head of the person who had harmed this woman.
Walking into the kitchen, I snag my keys off the hook by the front door, and I flip a couple of switches turning on my outside flood lights. At only 3:00 am it's still dark as hell outside. I then make my way outside and around to the back of my house to my shed. I live in one of the most secluded parts of Polson. Most of my brothers live near the lake, but not me. I like not having neighbors. The closest house to mine is about five miles out. I have nothin' but peace and fuckin' quiet out here. Just the way I like it. I found this place ten years ago. The old man I bought it from hadn't even finished building it. Basically, it was nothing but walls and roof. The vision he had for the log cabin was beautiful, but his wife fell ill, and he no longer had the time to finish the home since he had to care for her. The old man was only asking for what he had already paid for out of pocket. The deal was too sweet to pass up. I spent one year fixing it up enough to make it suitable to live in before I moved in. Two years later my home was complete.
The three-bedroom, two-bathroom cabin is my sanctuary. Unless I personally invite someone out here, I don't get any visitors, not counting the occasional bear or coyote. My brothers don't take offense to my isolation. I enjoy a club party or a family BBQ from time to time, but at the end of the day when I come home, they know this place is sacred, and I don't share. When I think about sharing my home with someone, only one person comes to mind…Grace.
Reid has been looking for Grace for six months, but so far, he's not found shit. Grace Cohen is a ghost. Which leads us to believe that's not her real name and brings us back to my first instinct that she's runnin' from something or someone. Reid told me yesterday, he's got one more contact he has yet to use, and he is calling in a favor. I have faith my brother will come through for me. Reid is the best at what he does.
Pulling open the shed door, I flip on the lights and illuminate the 10 x 16-foot space where I keep one of my most prized possessions a 1973 Harley Davidson XLCH Ironhead Hardtail. It belonged to my pops. He finally parted with it four years ago. It had been sitting in his garage for the better part of a decade. The stubborn old man knew he could no longer ride and his arthritis didn't allow him to work on it either. Pops knew I loved his bike and I'd bet my left nut the son of a bitch held on to it just to piss me off. I love my old man. Thinking about his ass makes me chuckle. I haven't worked on the bike as much as I'd like, but lately, with all the sleepless nights, I find myself having the time. I find keeping my hand busy calms the storm inside my head and keeps me partially sane. I had been working on cars, trucks, and bikes right alongside my pops since I was old enough to remember.
My earliest memory was of me standing on a stool bent over the hood
I inherited my love of being a mechanic from my pops. Kings Customs wasn't always Kings Customs. My pops was the original owner. Back when he started the garage, it was called Delane's. I always knew I would one day take over the garage. College wasn't for me. That's why the day after I graduated high school, my lifelong friend Bennett and I enlisted in the Army.
Joining the service was something I had been contemplating for a couple of years, and though my parents were nervous about the what ifs, they were also proud and supportive. Serving my country was something I felt was my calling. I don't think Bennett felt the same as me, but he told me he wasn't going to let me go off to war and not have my back. The two of us grew up together, so it only seemed natural we enlist together. We both served eight years before deciding it was time to move on. We'd seen enough. When our service was over, Bennett and I tried falling back into some sort of routine. Pops had both of us working in the garage, and for the most part, we were adjusting back into civilian life well, but something was missing, we both felt it. It was about one year after being home when things changed. I received a call from Sean, a buddy of mine I served with. He and a couple of his friends were passing through Montana and asked if Bennett and I would like to catch up. The next day Sean and his friends rolled into town on their bikes.
Over the course of the weekend, I had learned one of the guys grew up around an MC. He told us about how they were a group of veterans and forming the club was a way for them to get back what they missed the most…camaraderie. It was right then and there the Kings were born, and I became their President. Bennett was a medic in the Army, and though he enjoyed working in the garage with me, it's not where his heart was. So, he and his wife Lisa started doing community service. Lisa runs a soup kitchen in town and Bennett spends most days offering his medical assistance to the homeless. No, he is not an actual doctor, but he can give necessary medical attention to those less fortunate. He even has a few resources at the local hospital that aid in providing the supplies he needs. These are the things that most of the people in our community don't see. People see what they want. They see a biker gang.
It pisses me off when people assume MCs are only about breaking the law and not following the rules, but that's not the truth. Not for the Kings anyway.
Do we always follow the law? No. Do we live by our own set of rules? Hell, fuckin' yeah. We break the law, and we've even done shit I'm not proud of. There have been times when the club has steered onto the wrong path because we became obsessed with the cash flow it provided, but after reaping the consequences of our past choices, I have done everything in my power to give the club a new direction. Regardless, each one of my men is honorable and would give a complete stranger the shirt off our back and would also lay down our life for those we love; me included. I won't lie and say I haven't taken a life because I have, more than I can count in fact. Both in and out of the service. I will tell you this though; I have not put a bullet in someone unless they have deserved it. I have no qualms about ridding this earth of scum. I am fully prepared to meet my maker when my time is up and answer for my sins.
Walking into the shed, I sit down on the stool next to the bike. I can't fuckin' wait until she's runnin'. Whenever I look at it, all I imagine is me cruisin' down the road with Grace on the back and her arms wrapped around my waist. I've only had one other woman on the back of my bike, and that's Lily. I met Lily six months after coming home from the Army. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was working in the garage, and it was pourin' fuckin' rain outside and in walks the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She was soaked from head to toe. She looked like a drowned rat. Lily was 5ft 8in tall and curves for days. She had long brown hair and eyes the color of honey. Her car had broken down about a mile down the road. Lucky for her we were the only garage in town open on a Saturday. After that day I guess all I can say is the rest was history. Lily and I became inseparable. We fell in love and married a few short months after the day she walked into my life.
She was there by my side when I started the club. We hardly had any money. Every penny I had saved went into buying the building that is currently our clubhouse. We didn't have a place of our own, but we made the clubhouse our home. Not once did Lily complain. She said all she wanted was to be with me. As long as we were together, then that was enough for her. Two years after the club was started the garage got its first custom bike job. One satisfied customer later and we began receiving more and more custom requests.
When Pops saw the kind of success, the garage was having he handed over the keys, and that is when Kings Customs was born. A few months later our lives took a turn when Lily received a devastating call, and I was by her side when she was told her sister Rose had died in a car accident. There was no question about the decision to take Logan in and raise him. I had become close to Lily's nephew and was fond of her sister. My wife had confided in me one day and told me the story of Rose and of Logan's father.
Then three and a half years after we were married I was by her side when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I never in my dreams thought someone so young would have to face something like that. I spent four of the best years of my life with Lily before she succumbed to cancer. The whole ordeal was swift and unexpected, but I was at her side until the very end. In Lily's final day she made me promise two things. One, take care of her nephew, Logan. Raise him to be the best man he can be and two, find someone to share my life with. Number one was a no-brainer. I loved Logan as if he were my son and would be honored to raise him, but her second promise…I couldn't. How was I going to be able to move on? I loved Lily with everything I had. She was it for me. I would never find another woman that could make me feel the way Lily did…or so I thought.
When a person loses a spouse, moving on can feel like a tug-of-war. One day you meet someone and boom, that person suddenly sparks something inside you, something you haven't felt in a long time. And when you recognize what's happening, there is a tiny shred of guilt that creeps in, because for me even though my wife is gone a small part of me felt as though I was replacing her. I was letting another woman into my heart and making me feel in a way that only Lily had. Then one day I realized, Grace is not a better woman than Lily was, just different.
Were my feelings for Grace going to take away the feelings I had and continue to have for my late wife? No. I think back to words Lily spoke to me before she died. "Don't waste a moment of your precious life or the love you have to give. Find someone to share it with, and when you find the right woman, I want you to hold onto her with everything you have and know that you have my blessing. I want you to be happy, Jake." I knew the minute I decided Grace was going to mine and I was going to stop at nothing till she was, that Lily had already given me her blessing years ago. I had fulfilled my first promise of raising Logan and as soon as I find my woman I would fulfill my second.
A smile tugs at my lips when I think back to last night. The club had a party in the clubhouse to celebrate the adoption of Breanna. I am damn proud of the man Logan has become. I'd like to take credit and say it was all me, but it wasn't. His woman, Bella had a lot to do with the man he is today. I know his mom and his aunt would be proud of him too. Besides my club, Logan is my greatest accomplishment. He doesn't have my blood runnin' through his veins, but he is my son. I always hoped for children of my own, but as I got older, I no longer longed for it. I consider Gabriel, Reid, Quinn, Logan and all the young men in my club to be my sons. I
Looking up from the bike, I can see the sun is beginning to rise over the mountains, and when I look down at my watch, it reads 6:00 am. Tossing my wrench back in the toolbox to my left, I stand and pull a rag from my back pocket to wipe the grease from my callused hands. Striding out of the shed, I pull the double doors closed and secure in place the padlock. I hear the ping of my cell phone alerting me to a text. Removing it from my front pocket, I open a message from Reid.
Reid: Logan and I are waiting for you at the clubhouse.
Me: On my way.
I'm hoping he has some news on where my woman is.
Swiping beads of sweat from my brow with the back of my hand I continue to wipe the tables clean. I lean over and retrieve the three dollars tip the customer left folded underneath the salt shaker and place it inside my apron pocket. The only place I could find work in this tiny town here in North Dakota was a truck stop diner about ten miles from the Canadian border. Today I'm wrapping up a double shift. Tracie, a young mother of two, called in just as I was about to clock out at lunch because her little boys were sick. Needing the extra cash, I volunteered to cover her shift for the evening.