Unleashed (Devil's Reach Book 3), page 1
Devil’s Reach, Book three
Copyright © 2018 by J.L. Drake.
All rights reserved.
First Print Edition: October 2018
Limitless Publishing, LLC
Kailua, HI 96734
Formatting: Limitless Publishing
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to locales, events, business establishments, or actual persons—living or dead—is entirely coincidental.
Ketura Worthen, Vanessa Webb, Alison De-Ville, and Ceej Chargualaf:
You walked into my life over a year ago and helped me create the army we have today.
Without you four, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Thank you for your endless support, creativity, and time.
It never goes unnoticed.
Cheers to another release!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
My fists beat at my temples, my head screamed at me to kill, and the room spun like someone had ripped open the door to Pandora’s box. I clawed at the walls, ignoring the pain of my torn nails. I smashed the chair against the table and yanked the camera from the wall then gathered up the wire. Quickly, I wrapped it around my hands, ready to take on Doyle.
I shook my head to clear the screams, and the demons swung from bone to bone like an army of apes about to swarm their prey.
No windows, no air, nothing.
Pure, untamed adrenaline coated my insides, destroying any trace of good left in me.
I popped my neck and felt the blood rush away from my palms. Back and forth I shifted my weight, ready to fight. Ready to get the fuck out of here.
“Ahhhhh!” I couldn’t keep in the madness. Chaos gnawed at my nerves.
The smell of blood lingered in the air, a promise I intended to keep for myself once he showed his face.
I rubbed my head vigorously in an attempt to keep it together.
I didn’t lose control; this wasn’t me.
What was happening?
What was the holdup?
Where the fuck was Sam?
Suddenly, as if someone snapped on a light, the door opened, and Officer Doyle stepped in. He glanced up at me from the file in his hand.
The window behind him shook, and I allowed it to draw my attention for a moment.
There I sat, cool, calm, relaxed in my chair.
If only he knew the storm that raged inside me.
“I told you not to fight this, Trigger.” Sam tugged at his tie. The skin around it was red. In all the years he’d been our lawyer, I had never seen him this stressed. “You’re up for multiple murder charges, and you have a rottweiler named Rothweiler for a judge. Biggest dick on the west coast.”
“The proof will show itself,” I muttered, still lost in the dark thoughts that simmered with the need to tell my men who the mole was. It was too risky a move. They’d more than likely kill him before I could. Just knowing he was walking around freely in my club without a fuck made me wild with the urge to break out of here and rip his throat out.
Then there was her.
“Will it?” Brick rubbed his face, his tone hopeless. He’d completely worn through the pad of his thumb from rubbing the top of the screw on the chair leg. He pointed to the camera on the wall. “They clearly have some people in their pockets to have made this happen. That’s some high-up power.”
I know people too. I just need to wait for the right moment to play my cards.
The acidic ache in my chest alerted me that I was about to be hit with an image of her.
I jolted at the tear in my armor and pushed it away, back into its place, away from them. I felt their claws scrape at my insides as if they smelled my weakness.
“Trigger,” Sam broke my focus, “this is bad. My hands are tied. No one is listening. All they want is to see you gone. I had no idea Doyle was working as a U.S. Marshals Liaison.”
“I can’t be someone’s bitch.” Rail’s high-pitched voice piped in from the corner. “I have limits.”
“Come on, Rail, you nailed that cougar from the gym in a Goodwill parking lot last month.” Brick shook his head. “You have no limits.”
“Ah, yeah, that’s right.” Rail chuckled. “She was a freak.”
As jacked as they were inside, neither of them could keep their mouths shut.
“Fuck.” Sam pressed his hands against his forehead. “You’re all going to prison. I’ll be the one left here on the other side of the wall.”
“Why are you worried?” Rail dropped his feet from the table, his shoes smacking the floor. “Not like you’re the one who’s going to be showering with company.”
“I’d rather that than what awaits me if I can’t get you out.” He glanced at me but quickly turned away. That’s right, you little fuck. You better be scared to shit. I would kill his entire family if he didn’t get us out, and he knew that, hence why he was freaking out.
The dusty, caged-in clock on the wall ticked loudly above Sam. Each second that passed seemed to toss another bucket of dirt on my grave…or hers. I knew Morgan had been monitoring Gus’s location, but that was a few days ago, and I hadn’t heard anything in a while. Sam chose to know nothing, so it couldn’t be beaten out of him later. He was right to be paranoid. With me behind bars, he would be a target for sure, and not just for Allen, but for me too.
I dropped my head in my hands to soothe my achy eyes. I couldn’t sleep, and it fucked with my mind. I’d woken to the sound of her voice, only to realize it was Rail in the bunk above me.
I followed the chains of the skeleton on my forearm and stopped at the lock. A heaviness settled in the pit of my tortured soul. I needed to get out of there, but I also knew I needed to play my cards right.
The door swung open, and in walked my parole officer, Chamness, shaking his head in his normal disapproving way. I rolled my eyes. The man was tired of working with me, and the feeling was mutual.
“Congratulations, Trigger, you’re royally fucked.”
“Please don’t sugar coat it, Chamness,” Rail hissed.
“Oh, trust me, I don’t plan to.” He dropped a file on the table and pinched the bridge of his nose. “You don’t listen to me, your lawyer, or the law. You made your bed, now lay in the shit that awaits you, because I have no more tricks up my sleeve.”
“Meaning?” I met his exhausted stare.
“Meaning they,” he pointed at the window, “are finished w
“But it’s been a week.” Brick stood and pounded his fist on the table. “This shit should take months!”
“Yup,” he nodded, “but you’ve pissed on them so many times, they want to make their point, and they’re willing to pull out every judiciary trick in the book to do it.”
“And their point is?” I was about to go on when the door opened. Three officers stepped in and quickly ushered us back into the courtroom.
“For fuck’s sake, Trigger, keep your mouth shut,” Chamness warned before we entered the courtroom.
I didn’t recall much of what was said because I immediately locked eyes with Morgan, who shook his head, indicating they hadn’t found her or Gus.
The wild things inside me went nuts when they felt my mood shift south.
Sam elbowed me hard in the arm when I didn’t give the judge the attention he demanded.
“Matthew Montgomery and Silas Hunter, you boys are looking at forty-five years, and by God, I aim to make sure you serve every second of it.”
Brick huffed out a heavy breath, and Rail muttered something about how he’d rather die.
Judge Rottweiler—Rothweiler—narrowed his blue eyes partially hidden behind his bushy eyebrows on me. “Nolan Vineyard.” He struggled to keep the corners of his mouth down. I stood a little straighter and waited for my fate.
“I guarantee, Vineyard, you can look forward to three life terms.” I blinked at his words. “And if I had it my way, I’d give you the death penalty.”
Rail reached out for the table while I bent to whisper to Sam.
“Links.” He quickly pulled out his phone. Links was the guy who made things happen. As soon as we were arrested, Morgan pulled some strings, and he got to work. Now I knew we just had to wait.
I scanned the faces in the benches and stopped at my mother. She gave me a slight nod. I wasn’t sure if she was telling me it was all right, or that she was giving me her support. Either way, I didn’t want it. Why the fuck was she even there?
An officer came up behind me and pulled my wrists, indicating for me to follow.
“Sam,” I yanked back and stepped closer, “she comes before us.”
“I know.” His answer sounded distant; the judge’s malice had thrown him.
“Play dirty. I pay you enough to do so.”
“You have my word.”
“I better.” I stopped myself from reminding him I knew his family well.
“Let’s go.” The officer grabbed my arm and pulled me away. I followed quietly to make my point to Sam. I’d do my part if he did his.
I tossed the paper plate in the trash and glanced out the window at the driveway and wondered how long it actually was. Three, maybe four miles? I knew it took it four minutes from the time I heard the engine until I could actually see the truck. Gus said six, but I thought his timing was off.
His smell hit me before I could react. My muscles locked in place as he stepped up behind me and whispered over my shoulder.
“You doing okay?” Zay trapped me at the counter with his arms. “Can I get you anything? Your skin looks so pretty in the sun. Like diamonds.” Fox walked through the kitchen, stuffing his mouth full of potato chips.
“Yuck,” I muttered. “You really know nothing about me, Zay.”
“I know more than you think I do.”
I wanted to elbow him in the ribs, but the last time I did that, Allen took it out on Gus.
“Really?” I couldn’t help myself. Zay pissed me the hell off. “Then you should know making a Twilight reference is far from sexy, and seriously, I hate romance.”
“Where the fuck are my shoes?” Allen snapped from behind us.
“Fine.” Zay’s tone changed, and he yanked one arm behind me and undid his belt. I started to panic. There was no way he was doing that. “I tried to be nice, tried to control myself around you, but you consistently push me away. So, we’ll do it your way.”
Allen sniggered, and I tried to whirl around, but Zay held my hips in place while his other hand fought to undo my pants. He was doing a shitty job. His hands kept slipping off my button, so I used that to my advantage.
“You sick fuck!” I drove my heel into his foot and drew back to punch him, but he caught my arms and bent me over the counter.
“I love that you fight, Tess, but you also need to know who you belong to now.”
“Bitch needs to learn.” Allen grinned with excitement as he raced upstairs.
“You mean a sicko who gets off by raping women?” I yelled at him because that was all I could do. He was too strong and completely overpowered me.
“It’s not rape if the other wants it, and I can tell you do. You just don’t know it yet.”
Holy shit, he was insane! My shirt was pulled up and ripped a little at the neck, though I was thankful he gave up on my pants.
Suddenly, I heard a loud crack and Zay’s full weight fell on top of me then slid to the floor.
“Fuck, Tess, you okay?” Gus pulled me to my feet while I scrambled to haul my shirt down.
“Yeah,” I huffed, wiping tears of fury from my face.
I hauled off and kicked the son of a bitch in the ribs as hard as I could and was about to do more, but Gus put his arm on me and held a finger to his lips.
Footsteps sounded coming down the stairs. We looked at one another, knowing what was about to happen.
“It’s gotta be tomorrow, Tess.”
I wanted to be sick, but I knew he was right.
We braced ourselves for what would happen in the next few minutes.
The beating made me ill; it always did. All I could do was watch in horror as Zay held me back. He’d whisper for me to be calm and to stay quiet, but I would tune him out. He was a monster, just like the rest of them.
Gus had a fat lip, and blood oozed from a cut on his head. All things considered, he looked okay, but I knew with all the kicks and hits he’d taken, the damage on the inside would be a lot worse.
I inched closer to him. The grass was thin around the trunk of the tree where it was fighting for space with the thick roots, providing us a little sitting area.
I reached out and gently tapped his head with a rag. “You okay?”
He laughed, which turned into a nasty cough. “I haven’t been okay since 1997, sweetheart.”
I fumbled with my emotions. Gus and I had grown closer since we arrived here. It was funny how a horrible situation could draw people together.
I glanced over at the miles of cornfields. “I don’t think I can do it.”
Gus closed his eyes and struggled to sit straighter against the tree trunk. “You can, and you will.”
“What if I can’t?”
“You know what, sweetheart? That’s just not an option.” He reached out and covered my hand. “They need you.”
“We need you,” I countered. “You’ll die here.”
His smile showed he had already made peace with his decision, and it nearly brought me to tears.
“Tess, I’ve been battling for my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve had three different types of cancer, but this one,” he covered his chest with one hand, “this one refuses to let up.”
“Breast cancer?” I wanted to be sure.
He nodded. “Stage three for some time now. I only have a matter of months.”
A tear slipped down my cheek. “I didn’t know.”
“No one needs to.”
“He knows enough. He can connect the dots.”
“Nah.” He reached down and pulled his leg up with a wince. “I would be dead weight for you out there.” His gaze moved to the fields. “We should get some sleep.”
I helped him
“You’re the best thing to ever walk into my sons’ lives.” He reached up and clicked the light off, leaving me in the dark to mull over his words.
A heavy weight hit my chest hard as I took one last glance at him. “Second best,” I closed the door behind me and avoided Zay, who stared at me from the doorway of his room. I sure hoped he didn’t know what the hell we were up to.
Goodnight, you creepy fucker.
I’d been preparing for this since we got here, but I still didn’t feel ready. I glanced out the window and saw the heavy, dark clouds headed our way.
I opened the door slowly and cursed at the loud sound of the old hinges. With a mental kick to the head, I made my way downstairs and out the kitchen door.
My feet beat the cold earth, and it flung up behind me and pricked the back of my calves. The thick cornstalks were maddening, as they only allowed me to have a few inches of view. I was a runner and could normally go for miles without a thought, but this was completely different. This was like something designed by an Army boot camp.
My lungs screamed for a break, but I knew better than to stop. Rain formed paths down my body, and the wet corn slapped against me as I ran, dragging their cold, wet tassels across my face and chest.
“No.” I came to a stop and strained to listen. “Shit!” The low-pitched buzz sent a shiver across my skin. I bolted forward desperately on some deep-dredged hidden energy for a few more yards. I wasn’t sure what kind of range the camera on the drone had, but I knew I had to try.
“Ah!” I fell without warning. My hands caught me, preventing my face from meeting another skull, and I shifted back and swallowed my screams. Two bodies were shoved into a hole. I pulled back to look at them and noticed they both had their stomachs torn away, victims of Allen’s weasels. The hum grew stronger, and I still hadn’t found any sign of a lake.
Other author's books:
- DemonsHonor (Blackstone #1)TRIGGER (Devil's Reach Book 1)
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