Made to Riot_The Ancestors MC, page 10part #5 of Beards and Leather Series
“I get it, trust me, I do,” I said. “But losers like them are just gonna drag you down with them. Believe me, I’ve seen it over and over again. Some girl gets involved with a thug who doesn’t give a shit about anything other than his next fix, thinks it’s her job to fix him, make sure he can get through the day. Then a year passes and she’s either shooting up along with him or pulled so deep into his lifestyle that she’s like a different person.”
“But these are my brothers,” said Anya. “We’ve got to look out for each other.”
“You’re the only one doing any looking out. Those two are gonna suck the life out of you, and before you know it you’ll be forty, still living in that house, still taking care of those two, the only difference being that they’re even more dependent on you than they were.”
Right at that moment, Anya’s phone rang. Her hands were still bound in the cuffs, and she lifted them up and over the post as she rolled over and began fishing through her clothes for her phone.
“Speaking of the devil,” she said, looking at the phone.
“Devils,” I said, correcting her.
She smirked and rolled her eyes.
“I have to answer it,” she said.
“Or else what?”
“Or else …”
“Just let it ring. They’ll be fine.”
Anya took one last look at her vibrating phone before sighing, pressing the button to silence the call.
“They’ll never learn how to live on their own if you’re mommying them every damn minute of the day.”
Before she could respond, however, the phone rang again, the screen lighting up with text messages and a call at the same time. Anya swiped the screen and read the texts, her eyes going wide as she did.
“It’s Connor,” she said, her eyes now sharp with concern. “He got hurt in the fight. They need me there to help.”
I sighed and shook my head. Sure, I wanted Anya to learn some independence, but not if it meant one of her brothers was gonna bleed out from a gunshot wound in the process. Still, I couldn’t let her run off on her own.
“Fine,” I said. “We can head back to your place just to check on them.”
Anya seemed relieved at that, and after we got on our clothes we were out the door and back on my bike. I had a bad feeling about heading back; I’d known enough lowlifes like those two to understand that they were always working some kind of angle.
Still, it felt good to be on the bike. Anya’s arms wrapped tight around me, I thought about what lay ahead. I’d still need to find Donny and make him answer for the bullshit he’d put me through. Betraying a brother like that … he’d pay.
Soon, we arrived back at the house. Anya was off as soon as the bike came to a halt in the gravel driveway. She rushed through the front door and was gone. I knew she was eager to make sure her brothers were all right, but I could sense that there was a measure of fear to how quickly she attended to them.
I walked in through the rickety front door and took a look around the house. It was a small, run-down little place strewn with empty beer bottles, take-out containers, and stains whose origins I didn’t even want to think about. The furniture looked like it was long overdue for a trip to the curb, and the only thing of value in the house was an entertainment center tricked-out with a massive flat-screen and all the latest video game consoles. A few of the windows were busted out from the fight, and a few trails of bullet holes curved along the walls.
This place had been a wreck before, and it was near-unlivable now. It was no place for a girl like Anya.
“What?” I heard her yell from the kitchen.
I rushed towards the direction of the commotion and found the two brothers sitting at the table, both without a scratch, and both with an open bottle of beer in front of them.
Just as I’d suspected, they’d been lying.
“Neither of you two are hurt?” asked Anya as she stood across from her brothers. “Then why’d d you lie?”
“It was the only goddamn way we’d get you to come back here. You ran off with this asshole on the motorcycle—”
He gestured towards me, and it took all I had to not leap over the two men and start dishing out their punishment.
“—and we didn’t think you’d back for at least the day. It’s a goddamn mess here! Who’s gonna clean this up?”
Anya looked over to me as I leaned against the entry to the kitchen. Like the rest of the place, the kitchen was a mess.
Turning my attention back to the men and staring them down hard, I knew they had a little bit of a point. After all, they’d been in danger because of the men who were out to get me. Still, I didn’t want to leave Anya here, like they clearly wanted. Truth be told, no one should still be here; it was only a matter of time before Donny came sniffing around.
“And who is this asshole, anyway?” asked one of the brothers, the shorter of the two. “Who the hell says he can even come in our house?”
“He’s my guest!” said Anya, her voice thin.
It was clear that she wasn’t able to stand up to these two. I knew that if I didn’t do something they’d guilt her into staying. I shoved my hand into my back pocket and pulled out the money clip that I’d brought from my apartment, the thing loaded down with hundred-dollar bills.
“Here,” I said, tossing a couple thousands-worth on the table. “Get a maid while you’re at it.”
The two brothers eagerly sorted through the money, counting it with wide eyes. Anya looked at me in surprise, shocked that I’d have so much cash on me.
“There’s gotta be two thousand here!” said the fatter, taller brother. “I’m calling into work for the next month!”
“But you two need to get the hell out of here,” I said, stepping away from the table and crossing my arms. “It’s only a matter of time before those assholes come back.”
“Fuck that,” said the shorter brother. “This is our home, goddammit- no one’s making us leave.”
“You dumb motherfuckers don’t get it,” I said. “You got lucky last time. If they come ’round again you won’t need to worry about faking any gunshot wounds.”
“Now you listen here, you thick-necked fuck,” said the fatter brother, getting up out of his seat, his legs unsteady from the booze. “No one tells us what to do in our own homes. No one.”
Anya watched the three of us with frightened eyes. She wasn’t used to conflict, and it showed.
The skinny brother jumped out of his seat and got right in my face.
“You paid your due, now get the fuck out of here!”
Anya’s pleading eyes were the only thing that stopped me from knocking this little shit’s teeth out.
I opened my mouth to speak, but before a word came out, Anya ran over to my side and grabbed my forearm. I checked myself, taking in a few slow, deep breaths as the two brothers stared me down.
“We’re leaving right now, and you two better do the same.”
With that, I turned to leave, Anya following me. Like I said, I’d known assholes like these before, and I could tell that they were all talk. Unless they’d gotten enough booze into them, that is.
Anya and left through the front door, a trail of expletives following behind us. Minutes later, we were back on the bike and on the road.
“Well, what now?” asked Anya from across the table at the little diner where we’d stopped for breakfast.
The light in the place was bright, nearly unbearable. Nearly all the surfaces were a stark white, and the waitresses who zipped here and there wore outfits that matched the décor. The sun was getting higher in the late morning sky, the light shining in through the tall windows of the place. I slipped on my sunglasses as I tried to think, my thoughts getting muddled in the din of the busy restaurant.
“First, I take you back to the safe house where you can’t get into any trouble,” I said, taking another sip of my coffee. “Some shit’s about to go down that you
Anya wrapped her slim fingers around her own mug and took a long drink of her tea, the bag string dangling over the curved rim of her mug.
“You think that I’m just going to stay holed up in that apartment of yours until this all blows over?”
“I don’t think that, I know it,” I said.
Not waiting for a response, I took another look at the plastic-laminated menu in front of me, the front covered in pictures of different kinds of food. The work of the day had brought on a powerful appetite, and I felt like I could head back to the kitchen and eat everything they had back there.
“I’m not just some dumb blonde who can’t do a thing,” Anya said. “I am a nurse, you know.”
“What’re you gonna do then?” I said, lowering the menu. “Get those little electric paddles and zap all the men who want to kill me to death?”
Anya narrowed her eyes and crossed her arms.
“You just don’t take me seriously, do you?” she said.
“Hey, if you don’t want me to bust your chops, you shouldn’t look so cute when I do it.”
She huffed and narrowed her eyes even further, which did nothing to disprove what I’d just said.
“You seem like you’re pretty good shape, considering what you’ve just been through,” I said, turning my attention back to the menu.
“What, you mean you murdering all those men?” she asked, lowering her voice at the word “murdering” and looking around.
“Yeah, that,” I said.
“Well, when you work in a hospital, you see some stuff that’ll get you used to death and violence pretty damn quick,” she said.
I raised an eyebrow at this, making a mental note to ask her about some details later, figuring now wasn’t the time.
“Fine,” I said, “you can handle some of the grislier shit. But you’ve got a long way to go if you’re gonna prove that you’re anything but a liability.”
“Give me the chance,” she said, leaning forward. “I don’t want to be useless; I want to help.”
“You just don’t know what to do if you’re not helping out scumbag men, huh?”
Anya opened her mouth to speak, but closed it quickly, realizing that she was right.
“You’re not a scumbag, though,” she said.
“Oh, trust me,” I said, letting out a chuckle, “of all the bags of scum you’ve met, I’m the biggest.”
“At least you can afford your own place,” she said.
Before I could respond, the waitress, a heavyset, middle-aged woman with dyed red hair and a sour disposition arrived at the table.
“What can I get ya both?” she asked in a flat, bored tone as she slipped a notepad out of her apron.
I gestured to Anya.
“Um, just a salad. Oil and vinegar on the side.”
“And you, hun?” the waitress asked.
“Hm,” I said, taking one last look over the menu. “Steak and eggs—rare. And when I say ‘rare’, I mean ‘bloody’. Sunny-side-up for the eggs.”
“Sure, steak and eggs, bloody and sunny.”
“And a stack of pancakes—bring me whatever kinds of syrup you got. Better throw some hash browns on there, too.”
Both Anya and the waitress looked at me with the same surprised expression.
“What?” I said. “I’m hungry.”
“Sure,” said the waitress, turning around to leave.
“You know what? I’ll have a chocolate milkshake, too. Extra chocolate,” I said with a wink.
The waitress looked at me for a moment like I might’ve been pranking her before leaving.
“Someone’s got a hollow leg,” said Anya.
“A hollow leg,” she said, taking another sip of her tea. “It’s what my dad used to say. As in, you’ve got a hollow leg that you’re going to fill with food.”
I let out a bark of a laugh.
“I like that.”
“But seriously,” she said, “how can you eat so much? After that adrenaline rush of the last few hours, I’m going to be forcing down this salad.”
I shrugged. “Fighting and fucking make me hungry, what can I say?”
Anya blushed, my comment reminding her of the wild sex we’d been having.
“And that little performance out of you … that’s something I wasn’t expecting,” I said.
“Me either,” she responded, her blue eyes turning into sensual slivers.
“All right, fine,” I said, “you can stick around. But you stay out of the way when I say so—got it? There’s gonna be some shit going down, and I don’t want you to be caught in the middle of any of it.”
Anya clasped her hands together and smiled; she really wanted to help.
“Then what’s the plan?” she asked.
“First thing is that I need you to toughen up. This isn’t some small-town bullshit that you’re in the middle of—these are rough Atlanta criminals; they don’t mess around.”
“They’re men from your … club?”
“Yeah, one of ’em. Some shithead named Donny Court; the guy I told you about earlier. He sent me to take out that little prick Spider, turns out it was a set-up.”
At that moment I was really regretting letting Spider go; for all I knew he was blabbing to Donny as we spoke.
“So, first thing is that I need to check back in with the club, figure out who’s on my side and who isn’t. If Donny thinks I’m dead, then I’ve got an advantage. “
“What’s this Donny guy like?” asked Anya.
“Hard motherfucker,” I said. “But ambitious in all the bad ways. The kind of guy who’ll take out anyone who he thinks stands in his way on his quest to the top. He’s smart, too. I knew he’d had his eye on moving up in the club, but I never thought he’d go so far as to try and take out a brother.”
“And you said he’s doing this because of your dad?”
“Like I said before, right before my pops drove off to the wild blue wherever, he vouched for me. Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue, since vouching is a serious fucking thing; not even a parent would risk their reputation by vouching for a kid that wasn’t ready. But I’m thinking with my pops gone, ol’ Donny’s thinking that this is a primo time for a power play. If I got taken out then, between me and pops, there’d be quite the opportunity to move up.”
“Wow,” said Anya. “You weren’t kidding about him being ambitious.”
“You don’t know the half of it. Donny once took out a crew of five corner dealers without provocation because he thought that they might one day move in on some territory that he had his eyes on years down the road. Ruthless fucker.”
“And now I’m right in the middle of it,” said Anya.
“Hey—you’re the one who wants to help. It’s not too late for me to drop you at the safe house and board up the door with wood planks.”
“No,” she said, shaking her head as if she’d just had an internal debate, “I told you that I’m with you on this, and I meant it.”
Part of me was thinking that I was just the sorriest male case she knew at the moment—even worse off than her brothers. A girl like her wouldn’t know what to do with herself if she wasn’t looking after guys like me. But to be honest, I was happy for the help. I couldn’t afford getting laid up in a hospital again; another situation like that and I wouldn’t be as lucky as I had been.
“Anyway, what’s the plan, then?” asked Anya.
“Plan is we go the club. I gotta check in with the grownups, figure out what I can.”
“‘Grownups’?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.
Before I could respond, the waitress returned, plates of food lined along her arms. She first set down Anya’s salad, a sorry-looking little thing with a few veggies and a couple packets of dressing on the side. I watched with relish as she set down plate after plate in front of me, each one loaded down with just
“Anything else I can get for you two?” asked the waitress, looking over the spread laid out on the table.
“Ah, you know what?” I said, tapping my forehead with my fingertips. “I forgot to order sausage. Could you bring me a couple of sides of links?”
The waitress was incredulous.
“You mean to say you want some meat to go with your meat?”
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