Creed and his brothers joined the rest of the men upstairs. He shook his head. “They almost killed Bandit.”
His father and Harry, along with Cobra and Thor were all standing in the security room staring at the monitors set up to watch over the clubhouse. From the layers of dust, this room hadn’t been used in years. Harry had come in here looking for something when he noticed a ruckus going on in the basement. He alerted everyone and they had gone downstairs just in time to save Bandit’s life.
Tate snorted. “Not that he didn’t deserve it but why?”
Creed looked over at his dad. “They found out the real reason he killed the other three men that beat the hell out of you that day six years ago. He killed them to keep it secret that you were still alive. Snake enticed them into thinking they could get a piece of their own back if Bandit died by strangulation. They almost succeeded.”
Tate shrugged. “I’m almost tempted to keep both him and Snake alive the same way they left me alive. In a cage with food and water once a week and no one else to talk to. They wouldn’t last for six days, let alone six years.” Shaking his head he added, “But that would be cruel and not MC justice.”
“We got more to worry about than that right now,” Harry reminded them. “We have to collect Dan and his dirty little cop buddies before we call the real cops in.” He exhaled hard. “Then we have to deal with the Vory V Zakone. They will be arriving here soon to find out what happened to their men.”
“I’m hoping to find out what else Bandit has going for him,” Tate stated. “The Russians aren’t the only thing he has been up to.”
“What are you going to do with them?” Cobra asked.
“I’m not sure yet,” Tate admitted. “I guess it depends on what we find out, if his men are willing to turn on him and spill his secrets we will have to deal with that mess first.” He turned to his men Reno and Kid, the men who were inside the Sinners watching them. “What do you guys know about what Bandit has been up to?”
“We know he’s got four dealers in town and is about to branch out,” Reno replied. “The thing is, all the drugs and guns he stole from the Russians are still here.”
“What do you mean it’s still here?” Cobra looked shocked.
Reno nodded. “Come with me.”
They all walked down the hall to a small storage room that Bandit always kept locked. He kicked in the door and turned on the light.
Tate whistled as he and the others walked into the room. Shelves lined the walls on all four sides and those same shelves were filled with box after box, crate after crate. The men walked over and began searching the boxes and crates. Kilo after kilo of heroin was all packed up and the guns were still crated in the crates.
In the corner of the room was a ceiling to floor safe but at the door was left partially open so Tate walked over and pushed the heavy wider. When he saw what was inside he felt stunned.
Bundles of money and bonds filled the first two rows of the safe. The third row held box after box and when he reached for one of the boxes, he opened it and found a bejeweled necklace. Opening more and more of the boxes he found very expensive jewelry. One box even held loose precious stones. “What the fuck?” Tate swore while staring at the contents of the safe.
Cobra came over to stand beside him. When he saw the haul, he whistled. “Looks like you hit the mother lode there buddy.”
“Not really.” Kid joined them. “This is the haul from several robberies. If it were legit, it wouldn’t be sitting here. He would have spent it a long time ago.”
“How long has he been robbing places?” Tate asked with a tight strain in his voice.
“The drugs and guns he’s been skimming for about the last four or five years. The robberies have only been in the last three years.” Kid nodded at the safe. “There should be a ledger in there of what was taken and from where. He had two teams of three men each that would go on these special runs. They were gone for three days with each run but when they came back, they went in to see Bandit immediately. He paid them well for each trip then when everyone was down for the night, he’d come in here with the bounty from the trips. No one knew what these trips were all about but some of us figured it out.”
“Ok well, we’ll have to get the stolen items back to their owners after we settle with the Russians.” Tate nodded.
Cobra scoffed. “Now how you gonna do that? From what I understand, those Russian bastards aren’t just gonna say that’s ok, it wasn’t you that ripped us off. They’re gonna want the pound of flesh paid back double, aren’t they? Bastards like them usually do want more then they lost in the first place.”
Tate frowned. “Yeah, we have to reach some kind of deal with them.”
“It doesn’t hurt that you didn’t kill their men straight out. You can always make a deal for their lives you know,” Cobra pointed out.
Tate nodded. “Well, that’s true but now we have to decide what to do with the rest of the MC.”
Cobra looked disgusted. “I’d let them stew awhile, make them think about what they did. I know the more some men think the more their own thoughts tend to haunt them.”
“The brothers you want to talk to are Tracer, Marko, Jacks, Boulder, Charlie and Bender,” Kid told them. “Course, you’ll have to bail Tracer and Jacks out of jail. Dan Murray arrested them on a trumped up charge and Bandit hasn’t bailed them out yet. They’ve been sitting in a cell for about three weeks now.”
“Yeah well, Dan Murray is about to get karma bitch slapped. Him and his crooked friends,” Tate reminded the men.
Harry joined the group. “Dad, I made contact with the FBI and they are waiting on a chance to talk to us about some stuff.” He looked around the room. “They have no clue this is even in here yet and I’m not sure they should. They’d jail the whole lot of us and ask questions like never, if you know what I mean.”
Tate frowned as he stared at his son. “How is it you got contacts with the FBI?”
Cobra crossed his arms over his wide chest. “Yeah, I’d like to know the same thing.”
“We approached him when Annie began looking for her sister. His name is Quint Slattern. He’s been looking into this Wilder guy and we’ve been working with him since then. He was very interested when I told him we had evidence that Dan Murray was a crocked cop and that he set Creed up for manslaughter.” Harry shrugged. “I can contact him on this, if you like.” He motioned toward the jewelry in the safe. “He’s over in Dallas but he could be here in a couple of hours.”
Tate stared at him for a moment then nodded. “Maybe that would be best. The drugs and guns have to go back to the Russians but I want nothing to do with the robbery stuff. So before the FBI comes in, I want to make contact with the Russians and get all the drugs and guns returned. We don’t need that shit here when the cops get here.”
“What do you plan to use to restart the MC?” Cobra asked. “If I may ask, that is.”
“My dad and I have a backup plan in place,” Tate replied. “We have since we began the club. We should have enough to start over.
“What are we gonna do with the women that were here tonight?” Jack asked. “Right now, we got them all locked in a room. We didn’t want them caught in the crossfire if the members decided to shoot first when we busted in here.”
“We got more to worry about at the moment than club whores.” Cobra snorted.
“Dad,” Creed called out from the doorway.
Tate turned and raised an eyebrow.
“We got company.” Creed looked troubled. “The rest of the Russians came looking for their comrades.”
“Damn it, I was hoping we’d have more time.” Tate ran his hands over his head. He looked over at Kid. “Do you know the combination for the safe?”
Kid nodded. “I cracked that a few weeks back.” He smiled.
“Good, then close it up tight. They can come collect their dope and their guns but I don’t want them to see inside the safe. The bonds and jewels aren’t theirs.”
“You got it Prez.” Kid shut the safe door.
Tate shook his head. “Not the prez anymore.” He looked over at his sons and Cobra. “Let’s go deal with the Vory V Zakone.”
He led the procession of men out to the main room where eight men stood waiting for them.
“Who is the one in charge here?” one of the Vory asked
“That would be me,” Tate replied. “What do you want here?”
“I want my men returned to me immediately and the men you call Bandit and Snake.” He snarled.
Tate nodded. “I can give you your men back but I’m afraid Bandit and Snake are mine to deal with.”
“Not so fast big man,” the other man snarled. “Bandit owes me a very big debt. He has been stealing from me for a very long time now and I am calling in his debt. I want my men and Bandit and Snake.”
“I can give you your men and most of what Bandit skimmed off the top of his runs over the years but I cannot give either man over to you.”
“And why is that?” He tilted his head and glared at Tate.
“Bandit and his sidekick Snake have a lot to answer for, most of it against the law and against the MC laws we live our lives by. I understand your rage against him. Believe me I really do, the man beat the hell out of me and when I woke up, I was in a cave behind bars. He fed me once a week. He kept me prisoner for six very long years. Believe me I want his blood as bad as you do. His own men tried to kill him tonight but I have first dibs on him.”
The Russians looked at each other then they turned their gazes back at Tate. “Where are our other men? Are they still alive?”
“They are safe and well. I can have them brought here. I’m sorry but we had to take them out as we didn’t want anyone except Bandit and his club members to get caught up in this take back.”
The Russians looked confused for a moment. “What is this take back you speak of?”
“Bandit and Snake were never the leaders of this MC. They took it away from me with his fucking lies and deceit to the men of the club. Tonight after six years, we took it back. Now we are back in charge.”
“What else did Bandit do to you?” The Russian asked. “I have a feeling this is about more than just being held prisoner for six years.”
“This club used to be ours. We called it the Lost Sinners. He stole it from us. There is so much more to the story but you don’t need to know it. But I will tell you some of it,” Tate turned to Creed. “He put my son in prison for seven years for a crime Snake committed. Then when I was getting too close to finding the truth, he took me out of the situation.”
The Russians understood Tate’s need for revenge and they respected the fact that he and his men were strong enough to take back what was stolen from them. “You said you would give us our property back?”
“Indeed gentlemen. You are more than willing to take it. We just don’t want any trouble from you in the future. Whatever deal Bandit made with you is null and void now.” Tate held out his hand and
The Russian who seemed to be their leader stepped forward and took it. “Da, we are good.”
“Then I’ll bring your men here.” Tate reached for his phone and called Bear. “Then we’ll let you have your contraband that was stored her.”
Twenty minutes later, Bear pulled into the compound with the captured Russians.
For a few minutes, it was chaos and they all began talking at once but a few minutes later their leader came forward.
“What will you call your new MC?” the Russian leader asked.
Tate shook his head. “We haven’t discussed a new name yet.”
“I have a feeling you will find your new name and if you ever want to take over for Bandit, I think we can trust you to be fair and honest with us.”
Tate and Creed both shook their heads.
Tate responded, “I’m sorry but this MC don’t work that way. Most MC’s would be willing to take the risks that dealing with drugs and guns bring but not this one.”
“Da, I can understand that. You offered to make things right between us and that shows honor. Not many people would do that. You kept my men alive when you could have easily slit their throats. You offered us our stolen goods back and for that you have earned our respect.”
“Well, let’s get you your stuff back as I am expecting the cops before dawn, so I don’t want you to be here when they come.” Tate raised a brow at the man.
“Da, we would not want to have to explain that either.”
Tate led the way to the storage room and when the Russians got there, they were stunned. The leader turned to Tate. “This is much more than Bandit took from us.”
Tate shook his head. “I only found this a few hours ago. If you want it all, take it all. I don’t care. What you don’t take will be burned as we don’t want it, so if you want it all, load it up and get it the hell out of here.”
The Russian raised an eye brow at Tate’s statement. Then he turned to his men and gave them a nod. They began hauling out box after box of crated drugs and guns. The leader looked back at Tate and his men. “Why are you so generous with this stuff? You are giving us millions of dollars of drug and guns here. Are you going to claim later that we stole it from you?”
Tate shook his head. “No, that’s not how we roll. Might be Bandit’s idea of a good fucking time but it sure as hell isn’t mine. I kept my MC clean and that’s the way I plan to start the new one. This shit belongs to you know. Sell it, use it or give it away I don’t damn well care. I want nothing to do with it.”
“You do realize that Bandit didn’t skim this much of our product don’t you?” The Russian added.
Tate raised his eyes and looked the other man in the face. “I do not care what he did or didn’t do. If he had something going on the side that was his business not mine. No offense intended, but take it and get the hell out of my compound. And don’t come back, once you leave here… you will not be welcomed back.”
The big Russian narrowed his eyes for a moment then threw back his head and laughed out loud. When he was finished, he lowered his head as the mirth slid off his face.
Tate thought he saw something dangerous in the other man’s eyes before the other man’s expression went blank.
The man held out his hand to Tate.
Tate reached out to shake his hand.
“Not many men would dare to speak to me the way you have. But you have treated me with respect, otherwise. I will return that to you. But I have one more thing I would like you to give me…”
Tate stared at the man. “What would that be?”
“I want three of Bandit’s men. They did the runs and they allowed Bandit to take what was not his to take, before they brought the product to us. I want their lives as an example to anyone else out there.” He shrugged. “They broke the rules and I want them to pay for their thievery. Bandit may have ordered them to do it but they allowed it.”
Tate shook his head. He had a feeling he knew if he gave them the three men, they would not be long for this world. “What are you going to do with them?”
The Russian looked him in the eyes. “In our country, thieves, when they are caught, lose the hands they used to steal with. Then they lose their heads. It is a harsh lesson to learn but others do learn not to steal. Especially, from us.”
“Then why did it take you so long to notice Bandit was stealing from you?” Tate asked.
“Because his accomplice in our group hid the evidence until he was caught. I think the men he worked with on this end deserve the same fate as he got, don’t you?”
Tate felt a cold spot inside him grow. After thinking a moment, he made a counter offer, “I can’t give you their lives, that may be how you handle things within your club but it’s not how we do things here. I will however, make you a deal. If you can identify these three men, I will let you take only one of their hands. In accordance to your rules. As long as you understand that afterward, you will leave and never come back.”
The Russian thought about the compromise for a moment then nodded. “Da, I will agree to this.”
Tate scowled as he didn’t really like any of this bloodthirsty crap nor these Russian mob men, but it was what it was. “Then let’s get it done.”
He turned and went back to the main room.
The MC and the Russian men were standing there glaring at the other side.
“What’s going on Dad?” Creed asked.
Tate turned to face his men. “They want one more thing. They want the hands of the three men who dared to steal from them by allowing Bandit to take off the top of their loads.”
“What the fuck?” Cobra barked out stunned by the other man’s statement and the fact Tate would even think about letting this happen.
“It is an old custom in my country to take the hands of a thief,” the leader of the Russians told him.
Cobra wanted to shout out something about this not being their country but Tate put his hand on the other man’s shoulder. He shook his head. “We can either let them do this or go to war with them,” he spoke in a low tone.
“Mutilating a man is barbaric,” Cobra whispered back.
“These are barbaric men,” Tate reminded him. “At least, they will still be alive to bitch about it.”
“Fucking hell,” Cobra swore. “It’s god damn gruesome.”
“Tell me about it,” Tate agreed. “Their own man knew what he was risking and he found out the hard way that they meant business. They took his hands and his head.”
Cobra looked into his eyes and could read the truth in them. He nodded slowly and prayed for the souls of the men downstairs.
When Tate led them into the the holding cells, everyone there grew silent as they stared at the other men.
Bandit was sitting up now but his hand was holding his throat.
Snake twisted around to stare at the Russians. He frowned at them then looked over at Tate. “What the hell is this?”
Tate glared at him. “I have given these men everything you and Bandit stole from them. This satisfied their debt but they want more and rather than go to war with them, I have given them a compromise. They wanted the lives of the three men along with you and Bandit for daring to cheat them but instead, they will only take one hand of the men they seek.”
“What the fuck?” Snake swore, as he looked ashen.
Tate shrugged. “If you prefer to give your life that is up to you. Me? Personally, I’d rather lose a hand than my life but hey, that’s just me. You might not live long afterwards anyway but at least you can face the tribunal as a man.”
“You’re gonna let these bastards cut off our hands?” one of the men in the second cell called out.
“I’m not the one who got you mixed up with this bunch, Bandit did that. It was under his direction that not all the shipments met their destination, not mine. As a way to avoid an all out war with these people, I agreed to do this,” Tate pointed out. “They only want the three men plus Bandit and Snake. That’s all I agreed to.”
“They ain’t gonna cut off my hand!” Creeper called out. “I was doing what I was ordered to do, nothing more, nothing less.”
The Russian turned to one of his men and at the other man’s nod, he turned to Creeper. “Every man knows what is wrong or right. You must either stand up for what you believe is right or sink to someone else’s level when you do wrong. You chose the wrong and now, you must pay for that.”
Creeper took a step back and covered his hands. “The hell I do,” he grumbled as his body shook.
The Russian turned to his man and asked, “Who are the other two?”
His man pointed them out.
The leader turned to Tate. “Give us those men and Bandit and Snake.”
“You will do it here, then give them back to us. They have to face MC tribunal at dawn,” Tate insisted.
“Da, it will be so.” He turned toward his men and gave orders in Russian.
Two men nodded and left the room.
Creed and Cobra showed them where they could do what they had to do. One of the men asked for a torch, so they could heat the blade they would use. Creed found him one and they all waited for them to begin.
Creeper was first and he struggled all the way into the room, as he looked utterly panicked. “Creed! You can’t let them do this,” Creeper shouted out. “It’s fucking barbaric.”
Creed just shrugged. “So is going to jail for seven years for a crime you didn’t commit or spending six years caged up in the dark. You can blame this on Bandit, not us.”
“That fucker…” Creeper shook his head. “Ain’t nothing gone right since he took over this club.”
“That right there should have told you all you needed to know in the first place,” Creed reminded him.
“We knew it all along but he was spreading out the green and what man doesn’t like that much green?” Creeper whined.
“Well, then consider this the price you pay for all that green,” Cobra suggested. “You are gonna pay with red now, you poor bastard.”
“Fuck you man!” Creeper yelled out as the Russian’s holding him brought him over to the block of wood they had set up on a chair.
They grabbed his shoulders and stretched out his arm. Creeper began screaming as he watched them heat up a wicked looking blade with the torch. The metal soon glowed red and the Russian nodded to his comrades that he was ready.
Creeper was still struggling as the man with the blade came closer. Yelling and screaming, he closed his eyes as the blade was raised above the other man’s head. He couldn’t watch as the blade was brought down on his hand that was separated from his wrist. The pain was so great, he passed out, and when he opened his eyes again, he saw his hand missing Creeper began screaming and cursing again like a mad man.
The hot blade had cauterized the wound as it went through his wrist but there was enough blood present to freak him out. His whole body shook from the shock of it.
The Russians led him back to the cell area and took the second man out, kicking and screaming. The others watched Creeper and glared as the Russians left him in the cell the room. Most of them looked sickened and some looked afraid. They all waited while they listened to Haden screaming and struggling against the inevitable. They could all hear the moment he lost his hand as the screams grew in volume.
Every man waiting in the cell area winced at the screams. A few moments later, he was brought back to the cell and tossed inside. Then they grabbed Kale and he began struggling against them. The Russians hauled him out kicking and screaming then dragged him to the block. His screams also rose in pitch as he faced what was about to happen to him.
Oh course, it didn’t stop his sentence but a few minutes later it made no difference as the Russians dragged him back in. They had to hold him up and the man was sobbing in pain.
The leader of the Russian group stepped forward to the bars of the cell holding Snake and Bandit. “I think these men deserve to watch each other lose their hands.”
There was more grumbling from the second cell. Most was agreeing with the Russian. Some still thought the sentence was barbaric but thought if they had to face it, so should Snake and Bandit.
Snake snarled at the man, “You ain’t taking my hand! I don’t care fucking care what you think! I don’t give a shit what Tate promised you, you ain’t taking any part of my body.”
“Maybe I will take your tongue, so I no longer have to listen to you speak.” The Russian snarled. “Then I will still take your hand so others will know you are a thief.”
“Fuck you Servias!” Snake snarled back.
“Nyet…no thank you,” the big Russian answered. “You may enjoy something like that but I would not.”
Tate stepped forward and opened the door.
Three Russians stepped into the cell.
Bandit backed away but they came for him anyway. Bandit struggled and couldn’t make a sound.
The Russians glanced back at Tate in confusion at his silence and one asked, “What is wrong with him?”
Tate shook his head. “His own men tried to strangle him. He must have injured his throat.”
The Russian shrugged. “Too bad. His screams would have been music to my ears. Whether he regains his voice or not, he will forever carry the loss of his hand for however long he lives. People will understand that he is a thief for the rest of days, however long that may be.”
“Get on with it then, you bastards,” a hoarse order came from Bandit.
The Russian nodded at his men.
Three men came around and moved inside the cell. The block of wood they brought with them was already bloody and had several deep cut marks on it. One of them brought in a chair and another one set the bloody block on it.
Bandit got to his feet and walked forward, his gait wasn’t very steady. His other hand went to his throat and everyone there could smell the fear pouring out of him. He paused half way to the block and began trembling. His legs seemed frozen and his feet refused to take another step as he stared at bloody block of wood.
He slowly lifted his eyes to the big Russian named Servias standing there. In the other man’s eyes, he saw scorn and his own humiliation. There was also a certain light in his eyes that told Bandit he was going to enjoy watching him lose his hand. Almost as strong as a sexual high.
“You fucker.” Bandit swore in a strained whisper. “You’re enjoying this aren’t you?”
“You stink of fear now that the tables are turned, right?” Servias replied coldly. “Why shouldn’t I enjoy it? You always thought you were better than I was. You thought I was a fool when I didn’t stop you from stealing from me, but I knew what you were doing the whole time. I wanted you in debt to me so deep, you would never get out. I wanted to destroy you and your fucking club and this…” He looked around at the cells. “This is icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned. Granted, I don’t get to destroy you myself but I think Tate will do a good enough job.” Servias glared at Bandit. “I got back more than you ever took from me, the guns and the drugs will go a long way to filling my pockets but this…” He motioned toward the log. “…This is going to go a long way in satisfying my need to get my revenge against men like you.”
“Men like me?” Bandit frowned.
Servias gave him a cold grin. “Men like you, who think you are so much better than me. You think because you led these bikers, you have a higher status than I do. I came from the gutters in my own country, I came here to make my own way, but I never had what it took to be more than a thug here in this country too. Maybe I am all I can be but I am still a man that deserves respect. To know I have taken your hand will go a long way to satisfying a small part in my soul. At least you didn’t make a fool of me in the end.”
“You really are a miserable bastard aren’t you?” Bandit whispered hoarsely.
“No more than you are after what all I am told you have done. Nothing but a thief and a liar.” Servias nodded to his men holding Bandit.
Bandit began struggling but in the end, it did him no good. They stretched his arm out and held it against the wood. When the blade came down Bandit screamed as loud as he could as he lost his hand.
Snake was next and he fought all the way to the block of wood. He refused to give in to the pull on his arm but the Russians didn’t give him an ounce of pity as they separated his hand from his wrist. Snake roared in pain and fought to break their hold. The blade had slipped when he jerked away trying to break free so his wound was bleeding freely.
The Russians cursed and pulled it away to heat it up again. Sanke was then held tightly and when the blade was hot again he slapped it on the bloody wound. Snake screamed as the hot steel scorched his skin. The smell of burning flesh filled the whole room and some of the men in the second cell gagged on the stench.
Snake was released stumbled first to his knees then to his ass as he fell to the floor. Screaming in pain, he held his arm.
The Russians all watched with disdain in their eyes.
Servias turned to Tate and nodded. “It is done. We will go now and good luck to you and yours.” He paused to pick up the severed hands then carefully wrapped them in a bloody towel and walked out of the room.
Moments later, the place grew eerily quiet, so Tate and the others knew they were alone. Tate pulled the chair and bloody chunk of wood out of the cell then locked the door. The men were still moaning in pain but he was so over listening to it. This had been a gut wrenching thing to watch and experience but it had been necessary to all accounts.
He motioned everyone upstairs.
“Well, that was fucking unpleasant as all hell,” Creed broke the silence in the room.
Tate nodded, as he hadn’t enjoyed it much either, despite what Bandit and Snake had done to him.
“Now what?” Creed asked his father.
“Now, we get Dan and his buddies out here,” Tate replied.
“And the tribunal?” Jack asked.
“We’ll take care of that after Dan and his friends join the guys downstairs. We’ll have time to clear everyone out of here before we call in Harry’s FBI guy about what’s in the safe.”
“What are you going to do with them?” Cobra asked.
“Like I said, we need more information about what Bandit’s been up to,” Tate reminded him. “We settled the biggest threat with the Russians. We’ll put out more fires I’m sure but before we can do that, we have to know about them, don’t we?”
“So like the Russian asked… what are we gonna call ourselves?” Daniel asked. “I don’t think we can go back to the old name we had.”
Tate shook his head. “No that name no longer feels right.”
“I think we should call ourselves the Lost Sons,” Creed stated.
Tate thought about it for a minute then nodded. “That sounds good to me, we were all lost for a number of years and when we found each other again, we became stronger. The Lost Sons MC it is.”
“Well, I hate to be the one to break up this Kodak moment and all…” Cobra shrugged. “But maybe we should get those fucking cops under wraps before we celebrate the birth of a new MC.”
Creed handed his dad a cell phone. “I took this off Bandit’s night table. I figure if you send Dan a text, he can get his buddies together and get them out here without any problems. The element of surprise and all.”
Tate grinned. “Really nice thinking, son. I always knew you were clever.” He searched the contacts and found Dan’s name. Sending the text he needed to get the men out here, he set up the men in strategic positions.
They all grabbed some coffee and waited for the next act in this take back.
About twenty minutes later, Dan Murray and four other men came walking into the clubhouse.
They all stopped and stared at the sight of Tate, Creed, Daniel, Harry, Jack, Cobra and Thor waiting for them.
Dan reached down to get his weapon but stopped when he heard several guns cocking behind him. He slowly raised his hands, as did the men with him.
“So nice of you guys to join us,” Thor stated with a grin as he stepped forward and retrieved all their weapons.
“What the hell are you doing here? Where is Bandit and his guys?” Dan tried too sound tough as he was stripped of his two guns.
“Bandit and the others are downstairs waiting for you in the cells,” Creed informed him.
“What the fuck?” Dan growled.
“Just returning the favor you guys did me seven years ago.” Creed stared right into his shocked eyes. “Only you guys will be in jail a lot longer than I ever was.” He grinned when a thought came to him. “Just think, you guys will be spending the rest of your lives only a few feet from some of the men you put behind bars. Cellmates. Oh, and they are gonna love getting to know you better.”
The men standing beside Dan began to shift nervously.
“What the fuck do you guys want?” Dan asked.
“We found he evidence that is going to clear Creed’s name and point the finger at you as a dirty cop,” Daniel Young explained quietly. “It will also lay the blame on the real killer of Mickey Reese. You had this information seven years ago and tried to hide it while my brother went to prison. Then we have evidence that you five men took bribes and money under the table to look the other way while crimes were being committed in this community. We even have a copy of all the money in your accounts so the real police can confiscate it and hold it in evidence for your trials.”
“What about our families?” one of the men asked. “They need that money.”
“Too bad for them, huh?” Creed sneered. “Guess they’ll just have to get by on the kindness of strangers, won’t they? You shoulda thought about them before you went down this road. Let’s go gentlemen.”
Leading the way, Creed smiled as he opened the door to the basement cells. Stepping aside, he motioned for Dan and his friends to come forward.
Dan stopped cold as he viewed his cousin and the others in the cages. “What the hell?” He looked over at his cousin, Bandit. Snapping his head around, he demanded, “What the hell did you do to him?”
Creed shrugged. “Me? I didn’t do anything. This was the Russian’s deal. The ones Bandit cheated for three years. They did this. They wanted to take his head off as well, but my dad told them no.”
Dan walked closer to the cell Bandit was in. He noted his red throat that was growing darker in color and his missing hand. “What the hell happened to you?”
Bandit shook his head and tried to speak. But by this time his voice was gone. He just turned his head and glared at the men in the other cell. Then he turned back to Dan.
Dan turned to Creed. “You let them strangle him?”
“I didn’t let them do anything. Snake told them they needed to get a piece of him before they faced a tribunal and that’s what they did. They almost took his life before we stopped them.”
“You guys are so fucking dead!” Dan growled. “Bandit’s got friends out there that will come for you.”
Creed nodded. “Or so you think.” He looked at the second cell, then he looked back to Dan and the others. “We’ll give the five of you the same deal we gave them. We know what kind of man Bandit is. He was shit for a leader and now he’s going to prison or be hung. I guess that all depends on what information you’re willing to give us.”
“What do you mean?” one of the other cops asked.
“We’re taking back the club and we need to know all Bandit’s secrets. We already took care of the biggest fires he had going.” He nodded at Bandit’s missing hand. “The Russians were pretty angry at being stole from as you see. But we found robbery proceeds that don’t belong to them. But the FBI will be glad to recover those items you guys stole, so that won’t be a problem.” He unlocked the first cell door and ushered the five men inside. When he locked it again behind them, he slapped the bars. “Put your thinking caps on boys. Tribunal will happen in an hour or so. What you have to tell us might count when we sentence you.”
“You aren’t going to hang us!” Snake called out.
“Me, personally?” Creed shook his head. “Probably not, but I know Cobra might. He’s not as forgiving as we are. He won’t care if you’re innocent or guilty. I hear as the leader of the Soldiers of Hades, he’s not a forgiving man.”
Some of the men groaned as he announced Cobra and the Soldiers MC. They had heard the rumors too. None of them doubted he would hesitate to use a rope.
Just then, Daniel came down and called out to his brother, “Creed, we need you upstairs. We found something you need to see.”
Creed turned and left without a word to the men locked up.
Bandit sat with his back to the wall and wondered what they found. Then he remembered a file he had in his desk drawer and he knew what they had discovered. He hung his head and almost wished he were in prison already. He knew when they found that file his life would be over. Tate would never let him live now.
Creed reached the top of the steps and glanced over at his father. His dad had always been a strong man but Creed was stunned to find him almost in tears as he stared at the file in his hands. “What the hell is going on? What did you find?”
Tate didn’t say a word just handed his oldest son the file.
Creed looked down and gasped at the photos in the file. They could have been crime scene photos. A railing along the highway showing a bridge over a deep ravine that housed a fast moving river. The phot showed a break in a guardrail and an upside down car at the bottom of the ravine. The car was mostly sitting on the bank of the river but the driver’s side door was open and the driver was missing. Further images showed the body of one woman sitting in the passenger seat, her face covered in blood and they could see she was dead.
A car Creed knew well, one they all knew well. It was his stepmother’s car. Tate only married one time in his life but when he did, Creed was four years old and his own mother had left them both two years earlier. Tate and Nita had been married for almost twenty-three years when her car went over the railing and she was lost to them all, eight years ago. Silas’s wife, Rosalinda, their grandmother was in the car as well when it went over the side of the bridge. The police found her body but they didn’t find Nita’s. They said it could have washed down river but they never found it.
Creed knew the double blow hit the family hard, especially Tate and Silas but also the kids. Nita was Harry, Daniel, Jack and Kimber’s mother and although she hadn’t given birth to him, she had been his mother as well. “What the hell is he doing with this file?” he asked but no one could answer him.
Creed flipped through the other pages in the file and something caught his eye. It was an address in Waco. He looked up at Harry, Daniel and Jack. The heartbreak in their faces almost broke his own heart. He took out his cell phone and snapped a picture of the address.
Cobra got up and took the file from Creed. “This can wait son.” He motioned toward his family. “They need you right now.”
Creed remained silent as he nodded and gathered his brothers in a hug.
Tate sighed as he got to his feet and joined them.
For a moment, they were all silently mourning their loss together.
Then Tate stepped back while wiping the tears from his eyes as he all but growled, “Get Bender up here. He’s been Bandit’s go to guy the longest. If he knows anything, he’ll tell us.”
“And if he doesn’t?” Thor asked.
“Then he’ll wish he had.” Tate glared at no one in particular.