Red, our clubhouse cook, crouched next me. “One minute he was just sitting there laughing, the next… he bent over and fell to the floor. He was f-fine and then he w-wasn’t … cunt! Fucker!”

Red had Tourette’s.

I checked for a pulse. But Jackie’s heart had stopped and his pulse was still. I knew CPR and I wasn’t about to give up on one of my brothers.

Without hesitation, I started to work on the old man. Doing compressions. Blowing air into his whiskered and beer-drenched mouth.

But he was unresponsive. He didn’t move or open his eyes and yell at me for getting up in his face. He didn’t sit up and make some lame-ass joke about me trying to kiss him. But I kept going, knowing I was the only thing standing between him and the Reaper. It wasn’t until the paramedics turned up and took over that I sat back, utterly exhausted. I didn’t know how long I had been going because of the adrenaline thundering through my veins.

Devastated, I watched the paramedics work on him, but as the minutes ticked by with excruciating slowness, it was suddenly real that nothing more could be done for Jackie.

“He’s gone,” one of the paramedics finally said.

A ripple went through the men in the room. Lady, let out a howl.

I raked a hand down my face. “Fuck… ”

Grief settled across the club. Lady sobbed into our prospect’s shoulder.

Jackie was dead.

Our Vice President was gone.

I sighed. “Someone had better call his daughter.”

INDY

Now

It was a stare-off.

He was trying to outstare me. Me. The Queen of Stubborn.

He had no idea he had met his match.

I folded my arms, arching one eyebrow…you know, to show that I wasn’t an amateur. We needed to get one thing straight—I was in charge.

“Be honest, Jeremy. You put it there, didn’t you?”

He shook his head.

He being Jeremy Dixon. Five years old and not nearly as terrified of my stern doctor face as he should be.

I held up the plastic bead I had just extracted from his nasal cavity. It was the fourth one this month. Any more and I could make a bracelet.

“So, how did it get in there, if you didn’t put it there?” I asked.

He shrugged, his eyes not leaving mine.

“Did it crawl in there by itself?

“Maybe.”

“Really? Because I don’t see a pair of legs on this sucker.”

“They fell off.”

“Of course, they did.” I dropped the bead into the plastic basin in my hand. “Do you think anymore of them are going to grow legs and take a tour through your nasal cavity, Jeremy? Or are we done with this? See, the way I see it, that’s four times now and every single time the same thing happens. You shove it up your nose and your mama has to bring you in here so I can pull it out of your nostril. Be honest …” I picked out a lollipop from my coat pocket. “…is it for the candy?”

His big brown eyes grew round at the sight of the lollipop.

Just then, one of the ER nurses ducked her head into the cubicle. “We have a GSW on its way in. ETA less than five minutes. We’re going to need you.”

I nodded and turned back to Jeremy, and held up the lollipop.

“I’ll make a deal with you, Jeremy. I’ll give you this here piece of candy on one condition. No more burying any beads up your nose. Got it?”

He nodded and I smiled. Bribery. It was the perfect deal sealer.

I pulled the lollipop away, just long enough to reaffirm our understanding. “We’ve got a deal?”

He nodded again, and I grinned at him as I handed him the candy.

Two minutes later I met the ambulance at the front of the hospital. I heard them before I saw them, thanks to the violent vocals of the burly patient on the gurney.

Showtime!

Snapping on my gloves, I absorbed the image unfolding in front of me. The man on the gurney was about six foot seven, covered in tattoos and apparently well educated in the art of swearing. He clutched his belly and cussed at the EMTs as they tried to do their job. Blood soaked into the white sheet beneath him.

Here we go.

“Okay, what have we got?” I asked one of the paramedics who was struggling with the patient.

“Gunshot wound to the belly. No exit wound. We’ve given him morphine for the pain and managed to slow the bleeding.”

I ignored the abuse of the patient who appeared to also be an expert with terms of endearment such as cunt, motherfucker, and my personal favorite, motherfucking cunt. I ignored his abuse because I was good at shutting shit out. I had years of experience. It was like my superpower.

When I pressed down on his belly, he grabbed my wrist, and with a roar yanked me to him. “I’ve been fucking shot, you cunt…!”


Tags: Penny Dee Kings of Mayhem MC Romance
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