“It was an opportunity for The Knights to start a fucking turf war!” I seethed. Isaac had no place making this kind of deal.
There were so many things wrong with this scenario, I didn’t know where to start. The last eighteen months had seen a lot of deals fall through for the club. In fact, we’d had a long run of bad luck lately. We didn’t need any more trouble.
“The Kings don’t run drugs. And we sure as shit don’t make rogue deals behind our brothers’ backs,” I growled.
“There’s money to be made here, brother,” Isaac demanded. “Good money.”
“Not for our club, Isaac.”
“It’s a missed opportunity for every single one of us if you don’t explore this.”
“We’re not pieces-of-shit drug dealers!” I seethed. “We’re more honorable than that gutter-feeding bullshit.”
“Because porn and prostitution are such noble industries,” Isaac said.
“At least they don’t kill people. What’s a guy gonna do? Fuck himself to death?”
Isaac ignored me, and his face remained serious. “It’s an untapped supply of coin, Cade. Lots of coin. We’ve got to take this to the table. Give our brothers an opportunity to vote on it. We can make some serious money. We need this. I need this. I’ve got a wife, a son, and another kid on the way.”
“Bull will never go for it. None of our brothers will go for it. It’s not what we do.” I turned my back on him. He wasn’t listening. While I had anything to say about it, The Kings were never going to be drug-dealing pieces of shit.
“Just because that’s the way it’s always been, doesn’t make it right,” Isaac continued. “It’s time to move into this century, brother.”
My patience gone, I swung back to him. “The Kings don’t run drugs. It’s club code!”
“It’s soft!” he yelled.
I leaned in close and said, “It’s not soft. It’s right!”
While his body remained ready to fight, I could see all the fight drain from his eyes. He knew he wasn’t going to convince me otherwise. No matter how many dollar signs he tried to dangle in front of me, I wasn’t going to see this deal as anything other than a really bad fucking idea!
I ran a frustrated hand through my hair. “Who else knows?”
“No one.” His eyes found and held mine. “But I want to bring it to the table.”
“Have you completely lost your mind? Our granddaddy would turn in his fucking grave if you bring that shit to the table.”
“Our granddaddy is dead, Cade. It’s time to move forward. Bring the club into the twenty-first century and not keep living by the hippy, free-love bullshit of a dead man.”
Taking him by surprise, I grabbed him by the collar and put him up against the wall.
“You disrespect Granddaddy again and I am going to put you through this wall. You got me?”
Nobody was going to speak smack about my granddaddy.
Isaac nodded. I had been close to Hutch Calley right up until his death when I was thirteen years old. He was a man of honor.
“The Kings will not touch any heroin deals. Not while I’m breathing. Understand?” He nodded again and I let him go. “Put it to bed.”
He nodded and straightened himself. “Yeah, brother. Consider it done.”
That night, someone set fire to Head Quarters. The phone call woke me just after 2 am. It was Sheriff Buckman telling me that the club’s film studio was well alight and couldn’t be saved. I rang Isaac who said he would meet me outside the clubhouse in ten minutes.
When I slipped my cut over my sweatshirt and grabbed my keys from the bowl on the table by the door, Indy appeared in the doorway. She was fully dressed and pulling her hair into a ponytail.
“What do you think you’re doing?” I asked, shoving my billfold into the back pocket of my jeans.
“I’m coming with you.”
“Ahhh, no, you’re not.”
“Ahhh, yes, I am.” She smiled up at me and kissed me quickly on the chin. “I feel like a ride.”
“It’s 2 am.”
“Good. Then there’ll be less traffic on the roads.”
There was no point arguing. I would get out of there quicker if I just took her with me.
By the time Isaac pulled up out front, we were waiting for him. He took one look at Indy on the back of my bike and raised his eyebrows to me. But he said nothing. He didn’t have to. The amused grin on his face said it all.
We took the back highway toward Humphrey where our studios were, and as we neared, you could smell the smoke and see the glow of the flames in the distant darkness.
Sheriff Buckman met us as we pulled up. “You know who did this?”
“You think it’s arson?” I asked, as Indy slid off the back of my bike.
“Like the stars are out and the moon is bright.” He nodded in the direction of the firefighters putting the last of the flames out. “This fire reeks of arson.”