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Authors: Stephanie Tyler

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BOOK: Defiance
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Chapter Seven

Caspar fought until the death count on Paddy’s side was six, with five more either unconscious or too hurt to fight, and stopped only when a siren rang in the night.

Sheriff Will wouldn’t cause much trouble for them. In return Defiance didn’t openly disrespect him, making his rule over the township and beyond easier than it would be in the face of the pervasive general disorder.

Caspar ordered his men back into Defiance’s gates, allowing Paddy’s men to collect their dead, load them up and disappear into the night.

“They’re not going far,” Rebel noted as he followed Caspar off the field and back inside the safety of the compound. They always fought on neutral territory.

“Probably going to the Manderly,” Hammer added, voice tight. He’d taken the worst of it from a Kill Devil with a knife before Rebel wrestled it away. Now, he leaned against Jeb, holding his T-shirt bunched against the wound as he limped toward the infirmary.

It was run by two doctors who’d been taken in by Defiance, along with their families, when the hospitals had been devastated. Their assessment tallied many broken ribs, a concussion, a broken nose, a fractured elbow and two knife wounds, with Hammer the most seriously injured.

Stitches, antibiotics, casts and rest. But there would be no funerals for Defiance men tomorrow.

“The fuck’s Tru?” Caspar asked Rebel, who’d come back from the main clubhouse.

“Trixie said she ran halfway through the fight. I’ll go look for her myself.”

“S’all right,” he told Rebel. Knew exactly where she’d run to. Tru’s MO hadn’t changed. Even if she wasn’t runnin’ from shit, she was stickin’ her head in the sand. “She was okay, though?”

“Trixie said she was fine—just stubborn as shit.” Rebel paused. “She tried to get past Trixie to help you in the field.”

“Yeah, sounds like her.” He couldn’t shake the pride from his voice though. Rebel had to notice, but didn’t say anything.

A few minutes later, Silas came riding up next to them, confirming, “Talked to Will—we’re all good. Devils went to the Manderly.” That was one of the few motels open along the lonely stretch of highway between Defiance and the next city that was up and running. It was an hour away, and their clerks were paid well by Defiance to keep them apprised of anyone who stayed there that could be perceived as a threat.

Hell, that was just about everyone. “Didn’t expect them to go home.”

A familiar rumble alerted him that Lance was close. Caspar stood in the cold night air, wiping the blood from his face with a wet towel Rebel handed him, when Lance rode up to them, glowering.

“Church. Now,” he told them, his eyes never leaving Caspar’s face.

Silas shot Caspar a look he couldn’t interpret and rode off after Lance, leaving Caspar and Rebel to walk alone to the clubhouse, where the rest of the table had no doubt already gathered.

“Didn’t make them any promises,” Rebel said as they walked, neither man rushing.

“I make them, I keep them.” But he didn’t know what kind of promise he’d made to Tru tonight. He didn’t want to lock her into something she didn’t want.

Bonding ceremonies usually took precedence over everything, but not tonight. Facing Tru wasn’t at the top of his list, not with his anger at top boil.

And he hadn’t agreed to bond with her—he’d agreed to keep her here, in Defiance. No one was rushing him into anything.

Caspar took his usual place at the clubhouse door because Lance was waiting outside. Rebel paused, but went inside after Caspar nodded his okay, leaving just him and Lance alone.

Lance didn’t move. Caspar eyed the man, caught the fleeting edge of an expression he’d swear was fear. For the first time, Lance seemed to realize that being alone with Caspar might not be to his advantage, and then his face fell back into its typical hardened tightness.

Caspar finally opened the door and Lance moved forward then, while the others watched, paused to stroke his finger in an oddly gentle manner down Caspar’s scar. His voice was anything but gentle when he said, “Remember your place, son.”

When he walked away, Caspar went in directly behind him, slammed the door hard enough to make all the men look. Lance turned to him and yes, church was taking place outside the pews tonight.

He’d pay but what the hell? He always paid. “It’s done, Lance. Too late to back away. Not killin’ any woman to have peace with another MC. The Kill Devils don’t tell me what the fuck I need to do.”

“What about your fuckin’ president?” Lance asked, his anger seething through his calm facade.

Caspar stared the man down, wondered if Lance would tell him to kill Tru. “I did what needed to be done. The choice was mine.”

Roan broke in, coming to Lance’s side, his fist tight in Caspar’s face. “And now, we’ve got a goddamned war.”

“It was coming anyway,” Silas said, yanking Roan’s hand down, more for Roan’s sake than for Caspar’s. “They’re trying to cut into our new deals. We took away Tru—they would’ve used her anyway. We can’t let them disrespect one of our own.”

“Fuck Tru,” Roan spat and Caspar had him pressed to a wall, a hand around his thick neck. It would be so goddamned easy to squeeze the life out of him, probably the best thing Caspar could ever do, but Lance called him off.

Caspar waited with his hand on Roan’s throat long enough that everyone knew he’d called himself off Roan and it had nothing to do with Lance’s order.

Roan coughed and pointed at Caspar. “We don’t know what secrets she shared with Paddy and his crew. She’s a fucking traitor.”

“Roan’s right,” Lance said. “I expected you’d do the right thing tonight, Caspar.”

“What would the right thing have been?” Caspar asked, his voice tight. “Let Paddy rape her in front of us?”

Lance didn’t answer and Caspar wondered what the hell the man was thinking. Why he’d been so quick to kill off his best friend’s daughter in the first place. “Killing her for Paddy or givin’ her up to him would’ve been giving in and Defiance never gives in. You wanted us to look weak. I’ll never agree to that. Not for your goddamned son and definitely not for you.”

He walked away from all of them, slamming back through the door into the cold still of the night, sure he’d get a bullet to the back. Or at the least, jumped. But nothing happened. No one followed—not immediately, but he was sure Silas would be on his six soon—and he considered just walking, out of the compound and out of Defiance. Starting over.

And that’s when he realized with a sickening clarity that starting over meant shit. There was nothing out there. Not a goddamned thing but more violence and destruction.

Is that the only reason you’re staying?

He’d have to find a way to answer that question, because he’d gotten to a point in his life where being boxed in was no longer an option. Stay or go, but it had to be his decision. Which is exactly what he’d told Tru.

“Hey,” Silas called out before clamping a hand on his shoulder. Still, Casper whirred around, fists up. “You’re going to hit me?”

He clamped down hard on his temper, because that’s exactly what he wanted to do. Unwittingly, Silas had become someone he cared about more than he’d wanted to, and a part of Caspar hated him for that. Mainly because he knew that, in the end, Silas would pick his true family every time. “Just give me space.”

“You fuckin’ picked her. Started a war.”

“Defiance picked her, Silas.”

“Lance wants you to go find her and bring her back under control. Think you can handle that?”

“Think all of you can fuckin’ handle not telling me what to do with my goddamned property?” Caspar told Silas, his voice a growl.

“What the fuck you thinkin’ with, Cas? You want in her pants that badly?” When Caspar didn’t answer, he continued. “Fuck, come on—there are rules.”

He tackled the man who everyone thought was his closest friend here—his brother—stunned him by slamming him to the ground before he growled, “Fuck the rules, Si. Fuck. The. Rules. Take a goddamned look around you. Do you see the type of world where archaic fucking rules should make a difference about whether the woman you were going to marry lives or gets raped and killed in front of you? Do you?”

Si blinked, like he was trying to get his equilibrium back. “Fuck her. She left. She made her decision.”

Of course Silas would stick with the party line.

“She came back. She was scared,” Caspar countered.

“You have a hard-on for her? Good for you. Hope she fucks this bullshit right out of you and pulls you back to your senses.”

Caspar rolled off Silas, pushed up from the ground. Silas did so too, quickly, stood in sparring position waiting for a second attack that wouldn’t come.

No wake-up call was strong enough to get Silas’s head out of Lance’s ass.

“Roan wants to fight you. It’s set up for tomorrow night. Lance approved it. Now go find your woman and show the club that Tru doesn’t control you like a dog on a fucking leash. If you can.”

Caspar had chased Tru before. He would never do it again. Not like this. It couldn’t go back to the way it had been.

A rainy Saturday night. He’d been eighteen, Tru fifteen and it wasn’t his responsibility to chase Tru’s tail and haul her ass back but tonight, Silas made it his with a phone call, as did Trixie and fuck, you didn’t say no to Trix when it came to anything Tru-related.

He hadn’t seen her since the night he’d fought Roan. He’d gone back to the Navy, heard from Silas that Tru was acting out.

Near as he could figure, Tru’d started rebelling almost immediately after watching her first fight and his blow job. Hell, he hadn’t asked her to watch, but she had. He’d never thought she’d react so strongly but hell, she’d gone off the deep end, partying. Acting like a goddamned man and Silas was getting sick of it.

Caspar had been back home on leave for less than four hours and he was already being called to babysit Tru and clean up Silas’s shit and he didn’t take kindly to that.

Silas slammed into the clubhouse ten minutes after he’d called Caspar. “Left her at some bullshit party in town.”

“What the fuck, Si?”

“We’re fighting.”

“Why’s that?”

“She’s a fucking bitch,” was the drunken retort, before he’d turned toward Fiona, who’d been conveniently hanging around all night waiting for an opportunity.

She might like Caspar’s dick better, had told him so less than half an hour before, but she knew which man was closer to the top and shit, he couldn’t blame her for her social climbing banging.

After he’d gotten the address out of Silas, he took his revved-up truck in case Tru was drunk and sloppy, in which case propping her on his bike wasn’t the best idea. Trixie wanted her home in one piece and as he drove through the heavy rains, he ruminated on Tru Tennyson and how the memory of watching her while he’d gotten blown at the fight was driving him up a fucking wall.

Before that, she’d been a quiet one. Now, she alternately acted like one of the men of the MC or like she was too good for the life. But instead of going after MC men, every time Silas slept with another girl, she took off with one of the guys from town. This was all according to Tru’s best friend, Aimee, who was concerned and Hammer, who was concerned because his chick was jawing her concern in his ear and he was sick of hearin’ it.

They were only too happy to spend time with the wild, gorgeous chick from Defiance with the rough father and a body that was built for sin.

He’d watched her grow up from the time he’d arrived in Defiance. He’d always caught her watching him, but hell, everyone watched him for one reason or another, and usually none of them good.

He wasn’t sure what he’d wanted to accomplish by egging her on, making her watch him with Fiona on her knees. At first, maybe he’d simply wanted to embarrass her, until he’d realized she hadn’t been watching him because he was the bastard freak.

She’d been watching him like she wanted him. For real.

“Fuck me,” he muttered as he pulled onto the street, three towns over. According to Aimee, she’d taken Silas here to a huge party in one of the wealthy sections after receiving a personal invite. How Tru got the invites, he didn’t know, but fuck it all, he’d drag her ass out of there. Embarrass the hell out of her.

Or maybe these people expected to see this shit, looked at it like it was some kind of free show.

“Probably makes the women wet,” Silas would agree when Caspar would bitch about it tomorrow. “We should do it more often.”

He passed the drunken boys and girls stumbling around on the front lawn, slammed into the large house where the music blasted and scanned for his charge.

The stares surrounded him—suspicion from the guys, want from the women and yeah, that’s the way it’d been for him for his entire life. And maybe if he was here for anyone but Tru, he’d make a detour, fuck one of them on the couch or against the door or in any other place that would keep his 8 Ball patch from growing stale.

Truth was, he didn’t like any of these women enough to be with them in private. Public sex was easier—he didn’t have to deal with anything but coming and the women were all too happy to provide the show.

Causing a scene afterward in front of a crowd wasn’t cool—and these woman all wanted to pretend they were cool.

But Tru was cool and she didn’t do shit like public fucking. First of all, Silas would kill her and secondly, the grapevine kept jawin’ about how lately, Tru got her rocks off by making Silas jealous, not by actually doing anything more than flirting and being where she wasn’t supposed to be. Like right now.

She was standing in the kitchen, holding a beer he’d bet she’d been nursing most of the night. She was surrounded by guys, and she was dressed in jeans that hugged her ass and a low V-neck shirt that slid temptingly off one shoulder, revealing a thin, pink bra strap.

The room went temporarily silent when he entered. Tru didn’t. “Hey, Caspar.”

He ignored that, moved closer to her and guided her from the group with a hand on her biceps. “You shouldn’t be here.”

She looked beautiful. Somehow still goddamned innocent, which was rare as fuck around here.

Tru was the daughter Trixie’d never had, and because of that, Lance had a strict hands-off policy that even applied to his own son. Tru was promised to Silas, practically from the second she’d been born. It was all Caspar’d heard about since he came to Defiance, and he hadn’t given a shit, because he wasn’t there to goddamned date.

BOOK: Defiance
11.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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