Wolf (The Henchmen MC #3)

By: Jessica Gadziala


Detective Collings

He hated the new blood. He blamed his upcoming retirement. It was by some cruel twist of fate that five years shy of getting out of Navesink Bank and going somewhere, anywhere else, they decided to strap him with some kid greener than a Christmas tree. It wasn't that he didn't understand why they needed to put rookies like him with the old-timers, but that didn't mean he had the patience to deal with his gung-ho super cop crap.

See the new blood wasn't even from the area. He didn't understand the delicate balance that existed in Navesink Bank. Fact of the matter was, the law didn't run the town. Sure, they pitched in; they dealt with the robberies, domestic disputes, the occasional gang scuffle.

But there was no mistaking who owned their particular cesspool of a town, and that was the big time criminal enterprises. It was The Henchmen MC and their gun running; it was Richard Lyon and his cocaine; it was Hailstorm and their varied talents; it was even the family of loan sharks known as the Mallicks; it was the Grassi family and their docks; and it was the scumbag Lex Keith who dipped his hands into a little bit of everything: drugs, extortion, prostitution.

Collings had been a new blood once, testosterone flooding his balls, itching to take down every crooked mother fucker this side of the river. He lost a marriage and most of the custody of his daughter to his obsession back in those days. It didn't take him long after to figure out how things were. Half of the department was in one or more of the syndicate's pockets, so were the judges, so were the juries if it ever went that far. So while he kept his wallet and his bank account clear of dirty money, he learned his place early on. His place was not to stake out The Henchmen compound and try to find illegal guns. It wasn't his place to try to link Hailstorm to illegal skip chasing. It wasn't even his place to chase down the Mallicks when one of their clients ended up in the hospital with busted kneecaps.

Unfortunately, those were not concepts that the new blood understood as he paced in front of Collings' desk, arms flying out in agitation, trying to talk him into approaching the captain with some harebrained scheme to bring down Lex Keith's bloody reign.

"Son, I have cold beer and leftover Chinese to get home to. I don't need to..."

The explosions shook the building, shook the Earth underneath their feet. His new blood's eyes flew to his for a second before he was running out of the building, adrenaline, no doubt, coursing through his system.

Collings grabbed his gun with a sigh, realizing his beer and leftovers would have to wait as he slowly followed the kid outside.



My arm was on fire.

I didn't even feel it until I looked down and saw the familiar black sleeve of my sweatshirt was engulfed in flames. It was the adrenaline. My system was drunk with it. That's why I hadn't felt it. Every inch of me felt tingly and foreign, my ears muted and ringing from the sounds of the explosions. There were six of them placed around Lex's property. I know this because I was the one who put them there. I was also the one to throw Molotov cocktails through the windows of the first floor. The bottles were from the latest shipment of insanely priced whiskey Lex ordered that I intercepted. It was overkill. The bombs did their job, but, well, I really wanted to make sure the fucking place burned.

I whipped off my sweatshirt with a hiss, tossing it carelessly to the side. It was just more kindling for the fire. My forearm from wrist to elbow was violently red and peeling, distorting the tattoos underneath. It needed treatment as soon as possible; every second I wasted was increasing the very likely chance of a serious infection.

But I didn't care about that. What I cared about was making sure it was done.

The only thing in the world I had left to give a shit about was making sure my plan worked, making sure that Lex Keith was dead.

So, ignoring the charging bodies of Lex's guards, looking like headless chickens without the guidance of their leader, I flew through his burning grounds looking for the hidden doors to the basement. I knew they were around the side somewhere. Sure, at this point, I'd bet you're thinking how freaking stupid it was to go into the basement of a burning building in case, y'know, the place started falling apart and crashed down on me. But, well, some things were worth the risk. I needed to get down there and make sure the son of a bitch wasn't resting easy in his god damn panic room like the chickenshit he was.

"Knew it," I said, grabbing the handle to the walk-out that was hidden behind ornamental pine trees. I flew down the stairs, barely even pausing to notice the blood all over the floor. I knew who it belonged to, if the busted, bleeding face Alex was sporting was anything to go by when I saw her, Breaker, and Shooter on my way into the grounds. They were the reason the bombs went off that night- because Lex had Shooter in his basement, using him as leverage against his best friend Breaker so Breaker would kidnap and hold onto a hacker by the name of Alex. Problem being, Breaker didn't know Alex was a chick and Breaker didn't fuck with chicks. So when he got his hands on her and realized what Lex's plans were, he changed allegiances quick. They had been hiding out in his house trying to figure out how to get themselves and Shooter out of the shit situation.