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By:Sam Crescent

“They killed Ashley, and I promised her my protection. She may have been a club whore, Tiny, but to a point she was family. Everyone loved her, and she never pissed off any of the old ladies. They all liked and respected her. Someone kills your person then it’s time for us to take a stand and get rid of the bad blood going on. I’ve not got the head to sit around talking about what needs to happen and what doesn’t. My boys needed blood, I needed fucking blood, and I gave it to them.” Devil took a seat opposite him. “I’m sorry that I pissed you off.”

“No, you’re not.”

“I am. Regardless of what you think, I really am sorry about what happened. I never intended to cause a problem. The shit that happened with Tate and Murphy, it shouldn’t have happened. None of this should be happening, but it is,” he said. “I just couldn’t take the bastard’s taunting. He knows what he’s doing, and all he’s doing is rubbing our faces in it every time he issues out a new order.”

Tiny couldn’t dispute what Devil said. Frederick Gonzalez knew a shit load more than any of them. “Fine, I accept whatever you’re feeling. It still doesn’t change the fact we need to get our shit together, and right now, it’s not together.”

Running fingers through his hair, Tiny stood up going toward the one counter the cops hadn’t smashed up. He probably should look to getting some new furniture and the entire place cleaned completely up. This was the first time they’d been hit that he hadn’t come home and put shit right. He took out a bottle of scotch and poured himself a healthy measure.

“You going to pour me a glass?” Devil asked.

Pulling out a second glass, he handed one to Devil. Leaning on the edge of his desk, Tiny looked toward the door where his woman disappeared through.

“I fucking hate this shit,” he said.

“There’s not a lot we can do. This shit is going to have to be done, whether we like it or not.” Devil downed his liquor and made his way toward the door.

“What do you think’s going to happen?” Tiny asked, curious to know Devil’s opinion.

Devil paused at the door then glanced toward him. He shrugged. “I don’t know, but I think you need to accept some men are going to die here.”

“What do you mean?” Tiny asked.

“You don’t go starting a fight with a man like this without expecting some casualties. I hope for all our sakes, there are none.” Devil left the room.

Staring down at his scotch, Tiny cursed. He was supposed to be picking up Angel and Lash. With even one drink inside him he wasn’t going to risk being snatched up by a passing cop.

Leaving the room he looked around the pitiful excuse for a club he owned. There was a time when the room would be a bustle of activity whereas now it was nothing more than a shell. Men and women would be having fun in different states of undress, simply having a good time. Looking around his club, he barely recognized it.

Eva was nowhere to be found. Moving toward Sophia, Tiny touched her elbow. “Where’s my woman?”

“She went out the back to the park.” Sophia offered him a smile, but he didn’t respond. All of his boys had married good women, and that made the decision to take on Gonzalez even harder. There was so much more to lose than ever before. Leaving the clubhouse behind he rounded the front to find Eva sitting on a swing looking down at their two children playing. Miles and Tabitha were twins. He’d been cursed to have a boy and a girl at the same time. Tate had been a handful growing up, but at least he’d been younger. He hadn’t known shit about raising a baby, but Tate had come out all right. Staring at Tabitha he didn’t know what he was going to do in the years to come with her getting older and prettier. He just knew his girl was going to be the crusher of men’s hearts. She pulled at his heart strings every chance she got. What was he going to do when the boys started sniffing around her? It was hard enough not to kill Murphy at every chance he got. Their son, Simon, was living fucking proof that Murphy was screwing his daughter. No, he wouldn’t think about it.

“Are you done now?” Eva asked. She looked up at him through tear-filled eyes. He hated making his woman cry.

“Yeah, I’m done.”

“Are you going to fight, or are you going to back down?”

“We’re going to fight, but we’re going to have to do this clever.” He stood behind his woman, pushing the hair off the back of her neck. Tiny heard her sigh.

“I hate this, Tiny. I just want to go back to when things were simple and we only had a two bit asshole to deal with.”