Tank adjusted the baseball cap on his head, left the club, and walked toward his Harley. He had his keys in one hand and his new cut in the other. He was a fucking Patch, a member of the Brother of Menace MC, and damn did it feel incredible.
The blood rushed through his veins at the thought, at the knowledge he was part of something now, included in a bigger picture. He’d never been what others considered a “good guy”, but the club didn’t expect him to be. He could be exactly who he was, and they’d pat him on the back for it.
His focus was on the keys, his thoughts on his future and what this all meant, when a sound had him stopping in the middle of the parking lot. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end, and he scanned the lot, knowing someone was out there because he could feel them. Most of the brothers had already left, but there were a few who’d stayed at the club in the spare rooms because they were too drunk. Their Harleys were parked off to the side, and a few vans and SUVs the club used for runs were parked over in the back lot.
As he moved his gaze along the darkened area, back and forth, picking up anything that was out of place, he stopped and looked over at the gate that blocked off entrance to the club. He couldn’t see anything, but he still felt as though he were being watched, that he wasn’t alone, and he always went with his instincts. They never steered him wrong.
“Who the fuck is out there?” He reached behind him to the small of his back, felt the butt of his handgun, and pulled the piece out. Holding it at his side, close to his outer thigh, he waited to see if anyone would respond, if they were dumb enough to come at him.
He heard nothing but the sound of cars in the distance, and of his own steady breathing.
“You seriously fucked with the wrong guy on the wrong night, motherfucker.” Hell, it was always the wrong night if someone crossed him, and he didn’t give two shits about it one way or another.
It was a few more seconds of nothingness, but then he scanned over the gate once more. That was when someone stepped out of the darkened shadows on the other side of the fence that blocked off the club. His body tensed from the threat, everything inside of him coming alert. It didn’t matter that there was a gate between them. They’d been sneaking around the club, and that wasn’t going to fucking happen on his watch.
He placed his finger on the trigger, his body primed, and adrenaline moving through him.
“You better make yourself known if you don’t want to get fucked up, and by fucked up I mean getting bullets blasted into your body.”
“It's me, Brendan.”
The voice was feminine, soft, but he heard her nonetheless, and recognized her instantly. She stepped further into the swatch of light that came from the streetlamp, and everything in him stilled. He took his finger off the trigger as his baby sister became fully visible.
“Lila?” He put the handgun at the small of his back again. “What the hell are you doing here?” He hadn't seen his sister in months, and it wasn’t just because she’d been avoiding him, but because he’d been so fucking busy with the Brothers and all the drama that came with being in the club. She came closer to the gate, and he did the same, as well. It was then, as the initial surprise at seeing his sister filled him that his whole body resonated with shock at what she cradled in her arms.
Standing there alone, one duffle bag hanging from her shoulder, and her other holding a tiny, but squirming bundle of blankets, was his sister and her … baby.
He looked between Lila and the baby, not sure what to say. She hadn’t looked pregnant when he’d seen her all those months ago, but he figured that didn’t mean anything.
“Lila? What the fuck is going on?” Opening the gate and letting her in, it took him a moment to look at her again, to pull his thoughts back to reality. Tank pulled her in for a hug, but was mindful of the little person she carried. “What is going on, Lila?” he said again, never before feeling this kind of shock.
“Yeah, I know,” she whispered and chuckled humorlessly, sadly even. She pulled back the blanket slightly away from the baby, a newborn at that.
Tank pulled his gaze off the sleeping baby and looked into his sister’s face. Lila was ten years younger than his thirty-five years. She was the “accidental mid-life” baby for their parents. He’d always looked after her like she wasn’t only his baby sister, but also his child, in a sense, because she always tagged along with him. Their parents weren’t the best at taking care of them either. It had been them against the world, and he’d always made sure she was safe, because she was the only good thing in his miserable life.