Matthew hands me a 9mm. I take the weapon and tuck it into my waistband.

    “How long has he been out there?” I ask as Matthew passes me a walkie-talkie.

    “Not long. But he’s as high as a kite.”

    “Bring him inside the gate, ” I speak into the walkie-talkie to Marcus.

    “Has he been frisked?” I ask.

    “Yes. He has no weapons, but I’d be more comfortable if you were back in the house.” Matthew whispers as we near the gate. Nathan and JP acknowledge me with a nod of their heads. Marcus stays directly in front of David.

    “I can deal with this if you want, Emmett?” Matthew says.

    This was my home. These were my men. I never hide.

    “Step aside,” I instruct Marcus. He hesitates briefly but slowly steps to the side.

    The moment David’s gaze takes me in, he starts to babble, and drool drips from the corner of his mouth. His hands wave wildly in the air.

    “David,” I greet him while moving meticulously in his direction. The only reason David isn’t dead right now is that I know he’s a good guy. He worked for my father from time to time. I remember how eager he was to impress my father. I’m willing to give him five minutes.

    “What can I do for you, David?”

    He keeps shifting from foot to foot.

    “This is a waste of time. He’s high.” Matthew says and steps close to Nathan and JP. “You should have told me that and not wasted Emmett’s time.”

    I hold up my hand for Matthew to stop. David stops pacing and stares at my raised hand.

    “I don’t want no beef with you, Emmett, but I want my sister.” His steady voice is impressive, considering the poison that’s pumping through his system.

    “You could have called.” I take a step closer to David.

    His sneer is accompanied by clenched fists. “I don’t have your number.”

    “You could have gotten it.” Of course, he could. He could have asked another crew member.“You better tell me why you are really here, David.”

    Nathan and JP crowd David, and his gaze swings to them. “Do I frighten you, Emmett?” David taunts.

    “This is a waste of time. Remove him.” I turn my back on David.

    He’s shouting, and the scuffle behind me doesn’t stop me. What does is when David shouts my name and the stillness of my men has me spinning.

    I freeze as I look down the barrel of his gun. In this state, he’s unpredictable, and I don’t know what his motives are. He wipes the spit from his mouth; his eyes are focused, alert. Nathan, JP, and Matthew pull their guns out from hiding all at the same time.

    “Lower your gun, David. Don’t be stupid.” My hand still lingers close to my own gun. Matthew said he was checked. I don't look to my men for an explanation as to how I’m looking down the barrel of a fucking gun.

    Did David really think if he shot me that he would just walk away from this?

    “I will put a bullet in your mother fucking head if you don’t get my sister.” The drugs fuel his courage, which right now is fucking stupid and makes him dangerous.

    “Lower your guns.” I hold eye contact with David as I order my men to stand down. Guns are lowered, but they are still held at the ready.

    “What’s your sister’s name?” I ask calmly.

    “The one you’re screwing.” His other hand clenches and unclenches along his side, his irritation growing, which makes him volatile.

    “Celine,” he sneers when I don’t speak. That surprises me. They looked nothing alike, and I hadn’t met her as part of the crew. With Celine, it had been one night in the hotel. She was there, and I was bored.

    “She’s not here.”

    His face reddens. “You’re a fucking liar.”

    I smile, backpedaling. I need to keep him calm, not antagonize him. “Yeah, I am. I never could fool you, David, always smarter than the others.”

    “Emmett…” Matthew starts.

    I hold my hand up, cutting Matthew off. My men had a lot of explaining to do. I had enough threats hanging over my head without someone like David getting to me so easily.

    David relaxes, liking the false praise. I hold my hands out. “Let me just get my phone and ring her to come down,” I continue to smile, relaxed, open, and friendly. “I don’t want this to get ugly.”

    “I respect you, Emmett, so no hard feelings.”

    The beast inside me roars to life. “It’s forgotten,” I lie, and his shoulders lower along with the gun. It’s only a fraction, but that’s okay. The beast inside of me relishes what comes next. The little punk has just made a major mistake.

    “Thanks, man.” His stance shifts slightly as he rubs his neck with his free hand, as if to relieve the stress of the moment. I use the moment and pull out my gun. I fire one clean shot that hits him between his eyes. He hits the ground, his gun sliding across the asphalt. Everyone moves at once. Nathan and JP pat his body down for a phone and ID. I pick up his gun.

    “Who checked him?” I ask.

    “I did. I swear he was clean.” Marcus stutters.

    “If he was clean, he wouldn’t have pulled his piece on me, would he?”

    Marcus looks at Nathan and JP like they can help him. No one can help him. “I didn’t check his ankle.” Marcus’ voice gets swallowed up with his growing fear.

    I nod three times. “I guess you didn’t.”

    “You could have cost us Emmett’s life.” Matthew jumps to my defense once again. I hold up my hand and silence him.

    “Any more visitors, I want checked by you, Matthew, ” I say.

    Matthew finally puts away his gun. “Yes, boss.”

    “Get this cleaned up,” I order Marcus.

    His confusion grows as I don’t dole out his punishment for nearly getting me killed. It was a fuck up, but Marcus isn’t sinister. I just couldn’t trust him again.

    “I’m sorry, Emmett, ” Marcus says.

    “Shut up and grab his arm.” Nathan’s voice follows me as I return to the compound with Matthew at my side.

    Some of the guys meet us at the door. “We heard a gunshot.” They are armed and ready for battle. They need to save it for another day.

    “It’s fine, just one of my father’s cronies.” Surprise filters through my men. Since leaving over a year ago, I hadn’t heard from my father, so for someone to show up now surprises me. “He was looking for his sister.” Whom I need to question, I need to know what Celine has been doing behind my back. She never told me that her brother was in my father’s crew. Not that we spent much time talking, but her having a brother in my father’s crew and bumping into me isn’t a coincidence. No, she’s been lying to me.

    Don't forget to open next weeks newsletter to read chapter fourteen.

    Love Vi