“Shit,” I said, coming back to myself. I looked down at the man’s mashed and bloodied face. “Ah fuck. Sorry about that.”
“You got some anger management issues,” Gage observed, frowning.
“He broke my fuckin’ nose,” I said, poking at it tentatively. Ouch. Then I looked around. Fucking hell—there was blood all over the floor, shit broken . . . “This sucks.”
“Yeah,” Gage said, frowning. “Gonna have to burn everything. I’ll make it look like an accident, though.”
“Sorry about that.”
He shook his head. “Don’t apologize—getting out clean was a long shot, and once you started bleeding it was all over. That’s on him. No worries.”
I stood slowly, then looked from Gage to the unconscious, broken man lying on the floor. “No offense, bro, but telling me no worries when we’re gonna torch a guy’s place before killing him is kinda fucked.”
Gage snickered, so I flipped him off. That set him laughing for real and then I joined him, because it really was kinda funny in a sick way.
“I’ll go grab the tarp,” I told him, standing stiffly. “And the duct tape. Knowing our luck, the fucker’ll wake up halfway to Bellingham and try to crash the car.”
“Can’t blame him for fighting back,” Gage said, shrugging. “I mean, he knew the minute he saw my face that we’d have to kill him. He’s a snitch but he’s not stupid.”
“Smart fuckers don’t snitch.”
• • •
“Who ya workin’ for?”
I stood in the back of the room, watching as Rollins—the Bellingham sergeant at arms—smiled down at Hands. I’d met him a few times and he’d never struck me as overly sane, but watching him work on Hands?
Yeah, this was some fucked-up shit.
I’d pulled in around nine that morning, and we’d been questioning the snitch for close to five hours now. He hadn’t broken, which blew me away. The things Rollins could do with a razor blade . . . let’s just say the fucker scared me, and I don’t scare easy.
Hands was tough, though—he obviously knew we had to kill him just as soon as he talked, which meant we couldn’t get the information with false promises of safety. This was about making him suffer enough that he wanted to die. We wouldn’t let that happen until we’d gotten what we wanted and he had to know it.
Clearly the snitch wanted to live. A lot.
He screamed again as Rollins carefully peeled back the skin on his arm. For an instant I felt sick to my stomach, but I managed to steady it. He set Bolt up, sent him to prison. Not like he didn’t deserve it.
“Jesus, just fuckin’ talk already,” Rance muttered, frowning. “Hate this shit.”
The screaming continued, and then it abruptly ended. Fuck. He’d passed out.
“How far you wanna go with this, boss?” Rollins asked, stepping back and cracking his neck. Blood dripped from the gloves covering his hands. “You know I can break him, but I got a feelin’ it’ll take time. He’s strong.”
Rance cocked his head, considering. He had all the time in the world, but I was under a ticking clock. Pic’d told me to stick around, hear what Hands had to say . . . But we’d staged that fire at the fucker’s place, which meant I really should get my ass back to Idaho sooner rather than later. I wasn’t overly worried about them connecting me with Hands, but you never know . . . Best to play it safe—especially now that I had Melanie waiting for me.
“What’re your thoughts, Painter?” Rance asked. I considered my choices. Complicating everything was the fact that I’d been awake for nearly thirty hours now, which meant I either had to pop something soon or crash.
“I need sleep,” I admitted. “Maybe you could keep trying while I catch a nap . . . I know Pic wants me to hear what he says, but I’m dead on my feet. It’ll take me a good six hours to get home, though, and I need to make it there tonight.”
“There’s a bedroom upstairs,” Rance said. “You can rest for a while and we’ll see how things go here. I’m not sure this fucker’s information is worth keeping him alive long-term. The sooner we get rid of the evidence the better.”
“Works for me.”
I gave Hands one last look, then walked out the door. The Bellingham Reapers didn’t have a full clubhouse like the Armory, just a house outside the city on some acreage. Right now it was mostly deserted, but upstairs I found Jamie, Rance’s old lady. She was probably around thirty-five, and the woman was fucking gorgeous. I’d popped wood the first time I met her a couple years back. Then I’d watched as Rance all but murdered a prospect for checking out her ass, which pretty much killed any lingering interest I might’ve had.
She gave me a sympathetic smile. I don’t know how much club business Rance told her, but she had to have heard the screaming. Not only was she hot, she was a damned good old lady—whatever she might be thinking, she wasn’t giving away shit.
“You should let me take those clothes,” she said, nodding toward my shirt and pants. I looked down, startled to see they were covered in dried blood. Fuck. Must be more tired than I’d realized—hadn’t even occurred to me that I might need to clean up.
“Bummer. I really liked these jeans.”
She gave a gentle laugh, rolling her eyes.