Home > Stand Off (Predators MC #2)

Stand Off (Predators MC #2)
Author: Jamie Begley

Prologue

Casey stared down at the letter in her hand, swallowing hard. Carefully folding the legal document, she placed it back in the envelope and onto the kitchen table where she stared at it, silently debating how to handle the dilemma.

The person responsible for turning her world upside down thought she was without options. He was mistaken. She had a way of dealing with him so she would never have to fear him again.

However, if she went through with her plan, it would place her life in danger. She could lose the ones closest to her. Casey bit her lip. Was she strong enough to face the fear she had avoided for years?

Searching through her purse, she found the card in her wallet that she had shoved there months before. Taking a shuddering breath, she dialed the number, and a male voice answered.

“This is Casey Harris. Do you remember me?”

“Hi, Casey. Of course I remember you. What can I do for you?”

“Is your offer still open?”

“Yes, have you reconsidered?”

Casey paused. Then, before she could change her mind, she blurted out her answer. “If I help you out, then I’m going to need something in return.”

“We don’t pay informants.” His amicable voice went cold.

“It’s not money I want,” Casey denied hastily.

“What do you want, then?”

“I’ll tell you when we meet.”

“What if I can’t do it?”

“Then neither one of us will be getting what we want.” Casey made her voice firm.

“Meet me in an hour at the coffee shop on Elk Street.”

“I’ll be there.” Casey disconnected the call, laying her cell phone back down on the table with trembling fingers.

She had actually done it. Even though she had been left with no choice, it still bothered her that she would be betraying those who trusted her.

Casey stared at the picture on her wall, dispelling her doubts. The choice had been taken out of her hands.

Standing, she picked up her purse and the letter. To get the help she desperately needed, she was going to have to do something that several law enforcement agencies, rival clubs, and victims had tried to do for years without success. The Predators were finally going to be brought to justice.

Her eyes were caught by the picture again. If she didn’t succeed, she wouldn’t be the only one paying the price with their life.

 

 

Chapter 1

 

Casey looked up from the counter she was straightening when the door opened. A large group of men in leather jackets with women entered the convenience store where she was working the night shift. A couple of the men gave her a once-over as they spread out through the store.

She brushed her suddenly damp hands against the sides of her blue jeans as she automatically moved to stand behind the register to ring up the items they wanted to purchase. Several of the men went to the hotdogs spinning on the carousel, while others were grabbing the pizza slices off the revolving rack.

Hiding her nervousness, she rang up the first two at the counter without looking at the man who had come to stand at the end of the line. When he stepped forward, she rang his vast array of food up along with the pint of beer.

“When did you start working here?” he asked sharply.

“Fourteen dollars and sixty-five cents,” Casey gave him his total before answering his question. “Last week.”

Her stepbrother Max’s question raised the hairs on her arms. From his tightening jaw, the usually laid-back biker was showing his displeasure.

“The old man know?” Max’s questions were beginning to unnerve her, as was the fact that he made no attempt to pay.

“No, I haven’t told him or Renee yet.” Casey had referred to her mother by name for as long as her memory stretched back. She placed her hand out, palm up. Max looked down at it with a frown before reaching into his pocket and pulling out his wallet that was attached to the metal chain hanging down the side of his jeans. Taking out a twenty, he placed it in the palm of her hand.

Casey hid the shiver that coursed through her body at the sensation of his fingers touching hers. Hurriedly, she placed the money in the register and counted out his change.

“You already have a full-time job at the bank, so why do you need another?”

Casey knew he wasn’t going to move aside until he had his answers. Max might come across as easygoing, but he could be stubborn when he wanted his way.

“I wanted to pay a few bills off and save for something to splurge on.” She motioned for the man standing next to Max to move forward so she could ring him up, but he raised a brow, staying put. Casey wanted to snap at him, but the man staring back at her was too frightening. Jackal was letting her know that, until Max was finished, no one else would be leaving, either.

Casey stared in frustration at her stepbrother. “You’re holding everyone up.”

Max’s lips twitched. “We’re in no hurry. If you need some money, I can let you have some.”

“No, thanks.” Casey shook her head vehemently. She knew exactly where Max and the other bikers standing behind him came by their money. Everyone in Queen City knew the illegal activities the Predators were responsible for, including the police.

She stared at her stepbrother stubbornly. His large body was made for intimidation, and from the rumors she had heard about him when her mother had married his father three years ago, intimidation was the least of the crimes he was responsible for.

“You’d rather take a chance at this shop and have the store robbed than take money from me?” he asked grimly.

“Yes,” Casey answered truthfully. “I’m only going to work here a few weeks then quit.”

“It’s called the graveyard shift for a reason,” he remarked wryly.

“I’ll be fine. I know how to take care of myself,” she said solemnly.

Max picked up his food before stepping to the side, letting her ring up the rest of his friends.

The women in the group laid a variety of items on the counter. She kept her gaze lowered from Jackal’s amused eyes as he paid for his own things and the women’s.

Casey refused to acknowledge Max as he stood next to the counter, eating his hot dog and watching her check out his friends.

Ice, the president of the Predators, moved forward after Jackal. Thankfully, she had only been around him a couple of times since her mother had married Mugg, who was an older member of the Predators. Her mother swore he no longer went on runs with the club because he was physically unable to keep up with the younger members. Mugg might be sixty, but he appeared much younger. He was only slightly smaller than Max. They both came across as laid-back but as Casey came to realize, it was only a front for the capacity of violence that each was capable of committing.

Ice turned, motioning for a woman to come forward. Grace, his wife, stepped to the counter with a soda and a hotdog. Unlike the others, she wasn’t dressed suggestively, wearing jeans with a blouse and denim jacket. Everyone in town knew who she was. It hadn’t been that long ago since her picture was plastered all over the news when she was held hostage during a riot at a prison. It made headlines when she had married one of the men who had been incarcerated at the time.

“Max giving you a hard time?” She frowned at Max, who only raised a brow at her question.

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