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Zane
Author: Elizabeth Knox

Prologue

 

 

“Grief is the price we pay for love.”

~ Queen Elizabeth II

 

 

Octavia

3 months ago . . .

 

 

I graze my hand against the pavement, feeling the slickness through my fingertips. It’s rained for the first time in months, but my hands aren’t coated with water. No, this is thicker. I pull my hands up higher and a streetlamp illuminates my hand enough to where I see the dark maroon blood coating my skin. It looks as if I were painting with my hands, but I only wish I was.

Instead, my knees are glued to the sidewalk while I kneel over my sisters’ dead bodies. Xia and Yara lay lifeless, their bodies already growing cold.

Out of nowhere everything hits me.

Every agonizing detail of how they died, of the men who rushed up to us and the shots. I glance down at my white crop top and see how it’s stained with blood, so much blood. Everything comes back to me, the way Yara turned around and covered my body with her own. Before I even figured it out Xia was already on the ground, a bullet struck straight through her skull. Yara on the other hand was still very much alive, and I know now she did what she could to protect me, to shield me from these men and keep me alive. If I had any doubts about it, the last few words she whispered before she died confirmed it. She was my older sister, so I’m not shocked. Yara was always the one to protect us if she could.

She told me to remain still, close my eyes, and breathe the slowest I ever have. How it was my only way making it out of this. I’d never been more terrified in my life, but I did as she said, and then the men left. There was a whole group of them. Maybe four or five of them . . . some of the details are starting to get a bit fuzzy now. As soon as I heard the tires of their vehicle screeching against the pavement I pushed Yara’s body off my own and tried to give her CPR, even though I knew there wasn’t anything I could do. I called my brother, Xander, who goes by the road name Breaker. He’s the Prez of the Raiders MC here in Los Angeles.

For as long as I can remember, my family has been hunted down like rare beasts. But not the men, only the women, more specifically, the daughters. It’s as if we were worth millions dead. There were six of us in the beginning, and now I’m the last daughter who remains— the only one.

Tears effortlessly flow down my cheeks, falling onto the ground below me. Heaviness fills my chest and it becomes difficult to breathe as I stare at my sisters. Yara’s golden blonde hair is now growing darker from the blood surrounding her body. Meanwhile Xia looks like she’s vomited blood.

I kneel here, completely broken. Terrified. Feeling the most pain I’ve ever had to endure in my life.

We were just going out to the movies and dinner. We . . . we weren’t hurting anyone, only trying to have fun. I gnaw on my bottom lip until a metallic flavor hits my taste buds.

Unmistakable sounds of motorcycles speeding up signals that my brother and the boys must be close, but it doesn’t make me feel at ease. I still continue to feel agony, continuously darting my eyes around from Xia to Yara. Then to my bloodstained hands and white crop top.

How is it possible this evening turned out like this?

Another screeching sound causes me to turn my head to the right, and I see them. The club. They’re all here, not leaving a soul behind. Xander dismounts his bike first, rushing up to me before he comes to a dead stop. His eyes widen with fear and then his darkness takes over. He sees what’s happened. He knows there isn’t a damn thing he can do to rectify this situation. There isn’t anything we can do to save them because they’re gone.

My bottom lip begins to tremble, my shoulders shaking over and over until I feel like I’m having a damn seizure. My brother looks stuck like a statue, his mouth still in an open position. “Xander,” Saying his name has never been more difficult than it is right now. I know what I was trying to say, but the way it comes out is almost another language.

My brother stands here in his fitted black T-shirt, with his cut on, his hair slicked back, continuously shaking his head. I see his lips moving, immediately able to tell he’s in denial as well.

Chains, his VP, walks past him and up to my sisters. “Get the girls home,” He orders, and I see the twins, Agony and Fury come up. They’re prospects with the club, only being here a few months. They both walk over to each one of my sisters and pull them into their arms.

I glance past Chains and search for my father, but after a moment I come to the realization he isn’t here. “W-where’s Dad?” I question, not even sure who I’m asking. Xander stands, not saying a thing. He’s in shock. He has to be.

Chains walks up to me, kneels down on the ground and places a hand on my shoulder. He grimaces, and I already know. He has no idea where my dad even is. Xander may be the Prez of the club now, but my dad is . . . he’s still my dad. He’s still part of not only our lives, but the club. “I don’t know where he is baby,” Chains admits.

Warmth flushes through my face and I know there isn’t any stopping it. My body’s at its limit. Too much grief and pain for far too long, and now I’ve lost the only two sisters I have left. “They’re dead . . . Chains. They’re gone.”

He nods, “Yeah, they’re not here with us anymore, but they’re still in here and don’t you forget that.” Chains points to his chest and I can tell he’s fighting the urge to cry too. Chains was really close with Xia. So close that a lot of us had bets on if they were going to finally get into a relationship.

“Why does this keep happening?”

“I don’t know,” Chains admits, shaking his head.

“I’m going to be next,” My internal thoughts slip out before I can even think, but as soon as I finish speaking my brother bolts over to me.

“The hell you are. I’m not going to lose you too. I’m not . . . going to lose another one of you. I . . . I need to know everything, now!” He hollers out the last bit, showing his fury.

Chains puts his hand up, “Whoa, Prez. Give her some time. She’s just—”

“Don’t give me that. I know what she’s been through. But, if we don’t get on this as soon as possible, Octavia will be next. You want that to happen?”

I’ve never seen Chains pissed at my brother, and I’ve known the man for at least fifteen years. “You’re gonna give her some fuckin’ time before you ask her anything. You wanna get a start on shit, then act like a Prez and go ask these business owners what the fuck happened. Go get security video, do that kinda shit.” Chains snarls, just as red and blue flashing lights appear behind him.

Motherfucker, this couldn’t get any worse.

A man struts up, with a woman walking beside him. It feels like the slowest moments of my life until he walks into the light. For once, we’ve lucked out when it comes to the law. The cop isn’t just any cop. It’s our half-brother, Troy.

“We got a call there was a shooting . . . but, I don’t see any bodies,” Troy states, turning around to look at every brother in the club. Now is when I notice the twins didn’t ride bikes, they brought the construction van.

Troy has a stressed relationship with the rest of us. His mom wasn’t a clubwhore, sweet butt, or club bunny like the rest of ours. She was a prestigious woman, our father’s criminal defense lawyer who he apparently slept with before he went to jail for the second time. Instead of allowing us, or my dad to be active in his life, she sent good ol’ Troy here to private school, made sure he went to church and all of that crap. Needless to say, Xander is not a fan of our goody two shoes brother.

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