Savage Souls Series

Book 1 of 5


Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is sign on as its accomplice.

Tom Robbins

**Unproofed Preview**

ABOUT THIS SERIES:**Please note this book is dark romance and deals with adult themes. Recommended for mature readers only**


“If he flinches—shoot him, Sue.” Justice ordered the sniper. “We’ve worked too hard to have some Vegas playboy dick us over. Just deliver the goods and he can be on his way.”

“10-4, and don’t call me Sue.”

Justice’s mouth quirked at the response. He’d taunted his brother, Bobby for years over the nickname given him by their father. Besides being a real asshole, he was a Johnny Cash fanatic.

Justice peered into the high-powered binoculars. The crawl of tension clawed its way across his face, as the main artery in his neck grew thicker with each pulse.

“It’s still quiet,” the radio crackled with an impatient voice.

Surveillance hidden on the northeast ridge had eyes on anything that entered the target area. Howling winds through the shallow Colorado valley whirled around each of the former military specialists, but provided no comfort from anxiety’s steam over this latest operation.

Stones from beneath the sole of his tattered boot ricocheted down the mountain—Justice had wandered too close to the edge of their observation deck. Moist palms wiped onto jeans, his fingers twitched. The physical effects of so much time spent setting up this deal had begun to show—not to mention the cash dropped for reeling in the target.

“Y’all sure it’s cool down there? I don’t want anything spooking him,” he barked. Thick, calloused fingers suffocated the radio and Justice’s gnarled beard scratched against the plastic surface held to his chapped lips.

“10-4, boss. Silent. Except for the coyotes,” replied the former Force Recon Marine. Usually unperturbed by the wilderness wildlife, coyotes were nocturnal hunters—aggressive. That would’ve also described Sue, but this was the coyotes’ territory.

Justice had carefully sketched the plan—it was fool proof and easy. The Vegas wise guy, Ricky Geneti, would deliver the military grade weapons they’d already test fired, in exchange for cash. Everyone would be happy—it was simple.

Justice flipped on the night vision goggles, but the stars were brilliantly bright and he was too far away for the NVG to be of any help. They clanked onto the hood of his pickup truck.

“Hey, be careful with those goggles. They ain’t cheap,” Rage cautioned Justice.

The former Army Intelligence operative glared at Justice, but quickly swept his focus back onto the matrix of computer screens. The black and grey monotone monitors were tailored to prevent detection during night ops. Rage’s collection of rugged notebook laptops showed images from a series of covert cameras he’d set up to alert them the instant anyone arrived. Other than the dust kicked up by the valley’s wind gusts, the conditions were optimum for his technology.

“Yeah, ain’t like we got extra cash on hand. This damn deal is setting us back on our reserves.” Justice again lifted the NVG and eased them into the hard-plastic case.

“Eyes up. Jeep approaching lights out,” a voice snapped the radio’s silence.

Justice glared over Rage’s shoulder to watch the screen’s blip. Like a bat out of hell, the Jeep moved toward the rendezvous point. Rage widened the radar’s scope to show no other vehicles in the area—just as instructed.

“Looks like little Ricky can follow directions after all,” Justice tried to make light of the situation, but he never relaxed until the deals were done. Just like his military special operations days, the safety of his crew came first.

“Sniper one to base,” whispered Sue Boudreaux. “Looks to be alone.”

“He better be alone. I’ll drag his greasy ass all the way back to sin city,” Justice growled.

He paced the mountain’s ledge like a lion, and reached for the NVG out of habit before changing his mind.

“He’s out of the Jeep, and the top is down as he was told. I see the trailer behind him.” Sue called out a play-by-play from his crow’s nest. Trained by the United States Marine Corp as a sniper, the Force Recon operative had an eagle’s eye and owl’s intuition about human behavior.

Justice mentally checked off the next action in his ops plan. “Fury, it’s your play. Check his trailer for the weapons. No test firing, but you can rack the bolt actions and selector switches to confirm they’re fully automatic rifles.”

“Roger that.”

“I’ll signal when it’s okay to hand him the keys to the motorcycle. Vengeance will deliver the keys to you. Two hundred and fifty grand are locked inside the saddlebags. Well, minus the twenty thousand I took out for the Harley Davidson to transport it out of here.”

There was silence. Not many of them had a clue how much money was at stake. That detail was reserved for Justice and Geneti. He also assumed the others would’ve shit because that much cash sat inside an old pair of leather saddlebags for a week.

“Roger that, boss,” Fury radioed.

“Keep us informed, Sue. Everyone else maintain radio silence unless you got an emergency.” Justice’s voice grew ever strained—his pacing intensified.

“Dude, relax. You’re fucking with my system’s reception. You’ve covered every angle—it’s a good plan. Just chill out,” Rage implored. Fingers jabbed at mosquitoes and dust, Rage watched carefully.

“Contact. They’re talking. Patting each other down. Shaking hands,” Sue gave specific details for predicting Ricky’s next steps.

Sue flowed with descriptions as Fury and Geneti danced cautiously until the deal was done. Sue broke squelch to alert the team that Fury’s hand signals indicated the weapons were all present and accounted for.

Justice chewed on his top lip, “Damn, that’s a lot of money to let walk.”

“No shit, but your call,” Rage added.

“That’s why we’re here. The Mexicans are willing to pay top dollar for rifles, and the military is stupid enough to let them walk out of armories. It’s our duty to make a profit from it.”

“Is Vengeance clear to move?” Sue radioed.

“Go,” Justice snapped back.

Everyone held their positions as the older model Harley Davidson Dyna-Glide sputtered to life. It left an arid trail behind as Ricky Geneti hauled ass back to Las Vegas with two hundred and thirty thousand dollars richer.

“All clear,” called Sue from his northwest ridge position.

“Hold tight. Vengeance and Fury clear the deck in case it’s a rip off play for the guns.” Justice knew what assholes criminals could be. The binoculars were jerked from their strap as the glower pinched his brow together while scanning the area.

“Looks clean, boss,” Fury’s tone lightened considerably since completing the high-stakes transaction.

Eerily, the silence almost echoed from the endless points of light overhead—the mountain’s view of the stars were like nowhere else. The tranquility of the outdoors contrasted the violence contained in the weapons’ metal cargo containers.

With an extended inhale of fresh mountain air, Justice bounced on the balls of his feet and pumped his fist. He reached across the pile of plastic computer carrying cases with an open hand to high-five Rage.

“What the fuck?” Rage’s wooden expression pressed within an inch of his computer’s area surveillance radar screen. Justice froze—seized by confusion.

A faint hum and flutter became more distinct. Rage watched the blip on screen, but it made no sense—it wasn’t a motorcycle’s signature. The whirr of a small helicopter’s rotor wash crested the northeast ridge.

Justice swung his binoculars toward the sound. He watched Sue, who was still on the northeast ridge where he maintained surveillance for approaching traffic. The binos flexed beneath the powerful vice of his palms as he saw Sue flip over onto his back. It looked to Justice like the sniper tried to get the rifle’s scope fixed onto the helicopter, but had been caught off guard by its sudden stealth appearance.

“What the fuck? Is that the feds?” Justice screamed into the small walkie-talkie.

The two-seater Bell JetRanger swooped toward the Jeep, and in an orchestrated descent, released a hook that snatched the tie-straps over the weapons’ metal container. Within seconds it fought to climb out of the valley—cargo case attached. It disappeared.

His fully automatic AR-15 rifle ripping off .223 caliber, high-velocity bullets, Justice roared, “You’re fucking dead, Geneti.”

The truth was—Justice Boudreaux might be the next to die.

Savage Souls Series 3


Las Vegas ain’t the glimmer and glitz seen by tourists. There’s just a new strip and an old strip, which tried to become a newer old strip. That strip is still just as much bullshit as it was before the new strip. Vegas, the real Las Vegas was littered with working class poor, homeless, and whores.

Abigail Black had been homeless. She hated it, so she worked three jobs to avoid it. The run-down stucco apartment was her first real home. She’d spent her junior and high school years bumming place to place. Nomadic, her folks followed the bins. The trash bins that is—the more garbage, the better the pickings.

Those glamorous casino resorts threw away the best food. Abigail spent years at the glamorous casinos. Actually, she spent years diving into the dumpsters behind them. The kindest thing she could say about her parents was that they taught her to pick through the condoms and piss-covered bed sheets to find the tossed out filet mignons.

One week after being graduated from Rancho High School, Abigail marched away from her shit-bag parents and found a job. Over the next few years, the gangly blue-eyed girl developed into a tall, slender, sun-kissed blonde. Some even considered her to be stunning. Most of those people were strip club owners and pimps.

She’d seen what selling pussy got her—Abigail’s mother worked as a whore. Because Nevada made prostitution legal, didn’t make it right. No, her heroin-shooting father wasn’t even her biological dad. His limp dick would nod out while her mother rode the erect ones for cash. Abigail’s DNA belonged to some other John, not John Black.

Hard working and loyal, she’d established a solid reputation among her employers. Never failed a surprise drug test, Abigail always returned cash if the customer miscalculated the totals. Soon, she was able to apply for an apartment with one month’s rent down as a deposit. It wasn’t as much the deposit that prevented her from finding a place to crash, it was the apartment managers who always wanted their sweat-soaked cocks sucked before considering letting a vacancy. She’d rather stay homeless.

Like anything good in a woman’s life—men fucked it up. And then came Ricky Geneti. Straight from Brooklyn, he’d been stationed out of Nellis Air Force Base. Young, dumb, and full of big ideas to hit it big in the world, his passion energized Abigail. His dreams extended beyond the incorporated city limits of Las Vegas.

He’d travelled across the country—he was from the Big Apple after all. She still felt like the lanky teenager compared to his worldliness. Abigail loved that he didn’t make her feel stupid. He promised her the moon—she had stars in her sweet, wet baby blues.

Her apartment sat atop a pawnshop and a liquor store. It sucked, but it was clean—there’d be no garbage cans serving as her pantry. The place was safe because it was high off the filth-infested streets, and the owners of both stores carried weapons for their personal protection.

Ricky snuck off the military base as often as possible. His older brother’s borrowed Z-28 Camaro made it to her home, from his base in under thirty minutes. His enlistment would end soon, and their life together, forever would begin.

Soon after Ricky was dishonorably discharged by the Air Force for being habitually AWOL, Abigail got knocked up. Soon after sharing the wonderful news with her burgeoning entrepreneur, Ricky’s Z-28 Camaro couldn’t seem to find the pawnshop apartment.

Forced from the safety of her elevated abode, Abigail moved further outside of the incorporated city limits and into a minority housing area. Mostly Hispanic families and migrant American Indian workers who shuffled in and out of the Paiute Tribe’s reservation to live in the adobe-looking flats lining Highway 578.

Named after Abigail’s favorite actor, her son, Jack, had grown up in the housing area. Befriended by many of the families, wives often babysat Jack so Abigail could continue working two of her remaining jobs. It wasn’t until his third birthday party that Ricky arrived in his brother’s borrowed Z-28 Camaro to play daddy.

Savage Souls Series


Eighteen-wheelers dusted along Highway 578. The created rush of wind jerked at the three helium Happy Birthday balloons tied to a knotted fence railing. More than twenty small kids chased each other until one fell down, and then nineteen scurried for parents to offer alibis. It was a wonderfully mixed community. Still the only Nordic-looking resident, Abigail and her Sicilian-toned baby boy blended into the polychromatic culture of transient living.

The late afternoon sun relaxed to allow Jack and the community kids to enjoy a fun birthday celebration. Abigail squinted, and the broad smile etched just a few lines across her otherwise smooth face. She busied herself holding down a borrowed tablecloth that flapped each time a vehicle zipped past the vacant lot that sat adjacent to the highway.

She’d finally found a small slice of dingy heaven she could call home. It was better than what she knew growing up, and the only dumpster on the property wasn’t for diving into after meals. Abigail chuckled as she watched Jack try to keep up with the older kids. She swatted away flies that dive-bombed the off-the-shelf birthday cake. The ice cream was melting fast, so she tried to rustle the gang over to the rickety picnic bench to begin the celebration.

Swiping long, twisty strands of bouncing blonde hair, she watched the slow roll of the old sports car. It crunched across the hard-dried mud and pea-gravel covered highway shoulder until the faring scraped against the entrance’s beveled-bottom parking lot.

Ricky was alone, but she saw the silhouette of a baby’s safety seat in the rear. Her heart quickened. Shit, she had no way of defending herself or Jack. Her nightmare had just become realty.

He smiled like a jackal, “Happy birthday son, your daddy’s back.”

“Please go, Ricky.” She pressed both hands against his chest.

“No way in hell. I love that boy. Which one is he?” His slits for eyes darted across the terrain.

“You got no right to be here. You ain’t got a legal order.” She looked him dead in the eye and said the words as if she knew what the hell she was talking about, but in actuality all she knew about the law was to not break it and what she learned by watching Judge Judy.

He shoved his hand deep into his back, left pocket and yanked out a crumpled piece of paper. Purposefully long on unfolding it, he flapped it in her face.

She bit down hard on her bottom lip—it turned white under the pressure. Her left arm folded across her chest, while her right picked at the cheap gold cross hanging around her neck.

“Got myself an emergency order from the judge, herself. Said she couldn’t imagine what kind of woman would hide a son away from its father. That judge told me to come and get my boy.”

She didn’t bother looking at the papers. Ricky had anyone who could be bought in his back pocket. It made no difference to her what the papers might say.

He waved them in her face so the sharp corner sliced a thin line just beneath her cheek. Her head jerked back and before he could do it again she snatched the papers from his hand and tore them in two.

“I don’t give a shit what your papers say. You got no right being here.”

The backhand caught her off guard, though she should’ve been expecting it. It wasn’t the first time she’d felt the bite of the gaudy diamond ring he wore on his pinky.

Her head snapped back and she went to her knees, her vision blurry. The coppery tang of blood filled the inside of her mouth and she spit it out at his feet. She shook her head once—twice—trying to clear her mind and she tried to get back to her feet.

She hated that she’d never been strong enough to face him down when the stakes were high. The bliss hadn’t lasted long with Ricky. Long enough for a few broken bones and the baby she would’ve suffered through a multitude of broken bones to protect.

His hand tangled in her hair and jerked her head back. “You were saying, bitch?”

Her eyes rolled side to side. It did no good to fight. He was too strong.

“It’s his birthday, Ricky,” she pleaded. “Don’t be this way. He doesn’t even know who you are.” Her words stumbled one on top of the other as her panic grew. “You—you don’t even have a home for him. No toys or his bed.”

A semi flew by and dust and grit flew into her face. She blinked rapidly and felt the grit of it between her teeth. The sounds of laughter and conversation were no more. The party abandoned. Just like her. Heat radiated down on her skin until she thought it would crack like the fissures in the dirt lot, and fear clawed at her belly.

“I done hit it rich, baby. A cool quarter-million-dollar deal. Had to pay a pilot twenty grand, but it was worth it. So, yeah, I got me and my boy a crib to crash.”

She bit back a whimper as he jerked at her hair again. He’d fucked someone over for that cash. Only Ricky was too ignorant to realize those same people would come looking for him.

Her eyes rolled again toward the partygoers gathered beneath the metal-framed community pavilion that looked as if one strong gust of wind would topple it to the ground, and she desperately sought to make eye contact with someone—anyone—to beg for help. But no one glanced in her direction. She could only be grateful they hadn’t left Jack alone to watch her suffer. It was his party after all.

But in a fleeting community of illegals and most wanted, it was always the practice to mind your own damn business. Besides, she’d noticed the 9mm pistol shoved in his waistband—chances were, they had too.

She scratched at his wrist, but he slapped her unpainted fingernails away from the new Rolex.

“Ricky, please not today,” she begged, knowing her options were limited. He’d do whatever the hell he wanted and she was powerless to stop him. “Tomorrow, okay?”

“Bitch, go get my boy,” he demanded as he drew his fist back. She flinched, waiting for the pain and crunch of breaking bones. But he laughed instead.

Her hands came up and she grabbed at the front of his shirt. “Pl…please, Ricky. Let me come and help you take care of him. I’ll stay out of the way, I promise.”

He still had hold of her hair and he pulled it so tight she couldn’t close her eyes all the way. Tears streamed down her cheeks and she cursed the weakness. Any sign she showed would only make Ricky worse. He didn’t know the meaning of the word compassion. Especially not for the woman who’d carried his son. And not likely for the son himself.

“I never recalled you being such a crying bitch,” he derided. “I find it irritating.”

A scream choked in her throat when the cold metal of his gun knocked against her teeth and the barrel was shoved in her mouth.

“Stop your sniveling or I’ll pull the trigger and let the boy watch your brains scatter in the wind. And that will irritate me even more because who else am I going to find to watch the brat when I’m not training him to take over daddy’s business?”

Abigail froze, too terrified to breathe.

He shoved the barrel a little harder in her mouth and then leaned in close, so his lips whispered against the corner of her mouth.

“Mmm, baby. I always did love that look of terror on your face.” His tongue darted out and he licked a long, wet path from chin to cheekbone. “Gets me hard every time. Want to go a round in the Camaro like old times?”

His laugh slithered up her spine and she sobbed in relief as he removed the gun from her mouth. He jerked hard at her hair and she stumbled to her knees. And then he moved in close so she was eye to eye with his zipper and the bulge behind it.

“I remember now. This is how I like you best. Too bad I don’t have a few more minutes to spare. You’ve got a mouth like a vacuum.”

He slapped her lightly on the same cheek he’d backhanded her on earlier and then backed away, putting the gun at the small of his back.

“Fuck, where’s the white people? You must really be loving that red cock to have stayed out here so long.”

She didn’t answer. Shock was starting to replace her fear and she was paralyzed. Until he looked toward the children playing under the pavilion. And then rage like nothing she’d ever felt reared up inside of her.

“Lets get this shit over with. I got cash to count and pussy to bang. Which one is he?”

Adrenaline flooded her system. She’d have one chance. Ricky didn’t know the first thing about being a dad, and there’s no telling what her son would be exposed to in the time Ricky had him. Not to mention trouble followed him like stink on shit. Whoever he’d stolen that money from would want it back. And they wouldn’t care who got in their path. Both things scared the life out of her.

“You’re not taking him.”

He smiled again, slick as oil, and it made her skin crawl. How could she have ever have been so stupid as to give her body to that man?

“Baby, why fight it? You know I’m walking away from here with that boy.” He took a step closer, but she held her ground. “But let me tell you what. I’m in an accommodating mood. Why don’t you swing by the house tomorrow? Bring a bathing suit and visit the boy for a few. Will that make you feel better?”

He scribbled an address over a torn Happy Birthday napkin and he handed it to her. She took it carefully, like he was handing her a live grenade.

“Why not now?” she begged.

“Take what I give you, bitch. Tomorrow. And bring a bathing suit. I’d love to see that body again. Having a kid doesn’t look like it caused too much damage. Your tits are a little bigger, thank goodness. Fuck, I might even take that pussy for a spin. Be sure to shave it. You know I like it shaved.” He gave an exaggerated wink and finger-gun wave.

She couldn’t think about tomorrow. Today was what mattered. And the fact that the next twenty-four hours of her life were going to be the most miserable of her already miserable life.

“Please, Ricky.”

He ignored her. “Come to daddy, boy,” he called out and then whistled into the general arena of children.

It was by process of racial elimination that he chose Jack. Confused, Jack’s willful reluctance broke Abigail’s heart.

Ricky zeroed in on Jack and said, “Come here, boy. If I tell you again you’re going to feel the sting of my belt.”

“Don’t you dare put a finger on him,” Abigail said, positioning herself between Ricky and the boy.

Jack ran up behind her, pudgy arms outstretched, and wrapped them around her knees. Whimpers of distress were interspersed with his cries for mama, and she put a comforting hand on his head.

“It’s all right, baby,” she soothed. “It’s all right.”

“Fuck this shit,” Ricky said, reaching toward the kid. He jerked him away from his mother and lifted him so he dangled by one arm. Jack screamed in pain, his little legs kicking as he reached back for Abigail. The look of terror on his face was her undoing.

Abigail let out an animalistic roar and charged Ricky. Her body hit him square on and her fists pounded against his chest. “You’re hurting him,” she screamed. “I’ll fucking kill you if you put one mark on him.”

She hadn’t had the strength to fight for herself, but she found it to fight for her son. She was a demon possessed. A raging machine that had no thought other than to protect what was hers.

Ricky flung the boy to the side and swung backward with his elbow to get Abigail off of him. He spun and drove his right fist solid against her left eye socket. She blacked out for a moment as she rolled along the contour of the Z-28’s frame. He jerked the passenger side door open and yanked Jack up beneath his right shoulder. He screamed for her, each cry for mama piercing her soul. Ricky tossed Jack into the car seat and buckled him in while she crawled on hands and knees toward the car.

Blood clouded her eye and ran down her face as bile rose in her throat, but she didn’t stop. Couldn’t stop. In Jack’s three years on this planet, she’d not gone one single day without seeing him. It was something she was proud of—it would not end this day if she could help it.

Her nails tore and her fingertips bled as she dug into the hard-packed ground to find a rock or anything to use as a weapon to stop him. She clutched onto his leg as he rounded the hood heading for the driver’s side. He took two steps dragging her as Abigail punched his thigh.

“You wanna fight, bitch? Lets fight like the good old days,” he taunted.

She let go of his leg, but it was too late. He’d wrapped his left hand in her mangled hair and swung her head back and forth until her scraped knees kicked up a dust cloud. Ricky didn’t even wait until she was to her feet before he began to unleash a flurry of vicious right hand punches to her ribs.

Her breath seized and her nails clawed down his face. She found satisfaction in his scream of pain. Spots danced in front of her eyes, but she couldn’t afford to faint. She was the only hope her son had. Ricky tossed her to the side like a used napkin and got behind the wheel of the car.

The engine sputtered to life and she froze in terror as her worst nightmare came to life.

The Z-28 lunged forward and she rolled out of the way just in the knick of time. She wasn’t sure where the burst of energy came from—maybe from a higher power she’d stopped believing in—but she managed to get to her feet and stumble after the car.

Ricky waited at the highway’s entrance for traffic to clear. Three big rigs heading east blasted their air horns in a makeshift Happy Birthday to You as they blustered the party balloons around their strings.

Abigail latched onto the whale tail of the old sports car and beat her bruised fist into the trunk, “ Give me back my baby.”

She tried to make eye contact with the old farmer who crept on his tractor along the highway. He had traffic backed up, but he either didn’t see her horrific blood-soaked face or didn’t want to.

Abigail saw the reverse lights and then felt the rear bumper slam into her thighs. The blow took her feet out from under her, but she held onto the trunk. She stumbled and grasped at the passenger side door as the car lurched into traffic.

“Fuck off, whore,” he screamed like a man possessed.

He turned the wheel and the car swerved and Abigail lost her grip. She rolled into a ditch as ten matte-black and chrome motorcycles thundered over the horizon, following the same direction as Ricky. The roar of the engines caused a rattle in her chest, and Abigail sucked back tears to watch as cars screeched and swerved to avoid them.

Four leather-clad riders steered their steeds by balance only. They looked like the four horsemen of the apocalypse—conquest, war, famine and death—in a slow-motioned effort, Abigail tried to scream but no words would form on her lips. They handled glass bottles with burning rags shoved in the narrow opening.

Her intuition rocketed her to both feet, as she knew instinctively who their target was. Fuck Ricky. She hoped he burned in hell. But Jack was an innocent. She ran into traffic and dodged cars along the busy Nevada state highway. She waved her arms furiously for someone to help—anyone. No one did.

Ricky’s car had only traveled a short distance from where it threw her thanks to the tractor that poked along. She pumped her elbows and knees but wasn’t getting any closer on jelly-like legs. Violent smashes of glass cracked against the Z-28. Flames crawled at first but quickly exploded into an inferno across his windshield, hood and out the passenger’s side window.

Blood clouded her left eye, but she swiped away to see the old muscle car begin to lurch from right to left into the opposite lane of travel. Her lungs felt like they were in a blender as the broiling Nevada air burned at her exertions toward Ricky’s car and her baby.

She felt the heat of the flames against her skin and the faded brown paint and metal frame blistered and bubbled. Life’s will to live rapidly escaped her as she covered her face with her forearms while flames poured from the interior to lick at the sky—ash-black smoke mixed with brilliant orange and red. And then she saw it. That which caused her bowels to explode as she shit herself right there in the middle of Highway 578—the car erupted.

She crawled through her tears and feces until her knees bled. And when she could crawl no more she somehow managed to get to her quivering legs. The rubber soles of her shoes melted into the speckled blacktop, but she trudged forward, her only thought for her son. Her mind knew what her heart couldn’t fathom.

Two tattoo-covered hell mongers skidded along each side of the moving hot demolition and rattled off fully automatic gunfire.

She should’ve ducked from the bullets the way the motorist did, but tunnel vision zeroed in on the two short arms that waved wildly from the child safety seat. Cars crashed into the backs of each other—causing a snarled pile up. Horns blared by drivers who had no imaginable idea what was happening, and yet there was Abigail with a front seat to the most horrible show on earth.

The outdated muscle car lurched right with a sharp jut, and then a hard jerk to the left—into the opposite lane of traffic. Finally, everything came to rest. Abigail reminded herself to breath as her blown mind fractured in horror at what had to have been reserved for only the most damned souls in the world to experience. At least it all came to a stop—an eerie three seconds of silence.

Bam. An eastbound eighteen-wheeler unable to stop, ploughed through the carnage to smash into Ricky’s car—now his and Jack’s coffin.

Abigail blacked out.

The pounding in her head and the bubbling hot highway beneath her skin brought her back to reality. She was disoriented and wasn’t sure how long she’d escaped—it hadn’t been long enough—because less than twenty feet away was the corpse of Ricky’s car. Four bikers surrounded it and picked through the wreckage like buzzards on prey.

“Leave my son alone,” she tried to scream but the screams were only in her head. She rolled to her hands and knees and crawled toward the wreckage. Stalled motorists pleaded for her to stop, but their pleas fell on deaf ears.

“Back off, bitch.” One of the murdering bastards skidded his Harley Davidson between her and Jack.

Her experiences of knowing the feeling of fear were forever gone. Their eyes locked. He looked like satan’s very own bodyguard.

“Jack,” she mouthed. Consciousness became uncertain.

He growled without remorse and pointed the sawed off shotgun at her face.

“Fuck, Jack. He’s dead.”

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