Read J Speaks (L & J 2) Online

Authors: Emily Eck

J Speaks (L & J 2)

 

J Speaks

Published by Emily Eck at Smashwords

Copyright 2014 Emily Eck

 

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

Table of Contents

 

Note to reader

Quote

Hindsight

Crashing

Foresight

Connect with Emily

Acknowledgements

 

 

 

I
f you haven’t read the first book in this series, I strongly encourage you to do so in order to avoid spoilers.
Click the link below to check it out on Goodreads, and to link to various e-reader platforms where you can find it.

 

Steel & Ice (L & J #1)

 


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Hindsight

 

I’d seen the golden haired, golden eyed girl around Eight Oh Eight. She’s hard to miss. I remember the first time I saw her. I was doing the biweekly books at Eight Oh Eight. Not the club’s books. These aren’t the legit books. Oh no. They’re the illegit books. All drugs run through Eight Oh Eight went through me. And I repped Missouri Mayhem. Big dealers knew when I’d be there to collect. No one dealt at Eight Oh Eight without paying the taxman. And the taxman, that was me. I fucking hated it, but I’d accepted my lot a while ago.

My debt to MM was one that would never be pa
id off. That’s how it worked with MM, and that’s why I knew the golden goddess could never be mine. The motorcycle club I thought I was part of turned me into a monster. A monster that wasn’t worthy of any decent woman, let alone the goddess I’d been watching from the window at Eight Oh Eight for months. It was like the titty bar. I looked, but couldn’t touch. I spent my nights collecting taxes, watching for the briefest sighting of her, and reflecting on the motorcycle club that I thought I’d joined.

When I was patched in,
I thought the world of Ratchet. He was president of the club when I first arrived in St. Louis. He reminded me of Gramps. Gramps taught me a lot about mechanics, but Ratchet took it to another level. First, he knew more about motorcycles than Gramps, but his general knowledge of anything with a motor was staggering. I was an apt pupil. He saw me at the garage I’d been working at, got me to help him restore a bike of his, and then talked me into prospecting. I thought I had life figured out. Fuck. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was young and ignorant to what was going on in MM. I look back and wonder if there were signs I missed. I used to beat myself up over it. I was lost in St. Louis without my Gramps, but I couldn’t go back home and watch my dad die a slow, self-induced death. And as much as I loved Gramps, sometimes he was living in another world. Another realm might be more accurate. Ratchet filled that gap. I was patched in for a month before I lost him. Before I lost it all.

Burns, short for Burner, short for whatever his government name was, took the presidency from Ratchet. You ever heard of a coup?  Yeah, me neither
. I learned the word later and realized that’s exactly what happened. Burns and his crew had been planning to take over MM for a while, long before I came around. I was nothing to them. Just another newly patched in member. They killed Ratchet, and it was either get on board or get dead.

In hindsight, maybe I shoulda got dead.

I wasn’t empty back then. I was barely eighteen and still wanted things out of life. As I watched Burns and his boys execute anyone who got in their way, I decided to keep my head down and go with the flow. I was new, so Burns wasn’t paying me much attention. He slowly dismantled everything Ratchet had built. The bike shop was kept up and running, but only as a front. All the connections Ratchet developed in the community died with him.

Burns made it look like a car accident. He ran Ratchet over with a mother fucking truck is what happened. The cops didn’t investigate. Everyone corroborated the story. No one was going against him and MM. They chose to not get dead, just like me. Wouldn’t anyone?

Burns made a big deal about Ratchet’s death. The funeral was huge. Charters from all over the state came. They’re smaller MM charters, as well as Mayhem charters from Chicago, Iowa, and Kansas. A lot from Kansas Mayhem actually. I didn’t know then, but now I understand why Burns had so many Kansas connections.

Ratchet recruited members from almost all of the Missouri
chapters, so when they came to Ratchet’s funeral, they knew what was up. They’d made their choice. They didn’t get dead, so they’d gotten on board. It was really all about St. Louis then. We hadn’t fully taken over Kansas City at that time. But Burns had his shit all kinds of tight. While I was building bikes with Ratchet and living what I thought was the dream, waiting to be patched in, Burns was planning a mother fucking coup.

I don’t know when I realized it. It didn’t happen all at once, but little by little. Change is funny like that. The
takeover happened fast as lightning, but the disintegration of Ratchet’s MM was slow. So slow that when I finally realized what Burns had planned, it was too late for me to get out. MM controlled all the drugs in Missouri. If you were smoking it, snorting it, shooting it, or putting it into your body any other way, more than likely, MM was involved in getting it to you somehow. Coke, weed, X, and heroin were the biggies. The only thing Burns wouldn’t fuck with was meth. Those fuckers were crazy. Shit, you never knew what a tweaker was gonna do. Burns was smart enough to realize that. He kept his finger on the meth pulse in Missouri, but he mostly stayed out of it if he could. Choosing instead to keep it as far from his enterprise as possible. Having meth around in the drug game was like having a little brother that wouldn’t let go of your leg. It was sand in the gears of Burns’ empire.

If a meth dealer got too big, MM would step in and dismantle it. Word got out that MM didn’t fuck around, and the meth heads kept their operations relatively small or outside of Missouri borders. Sometimes a crazy ass cracker would set up a meth lab in the middle of a fuckin’ cornfield, thinking he was going to be rich off of his product. MM would step in. That meant lives would be lost, and something was gonna blow up.

After a few years, Burns had what he wanted. An MC that fronted his drug enterprise, of which he was the CEO. Sure, we had titles. He was the President and had his VP. There was a treasurer who handled the master books. He was Burns’ blood brother, Nick. He didn’t get a nickname for some reason. Maybe because he wasn’t a killer, a rider, or a pusher. He was a hacker, a number cruncher, and king of all things electronic. He set up all the off shore, as well as local accounts, that money went through. His shit was tight. He never got his hands dirty with any of the killin’, slangin’, hustlin’, or handlin’. That was for us to do.

What I told Elle was true. Gramps got sick and Burns let me go home to be with him. What I told Elle about white folks and mysticism was also true. Burns was a bastard mother fucker, but when I told him Gramps was the master shaman of our tribe
, and he was dying, Burns seemed intrigued. So I kept it up. I told him there was a whole ceremony that lasted months once we knew our master shaman was dying, and if it wasn’t followed, the spirits would bring their fury on all who impeded the ceremonies. I laid it on thick, even telling him my Gramps was the last in our dynasty, so he really had to have the proper burial. I think Burns figured I wasn’t worth the risk of some crazy ass spirits, even if it seemed like a bunch of bullshit. He was protective of his empire, and some dying shaman shit wasn’t going to fuck that up.

So, off
I went. Back home to the city I’d fled.

Gramps was sick, and we take care of our own. Not like white folk
s who shove their loved ones in nursing homes to let them die. Nah, part of what I told Burns was true. We see our elders into the next part of their journey, when they’d leave this realm and enter the spirit realm. I didn’t know what I believed. I didn’t know if I believed in heaven, hell, or the spirit realm. Maybe I believed in nothing.

Gramps had told me some of our history. In those last weeks, he was pretty in and out of it. Sometimes I had no idea what he was talking about. When he passed, I felt like I was in a black hole. I didn’t want to go back to St Louis, MM, or Burns, but that wasn’t an option and I knew it. After Gramps
died, I carried on the local work I’d been doing for MM at Eight Oh Eight, Checks, and the times when I had to be the muscle. Once Burns knew Gramps was gone, he started having me do these runs. Someone from St. Louis came with the product, and I took it to Kansas City. I didn’t ask what it was, or what was going on. I was gonna ride the wave ‘til Burns called me back to St. Louis. What I didn’t know, was that I was the middle man in Burns taking over the drug trade in KC. He couldn’t have done it without me. I was his unknowing pawn.

It was after Gramps was gone that
I learned about the land around our house. Gramps’ body was barely cold before the developers were on me. They were pushing me to sell the house Gramps left me and the land it sat on. Gramps made me promise not to sell. It was one of the last things he said to me before his spirit was set free. He told me to let go of the hate for my father, hold on to the land, and to never forget that I was a Bear, and he was the Eagle. He would always be perched on my shoulder, ready to guide me. When I couldn’t keep the developers off my back, I went to Burns. I knew it was a bad move, but I didn’t have many options. I made a deal with Burns. A fucking deal that was worse than the one I’d already made when I decided to not get dead. When I stayed alive and with MM. I think if I could go back, Gramps would’ve told me the land wasn’t worth the deal, even if it had been in our family since before the white men came. Hindsight and 20/20, you know.

Whatever.
I made the fucking deal.

My part
of the deal: keep doing my thing at Eight Oh Eight, but with more responsibilities, mostly in the form of dealing out punishment for those who didn’t pay. Skinny dealt with the lesser offenses. I handled the big ones. The ones where my size was needed to scare the fuck outta those stupid enough not to pay the taxman. If they were late paying taxes, I’d give them the standard two weeks to square up with me. If they didn’t, they disappeared. I also handled Checks, but that was easy. Checks was a real bar. It was legit and all on paper. We employed staff and everything. I just had to make appearances to remind employees who paid them. It wasn’t Checks or the folks buying drinks, because Checks didn’t really make enough money to employ the amount of staff that we kept on payroll. It was MM who kept them in jobs. I made sure they didn’t forget that, and that their mouths stayed shut about anything they saw at Checks. Lastly, Burns kept me as the middle man. Product came to me, and I moved it the rest of the way to Kansas City. Occasionally, I’d go the other way, and take shit to St. Louis, but mostly the drop off was in KC. I didn’t realize at the time the magnitude of what I was doing. Like I said, I was just a pawn to Burns’ king.

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