Want to see a sneak peek of Reign (Sin City Outlaws Book 1)?
I don’t know…
I mean, I guess a little peek is okay?
Maybe we should wait?
Oh, alright… Here is a glimpse at part of the prologue 🙂
By: M.N. Forgy
I slam the cap of the beer bottle against the bar, popping the top off.
It’s my third one and I still feel wound-up. Maybe I should smoke some pot, or find a club ho to pound my frustrations out on. Or maybe smoke some pot while pounding out those frustrations.
Flexing my sore knuckles, I look down at them; there’s dried blood splattered against my skin. I’m not sure whose blood it is, though. Could be mine, could be Sal’s. He’ll think twice before getting mouthy with me again. I told him we were switching buyers, and he decided right then to grow a set of balls. We’ve used his product for the last seven years, but when he decided to go off the grid for over a month, it was time for a change. I had some pissed-off buyers when I couldn’t supply them.
“Man, did you hear?” The door to the club slams. Looking over my shoulder, Felix walks in wide-eyed. He’s my cousin and got his nickname ‘cause when he kills, he’s as silent as a panther. His entire persona reminds me of a cat. He’s an asshole, only wants a bitch’s attention on his terms, and he fucks like it’s going out of style. Everyone calls me Zeek. My real name is Zevin, but my lil’ brother couldn’t say it growing up, so he sputtered out Zeek. Everyone started calling me it, and I never said otherwise. It has that Brady Bunch fucking feeling to it. White, perfect family, with three and half kids, minivan in the driveway. You know, ordinary. Not much in my life is, but Zeek stuck. That’s about as unconventional as I get when it comes to that shit. “Buck ratted, man. They just took one of our containers. Luckily, it was one we just emptied.”
I shake my head.
“That’s the third fucking member this week who’s ratted.” Slamming the bottle on the counter, I swipe my hands through my hair, pissed off. Whatever happened to loyalty, brotherhood? Thoughts of betrayal run rampant, my hands aching to strangle someone in retaliation.
“Your ol’ man getting locked down put the pinch on everyone.”
I arch a brow, my heart accelerating with his comment. My father got busted moving drugs, and it was like a domino effect. Every time I turn around, they’re arresting another member. It’s only a matter of time before this entire fucking club goes down.
Soon, everyone else will start thinking what I’m thinking, that my father talked to the police and broke a VERY important rule. The mere thought of it makes my blood pump with an urgency to be violent. I want to believe my father would never commit such a weak act, that I’m a piece of shit to even think it. However, it’s the only thing that makes sense. He’s a fucking rat and needs to pay the price for his indiscretions.
After all, that’s the price you pay when you seek the life of an outlaw. We make the laws, we are the judge, and we dish out the sentence.
“You’re vice president, Zeek, you gotta figure this shit out. I can’t go to prison, I’ll be killed. Look at me.” He holds his hands out on each side to display himself. He’s big, very muscular—he reminds me of a Tarzan-looking motherfucker. “I’m likely to be the biggest fucker in there, so everyone’s going to want to take me down.”
“To fuck you in the ass maybe. As far as you being top rank in prison, I think you’re clear.”
He frowns, clearly not seeing it that way.
My phone chimes, catching my attention. It’s Rachel. We’ve been seeing each other since high school. She’s high-maintenance, a Barbie. We started drifting apart years ago, but neither of us really have a place to go so we just deal with each other. She hates the club and wants me to quit, thinks I’d be a great dentist or perfect behind a desk or some shit. She clearly doesn’t know me, but I put up with her ‘cause she lets me fuck her in the ass occasionally. You can’t go wrong with fucking Barbie in the ass.
“What?” I snap into the phone.
“It’s one in the morning, Zevin. When are you coming home?”
I inhale a deep breath. “When I’m fucking home.”
“Typical. This is really getting to be tiresome. I never see you. You’re never here anymore.” Her tone of voice is really starting to piss me off. “Why can’t you take me on vacation or something?”
“Seriously, Rachel? I can’t do this shit right now. If you’re so unhappy, why the fuck are you still around?”
“You have changed so much. One of these days, Zevin, you’re going be left alone and you’ll have nobody to blame but yourself!”
The line goes dead and I slam the phone onto the bar, cracking the screen. I don’t have time for this shit right now. Every time I turn around, she’s pissed off at me and the club. She wonders why I fuck around. Maybe it’s because she’s constantly trying to change me.
“She still doesn’t get it, does she?” Felix grabs my beer, taking a swig.
Brow furrowed, I glare his way.
“I’m going to choke that bitch one of these days.”
“Zeek. I need a moment,” a familiar voice we both know all too well interrupts.
Looking at the entrance to the club, I find my uncle. He’s in an expensive-ass suit and red tie. His black hair rests on his shoulders, his Italian skin dark and flawless. He is my father’s brother, and he runs a casino across the street. My uncle has always been a powerful man. He’s smart. Vindictive. Manipulative, even. He moved to Vegas shortly after my father created the MC. Uncle Frank was a man of luck. He placed a bet, he won. Simple as that. Everyone who was anyone watched him, and bet on everything he bet on. Before anyone knew it, the Italian mob started following my uncle around, watching the bank he was making. I thought they were going to kill him, especially when he nearly made a million at one of their casinos. But they did something none of us expected—they put Uncle Frank in their pocket. My uncle was given a casino to run in the heart of Las Vegas, and a crew of ruthless men for his security. He’s untouchable. Uncle Frank is not to be messed with.
My uncle is the kind of man you think is your best friend, but he’s not. When you screw up, he’ll talk reason to you, assure you everything is fine, and you go on thinking it is. Then Cross finds you. They call him Cross ‘cause when you cross him, he’ll crucify you.
Cross is my uncle’s right-hand man. If Cross isn’t near my uncle, then he’s off doing a job for him. Cross is insane; he lives to kill, and he gets more and more creative with each one. We all are at his mercy, and the insane don’t have compassion. I mean, I’m fucked-up, and might even be labeled insane to some degree. But Cross? He’s the real deal.
Walking across the street into the casino, we head to his office which sits on the top floor. It’s a casino and hotel. As soon as you walk in, the main floor is lined with the top games and slots with some of the finest restaurants circling them. Taking a private elevator Uncle Frank uses, we bypass all of the chaos.
Uncle Frank sits in his high-back chair behind the desk. Cross sits on the edge of the expensive mahogany desk, cleaning a gun. Cross’s short, slicked-back hair glistens against the lights. With his neck, arms, and hands heavily tattooed, he resembles an Italian gangster.
“Please, sit.” Uncle Frank gestures toward a leather chair sitting in front of his desk.
“Ok, stand.” Uncle Frank grabs a cigar, clipping the end. “We have a problem,” he states, his tone laced with boredom.
“Yes. Your men are ratting, and that is a problem. However, amongst rats, there is a king. A king rat that can take down the rest of its pack and move on to another before doing the same exact thing. Do you know who that rat king is in the Sin City Outlaws?”
I don’t answer, ‘cause I feel like it’s a rhetorical question.
“Your father, that’s who.” He looks up from his cigar, his brows pinched together. Cross polishes the .45, not even acknowledging me. My mouth parts to make words, but I pause briefly. I knew it was just a matter of time before my father’s name was suggested in the reasoning behind the chaos.
“We don’t know that,” I mutter, rubbing my hands together, trying to give my father the benefit of the doubt.
He scoffs. “Really? The club has had two containers taken into evidence, one dead body dug up, and five members arrested. None of this started until your father got arrested, and coincidentally, your father knew about it all. I didn’t even know about the dead body. Look, I know the club has most of the local law enforcement in their pockets, but before too long, something will wind up in the wrong hands. And when that happens, everything comes crashing down. Can’t you feel them closing in? Do you want to go to prison?”
My head throbs with the info, and I sit in the chair. My father is a goddamn rat…
“Not to mention your father has refused to see us. That can only mean he’s hiding something.”
“They’re not letting him see anyone.” I tried to see him, figure out what the hell is going on, but I was told he was denied any visits or phone calls at this time. Sweat slips down on my spine, my frustration with the situation making me uncomfortable.
“Silly boy. We have our ways, and he refused to see us. Only a man who has something to hide would hide himself.”
Sitting forward, I rest my elbows on my knees, rubbing the back of my neck with my sweaty palm. This entire situation is fucked-up. While my mother preached Bible verses, my father preached the rules of an Outlaw. He taught me how to conceal and destroy evidence of a crime when I was only ten. He gave me my first gun at twelve and showed me how to kill someone with one bullet at the age of thirteen. Growing up, he ingrained the club rules religiously into my brain. Rule one: snitching was never an out, unless you wanted to commit suicide. He was an Outlaw through and through; I never thought of him as a snitch, and the idea of it now… it’s sickening.
“I’m just looking out for you, Zevin. Your mother won’t, not after she and Lip are bailing on you and your father.”
My head snaps up; this is the first I’ve heard of this.
“Oh, yeah.” His face flashes with sympathy. “Your father asked your mother to take the rap for him. Help him in some way or another. She refused, and she and your brother are moving to California as we speak.”
I grit my teeth. Lip has always been my mother’s pride and joy, and I… I was the mistake. The time my father didn’t pull out quick enough and a piece of the devil himself was replicated. Lifting my shoulders, I let out a deep breath.
“Screw them both,” I growl.
“I’m here, though.” Looking up, I hold my uncle’s stare. He is here, and he’s the only one left who hasn’t shit on me. The only family left who has stood by my side and chose loyalty and blood over self-righteousness.
“So, what now? What do I do?”
Uncle Frank smiles. “You’re president now. I have faith you’ll make the right decision.” The way he says it, the edge in his words, causes the sweat on my skin to cool.
“I’m vice president,” I correct.
“Not if you make the right decision, Zeek.” He tilts his head to the side, the tone of his voice laced with a vindictive suggestion. That’s when it hits me—he wants me to kill my father.
“You want me to kill him?” I confirm. When the words leave my mouth, they almost surprise me. Almost. But my father taught me firsthand what we do to those who talk to pigs. This is training taking over my emotions. Training that will kill my father, my teacher.
He sets the cigar down, and Cross loads the gun, the clicking mechanism echoing through the large room.
“It’s either him or us. He will bring us all down if you don’t.”
A throaty growl erupts in my throat, and my fists clench.
“Why me? Why don’t you have your hound do it?” I gesture toward Cross.
Uncle Frank stands, undoing the buttons on his suit jacket slowly.
“I’m sorry, Zeek, but you being so close to your father, I need to know where your loyalties lie. It has to be you. My casino is too close to the club for me to clean this up and trust that everything will go back to normal. The bosses have caught wind of this and want action taken immediately.” The bosses. He means the Italians he’s working for. The Mafia.
Closing my eyes, my temples pound with adrenaline, my head races with thoughts of emotion and training. I know I should kill my father without another thought, but the little boy in me looked up to the man and it’s clouding my better judgment.
“I know it’s a hard thing to process. Nobody said being a president would be easy, but you need to be able to sort through those who are rats and unworthy, and those who have your best interest.” He cups my shoulder, giving it a tender squeeze. “Think of your men. Think of the greatness you can possess after that gavel is in your hands, Zeek.”
Shaking my head, I bite at my cheek.
“I don’t want the gavel like this.” Being president has always been in my future, and I looked forward to the day, but this, killing my father and taking over… it’s not what I wanted. I wanted to earn it.
“Doing this, I don’t think you could earn that gavel more in any other way, Zeek. You are proving that the club is your main focus and that love, family, blood, none of it is a distraction to what really matters.”
“Which is?” I narrow my brows in question.
His lips part slowly, an evil smile crossing his face. “Power. To run an MC, you must have power. When you have this, everything you ever wanted will fall into your lap, Zeek. Women. Money. Respect. It’s what every MC tries to achieve, but most fail miserably because they let the little things in life pull them from that light.” He sighs, looking up at the ceiling in thought. “The Outlaws need an animal to lead them, and that animal is you.”
My head buzzes from the pressure bearing down on my shoulders, to the point I feel like a dead weight. “I need time to process this.”
Uncle Frank’s cheeks turn red, his hand clamping my shoulder.
“Sure, yes, of course.” He smiles, but it comes off bitter. He turns away, his hand that looks like he’s never gotten his hands dirty – because he hasn’t, he sends others to take care of his dirt – lingering on my shoulder a second longer than I like. “I wouldn’t take too long, though. One might get the wrong idea of where your trust sits.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I recoil. Sounds like he’s threatening me, which is a mistake. I may not be president, but I sure as hell won’t take anything less than respect. I am more than okay with putting a bullet in my uncle for disrespecting me.
He grins, biting down on his cigar with white teeth.
“It means the longer you take with your decision, the more shit could go wrong. People could… go missing?” The way he says it, it sounds like a question instead of a statement.
He is threatening me.
My chest tightens, and I point at him with force.
“Don’t fucking threaten me.” My voice is laced with venom that could kill. “I’m not one of your sleazy casino workers.”
A sly smile crosses his face before he speaks again. “You’re dismissed.” Uncle Frank turns and Cross stands with a gun in his hand, walking me out of the office.
“This is fucked-up, Felix. He taught me everything I know.”
“I hate to say it, but Uncle Frank makes sense,” Felix whispers, rolling a joint. Nobody is here, it’s just us in the main bar of the club in the early hours of the morning, but still, seeing how we have disloyal members, who knows what someone could do with the information we’re discussing.
“I know he makes sense, but my father was a Deluca. He kills rats.” I pound my fist on the table, making Felix have to start over on rolling his joint. “At least I thought he did,” I mutter.
“How else do you explain everything going down so quickly?”
“I don’t know.”
“Exactly. There is no other way. He tried to get your mother to take the blame, she didn’t, so now he’s making deals.”
Sitting back in the seat, I tap my foot anxiously.
“You want some?” Felix puffs on the blunt, gesturing it towards me.
Taking the rolled-up weed, I take a strong hit off it, hoping the earthy aroma will uncoil my fit of rage.
“You know Uncle Frank threatened me, told me if I didn’t make up my mind quickly, things and people would go missing.”
“Yeah.” I give a wry laugh. “I should fucking put a bullet in his head.” My finger twitches, aching to get behind a trigger.
“Man, you better be careful saying that shit. Someone could hear you.” Felix knows how dangerous my uncle is.
Rubbing my knuckles on my jeans, wiping off the blood from earlier, I scoff. I have respect for my uncle, but I’m not scared of him.
“Man, I don’t know. I hate to say it, but it all makes sense to me. If it were me, I’d do it,” Felix continues.
“You don’t think Uncle Frank is just trying to take the club over, do you?” I can’t help but think it.
Felix scratches his forehead, his eyes squinted in thought.
“I don’t know. I mean, I know they got into a bad-ass fight about the subject several months back. Do you remember that?”
“I remember Uncle Frank wanted to use the MC as muscle. I think Frank got into some shit with the bosses, or was trying some start-up project… shit, I can’t remember.”
“Yeah, I only heard pieces of it, too. Your dad was good at keeping that shit locked down. I think Frank was trying to pull away from the bosses, create his own circle to overtake them or some shit.” He shrugs.
“Yeah, I’m not sure.”
“But you gotta know, when you have family, there’s always drama. Doesn’t mean Frank is trying to take the club. I mean, if he was, why not just shoot you and take it?”
My head throbs, my knuckles aching from flexing them so much.
“I think he’s just as concerned as us all, that one of these nights we’ll be the ones pulled from our bed by the pigs and taken into custody. He’s family, so why would he try to fuck you over?” he continues.
I stand up, needing to move. Adrenaline and anger are rushing through my limbs, and me sitting here not releasing either has me about to combust.
“This club is a joke. Deluca, HA!” A drunk man stumbles into the club. A common hang-around, one who followed my father around like a lost puppy.
Marching toward him with angry steps, I fist his shirt and pull him within an inch of my face.
“What’d you say?” I seethe through gritted teeth.
“You heard me. This club is going to go down the shitter without your pops, son,” he slurs, spitting on my face.
I snap, plowing my fist into his face until the force of my hit knocks him from my grip.
He falls to the ground and I straddle him. Clutching his ripped shirt, I plow my fist into his face over and over again. The skin on my knuckles splits and cracks with pain, but I don’t stop.
“Gaaaah!” The man brings up his left arm, and something sharp slices across the bottom of my face. It’s a broken beer bottle, which strikes against my jaw and cuts my chin.
I stand and thumb at my chin. Blood pours from the cut.
My eyes dilate with rage. “You’re a fucking dead man.”
He blinks rapidly, and I slam my boot into his face.
“Zeek!” Felix grabs at my arms, but before he manages to pull me away I stomp the man’s face again.
“Brother, get a fucking grip!” Felix pushes me and I wipe at my chin, focused on the bloody, unconscious man on the floor.
“Jesus, man.” Felix turns, interlocking his fingers behind his head as he looks the man over.
I turn, trying to calm myself, when I catch my reflection in the mirror. My dark hair is everywhere, my beard needs a shave, and my chest is puffed out in rage. I look like my father.
I punch the mirror that lines the back wall of the bar. It shatters into a million little pieces, landing at my feet, some sticking to my bloody knuckles.
“Feel better?” Felix questions calmly.
“Maybe I should call Phillip.” Using the back of my hand, I wipe at the cut. It’s bleeding, and stings like a bitch.
“My brother, Lip.”
Felix gives a disgusted face. “Yeah, good luck.”
Me and my brother, we don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of things. He is my mother’s pride and joy since he hates our father and me, just like our mom. My mother pretends like I’m an equal to Lip. I know better, though; I sense the hatred from her when she looks at me. When my father tried to get Lip to join the club, he refused and my mother had his back. That’s where Lip and I disagree. I know we were born to be in this club, but Lip, he looked at us with disgust.
Turning in my seat, I dial his number. It rings four times before it goes to voicemail. He ignored my call. As usual.
“Let me guess, he didn’t answer?” Felix asks, his voice thick with smoke. I’ve tried to call his ass since Dad got locked up, and he’s not answered once.
“Doesn’t matter. This is club business, not Lip’s business. I’ll take care of this.”
“What are you going to do?”
Inhaling a breath, I stand. “I’m going to fucking show this club what we do to rats.”
Walking into Dad’s old office, I sit behind his desk. A desk that will be mine. I don’t know how I’m going to get to my father when he’s in prison. My eyes sweep across his desk, landing on payouts. People we have in our pocket. People and organizations we’ve got by the balls to do our dirty work. Uncle Frank has some, but the MC has more.
“How the hell am I going to get to him?” I mutter, sliding my hands back and forth through my hair. My father is smart; he’ll be protected.
“Felix!” I holler.
He straggles into the office, his eyes bloodshot as hell.
“You still in contact with that one guy, the one that has every drug, plant, and prescription you can think of?”
Felix turns his head slightly, eyeing me like I’ve lost my mind.
“I try to stay away from that guy, he’s weird. Why? What are you looking for?”
“My dad is probably going to be protected in prison, so I’m not going to be able to hire someone to take him out. He’ll expect that.”
“Yeah, he will.”
“I was thinking about getting something that will take him out without him expecting it.” I sit up in my chair, and my eyes perk when it hits me. “Ricin.”
“Dude.” Felix’s face goes serious. “That’s a pretty lethal drug. I don’t know if he’ll have that shit. But I gotta give you credit for thinking like a fucking psychopath. I’ll text him and find out, though.”
I smirk. “I’ll lace the butt of a cigarette with it, and I’ll get a dirty cop to give him a pack of smokes.” I nod along with my words. The whole plan is coming into play easily. “It’ll be my mark on Vegas. My first kill as president.” Adrenaline spikes my heart into a racing beat as I think about it.
“He has it, for a price,” Felix informs, taking me from my mental planning.
Taking my gaze from my hands, I glance at him.
Felix picked the Ricin up for me an hour ago, already rolled into a cigarette. I placed it into a fresh pack of smokes, and am now waiting for one of our payouts to meet me. You can see the sun peek over the horizon, threatening us of its heat and glory to follow.
Fucking rat, I still can’t believe this shit.
A sheriff’s car pulls up, dust from the desert kicking up in a cloud of smoke behind it.
“Zeek,” the man greets, getting out of the car. He pulls on his shirt and narrows his eyes at me. “I’m surprised to see you. I usually only deal with your father.”
“Yeah, well, my father is locked up,” I respond bitterly.
“Now you’re in charge?” He says it on a long breath, as if he’s tired of us.
Lifting my head with confidence, I give him a beaming, toothy smile.
“You’ll never get rid of us. Kind of like you pigs. One dies, another fills your place.”
His face sours, his hands tugging on the waist of his pants as he looks off into the desert.
“What can I do for you, Zeek?”
“I want in to see my father.”
“I can’t do that. They have his ass separated from everyone else awaiting trial.” He shakes his head sternly.
“Can you give him something for me?” I slide my hand in my pocket, my fingers grazing the pack of Marlboro Lights.
“Depends what it is…” He eyes me warily.
Pulling the pack out, I stare at it. This is it. By giving this pack to this dip shit, my father will be dead and I will be president.
The fresh smell of tobacco wafts up to me, reminding me of my father. My rat of a father. I snarl, the sting of him betraying not only the club, but me, is painful. I toss the pack at the sheriff and lift my shoulders.
“Cigarettes? You want me to give these to him?” He palms them, looking at me like I’ve lost my mind.
“Yup.” I wait for the questions to start on why I asked him to come all the way out here to take a pack of smokes.
He nods and sticks the pack into his pocket. “I can do that.”
I sigh, relieved I don’t have to come up with some lie about why he needs to deliver them. “I want my father to call me a couple hours after you deliver.”
“I can’t do—”
“You can, and you will. Get him a phone, and have him call me. You can’t get me in to see him, so I want a fucking phone call.”
He sighs heavily. “I’ll see what I can do.”
“Good.” Swinging my leg over my bike, I start it and leave.
To see what happens next, grab Reign on January 27th. You can also Pre-Order now, and have it delivered to your kindle by midnight on release!!!