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|Uncover Me(Men of Inked #6) by Chelle Bliss|
I walked toward the door, a feeling of dread filling my belly. I didn’t want to go back, but I knew there wasn’t another option.
“Want to hit me? Maybe you’ll feel better,” he said behind me as he followed me to the door.
I turned, a smile on my face at the thought, but I just couldn’t. “Nah. I don’t want to hurt you, man.”
He pointed to his chin. “Free shot. Sure you don’t want it?”
I held out my hand to him, sick of fighting in general. “I’m good. All I ask is that you say hello to everyone for me.”
He placed his hand in mine, squeezing hard and shaking it. “Will do, Thomas. Call me if anything goes down. I’ll have my phone by my side all weekend.” He released me, holding the door open for me to go.
“Yeah. Always.” I pulled down my shades, placed them over my eyes, and descended the steps to my bike.
Climbing on, I cursed myself for the time wasted. Don’t get me fucking wrong. I knew I was doing good work, but the time lost with my family could never be recovered. The end was near.
Forty-eight hours after talking with James, word came down through the channels that the bust was about to go down. My world, along with all the members of the club, would forever be changed. Everything I’d worked so hard for was finally coming to fruition.
Flash texted me as I walked around the club, taking in the people who were sitting around. It would be the last time they’d be together without being behind bars.
Flash: Three hours and it’s happening.
Walking into my room, I typed a reply to him.
Me: Gotcha. I’ll be ready. Get your shit together.
I dialed Bobby immediately. He was the king shit in the operation. James and I both reported to him, and he called the shots. Often, we left him out of some decisions, but in general, we followed his direction and kept him in the loop.
The call connected as I heard static coming through the earpiece. “Talk to me.” Bobby wasn’t into small talk and he never said hello.
“I just got word that shit’s going down tonight. Is it true?” Silently, I was praying to God that it wasn’t a cruel joke.
“Yeah. Be ready. James is on his way back and will be with the group during the raid.”
“What’s my exit strategy?” I asked, pushing the thought of James being with my family when word came down out of my mind.
How would we explain away that I wasn’t going to be in the clink with the rest of the guys? It wouldn’t be hard for them to figure out that I was either a rat or an undercover cop. The worry and frustration I had put out of my mind came flooding back. Fuck. This could be only the beginning of watching over my fucking shoulder.
“I worked that shit out with the FBI.”
The man didn’t have many words. Great. We were finally communicating, but a little information would be nice. It was like pulling fucking teeth when it was my goddamn ass on the line.
“Since it’s a federal case, everyone will be split up while awaiting trial. We have men being shipped all around the country. They won’t be able to track who is where, and that should ensure your safety—and Samuel’s too, of course.”
I breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe their plan could work. I didn’t see any other option but to pray to Christ that splitting up the group would make it almost impossible to track each member’s whereabouts.
“So that’s it?”
“That’s it. You’ll be booked to keep your cover, but once everyone is split up, you’ll be released.”
Thank fuck for small miracles. I’d have to spend some time in the very place I’d been working to send every member of the MC. Thankfully, it wouldn’t be for long.
“How long?” I asked, checking the clock on the wall. This shit would be like watching water boil. Time would tick by slower than ever.
“Three hours maximum. Be on your toes. Are all the members there?” The sound of paperwork being shuffled around on the other end of the line broke my trance with the clock.
“Yeah, they’re here. We’re having a party tonight.”
“Good. Talk to you soon.”
When the call disconnected, I turned the phone over in my hand, trying to decide what to do next. As I looked around the room, taking in the place I’d called home for more months than I cared to remember, it hit me. I’d never see Roxy again. I couldn’t touch her again and say goodbye. I’d vanish like the rest of the guys. She’d assume I was in jail, hopefully forget about me, and move on.
As soon as I thought the words, I knew it was bullshit. I didn’t want her to move on. I didn’t want to be forgotten. I was a selfish prick, because I hadn’t put much thought into how my presence in her life would impact her when I left.
When I should have felt a sense of joy and total relief, the only thing I felt was crushing sadness. I’d lied to myself. One lie had led to another and then snowballed. I loved Roxanne. I don’t mean I just loved fucking her or I liked her. Fuck no. I loved her with my entire being. Her sweetness and kind nature had captured my attention and eventually my heart. My head said, No…just use her, but my heart was a complete asshole.
Resting my chin against my shoulder, I inhaled deeply, the smell of her perfume still lingering on my shirt. As I closed my eyes, I thought of her face filled with laughter and the feel of her skin against mine. Falling backward, I let my body bounce on the edge of the bed before placing my elbows on my knees. Then I sat there like a dumbass and stared at the wall.