Home > Rush (The Brotherhood #2)(4)

Rush (The Brotherhood #2)(4)
Author: Penelope Black

The creak of the metal door behind me alerts me to one of my brothers. They’d be the only ones to interrupt me. I take a moment to recenter myself before I turn around.

“Anything?”

I glare at my brother for even asking such a dumbass question. “Do you really think I’d still be standing here if I got anything useful out of any of them?”

Sully stares at me with a scowl on his face and folds his arms across his chest. “Fuck off, Wolf. You’re not the only one frustrated. Rush has been basically mute except for his check-ins.”

I scoff. “Are we still pretending like Red doesn’t mean shit to you?”

I walk over to the guy hanging from the rope attached to a customized pulley system hooked up to the rafters. I’ve got another three faceless guys in the other rooms—and five more at our secondary location in the city.

Except for this guy, Sully and I volunteered to drag all the others here, since we thought they’d be the most promising leads. So far, they haven’t panned out.

Sully’s saved from answering by his phone ringing. He digs it out of his pocket and my gaze zeros in on the flecks of dried blood on his forearm.

“Talk to me.”

I unhook the guy in front of me, and he slumps to the floor.

“Where? How sure?” He pauses for a second. “Survivors? Bodies?” He pauses again, and I feel every muscle in my body tighten with whatever information is on the other end of that phone. “Yeah. Okay, thanks. Good work.”

He ends the call and looks at me, his expression carefully blank.

“What?” The word comes out harsher than I wanted, but I’m not going to take it back now.

“That was Matteo. One of his soldiers spotted the same make and model van from O’Malley’s. On fire.”

My heart skips a beat before it races. “Where?”

“About halfway between the city and here, two hours northbound. And before you ask, there were no survivors on the scene, but there were bodies pulled from the wreckage. Two men from the looks of it.”

I wipe my hands on the black hand towel and stride toward the door. “Let’s go.”

Sully stops me with a hand on my shoulder. “Hang on a minute. She’s not there, man. And it’s at least another three-hour drive. Our efforts are better spent here, asking the right questions now that we have some more information to go on.”

In one move, I flick his hand off my shoulder, spin around, and shove him back a step. “Our girl’s been missing for almost six hours, and you’re telling me to wait after we got our first credible lead? Are you out of your fucking mind?”

I can feel the vein in my forehead throbbing with the beat of my rage. Each minute that passes without her is a slash on my already bruised soul.

Sully doesn’t break eye contact. “Yes. That’s exactly what I’m telling you. Call Diesel and have him fucking video you when he’s there, if that’s what you need. But she’s not there, and if we want to find her, then we need one of these motherfuckers to talk. And I need you to help me make them fucking talk.” He’s breathing heavy by the time he’s done speaking.

If I was in a better frame of mind, I would bring up the fact that he’s one step away from losing it. But as it is, I’m stuck in my own hell, and I don’t have the capacity for anything else right now.

“Fine. I’ll call Diesel again, but you’re telling Rush.”

He nods once, and I step back. We both pull our phones and I send a text to Diesel with my request.

I follow Sully out of the room. Jimmy waits outside the door. “Ice him—he decided to leave the party early, and he’s not done yet.”

“On it, boss.” He pushes off the wall and heads inside the room we just left.

I don’t spare him a second glance as Sully and I head to the two rooms next door. I pause with my hand on the doorknob and look at my brother.

“Whatever it takes, brother.”

He nods. “Whatever it takes.”

 

 

Chapter Four

 

 

Alaina

 

It’s the noise that I notice first. Or rather, the absence of noise. I’ve become so accustomed to the noises of the city that truly never sleeps that the lack of yelling and honking horns and blaring music feels jarring to my ears.

I struggle to pry my eyelids open, but they feel like they weigh a thousand pounds. A groan slips past my lips when I open my eyes and instantly regret it. The room spins, and I have just enough presence of mind to lean over before the contents of my stomach come up and splatter the dirty floor.

“Side effect of the sedative.”

I flinch at the sound of the unfamiliar voice and flick my gaze around the darkened room until I see him partially shadowed in the corner by the doorway.

I cough a few times and spit in an attempt to clear my mouth, and when I’m sure that I’m not going to hurl again, I use my hand to push myself to a sitting position. I’m sitting on a faded blue-and-white floral-patterned couch in a floor-to-ceiling wood-paneled room. Two windows are on the wall to the left of me with drapes in the same pattern as the couch pulled closed. I don’t see any sunlight spilling in, so I can only assume it’s the middle of the night.

Dread pools in my belly as I glance at the man in the shadows and try to collect my thoughts over the pounding in my head.

I clear my throat a couple of times and wince at the burn. “Where am I?”

He takes two steps toward me, no longer concealed in shadows, but he doesn’t get closer. In dark jeans and a black tee, his clothes give nothing away. No visible tattoos and closely cropped black hair. He stares at me for a moment as he rolls around a toothpick in his mouth before pulling a cell phone out of his pocket. I spot the gun in a shoulder holster when his arm moves to grab his phone, and an intense wave of panic licks up my spine.

I push it back down, unwilling to douse the flicker of hope I just got. I discreetly shift my weight from one side to the other to feel for the outline of my phone that I know I stashed in my pocket back when I was at O’Malley’s.

Bingo.

I’ve never been more thankful for my love of dresses with pockets than I am right now. I’m so distracted by my victory that I miss the beginning of the conversation.

“Yeah, boss. She’s awake. Yeah, I got it.”

He hangs up before I can get any more clues from the one-sided conversation. If watching TV has taught me anything, it’s that I need to keep him talking. Most bad guys like to brag about what they did or what they’re planning to do, and hopefully, he’ll slip up and give me something I can use. Somehow.

I shake my head, trying to ease the intense throbbing so I can focus. I need a plan on how the hell I’m going to get out of here.

Yes, that’s exactly what I need.

Planning on how the hell I’m supposed to escape a place I’ve never been to surrounded by people I don’t know in a location I’ve never been to before.

With each word, the panic grows until it’s swelling so large that I know it’ll crest soon and take me down with it. I’ll never resurface. And I’ll never get out of here.

I’ve watched enough horror movies to know that it doesn’t look good for me in my current predicament. What I do know is that I was taken from O’Malley’s, then I woke up in a van, and then I vaguely remember seeing flashes of a burning van and being carried to another car. And now here. I could’ve changed locations a dozen times in all those blackout moments I don’t remember. And with each new location, the likelihood of rescue goes down.

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