When I’d joined the MC and immersed myself into “the life,” everything started to spin out of control. My world had been controlled. Every decision I used to make was methodical until I entered the lifestyle.
I had a mission, a true course, and a clear goal when I became a prospect. I’d get patched in, learn the ins and outs of the Sun Devil MC, find enough proof of their illegal activity, and then bring them down.
No one thought I’d climb the ranks, becoming sergeant-at-arms and one of the deciding members of the club.
I had my hands in everything.
When did the line blur? Was there a point where I became just as guilty as those I was trying to ruin?
At what point does a good guy become one of the bad?
I felt lost.
The person keeping tabs on me was James, my handler and best friend. We’d joined the DEA years ago and quickly became friends, leaning on each other in times of need and helping each other stay focused on the future—one without the Sun Devils.
He assured me I was the same man he’d met in training, but I feared he was wrong.
Being away from my friends and family for so long had an effect on me. They were my rock, my world, until I left them all behind.
How could I lead a life filled with violence, crime, and deceit, and still be the same man?
I hadn’t realized how far I’d fallen down the rabbit hole until Bike Week. Sitting around the table with the guys, drinking our beer, watching the ladies, and shootin’ the shit—and then she walked in the door.
When I heard her voice, my heart skipped a beat. Looking into her eyes, I felt the weight of my actions hit me square in the chest. Seeing Izzy was like being hit by a semi at sixty miles an hour and watching it happen in slow motion.
Unable to stop the collision, I tried to contain the damage the best I could. A sledgehammer to the head would have hurt less than seeing my sister, and knowing the danger she was in.
Everything could come tumbling down like a house of cards.
She played along, pretending she didn’t know who I was, and it seemed to work. No one thought anything of it. Rebel was a little too interested in her, eye-fucking her at the table, but I kept my cool and waited for the right time to get her alone.
I’d spent my teen years trying to protect my sister. Seeing men looking at her like she was a piece of ass drove me fucking insane. The jealousy and protective nature were ingrained in me—all Gallo men were born with it. From the time we were little, we protected each other and would give our lives for one another, if necessary.
My only goal when I saw her was getting her the fuck away from the MC and Rebel. Having her near fucked with my head.
It’s hard to describe through words, but she made me ache for something I didn’t have.
I called the one man I knew would keep my sister safe—James Caldo. He had my back, and I knew he would protect my sister with his life. When she was safely whisked away, I decided I had enough.
It was time.
No more waiting for the perfect moment.
Perfection is one of those bullshit words people use.
There would be no right time to do it.
Only the now.
The motherfuckers were going down.
After I pulled into the parking lot, Izzy still on my mind, I turned off the bike and sat there for a moment.
“Yo!” Rebel yelled, pulling me from my thoughts and slamming me back into reality. “Where the fuck’s the girl?”
I shook my head, clenching my fists to control my anxiety. “We were stopped and she had blow on her,” I said, climbing off my bike and cracking my neck.
“What the fuck?” he asked with a clipped tone as he stood outside the clubhouse of the Vipers.
The Vipers weren’t a rival, but shit had been tense for months. Rebel had been working to secure a business arrangement with them, a deal that would bring a lot of money to the club and dig his grave deeper. With the new venture, his time in the federal penitentiary would exceed more years than he had left on this Earth.
“Fuck if I know, man. Dickhead cop searched her and found it in her pocket. Carted her ass off to jail.” I shrugged, praying that he would buy the line of shit.
I never thought of myself as a liar or an amazing actor. But my time with the Sun Devils had taught me that I had that ability. People bought my lies, ate it with a spoon, and didn’t question me. Maybe it was my demeanor or my “who the fuck cares” attitude, but they believed the horseshit I shoveled.
“Better her than you, brother,” Rebel said, slapping me on the back as I walked by him.
I wanted to punch him in the face. Tamping down my anger, I closed and opened my fists at my sides before reaching for the door.
“Was she worth it?” he asked before I could walk inside.
“Was her pussy as good as I imagined?” He licked his lips and stared me in the eye.
I didn’t flinch, a snarl barely hidden by my words. “Shit wasn’t as fuckin’ great as you’d think. She’s used. Worn out from too much cock. Not worth the trouble with the cops, either. That shit is for sure.”
“Hmm,” he said as he rubbed his chin. “Such a shame. Maybe we’ll find you a little something to make up for tonight’s disappointment.”
“Yeah,” I muttered, opening the door and leaving Rebel behind.
The party was in full swing. The people inside were from different MCs from around the country with Bike Week festivities only a few miles away. Deals were to be discussed after a couple of drinks and greetings. Business took precedence. Money was the driving force and the great equalizer, removing hatred—if only for the short term.
I stood there for a minute, taking in the scene. Club whores were everywhere. On their knees, sitting in laps, and serving drinks. Men with various patches were scattered around the clubhouse, drinking and talking. Drugs, booze, and women were the norm.
r /> I was over it.
The life was wearing on me. I’d had enough, but this wasn’t something I could just walk away from without a thought. I had put years into taking the Sun Devils down. I had to find a way to stick it out just a bit longer.
Failure was not an option.
“Hey,” a voice called from across the room. The man was waving his hands, motioning for us to approach.
“Who the fuck is that?” I asked Rebel, keeping my eyes trained on the stranger.
“Vipers VP, Greaser. He’s a total asshole. Don’t trust a fucking thing he says,” Rebel muttered quietly behind me as we walked toward Greaser.
That shit was the pot calling the kettle black. I had witnessed Rebel backstabbing more people than I could count. He was a double-talker who could look you dead in the eye, swear on the life of his kids, and break his word without giving it another thought.
Where I came from, your word meant everything. A man was only as good as it, but in this world, it didn’t mean a goddamn thing.
“Hey, man,” Greaser drawled as we approached. “Good to see your ugly mug again.” He held out his hand, waiting for Rebel to shake it. Then Greaser turned to me, eyeing me with suspicion as he shook Rebel’s hand. “Who’s this?” he asked as he ended the handshake.
“This is Blue, my sergeant-at-arms.”
I didn’t speak as I waited for Greaser to look me up and down and form a judgment. Not being an in-your-face type of guy, I let him have his fill. I didn’t give a fuck if people liked me or not. I wasn’t here to make friends.
“What happened to Rabbit?” Greaser asked as he leaned back in his chair, keeping his eyes glued to me.
I didn’t back down from his stare. He didn’t scare me. The corner of my lip ticked, though. The look he was giving me had started to piss me off. I could only assume he’d received his nickname from his hairstyle. His hair was slicked back like a classic fifties greaser from the movies. He had become lost in the time of James Dean. In his day, he probably was handsome, but the road, as it often did, had worn on him and aged him substantially.
“Fucker got popped a while back.”
“Too bad. I liked him,” Greaser replied.
Rebel slapped me on the back, jarring me. “Blue here has been a major asset to the club. I trust no one more than him.”
Greaser’s glare didn’t disappear as a small smile crept across his lips. “If Rebel vouches for you, then I know you’re trustworthy.”
“If you base your judgment on anything that comes out of Rebel’s mouth, then clearly, your thinking isn’t fucking right,” I said as I slipped my hand into his and squeezed.
His body began to quake, a laugh bubbling out of him as my words sank in. “Ha!” he yelled, roughly squeezing my hand. “That shit is the truth. Rebel wouldn’t know the truth if it bit him on his dick.” His face softened as he laughed. “Take a seat, gentlemen,” Greaser said as his grip eased.
“Is it safe to talk here?” Rebel asked as he looked around the room. “Or should we go somewhere more private?”
Greaser waved his hand around before picking up his beer. “We’re safe here. If someone is listening, it’ll be hard for them to hear with all the noise.”
“Gotcha. I need a fuckin’ beer after this night.”
“What happened?” Greaser asked, bringing the beer to his lips.
“Fuckin’ fine piece of ass was right in front of me and I gave it to Blue.”
Greaser shook his head. “Never give away pussy.”
“She was a druggie and was arrested on the way here.”
“Fuck,” Greaser muttered. “No pussy is worth bringing the eyes of the law down upon the club.”
“Blue was with her. They let him go, but they got her.”
“What’s her name?” Greaser asked.
The last thing I wanted was Greaser or anyone else looking into Izzy. My insides were twisting at the thought of them finding her.
“The pig said she had a rap sheet a mile long. She’s just a junky and nothing more.”
“What?” Rebel asked, staring at me.
“She’s inconsequential, man. She was a lousy fuck and not worth another thought.”
I'd put a bullet in anyone who could harm my sister. Maintaining my cover wasn’t as important as my family.
“As long as you think there’ll be no blowback.”
“Fucker, the only thing she knows is the size of my dick,” I replied, looking around the room. “Anyone serving drinks in this shithole?”
“Bunny!” Greaser yelled across the room as a small female jumped and turned before heading right toward us. Her tiny feet moved quickly, her long legs almost shaking at the knees as she came to a stop in front of us, standing next to Rebel.
“Y-y-yesss,” she stammered with her eyes wide and glued to Greaser.
“Beer?” he asked.
“Tequila and a beer please,” I said, smiling at Bunny.
“Beer and a kiss, darlin’,” Rebel teased. Then he puckered his lips as he slid his arm behind her legs.
She tried to plaster a smile on her face as she leaned over and gave him a quick peck on the lips. Before she could back away, he grabbed her face and forced his tongue in her mouth. I turned to Greaser, who was watching in amusement, laughing and slapping the table.
When Rebel released her, she turned around and started to walk away, but not before he could land a quick slap to her ass. She squeaked, picking up the pace to get out of arm’s reach before another assault by Rebel.
“She’s a fine specimen, Greaser,” he growled as he wiped his lips.
“Yeah. She didn’t look into your old ass, motherfucker,” I replied as I pulled the cigarette pack from my sleeve. Once I’d grabbed a smoke, I tapped it against the box before placing it between my lips.
“With age comes experience,” Rebel hissed.
“Your shit’s going to fall off soon. It’s overused and needs to be condemned,” I teased before lighting the tip. After taking a drag, I let the smoke sit in my throat, the slow burn soothing my nerves.
I couldn’t remember what it meant to relax. I knew in essence what the word described, but while I was on the job, undercover with the MC, it wasn’t a verb I could identify any longer. I was constantly on edge, looking over my shoulder, and waiting for the shit to hit the proverbial fan at any moment.
I had to have aged at least twenty years since I had found my way inside the Sun Devils MC. I didn’t know if I’d ever be the same.
Could I go back home and be the Thomas Gallo I had been in my youth? The carefree ball buster amongst my family? Or had I been forever altered and perpetually changed by this mission?
At times, I second-guessed my decision to join the DEA. I should’ve stuck it out at the tattoo shop and been happy with a life with my family.
But I craved something more.
I’d wanted the rush, and knowing that I was doing something worthy made me feel good.
Once inside, I’d gotten a reality check. No matter how many men we brought down, how many drug dealers we threw in jail, or how many MCs we were able to rip apart, there would be another one to take their place before the judge could pass sentence.
The sound of the bottle scraping against the wooden table pulled me from my thoughts as Bunny slid the beer in front of me, brushing my fingers with the backs of her knuckles. I looked up at her and smiled.
“Where the fuck did you go there?” Rebel asked as he grabbed my beer.
“Zoned out for a minute.” I wished I was anywhere but here.
“Here’s your shot, baby,” Bunny cooed as she replaced the beer Rebel stole from me.
“Thanks, Bunny,” I said as I plucked a ten-dollar bill from my pocket and placed it on her tray.
“Get lost, Bunny. We have shit to talk about,” Greaser growled when she lingered for a moment, staring at me.
She scurried off into the crowd without a reply.
“Did Rebel fill you in on the details of the deal?
” Greaser asked me before taking another sip of his beer.
“Yes.” I brought the shot glass to my mouth and downed the cool amber liquid.
“What are your thoughts?” Greaser asked, turning the beer bottle in his hand.
“The logistics are a concern, but it’s doable. Can the players be trusted?” I asked, still feeling the burn of the tequila in my belly.
Rebel had been tossing around the idea for some time, but when Greaser had said that he was all in, he’d jumped on it and run full steam ahead. Instead of controlling the drugs and guns, Rebel and Greaser had decided that the two clubs would go into money laundering. They felt that the risk was lower and the monetary gain higher. I looked at it as another thing to add to the long list of offenses I was able to track and prove when it was time to bring the club down.
“Yes,” Greaser stated without going into detail.
“I’m sure we can make it successful for everyone. What’s the cut?” Taking another drag of my cigarette, I stared at Greaser, waiting for his reply.
“Ten percent.” He motioned with his fingers, calling over someone across the room.
“Fuckin’ ay,” Rebel bellowed as he slammed his beer down on the table. “We got this shit.”
As he spoke, a beautiful brunette came up next to Greaser. He wrapped his arm around her waist, stroking her exposed stomach with his thumb.
“We’ll head down next week to discuss it further as long as your club is on board,” Greaser said as he climbed to his feet.
“Sounds good, my old friend,” Rebel replied. “I need to find some pussy. My balls are aching.”
Once they’d shaken hands, Greaser wandered off with the brunette. Then Rebel sat back down, taking a gulp of his beer.
“I’m going to get some head.”