I needed a miracle and I knew of only one man who could give it to me. My brother was dying and the only person who might be able to save him was the president of the Soldiers of Fortune MC. I was afraid to approach the man, but I was terrified I'd lose my brother if I didn't.
The world I found myself in was one I never imagined existed. It upended my reality in more ways than one. Between car bombings, getting kidnapped, and people getting shot, discovering shifters were real should of shocked me to the core, but finding out that Gunner, the sexy vice-president of the motorcycle club, was my mate might top everything. I just wished I could believe him.
Dr. Henry Nash was everything that was good and perfect in this world and he was my mate. I was a bear shifting biker with an intense dislike of law enforcement and anyone who believed they could tell me what to do. My world was hard, dangerous, and violent, and I certainly didn't want to drag Henry into it.
But there were forces at work who seem fixated in Henry. With his life in danger, I have no choice but to expose him to a world that might very well get him killed and if a bullet doesn't get me first, Henry just might when he learns I've been keeping secrets.
I glanced down at the piece of paper in my hand to make sure I had the address right—and I really hoped I didn't—then back up at the well-used building in front of me. And the word building was a loose term, very loose.
I was sure that this place had once been a great place full of light and laughter. Right now, it was full of bikers and beer, and it was so far from up-kept that it was barely a building.
I folded up my little piece of paper and slid it into the pocket of my slacks then started for the building. I almost turned and climbed back in my car, but I was here for a reason and I refused to go home with my tail tucked between my legs. I had a mission to complete and I was damn well going to complete it.
The door crashed open just as I reached the steps and a man in dirty jeans and a denim vest stumbled out. I quickly stepped to one side as the guy went flying past me and crashed onto the ground.
"Oh, Henry," I whispered to myself, "this is not one of your brighter ideas."
I swallowed tightly as I stepped through the open doorway. I was immediately assailed by the strong stench of beer and body odor, and music so loud, I feared I'd go deaf.
This was really the dumbest idea I'd ever had.
Still, I had made a promise and I intended to keep that promise. Once it was done, I could leave here and forget this place ever existed. I just needed some information and then I was so out of here.
With that thought in mind, I started walking through the large main room. I was looking for one specific man and the report I'd received from the private investigator I'd hired said this was where I would find him.
The room was filled with a lot of people, but I didn't think any of them were the man I was after. I doubted he would look like the thirty-seven year old picture I'd been given. A lot of years had gone by, and by the look of this place, those years had been hard.
As I glanced around and took in the people in the room, the thought of asking anyone for help left a sick feeling in my stomach. The level of alcohol being consumed in the room couldn't be healthy. It seemed as if almost everyone had some sort of drink in their hands.
There were a few who had other things in their hands. I never considered myself a prude before, but the sight of some guy on his knees giving another guy a blow job right out there in front of everyone changed my mind. It was even worse when I spotted two guys tag teaming a girl off in the corner.
Did these people have no decency?
I shuddered and continued moving through the room. The desire to find James Cassidy was quickly waning. If it wasn't for the fact that I was on a mission of mercy for my twin brother, I wouldn't step foot in a place like this.
"You're not a honey, are you?"
I turned to find a man standing behind me. He couldn't have been more than twenty years old. He didn't even look like he needed to shave. There was a tiny bit of peach fuzz on his face.
But the glint in his eyes still made me wary.
"I'm sorry, a honey?" I had no idea what that meant.
The guy grinned.
At least his teeth were clean.
"Naw, you ain't a honey."
I pulled back when he grabbed my wrist. "Let me go."
He gave a hard jerk on my arm. "I want a blow job."
I inwardly groaned, but plastered a smile on my face, the same one I gave the hospital administrator when he started talking about budget cuts. "As delightful as that sounds, I'm afraid I'm going to have to decline."
"You can't. If you ain't a honey, you're fair game."
"No," I said as firmly as I could. "I am not giving you a blow job."
"That's cool." The guy started walking across the room, dragging me along with him. "I don't mind a good fuck."
Oh, hell no!
"No," I said more firmly. "I am not going to have sex with you."
The man snarled as he turned and jerked me close. "You ain't a honey. You ain't anyone's ol'lady. That means you gotta fuck when someone says fuck."
The hell I would. I pulled back on my arm. When the guy jerked it back toward him, I put my own power behind it and punched him square in the nose. I heard a sickening crunch right before he cried out and blood started dripping from his nose.
"You hit me!"
"And I'll hit you again if you don't release me." I didn't normally approve of violence, but I approved of rape even less. "Now!"
"You broke my nose, you fucking bastard!"
I ducked the fist aimed at my face then kicked out with my feet, sweeping the jackass's legs out from under him. He barely hit the floor before I placed the heel of my Manolo Blahnik ankle boot against his carotid artery.
"What part of no didn't you understand?" I bit out as I applied a little pressure. Not enough to break the skin, but enough for me to get his attention. "The N or the O?"
I glanced up when someone called out. When I spotted Bug, I took my foot off the moron on the floor and stepped back. "Bug, what are you doing here?"
My eyebrows shot up. "You live here?"
"Yes." Bug pointed up. "Have room there."
I glanced around the place. It was a bar, but it wasn't exactly the friendliest looking place. More than half the men in the room looked as if they had gone ten rounds with a prize fighter, and I wasn't sure who had come out on top.
"Why you here?" Bug asked. "Someone sick?"
"Oh, no, I'm...uh...I'm actually looking for someone."
"Who?" Bug asked. "I help find."
"No James here, but boss man Butch Cassidy."
"Butch?" Please, god, no. "Your father is named Butch Cassidy?"
Bug laughed. "Not real father. Pretend father."
Oh, thank god.
"Not know real father."
"Is Mr. Cassidy here?" Maybe he'd know where I could find James Cassidy. There was a possibility that they were related in some manner, although I'd never been given any indication that James Cassidy had any relatives named Butch.
"Boss man in office." Bug turned and walked away.
I started to follow him only to be brought up short by a hand on my arm, a hand that was squeezing a little too tightly. I glanced down then slowly followed that hand to an arm and then up to a set of narrowed eyes filled with anger.
"Move it or lose it."
I never thought I'd have reason to use those words.
"You hit me," the man growled.
"And I'll do it again if you do not release me." This guy was really starting to piss me off. "I did not ask for your attention nor do I want it. I believe I have been very clear on that. Now, release me or—"
The guy took a swing at me. Again. Apparently, he hadn't learned the first time. I ducked down as his arm swung over me. When I came up, I slammed my heel down on the top of his boot just as hard as I could. The man let out a loud shout and reached down to grab his foot. I quickly brought my knee up and slammed it into his face.
He went down like a bag of rocks.
I smoothed out the wrinkles on my shirt, straightened my bowtie, and then carefully stepped over his prone body. Bug was waiting for me at the beginning of a long hallway.
"Wait here. No go unless okay."
Bug walked to the door at the end of the hallway then knocked. A moment later he opened the door and stuck his head inside. "Doc here for boss man."
I heard a mumbled response then Bug glanced back at me, waving me forward. I tried not to show my nervousness as I walked down the hallway. I was positive the clog in my throat, making it hard to breathe, was my heart, and it was beating out of control.
If I didn't know better, I'd be worried I was having a stroke.
It felt like a stroke.
When I reached the door, Bug waved his hand inside. "Is boss."
I immediately recognized the large tattooed man sitting behind the desk. I'd met him before when Bug had been my patient. I gave him a respectful nod as I stepped inside the office. "Mr. Cassidy."
A frown furrowed his brows. "Doctor."
I walked a little farther into the room.
"Is there a problem? Is Bug okay?"
"Oh, he's fine. That's not actually why I am here."
Butch raised one eyebrow.
"I'm hoping you can help me with something."
Butch set down the glass of amber liquid in his hand. "If I can."
"I'm looking for a man named James Cassidy. The private investigator I hired said I would find him here, but—"
I took a step back when Butch stood. His face had darkened, but his eyes blazed.
"Why are you looking for him?"
"So, you do know him?" I asked eagerly. I forgot all about the anger in his eyes and stepped closer. "Please, it's vitally important that I find him."
Life or death.
"That's for me to discuss with Mr. Cassidy." There were just some things I refused to discuss with a total stranger. "If you could tell me how to get in contact with him or—"
"I'm James Cassidy."
My heart might have stopped beating, too.
"You're James Cassidy?" I whispered. "James Douglas Cassidy?"
Butch's eyes narrowed. "Why are you looking for me?"
I reached for the nearest chair then sat down. The weight of my search sat heavy on my shoulders. I should have been overjoyed that I'd found the man I'd been looking for, but I wasn't. I doubted he would be willing to help me.
"My mother's name is Sarah." I watched the blood drain from Butch's face. He obviously knew who I was talking about, which only confirmed for me that I had the right man. "I recently discovered that the man I'd known as my father my entire life is not actually my father." I swallowed tightly. "You are."
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