There had to be bruises, just ones he hadn’t seen.
He should’ve found him by now. Reaper wasn’t a strong man. He was a fucking loser, but over the years, he’d perfected the art of falling off the map, of disappearing, which was why it was so difficult to find her.
Taking a seat, he gripped the stress ball he’d picked up and hoped it would help him to think. To clear his head of all the troubling thoughts consuming him. There was no time for him to give up or give in.
Squeezing the ball, he looked at the latest picture. She’d lost a lot of weight. Her face looked gaunt. The way her head was tilted, he saw the marks on her neck. The kind that came from a man hurting her. Wrapping their fingers around her neck and squeezing.
He was going to get her back. There was no doubt in his mind he’d finally have her in his arms once again.
The only problem he saw was the mess she’d be in when he did finally get her back. Robin’s body could very well be alive, but her soul, her heart, her mind, could already be lost to him forever.
Three days later
The fight was brutal, bloody. Probably one of the worst fights Preacher had ever witnessed and considering how many he’d viewed and been a part of, that said a great deal. Two men, both of them naked.
One of them even had a rock-hard cock, but the wealthy female clients loved the show. A woman’s penchant for death and blood had stopped surprising him long ago. He had no doubt some women hated blood, hated the violence. But others, they loved to see the raw animal instinct come forward.
A brutal sport of the best man winning.
The fight to the death never failed to lure people in and even though he’d been doing this for nearly twenty years now, the volunteers were endless. There was never a shortage of people willing to die all in the chance of winning. The money was always the one motivator. Their chances could be slim but to many, but they didn’t care. The money was a lifeline for them.
Another punch that resulted in a tooth being spat into the crowd. The ones closest to the fight got splattered. There wasn’t any anger, though. No, the crowd lapped it up. Loving the proof of what they were witnessing. Another spectator slipped on the slick floor.
“You’d think people would get tired of the same old shit,” Dog said, coming toward him.
“You’re on the wrong side. You’re supposed to be supporting your guy over there,” Preacher said, pointing toward the railing on the opposite side.
The warehouse was secure. The building was structurally sound and the cops who patrolled the area within the city had been paid a great deal to keep the law off their backs and of course to turn the other way.
“We both know my guy is a goner. I’m surprised he’s lasted this long. Too bad. He came into my territory claiming to be one experienced fighter.”
“He is, if he’s beating up high school geeks,” Preacher said.
The sound of a crack, deathly silence, and the fight was over.
Preacher stayed where he was while money and the body were being dealt with. Within two hours, he and Dog still stood together, alone.
Their men were waiting for them. Their cuts sat in neat envelopes on the table below. If anyone even dared to touch the money, they’d be shot on sight.
There was a time when Preacher got a thrill out of tempting people to steal from him. He’d hunt them down and take care of them swiftly. It had been a game to him, one he used to relish. Now, it bored him. His life, it meant nothing, and he knew why.
“I heard about the dead end,” Dog said.
Preacher kept silent.
He and Dog weren’t the kind of people to talk about their feelings.
He’d asked Dog for some favors and paid him handsomely for it. It was why his envelope was a lot bigger.
The club hadn’t liked his negotiation with Dog. They didn’t feel their cut should have to suffer. Preacher had told any man who didn’t like the way he ran the club could come at him, fight him for the crown, but so far, no one had come forward. They had left the running of the club to him, and well, he didn’t see a reason to change his methods. They were all earning money through other means, and it was by far more than what they got through the brutal war of fighting to the death.
“Is there a reason you want to sit around and chat?” Preacher asked.
“Not a lot sitting going on.”
“I find this all very touching, but I need to head back to the clubhouse.”