Page 28 of For the Taking

“You know with the click of my fingers, my men would annihilate you,” David said.

“Give it your best shot.”

David lifted his fingers, and they were outnumbered. Meghan didn’t flinch, but this wasn’t good.


“I’m not one for the dramatics. There will be no fighting here, gentlemen,” Buckle said, appearing beside them.

“You let him walk in here after knowing everything?” David asked. “I thought we had an agreement.”

“No, we have an … understanding, Mr. Peace. This club is open to everyone. Even men you have tried to kill in the past.”

“I will kill you,” David said, glaring at Buckle.

Riley wished he could reach for his gun. There would be time the moment he left for him to have to deal with David, but not in here.

He had a great deal of respect for Buckle and what he’d done with his life. This was his retirement, and rarely did anyone step out of line.

Buckle had David by the throat in the next second, a blade to his neck. “I don’t allow people in my club to kill each other. It ruins the atmosphere, but don’t think for a single second I won’t kill you. In fact, it would give me the greatest kind of pleasure to plunge my knife into your neck and watch you bleed out. The only person who is allowed to kill here is me.”

“You wouldn’t.”

“You are becoming irksome. After tonight, consider your membership revoked. I grow tired of children. If I wanted to babysit them, I’d have some of my own. For now, I want you both to finish what you started and get the fuck out of my club.”

“I’m done,” Riley said. He’d made his point.

“Excellent. David, finish your drink,” Buckle said.

The room had become quiet. No one said a word as David finished his drink.

“Now leave and remember I control the parking lot as well. Anything you have to deal with, it will be outside of my walls and gates.”

David left but not without giving him a long, hard look.

This wasn’t over.

Riley didn’t have a problem with that. He hadn’t gotten to say everything he wanted to tonight, but there would come a time.

With David out of the way, Buckle turned back to him.

“I didn’t raise a single weapon,” Riley said.

“I know. Sit.”

Riley pulled out a chair for Meghan first before taking a seat for himself.

“David has become a … pest.”

“A pest?”

“Yes. He believes as all men of power do, he’s become unstoppable. No one is that powerful, not even him.”

“You’ve been asked to take him out?” Riley asked. There would only be one way Buckle would know this and that would be if he’d been approached by someone private.

“I no longer handle that kind of business anymore. People want him removed. He’s a danger, and no one can trust him.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“After ten years, you’ve come back out of the blue. Why?”

“I want to kill David. He took everything from me.” Saying the words with Meghan with him didn’t feel right. They no longer felt like the truth. Something was missing. “I don’t intend to live after the fact. I know taking him on will cost me my life.”

“The job is yours,” Buckle said.


“If you kill David, and succeed, and still breathe, you’ll be accepted in taking over.”

“No one knows me.”

“You’re remembered, Riley. People know this world of yours exists. If you don’t take it over, another problem will. You think that’s what people want.”

Riley laughed. “You’re telling me you’ve been approached by people of power to find someone to kill David and replace him?”

“Yes. To provide a clean slate.”

“And you turned it down?”

“It’s not my life anymore.”

“I’m not a leader.”

“You’re wrong, Riley. You should consider it,” Buckle said. He looked at Meghan. “For her sake at least.”


“She’s by your side. You brought her along to meet David. Something tells me it makes her mean something more than just a pussy.”

“I’m dead if I’m not with Riley,” Meghan said.

“Is that the only reason you’re with him?” Buckle asked.

“You don’t have to answer him. Buckle has a way of getting under your skin so you’ll react in ways to amuse him.”

Meghan didn’t say a word.

“You should think about it,” Buckle said. “You know where to find me when you get the job done.”

“How do they want to know if I succeed?” Riley asked.

“You’ll be breathing, and David’s body will be disposed of. One of the many reasons to call me. I have a team for that as well.” Buckle stood, slapped him on the back. “It’s good to have you back. You should have come to me sooner. I’d have been able to help you recover.”

“Why should I trust you?” Riley asked. “You never take sides. Never. Why now?”

“Let’s just say, David has become a problem. Not a very good one. He’s a pain in the ass, and you know I don’t like to deal with pains. I never have. A pleasure to meet you, sweetheart,” Buckle said. “Be careful. Once you leave my gates, you’re on your own.”