Finding Rhiannon (Lilith's Army MC #2)By: Ker Dukey & D.H. Sidebottom
“I always spoke to him whenever I was in the club,” I defend. I made sure I spoke to all the brothers where possible. I wasn’t an ignorant bitch, far from it. All the brothers were my extended family. Fair enough I was closer to some than others, but I always made time for each one of them. I wasn’t blind to Tats’ fondness for me, it just scared me.
The overpowering smell of whiskey assaults my nostrils once more, and I rear back from it before he intoxicates me just from the heat of his breath.
I hadn’t really ever considered how attractive Buzz was, although I feared his soul was far more hideous than his looks. From what I’d heard my father say about Buzz and Tats, I know they’d had a difficult childhood. Bullseye had taken them both on as though they were his own, but the bitterness that lives in this world had entered their bloodstream and soured their souls. However, I had a feeling it was more than the weight of life that had broken both the brothers in a horrible way.
Finally, he moves back, and I release a long, relieved breath. Slumping down beside me, he rests his face in his hands and sobs. The sound of his distraught weeping has me slipping an arm around his shoulder to comfort him. If I’m honest, it’s a little surreal. He’s brought me here to use me as goods for an exchange, yet I can’t help but feel for him. I couldn’t imagine how I’d feel if someone had killed my brothers, even as much of an ass Brenner is, he is still my brother.
“I’m so sorry,” I whisper when he buries his face in the crook of my neck and allows the misery liberty. It takes a lot for a man, especially a biker, to be so open with his emotions, and although I sense this is a little of the drugs he’s taken that is allowing their bid for freedom, I know he needs to do this to undertake the sequence grief dictates.
I’m not even sure he knows exactly who he’s using as a crutch right now, if my comfort helps him, then I’ll give him as much as he needs. Buzz wouldn’t ever do this if he was in his right mind. Granted, both brothers were a little ominous, and although I was wary around them, I wasn’t ever frightened in their presence, just fearful of what they were capable of from the stories I’d heard whispered amongst the brothers and club women.
“Your brother has started a war he can’t win.” His voice is cold, a viciousness in the tone that is a vast contrast to the gentle way he is leaning on me for support.
My body stiffens when I grasp the underlying warning, and, just in case I didn’t catch his threat, he spells it out for me.
“I will kill him, Rhi.” The way he shortens my name makes me want to laugh and strike out at him at the same time. In one breath he vows he’s going to kill my brother, but the way he tells me that is as though we’re BFFs.
“You know I can’t let you do that, Buzz.”
Evidently expecting that promise from me, he chuckles and nods. “And you think your brother will have the same conviction with you?”
He moves out of my comforting embrace and stares at me with a questioning look, his brows elevated and a smug smirk on his face. “If Brenner loved you, he would have already offered himself up for you.”
Shock renders me stupid, and I frown.
He laughs louder. “Oh yeah, your wonderful brother, the brother who testifies to love you so much already knows I have you.” He spreads an arm out, gesturing to the empty room. “You see him? Huh, do you?”
“I don’t understand.”
For a split-second Buzz’s expression changes from smugness to sadness, although whether that sorrow is for me or something else, I’m not entirely sure.
“I sent him a text a few hours ago. I know it’s been delivered. Yet, nothing. Absolutely fucking nothing from him. That’s how much you mean to him, Rhiannon. Nothing!”
My insides twist with hurt. How could Brenner just leave me? Hand me over to the sharks to save himself from getting bitten?
“I’m sure there’s a reason why…”
His laugh is mocking, and I know he thinks I’m stupid, blind to who my brother really is. Yet, I see the other side of Brenner. The hurt boy that has never gotten over the death of his mother. The little boy who grew up in a world full of violence and hatred. I know that molds life into a warped, distorted cast that we can do nothing to restructure, as much as we try to.
Still, that knowledge does nothing to ease the pain I feel from Brenner’s selfishness. Images of the girl jabbing the glass into her neck bleed into my view. My heart begins to slow, thinking that maybe my dad is dead and it’s all because of Brenner. I’m sitting here thinking that I can’t let Buzz kill him, but he may not even be alive. He betrayed the club, killed brothers and maybe their Prez, our father. Slade will kill him before Buzz even has a chance. And then what happens to me? Will he take my life as second best?
I blink up at Buzz. I hadn’t even realized he’d moved from beside me. He is stood, peering down at me with an outstretched hand.
Gingerly I place my palm against his. His fingers close around mine, and he pulls me up.
My eyes widen when he leads me towards the stairs. The state of the rundown house he’s holding me in is exposed. The wooden staircase that leads to the upstairs has a few steps missing, the precarious way he leads me up making me hold tightly to his hand and the remaining piece of the handrail that has managed to withstand any deterioration. It’s so dark I can scarcely see where I’m stepping and I’m thankful when we reach the top. Although, that relief is short-lived when he guides me down a small narrow corridor. There’s a whole section of flooring missing to the right-hand side, and I squeal when a shadow to my right scurries through a hole in the wall.