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Brass: Ruthless Bastards (RBMC Book 6) by Chelsea Handcock (1)

Chapter One

 

Chance “Brass” Marks sat back on the floor and leaned his head up against the dingy, cracked wall, letting out a pained breath.  This shit was getting old, fast.  Every day and night were the same.  Fight, then wait.  He, Creed, and Jinx had been hitting up the underground fighting rings, trying to flesh out information on their President’s whereabouts. 

Two months ago, Tuck walked away willingly with their biggest enemy, The Vultures.  No one knew exactly why, but they all had their suspicions.  Tuck cared about three things—the club, his family, and Katie.  The RBMC had two of those things covered, the Club and Katie.  That only left family. 

Revelations had been coming out in force in the Club lately.  Not only did Tuck have a sister, Tessa, who was now Creed’s Ol’ Lady.  He also had a brother who no one seemed to have known about even though the fucker had been one of the RBMC’s biggest allies, Caine Masters, the President of the fucking Blacktop Renegades.  Shit, now that it was put right in front of their faces, Brass thought they should have figured it out sooner.  Their last names were different, but the men themselves were so similar.  They looked alike, talked alike, and hell, fought the same way. Only difference was their attitude.  Tuck was cool, calm, and collected most of the time, whereas Caine was a loose cannon, violent and blunt.  Brass respected that about the man he could relate to it.  Until a couple of months ago, the same could be said about him until he let a piece of quality pussy fog his brain.

Then there was Tuck’s kid.  Shit, that alone was fucking with Brass’ mind.  He couldn’t figure out why Tuck had kept that shit a secret. Every one of the RBMC, Defiance Chapter and nationwide would have helped him look for the girl, bring her home, and keep that child safe.  Brass couldn’t figure out why Tuck had felt he needed to keep that shit under his hat.  It didn’t make sense, and it wasn’t the way they worked.  Family was family, blood or not, and the RBMC protected their own with a lethal force, no questions asked, period. 

The Vultures had taken their President months ago.  Taking the man so deep, no one could find him.  Brass had wondered if the man was still alive, but Tuck was a tough son of a bitch.  If anyone could make it through this, it was him, and his brothers wouldn’t give up until he either walked out on his own or they found him.  That was how the RBMC worked.  No man left behind wasn’t just a motto, it was how they lived their lives.  They would never give up. 

It still pissed Brass off, and he felt like a moody little bitch because of it, but they were supposed to be brothers, and family helped one another. But Tuck had decided to go lone wolf, only letting certain people in on the know and from what he was learning, even the people in the know were only given information after they forced Tuck’s hand.  In the long run, it didn’t matter, the RBMC still had his back and always would.  Now, it was their job to find him and get his ass out.  It was also why he was fighting five days a week.   

The thing about underground fighting rings, it meant the scum of the earth came out to play.   Normally, it was Brass’ playground, he loved it, but lately, it had become a problem. His skills in the ring gave him a reputation and he became a bigger draw.  Bringing out tougher opponents.  With each fight it got harder to maintain his winning streak.    There was another problem that came with winning all the time, an undefeated status meant higher stakes every time he set foot in the ring, but he had a job to do, and he would do it.  Fighting nightly while the guys gather as much intel as they could from the low lives was his part of the operations.  Money, reputation, and brutal strength enticed lips to loosen.  Every night, they were getting a little closer to their goal.   

Other members of the RBMC were using different methods, even proper channels, and it wasn’t getting them anywhere.  At least this was getting them something.  It was a slow process, but it had given them some results, a lead or two like the one they were following up tonight.  There was supposed to be a drop at this warehouse tonight. That was why the three of them were sitting there, waiting and watching. 

Brass moved his sore body again, trying to find a comfortable position.  The pain he felt was pissing him off even more.  Shit, when he was younger none of this would have even registered with him, but now, hell no.  At thirty-five, fighting every single night took its toll, fast.  Every part of his body hurt even his teeth.  The last fight had been brutal.  His opponent was good, but he had also been juicing, making Brass’ job harder, but he still managed to put the fucker down.  Wincing again, he shifted, trying to take the pressure off his sore bones.  

This wasn’t the first time in the last month the three of them had found themselves waiting and watching.  This wasn’t even the first warehouse they had staked out.  Hell, Brass had lost count in the first week.  The Vultures were the scum of the earth, dealing in everything from women to drugs to guns.  They didn’t give a shit about anything but filling their pockets, the nastiest way possible. 

Brass just hoped one of these days their luck would run out.  Until they found Tuck, the RBMC’s hands were tied.  They couldn’t do what they wanted or were trained for.  They couldn’t take the Vultures down, and it tore at him, more and more each day.  He wanted these assholes behind bars or six feet under, he didn’t really give a shit which, just as long as something happened soon.  

They needed to stay in this warehouse for at least another couple of hours.  Reaching into his pocket, Brass pulled out a couple of Tylenol and swallowed them dry.  Shit, he wanted something stronger, but he needed to keep his head.  At the last fight, they had gotten word on an important Vulture’s shipment due to come in.  According to their source, make or break shit. 

He and the guys were hoping it was Tuck, but the longer they sat there, the more Brass realized nothing was happening, it was just another fucking dead end.  The meetup time had come and gone, and the place was still as deserted as when the three of them walked in over four hours ago.  Creed was sitting next to Brass.  If he didn’t know the man as well as he did, he would think he was sleeping, but he knew that wasn’t the case. They had all been trained to take short quick power naps during their time in the service, but Brass could practically feel Creed’s thoughts. 

“Dude, we need to decide what to do next,” Brass said, keeping his voice low, so only Creed and the crickets heard him.  Wincing, he moved his big body again, trying to find a spot that didn’t make his body scream.

“I know, man,” Creed said, opening his eyes and looking down at his phone.  The man always had his phone on him now. 

“You going to call Tess?”  Brass asked. He really didn’t care, but it had become a ritual.  It must be getting close to the time Creed’s woman got off work. 

“Nah, man, she thinks we’re coming home and I just...” Creed said, running his hand down his face.

“I get it,” Brass said, “you found your quality.” 

“You still going on about that shit?” Creed laughed

“Hell yeah, I am. When you find it, you keep it.  Tell me I am wrong?”  Brass groaned a little when he went to hit Creed’s shoulder.  Shit, this sucked. Brass wasn’t in the shape or mood to fuck around, but the guys expected it of him, and it was better than the alternative.  “

“What about your quality, man? I heard you and Suz have been hanging out a lot lately.” 

“Nah, man, that shit isn’t what it seems.” It was actually a lot worse than it seemed.  Suzie liked his dick but nothing else about him.  She made her feelings clear from the start—he was just the arrogant ass who thought he could change her mind.  He was good enough to fuck as long as it went no further.  She would never attach herself to the likes of him or anyone in the club.  Brass had thought she was different, but hell, she was just like any other woman.  The mindless fucking was okay for a few rounds, but he wanted more.  He wanted what his brothers had found—an Old Lady. At least, he had thought he did.  Now, he was starting to wonder if any of it was worth the effort.

Suzie had dragged him around by the short hairs, refusing to be seen with him in public but calling him when she had an itch to scratch.  He wasn’t a pussy and had wanted to tap that shit from the first time he laid eyes on her. The problem was he had grown to care about her, and she felt nothing for him.  He knew for a fact she was seeing someone else, someone more to her liking, and that shit rubbed him the wrong way.   

“What do you mean?” Creed asked. “I’ve seen the way you look at that chick. Ain’t no way you aren’t riding that ass.”

Brass realized one thing at that moment. If he really did have feelings for Suzie, he would have been offended by Creeds words.  She was a piece of ass because that was what she chose to be. He accepted that now. 

“Nah, like I said, wasn’t anything to write home about.”  Brass changed the subject, he didn’t want to talk about Suzie. “How long are we going to wait here?”  Just as the words passed his mouth, Brass heard the warehouse doors open.  He and Creed went on alert, drawing their weapons.  This was it.  He and Creed were hidden behind some shipping crates in a dark corner of the warehouse where they wouldn’t be seen but gave them a clear view to the center of the room and the doors.  Jinx had positioned himself in the rafters.  The huge man was like a ghost.  If Brass hadn’t known where he was, he wouldn’t have gotten a glimpse of the other man.  Which served their purpose. 

Brass watched as three motorcycles drove into the room, followed by two black panel vans, followed up by three more motorcycles.  He started counting and gauging his position.  Minimum ten guys and that was only if the vans only held two men apiece.  The odds weren’t great, but they weren’t bad either.  With his and Creed’s positions, they could take out the front and the back, leaving the vans for Jinx.  But first, they needed to see who and what was in the vans.

It only took seconds, but Brass had to shake his head to make sure what he was seeing was right.  Two guys each got out of the vans, but that wasn’t what had him shaking his head.  No, it was the dirty frightened little girl who got out of the van.  Her eyes were as big as saucers and filled with tears—eyes he had seen before, eyes he recognized.  Fuck this was Tuck’s, kid, there was no question in his mind.  He heard someone screaming and turned his head back to the van. 

A woman he had never seen before was desperately trying to get to the kid’s side.   Brass knew this wasn’t Mazie.  He had been on the Stockton case, knew exactly what Tuck’s baby mama looked like and this wasn’t her.  Before she could get to the kid, the fucker standing next to her pulled her up short by her hair and got right into her face.  Brass couldn’t hear what the dude was saying, but by the look on the woman’s face, it wasn’t anything she wanted to hear.   

She was beaten up, hell every inch of exposed skin on her had a bruise or mark on it.  Her clothes were torn and dirty, but she was fighting like a hellcat.  Brass respected that.  She was small next to the asshole—if he had to guess around five-foot-nothing, and dark brown hair hanging haphazardly from a ponytail and delicate features.  Hell, he wasn’t even ashamed when his eyes took a detour down her curvy body.  She was banging.  But she didn’t fit this place. It was a weird thought, but he just couldn’t shake it either.  The fucker forced a kiss on the woman, and Brass smiled when he pulled back a bloodied lip, the open-handed slap she delivered a bonus.  But damn, he thought, that was the wrong move, baby. 

When the fucker punched the chick in the gut, Brass had to hold himself back from lifting his gun and putting a bullet right between the guy's eyes.  He hadn’t even realized he had lifted his gun and clicked off the safety when Creed put his hand on his arm shaking his head.