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Shadow: Lust and Lies Series Book 1 by Drew Sera (1)

1

Bram

January 2007

Things had not gone as planned tonight but I was still happy with the results. Had I veered off the planned course? Oh yeah, way off course. Had it been worth it? Only time would tell.

Before I dropped off two of my nephews at their place, we drove around town for a bit. Neither of the boys had their own car yet but loved to ride around in mine.

Even though their father was loaded, he refused to spoil my nephews. My brother had done a fantastic job raising three boys on his own, and they were turning out to be fine, respectable young men. And they’re all positioning themselves in the family business; ecstasy.

The three of us still had adrenaline flowing through our systems as we drove through the streets of Amsterdam. This was the first job of this kind that I had taken Mason and Kyler on with me. Their father felt comfortable enough to send them along for this meeting and thought it would serve as a learning experience for them.

The job involved nothing more than meeting with a new potential client, giving them a few samples, and see what they had in mind regarding amounts and time frames. Normally, my nephews’ father, Thom, and my other older brother, Dean, would handle these first meetings. I had begged them to let me take the lead on this potential client.

New clients had been harder to come by since the Janssen family ruled the streets and underground belly of Amsterdam. Since Thom had been grooming his boys to begin taking more of an active role in the family business, I suggested that Mason and Kyler join me. After all, we were just going to talk.

“Remember, boys, be prepared for the unknown,” I recited to them before we walked into the abandoned warehouse near the shipyards.

Things were going as planned with the potential client until they started getting mouthy. They bitched about our price versus what the Janssen family had confirmed their price would be. I was so fed up with the Janssens having an iron fist on the market. When they brought up the Janssens, I felt like we had been played and that’s when I veered off the path.

“Why would you waste your time and our time if you already knew Janssen could beat us?” I questioned.

The smug bastards looked at one another, shrugged and laughed. They were laughing at us…and no one laughs at the Van Doorns. My nephews stood behind me as we were laughed at. This would serve as a lesson to them on family pride. They had nothing to be ashamed of for being a Van Doorn, and I wanted them to be proud of who they were and of our family.

I went further off course and pulled out the handgun I had in the waistband at the back of my pants.

“Whoa, man!” one of the guys across from me spit out as the four of them backed up. “No guns, little Van Doorn. Didn’t your big bro tell you?”

I cocked the gun and aimed it at the man that seemed to be in charge.

“Thom ain’t here. I am. And I think our meeting is over since you bastards want to waste time,” I sternly said.

They left the warehouse, and once we heard their car drive away, my nephews and I headed toward my car.

“Damn, Uncle Bram,” Kyler said quietly.

“No one pushes us around. No one disrespects the Van Doorns,” I said proudly and put the gun back in the waistband of my pants. “Be proud of the family in which you were born. Hold your heads up,” I said as I tapped each of their chins upward.

“We are proud,” Mason said with confidence.

“Dad said we don’t need guns to do business,” Kyler chimed in as we walked to my car. I’d heard what Thom instilled in them many times before as Kyler recited it. “Dad said we don’t need guns when we have our brains,” he said proudly.

Out of my three nephews, Kyler was the brightest and the most like his father. At times, I thought Kyler could end up taking his father’s spot and could understand it quicker than Mason.

“Kyler, sometimes you just need to establish a hard line and silently demand respect.”

“With a gun?” he asked.

I put my hands on the roof of the car and looked over it at my nephew.

“With whatever means necessary, boys.”

Thunder echoed in the distance and flickers of lightning followed. A storm was brewing, and I motioned for us to get in the car. When we got inside and shut the doors, I decided that we needed to drive around for a little while until they calmed down. The last thing I needed was either of them bitching to their father about the gun incident. Thom was very anti-gun. I wasn’t a promoter of violence and just because I carried a gun didn’t mean I was going to use it.

“I hope they don’t spot us and kill us for the way things went,” Mason said as we drove.

“Yeah, Uncle Bram. Your car sticks out like a sore thumb.”

“We’re fine, boys. You guys wanted out of the bakery to help with the street business, so man up and decide where you want to be; out here or back in the bakery.”

Since this had been their first outing, I probably shouldn’t have pulled the gun out. Eventually, I pulled into the long driveway of Thom’s house and noticed all the lights were still on. I knew that their father would be waiting for them. The rain fell lightly as I got out of the car and walked to the other side as my nephews got out. I hugged both of them and told them they did good tonight.

“Remember, be proud of your family. Family is all that’s left after all the money, girls, and drugs are gone.” They both nodded. “You’re Van Doorns. Keep your heads up and eyes open, boys. And remember

“Be prepared for the unknown,” Kyler and Mason recited in unison.

“I love you guys. Go inside and dry off,” I motioned to their front door with a nod of my head.

“Are you coming to dinner tomorrow night, Uncle Bram?” Mason asked as Kyler was already jogging toward the door.

“Of course, have I ever missed it?”

Mason smiled and then went inside. They were good boys, and they’d do just fine in time. They’re still very young. Mason and Kyler were fourth and fifth in rank line just behind me. I was third in line behind Dean, my brother that was just a little older than me. Thom’s youngest, Martin, was still a senior in high school and had a ways to go. He’s learning about the business and helping out at the bakery. Martin was also very bright, and he’d end up surpassing Mason eventually I thought. Thom does things differently though than our father and grandfathers; he wouldn’t hand anything to anyone just because of birth order.

Once I was back in my car, I decided I needed a good drink and a fuck. I drove until I reached my favorite bar; the Crimson Dock. The Crimson Dock was my favorite because they also owned a window gallery of women that was just called Crimson, but it had been nicknamed the Crimson Cock.

With my favorite local beer in hand, I popped one of the ecstasy samples that I had left from the meeting earlier. I glanced at my watch knowing that I had about forty minutes to wait before the shit kicked in.

When I felt that my heart rate had picked up, I settled my tab and went out the rear door that led to the Crimson Cock windows. I meandered up the cobblestone alley, gazing in the windows with the soft red glowing lights. There were mostly men, but some women, gathered in front of windows watching.

I stopped at a window that had no one standing in front. The blonde woman sat on a stool, legs parted, and her hand in her panties. I felt myself harden as I watched this beauty pleasure herself while she looked at me. I leaned against the brick building next to the screen to her window and caught her attention.

“You know, I would like to have a go at that,” I said.

“Is that so?” she asked as she pulled the crotch of her panties to the side exposing her pussy to me.

I smiled when I saw her barbell pierced clit. From my pocket, I pulled out my money clip to show her that I was ready to negotiate a session.

“Two-hundred euros for an hour or one-hundred euros for a half hour,” she offered.

I held up two-hundred euros worth of bills. I always paid for one hour because these ecstasy tablets had really fucked with my ability to get hard and come. I needed the extra time. She smiled, got off the stool and placed a sign on it that said, “Be back soon.”

* * *

As we lay there, I concentrated on my heartbeat as it pounded in my ear. I kept trying to get my eyes to focus, and shake the haze, but it was no use. I had to lay off this stuff. It’s fucking up my heart, and it’s such a chore to come anymore.

Olivia lit up a cigarette, took two puffs and pushed it into my hands before she went down on me, taking my cock in her hot mouth. Fuck, it felt so good.

From the nightstand, my cell phone began going off. The incessant noise not only pissed me off but made my erection fade. I pushed Olivia off of me and grabbed my phone. Staring at me was Dean’s number.

“Hello, Dean,” I said into the phone with a hint of irritation at my brother’s piss-poor timing.

“Bram, can you come to the bakery?”

I frowned and looked at my watch.

“This late?” I asked, unable to hide my annoyance.

“Yes.”

“Seriously?” When he hadn’t said anything in response, I let out a loud exasperated sigh. “Dean, you do realize there’s a storm going on out there, right?”

“Yes, but I know you’re probably laying in some woman’s bed down at the Crimson Cock. I’m guessing your irritated tone is probably more from your inability to come, rather than my phone call.” Dean was such a dick. He’s so hung up on making sure that I looked bad. “Drive carefully, Bram.”

Dean hung up, and I tossed the phone on the bed. I quickly got dressed and thanked Olivia before heading out into the rain. I jogged to my car with my jacket over my head to shield me from some of the rain.

There were hardly any cars out on the road tonight due to the storm. I shouldn’t have even be out. It came to no surprise to me when I turned onto the street where our family bakery was at and didn’t see a car in sight. I sat in the shelter of my car, listening to the rain pelting my brand-new Audi.

“Goddamn rain. It better not hail and wreck my car,” I said under my breath and looked upward through the closed moonroof.

After I shut the car off, I ran to the cover of the awnings until I reached the door to our bakery. My older brother was sitting inside at a table. I knocked on the door loud enough so he’d hear me. I wondered what this was all about as Dean walked toward the door with a smug expression on his face.