Fri
Jun 2 2017 12:00pm

Katana Collins Excerpt: Enforcer

Katana Collins

Enforcer by Katana Collins

Ryan Gallagher is the one who does the dirty work. The brute force in the Harrison Street Crew, he lives to have the club all for his own one day. But the one thing he can’t have is Megan Mahoney—the one woman he’s loved since she was a teenager who needed saving.

Megan never forgot the all-consuming passion she felt for Ryan, her larger-than-life, wild teenage love. But coming from a hard, shocking past has left her broken and scared—and untrusting of the Harrison Street Crew. Ten years later, she’s back in Ryan’s world to claim a promise he made to her years ago. And even though she knows she shouldn’t fall for him, Ryan still has an explosive, sensual pull on her that she can’t ignore.

Ryan’s powerful love for Megan is the only thing that could ever soothe the tempestuous beast that roars in his soul. And when she comes back to him to aid her in a dangerous quest—a deadly revenge plot he swore he would be a part of years ago—Ryan can’t say no. He lives to protect this woman. He will die loving this woman. And as the stakes get higher, the love that they have kept hidden all these years explodes and goes further and deeper than either of them expected. But with a dark threat from Megan’s past thrust headlong into their lives, can their love win out?

Get a sneak peek at Katana Collins's Enforcer (available June 6 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Chapter One

Five years later . . .

“Listen, you piece of shit. I know you know who killed our brother. Tell me now, and we’ll let you go.”

Ryan paced in a circle around the tied-up man. Melito Reyes was just out on parole and had been in the cell next to Boots. Also a member of the car club, Impyerno, the Filipino club with a name that literally translates to “Hell.”

Melito spat onto the floor, a tooth bouncing next to Ryan’s toe. “I’m the piece of shit? Me? You’re the one beating the fuck out of a rival club member. You lookin’ to start a war?”

Ryan pulled back, slamming his fist into Melito’s jaw once more. It cracked against his knuckles, and he was pretty certain he dislocated the thing. As long as Melito could still talk, he didn’t care.

“No, I don’t want to start a war.” Ryan lowered, crouching eye level with Melito and bracing his hands onto his knees. “I want to find out who the fuck murdered my brother, Boots. And I know you saw something.” His brother. More like his father. Boots was the closest thing to a dad Ryan had ever had. It didn’t matter to him that Boots betrayed the club, murdered a Sauceda Crew member. What mattered most was the fact that Boots had set up Patrick, another HSC brother, to go down for the murder. That shit wasn’t exactly forgivable. But then again, it didn’t much matter now did it? Bootsie was six feet under, and they’d never get an explanation. He’d never get a chance at redemption. And Boots’s club legacy would always be the guy who betrayed the Harrison Street Crew.

“How would you feel if it was an Impyerno man stabbed like a piece of meat in that cell?” Ryan asked.

Melito grinned, a snarled expression that was anything but happy. “Guess I would feel a lot like Sauceda’s Crew, wouldn’t I?”

Anger seethed in Ryan, burning like a shot of whiskey. But shit if the Impyerno motherfucker wasn’t right. No matter what way they spun this, Boots was in the wrong. “Exactly. So, would you be worried about a gang war in that moment when you knew someone was withholding information?”

Chip, a fellow club member who was about ten years older than Ryan paced behind him. One of the only few people left in the club who cared what came of Boots’s legacy. Most of the other brothers only wanted to find out who was behind it to save their own interests. To aid in transforming the club and the HSC garage into a legitimate business with taxes and 1099s and all sorts of other shit that didn’t matter to Ryan. Legal or not, he was HSC for life.

“If the Impyerno man was a murderer and a rat like Boots, I don’t know that I would care if he was skewered like a kabob,” Melito grunted.

Ryan grabbed the hammer off the wall, slamming it into Melito’s finger. With only one hit, it was flattened into a snarled mess of flesh, blood, and bone. Melito screamed, wrenching his arms against the restraints tying him to the chair.

“You got nine more fingers and ten more toes, Mel,” Chip said, pacing behind Ryan. “And once Hawk gets going, he’s nearly impossible to stop.”

Short, labored breaths pushed through Melito’s pursed lips and flaring nostrils. Sweat mixed with tears dripped down his face and neck. But still he remained silent. Ryan looked back over his shoulder at Chip, who gave a quick nod. Rearing back, Ryan raised the hammer over his head once more.

“Wait!” Melito cried. “Stop! I didn’t see the stabbing. But I did see a guard bring him out of his cell alive that night. Boots left that cell with one guard, but two dragged his body back and locked him back inside.”

“You telling me a prison guard murdered him?”

“No. Maybe. . . . I don’t know. He was alive when they put him back in. I could hear his wheezing breath until I fell asleep. Just assumed the guards fucked him up a bit. They do that, you know. To the ones of us they hate the most. If you’re lucky. If you’re one they like, they make you do much worse things.”

Ryan shuddered at the thought. At the stories he’d heard his brothers tell about being inside.

“What else?” Chip asked folding his arms and stepping beside Ryan.

“Nothing, I swear.” Melito licked his lips, blood smearing into his pathetic excuse for a mustache. “I fell asleep and woke up the next morning to find Boots in a body bag and guards investigating his cell.”

“His cellmate wasn’t there that night?” Ryan asked. This wasn’t looking so good. If it was another club that murdered Boots, that they could handle. If it ran deeper, someone on the inside protecting against the Chiccarini case Michelle was building? Fuck.

“He’d just been transferred. Don’t know where.”

Ryan stared at the Impyerno kid. Young . . . not as young as Easy had been when Boots killed him, but probably just barely in his twenties.

“The cell on the other side of Boots had another car-club member. Not Impyerno but, but . . . C3. Don’t know his name, but he was a big guy. Ask him—he’ll tell ya.”

Was Melito telling the truth? The only way to know for sure would be to do just what he said—get someone else in an adjacent cell to back up his story. As long as Ryan could get there to corroborate first. He knew the guys at C3. They were a good club. Fair, usually. A lot like HSC and Sauceda these days. For now, he believed Melito.

Chip ran a hand over his goatee before nodding at Ryan. “Let him go. Toss him back into Impyerno territory, and let’s get the hell out of here.”

“No need for that,” a heavily accented voice said behind them.

Fuck. Ryan heard the bullets fire before he saw who was there. Reacting quickly, he jumped behind the chair where Melito was tied up. Chip screamed from beside him, clutching his leg, blood staining his jeans where he’d been shot. Son of a bitch, how did they find us? Chip and Ryan had been so careful. Took several routes, had three different locations for the torture and only decided on this one thirty minutes prior.

Using Melito’s body as a shield stopped most of the gunfire. That’s right. You want to hit me, you gotta go through your boy. Instead of aiming and shooting at the group of Impyernos in front of them, Ryan pointed the gun at Melito’s head. “We were sparing your boy’s life,” Ryan called out. “About to release him. But one more shot at me or my brother, and you lose yours.”

Wrapping an arm around Melito’s waist, he lifted the dead weight, dragging the chair with him over to where Chip was hiding behind a table. “You okay?” Ryan whispered.

“Yeah. Damn bullet just grazed me.”

Ryan glanced down at Chip’s leg where his pants were sliced open and a two-inch-long gash bled just above his knee. Looked like he was right. That bastard was lucky. One inch over and a bullet would have been lodged in his femur.

“Good,” Ryan whispered. “Let’s get back to back. You cover me from behind and we slip out that back door, using Melito as our shield.”

Ryan clapped Melito on his shoulder. “Your boys take it easy and we’ll all get out of this alive, okay?”

Melito snorted, shaking his head. “Today. You’ll get out alive today. But the devil can hold a grudge, motherfucker.”

Chip grunted, rolling his eyes as he crawled behind Ryan. “Let’s go.”

Ryan kept his gun on Melito’s temple, and the three moved slowly toward the back door, Chip guarding his back and Ryan grunting as he practically carried Melito, still tied to the chair, in front of him. The legs of the wooden chair scraped against the cement floor, every now and then catching on a groove.

“Easy,” Ryan called out. “We only wanted information about our brother.”

“By torturing ours,” the Impyerno president called out.

How the fuck else did he expect them to get a man to talk? “Well, I wasn’t about to buy him a fucking bottle of wine,” Ryan said.

“Almost at the door,” Chip whispered. “What are the chances Imyerno’s got boys out there watching it?”

“You got anyone watching the back door?” Ryan asked.

In the dark room, he saw the glint of a gold tooth as the president smiled. “Why would I ever tell you that?”

“Because if you don’t, I’m tossing Melito here out the door first. If they open fire, it’ll be on your own brother.”

“Then you leave one of you vulnerable to us.”

“And you’re willing to sacrifice your brother for that?” Ryan asked.

“One Impyerno for two HSCs sounds like a good trade to me.”

“They’re bluffing,” Chip whispered. “Even the Impyernos aren’t that heartless to kill a brother. They’re just trying to get us to stop using Melito as a shield.”

“What if you’re wrong?”

“Then all three of us die.”

Ryan sighed. “Don’t know about you, but I don’t like those odds.”

“Look at it this way,” Chip said, “If they really believed that one Impyerno for two HSC lives was a good trade, they would have been shooting at us this whole time. If they really didn’t care if Melito lived or died, they would have killed all three of us.”

That was a damn good point. “Okay, brother. Let’s do this.”

Chip kicked the back door open and no one immediately fired. Guns drawn like a fucking action hero, Chip slid out the door slowly, Ryan backing up behind him.

“Clear,” Chip said.

Still using Melito as a shield, Ryan backed out the door. The front chair leg caught on an uneven brick sending Ryan falling beside Melito. It wasn’t until then that he noticed a small knife in Melito’s hand. When the fuck did he get that?

With the loosened restraints around his wrists, he managed to sink the knife into Ryan’s shoulder, just above his heart, as the Impyernos embraced the clear shot, bullets zipping past them. One grazed Ryan’s neck.

“Fuck!” Ryan lunged, shutting the door behind him, taking off beside Chip toward his firebird. “You need to drive,” he shoved his keys into Chip’s hand, diving into the passenger seat as Chip fired up the engine, spinning the tires out of the empty lot.

“What happened? You hit?”

“Knife wound,” he grunted. Grasping the hilt, he moved to take it out when Chip’s hand darted out to stop him.

“Leave it in. For now. We’ll get you some help.”

***
Copyright © 2017 by Katana Collins.
***
Learn more about or order a copy of Enforcer by Katana Collins, available June 6, 2017:

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Katana Collins is lucky enough to love her day job almost as much as she loves writing. She splits her time evenly between photographing boudoir and newborn portraits and writing steamy romances in a variety of genres — paranormal, contemporary, new adult and suspense, including The Harrison Street Crew series (Outlaw, Ex-Con).

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