They stopped laughing when I put a gun to the curly haired one’s forehead. Then their faces turned serious and deadly but they saw something in my eyes that made them back up and sit down.
Their boss walked in before they could say a word and I smiled at the incredulous expression on his grizzled face. He was definitely the King. His back was bent at the shoulders and his knuckles were knobbed with the abuse of years on the dark side of life. The cut he wore said “president” with the line “brothers of death” below it. He looked like the president of an outlaw biker gang and his face showed my guess had been correct. Curly had the same features as the old man, close enough that they were definitely family. He stopped on the last step into the room. His eyes were quick, quick enough for me to appreciate their speed. “What do you want?”
I smiled and I could tell he didn’t like what he saw in that smile. “I want Kane Burrell. And I want him now.”
The president spread his hands wide and grinned easily. “All you had to do was ask lady. Teke, give Kane a call and tell him there’s a lady asking for him.”
I heard the door open and cursed inside. Flanked. I took two steps back and put the newcomer in sight. The grey eyes that met mine sent a shock through me. I dropped my guard when I saw him and then I was against the wall, pinioned by three burly men. They were quick I’ll give them that, but I was still a bit on the weak side or they wouldn’t have had me without some blood.
“Let her go boys.” Kane’s voice was rough as always, the sound a throat makes after a fresh shot of Wild Turkey spills down it. But his had always been that way. They released me cautiously and stood watching as the Kane I didn’t know walked up to me. He spun a small circle in front of me as I stood against the wall. The jacket had Riders of the Apocalypse on the back with a skeleton horseman in the center. He was patched in.
He faced me again. “I think I’m beating you now. I got three more, arm, leg, and stomach.”
I laughed, a low rasping chuckle that made the men behind Kane shift edgily. I was never good at bragging until I had a few shots in me; I was always better at show and tell so I peeled my shirt off. Kane’s eyes darkened as he took in the new bullet scars, the burns, the cuts, the whiplines and all of the marks someone who has been tortured for a long time bears. “They said you were dead.”
“I did die, eight times to be exact, but the bastards kept bringing me back.” I peeled my shirt back on and moved past him to the King. “Kiera Shibalt is the name. No offense intended earlier. He tried my patience and I have very little patience to try.”
He smiled a wide smiled that feigned innocence and was all the darker for it. Behind me Kane spoke, “Boss, she can solve our problem.”
The King’s eyes darkened and I saw the flash of clannish mentality, what happened in the club stayed in the club. Outsiders were not allowed. “She’s the best explosives expert I know and she can do it by herself. Nobody would even see a bike, let alone a cut.”
The old man’s eyes narrowed even more, but Kane had always been hard to intimidate, “Boy, how do we know that she isn’t law?”
I am good at controlling myself but here I lost it. I laughed in his face and I could tell by the tightening around his eyes that he didn’t like my insolence. But I had long ago ceased to care about the temperamental nature of kings and leaders. So I laughed, I laughed so hard that my eyes leaked tears of amusement.
I answered the old man before Kane did, “I’ve been a lot of things, but never have I been the Law. As far as the government is concerned, I am dead. All DNA files, all fingerprint records, all proof of my existence is gone.”
The King eyed me, grey brows lowered with doubt, “Why would they do that?”
I watched him resize me as I spoke, “Because, they want no ties to a mercenary they hired to assassinate a foreign president.” I glanced at the other men, “How ‘bout I take a walk while you and the King talk it over.”
The curly haired one raised a brow, “The King?”
I smiled and then nodded to them as I named them off, “He’s the King, you’re the Prince, the burly one is the Muscle, the Teke is the tweaker, the fat one is the Old Man, Kane is the new blood, and crazy eyes is the Killer.”
The King took a step down to stand completely in the room, “What’s that make you?”
I smiled, but this time it didn’t reach my eyes, “I’m the Ghost.”