Outlaw - By Nicole James

Chapter One

“You serious?”

Cole Austin took a hit off his cigarette, watching the sunset. He looked over at the man who questioned him. The man who apparently was not too happy with the news he was delivering.

Cole had come up here into the mountains of California on the Nevada border, to the Dead Souls remote clubhouse to deliver the news in person. The Evil Dead motorcycle club was about to patch over the Dead Souls MC. He looked over at Wyatt, the Dead Souls’ club president. He was in his mid-forties. His dark hair was starting to grey, but he was still in the prime of his life. Still had the women flocking to him. Cole had known him for years now, considered him a friend, a good friend.

“Thought you’d be happy about this. Ain’t nobody I’d rather share a patch with than you, brother,” Cole argued.

Wyatt looked at Cole. He’d known Cole since he first met him as a prospect. What, ten years ago? Then Cole had been a wet-behind-the-ears kid. He had grown into a man, a good-looking man. He was as tall as Wyatt’s six-foot height, blonde hair falling past his collar, golden facial hair growing along his jaw and mouth. Hell, every time he came to visit the Dead Souls, Wyatt noticed he lost one of their girls to him. Whenever Cole pulled away on his bike, sure enough, one of their girls was on the back, leaving with him.

Wyatt turned away. “Hell, I figured it’d come to this eventually, just not now. Goddamn, Cole! We’re in the middle of it with the damned Hyenas. You sure this is a good time?”

Cole shrugged. “It’s what Mack wants. You don’t really have a choice, man.” Cole looked him in the eye. “Look on the bright side, it’ll help that situation. You know, back ‘em off.”

“Maybe,” Wyatt conceded.

“Hell, we both know they’ll back down once you’re part of the Evil Dead.” Cole picked his bottle of beer up off the porch railing of the old house that the Dead Souls used for their clubhouse. It was out in the middle of nowhere. He looked out over the grounds as darkness began to fall. There was a bonfire going, and about fifty members standing around, along with some women, some just hangers-on, some ol’ ladies. The Dead Souls were having a rally this weekend, so there was quite a crowd. Some staying all week long, crashing in sleeping bags wherever they found a spot. Bikes were parked in a long row to the side of the dirt drive that ran down to the road.

Wyatt reached down, and picked up a glass jar off the railing. “Take a hit off this,” he offered, holding the jar out to Cole.

Cole took it, looked at it dubiously for a moment, gave Wyatt a suspicious look, and asked, “Home brew?”

Wyatt nodded toward the jar. “Just take a hit.”

Cole raised it to his lips.

Wyatt laughed softly as Cole took a swallow, and choked on the harsh liquor. “Burns a little bit, don’t it?”

Cole sucked in a breath. “Goddamn, old man. What the hell is that? It tastes like piss.”

“Grand daddy’s moonshine recipe. What, you don’t like it?”

Cole handed the jar back with a grimace. “Thanks, but I think I’ll stick with bourbon.”

Wyatt’s laugh rumbled in his chest.

Cole took a hit off his cigarette as he and Wyatt both noticed the crowd parting for something. As guys stepped out of the way, they noticed one of Wyatt’s crew walking through, pulling a girl behind him. As the guy got to the edge of the crowd, he pulled the girl to his side, and Cole and Wyatt could see from where they were standing up on the porch, that her hands were cuffed in front of her.

Cole turned to Wyatt, stunned. “What the fuck is this shit?” he whispered to him.

Wyatt shook his head, and blew out a breath. “Chucky’s got a sick little habit. Likes ‘em, shall we say, unwilling. Sadistic son-of-a-bitch.”

Cole started to move toward the guy, but Wyatt put his arm out to stop him. “Let me handle this.”

Cole turned to stare at him. “What, you good with this?”

Wyatt smiled back. “You got a soft heart, Cole.”

Cole stared him down with a warning look. “You better remember who you’re talkin’ to, ol’ man.”

Wyatt blew out a slow breath. He knew better than to give a member of the Evil Dead any shit. They ran things around here, as well he knew. Even if Cole was