Tame his Beast - Claire C. Riley

Chapter One

~ Beast ~

The tortured screams of Angel rang out, echoing off the beaten-up barn walls and breaking the stillness of the cool November air.


Breathing heavily, I hooked my thumbs into the belt loops at my waist and took a couple of steps closer to him, my gaze on his bloody features. Angel’s eyes were rolling in his head and I was no doubt looking blurry to him.

I nodded toward Echo and he dragged Angel back up to his unsteady feet for me. Angel’s body was broken and bloody. Man didn’t have much left in him, but the fucker was still holding on, no doubt wishing I’d just get on with it and send him to ground. But Hardy had made it clear: the Silverbacks needed to know who was in charge around here.

No one took on the Highwaymen and walked away.

Their prez should have known better.

He would now.

“…Please, brother, please…” Angel tried to look at me. But his eye sockets were smashed, the swelling so bad his eyes were almost completely closed. “Please…” he pleaded.

Any other man would be mistaken for thinking that Angel was begging for his life. But not me. I knew better. No, Angel knew it was too late for that. It had been too late for that over an hour ago, but I’d kept the pain raining down on him and then bringing him back when it all got too much. Keeping him there, on the edge of death but not letting him fall over into the abyss of it.

No, Angel was begging me to kill him, not save him.

His chin trembled, blood and saliva dribbling from his lips as he pleaded again. I snarled, angry with him. He should have more pride in himself and his club. A man should never beg. It showed weakness to you and your club. It showed others what you were really made of.

If I was ever going to let him live, I wouldn’t now.

I gripped the metal chains in the palm of my hand, enjoying their heat and heaviness, the smoothness of the shiny, bloodied metal digging into my skin and leaving an imprint. And then I swung my arm back with a grunt, relishing the feel of the heavy metal hitting Angel’s ribs, the following ricochet threading back up my arms. Angel dropped back down to his knees with another final guttural cry, the chains holding his arms up above him jangling noisily as his body went limp on them.

Echo looked across to me, waiting for his order, and I nodded again. He moved toward Angel, gripping his hair in his hand and lifting his head up, unconcerned with the bloody saliva trailing from the other man’s slack mouth. Echo’s gaze raised to meet mine as he let go of Angel.

“It’s done,” he grunted.

Death. It got us all in the end.

No matter how much we ran from it or tried to hide from it. Death was inevitable. I dropped the chains to the ground and swiped my sweaty hands down my jeans before reaching into the pocket of my cut and pulling out my hipflask of whiskey and taking a long swallow of it. Damn, it tasted good.

I looked across at the silent horses standing in their stalls, their judgmental gazes staring back at me. The barn belonged to a friend of the club, and I wondered how much death these horses had witnessed.

Echo took out his knife and knelt in front of Angel’s dead body, carving the message we’d been told to deliver into his chest. When he was finished, he stood up and we both stepped back to admire his handiwork.

The words bled red pain down his chest and stomach. A warning to anyone else that tried to fuck with our club.

“Ready to bounce?” Echo asked, his cigarette dangling from between his lips.

“Yeah,” I grunted, my jaw ticking as my gaze moved around the barn.

“’Sup?” he asked, watching me cautiously.

I listened carefully for anything out of place. The silence of the night hung heavy in the air. Crickets chirped in the distance, and an owl hooted from a perch somewhere in the boughs of the building, but there was nothing else. It was all normal…all just as it should be. Yet something still felt off with the whole thing. I scowled harder and shook my head.

“I’m not sure, brother.” I narrowed my eyes. “Just a feeling, I guess.”

Echo automatically pulled his gun from the back of his jeans and flicked off the safety. I’d been training