Wirth (Dirty Aces MC #5) - Lane Hart


Maeve Donovan

“I’m begging you, Cormac, let my brother go!” I’ve tried reasoning with Rian to leave town with me, but he refuses. He’ll never budge on his own. I need someone else to help me free him from the chains of the ridiculous sense of duty my father laid on his shoulders so that we can both have a normal life for once.

Smirking behind his lowball glass of amber liquid, the cliché redheaded Irish asshole in a black perfectly tailored suit says, “Come on now, Maeve. You act as if I have Rian tied up in the basement like a captive. He knows he can leave the cause whenever the hell he wants.”

“But he won’t leave, and you know that!” I shout at him. “He thinks he has to fulfill some…some stupid promise he made to our father, to follow in his footsteps. He won’t ever walk away from you or this chaos unless you throw him out!”

“Rian’s eighteen now – a grown ass man, who is loyal and strong with one hell of a good aim. He can make his own decisions, sweetheart. He no longer needs his big sis to try to protect him.”

I grit my teeth at his condescending tone. Men are all the same – self-centered assholes who only care about themselves.

“And you don’t need Rian to protect you either!” I point out to him. “Just because he brags about hitting the bullseye of a practice target doesn’t mean anything. He’ll probably end up killing himself before he shoots anyone else!” I huff.

“You don’t give the boy enough credit. I wouldn’t put him on my detail if I didn’t think he had what it takes to back up his cockiness.” Cormac chuckles before sipping his whiskey with a grin. I don’t miss the irony of him calling Rian a ‘boy’. That’s what he still is, despite his age.

My brother, the stubborn hothead that he is, insists on staying with Cormac’s crew, playing the role of one of his bodyguards. Rian says it’s the best way for him to learn how to lead so that one day he can take his place, which is just fucking ridiculous. Cormac can’t teach him anything other than how to increase his alcohol tolerance while sleeping with every woman he meets. My brother doesn’t need Cormac to show him either of those things. Our father did the exact same thing from the time we were born until the day he died by taking a bullet in his back while fucking some slut in a hotel room. No one saw his killer before he got away. Rian swears he’ll find out who it was one day. I would much prefer for him to work on solving that mystery rather than being one of Cormac’s henchman.

“Please, Cormac,” I plead with him again. I know I’m grasping at straws when I say, “Do you really want to be the man who ends the Donovan line?”

Finally, his smile falters and his skin turns even paler than usual as he quietly considers that scenario while sipping his drink.

Our people may be wanton alcoholics, but they’re also superstitious and suckers for tradition. For over a hundred years, a Donovan was the head of the Irish mafia in the United States. It’s not a family history that I’m proud of, but it’s one that lasted an entire century – that is until my father was murdered last year. His men all voted for Cormac to lead until Rian was old enough to stand on his own.

On his eighteenth birthday, Rian could’ve stepped into the role, but so far, he hasn’t. For some unknown reason, he’s thankfully hesitating. Which means there’s still time for me to get him free and clear of being the fourth Donovan to also die for the mafia’s cause.

“Fine. What you’re asking isn’t easy, but…I may be able to figure out a way to push Rian out…”

“You will?” I say in surprise.

He holds up his palm. “After the new arrivals in the city are handled. If Rian leaves, I could lose the support of other…nostalgic men who may decide to go with him. And with competition coming to town – the cause won’t stand a chance of surviving without every last man protecting it.”

“How long will it take to get rid of the new guys?” I ask.

Cormac shrugs a shoulder casually under his suit jacket. “I don’t want to underestimate our new foe. It could take a year, maybe more. Quick or drawn out, either way,