“Styx!” I screamed as they dragged his bleeding body past me, my heart slamming against my ribs. His head, weak from the pounding he had just taken, lifted at my words. “STYX!” I cried out louder. My body crumpled against the wall… I could not get free. My heart broke as the elders hauled Styx into the yard, and all the time, he fought his restraints, fighting to get back to me.

He will always try to protect me, I thought.

I refocused and stared at Cain. “I will never forgive you for this, Brother Cain,” I hissed, my voice steely and even.

For a moment, a flash of pain sped across Cain’s face as Brother Jacob stopped beside us. Cain straightened my left arm. “Do it!” he ordered Jacob, sternly.

My attention moved to Jacob and I watch helplessly as he held out a long needle and injected it into my outstretched arm.

As my consciousness began to fade, I fought against Cain’s hold. “Never… never… forgive you…”

Chapter Twenty-Two


I couldn’t speak.

I couldn’t get the words out to say a damn word. Rider. Fuckin’ RIDER! He was one of them. All this time, years of being Road Captain… five years of riding with the Hangmen, front line at gun runs and deals… and he was one of them!


“Noah, Moses, send the Hangmen a message,” Rider hissed as he grabbed Mae and dragged her from the room. All I saw was a red misty tunnel.

“Styx! I love you… I love you!” Mae cried, tears pouring down her cheeks.

Rider is taking her from me!

Mae! I wanted to scream, but the words wouldn’t come. The words were a cluster, a f**kin’ lump in my throat, choking me, lodged in place, refusing to move.

The door to the hallway closed and two of the bearded f**ks approached. I bared my teeth, fought against the restraints, but the f**kers kept coming. I promised myself if they got any closer I’d head butt the bastards, crush their noses, fracture their jaws… anything.

“So. You’re the famous Hangmen Mute?” The first one taunted.

I just stared, trying to goad them into coming closer.

They looked at each other and laughed. “I’m thinking, by his silence, we got it right. Funny, he doesn’t seem so tough on his knees, begging like a bitch.”

Movement up ahead caught my eye and I spotted Jacob pacing. He was glaring at me, snarling. So this is the pedo, I thought. This was the sick f**k who’d raped my woman. Raped her at the age of eight.

His lip lifted in a knowing smirk, his jaw clicking at the movement. He stepped forward, crouching right in front of me, and started to taunt me.

“She was so tight all those years ago.”

I tensed, my muscles feeling as though they were ripping apart.

“She fought me at first. Struggled to get free, but the trap kept her in her place. She squealed at first, you know, when I ripped through her virginity. But, she soon learned to enjoy me.” His head lowered, as did his voice. “I f**ked her in every hole, in every way humanly possible… and she was always dripping wet for more.”

Fury boiled my blood. I lunged forward, sinking my teeth into the side of his neck, ripping off a chunk of his flesh and spitting it on the floor at his feet. The taste of copper filled my mouth. He roared in pain, and I smiled as his blood trickled down my chin.

The other two brothers attacked, punching, hitting, kicking me in the ribs. I held Jacob in a stare, smiling as the bothers’ blows down rained on me.

“Moses, Noah, take him outside,” Gabriel ordered as Jacob held his neck, still glaring at me in shock.

Moses and Noah gripped me by my arms and dragged me through the door.


Mae was held up against the wall by Rider. His face far too close to hers. She looked so damn scared.

Our entrance to the hallway caught her attention and her wary wolf eyes snapped to mine. “Styx!” she screamed. “STYX!”

Work. Speak. Come on. Just talk. Anything. One word. Only one word. A sound. Something… FUCK! I tensed my chest as I tried to push the words up my throat. I could feel them lurking, mocking me, but they just wouldn’t come.

The two shits holding me were towing me past Mae so quickly I couldn’t get the words out in time. I couldn’t speak to my woman. Reassure her. I couldn’t help her. I was choking.


“Jacob. Do it!” I heard Rider order. Planting my feet to the ground, I managed to turn just in time to see Jacob plunge a huge needle into Mae’s arm.

“Never… never… forgive you,” Mae mumbled as she fell unconscious, the pain of her tone mirrored in Rider’s face. Within a few short seconds, Mae was gone and I was being pushed down the stairs and out the door into the yard, the summer night sticky and too humid to f**kin’ breathe.

“Gate!” Moses commanded. Noah nodded and we halted at the front gate. One of the bastards reached behind me to cut my hand ties. Taking advantage of this brief freedom, I swung my fists into their ugly faces, one by one, only to be tackled to the ground from behind.

“Stay the f**k down,” a deep voice threatened.


“Tie him up,” Rider ordered. I was lifted off the ground and spread out against the metal bars of the gate. My wrists were bound to the sides and my muscles burned with the movement. Finally, my feet were tied together at the ankles with cable.

I laughed internally at the messed-up position they had me in. Nice touch… Jesus-lovin’ pricks.