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Home > Last Mile (Vicious Cycle #3)(8)

Last Mile (Vicious Cycle #3)(8)
Author: Katie Ashley

Peterson nodded. “A former lieutenant from the Rodriguez cartel became expendable—a man named Mendoza. A long-standing beef he had with the Raiders’ president, Nathaniel ‘Rev’ Malloy, led to a hostage situation. Rev was tortured and shot by Mendoza, but he made a full recovery. From what I could gather from reading between the lines in the records, which are now black-lined confidential, it all stemmed from the human trafficking of Annabel Percy and her rescue by the Raiders.”

My eyebrows shot up in surprise. “Rescue? Don’t tell me the Raiders did something remotely heroic,” I scoffed.

“They risked their lives and club to go in after a club member’s daughter who had been abducted. While the member’s daughter unfortunately got killed, they saved Annabel.”

“She remained unscathed after her time with the Raiders?” I questioned skeptically.

Peterson chuckled. “She’s married to Rev now.”

I slowly shook my head back and forth. “You’re telling me a former deb like Percy is married to some MC scum? She must’ve had one hell of a case of reverse Stockholm syndrome.”

Gavin eyed me suspiciously. “Since when do you have such a hatred for MC gangs?”

With a shrug, I replied, “They’re criminals who demean women and hide their violence behind an alleged love of motorcycle riding.” I then turned my attention away from Gavin’s inquisitiveness and started devouring my bacon cheeseburger. While he might’ve been my best friend and knew some of the details of my father’s murder, I had never admitted that it was a biker who had killed my dad.

Peterson cleared his throat. “The bottom line is we could be on the precipice of one of the greatest interstate gun trafficking cases of my career. It’s not just small-time sales to lowlifes and felons. We’re talking about funding the cartel with weapons right here in our own backyard.”

“I can assume that the bureau hasn’t gotten shit with the usual methods of phone tapping and surveillance, and they want to get some agents inside. Correct?” Gavin asked.

With a nod, Peterson replied, “These bikers might be small-time gangsters, but they’re smart gangsters. All business between them and the cartel has happened either face-to-face or on burner phones.”

“So where do we come in?” I questioned.

“Gavin, you grew up working in your father’s garage, didn’t you?”

At the mention of his blue-collar roots, Gavin winced slightly. “Yeah, my dad and my grandfather were mechanics. I helped out there from the time I could tell a socket wrench from a combination wrench.” He took a swig of his coffee. “I’m not sure how that knowledge has any bearing on this case.”

Peterson flipped through his files before stopping at one. He took out a picture and put it on the table. “This is the Raiders’ sergeant at arms, Benjamin ‘Bishop’ Malloy.”

“Hmm, he’s a looker,” Gavin mused as he rubbed the stubble on his chin.

I nudged him under the table. “I’m pretty sure he doesn’t bat for your team.”

“Pity.”

Peterson rolled his eyes at the two of us. “May I continue?”

“Yes,” Gavin and I replied.

“Bishop has just taken a mechanics apprenticeship at a local garage—one that has no affiliations to the Raiders.” At what had to be Gavin’s and my identical expressions of surprise, Peterson added, “Apparently, he’s looking to go legitimate in his career choice and have no help from the Raiders.”

Straightening up in his seat, Gavin asked, “So you guys want to put me to work at this garage?”

Peterson nodded. “We’re hoping you can gain his trust and become a hang-around for the club . . . maybe even work up to prospecting.”

“I can do that. I might need a week or two to do a little refresher on mechanical terminology.”

“We have you booked into a garage to do just that starting tomorrow. We won’t put you into the one where Bishop works until after you’ve completed the refresher.”

Gavin choked on the french fry he’d been chewing. “Tomorrow? Damn, Peterson, you guys sure as hell were banking on me saying yes.”

“You’re the only one with the credentials to do it. This case isn’t just about someone who knows cars. It’s also about motorcycles. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s in your file that you ride your Harley every chance you get.”

I couldn’t hold back a snort of amusement. “He’s at best what bikers call a ‘weekend warrior.’”

Gavin glared at me. “I sure as hell could hold my own if I had to.”

Picking up Bishop’s picture, I waved it in front of his face. “You’re telling me you could be BFFs with this guy and be convincing as a hard-ass biker?” When Gavin jerked his chin up defiantly at me, I merely smiled at Peterson. “For him to even remotely have a chance, you need to book him for one hell of a makeover—the best the bureau has when it comes to undercover. I’d start at the top, with weeding out the hair product, and then work my way down.”

“Bitch,” Gavin muttered under his breath, but then he winked at me.

After wiping his mouth with his napkin, Peterson said, “You also need to come up with a new last name. We don’t want anything that can be traced back to you.”

Gavin tilted his head in thought. After a few seconds, he said, “Marley.”

Wrinkling my nose, I questioned, “Why Marley?”

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