The following excerpt is from Chapter One
of The Boys Club.
To read more or purchase, click here.
(All material copyright Angie Martin 2014)
I’ve been in far worse spots than this.
Though Gabriel Logan had repeated the same mantra for the past ten minutes, he failed to remember a single time he’d been worse off than now. After taking him hostage at gunpoint, a drug dealer who smelled like he climbed out of a sewer struggled with a frayed rope to tie Logan to a pole covered in red, peeling paint. Half of Logan’s team had already left and the other half was probably trying to figure out where he had gone. Being stranded in the middle of the decrepit barn with no weapon had to be the worst of all of his messes to date, and Logan had no idea how he was getting out of it alive.
Several feet in front of Logan, a second man paced back and forth, his heavily tattooed hand gripping a nine millimeter. “Make it tight so he don’t get out,” he told the first man, “but not so tight that he gets hurt. They don’t want him hurt.”
Logan frowned. He didn’t know who wanted him in one piece or what they were going to do with him when they had him, but if they didn’t want him hurt then his best chance to escape was hurting himself.
The second man walked over to them. He tilted his head, his greasy, slicked-back hair falling out of place. “Don’t you know how to tie a knot?” He set his gun down on a haystack near Logan and walked around the back.
Logan almost laughed at the amateur move, but he was still halfway tied up so he couldn’t celebrate quite yet. The tight constraints didn’t allow Logan to reach the gun, but that wouldn’t stop him from getting it.
As the two men argued over how to properly tie a knot in his peripheral vision, neither one of them paying attention to him, Logan clenched his jaw and squeezed his eyes shut. He counted to three and braced himself. Slacking on his left side, he grabbed onto a piece of rope, and pulled up and out as hard as he could.
He screamed and cursed as his left shoulder dislocated. He had pulled it out of the socket so many times over the years on accident that it now popped out with ease. Even though he prepared himself for the pain, it didn’t lessen it in the slightest.
The two men stopped what they were doing and ran around to his front side.
“What the hell did you do to me?” he yelled at them.
The second man looked at the first man. “What did you do? You hurt him! They’re gonna kill you for sure.”
The first man appeared dumbfounded, his gaze shifting back and forth between Logan and the second man, apparently having a hard time determining how he hurt Logan by trying to tie him up. “I didn’t do nothin’ to him, I swear!”
Though he had adjusted to the pain, Logan moaned, exaggerating to make it sound as if he were dying.
“Get him out of there!” the second man ordered.
The first man ran around to the back of the pole and untied Logan. As soon as the rope fell away from his body, Logan launched himself at the second man. He punched the man’s jaw, followed by an elbow to the side of his head. Logan raced toward the gun, while the second man staggered backward and the first man remained frozen with a confused expression.
Logan squeezed the trigger, firing two shots into the second man’s head before he could attack. He whirled around to the first man and trained the gun on his head. Smiling, he shrugged. The man raised his hand for protection. The first round tore through his hand and cheek. When he screamed and lowered his hand, Logan fired a second bullet into his forehead.
Logan turned to regroup with his team, but a large body rammed into his, propelling him forward until he collided with the pole. The gun flew from his hand. He moved his head to the side so his nose didn’t break, but the rest of his body seemed to instantly shatter, especially his left shoulder. A fist repeatedly crushed his side. The assault paused just enough so Logan could duck and scurry to the side. The large man’s fist hit the pole, stunning him.
Staying low to the ground, Logan rushed the man and they tumbled over the haystack and to the floor. The man’s weight pulled him down first, and Logan landed on top. He managed a couple of punches before jumping to his feet and running away. The man caught his ankle and Logan tripped. Only his right hand managed to cushion his fall, while his left arm twisted painfully between his torso and the floor.
Ignoring the flare of pain through his arm and shoulder, Logan used his right arm to drag himself away from the man. A strong hand landed on his left ankle and tugged. Logan pushed up with his right hand and flipped onto his back. He smashed the sole of his boot into the man’s face three times, until the man let go of his leg. When he pulled his foot away, the man reached for his flattened nose.
Logan got to his feet, but only took two steps before a bullet whizzed past his feet. He turned around with controlled, deep breaths. “You got me,” he said. “I give up.”
The man stood, blood flowing through the fingers covering his nose. He raised his gun toward Logan and laughed.
Logan took careful steps backward. “Your friends over there said your boss doesn’t want me hurt.”
“You think I care what he says?” the man asked, his voice nasal and strangled. “Self-defense.”
The gun lifted, the barrel pointing at his head, and Logan closed his eyes. The shot sounded, but it did not penetrate his body. He opened his eyes just as the man fell to the ground.
“About time,” he said, as he turned to the door.
“What the hell did you get yourself into?” Jack Sullivan asked. He pointed to the other two dead men. “Did we need three bodies on this one?”
“It’s worth it,” Logan said. “We need the gas can from the van.”
“You mean besides getting rid of the bodies?” Logan walked over to the stacks of boxes on the back wall, one of which he had opened prior to the two men catching him. He picked up a DVD from the open box and tossed it to Jack.
“Kiddy porn,” Jack said. He swore under his breath. “And here I thought these guys were run-of-the-mill, lowlife drug dealers.”
“Looks like our source didn’t have the full story.” He shook his head as he stared at row after row of boxes stacked at least a foot higher than his six-foot three-inch frame. “Burn it all.”
When they had taken care of the cocaine lab in the other barn earlier and were ready to leave, Logan had spotted the second barn, hidden behind some tree cover. Though the first half of his team had already left, he told the rest of them to stay put, positive he wouldn’t find anything. What he saw in the box twisted his stomach and he knew they could not leave without doing something about it. Then the two men found him.
He followed Jack out to the van, holding his shoulder. Now that the adrenaline had worn off, fierce pain radiated from the injury. He thanked God they were less than an hour from the Church, where he could get it put back into its rightful place.
Jack passed by with the gas to burn down the second barn. Logan climbed in the back of the van and collapsed in the back bench seat. Lester Davis turned around from the driver’s seat. “Kid porn, huh? Sick bastards.”
“Jack’s taking care of it,” Logan said, as he lay down across the bench.
Lester’s shiny, bald head jetted out over the top of the seat in front of Logan. “You okay, man? Jack said you had to take out a couple guys back there.”
“They deserved it.” Though he believed his words, he hated it when he had to kill someone. He wanted to hurry back before anyone else showed up that they would also have to kill, but knew they couldn’t leave until the job was done.
“We’ll get you home and fixed up soon enough.” He looked up, out the back window. “In fact, I think I see smoke now.”
Logan used his right arm to pull himself up in the seat. Through the dusky evening, small tendrils of smoke curled from the top of the barn into the sky. He smiled despite the pain. One cocaine lab and a barn filled with child pornography, both destroyed. All in all, a good day.