Witness to Passion

By: Naima Simone



Two males. Caucasian. Average height. Both about 160-170 pounds. Dark-colored hoodies, jeans. Light from the streetlamp they passed under bounced off a black gun. 9mm in the right hand of the male on the left. Shane lifted his hand to his shoulder holster, his thumb grazing the brake. No. It would be safer to defuse the situation rather than adding another weapon to the mix.

He blanked his mind. Shut out everything but disarming and neutralizing the two men closing in on Fallon. A calm descended, leveling his pulse, steadying his heartbeat. He stalked across the street, sticking to the black pockets outside the streetlamp’s exposing glare.

In seconds he stood behind the unarmed punk. Barely pausing, Shane slammed his booted heel into the back of the asshole’s knee. With a shocked and agonized scream, the male crumbled toward the ground. The back of Shane’s fist to the guy’s jaw accelerated the fall.

As the satisfying thud of skull meeting pavement echoed in the night, the armed assailant whirled around, gun outstretched in his right hand.

Shane was already moving.

He snapped out his left hand, shoving the gun aside even as he shifted to the right and out of the line of fire. Simultaneously, he rotated closer, gripped the weapon with both hands. In one sinuous motion, he forced the barrel toward the kid, wrist-locking the hand clutching the gun. The scarred, tight muscles in his back spasmed, protesting at the abrupt, fluid motion. He ground his teeth against the twinge of pain and maintained his steady hold.

“Fuck, man!” the guy wailed as his knees buckled, and he strained against Shane’s hold. The cry broke off sharply when the barrel nudged his chin. His eyes widened until the whites nearly eclipsed the dark centers. “Okay, man, okay…”

“Get down on your face, motherfucker,” Shane ordered, voice cold. The gun didn’t waver as he stood over the man who’d intended to snatch Fallon’s life so remorselessly.

Gritting his teeth, he eclipsed the rising anger before it could engulf him. He couldn’t afford that right now. Not with two dangerous thugs stretched out at his feet. Because he didn’t doubt their identity. Even before the cuff of the guy’s sleeve rode up the arms extended above his head, revealing the L and W tattooed on his skin.

The Lords of War.

Compared to the Bloods, the Avenue King Crips, and Gangsta Disciples, the Lords of War were a relatively young gang. But in the last five years, they’d grown fast—over two thousand members strong—and were responsible for a good part of the drug and firearms trafficking in Boston. As far as brutality, mercilessness, and greed were concerned, the Lords were right up there with the Crips and Bloods.

And Fallon had witnessed their leader, Jonah Michaels, carry out a hit.

“You don’t know who I run with do you, bitch? This ain’t over. You don’t know who you just fucked with,” the Lords of War gang member snarled from the ground, having recouped his balls since the gun no longer kissed his face. “You and the bitch—”

“Shut the fuck up,” Shane growled, pressing a knee into the asshole’s spine. Tapping his Bluetooth earpiece, he slid the weapon into his waistband, then removed a zip tie from his coat pocket, and quickly secured the still-cursing male’s wrists at the small of his back. When Shane finished repeating the action with his ankles, Ciaran Ross’s deep greeting resounded in his ear.

“I need a cleanup. The front of Fallon’s building.” Shane moved to the unconscious male on the ground and flipped him over. “Come in black,” Shane ordered the ex-DEA agent-turned-security-specialist, using their code to approach in stealth mode.

“Copy that. ETA three minutes,” Ciaran confirmed.

With another press to his earpiece, Shane ended the call and made short work of binding the other man’s arms and legs.

Only then did he allow himself to glance toward the apartment complex’s entrance. Only then did he permit the ice encasing his emotions to thaw. Only then did he admit that for the first time since a bullet had ripped through his flesh, leaving him staring up at a dark, star-scattered night as his blood pumped onto a foreign street, he was afraid.

If Addisyn hadn’t called him. If he hadn’t followed Fallon home. If he’d been seconds slower…

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