Home > RAVEN (Royal Bastards MC : Portland Oregon, #2)

RAVEN (Royal Bastards MC : Portland Oregon, #2)
Author: K.L. SAVAGE

 

PROTECT: The club and your brothers come before anything else, and must be protected at all costs. CLUB is FAMILY.

 

RESPECT: Earn it & Give it. Respect club law. Respect the patch. Respect your brothers. Disrespect a member and there will be hell to pay.

 

HONOR: Being patched in is an honor, not a right. Your colors are sacred, not to be left alone, and NEVER let them touch the ground.

 

OL’ LADIES: Never disrespect a member’s or brother’s Ol’Lady. PERIOD.

 

CHURCH is MANDATORY.

 

LOYALTY: Takes precedence over all, including well-being.

 

HONESTY: Never LIE, CHEAT, or STEAL from another member or the club.

 

TERRITORY: You are to respect your brother’s property and follow their Chapter’s club rules.

 

TRUST: Years to earn it . . . seconds to lose it.

 

NEVER RIDE OFF: Brothers do not abandon their family.

 

 

To Amanda Anderson Thanks for saving me this year. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish next year #RRWD

 

 

Twenty-five years ago…

 

I’m no stranger to tragedy. To heartbreak. I may only be a kid, but no kid should have to go through what I have.

The only one who knows is my older sister Raven. Our parents were killed a year ago in a horrific accident, leaving her to be my caretaker. We were lucky enough, if you can call it that, that she had just turned eighteen when they died. So when they died, she became my legal guardian.

All we have is each other. Most days, I drive her absolutely crazy, but tonight I don’t want to stay home by myself. I just have a weird feeling in my gut. My stomach twists in knots when I think about her going out alone with Brad, this guy she’s been talking to. I’ve only seen him once, and I just didn’t like the guy. Something about him just feels off. He’s clean-cut and seems to be normal, but as her brother, it’s my job to make sure the guy isn’t a creep, even if I am younger.

“Alright, Jason, I’m going to drop you off at home,” she tells me as she picks me up from school. I’m all bundled in my hoodie because it’s so cold outside. “I’m going out with Brad to get milkshakes, then we’re going to a movie. Remember, keep the doors locked, and I’ll leave money for you to call for a pizza or something. Just do me a favor and don’t have anyone over. Oh, and remember, don’t mess with the stove, matches, or anything that might burn down the house. No party or anything crazy. Make sure you finish your homework too.”

“Jeez, Raven, I’m thirteen! I’m not that immature!” I yell, looking out the window, feeling insulted that she thinks that low of me. Sure, I sometimes test her limits, but I wouldn’t put her in a bad spot like that. And I know not to burn down the house.

“What movie are you seeing?”

“Some new horror movie,” she tells me. “Scream, it’s called.”

I gasp. I love horror movies. The other boys at school say this one is super good. “I want to come!”

“No,” she shakes her head. “You have homework.”

“I wanna see the movie,” I protest. “Come on. Just take me with you.”

“Why would I let you tag along?” she asks snarkily. “It’s a date, dude.” I can tell she’d rather Mom and Dad be alive to deal with me most of the time, but they aren’t, and I was put on her to take care of. A teenager in charge of another teenager. We work it out, though. Every day brings something new for us to navigate that we never expected, but it’s definitely added tension that wasn’t there before. Not that we’ve ever been best friends or anything, with her being so much older. I know she struggles a lot too. I try to help when I can, but I’m just a kid.

“I don’t care that it’s a date. You won’t even know I’m there. You never hang out with me anymore since you’re always working or doing schoolwork. You could at least let me tag along,” I give Raven a mock pouty face, which makes her laugh. I’m laying it on thick. Sometimes I welcome staying home alone, but other nights, the house just feels so empty. Plus, whatever my awful feeling is about, I just don’t want to leave her alone with that guy.

She rocks her head back and forth, as if considering it, but I give her one more look and she finally lets out a heavy sigh.

“Fine, but you better not get in the way. Don’t be asking for everything either. I have to stretch the money I have until payday next week.”

The house and car were left to her in the will, along with my parents’ savings on top of the life insurance money, so bills are usually covered. Still, she never spends a dime on things we don’t absolutely need. She’s taking classes at the community college to try to get a better job, and working part-time too. Hopefully all our savings will be enough to last until I’m old enough to work too.

I’ve been determined to help her, but I’m still too young to work. Most of our neighbors let me mow their grass and do yardwork for allowance, taking pity on the orphan kids. When Raven found out I was practically milking their sympathy to help her buy groceries, she about strangled me and refused to let me do it anymore.

“I need to go home to freshen up, and he will pick us up in about an hour,” she tells me, looking irritated, but she relented so fast she can’t be that upset that I asked to go.

An hour and a half later, I’m sitting in the backseat of Brad’s Toyota Corolla, feeling the awkwardness I didn’t even think about experiencing when I asked to tag along. I’m stuck staring at my hands, wishing I wasn’t just sitting in the back listening to him sweet-talk my sister. She’s all giddy and flirty back. I want to plug my ears so I don’t have to listen to it, but I’m not trying to get dropped off when we just left. He had all kinds of excuses for why he was late, and Raven just brushed them off. I don’t know what she sees in that guy.

I’ve come to the decision that Brad is the king of douches. He’s coming on thick to my sister, who is playing along, eating up his attention like she’s never had a guy interested in her. I’ve rolled my eyes so many times since he picked us up that I can just about draw my brain. It makes me sick to my stomach to even remotely hear what he’s whispering to her. I’m going to need years of therapy after this. Little did I know that I would need therapy but for a whole other reason.

When we stop at the ice cream parlor for milkshakes, he makes sure to load mine up like he’s the best guy ever, trying to buy brownie points. My sister might be blinded by his smile and his ways, but I can see what he’s trying to do. I don’t say much, trying to stay in the background like Raven asked me to. I don’t want to blow going and miss out on scary movies. I watch the people around the store. Other young couples sharing straws and being all lovey-dovey, dads bringing kids in after getting good reports cards, and then us. I’m very clearly the third wheel and hating it. Why are we even getting ice cream when it’s so cold outside?

We finally get to the movie theater and head through the lobby playing Christmas music. I’m excited. I never get a chance to movies in theaters anymore. We make our way to the theater and I plop down in the front row. Raven claimed that she wanted to keep an eye on me when I protested sitting next to them. I don’t want to see the grossness of my sister cuddling into him, pretending she’s scared.

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