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Cottonmouth: Chapter 1

Three days later…

Outside Odessa….

The shadows moved in on a warehouse on the outskirts of Odessa. At least a dozen men moved slowly but steadily to surround the building. But they were patient as they waited for a signal from the leaders.

Under the cover of darkness, they had watched earlier as four large vehicles arrived and many men exited the vehicles to enter the building.

Shay watched as he identified the men and some he could not make out.

He was about to move in when another vehicle drove up. He hissed as he recognized the two men exiting the late vehicle and they walked calmly into the warehouse.

He looked over at Pappy and growled. “I want those two alive when this is over.”

“Who are they?” Pappy asked.

“Owen and his dad John Reed, aka Jared Severs.,” Shay snapped. “I want them alive but in custody. We can keep them under wraps until I can get the rest of his cohorts under arrest in Washington.”

Pappy nodded.

Shay finally, gave the signal to move in.

Tory watched from her position in a tree near the warehouse. She was perched high in the tree and knew she was well hidden. She had been here for some time now, watching and searching for him. She was only interested in one man but he wasn’t here.

She almost moved but stayed when she thought she saw the shadows moving toward the building. Not sure if it was just one or two but then almost a dozen pinpoints were moving in on the warehouse. She settled in and decided to wait a bit longer. She was interested in who the shadows were and how they knew this meeting was even taking place tonight. This sort of meeting wouldn’t have been advertised.

If this was a takeover of the cartel, she was in the wrong place, wrong time and couldn’t move. If anyone knew she was here, she wouldn’t live long and she wasn’t finished with what she had to do, not yet. She had one more man to find first. No one was going to stop her from carrying out her mission. She looked down to her right and caught the reflection of a pair of eyes in the brush. The eyes were watching her and she gave him a signal to wait and not move. She had trained him, so she knew he wouldn’t move until she gave him a sign. She turned her head back to what was happening in front of her.

Then moments later, all hell broke out. The shadows below her began firing on the warehouse and after the first few incoming shots, the people in the warehouse began shooting back.

The shooting seemed to go on forever.

From where she sat, she could see everything. The shadows got as close as they could before the first shot signaled the chaos inside, as men scrambled for position. The windows were broken out and shots returned but the shooters inside couldn’t see anything and their shots were wide, the men inside the warehouse were screaming as bullets cut through the smoke and they began to take hits. The shooting only stopped from the inside when the lights went off.

Tension grew as one side waited for the other to make the next move.

Then one of the shadows outside threw a smoke grenade into the building and then he lobbed another in for good measure. Smoke billowed out through the broken widows and soon, men were stumbling out of the front door with their hands held high in the air. Some of them were limping and holding their shoulders but 14 or so, came walking out of the building.

Tory shook her head and almost called out to the men to hold their position. She knew there were at least three men not accounted for. They could be dead but then she saw a door on the roof open up and three men came out there while crouching low.

The men below her wouldn’t have seen them, as they made their way to the edge of the roof and aimed their weapons at the darkness beyond where the men were standing.

She quickly took aim and ripped off a shot. One of the three men fell and then their guns were pointed her way. They might not know where she was but the shadows had been alerted to the danger above them. She only hoped the shadows on the ground were the good guys.

More shots rang out and the two remaining men fired back. A second man fell as the third man threw down his gun and stood, holding up his hands high in surrender.

She heard one shadow order the man to come down and while they waited, two of the shadows broke away and came her way.

She quickly signaled the dog to hide and stay hidden then then she climbed higher into the tree. She didn’t want anyone to find her.

Most of the men in the shadows stayed hidden but three of them did go forward and they arrested the members of the cartel. Then 2 large almost paddy wagon types of SUVs drove up and the cuffed men were swiftly put inside them.

She didn’t stay to watch but instead, secured her new position in the tree.

The men searched the grounds for her but were unable to find her. They did shine their flashlights in the tree but they didn’t look very high.

She laid very still but their light didn’t go high enough to find her.

Spreading out, they searched the undergrowth for her but only found her backpack.

She growled softly when they took it back with them. Damnit… she knew she would have to take the time to follow them and get her pack back now. Tory waited and watched as more vehicles moved in and more members of the cartel were hauled away.

Then the shadows that were men were left to their own devices.

Tory quickly got out of the tree, collected her dog, and found her truck again.

She watched from far enough away, so she wouldn’t be seen. That’s when she noticed the cuts the men were wearing. Grabbing a small pair of binoculars, she focused on the cuts.

Of the dozen or so men standing there, there seemed to be four separate MC’s standing together. She’d heard of three of them but one was a complete mystery to her. The Hade’s Demon’s, The Soldiers of Hades, Brothers of Chaos, and the Savaged Souls.

None of the groups was close to where she lived but all the same, Tory had heard of the MC’s. Now, all she had to do was find out where they were all staying. She needed to get her pack back.

From a closer vantage point, she listened in on the men’s conversation.

One of the bikers shook his head. “We didn’t find whoever shot that first bullet but we did find a backpack hidden in the brush. Have no clue what’s inside but we can look once we get back to the clubhouse.”

Another even larger bike nodded. “Yeah, we should get out of here before anyone else pulls up.”

When the dozen or so men took off on cycles as well as some in an SUV, they didn’t notice she was following them. She had at least pegged which men had her pack now.

Tory did take note they didn’t have to go far, just on the other side of the city. They weren’t in Odessa directly, but instead, they were within the shadow of the city.


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