- Author: Danielle Norman
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Kobe, Bad BloodBlood Roses
Copyright © 2021 by Danielle Norman
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Kobe, Bad Blood
Life was on auto, get up, go to work, then go home…alone.
But deep down a fire burned inside, each flame, each spark was fueled by one thing—revenge.
I needed justice for my brother.
I had it all figured out.
Infiltrate the gang responsible for his death.
Bring the killer to his knees.
I just never planned on Easton Crandall having the same plan as me.
My secret was his secret.
And before this was all over…
My body was his body.
To Elizabeth, my first TikTok troll.
—Bitch, you need to get laid.
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”
— C. S. Lewis
“Motorcycles are like boyfriends, if it isn’t yours, don’t touch it,” I shouted as I walked into church. Not like church-church with a preacher and a pulpit but church as in where we, The Blood Roses, congregated.
“What’s got you so pissed off?” Ridley asked as she took her seat and I slid in on the left of her.
“I ran into 7-11 to get an Icee, and when I came out, some dumbass was holding his kid up on my bike while the wife took a photo.”
“You’re shitting me?”
“Wish I was.”
“What’d you do?” Ridley asked.
“I walked out with my hand on my on my belly accentuating the fact that underneath my shirt was a 357.” I shook my head. “Really, what the fuck happened to common sense. If it isn’t yours don’t touch it. It’s no different than coming out and finding someone in your car.”
Sage, our sergeant-at-arms, sat across from me. “I can’t believe that someone would put their kid on your motorcycle.”
“Common sense is generally in short supply.” Ridley grinned before glancing around as everyone else joined us. “Before we let our Wednesday night festivities begin, let’s get our treasurer’s report.”
Astrid went over the accounts from Kinky, the tattoo parlor that the club owned, and then any bills that we were paying.
“Any new business?” Ridley asked.
When no one answered, Ridley called the meeting adjourned and Wednesday night girls’ night was officially started. This was their weekly routine, mainly since Wednesday was the only day that Kinky was closed.
I moved myself to the kitchen island where Sage had set out shot glasses and was pouring Amaretto, Kahlùa, and Bailey’s.
“On three. One, two, three.” Keeping my hands behind my back, I bent forward, held the shot glass between my teeth, tilted my head back, and swallowed.
“Damn.” Ridley sighed then leaned across the counter and gave me a high-five. “I probably should be high-fiving Easton instead,” Ridley said referring to my boyfriend.
“Kobe…” Sage hemmed and hawed.
“You don’t talk about your brother a lot, what happened?” Sage finally got the question out.
“It’s a long story. It is how I found out who killed my brother, reconnected with Easton, and it’s also how Ridley and I became friends.”
“Well, we have all night,” Sage said.
Ridley leaned forward and squeezed my hand for encouragement. She of all people knew how hard it was for me to talk about my brother, even now after all these years had passed.
I thought about it for a minute, then began, “It all started eleven years ago . . .”
Eleven years ago . . .
“No, I didn’t mean duck,” I yelled at my phone as I replied to a text and stuffed part of a bagel into my mouth at the same time.
I glanced over my shoulder to the clock on the microwave and wondered for the fifth time where my brother, Jared was.
I choked on a piece of bagel when my phone rang. My screen read unknown number, so I clicked the ignore button. Telemarketers, God I hated those calls with a passion—although, they did provide entertainment at times. I smiled at the thought of the time I answered the phone in a hushed whisper and said, “It’s done, she’s dead, leave my money in the normal spot.” Of course, I totally ruined my charade by laughing.
I continued playing with my phone, stopping at a video that looked mildly interesting. My phone dinged. The caller had left a message. I sighed but hated having those notifications at the top of my phone, so I clicked on it.
“Hello, this is Detective Getty calling from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. I am trying to reach Ms. Kobe Brogan. Please give me a call back at 407-555-3904.” I almost dropped my phone as the rest of the bagel lay dormant in my mouth. The sheriff’s department? Was I in trouble for something? No, if I was, someone would come to the house and speak with me. Right? Then I remembered Jared and how he still hadn’t arrived home.
I quickly dialed the number and waited for someone to answer all my questions. “Hello, you have reached the Orange County Sheriff’s