GOING HOME ISN'T EASY Part 11
Logan gritted his teeth in frustration. He and Declan had done their best to convince both Rylee and Vivian to remain in the pack compound where they'd be safe. They might as well have been talking to the walls for all the good it did. The stubborn females had ignored every argument that he'd offered for why staying behind was the smart thing to do.
Instead, Vivian had led Rylee into Declan's private armory and told her to help herself. As frustrating as it was that they wouldn't listen to common sense, he had to admit that it was pretty hot watching two such strong women cheerfully sharing their opinions on which handguns were the best fit for a woman's smaller hands and which knives held their edge the longest in a fight. From the gleam in Declan's eyes as his wife tightened the leather wrist straps that held her throwing knives, he was having the same kind of thoughts as Logan was.
His friend met Logan's gaze and shrugged as he unlocked another cabinet and pulled out his wife's favorite rifle. He then offered its twin to Rylee. Both women showed amazing proficiency when they checked over the weapons and stuffed their fanny packs with boxes of ammunition. It took some effort on his part, but Logan finally managed to get his head back in the game and started adding a few more weapons to his own personal arsenal for the upcoming fight.
Declan locked up the cabinets and glanced out the window where his wolves were lining up awaiting their ride to Maggy's house. When his phone pinged, he checked his messages. "Ian should be here any minute now. His people have already moved into position around Maggy's place. So far, your brother and his hired muscle are in wait-and-see mode. If that changes, Ian's second-in-command will take action."
The whoop-whoop-whoop of the helicopter announced their ride had arrived. Logan fell into step beside Rylee as they made their way outside. The same lethal-looking helicopter they had rode in before set down in the compound with Ian at the controls. Logan held Rylee's weapon as she climbed inside and got settled while Declan did the same for Vivian. The two men followed suit with Declan sitting in back with the women while Logan took the seat next to Ian.
As soon as they got situated, Ian lifted off and moved out of the way of the larger helicopter waiting to land. The line of Declan's men and women boarded as soon as it touched down. Logan hated knowing they were putting themselves in the line of fire when it was his battle to fight, but he knew better than to protest. Both Ian and Declan considered Logan to be part of their packs, which meant their people would have his back no matter what. Considering the fact his own family would rather cut his throat than lift a finger to help him, such loyalty was taking some getting used to.
Ian pointed at a headset sitting on the console. Logan put it on and tested the mic. "Can you hear me?"
"Loud and clear. I wanted to let you know that I received an update right as I landed. Your brother was pounding on the door and yelling for your friend Maggy to come out. When she didn't respond, he threatened to treat her house the same way he treated your bar."
Logan's fangs ran out on full display. It was one thing for Rory and even their father to threaten Logan, but going after his friends and employees crossed the line. "What did you people do?"
Ian's smile was predatory. "They told the jackasses to get away from the house if they wanted to live long enough to cash their next paycheck. When a couple didn't heed the warning, including your brother, my people opened fire just enough to have the bloody coward ducking for cover. Even a few his own men were laughing as he scrambled behind some bushes with his hands over his ears. I guess he kept yelling for his people to shoot back. However, considering a bunch of them were pretty much caught out in the open, they decided it would be wiser on their part to do as they were told. They didn't exactly surrender, but they weren't fighting back. Not yet, anyway."
That was mostly good news, making it easier to breathe. That lasted right up until his phone rang. If it was Rory, the bastard would get a blow-by-blow description of how he was going to die. Sadly, though, it wasn't his brother calling; it was their father.
"Dad, I'm sure you think whatever you want to tell me is important, but it will have to wait. I'm on my way to handle a problem which might require terminal force, so I'll have to get back to you later."
His father's voice was rock hard, his tone clear that he still thought he was the one holding the reins in their relationship. "I don't have time for word games, Logan. How did you manage to hack into the family accounts?"
"I didn't. But if I had to guess who did, I would suggest you talk to your other son."
"He's not answering his phone."
Logan's laugh had nothing to do with humor. "That's because he's been busy burning down my bar and threatening my friend. I don't know what my dear brother is up to, but I'll let you know when I find out."
He let that much sink in before adding, "You might want to make sure your best suit is pressed. You'll need it for his funeral."
"What are you talking about?"
Time was running out, but Logan was going to use every second of it to clue his father into the reality of the situation. "I'm talking about the fact that I walked away from you and the family and never looked back. I haven't asked you for a single penny in all that time, so I don't know why you'd think I'd start now. What you can't seem to understand is that I'm happy I walked away. I've even managed to build a life more myself that I'm proud of even if you aren't. Your opinion of me lost all meaning the first time you made it clear that nothing I ever did would measure up to the standard of your firstborn."
He felt a hand land on his shoulder and new instinctively that it was Rylee offering her support. Yet another reminder that he wasn't alone in all of this. It also occurred to him that everyone in the helicopter could hear every word he and his father were saying. Later he might be embarrassed. Right now he didn't care.
His father was still trying to take control of the conversation. "Logan, you have no right to talk to me like—"
"Shut up, old man! I'm doing the talking now, and I don't much care if you don't like it. You're the one who decided to drag me back into the family fold. Well, now you've got me. Get this through your head—if your accounts have been hacked, it wasn't me. I don't need your money and wouldn't take it if you offered it to me."
"I will not be talked to like this. I am your father, not to mention the head of your clan."
"Like either of those things means anything to me. Regardless, I'm not the one who is messing with the family coffers."
His father raised the volume on his tirade. "And I'm telling you that Rory wouldn't do anything to hurt the family's reputation."
"What reality are you living in, Dad? Rory has the morals of a pit viper. He's hired mercenaries to burn down my bar because Rylee chose to come with me rather than get forced into a marriage with him. Now he and his thugs have surrounded my friend's house and is threatening to burn her home with her in it."
"My son would never behave in such a way. And you should know that Rylee's father wants her to come home immediately. He's already agreed to the marriage between her and Rory. If you continue to hold her prisoner, he will press charges."
"She's not my prisoner. I would remind you that forced marriages are now illegal in the Coalition, but you already know that." He twisted around to face the woman in question. "You should listen to what I'm about to say very carefully, because it's the absolute truth. Rylee chose me over Rory."
Her smile was everything he could have hoped for. When he held the phone out so she could speak to his father directly, she said, "This is Rylee speaking. Tell my father he can go to hell right along with Rory. And you, too, if you don't back off and leave me and Logan alone."
If Logan hadn't already been in love with her before, he would be now. Ian tapped him on the shoulder and pointed down at the ground. It was time to end the conversation. He took the phone back. "I don't know what kind mess you and her father have gotten into with the clans' finances, but you need to find some way to fix it that doesn't involve Rylee. Like I told you when we started this call, I'm about to face off with Rory and his thugs. He has no idea what kind of trouble he's stirred up by messing with me and mine. Let's just say he's pretty much a dead man walking."
He drew in a slow breath, determined to make sure his father understood the situation. "In the unlikely event that Rory somehow manages to take me out of the equation, my friends will do whatever it takes to make sure that Rylee is safe. That means from you, from Rory, and from her father. I hope all three of you have your affairs in order."
Then he hung up and prepared to do battle.