A week passed and all of the preparations were on schedule. I was working on the back deck with a few of the new guys when Cherry pulled up in her monster truck. I wiped the sweat from my head and stood up to look at her.
"You know under cover means inconspicuious. You aren't doing that very well" I laughed as I looked at her big honkin yellow truck.
She laughed as she came over to me. She looked like she was ready to work. She jumped up on the deck and went to grab a hammer. She came back over to me and eyed me levelly.
"I need to talk to you Imi. Something is going on that has bossman in straps. He is busting at the seams for me to break this case and I can't even find a lead."
I sighed. "You know I am out of that, come on now. Life just settled down for me again and I like it this way."
Cherry hammered away, the stress from her body compounding on the hammer. "I wouldn't ask you if I had somewhere else to turn but you and Ava are the only family I have left."
I stopped working and looked at her. "Cherry, what happened to Nora Lynn?"
She stopped mid hammer and fell to her knees. I picked her up and hauled her forcefully from the deck and slammed her into the barn wall.
"Cherry where the FUCK is Nora Lynn?" The sad look in here eyes told me all I needed to know. I dropped to my knees and felt the tears fall from my eyes.
"We were asked on one more mission after we all came back from rescuing the kids. It was a simple job, go in snipe some spies and come home. Seems the info was leaked before we got there. They had an ambush waiting. Nora fought to get me out, but she didn't make it. They filled her full of bullets Imi and I watched it happen. My best friend and lover killed before my eyes. No matter the time that passed by Imi I have always loved her and now she is gone."
Cherry fell to the ground and broke down. I heard footsteps behind me and looked up to see Brook looking at me confused. I shook my head and she quietly moved away.
"Cherry, why are you here then? I mean, shouldn't you be going after the people that killed her. That was always our Motto 'One taken out, all hell breaks loose'."
She nodded her head. "I followed the last two here and then I lost track of them. I came to ask your help to see if you hired anyone in the past two months. Two guys that would have come in together and worked hard to stay under the radar. I know you know what to look for in suspicious."
I thought for a moment. "Not here but at Kie's brother's place. Two guys walked in off the street and practically begged for jobs. I can get them checked out. Maybe scout them out myself. I have to go over there soon anyhow."
"They are after all of us Imi. Kill orders sent out for each of us. I don't know who did it or why. But they want us out of the picture permanently."
I laughed a bit hysterically. "I would love to see them try. Ava and I are always on guard even now. Plus Brook and Kade were Fed before they decided to leave it behind. There is more than enough fire power on this proporty to take out an army. I don't think anyone is going to want to mess with us."
She reached into her back pocket and pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to me. "For that price, I would have killed you myself if you weren't my sister."
I looked shocked. That was more money that I would ever see in a lifetime and it was being offered for my demise. I took a deep breath. "Pull your ass together, you got me on this one. We leave Ava out though. She has been bending over backwards and she would jump on this as well. I want her to overwork herself. As it is she is running herself into the ground."
Cherry shook her head. "It is still her choice Imi. Her life is on the line as well. It is and always will be her choice to fight or not. You can't protect us all, no matter how much you want to. For right now, do your recon and I will go talk to Ava. After that I am going to get a stiff drink as I have every night since her death, and drink myself so far under the table it doesn't hurt anymore."
I nodded my head as Cherry moved away and got in her truck. She quickly back out and left the proporty. I went back to building the deck. I started to think that maybe I could use some extra help on the deck. I figured that would have been a great reason for a visit to my brother in law. Maybe spare me 5 or so ranchhands to help out since there were so many of us building the deck. The longer I thought about it the better it sounded. All I had to do was prepare my family for this. They knew I could handle it so that wasn't going to be hard.
Or was it?