Flint tucked Kendra into the passenger seat of the truck and made her promise one more time not to go over to the SUV. When he felt sure she would stay put, he walked over to check out the situation. There were four dead bodies on the ground. All of them had been shot multiple times.
Jesse immediately pulled him aside, out of earshot of the rest of the crew. “We need to get this mess cleaned up fast and move everybody out of here. The gunshots could probably be heard from miles away. I’ll have the crew take care of the bodies and dump the SUV. Your job is take care of Dr. Shaw.”
Flint frowned. “Take care of her? What exactly do you mean?”
Jesse looked at him like he was off in the head. “You need to make sure she doesn’t breathe a word of this to anybody. She’s a witness to everything that went down here today. I don’t care what you have to do to make sure she doesn’t talk. Just take care of it. We can’t have any loose ends.” Jesse turned to walk away.
Flint grabbed his arm. “What do you think happened?”
“It’s fucking obvious. You ran head on into the Liberators, shot the hell out of their vehicle, and took out a couple of guys before we got here. I don’t know how you did so much damage to their truck though.”
Flint nodded slowly. “Yeah, that’s about how it all went down. Don’t worry about Kendra. I’ll make sure she doesn’t say anything. Are they all dead?”
“If not, they will be,” Jesse replied, very matter-of fact.
“Four down,” Flint noted. “That means there are nine left to go.”
Jesse raised his eyebrows. “What are you saying?”
“The all out war between the Steel Infidels and the Liberators is back on. I’m sick and tired of them attacking and us defending. We need to go on the offensive and take them all out. Every single fucking last one of them. It’s the only way. This is never going to be over until we do. As soon as we can get the crew together, we need to take a vote before the council.”
Jesse looked surprised, shocked even. “I thought you were always the one who was against the violence. You said the bloodshed between the Liberators and Steel Infidels had to end for the sake of the MC. You’ve always said that. For years.”
Flint shrugged. “I changed my mind,” he said firmly. “Funny how little things like two murder attempts on your life can change your perspective. Things are different now. Call for the vote. It’s way past time we dealt with this and put it behind us once and for all.”
Jesse clapped him on the back. “Yes sir, little brother. Glad to have you back. Now go take care of the doc.”
Flint took one last look at each of the bodies on the ground before heading back to Kendra. He was glad to see she hadn’t moved. “Are you still doing okay?” he asked.
She tried bravely to smile. “I’m a little shook up, but otherwise I’m fine. Are they all dead?”
Flint looked away, unable to meet her eyes. “Yes.”
“Did you know any of them?”
“You mean personally?” he asked, then shook his head. “No, not anyone in this group. Wouldn’t recognize them if I met them on the street. I knew plenty about them though.”
Kendra started to say something, then stopped. She chewed on her bottom lip a moment before working up the courage to ask the question that had been bothering her. “Did I kill anyone? You need to tell me the truth.”
Flint grabbed her hand and linked his fingers through hers. “Kendra, look at me. You didn’t kill anyone. I promise. With the exception of the driver that you hit in the leg, I’m not sure you even shot anybody else. There were a lot of shots fired, and most of them came either from my gun or from the crew. Don’t start worrying about this. I can see it’s already messing with your head. You need to put those thoughts out of your mind right now. But just to be on the safe side, you need to give me your shotgun.”
Kendra looked confused. “Why?”
“I think it would be best if it didn’t stay in your possession. At least for now. Is it registered to you?”
Kendra shook her head. “I don’t think so.”
“Where did you get it? Think back because this is important.”
Kendra thought for a moment then shrugged. “My uncle gave it to me several years ago. He owns a sporting goods store on the outside of town. It may have even been my Grandpa’s. I really don’t know.”
“Okay. It really doesn’t matter as long as it is not registered or traceable in any way back to you.”
Kendra looked up at him with her big brown eyes. “I’m in big trouble, aren’t I?”
“No,” Flint replied firmly. “You didn’t do anything wrong. You’re not going to be in any trouble and if you ever were, I would protect you. You acted in self-defense. They drew their weapons first. You said so yourself.”
“I assume we’re not calling the police?”
He shook his head. “You know why we can’t. That’s all the more reason why you should get out of here as fast as you can. I don’t want someone spotting your truck. If anyone asks you what happened to your side mirror, tell them you slid off the road and hit a mailbox. Do you want me to drive you home or can you make it by yourself?”
“I can do it,” she replied “I’m sure Jesse needs you more here.”
“Okay, let me get the crew over here to push you out and get you on your way. Go very slow, and if you get stuck on an icy spot, just wait for us. We’ll be down the mountain real soon right behind you. Hand me the gun and all of the shells that go with it.”
Kendra dutifully handed the gun to him along with the extra box of shells.
Flint propped the gun up on the side of the truck. “I’m so sorry,” he whispered. “Come here.” He slid his arm behind her and pulled her close one last time. “I promise everything is going to be okay,” he whispered in her ear. He touched his lips to hers for one brief moment before letting her go and waving the crew over.