11| Blood and Brutality

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I lit my cigarette as I walked into the warehouse, the lights flickering over my head as the voices of my brothers echoed across the space. The warehouse was a big place mainly used to store the drinks that were meant for the bar, but years ago my father had found a way to make the space much more useful.

The plastic tarp that had been laid out for today crinkled under my shoes as I made my way past the barrels of beer, the ache and the anger of everything I had left behind me pressing painfully against my sternum the further away I got from the one thing I wanted more than anything else in this world.

I didn't pay much attention to the writhing man bound to the chair in the middle of the room, instead I turned towards my brothers who had spiralled deep into their vices.

Liam was sitting on a crate of whiskey and Robbie had him at the end of his blade—it was an empty threat, but it proved just how much Liam had done to get him to resort to violence. Robbie was beyond pissed over something he must have done, and my jaw clenched as I watched them both. I tried not to think about what I could have been doing instead of dealing with their mess, but it was useless.

I had been the one to walk away from her and still she was the one who managed to hold me hostage. I took a heavy huff of my cigarette as I waited for my brothers to notice my presence, but considering the heated argument they were in, I was convinced I could have been standing here for hours.

Liam had called me after I had left Lola without—

I shook my head, I wasn't going to think about her now because if I did I was going to go insane.

The sun had just risen when Liam had called me to help dig him out of the mess he had definitely made, and all Robbie wanted to do was teach him a lesson—much like our father had done to us when we were younger, and we had fucked up. However, Victor King didn't pay much attention to his youngest son, he had much more pressing issues to take care of that were much easier to deal with than a child he didn't have much use for.

Liam didn't realise how lucky he was to not have his attention pinpointed on him. With his attention followed expectation which would then lead to eventual disappointment, and I knew first-hand how our father dealt with his disappointments.

"Your recklessness is going to get you into some real shit one day, and I'm not going to be the one to save your idiotic ass," I frowned. They glowered at each other and Robbie waited for Liam to concede, but he was just as stubborn as the rest of us.

Liam thought this life was fun because he had been kept away from the darkest edges of it, and maybe one day he would realise why it was much better to be kept away—but that day wasn't today.

"Leave it, Robbie—he doesn't know any better." My voice seemed to carry across the length of the space as they both turned to look at me.

Robbie's face soured and Liam's mouth widened into a smile. He got up from his seat, but Robbie pushed him back down into his place. Robbie knew I would always come to Liam's side, but he believed that by protecting him I was only making him weak.

"Freddie! We were wondering when you were going to show up." Liam spoke excitedly, even under the wrath of his much more vengeful brother.

Robbie was always angry, but the feud between them both was a personal one—one that involved Robbie taking the hit for another one of Liam's misgivings.

I would need a drink if I was going to spend the rest of the night dealing with their will to fight one another, and then I would need something stronger if I was going to somehow get over my own display of stupidity after that.

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