Hell Breaks Loose is the second book in Sophie Jordan’s Devil’s Rock series and it features the big boss in prison Reid Allister. In the first book, Reid escapes from prison and this book is all about Reid on a mission while on the run…and the complications that come with his plan.
This series is pure crack. It’s crackalicious.
Reid’s been locked up within prison walls for 11 years, now he’s out and he’s about to find out what’s happened to his younger brother in all that time.
The highway was dark, the passing car rare on this isolated stretch of road. He rubbed a hand over his close- cropped hair and settled into his seat. Desert mountains lumbered on either side of him, dark beasts etched against the backdrop of night. He flipped through radio stations. No news of an escaped convict. It had been a long time since he was this alone. He still didn’t feel free, though. He doubted he ever would.
Eleven years had passed since he’d been out, but he expected to find Zane in the usual place. His brother was simple that way. He liked his routines. Reid would bet that the cabinet was full of the same cereal they ate as kids.
The cabin sat several miles behind the main house on 530 acres located outside Odessa. The land had been in his family for almost two hundred years, granted to them after the Texas War of Independence.
The authorities didn’t know about the cabin . . . or the hidden dirt road that veered off the county farm road you had to take to get there. The old Explorer bumped along the unpaved lane. It was so overgrown with shrubs and cacti that it couldn’t rightly be called a road, which was the point.
After an hour the road suddenly opened up to a clearing. The cabin stood there. Three trucks and a few motorcycles were parked out front, confirming that the cabin was still in use and far from forgotten.
The front door opened as he emerged from the Explorer. Several men stepped out onto the porch, wielding guns. He spotted Zane at the center of them. His chest squeezed. His brother had visited him a couple times his first year at the Rock. Nothing since then.
Time had not been kind on his younger brother. He was stockier, the baby roundness gone from his face. He was shirtless, too, and Reid marked the dozens of tats covering him that had not been there eleven years ago. Most notable was the eagle sitting atop a vicious looking skull. Most of the guys staring Reid down had the same symbol inked on their necks or faces. Once upon a time he would have been the one standing there wearing that eagle and skull. If fate hadn’t intervened . . . if his eyes hadn’t been opened.
If he hadn’t gone to prison.
He swallowed against the acid rising up in his throat and fixed a smile on his face. “Hey, little brother.”
It was a bitter pill. This was his baby brother. The reason he hadn’t taken off for parts unknown when he graduated from high school was because of this guy right here. He hadn’t wanted to leave Zane alone with their crackhead mother and a deadbeat dad who showed up every few months. Fat lot of good sticking around did his brother. He’d ended up in jail, and his brother was running with a bunch of low- life thugs. His brother was a low- life thug now.
“Holy shit,” Zane declared, hopping down from the porch, still holding onto his rifle. “Son of a bitch! What are you doing here?” He slapped his thigh as if he’d just seen something amazing. Something like his older brother who went away for a life sentence standing in front of him.
Reid lifted his chin and tried not to stare too hard at the emblems of hate riddling his brother. He nodded at the rifle. “Is that any way to welcome me home?”
Zane hesitated a moment and then flung his arms wide. As if the past were forgotten. As if bad shit never went down. As if Reid could still be one of them again. “Welcome home, brother.”
Zane embraced him, clapping him hard with his free hand. Reid pulled back and eyed the other men, meeting their dilated gazes head- on. Not a single one was sober. They were all high on something. Even so, several looked at him with distrust. Evidently not everyone had forgotten that before he went to prison not everything had been copasetic. They clearly remembered that he and Sullivan had grown contentious with each another.
Rowdy, his brother’s second- in- command, wore a grin for him, though. Even if that grin did not quite reach his eyes, Rowdy reached out and clapped hands with him.
“Good to have you back.” Rowdy looked him over. “Looking fierce, man. Guessing they didn’t release you for good behavior.”
“Nah. Thought I’d just go ahead and let myself out.”
Zane and Rowdy laughed. “Same ol’ Reid.”
“You couldn’t have come back at a better time.” His brother’s eyes glinted with excitement, reminding him of the kid he used to be, and that only made his chest ache harder.
“That right?” Reid asked.
Zane nodded eagerly, gesturing to the cabin. “Yeah.” He shared a look with Rowdy and the other guys, and Reid got the sense that he was missing out on some joke. “Let’s go inside and I’ll tell you all about it.”
Reid followed him inside and did a quick scan of the living room, noting how run- down the place had gotten in the eleven years he’d been gone. It had never been the Four Seasons, but now the house smelled of sweat and stale cigarette smoke. The upholstery on the arms of the couch had worn off. Dirty white threads tufted up as if trying to escape from the piece of furniture.
“We got something big going down, Bubba.”
The sound of his little brother using his old nickname elicited a pang in his chest. He had a sudden flash of a little boy missing his front teeth chasing him around the trailer park. Bubba! Wait for me!
That boy was gone. Zane’s eyes were bloodshot and dilated from God knew what drugs and a patchy beard hugged his cheeks. It was hard to reconcile him to the soft- faced boy Reid had last seen. Get over it. Reid. That boy is gone. Still. Easier said than done. His brother was the only family he had left.
“Yeah?” Reid looked at the men standing around him, a prickling sensation crawling up the back of his neck.
Zane chuckled lightly and scrubbed at the back of his neck under hair that fell long and greasy. He needed a shower. “Why don’t I show you?”
Turning, Zane headed down the dark hall to the back bedrooms. The carpet was flat and matted beneath Reid’s shoes as he followed his brother. He felt the other men behind him, crowding close like anxious dogs. Something was definitely in the air. Feral and testosterone- laced. He recognized it from prison. Right before a fight broke out. Blood was in the water and the sharks were hungry.
Zane opened the door to the master bedroom and stepped inside. Reid followed. He sucked in a breath as his gaze landed on the bed and the woman restrained there. His stomach pitched and a fresh wave of acid surged up inside him.
Her hands were bound together with a cord that extended to the brass headboard. She sat board- straight on the edge of the bed, her knees locked tightly together. Her eyes were red-rimmed and puffy. She had been crying, but now her eyes were bone- dry above the gag. She didn’t blink as her wide brown stare flitted over him, assessing him before flicking to the men at his back. Her nostrils flared as if scenting danger. She would be right about that. They were the wolves and she their next meal. Of that he was certain.
She tossed her head and said something against the muffled rag stuffed in her mouth. Her dark hair was loose and tangled around her shoulders, trailing long over her cream- colored blouse. The shiny fabric was dirt- smudged and stained, but still looked expensive. Probably the most expensive thing in this cabin. A bruise marred the flesh of her cheek above the gag where someone had hit her, and something clenched in his gut.
Even in her condition, Reid had no problem recognizing her.
“Surprise!” Zane waved at her.
They’d done it. They’d abducted the President’s daughter.