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Acer (No Prisoners MC #3)

By:Lilly Atlas

Acer (No Prisoners MC #3)
Author: Lilly Atlas


August 1996

Adam straightened his Armani tie, leaned back in his chair, and flicked his gaze to the clock above the judge's bench. Ten minutes earlier, the overweight bailiff had announced the judge had reached a verdict, and it would be delivered in fifteen minutes.

He wasn't worried.

There were very few things in life he had to worry about. Wealth and a prominent family paved the way to an easy existence. Apparently, his attorney agreed if the self-assured smile he wore was any indication. He sat on Adam's right grinning like he didn't have a care in the world. In the rows behind them, Adam's father, mother, and grandmother sat, also confident in the trial's outcome.

"Jesus, Acer, how can you sit there looking so calm and collected?" Adam's dark-haired friend Derek spoke to his left. Derek, whose leg bounced like it was attached to a live wire, and whose crinkled thrift store suit had never met a tailor. Behind him, Derek's mother sat, fidgeting just as much, if not more, than her son.

Derek was his best friend, his brother. Adam recalled the day they met, just over five years ago, like it was yesterday. At thirteen, he'd been independent beyond his years. Having no siblings, a father who cared about nothing beyond making money, and a mother who lived her life squandering that money, left Adam with little to no parental supervision. Most afternoons he headed to a less affluent part of town and hung out at a neighborhood diner, eating loaded fries and nachos.

He'd loved that diner. It wasn't fancy, wasn't expensive, but it was honest, delicious, and full of friendly people who didn't put on pretentious airs. Derek's mom worked the afternoon shift as a waitress while Derek bussed tables. Acer observed him for months, envying the easy and close relationship his friend had with his mother.

One day, he overheard a conversation between Derek and his mom about their broken computer. Derek needed it to complete his homework, but she couldn't afford a new one or even repairs on the one they had. Adam jumped in and offered to help fix it. He walked the two miles home with them and had their old Acer computer up and running in no time. Their friendship cemented, Derek called him Acer from that day forward.

He'd take a bullet for the guy, but it wouldn't have killed him to shave his scruff for their day in court. "You should have let me buy you a decent suit, Der."

His friend's deep blue eyes narrowed while his lips pressed into a thin line of displeasure. "Seriously? That's what you're thinking about? You do realize, in five minutes we might end up with a prison sentence for felony aggravated assault? And you're sitting there like your waiting to find out if you … fuck, I don't know. Something unimportant."

Adam chuckled. "Derek, calm down. We've talked about this a hundred times." He flicked a look at their attorney, ruffling through his briefcase, his salt and pepper hair in an immaculate style, then lowered his voice to a whisper and leaned closer. "My dad and Judge Morrison have played golf together once a week for the past twenty years. It's in the bag. We're getting off scot-free. Won't even have to do five minutes of community service. Chill out."

Derek snorted, his hyperactive leg picking up speed. "Must be nice to have so much money."

Adam frowned. Money and status had been a constant burr on the ass of their five-year friendship. Derek's family was dirt poor. His mom busted her butt at three shit jobs to feed him and his sister while his dad drank the day away in their crappy trailer on the literal wrong side of the tracks. Their life situations couldn't have been further away on the spectrum. Yet, somehow, they clicked.

Adam admired the freedom Derek's lack of money afforded. He'd never told his friend that; Derek would think he'd lost his mind, but it was true. Derek wasn't expected to take over a family business he detested. Derek wasn't expected to flirt and court senator's daughters while leaving their virtue intact. Derek didn't have to hide his love of motorcycles because it wasn't proper or posh enough for his circle. Derek didn't have to live in a world as phony as a bad wig.

"Look, man, answer me one question. You regret what we did? Same thing happened tomorrow, would you do anything different?"

Derek shot daggers at Adam with his glare. "Hell no! Acer, you saw what he was doing to her, what he was about to do to her."

"Well then, there you go. Bottom line, we stopped that piece of shit from raping your sister. My dad's connection to the judge will keep any blemishes off our records, and you'll be free to start Marine boot camp next month."

Derek ran a hand through his shaggy brown hair. "I hope you're right. Now that we're eighteen, we'll be in a shitload of trouble if this doesn't work out like you say."

Adam leaned back in his chair once again. Derek needed to have a little faith.

Hell, even if he ended up with prison time, he wouldn't change a damn thing about that day.

Two months ago, almost to the day, Adam had attended his senior prom at the outrageously expensive and exclusive private school his parents shelled out for. Derek's family couldn't have afforded one day of the tuition, let alone a whole year, so he went to the public school in town. Since he hung around Adam nearly every day after school, a fair number of Adam's classmates knew Derek, and his fifteen-year-old sister, Penny.

Brandon Epley, a hotshot jock from the football team, invited Derek's sophomore sister to be his date. Derek flipped his shit at first. He'd been protecting his sister from their drunk of a father's violent outbursts for years and was forever in big brother overdrive. But, for a girl with no money and an underprivileged upbringing, an invite from a popular kid at a wealthy school was a dream come true.