USA Today Bestselling Author
Rule No. 2: Show no fear.
They’re vile and twisted.
The only thing more fucked up than the Sick Boys is me, and I’m ready to show them.
The Sick Boys are hiding something from me. They want to pretend like I didn’t kill my rapist and they didn’t help. But we’re not ordinary college students, that much has become clear to me, and I’m growing tired of all of the lies and secrets.
Their masks are cracking and finally, I’m starting to see the grotesque reality underneath. It’s far darker than I ever expected, and it’s not enough. They know everything about me, so now it’s my turn. I fear nothing. Not them. Not the man that I killed or the people who set me up.
Fear is for the weak and I, Avalon Manning, am anything but.
Once again the prologue to this book is from a chapter later in this book. Reading as fast as you can is the only option here.
We start this book with a look back at Dean at the age of 12. Followed by Ava at the fight club again, much to Dean’s dismay. She’s not going to let him rule her life and she will find out who was behind the attack on her.
They’re all back at school and Ava is still rooming with Rylie. Both of them are program students who are expected to eventually work for the Eastpoint founders. She wants nothing to do with Dean and the others, they however have other plans. Rylie shows a sensitivity unusual for her and there appears to be the beginning of a friendship.
Dean never seems to take no for an answer and their first class is no exception.
This is a favorite scene.
I see them the second I enter class. They’re already there, as if they’ve been waiting for me. Dean lifts his hand and crooks a single finger my way. With the shittiest smile I can muster, I lift my own hand and present him with my middle finger—right there in front of all his subjects and his best friends—and then proceed to stomp towards one of the front rows, as far from him as possible. I should’ve known it wouldn’t work to keep him away.
Less than a minute after I’ve taken my seat, a bag drops down in the seat next to me, and Dean slides in. I stand, only to stop when Braxton rounds the other side of the long, narrow table and takes a seat next to me. I don’t have to look back to know that Abel’s behind me.
“Haven’t we done this before?” I snap.
“And what happened that time?” Dean asks, but it’s a rhetorical question.
It’s almost a routine now. They’ve been giving me space since we got back, but I guess after last night, that little reprieve is over. My ass slumps back into the seat and if the professor, Dr. Douglas, notices how close they’re all sitting or the fact that all of the other students avoid the front rows like the plague, she doesn’t say anything. None of them ever will.
The class drags by, the teacher droning on. Today’s not even a real class day. As finals grow nearer, every class seems to be in the review phase as we prep for the real test. Halfway through the class period, Dean leans over and glances at my open notebook.
“When do your exams end?” he asks.
Tapping the ballpoint of my pen against the paper and imagining it as a knife I’m stabbing into his neck over and over again, I ignore him. His arm falls across the back of my seat, and I stiffen as he moves closer—close enough that I can feel the heat of his breath on my cheek. That doesn’t bother me nearly so much as his lips when they press to the outline of my jaw and slide up to my ear.
“Keep ignoring me if it makes you feel better, baby,” he whispers hotly, and before I can drum up a response or the energy to punch him in the face, he takes the lobe of my ear and bites down hard. An unintentional gasp slips out, and Dr. Douglas stumbles in her words, her eyes growing wide as she sees what he’s doing. Instead of scolding him, though, she simply turns back to the rest of the class and keeps going. I press my thighs together as Dean releases my lobe and laves the hurt he caused with his tongue. The feel of the little barbell pierced through the center of his tongue scrapes against my skin, making me close my eyes. “But you should know that I will do any number of deliciously wicked things to get you to notice me.”
My hand clenches around my pen so desperately and so hard, I feel the plastic cracking under my grip. “Stop,” I order.
He laughs quietly, a soft puff of air against my ear, but he’s made his point. I acknowledged him and that’s what he wanted. Still, he leaves his arm over the back of my seat as I try, in vain, to focus on anything other than his nearness. Flashes of that one time I’d given into him scroll across my brain. Hot sweat-slicked skin brushing against one another. His mouth, open and trailing down my chest to my nipples, to my stomach, and then farther until…
“That’ll be all, students,” Dr. Douglas announces the end of class, and as soon as the words reach me, I’m up and out of my seat, shoving my shit into my bag and shouldering past Brax towards the door.
“Hold up there, lil’ savage,” Braxton calls out, and before I can even reach the safety of the hallway, his arm is over my shoulders, and he’s dragging me back.
I let out an animalistic growl, and he pulls back, holding his hands up in defense. It’s too fucking late, though. Eyes follow my every movement and theirs. Everyone sees it—how I act with them and how they act with me. Anyone else might be nervous. They know the worst sins I’ve ever committed. They know every fucked-up detail of what happened to me two weeks ago, and were they ever to tell anyone … I’d be well and truly fucked. And not in the fun way.
Then again … I eye the three of them as I adjust my bag over my shoulder. I’m not stupid. There’s a good fucking reason why I’m not nervous and it’s because I know they won’t tell anyone. Even if they hadn’t meant to, what I’d seen when I’d woken up had revealed to me more than the months I’d spent at this godforsaken school ever had. They may be rich. They may be powerful. They may be the All-American jocks who are already set for life, but I know better.
They tortured Roger Murphy before I killed him. They did it like they had done the same thing a thousand times before. Easily. Without remorse. And if I was reading the three of them right, they liked it.
“What do you want now?” I demand after the rest of the students and Dr. Douglas have left the classroom.
“We’re throwing a party this weekend,” Dean says. “You’re coming.”
I laugh in his face. “No,” I say, turning away from them, “I’m not.”
“It’s either you show up on your own, princess,” Abel says. “Or we’ll come pick you up and make you.”
I stop at the door and glance over my shoulder with a nasty grin. “I remember the last time you made me come to one of your dumb parties, Frontman,” I reply, letting my eyes drift down to the front of his jeans. “You really want to repeat that experience?”
He scowls at me, and my grin widens. Dean steps forward, interrupting our silent battle. One of his hands slams against the wooden frame of the exit, and he leans close until I can smell him—every annoying masculine inch of him that I don’t want to admit turns me on. “You want to know more about me, baby?” he asks. I blink, confused and suspicious. I tilt my head up as I stare at him with narrowed eyes. “Then come to the party. Get me drunk enough, and I’ll tell you anything you wanna know.” His other hand touches my side, making me jump slightly and then scowl at my own reaction as his fingers slip under my top and rub against my skin. “Anything, baby.”
I open my mouth to tell him to fuck off, but he silences me with a hard kiss. His lips slam against mine, so goddamn hot it’s like they’re searing into me. It’s the first kiss since … and for some odd reason, I don’t hate it. No. I hate him, but I don’t hate this. I bite down on his lower lip when I’ve had enough, and he backs away with a low groan.
“Don’t push your luck, D-man,” I snap, turning and slamming out of the classroom without a second glance.
Smoke , Lucy . Stone Cold Queen (Sick Boys Book 2). Kindle Locations (481-533). Kindle Edition.
We meet Dean’s father at his office on campus in this book. Nicholas Carter is a formidable man and a lot colder than Dean. He’s also got a lot of secrets.
Ava gets Rylie to attend the party under protest. That’s going to be a theme with these two. Dean also has some plans of his own and he goes about it in a devious way.
There is so much going on here, Ava’s mother Patricia shows up in this one, there’s more with Kate, Corina, and Luc.
With an unlikely friendship is forming between Ava, Abel and Brax, the kindle melting heat between Ava and Dean, plus OMG moments that made me glad the next book had just come out.
5 Contented Purrs for Lucy!
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Lucy Smoke, also known as Lucinda Dark for her fantasy works, has a master’s degree in English and is a self-proclaimed creative chihuahua. She enjoys feeding her wanderlust, cover addiction, as well as her face, and truly hopes people will stop giving her bath bombs as gifts. Bath’s get cold too fast and it’s just not as wonderful as the commercials make it out to be when the tub isn’t a jacuzzi.
When she’s not on a never-ending quest to find the perfect milkshake, she lives and works in the southern United States with her beloved fur-baby, Hiro, and her family and friends.