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Rule No. 3: Never let anyone think they can hurt you and get away with it.
I thought I’d seen and felt the worst of it, but there’s nothing worse than betrayal.
Corina knows who’s behind what happened to me and she may think hiding will keep her safe, but after everything that’s happened, nothing can keep her safe from me and the Sick Boys. She’s a pawn in all of this, but I’ll get that information even if it means I have to cut it out of her – piece by fucking piece.
This little charade is about to end. They thought they could drag me down into the dirt and grind my soul into the dust. What they failed to realize is that there’s nothing left of my soul and I don’t mind getting a little dirty if it means getting my revenge. I may have let her fool me once, but there’s no way in hell I’ll let her fool me twice.
After I’m done with her, I’m going after the big boys.
This book opens where the last one left off. Avalon is in the hospital and not happy about it but she also knows who’s behind the things happening to her. Her mother and Corina. She’s vowed to get revenge but she has yet to figure out why of everything.
Dean’s father Nicholas knows something and he’s being real cagey about talking. Dean has let his father know in no uncertain terms he loves Ava and the two of them will get their revenge on all parties involved. No matter how high up in the echelon they are.
This is a favorite scene.
Exhaustion pulls at my every muscle. The aches and pains have been so consistent that they’ve become nothing but background noise now. After several long minutes, the door opens and Dean comes back in with a frown on his face and a gym bag in his hand. With that expression, it doesn’t take a genius to know something’s wrong.
“What happened?” I demand, straightening even though it makes my muscles scream in protest.
Dean lifts his chin and looks at me, but instead of answering, he merely shakes his head and moves towards the bed. “Come on, baby,” he says before setting a bag on the end of the bed. “Let’s get you dressed and get home.”
“What about your dad?” He shakes his head again, making my chest clench. “Dean?” I reach out and touch his shirt. There are so many questions swirling in my head that there seems to be some sort of disconnect, and I can’t voice any of them.
“I’m sorry, Ava,” he says. “He’s not going to tell us.”
“What?” I had to have heard him wrong. “He was just in here,” I state. “He was going to—”
“He doesn’t want Abel or Braxton to know,” Dean cuts me off sharply, his brows lowering. “And he knows if either of us know, then they’ll know.”
That makes no fucking sense. “Of course they’ll know,” I say. “Because we’ll tell them.”
“And he’s well aware of that,” Dean grits out, a scowl playing at the corner of his lips. “He thinks it’s too risky, and he wouldn’t explain why.”
Confusion and anger swirl within me. I sink back onto the edge of the bed. Every single time it seems like we can catch a fucking break, it’s ripped out from beneath us. Nicholas Carter is pulling the strings. He knows who’s behind this. Why wouldn’t he want Abel and Braxton to know?
I sit there, perched on the hospital bed as Dean opens the gym bag he must have grabbed from Brax and starts to dig through it until he pulls out an oversized shirt with no sleeves. My mind riots and rolls over itself. Anger and frustration. Suspicion and mistrust. Have we gone about this all wrong? I thought this was about Dean, but maybe it’s not. Nicholas seemed to think it was all about me. But why? What the fuck is so goddamn special about me?
Dean tugs on the clasp of my gown. He pulls off the plastic-y hospital gown I’d been given and tosses it into the corner before pulling the shirt over my head, sans bra, and gently helping me maneuver my arms through the correct holes.
“Did he tell you anything?” I finally ask.
He moves back and goes to his knees as he takes a pair of drawstring basketball shorts and starts sliding them up my calves. “He did say something,” Dean admits as he urges me off the bed so he can finish pulling up the shorts and tying them at my waist so they won’t fall off. “He said he knew your father.”
So, it is about me.
“My father?” I gape at him. “That’s impossible.” I shake my head. “Even I don’t know who it is. I figured Patricia probably just slept with one of her drug dealers or even a guy from the strip club. A drifter.” A brief thought enters my mind, a disgusting possibility. Roger Murphy was far older than me, closer to Patricia’s age. He very well could’ve been my father. I can’t stop the physical shudder that moves through me. Dean stops what he’s doing.
I turn my head away from him. “It’s nothing.”
“Don’t lie to me.”
I stiffen. “I’m not. It was just a bad thought.”
“What was it?” he presses.
A scoff leaves my lips and I turn back to him with a glare. “Do you need to know every-fucking-thing that goes on in my head?”
He doesn’t even blink. “Yes.” He says the word with such conviction, I don’t know how I expected anything less.
My eyes roll. “I just thought that Murphy could’ve been my…” I grimace. Shit, I can’t even finish that damn thought out loud. It’s too revolting.
Dean shakes his head. “I doubt it.”
“Why?” I frown. “Do you know something?”
“Everything I know, Ava, you know,” Dean replies. “My father—he’s…” Dean’s teeth clench as if the thought of his next words anger him and then he continues. “He’s given us his permission”—there it is, I think. The reason for his anger. Dean isn’t the type to get permission from anyone—”to go after Corina and the other man, what did you say his name was?”
“Ace,” I repeat. “His name was Ace. I didn’t exactly get a last name, though, what with all of the torture and shit.”
Dean’s eyes darken. “It won’t happen again,” he swears, pulling me close.
I pat his shoulders. “I know, D-man,” I say. “I know.” The door to the room opens again and Abel pops in the doorway.
“Hey, we’re good to go,” he says. “Brax went back down to get the car. He’s waiting at the exit.”
“Do I need to sign anything?” I ask.
He shakes his head. “Don’t worry about it,” Abel replies. “It’s all taken care of.”
Money, I think. It’s the only explanation for my hasty check out and lack of paperwork, and for the first time, I’m thankful that Dean is as rich as he is. I’d always thought it a hindrance before now, but I’m starting to see how money holds power and power makes the world go ’round. Right now, I’m willing to pay anything to get the fuck out of here.
“Come on, baby,” Dean says, taking my hand. “Let’s go home.”
Home, I think. A place I’ve never known before. Now, though, when he says the word “home,” I can only think of one place. The house where three annoying assholes live and sleep … and where I do too.
Smoke, Lucy . Natural Born Killers (Sick Boys Book 3). Kindle Locations (464-509). Kindle Edition.
Ava and Dean finally get to talk to his father. What he has to say is surprising but not.
Ava will get her revenge but it goes far deeper than even she or Dean could guess.
There is plenty of intrigue and an uneasy alliance with Luc Kincaid begins in this book. Able and Brax face more than a couple of surprises themselves. As expected there is plenty of violence and Ava and Dean sizzle off the pages. I think there’s even a hint of romance between Abel and Rylie.
I really can’t wait for the next book in this series, although this book marked the end of Ava and Dean’s story.
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.