Welcome, and join us as we count down the final 10 days before Beyond Ruin by revisiting some of our favorite Mad, Dylan, Scarlet & Jade moments from the past six books! We’ll be posting an image each day on social media, but here on the blog we’ll be doing a longer excerpt and maybe even a few notes about the scene. 🙂 And today is…
Dylan Gives Zero Fucks
Wow, this is a flashback. Lex and Dallas are so 100% in sync in Beyond Ruin, it’s like whiplash to go back to this second book and remember how hard it was for them to come together. But this scene is important, because Dylan’s history of giving zero fucks is pretty unique in Sector Four. Dylan is pretty unique. Not a lot of people can mouth off to Dallas and hope to survive it–but whether or not Dylan is hoping to survive has always been the real question. (Fortunately (?) for him–he’s too fucking useful to kill.)
The door popped open, and Dylan Jordan strolled into his office. “Good evening to you too, O’Kane.”
“Doc.” A chill shivered down Dallas’s spine as he studied the doctor—whose presence usually meant bad shit had gone down. “You here on business?”
“Sort of.” The man dropped into a chair on the other side of the desk and tried to smooth his dark hair into some semblance of order. It didn’t work. “I came by to see what the hell’s going on around here.”
Christ. If the whispers had turned to grumbles that were rippling beyond the gang already, he really was in deep shit. “Who’s been shooting off their mouth?”
Doc arched an eyebrow. “Lex sent me a message.”
The chill turned to ice. “Saying?”
“She asked me what the process would be for removing her tattoos.”
“Her cuffs.” The man said it like he was talking about the weather. About nothing. “And something about a new one. A name.”
The name hurt like a knife in the gut, but even that had nothing on the cuffs. Lex was O’Kane. She’d helped shape what they had become, had helped touch the life of every person wearing O’Kane marks. “You’re fucking kidding me.”
Doc snorted. “I told her I wouldn’t touch the ink unless you said so, but a wise man would make sure she didn’t ask me again. I don’t know if I’ll say no next time.”
If it had been anyone else, Dallas would have snarled. He still wanted to, but threats and intimidation were wasted on Dylan Jordan. No matter how many women threw themselves at him, desperate to save him, the man was as self-destructive an asshole as Dallas had ever met. Sometimes he thought Doc pitted himself against dangerous men in the hopes that one would eventually put him out of his enduring misery.
Dallas didn’t plan on it. The man was too damn useful to kill. Of course, telling Lex he wouldn’t remove the ink without Dallas’s permission was damn near suicidal on its own. “You must not have told her no in person, because I don’t see any stab wounds.”
For a long moment, all the man did was stare at him. “You’re pretty goddamn despicable, aren’t you?”
“I run a gang of bootleggers,” he replied, fighting to keep his temper and his panic on a tight leash. Pretty damn difficult when he could feel his perfect fucking life crumbling beneath him. “I am what I am.”
“Yeah? Well, what you are is an ass.” Doc rose, shaking his head. “Lex didn’t try to cut me when I told her. She just cried.”
A knife in the gut? A pinprick compared to how those three words felt. She just cried. Lex, indomitable, unbreakable Lex. He’d coaxed her into trust, shoved and pushed until she let down all those cold, hard walls—
And then he’d crushed her.
“Uh-huh.” The man dragged a tin from his pocket and popped a small white tablet into his mouth. “Fix it, would you? I don’t like it when you kids fight.”
Kids, as if Jordan was some kind of fucking sage elder instead of three or four years older than him. Dallas didn’t know whether to laugh or strangle the motherfucker. “Gee, Doc, I was having a great fucking time, but if you insist.”
“Sarcasm doesn’t suit you nearly as well as you think, O’Kane.”
“I save my heartfelt confessions for the people wearing my ink.” He said it without thinking and damn near winced. Nobody wearing ink wanted to hear his heartfelt confessions. They didn’t even want to look at him. He’d always stood slightly apart, but this feeling of standing alone was new. And miserable.
And if Lex was crying, he deserved it.
* * *
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