She’s fought like hell to leave the past behind.
Trix changed her name and her life when she got clean four years ago. Now, she has a new family and a job she loves—tending bar and dancing at the Broken Circle. As an O’Kane, she’s happy, untouchable. Until a nightmare from her old life tears her away from her home and drags her back to Hell—also known as Sector Five.
He’s still living—and dying—in it.
Losing Trix was the kick in the head Finn needed to get sober, but working as an enforcer for a man he hates is slowly crushing his soul. The only thing that keeps him going is his determination to destroy Sector Five from the inside. Then Trix comes back into his life—alive, in danger—and nothing else matters.
Getting her home could be a suicide mission. The only thing deadlier is the old spark that flares to life between them. Soon, Finn and Trix are battling the one addiction neither of them ever managed to kick—each other. And it could cost them everything.
Read Chapter One...
Logan Beckett was one sincerely unsettling motherfucker.
Finn recognized the irony of the sentiment. Next to Beckett’s tailored suit, polished shoes, and clean-shaven jaw, his own three-day stubble and bloodshot eyes weren’t exactly a character recommendation. The battered leather boots didn’t help. Neither did the tattoos. Mac Fleming made a big deal about how his sector was civilized, and Finn had always figured the tattoos reminded him of Dallas O’Kane.
Reminding Fleming of Dallas O’Kane wasn’t exactly the way to get ahead in Sector Five.
Beckett knew that. He knew how to fake civilized like it was going out of style. Perfect clothes, perfect grooming, perfect loyalty. Hell, he even had a perfect wife—Mac Fleming’s eldest daughter, the ultimate accessory for an ambitious man eager to take on a leadership role in the family business.
What he didn’t have was a shred of humanity in his cunning gaze. Finn wasn’t in a position to throw stones there—he’d done shit that had given him horrifying dreams, and a few things so bad the dreams were better company than the memories.
But goddamn, at least he had nightmares.
“You heard me,” Beckett said smoothly. “As of now, nothing recreational hits the streets without additives.”
Fuck, Finn hated the additives. The people who wanted oblivion were already wasting their money and lives, and they were doing it willingly. Drugs didn’t have to be a messy business anymore, because science had taken addiction out of the equation.
Beckett was putting it back in. With interest.
Though arguing with the bastard was pointless, Finn still tried. Not because he thought it would help, he just liked irritating him. “Doesn’t that make shit more expensive?”
The man sighed. “In the short term. But once all of our customers are equally dedicated, price increases will be well tolerated.”
Equally addicted, you mean. “And if someone doesn’t want to get that dedicated? Are we not selling the regular stuff at all anymore?”
“Of course we are. If the price is right.” Beckett shuffled some of the papers on his desk and stifled a yawn. “I don’t want any of the small-time dealers handling it, though. Those bastards can’t be trusted.”
Maybe not by him. Finn crossed his arms over his chest, forcing Beckett to stare at the lines of ink winding up his left. “They’ll do what I tell them to do.”
Beckett sat slowly back in the chair and studied him. “At one time, I would have agreed.”
Not an unreasonable doubt—at one time, Finn hadn’t been slowly undermining the whole damn sector. “You saying I can’t keep my boys in line?”
Beckett smiled. “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.”
A chill slithered up Finn’s spine. Christ, that smile was creepy. It was off, like the man knew how to move all the right muscles but didn’t have anything to back it up. The only emotion lurking behind those cool blue eyes was anticipation.
Something was really fucking wrong. Beckett might hate Finn, might sneer down his nose and drop barbs into every conversation, but he’d never crossed the line into outright disrespect. Someone had to do the man’s dirty work.
Finn tensed, fighting the gut instinct to go for his gun. Shooting his way out of Five was a suicide mission—and a last resort. So he played the game, twisting his features into a scowl. “If you have a problem with how I run shit, maybe you should lay it on out.”
That chilling smile grew as Beckett leaned forward. “All right—” A quick chirp from the small tablet on his desk interrupted the words, and he glanced over at it with a sigh. “Mac wants you in his office.”
“Guess you’ll have to give me that job critique later.” Finn rolled out of his chair, his hand still itching for his gun. The spot between his shoulder blades itched just as much when he turned his back on Beckett, even though he’d stopped caring about taking a bullet in the spine a long time ago.
He’d stopped caring about damn near everything a long time ago.
Mac’s office was the last place Finn wanted to be. The man had been unlivable since Dallas O’Kane had thwarted his attempt to set up a puppet as the new leader of Sector Four. He’d spent an entire afternoon raging, swearing he’d call the sector leaders together and accuse Dallas of violating his territory.
Which, to be fair, he had. O’Kane and his men had blown up a warehouse on the edge of Sector Five. Under any other circumstances, that might have brought retaliation from the other leaders. But Mac had been financing bootleggers who’d been doing a little violating of their own when it came to O’Kane’s territory.
No high ground there.
Finn had barely taken three steps out of Beckett’s office when Ryder fell in beside him, a deeper-than-usual frown creasing his dark face. “We’ve got trouble.”
Great. Just fucking great. “Does it have anything to do with why Beckett’s looking so damn pleased with himself tonight?”
“If he’s happy, it won’t be for long.” Ryder cursed under his breath, vicious and low. “That asshole O’Kane kicked out of Four is gonna get us all killed.”
“Who, Dom?” More evidence of Mac’s slipping grasp on reason. Dominic wasn’t even a useful asset, just some stupid, bitter brute whose explanations for why Dallas O’Kane booted him got more ridiculous every day. No useful intel, no brains. All the bastard ever did was spew bile about his former boss while Mac hung on his every word. “What the hell did he do now?”
“Not what he did—what Mac did for him.” Ryder shook his head, his shoulders tight. “The motherfucker kidnapped one of ’em. Don’t know what she is to Dom, or why he wants her, but she’s got the ink.”
Finn stopped so fast his boots squeaked on the hardwood floor. “Wait, back the hell up. Mac did what?”
Ryder spun around, his expression grave. “He snatched an O’Kane right out of Sector Four, and we’re all fucked. We’re in it now, whether we want to be or not.”
Jesus fucking Christ.
Finn stared at his closest friend—his only friend—hoping for one crazy second that it was all a twisted joke. But Ryder stared back, grim and angry, and Finn flashed back to the last time he’d come face-to-face with Dallas when someone had endangered one of his women.
He’d almost gotten his head blown off.
“So that’s it,” Finn said. “This is how we go down. Riding Fleming’s hate right into our graves.”
Ryder arched one eyebrow and tilted his head down the hall in the direction of Fleming’s office. “Talk him down. Tell him we’ll fix it before things go too far.”
How were they supposed to do that, drop the girl at the edge of the sector and hope she didn’t blab? That was assuming any bird with O’Kane ink wouldn’t turn around and go for their balls.
No, Finn had been laying this groundwork for far too damn long. Chipping away at Mac’s base of power, delivering frustration instead of victory. He’d known it would all blow up in his face eventually.
Hell, he’d counted on having a front row seat. He hadn’t bothered with an exit strategy because he hadn’t wanted one. He deserved the fall that was coming.
Finn grabbed his friend’s arm and hauled him into the nearest empty room, slamming the door behind them with a bite of temper. This was why making friends was stupid. Caring about people complicated shit.
Finn had never planned on liking Ryder. The other man was nothing like him. He was smart. Ambitious. He’d rocketed up the ranks of Mac’s organization through wits and stubbornness, somehow always finding that line Finn wove back and forth across, the one that made a man decent, even if he was ruthless.
He held up both hands now. “Whatever you’re about to say—”
“Shut up.” Finn braced his hand against the door, as if he could hold it shut if Ryder really wanted to get through. Not that Finn wasn’t tough, but Ryder had always been in a different league. A better league. Everything about him screamed polish, from his fitted leather jacket to his tattoos—high-quality black and gray etched into his brown skin, the kind of artwork Finn couldn’t have afforded when he got his first ink.
Ryder had never belonged in a hellhole like Five, so Finn was going to get him out. “There’s no fixing this. O’Kane will burn us to the ground, but you’re new enough to make it out first. So you need to take that girl over to Four and buy your way into O’Kane’s good graces.”
“Yes, you can. I’ll distract the guards, and you—”
“I can’t leave,” Ryder repeated flatly.
Final fucking words, and they were out of time. Mac would send someone to fetch him if he didn’t arrive like a good guard dog, and he couldn’t make Ryder save himself.
Finn’s best intentions had never been worth much.
Exhaling roughly, he jerked open the door. “Fine. Do you know which woman he grabbed?” Please don’t let it be Lex.
“I don’t know—some redhead.”
Fuck. Damn near four years, and it still felt like getting kicked in the gut. Thank God redheads were rare—he’d known just a handful, and only one who really mattered. Maybe he’d never be able to think of red hair without imagining her the last time he’d seen her, sprawled lazily across his bed, floating on the rush, her long red hair a tousled halo around her pale face.
He hadn’t given her the drugs that killed her that night, but he’d given her enough over the years to have no illusions about his involvement. Her death was on his shoulders, her blood on his hands.
He could almost feel it as he approached Mac’s office. He was shocked not to see his fingers dripping red when he reached out to rap on the heavy oak door and waited for permission to enter.
Instead, the door slammed open to reveal Dom’s glowering face. “Don’t get any bright ideas,” he sneered. “That bitch is mine.” He shoved past Finn and stomped down the hall.
Finn tilted his head, and Ryder headed after Dom with a short nod.
Bracing himself, Finn swung into Mac’s office—and stopped cold.
It couldn’t be. He blinked and let his gaze sweep over the woman, trying to discount that first disorienting impression. She was tied to a chair, the plastic ties digging into skin marked by O’Kane ink. She was disheveled, her clothing askew, ripped in places, her red hair wild. Killer curves, a pointed chin, a split, bloody lip that someone needed to die for giving her—
Glassy, blue-green eyes. Familiar eyes.
Tracy was alive.
She stared back at him—frozen, scarcely breathing—and Mac stepped into the silence with a quiet hum of approval. “She looks good, doesn’t she?”
Finn barely heard him. Barely saw him.
Fucking hell, Tracy was alive.
She sat there like a statue or a ghost or a fucking hallucination until Mac brushed her cheek. When she flinched away, he grabbed her by the hair and jerked her head back.
Finn’s fingers flexed, and he could already feel Mac’s throat beneath them. He’d crush the fucking life out of his boss and consider it his best day ever. “Get your hand off her.”
“I don’t think so.” Mac bent low, putting his face close to hers. “She stole from me.”
That got her attention. She turned her head so fast she almost bumped into Mac. “I did not, you lying asshole. You gave me those drugs.”
It made a sick sort of sense. The leader of Sector Five didn’t mess with common girls. Only the best for him—young, pretty, and drugged out of their minds. Eager to do anything and everything to stay that way. It was a soft, blissful life, a short one, which meant Mac was always on the prowl for a replacement.
He would have taken Tracy just to prove he could. “You told me she overdosed.”
“I honestly figured she had.” Mac studied her. “But you sold it all and ran, didn’t you, love? Over to Sector Four.”
So casual. Curious, but only vaguely, as if he didn’t care about the answer one way or another but was simply going through the motions. Finn knew better. Mac had staged this melodramatic reveal for him, and this was just the opening act.
Finn had to get them both out of there before Dom came back for the big finale. “Yeah, she ran straight into Dallas O’Kane’s arms. Is this really how you want to start a sector war?”
“War was inevitable, and it’s already begun,” Mac said absently. He was focused on Tracy, staring at her like he was trying to decode an unfamiliar language. “We all thought you were dead. Finn, too. You walked away and never looked back—that’s stone cold, darling. Color me impressed.”
Her jaw clenched, her gaze clashing with Finn’s before she looked away, and it didn’t matter that four years had passed. He knew what she’d been thinking the day she’d walked out of Sector Five, out of his life. Once Mac set his sights on a girl, her opportunities narrowed to two—survive as long as she could as a high-class junkie whore, or die trying to get out.
Tracy had picked the path that wouldn’t take Finn down with her.
He rolled his shoulders, letting himself really feel the familiar weight of his shoulder holster. His gun was right there in easy reach. Two big steps and he could have it shoved under Mac Fleming’s jaw. He owed her that much.
Christ, he owed her everything.
“You cost Dom his O’Kane ink,” Mac continued, his voice taking on a wicked, sharp edge as he pulled her hair harder, pulled until a whimper escaped her. “Have you seen his scars? He’s eager to show them to you. Every…single…one.”
Finn didn’t choose to move, but then he never made choices when it came to Tracy. Every damn time she brushed his life, he stumbled forward without control or reason.
He didn’t stumble now, just took those two steps and dug the barrel of his gun under Mac’s chin. “Let her go. Now.”
Mac’s eyes went wide before narrowing as he barked out a laugh. “You stupid bastard.”
Finn ground the gun deeper into the man’s flesh, pressing up until Mac had to stretch onto his toes. “I’m not telling you again. You can let her go back to Sector Four and fuck what Dom wants, or I’ll blow off the top of your head right now.”
Mac stared back at him, his eyes burning with outrage. “Do it. Neither one of you would make it out of here al—”
Finn squeezed the trigger. One shot, and it splattered Mac Fleming’s fucking brains all over his office.
It was loud, reverberating through the room as Finn watched his boss fall to the floor. Putting another round in his head as insurance would have been smart—just to be sure he was well and truly beyond saving, even with regen tech—but Mac’s last words had been truth.
If Finn wanted to get them out of Sector Five alive, he didn’t have bullets to waste.