Authors: Kit Rocha
The book you're reading is part of the
series, stories set in a post-apocalyptic world where the rich and powerful have claimed ownership of the country's only self-sustaining city. Those who live within Eden's walls must abide by a strict moral code or risk exile to the brutal, lawless sectors.
Gangs and petty dictators rule the slums, but not all kings are created equal. Dallas O'Kane and his brotherhood of bootleggers are the only authority in Sector Four. Cross them at your peril. But pledge your loyalty, and you might be invited into their world of passion and power, sex and sin. Just remember: if you're an O'Kane, you're an O'Kane for life.
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#1: Beyond Shame
#2: Beyond Control
#3: Beyond Pain
#3.5: Beyond Temptation
#4: Beyond Jealousy
#4.5: Beyond Solitude
#5: Beyond Addiction
#5.5: Beyond Possession
#6: Beyond Innocence
#6.5: Beyond Ecstasy
#7: Beyond Ruin
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.
Fighting for your life wasn’t so bad, on occasion. It woke you up, stirred your blood. Reminded you that you were still alive, goddammit.
Christ knew Zan felt it, clear down to his bones. The joy of victory, and the satisfaction that came with helping to defend his home. It warmed him more than Trix leaning into his side—and that was saying something.
She sighed, her breath puffing out white in the cold air. “Thanks for walking with me, Zan.”
“Any time, darling.” He slid his hands into his pockets and looked around. No one lingered on the street corners, not even to gossip about the fight that had rocked the market. “Not that many people are out tonight. I’d say Dallas made his point about who still runs things.”
“Not like he had a choice.”
Dallas never did, not when his sector and his people were threatened. He had to act quickly, decisively, because power in the sectors was like a fat wallet in your pocket—eventually someone would try to snatch it, and then you had to beat the bastard down. “Hell, no. It’s been coming for a while. That’s the price, right? You can be easygoing most of the time, but when it’s time to teach a lesson, you better make it stick.”
She was silent for half a block, wrapped up in her thoughts. Finally, she tilted her pretty face up to his. “Do you think Fleming will let it go, or come after Dallas?”
Only one way to answer, and Zan didn’t hesitate. “Doesn’t matter. Dallas won’t let it go. It’s going to be war, one way or another. Only question is who hits first. And who hits hardest.”
She stiffened, and her voice was laced with resignation. “I left Sector Five behind for a reason. I guess I’m not excited to have it all back in my face, is all.”
“I know.” He draped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her more tightly to his side. “We won’t let those drugged-out bastards fuck with you. You’re an O’Kane now. Don’t forget it.”
“Thanks, Zan. That means a lot.”
She seemed so fragile in the dim light. Breakable, and it roused his protective instincts. “Any time, girl. Now where are we—?”
The sound of a vehicle screeching around the corner raised the hairs on the back of his neck, and Zan reached for his gun. He’d barely touched it when shots erupted, and fire blazed through him.
The pain drove out everything else for a paralyzing heartbeat—the street, Trix, even his own goddamn name. Then it exploded in a red haze that blanketed the world. He hit the wall, his fingers still folded tight around the butt of his pistol.
He tried to pull it free, to fire back, but he was frozen, not with cold but with the scorching pain. He could only slide down the wall to the cracked concrete. Trix’s screams roared in his ears, but he was helpless to do anything about it.
Move, dammit. Move.
His traitorous body ignored him, and he lay in the pool of blood that seeped from his body. It steamed in the chilly night, just like Trix’s breath had, and a perverse urge to laugh gripped him.
Fighting for your life. It sucked, after all.
Dimly, he heard male voices, a van door slamming shut. It peeled away, and Trix was gone. No witnesses, only Zan and his blood, growing cold on the ground. Only failure.
The thought flitted through his mind but vanished in a split second, swallowed up by blackness.
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
, 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
“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.
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
. “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
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
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.”