Hard times prove who’s a survivor and who’s not. Me? I’m a survivor.
The plan was perfect: steal one of his cars for a payout to set us up for life. All while getting back at him for tormenting me from the moment I first stepped foot in stuck up Silver Lake High School.
But he caught me red-handed. What’s worse, a jail sentence or becoming the devil’s favorite toy?
My devious monster made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Now I’m selling everything to him. Even my soul.
The secret to being carefree is love nothing.
The puppets are fooled into believing my game of pretend. But the way she looks at me has always pierced beneath my skin. Like she knows. She’s a gutter rat—how could she possibly understand?
I vowed to break her the first time. When I catch her stealing my car, it’s clear she hasn’t learned her lesson. She won’t escape my wrath again.
Ready to play a game, little thief? The rules are simple: my way is law.
Devlin doesn’t have a heart. If he ever had one, it died off long ago. In its place sits a rotten, decayed hole.
“What exactly do you mean?”
Sign your soul over to me, or the cops.
How can I pick between my nightmare and the devil that torments me?
What does he expect me to do? It’s an impossible choice. But then again, so is the problem that drove me into this situation in the first place.
This feels like one of his cruel tricks, the same as his soccer buddies baiting me with dollar bills on fishing wire at school. Or last year, when he let me sit at his lunch table alongside Gemma because Lucas wanted her there, but the price was Devlin toying with my lunch tray and dumping it on the floor in front of everyone.
Devlin waves off my question. “I’ll give you what you came here for.”
That gets my attention. I sit up as much as I can on the narrow stool, swallowing.
“I don’t follow.” My forehead wrinkles. “You’re going to let me drive off with your car? Just like that?”
The corner of Devlin’s mouth quirks up and a dimple appears in his cheek.
“Not at all. You’re never to touch my car again.” He points at me to drive that decree home. He studies me with cunning curiosity. “No, what I mean is if you play my game, I’ll forget all about tonight. And if you do that, I’ll give you the money you obviously need.”
My lips part, lured by the temptation for a minute.
Reality catches up with me a second later. I snap my mouth shut as I seek out the part where he laughs in my face. Because what he’s offering? It sounds too fucking good to be true. He’ll just give me money? There’s a catch, I know it.
Devlin? Fine with helping me?
We hate each other.
“This offer expires before you leave here.” Devlin’s grin is smug. “So…ready to play a game, little thief?” He slinks closer, like a beast hunting me down for sport, drowning me in the rich, earthy scent of leather and spice. He wraps a lock of my hair around his finger while the smile dances on his lips, the dimples on display. “I’ll explain further. The rules are simple: my way is law.”
“That’s it?” I purse my lips to the side.
Things with Devlin are never simple. There are always layers, cruel pranks lurking beneath his punch line. I have a hard time believing what he’s offering is as straightforward as he puts it.“It’s a one time bargain.” Devlin leans in to whisper against my ear—because what’s a ringmaster without the theatrics? “You might say it’s a real steal.”
Veronica Eden is the author of dark new adult romances + reverse harem romances with spitfire heroines and irresistible heroes. She loves exploring complicated feelings, magical worlds, epic adventures, and the bond of characters that embrace us against the world. She has always been drawn to gruff antiheroes, clever villains, and the twisty-turns of morally gray decisions. She believes sometimes the villain should get the girl and is a sucker for a deliciously devilish antihero. Veronica Eden is the pen name of romance author Mara Townsend. When not writing, she can be found soaking up sunshine at the beach, snuggling in a pile with her untamed pack of animals (her husband, dog and cat), and surrounding herself with as many plants as she can get her hands on.