Dead Serious(8)

By: C.M. Stunich



“Hey, you're right,” I say, rushing to fill the heated space between us, “I didn't care about Hayden, but you're my friend now, Dax. I don't abandon my friends. So I am sorry. I'm sorry you lost her, and I'm sorry you have to go through this.” Dax doesn't look convinced, but hopefully I can diffuse some of that anger before he takes it out on someone. Wouldn't do to get my ass kicked by the Little Drummer Boy.

“You're so full of shit, Turner,” he says, but his voice sounds more tired now than anything else. “Go bother Naomi. I hear rumor she actually enjoys your company.”

I laugh and pat him on the shoulder before he gives me another warning look. Oops. Whatever, he can deal, and I'm giving him a one time pass to act like an asshole to me without consequence. Hope he uses it wisely.

“Yeah, well, shouldn't matter now, right?” I raise my eyebrows and run my tongue across my lower lip as my gaze slides to Sydney. “Hope you two had a good time before all the shit went down. And hey, from experience, I can tell you that pussy really does have the power to cure most ills.”

“You're fucking disgusting,” Dax says, but I can see his hatred for me is distracting him from that black pit he's so desperate to drop into. I might have won Naomi, but I know she still cares about Dax. Besides, we fought our shit out with fists. We're cool now.

“Yeah, true. Maybe I am? So what? I say what the rest of the world only thinks inside their heads. At heart, we're all dirty little perverts just tryin' to make life work on this spinning ball of dirt. Might as well enjoy it.” I pause. Grin. “Like you enjoyed Sydney Charell.”

“I was drunk. We fucked in the back room of a strip club after my father disowned me and informed me I wasn't actually his child. Oh, and then I got to see the body of my dead high school sweetheart seconds before my friend shot herself in the head.” Dax smiles tightly and then points at his temple while mouthing the word boom under his breath. Hot damn. I do my best to keep the grimace off my face and flick my tongue ring against my teeth. “Dampens the memory a little, you know?”

Dax looks up and gazes over my shoulder, presumably at where Sydney's standing, waiting for me to back off. Something flickers in Dax's eyes, and he glances away.

“If there was anything happening between us, it's gone now. I'm done with all of this. I just want to pack up my shit and go.”

“I don't know if that's going to be an option, dude,” I tell him, thinking of America and her threat to shoot the members of Amatory Riot. “There's sort of a situation brewing with your manager and her little soulless ginger haired lackey.”

Dax doesn't look surprised, doesn't even blink at me. I try to think up something else to say, but the words won't come. Huh. Imagine that. Turner Campbell, speechless. Doesn't happen often.

“Whatever,” Dax says, pushing away from the pillar at his back and moving towards the elevators with a couple of Brayden's men dragging behind him.

“Wait up!” Sydney calls, coming to a sliding halt when I grab onto her arm. She glares at me and narrows her blue eyes. Something in my gaze must give her pause because she sighs and softens her expression, pulling her arm from my fingers. “What is it, Turner?”

“Don't leave Dax alone,” I ask her, nodding my chin at his back as he waits for the elevator. Sydney raises her eyebrows and shakes her head, but I step in front of her before she can move. I'm dead serious about this shit. “He's not in a good place right now.”

“Obviously,” she says, but her voice lacks any hint of sarcasm. She sounds almost as tired as Dax. Guess getting poisoned by our fucked up Kool-Aid takes its toll on everyone. I don't know how big of a drink Sydney took, but I can see in the set of her jaw that she's in like fucking Flynn.

“You like him?” I ask and Sydney sighs, looking down at the floor and shaking her head. Her blonde hair flutters around her face and hides her expression from me.

“Yeah, but … I don't know, Turner. This isn't my life. I have a photo shoot coming up. I … ”

“Have a fucking lady boner for Dax McCann?” I supply and she laughs, that carefree laugh that's always surprised me. For a girl who grew up in a trailer park with a crackhead father and only two little douche-y brothers like me and Trey for company, Sydney has a confidence and a calmness I still don't understand. You don't often run into strippers who share the same self-assured smile as spoiled heiresses.

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