I’m excited to share an exclusive bonus scene from Ruined, book 3 in M. Never’s bestselling Decadence After Dark Series!
No matter his name, one fact remains the same. He’s the man who enslaved me, ensnared me, claimed me and ruined me…For all other men that is.
All belong to him.
I belong to no one but him.
He owns me.
And I own him.
Song Playlist for Ruined
Angels – The xx
Animals – Maroon 5
Sex and Candy – Maroon 5
Heartbeat Song – Kelly Clarkson
Lights Go Out – Fozzy
Ruined – Bonus Scene
“Where are we going?” I ask Kayne for probably the fifth time as we drive through Waikiki. Even on a random Tuesday night, the streets are filled with tourists shop-ping, dining and sightseeing. This part of town always reminds me of New York, ex-cept here you are surrounded by palm trees and the Pacific Ocean instead of skyscrap-ers and the Hudson River.
“I told you, out.” He smiles shrewdly.
“Out where?” I push, dying to know. It’s our first wedding anniversary and he is keep-ing all the plans a surprise. The only thing he told me to do was wear a loose fitting shirt. So I am dressed in a light pink tunic top and black mini skirt with rhinestone stilettos. Kayne is dressed in a light blue button up and tan dress pants, the shirt ac-centing the color of his unique eyes.
“You’ll see.” Kayne pulls off the main road and down a side street. A few more turns later we are parked outside a small row of stores off the beaten path.
“Ready?” he asks as he opens his door.
“Um,” I answer as I look out the car window. There isn’t much to the area, a large parking lot across the street, a Chinese restaurant, a few mom and pop store fronts and a tattoo parlor. I’m starting to wonder if this is some kind of joke. Kayne loves to wine and dine me. We are always going out to the most trendy and expensive restau-rants in town, so I can’t fathom what we are doing here.
“C’mon, kitten.” Kayne opens my door and holds out his hand. I take it, putting faith in my husband like I always do.
“You’re not taking me to some weird underground sex club are you?” I ask as we walk hand in hand.
Kayne looks down at me with a raised eye brow. “Why would you think something like that?”
“Because you told me to wear a loose fitting top and we’re in a questionable part of town. And well, you’re you.”
He laughs. “That does sound like something I would do, but no, it’s not about sex to-night. At least not right now. Later, I’ll kiss you three hundred and sixty-five different ways to celebrate out first year together.” He leans down and slides his tongue gently between my lips. My heartbeat accelerates.
“Promises, promises,” I tease when he pulls away.
“I always keep my promises.”
“Thank goodness for that.”
“Move it, kitten,” he orders, his eyes flashing with heat. “I have an agenda tonight and I want to stick to it.”
“Yes, sir,” I respond flippantly.
“Yes, Kayne,” I purr.
“Much better.” He steals a quick kiss then guides me toward the door of the tattoo parlor.
“You want another tattoo?” I ask confused.
“Yes, and I want you to get one too.”
There’s a young Hawaiian girl with long dark hair and pink streaks sitting behind a small counter.
“Do you have an appointment?” she asks us cheerfully. As we get closer, I notice the half sleeve of brightly colored ink under the right sleeve of her T-shirt.
“Yes.” Kayne answers. “With Johnny.”
I look at him funny. He sounds over confident, like he and Johnny are old friends.
“Awesome.” The girl hops off her stool. “He’s in the back. Let me tell him you’re here.”
When she disappears behind a door, I stare up at my husband. “A tattoo? Really?”
“Do you suddenly have a problem with them?” he asks nonchalantly.
“Not when they are on you.” I reply seriously. “A little warning might have been nice.”
“It would have ruined the surprise. Besides, I knew you would have fought me on this.”
“I still may fight you on this.”
“Consider it.” He jiggles my hand, pleading with me. It’s not that I never considered getting a tattoo, I’ve just never loved anything enough to get it permanently stamped on my body. I’m feeling a little pressured.
I huff. “What am I supposed to do, just randomly pick something off the wall?”
“No. I have your design.”
“What?” Again he side blinds me.
Kayne pulls out a piece of paper from his pocket and hands it to me. My interest is be-yond piqued. Sketched on the paper is a quote written in circle around a small dot, ‘That which does not destroy us.’
“I don’t understand.”
“You will,” he says just as a tall man covered in tattoos with bleach-blond hair appears in front of us.
“Hey, man. It’s been a minute.” He shakes Kayne’s hand firmly, like he’s happy to see him.
“I know,” Kayne responds. “I was busy getting married and shit,” he jokes.
“I see that.” The man draws his attention to me. He, too, is Hawaiian and has a very similar face to the girl behind the counter. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say she’s his daughter.
“Johnny,” he introduces himself. He has kind brown eyes.
“Ellie.” We shake.
“I know,” he says surreptitiously.
“Mmm hmm.” He directs his attention to Kayne. “You booked two appointments, so I’m assuming a couples tattoo?”
“Pretty much,” he confirms as we follow Johnny into one of the small rooms opposite the wall with designs.
“You know what you want?”
“Yup.” Kayne hands Johnny the piece of paper I was just looking at. He examines it and nods.
“Easy enough. Do you know where you want it?”
“Yup.” Kayne unbuttons his shirt and points to the small round scar on his shoulder. “Around here.”
My throat nearly closes. That’s where Javier shot him.
“What about wifey?”
I just look up at Kayne. He lifts my shirt and points to the scar on my abdomen, where Michael shot me. “Around here.”
I nearly lose it right on the spot. I get it. I totally get it now.
‘That which does not destroy us.’
“Easy enough.” Johnny says breezily. “Figure out which one of you is going first and I’ll set up.” As soon as he steps out of the room, tears steam down my face.
“You don’t need to cry, Ellie.” Kayne swipes his thumbs under my eyes. “You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to.”
“I’m not crying because of that.”
“Then why are you crying?”
“Because your quietest gestures make the loudest sound.”
Kayne smiles. This man has pulled me out of my darkest despair. He’s carried me through a storm of emotions and helped me rebuild my life, slowly but surely becom-ing the foundation of my existence. Kayne once told me things that are broken can always be fixed. I believed I was broken once, and he’s spent every day of our relation-ship proving to me that I’m not. He taught me to fight. He taught me I’m stronger. We’ve both walked through hell and survived to talk about it, and now we’ll wear our scars proudly, because what doesn’t kill you definitely does make you stronger.
“Okay,” Johnny walks back in the room. “Who’s first?”
“He is,” I nominate Kayne immediately.
“Because you’ve done this before.”
“Fair enough.” He lies down on the table like a pro.
Before long, Johnny has the needle buzzing and is working away on Kayne. He just lies there perfectly calm while my stomach does a dozen summersaults. My nerves are launching a full-on attack.
“Does it hurt?” I ask him half way through. The words ‘That which does… circling around the scar.
“Not much.” He sucks in some air. “Nervous, kitten? I didn’t think you’d be intimi-dated by a little pain.”
I swear I think I blush. “The kind of pain I like doesn’t usually involve needles.”
Johnny glances up at Kayne and smirks. “No wonder you were hell bent on marrying her.”
Kayne chuckles uncomfortably. “Shut up, man.”
“No, please. I would love to hear this. How do you two know each other? You seem chummy.”
Johnny laughs out right. “This joker came in here all fucked up one night crying about a girl he lost, and if he ever got her back, he was going to marry her. Then he made me tattoo her name on his chest.”
Kayne looks completely uncomfortable. “You just had to throw me under the bus.”
“Hell yeah, I did.” Johnny is getting immense enjoyment at Kayne’s expense. “He was just about in tears and reeked like a brewery.”
I pout at my husband. He told me how rough it was after I left him. I have always walked a fine of regret and vindication, but hearing a third party account is tipping the scale of regret.
“He needed to learn a lesson,” I inform Johnny.
“You’re not helping.”
“You can punish me later,” I flirt.
“I plan to.”
“You two need to stop, or this tat is going to turn out crooked.” Johnny pulls his hand back and laughs at us.
“We’ll behave,” I promise him.
“Just for a few minutes.” He continues until he finishes, luckily with no crooked let-ters. “All done.” He wipes away the last of the black ink.
“Looks good.” I comment as Kayne sits up.
“Ready for yours?” he asks me.
“I think so,” I reply not so confidently.
“I’ll hold your hand the whole time,” he placates me.
“You better.” We switch positions and my stress level skyrockets.
“Ready?” Johnny asks me as he cleans my skin.
“As I’ll ever be.” I close my eyes and take a deep breath as the electric needle buzzes. It didn’t sound as loud when he was working on Kayne.
I jump when Johnny first touches me.
“Stay still, girlie. I want yours to look just as pretty as your husband’s.”
“Artistic. As artistic as her husband’s,” Kayne corrects him good-naturedly.
“Whatever, bro.” Johnny shrugs Kayne off. It is obvious these two have a rapport.
“So how well do you know each other, anyway?” I ask, searching for a distraction to the burning on my stomach. It isn’t excruciating, but it isn’t pleasant either.
“We don’t know each other that well. We’re just kindred spirits. You know, two souls who felt instantly comfortable around each other,” Johnny explains. “And he slept off his load on that couch.” He points out the door with the needle at the black leather couch underneath the tattoo designs.
“I should have taken you to a different tattoo parlor.” Kayne grumbles.
“There’s no one better on this island than me, and you know it.”
“Your reputation does proceed you,” Kayne muses dryly.
“Gotta make a name somehow.” Johnny grins, wiping away some ink from my skin.
“You doing okay?” Kayne checks on me.
“Fine,” I nod, breathing through the dull pain.
“Good. Because that, my friends, is a wrap.” Johnny turns off the needle.
“Take a look.” He holds up a mirror. “Tell me what you think.”
I stare at the reflection of the tattoo. The font is curvy and little bit edgy and wraps around the scar perfectly.
“I…” Both Kayne and Johnny hang onto my hesitation. “I love it. It’s perfect.” And it is. It feels right. It feels like something I can display proudly. It reminds me to fight. To be strong. To not let my scars define me.
“Good.” Kayne kisses me. “I think it’s hot as hell.”
I take one last look at my new tattoo before Johnny takes a picture, applies some anti-bacteria ointment and covers it with a bandage, the same as he did to Kayne’s.
Johnny pulls of his latex gloves as he stands up. “It was good to see you again, broth-er.”
“You too.” They clasp hands.
“It was a pleasure, Ellie. Keep this guy in line. He’s looking good. Make sure it stays that way.”
“I will.” I smile at Johnny.
“You two know where to find me when you’re ready for your next one.” He walks out of the room and we follow.
Kayne pays the girl behind the counter as Johnny disappears into the back again.
Once outside, Kayne slips his arms around my waist as we walk to the car. “Happy an-niversary, kitten,” he kisses my temple lovingly.
“Thank you.” I tilt my face up for a real kiss and he obliges. Kissing me passionately right in the middle of the side walk.
I am utterly destroyed, shattered and ruined by this man. And I couldn’t be happier.
As I sit in the passenger’s seat while Kayne drives away, I pull up my shirt and run my fingers over the white bandage. It’s been over two years since Michael shot me and seeing the dressing dredges up some unpleasant memories.
“Ellie. Baby, you okay?” Kayne asks concerned. “Does it hurt?”
I peel back the bandage and stare at my new tattoo, reading the phrase over and over again.
“No.” I look over at him and smile. “Not anymore.”
(1 ebook set of The Decadence Series – Owned, Claimed & Ruined)