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Ruthless #3

Ruthless #3

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She was only supposed to be a job, but now I can't seem to walk away.



Irish Mafia Romance

False Identity 

Editorial Reviews

This is INTENSE, gritty story set in violent, cruel and twisted environment.  ★★★★★ stars

I loved everything about it - the characters, the plot, the emotion, the writing, and the ability that the author had to tell me a story that had me wanting this book to go on and on. ★★★★★ stars

This book is 
ACTION packed starting from the first page to its end. - Vic ★★★★★ stars

 Vi builds a story like you wouldn't believe. - JJ ★★★★★ stars

Likable characters and a very well written story that is steady paced and enjoyable to read. - Sharon ★★★★★ stars

Holy smokes you get everything and so much more than you could have hoped for in this 
EXPLOSIVE suspense filled read that thrills excites irritates and pulls at your heartstrings. - Treasa ★★★★★ stars

Vi Carter does it again! I didn't think it possible to fall in 
LOVE with this series more so than I already had but after reading book two I'm left craving more. Connor is a gritty, DARK, violent BAD BOY that will do anything to protect the ones he loves and you can't help but cheer him on as he fights for Ava's affections. This one definitely did not disappoint.- Jessie ★★★★★ stars


Ruthless #3

She was only supposed to be a job, but now I can't seem to walk away.


Fighting is all I’ve ever done. I’ve fought for my father, my brothers. I’ve fought for money or just for the thrill of it but now I have a new reason to fight. I must fight to keep Ava safe only this time it’s not with my fists.


I’m broke, working a dead end job while hiding from my abusive ex. So yeah life isn’t great right now, that is until Connor. He arrives at the bar I’m working at, strikes up a conversation and I’m hooked.

I’m hooked because he’s awkward and there’s darkness in him that I’m drawn to. Yet it’s also the reason that I know I should stay away.

Intro into Chapter One

Fear. I can taste it on my tongue. My heavy limbs move from side to side, shuffling. My body tells my brain that I need to stay warm against the harsh cold. My hammering heart wants me to leave. My feet glide back slightly, and a weakness has me blinking rapidly. A voice inside my head warns me away from this fight as my eyes take in the crowd that pulsates around me.

Men wearing woolly hats, their hands shoved into pockets, huddle in a large circle around me. Their heavy jackets and warm clothing are not enough to keep the sharp cold out.

I want to feel the pain that accompanies the bitter cold, but I don’t. I only feel fear. My opponent moves around the circle, arms outstretched as his fingers flex, enticing the crowd to feed off his energy. His bare back is covered in acne, the steroids pushing his body to places it shouldn’t be pushed.

A young boy, maybe sixteen, holds up his phone in my opponent’s face as he roars into the screen. Muscles straining, veins bulging. I remember that feeling myself. That sense of power. That sense of invisibility. Now I just do it to feel something.

We both wear only tracksuit bottoms. My feet continue to shuffle back and forth on their own accord. The field we stand in is already moist from last night’s downpour, and my small and consistent movements are making the ground under my feet slippery. I move with lead feet, my mind once again roaring for me to leave this circle of men.

Rick enters the circle. He glances at me and gives me a quick nod. His red tracksuit is stark in the sea of black clothing. The crowd seems quieter now. My heart pounds in my ears. I’m aware now of all the eyes on me, aware of cold air. It’s starting to bite my skin. I enjoy the moment of pain. Rick rubs his hands together, his eyes glowing with excitement. He enjoys the fights, but he loves the money more.

“Okay, lads, let’s get started.” My opponent and Rick move closer to me. I keep my eyes focused on the ground. I’m sure if I look up and into his eyes, I won’t fight him.

“No biting. We aren’t animals.” A roar goes up as Rick lists out the rules. “No hanging on to each other. You want someone to hang on to, go to your mother’s tit.”

I nod mechanically. Rick’s hand circles my closed fist; the contact of his warmth on my freezing skin makes me glance up at him.

“The balls are off-limits and an immediate disqualification.”

I nod to Rick, and my eyes flicker to the pumped-up guy I’m fighting. He smashes his fists together and bounces on his feet. He’s on something. His pupils are dilated, and that gives me some peace. The fear in me dilutes. Maybe he won’t feel what I’m about to unleash on him.

“Fight!” Rick shouts as he disappears into the roaring crowd. We’re far enough away from the main road to go unheard. There’s nothing but cows in the near fields and a tire center at our backs. Rick owns the tire center, and I work there for him.

My opponent charges me, and I move quickly to the left. It’s that movement that has everything slamming back into me. The time, the noise, the feeling—my whole body feels like it’s on fire with the cold.

I turn as he charges me again, and I clothesline him. He’s on his back, and his whole body tenses as he tries to catch his breath. Rick moves to the front of the crowd, ready to step in, but he knows I won’t attack a man when he’s down. Instead, I walk the circle as I wait. I keep my eyes trained on the ground and ignore the roars of the surrounding men. When I do look up, my father’s face is there in all the men who roar at me, demanding blood. Demanding that I attack. I blink rapidly as my eyes leave the men and return to the boy on the ground.

He gets up swiftly. He roars again, pumping up the crowd. He’s bouncing on his feet like a real boxer and craning his neck from side to side before he rushes me. I clench my fists and wait until he’s there. There’s a satisfaction when the skin on my knuckles splits with the impact of the first punch I land to his jaw. My aching hands want me to stop, but if I stop now, it will make the second and third punch more painful on me, so I keep hitting him in succession until he topples to the ground again.

As I wait, I push the image of my father out of my mind and focus on my brother, Shane. He hates bare-knuckle fighting, said we should leave it to the travelers and low-lifes. “We are the low-lifes,” I would tell him, and his laugh would be filled with hate and a want to hurt me. But in a fight, I would win. Shane always thought of other ways to hurt me. Having money didn’t make someone a better person. Shane thought it did. He acted like he was above everyone else. Even the law.

The boy gets up, his face a bloody mess. He bounces again on his feet, but the energy he showed earlier is nearly gone. He doesn’t roar into the crowd either. He’s a little smarter now when he waits for me to come to him, and one thing about me is I won’t keep him waiting. Yet I’m not ready to end this fight. So I move too closely; my foot looks like it falters, causing me to push my hands out and away from my face. It’s the opening I offer him. Our eyes meet, and he knows. But he’s smart, so he takes it.

Pain races down the side of my face. I push it away and don’t focus on it, not allowing him to get two in. I turn, and my fist rises faster than his, connecting with his chin. My skin tears further from the impact as he stumbles away from me. I don’t want to stop, so I quickly move to him. His outstretched hands and the way his body twists away from me, like it’s trying to protect itself, stops me from hitting him further.

“I’m done,” he says along with a dribble of red spit. Rick is there, his red tracksuit filling my vision. He dyed his hair again, this time a dark black. I want to tell him it looks fake. He takes my wounded fist in his. The bite of pain has me closing my eyes as he declares me the winner. I don’t look at the men who start to disperse. The cold and the lack of entertainment will drive them all home.

I take the few steps away from everyone as I grab my bag. I take out a T-shirt and hoodie and pull them over my damp skin.

“You free next Saturday night?”

I glance at Rick. He’s bouncing now. My eyes are drawn to his white runners before shooting up to his gaze. “Not if you’re going to keep giving me jumped-up kids.” I slug the bag across my back, then take the money Rick holds out to me and stash it in my pocket.

“He was in his thirties,” he says, stuffing his hands into his pockets. The air puffs around our words now. The noise of engines starting up has me glancing at the patch of grass the boy had sat down on after the fight. The same spot is now empty.

“Cocaine and steroids aren’t a good mix, Rick.”

“What do you want, Connor? You want me to test everyone who wants to fight you? You got your money, so what’s the problem?” Rick narrows his eyes while running a hand through his hair.

I want to tell him it’s not about the money, that it’s about the thrill. But I don’t. “Just try to have someone who isn’t off their face next time.” I pull my bag tighter against my back and Rick nods.

“Fine, I’ll try. But it’s getting harder to find people who will fight you.”

I snort as I walk away. “Someone always wants to fight me, Rick.”

“See you next Saturday,” he roars as I make my way onto the main road. I take a left at Cassidy’s cross. I’m staying only a few miles away from our fight spot, in a restaurant that has some outbuildings for B&Bs. It’s clean, and no one knows me. Just the way I like it. I’ve been staying at the Cross Guns. It’s the longest I’ve ever dared to stay in one spot.

I remember watching a wildlife documentary and the phrase “moving is life” stuck with me, and it’s a code I try to live by. But recently, I’ve tired of running. I’ve gotten a job at the tire center, helping out with fixing cars. Money is shit, but what I get from fighting keeps me afloat. That’s how I met Rick. He is a decent enough guy, if you minus the secondhand parts we charge full price for.

Lights move past me, and I move in toward the ditch until darkness consumes the road again. I walk with aching and bleeding hands stuffed in my pockets. The fight has released some tension that was bubbling up inside me. Seeing Una, my stepsister, walking into the Cross Guns a few weeks ago had terrified me, but once I discovered she was alone, I relaxed with her.

We always got on, and she hadn’t seen the family in months and promised she wouldn’t tell. But I knew I would have to move on soon. Secrets never stay buried for long with our family. Eventually, they will find out where I am.

It takes me thirty minutes before the lights of the Cross Guns come into view. I jog out back and go straight to my room. My single bed faces the door, freshly made. The room looks bare; I don’t have anything, only clothes that are stacked neatly in the wardrobe.

I switch on the TV and mute it but let the light flicker across the room as I enter the adjoining bathroom. I don’t linger in the shower but let the hot water warm me up before I patch up my fists. I tape them up mechanically as I watch the news reporter deliver some news about war in a foreign country. Buildings stand partially erect, rubble and crying people roam around the news reporter. After switching the TV off, I get dressed.

Stuffing some fifty euro notes into my jeans pocket, I put on a clean shirt before looking at myself in the mirror for the first time. I’ve a small red mark on my jaw—it’s nothing much. I normally would never allow someone to get a hit on me, but I needed something to release the energy that was bouncing around inside me.

Leaving the room, I make my way across the gravelled parking lot I enter the small cozy pub, which holds a few patrons. They all turn as I enter but dismiss me. We’re all here every night. On the first night, they tried to strike up a conversation, and I kept it to a yes-no answer. Since then, they’ve left me alone. I sit at the end of the bar.

“A beer,” I tell Simon, the barman. He wears a black T-shirt with a Guns N’ Roses symbol on the front. His wrinkled and over-tanned skin hangs slightly. Long hair that should be shaved is thinning; his glory days are fading away quicker than he can grasp them.

Simon places the beer in front of me with a nod, and I slide him a fifty. Long manicured fingers stop Simon from taking my fifty.

“Allow me.”

I know Simon is waiting for me to agree, so I look up stiffly and nod as my brother sits down beside me.

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