The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy Page 13

He knew what it was to be abandoned. Knew what happened to people who were abandoned. He didn’t want that for her.

The older man flushed hotly. “You wouldn’t dare.”

“I would.”

“You’ll never find it.”

“Yes, I will.” Or rather, he knew someone who could. “And I’ll do it for free.” He turned to leave the room.

“You’re no gentleman. You’re a liar and a thief, with no honor at all. I ought to have known what to expect from Blackstone’s whoreson bastard.”

Jack froze—for less than a second, but it felt like an eternity. He whipped around, body moving faster than his mind. A few long, purposeful strides carried him back to the older man until there were less than a few inches between them. Jack towered over him, using his height and rage to intimidate.

It worked. Abernathy drew back, but he was caught between his desk and Jack. There was nowhere for him to run.

“What are you going to do, D-Dandy? Beat me? Mur... Kill me? I have witnesses who will testify you were here. You won’t get away with it this time.”

Jack had never wanted to kill anyone so much in his entire life. No, that was a lie. He had wanted to kill his father since he was old enough to know what that meant, but now he just wanted to make the old man miserable. No, he wanted to kill this worthless sack of meat almost as much as he had wanted to kill Felix August-Raynes for taking violent advantage of young women.

But killing August-Raynes would have been worth swinging from a noose. Abernathy was not.

Jack slapped him. Wasn’t that what gentlemen did when one insulted another? He didn’t have kid gloves, so he had to use his bare hand. A nice, hard backhanded slap that snapped Abernathy’s head to the side and set his fleshy jowls to trembling. It would leave a mark. A nasty one, with the imprint of Jack’s ring as a reminder bruised into it. It wasn’t an easily identifiable ring—not a signet or the like—but that was all right. Both Abernathy and Jack would know whose mark it was, and that was all that mattered.

The older man’s hand went to his cheek as his face turned back toward Jack. He looked astonished. Afraid.

Jack smiled grimly. “I think now we understand one another.” With that, he pivoted on his heel and strode from the room, hands in his pockets so no one could see they were clenched into fists.

He drove back to Whitechapel, his rage dropping to a low simmer. Tonight, he’d ask a few discrete acquaintances if they knew anything about the crate and its cargo. He couldn’t risk his reputation by going after it himself. If word got out that he’d stolen something for payment and then stolen it back... Well, that kind of thing didn’t look good.

So he’d be patient, and if questions didn’t yield results then he’d swallow his pride and go to the one man who truly was a gentleman. The one person he knew who could be trusted to do absolutely the right thing.

Griffin King.

The duke and his friends—especially Finley—would do all they could to find the metal girl. They would do what he couldn’t.

Save her.

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