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Bonus Scene: “Beating the Blues,” A Mad Boys Deleted Scene

The following is a deleted scene from Mad Boys. This scene takes place after Ramsey decides to take Jonas and KC off-campus for a break.

Problem Child is Book 1 in the Blue Ivy Prep series. To read more, Mad Boys is Book 2.

Note: This scene is brought to you because of a Review Challenge. What is that? And also, please be aware that spoilers may lie ahead.

“Beating the Blues”


I fired off a message to Aubrey before I got changed.

Me: Going out with Jonas and Ramsey. Some place called Jack’s Escape. Bowling might be involved. Want to come with?

She didn’t make me wait long, the phone lit up even as I changed out of my t-shirt for a henley. Off campus meant layers and I didn’t want to show any bruises.

Aubrey: Do you need me?

The response was telling on a couple of levels. Hugging the leggings to me, I sat down on the edge of the bed and tilted my head from side to side. My brain kind of hurt. I’d had a headache for a week but it was better. I was just—tired. Part of me didn’t want to go out at all. I’d rather just curl up in the bed and hide here.

It was why I had to go.

That and for the first time since I got out of the hospital, I’d seen real animation in Jonas. I didn’t think he was sleeping, at least not well. More than once I’d woken up in the middle of the night and he’d already been awake. Or maybe he’d just never gone to bed.

Me: I’ll be okay. I think I want to go. Need a break. You know?

Me: Go have fun. You’ve had a lot of KC duty lately.

I set the phone down and then pulled on the leggings. It was a little like pulling on armor. Casual clothes, no uniforms. Not concert clothes either.

Aubrey: Forrest and I can change our plans. I mean it. If you need me, I’m in.

I loved her.

Me: I know. I think I’m okay. I want to be. So I’m going to be.

Make up your mind, set the goal, and the rest will follow.

Me: Love you. Have fun.

Aubrey: You too. Talk later.

It wasn’t a request. I sent her back a thumbs up and a kiss blowing emoji. Then I stuffed my feet into warmer Uggs before slipping in the bathroom to braid my hair. I’d tugged a little knit cap over it, the beanie worked with the rest of the outfit and it completely hid my hair.

I loved my hair, I refused to change it. At the same time, I needed to disguise it. Jonas waited for me out in the sitting room, his frown was instantaneous. “You’re worried about being seen.”

We were going to have a good time, I reminded myself. It was going to be great. I was okay. That was my mantra, and I planned to stick with it. I went for my jacket and the crossbody purse. “I want to just go and have fun and not deal with worrying about photos or people interrupting us.”

All true.

Jonas’ frown deepened.

“Its going to be great,” I told him. “I insist. You’re taking me out.”

His eyes narrowed, a hint of suspicion in them. “Technically Ramsey is taking us both out.”

“Semantics,” I said with a shrug and some of the worry in his expression eased. When he joined me to grab his jacket, I bumped his shoulder. Like me, he’d dressed in casual clothes, though he’d gone for a t-shirt. It put his tattoos on display and I did like looking at them. Another reason for my Henley—my tattoos got noticed as much as my hair. Most of the time I didn’t care.


Today I just wanted to relax.

“We’re going to have fun, right?”

His smile erased the rest of the dark cloud on his face and he nodded. “If it gets to be too much, you’ll tell us?”

My stomach chose that moment to growl, loudly, and I grinned. “I think we might need to feed me.”

He nodded solemnly. “We’ll grab snacks on the way…”

Jackets on, we headed out and descended the stairs. There were other students out and about, but I didn’t pay any attention to them. Jonas kept putting himself between me and everyone else. It was sweet. Ramsey waited near the exterior door and it was—unnerving to see him dressed down. I kept forgetting what he looked like when he wasn’t wearing a dress shirt and tie.

Good was how he looked. There was no sign of Lachlan and relief bled into me. Better. Ramsey studied me for a beat. “You sure you’re up for this?”

“She’s great,” Jonas said, flashing me a quick smile. “But we need to feed her before her stomach assaults us.”

I had to laugh because…well, I was starving. “I think you’re both safe, for now.” My stomach gurgled and Ramsey’s lips twitched. “But I make no promises if we don’t get something soon.”

“Then let’s go,” Ramsey said. “We can grab burgers on the way. It’s an hour to Jack’s anyway…”

An hour? My grimace made Jonas laugh and he pulled open the outer door. “Ramsey doesn’t drive like an old man. We can probably get there faster.”Ramsey just rolled his eyes but his smile relaxed me as did Jonas’. Right, we were going to have a good time.

As promised, Ramsey stopped at the burger place right next to the highway. Jonas had climbed in the back with me rather than ride shotgun with Ramsey. His droll look had cracked me up. We all got burgers, fries, and I went for a chocolate shake. We didn’t talk much, but bit by bit, the tension seemed to drain out of me. The food definitely helped.

When we got to Jack’s Escape, it was every bit the loud, garish, brightly neon lit up place you could imagine. It really didn’t seem like the guys at all. Jonas, on the other hand, seemed to brighten as well.

“KC,” he said as we headed inside. “What do you want to do first? You get the first pick. I got second. Then you again…”

“What about Ramsey?”

“I’m good,” Ramsey said, dryly. “Clearly I’m just here to pay for things and drive.”

I bit my lip.

Jonas cocked his head. “Fine, Ramsey can go after your next turn.” It seemed like a genuine concession on his part and the smirk on his face was downright adorable.

“Generous,” Ramsey said with near hysterical exaggerated graciousness.

“You’re welcome,” Jonas retorted.

I was hard pressed to not laugh, then they both glanced at me. Right, I needed to pick something to do. “What about…”

©2023 Heather Long

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