Authors: Kylie Hillman
Tags: #Family, #Fiction, #Romance, #thriller, #dark, #Contemporary, #Suspense, #Australia, #MC, #organised crime
MAKING CHOICES (BLACK SHAMROCKS MC #2)
Copyright © 2015 Kylie Hillman
Published by Kylie Hillman
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, including electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.
This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return it to the seller and purchase your own copy.
Thank you for respecting the author’s work.
Kylie Hillman 2015
Judi Perkins at Concierge Designs
Max Henry at Max Effect
Line Editing by:
Copy Editing by:
Max Henry at Max Effect
Images in Manuscript:
Judi Perkins at Concierge Designs
This story isn’t suitable for those who do not enjoy dark romance. It contains graphic depictions of events that may be triggering for some.
Please consider yourself warned.
However, if you chose to delve into this story, you will find that all issues are approached with sensitivity and real life reflections.
This book is
in an anticipated series of
. It does not contain a cliffhanger or a happily ever after, but rather a happy-for-now ending that will be continued in the next book. It can be read as a stand-alone story if desired, although events and characters from the first book are referenced.
I hope you love the characters as much as I do, and enjoy reading their story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
To the beautiful, courageous, and kind-spirited Elaine Holcomb.
Your words of wisdom when discussing Timber’s “proclivities” as well as your matter-of-fact explanations were appreciated immensely, as is your gracious friendship and unwavering support. You’re definitely one-of-a-kind and I’m lucky to know you.
Keep fighting the good fight xx
n the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.”
Everything in life comes down to choices. Big choices, little choices, choices that seem insignificant at the time but end up having a significant impact on our life, and choices that we know are going to change things for us in the biggest way.
Smart people—educated, well-raised people—like me make choices with rationality. We make choices by weighing up the pros and cons, by analyzing every potential outcome, and by removing emotion and fear from the equation.
Is love a choice?
Can you make a choice whether or not to love someone? Or is it a decision that’s taken out of our hands by a combination of hormonal fluctuations and our addiction to them, emotion-led instinct, and a micro-moment of positive resonance that transcends all logic and common sense?
I was certain that as a logical, educated, and composed woman, I would eventually love the person who was the best fit for my career aspirations. The person who would complement my vision for my life. The person who would meet my parents’ exacting expectations.
As a logical, educated, and composed person, I didn’t believe that I would ever regret my choices. If I was honest, I thought I was too smart to end up with significant regrets.
How wrong was I?
knew it!” A small, angry voice interrupts me as I’m watching Maddi walk down the hallway to her bedroom and the—potentially unwanted—surprise that awaits her.
Swinging from my spot on the couch to face the French doors that lead to the alfresco area, I’m greeted by an irate JJ. She’s staring at me with her hands on her tiny hips, her ruby-red lips pressed tight. The fury that emanates from her makes her dark-red hair appear more intense than usual, her ire helping her appear taller than her just over five feet.
“You know what?” My heart’s thudding in my chest. Fuck. I hope she doesn’t say what I think she’s going to say.
I don’t want to deal with this tonight—or any night.
Clenching her hands into fists when I rise from the couch and walk toward her, she spits her answer at me through clenched teeth. “That you’re in love with Maddi, Lucas. I’ve been watching you with her for months. Ever since she moved in with you when Mad Dog dumped her perfect ass, you’ve pined after her like a bloody, love-sick fool hoping she’ll give you her attention.”
“You know nothing. It’s not like that.”
I want to defend myself further, but I can’t. I’m not guilty of
she’s assuming, but I
guilty. What JJ doesn’t understand is her place in the convoluted mess of my emotions.
“Why do you care anyway? We’ve been playing this cat-and-mouse game that you love so fucking much for the last six months. Didn’t you tell me we were finished last night?”
Shuffling on the spot, she drops her gaze from my eyes and studies the cream tiles on the kitchen floor as if they hold the answer to my questions.
“I came over to apologize. I didn’t expect to find you with
on your lap. And I didn’t expect to hear you tell her that you’d love a shot with her. Damn, Lucas, she called you my dirty little secret. Is that how you feel?”
“It is. You fucking know it is.”
“That’s not fair. I’ve told you why...”
“Yeah, thanks for the warning. You’re a true friend!” My best female friend’s pissed-off voice interrupts JJ’s attempted justifications when she yells from her room. I hold up one finger to silence the seething woman in front of me and yell in response, “Anytime, Princess!”
Even in the face of JJ’s anger, I can’t help the booming laughter that rumbles from my chest. She’s obviously found Mad Dog waiting in her bedroom, ready to ambush her and finally talk her into taking him back. As much as I wish otherwise, she’s made for him, and he’s perfect for her. They just needed someone to give them a push to sort out their shit once and for all—a push I’m happy to provide. Maybe happy is the wrong word? It’s more like a push I feel obliged to provide.
“What the hell is that about?” JJ asks in a frosty tone once my laughter dies down.
“That was about the surprise waiting for her in her room.”
Raising one perfectly sculpted eyebrow at me, she sneers. “The surprise being Mad Dog?”
Turning my back to her, I walk to the fridge and pull out a beer. Cracking the top, I drink half of it down in one go. I’m confused as fuck. I don’t know how I feel about this whole situation. I’m happy that Maddi hasn’t sent him packing yet, but the part that will always wonder if we would have stood a chance won’t shut up.
How I feel about JJ isn’t helping matters, and neither are her bloody hang-ups.
“You’re a piece of work, you know? A real fucked-up individual.”
Straightening my shoulders, I face her. “Tell me how you really feel, Doll! You’re fucking awesome at telling me how
wrong about everything, so let’s lay it all out. Let’s sort this shit out once and for all.”
As she stands there swallowing hard in the face of my ferocity, I continue. “You don’t get to barge into
house after you threw
feelings for you in
fucking face last night and then cuss me out for looking out for my best friends. Whatever it is you think is going on here, you’re fucking wrong. All I’ve done is put everyone else’s happiness in front of mine, and I’m fucking over it. Princess and Mad Dog will sort their shit out, so how about you sort yours out. You gonna tell Daddy about us, or are we over and fucking done for good? Those are the options here. All or nothing!”
As I come to the crux of our problems, JJ bites her bottom lip so hard that I’m scared she’s going to draw blood. She can throw all the shit she wants at me about my feelings for Maddi, but I’ve done fuck all wrong. I’ve chased this woman for six months—breaking every fucking one of my rules along the way. I’ve kept quiet about us, even going as far as pretending that we aren’t fucking six ways to Sunday when we’re in front of anyone she knows.