Welcome to Northern Nevada. The scenery is idyllic, the people are friendly and three Motorcycle Clubs rule the tri-city area between Reno, Carson City, and Lake Tahoe with an iron fist. Gisela wasn’t introduced to the thug life, she was born into it. The daughter of an American gangster, her life has been carefully orchestrated with private education, a law degree and now a respectable law firm she co-founded with Kyra Hughes, her best friend. Life is good until her high school sweetheart walks through the door of Jackson & Hughes and decides to turn her world upside down. Cillian is not an average criminal, he was brought up in the Lucifer’s Saints MC and is now V.P. of a powerful criminal enterprise. He’s no stranger to mayhem yet only one woman has ever made him feel worthy of redemption. He’s a survivor and luck has always been on his side until he is arrested and charged with the murder of an undercover ATF agent. His complicated life becomes more than he can handle when he is forced to face the only woman who has ever turned him inside out. An unconventional love story, unfinished business between these two passionate people—physical, emotional and professional—will spark a fuse that will leave a path of death and destruction in its wake.
For a moment, he thought he saw a look of relief in her eyes but it was short lived as she stood and began to pace. “Why are you telling me this if you want me to represent you? Is this some kind of emotional blackmail?”
“What?” Cillian watched her body as she continued to pace before she stopped and looked directly at him with tear-filled amber eyes.
“You know exactly what I’m talking about!” she exclaimed before she threw herself against the sofa. “I have to save you because I have no choice. You are our son’s father after all, even if we don’t have him. What kind of…biological parent…would I be if I allowed my own kid’s father to go to prison for the rest of his life?”
He scooted closer to her and wrapped his arm around her shoulders. He expected her to pull away from him but she didn’t; she held her face in her hands and shook her head repeatedly.
“I’m not doin’ this ‘cause of Conan, Sela.” It was his pet name for her and he hadn’t used it in over fourteen years but he thought it was fitting now. “He doesn’t know us therefore all we were…all we are in his eyes are sperm and egg donors. Kian and Alannah are his parents—not us. I would never guilt you into doing something you didn’t want to do.”
Gisela buried her face in the crook of his neck. “Then why did you tell me? I would have defended you if you said you killed Christ himself and I hate myself for that…but I hate you more.”
Cillian didn’t know what to say as the wetness of her tears felt warm before they quickly cooled and felt cold against his skin. “I know you do, darlin’…and you have every reason to…doesn’t mean I don’t love youse with every bone in my body. I would still take a bullet or catch a fookin’ grenade for you, baby. That’s how much I still think about ya and love ya.
“I know…I use women. I just got done fuckin’ Chiara but I would take it all back to spend just one night in your bed. You know I would. You’re the one who made it clear to me you wanted nothing to do with me—with us. I did what any sixteen year old kid would do. I moved on and Brianna was there, wantin’ me and seducing me with those gorgeous gray eyes and that dark ginger hair. How was I supposed to know you’d ever speak to me again when I betrayed your trust?”
“We hurt each other.” Gisela pulled away slightly and he felt her eyes on his profile. “I can’t let you take all the credit. I just wanted out…I thought at one time that it was possible. I was stupid and naïve. I didn’t want to live this…life…and I sure as hell never wanted it for my children. I wanted to live what I thought was normal one with parents who were executives and respectable. The problem is our way of life enables white-collar criminals to skate by and they never pay for their crimes but our kind always do.”
“What do you mean by our kind?” He turned toward her and though he didn’t move his arm. Who knew when she would vulnerable enough to ever let him hold her again.
“I mean people like your dad and my father. We’re considered the scum of society because of what we do. I release drug dealers, murderers, pimps and gang members back into society. I am actively fighting against the war on crime, and I don’t see anything wrong with my job what so ever. You’re more than an ‘ordinary decent criminal,’ Cillian. You are part of an MC and murder people like you take a dump. In fact, do you ever think about the lives you’ve ended?”
Cillian’s crystal blue eyes stared into hers and with coldness and precise calculation, he said, “No, never. If I did, I’d drive myself mad. I have to think if there is a…God…maybe I’ll get what’s comin’ to me one of these days. But until that day happens, I’ll do what I do best and whether you believe me or not, Sela, I’m the best. There is a reason why they nicknamed me ‘The Killer.’ I am one and I have no qualms about what it is I do. It’s not on me to fix what’s fucked up with society and yet, I don’t see how I personally make it any worse either. The people I’ve murdered…most were infinitely worse than me and the world doesn’t mourn them. They got what was comin’ to ‘em.”
She smiled slightly. “I always did love your honesty.”
“So, about tonight…”
“What about it?”
Cillian yawned out loud. “I’m mighty tired. Please don’t make me drive all the way back to Birch Tree tonight. I don’t think I can stand to see Brianna…not now.”
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Selene Chardou is a world traveler and the alter-ego of Elle Chardou.
Ms. Chardou’s writing is all about hot romance and exciting times with the wild, damaged, out of control and/or rich and famous set in the New Adult realm.
She is currently working on The Will to Love, the second novel in the Scarlet Fever Series, which chronicles the relationship of Will Cullen and Laurel Munsen. She is also working on Deadly Seduction, the first novel in The Rough Riders series, which chronicles the issues between three Motorcycle Clubs, and various criminal elements in the tri-city area of Reno, Lake Tahoe and Carson City in Northern Nevada.
Ms. Chardou has lived abroad in Stockholm (Sweden), Manchester (England), Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland. She currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.