Hate To Love You Read Online Shayla Black

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Crime, Erotic, Mafia Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 154
Estimated words: 149209 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 746(@200wpm)___ 597(@250wpm)___ 497(@300wpm)

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*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************



Rural North Dakota


“Come home.”

I groan as I glance across the room at my father. Not again… “Dad, we’ve talked about this.”

“No, you’ve talked about it. I haven’t said my piece.”

“But I know your spiel. Look, I’ve transplanted, and my roots are here now. My business is growing again. I’m still a newer kid on the block in the oil industry around here, so it’s taking time.” I lean back in my chair and grip my cold beer. “But I’m okay with that. Besides, you don’t need me; you still have Bry at home.”

My father huffs, then takes a drag of his cigar. “Until he goes off to college in the fall. Besides, when do you think your youngest brother is ever home? He’s a seventeen-year-old boy who’s just graduated from high school and has his own wheels. At that age, when were you home?”

He’s got a valid point, but… “I know it’s been hard since Mom’s death. The last eighteen months have been an adjustment for everyone.”

“It’s not that. Open your eyes, son. The oil boom will likely bust again. Five years ago, this was a great business, and you were in the right place at the right time. Even Bethany agreed,” he says of his investment advisor, whom he constantly raves about. “But now, it’s time to cut your losses before they go any deeper. OPEC wants to put US oil production out of business, and they have the resources to make that happen. They did really well at choking your business last year.”

I can’t deny that. Twelve months ago, I was lamenting high costs and dismal profits. “This year has been better so far.”

“Slightly. C’mon, Clint. Do you really want to eke out a living? Sell this thing. You’ll get a pretty penny for the business, even if the industry isn’t at its hottest right now.” He hunkers back in my favorite leather chair and takes a sip of his whiskey. “If your mother’s death taught me anything, it was that life is even shorter than people warn you. Forty-nine was way too young to die, but that didn’t matter. Her number was up. Watching her go through all that breast cancer treatment just about killed me.”

Me, too. I wasn’t there for the worst since I moved to North Dakota at nineteen and went straight to work, eventually building my own oil services business from the ground up. But I came home for the end. Seeing her so frail and wasted devastated me. Losing her gutted my family. “I know, Dad.”

When I reach across the space to take his hand, he squeezes mine. “Look, I want to retire. I want to do all the things your mother and I planned to before I pass on. We were going to get season tickets to one of those fancy theaters. We were going to drive up Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco and see the sights. Hell, we were going to take a Hawaiian vacation. We didn’t follow through on any of those plans because we had three growing boys and always thought there would be time. And now…she’s gone.”

When my father chokes back emotion, I squeeze his hand again. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s not your fault. She would have chosen keeping you kids happy over a vacation any day.”

“But she worked all her life and didn’t get to enjoy the quieter years. That upsets you, I know.”

“Yes, but it upsets me more that I promised her I’d do all those things after she was gone. So far, I’ve done nothing but grieve and try to figure out how to carry on.”

Guilt tugs at me. If I stay in North Dakota, I’ll be following my own path. If I give that up to return to La-La Land, I’ll be helping my family, yes. But I’ll also be assuming a business that never interested me and putting myself smack-dab in the middle of crowds, congestion, and smog—all the reasons I left LA—again.

“What about Bret? He’s going to graduate from UCLA next year with a business degree. I never went to college. Would he be better equipped—”

“You think he’s ready to leave the frat house and walk straight into a multimillion-dollar-a-year business? Hell, as far as I can tell he hasn’t pulled his head out of a keg in the last six months.” My father sighs. “I’m not trying to guilt you. I’m simply hoping you’ll see the wisdom of this idea. Your business might be drying up, depending on the price of oil per barrel. Mine is thriving, but it’s too much for me to handle these days. I’m just getting too old.”

“You’re only fifty-three.”

“After your mother’s passing, I feel ancient.”

He’s not his usual, robust self. I know he’s not sleeping well, and I guess that’s age. But he seems more fatigued than I would have thought. Two years ago, he walked to my favorite fishing spot without any trouble. Today, he was short of breath on the same short trek. Even now, hours after our return, a fine sheen of perspiration beads on his forehead. Granted, it’s almost ninety degrees and humid as hell outside, but it’s comfortable in the air-conditioned house.