- My choice
I can’t explain the fear I felt when I saw the bastard pointing a gun at her head. She was shaking,
and tears were falling down her face. I heard as she pleaded with him to spare her, but I knew he
When she closed her eyes. As if accepting her fate. It nearly brought me to my fucking knees. If it
wasn’t for the fact that I knew she was tired, I would have spared the man just so I could give him
my own personal version of torture.
“She needs a doctor, Rowan” she says in a small voice as I kneel down before her.
I had already texted Gabe. The ambulance would be here in minutes. It’s not that I didn’t care for
Emma; I did. I just cared for Ava more. (2)
I take her face gently into my hands. Her cheek was swollen, and so was her eye. It had already bruised, and her lip was split.
My face hardened at the thought of someone laying their hands on her.
“Who hit you? Was it Ronny” I ask through clenched teeth.
She winces when I run my hand down her bruised cheek. Fuck! Her pain made my heart constrict.
I wanted nothing more than to kill the bastard who hurt her.
“It doesn’t matter… We need to get Emma to a hospital” she says as she begins to stand up.
I push her down gently and continue to inspect her. Totally ignoring what she said. Her wrists were bleeding, and her ankles were swollen and bruised.
The more I took in her wounds, the angrier I got. She shouldn’t have to go through this. Especially not when she was fucking pregnant.
“Rowan, are you not listening to me” Her tone is exasperated, and I know if it weren’t for the fact that she was tired and hurt, she would have thrown a few choice words at me.
“I’m listening, and the ambulance will be here.” I answer. “Now tell me who hurt you.”
She lets out a deep long breath. Sagging in relief against the car
It was one of Ronny’s men. He hit me when I talked back at him” she tells me tiredly.
“Give me a facial description”
I was going to find the bastard. No one. I mean, no one gets away with hurting Ava. He was going
to regret the day he was fucking born.
It doesn’t matter. When I escaped, he found us first. I kneed him in the balls, then shot both his
I can’t help the small smile that forms on my lips. I liked this side of Ava. Loved that she was no
longer willing to take crap from anyone.
Before I could ask why she thought escaping was a good idea, we heard the sirens, shouts, and
shots. Gabe, Travis, and the paramedic reach us moments later.
The paramedics take Emma from Ava’s lap before placing her on a stretcher.
“What happened?” one of them asks.
I see Ava hesitate a little before answering.
“She got shot while we were trying to escape. I tried to stop the bleeding as best as I could, but she
as time went by and finally lost–consciousness.” Her eyes were trained on Emma’s form.
“Is she going to be alright?” she asked, her voice full of fear.
This is one of the things I’ve come to love about her. Emma has been nothing but horrible to her,
but that d
stop her from worrying about her. She was a fucking angel, and I curse myself that
it has taken me this long to figure that out.
“Yes. Her pulse is a bit weak, but she’ll be okay once we get her to a hospital”
They wheel her away.
“Are you okay, Ava?” Travis asks her. The concern in his eyes was clear.
“Yes” Her answer comes out in a low voice as she struggles to get up. “Go, be with Emma. I’m okay
and she needs you more”
He nods his head before bending down to kiss her cheeks. I know it’s from the fact that she’s worn
out that she doesn’t push him away. Otherwise, her reception would have been entirely different.
He leaves, and I give Gabe the signal to follow him.
“Need help?” I question after watching her struggle to get up.
“Yes please” she answers, looking at me tiredly.
I bend dow, and pick her up. Hugging her close to my chest, I begin walking.
“I said I needed help standing up, not being carried” Her argument lacks her normal fire backing it up. It goes to show just how worn out she was.
I don’t answer. Just pull her closer to me. It felt right with her in my arms like this. Like everything in the fucking universe was aligning itself. If I could stay like this forever, then it’s a fate I would gladly accept.
As I walk with her to my car, I can’t help but wonder. I’ve never allowed myself to be this close to her. To hold her, hug her or kiss her. I always held a part of myself hidden from her. So it makes me wonder if, had I allowed myself, would it have felt like this? Like she was the missing piece of
I was just getting to my car when Brian stops me.
“What?” I growl at him. Couldn’t he fucking see that I was carrying precious cargo?
“We were able to get most of the Reapers, but Reaper himself escaped” he says, delivering the bad
It makes me want to pound someone. The fact that he keeps evading us makes me fucking
furious. As long as he was still out there, none of those I care about would be safe.
“Just fucking find him” I snap before walking away.
I get to my car and gently drop Ava in the front seat. Buckling her up, I get in and begin driving to
“Where are we going?” she yawns.
“You need to get checked. Make sure you and the baby are fine”
She nods her head in acceptance before leaning back against the seat. It doesn’t take us long to get to the hospital. By the time we get there, Ava was already asleep.
I park my car before waking her up. I didn’t mind carrying her, but I also know that nurses would
need her to answer some questions.
“We are here” I say when she opens her beautiful eyes.
Before she can jump down. I take her into my arms and carry her in. As soon as the nurses notice us, they drag a wheel chair towards her.
“Don’t worry sir, we’ll take care of her and call you immediately we have news” they assure me when I refuse to let her go.
Sighing, I slowly put her down on the chair.
“Please call my parents” she tells me before they wheel her away.
The moment she’s out of sight, I do exactly that. I don’t say a lot. Just demand that they come to
I then call my parents to check up on Noah. The moment I got the call from Ronny, I asked them to pick him up. Once I make sure that he’s safe I head towards the waiting room where I find Gabe,
Travis and Kate.
“Any news?” I ask sitting down.
“Not yet” Travis answers.
“How’s Ava doing? Where is she?” Kate asks with worry.
“They took her in for checkup just to make sure everything is fine” I tell them
We then stay in silence after that. Being here reminds me of everything that happened after James died. It reminded me of how I was overcome with emotion after seeing Emma again after
Everything had been so surreal. In that moment, I had gone back in time. Back to the time when she meant the world to me. I had been so lost in memory that I hadn’t noticed Ava leaving.
Being here also reminded me of when Ava got shot. She had been standing right next to me, yet I had dived for Emma instead. Ava became different after that event. It’s like the Ava we knew had died and a new one had been born. I’ll never forget how cold she was.
I couldn’t blame her, though. I would have done the same thing if the roles had been reversed. I bet that was her wake–up call. It took seeing me rush to save Emma for her to see that I wasn’t
worth her time, effort, or affection.
I stand up and begin pacing.
Somehow along the way, my feelings changed. Now she wanted nothing to do with me. Everything I did in the past, thinking it was justified, now stands in the way. It made everything I did suspicious in her eyes. It fucked up every effort I made, and it made sure that she’ll never trust
I can’t deny it anymore. I fucking want her. With every past action, though, I don’t think she’ll
want anything to do with me. No one has to tell me that the love I used to see shine in her eyes is no longer there. Right now, she only tolerates me for the sake of Noah.
“Mr. Woods” I’m snapped out of my thoughts when my name is called.
I look up to find the nurse from earlier staring at me.
“How is she?” I am desperate for answers.
“She’s okay and so is the baby… we just need to keep her for a few hours since she was dehydrated
when she arrived”
I hear a gasp from behind me. Damn it! Kate didn’t know about Ava’s pregnancy, but it was now
confirmed. Ignoring her, I focus on the nuanbeding
“Can I see her?”
She nods her head and gestures for me to follow. We get to a room and she opens the door, letting me in. Once I’m in, she leaves, closing it behind her.
Ava was attached to an IV stand. Her wrists were bandaged, her body was covered from the waist down, and the cut on her lip was stitched.
“How’s Emma?” is the first thing she asks me.
Damn the woman for being a real fucking angel.
“We haven’t heard anything from the doctors, but I’m sure she’s fine.” I take the seat next to her bed, fighting the urge to take her hand in mine.
“I’m so sorry” she begins, her eyes filling with tears. “I didn’t mean for her to get hurt. I just wanted to escape. If I knew that she’d get shot, I would have asked her to stay back”
The urge I was fighting against wins, and I take her small hands in mine.
“Why would you want to escape?” I ask.
The question has been bugging me since I found her. Didn’t she trust that I would come for her? That I would never let anyone hurt her? @
She looks at me like I’m crazy. “Why would I want to stay? The moment Ronny gave you the ultimatum, I knew I didn’t stand a chance. Your first choice will always be Emma, and I knew if I stayed, I would end up dead, so I decided to escape. It was the only way to make sure my baby and
I didn’t say anything at first. If I thought seeing her hurt broke me, then I was a damn fool because her words fucking shattered me to pieces, but how can I blame her for believing that?
I pounded in the fact that Emma was my world. That she was everything to me. Didn’t I jump to save her during that shootout a few months ago? I nailed it to her that Emma meant everything to me while she meant nothing. It was probably tattooed on her fucking mind, heart, and soul. How then can I be hurt and mad that she believed I would pick Emma over her?
The ache inside me was hard to contain, and I found myself gripping her hand tight.
“Rowan?” she calls in concern, trying to get her hand out of mine.
I loosen my grip, but I don’t let her hand go. Right now, she was my anchor as I fought against falling into the hole that I had dug with my bare hands.
“I was coming for you, Ava. You were my choice from the moment Ronny gave that ultimatum.” I release the breath that was stuck in my lungs. “I know it makes me look like a bastard, but I would have gladly let Emma die if it meant saving you” 5
She stares at me in shock, but I meant every word. There wasn’t a choice to be made because I knew in my heart that she’s been my number one choice for some time now. She owned me even
though she didn’t know it yet.