Confessions (New Beginnings #4)

By: Michelle Lynn

A New Beginnings novel



Acknowledgments

This book came together rather quickly, in part because it truly is a labor of love. That might sound cliché, but it doesn’t make it any less true. I love my readers. Those of you who have spent your money and your time with the characters that feel like family to me. I only hope they feel as real to you. I wrote Confessions for the singular purpose of giving something back to you.

Self-publishing has been a wild ride that I wouldn’t change for a second and you all have allowed me to enjoy it. Both the Dawn of Rebellion series and the New beginnings series have now been picked up by a publisher and I couldn’t have done it without you. So, this is my thank you. I hope you enjoy your free novella about Mack and Abigail, two characters who began their journeys in Dreams.

As always, I owe so very much to my family. They support my writing, help me deal with long-term health issues, and feed my hockey obsession.

My beta readers – Kayla, Kimberly, Michelle, Bethany, Linda, and Beth – keep me honest and tell me when my story isn’t cutting it.

Patrick, my editor, balances out my comma deficiencies.

Cover genius Rachel continues to bring my stories to life.

And the Blue Jackets. You might think it’s odd that I thank a sports team. I am only one of many many fans, but you don’t have to play a sport to learn a lot from it. Sports teach us that the little guy can win – that underdogs are exciting. Anything can happen on any given night and that’s amazing. Inspiration comes from many places. I tend to believe it comes from all places.





One

Rumors usually contain a kernel of truth. Multiple sources are telling us that General Manager John Simms is dangling star center-man Grant Mackenzie, waiting to see if anyone bites.

“We’re exploring all avenues,” he told the dispatch.

Next Monday is the final day trades can be made before the playoffs, and no one would be surprised to see the rumor-plagued Mack take the ice for a different team this spring.

###



The trade deadline has passed much more quietly than anyone anticipated. The question that remains in many of our minds is: what does this mean for Grant Mackenzie’s future with the Columbus Blue Jackets? Was the asking price too high, or is it his reputation that’s keeping teams away? How willing was Simms to part with arguably the best player on the team? Have his troubles been overblown?

Since his years playing junior hockey, Mackenzie had been tagged with the label “lazy”. True or not, it isn’t something easily shaken. Along the way, coaches and scouts have said he has the God-given talent to become one of the best in the world, but none of the drive. In his draft year, he fell from fifth overall to seventeenth largely for this reason.

And now he’s been called “troubled” on top of that. His partying was frowned on, but allowed as long as he continued to put up points. It reached a tipping point when he was involved in an altercation at the Blue Jackets charity ball, the other man involved accusing Mack of being on drugs. An allegation like that cannot just be swept under the rug.

Mack is a pending free agent this summer, but all contract talks have been stalled until after the playoffs. We’ll be keeping you up to date on all new developments.

###



“Game six? No problem,” Mackenzie says.

Leading the Jackets to an impressive rout of the Washington Capitals in game six of the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Grant Mackenzie played like a man possessed. He lifted the team on his shoulders after dropping games four and five. The Jackets will move on to play the New York Islanders. If they expect to get past the Islanders, Mack will need more support from the rest of his team.

Maybe all Grant Mackenzie needed was a rumor or two to light a fire under him. He’s playing as if he’s determined to prove everyone wrong.

###



A bead of sweat ran down the strand of hair that clung to the grooves of a scrunched forehead. Concentration. Exhaustion. Will. That was the only thing that kept them going in game seven. A will to win. A will to get that much closer to that shining silver prize. A will to just not topple over, legs collapsing to the ice. Legs that were now ten minutes into the second overtime.

That bead of sweat arched over a brow before inching down a chiseled cheek, reddened by exertion. When it crossed the strong jaw, it hung briefly on his lips before Grant Mackenzie blew out a long breath. The small pearl sailed towards the ice, making a small splash that no one heard. It was one of the many clues that proved a battle took place in that building on that night.

The red light signaling a commercial break blinked off, and Mack bent over the face-off circle. He looked up briefly to give a slight nod to his line-mate, Carter, on his left, and then focused.

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