Archive | February 2013

Sample Sunday~Transitions

Meet the main cast of, In Search of A Healing Place.  Introducing Ms. Farryn Grant!

Cherise

vanessa

 Jonathan

jonathan3

  Diamond

mikaela2

Tyrone

Tyrone      Farryn Grant Rochelle-Aytes as Farryn Grant

Tyrone’s training class ended by three that afternoon. He decided to make an impromptu visit to the office to meet his mail crew reports. As he stepped within the main office, he saw that it was empty. No doubt, the crew were out making deliveries. He looked over at the huge desk in the corner and pivoted sharply. He stepped out into the hallway. Slowly perusing the corridor, he noticed a room next door. Trying the door knob, he found it unlocked and pushed it open. He found an old supply room. Most of the things had been transferred to another location.  Tyrone envisioned it  becoming his office.  Impulsively, he pulled out his cellphone and dialed Farryn’s telephone number.

“Hi. Do you have a minute to meet me near the mailing depot?” He asked her. “ Okay, I’ll see you in a bit.” He disconnected and was glad that she was professional with no hint of the drama from the night before. It was refreshing because he hadn’t felt like addressing that in the moment. Five minutes later, he could hear her walking toward him. He took a deep breath and turned toward her.  She was stunning.  It was almost as if he’d forgotten how attractive she was. Today, she was dressed in a tan suit with a silk scarf tucked into the top of her jacket. Her skirt hit her legs mid-calf, and in a glance his gaze swept from her chignon coiffed hair style to her nude sling back shoes. Her legs looked as if she had no stockings on, but when she drew closer, he could make out the faint tint of the hosiery.

“Good afternoon Tyrone. What can I do for you?”

Okay, you may not want to ask me that, he thought. “I noticed that this room beside the depot is empty. I’d like to make this my office. How soon can we make this happen?”

He watched, as she appeared pensive. She had folded one arm across her body, resting the other arm on its wrist. The berry colored index nail tapped against her cheek, as she seemed to make a decision. Then she raised her eyes to lock with his. “Give me a couple of days. By the time you complete your training, it should be a decent office.”

He could not help but to feel a bit shocked. He had expected some resistance. He took a relieved breath and smiled. “Great. I came to meet my team, but they are out, naturally. However, there are some things I have noticed.” He said as he walked into the mail area. I think this room can be remodeled to make the process a bit more streamlined. Nothing seems to have been changed since I worked here years ago and I know some of these department heads are no longer here,” he said pointing to some of the open nooks made for the mail. “I don’t even believe these departments,” he said directing her attention to the bottom left, “are even current. Haven’t some of these departments merged?” He asked as he turned to await her response.

“I wasn’t aware of this. That is great. Draw up your plans for what you envision and I will see what can be done.”

“Wonderful. Now are you available to give me a cooking lesson this evening?”

His last question drew her up short. She looked at him, taking in his casual grin, a smirk that seemed too self-assured to her.

“Unfortunately, I don’t have the time for that.” She said as she pivoted and walked toward the door.

“That’s not what you said last night.” With his hands tucked into his pockets, he strolled toward her. He watched as she stopped in her tracks.

She turned toward him, her hands on her hips, eyes blazing, “Yeah well that was before you dropped some of your emotional baggage on my feet.”

He continued walking until he was just before her. He could feel her breath against him and he tucked his head until his lips were just beside her ear, where he whispered. “What if I say I’m sorry about that?” He could feel how much she wanted to bolt, but he admired how she stood her ground. He watched curly wisps of hair move as his breath blew against her cheek.

She felt her insides in tumult. Her nerves were on edge and her private space felt incredibly violated, but she knew she couldn’t step back. She could not let him have this power win, despite how crazy his cologne was making her. His curly hair was close enough that she only had to reach up to run her fingers through them. But what was the hardest was not to give into the insane impulse to just lean into his shoulder. She didn’t have a doubt that he would simply put those muscular arms of his around her. She didn’t even remember the last time she’d been held—by anyone. Taking a steadying breath, she drew the conclusion that it had to be temporary insanity that had her feeling so affected by this man that she had only met the morning before.

“So how does seven sound to you?” He now murmured against her hair.

“It sounds insane!” She murmured back, before turning abruptly and walking away.

“See you at six-thirty then!” he said laughing while he enjoyed the sway of her hips retreating from him.
~*~
Jonathan walked into the home. His first impulse was to yell out that he was home. Then his second thought was to simply ease into his study and collect his thoughts. He did not know why he felt bad about not coming home earlier in the day. He had done nothing wrong and yet it felt as if he had done something wrong—keeping it from her. Maybe it was not understanding of why, that left him so unsettled. Therefore, he found himself easing into the room, shutting the door behind him. They had been completely open with each other ever since they had been together. Now he was starting to feel as if he could not be his whole self anymore, at least not with her. He did not know where he fit in her world. He suddenly had inherited this new life and he wasn’t exactly sure what to do with it. How did one act as a husband? Not just a husband, but a husband to Cherise? He had been a boyfriend, a lover, and for her, he’d wanted to be her prince–the one that swept her off her feet. He had loved being what felt like her everything and now all of that seemed to have changed and through an event that was supposed to be a momentous one. He wondered if he would feel differently if she carried his child, had his child. He wondered if he was making a big deal over nothing by insisting on carrying this resentment of his brother.

He laid his head on his desk and was surprised to feel errant tears sliding down his hand and beneath his face. He had lived his whole life it seemed taking care of his brother and Tyrone had screwed up so much in defiance. Loyally he had cleaned up each mess. However, this mess was something intangible. This mess screwed with his wife’s head and was manifested in the face of their beautiful daughter while it created a constraint on the way he loved his wife and in the way he made love with his wife. He was so afraid of breaking her in some way that it seemed easier not to touch her at all. He did not know how to fix this and he felt that it was only the beginning of something changing between them forever. He resented that as well. Maybe it could work itself out on its own in time. He sat up and laid his head upon steepled fingers. Time–that was all that they needed. With resumed zeal, he leaned down and pulled out the contracts he had been carrying since that morning. This situation would work. He would make sure. Because no matter what he could not be another person to give up on his wife.

Advertisements

Sample Sunday: Why So Touchy?

SHP

 

Setting: The eve of Tyrone’s first day out.

She gave him a short course in meal practicality and economics.  “We don’t have time or energy to take a lot of time on this tonight.  But these things should hold you a few days.”  She said as she placed ingredients in the upper cart for spaghetti, a few steaks, side dishes, and bread along with breakfast foods.  A few minutes later they were standing in line.  “This is the thing that will try your patience the most.”  She confided while looking up at him.

“I think the entire process will require a lot of patience. I have never had to shop for such things in my life!”  he exclaimed before locking his jaw tight while furrowing his eyebrows.

“You’ll get used to it.  Admittedly, this is the worse time of the day to come here.  Early morning is better.  Next time you will have made a list and once you get more familiar with the store, you will be able to navigate to the parts of the store you need more capably.”  She began to place the numerous items on the conveyor belt as they moved toward the cashier.

“And I don’t know who is going to cook that food you have in that cart!”  He complained as he helped her to empty the cart.

“Well if I have time I will show you how.”  She surprised herself when those words fell from her lips.  She ignored his shocked expression as she took the money from him to pay the cashier before adding the bagged items back to the cart.

“Wow! I can’t believe you have that kind of time.”  Tyrone finally replied as they moved toward the exit doors of the store.

“I really don’t.  I will be making time.” She grumbled as they walked out into the night, already regretting her lack of restraint. What was I thinking volunteering for such things? Then she said aloud, “Besides, what we picked up is not all that difficult.  I’m not exactly a great cook myself.  But you will soon find Tyrone that when forced to, you will learn how to make do.”

Make do? Tyrone frowned at the expression.   “I have never heard such an expression as I have never had to make do in my entire life.”

“Well that’s a given.”  Farryn said as she hit the key fob and opened the trunk of the car.  “But you will become very familiar with the expression.  Trust me on that.  And I suggest you learn as quickly as you can or you my friend will be homeless. You no longer have your dad’s money to fall back on any more Tyrone.  Now you will be living on purely the numbers on that check that you will receive bi-weekly. You’re about to learn how the majority of people live every day. The cart corral is over there,” she instructed, just before she slid into the car.

After seeing that Farryn had gotten behind the steering wheel, he slid into passenger side of the car.  Before she could shift gears, he placed his hand on hers. “Wait, let me tell you something.”

She looked at him, waiting as he swallowed a couple of times as if he trying to find the words to convey.

He finally looked over at her and spoke in a curiously rough tone, “I haven’t lived my old life in quite a while.  I know I have showed a lot of shock and stress today.  But, it’s just because the entire time I was in jail I dreamed of resuming my old life.  Coming out of jail and on my first day learning that nothing of my old life is left is —well it’s going to be an adjustment.  I guess it was foolish of me to think that would be possible. Still, while it will be hard, the one thing that I know deep down inside is that I can do this, no matter what anyone else thinks.”

Farryn digested what he said and decided not to respond while she put the car in reverse gear and drove back to his apartment.  She was surprised at the conviction of his words.  They left her speechless and she couldn’t help but feel a bit of admiration for him, the last thing she ever thought would be possible.

After she parked, they each grabbed the bags and walked to his apartment.  With the door open they were able to use the porch light to plug up one of the lamps and after screwing in a light bulb, his front area was filled with light.  He then reached to take the other bags from Farryn’s hands.  “Thanks for your help today, Farryn.  You went way beyond what you had to and I appreciate it.  I will be sure to let my father know, so you can be compensated.”

“That’s not at all necessary.  Besides, I am already very well compensated for my job.  At the present, I actually make more than you do.”  She chuckled and then laughed harder at the shock resonating across his face.

“Wow! What a way to crush a man’s ego Farryn!  Do you have any mercy at all?”

“Oh yeah, that’s why I’m here helping you instead of cozy in my bed at home.”  She grabbed the bags of food and walked into his kitchen and began to put away his groceries.  She stood in the door of his refrigerator shaking her head.

“What? What’s wrong?”  He asked as he walked in the kitchen to stand beside her.

“What we just picked up doesn’t make a dent.  That’s another thing about living like the rest of us Mr. Wheeler.  You will soon see how much money goes on such little food.” She then pivoted away from him and walked toward the front room and grabbed the bathroom things and headed there.

By the time he joined her, she had placed most of the plastic rings on the shower curtain.  “Later, you will definitely want to replace this shower curtain set.  It was inexpensive and it looks it.”   She handed him the other corner of the curtain and they both attached it to the shower rod.  By the time she lay down the rugs and placed a complimentary soap dispenser and matching soap dish on the sink counter, she had to admit it didn’t look too bad.

She turned and looked at Tyrone and saw him actually smile.  “I like it!” he said turning to her, surprised at the transformation such a few things could make as well as how proud he felt at helping in the process.

“Good, I’m glad to see your day is going to end well.”  It made her feel good herself to know she was leaving him in a much better state of mind than earlier that evening. She left the small room to return to the front of the apartment where she reached for her purse to get her cell phone out and called a taxi.

Tyrone walked into the room a few minutes later.  Hearing her give the address to the dispatcher, he frowned. “I could have taken you home Farryn.  Or are you afraid of letting an ex-con know where you live?”

Farryn squinted her eyes as they shot daggers at him.  “Really Tyrone? After everything we’ve just done, you want to come at me with that? You need to get your feelings in check.  Don’t project your insecurities onto me!”  She picked up her purse and walked toward the door.  Then turned back to face him, “I am your go-to person with regard to your job and your budget choices, but I do not have time to hold your hand through your emotional issues.  I suggest you contact a psychiatrist for that!”  Then she left.

He’d messed up and he knew it.  He turned and hit his fist into the wall behind him, then looked down at it as he shook out the pain emanating from his knuckles. He turned and walked into the kitchen and ran his hand under cold water.  She was right, he did need a psychiatrist and tomorrow he intended to make an appointment with the person he’d been referred.  He leaned over the counter and buried his face in his hands as he felt the tears burning his eyes. He hated to admit it, but Farryn had been right, he was still very much a mess.

Release day for Tyrone Wheeler Isn’t What He Expects!

 SHP   Excerpt from:  In Search Of A Healing Place:

Thirty minutes later, Tyrone was blinking in the rays of the blinding sun.  He stood out in front of the facility that had been his home and wondered why he felt the slight impulse to turn around and walk back in.

A black limo pulled up and he walked slowly toward it, his heart thumped loudly and he didn’t recognize what his fear was until the driver rounded the vehicle and opened the door.  He had hoped that perhaps his dad would have made the trip to welcome him home. More than anything he’d wished that his twin Jonathan would be exiting and walking toward him with his arms open, inviting him into the hugs they’d shared over the years–affection he’d come to realize he’d taken for granted, especially now that the relationship between them was now broken.

Just as he closed the distance, a shapely sheer black hosed leg was momentarily suspended mid-air, before its black leather shoe encased foot touched ground joined by its match shortly after.  He let his gaze travel up each part of the voluptuous body as it became visible, until he’d taken in the complete figure that filled out a navy linen  suit, only to rest on her valentine shaped toffee complexioned face, made more pronounced by the short tapered curly hair that fell full over her forehead.   Before he could speak, she was walking or more like gliding toward him, her hand extended.  “Hello Mr. Wheeler, I’m Farryn Grant.  I’m your father’s personal assistant. I’ve been assigned to helping you with your transitions.”

Tyrone stood back and remained silent as he took it all in.  It was simply a feast to see a beautiful woman again after being locked up and the energy that she evoked was completely invigorating.  He grasped her small hand within his own, “Please call me Ty or Tyrone if you insist.  Mr. Wheeler is my father or my brother depending on his preference.  I am simply Ty and it’s nice to meet you Farryn.”  He let his gaze lock on to her grayish-brown eyes.  Such an unusual color, he thought. He’d never seen eyes like hers and wondered if they were natural or contacts.

She quickly pulled her hand back and gestured toward the car.  “Well we have a busy morning ahead of us.  I’m sure you want to get as far away from here as quickly as possible.”

Tyrone simply gestured, “After you.”

Farryn turned toward the car and felt an intense sense of self-consciousness as she walked away from him.  It irritated her.  She wasn’t one of those withering blooms.  She didn’t play coy.  She’d seen her brothers play enough game to never be victim to one.  She’d learned to stand her ground a long time ago.  She knew she looked good because she worked hard at maintaining her shape.  And ever since puberty her brother’s friends had been sending subtle looks her way.  It had only made her aware of her power over men, which is why she was kicking herself now–like it should matter to her how some ex-con should feel about how she looked! She eased across the seat of the limo, trying to get as close to the other door as possible while she chided herself.  Get it together!  Focus on your job! But that was easier said than done when Tyrone slid into the car, all 6’3 of him.  His broad shoulders just missed touching her and yet it was like she could feel him just the same.  She reached into her portfolio to pull out the itinerary set up for them that day.

Tyrone was totally enjoying the Farryn’s scent that had enveloped the compartment.  When was the last time he’d smelled the scent of woman?  He decidedly crossed his legs to change that track of thought.  So this woman was the acting CEO.  Hmm, it made him wonder what his brother was doing.  It was on the tip of his tongue to ask her, but he could sense her discomfort. He guessed he would have to get used to that effect from people now that he had done some time.

Still, it was like a kick in the gut, to have been a man who was used to women salivating all over him.  All it took was a look and they were literally throwing their panties at him.  Then he suddenly sobered, And look where that got you? Gratefully, he was saved from his own condemning thoughts.

“So here is what we’ll be doing today.”  She said once again feeling back in control.

He reached for the paper, if for nothing other than to have a distraction from round of her hip, that just missed grazing his side and the scent emanating from her that made him want to pull her into his lap and get rid of that perpetual pout that seemed her constant since he’d met her a mere ten minutes ago. Shaking his head from those impulses, he just wanted her to drop him off at the hotel his father had no doubt reserved for him and then for her tell him what building his office was located.  He didn’t mind an entry-level manager position.  His father had spoken often about him taking his rightful place in the company and now that it was obvious that Jonathan had stepped down, he guessed Farryn was just acting until he got up to par.  He could live with that, he thought as he slid down to get more comfortable.  He wanted to knock on the partition and ask the driver to put some hip-hop on—anything to break the heavy silence that had settled between them.

“We’ll do a quick run by the apartment your father has arranged for you to stay.”

“Apartment?  My father got me an apartment? Okay that’s cool.”

“Yeah, he wasn’t sure if you would like it.  So he paid up to the first three months.  After that he expects you to resume the payment.  You should begin examining that little packet that I have given you.”

“Doesn’t matter.”  Tyrone responded nonchalantly.  He could see what his father was doing.  This was probably supposed to be a little test to make him sweat a little.  Well, he could handle it. After a year and a half in jail, he could handle anything.

“That’s a good attitude Mr. Wheeler.”

Tyrone turned his body toward her.  “I am going to say this one last time.  You can call me Tyrone, you can call me Ty.  You can call me nearly anything except Mr. Wheeler. That title is already taken.  Now I know you are an intelligent woman.  If you weren’t, my father wouldn’t have given you your job.  Please let’s not have to have this conversation again, Ms. Grant.”

Farryn felt like she was suffocating.  He was already a big man and now with the slight change in how he was sitting made it feel as if he was dwarfing her.

She turned away to block him out and now focused her attention on the landscape slipping past the window.  “Point taken,” she said dryly.

The limo pulled up to a two-story brick building.  Tyrone tried not to notice the neighborhood.  If it was all a part of an elaborate joke, what did it matter?  He followed Farryn into the dim hallway.  The smell of new carpeting and fresh pain still clung to the air.  “This neighborhood is part of a redevelopment project.  This building is among the first to be remodeled, she said as they climbed the steps to the second floor.

“Couldn’t they have added an elevator?”  He asked as they walked toward the apartment at the end of the hallway.

“Are you trying to tell me that you would actually stand there and wait on the elevator?  I find that hard to believe.  You’re much too impatient for that.”  She said shaking her head.

He smiled down at her as she stuck the keys into the lock.  “Oh so you think you know me huh?”  He teased.

She glanced to the side in time to catch the mocking gleam in his eyes.
“All I had to do was study your profile.”

Words Are Powerful!

lifting a friend  Your sibling or childhood friend has said something you didn’t like.  And in the way that children do to solve a problem like this, you put your fingers in your ears and respond, “La la la–I can’t hear you! I’m not listening!” Or perhaps you repeated the mantra, “Sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but words can never hurt me!”

But that’s not exactly true is it? Words are powerful, regardless of whether heard or read. Words can ease and heal the deepest recesses within your soul. Words can be a balm to a beat up spirit. Words can motivate, inspire you and words can crush you. Words can deflate the most confident person–at least for a time.

Words can transport you to places beyond your imagination. They can make you fly and they can land you into the arms of a lover. Words are powerful! So my challenge to everyone today is use your words wisely. Take the time out to lift up the person bowed over. Let your words hug someone. It only takes a second or two, but the effects can be long lasting!

In Search Of A Healing Place

SHPIn a few minutes he’d be leaving his prison cell to face the world as the new man he’d been working on becoming.  Why did Tyrone wonder if he wouldn’t once again disappoint himself along with everyone else?

An Excerpt from my upcoming book, In Search Of A Healing Place~Tyrone Wheeler’s story:

Tyrone looked around the dingy gray walls of the small space he’d called home for a little over a year now.  He was quickly discarding the few things he’d taped to his wall that he had allowed him to pretend it was a home.  The only thing he kept was the pictures of his daughter Diamond.  The daughter he’d never seen in person but who had remained his single most inspiration to hold on each day.  He’d lived for the letters from his mother that would update him on the antics of his daughter.

Occasionally, he would receive an inspirational note from Cherise–short notes, with scriptures that helped as well.  But it wasn’t from Cherise or his twin brother Jonathan, that he would get any information about Diamond.

He understood.  Jonathan was raising Diamond as his own daughter.  And Cherise probably preferred not to remember how Diamond had been conceived.  H wished he hadn’t been the catalyst in that endeavor, at least the way that it played out.  But after seeing his beautiful daughter, he couldn’t feel any regret in the fact that she was here.  He’d had a little over a year to accept the fact that, that one act had cost him the woman of his dreams and the privilege of his daughter calling him dad.  He’d be fortunate to be relegated to the position of uncle and that only by the grace of God and the Christian charity of his sister in law.

Because of her, his sentence for kidnapping had been knocked down to assault.  Because she’d never pressed charges on the rape it had made the difference between time in jail serving out the sentence of a misdemeanor as opposed to time in a federal penitentiary, doing much more time for the felony of rape.  Acquaintance rape, as his counselor had explained, that he’d forced on her. While he had been imprisoned, he’d taken advantage of the mental health program made available to him.  Through his regular counseling sessions, he’d learned a lot about himself and had been taught how to recognize what had become a regular, negative voice in his head. He’d started to realize the impulses that made him want to fly against standard mores and being inside had cut him off from his tendency to imbibe substances in what he now knew was an attempt to self-medicate.

All of these revelations made him come to view his imprisonment as a blessing.  But that had not been the way he’d viewed it upon arriving, going through his first search, shower and then uniform issuance had scared him in ways he hadn’t imagined.  He’d thought he was a tough guy up to that moment in his life where he faced the real deal of what his life imprisoned was going to be like and it was far different from the life of privilege and entitlement that he’d led up until then. Something inside him flipped the moment his prison door shut in his face.  He’d turned around and looked at the cell that was smaller than the part of his closet that held his shoes and he’d wanted to begin screaming against the door for somebody to get his father down there immediately.

And if he’d really thought that would happen and actually help his situation he would have.  But since he knew it wouldn’t, he had to pull up all the man within him not to punk out like that.  Now he was minutes away from freedom and he wondered if he was all of the new person that he thought he’d become.  He shook his head to quiet the negative voice.  Focus.  One step at a time. He chided himself as he took slow breaths.  He looked up just as Harold, his escorting officer walked up to his cell door.  “Time to start your life again Ty,” he said as he raised his palm to high five him. “Yeah man! It’s about that time.”  Tyrone said as they fell in step while walking toward the male booking area.

“Sometimes guys leave here and as I am walking them downstairs, I’ve already working out in my head how long it might be before they return.  I don’t think that way about you,” he said as they approached the booking office where he would complete his discharge process.  “I think  you’re going to make it man.  I hope that I’m not wrong about you.”

The kind older man’s words meant a lot to Tyrone.  He’d had many conversations with the portly gray haired man in the months that he’d been there.  When he’d first arrived, despite his remorse, he’d toggled between extreme anger and overwhelming sadness.  A couple of times, he’d been on suicide watch.  As Harold had walked him to and from some destination, he’d always kept a hopeful tone in his words.  “Hang in there young man,” “You’re going to make it,” and the one that gave him the most hope, “We’ve all fallen a bit, the trick is getting back up.”  To a man barely holding on, those words had meant the difference between him wanting to see another day especially when Tyrone had felt as if he’d lost everything.

So before he turned to walk away from Harold, he felt the impulse to actually pull him into a tight hug.  But instead, he looked him in the eye and said, “Thanks man!” Harold paused a moment and then merely nodded hoping to convey all the best wishes in the gaze between them.  Then he turned away and headed back toward the unit they’d left.

Thirty minutes late, Tyrone was blinking in the rays of the blinding sun.  He stood out in front of the facility that had been his home and wondered why he felt the slight impulse to turn around and walk back in.

A black limo pulled up and he walked slowly toward it, his heart thumped loudly and he didn’t recognize what his fear was until the driver rounded the vehicle and opened the door.  He had hoped that perhaps his dad would have made the trip to welcome him home. More than anything he’d wished that his twin Jonathan would be exiting and walking toward him with his arms open inviting him into the hugs they’d shared over the years.   Affection he’d come to realize he’d taken for granted, especially now that he’d broken his relationship with his brother.

Just as he closed the distance, a shapely  black sheer hosed leg was momentarily suspended mid-air before its black leather shoe encased foot touched ground, joined by its mate shortly after.

If you would like to be notified of this book’s release, email me @ nikeezpennednotes@yahoo.com or inbox me here.

Excerpts from, In Search Of A Healing Place

SHP

Tyrone looked around the dingy gray walls of the small space he’d called home for a little over a year now.  He was     quickly discarding the few things he’d taped to his wall that had allowed him to pretend it was a home.  The only thing he kept were the pictures of his daughter Diamond.  The daughter he’d never seen in person but who had remained his single most inspiration to hold on each day.  He’d lived for the letters from his mother that would update him on the antics of his daughter.  Occasionally, he would receive an inspirational note from Cherise.  A short note with scriptures that helped as well.  But it wasn’t from Cherise nor his twin brother Jonathan, that he would get any information about Diamond.

He understood.  Jonathan was raising Diamond as his own daughter and his sister ‘n’ law Cherise probably preferred not to remember how Diamond had been conceived.  He himself wish he hadn’t been the catalyst in that endeavor, at least the way that it played out.  But after seeing his beautiful daughter, he couldn’t feel any regret in the fact that she was here.  He’d had a little over a year to accept the fact that, that one act had cost him the woman of his dreams and the privilege of his daughter calling him dad.  He’d be fortunate to be relegated to the position of uncle and that only by the grace of God and the Christian charity of his sister in law.

Because of her, his sentence for kidnapping had been knocked down to assault and she’d never pressed charges on the rape–acquaintance rape, as his counselor had explained, that he’d forced on her. While he had been imprisoned, he’d taken advantage of the mental health programs made available to him.  Through his regular counseling sessions, he’d learned a lot about himself and had been taught how to recognize what had become a regular, negative voice in his head. He’d started to realize the impulses that made him want to fly against standard mores and being inside had cut him off from his tendency to imbibe substances in what he now knew was an attempt to self-medicate, which had also contributed to his impulsive behavior patterns.

All of these revelations made him come to view his imprisonment as a blessing.  But that had not been the way he’d viewed it upon arriving . Going through his first search, shower and then uniform issuance had scared him in ways he hadn’t imagined  He’d thought he was a tough guy up to that moment in his life where he faced the real deal of what his life imprisoned was going to be like and it was far different from the life of privilege and entitlement that he’d led up until then.

~*~

Freebies! To Find A Love Like Ours 3/2 & Love Through The Fire 3/2

 To Find A Love Like Ours

Excerpt from To Find A Love Like Ours

Setting:  Walking back to the hotel after dinner between Desire and her boss Phillip at the end of a business seminar.

They alternated between eating and conversing at a very relaxed pace.  Desire forgot to be intimidated and began to enjoy his company for the first time just seeing him just as a person.  After an hour or so they headed back to the hotel.  Impulsively, Philip leaned down and picked up some snow.  “This snow is perfect for snowballs.”  He said patting it gently and consistently into a nice round ball.

Desire looked shrewdly at him.  She was trying to decide if she should just stand there or run because it was suddenly becoming apparent to her that people only made snowballs for one reason.

“P-Philip?”  Waiting for his response she couldn’t miss the mischievous glint in his eyes.  So ultimately that decided her action.  She took off.

He laughed in such a way that made her look over her shoulder and that was when she noticed him place the first ball in his coat pocket while reaching to make another.

She started backing away from him hoping to reason with him, all while taking no chances she began to form a few of her own.  “Look, I’ve never been good at this even as a child.  So why don’t we just agree to stop this before it begins.”

“But where would the fun be in that Desire?”  He teased.

She ineffectually threw her first snowball missing him by a mile and then she simply concentrated on getting back to the hotel before he could catch her.  What she didn’t know was that he ran track in college.  That bit of information might have at the least made her take off sooner.  In the end none of it mattered because as she was trying to get away her boots hit a small patch of ice landing her into a mound of fluffy snow.

She turned over just in time to see Philip standing over her, holding out his hand.  She didn’t know what came over her, but suddenly she knew this was probably her only opportunity to best him, so when she grasped his hand she used her upper body strength to topple him over.  When he ended up on his side, she quickly grabbed some snow and smashed it in his face.  Then she tried to get up to run before he could recover.  She had just made it vertical before she felt his fingers around her ankle and she felt as if she were falling in slow motion while watching the look of sheer satisfaction on his face. He snatched her against him before she hit the ground to soften her fall. After seeing she was okay he pressed his own handful of snow into her face. While she spluttered shaking the snow from her hair and wiping it from her face he bellowed with laughter.

“I do not think this is funny!”  She said trying to stand almost slipping in the course of it, which caused him to laugh all the more harder.

He stood up and tried to steady her.  “Sweetheart,” He couldn’t get the rest of the words out without bursting into more laughter.  “I’m sorry.  Are you okay?”  He finally managed.

She pushed against his chest.  “What do you care?” Then looking up at him, she couldn’t help from laughing herself. Once she straightened up she conceded and extended her hand to him.  “Well I guess you won fair and square.”

He stood and shook her hand before starting to remove some of the snow from her hair when their gazes locked.

The streetlight glowed behind her and the state of suspense that reflected in her face made him want to crush her against him so that he could slowly acquaint his lips with hers.  Instead, while peering down into her face he took hold of her coat collar and pulled it together.  “I guess we better get in.  The wind is picking up and I would feel so guilty if I was the cause of you developing pneumonia.”

Speechless, she just nodded before falling in step beside him.

****************************************

“Well that was fun!”  Philip said while standing against the door so that she could precede him into the suite.

“Rub it in!” she retorted.  As he helped her pull her coat off.  She was instantly aware of twice being close enough to feel his breath against her skin. She began to shiver and then quickly stepped away from him.

“I think I would like room service to bring a pot of hot chocolate up!  I don’t know what it is about snowy nights that makes me want to . . .” She broke off when her gaze connected with his.  She tried to decipher the expression on his face as he leaned nonchalantly against the wall watching her as she nervously tried not to react to him.

“Makes you want to?”  He queried softly.

“Um. . . makes me want to. . . um,” She was desperately trying to recall what she started to say as she continued to draw a blank she began to feel foolish. Then her thought came to mind, “Drink cups and cups of it.”  She finally finished before walking toward the phone. “Did you want something?  Um, coffee or dessert?”

“Sure.” He said his eyes smiling.

At his nod she completed the order. Seeking to escape she expressed the need to change into dry clothes before walking toward the corridor leading toward her bedroom.

________________________________________________

luv thru  front 

http://www.amazon.com/Through-Fire-The-Prequel-Tested-ebook/dp/B009467DB0/ref=pd_sim_kstore_6

An excerpt from Love Through The Fire

Setting:  Naya’s first meeting with Marcus since deciding to help him to recuperate from his climbing incident.

Marcus had just caught his breath from the tedious effort of having to lean on the walker to get anywhere.  He hated the tool with a passion, but without it he wouldn’t be able to stand very long without falling.  Sitting behind his desk, he knew this would be the last time he would be able to appear to come from any position of power.  Seeing Naya again was already complicated.  But to have to deal with her from the position of what seemed such weakness made it almost unthinkable. Still, he knew somewhere deep within that only Naya would be able to give him the motivation he needed to recuperate fully.

He thought simply having will power would have been enough to give him the stamina to workout.  But what he learned quickly was that pain was a huge motivator-or conqueror.  He found himself within the last few days giving up after only ten to fifteen minutes.  He had to accept that he hadn’t known how to treat this type of injury and lying in his bed had taken up the last few days with even little motivation to work.

He was a mess.  And now he only wondered how it would be working and being with Naya on a regular basis again.  Trey texted him they were on their way upstairs.  He sipped at his coffee and was somewhat surprised when he found himself wishing for something stronger.  It’s only Naya. He thought to himself.  But he knew it wasn’t Naya that he feared as much as the tumult of emotion seeing her might begin.  This was wound soon to be ripped open, the pain of which he wasn’t sure he was ready.  As heard voices draw near to him, he took a deep breath and actually said a silent prayer.  He knew he needed all the help he could get. Trey normally would have let Naya precede him into the room, but he sensed she would have wanted him to take the lead-to test out the waters as it were.  “Good morning Marcus.”

“Good morning Trey, Naya,” he said directing his attention toward her.  She looked different and yet the same in many ways.  No, he finally concluded she was actually more beautiful than the last time he’d seen her.; though he noted that her almond shaped brown eyes had always been expressive, fringed in thick lashes that added to their allure, now reflected a wariness.  Her smile accented by a small dimple once quick, though still warm was now a little hesitant. Her hair a little longer now, fringed her light complexioned face that had been warmed by the August sun and now reflected the charm of a self-assured woman as opposed to the skittish young lady he’d once been acquainted with.

Her scent wafted over toward him evoking an onslaught of emotion that he had not anticipated. He was assaulted by instant flashbacks of them embracing, in-depth kisses, and even simply holding hands.  He began to shake his head as if to empty his mind of those memories-it had been too many years and it was only going down a dead-end street that he’d refused his heart to go for her or anyone ever again.   It had to be the pain meds he concluded.

Naya walked toward Marcus and extended her hand.  “Good morning Marcus.”  She said while noting his hesitancy before enveloping her hand within his much larger one.  She pulled her hand back and before taking one of the leather chairs before his formidable desk, and wondered how a touch as simple as that could affect her so much. Why had she insisted on touching him?  She began to wonder if it had affected him.  If it had there had been no evidence.  He had remained cordial and every bit as intimidating as she remembered him.

“Well I guess we should get to what the arrangements should be-the schedule and so forth. . . “Trey continued as if moderating what he anticipated to be a storm.

“Thanks for escorting Naya Trey. We should be done in about thirty minutes, if you want to walk her to the guest villa.” Marcus said in his low rumbling voice.

Trey looked at him and then Naya before he stood hesitantly.  Naya nodded nearly imperceptibly. “Just ring me when you’re ready.”  Trey responded before walking out of the office.

Naya looked expectantly at Marcus trying not to show the surprise of Trey’s exclusion from the meeting.  She tried to calm her nerves.  He’d always had a very imposing way about him, a trait that he’d exploited in his career and later their marriage.

Naya was surprised to see that Marcus had kept the glass domed Tellurium clock that she’d bought him to celebrate his appointment as CEO to a company that he later bought.   It was the tick tock sound from it that consumed the silent void since Trey had exited the room.  She waited expectantly.

Marcus thought he was prepared for this moment but instead found his mind a muddle of thoughts.  Finally the words surfaced framing what he wanted to know the most. “Why did you come?”

Up to that moment Marcus had trained his eyes on the daily planner that lay open on his desk before him.  But now he raised a laser focused gaze evoking a sense of vulnerability on a level she thought she’d anticipated but somehow still was not prepared.  Why had she come?   The question was so big and encompassing –so much.  How did she begin to respond?

“I heard that you were injured and I knew I could help you.  So ultimately that’s why I am here Marcus-to help you adjust and heal while resuming as much of your physical mobility as possible.”  She waited before the blatant glare.  A rash of heat overcame her and Naya could feel moisture begin to accumulate on her forehead and her upper lip.  Marcus had always affected her this way, somehow she’d forgotten how much.

She’d forgotten how he’d only have to raise his voice half a decibel to begin her heart racing out of intimidation and fear-fear of displeasing him.  Memories like these suddenly came flooding back along with the accompanying emotions.  She’d always feel like a wilted flower beneath his looks of displeasure and be overcome with feelings of failure.  She remembered how she would prefer to defer to Marcus’ wealth of life experience.  It had been what had attracted her, the fact that he seemed to know and be able to handle anything.  She had always felt as if she was tripping through life, in many ways with no definite direction.  She had never aimed for much, mostly because anything she’d achieved had already been much more than she’d ever had growing up.  The simple things in life had always been enough for her.  But she’d never denied Marcus the pleasure of his achievements-she had learned at an early age she didn’t need many things to be happy.  It was that and demonstrative love that she’d been devoid of most of her life.

As feelings of ineptitude flooded her she realized another factor that would be added to the challenges ahead would include remaining connected to the acquired mental strength that molded her into the woman she’d become.  A strength that she now tapped into as she schooled her features to remain impassive and unaffected.  Treat him like a strange dog, she thought as she consciously made an effort to minimize her fear-a fear she knew he would exploit upon awareness.

“Well I appreciate your skills.  I’ve researched you and it seems you’ve built quite the reputation.  I feel confident that you can help me.  But I still am compelled to tell you that if you have taken this post for anything other than a professional reason you should leave now.”  He weighed his words while looking at her expectantly.

Naya said a silent prayer within. She continued to look at him.  She didn’t know how to feel about the last remarks he’d just hurled at her, but she knew that it came more from a position of fear than anything else. She found it ironic that they both sat in chairs of fear-but for different reasons.  Her’s from a great deal of pain and regret-his from a sense of powerlessness.

“I assure you Marcus that I am here purely in a professional manner.  But I can also assure you that my motivation does stem from the fact that we used to be friends . . .” She bit her tongue rather than say the “and more” that threatened to be voiced.  Neither of them needed to be reminded of that.

She instead added, “I also feel confident that if you work with me, we can make great strides in your recovery as well.  All I ask is for your cooperation and with teamwork we should accomplish a lot. Now, I brought along the plan that I have in mind,” she said as she pulled a thin packet out of a portfolio that sat on her lap.  She stood and placed it on the desk before Marcus.  “Take your time and go through that, it has the scheduled times I would like to meet.  If you want to make any changes in our meeting time, feel free to give me a call.  That being said, unless you have any further questions please feel free to give Trey a call to escort me to where I’ll be staying.  I know you’re a busy man, so I’ll wait outside.  Thank you for your time Marcus.”

Then taking a deep breath, she managed to walk out the office door pulling it close behind her.  Then she walked down the hallway to the leather settee and sat down aware that she was now trembling and drenched in sweat.  She knew that the navy of her pants suit is what concealed it.  She longed to get to her quarters and rinse off the sweat and drown out the voices that were screaming to her to run.  She looked up to see Trey walking toward her.  Concern burnished his face.  She made an effort to smile to reassure him but knew she’d only managed a lopsided grin that folded before it reached his eyes.  He pulled her up and into his arms.  She didn’t know how much she’d needed that shoulder until she was leaning it.

“Brutal huh?”

“Unequivocally.  But c’mon.  Let’s go.  I need to get settled and prepared for tomorrow.”