Being with Him

Being with Him

4.3 3
by Jessica Barksdale Inclan

They are here among us. . .
Far from home, gifted with special abilities, hunted for their powers. And they are desperate to find their other, the one who completes them. . .before it's too late. . .

Sometimes, Time Really Does Stand Still

Mila Adams has always known she was different. For as long as she can remember, she has had the ability to

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They are here among us. . .
Far from home, gifted with special abilities, hunted for their powers. And they are desperate to find their other, the one who completes them. . .before it's too late. . .

Sometimes, Time Really Does Stand Still

Mila Adams has always known she was different. For as long as she can remember, she has had the ability to shift time, and who would believe that? Certainly not the obnoxious blind dates her mother keeps foisting off on her. But Mila can't help feeling there's someone out there for her, a soul mate who might understand her unique ability. And when she looks into the dark eyes of financial whiz Garrick McClellan, she can't but feel her time has finally come.

Any man would lust after a beauty like Mila, but the moment Garrick touches her--feels her shifting time just as he can--he recognizes her as his partner in power. Their connection is immediate, passionate, raw, and beyond anything either has ever experienced. But who are they? What is this gift that joins them so intensely? Are there others like them? And why do they feel that time is running out?

Praise For The Novels Of Jessica Inclan

"A magical, mystical tale, one you won't soon forget." --Amanda Ashley on Reason to Believe

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In Inclán's sweet but sometimes silly trilogy opener, finding a soul mate is child's play compared to discovering that your perfect match is from another planet. San Francisco artist Mila Adams meets Garrick McClellan, a successful financier, on a disastrous blind date that turns providential. The pair are actually natives of Cygiria, 149 light years from Earth, who find they truly complete each other as "twins in thought and action," perfectly matched lovers whose alien powers enable them to communicate telepathically and move outside of time. After they discover they're orphans of a planet destroyed by Neballats, they soon link up with other displaced Cygirians on a mission to save the last of their kind. Inclán (Reason to Believe) injects a bit of an X-Filesfeel into the hilariously soft science and yummy romance as Mila and Garrick fight the "slippy-slidey" Neballats, but they lack the Scully/Mulder pizzazz. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

Kensington Publishing Corporation
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Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.72(d)

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Copyright © 2008 Jessica Inclán Barksdale
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4201-0112-6

Chapter One

Garrick McClellan stood at the end of the enormous museum gallery, holding a double scotch and wishing that he were at home. Or at work. Or at a bar. Or anywhere but this party. The room smelled like boiled shrimp, bad champagne, and acrylic paint, and he had been stuck listening to the perpetually giddy Meredith Stone talk about Aruba for going on fifteen minutes. Aruba this, Aruba that. Now and then as she spoke, she put one slim, tanned hand on his arm, and the very act made Garrick want to growl.

Get the hell off me, he thought, but, of course, Meredith didn't hear his thoughts. No one did, even though he heard theirs loud and clear, twenty-four-seven, turning them off just to save his sanity. And he knew, from experience, how important sanity was, how useful it was when trying to deal with others.

"The Mirabelle is simply the best resort there," Meredith said, smiling at Garrick as she did, her teeth so bleached he wondered if she'd mind if he put on his sunglasses to block the almost blue glare.

"We must go, then," said a woman to Meredith's right, a San Francisco socialite Garrick had been introduced to many times but whose name he always forgot. "The sun would do wonders for me this time of year."

"There's nowhere else this season," Meredith said, but her thoughts were not on Mirabelle, the warm aqua-colored water, the scuba diving, or the frothy pina coladas served up at the beachfront bar. No, not a thought there. Garrick could hear Meredith's sex channel loud and clear. Keeping her eyes averted, she was thinking about what she perceived as Garrick's enormous bulge in his tuxedo trousers.

God, she thought, talking about in-room Jacuzzis at the same time. Get me a room alone with him. At Mirabelle or the Holiday Inn Express on Harrison. I don't care.

Garrick pushed back his coat, smiling, wanting her to get an extra glimpse of his solid, strong, six-foot-two frame, but then, with a sigh, he let the jacket fall forward. It wasn't fair to take advantage. He'd made a pact with himself, but he smiled, knowing that it wasn't just Meredith who had admired him in that way. But he shouldn't be around her or any woman. Nothing good ever came of it. Nor would it ever.

"Maybe you should go back to Aruba soon," Garrick said, moving away from Meredith and her greedy hands. He winked, giving everyone, including Meredith, the notion that he was kidding. "If you took another trip next week, I know it would do me wonders. Ladies. Gentlemen."

He bowed slightly, pulled away from the group, and strode off. If it wasn't for the donation his company made to the museum's fund, he wouldn't be here at all. But he was the one person the museum requested. Garrick McClellan, top producer for the largest finance firm in the city, Calder Wilken Brodden, to present the five-million-dollar check to purchase additional future collections. He could see the headline in the Datebook section of the San Francisco Chronicle now. And as if to corroborate, he heard a sharp "Mr. McClellan."

Turning, he faced a man with a camera and then there was a click and a flash.

"Great. Thanks. Love the show," the photographer said, striding away to find another society victim.

Garrick put his drink glass down on a small table and pushed his blond hair back from his forehead. He leaned against a wall and shook his head. Some show. Modern art. This stuff looked like crap. Stripes and boxes and what looked like spills. Blobs of color. One painting was just blue. A blue box. Another piece was a shovel hung from the ceiling and a bucket. Both painted white. Garrick almost laughed when he listened to some woman say, "It's the negative space that makes this piece so arresting."

Arresting, Garrick thought. Someone should arrest the artist. Get the forty thousand dollars back they paid out, too.

He picked up his glass and downed the last of his scotch. He had to make nice, as he always did. He'd learned long ago that no one wanted someone different around to make a scene, to say something weird, to act "inappropriately." Who said what was true, who acted crazy, unless, of course, it meant that someone was an artist hanging shovels and painting buckets. But there wasn't space, negative or otherwise, for a person who didn't fit in.

"Garrick, love, come see the new collection with me," Meredith said, back at his side, her hand like a snake's head on his arm. She smiled up at him, and Garrick realized there wasn't anything really wrong with Meredith except for her preoccupation with money and travel and upward mobility. That and marrying a man she perceived could help her maintain all the above. She was pretty in a rich skinny tanning booth way, her hair long and dark, her eyes, while slightly flat in affect, wide and blue and pretty. "It was just unveiled last week."

Garrick sighed, started to walk with Meredith, when his phone vibrated in his coat pocket.

"I'll catch up with you," he said, and she winked at him this time, walking away slowly enough so that he could notice the flip of her skirt, the roundness of her ass, the intensely worked out curve of her calves.

Maybe, he thought as he took out his phone and clicked it on, she wouldn't be so bad for a night or two. And with his power, he could make the night last a long time. He and Meredith could have sex over and over for what would seem like days. Now, that would be better than a vacation in Aruba. Much, much better.

He looked down at the number flashing on his phone and almost put it back in his pocket. It was his aunt Linda calling for about the eighth time that day, the first seven calls he'd let slide into voice mail, never listening to any of them. What was worse was that he'd blown her off two weeks ago, calling at the last minute to avoid a Sunday brunch at her house, where he knew there would be at least one single woman.

But maybe talking to his aunt would keep him away from Meredith Stone, her round ass, and the emptiness that would follow any night with Meredith or any woman.

"Linda," Garrick said, turning to look at a painting composed of swirls and bell shapes and what looked like little fat angels. "How are you?"

"Don't Linda me. And where's the 'Aunt' part anyway?"

"Hi, Aunt Linda," Garrick said, feeling slightly silly at twenty-eight using the appellation.

"Oh, stop it and listen to me. I have been calling you all day!" she said, annoyed, her voice high pitched and slightly nervous sounding. "You never answer when I call. You watch it go into voice mail, don't you? And then you don't listen. I never knew you were such a bad nephew."

Garrick put a finger in his glass and swirled the ice. "I've been busy. And now I'm at S.F. MOMA at a charity event."

"Then this is perfect," she said. "What a coincidence. How amazing!"

He rolled his eyes, looking around him for a waiter who could get him a refill. Or a bottle. Something to ease the pain of having to talk with his aunt, Linda. He could see a mile off where this conversation was headed. "What's perfect? What's amazing?"

"Her paintings are there. Right now!"

A waiter passed by, and Garrick waved him down with his free hand, taking a glass of red wine. Maybe he'd have a headache tomorrow morning from mixing drinks, but it would be better than the pain in the head he'd have now without it.

"Who is she, Linda? I have no idea what you are talking about."

"Mila Adams. The girl I fixed you up with. She's an artist, and her work is showing right now in a special collection of local artists."

From across the large room, Meredith waved to him, turning slowly so he could get a perfect look at her form, which was indeed pretty dammed perfect. Garrick took a sip of wine, listening to Linda go on.

"And it's just so amazing that you are in the same building with her paintings as we speak."

"Linda, it's not that amazing. I'm here once a week for something."

"You are so cynical. I don't know why you are that way, Garrick."

Garrick breathed in, turning around to look at another painting hanging behind him, this one orange and pink with a black-lined border, the horizon on it flat and almost tasting of sorbet.

He sighed. His parents had kept his childhood problems between them and the doctors, and Linda had never heard the stories about hospitals and tests and procedures. She hadn't a clue what made him the way he was, so Garrick couldn't be mad at her. He couldn't hang up on her for not understanding, for kidding him when she really didn't know that his very life had made him this way. The way he was made him this way. What he could do made him this way. And he couldn't tell anyone ever again. He would never trust another person with his story. He'd learned that, at least.

"So, who are we talking about again?" Garrick took another sip.

"I told you. Mila Adams."

Garrick almost spit up his drink, wiping his chin and putting his glass down. "You mean of the Paul Adams family? Judge Adams? I told you, Linda. No more society girls. No more trust fund babies. No more debutantes."

"But I promise! She's not a debutante. Pretty, of course. But no debutante. Well, okay, she was a debutante. But she's not the white glove kind of girl. Certainly not now. In fact, Mila Adams has really sort of taken a turn, you know. An artistic turn. She was in the stock market for a while, but now she takes classes and paints. She's not like those girls you've complained about to me before. She's unique. She's an in-div-id-u-al. Just go look at her artwork. I did. It's really quite, well, unique."

Garrick tried to conjure forth Judge Adams' daughter, but all that came to him was a swath of blond hair and a shy smile, a downward look, quick steps away from the group. Not tall but not short, a nice form, long legs. Maybe a better body than Meredith over there, who was still flitting and turning so he could watch her show.

When had he met Mila Adams? Or had he? It was likely he was remembering a photo taken by the same jerk who'd just accosted him.

"I told you the last time, I don't want to do another setup. I can meet plenty of girls on my own," Garrick said. And it was true. He had no problem meeting women. He just didn't want to stay with them. He didn't want to let them see anything that would mark him as different. As weird. As not right. All of his relationships ended before he even thought of them as relationships, just before who he was became noticeable.

"None of them can stop smiling," Garrick went on. "And they wear dresses that aren't really dresses but carefully placed scarves. Not that I don't like a good flesh exposure now and again. But did they forget about imagination?"

"I know, I know. It's the style, dear. But I've known Mila since she was in grammar school, and she's like you somehow. Really, you two look remarkably alike. Blond hair and all. Those dark, mysterious eyes with all their secrets."

"I thought you said she was an in-div-id-u-al," Garrick said, a laugh in his voice.

"Oh, stop it. Say you will come. Say you will have dinner at the Adamses' with me. Tell me you'll come to dinner next Saturday night. It will be nice. I promise! And if you don't like her, well, no one will say it's my fault. Everyone will say you are too hard to please."

Meredith did another turn, sashaying across the marble floor, her dress floating around her knees in a black cloud. She smiled, and Garrick grew impatient with his aunt. But Linda was all he had left now that his parents had moved to London, and he had to have something besides work to connect him to life. Linda was family. She really was there for him-on holidays that without her prodding and insistence that he come over for a prime rib roast, he would either stare out his condo window all night long with a few drinks or go out partying with his friend Jim, and find himself at four in the morning hungover in some woman's bed.

And if he was here at this ridiculous art show for a company who owed him more than he owed it, why wasn't he willing to do something to please his only relative? The only person who truly seemed to want his happiness.

"Fine," he said, nodding at Meredith and smiling. He could bail out on the party at the De Young Museum he'd already RSVP'd to, claiming an emergency family situation. And in a way, he wouldn't be lying. "Next Saturday."

"Oh, this will be so wonderful. I'll call Adair and Paul right now. And go look at Mila's work. Right now! It will be lovely to talk about at dinner."

"Good-bye, Linda," Garrick said, irritable suddenly and hot under his tux collar. He'd helped out his aunt but now he was going to be saddled with Mila Adams and her princess ways.

He yanked at his tie and took one last sip of his wine, looking around for the waiter for another and then giving up. Garrick took the lack of wine as a sign. He'd go look at the art so he could woo for one night the shy daughter of Judge Paul Adams, the debutante turned stockbroker turned artist. But after looking at all the horrid ugliness of Mila Adams' work, he would ignore Meredith's annoying voice and conversation and take her home and sleep with her, for one or two or three nights, as many as he wanted, knowing that she would only remember one. Even if it wouldn't be perfect. Even if he'd probably never sleep with her again.

"Never mind this section," Meredith said, pulling hard on Garrick's arm. "It's just the local artists, my love. Nothing of consequence."

Figures, he thought, looking down the long broad wall of canvases, a couple of sculptures on daises on the floor space. From just a glance, he could tell there were squiggles and blobs and fat angels everywhere. He was ready to take Meredith to her place, but he'd promised Linda.

"Do you think you could find me some wine?" he asked. "No, make it a scotch. Could you do that for me, Meredith?"

Garrick smiled, watched her face change expression, going from fake confidence to hope.

"Of course. I'll be right back," she said. Then finding her flirty bearings, she added, "Don't disappear in an artistic frenzy."

"That will never happen," he said. "But the company wants me to look at the entire exhibit."

Turning so that her hair swirled around her, Meredith disappeared into the crowd. Garrick took in a breath and began to make his way down the first wall. And the art was just as he expected. Not art. Wires forming large spindly balls, swirls and twirls of strange color combinations, white canvases probably teeming with negative space, and then-he stopped walking, his exhale stuck on his tongue.

What is that? What does it mean? he thought, his body a map of shivers.

There on the canvas in front of him was the usual mélange of color and shape he'd seen all night in some fashion, but this one was different. He understood it. He knew it. What was that in the middle? Purple, round, dark, the shape of something Garrick had always known. He turned back to see if Meredith was coming, but she'd never made it past the first group on her way to the bar. Sweaty and hot, Garrick moved closer to the painting, which wasn't a painting as much as it was a creation of paints and fabric. Purples and blues and a swirl of black in the middle. He didn't know how to say it but he'd been there. He'd been inside this painting, felt all of this color and sensation.

Home, he thought. Home.

Shaking his head, he closed his eyes, unwilling to feel this need, this desire. To feel anything so strongly again. He knew he should turn now and walk away. Go back to his usual routine. Go to Meredith and take her by the arm and hop into the limo. Uncork a bottle of Dom. But he couldn't. He knew that, too.

Taking in a large breath, Garrick opened his eyes. Moving closer to the wall, he looked at the tag, knowing somehow what he would read: THE RIDE. MILA ADAMS. 2008. ACRYLIC, LINEN, PENCIL, AND COTTON.

He looked up at the painting again, hit again by the vivid colors, the circular motion of the paint that told him about movement. He thought he could almost hear voices, the sounds of children. He felt the darkness creep over, the black paint telling him a story he could almost remember.

Run, the story told him. Hide.

Staggering back, Garrick put his hand on his mouth, trying not to call out to something, someone. For a moment, he couldn't blink, couldn't swallow, couldn't move a muscle. All he heard was his heart beating against his ribs, blood banging in his ears.


Excerpted from BEING WITH HIM by JESSICA INCLÁN Copyright © 2008 by Jessica Inclán Barksdale. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Jessica Barksdale Inclán teaches writing, mythology, and women's literature at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California.

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Being with Him 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Phoebe_Jordan More than 1 year ago
Jessica Barksdale Inclán is a new author to me and I was pretty glad when she got in touch with me about being interviewed and having her latest Second Romance series books reviewed by me. I'm a bit late in posting this review but it's better late than never and I really enjoyed reading the first book Being with Him. This is a paranormal romance that I didn't at first really understand completely because the two main characters are from another plant placed on earth for their own survival by their parents. They have a similar species to them who are after them for evil purposes that could kill them in the end because they are the ones who destroyed their planet and parents in the first place. I did really start to get the hero, Garrick, and heroine, Milla, as the novel progressed and the reason for the special abilities became more clearer to them and the reader.

Milla is a very creative woman who has the ability to move time forward but she doesn't know what she missed between the time she was in the present and to the time she moved forward. So she missed minutes and hours and maybe days that she can never relive again because she can only move time forward. She also has never told anyone not even her beloved parents about her ability but that all changes for her when she is set up on a blind date with Garrick. Now Garrick is the other half of Milla because he has the ability to move time backwards and so he has relived the past over and over if he wasn't careful. But unlike Milla he told his parents that he kept reliving the past again and again as a child, which really freaked his parents out. Garrick had to spend many days and years of his childhood in mental hospitals with doctors trying to figure out what is wrong with him.

Until Garrick final stopped talking about his ability did he finally get on with his life as a semi-normal man but his parents were never the same with him again. Then he met Milla on a blind date that his aunt set up for him and everything changed for him as well because they both felt that deep soul mate connection between them. That is a turning point for both Milla and Garrick in this lovely and creative tale of two halfs of one whole coming together after years of separation. But that is also the turning point where things get really hard for Milla and Garrick because they finally find out what happened to their parents and their people with the special abilities. They find out about the people who want to use them for their own nefarious purposes or they die if they don't comply. By the time I finished reading this novel I had to immediately pick up the second book to find out what happens next with Milla and her brother and sister who she just now discovered she had.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Garrick McClellan is at an art exhibit alone in the crowd because he can never let down his guard and reveal who he is and what he can do. He can read the minds of everyone around him and travel back in time. He sees a painting by Mila Adams and it stirs a memory in him. By coincidence his aunt and her mother set them up on a blind date.----------- Mila also feels alone as she too can read minds and move forward in time. She has memories of her as young child in a black shape escaping from somewhere with her brother, other children and adults. When Garrick and Mila meet they recognize that they are one half of a whole. They start asking questions who and what they are but their inquiry puts them in danger from a force not of this world.------------- Jessica Inclan has written a memorable and evocative tale of two people who are so much more together than they are apart. Readers will like both protagonists because they are open about their feelings and their need to find others since Garrick knows he was adopted and Mila learns she was too shortly after she meets him. Some books are so memorable and unique that one can¿t forget them BEING WITH HIM is one of them.------------- Harriet Klausner