Feeling In The Dark


Torianey Heckstall's personal philosophy says it all. "Feeling in the dark" is a metaphor for how she feels when she makes the most of the decisions in her life. Life is a random cascade of experiences and opportunities-or so she thought.

On a whim, she decides to upgrade a flight she's taking to first class, never daring to imagine that this one seemingly random decision would change her life in ways she could ...

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Feeling in the Dark

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Torianey Heckstall's personal philosophy says it all. "Feeling in the dark" is a metaphor for how she feels when she makes the most of the decisions in her life. Life is a random cascade of experiences and opportunities-or so she thought.

On a whim, she decides to upgrade a flight she's taking to first class, never daring to imagine that this one seemingly random decision would change her life in ways she could only once dream of.

Sitting next to her is the man who will change her life.

QuèShaune Guadau II is the owner of a billion-dollar oil corporation founded by his father. But even he knows that money can't buy him everything he craves-and he's too distracted to realize that the beautiful stranger next to him in first class could change his life too.

Shaune and Tory made a deal with each other that will change both their lives forever. Tory was never a woman to go back on her own rules; even so, Shaune's relentlessness would soon make her question her unshakeable moral core. And he will do whatever it takes to convince her that he is the man for her.

Neither is able to abandon the sexy, flirty, cat-and-mouse games, and this creates a problem for Shaune's best friend, Marcus Swain. Jealous and vindictive, Marcus controls a game of his own, in which the two become unwitting players. Soon, he engineers a tumultuous rift between them.

Now it's a race to see which game is the more powerful-seduction or sabotage.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781475907711
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/14/2012
  • Pages: 294
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Feeling in the Dark

By Victoria Rene'e Manley

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 Victoria Rene'e Manley
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4759-0771-1

Chapter One

All About the RIDE!

Tory was waiting for her flight to board. She had spent the entire week in Las Vegas attending her cousins wedding that ended in disaster. See, her cousin Vera had been dating Raymond her ex-boyfriend. Tory and Raymond had broken up when she decided to move to South Carolina in 2008. Some months later, Vera called to explain to Tory that Raymond had wanted to date her. Tory didn't pay it any mind because that was the kind of cold hearted, small minded bastard that he would become when he wouldn't get his way. Tory had explained to Vera that his motives might not be to the best of her interests, but Vera thought that she was saying that because she may have been jealous and scorned. Tory figured she would just back off and just continue to support her cousin. The truth was Vera and Tory weren't just cousins, they were like sisters. They were each others best friend and they were inseparable. The two of them would do almost everything together. Tory never had a sister so Vera was like the sister she never had. When they were kids they would dress alike and the even used to get drunk together. Their friendship came to a halt when Tory told Vera she was leaving Las Vegas. Vera didn't take it well. In fact, Vera stop contacting Tory and the only time they would speak is if Tory would contact her. Ultimately, they lost contact altogether; until one day Vera called to tell Tory that she and Raymond were engaged. She hadn't realized they were dating. So now Tory had the tedious task of pretending to be happy for them. Now the big day had arrived and it was the most dramatic wedding she had ever been to. Tory's other cousins, Vera's sisters were acting out throwing themselves on the floor like the dramatic diva's they were. Vera's mother came to the wedding drunk as a skunk. Tory got the impression that no one wanted this wedding to go down. She remained low key the entire time. The only time she showed face was at the beginning and when it was over, she didn't even stay for the reception. "Good ridden to all of them." She said as she regained her consciousness. Finally, she heard her flight boarding, "now boarding flight 432 to South Carolina boarding at gate 8A." Those words were like audio gold to her at that point. Plus, she had been looking forward to her upgrade to first class.

Que'Shuane was coming from a connecting flight from France. He had another one of his treacherous board meetings where he had to convince his investor's to stay interested. The meeting wasn't hard but at some point there was always one investor who would challenge him. See, Shaune was an oil tycoon. His father was the sole owner but, some five years ago he had given his son full run of the family business. This meant that he now had to run back and forth out of the country to keep the business running and his father happy. And that included trying to appease the investors as well as the share holders. Nonetheless, he had won them over. "Once I get on the plane I'm going to get myself a nice stiff drink." He said to himself after hearing his flight boarding. After he checked his bags in, he headed straight to the gate.

As Tory got on the plane, she made her way to the first class section. Her seat was center 12 and when she got to her seat, she realized it was soiled with what could only be described as vomit. At least that was the smell it gave off. She checked her ticket and looked at the seat and checked the ticket again hoping that it might be a mistake or maybe it would even change. "OH COME ON!" she yelled. The stewardess came to Tory and introduced herself. "Hello Ma'am. My name is Sonya. What is the problem?" Then Sonya caught a whiff of the problem. "Well, I guess you can understand exactly what the problem is." Sonya was looking around and realized that it was a full house on the plane and Tory's seat was what was left. Or so it seemed. Then the stewardess said "Ma'am, I'm sorry but you're going to have to wait for the next flight to South Carolina." Tory became indignant. "I don't think so. I paid for this flight. It was your job to make sure that these seats are supposed to be passenger ready. I'm sure that when the plane pulled up to the gate to let people off, someone had to see this." She was getting worked up about having to wait for another flight after the week she just had. Then Sonya said "Ma'am could you stay right here?" "I would gladly." Tory replied with sarcasm. As she watched Sonya leave, she looked around the plane and saw everyone looking back at her. All she could think to herself was "Of all the people on the plane this had to happen to, it had to happen to me." She looked to her left and she had seen this well dressed, handsome, caramel complexioned man in a suit trying to get her attention. Tory turned to look behind her; that he was possibly waving to someone else. With confusion in her eyes, she said" Are you talking to me?" Then the man got up and walked over to her. He moved in close to her and whispered, "My name is Que'Shuane Guadau. And I see that you are in need of a seat. It appears that I have an extra seat of my own that I purchased for my comfort. If you don't mind I would be happy to give you my extra seat if you don't mind the extra paper work?" Tory looked at her vomit filled seat; then she looks back at him and she thought to herself, "No brainier." Then she answered, "I would love to take that seat. Thank you." As they walked towards her new seat, she asked, "So how do you say your name again?" He responded "It's Que'Shuane Guadau. Just call me Shaune." "Fair enough." She shrugged. "My name is Torianey Heckstall." As she reached to shake his hand, instead of shaking it he kissed her hand. Tory thought to herself, "Damn! This brother is smooth." Tory was curious to know so she asked, "Anyone else would have would have let me stand all the way back to South Crack. Why would you be so generous to a total stranger?" Shaune replied, "You needed a seat. I had one and I didn't want to see a lady get dragged off the plane." Tory giggled and asked, "How did you know if they were going to take me off the plane?" He pointed and said, "Turn around." She turned and saw the stewardess pointing at her with two TSA Officers to come and drag her off the plane. She turned to him and said, "AW HELL NAW!" Tory thought for sure her fait was going to be spent through out the night being held in an airport cell waiting for the locals to book her all over a misunderstanding. So then Que'Shuane grabbed her hands and said, "Don't say anything. I'll handle it." Deep down inside Tory was prepared to get dragged off the plane. She thought to herself "Seriously, what could this guy do to help me and who is he to stop them?" As the TSA Officers approached Shaune and Tory, the first Officer said, "Ma'am could you please come with us?" Que'Shuane asked, "Is there a problem Officers?" The officer replied nervously, "We were informed that this woman was causing a disturbance on the plane and according to FAA code, any disturbance must be removed for the safety of the flight and its passengers." "Well does she look like she's causing any disturbances now?" "No but, the ... " Then Que'Shuane cut in and said, "Ms. Heckstall is my guest and this is her seat. Do I need to speak with your superiors?" With shame in his voice the TSA Officer replied, "No sir. However, if she causes another disturbance, we'll have to remove her." As they walked away, Tory thought to herself, "Damn! He must be related to the President or something." Shaune turned to her and asked, "You won't cause another disturbance will you?" "Nope; I'll be a total angel from here on out."

From then on, they talked and joked from the duration of the ride. Shaune thought she seemed quite attractive and at certain times while she was talking, he would manage to steal a glance at her voluptuous body. He even admired how smooth and natural her brown skin looked without makeup. "Not a lot of black woman can pull that look off." He thought to himself. Also, it was something about her ability to be vulnerable to him that attracted him to her. She would tell him everything from where she worked at Carrapellies to the wedding that she just came from. When Tory stops talking, she realized that she had told this stranger everything he wanted to know not knowing anything about him. "I really love my job at Carrapellies but ..." Then she stopped in mid sentence. But Shaune tried to keep the conversation going. "But what?" "But I must seem terribly selfish talking about myself and not giving you a chance to tell me about you." "I have a very boring life. I like hearing about you more then I like talking about me. Please go on." "Surely you have something that you have to say about yourself." "Well, I am a traveling business man that travels most of the time. How interesting is that?" "Well, if you put it that way." After sometime had passed, dinner time came around. Tory couldn't afford the food because she had spent most her money on her upgrade seat. Sonya, the Stewardess was coming around with the dinner cart. As she asked Shaune for his order, Tory jumped up and grabbed her purse and headed for the vending machine. While he watched Tory approach the vending machine, he gave Sonya his order. At the vending machine, Tory realized she only had enough for a bag of fruit snacks, a bag of Doritos and a can of sprite hoping that would hold her till she got home. When she got back to her seat, she noticed that Shaune had his meal and on her table, there was another meal. Tory tried to flag Sonya down to let her know that she may have delivered to the wrong seat, but then Shaune asked, "Is there a problem?" "Yeah, I think she gave away someone else's food." Taking a sip of his wine, Shaune replied, "No she didn't." "How do you know that?" "I think she realized you might have wanted dinner." Then she held up the three items she had in her hand and said, "But I already have dinner." They looked at each other of a second and both busted into laughter. As she sat down in her seat, just before she commenced to eating she leaned over and gave Shaune a kiss on the cheek. He turned to her and said "Wow! Thank you." Then she said, "No, thank you."

After they had finished their meal, Shaune purchased another bottle of wine. He asked Tory to join him and she accepted. While they were sipping away, Tory asked, "Would you be interested in playing a game with me?" "How does it go?" "Well I call it the "Mile High Game" it's kind of like who done it, where and with who. See, we look around the plane, we see who may have had a mile high moment and with whom they may have. For example, do you see that woman over there in that well dressed suit?" "Yeah I see her." "Do you think she may have had a mile high moment?" Not really getting the point, Shaune was sought of loosing interest. So then he answered, "No. I don't think so." "Why don't you think so?" "She seems too conservative; too closed in." "Exactly, keep your eyes on her as the Stewardess passes by. See, every time she walks pass her, she looks at her with this seductive look. Maybe she might have had one with another Stewardess at another time or so. But it looks like she wants this one. And that conservative look she's exhibiting just might be a cover up of the freak that she really is." "How do you know about these things?" "I like to study people some times. Moments like this it help the time go pass faster." So to pass the time they would look around the plane to guess who might have or might not have had a "Mile High Moment." It was fun for a while, but eventually they grew bored with it. Then they became quiet. Shaune turned to Tory and asked, "What about you?" "What about me?" "Don't act coy with me. You know what I'm talking about. Have you ever had a mile high moment?" Tory started to stutter. "Oh, what, who me? Oh no." Now the scene was really silent as she looked around to try and divert the conversation. But Shaune kept it going. "Are you interested in one?" "Well, it sounds interesting." Now Tory started to get nervous. But Shaune was determined to get an answer. So he continued "But are you interested?" "I just wandered about other people. I never wondered about myself." Although she was trying to evade the question, Shaune wasn't buying it. So again, he threw it out there, "Right, but are you interested?" Tory Finally gave in and said "Maybe I thought about it, but I didn't think I would follow through with it." This was her most honest but safest answer she could ever give aside from laying it bare. "You know it's actually a really great experience if you try to enjoy it." Then she laughed and said, "I knew you had a few. Probably you had a few more then that." Then there was that uncomfortable silence again. Tory felt she had to change the subject. So she asked, "So, do you have to travel outside the country much?" "I have to travel outside the country all the time. I actually have a home in France that I travel back and forth to." Maybe he might know a few phrases in French. "So do you speak French?" "It's actually my first language." "Wow! Are you serious? So, English is your second language then?" "Yes it is." "How did you learn to speak English so well?" "I was always exposed to the English language growing up. While in college I decided to study it extensively." "So say something in French?" "What would you like for me to say?" Tory always thought of the French as a sexy culture, so she asked him, "Say something sexy." Shaune figured that she wouldn't notice what he was saying or how it was as long as it seemed sexy. So he started "Pardon Me vous vous asseyez dan mon siege!" "I don't get the feeling that was supposed to be sexy." Then Shaune giggle and said, "Nope, it wasn't. I actually said excuse me, you are in my seat. Look, I don't want to offend you. You might smack me." "No. I appreciate your ability to be a total gentleman but, we're grown, so you can bring the sexy." He paused for a few seconds then he drew closer to Tory's face and with a seductive whisper he said, "Okay, you asked for it. Vous avez un corps tre' sexy." Then she smiled and asked, "And that means?" "Your body is very sexy." He was so close to her that she could smell his cologne and his natural body scent. Along with being tipsy, she started to feel turned on. Then she got bold and asked "What if I was interested in a mile high moment, how would that happen?" Tory couldn't believe she had said that. So Shaune answered without as much as a blink or a smile "That could easily be arranged." She was expecting him to turn


Excerpted from Feeling in the Dark by Victoria Rene'e Manley Copyright © 2012 by Victoria Rene'e Manley. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. 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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Table of Contents


Chapter 1. All About the RIDE!....................1
Chapter 2. Can't Get You Out Of My System....................17
Chapter 3. They Always Return to the Scene of the Crime....................24
Chapter 4. Back to the Drawing Board to Lick My Wounds....................33
Chapter 5. Blood, Sweat, Tears. Oh! And Hard Work....................41
Chapter 6. Just When I Thought We Were Making Progress....................54
Chapter 7. Out With the Old In With the New....................72
Chapter 8. Can't Get You Out of My System....................82
Chapter 9. A Much Needed Vacation?....................91
Chapter 10. The Wrath of Swain....................111
Chapter 11. She Loves Me? She Loves Me Not?....................122
Chapter 12. December 3rd ... DAMN!!!....................132
Chapter 13. Felling in the Dark....................139
Chapter 14. Waiting for the Dust to Settle. Or Will It?....................161
Chapter 15. Kicking and Screaming!....................172
Chapter 16. Times for Changes....................186
Chapter 17. Newer Beginnings....................194
Chapter 18. The Beginning of a Totally New Problem....................209
Chapter 19. That Which Does Not Kill Us Sets Us Up for Greatness....................214
Chapter 20. We Need to Have That Conversation....................229
Chapter 21. Here We Go Again....................236
Chapter 22. The Truth Comes Out....................243
Chapter 23. Mamello....................254
Chapter 24. The Wrath of Swain PT II....................264
Chapter 25. Anything Worth Having Is Worth Fighting for....................274
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