"Missing Pieces" is a story about a 33- year old woman named Charlene Wilson from Macon Georgia. Charlene now lives in Atlanta and is an up and coming Attorney with a prestigious Law Firm. Charlene is a beautiful, brilliant, self made woman and has had to make some tough life altering decisions in the past. None of those other decisions can hold a candle to the decisions that she has to make once she meets and falls in love with Jonathan Walker, a 35- year old Recording Label Executive that she meets at a local Atlanta hotspot. When Charlene and her best friend, Sharon, went to the club one night she was not looking for a man, but she found the love of her life, Jonathan Walker.
Sharon had been Charlene's best friend for years; however, Charlene occasionally questioned Sharon's true feelings towards her. Was Sharon really proud of her friends success or was there something lurking behind her sometimes fake smiles?
Jonathan wooed and romanced Charlene until she reluctantly fell head over heels in love with him. Jonathan's twin brother James was happily married to Marilyn, his soul mate, and they had a beautiful little boy. James was happy that his brother had found someone to share his life with and knew that Jonathan and Charlene were made for each other.
James and Marilyn had met after Marilyn's fiance had been killed in a car accident on New Year's Eve and they were very happy together even though Marilyn was still haunted by her love for her dead fiance. C.J., their son, was the light of his parents' life and they were devastated when he became gravely ill.
Charlene and Jonathan's love is put to the ultimate test when in the midst of this family crisis a life shattering secret from Charlene's past is abruptly revealed and Charlene comes face to face with a past that she thought was buried forever. Will Jonathan be able to forgive Charlene's past and love her unconditionally or will she lose the love she's waited a lifetime to find?
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By Cyndi Mathis
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Cyndi Mathis
All right reserved.
Chapter One"Girl, are we going out or what?" Sharon asked Charlene. "You've been getting ready for hours now. Stop looking at yourself in the mirror! Your makeup is flawless, your hair is perfect, and your outfit is banging as usual."
"I don't know girl, maybe I should go see Dr. Martoon. I think I need to get back on my meds." Charlene said to Sharon while examining herself in the bathroom mirror. Flipping the switch on the magnifying mirror Charlene looked at herself closely, looking for any tale tale signs that things were not normal. "Stop being paranoid." Sharon said in a somewhat raised voice. "The Doctor already told you that you're fine and you look great to me. I can't believe that you're still trippin after all this time. Those meds are not a magic potion! What's done is done, you can't go back and you are not going to turn into a pumpkin at midnight. Now let's go, it's Friday night and I want to get to the club before all the fine men are taken!"
"Just because you're the designated driver for the evening don't be trying to rush me", said Charlene as Sharon turned out the bathroom lights on her. The two friends stopped by the kitchen to put away their champagne flutes before leaving the condo. While Charlene washed out her glass her b.f.f, Sharon, filled her glass to the rim with the last of the champagne and downed the contents in one big gulp. Charlene just looked at her friend and shook her head. "You're going to be blasted before we even get there and then I'm going to end up having to drive both of us home", she said. "Pleeze girl, this little weak stuff you serve won't do nothing, besides if I gotta be the driver tonight, I need to get mine in early so I can be straight by the time we get to the club, now let's go"!
After circling the block a few times and slipping the valet attendant $50.00, the girls were given a prime parking space near the exit. Whenever they wanted to leave all they had to do was retrieve their car keys and make a left turn out of the parking lot. No waiting, no hassle. Walking to the front of the waiting line Charlene followed Sharon to the outside security guard. Giving the guy a quick kiss on the right cheek and sliding a folded $50.00 bill into his closed hand the twosome were off to enjoy a night of merriment.
"Hey Char, don't look now but that fine guy over there in the blue linen suit has been eyeing you all night. Do you know him?" asked Sharon, eyeing the man herself. "No, answered Charlene huffily, and I don't want to. I've told you a million times that I am not looking for a man!" "Calm down", said Sharon, "as fine as he is if you don't want him I'll take him"! "Go for it girl, he's all yours", Charlene screeched over the loud music. "Well, let me get my drink on first and then I'll go see what he's workin with", Sharon happily agreed.
"Oh........... That's my jam!" screamed Sharon over the blasting music. Ole boy in the blue must have dipped, so I'm a go find me somebody to dance with. Will you be okay?" "Yeah girlfriend go get your party on. I'll hold your spot for you. Just remember where you left me because I don't want to have to come looking for you when it's time to go." Just as Sharon was about to walk off Charlene grabbed her by the arm and pulled her close so that no one would overhear her next comment. "Sharon please don't do what you did the last time I came out with you." "What?" asked Sharon with a devilish smile on her brightly painted ruby red lips? "You know what! Don't you dare leave this club with anyone and don't invite anyone to go home with you either, that's what." As Sharon was walking away singing and snapping her fingers Charlene called after her; "I mean it!"
"Excuse me, is this seat taken?" Charlene turned around as she heard a voice so smooth she could swear that it was Billy Dee Williams straight from a scene out of his famous movie 'Lady Sings The Blues', with the infamous Ms. Diana Ross. "Yes it is", Charlene answered looking up into the most mesmerizing hazel eyes that she has ever seen, followed by a smile that could melt ice cream and skin so smooth and satiny that pure silk would simply glide across it. It was Mr. Blue Linen Suit himself.
"Okay, well may I just sit here until the occupant comes back? I've been waiting all night for a chance to talk to you and this is the first time I've caught you alone all evening. I've been watching as brother after brother have approached you offering to buy you drinks and asking you to dance, all of whom have been shot down without even a second glance. Could it be that you've been waiting for me all night? If so, I'm glad that you waited."
"Look, whatever your name is, don't flatter yourself." "Jonathan, Jonathan Walker". "What?" said Charlene? "Jonathan Walker, that's my name. My friends call me Jon though", said hazel eyes. He extended his right hand in Billy Dee fashion. "Whatever", said Charlene leaving his right hand hanging in mid air. "As I was saying, this seat is taken and whatever lines you're laying down and whatever game you're about to spit, I've heard it all before, so let's not waste each other's time Mr. Walker." "I'm sorry if I'm bothering you Ms.......... Jonathan said with a questioning look that Charlene ignored, but I saw a beautiful woman and I wanted to talk to her. No lines, no games. If I've offended you in any way I apologize." Just as he was about to leave Jonathan heard a barely audible reply.
"Charlene, Charlene Wilson", said Charlene meekly, catching Jonathan by surprise as he was walking away. Jonathan turned around to once again face the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on. Reaching out to now shake Charlene's outstretched right hand, Jonathan basked in his momentary victory over this amazing creature. She was absolutely stunning with her auburn shoulder length hair, caramel skin and full pouty lips. Impressed by his honesty and secretly in awe of his sexy eyes, Charlene invited her new admirer to join her while Sharon was off shaking what her momma gave her.
The two new acquaintances made small talk for the rest of the night. The bartenders, signaling that it was closing time, announced soon last call. She hated to admit it, but Charlene found that she was completely taken by this man and drawn to him as if she had known him before, maybe in a previous life. He was a great conversationalist and she felt very at ease in his presence. If she didn't know any better she would have sworn that they had been friends for years.
Sharon had started to come back to check on her friend on several occasions, but since she saw that Charlene was engrossed heavily in a conversation with Mr. Fine she opted to stay away, giving her girlfriend the chance to get to know him. Sharon had seen Jonathan in the club before and she'd had every intention of making this man one of her many conquests. Although Sharon was jealous of the attention that Jonathan was showing Charlene, she would not begrudge her bff this opportunity. It was obvious to anyone watching the twosome that they had a special kind of chemistry working.
"For someone who wasn't looking for a man you sure seem to have found yourself one," teased Sharon while driving to Charlene's house to drop her off before heading home herself. "I'm not looking for a man," calmly explained Charlene without looking in her old friends' direction. "He was just a guy at the club and besides, after tonight I will probably never see him again." "Uh huh," said Sharon, secretly smiling to herself. "Whatever you say. For someone who doesn't want a man though it's kind of strange that he was the only one that you gave the time of day to. Everybody else that approached you all night was sent packing except for Mr. Blue Suit, so he must have had something going for him. What was it about him that was so captivating, other than those dreamy hazel eyes that is? What kind of tired lines was he laying on you?" "That's just it," said Charlene before she could stop herself, "he wasn't laying any lines or shooting any bull, he was straight up and honest. I'm not looking for a man, but if I were, he would be number one on my list. Now let me get out of this car and go upstairs to bed. Tonight was fun, but I am dog-tired. No wonder I don't go clubbing more often, I don't see how you do it two nights in a row. It's too much for me. Good night girl thanks for driving. Call me tomorrow, but not too early, I plan to sleep in!"
On the drive home Sharon thought about Charlene and Jonathan. She had seen him at the club on several occasions. She had tried more than once to get his attention, but he had pretended like he wasn't interested. He had acted like he was too good for her and now here he was making a play for Charlene of all people. She was much finer and prettier than Charlene. She had been on some video shoots with some of his artists before and he had not given her the time of day then either.
Sharon was a part time model and dancer, but she spent the majority of her time trying to think of get rich quick schemes. She'd had sex with numerous rap stars and casting directors. She did whatever she felt she had to do to further her career. She had even gone so far as to poke holes in a few condoms in an attempt to get pregnant. A baby by a well-known rap star or actor would be her ultimate payday.
When she had met Jonathan on the set of one of his artists video shoots he had dismissed her like she was nothing. He had passed her along to one of his flunkies like she was a blunt. One day he would come to regret that mistake. She was sure that he had noticed her when she walked into the club, but he had not responded when she waved to him. He had undoubtedly been looking at Charlene and not her. That's why she had asked Charlene if she knew him. He was about to break his neck looking at her. She was about to go look for him when she finished dancing and then she saw him all cozy with Charlene. Well, if that was the type of woman that he wanted then he deserved whatever he got if he messed with her.
Chapter Two"I have the books you ordered from the Emory Law library Ms. Wilson," said Carmen, Charlene's law clerk, "and your 2:00 appointment is here." "Thank you Carmen, please show Mr. Thomas into my office in five minutes," said Charlene with a sigh. The last thing that she felt like doing today was dealing with Malcolm Thomas and his sexual advances. She had told him dozens of times that under no circumstances would she entertain having any type of relationship with him other than business, but he still kept making advances toward her. Who did this man think he was? Sure, he was filthy rich, the key word here being filthy. He had more money than anyone could possibly spend in one lifetime and he used that money to get any and everything that he wanted, especially women. He had a pretty little demure wife and numerous women on the side. He would not be her type even if he weren't married, but some women only cared about one type of man and he did have that qualification, MONEY.
Charlene gazed out of her 15th story office window overlooking downtown Atlanta. For the last five days one single red rose had been delivered to her at her office without so much as a clue as to who had sent them. She could not imagine who in the world would be sending her flowers. Whoever this person was she did have to give him brownie points for style. He had piqued her curiosity. Just as Carmen knocked twice on the thick mahogany door to her office to announce the arrival of Mr. Thomas for his 2:00 appointment Charlene thought back briefly about the man that she had met at Visions night club last week. Jonathan Walker, Charlene thought to herself smiling as she remembered his piercing hazel eyes.
Simultaneously wiping the perspiration from her hands and smoothing out the pleats in her navy blue Armani skirt Charlene approached Malcolm Thomas with an outstretched right hand. "Good afternoon Mr. Thomas," Charlene said while buttoning her matching suit jacket tailored perfectly to show off her slender waistline. "Before we begin, may I offer you a beverage of some kind?" "No thank you Ms. Wilson" snuffed Mr. Thomas, somewhat irritated for being kept waiting. How dare she keep him waiting. He was Malcolm Thomas and he waited for no one. Even though he was annoyed with her he had to admit that he was even more attracted to her than before. This girl had spunk and he wanted her. She had declined his many offers to engage in some private time with him and now she had kept him waiting like some ordinary person. Any other woman would jump at the chance to be with the mighty Malcolm Thomas. After all, thought Thomas to himself he owned the largest textile plant in central Florida, his own wine vineyard in Napa Valley, homes in the Caribbean and Europe, planes, boats, you name it. If this case were not so important and if she were not so good at what she did, he would have told her where to go a long time ago.
"Well, Ms. Wilson, why don't you fill me in on how my case is going." Charlene crossed the room and sat down behind her thick cherry wood desk, noticing a hint of annoyance in Mr. Thomas' voice. Opening a thick file folder she pulled from a pile in the middle of her desk, Charlene proceeded to fill Mr. Thomas in on the particulars of his case. "I am still taking depositions and doing discovery to find out about certain documents that have come to light in the past few weeks." "Are you sure that you have told me everything there is to know about your business dealings with Ms. Applegate?" Charlene questioned. "I would hate for there to be any surprises once the trial starts. What about your wife, have you come clean with her?" "What do you mean have I come clean with my wife? If you are speaking of my personal affairs then you and my wife need to understand one thing right now and that is that my personal business is just that, my personal business!" "That may well be true, but when your personal business comes out in the course of my handling this law suit for you and your wife is in the courtroom hearing about your personal business then it becomes our business too, so, I would advise you to sit down with your wife and have a heart to heart with her." "Now, Mr. Thomas, do we understand each other?" After meeting for about an hour and finally satisfying all of Malcolm Thomas' concerns, Charlene bid him goodbye with a firm handshake and yet another refusal of his many sexual overtures. By 7:00 that evening Charlene had done two conference calls, settled a million-dollar lawsuit and was now ready for a quiet evening at home.
Chapter ThreeCharlene entered her penthouse condo at Twelve in the new upscale area of midtown Atlanta and immediately kicked off her Gucci pumps. Her feet were killing her and all she wanted to do was a soak in a hot tub. Before she could make it to her bedroom to rescue herself from her spanx followed by the removal of her Armani suit her cell phone began to chime and her home phone began to ring all at the same time. Who in the world is this calling me now Charlene thought to herself? Please do not let it be Malcolm Thomas with his aggravating self. After the long day that she had just put in she was in no mood to deal with his foolishness tonight. She had started to let the call go to voice mail, but thought better of it. It may be something important she thought.
"Yes," Charlene said into her home phone while opening a text message on her cell phone. "Sharon, why are you texting me and calling me at the same? I just walked in the door and I am dog tired." "Girl what's poppin tonight?" said Sharon, "you want to go to Caribbean night at Verve Lounge? It's a new club on Peachtree across from Crawford Long hospital and it's supposed to be the bomb. I hear that it has three levels with a rooftop sitting area that overlooks the Atlanta skyline. There are DJ's on all three levels mixing different music at all times, so no matter what your flavor you can get your party on. It even has a full kitchen with a fabulous menu, so, we could have dinner too, if you're hungry." Sharon had made her entire speech before Charlene ever had a chance to get one single word in.
"No girl, I'm not up for anything but a glass of wine and a soak in the tub tonight. I had a long day at the office and to top it all off I had to deal with Malcolm Thomas and his overtures." "Oh no, is he still hounding you? Why don't you speak to your boss about him?" sympathized Sharon. "Because, if I do that Mr. Chambers may remove me from the case or Mr. Thomas may get angry and have me removed, either way I lose. The Malcolm Thomas case can make my career and I am sure that when I win this case I will be a shoe in for junior partner and in a couple of year's full partner. I'm not about to make waves and lose my promotion to some less deserving good ole boy; especially after all of the work I've done on this case. Besides, I can handle Malcolm Thomas and his overactive libido and the case will be over soon." "Well, okay if you're sure you can handle him, but don't let things get too far out of control. You know men like him are not used to being turned down, so, watch yourself when you're with him. Now, are you sure you don't want to come out with me tonight?" "Yeah, I'm sure. Call me tomorrow and let me know how the club is though okay." "Sure girl, get some rest. Smooches!" said Sharon without waiting for Charlene to say goodnight.
Excerpted from Missing Pieces by Cyndi Mathis Copyright © 2011 by Cyndi Mathis. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great book !!!!! I can't wait for the sequel !!!!!
Excellent read couldn't put it down, a MUST read.