Standing on an elevator thinking of his children, Drake had no clue that the next time the doors opened his life would spin so out of control. He held his breath when the prettiest woman he ever laid eyes on step on with him. When she got pushed and he caught her, he knew he had caught a gift. Not being able to stop thinking of her made work hard and his interest in dating go down. He could still smell her scent long after he closed the car door and pulled from the curb. With the help of his cousin Chase and the help from his mother, he realized he could not ignore these feelings he had and that he would stop at nothing to have her.
|Product dimensions:||8.80(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.60(d)|
Read an Excerpt
By Kimberly Taylor
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2016 Kimberly Taylor
All rights reserved.
Waking up isn't the hardest about being alone. It's the going to bed with no one to snuggle up to. The sleepless nights spent rolling around trying to find comfort when there's none to be found. I wake to sunny mornings with clouds in my heart and rain in my eyes. Looking at a picture on the wall, or the one sitting beside me on my night stand just is not enough. After having a love beyond belief come into your life, or at least you make yourself feel that way so you don't feel like a failure, then to have it took as fast as it had come leaves you in a world wind wondering if it was true, or in fact a dream or some kind of nightmare. The unreal emotions that were never shared, the house, the kids, the raw love that never got to come alive and take a stand in the world. But no matter what had happened, I was alive and well. The only survivor, and I was still living. I had to get up every morning and take life day by day, like this morning. To wonder through life not knowing what was to come next.
As every morning, I get up and look out the window at the bright sunny morning reminding myself that a new day was on me and that I would not be a coward and hide the day through. I do my morning routine and head out the door finding the weather had turned cold and the air was brisk. I reach back in to grab a coat pleased to find the note from my mother that brought so much comfort in my times of need.
"Good morning Alyssa." A voice came as I come out and locked the door.
"Hey Gabby. How are you this morning?" I say just to be nice. I had a feeling this pretty middle aged woman just sat and watched out her window all day long. I didn't know her story, but I also didn't think she did it to be nosey.
"I'm doing. You off to work?"
"Hey, I guess it was the least I could do today." I turn and walk over to her. "I guess gracing them with my presence isn't too much."
"I guess not." She answers giggling. "Say, you haven't tried the new place down the road out by chance have you?"
"No, not yet. I thought I might stop by there this afternoon on my way home. Why, is it any good?"
"Don't know yet. Haven't been." She got this look and then asked me the only thing I was praying she wouldn't. "Want to go with me? I could meet you here at 5:00."
"I guess so." I answer dreading committing myself. I didn't know if I could force myself through the doors to start with, or if I could allow myself any fun. It just didn't feel right for me to live my life to the fullest while my husband lay in a dark, cold hole.
"Great, see you then." She smiles and turns to go in.
I walk the few blocks it takes to make it to the building that had fifteen floors and a lot of windows. Sitting at my desk gave me a picture to the world outside without having to actually be there. I wasn't a hermit by no means but to get out there wasn't me either. I really didn't know where I belonged anymore.
"Hey, did you hear me?" I jerk around in my chair to come face to face with my boss, Jessy Sassy. She owned the Times Two magazine in which I was employed as a Research Associate.
"Sorry, I was lost in my head again."
"I know. When you going to realize that it's time to stand up and shake it all off? It's ok to let it all drop so you can breathe again."
"I can't just forget everything and act like he never existed. He was my husband no matter if the marriage was good or not." I turn to look back out my window while tears silently fall down my cheek.
"I know you loved him but Alyssa look at me." She waited for me to turn to her. "Do you think Alex would want you like this? No. He would want you to live." I just stared at her for a minute because I had confined in her about my marriage and I was wondering if we were talking about the same man or not.
"I don't know how to live anymore. I feel like my heart stopped beating the moment his did. I feel so ... lost. How do I find direction when my life has none?" My husband had dictated my life for me so I didn't have to think much with him. I wished I had learned to live the way I had wanted to but there is nothing I could do about it now.
"I don't know but something has to be out there that came help. Did you go to the group I told you about? It really helped my mom after my dad died."
"Yeah, I've went every time they open the doors. I don't want to be unhappy. I just don't know how to get over this hump in my life." I put my head down on my desk but jerked it back up when I heard her sharp intake.
"I can't believe it. Oh no they didn't."
"What? Who?" I look out the window but nothing was there that wasn't usually there.
"I think they just sold the top floor. I'll be right back." She rushes out to only God knows where so I started typing up my assignment hoping to clear my mind of its troubles.
Sometime after lunch Jessy come back in my office and plopped down in a chair across from the front of my desk huffing and puffing and mumbling under her breath. I couldn't help but laugh at the faces she made as she went on and on about something.
"You ok?" I say and got a look that made me laugh again.
"I can't believe your laughing at a time like this."
"A time like what?"
"You know how I have been working hard to get the money for the top floor. You know the long hours I've had to do to try and get this nut that owns the building to sale me that floor, but no. They said we had a good floor and had no reason to move. That the top floor wasn't getting sold because they were holding off until their son was old enough and figured out what he wanted to do. Well, they just sold it to a man in a suit that looks like he fell out that nice fancy helicopter of his."
"What guy? I didn't hear a helicopter." I say a little lost.
"Well, he came and went and now has the top floor."
"Is he their son?" I ask not knowing who they were.
"No. I don't think he is. I honestly don't know who he is, but I know he has my floor."
"For what? You haven't done anything."
"I'm sorry you're so unhappy."
"I'm not unhappy, I'm pissed. That was wrong."
"And you don't think this is their son?"
"No. From the way they sounded, their son was young."
"Why don't you find out who this guy is. Find out if he would be up to a trade. Our floor for his and a little money to sweeten the deal. Maybe you can still get what you want."
"That's not bad." She thought to herself for a minute then shook her head. "My advisors are out of town looking at the place where I want to have my wedding."
"You sent your advisors to check out a place for your wedding? Most people hire a wedding planner for that if their getting married. I didn't know you were."
"I'm not but you can never be too prepared with things like this. I want to buy the place so I can go back and visit whenever I want."
"You could probably do that without buying it."
"Yeah, but I'd have to follow their rules and you know how I am about that. I only like my own rules. "I couldn't help my laughter." Well, it's true."
"Sorry, didn't mean to laugh at you. It was just too funny thinking of you following anybody's rules. I could only imagine you in school." Now it was her turn to laugh.
"But for real. I would like to have him checked out. I need someone to look into him for me." She got still for a minute which normally meant she was thinking. But by what come out next, I don't know if she was thinking or not. "Will you do it?"
"Who, me? Oh no."
"What? Your good at what you do and the best by far here. Why not you?"
"I do land and art. I have never done anything like this before. I can promise you I'll mess up."
"You'd do good. And if you do as good as I think you can, it might mean a career change and more money."
"I don't need a change or money. I really don't want to do this. Ask Terry. He would probably do a lot better than I could."
"I have a feeling this guy would open up more with a woman. He's really cute to look at too. Please please please do this for me? Please?"
"I don't care how good he looks; I really don't want to do this."
"Look, I don't want to order you but I need someone I can trust. I'm going to ask one more time, then I will have to make it an order."
"Looks I have no choice."
"Not from where I'm sitting."
"You will owe my big for this." I gave that a second and she nodded. "Looks like I'm going to meet your nightmare."
"Thank you so very much." She says getting up and blowing a kiss my way as she goes out my door.
I lay my head back dreading this assignment. I have always done research online and helped around the office. I have never done anything like this before and I hadn't thought to until a moment ago. Can I really do this? Can I really ask personal questions and be able to ask the right questions? If I did this for Jessy, and from where I sit I would have to, she would owe me big.
At the end of the day I was tired of sitting and my back hurt more today than yesterday. I knew I had damaged it in the accident but I was wondering if something more was going on. I pushed the pain to the back of my mind and headed for Jessy's office to let her know I was leaving. I could hear her on the phone before I ever made it to the door so I sat and waited for her to hang up.
"I came to let you know I'm leaving."
"Ok. But before you go here's the papers on the warlock on high." She hands me a stack of papers that looked to be some research done ahead of time for me. I was grateful for it and was glad that someone did what I normally do for others. It would save me a night's work.
"Thanks. This will help a lot."
"I truly thank you for doing this for me."
"Not like you left me a choice." I say leaving her office for the row of elevators.
I watched as the numbers lite up one by one making their way to me. The first doors opened but I waved them on because it was packed. The next to open was just as packed with people waiting to get home to their family or to places unknown so I waited a bit longer and finally a door opened to one with only one person on it. I managed a smile at the guy standing against the wall and climbed on to wait for it to take me to the first floor. We picked up people on every floor that had ended up pushing me to the back and almost up against the man that had already been on there. I hadn't meant to but there was a couple of times I had brushed against him. This last time I got pushed hard and almost fell right there on my face in front of everybody. He grabs me and stands me right next to him. I was so close I could smell the faint smell of his cologne. He smelled of a freshness that captivated me.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to fall into you like that."
"It's ok. I never mind catching a beautiful girl."
I didn't have a come back to that so I just smiled and turned my head with my heart pounding. Other than the men I worked with or the ones that worked in the super mart, I never talked to men. It never really crossed my mind to say more than a couple of polite words when I needed by. Even though I was viewed as a single woman again, I still felt very much married. Just because my husband was dead didn't mean I felt as if he was gone.
The doors opened on the first floor and we all filed out to head our own way. I exit the building and was covered in a cloud of smoke from a car passing by. Taking a step to head my way I run into a board of a chest. Looking up I turn red from embarrassment. I had run straight into the guy from the elevator.
"Sorry again. I didn't see you there through the smoke."
"Yeah, cars like that should be put away way before that point." I giggle and push my hair back behind my ear.
"Sorry I keep running into you or falling on you. I've never had this much trouble staying on my feet before."
"No problem." I smile and go around him to head home. "Do you need a ride?"
"No thank you. I don't live far. I like to walk rather than ride." Which was the truth since the accident, but he didn't need to know the whole story. After all, he was a stranger. Even the people that know me doesn't really know me anymore. Jessy and Gabby were the only two I had told about my husband.
"Ok, well. I guess until next time then. Don't fall on your way home. I would hate to never see you again. Sure you don't need a ride? It's getting cold out."
"I'm sure I can manage." I went to leave but for some reason turn back. "Thanks anyways."
"Like I said, it's no problem." He smiles then gets in a nice car after the driver opens the door for him. The car pulls off and I turn to head home.
The walk wasn't bad but the cold weather I love here in North Carolina hasn't settled in yet. I pondered on whether or not I should get a car on my walk home. It would be nice, but could I ever driver again? The visions of the car going over the bridge that night was still very fresh in my mind even though it happened two years ago. The look on Alex's face as he died in my arms still haunted my every move. I didn't know if or when I would ever get over it, or driver again.
As I crossed the road where all the big houses sat I noticed a moving truck in one of the driveways. Nice furniture lined the walk and men were picking pieces up and moving them in as an older lady told them where she wanted them to put the pieces in their hands. She turns and waves before going back to the task she had her hands full with. I noticed a young girl of about three playing with a baby on a blanket. The little girl had curly pigtails that hung down her back and you could hear the baby's laughter from even where I stood.
I go on my way thinking of the plans Alex and I had made. We were to be married for three years so we could start his business and then have a house full of kids to fill the big house we had bought. After his death I felt I didn't need all the room so I turned it into an apartment building. I had the guest house now, but all of the apartments were nice and cozy with their spacious rooms and carpet flooring. Everyone said I had rented them out way underprice but I didn't care. I was happy to base it on something I felt anyone could afford. It wasn't like I needed the money.
I walk up my steps and bend to pick up a box I knew held my books to read for the month. I always looked forward to receiving the small box that brought me so much well needed escape from what was going on in my own life. As I put my key in to unlock my door Gabby came out on her porch.
"What time would you like to go down to Speechless tonight?"
"Doesn't matter. Let me get a shower and I'll be ready. What's good for you?"
"Let's head that way around 6. I would like to beat the crowd and get s good table."
"Sounds good." I go in my door and shut the door with a sigh. I wasn't looking forward to this afternoon but I couldn't just stay in my house either.
I get my shower done and stand in my closet to figure out what to wear. The new place was rumored to be somewhat dressy but being overdressed was possible. I decided on a pair of jeans and a semi dressy red shirt with black boots. After I was dressed I fixed me hair down and applied light make-up. Adding a neckless and my hoop ear rings I stand back in the mirror and decide I look as good as I was going to get. I go to the picture on my wall and tell my husband I love him and give him an air kiss. Holding the tears that were on edge I tell him I wished he was here when my doorbell rang. I open it to a very dressed up Gabby.
"Wow, you look completely different when your dressed up."
"Thanks hon, so do you. You ready?"
"I guess as much as I'm going to be."
"Then let's not keep them waiting."
We walk through the streets looking and talking about the houses around us. They were very beautiful at night all lite up looking like a Christmas village. I really liked the one that had a new family now living in it. As we come up on it I stopped to admire it.
"I have always loved that house."
"Me too. I love how it looks so mystical. Almost like it was created out of a book or something." I say betting the inside was as beautiful as the outside.
"I heard the new family just moved here from Washington. The man that bought it is freshly out of politics. Claims he doesn't want to be part of what's all going on. He's got his hands in a little of everything now."
"Yep. My friend says he just bought a building up in town."
"I wonder which building?"
"I don't know. She didn't tell me that." Gabby says with a shrug.
We made it to the new place just in time. After we were seated people started pouring in. It wasn't long before every table was taken and they were putting people on a list. A waitress come and took our order then turns and goes to another table. I look around at the people laughing and loving life. I wondered if I would ever be there again in my life. I wanted to. I really did. But the hurt was too raw and the pain from losing my husband was bone cutting. I would be glad to just get through the night without crying.
"Look, they are so packed they are asking people to let others to sit with them. I wonder if they'll ask us?"
I look and sure enough, that was exactly what was going on. I hoped they wouldn't ask us to let people we didn't know to sit with us. Just as we received our drinks the lights went down and our entertainment for the night started.
Excerpted from Seeking Love by Kimberly Taylor. Copyright © 2016 Kimberly Taylor. 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.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.