When A Taker DreamsThis is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual person, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
The dinner party had started off pretty normal that evening. The guests at had arrived, assembled, and collected their cocktails, and now everyone was mingling. Isabella Duvall took her duties, being asked to be a mentor, seriously.
She smiled knowingly. She knew she really wasn’t exactly a mentor to young woman named Cierra. In reality she was growing Cierra Cantrell to be just like her. She was really grooming her with all of her knowledge and wisdom on how to marry a rich man.
When her older brother, Ryker Granger showed a dark gleam in his eye toward Cierra, she gave him a scolding look of contempt, and quickly steered Cierra out of distance, and into a crowd of people.
At twenty seven, dark-haired Cierra Cantrell was a gorgeous. Growing up in Silicon Valley she had been just your average whiz-kid, with a killer body, and big brown beautiful eyes that sat in a face that was hard to forget.
Quickly, Isabella inserted Cierra into a conversation with two young bachelors that she had invited.
One was Henri Allard. He was an up and coming attorney with Hampstead and Associates. He looked safe with droopy, sleepy eyes. The other young man as Collin St. Martin, a tall, broad shouldered and handsome professor at the local University. He was the son of Dr. Charleston St. Martin, an affluent owner of the medical supply company. Dr. St. Martin was a very good friend of her mother’s.
Isabella gave a sigh of relief. She’d known both of the young men’s families and she knew that both of them were prefect and safe for Cierra Cantrell.
It was Cierra’s eyes, Isabella thought that had made her agree to watch out for her. It was the grief of knowing that she’d let someone else down once. That woman had had the same haunting brown eyes just like Cierra did.
“Indira Jones,” she mumbled under her breath and felt a cold chill creep down her spine. The moment seemed surreal as she remembered. For an instant she felt a haunting that called out to her from the past. It was the eyes of an invisible phantom who knew she had broken her promise and failed someone in life.
“Hello Isabella! Isabella.”
The hand on her arm startled her and awakened her out of her trance.
“Isabella. Thank you for introducing Collin to Cierra. I like her a lot,” Dr. Charleston St. Martin said. “I just hope Collin doesn’t bore her to death. You know that Geeky son of mine has no social skills what so ever. By the way, love the dress.”
Life goes on Isabella thought, shaking out her thoughts. “Thank you for the compliment Dr. St. Martin. I’m sure Collin will be fine.”
“Well if Collin strikes out with Cierra I’m going to put his name on every on-line dating sight out there. A father has to do what he has to do.”
“Stop worrying Dr. Martin,” she assured him. “Remember, I told you I’d give you the number to the matchmaker, Eris Simeon, if things don’t work out with Cierra.”
He shook his head. “Okay, if you say so Isabella. I’m willing to try anything. But just remember, my son is almost thirty and I want him out of my house!”
The minute Dr. Martin walked out of view Isabella turned around and focused her concentration back on Cierra Cantrell.
So far mentoring Cierra had been easy. Her purpose had been to mold Cierra into her image, ferociously independent, and determined, with a reputation for being business minded in things of work and the heart.
Isabella had changed Cierra for the good in several of those ways except she couldn’t seem to shake the girl of her romantic notions or her thinking that a pair of blue jeans and a blouse and sweater was proper attire for everything she did in life. But at least tonight, she had gotten Cierra to compromise and wear the black lace scallop edged cocktail dress with black patent leather pumps, she had helped her shop for.
The dress clung to Cierra in all the right places. Her only regret was that she had not been able to persuade Cierra to let go of her glasses and wear contacts. But at least she agreed to wear her gold framed glasses instead of her usual black plastic framed ones.
Isabella felt a pang of apprehension when she saw her brother Ryker walk over and join the single people in their conversation.
She watched as Ryker took over the conversation. Instantly the two young men scattered like flies. She knew the maneuvering. Her brother was using his low-down and dirty hustler, antics to weed out the competition. She’d seen him use them on unsuspecting, gullible business partners that got in the way. Her brother Ryker, was ruining her plans.
“Ryker you scummy street hustling bastard,” Isabella muttered under her breath, as she stood there a few more seconds before deciding to close the distance between them.
Cierra Cantrell wasn’t his type. The girl wore geeky girl glasses and didn’t know how to dress herself. Not to mention she had an innocent streak a mile long.
Before she could reach them a familiar voice told her, “Damn, is that your brother with another woman? The fuckin’ bastard! I have a good mind to go over there and make a scene.” Isabella froze on the spot. “Desiree!”
It was Desiree Martin, her brother’s ex-girlfriend. She was dressed in a black beaded cocktail dress that looked like it had been painted on.
Isabella was concerned with the drama Desiree could bring. “Desiree, what are you doing here?”
“You knew I was coming,” Desiree smiled tilting her nose in the air. “I’m sure our mutual friend Tiffany told you.”
Isabella shook her head. Desiree Martin tried to act like she’d been born into money. The woman was a female version of a hustler trying to sleep her way to the top. Still she was her friend. “Yes Desiree, our mutual friend Tiffany told me you might show up.”
Desiree Martin winkled her nose staring around the room. Giving off an air of sophistication. “At first I wasn’t sure I could make it. I so loath these charity fund raiser parties. There is always some low-life trying to start drama.”
“Yeah, and normally it’s you,” Isabella replied with blunt curiosity noticing how she fumbled with her dress. The dress looked two sizes too small. “What’s wrong tonight honey your dress too tight?”
“Very funny Isabella. Apparently my dress isn’t doing the job it was supposed to do, attracting your brother. Because he hasn’t looked up at me one time.”
Isabella composed herself and smiled at her candor. “Come off it Desiree. You’re not interested in my brother.”
“By the way, I thought I saw you come in earlier on the arm of that basketball player Calvin Harrison,” she stated but didn’t wait for a response. “Does Calvin know you have a revolving door with your ex Marquise?”
“Hell no he doesn’t and I would appreciate it if you kept your mouth shut about that subject, Isabella,” Desiree snapped. “I thought we were friends.”
“I’m sorry I said that,” Isabella told her. “We are friends.”
“And I’m sorry too for yelling at you Isabella. You know Ryker and I have moved on. It’s just that when I saw the way he was looking at that woman he’s standing with it made me jealous. I mean I remembered there was a time when Ryker looked at me like that. Damn, he makes me horny just staring at the two of them.” She shuddered with her memories and exhaled with a dangerous smile. “I know Ryker must be giving her some good hard...”
“Excuse you,” Isabella raised a questioning brow as she glanced in their direction. “Desiree, that girl is my mentee.”
“Girl my ass. That is a woman,” Desiree laughed. “Oh don’t worry. Ryker and I haven’t been an item for a very long time. Anyway I’ve got a bad headache tonight, my sinuses are acting up. By the way Isabella, can I ask you to do me a favor?”
“Okay, I’m listening. What do you want?”
“Can you drop by afterwards and check on me? My headache feels bad and I’m going to pop one of my sinus headache pills. You know the ones that can make me do that sleep walking thing,” she replied touching her forehead. “Anyway, I’d feel better if you stopped by and checked on me. Here, take my extra key and let yourself in.”
Isabella shrugged. “Sure Desiree, but I might not get that way until after two o’clock before I stop by on my way home. You know I have to stay and see this event through to the bitter end,” she hesitated. “That reminds me, don’t put anything on the stove when you get home. The last time you did you burnt those boiled eggs something awful.”
“Okay, fine. I’m not hungry anyway.”
Isabella watched her exit the room.
Just then a tall skinny, blond guy approached. It was Professor Charles Price, the inventor.
“Isabella, where is your hubby Stuart?” Charles asked.
“You know Stuart hates these functions, Charles,” Isabella said kissing his cheek in greeting.
“You know, I loathe these parties, just as much as Stuart does. But I make the effort. Especially when you promise me that if I came you would introduce me to that Max Brentwood. You know he sits on the board of directors at Haywood and Associates. They are most important venture capitalist firm in the Valley.”
Isabella nodded grimly letting Charles lead her away.
Across the room Ryker had trouble concentrating as he marveled at Cierra’s elegant fingers as they picked the cherry out of her glass and brought it to her lips. He tried to keep his heart in his chest as he watched her.
He watched her sip her drink and lick her lips. The woman was like a sexy goddess, only he could tell that she didn’t have a clue that that was what she was doing to him. Instantly he went over.
“Are you having a good time?” Ryker asked, as he approached her.
“Huh,” Cierra said, finishing her drink and placing it on a waiter’s tray, as he walked past. She breathed out. “Honestly, I don’t know what to do with myself, since Henri and Colin walked away. I mean with them I can say the stupidest thing and they laugh.”
She scooted in close and said. “Yet, you just stand there staring at me looking and I can’t think of a damn thing to say,” she exhaled. “Anyway I figured all that there is left to do now and stand here and wait for your sister Isabella to introduce me to the next upstanding son of some one,” her voice trailed off.
Ryker stood there silently studying her. “Nobody can mistake you for being anything but honest,” he laughed.
She looked up. “I sorry I didn’t mean that to sound rude.”
“No problem your highness, you just said what was on your mind and I can’t blame you. Beside I observed you all evening and know you’ve been stuck under my sister’s arm like a string puppet, when you’d rather be off doing something else.”
“Oh really, and what do you think I’d rather be doing?” Cierra teased.
Ryker glanced across the room at his sister. There was a slight curve to his lip as he watched Max Brentwood and Isabella. Max placed his hand on Cierra’s arm keeping her close to him. Ryker smiled. Thank God good old Max owed him a favor.
“Come on your royal highness let’s get out of here. I can tell we both could use some fresh air,” Ryker said, taking Cierra by the hand.
Cierra couldn’t believe she had let down her guard and left alone with Ryker. She was pretty sure it was because he’d called her your royal highness. The way the words rolled off his tongue sent shivers down her spine.
As she got into the passenger side of his flashy Porsche Panamera she grinned wide leaning into the plush leather seat. She felt like a princess being whisked away. As his flashy car sped away from the front of the hotel she wondered if she’d done the right thing. It wasn’t like her to just take off for a drive with anybody.
Ryker didn’t know why he’d let his impulse get the best of him. Something about Cierra brought out the protective side in him. He watched her play with a loose strand of her hair. He gripped the steering wheel tighter. He didn’t want her to see how nervous he was. Cierra didn’t say a word as he drove. Out of the corner of his eye he studied her. She wasn’t like any of the women he was used to. She was like an angel who had floated down from heaven with big brown eyes.
Finally she spoke. “Where are we going? I mean it’s not like I don’t trust you or anything,” she hesitated, her voice was sad. “But we’re going for a ride, right?” At the moment she looked back at him he felt his heart pounding in his chest. Cierra wasn’t like any woman he’d ever met.
“Want to see my place?” He asked eagerly, crossing his fingers on the steering wheel, praying she wouldn’t say no. He stared blankly ahead wondering what was coming over him. “Sure, I’d love to,” Cierra replied.
Twenty minutes later the flashy luxury car pulled into the driveway of an obvious wealthy home. The modern mansion looked peaceful nestled against the hillside.
“You live here?”
“Yes, I do,” Ryder smiled.
“Wow you’re in in the hills? Houses up here don’t come cheap. You must be rich,” Cierra breathed out.
“Kind of, Ryker said. “Would you care to go inside?”
Cierra pushed her glasses back on her nose. She didn’t want to let on how awestruck she was. “This is an awfully big house. Do you live here alone? I mean…” she hesitated. “I know I’m not awfully smart when it comes to men. But I hope you don’t mind if I ask if you‘re married or something? I mean your sister Isabella never mentioned that you had a wife.”
Ryker chuckled taking her arm and leading her inside after punching in a series of codes. The foyer flooded with soft light. He led Cierra down the hallway into the sunken living room complete with vaulted ceiling and a dazzling chandelier. A white leather sectional centered the room in front of the fireplace.
“What would you like to drink?” he asked.
“A Shirley Temple please,” she said. She wasn’t sure what was going to happen but she didn’t want to think she would let herself be led to doing something under the influence of alcohol. Not that she ever had in the past. She squinted and pushed her glasses back on her nose. She knew the reason why she came. She desperately wanted to make love to Ryker Granger. She heard all about his sexual exploits. She heard from his sister Isabella’s closest friends about the wild frantic lovemaking Ryker was known for. With Ryker she would enjoy sex. Ryker was the person who could save her. He could make her forget.
Cierra sipped her drink as her thoughts consumed her. At twenty seven year old she hid a dark secret. The only person who knew was Enzo Rawlins. Her best friend. It was her junior year in high school. A year she’d never forget. Enzo had stumbled upon Cierra just after her Physics teacher, Felix Von Bran ran his sick cold hands between her legs as he held her pinned on the floor of his office.
The old memory always made her feel dirty and used. As easily as the memory came she shook out her thoughts. She knew why she’d come. Ryker was the man she wanted to create some wonderful love making memories with. She’d made up her mind. Nothing was going to stop her.
She swallowed hard and put down her glass. She walked over to where Ryker stood. “Aren’t you even going to try and kiss me?”
“Beg your pardon?”
Cierra moved in close and placed her hand on his neck and pulled him in close.
Ryker kissed her back as an excited urge raced through his body.
“Ryker,” Cierra moaned. “Aren’t you going to help me take off my clothes?”
When a Taker Dreams by J. A. JACKSON Full book jacket and link http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01288VA7I 978-1515153276 Through a series of challenging events, Cierra and Ryker grow closer, and he begins to see the light of love developing as they find the key to filling the void of emptiness in their lives. The author J. A. Jackson does a fine job of keeping the story moving and the reader guessing. This is more than a love story.