(Another excerpt from, “ICON”,another novel I’ll be releasing some time in late 2013)
…She was outdone. Her indifference was short lived, as her thoughts settled back on a derailed career, and the memory of a child who she believed was not dead. She could still feel the cold iron he slid slowly across her cheek. The barrel of the gun looked menacing when she looked down the blackness that housed lead bullets. His threat shot waves of fear in her heart. She knew to take what he said seriously. Even though she never witnessed a crime, she knew he was capable of following through without blinking an eye.
When she reached room 524, she slid the card key into the electronic lock, and waited until the identification light changed from red to green. When it did, she withdrew it, turned the knob, opened the door, and entered the suite. The hallway light immediately flickered on, allowing her to inspect her surroundings. She found the temperature gage and adjusted it to 75 degrees.
“Damn, they charged an arm and a leg for this overpriced hole, you’d think they’d make it cozy. Shit, it’s freezing in here,” she said out loud, dissatisfied with the earlier service she received, and now the room.
The late evening autumn sun descended slowly into the watery horizon, unapologetic for leaving it’s place in the vast sky. Traci immersed herself in the fall of day, gazing in a cleansing meditative state. There was something calming about watching the ebb and tide, swelling and expanding in a series of waves. She took small sips of red wine from the slender, crystal, flute she held in her left hand. Her direction seemed as dark as the approaching night sky, for there was no clarity to grasp to. All she knew was gone.
By the time room service arrived, the effects from the wine had her in a giggly mood. She staggered towards the door, humming cheerfully to an unreleased song she had written.
When she made it to the door, she swung it open with such force, she lost her balance and fell onto the soft, rust carpet. It happened so quick until it took her a moment to realize why she was looking up at the handsome, well-built, room service attendant.
His skin tone was the color of dark chocolate, and his imperfect white smile was genuine, as he raced over to her aid. When he lifted her gently up, she could feel his strength by how easily he whisked her up into his strong arms. The swift rescue had her feeling more light headed than she was before the tumble, and all she could do was rest her head against his massive chest.
“I’ve got you, Miss,” he said, obviously oblivious to the big recording star he was holding in his arms.
She didn’t know if he was just being respectful, or if he truly didn’t know who she was. The latter is what she hoped, because it made him that more sexy. It had been several months since her last intimate interlude, so his magnificent brawn, and manly warmth ignited the fuse of lust within her womanly entryway.
“Thank you, young man,” she said, grinning flirtatiously, slightly embarrassed by her accidental spill.
“You’re welcome, Miss. Do you need me to get anything for you while I’m here?” he asked, as he returned wheeling in the cart that held the food she had ordered.
Even though she was craving companionship, she made the conscious decision to remain a lady, instead of a hard up tramp. “No, I’m fine,” she said. Her sexless span would have to continue until the right man came along. She didn’t want to start her new life making old mistakes.
That’s how she wound up in his bed that crazy night. He took advantage of her drugged out mental state. She could only recall bits and pieces, but remembered vividly that he had entered anally. Just the memory of the excruciating pain she endured caused a low whimper to slip out, and he looked towards her with a look of concern on his face.
“Are you sure you’re going to be okay,” he asked, checking again to see if she was still okay.
“You heard that?” she asked, flustered that he had heard her.
He nodded his head, bashfully.
“I apologize. What you heard was a bit of my past haunting me, but I’ll be fine. I do need something though,” she told him, as she reached out with her left arm.
He moved towards her. “Sure, whatever you need….”
“Carla… My name is Carla,” she completed his sentence, telling him her birth-given name.
“Okay, Carla, what else can I do for you?” he asked, tenderly.
“Will you be my friend for just a little while?” she asked, as tears welled up in her eyes.
Never taking his eyes off of her or releasing her hand, he sat down beside her. When she laid her head on his shoulder, he released her hand, and put his right arm around her shoulders. His actions weren’t sexual, they were comforting. She felt safe with him. Before another second could pass, she asked him his name. Knowing his name would make him less a stranger.
“It’s Jasper, Jasper Williams,” he said, looking ahead nervously.
It took her a minute to put it together, but once she did, she raised her head from off his shoulder, and moved his around to stare into his eyes. It couldn’t be. Coincidence did not have the ability to reunite two people from a past so long ago, but how could she deny what her eyes beheld? His adult features resembled those of a little bow legged kid who occupied the room next to hers three summers before the talent competition. Just as they had gotten close, he was taken away to live with relatives on his late father’s mother.
His father was married to her mother at the time, but he lost his life in the line of duty at a construction site suddenly. My mother tried gaining custody to honor her late husband’s wishes, but during a nasty, six month court battle, he was awarded to his father’s mother in 1993. He was only 10 years old, and she was 17.
Their 7 year age difference strengthened their relationship; she loved playing the role of big sister.
Her intense study of him forced him to break the silence. “What are you thinking about, Carla?” he asked, intrigued by her fascination.
“How old are you, Jasper,” she asked, hoping he’d say the magic number she had calculated in her mind.
He chuckled. “I’m legal, so you’re not breaking the law,” he said.
She sat up, and punched his arm. “I figured as much. But, humor me, how old are you, Jasper? Really,” she asked again, sitting back against the arm of the sofa they shared.
His face had a baffled expression, but instead of keeping her in suspense, he gave her an answer. “I’m 27 years old. Now why was knowing my age so important,” he asked, still not connecting the dots.
She let out an elated scream, slid from her end of the couch dashing towards him, and when she reached him she wrapped her arms tightly around him. Her impulsive reaction stunned him, and once she calmed down he asked her what he had missed.
“It’s me, Jay-Bird,” she said, using the nickname she used to call him.
At first he thought he was hearing things, because only one person had ever called him by that name. He vaguely remembered when his father’s people took him from the only home he had ever known. For seventeen long years, memories of that final morning goodbye stayed in the forefront of his mind relentlessly. Sudden death altered a routine he had gotten accustomed to. Before he went to school his dad would always say, see you when I get home from work, son. He expected to see him pull up in the driveway at 4:00pm, but that day he didn’t show up.
Instead, at 5:24pm, the phone rang and his stepmother answered it. A few moments after she said hello, tears filled her eyes and she looked at him shaking her head. He couldn’t understand why she kept looking at him shaking her head teary-eyed. He wondered why she had that sad look on her face, and why that phone call was making her clutch her mouth that way. That call was bad news, and something told him it would explain why his father had not returned home. He should’ve been home by 4:00pm. Why hadn’t he arrived, and what was she being told?
When she hung up, she just stood there in one spot, crying. What was she crying about? Something told him the phone call had something to do with his father, and he wasn’t sure he wanted know. But he had to know, and after a few long minutes he did know. His dad would never be coming home again. He wasn’t ever going to hear his father call him son anymore. The last time he heard his voice would be the last time he heard it. He didn’t know it at the time, but he knew it then, because she told him. She said there had been an accident. She said they couldn’t resuscitate him. She told him the paramedics tried for 10 minutes, but he didn’t respond. She said he was pronounced dead at the scene.
He had been missing him for so long. He was angry at his dad for leaving him. He was angry because they told him he had to go live with them. He was frightened because he had to go live with total strangers. His dad kept him away from those people. Why did they make him go live with those people? Those same people that hurt his father when he was a little boy. Didn’t Carla and her mother want him to stay? They must not have wanted him to live with them. The only person who cared about him had died, so he was an orphan. An orphan that nobody wanted.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about Miss,” he said, as he rose hastily from the sofa.
“But everything adds up. Your first and last name, your age, and you look just like him. You look just like Bradford Williams,” she told him, in a tone of certainty.
“My father’s name was, Ralph, I don’t know anyone named, Bradford,” he said, flustered by her identification of him.
“Are you sure? No two people could look so much a like,” she told him, practically accusing him of lying.
“You don’t think I know what my father’s name is? You’ve mistaken me for someone else,” he told her, agitated by her persistence.
“Look, I didn’t mean to upset you,” she said, in a sorrowful tone.
The sadness he heard in her voice stopped him in his tracks. He turned around and looked at her from where he stood in the hall. He did remember her, but he refused to let her know. Where was she at back when he needed her? They were supposed to be friends. Why didn’t she fight for him? She told him that he was her little brother and that she would always protect him. When he needed someone he could trust, nobody was there, and he swore he’d never trust anyone again.
“Jasper, I didn’t mean to upset you. Please, don’t go,” she whispered softly, hanging her head mournfully.
“I really need to complete my rounds, but once I’m done, i’ll be back,” he said tenderly, with a hint of surrender in his brown oval-shaped eyes.
“You better not stand me up, mister,” she playfully warned.
“I’m no liar, I’m a gentleman who always keeps his promise,” he said, with a slight reassuring grin, exiting the room with swift masculine grace.
After the door closed, the temperature in the room suddenly got uncomfortably chilly and the lonely feeling that had been lingering for months intensified. His warm genuine aura was refreshingly comforting and had momentarily taken away that empty desolate feeling. Regardless of what he said, she knew, in her heart, that the Jasper who had just left the room was, without a doubt, the same Jasper she shared countless memorable moments with years ago. The same one she called her little brother. The one she promised to protect. The one she had given the nickname, Jay-Bird to.
It was as if fate had presented her with a chance to redeem herself, and she was going to make sure she didn’t blow it again. She remembered crying the rest of that day, and for several more days after he left to go live with his father’s mother. Not only was she mourning the sudden death of the step-father she loved and adored, she was also mourning the loss of a little boy she had grown deeply fond of. His kind-hearted spirit was pure sunshine in their home, and when he left he took it with him.
Strangely, she understood why Jasper felt the way he felt. He was too young to understand that, once the court stepped in, her mother had no say so in the matter. The battle for custody was over immediately after the judge slammed his gavel down. His father’s verbal wishes carried little weight in court. If it wasn’t in writing then it was only hearsay, and that was not strong enough to matter inside the legal arena.
Carla Williams had lived in the shadow of her superstar persona, Traci Starr for far too long. There were millions of fans on every continent obsessed with every aspect of an entertainment ICON that very few really knew.
Life on center stage came with phenomenal pressures that none of them would ever experience, but every single one of those pressures went along with the territory. Once you reached ICON status you were no longer a person, you were a bankable commodity.
Millions had been made from her massive record sales and sold-out global concerts. Traci Starr was entertainment royalty. In the beginning, the jet-setting lifestyle was exciting and fun, but it quickly became draining and burdensome. It almost destroyed her spirit. This was why she had to walk away from it all while she was still sane. With all of the money she had made, she could live comfortably for the rest of her days, and never be broke. The mere thought of having a simple life caused a hard smile to stretch across her face.
For her, the decision had been made.
She retired to the bedroom of the lavish suite, immersed in decisiveness about her own future, and all the ways she would spoil Jasper. Both of them had a lot of catching up to do, and she wanted him to fill in all the blanks about his life that she had missed. She hoped that his late father’s mother had been kind to him, and that he always felt safe and loved living with her. She never once forgot the pained look on his face as he slowly turned his head and looked back at she and her mother that one final time.
The gentle sunlight of early morning awakened her, and she began a series of horizontal stretches to loosen her muscles. It had been a while since she felt so alive and free, but those serene thoughts quickly diminished when her thoughts rewinded back to a prior night’s promise. A promise that had been broken.
Before her heart made it to the next beat, she sat straight up in the luxurious king size bed that she had unintentionally fallen asleep on the prior night. Had he broken his promise to her, or had she foolishly missed his return visit because she was sleeping? Her hope was that he had come, but was unable to awaken her. She was known for being a hard sleeper, and even told on more than one occasion, that she could sleep through anything, but she never intended to sleep through this.
Instead of teetering back and fourth between what if and perhaps, she reached for the hotel’s phone, picked up the receiver, and called the front desk. As it rang, she prayed that whoever answered the line would be able to give her information about Jasper’s whereabouts. Since personnel information was considered proprietary and confidential, she realized that her chances of getting an address or phone number was, most likely, nil to none.
She was going to ask anyway.
If God says, this will be released late 2013 early 2014. Who knows, perhaps this one will be the one I can turn into a Movie.
(Another excerpt from, “ICON”,another novel I’ll be releasing some time in late 2013)
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