She awoke instantly and looked at the clock. It was nine in the morning. Jumping out of bed, she ran to the bathroom and washed up. The appointment with Dr. Ryan Carter was in twenty minutes.
This was a catastrophe. Damn her for staying up late to work and then taking her thick hair out of the corned rolled braids. As she tried to find out style for her thick honey brown mane, she felt like her scalp was going to come off, but finally settled on yanking it back into a tight upside down French-roll that created an attractive frame for her oval face and exotic eyes � if she didn�t wear her glasses.
But in the past few years, Skye had started wearing the reading glasses all the time to serve almost as a pacifier when she was out in public. The glasses made her feel like a safe wall was there to hold her in check and in place. They made her feel almost normal and not out of sorts like she always felt on the inside.
In five minutes she was washed up. As she brushed her teeth she also noted how her glasses threw people off on the nice features of her face. She didn�t mind that at all because she didn�t want attention from men because that would� There was no use in that kind of attention for her. Not from anyone!
After e-mailing her work to her clients she rushed off to the clinic, arriving ten minutes late.
Dr. Carter was waiting in the room for her and seemed too glad to see her. He wasn�t cute as Dr. Himes, but his tall �Michael J. Fox� appearance made her a little uncomfortable especially the way his green eyes were sizing her up from head to toe as if recording her measurements and size.
They made quick introductions. He had read her charts from prior psychiatrist. Immediately, he asked her to speak about her feeling concerning her rape and how she would feel now if she ever becomes involved sexually or emotionally with a man.
Her belly was all a flutter speaking about this, but she tried to remain calm outwardly to Dr. Carter. �I really don�t know how I feel right now. I don�t think about what happened to me in the past any more in details only as a moment that happened. What happened was so long ago and seems so far away I don�t questions the when�s or whys.�
Taking a deep breath she made the cutest twinge of her nose deep in thought. �I don�t involve myself with anyone right now, not because I�m afraid or anything. I mean, I had acquaintances, friends, and sorts, but living here I�m working all the time and I�ve been enclosed in my new house I�ve just gotten.
My only contacts are my e-mails from my employees and associates on the web.�
He nodded. �How have your sexual relations been?�
�None. I-I haven�t um . . .� She cleared her throat feeling her heart rate increase. �I don�t have any.�
�Why is that?�
She began to rub the back of her neck nervously feeling a panic attack surfacing. �No reason. I-I mean they say I�m healthy physically, but I don�t engage because I haven�t been . . . attracted, you could say, to anyone.�
�What holds attraction for you?�
She closed her eyes and immediately started remembering the picture of Thaddeus Newman in the newspaper. �A strong face and personality. Self strength more than anything attracts me.�
�You are beautiful. I am surprised men have not approached you.�
�They do and have. I just don�t talk much except for business. I don�t know why, but just the idea of talking with them and engaging in personal conversations give me panic attacks.�
�Panic attacks?� he questioned scribbling on his pad.
Skye nodded. �Sever panic attacks. It�s like when I�m not conversing with them face to face on a personal level I�m fine. Some of my clients are men and I have no problem speaking business, but as soon as it gets personal, I can�t concentrate. My pulse races and I feel trapped.
�You have tried drugs?�
�Yes, but they only made me sleepy or annoyed. I hated feeling the way they made me feel and I hate taking drugs of any kind in general.�
�Even if they made the attacks lessen?�
�Even then. The idea of being dependent upon a chemical makes me feel weak and I don�t like feeling like that emotionally not when every day it feels like a struggle to get by naturally for me. I tried them all and I didn�t like that. I did have a dog and that helped a lot when I went out in public, but she died a year ago and I just never got another one because losing something felt awful and I didn�t want to lose another one. I have an easier time going out in public and having Shelby helped me make this decision to come to Detroit. If she had not been in my life, I wouldn�t have had the inner strength to move here by myself. I know once I get over her death, I�ll get another puppy, but right now, I have my work to keep me busy and a new house to finish up.�
�Have you tried hypnosis?�
She shook her head. �What on earth could that accomplish?�
�A lot of things. The sound of the male voice changes and for some reason when a tone of interest in you comes, your mind immediately begins to panic and sends signals to your body in a negative form.�
She shrugged. �I�m always open to suggestions.�
He stood up and pulled out a beautiful emerald on a long gold string. She smiled at the beauty of the penny size green gem.
�I want you to relax, Ms Patterson, then slowly watch the gem.�
His voice was quite relaxed as the emerald moved slowly left to right in front of her beautiful lavender eyes.
Skye felt her body relaxing as she heeded his instructions. She felt light as a feather than total blackness surrounded her and nothing for a long period of time. Her whole body gave a sense of being lifted and in the distant a strange ringing of the phone fought to invade the tranquil darkness. Fading into the silence, there seemed to be a deep calming voice speaking to her from far away, but as much as she strained she couldn�t make out what exactly the voice was saying.
She decided to relax and listen to the voice wondering if she was experiencing a memory of her childhood and the voice was her father talking to her when she was a baby. The thought of this made her happy.
Since she was little she always carried the knowledge it had not been her father who had given her up, but maybe her mother, and he probably did not know she existed. He would come for her one day, she always wished and when he did he would have the most enchanting deep voice just like the one she could barely hear.
When she came to she was still in the same chair and Dr. Carter was leaning back in his chair putting the emerald in his inside jacket pocket. Blinking her eyes, adjusting to the light, she took a quick check of herself. She felt and looked fine, yet her mental state had somehow been affected. She couldn�t explain exactly what was affected, but Skye just didn�t feel like things had gone the way she had thought they would.
�How do you feel?� he asked yet a bit triumphant.
�Calm. No different.� She didn�t want to express she felt as if someone had told her a secret, but she couldn�t remember what had been told to her.
A soft bell chimed behind her and the doctor stood up. �I do recommend you come next week, Ms Patterson. I�d like to see how you�ve done.�
�I would too.� She gathered her things. �I�ll make an appointment.�
Dr. Carter seemed quite pleased. Too pleased in her opinion, but she pushed this thought away thinking it was just her mind being apprehension of everything and everyone.
Leaving out, she sat in her car in a rather thoughtful mood feeling quite strange. Looking at the time she didn�t feel an hour had passed since she had walked in his office.
She was free for the rest of the day and decided to go to a nearby strip mall near her home to get her shopping done. The experience was a tranquil one until she stepped outside the store.
Near the grocery store was a caf�. Being a nice August day, many people sat outside.
What drew her attention was the large built man. Shoulders!
The broad expansive shoulders from behind drew her notice. There were several other men sitting with him, but none of them seemed to catch her eyes except him. Even his deep laughter made her eardrums tingle.
Sitting at a table right behind him, she listened quietly. A waitress walked up to her and asked for her order. She told her club soda because she didn�t drink coffee and even though tea would have been more appropriate, she didn�t want to get hyped up about now.
�Mr. Thaddeus Newman,� a waiter called quietly near the front of the caf� doors, holding a cordless phone.
The man she had been watching raised a strong hand with long clean pedicure fingers. The deep timbre of his voice made goose bumps appear on her arms. How could a man so large be so seductive and not know it?
He excused himself turning to the young man carrying the phone, which was right near her. She hurriedly stood up trying to turn anywhere except facing Thaddeus Newman terrified of her reaction if he looked at her with those sensual brown eyes she remembered in the newspaper. In her haste she bumped the waitress carrying her club soda, spilling the drink all over both them. Skye rushed away leaving one of her bags of groceries.
Sitting in the safety of her car, she almost passed out. Her panic attack was quite severe.
No, the hypnosis had not work! She would promptly tell Dr. Carter next week.
Closing her eyes to calm herself down, she thought about Shelby and how the settler use to know when she was having an attack and rub her arm or legs. Losing Shelby had been very upsetting because the settler had brought her a lot of comfort and serenity. The lost had also prompted her to find a new life away from Davenport and take an account in Detroit.
Shelby still offered comfort in her death. Just thinking about her dog made Skye�s began relax and her breathing slowed down.
This was quickly ruined when someone tapped on her window abruptly. She screeched in shocked startled by the large shadow.
Looking up she saw the black Adonis she had just been admiring holding her grocery bag.
Lord no, she thought frantically dreading as she got out the car using the car door as a barrier between the two of them.
Thaddeus waited patiently as she reluctantly opened the door and stepped out. She seemed homely, frail, and quiet. He was use to awe and adoring looks from women, but she reacted as if she wanted no part of him or his interest. Purposely she didn�t make eye contact by putting on transition glasses that tinted slightly because of the sunny day, before she stood out the car. He handed her the bag she had forgotten, which she quickly took giving him a quiet thanks.
�You left your groceries at the table,� he explained wishing he could see her eyes through those dark glasses wondering what she was thinking and feeling. He was trying to make conversation just to assess her strange behavior. �I assured the waitress I would make sure you got them.�
�Thank you,� she said again hurriedly putting the bag in the cars back seat. She was screaming for her mind to stay calm and the only way to do this was not to make eye contact, but his proximity unnerved her and damn if he didn�t smell good. Lord, the man smelled delicious.
Though he�d gotten a message to meet his contact soon, this young lady somehow held his interest. If she would probably just make eye contact from behind those dark shades then . . . maybe he wouldn�t be so interested. �My name�s Thaddeus.� He held out his hand to shake.
She pretended not to see the outstretched hand and began to get back in the car. �H-Have a nice day, sir.� She closed the door, cranked the car and drove away as quickly as her old black escort would allow her to go.
He sighed chalking this up as just one of those episodes in his life that just couldn�t be explained.
She seemed interested in him from the way the waitress told him that the woman was staring at the back of his head, but didn�t want to go ahead with what she felt. Or he was feeling for the first time in his life rejection from a woman?
Either way he was not going to let the mysterious plain young woman bother him. He was on his way to meet Pooh, the contact, at the apartment downtown.
As he was about to step towards his car, a yellow business card on the ground caught his attention. Patterson Transcription Service � for all your transcribing needs. �The Skye�s the limit!�
It was rather odd, but the card looked freshly dropped and he was positive the owner was the young woman.
Tucking the card directly in his wallet he decided to investigate her further on a later date if he remembered. The whole ordeal with her had been a rather humbling experience or maybe he was just losing his touch.
Chuckling to himself as if that was the silliest thought, Thaddeus decided to call Trish en route to downtown to start an immediate search into the transcription business. If the investigation turned up no lead to this mysterious �no interest� plain woman, he told himself he could chalk it up as two ships passing in the night. Yet, funny how he wished he didn�t want her to just pass by.
* * *
When Skye finally pulled in her driveway, she screamed to herself. How could she be so stupid and act so silly? He was just a man.
Nothing more. Maybe it would have been a great business contact? No he was in real estate. Still networking never hurt any business, she knew this and she was not about to let her stupid little idiosyncrasies come between her business, which she so enjoyed.
* * *
Getting to the apartment, Thaddeus passed the keys of his black Jag to the valet and went into the complex. He told the attendant at the security desk that he was expecting company and to allow the guest to come through.
This was only his second time there since moving his things in last night. It felt weird calling something home, since he lived basically at a hotel for the past three months. He had moved out of his home about that time giving up his space to his sister, Heather, and her low-income bringing home husband.
Giving up his home had been a decision that he had come up with when he knew he could not take another moment of Heather badgering him about being single and setting him up every night for dinner with one of her money hungry girlfriends.
He was almost glad to move out, but he had never had time to find another home. Being an entrepreneur and single gave him no time for his personal life. He knew if he was married with a supportive wife, he would be able to accomplish a lot more networking with old friends and acquaintances, but he knew with the crowds he went around most women regarded him as their ticket to never working another day in their life and he didn�t want that.
He needed a woman in his life that would continue to do what she did if it made her happy or given the opportunity: find out what she loved to do and have a goal.
Caring really only about his sister and mother in his life, Thaddeus saw no need except one to bring a woman in his life at this time. With his business thriving and being extra business keeping the business where it was, Thaddeus really couldn�t even focus on his sexual needs. Plus he found dealing with women and their drama; the comfort of this hand was better.
Even Heather could be quite difficult in her temperament. She was spoiled and selfish since another father raised her and not their own. Their father left their mother when Heather was four, but Henry Newman was a nice caring man. An encouraging man that had raised Anne Pitman�s children like his own since he had none.
Anne and Henry lived in Florida now and his mother called him every once in a while to keep in touch. Heather stayed in Detroit because of her husband�s job at the new casino. She tried many times to get cash from her only brother, but Thaddeus tried not to let his sibling get to him.
There was only so much one could do to help family, but he was not willing to go broke supporting grown people.
Sitting down on the comfortable leather couch, he reached into his blazer pocket and pulled out the yellow card that the woman dropped when the strange woman had gotten out the car.
He�d never needed transcription service and why he wanted it all of a sudden was a mystery to him. Trisha took care of everything so why should he be so interested? Yet when he told Trisha about inquiring of a transcription service she seemed rather agreeable.
The buzzer sounded for him to answer the door. A skinny young man stood in the hallway with a cigarette hanging on his bottom lip. �I�m Pooh. You Tad?�
Pooh was a dark skinned skinny pimply-faced young man with a row of brown teeth at the bottom of his mouth. He couldn�t have been more than his middle twenties with a nasal sounding voice and stood an average five foot nine in dire need of a bottle of lotion on his hands.
Thaddeus frowned at the Ebonic talking man, but knew this was his contact and would have to put up with the ignorant young man. �Come in. Would you like something to drink?�
�Hell yeah! Oh man, this is fly!� Pooh began to look around uninvited throughout the apartment to do so.
Thaddeus said nothing, but watched him with his peripheral vision.
�Oh hell yeah!� Pooh shouted again when he entered the bedroom.
Thaddeus smiled because he had thought the same thing and he was positive Craig had something to do with the setup of the exceedingly expensive seductive bedroom. The bed had to be a double king size from its enormity and the black furnishing added just slight masculine touches around the room. He brought the man a gin and tonic.
�This place will be the tops on my list for my next place. I didn�t know the River Place had it like this.�
There was no way in hell Pooh�s broke ass could afford something like the River Place that charged no less that over two thousand a month minimum, but Thaddeus kept that remark to himself.
�So why does Fats say?� Thaddeus asked.
�He says he wants to meet you. You gotta go to the Network Wednesday morning at seven.
He�ll be there. That ain�t one of his places, but he�s got contacts that frequent there and helps him get business done.�
�What about the girl?�
�I ain�t seen no one, because Fats don�t want to do nothing until he meets wit�you.�
Thaddeus really didn�t want to do something like that and he really didn�t think he would have to meet the man when he had agreed to do all this. To meet the man himself seemed quite dangerous, but he didn�t think Fats would want to do business with him until he met him. �I�ll do it, but it�s got to be at nine. Can you do that?�
�Can you old timer? Too early for you, huh. Make sure you take your vitamins.� Pooh gulped down the drink with a snicker. �That�d be no problem.� He tapped him on his arm. �I gots your back, �kay? I told Fats �bout what you wanted. Fresh as a new day, and no sharing. You want top dollar. Right?�
Thaddeus nodded. �Top dollar,� he agreed.
Pooh handed him the glass. �Don�t worry, you�ll get what you want man. When I told Fats you were interested in a little fun every Saturday night, he lit up like a Christmas tree. I know he�s gonna want to do it. He just needs to see if I�m not fucking him over. So you bettah show up or dat�s my ass, man.�
Thaddeus only nodded again as he ushered Pooh out the door. The slang the young man spoke made his head hurt trying to decipher. He would put a good diction qualification if this language was on the street now, for the girl he wanted. What the hell had he gotten himself into?
Damn Craig! I�m going to beat your ass!
* * *
She sat up abruptly in bed. Something strange had just happened. The digital clock beside her bed read seven in the morning. She could tell that daylight savings time was coming in effect, because the sun seemed to just crest the horizon making longer nights, so why didn�t she feel rested? Going into the bathroom she splashed cold water on her face, then stared up in the mirror back at herself.
Her dark lavender slanted eyes were extraordinarily expressive even when she could not say what was on her mind.
The dream. She had a dream.
For some people this seemed normal, but she had not dreamed since . . . since the rape. It was like something in her brain died and she thought a part of her had, until last night when she was standing in a strange office next to two other women. One lady was truly frightened and Skye comforted her telling her everything was okay, but she doubted these words even as she spoke them.
A door opened and a heavyset man and another man in his early sixties walked in. The fat man seemed doubtful and whispered something to the other man. The other man coaxed him on, and she heard something like, �. . . won�t remember a thing.�
Skye stepped forward as the two men approached them. The heavy set man looked her over like she was some sort of meat product.
�Is there a problem?� she asked.
The heavy set man looked over at the other man not sure if he should speak his mind.
�Go ahead and speak. She is not aware, so speak sensibly.�
The heavy set man met her eyes with beady black eyes of his own that chilled her to the bone.
She didn�t like the vibes she received when she looked at him. His voice was decrepitly calm.
This bothered her too. �No problem, Skye. Do you know why you�re here?�
She shook her head suddenly not at all feeling well. �I don�t dream. I don�t dream. Is this a dream?�
The older man came fourth and held her shoulders. �Close your eyes Skye and listen to my voice.�
She started shaking and her heart rate increased. She didn�t want to be here. She wanted to wake up. �L-let me wake up,� she begged.
�No, Skye, you can�t. You must stay. Please stay.�
�M-make the bad man go, and I will stay,� she promised.
�He�s gone,� the older gentleman said. �Now relax. Stay calm.�
She calmed herself down appeased that the �bad man� had somehow disappeared, but this was a dream so that could happen. Controlling her panic attacks was becoming easier and easier.
The older man helped her to a chair and comforted her more. She really didn�t need or want his attention, but allowed him to do so since comforting her seemed to relax him too. She knew she was somehow important to these men for some reason, but had never met them a day in her life. This was strange.
No one dreamed of people they never met. Before she realized it she was sleeping in his arms.
But at the same time that�s when she awoke in her bed. The man had been telling her something, but for the life of her she couldn�t remember. She knew his voice was still pounding in her ear when she awoke as if he had been standing by the bed speaking to her, but even that faded away once her eyes opened.
The clock had read four in the morning and she had still been sleepy. Drawing the covers closer to her she surmised the experience must have been something she saw on television that she had not remembered.
Skye cringed her nose deep in thought. �Something on television.� This seemed reasonable to assume, yet the reasoning didn�t sit well with her. Still she was not going to dwell on this now.
She had a busy day ahead of her.
Little did she know this was the first step into a reality she would never forget.
Dreams of Reality Chapter 3 (c) 2006 Sylvia Hubbard
Sylvia Hubbard, Author and Founder of
Motown Writers Network, Motown Romance
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