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Authors: Cynthia Austin

Between Dreams

BOOK: Between Dreams
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Between Dreams

 

Book 1 of The Pendant Series

 

 

Written by Cynthia Austin

 

Between Dreams

 

Copyright © 2015 by Cynthia Austin. All rights reserved.

First Print Edition: April 2015

 

 

Limitless Publishing, LLC

Kailua, HI 96734

www.limitlesspublishing.com

 

Formatting: Limitless Publishing

 

ISBN-13: 978-1-68058-109-6

ISBN-10: 1-68058-109-0

 

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to locales, events, business establishments, or actual persons—living or dead—is entirely coincidental.

 

Dedication

 

To Tyler

My little engine that could.

 

 

Author’s Note

 

I believe that every song has a bit of a story to tell. With a combination of my favorite bands mentioned in the chapters listed below, Sidney Sinclair came to life. I listened to the music and she told me her story. There's no other way of explaining it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

Big City Dreams

 

As I peered through the heavily tinted film on the window of the limousine, I watched as the beautiful blue waves washed over the sparkling, sunny beaches of Southern California. Despite my excitement of beginning my new experience with the love of my life, I couldn’t help but feel a bit nostalgic.

I should be staring at the dark waves of the Atlantic Ocean right now,
I thought as I reminisced about my recent past.

I had walked away from the offer of a lifetime I had received just weeks before. All for the man I loved.

Ray Ryker.

Ray and I had recently graduated from high school and the world was ahead of us. The doors of endless possibilities had been laid open to us. At least that’s what they had told us during our graduation walk.

I had spent my entire academic career giving my soul to the track and field team, so I was immensely excited when all of my hard work had paid off with a four-year athletic scholarship to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. To actually become a Tar Heel and to run on Fetzer Field was a dream come true for me. But my dream had been trumped when Ray received his offer to sign a record deal with
Black Millennium Records
; the biggest record label in the music industry.
Ray said he wouldn’t sign the deal without me by his side. So, I had no choice but to place my aspiration on hold and follow his path to success. Opportunities like his were not handed out lightly and when I weighed both decisions on the table, the obvious choice pointed to his future for us.

Now, as we sat in the back of a limousine, it was eerily surreal to fathom that this new life was actually mine. Here I was, eighteen years old, riding in the back of a limousine, sipping on a four thousand dollar bottle of champagne on my way to view our newly leased house nestled somewhere in the hills of Los Angeles.

Ray and I had grown up in a town with a population of fifteen thousand people. A place where everyone knew everyone on a first name basis and the only champagne available in that town was from the local Safeway, where I worked.

My manager was pretty upset about me taking this trip on such short notice but thankfully my best friend and co-worker, Chrissy Kyle, covered my shifts for me so it had all worked out in the end. I smiled inwardly to myself as I envisioned the look on my boss’s face when he learned I was quitting and leaving my job in that old, dusty town and never looking back.

This was my new life.

Ray gripped my hand and squeezed it, bringing me back to reality. I turned to look at him and couldn’t help but laugh as I gazed into his blue eyes as big as nickels, shimmering with excitement. He held up the crystal champagne glass and lip synced the words “four thousand dollars” to me.

“Hey, you gonna drink that or just stare at in amazement all day?” Finn asked Ray as he swiftly lifted the glass out of Ray’s hand and drank the liquid down in two gulps.

Finn was Ray’s cousin and guitar player of their band, Unspoken Words
.
Their moms were sisters and they literally grew up blocks from each other. Because of this, they acted more like brothers than cousins.

“Hey!” Ray shouted at Finn as he socked him in the arm.

Finn put Ray in a headlock, knocking his baseball cap off his head as his showery blond hair poured out into sloppy curls. Messing up Ray’s hair, Finn contained him in his grip until Ray finally tapped out.

Marc, their drummer, jumped up and stuck his head through the sunroof, screaming to the entire Los Angeles freeway as we sat in traffic, “Ding, ding, ding. Finn is the ultimate champion due to a tap out from Ray Ryker. All hail Finn Aldman, world champion, and the crowd goes wild!”

He cupped his hands to his mouth and mimicked the sounds of a cheering audience just as Finn gripped his legs and pulled him back inside the limousine and pinned Marc down. Ray jumped in and all three of them were wrestling on the floor of the car as I sat and watched, utterly embarrassed.

Is this really what my life is going to be like over the next year…living in a house with three buffoons?

As if reading my thoughts, Rich, the band’s bass player, looked at me and asked, “So this is it, Sidney. You ready to live for the first time on your own with these three stooges?”

“Hey, you gotta live with them too!” I reminded him.

He smiled and winked at me as he went back to playing with his bass guitar. Rich was always the quiet one in the group and pretty much kept to himself. Ray, Finn, Marc and I had all gone to school together. Rich lived outside the city limits and had attended the school in the town next to us. Finn and he were both high school football players and one day, after a game, they were talking about music and Rich agreed to join their band. Although he was a faithful band mate, Rich attended practices, performed at the shows, and then went home. I’d never seen him at any of the parties we attended afterwards.

As the limousine turned up Diablo Avenue and began its ascent into the San Rafael Mountains, I noticed the scenery changed into a greener picture of older homes, each with their own unique characteristics. The area actually had a sense of familiarity to me as the houses reminded me of our old neighborhood back home. The scene comforted me.
The higher we went, the narrower the street became, and I recalled the short bit of history I had studied about the neighborhood during the plane ride over here.

Apparently this neighborhood was built during the turn of the century with no road access. The developer had built a fancy hotel at the summit of the mountain as well as an incline railway. He would give railway tours to potential home buyers. They would ride the train, view the residences, and stay at the hotel, which housed a panoramic view from the summit. The hope was that the potential buyers would fall in love with the view, inspiring them to purchase one of the new homes beautifully laid out on the mountain.

It’s crazy to think that at one time the only transportation was the train that ran through these hills. Although, as I watched the limousine driver haphazardly maneuver through these narrow streets, I definitely understood and appreciated the reasoning behind it. I would have hated to drive my truck through these curves, as beautiful as they were.

Suddenly, the driver hit the brakes and Finn crashed into me purposely, as if we’d been involved in a huge accident. I shook my head and playfully pushed his heavy body off of me.

“Gosh, Finn, are you ever serious?” I asked, halfway laughing.

He flashed me his playful smile as he stole Ray’s hat and placed it on top of his wild mess of brown hair.
I swear these boys don’t know what a comb is
, I thought.

“I hope you get lice,” I joked.

“I probably will. There’s no telling what lives in
that
bird’s nest,” Finn joked back, punching Ray in his arm, initiating the second round of WrestleMania.

I rolled my eyes and glanced out the window to see what the delay was in front of us. Actually, we had arrived at our destination. The limousine sat parked as it waited for the black iron gates to open. The house must have been set in the back, away from the street, because all I could see were the four ivory posts that were each topped with black decorative lanterns. In between the posts were glossy, ebony bars that curved up into a point. Attached to the fence were multiple warning signs that signified the fence was indeed electric. I supposed the only people that gained entry into this home were welcomed guests.

As the gates swung open, we slowly began the long trip up the steep driveway. The front grounds were covered in several varieties of plants and shrubbery. I reasoned this had been done purposely to keep the look as natural to the mountain terrain as possible.

Finally the enormous mansion came into view and my mouth dropped to the floor of the car.

“Holy crap!” I exclaimed.

The boys jumped up, immediately sticking their faces against the dark windows. Even Rich tossed his bass guitar aside to join the others as they looked out.

The house was a two-story Spanish style mansion with a red tile roof and four matching garage doors. The native plants continued to grow up here but they were now meticulously placed and maintained by a gardener. The entire driveway had been laid down with natural stone and gave the whole place the feel of an old Spanish fort. The front doors were two massively polished planks of wood. The European-style estate was breathtaking.

“Four car garage,” Marc pointed out. “One for each of us.” They all high-fived each other.

“I’ll just park my truck on the street,” I mumbled as I rolled my eyes at their lack of regard for their fifth companion.

The limousine parked behind a shiny, black Mercedes-Benz and a tall, thin and very serious woman with short blonde hair stepped out. Her eyes, covered by a heavy pair of black sunglasses, dominated her tiny lips, which were painted a deep ruby red. She reminded me of a cricket.

It was Rene, the band’s manager. She was the one responsible for selecting a house and securing the lease for us. Rene basically acted as the middleman between the band and the record label. In fact, everything handled by the label went directly through Rene.

The chauffeur opened our door and the boys rushed out and raced inside the palace to declare which bedroom was theirs. Alone in the car, I slowly climbed out, wearing the outfit I had borrowed from Chrissy…tight-fitting black slacks paired with a leopard print button-down shirt. My high heels, of course, slowed me down. I was fitted with tall black stiletto heels intertwined with gold straps, which allowed them to match perfectly with my sexy shirt. I don’t know how she did it, but Chrissy had a natural talent for perfectly matching each pair of shoes to her outfits.

The chauffeur extended his white-gloved hand and I gratefully accepted it as he pulled me out of the car and then acted as a balance post as I gained my composure in my newly acquired heels.

Rene greeted me, “Good morning, Sidney. I trust the plane ride down here was uneventful.”

I nodded my head and thanked her for allowing me to join Ray in the house.

Rene forced a smile on her tight face as she tilted her head to the side and answered, “Well, it’s not as if I had much choice in the matter. Ray was pretty adamant about having you with him.”

I nervously wrapped my arms around my chest as I remembered the day the offer came in. Ray refused to sign the contract unless it stipulated that I could go with him to Los Angeles.
Rene argued on behalf of the record label that it was never a smart idea for a band to make their breakthrough album with any of its members attached to a significant other. The boys would appeal more to fans if they gave the image of being single. After a week of discussion, Ray still held his ground. He would walk away if I didn’t go. Rene had no choice but to agree.

“Nice shoes, Sidney,” Rene complimented. “Why don’t you make your way inside and take a look at the place, I’m sure you’ll absolutely adore it. It’s quite charming.”

Quite charming?
I marveled inwardly.
It’s Spain’s version of the Taj Mahal!

As I made my way into the large building, I was flabbergasted by what I saw. The ivory walls were well complemented by the dark wood, which elegantly framed the many windows. The house was beautifully furnished with matching mahogany furniture. The dark wood floors shined so brightly I could see my reflection in them. I hesitantly walked across the floor as my heels click-clacked with each step I took echoing throughout the house.

In the living room, there was a massive stone fireplace set as the focal point with a velvet maroon couch paired with two leather recliners on each side. The upstairs walkway wrapped around the room like a beautiful balcony with black iron bars expertly crafted to fit perfectly. Each hallway was cut into an arch and the giant vaulted ceilings had deep mahogany beams, which crisscrossed majestically and reminded me of a church cathedral.

“Your room is upstairs, Sidney,” Rene said flatly as she walked in behind me. “If you could, please send Ray downstairs to the kitchen. There are some papers that I need him to sign before I can be on my way.”

I nodded. “Sure, no problem. This house is absolutely exquisite.”

She flashed me that phony smile she wore so well and spun around on her heels as she walked towards the kitchen with a manila envelope swinging back and forth in her hand. I turned in the opposite direction in search of the staircase that would lead me to my chambers.

The staircase was back by the front door and I slowly ascended it in my damn heels.
I was grateful for the maroon runner that muted their sound. The staircase was one of those large fancy ones that you see on television that scaled the entire side of the wall as it slowly curved to the second floor.

There was a massive gothic-style chandelier which hung from the center of the large mahogany dome along with three-arched windows, all intricately placed with stained glass. It irritated me that the record label assumed since the boys were in a rock band they were automatically partial to gothic architecture.

BOOK: Between Dreams
5.64Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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