Taken Ch. 02byJAMMANN©
Hi everyone I just want to say thanks so much for all the positive feedback I really appreciate it. Just to let you guys know the next chapters will be posted in the non-human category so just be on the lookout for updates. Also thanks so much to Angelicsounds for editing my story and doing such a wonderful job. Hope you guys enjoy. JAMMANN
"Alicia, honey, what are you doing up here all by yourself?" William Garrison asked.
"I was just reading a few things for class," she replied, looking up.
William Garrison was as nice as they come, always making sure to include her in everything the family did. He really was like an uncle to her and for that she was grateful. The only problems were Melinda and Melissa. How a man as nice as William ended up with a woman like Melinda was beyond her.
"Well, our guest should be here any minute. Why don't you come on down?"
"Uncle, do you think it would be okay if I skip dinner? I kind of wanted to finish this chapter."
The last thing she wanted to do was sit around and watch Melinda and Melissa fawn over dinner guests, not to mention that Melinda had told her, ever so sweetly, that her presence wasn't needed at the dinner table.
"Oh come on, you have all weekend to study," he said as he came into the room.
"I know. I just don't feel like getting all dressed up."
"Just wear something simple. Contrary to what Melinda might have told you, this dinner is not that big a deal. I just invited Mr. Kirkland over so we could tie up a few loose ends of our agreement."
"Oh, I thought several business associates were coming over."
"No, just Mr. Kirkland. You know Melinda, tell her we're having company and she runs with it. Oh well, I guess it gives her something to do. Besides, I think you could learn a lot from Mr. Kirkland since your major is Business Management," William stated as he walked out of the room.
"I guess." Alicia shrugged her shoulders. Who knew, maybe this was a good thing. If she made a good enough impression on Mr. Kirkland, he might give her an internship. Smiling, she began looking for something to wear.
***** By the time dinner was ready, she had decided to dress 'business casual,' pairing a black pencil skirt with a burgundy blouse. Coming down the stairs, she hoped she looked like the business savvy student she wanted to portray. As soon as she neared the bottom of the stairs, she spotted M&M, who were giving her their 'What the hell?' looks. Before her feet even touched the floor, the two were already making their way towards her.
"What do you think you're doing? I told you that this was a private business meeting. Why aren't you upstairs in your room?" Melinda hissed in a low voice.
"Uncle Will came upstairs and asked me to join you guys for dinner. He said that he wanted me to meet Mr. Kirkland."
"Now I know you're lying. Why would Daddy want you to meet Mr. Kirkland?" Melissa whined.
Alicia sucked in a deep breath, hoping to calm herself down. This was exactly why she didn't want to come downstairs. It was like drama, drama, drama, twenty-four seven with these two. Enough already!!!
Before she could say anything, Melinda beat her to it. "Alicia, I'm sure my husband was just being nice. Honey, you and I know both know that you're not used to being around people of a certain caliber. Sure, you've been here with us for three years, but I can't risk having you embarrass us tonight. I mean, look at your outfit. That alone tells me you shouldn't be down here."
"You know what, Melinda..." Alicia started.
"There you girls are!"
All three women turned to see Mr. Garrison walking up with who Alicia assumed was Mr. Kirkland. She wondered if the two heard what was said, but judging by her Uncle's smile, she guessed not.
Just as she was about to open her mouth to ask to be excused, she felt the urge to look up and what she saw stopped all train of thought. The man was gorgeous. Sure, she had seen attractive men before, but this was different. For the first time ever, she felt a physical pull towards someone of the opposite sex.
She watched as her Uncle made introductions, taking in everything about the man in front of her, from his tailored suit to his wavy jet-black hair, and those gorgeous eyes that were a deep shade of blue. Before she knew it, her Uncle was introducing her.
"And this young lady right here is my niece, Alicia Monroe. Alicia, this is Gabriel Kirkland." Alicia reached out to shake his hand and almost gasped at the tingling sensation that spread through her body.
"Nice to meet you, Mr. Kirkland," she replied, praying he couldn't tell how nervous she was.
****** Gabriel couldn't believe his eyes. If someone had told him he would be sitting and having dinner with a woman who literally took his breath away, he would have laughed and said it was impossible. But there he was, sitting and staring at Miss Alicia. She was absolutely gorgeous in an innocent, naïve sort of way. Even though she was dressed very conservatively, he still wanted her in the worst way. From her long, thick black hair that was pulled into a sleek ponytail, to those beautiful almond-shaped eyes the color of whiskey, and skin that reminded him of melted chocolate, everything about her screamed 'MINE'.
Fuck, this girl had his senses on overload. After that disaster earlier with Liz, he swore he would lay off women for a while and just focus on taking care of business and handling his duties as Alpha. But here he was, damn near panting over a girl he just met, and a human one at that.
Oh, he had bedded human women before, but his preference was for female shifters. At least with female shifters he could be as wild and rough as he wanted without the fear of hurting them. The last time he slept with a human was years ago, but looking at Alicia, he could see that was about to change.
Of course, there would be problems with her being human and all; his clan in particular looked down on humans. To them, humans were inferior. Sure they did business with them and even slept with some, but to take one as a mate was a big NO!
Gabriel stopped mid-thought, shocked that he was even thinking of such a thing. There was no way he was going to mate with her, his mate couldn't be human. There had to be a reason for his crazy reaction to her, maybe his body was just craving something different.
Gabriel smiled at the thought. Well I've always been one for trying new things.
Unlike the other two women at the table, who'd been fishing for compliments the entire night, Alicia was quiet and reserved, almost as if she didn't want to be there.
When William introduced his niece, she was definitely not what he expected. William didn't mention that his niece who was living with him was black, not that it mattered. What was even more surprising was his body's reaction to her. He'd been with many women over the years, but he had never experienced anything like it. He normally liked his women tall, leggy, with blonde or fiery red hair. Alicia was the opposite of everything he normally went for. If he had to guess, he'd say she was about 5'4", all curves and most importantly, he could tell she was shy, something most female shifters were not.
Even worse, he heard what was said before he and Garrison walked up to the trio and it took everything within him not to lay into the other two women. Obviously, Mr. Garrison was unaware of the hatred his wife and daughter seemed to have toward Alicia, but Gabriel could definitely see it.
He could also tell that he was making Alicia nervous by the way he was staring at her, but he could care less, in fact, it turned him on even more. Thank God he wore slacks or he wouldn't be able to get up from the table. He needed to get a grip, before his wolf jumped across the table and took her before God and all to see.
"Hum? I'm sorry, Mrs. Garrison, what did you say?"
"I said I hope you enjoyed your meal. Melissa and I worked very hard to prepare you a traditional Southern meal."
Gabriel highly doubted those two lifted a finger to prepare anything on the table and judging by the look on Mr. Garrison and Alicia's face, he was right.
"It was wonderful, Mrs. Garrison. It's been a long time since I've had a decent Southern meal," he replied, looking at Alicia, who shifted nervously.
"I'm so happy you enjoyed it. My Melissa did most of the cooking, and from scratch! Can you believe it? I don't know how she does it and still manages to look fabulous," Melinda gushed.
"Hmm." Gabriel was barely listening to her. "So, Alicia, how long have you been with the Garrisons?"
Alicia glanced up from the glass she was sipping out of, hoping she didn't look as crazy as she felt. For some reason, when it came to the opposite sex, i.e. any good-looking male, she was extremely shy. But Mr. Kirkland took the cake; the man was a walking fantasy. He was at least 6'4", with his jet-black hair and striking blue eyes, and even with that suit on, she could tell he was built. When her Uncle spoke of Mr. Kirkland, she pictured a fiftyish business exec with gray hair and a potbelly, not him. Definitely not him.
For once, she could understand why Melinda and Melissa wanted to look their best tonight. Hell, she wished she had put on something a little more eye-catching, but the way he was staring at her, obviously, he didn't mind. Then again, when it came to the opposite sex, she was completely clueless. Maybe her feelings were one-sided; after all, her Uncle did mention to him that her major was business. He was probably just being nice. Before she made a fool of herself, she took a deep breath and tried to calm her nerves.
Just as she was about to speak, Melinda cut in, "Oh Alicia has been with us for about three years now." Putting her hand on her chest in a show of sympathy, which she clearly didn't have, she went on. "It was tragic really. After her parents died, she had nowhere to go. She would have been out on the streets, doing God knows what."
Melinda sighed dramatically before she continued, "Poor thing, we just knew we had to take her in. And Melissa, the darling that she is, took Alicia under her wing and guided her. You know schooling was a little tough for her and then there was her weight problem. Thank goodness she's doing so much better now."
Mr. Garrison cleared his throat in an attempt to shut Melinda up. Alicia sighed. Once again Melinda had managed to make her look like some stray dog she let in off the streets.
Gabriel fought back a growl. Garrison needed to get his wife under control before he put her ass in check. "Well, from what I've observed, it seems like Ms. Monroe is a very strong and intelligent young woman who would've been okay regardless of where she ended up."
Alicia smiled shyly at Gabriel, embarrassed yet thankful for his comment.
Melinda couldn't believe this man. The whole night she had been trying to get him to take an interest in Melissa, and here he was, going on about Alicia. It was bad enough her husband had to take in the little black reject off the streets. The women at the Country Club had a field day with that, and now this. The last thing she needed was this nobody taking away from her daughter, which was exactly what Alicia was doing. Melissa might not have been smart, but she was damn sure more stunning than Alicia's fat ass. Melissa was exactly the type of woman Gabriel needed on his arm, a good showpiece.
If only she could get him to take an interest in Melissa. Hell, she really only needed him to sleep with Melissa and knock her up. From what she read, Mr. Kirkland came from old money and with a family as reputable as his, the last thing they would want was a bastard child born out of wedlock. A marriage to Gabriel Kirkland would put them on the social map, not to mention the financial benefits. I need to do something quick so I can get his attention off of that cow and onto my daughter.
"Alicia, dear, do you mind helping me with the dessert?"
"Sure, I don't mind."
"Excuse us," Melinda said, smiling sweetly.
**** Alicia knew something was up, Melinda never asked for help with anything. Normally, if Melinda wanted her to do something, she just told her to go do it. Once in the kitchen, she braced herself for whatever nonsense she was about to hear.
"Okay, so what do you need me to help you with?"
Folding her arms across her chest as if she was about to discipline a child, Melinda gave her a look that let her know whatever she was about to say had nothing to do with dessert.
"The only thing I need you to do is to go upstairs and stay there until Mr. Kirkland leaves. Do you have any idea how important tonight is? Instead of focusing on the business, a business, mind you, that William has built from the ground up, we're stuck listening to the sad little story called your life. Do you really think that man gives a damn about what you've been through or your future goals? He's just showing you some pity and you're too stupid to realize it."
Shaking her head as she plated the dessert, Melinda went on, "Nobody cares how messed up your life is or what your aspirations are. If anything goes wrong with this deal, we could lose everything. Is that what you want? Especially after we took you in, fed and clothed you. I think it would be best if you did us all a favor and disappeared for the night."
"Let's get one thing straight. You didn't take anybody in. Uncle William did and, yes, I'm grateful for everything he has done for me. But as far as you and Melissa go, I'm getting real sick and tired of the little snide remarks and constant put-downs. I, personally, think for someone as old as you are, you should be above such childish and petty behavior, but apparently that's not the case."
Alicia didn't know who was more shocked at the end of her rant, her or Melinda. She had never stood up to Melinda before.
"Why you little bitch, the only reason you are here is because I allow it. I keep you around because that means there's one less housekeeper I have to pay," Melinda chuckled, "As matter of fact, I think it's time that you moved on. Aren't you tired of mooching off of William?"
Instead of waiting for an answer, she went on. "Yes, I think it would be in your best interest to move on. You and I both know that I have William wrapped around my finger, and if he has to choose between you and his family, well, I think you know who he'll choose."
Alicia turned away, not having anything to say and definitely not wanting to hear anymore. For once, she just wanted to be done with everything.
**** Unable to sleep, Alicia sat looking out of her window at the night sky. Surrounded by darkness, she held on to her teddy bear, Mr. Jingles. It was given to her by her parents and it was the only thing she had left that brought her any comfort. Part of her wanted to cry at her circumstances, yet the other part of her was tired of crying.
She had nothing, no friends, no family, and no one to confide in. She couldn't go to William, Melinda was right. As nice as he was, the man was clueless when it came to his wife and child, in his eyes, they could do no wrong.
Alicia racked her brain, trying to come up with a solution to her problems. She knew, no matter what, she had to leave, if only for her own peace of mind. Melinda would make her life a living hell if she tried to stay, and would do only God knows what to get her out the house.
I have a couple hundred saved up, I could get a small studio, I'll just have to take time off from school, get a second job, and save up 'til I can go back. That's it. It'll be rough, but at least I won't have to deal with her anymore.
Feeling a little better about the situation, she got up to go to bed. Just as Alicia was drifting off in to la-la land, she heard a light tapping sound coming from the window. At first, she thought maybe she imagined it, but then she heard it again. She sighed, throwing back her blanket; maybe it was an animal or something.
Peering out of the window, she saw nothing. As she turned to go back to bed, she paused, all of sudden feeling the need to open the window. Undoing the latch, she opened the window, allowing the cool breeze to caress her skin. Somehow the light air comforted her, almost as if someone was hugging her. Wrapping her arms around her waist, she enjoyed the warm feeling that was spreading through her. Then she heard it again, the light tapping, but this time at her door.
"What the hell?" she whispered. It was almost three in the morning, who the hell would be knocking at the door this time of night?
"Just a second," she called, as she put on her robe, but there was no response.
Alicia threw open the door, expecting to see Melinda, but there was no one at the door or in the hallway. Ok, either someone is playing around or I really need to take my ass to bed. Alicia closed the door, but as she started towards her bed, she stopped dead in her tracks. Standing before her was Gabriel Kirkland, except this was not the same man who was wearing a suit earlier.
The man standing before her was completely nude, each and every rippling muscle on display. Somewhere in her mind, she knew she should scream, run, or, hell, do something, but instead she just stood there, eyes wide and mouth open. Unable to move, she just stared at Gabriel, who had the stance of a predator ready to pounce on his prey. At that moment, several thoughts ran through her mind, but none were able to make sense of her current situation.
"Mr. Kirkland, what the hell are you doing here?" she asked in a shaky voice. Alicia shook her head, she felt like an idiot, the man was naked in her bedroom, and that was all she could come up with. Breaking out of her stupor, she focused on Gabriel.
"Well, truth is, I was heading home until I realized I had forgotten something," he stated calmly, like he wasn't standing in her room completely nude.
"And you had to come butt-naked through my window to get it?" Alicia squeaked, "I mean how the hell did you even get in here and why are you naked? If you think..."
He laughed, cutting her off midsentence. In any other circumstance, it would have been sexy, but right then, it was scaring the hell out of her. Those eyes, the same blue eyes she thought were so beautiful earlier, look crazed.
"No need to be scared. I won't hurt you." Trying to get a hold of her emotions, she asked, "What did you leave behind?" Although judging by the hard-on he was sporting, she had good idea what he wanted.
"I think you heard me." Gabriel grinned as he took a step forward.
"Are you crazy?" she stuttered. He had to be joking, there was no way he could be serious. Alicia closed her eyes. This had to be a dream, a hallucination as a result of all the stress.
"No, I just want what's mine."
Panic set in; the man was certifiable. Taking a deep breath, Alicia inched backwards until her back was against the door. Slowly, she reached out to grab the doorknob.
"You can go ahead and try, but you won't get very far."
She moved slightly and he let out a low growl that she assumed was meant to be a warning, and looking into his icy blue eyes, Alicia shivered. Part of her was scared to run, but she'd be damned if she would just stand there and let him take her and force her to do God knows what, or worse, be murdered.
Spinning around, she flung open the door as fast as she could, prepared to run for her life. Gabriel, however, didn't lie about her not getting far. Before she could get a foot out the door, he was on her. Determined to fight, she tried to kick, claw, punch, anything to get away, but he was too strong. Alicia let out a blood-curdling scream, hoping someone would hear.
Caught in his strong arms, Alicia felt him apply pressure to her neck. She thought for sure he was trying to choke her, reaching behind her head she tried to claw at his face hoping to get him to loosen up. Within seconds, she felt numb; she couldn't move or utter a sound. Alicia began losing consciousness; before the darkness took her, all she could do was watch in vain as Gabriel lifted her into his arms, knowing her life would never be the same after tonight.