Author's Note: This is a work of fiction. None of these characters exist and are not meant to represent any true life individuals. I hope you enjoy this romance and please take the time to vote and comment if you wish, but most of all enjoy the story and the twists and turns of Philip and Tiara. Thank you to Ronnie for suggestions on the story and Tseranc for editing. If you see anything you don't like, it's my fault, not theirs. Thanks again and have fun. ~ Red
"Veiled Secrets' Families"
The Kingston Family according to the State of Tennessee and statements made by Ruby Ann Miller:
John Andrew Kingston married Ruby Ann Miller - divorced 1963
Ruby Ann - mother of Tiara Desiree Kingston born on March 10, 1964; father unknown. Also mother to Ethan Michael Kingston born on January 7, 1966; father unknown.
Adoptive Parents - Jonathan and Mattie Able - Married to Roger Collins
Ethan's (renamed Philip) family:
Adoptive Parents and siblings: Chad (DOB 1920) and Delilah (DOB 1930) Traverse - married 1949
Biological children of Chad and Delilah:
Janet (Janie) born in 1952 married to Steven - 2 kids - 3 grand kids. Matthew (Matt) born in 1950 married to Carol (divorced)- 3 kids - 6 grand kids
*Please note the bold printed dates on the story while you read. ~ Thanks Red*
May 9, 1970
Ruby Ann Kingston stared at the two faces looking back at her through the rear window of the old station wagon. Her blood shot eyes were full of unshed tears and her fingers shook as she brought her cigarette up to her mouth and took a deep draw of the nicotine she craved. She watched the dust from the road settle before she went back into her trailer. Ruby sat down and pulled the whisky bottle from under the sofa. She'd tried for the last three days to reach her best friend Carrie. Carrie would have helped her, at least Ruby Ann thought she would have.
She tipped back the bottle and drank the burning liquid, its heat no longer affected her. She was immune to it. An hour passed, her nursing the bottle, smoking one cigarette after another, before she finally reached for the bottles of various pills. She had pulled all of them from the medicine cabinet, every thing from her children's chewable Tylenol's to the antidepressant she took. It was three days before anyone checked on Ruby, by then Tiara Kingston and her brother Philips were in Foster Care.
Three months later the trailer was vandalized and three months after that it was burnt to the ground after several teens decided it was a good place to smoke pot and drink booze. They all survived, but no one else ever lived on the little plot of dirt in Nashville, Tennessee. Tiara, age six was placed with a couple in Fresno, California and Ethan, age four went on to live with a middle-aged couple in Nashville, who had two teenagers and wanted one more child, but the mother did not wish to give birth again. His adoptive parents changed his name to Philip.
The state tried to keep them together, or so that was what Carrie had been told, when she came back to see Ruby Ann a year later, only then learning of her death and the placement of the two children. But in fact, they placed the kids as fast as they could, with whomever they could that had been willing to house them. When the opportunity to adopt came forth, the state jumped on it.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Jan. 7, 2006 - Las Vegas, Nevada
Philip Traverse sipped his gin and tonic, winked at the pretty brunette and her companion, an equally admirable redhead. He walked over, casually ran a long and lazy stare over their full figures and million dollar smiles. "Ladies," he waved over the bartender and ordered the two women another round of drinks.
"Where are your dates?" he asked.
"We came together," the brunette told him.
The redhead smirked. "We always come together." She licked her lips and trailed one finger down the brunette's arm.
Philip's cock jerked. "Do you? Well, it's my birthday, so why don't we get to know each other better." The drinks came and the group moved over to a darker corner of the club. They spent three minutes talking, three minutes that were the most arousing Philip could have ever imagined being packed into such a short time span. He finished his drink and walked the two ladies to the hotel elevator. They finished their drinks on the way and handed their empty glasses to the bellman that would accompany them onto the flight up to the penthouse.
"So ladies, what do I call you?" Philip asked. He had one arm wrapped around each giggling females' waist and nuzzled first one's neck and then the others.
The redhead ran her palm down his chest and pushed him to the wall. "Kat," she whispered and stroked his cock. He groaned and his eyes moved over to the brunette.
"Ginger," she purred and slid her tongue over his ear.
The bellman said nothing. The display was a common occurrence for Philip Traverse, a gambler that was currently on a winning streak. He was always circulating Vegas and from what the bellman knew, it was Philip's birthday and he was celebrating.
They reached the penthouse floor and Philip winked at the man operating the elevator. "Care to join us?" he asked.
The man chuckled. "No Sir, I've a wife. I'm heading home in an hour and I think she'd be pissed if I took you up on the offer."
Philip laughed. "Hell man, bring her along." He chuckled when he saw the man's expression. "You have a good night, Rick. I'll see you tomorrow." He spun around and disappeared into the room with a lovely companion on each side.
When they closed the door, Philip pulled Ginger to him and cupped her ample bosom. He pushed and kneaded the tender morsels, while his tongue moved down her bronzed throat. There was a tug on his pants and he watched Kat pull his slacks down and then encircle his rod with her perfectly shaped lips. "Fuck," he groaned.
Ginger whispered. "Eventually."
The following morning Philip woke up, his arms and legs bound to the bed, his head sporting a hangover. It took him a moment to realize a woman was walking into the room. A small squeak of shock told him that it wasn't the ladies he'd allowed to fuck him senseless and then tie him down with promises to fuck him some more, but it was housekeeping coming to freshen his room.
"Mister Traverse," the voice muttered, the sound of disappointment reached him.
"Mary," he sighed.
"Did you have a lot on you last night?" she asked and then walked over, pulling a pair of scissors from her apron.
As she proceeded to cut him lose, he chuckled. "Yeah, $20,000."
"Ouch " she exclaimed and freed his right arm. "Why do you do this? You party and get loopy then lose your money to a two-bit hooker." She freed his leg.
"It was two, two-bit women. Seeing as they took my money, which you and I both know they did, I guess that does make them hookers, but as you can probably guess they earned it. Though . . . I admit . . . I wasn't originally aware they were hookers. When they told me . . . believe me Mary, $20 K wasn't the agreed upon price."
When she released the final restraint, he sat up and rubbed the circulation back into his arms.
"You need to settle down, marry, find a good woman to make you a happy man," Mary said. She'd been rescuing this gambling bum for several years now, and though he was a great man, sweet, and kind, he never stayed still for very long, always moving about.
"I'm too young to marry, Mary." He grabbed his robe and covered himself. "Unless that pretty daughter of yours is single."
"You stay away from my Marie " She growled at him. "You are only, forty-one. You are not too old. You should have already been married and have a grand baby to bounce on your knee."
"Speaking of Granddaughters, don't you have a lov- . . . "
He laughed and headed to the shower to wash up.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
March 10, 2006 - San Diego, California
The forty-two candles were blazing and Tiara Collins could feel the heat of them wash over her. She took a deep breath and blew the inferno out in one long, drawn out burst of air. Happy Birthdays and party favors were either shook, blown on, or tossed in the air as her friends and family gathered around and watched her begin plucking out the candles and licking the ends of their sweet frosting.
"You'd think after forty-two years, she wouldn't do that," a quiet voice reached out to the rather large group.
"Mom, its really good frosting though," Tiara giggled, but refused to lift another candle and suck on the tiny strip of wax. Instead she turned around and hugged her mom and then her dad. "Thanks for the party," she told them before being ushered into a chair and handed a piece of birthday cake."
The party resumed. However, when the final guest left, Tiara sat there looking at the discarded plates and napkins that littered her normally well kept home. A sigh left her lips and she looked up to see Roger walk in. "What the Hell?" he muttered, stepping over pop cans and a few sticky dollops of icing. "What the fuck happened? It looks like a bomb went off."
Tiara heard a loud cough and before she could answer her husband, her father walked into the room. "Tiara's friends brought their kids and a few spills and mishaps were made, no worries though we'll get it all set to rights."
Roger looked at his father-in-law and waved him away. "No, you and mom go on home. Tiara can clean all this up, after all the birthday is over when the party ends."
"Dad, go on. Mom looks tired and Roger's right. I'll clean up, no problem."
"You're sure?" he asked, noting the hard, cold eyes of his son-in-law.
"Yes, Daddy, please. I'll see you guys tomorrow. Mom has that appointment with the Doc and I'm supposed to take her."
Tiara watched her parents' facial expressions, but soon her Mom rose from her place on the rocking chair and hooked her arm through her husband's. "Come along hon. It's time to go. We've had her attention all day, its Roger's turn. Besides I'm sure he's got something special planned since he had to work today and couldn't celebrate with Tiara."
Roger snorted and opened the door for his in-laws. They kissed their daughter goodbye and headed home. They never made it though. Tiara's father, Jonathan Able suffered a massive aneurism that night on the way home and his wife Mattie was unable to react fast enough. Their car collided with the semi and both were killed instantly, though later it was revealed that Jon had actually died seconds before the crash.
When the Will was read a week later, Tiara sat in front of her parent's Lawyer, her dark sunglasses hid the bruise that Roger had given her that morning. Her long white blouse hid the ones on her back and her navy skirt hid the cigarette burns where he'd put his cigarette out on her thigh, because his ashtray had been full. Now her husband sat beside her, watching the same video she and several others were watching. It had been the one requirement of the will. The entire estate, valued at more than eight million would go to charity if the video wasn't shown with Roger in the room as well as several other people Tiara had never met.
As the video played, Tiara learned many things as did the people in the room. Tiara learned she'd been adopted. Her birth mother had been Ruby Ann Kingston and she had been born Tiara Desiree Kingston. Her father was simply listed as unknown and they had some information on her mother, but not a lot. Her parents went on to tell the room that though Tiara was adopted, she had always been their daughter and no matter what choices she made in life, they were still proud of her. She inherited seven million dollars. The video continued playing though Tiara wasn't really listening.
It "spoke" to Roger next. The words were ones full of anger and hostility as they told Roger that Tiara had never come to them and "told" on him, but they knew what he was doing. They also knew Tiara was an adult and only she could escape her problem, but they were now giving her that opportunity. It would be up to Roger to divorce Tiara now and walk away with a cool million, or have his business ripped apart after several preprinted letters went out to all his business associates. These letters would not only let people know of Roger's abuse, but would also make it appear that Roger was involved in several "shady" deals. If Roger didn't divorce Tiara by the time the video was over, then he'd be ruined. At this point the tape was paused and Tiara's parents' Lawyer handed them both copies of a divorce that had already been drawn up.
"A mil?" Roger asked.
"Yes," the stiff faced man replied.
"Fuck it. I can always find another lousy Bitch; they're a dime a dozen when you got that much cash under your wad." He grabbed a pen, signed his name and was out the door with a cashier's check for one million dollars. Tiara had sat there stunned. Now her mind was not only reeling from the fact she was adopted, but she was now single. Her hand trembled as she accepted the pen and slowly wrote her husband out of her life.
The video resumed and Tiara learned who the people in the room were with her. She shook hands with people her parents had lined up to help her with the transition of not only losing her parents, but also her husband. She also was introduced to a group of executives that had handled her parents' money, money that was now hers, money that she never even knew her parents had. When the whirlwind of emotions and earth shattering news concerning her change in life suddenly calmed, Tiara was quietly sitting in a King Size bed staring out at the view of San Diego, wondering what she was going to do now.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
April 1, 2007
Philip reached for the phone and pulled it up to his ear. "Yeah?" he asked in a sleep filled fog.
He sat up and looked at the time. "Hey Janie, what's up?" He looked over to the figure in his bed and sighed, wondering what her name was again.
His heart caught in his throat and he felt his world tilt. He swallowed, almost afraid to ask what was wrong. He didn't need to, his sister, 14 years his senior was answering the unspoken question.
"She's had a stroke."
Philip tossed back the covers and swung his legs over the side of the bed. The woman next to him rolled over, her breasts falling free of the sheet, but her movements went unnoticed to her sleeping mind and Philip's distracted one. "How bad is it?"
"They aren't sure yet. She's alive, but they won't know more until later today. She's resting."
"I'm on my way. You're at Hillside Hospital, aren't you?"
"No, remember they were down in Honolulu on their anniversary.
He took a deep breath. "Damn, I'd forgotten. Shit. What's the name?"
"Leahi Hospital, here in Honolulu. I've already got you a flight out. It leaves in an hour. There's a car already reserved for you at the airport, all you have to do is sign for it. A map will be in the glove box as well as her room number. You're staying at the Hawaii Prince Hotel, I've got your room key."
"Thanks Janie. I take it you called Matt?"
"He's on his way. Hurry Philip. It's really got Daddy down."
"Well I appreciate you lining all that stuff up for me. I'd be lost without you." He sighed into the phone when he heard her "somebody has to."
"I'll see you soon."
"Love ya Phil."
He hung up and buried his head in his hands. He took several long breaths, before he felt the woman he'd brought home with him, start to rub his back. "Hey baby, come back in here and warm me up," her voice dripped like honey.
Philip sighed. "Can't sugar, gotta go."
He stood up and grabbed his pants. It took him five minutes to find the rest of his clothes, during that time he felt her cold eyes on him. She'd called him an ass for leaving her after the nights they'd had, like she was some cheap slut. He remembered then how he'd met the sweet vixen, well she wasn't sweet now, he told himself. It was now Sunday morning and he'd picked her up Friday night, at one of the bars in Miami. She'd been a hot fix for his needs, but now he was glad he hadn't gone back to his place, but opted to fuck her at her cheap hotel.
He shut the door just as a lamp made love to the wood behind him. The crash surprised him and when he stopped by the front desk he paid for the damage and told them to refund the girl her money and he covered her tab. Philip headed to his condo and packed a duffle bag. He then called a cab and arrived at the airport five minutes before his flight was scheduled to leave.
The flight was almost full. His first class seat though was comfortable and welcoming. Had Philip been on the plane for any other reason besides the one he was on for, he'd have found the flight attendant's smile and her welcoming scent arousing, instead though he was too distracted as memories of his youth assailed him.
When his flight landed in Houston, he had a fifty-minute layover. He called Janie and had learned that his mother had awoken, but seemed very "out of it" and then went back to sleep. He took some time and grabbed lunch at one of the food establishments as well as picking up a traveling kit, which he used to quickly shave off his weekend growth of facial hair. He tossed the electric razor in his bag and headed back to wait for the boarding call.
His next layover was in Phoenix and he had an hour to kill there. He used it to grab something else to settle his nerves and when he boarded his plane he knew he had more than six hours to think of his Mother and the wonderful woman who'd struggled through twenty-two hours to deliver him. He silently fell asleep with prayers for her quick recovery falling from his lips.
After the long flight, he headed over to the Hertz rental agency, signed for the Lincoln Navigator and headed to the Hospital, using the map Janie had provided. When he got there, he was taken to his mother's room and he knocked gently on the door, before opening it.
Janie turned and saw her brother. "Philip," she cried, though her voice was soft. She ran to him, circled him and kept him close in her embrace. Though Philip was forty-one and no longer a child, she still knew this was going to be hard for him. She touched his face and pulled him out into the hall.
"Janie, I want to see mom."
"Philip, I'm sorry. You were too late. She suffered another one an hour ago. We've lost her." Janie watched her brother stagger to a chair that had been placed outside her mother's door. Janie was fifty-five and watching her brother collapse in sorrow made her feel as old as the woman who'd just passed away. "Philip, Matt's here. He's inside with Daddy."
Philip pushed his hands through his hair and wiped at the tears that were falling. He took several calming breaths. "When did Matt get here?"
"A couple of hours ago."
"I'm sorry, you didn't get to say goodbye," Janie said and then hugged him.
"Me too." He stood up and opened the door. The room smelled of death. Funny, he thought to himself. Hospitals reek of odors. Cleanliness. Death. Sickness. Medicine. But when it affects you, you only smell the one thing, in this case it was death. He looked at the bed that seemed to swallow up his mother. His eyes traveled to her face, soft, and gently wrinkled. He closed the distance and took the chair his brother offered him.
"Thanks," he whispered. Matt gripped his shoulder and squeezed it hard. He walked over to stare out at the window. Philip's father, Chad was sitting on the other side of his wife of fifty-eight years. He reached over and touched his youngest child's hand. "She knew you were on your way. I think she knew you were thinking of her too."