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Do Dreams Come True? by JM Dragon

Chapter One


Laurel rapped hard on her apartment door knowing it was futile. Sidestepping her belongings packed in cardboard boxes and piled haphazardly outside the door, she attempted to peek through the spyhole in an attempt to find out if Ronnie was home.


“Damn you, Ronnie, this is my home too. You can’t do this.” Rage fought its way through her normally docile manner and she clenched her fists. With a sigh any ogre would be proud of, she gazed at her possessions. “Thank God I left most of the bulky stuff in the storage unit Mom had in Breckenridge at Limetree Estate.”


“Laurel, what the hell?”


Laurel looked at Carol Bannister, whose apartment was on the floor above. “Hey, Carol. I don’t know about hell but I think this time it’s the end.” Unable to squash the tremor in her voice or the tears that fell, she looked away from her friend and neighbor. Carol was tall, lean and plain-featured with the most gorgeous auburn hair that was slightly lighter than her own.


“Let me help.” Carol bent her lanky frame to collect one of the boxes.


“It’s okay, Carol, I have this.”


Carol shrugged. “What’s a neighbor for.” She picked up a box with ease.


What the hell. She’s being nice and the help would be good. Laurel had no clue as to where she would go. She glanced at the closed door—number fifty-five—that would be forever etched in her brain. “Thanks, Carol,” Laurel said. She frowned as she looked at the closed door of the broken elevator.


“Do you have someplace to go?”


Laurel bit her lip. It was embarrassing enough to have one of her neighbors find her in this predicament and quite another to admit she had no place to go.


“I’ll find a hotel for the night and work it out tomorrow.” Laurel smiled.


Carol frowned. “Jacs is away until the weekend. Why not stay at our place until then. You know Jacs will arrange everything once she’s home. She’s good at that.” Carol chuckled.


Laurel laughed and could feel a little of the building tension regarding her situation dissipate. Jackie Carruthers, Carol’s partner, was a life coach and a fine organizer when it came to finding a place to live in Chester.


“I couldn’t impose. Besides, it’s the same building…”


“Oh, forget maggot face. I’ll deal with her if she turns up. Although Rose in eleven told me on the way up that she was leaving for Paris or was about to. Did you know that?”


Carol seemed to grow five inches taller to Laurel as she spoke. “No. No I never knew that. I guess she was keeping some pretty big surprises for me.” Laurel shook her head. “Maggot face?” In the circumstances Laurel felt the name appropriate. “If that’s what you called Ronnie, what did you call me?”


Carol grinned. “Laurel, we never called you anything…okay maybe we did have a nickname. I’m sure you did the same with everyone in this building that you know.”


“No,”  she said, shaking her head. “I never did that.”


“Oh.” Carol scratched the back of her neck and Laurel figured she was embarrassed.


“Well maybe, Mrs. Kolchonsky. I never opened the door to her on Halloween. I swear she has vampire running through her veins.”


Carol laughed. “Stay please, Laurel. I’d love the company.”


Laurel considered the offer seriously this time. “Thank you, Carol. Your offer is a godsend.”


“Great. Let’s get your stuff moved. We will have to make a few trips since that darn elevator is out of order again.” Carol, with the box in hand, made her way toward the staircase.


“I’ll find another place to stay tomorrow. How hard can it be?” Laurel picked up a box and followed Carol. “So what do you and Jacs call me?”


Carol chuckled. “Angel.”



Christen Jamison glared at her brother, Hank. “I’m not going to waste my breath on that explanation,” she said.


Hank Jamison rapped his fingers on his desk and gave Christen an icy stare. “The company needs to downsize, Chris.” He folded his arms. “Do you want me to let you go?”


“If that’s necessary then sure. “What you are proposing is a cheap way of saving money for a few months—maybe weeks—and then you’ll be recruiting again for Thanksgiving. Stupid is what I call your plan.”


“Fortunately, I don’t have to listen to your advice to get it by the board. They already agree. Tough luck, sis. You will have to stomach doing all those severance paychecks and seeing those upset employees. For the life of me I don’t know why you want to be personally involved in every one we sever employment with.” Hank shrugged and flicked on his computer screen. “Lola invited you over for dinner this Saturday.”


Christen moved to the door. “Why? We haven’t been together for dinner since…oh yeah, the deal with Rayburn fashion.”


“Whatever it takes, Chris, whatever it takes. Remember it’s our inheritance. Don’t you ever forget that,” Hank snarled.


“How could I, Hank. You drum it into me at every tick and turn.” Christen opened the door. “I’m busy Saturday.”


Hank growled as she left the room and pressed the intercom. “Get me David on the line. Now!”



“Chris, there’s nothing you can do. Mom’s coming home sometime in the next six months.” David Jamison drummed his fingers on the table in the store canteen.


Christen flicked her brother a wild look before shutting her eyes and drawing in a deep breath. “Mom hasn’t been home since the accident that killed dad. So why is she coming back now? When I talked with her on the phone a month ago she didn’t mention that she was coming home.”


David did not lift his eyes from the table. “In a word…”


“Oh please, don’t tell me Hank invited her,” Chris hissed. “I find that hard to believe under the present circumstances he’d do that.”


David shrugged. “Maybe she knows something we don’t.” He flicked the simple menu card across the table. “Let’s eat. I have a feeling it is going to be a long day.”


“Long day? It’s going to be a long week. Do we have any idea if she’s coming in six months or earlier?” Christen took the menu and seeing nothing that appealed to her put it back on the table. The current news shredded her appetite.


“According to Hank, there wasn’t a specific date mentioned. Why not call her and ask.”


“She’ll think it odd if I call her sooner than the usual three months.” Christen bit her lip.


“I call her every month at least.” His brow furrowed. “That’s a bit harsh, Chris.”


Christen glared at him. “She doesn’t give a damn about us, David. She’s made that plain by being away so long.”


David took Christen’s hand. “Chris, are you worried about not telling her about your breakup? She will understand.”


Christen scowled and drew her hand away. “That I lied to her for the last ten years…give me a break, brother dear.”


“For the life of me I never understood why you lied. It happens to me regularly. I’m going to have a BLT what shall I order you?” David stood.


“I’m not hungry. I think I’ll go back to my office. I have lots of stuff to prepare before tomorrow’s debacle. How the hell did he manage to get that decision by the board or did you know about it before I did too?” Christen quietly asked.


David shook his head. “I didn’t know. Look, I’m free tonight. I’ll be over with carryout unless you tell me otherwise.”


“Oh, you have no rendezvous planned? That’s not like you, David,” Christen said. She stood facing her brother.


He chuckled. “I think I’m getting too old for this philandering nonsense. Maybe I should find myself a nice girl and settle down just like George Clooney.”


Chris laughed aloud and several faces in the canteen turned to them. “Hmm, I won’t hold my breath on that one.”


“I can change. You wait and see. I met someone once a few years ago and we had a couple of dates but I finished it because she scared me.” David turned away toward the counter service area.


Christen frowned wanting to know more but people were still looking at her. When she cast her glance around the room they quickly turned away. With a thunderous expression mirroring her mood, she stomped out of the canteen. “Today is not a good day,” she muttered.


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