Unexpected Dreams: Dream Series, Book 4, page 1
Copyright & Disclaimers
WARNING: EROTIC ROMANCE… This book contains subject material of an adult nature intended for readers of 18 and older, maybe even 21 and older. In these pages you will find graphic language and sexual encounters that some readers might disagree with: regular sex, BDSM, oral, sex toys, and more. You’ve been warned. Happy reading!
DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. It is not based on my life, nor any person living or dead. Names, characters, places, and events are the creation of the author’s imagination and are used fictitiously, and any resemblance is entirely coincidental. Any reference to historical events, real places or real people are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and events are products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Copyright ©2014 Isabelle Peterson
All rights reserved.
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
DISCLAIMER: This book is a work of fiction.
The characters are not based on anyone I know in real life, nor are the events described.
Cover designed by Kari Ayasha, Cover To Cover Designs
Formatting by Paul Salvette, BB eBooks
Other Titles by Isabelle Peterson
Book 1 (Elizabeth): DITCHING THE DREAM
Book 2 (Jack): NOT IN MY WILDEST DREAMS
Book 3 (Phoebe): CHASING THE DREAM
Book 4 (Greg): UNEXPECTED DREAMS
Book 5 (Kevin): HIDDEN DREAM – Spring 2015
Book 6 (Everyone): LIVING THE DREAM – Summer/Fall 2015
UNEXPECTED DREAMS is the 4th book in the connected books of The Dream Series. While this book can be enjoyed as a standalone, greater appreciation of the story may come from reading the first three books in the series. Also know that because the books are chronological, reading this book before the other three will in effect be a ‘spoiler’ to the first three.
Thank you for picking up this fourth book in my Dream Series. It’s interesting how the characters talk to you, and the stories they tell, this particular one waking me at two in the morning to tell me his story. I slipped out of bed and wrote for three hours non-stop – scenes, and statements and characters… Two more books are coming and they characters are already pushing their way into my every day.
Yes the story is from my crazy busy mind, but I don’t do this alone.
YOU are crazy important. I write for YOU! The reader. I love the encouragement, excitement, and connection you share with me with every book I write. Your emails, web comments, Facebook messages (private and wall posts) are my fuel.
For this book I worked with a couple of my fans as Alpha readers – Jennifer G, Samantha W. A few chapters at a time, they let me know I was on the right path. And Marc J. – THANK YOU! Your feedback while I was writing was so helpful and spurred me onward.
Once the book was written, I had people read to make sure the flow still worked – because despite the amazing input from my Alpha readers – I would go back and move stuff. Betas (Christy B., Kym G. Kassandra F., Wendy, N., Angie R., Sheri B., and Jess B.,) – Thank you for finding the oopsies. And Eagle eyes Molly L.
I have my degrees in Advertising Design and Illustration and another degree in Psychology… not English – Thank you Valerie C. for keeping my punctuation, grammar and overuse of sentences starting with “And” and “But” at bay….
To my PA, Samantha W, and “special fans” who work tireless to promote my books… Sheri B, Jennifer G, Sharilyn D, and all the Dream Series Dreamers.
To Emme Burton, thank you for letting me use Boxwood and their hit single ‘Southside Miss America’ in this book.
I’m sure I’m missing a half a dozen or more, but it’s not intentional. My husband calls me ‘Dory.’
I hope you enjoy this installment, and continue to Dream with me.
This book is dedicated to anyone in the LBGTQ community.
(And as always, to my family – I love you, Marcus, Ian, and Taylor)
by Isabelle Peterson
Table of Contents
Copyright & Disclaimers
Other Titles by Isabelle Peterson
About the Author
May 30, 2013
Greg Fairchild signed for the Special Delivery package that arrived by messenger service. He looked at the manila envelope, but didn’t open it. He didn’t have to. He knew what was inside. The final details of the divorce from his wife of twenty-two years, Elizabeth.
After staring at it and willing it to simply disappear, he snatched up the package, grabbed his sports coat, and left his office. “Morgan,” he said to secretary, “reschedule my afternoon for next week. Have Aaron take over the Schafer file. I’m taking the rest of today and tomorrow off.”
“Of course, Mr. Fairchild,” she said dutifully. She knew better than to ask. Greg had been moody all week long. Last week, he and his soon-to-be ex-wife moved their daughter, Phoebe, to New York City, where she was working as an intern at a TV corporation in Public Relations, and transferring to New York University. It wasn’t so much moving his daughter that bothered him, although, that was some of it; Morgan knew it was the pending divorce that had his proverbial shorts in a bunch.
“Fucking New York!” he muttered to himself as he folded himself into his Lexus GS350. He tossed the envelope, with its New York return address, on the passenger seat and started the car. Leaving more rubber on the asphalt than was necessary, he pulled out of the parking lot of the private financial planning business that he and his good friend, Aaron Dolan, built into a successful and highly respected operation, and sped onto Route 29.
“New York,” he muttered to himself again. Busy. Dirty. Noisy. Jack Stevens. His wife, soon-to-be ex-wife, Elizabeth, was also living in New York with her…Fuck!…lo
When Greg and Elizabeth had met up in Ohio in mid May to pack up their daughter and move her to NYU, Elizabeth had the decency to meet with Greg as he’d asked her to do the night before to discuss some terms of the divorce. He tried to remind Elizabeth of all the good times they’d had, and that this divorce was all wrong. He talked about when each of their children had been born. He talked about when they bought their home in Napa. He talked about the trip to Paris they’d taken for their 10th wedding anniversary. She’d agreed those were nice times, but reminded him of what she’d said before she left for the final time…the bits and pieces of their conversation when Elizabeth handed Greg her wedding rings and left just ten days before that road trip, were forever seared into his mind:
‘We’ve grown apart in a way that we cannot get back to one another. I don’t know exactly what happened or when it happened. In fact, I don’t know that we ever had what it took to go the distance. You’re good man, a good provider, but you’re just not for me. I need more. I need to be wanted. You only need me. Jack wants me. And he does need me, the way I need him, but it all feels different with Jack… I feel anyone could fill the position I had with you. Like, all you needed was a good housekeeper and cook. I deserve more than that. You deserve more than that… I hope you find the one that you will want above anything else.”
“FUCK!” he shouted to no-one over The Doors music playing on the high end speakers as he raced down the highway. He mentally chided himself for the swearing that had become a part of his every day vernacular. In the past, he’d only cursed when things were really bad. One glance at the passenger seat and the offensive envelope with a New York attorney’s return address on it, confirmed that things were that bad. It all started just a few months ago when Elizabeth left him a “Dear-John-I’m-Going-To-Find-Myself” letter mixed in with the day’s mail.
He wasn’t sure where he was headed, but he wasn’t going home.
Three hours later, Greg pulled out of the BMW dealer in San Rafael, about a forty-five minute drive south of Napa, in a brand new, shiny blue BMW Z4 sDrive35i convertible. He revved the turbocharged engine that could do zero to sixty in four-point-three seconds and felt as bad-ass as ever. Mid-life crisis? Maybe…but, Greg also felt he deserved the self-indulgence after all he’d been through over the past few months, and sometimes, you just need to do something unexpected.
June 17, 2013
I signed the last piece of paper that my attorney put in front of me. I set the pen down and sat back. I rubbed my face, a face that had last been shaved three days ago, and let out a breath.
“So, that’s it, huh?” I said. I’d sat on the divorce papers for ten days. Elizabeth had left me two voicemails, as well as a few texts and emails, about the lack of action on the papers. I called my attorney yesterday and made the appointment. I couldn’t believe that with a simple signing of my name, it was all over.
“And that’s as pain free as they come,” Joseph scoffed. “If it’s any consolation, I’ve been handling divorces for years, two of my own, and I rarely see a man get off as cleanly as you just did.”
“No, not really a consolation, but it’s something I guess,” I agreed.
“I guess? No alimony. She left you everything, save the photo albums, which she volunteered to make digital copies of for you. You’re only having to pay for college for your kids. She’s even taking some of the child support responsibilities by paying for Phoebe’s apartment in New York while she’s at NYU. Take it from a man who’s forking out for two divorces, you got out good.” Joseph looked at his watch. “Hey. Happy hour. Can I buy you one? Or five?”
Not wanting to go back to my large, empty home with reminders of Elizabeth in every single corner, I accepted Joseph’s offer.
At the bar across the street from Joseph’s office, we occupied a pair of bar stools, Joseph doing his best to keep my mind from things. Three gin and tonics in, I finally started to feel human again.
“How could it be over? Twenty-two years? I provided everything. Cars, clothes, house, vacations…” I listed, staring at my near empty gin and tonic.
“I’ve known you both for, what has it been? Eighteen years?” he shrugged. “Have to say, I was as surprised as you, if not more. You had a great little woman there.”
“Had…Fuck!” I said, finishing my drink and signaling to the bartender that I needed another. “Was it the looks?” I watched Joseph look me over. I wasn’t a bad looking guy. I was tall, okay, maybe not tall, but not short. I stood a proud five-foot-eleven. I had a good head of hair… thick and still blond—not yet silvering, aside from a few that were probably hiding. My blue eyes were my best feature, or so I thought. I worked out, not to the point I had bulging muscles, but I was fit and had muscle definition. I didn’t look my forty-five years that was for sure.
He shook his head. “If I swung that way, I’d say you were hot.” He put his hands up defensively, “But know that I am one hundred percent, hetero. As you well know, I have six kids, two ex-wives, and a new wife who will vouch for me. Not that I haven’t had my fair share of offers,” he finished with a wink.
I had to laugh at that. Yes, I’d known Joseph for about eighteen years. As one of the area’s leading business lawyers, he’d helped my business partner, Aaron, and me set up Fairchild & Dolan Financial Planning, Ltd. Over that time, Joseph had been to bat for the gay community nearly as often as he’d been to bat for businesses and private straight matters. We didn’t always see eye to eye there, as I wasn’t exactly of a mind that gay was okay, but Joseph was a great lawyer and a good friend.
“No judgment,” I promised, raising my glass to him, sipping my fresh drink.
“On that note, I’m gonna head home. Tania is forgiving, but I should have been home an hour ago.”
“Yeah. It’s all good. I should head home, too,” I said as I stood, wavering only slightly. It didn’t go unnoticed that a couple of months ago, four gin and tonics would have knocked me on my ass. Now, I was barely buzzed. Tomorrow I had two accounts to meet with, and they weren’t the type of clients to meet with a hangover. Not in the least. The first client on my docket tomorrow was the minister of the New Baptist church in town. A change in pastor ship necessitated a full evaluation of the books. There were several questionable entries that needed addressing, Reverend Hand was a formidable presence under the best of circumstances, and stone cold sober. My afternoon client was a new, young widow trying to understand her inheritance, how she should best manage it, and wanting to establish a scholarship for underprivileged students in the county. Two new clients in one day would be a welcome distraction.
Joseph and I parted company and I went home to sleep it off, as it were.
The next several weeks became some ritual of work, followed by The Sports Den—a bar otherwise known as just The Den, and then home. In between any given moment, I was subject to thoughts, as I had been over the past five weeks of wondering ‘What is Elizabeth doing?’ But, wasn’t that how it was? You always wondered what a person you’d spent the past twenty some odd years with, was up to, and no matter what I told myself, I knew none of it mattered because she was with Jack. Handsome, successful, tall, worldly, and did I mention handsome? Jack Stevens…The man who stole my wife from me. The man who used to be a male model. The man with millions living in Manhattan. I wasn’t a Jack, by any standard, but I wasn’t half bad. I had a good job earning more in a year than many earn in ten. I had regular bonuses. What did Jack have that I didn’t? Why wasn’t what I had enough for Elizabeth?
Two months after the divorce, I was no closer to an answer. I’d figured out a routine for managing my own laundry and dry cleaning. I’d learned how to make some side dishes to go with grilled meats—something I’d always been rather good at, as any man should be. I was even able to keep the house reasonably picked up for the cleaning ladies to get in and do their special brand of magic.
Nicole, my business partner, Aaron’s wife, got busy right away, setting me up on blind dates. They were humiliating and I was completely disinterested. The girls were pretty enough, I guess. I just didn’t find myself attracted to them, or, I found them boring. Or both. Figuring out dating after being with someone more than half of your life was no picnic.
Other than mastering how to be a single man, and ‘learn how to date’ again, I had the welcome distraction of kids and their college arrangements. Phoebe, my baby, after her freshman year of college had decided to transfer from her small private university in Ohio to NYU. Talk about an opposite experience—small town to mega-tropolis. So, I had to file all those papers and redirect college savings funds from Ohio to New York. Carter, my middle son, had been in Italy last semester working at the Pompeii ruins excavating and cataloging finds. He’d found a way to stay there this summer, and was going to be a tour guide this next semester. As nerve-wracking as it was to have him halfway across the world, his love of the experience was evident in every phone call and email. Carter was so in love with all things Italian, I half wondered if he would try and change universities and go to an Italian school. And last, but not least, Bradley, my oldest child, would be starting grad school, still at the University of Michigan. Technically, he graduated from the program in May, but he was “knee-deep in an internship” at a local company, and didn’t even go to the graduation of his Bachelors in business, since he was staying for a masters degree. Although his mother and I protested, Bradley insisted. He told us that we could come to his convocation when he earned his MBA.
Tonight at The Den, Jennifer was on duty. She was a great bartender. Over the past two months, we’d gotten to know each other pretty well. Well, she’d gotten to know me anyway. Listened when I wanted to talk, and gave me space when I didn’t. She served me up my regular, a T&T, Tanqueray and Tonic, with a lime, then went about keeping an eye on everything. Maybe it was that I’d officially divorced for pretty much an entire summer with nothing but a handful of failed dates, but I sat and drank longer than I should have.
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