The Only Woman In The Room PDF Free Download

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I felt as soon as you walked through the doors.

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Seven minutes for me to know I wanted to make

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You mine for the rest of our lives.


Seven minutes to know all of the people I have

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Dated in my past prepared me for only you

And this one special moment.


Seven minute wouldn’t pass without me getting up

Enough nerve to walk across the crowded room and ask

You to dance.

So, all I need is seven minutes of your time.


Now years later when I catch a glimpse of you from the corner of my eye

In our home cooking dinner or doing what made you the man I fell in love with.

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I think back to the time I only desired seven minutes of your attention and

Now you’re a part of my heart.

I know that those first seven minutes I met you were the best of my life.


It only took seven minute for me to realize

How I felt as soon as you walked through the doors.

Seven minutes for me to know I wanted to make

You mine for the rest of our lives.


Seven minutes to know all of the people I have

Dated in my past prepared me for only you

And this one special moment.


Seven minute wouldn’t pass without me getting up

Enough nerve to walk across the crowded room and ask

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You to dance.

So, all I need is seven minutes of your time.


Standing in the back of the studio, Jax watched as Sahara finished practicing her song. Ever since the fight they’d had in his bedroom she really hadn’t said much to him. Mostly, Sahara had been hiding out in her bedroom or in her studio working on her dance moves. This was the first time he’d heard her sing since the night at The Kitty Kat Club and he missed the sound of her singing voice.

“Is
Seven Minutes
going to be the second single released from your CD?” he asked. “It should because it’s very beautiful. Any man who heard it would think you are singing it directly to him and no one else.”

Twirling away from the microphone, Sahara glanced back over her shoulder at him. She cut off the music before getting off the stool. “I didn’t know anyone was here. I wasn’t expecting to see you.”

“I just got off the phone with Frank. He’s going to spend another week overseas. He’s having fun with some woman he met over there. I told him about the incident at the Kitty Kat club. He wanted to come back home, but I assured him everything was fine and I could handle things.”

“Really...aren’t you concerned about the sleep of the dead about to come to you?” Sahara asked as she came towards him. “Isn’t today your four hundredth birthday? If I remember correctly, you only have a couple of days to live after it’s over. So, who is going to protect me once you’re gone?”

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Jax closed his eyes and tried not to think about what was going to happen to him. Sahara was right. Next week, the symptoms of the curse were supposed to start taking effect on his body. But he was here now and he was going to continue to protect her until he no longer had the ability to do it.

“Jax, look at me.”

Opening his eyes, Jax found Sahara standing directly in front of him. Against his will, his hand reached out and touched the side of her face. Why couldn’t she have meant the words she told him the last time they’d made love? He would have turned her that night, but she only wanted him to do it because of his history with Colleen.

“Why are you denying my love for you?” she asked, placing her hand on the top of his. “I want to be with you because I love you. Don’t you understand how my world will be completely and utterly over if you aren’t in it with me?”

“No! You’re only telling me what I want to hear.” Jax jerked his hand away from Sahara. “I won’t allow you to torture me like this. Zander should never have opened his fucking mouth about the curse. You wouldn’t be here now in front of me pretending to be in love with me.”

“Pretending to be in love with you...” Sahara shrieked. “How can a man as fine as you, be so damn dense? God, what else do I have to do to prove my love for you? Do you know the night I asked you to turn me was the anniversary of my parents’ death?”

Surprise hit Jax’s body at Sahara’s news. He hadn’t had a clue. Why hadn’t she told him before now?

“You told me that I couldn’t come back to you until I loved you with my heart instead of my head. Well, I’ve loved you with my heart for a while. My heart was in love with you way before my head even entered the picture.

“Every time I was with you and you would look at me I knew I had something special because my father always had the same look in his eyes anytime he looked at my mother. The sleep of the dead isn’t the reason I asked you to turn me.”

“So Zander was the reason wasn’t he,” Jax demanded. “He made you feel duty-bound to do it.”

“Zander telling me about it didn’t have anything to do with it either. I wanted to be with you forever...because I love you and nothing else. Valentine’s Day is about love and promising forever to be with the one you love. How could I take this day and lie to you about my feelings?” Sahara asked, watching him, waiting for a reaction.

For centuries, Jax had never believed in the rumors about a
Unique
woman, a human female who was out there and born for him and no one else. He thought his life would end because of the sleep of the dead...now he had a talented and beautiful woman confessing her love for him. A love he had fought for since the first moment Sahara introduced herself to him inside of Frank’s den. He already loved her so much and it was only going to get better
once he turned her into a vampire.

“Fine, if you’re too stubborn or blind to see what is right in front of your face, I’m not going to tell you anymore how I care about you.” Sahara went past him, but with lightning speed his hand shot out and grabbed her arm.

“You aren’t going anywhere. If I’m not mistaken today is my birthday and I believe you have offered me the gift I’ve been wanting for a while,” Jax said as he spun Sahara back around to face him.

“What if I want to take the gift back?” Sahara asked, watching him. “You know I have the right to do that, don’t you?”

“I believe I forgot to tell you the number one rule you don’t break when dealing with a vampire,” Jax teased.

He tugged Sahara to him.

She lifted her chin. “I don’t care what the rule is since we’re over.”

He shook his head. “You’re a liar and we both know it. You want to know what the rule is; I can see it all over your face.”

“You need to have your eyes check because you’re seeing things.”

Jax couldn’t stop the full smile that spread across his face. “Baby, we both know that I have perfect eyesight. I can see very clearly.” Oh, how he was going to love spending the rest of his life with Sahara; every day was going to be an adventure.

“Fine, tell me the stupid rule, so I can leave and get on with my life,” she complained.

He leaned close. “Never promise a vampire that you will be his forever, because he might just take you up on the offer.”

“Do you think you can handle me being yours forever?” Sahara asked a smile pulling at the corner of her mouth. “I mean I do love getting my way, but you already know that by now.”

Oh, yeah! Jax knew he could handle anything and everything his mate was going to give him in the eternity they were going to spend together.

“Darling, you bet that I can handle it and I’m going to enjoy every single minute of it.”

Standing on her tiptoes, Sahara wrapped her arms around his neck. “Prove it,” she whispered against his mouth.

“It will be my pleasure.”


Epilogue



A month later

“How are things with Sahara since you turned her? Has she gotten used to all of her heightened senses?” Zander asked him as he watched Sahara through the kitchen window outside playing with the German Shepherd puppy he got her as an early birthday gift.

“I think she’s getting used to it, but I still don’t let her go out by herself since her stalker is still out there. She confessed to me the other day that she’d gotten a letter from the guy a day before her performance at the Kitty Kat club,” Jax said, glancing at his brother from the corner of his eye.

“You mean she hid it from you?”

“Yes and she finally showed it to me yesterday. It was a picture with a red X across her face with the words Die Bitch. I was so furious with her. I mean that night I could have lost her and not even known she had gotten a warning from the bastard. I’m having a hard time knowing the person threatening Sahara’s life is still out there.”

“Do you have any clue how to find this guy? I mean he’s extremely smart and crafty. He knows not to do too much so you can track him. He just sends letters or threats at the perfect time.”

“I’m trying not to scare Sahara because she’s just beginning to relax a little when she goes out with me. After the incident at the Kitty Kat Club, she had a problem even going out the front door without me even after I turned her.”

“Frank wanted us to go with him to the mall a week after Valentine’s Day and she didn’t want to go. So, I had to stay at Frank’s with her and she invited Raya over for a visit.”

Looking away from the window, Zander faced him completely. “What are you going to do about the guy?”

“I’m going to find this jerk and make sure that he spends the rest of his life behind bars. I might not been able to save Colleen but I’m sure in the hell going to make sure Sahara is safe and well-protected. She’s living with me now instead of Frank and the wedding is in two months.”

“Enough about me. Tell me what’s going on with you and Sabrina? Have you made the move with her yet? Does she know she’s your mate?”

Zander shook his head. “No, Sabrina has the misconception that I’m like a brother.”

Chuckling, Jax crossed his arms over his chest as he rested his back against the kitchen sink. “Are you going to change her opinion of you?’

“Damn right I am. Sabrina is mine and I’m not going to wait any longer to make her see me as her lover and not a shoulder to cry on.”


The End


Coming Soon

Alpha Male Incorporated: Access Granted



*** All Songs © by Marie Rochelle***

Now, as she rode the bus toward her destiny, whatever that might be, she was turning the steel galvanized in that fire to a flintier purpose. She pictured the Señora as she'd looked in the magazine photo Concepción had seen. In it, the Señora had been shown picnicking out on the lawn with her husband and pretty young daughter, the three of them seated around a lavish repast that she'd presumably prepared. Her lovely face had appeared relaxed and content, and there had been nothing to spoil the perfect family portrait. But suppose it had been
her
daughter who had been killed? Would she have been smiling then?

The bus deposited Concepción at the Port Authority terminal, another vast and teeming place, from which she emerged onto an equally busy street. Pedestrians bustled past her on the sidewalk and vehicles rushed by on the street, honking their horns: yellow taxicabs, trucks and buses, shiny new
gringo
cars. A man whom she took to be a beggar, from his raggedy clothes and the black plastic garbage bag tied about his shoulders like a cape, eyed her hopefully as she hurried past clutching her purse in one hand and her suitcase in the other. But she had no coins to spare.

In her pocket was a slip of paper with the address of a hotel written on it in Jesús's neat hand. It was the least expensive hotel he could find within walking distance of the terminal, but even so, she'd balked at the price. Forty dollars! Nearly a quarter of her savings just for one night. Still, it was that or sleep out on the sidewalk. If her only concern had been being out in the elements, she wouldn't have let that stop her—hadn't she endured far worse than cold weather?—but there was also the risk of those who would rob and possibly kill her. To have come this far only to meet her end as some nameless
indigente
on the street? No, it was unthinkable. She might have been poor, but she had her dignity.

But the hotel that on the street map had looked to be close by turned out to be a long distance for someone traveling on foot, lugging a suitcase. By the time she reached it, her feet hurt and she was chilled to the bone. She made her way past a group of boys on the sidewalk talking loudly to one another, dressed in what she'd come to think of as the uniform of young black men from poor neighborhoods—baggy pants that hung from their hips seemingly in defiance of gravity, hooded sweatshirts large enough for someone three times their size, and expensive-looking sneakers that showed no trace of dirt, despite how grimy the streets were. They paid her no notice as she walked past them and climbed the steps to the entrance.

As she entered the lobby, its harsh fluorescent lighting greeted her like a polar sunrise. A heavyset
gringo
with thinning hair and pouches under his eyes sat behind the reception desk, smoking a cigarette, despite the sign prominently displayed on the wall above his head that read,
“NO SMOKING.”

“Yeah, we got rooms,” he informed her none too politely. “You gotta pay in advance, though. Cash,” he added, his eyes flicking over her as she stood there in her cheap shoes and secondhand coat, looking very much like someone who'd arrived on foot.

“I have money,” she said, quickly reaching into her purse.

Minutes later, she was climbing the staircase, then making her way down a dingy hallway. Her room turned out to be even more cramped than the one she'd shared with Soledad and her two sisters back in LA. The only furniture was a twin bed, a small dresser, and a nightstand ringed with watermarks. The carpet was worn threadbare in spots, and in place of a closet there was a metal bar fixed to the wall, with a handful of wire hangers that tinkled forlornly in the gust of air that blew into the room as she shut the door behind her. In a corner of the room was a small sink with a folded towel on its rim. The toilet, she had been informed by the
gringo
at the front desk, was down at the end of the hall.

Nevertheless, after her long trip and the even longer-seeming walk in the cold, Concepción thought,
A palace
. She pried her shoes from her swollen, aching feet and stretched out on the bed, not even bothering to take off her coat. Tomorrow, she knew, she would rise with a keen sense of purpose. But right now, all she could think of was sleep. The need to sleep was so overpowering, it took precedence over the grumbling of her belly, her need to urinate, even thoughts of the Señora.

Concepción's eyes drifted shut, and in the half-awake state just before her conscious mind set sail, she saw, like a full moon rising in the velvety darkness behind her closed eyelids, the smiling face of her daughter. Milagros. Beaming down at her like the Virgin of Guadalupe herself.

Phoebe appeared to
take the news in stride.

“Like you're telling me something I don't already know?” she said upon her parents' announcement that they were getting divorced. She looked as bored as she would have been by the rerun of an episode of
The OC
.

The Only Woman In The Room PDF Free Download

“I suppose we should have discussed it with you earlier,” Abigail replied apologetically. “But your father and I weren't sure if this,” meaning the separation, “was going to be temporary or not.” It had become clear to her as soon as Kent had moved out that he wasn't coming back, but she wanted to soften the blow to Phoebe.

But Phoebe was no dummy. “Dad's shacking up with some other woman, and I'm supposed to think it's just a temporary thing? Yeah, right.” She rolled her eyes. “God, you guys are so pathetic.”

The three of them were gathered in the living room, the setting for so many cozy domestic scenes through the years, a fire crackling in the hearth and Brewster sacked out on the rug, but the mood was anything but cheery. And judging by the dark circles under Phoebe's eyes, it was obvious, despite her pretense at being bored by all this, that it was weighing on her.

Abigail bit her tongue before she could scold Phoebe for her rudeness. “We know it hasn't been easy for you, sweetie. But we—
I
—” She caught herself, thinking there was no “we”; it was just going to be her from now on, “think it'll be better for all of us this way.”

“The one thing your mom and I agree on,” Kent interjected, “is that you come first. We both love you very much, and we don't want to see you get caught in the middle.”

But Phoebe only sat there shaking her head, as if she couldn't believe they thought she was that stupid. “Seriously, like you're not gonna expect me to choose sides? Get real.”

“Baby, I know this is hard for you.” Kent wore a deeply pained look. “But your mom and I are going to do our best to make sure this doesn't get ugly. And nothing's changed as far as you and I are concerned. We'll still see each other every chance we get. In fact, there's a spare bedroom at Sheila's, and she suggested making it
your
room for when you stay over. We could even go shopping together to pick out stuff for it. How does that sound?”

Phoebe gave him a withering look. “Honestly, Dad? No offense, but I'm not going to be staying with you and what's-her-name. Ever.”

The look of contempt she wore was one that Abigail had never expected to see directed at Kent. She might have derived a sliver of satisfaction from his getting the medicine he deserved, and from his finally being given a taste of what
she'd
been putting up with for so long, if she hadn't felt so bad for Phoebe. She knew how close Phoebe was to her dad; his moving in with another woman had to seem as much a betrayal to her, in some ways, as it did to Abigail.

Kent, slumped in the wing chair by the fireplace, cast a helpless look at Abigail. But she wasn't going to bail him out of this one.
He's the one who got us into this mess
, she reminded herself. At the same time, she knew that pitting herself against him would only prove Phoebe's point.

Abigail gritted her teeth as she turned to her daughter, saying sweetly, “You feel that way now, honey, but I'm sure that once you get used to the idea, it won't seem so bad.”

Phoebe gave a harsh laugh. “You guys
so
don't get it.”

She stood up and sauntered out of the room, leaving Abigail and Kent to puzzle over what it was, exactly, that they didn't get.

The following day, Abigail learned that her family life wasn't all that was in ruins. She was in her office at work, tackling the paperwork on her desk, when Hank Weintraub, CFO of Abigail Armstrong Incorporated, poked his head in to ask if he could have a word with her. She waved him in, even though she was swamped at the moment. From the somber expression on Hank's face, she had the uneasy feeling that this couldn't wait.

He sank into the Barcelona chair opposite her desk. “I was up half the night going over the figures,” he began without preamble. “Abigail, we can't keep on ignoring the facts. Net revenues have slipped five percent since our last quarterly report. Unless we do some serious damage control, I don't want to even think about what the next quarter will look like.”

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The normally unflappable CFO was noticeably worried, and from the way he was compulsively picking at a cuticle on his thumb—a nervous habit of his when he was under more than the usual amount of stress, like around tax time—it was obvious that he wasn't overstating the crisis.

“What are you saying, Hank? That we're going to have to file for Chapter Eleven?” Abigail spoke in a mild tone despite her mounting anxiety. It wouldn't do for Hank to see the boss sweat.

“No … no. It's not
that
dire. Not yet,” he added ominously. “But if we don't get our numbers up, it's not something we can rule out down the line. I just got off the phone with Citibank.” Hank had been in talks with the bank about restructuring their current loan. “They're balking, for some reason. They won't say why, but I have a bad feeling they're going to call the loan.”

“That's insane! They can't do that.” Abigail momentarily lost her cool.

“They most certainly can, and they will if we don't come up with either the cash or an alternative plan.” Hank was shaking his balding head, looking every inch the accountant he'd been, before she'd plucked him out of obscurity and elevated him to CFO, in his brown suit and Oxfords, his Yale rep tie. He wasn't flashy, but he was always the sanest of voices in any given crisis. She was counting on him to be that now.

“You told them the only reason the numbers look bad is because we fell behind on those orders? Once we're back on track …”

“They're not interested in projected figures. They only want hard ones.”

She leveled her gaze at Hank, wearing a small, grim smile. “Go on, say it. I know you're dying to. You advised against us taking on the manufacturing ourselves.” He'd warned that the high risk factor would outweigh the greater profit margin. “And I insisted on going my own way.”

He shook his head. “There's nothing to be gained from saying I told you so. What's done is done. All I'll say is that we'd better get that factory rebuilt and up to speed before too long or we're cooked. If there are any further delays …” He didn't have to finish the sentence. His dour expression said it all.

“All right.” Abigail took a deep breath. “Let's talk about what we can do in the meantime …”

Her voice was businesslike as she consulted with Hank on a plan for cutbacks, but inside her mind juddered and spun like a wheel about to come loose from its axle. She thought about the dead girl's grieving mother. She hadn't heard anything new from Perez in a while, but if the woman was in this country, presumably she was on her way here. She could show up at any time. And what then? Would she be satisfied by more money or an explanation that seemed lame even to Abigail? Or would she hold Abigail's feet to the fire?

She might even go to the press. It would be no more than Abigail deserved, but she would hate to see the company and all its employees suffer, too, for the hit she would take. Because, for all of Hank's dry facts and figures, she knew that a business was made up not of numbers but of people, people who'd become important to her and who depended on her for their livelihoods. What would happen to
them
if her company should go under?

Yes, Hank had warned about the perils of manufacturing. But she'd pigheadedly ignored his advice. And look what had come of it! That poor girl would be alive today if not for her.

To add to her troubles, the rebuilding of the factory in Las Cruces was taking longer than anticipated. There had been one delay after another, both with the insurance company here and with the authorities in Mexico—the usual maddening bureaucratic roadblocks and red tape. And as Hank had so pointedly reminded her, these setbacks were coming at a time when the company could least afford them.

Now Abigail forced herself to confront the very real possibility that she could lose everything. If so, would she be able to start over? Anything was possible, she told herself, struggling to suppress her apprehension. She'd survived Kent's leaving her. And look at Lila. She'd had to start all over from scratch, and it hadn't killed her. Just the opposite; it had made her stronger and more resourceful—a person whom Abigail was actually beginning to like again.

She hadn't fully forgiven Lila. But they'd made peace with one another. They'd been talking more lately, not just civil exchanges but actually
talking
. Also, Lila had been surprisingly evenhanded about the domestic upheaval in the wake of Kent's moving out. She had studiously avoided taking sides while at the same time making it clear to Abigail that she was there for her if Abigail needed her. So far—except for that one night when they'd polished off a bottle of Dom Perignon and had stayed up until long past midnight alternately cursing and bemoaning not just their men but the entire male species—that need hadn't arisen, but it was reassuring to know that Lila had her back.

As Abigail discussed various belt-tightening measures with her CFO, she felt her anxiety start to ebb. She wasn't powerless. And even if the company went belly-up, she would still have her own, very marketable name. Starting over wouldn't be the end of the world. She'd done it once; she could do it again. Perhaps, as with the ending of her marriage—which, however difficult, was proving to be a relief in some ways—she would even find a silver lining in it somewhere. Even if it was only a lightening of the yoke—a yoke that, though fashioned by her own hand, weighed on her heavily at times. Where had it gotten her, that ambition, except to a pinnacle where she was not only alone but in danger of falling into the abyss?