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About the author:
Author Kayette la Mane comes from a creative background in the dance industry before being inspired to write her first debut novel One Wish. This didn't come from having a dream as the main character so often has, but first seeing a picture of a dream that then became the first paragraph of this book. However, the ideas soon became too big that she realized they couldn't all fit in a single book, so the original story then became three books, creating the Rising Sun Saga.
She loves dancing, and appreciates the small things in life that can bring the greatest joy, like being snuggled up inside reading a favorite book inside it's pouring with rain outside.
Here is a short sample from the book:
I thought about Becca as I quickly weaved through the hustle of people making their way to work in the city. She was priceless.
I cut across the small park beside another city café, nearly half running in anticipation at seeing him. My new low-cut ankle boots were slowing me down as the high heels caught momentarily in the grass surface.
Becca had also decided to wear her similar low-cut ankle boots today, but in a dark red shade, with black tights and matching scarlet tunic. She complimented her outfit perfectly, being adorned with the latest blue and purple ‘twist ‘n’ shine’ necklace, from the new range of colour-blend accessories in store, the sparkling colours highlighting her dark blue eyes, and smooth, brunette, shoulder length hair. We were often in sync about our clothing choices, turning up to work with similar outfits, much to our amusement when she first started to work at Exquizit, sometimes bursting out in laughter at first sight. Becca always complimented the latest fashion trends and fads with her own personal twist and style to her outfits, and her professionalism and maturity was really starting to shine through at only eighteen, nearly nineteen years old.
She reminded me of myself starting out in the fashion industry, and I could see so much promising potential that she quickly became my new store manager in under a year. Her warm rapport with the customers, natural current fashion style always perfectly reflecting the image of the company, and her enthusiasm in really wanting to learn more and achieve set goals made her fit in perfectly at Exquizit.
There was also another girl I had on staff so far, Rosey, who came in to work at weekends to manage the shop. She was a shy, nice girl, who enjoyed the part time hours and work experience while she studied at college.
I passed a little magazine kiosk by the street corner, only a few shops away from Exquizit. One gossip magazine poster in particular, caught my attention. I stared briefly at a photo of myself out in LA, alongside other celebrities, on the cover. I ignored the headline and didn’t bother picking up the magazine to see what the article would have to say. I kept walking, quickly shrugging it off. As I began weaving through more people walking on the street I reached into my way oversized handbag, to find my way too small cell phone, to send BJ a reply text. I had to concentrate as it felt as if I was walking up a one-way street of people urgently walking in the opposite direction. I started typing in on my way when my phone began ringing. Glancing at the screen before answering, my first reaction was concern. The most heartwarming and gracious smiling face was dancing on the screen, Alezmé.
“Hi Momma.” She giggled as I answered the video call with a grin now replacing the concern on my face.
“Hey, aren’t you in class?” I replied, thinking of the time.
“We’re at recess. Hey, Ruby asked me if I can go to her place for a PJ party on Friday…can I go instead of staying at Nan and Poppa’s?”
“That’s cool honey, Nan will take you. See you after school. And remember to turn your phone off in class, ’kay? Mwah.”
“Okay, see ya. Mwah!” She air-kissed back and ended the call.
I flipped my phone shut and felt my heart stretching and pulling with love and despair at the same time, aching as it did – every time I heard her call me Momma.
She didn’t know the full truth yet but I’m sure she has partly figured it out by the way she sometimes glances between Reemée and myself, sensing the same love but a different connection.
I laughed out loud, catching the stares from others walking towards me as I remembered this morning’s incident. I had been so engrossed in thinking about last night’s dream when preparing her breakfast, that I had poured orange juice instead of milk into Alezmé’s cereal.
“The milk is orange!” she had cried out, wide-eyed, as she watched in fascination. I looked down at the cereal horrified when I realized what I was doing, but we then both let out a giggle and had laughed at the situation.
“Oh sorry sweet, Mommy wasn’t thinking about what she was doing.”
“That’s okay.” She had grinned back, raising one eyebrow. “Ha ha, bet Uncle Asher can’t wait to hear about this one.”
Oh yes, I thought, grimacing. It wouldn’t be long before this would become another entertaining story for the family to tease me about, of course.
I looked up at the surrounding buildings to check I was still going in the right direction after being distracted by the call. Yes, still on track, I thought, as I passed the front entrance to one of the largest centers for lawyers, governors and high-profile business owners who gathered in the same office building.
I started to glance forward again but something odd caught my eye. I looked back up at the building as I passed it. It was very tall with pristine, rich black coloured walls and shimmering glass windows. To the edge of the high point of the building, I was sure I had seen a fog-like dark shadow crawl up and then fly down the left side of the building, but now it was gone. I squinted at the sun reflecting off the surrounding buildings, and still pressing through the dark storm-like clouds that seemed to be closing in lower now. Frowning, I focused ahead and quickened my pace again, my stomach feeling queasy as I hurried closer to where I knew BJ would be.
Ha! Dark shadows creeping on buildings in broad daylight? I must be seeing things, but my imagination was eerily similar to what I saw in my dreams at night. I turned the next corner and relief washed over me in an instant as I hoped seeing him may enlighten my strange morning.
“Hey there Kitty Kat!” I heard a familiar voice hollering behind me, recognising the nickname only a few close family and friends called me by. His voice boomed out as I spun around to see him leaning on the café counter right behind me. “I was hoping you would be here…what a great morning!”
Benja Summers, who preferred to be called BJ, or JJ, his other nickname Alezmé had made for him, was grinning at me from ear to ear. He always bubbled with enthusiasm, radiating life everywhere he was, but this morning he seemed to be even more enthused than normal.
Hmm, I thought. I think I will need another double shot latte to even consider being that excited about a Monday morning.
“Hey you, I didn’t get a chance to reply to your message,” I managed to muster out with a smile, as my thoughts and pulse started to race at the sight of him and then drifted back again.
“All good.” He smiled back, moving in line with me.
I turned and looked down, trying to hide the flush of embarrassment from seeing him as we waited by the café counter.
Last night had been another restless night with another of my reoccurring dreams. I had had the same dream again that has been reoccurring without much variance for about a year now, but some other things had been very different.
It was the same dream that I often had about a lake…but this time the sky was lit up in a deep purple colour with golden rays of sunshine hitting the earth with brilliance, pushing the dark night clouds further away. I had felt somewhat on edge, as the dream twisted and molded the normal dream story. And then at the end, when I was in a room overlooking the lake, there were several shadows there as well behind a door, trying to inch under and scratch at the frame, nearly making it underneath the door frame’s gap for the first time.
Last night I had also dreamed of a woman named Scarlit. I knew someone named Scarlet, but this woman seemed different. In my dream she had a slight scar on the left side of her face, running from the top of her high cheekbone down to the bottom of her jaw line under her chin. She was in the same room as I, but didn’t notice the dark shadows trying to creep in underneath the door, yet straining to get through as if bound to stay on the other side. I’d looked at her beautiful, glowing, rosy face as the sun had started to shine through the windows and then as the sunrays sparkled across her face, the scar disappeared! At the same time the dark shadows gathered into a dense mass of angry-looking fog and vanished at the approaching sunlight beams. As I looked back to the woman, she had now crossed over to the other side of the room and was intently gazing at me.
I had then suddenly woken up. Slightly curious, I was also concerned at this new change in my dream, as for the past year it had been the same collection of dreams passing through without much variance.
It was just a dream, I told myself, but the vision of the woman Scarlit and what happened had stayed with me so intensely all morning. Why had her scar disappeared? I had a feeling this was more than just a dream, but I wasn’t quite sure how.
“Hey, are we awake today?” BJ asked, lightly shaking my arm.
I jumped in fright, startled at the heat from his touch and realized I was having a daydream. Well, just reminiscing a nightdream.
“Oh hey, yeah, sorry I was away there for a moment.” I smiled quickly, looking back at him, composing myself into the more normal-like manner I should be appearing in this morning.
He smiled back, slightly pursing his lips as if trying not to laugh at my daydream-like state.
“Ah, hmm…yeah.” I frowned, pretending to stare at the food selection in the display counter. There was no fooling him. He knew about my dreams…the way what I remembered stayed with me, as if my dreams resembled daytime reality. As if they were representing real occurrences in some way. Well, only the ones that I had told him about anyway, purposely leaving out the dreams about the mysterious guy that looked so similar to him, who I imagined was the guy I would be in love with forever and ever.
“Mango and guava, or espresso?” I asked, as I was next in line to order.
“Yes mango, thanks,” he said as he quickly passed two bills to the cashier before I could protest, then drifted off to find us a table in the sun.
Always the perfect gentleman, I thought.
This was his usual morning juice he often ordered, reminding me of how well we know each other now. And that it’s the little things…his favourite foods…taste in fashion…he knows my style of thoughts…and then the quirky little ways he always brought out my sense of humour, and the way I knew how to joke around with him just like a brother.
Oh, we would be so good together, I thought…again…but then my thoughts jumped to a resounding no, as I pictured the perfect face of his gorgeous fiancé Michaela.
Michaela was beautiful in both her appearance and warm personality. We even happened to have taken the same course in design school a few years ago and I didn’t know her so well then, but we were becoming close friends of recent. A friendship that I deeply appreciated, as she was so real, honest, and best of all; a lot of fun to hang out with.
As good as the growing friendship was, it tore a part of me even further to private despair about how I felt about BJ. I couldn’t bear to think of ever hurting her by confessing how I truly didn’t understand why I was so attracted to him.
I walked over to the table in our usual spot, ignoring a few glances from people staring at me out of recognition.
Breathing in deeply and soaking in the refreshing morning air, I caught scent of BJ’s cologne, a musky sharp manly note. Ah…it smelt so good and fitting that I didn’t want to breathe out again. He was sitting in his chair looking graceful, but with an eager look in his eyes. He leaned back relaxing as I approached, making the chair look almost too small for his broad posture, enhancing his masculine height and muscled, sculpted shoulders.
He smiled. His welcoming and friendly personality always made me melt into a more relaxed composure as I took my seat, feeling small in mine. How does he do that? Look so intimidating with beauty and confidence, yet he always made me feel so comfortable to be around him.
When I’m with him, it feels like we could just hang out and talk for hours, dissolving any thoughts of frustration I had towards wanting to be much closer to him, but these feelings only to swiftly return when I didn’t see him.
“Hi,” a waitress politely greeted us as she approached our table. “Here’s your drink order.”
BJ looked up to greet her. “Thanks,” he said, glancing at her nametag. He always made a point to remember someone’s name to make them feel important or special, never overlooked.
Grr…I thought, becoming frustrated. Did he have to be such a nice guy, and so charming and yet we could only be friends.
“Scarlet, that’s a nice name.” I heard his voice like an echo of a beautiful symphony.
I gasped and felt my upper body jolt back at the sound of the name, nearly falling off my seat.
“The same name as my Momma,” he continued and smiled.
I kept a grip on the table with one hand as I looked up at Scarlet, expecting to see the woman from my dream. It wasn’t her.
She took in my bewildered expression for a moment, maybe wondering, but then smiled politely and walked away to the next table of customers.
BJ didn’t seem to notice the slight moment I just had, instead just held my gaze, grinning. Then a small smirk grew into his grin as if something was amusing to him. Maybe he had noticed.
“Yeah it was awesome! We caught some epic as waves this weekend. The girls were prepping for the surf champs happenin’ next month, and then we hung out at Luca’s for a barbeque last night. Are you guys entering?”
His eyes narrowed at the sound of Luca’s name. I was prepared for the ‘you know I don’t like you girls hanging out with that Luca guy, there’s something off about him’ speech, but instead his face quickly warmed into a grin again. I was still learning to read his expressions. We were close friends and knew so much about each other, but I felt a compelling urge to know more and more of him…who he is, not just about him. Hmm, maybe he was eager to hear about surf talk, I wondered, as he and some of his mates also loved to surf and we would often all chill together on a Saturday at the local beaches. That was what was also so relatable between us. Business to beach we called it, as he only worked a few blocks away from Exquizit, being so close to the beach too.
“Yeah. How’s Reemée at the moment?” he asked.
The question caught me by surprise in his attempt to change the subject, I guessed, but I sighed as I thought of my darling sister again. We were so bonded as sisters, that sometimes I could even feel her pain.
“Yeah, she’s getting better every day now it seems. She took Alezmé for an outing on the weekend. They had heaps of fun. That’s huge progress for her.”
“That’s really awesome.” His face began softening into another friendly smile as he slightly touched my hand with his. “I know this is always hard on you too.”
I tried not to close my eyes, wanting to take in this small gesture he made and make the moment last forever.
However, I was even more so intrigued this morning as there was definitely something different about him today. His usual radiance of enthusiasm was even brighter today as he went back to his enthused jittering in his seat, like he just couldn’t wait to share some sort of news.
“I have something to tell you,” he nearly shouted, as he slowly moved an empty glass in front of him and began to pour his bottle of juice into it.
“Hmm…let me guess?” I motioned my index finger to my lips, creasing my forehead in a frown, as if to look deep in thought. I wasn’t sure what it could be, but I wanted to stall a few seconds as I was curious to guess what was different about him today.
Surprise then amusement crossed his expression as he waited while I pondered.
His hair was still the same short, smooth, black colour that was gelled sporadically through the middle and then fell perfectly around his olive toned face, slightly shorter in length across the eyes. His eyes shimmered in this light, often being a deep emerald green colour, blended with a shade of golden yellow around the edge when reflecting in the sunlight. His clothes seemed to be the same style, not a new shirt that I recognized. Had something exciting happened over the weekend?
“Water?” BJ asked, extending the water jug in my direction across the table.
“Yes, please,” I replied thankfully. This would give me a few more seconds. I was heavily distracted in thought as I took the other empty glass and lifted it across.
“Oh!” I gasped and the glass slipped through my fingers. It bounced once on the table and I quickly caught it before it fell to the floor. My eyes immediately fixed back to his arm, and then up to his eyes and back to his arm again.
“What…” I cried with amazement, not being able to move my eyes from his arm now.
“Kira, something happened,” he started again. “I am…”
Beep beep. He was cut off by the sound of his phone ringing.
I studied his face as he listened and then hung up the phone.
“That was strange, I couldn’t really hear who that was. It was just a muffled sound, unknown number.”
Ring ring. My phone started ringing too. Maybe it was the same person trying to get ahold of BJ, I wondered. I looked at my phone before flipping it open. It said ‘incoming call’ but it was an unknown number dancing on the screen. “Hello?”
Maybe they had a bad connection at their end?
Suddenly a strong gust of wind blew into the café, swirling my long hair across my face and scattering some other customer’s business documents into the air like feathers. I caught a faint whiff of something offensive in the air, as the wind curled round our feet and then whirled up rushing around the rest of the café.
Ring ring. My phone was ringing again. I felt something strange in the atmosphere, like something eerie was about to happen. An uneasy feeling silently crept up, causing me to shiver and subconsciously lean in closer to BJ. I pulled my hair free from my face to see who was ringing.
Deciding to ignore the call, I noticed a piece of paper had landed in the middle of our table. The words Dark Company stood out in bold letters across the top and an address was listed in small letters at the bottom of the page. Documents were now scattered all across the café so it must belong to someone here.
Beep beep. BJ’s phone started ringing again. He wrinkled his nose in disgust as if a foul smell had just passed by his nose as well, but his expression didn’t change.
Bleep. Bleep. Another phone started ringing, belonging to a man sitting at the table beside us. He looked over and stared directly at me as he answered his phone.
“Matt Stern here,” he answered. A few seconds later he closed his phone but didn’t look mystified. Obviously there must have been no one answering on the other line. He quickly gathered up his documents that had been blown onto the floor, stood up and left.
BJ put his phone down again. My phone rang again, so I muted the sound and looked straight ahead, asking him, “what the…?”
He just shrugged his shoulders and started to question, “maybe it…” when bling bling, bring bring, beep beep and lyrics from ringtone songs started to fill the silence again. It sounded like every phone in the café was now ringing.
What was happening?! I started to freak out, trembling where I sat.
“Should we leave?” I whispered hastily and then suddenly stood up in panic. “Something creepy is going on here.”
Both BJ and I scanned the café. Almost everyone else seemed to be puzzled also. Some people answering their phone, some just staring frozen at theirs and most were wide-eyed glancing around also.
“Ah…” he let out a relieved sigh. “Kitty, it’s okay, sit.”
I took my seat bewildered and still a little shaky.
BJ took a deep breath, closed his eyes momentarily and relaxed back into his seat as he let out another long sigh. All the phones that were ringing stopped and the buzz of the beeping sounds started to fade out as well.
I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry. What had just happened here?
He leaned in towards me, drawing me in closer to him, absorbing my full attention again. Instantaneously the distraction disappeared and I felt completely calm.
I couldn’t and didn’t want to move. He looked right into my eyes as if seeing right through me.
“Kira,” he spoke calmly, taking my hand and placing it on his arm where the long scar had been, lowering his voice into a soft, smooth tone. “I am healed.”