Skip to product information
1 of 3

The Outcast

The Outcast

Regular price $5.99 USD
Regular price Sale price $5.99 USD
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.
  • Purchase the E-book instantly
  • Receive Download link via Email
  • Send to Preferred E-Reader and Enjoy!

She only had one dream, and it was gone… maybe. He came looking for a woman who was in trouble and found a woman who was in trouble.

 

Main Tropes

  • Fake Relationship
  • Second Chance Romance
  • Women Friendship

Synopsis

She only had one dream, and it was gone… maybePortia loves numbers and problems. Everyone in Inheritance Bay knows her as a crack finance person but once upon a time she was a respected hacker known as the dark maiden. It all come to a halt with a run in with the law. Reconciled to her fate, she’s surprised when her brother gets out of jail and comes to tell her she had another chance at her dream.. if she’ll leave those in Inheritance Bay behind.

He came looking for a woman who was in trouble and found a woman who was trouble.Franklin was looking for his sister again. Her latest acting job had gone bust and she needed money. This was the last time he’d bail her out. Then he met her boss and decided maybe he needed to have a little more patience and talk with her boss at the accounting firm.

When two dreams collide, a truce is made, an understanding is come to and the beginnings of a love to rival them all is born.

Intro into Chapter One

Chapter One

Life
should be simple.

A
little caffeine, a black and white Papillion lap dog curled in a circle, and
the only thing that could be seen of the dog was her ears. Those moving radars
peeking from the covers. Portia Ramos used the sweet white delights to toss in
the coffee and the rest of the marshmallows she ate. To top it all off, Portia
was sitting in her massage chair. It was everything she could wish for until
the beckoning smell of fresh banana walnut bread called to her. Portia knew the
dangers of sitting with the window cracked. It was early March, and there was
still a bit of nippiness in the air. There was only one thing for Portia to do.
She had to go downstairs and test if that banana walnut bread was as good as it
smelled.

She
stood up, and her Papillion, Sasha, lifted her head. The move wasn’t enough to
break her curled-up circle, but her head was high enough for Portia to see her
black eyes peering back at her.

“Bread?
Or Walkies?” Portia asked.

Sasha
put her head back down and curled her fluffy fan tail closer to her body.

“Well,
I offered,” Portia mumbled as she searched for her slip-on flats. Her slip-ons
were stylish enough to wear with a dress but comfortable enough to wear with
her business casual clothing for work.

When
she got to the bottom of the three-story brownstone and opened the door, the
wind felt a bit more like the last days of December than the planting season of
March. She thought about the bread and, for a moment, contemplated returning to
the chair. Still, she figured she deserved it after her run-in with Franklin, first
name only Franklin. He hadn’t come into the party, but he had left his mark on
her. Oh yes, she deserved that banana walnut bread, and she was going to
collect her reward.

She
walked across the street and entered the bakery, closing the door behind her as
if no one else was allowed to come. When Portia entered, a young lady was
smiling at her phone, posing behind the counter. Portia cleared her throat, and
the young lady frowned at her and said to the phone, “I’m off! Remember, be positive.”

“Um,
is there something I can do for you?” the young lady asked, looking annoyed.

“Yes,
I would like some of the banana walnut bread.”

The
young lady looked behind her at the loaves on the racks and then turned to
Portia.

“Sorry,
we don’t have any. Come back later,” the young lady said with a saccharin
smile. Then she proceeded to walk away and pull out her phone again.

“Um…
excuse me. I can see the bread,” Portia said with a polite smile. “That is
banana walnut on the racks?”

The
young lady blew out her breath. “I can see the racks, also. You should also know
these are cooling racks. I can’t give you any because they need to cool first.”

“How
long do you think that will be?” Portia prodded.

“It
takes twenty minutes,” the young lady fired back through smiling clenched
teeth.

Portia
looked at the young lady and could tell there would be no swaying the girl from
her decision to make her wait. “Fine, I’ll have a croissant, a beignet, and two
macaroons… While I wait.”

The
young lady looked at Portia and sighed. “Okay, take a number.”

Portia
looked around in the empty bakery and then at the girl.

“Listen,
I don’t make the rules. If I did make the rules, I would have given you the
bread. If you want me to serve you, I have to match it up with an order on the
cash register. When I miss a number, they want to know what happened. I already
get paid next to nothing. I’m not going to risk what I do make just to make you
happy.”

“So
much for the customer comes first,” Portia mumbled to herself.

Portia
was aggravated but understood how the girl was trapped by rules that she hadn’t
made. She understood that all too well. Portia took a number and passed it over
the counter. The young lady nodded, and Portia sat close to the counter midway
to the back of the building. Portia didn’t want to be in the path of the door
when someone entered the bakery. She was waiting for the bread to cool, not for
her to get cold.

Portia
sat down and did some breathing techniques as she waited for her pastries. She
didn’t want to get up and hound the young lady, and aggravating someone who was
serving you food never seemed like a smart thing to do. Just when Portia had
gone through her routine twice, the young lady plopped the plate before her.
Once upon a time, Portia had been served these delicacies daily when she woke
up, but things had changed. She wasn’t in that old place anymore, but she could
reminisce.

“Hey
Tia, are you going to share?”

Portia
didn’t look up. Instead, she let the rich tones sink into her. These were the
tones that could charm a nun or sell sand to the Arabs… her brother Trevor.
He’s not supposed to be here. He’s supposed to be in jail finishing up a ten-year
sentence. When he does get out, he’s supposed to ensure that he does some
things. He should get a job before reaching out to anyone from his past,
especially the sister who put him in jail.  
 

When
she looked up, she saw those large puppy dog eyes which sat upon an aquiline
nose and a smile that had led more than its fair share down the dark path. If
there was a man who could embody temptation, it was her brother, and it brought
him more trouble than he could handle. Trevor sat at the table and began to eat
the pastries Portia had been waiting for.

While
she could see the attributes that had endeared her brother to the women, she
could also see other things. There was a scar on the side of his temple that
hadn’t been there before. When he sat down to eat, he pulled the plate closer
to himself as if he had to protect it. This is what she had done to her
brother.

“Why
are you here?”

“Well,
the story goes that my mom met this man and –.”

“Trevor!
You know what I mean.”

“If
the rumors are true, the real question is, why are you here?” Trevor fired
back.

Portia
looked at Trevor inhaling his food and just sat back and waited. He looked up
as if he could tell she had stopped talking and was waiting on him. “You know
you can go on and answer the question Tia. I do know how to eat and listen simultaneously,”
Trevor said.

“I’m
sure you do. You were always good at picking up new skills. Well, to answer
your question, I live and work here, and you?”

When
Trevor waved the half-eaten beignet in the air, Portia grabbed it. “Hey, you
know that could have been my first meal.”

“Was
it?”

“No,
but it could have been.”

“Trevor,
why are you here? Why didn’t you call or let me know you wanted to meet?”

Trevor
began to cough and beat his chest to clear it. 
“Did you say to warn you that I was coming?”

“Warn
me? I’m aware of who you are. Maybe I’d like to prepare for your coming by
making sure I have time off?”

Trevor
started laughing. “I could believe that if it weren’t for the fact that you
were in a different place under our grandmother’s given name. I mean, it looks
like you are trying not to be found.”

Portia
was waiting for the other shoe to drop. This was her baby brother, who knew how
to charm a snake. “Trevor?”

“You
know, in my mind, this meeting went way differently. It started with Wow,
Trevor, you’re out of jail. I’m so happy to see you. You mean they let you out
of prison for good behavior after two years? That’s great.”

Portia
pulled the plate back to her side of the table. “Hello Trevor, you look good.
It’s good to see you. Now, for your sake, where would you like me to send you
that is away from me and not here in town?”

Trevor
tuts as they both hear a bell. The young lady practically hangs over the
counter with Portia’s banana walnut bread. Portia doesn’t see a number in
Trevor’s hand, but she’s not surprised. He places the two slices of bread on
the table with whipped cream on the top. The young lady leaned over the counter
as if waiting for him to say something.

Portia
looked back at the young lady, still fawning over her brother. Finally, when
she couldn’t stand it, she turned to the young lady.

“He’s
here with his pregnant wife and four kids. He also just got out of jail. Are
you hiring?”

The
words shook the young lady, and for a moment, Portia could see how horrified
she was as she scurried away from the counter.

“Why
did you do that? There is nothing wrong with looking. Women look at jewelry and
rings all day long.”

“Yes,
but the jewelry doesn’t look back. Now I repeat, why are you here?”

Trevor
put the food down. “Do you really not want to see me?”

Portia
could feel the guilt coming. Even though she knew he had another agenda, it didn’t
stop the guilt from feeling real. Her luck with men the last couple of days was
just awful. Last night it was the gate crasher who didn’t crash the party but
promised to get back in touch with her. Now her brother was bringing with him
her past that she clearly did not want to review.

“Trevor,
I’m happy you are well. It’s been a night, and I feel like the surprises are
just racking up. It’s for your sake I’m asking why you are here, not mine.”

“Well,
I have tried to warn you that I was coming. I left messages on the last phone
number I had of yours.”

Portia
nodded. “I got rid of that number. I have a new number and address.”

“See,
I’ve been trying!”

“What’s
my old number, Trevor?”

“Uh,
your old number?” Trevor stammered.

“You
know, the one you’ve been trying to get me on?” Portia pushed.

Portia
looked at her brother, searching for an excuse. Before he could speak, she held
up her hand. “You know the end of quarters are my busy season to help others
with their books. I have a lot of clients, and I have no time to play tour
guide to you.”

“When
was the last time you called home?”

Portia
pursed her lips and shook her head. “Why call a place I can’t go? Why call
people who can’t see me anymore, just for the things they blame me for?”

“Portia,
I was in jail, and there was only you.”

“No,
Trevor, there wasn’t only me. You mean I was the only option left.”

“If
you had called, you would have known our parents wanted to see you,” Trevor
whispered.

“Well,
since it seems like you have already talked with them, tell them I’m well,”
Portia pushed back the chair.

“They
need you, Tia,” Trevor says, looking at the banana walnut bread as if it was
the most interesting thing on the planet.

“They
need a lot of things, but not me.” Portia was getting sucked back into the past,
and she didn’t do that. She didn’t do regret and didn’t do ‘would haves’ and ‘could
haves’. It was done and over.

“Well,
the pastries were good. I suppose from the way you have pushed away from the
table, you’re ready to go?”

Portia
lifted an eyebrow and gave him a small smile. “That is the universal sign of
I’m done. Ask any two-year-old.”

“Do
you mind me crashing at your place?”

“Yes
but No. Where are your clothes?”

“I’ve
got them on me.”

Portia
looked at him, and she knew she had the question in her eyes.

“Prison
habit. I have all the clothes in layers on me. When I get to my destination,
I’ll take them off and have four outfits in addition to the one you see.”

Portia
couldn’t speak. That was one of the things Trevor learned in prison. Something
he should have never learned about at all. “Come.”

They
went back to her apartment, and when she closed the door, she waited for his
words.

“Tia,
which one of us was in prison? There are no colors on the walls. There is
barely any furniture. Was there nothing you wanted to bring with you?”

Portia
pushes past him and goes to pick up Sasha.

“Her.
This is the only item I value these days.”

“Sasha!”
Trevor cooed with love in his voice. “You kept her?”

“How
could I not? She’s my family.”

“Tia,
you have family, and your old room is twice the size of this apartment.”

“Trevor,
why have you come?” Portia went to her big chair and held Sasha close to her as
if she could deflect the words that Trevor would say.

Trevor
looks around and finally just pulls one of the two kitchen table chairs to sit
in front of Portia. “The family needs you.”

“You
said that. I don’t know what that means because they haven’t needed me in a
while.”

“Tia,
can you just visit for a minute? It’s been —”

“I
know how long it’s been. I don’t need a reminder of that.”

“Then
what do you want us to do, beg?”

Portia
held Sasha closer and shook her head. “Don’t, Trevor. They could have visited
me in the beginning. You know I sent them my new phone number. They could have
called on a birthday or holidays.”

“The
business is slipping.”

Portia
shakes her head. “What are you talking about? Simple Structures has been making
children toys for decades.”

“Yes,
but things have taken a turn for the worse, and now we need to call investors
to re-build a plant so we can keep relevant.”

“Relevant?”
Portia asked, confused.

“The
world isn’t what it was. Sure, we have some faithful people who buy and
remember toys that kids have to use their imagination with, but we couldn’t
build a plant for the new electronic games. In the middle of Wisconsin, it's
hard to find the necessary freelance talent. The talent won’t even consider it
without a town and some amenities.”

“They
have money.” Portia said, confused by the dilemma.

“Dad
has tried, but he did things on handshakes, and let’s say the deals went bad
with only him paying attention.”

Portia
closed her eyes. She could imagine her proud father trying to do it the old-fashioned
way when a man made a deal with a handshake instead of a contract when men knew
what honor was. When a man would goes looking for his sister then a man’s word might
mean something.

“It
sounds like things are bad, but I’m not sure what you want me to do.”

Trevor
smiled. “Well, that’s easy. I want you to come home and use that amazing skill
you have with numbers to help us wow the investors and save our family name and
fortune.”

Portia
looked at him as if he had lost his mind.

“Oh,
is that all? You should have started with that, and we would have been done by
now. Instead of figuring out where you would sleep, we would be figuring out
how you were going to get home,” Portia replied sarcastically.

Trevor
got up and kissed Portia on the cheek.

“Tia,
I knew we could count on you. I’ll go get dinner and bring it back.”

Portia
watched Trevor go out of the door, and then Sasha gave her a lick on her chin.

“I
know, Sasha, but what am I going to do?”

View full details