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The Journey

Here is a excerpt from my latest book, Just Relax. Psychological Fiction.

The consul with Karen and Chad went as well as to be expected. Karen asked the normal questions like where did Blair grow up? What do her parents do for a living? Where did she go to school? How many siblings does she have? Why the move to Winter Park? How long has she worked at Goldie? What is her role there? Then came the unwonted, intrusive questions like when did she become sexually active? How many boyfriends has she had? Why did they break up? Had she ever been in a volatile relationship? How many sexual partners has she had? Blair at one point stopped Karen holding her hand up asking. "Why is this important and any of anyone's business?" "I understand Blair but the defense will scour through your past to find anything they can possibly use to discredit you. It's not fair but it's allowed." After Blair answers all the history interrogations, Karen eases into the night in question, July 11th. Grace places her hand in Blair's holding it tight. This is her way of letting her know, it's okay. "When was the first time you met Daniel Holloway and where?" "Uh, I met him I believe last fall for the first time. I don't remember the date but it was at Goldie. Soma had been a client of Goldie's for about a year at that time." "Who introduced the two of you?" "Howard Simmons, the owner and CEO of Goldie." "Goldie Advertising Firm?" "Yes." "Mr. Simmons and Mr. Holloway are friends outside of business?" "I'm assuming they are because Howard said he's known Mr. Holloway for years." Karen continued. "The night you went to dinner with Mr. Simmons and Mr. Holloway, who else joined you?" "Sandy Simmons, Howard's wife and Delia Korbin, a top executive at Goldie." "Was it normal for you to attend client dinners?" "No." "Who asked you to go?" "Howard." "Did that strike you as odd?" "Yes and no. I was taking on more responsibility so I figured this was part of that." "You told Ms. Aman you rode to the restaurant with Delia. Is that correct?" "Yes." "What was the name of the restaurant?" "Flemings." "Was business discussed?" "Not much. Mr. Simmons and Mr. Holloway talked sports most of the dinner." "Where did Mr.Holloway sit in regards to you?" "He sat next to me. We were in a large round booth. He arrived after us so I don't think it was a strategic move. I was at the end. Howard was at the other end." "Was there anything abnormal about Mr. Holloway at dinner?" "Really only one thing stood out. He put his arm across the back of the booth and at one point touched my shoulder with his arm." "Mr. Holloway put his arm around you?" "No not around me but on top of the booth where I was seated. When he touched my shoulder, he raised his arm back up to rest on the booth seat again." "So did that appear to you as an accident?" "Yes at the time but now no." "Okay we can revisit that later. So you wrap up for the night and then what?" "Then someone mentions, I believe Sandy that Delia had to drive me back to Goldie. Mr. Holloway spoke up and offered to give me a ride back so Delia could head home. She lived in the opposite direction of Goldie." "Did that make you feel uncomfortable at the time?" "Uh, no not really. He was Howard's friend and Goldie's client. I guess like most, I surmised I was safe." "Okay, then what happened next?" "Oh yeah I forgot to tell you but he asked everyone at the restaurant if they wanted a to go cup for the remainder of their drink. I got one and Sandy got one. Delia and Howard were driving so they declined." "Lets go back. What were you drinking and how much did you have to drink?" "I had only one glass of red wine and I didn't finish it ergo the to go cup." "Go on." "We got into Mr. Holloway's car." "Do you remember the make and model of the car?" "Yes, it was a black Tesla but I don't know what model." " Two doors or  Four doors?" "Four doors, the inside was also black. He started driving towards Goldie." "How far away was Goldie?" "Less than fifteen minutes. The conversation was normal. He asked me about my family. He asked why I moved to Winter Park." "What  did you tell him about why you moved to Winter Park?"  "I told him jokingly to get away from my mother. Now looking back I know that made me even more vulnerable. He asked if I minded if he stopped for gas. He was driving back to Miami the next morning I said no I didn't mind." "Did he go into the store?" "No but he did ask if I wanted a bottled water but I declined. He pumped the gas and then got back into the car. It was only minutes before I started to feel drunk." "Can you expand?" "What do you mean?" "So you felt fine when he pulled into the gas station but when he got back in the car and started driving, you felt like you had too much to drink?" "It was more than too much to drink. I felt wasted but not in a sick kinda way. Like no control over my body or my mind." "Do you think he drugged you at the gas station?" "I think so." "Where was your to go cup?" "In the center cup holder." "Do you remember having anymore to drink after you pulled into the gas station?" Suddenly something clicked for Blair. "No, but now that we are retracing that night. I bet he drugged me on the way to the gas station." "How, without you seeing?" "He was showing me buildings on the way. You know pointing to them and telling me the history." "So you think when you turned to look at the buildings, he slipped the Rohypnol into your wine?" "Yes and I think the reason he stopped for gas was to give the drug time to work." "Chad look up how long it takes for the effects of Rohypnol to take affect ." "What do you remember next?" "I don't know if this is even in sequence but I remember him leaning over me and telling me to just relax. I think we were still in his car but I honestly can't be sure." Blair looked over to Grace to make sure she was fine. Grace nodded for her to continue. "I remember stumbling down a hallway with floral wallpaper. It is the wallpaper in Grace's old home. The house he still owns here in Winter Park." "How did you put those two things together?" "We went to the house." "Who?" "Grace, Sophie and me." "What? How did you get in?" "Grace still had her garage remote and the garage door was unlocked. Didn't Diane tell you?" "Diane doesn't know this." "That's where we found more Rohypnol in his bedside drawer and Olivia's earring. The pair Grace had bought for her for her birthday." Grace confirmed what Blair told Karen. "We went there to see if the wallpaper was the same and to find my necklace." "What necklace?" "I was wearing a necklace that night from my friend's collection and when I got home, it was gone from around my neck. Mr. Holloway's housekeeper had found it according to her statement." "Okay, I will get all that information. Not to worry." "Then what do you remember?" " I fell into a metal trashcan that we spotted in his garage. The only other thing..." "What Blair, what is it?" Blair's head started to spin, the cut deep. "I, I, I, remember something." Tears pooled in her eyes as she looks to Sophie. "I remember him on top of me. I was exposed." "It's okay, take your time. This is good." Blair swallows hard. "My pants were off and my shirt was unbuttoned." "Anything else, anything." "He was laughing." "Laughing?" "Yes, like he was enjoying himself." Blair sprung to her feet and fled to the bathroom. Sophie ran after her. Grace stayed put with her head in her hands. Karen reached over and squeezed Grace's hand. "I'm sorry Grace." The room was quiet. "Why don't we take a break, maybe open the sliding glass doors and let some fresh air fill the room," Karen suggested. Blair composed herself and returned. "I'm ready, sorry. The only other thing I remember is waking up in his car, back at Goldie. He told me that I had fallen asleep. I got out of his car as fast as I could. I knew that was not true." "Chad, did you find out how quickly Rohypnol takes affect?" "Yes, it takes action in about  fifteen minutes." "Does that sound about right to you Blair in regards to the time frame?" "No, it wouldn't have been working by then. He must have slipped it in at Flemings." "Blair when were you sure you had been sexually assaulted?" "That night I knew something terrible had happened but I only suspected. It wasn't until the next morning when I knew he raped me." "Were there visible signs, marks?" "No but I was very sore, you know down there." "Did you go to the doctor's?" "No, no I didn't. I was too ashamed. I was too scared."


Secrets make you sick 

Do you believe in divine intervention or in just mere coincidences? Jennifer Holloway is at home recovering from her third miscarriage. She finds a small white pill between her husband's car seats. The sun shines through the windshield and spotlights the mysterious pill just so.

Blair Talise is invited to her first company dinner and offered a ride back to her office by the CEO of her company's largest client. Little did she know, he would inconspicuously slip a small white pill into her drink and sexually assault her.

While grappling with what to do and who to tell, Blair befriends her new neighbor, Grace. A single wall dividing their units, she can hear Grace crying in the night. Dark secrets will soon be revealed when Blair and Grace find out they have much more in common than just living at the historic Cloister.