Skyscrapers & Camelot (Renovate Book 1)

BOOK: Skyscrapers & Camelot (Renovate Book 1)
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Skyscrapers & Camelot (Renovate, #1)

 

 

Mindy A. Carter

 

Copyright © 2015 by Mindy A. Carter

All rights reserved
.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without a written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.

 

Cover Art:
Sara Eirew Photography

Editing: C&D Editing

Formats: C&D Editing

 

 

 

To my Husband and children.

I love you with all my heart.

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

I still remember the day I met Keegan James. I had no idea where I was going, but I knew I needed to be anywhere other than where I was. My father Rick, my grandmother Rose, and I had moved to my grandmother’s hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania from Cleveland, Ohio after my mother had recently passed away from a long battle with breast cancer. I was a precocious six-year-old, and I was less than happy to leave the only home I knew, one that was filled with all the wonderful memories of the years spent with my mother.

Everything was so fresh. I could still picture my mother’s smile and the way she talked in the sweetest, softest voice. It was so soothing to listen to. I was afraid leaving all the memories behind was like leaving her behind, too. It was a very hard time for all of us.

I was determined to get out of the house that we had moved to just days prior. I missed my old, pink room and the canopy bed my mother had picked out for me. I loved that room. We had painted it together and even stenciled little butterflies across the ceiling. I loved lying in my bed and staring at those butterflies. They were each different in color and looked so free, like they were flying toward something important. Now my room was practically bare: no beautiful pastels, only a white canvas with no story to tell. I felt like I was suffocating.

My father simply didn’t get what I needed. While he was too busy trying to forget, all I wanted to do was hold on. That was when I decided I was running away.

I snuck outside after dinner and walked down our long driveway. I had no idea where I was going, but anywhere was better than my new room. As I stopped at the end of the driveway, I couldn’t figure out which way to go. Should I go left? Should I go right? I wanted to choose wisely. Then I looked across the street and saw him, a boy who looked my age with dark, curly hair and the bluest eyes I had ever seen. He was staring at me.

“Hi,” he said.

I didn’t say anything, only kept looking at him.

“Hi,” he said a little louder.

Once I finally registered that he was talking to me and opened my mouth and said “hi” back, it felt like hours before he said another word.

“What’s your name,” he asked me.

I responded in a low voice, “Aimee.”

“I can’t hear you,” he said, “don’t move.” Then he looked both ways and crossed the street. “That’s better,” he said once he was in front of me. “What did you say?” he asked me again.

“Aimee,” I told him. “Aimee Brennan.”

“Well, Aimee, I’m Keegan, and I live there.” He pointed to the white house across the street with the big, red door before he continued, “And I am so happy to finally meet you. My brother and I wanted to see if anyone cool moved across the street. We were hoping a boy would move in, one who likes to play baseball. It seems like this house has been empty forever.”

“Oh,” I remarked.

The beautiful boy Keegan looked at me then said out of the blue, “You look like a princess from one of those princess movies—you know, the ones where someone rescues them. You have the prettiest, shiny hair, and I think I saw your eyes sparkle when I first saw you.”

The kid was a talker, not shy at all, my exact opposite. Even so, I couldn’t help hanging on to his every word. He was so happy and bright. Why on earth he was talking to me was a question for another day, however.

Keegan was still talking, saying something about his brother who was two years older than him and fighting over the TV remote. Now they were both grounded from the TV until someone fessed up about who had done the damage.

He stopped and asked, “So, Aimee, do you want to hang out? I’m only seven and can’t go far, but I can show you the park up the street. They just built this new playground, and it’s awesome.”

For a split second, I had almost forgotten what I was doing, but then I remembered I needed to get the heck out of dodge. “Sure, but I’m planning on running away.”

“How come? Are your parents mean?”

“No, it’s just my dad and grandma … My mom died. I just hate it here; it’s nothing like where we used to live.”

“I’m sorry about your mom—that sucks—but I’ll run away with you if you want. You may need protecting, being a girl and all.”

“If you come with me, you’ll probably get in trouble.”

“Yeah, but I think it’s totally worth it. Plus, this will make us best friends.”

“I’ve never had a best friend,” I told him.

“Well, now you have your very first, Aimee.”

So why am I telling you this silly story? Well, I’m on my way to interview him. Keegan has made a name for himself and now owns one of the biggest and most prominent architecture firms in the country. He is also one of the most eligible bachelors, according to the magazine I saw at the grocery store, at least. His famous designs are fashioned after authentic castles. They really are beautiful—well, the ones I have seen in magazines and on television.

I am a writer for
Framework
, a small but up-and-coming magazine based in New York. I live and work with my best friend Reese who was my college roommate at NYU. She is my opposite: gorgeous with short, blonde hair; tan skin; brown eyes; and a personality to match. I, on the other hand, have long, brown hair; pale, Irish skin; blue eyes; and I have been known to sport a crooked smile. We share a little apartment in Soho which is pretty much perfect for us.

Currently, we are riding in a cab to the James Architecture firm where I am supposed to conduct my one-on-one interview with Keegan James.

I can feel my heart beating faster. Although I haven’t seen or heard from Keegan since he left for college, I have loved him since I was six years old. He changed me and made my world so much better. I was devastated when he left, but then I met Reese.

She is the friend I was meant to have, although she is more a sister to me than a best friend. We share a special connection. For example, we have the same birthday and a love of romantic comedies. I mean, who wouldn’t bond over that?

“Earth to Aimee,” Reese says.

I smile. “Sorry, I guess I was daydreaming.”

“Have you not been listening to me the whole time?” She stares.

“I’m a little nervous, I guess. Keegan James is a pretty big deal for the magazine.”

“Yes, he is! But I don’t think that’s why you are so nervous. I think you’re nervous because he is more than an interview. He is your past”—she eyes me curiously—“one that you still daydream about.”

“Well, I doubt he even remembers who I am. It’s been eight years since we last saw each other.”

“If you say so.” She eyes my attire. “If it makes you feel less nervous, you look amazing today.”

I smiled crookedly and tell her, “Thanks.” This is exactly why she is my best friend—she always knows the perfect things to say.

The cab rolls to a stop, and Reese pays the driver.

“We’re here,” Reese says in a singsong voice.

“Thanks goodness, because I was worried,” I joke.

 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

I step out of the cab and survey my surroundings. You can’t help looking up at the buildings in the city. Each one stands out, but my eyes land on the one I’m about to enter, and I freeze. I can’t move. I’m afraid yet excited at the same time. The structure I’m looking at is iconic in its own right. The tall building seems to go on for miles, reaching eighty floors toward the heavens. The glass windows reflect a chrome-like sheen across the skyline, making the entire building one big mirror, reflecting the rest of the city’s skyline back on itself. It truly is an architectural masterpiece, one of a kind in a city full of metal sentinels.

There are big letters on the wide glass doors, stating James Architecture, and I can’t help smiling. This man has accomplished so much and truly followed his dreams.

“You aren’t getting any younger.” Reese stares at me sympathetically. She gets my apprehension, and I adore her for it.

She grabs my hand, and I suddenly feel her much needed comfort as we walk up the stone steps to the entrance of the building where two large doors with brass handles await.

Before Reese opens the door, I stop her. “How do I look?”

I chose a very professional outfit: a dark grey pencil skirt, a rose-colored blouse, and a matching grey jacket. I am also wearing a pair of black Louboutins, the only ones I own that I bought once I graduated college—a celebratory gift and my lucky shoes. They haven’t let me down yet, and I am hoping I can add today as another win for them. My dark brown hair is pulled into a side ponytail since it wasn’t cooperating.

“How many times do I have to tell you? Even if you were wearing a potato sack, you would still stop traffic. You look stunning. Plus, you’re wearing your lucky shoes, so you’re golden.” Reese pulls open the door and motions for me to enter.

The first thing I notice are the multiple white, curving walls that make up a walkway through the center of the room. I feel like royalty walking through a kingdom.

We make are way to the security desk where a portly old man sits, watching a set of computer monitors.

Reese glances at his nametag then gives him a flirtatious smile. “Hi, Bob!” she greets. Another thing to love about her is that she’s always so upbeat and happy.

“Hello, pretty ladies. Do you have an appointment with the big man upstairs?” Bob asks.

“We sure do. This pretty lady is here to see the big man, and as you can see by my camera bag, I’m the photographer who is going to take some pictures. I may even get some photos of all your company secrets.”

“I like you, young lady; you have spunk. Let me place a call to Mr. James’s assistant, and then you can go right up to the top floor.”

“Thank you,” we say together.

“No problem. Anything for you pretty ladies.”

Bob is a charmer. If he was twenty years younger, he would be perfect for Reese.

“Let’s go, lady; we got places to go and people to meet and corrupt,” Reese jokes.

“I’m sure you will be the one corrupting,” I tell her.

“Absolutely, and it will by fun.”

As we walk to the elevators, I take in the expansive lobby. It appears very modern looking with vibrant colors, warm and inviting. The multi-leveled surfaces of glossy concrete, dark wood, and white gravel cover the expansive space. Dark, wooden furniture in black and white sit in front of a large mural on the wall of a blueprint with the word
Camelot
above it. This is all very surreal.

We wait in silence until the elevator doors open with a ding, and we enter.

“Going up,” Reese states with a smirk.

Before I know it, we’ve reached the top floor, and the elevator doors open. We both step out and are greeted by a very beautiful, tall, blonde woman, wearing an exquisite red suit with matching heels. The skirt is a little short for the office, but she is tall, so maybe she just has trouble finding clothes that fit her properly.

BOOK: Skyscrapers & Camelot (Renovate Book 1)
13.12Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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