Her Mistaken Dream
Caitlin Denvers dreamed about the guy she was going to marry. Her dreams were vivid and had all come true so far, so of course this one would. But then she sees him on a TV program about notorious criminals…
Turns out that her dream guy, Todd Taylor, has a dead wife in his past and he was the main suspect in her murder. Did he really do it? Or did Caitlin have a mistaken dream for the first time? Because surely God wouldn’t want her to marry a murderer…
“Caitlin Denvers! Get in here,” Howard Greaves called from the executive offices.
Caitlin jumped. She had been surfing the Internet, gathering information on Todd Taylor.
She was now convinced that he could not be her dream guy. She was almost certain that he had murdered his wife. The evidence was stacked against him. Just from her cursory reading she was finding out more unsavory things about the man than she had anticipated.
His wife died in their kitchen from a knife wound to the chest, an obvious crime of passion. It didn’t help matters that Todd Taylor had her blood on his shirt and hands.
His explanation was ridiculous too. There was a supposed intruder who came into the house and killed his wife. Conveniently, Todd couldn’t remember what took place and his housekeeper didn’t see the intruder. Everything was too convenient. Caitlin smelled a cover-up but for the time being she had to stop her investigation, not that she had much information to go on; all the articles on the case were scanty and filled with speculation.
The top brass was calling.
“Coming, sir!” she said, getting up and grabbing her notepad. The top executives rarely acknowledged her since she graduated university and got a full time job at Lux as a junior editor.
“Ahem,” Jenny, her friend and fellow junior editor, whispered across the cubicle. “I sort of told him that you had connections.
“Why?” Caitlin whispered harshly. “What connections?”
“He asked me about you. I probably told him a little bit too much. They are starting a Lux Women Magazine and he wanted a celebrity to feature for their first month and I took the opportunity to tell him that you know Thomas Kellier, as well as the Benedicts and all of that.”
“Oh, for heaven’s sake!” Caitlin grimaced. “I should have never told you anything.”
“You are too humble,” Jenny whispered. “You’ll thank me later.”
“Denvers!” Howard bellowed again.
Caitlin scurried toward Howard’s office, a glass enclosure that was always approached with trepidation and care. Some of the editors referred to it as the lion’s den.
Howard was a stout man who had a large belly, a ruddy complexion, and a roar befitting a lion. He was the editor-in-chief of Lux Caribbean and the head honcho. Caitlin wondered what Howard could possibly want from her; she was at the very bottom of the pecking order at the magazine.
“Where should I begin?” Howard asked Caitlin when she came to the door. “You are a dark horse, aren’t you?”
“Excuse me?” Caitlin croaked. She was hardly ever called to Howard’s office but when she was it was usually with her immediate supervisor, Gwendolyn Dyer, who was neither impressed by nor afraid of Howard.
“Come in and sit down.” Howard nodded at her. “You recently graduated from university with a journalism degree?”
“Yes sir,” Caitlin said. His office was done in blue, brass and chrome. She looked around appreciatively. It was nicely done.
“Good,” Howard said gruffly. “I read a few things that you wrote. Concise, descriptive, and quite good.”
“Thank you, sir.” Caitlin was getting excited. According to the senior editing staff, compliments from Howard were rare.
“We are starting a new magazine called Lux Women. It’s a lifestyle magazine targeted to our female readers. This one is going to be both online and print and it will be somewhat smaller than Lux Caribbean. We will be publishing a monthly issue. We already have advertisers raring to go with this…our subscription list for Lux is quite large, you know.”
Caitlin nodded, waiting for Howard to tell her how she would be involved in Lux Women. If she could just contribute or get a regular column she would be so happy.
“I want you to contribute to Lux Women. You are getting your own column,” Howard said. “It will be a two thousand-word feature, so don’t get too excited; it’s hard work. I also want you to be a features editor.”
Caitlin opened her mouth. This was what she wanted to do when she initially joined Lux. It was like all her dreams were coming through at once. This was quite a promotion.
“You will report to me.” Howard pushed a mock-up of a magazine toward her. “This is what is required for the Lux Women brand. If you are going to be making any design changes or anything affecting the layout, you need to consult me. The first edition should be launched at the end of August. Failure to meet deadlines is a big no; if you do you will be fired. Got it?”
“Good,” Howard said. “I know you did something similar for your final university project so this shouldn’t be a problem for you. Will it?”
It had taken Caitlin and her group almost three weeks to come up with a workable concept and four months to complete their mock magazine, but she smiled at Howard like she had not a care in the world.
“It won’t be a problem, sir. Do I have any support staff?” she asked belatedly.
“Yes,” Howard said, crossing his hands over his massive belly. “I’ll email you a list of the contributors you can use as soon as you are at your new desk.”
“New desk?” Caitlin looked through the glass enclosure of Howard’s office and down the carpeted hallway past the cubicles. At the opposite end of the hall was another glass office and a boardroom being refurbished. She turned around to Howard again.
“Yes, that will be yours.” Howard smiled at her in what she could only interpret as his benign smile. “Your name will be on the door. We will assign you five staff members from the Lux family. If the magazine takes off and can stand on its own then we can assess your needs further.”
“Thank you, sir,” Caitlin smiled. “Thank you so much. I never expected this. I really don’t know what to say.”
“Just do well,” Howard said and then cleared his throat. “I have some suggestions you could take on board for your first couple of issues.”
“Okay,” Caitlin nodded.
“You will need to write.” Howard pointed to her notebook.
She took it up, poised to jot down notes.
“For the August issue I want you do an exclusive spread on the upcoming wedding of Luca Lawson and, er, Casey Givens?”
Caitlin opened her mouth. “But…”
“Write,” Howard urged. “I have more suggestions.”
Somehow the word suggestion sounded more like demand. Caitlin quickly scribbled down August- wedding.
“It is so exclusive nobody but family and close friends are allowed in, but I learned that you are going to be a bridesmaid. In fact, you are a sister to the bride.” He laughed. “I couldn’t believe our good fortune. Our very own features editor for our brand new Lux Women has a foot in.”
“But I…” Caitlin was on the verge of protesting.
Luca Lawson was a very private person. She would have to beg Casey to allow her to do a tastefully done spread. As a human-interest side, maybe she could add info on how they met and the fact that Casey had been mute and had no idea who she was at the time. Now that would make for a stellar story.
“And for September,” Howard continued as if he hadn’t just laid a major burden on her to beg the people closest to her to put their story in a magazine, “You absolutely need to do a feature on Thomas Kellier.” Howard leaned back in his chair. “Imagine when I heard that you knew him quite well. Maybe you should get his story before he leaves. I heard that he only spends the summer here but then again, you must know that. He’s a bachelor, you know; your female readers should love that.”
“I don’t really know him, know him,” Caitlin protested. “I just…” Then the shoe dropped. She was not just made a feature editor because of anything she had done. She was beginning to suspect that she got the job because of who she knew or who Howard heard that she knew.
“In this business, Caitlin, it’s not who you know, it’s who you know that knows who you want to know. Got that?”
Caitlin nodded, trying to work out all the knows in her head.
“And for October,” Howard confirmed her suspicions, “I would like a feature on the Benedict family. We feature them a lot at Lux but maybe you could get into the nitty-gritty of the family. Give me a Benedict, nobody knows about.” He snapped his fingers as if it had just occurred to him but Caitlin was beginning to doubt that this meeting was anything but orchestrated.
“Feature Helen Benedict; they guard her like a hawk. Get some pictures of her paintings. I heard that they are gorgeous, top secret stuff. I want pictures, lots of pictures of her work for that edition.”
“The Benedicts?” Caitlin squeaked.
“Yes.” Howard looked at her and raised an eyebrow. “I know you are knee deep in the family. Isn’t Patricia Benedict a mentor of yours? A mother figure, even?”
“Well, yes,” Caitlin sighed, “but that’s Patricia. As you said, Helen is not really a mainstream Benedict… I don’t know her.”
“For November,” Howard looked down at his note pad, ignoring her protests, “Todd Taylor.”
Brigid gasped. “The Todd Taylor?”
“You are not one of those who thinks he murdered his wife, are you?”
“Well, I don’t know him at all,” Caitlin finished weakly. “I have no connection to him whatsoever.” Except for her dreams, and those didn’t count.
As Brigid said, she had probably seen him on television and had dreams of him, because she couldn’t credit the fact that God had planned for her to marry a murderer. No way. She had misread that dream.
“I will sort out you getting access to him,” Howard said. “He owns Lux, after all. He hasn’t granted any interviews since the incident seven years ago. He is such a recluse. Reclusive or not, he is technically our boss—the person who feeds us, who pays for the very clothes on our backs.”
Howard paused dramatically. “We should do something to boost his profile in the public sphere, don’t you think?”
“He owns Lux?” Caitlin cleared her throat. She shouldn’t have said that out loud and sounded ignorant but she had thought that Lux was owned by a company called Creative Issues, which had been owned by Jordan Benedict, one of Patricia’s brothers. Hence, the reason she had gotten the job in the first place.
“Yes, he owns Lux,” Howard said, “acquired the company just last month, as well as the other brands and companies that Creative Issues owns. So in the true spirit of sucking up we are going to run a feature piece on him in Lux Caribbean sometime in the New Year. In the meantime your little online women’s lifestyle magazine is going to do a stellar article on him—one that will exonerate him from even the whisper of wrongdoing. I want you to personally do that article. Do not even dream of handing it off.”
“But what if he really murdered her?”
“Bah. Rubbish!” Howard said. “Go review the case before you jump to conclusions like the rest of the world.”
I have, and it looked pretty cut and dried to me. The only reason Todd Taylor escaped prison was because he was wealthy, Caitlin wanted to say out loud but didn’t.
“I will arrange for you to meet him,” Howard said, “but first I must convince his secretary to get me access and get him to agree and all of that.”
Others from the series
Della Gold details her life in a journal dedicated to a mystery guy she had only seen at her workplace but whom she felt curiously drawn toward.
When fascination turns into obsession she finds herself wanting to learn more about him but in her pursuit of the mystery guy she begins to learn more about herself and her mysterious past…
Brigid Manderson had the blues. She wanted to go to medical school but she couldn’t afford it. When her mother, an ex prostitute, invited her to work for her escort business she didn’t want to but circumstances forced her hand.
Her most recent customer was the wealthy record producer, Thomas Kellier. He wanted her and he was willing to pay for the privilege of having her.
Would Brigid succumb to his wealth and charm, or would she choose the harder path of love with Dr. Nick Benedict, a Christian guy who had no idea who she really was?
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