Excerpt from the book, “To Whom Much Is Given – A Novel” by Cecilia T. Capers
Published by Red Ibis Now available on Amazon
Summary: Success has a price and sometimes loved-ones become collateral damage. Avery Benjamin is a beautiful, 30-something, talented New York City corporate attorney of West Indian and African American heritage. A dynamic multicultural mosaic of women friends augments her life. Avery loves Antonio Dawson, a professional football player whose family is part of Atlanta’s influential African American elite. Yet, she longs for the days when she pursued big, passionate dreams. Dean Everard Swithin, a British aristocrat and Avery’s former lover from her law school days, re-enters her life making her a professional offer she cannot refuse. That is when Avery’s drama begins. Scandal and deception change her heart and her perception. Ultimately, Avery must take steps to confront her past, mend her wounds, and fulfill her destiny. “To Whom Much Is Given” is a contemporary fictional story for any person who realizes: The Best Is Yet To Come.
As Avery walked back to the kitchen, the doorbell rang. Having Ellison upstairs was a comforting thought. She trusted herself and to a certain extent, she trusted Dean would maintain his respect for her. Just like the counsel that she imparted to clients, she told herself that it was good to have insurance to protect her interests. Ellison’s presence minimized her risk and maximized her deniability if anyone would raise a question about Dean’s presence in her house.
She checked her reflection in the hallway mirror and adjusted her bra to hide her bosom that was peeking out of her v-neck sweater. Dean always found a way to play with her hair so she took an elastic band from her pocket and pulled her hair into a ponytail. She reached for the doorknob and sighed as he rang the bell one more time.
“Avery.” Dean’s words cascaded out of his mouth and swept over Avery’s body like a tropical waterfall.
“Hi Dean. Come in.”
Avery could not believe how good the man looked. It was as if they were filming a corny, contrived romantic comedy on her front stoop. The afternoon sun reflected off his designer sunglasses as he flashed some of the best Beverly Hills veneers money could buy. He was slightly under 6’3’’ and a few months shy of his 37th birthday. He had a mellow, tropical tan balanced by a five-o’clock shadow. The $400 high-end salon dye job and cut to his thick, dirty blond hair was almost irresistible not to touch. He was wearing ol’ school hip-hop sneakers, an antique pair of jeans, a funky maroon blazer and a stark white dress shirt with French cuffs. He walked into the hallway and his cologne awakened her senses. When he removed the sunglasses, his eyes told her a thousand things in just one momentary glance. That was the look Avery did not want to see!
“So this is your palace. Very posh, love. I would never expect less from you,” Dean said strolling into the sumptuous living room. “Either you paid an interior decorator a small fortune or you drove yourself mad.”
Avery sat in a large, plush chair. “Raquel and Nancy helped me but I did most of it myself.”
“It’s good to know that the orgasmic trio is still together,” Dean chuckled.
“Please don’t bring that up. The dirty old man that lived in my apartment building used to call us that,” Avery frowned. “I always had my can of mace ready for that guy.”
“That’s what I always liked about you. You’re beautiful and delicate but you are no shrinking violet,” Dean said. He eyed a picture of Antonio and Avery on a bookshelf. “I was shocked when
Nancy told me you’ve been dating Antonio Dawson. A real class act. He’s one of the best running backs in the league. Yes, you’ve done well for yourself.”
“I forgot that you like sports,” Avery said trying to figure out his game. “Are you still a free agent or are you in retirement?”
Dean realized this was an opportunity to make Avery squirm a bit. “Still a player… but the team I want to join won’t give me a contract.”
“Cousin Avery. I heard the bell ring,” Ellison said sliding into the living room, breaking the sexual tension.
“Is this Raquel’s boy? My God, he’s a handsome guy,” Dean said with a wide grin.
“Hi,” Ellison said giving Avery the ‘who is this white man’ look.
“Last time I saw you, you must have been five or six years old.” Dean shook Ellison’s hand. “My name is Dean.”
Ellison’s eyes widened. “You know my mom?”
“Yes. We’ve been friends for a long time.”
“Cool. Please let me know when dinner is ready. I’m starving,” Ellison said running upstairs.