Gillian on her third fresh start in Dark Energy, Return to Becker Circle
Hello. I’m Gillian Davis from Sugar Creek, Missouri, outside of St. Louis. I turned 22 on September 21, barely a Virgo. I just graduated from Harvard last December and started over in Dallas with my own apartment in Becker Circle, the area they tell me is the “it” place to live. I call it home now.
Dallas girls put more effort into their appearance, so I’ve had to make some adjustments. I cut my long wavy auburn hair into a mid-length style and use a flatiron more often. With the warmer climate, my Greek olive complexion shows some sun. I’ve also gotten into a running routine. Between exercise and stress dieting, my clothes no longer fit. My stylish neighbor took me to her favorite store and helped pick out jeans and tops. I’m not used to showing off my curves, but that’s what works here.
What do you do?
I’m educated and certified as a CPA. After moving to Dallas, I needed extra money, so I got a taste of bartending. I also met Pinkie at the competing bar down the road and figured out I wasn’t cut out to be an accountant. He had enough confidence in me to manage his new bar, Pinkie’s Too. It’s a job I never imagined an accountant would enjoy so much.
How do you like this adulting thing?
I love being on my own. It’s hard sometimes to make myself do the basic home things like buy groceries and clean the apartment. Anything is better than being at home making excuses for my dad when he passes out every night. I learned to mix a mean Old Fashioned when I was 11 after making them for him every day after Mom got so sick.
Are you happy with where you are now?
I’m lucky to have a second chance—actually third. I worked hard to graduate Harvard early. It’s unbelievable that was only a few months ago. Here in Dallas, I work for a great boss and have better weather and an amazing boyfriend. I’d be happy anywhere but in Boston or Sugar Creek. Then there’s what Charles did on my last birthday. Boston isn’t big enough for both of us even though I miss Lauren like crazy. I’ve met amazing people and had three job opportunities in Dallas, but luck hasn’t been on my side.
What are your thoughts on love?
I thought I was done with guys after escaping an abusive college relationship and making a few romantic mistakes since moving to Dallas. Then I met Jon. It was one of the most stressful situations imaginable when one of the bar regulars died right in front me at the pub. I learned that night how Jon listens and is there for me. He has my back when things get really bad. Even better, Jon’s a good cook and makes his own money. He stole my heart when he wrote the song Dark Energy for me.
What’s the hardest part about managing a bar?
I’m learning the bar business from men who are stronger and tougher than me. If a patron starts a fight or gets rowdy in the bar, I have to jump in the middle to stop it. Where I lack in size, I make up in skill and badassery.
What’s one thing you want people to know about you?
I always keep my word, no matter what—even if it gets in the way of my happiness. That’s why rule eighteen of my new life is, “Never make a promise I can’t keep.”
What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
The same guy kidnapped me for the second time. Most people would have been terrified. Once I got my wits back after they drugged me, I was just annoyed. Read about my experience in the excerpt and you’ll get why this is funny.
Dark Energy blurb
Cybercrime doesn’t talk. It creeps in and destroys lives right under Gillian’s nose when a cryptojacking scheme lands her boss, Pinkie, in jail. Gillian had just started over with a new career, boyfriend, and confidence after escaping a vicious murder investigation that shattered her ability to trust. Then Pinkie’s arrest leaves her struggling to run his two bars while also unraveling the conspiracy.
Gillian will not let her mentor and friend go down for something he didn’t do. Neither will Jon, the most talented musician on the bar’s stage and the perfect boyfriend…until his good fortune sends her reeling. Gillian forces herself to trust the cops, people who hurt her, and known criminals. Will it be enough to free Pinkie and save her life?
You can find Dark Energy (Return to Becker Circle) on Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Smashwords, Apple Books, Kobo, and B&N Nook. Author proceeds will go to Staff Meal to help provide meals and other aid to restaurant workers in need during the pandemic.
Excerpt from Chapter 27
I lock the front door behind him, stash the cash in the safe, and log the receipts, just realizing how not enough rest has caught up with me. Sleep will be welcome after last night. I turn off the last light and head through the heavy back door to the parking garage when strong arms wrap around me from behind.
“No!” A rag covers my face, garbling my scream. Exhaustion converts to fear. All I see is cloth and concrete. I swing my body around with everything I have to escape my captor’s hold before everything goes black.
Time passes before I come to. How much, I have no idea. I struggle to break loose. My arms and legs are tied to a chair, and my face is covered. “Where am I?
Who’s here?” My heart might pound through my ribs.
“Hello, Gillian. Sorry to drop in uninvited.”
“It’s you. Again.” I’ll never forget the voice I heard the first time someone held me hostage after Bobby died.
“Indeed, we meet again. Trust me, this is a friendly visit.”
“Then why am I tied up and blindfolded?” My heartrate slows. For some odd reason, I’m not afraid I’m about to die.
“Please don’t take it personally. It’s purely so I can remain anonymous.”
“We have these things today called phones. Don’t you guys use burners so no one can trace the calls? Might try that next time.”
“You being here is much more personal.”
Then why can’t I see him? Footsteps travel across the room.
“You and Pinkie have a nice place here.” Carl’s pots and utensils clank together like off-tuned chimes.
“I heard about Pinkie’s misfortune. If you want to keep this nice place, we need to work together.”
“Why would we work with some guy who keeps kidnapping me?”
“I always like your spirit, Gillian Davis. Your question is smart. There’s someone new in town. He’s trying to control Dallas. Keep hard working entrepreneurs like Pinkie and me from running our businesses.”
About Addison Brae
Addison Brae lives in Dallas, Texas on the edge of downtown. She has been writing since childhood and continues today with articles, video scripts, and other content as an independent marketing consultant. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary young adult fiction. When she’s not writing, Addison spends her time traveling the world, collecting interesting cocktail recipes and hosting parties. She’s addicted to reading and enjoys jogging in her neighborhood park, sipping red wine, binge-watching TV series, vintage clothing, and hanging out with her artistic other half and their neurotic cat Lucy.
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