Copyright © 2013 R. P. Martin
Part 5 of A Suitable Suitor Series
Part 1: Man of Her Dreams (complete)
Part 2: Waiting My Whole Life (complete)
Part 3: Walking Away (complete)
Part 4: The Stalker (complete)
Part 5: The Nightmare (complete)
A Month Later
Johnny spent the last month focusing all of his attention on Piper and Blake. The task that Brandon Jackson had given him had been easy enough to fulfill because he was already secretly watching the CEO's daughter. The prowler however was extremely confused by the fact that Brandon hadn't done anything to Blake yet, especially with all the incriminating evidence he had on her. Every day when he walked into work, his patience lessened when he realized Blake Beaner was still working for Jackson Inc.
The prowler got up from his bed and couldn't help but think about that situation.
“What the hell Brandon? How many more pictures do I have to take of the two?”
He's a coward just like you are.
“Don't you have some place else to be right now?”
No, as a matter of fact I don't.
“As I was saying, when are you going to make your move?”
Johnny maneuverer across his bedroom floor, careful not to step on any of the photographs of Piper he had accumulated over the months and years. The prowler's small and dungy apartment was plastered with pictures of the woman who had stolen his heart that faithful morning over five years ago. As he walked to the bathroom unwillingly needing to shower before heading out for another full day of surveying, he just couldn't help but feel vulnerable and angry with the CEO.
“I don't know how much longer I can take being away from your daughter. You need to do something.”
Old man Jackson isn't going to give you what you want. You fool.
“Of course he is. Why else would he want me to keep following her?”
To build a case against you seeing as how you are stalking her now.
“I am not. She loves me and wants me to follow her. She feels protected when I'm around.”
Is that why she's now sleeping with a woman?
“SHUT UP! You don't even know what you are talking about. Brandon wouldn't do that to me.”
Are you sure?
Johnny stood motionless in the middle of the bathroom staring at his deprived body. He could see the bones of his rib cage starting to pop out and mentally scowled himself for not taking care of his body. He frowned when he touched his sensitive skin, which barely covered the bones that protected his chest. He really wasn't doing a good job of taking care of his health and he knew it. No matter how many times he told himself, he always managed to skip the most basic needs in life like sleep, eating and showering. This morning had been different because he could literally smell the dirtiness off his body in the sheets when he stirred in bed.
I told you to take better care of yourself. Honestly, can you think of one reason why Piper would ever want to be with you?
The prowler examined himself in the mirror desperately seeking the answers. He wondered what exactly his “voice” was telling him. He could feel his image crumble in front of him and yet he stayed there watching his resolve fall apart. His life now only consisted of doing everything necessary to get Piper to love him.
Poor baby, are you going to cry now? You know, I remember when you were just a kid and how much you used to cry. Sick!
He couldn't pull his eyes away from the mirror, nearly transfixed on the punishment that his internal voice so happily lashed out onto him. There was no escaping the truth and just like in the old days when his younger stepbrother tortured him, the “voice” always took Bobbi's side. Johnny defiantly continued to stare in the mirror wanting to show his ability in overcoming the abuse but his determination faltered.
He could hear his “voice” laughing at him like the way his brother used to always do. Johnny's mind could only take so much and before he knew what was happening, something deep in his soul cracked and sent his rage spitting out his mouth.
“YOU SON-OF-A-BITCH! How dare you talk to me that way? If it wasn't for me, you'd be gone.”
Johnny pounded on the glass of the mirror until the shared pieces of glass came crashing down onto the tiled bathroom floor. With every piece that blew up when hitting the floor, the prowler felt like he had finally been able to beat his “voice”. His strength doubled in a fraction of a second and the more the noise of broken glass clashed against his thoughts, the more he felt powerful.
“From now on, you're going to respect me and my choices or I will get rid of you. You and I both know that, that can easily be done. Remember when daddy put me in the hospital and you disappeared for a couple of years? Don't think I won't let it happen again so I suggest you SHUT THE HELL UP!”
Now, now, Johnny, don't be so cruel. I was only joking with you.
“Leave me the hell alone.”
I'll be back.
Soon after, the stalker left his apartment feeling invisible and indestructible. If Brandon wasn't going to get rid of Blake Beaner, he would. There was no doubt in his mind now what he needed to do. He got into his rusted old beat up car and when it finally started, he headed directly to Bean's house. Johnny spent the entire day watching the house but nothing happened until he saw Piper's BMW roll into Blake's driveway.
Piper's stalker had missed work to watch Blake's house not even realizing that had he gone to work, he could have kept a closer eye on the CFO seeing as how it was a workday. Johnny had made his way to the bushes and settled into position to watch the house. He grew irritated that nothing was happening but never once realized he had been the cause of his own distress. His soul reason for living was to get Piper back.
He now scrutinized everything the beautiful woman did, even how she stepped out of her car. He however always managed to subconsciously send her a big smile. She couldn't see him but he knew she could tell he was around, watching and protecting her. As he watched Blake half jog down the walkway to meet Piper, he flinched at the look the two women gave each other. He didn't understand how she could love him and yet be with her.
When the two publically kissed, Johnny's mouth dropped open. For as long as he could remember while she dated Robert, Piper had never showed any kind of public display of affection. Johnny respected her and admired her character for not showing affection but now, he thought her behaviour was very “slut” like. He didn't like it and automatically blamed the CFO for it.
“What's so special about Blake? She's only a woman for crying out loud.”
The prowler menacingly stared the couple down, challenging them to continue kissing when he was rewarded. Piper turned around and looked his way as if saying she was sorry. She looked concerned, worried and a tad scared which only proved to Johnny that she had heard his thoughts.
“I knew you could hear me, my love. Don't worry, I accept your apology and I know you're just doing what you are told. I'll get rid of that lesbian soon enough. I know you aren't a lesbian yourself sweetheart. It's OK. Soon, this will all be over.”
When Blake looked around and faced the man who was still hunched down in the bushes trying not to make a sound, Johnny's breath hitched. Blake didn't intimidate him all that much but as his vision cleared, his mind momentarily blanked and he knew the risk wasn't worth it just yet. He couldn't be seen, not now anyway.
As the CFO turned around and walked Piper into her home, the long-time employee of Jackson Inc. took the first of many erratic short breaths, trying to regain his composure. The thrill of secretly challenging Blake was enough to produce a massive amount of endorphins in his system and in those few moments felt more alive than anything, which is why he continued to spy on the
It didn't take long for the sun to set and for the dim light to turn on in Blake's master bedroom. The prowler made his way up the tree and once again settled into his routine position, watching the events unfold. There was a part of him that was disgusted by what was happening in the love nest but the bigger part of him immediately got aroused. It confused him because in some ways he still thought of Blake as a man. It seemed ridiculous now as he saw her breasts pressed up against Piper's but as he felt the excitement rise in his boxer shorts, he couldn't stop watching.
When the women's actions heated up to a point where he could no longer convince himself that watching Blake make out to his bride to be was ok, his mood wickedly changed. He had, had enough and purposefully stepped on the one branch he knew would cause a loud noise and hopefully stop the movements inside the master bedroom.
As he sprinted down the tree to hide in his secret hiding spot, he smiled when he saw Blake standing on the other side of the window. Their love making session had effectively been dealt with and now Johnny could breathe a little better. The thumping in his chest started to calm but the blood still rushed to his most sensitive organ making it impossible to ignore while it stood on edge.
Johnny matched Blake's stare as the two stood covertly face-to-face. Blake couldn't see the prowler's anger rise in his clenched jaw but it didn't stop Johnny from starting the one conversation he wanted to have with her.
“I'll always be in the shadows. She's mine and you can't have her.”
“Are you serious?”
“I'm dead serious. She loves me and there is nothing you can do about it.”
“Then why is she with me right now?”
Johnny didn't like Blake's tone of voice and needed to re-control this situation. He unconsciously sent sharpened daggers into the CFO's direction and continued to whisper to himself, somewhat aware that there was no possibility that Blake couldn't be having this conversation with him.
“She's with you because you're forcing her. She loves me. She's loved me for the past five plus years. You are nothing to her.”
“We'll see Blake. We'll see soon enough when she leaves your sorry ass.”
“She wouldn't do that.”
“HAHAHAHAHA, soon, your life will fall apart.”
“I doubt it.”
“Piper belongs to me and no one else. You'll see.”
Johnny grinned as he watched the defeated looking woman slowly turn around from the window and head back into room.
You showed her didn't you!
The prowler smirked a little harder, showing his slightly yellow tinted teeth. The confidence he lacked now escaped its prison cell and oozed out into the open for everyone to see. Johnny was back and with a vengeance. He was going to prove to the world that nobody messed with him, not even his little brother.
“Don't ever forget it. You're looking at a new man. Piper will soon see that.”
The Next Day
Piper's constant shadow had decided to make up for the loss time he had missed yesterday while surveying Blake's house for nothing. As he walked into the office, he couldn't' help but shake his head at how careless he had been. It was important to keep his job but more importantly to use his time wisely when it came to keeping an eye on the two women.
“I suppose you have a good reason for not being here yesterday.”
“Brandon, you know I do. I was keeping an eye on your daughter like you asked me too.”
“Any new developments?”
“Nothing you don't already know Sir. She's still sleeping with your CFO.”
“Not for long.”
Johnny looked into the eyes of the man whose face flushed in anger and redness. He couldn't help but feel excited about what was going to happen.
“What do you mean?”
“You aren't that daft are you?”
“Please Brandon, how should I know what that head of yours is thinking?”
“I'm firing that disgusting thing this morning.”
HAHAHA. Finally dear old daddy is doing something right.
The long-time Jackson Inc. employee inevitably smiled and chuckled out loud. He couldn't agree more with his “voice” about what was about to happen. He wasn't sure if it would keep the two women apart but he now had a plan for that as well. This would make things a little harder for Piper so maybe she would end the relationship. It could work, couldn't it?
“I take it you are happy about this?”
“Why is that?”
“Piper deserves better Sir. You and I know that. Blake isn't a suitable suitor for your daughter. She's a woman for crying out loud.”
Johnny walked into his office vibrating from head to two. He sat at his desk, opened up his top drawer and pulled out the small picture that lay hidden under some office equipment. He looked out to see if anyone was watching him and smiled when he knew he was alone.
“Sweetheart, I'm so glad you've decided to leave that lesbian. I knew it wouldn't last that long.”
The stalker slowly closed his eyes, and intimately kissed the photograph. He was relieved that Brandon was going to do his dirty work for him and now he could have Piper all to himself. No one would ever find out he was involved. It seemed liked the perfect plan and he couldn't wait to see the look in Blake's eyes when the CEO fired her.
“It certainly is. Have a good meeting Blake.”
Johnny smirked, at this point, not caring at all about what Blake thought. He wondered if the CFO knew why she was seeing the CEO on a Saturday morning but didn't put much more thought into it. As Blake knocked on Brandon's door, the prowler sat back into his leather desk chair and smiled.
“Now I won't have to get rid of Blake after all.”
He didn't have to wait long for the yelling to start. The more Brandon yelled on the other side of the office, the more Johnny beamed about how real this situation was. Robert and Blake would be out of the picture and he really was finally going to get his girl. He might even get another promotion soon, now that Brandon was talking about retirement.
You get in good with that girl and Jackson Inc. is yours!
“I know. Do you really think I won't?”
I have my doubts.
“Whatever. Well see who'll be laughing.”
Johnny quickly replaced his grin with a frown when he saw the gorgeous blonde walk in.
What the hell is she doing here Johnny?
There was absolutely no reason why Piper would be at the office on a Saturday morning but there she was walking through the elevator doors, looking more beautiful than ever. The prowler fixed his crooked tie and ventured toward her wanting to know exactly what was she was doing there. When he walked out of his office, he remembered Brandon was yelling at Blake. He needed to diffuse the situation and get Piper out of there as soon as possible.
On second thought, let the tease sees this. HAHAHA
As the now nervous man made his way to his beloved future wife, he tried to control his nerves.
“Good morning Daniel…I mean Johnny. I'm sorry, I'm still getting used to that nick name of yours.”
“Don't be sorry. It's no trouble at all. How are you?”
“I'm certainly better than whoever is in there with my father.”
Johnny was splendidly surprised by Piper's personal touch when talking to him. From the time he had been a child, everyone around him had called him Johnny because of his last name. Daniel Johnson, Brandon Jackson's right hand man had immediately been known as Johnny. In all the years he had known Piper, she had never called him by his childhood nickname. It had been the first time she had used it and to the prowler, it made things so much more real and personal for him. Piper did in fact love him and there was no proving otherwise. He couldn't help but smile at the good-looking woman. He tried to stop the excitement from dancing around in his eyes but failed. Things were looking up for him and he was happy about the change of events thus far.
“Don't you worry about that, Piper!”
Johnny observed the concerned expression on Piper's face and wondered what she would do if she found out Blake was in that office on the receiving end of Brandon's wrath. She turned to the doors and looked like she wanted to go in and stop the verbal assault.
“It's kind of impossible not to worry about. No one deserves that.”
“Oh I'm not so sure about that.”
Piper's constant shadow instantly regretted the tone of voice and the implication he had just said out loud about the soon to be ex-CFO. Piper inquisitively gazed into the dark brown eyes of the prowler and gave him a questioning look. When it looked like she was about to ask him a question, Blake's voice cracked through the office door. Piper immediately looked in the direction and when she turned back to Johnny, he could see the confusion, dislike and worry in her face. He didn't like that at all but Piper didn't care.
“Perhaps it's time I break things up.”
“I don't think that's such a good idea.”
“It's not your decision Daniel.”
The CEO's assistant's temper subconsciously flared when Piper finished her last sentence. He watched Piper walk into the office not caring at all what he had to say about the situation. He was only trying to protect her but she had the nerve to talk to him like that.
That bitch needs a collar and fast. Are you going to let her talk to you like that?
“I'll take care of it. It will be the last time she talks to me like that. Trust me.”
You're losing control again. Get it together man.
“What the hell did I tell you before? Shut the hell up. This situation is under control and our plan is working out perfectly. It will just take a little more tweaking.”
Whatever you say boss! If you ask me, she's the one running the show.
“I said, SHUT UP!”
After hearing Piper cry through the office doors, the long-time Jackson Inc. employee exited the office took the elevator down and ventured to his car to maintain his cover. He was sure that things would hit the fan and he wanted to rejoice in whatever was going to happen. He knew that by not staying in the office he wouldn't hear exactly what was happening but he knew if he stayed there, he wouldn't be able to see the backlash effects of Blake getting fired. It was a risky move he was willing to take it so he could carefully decide what to do next. The adventure was now beginning and it excited Johnny to his core.
Daniel quickly grabbed a piece of paper and started scribbling on it.
“It's only a matter of time…”
He stopped writing to look out his windshield to see if Blake was coming out of the office.
“…Ms. Jackson's tears are permanent. You have to know she doesn't belong to you.”
Johnny stared at the note and after re-reading it, felt he needed to finish it with a big bang.
“STAY AWAY OR ELSE!”
When the coast was clear, he ran to Blake's vehicle and placed the note in between the glass and driver side wiper.
A Little While Later
Piper's stalker didn't have to wait long to see Blake briskly walk to her sparkling Land Rover. Blake was about to get into her car when she noticed the note. The stalker's heartbeat raced as he watched Blake read the note. Bean crumbled the note and put it into her pocket while she got into her SUV. He laughed as he watched a few tears rush down her face.
“My thoughts exactly. Did she think she could keep that secret from all of us? Stupid bitch!”
My, my, Johnny. Are we upset right now?
“Not in the least. Finally she'll get what is coming to her. She wasn't very smart about all of this was she?”
Stupid bitch indeed!
A little while later, Piper came flying out through the front entrance door obviously searching for someone or something. The prowler instantly thought she was looking for Blake and that pissed him off but he didn't have time to let his anger ruin the moment when he saw Robert running towards the blonde.
“Come on Robert. Just give her another smack for me. She deserves it for defying me.”
YOU should be the one slapping her around. She won't ever think you're man enough if you don't show her Johnny.
“Robert's got this. He owes me anyway.”
The CEO's right hand man noticed Robert running in Piper's direction and it seemed as though he was shouting something to her but she didn't give him the time of day. The artist didn't let Robert get too close to hear before slamming the door shut in his face. The long-time Jackson Inc. employee wondered what Piper's ex-boyfriend had said to make her that upset but was still infuriated with the gallery owner for not doing what he wanted in the first place.
“Let's go home and think about this. I have to find a way to get through to her. And you shut up and stay quiet. I've had just about enough for today.”
When the coast was clear, the man started his beat up engine and made his way home. This was one of those times that he needed to keep a low profile. Surely both Blake and Piper's senses would be heightened and the prowler didn't want his identity to be revealed. He still had so much to do before coming out into the open.
Once he got home and plopped down onto the computer chair, he frowned as he witness how disgusting his small apartment was. His flat was a complete slump and for the most part he didn't care what was happening around him as long as he was in complete control of the Piper situation. He stared into the computer screen looking for some answers but couldn't find any. He wondered why his “voice” hadn't made some sarcastic remark either. For the first time in a long time he truly felt alone.
“I'm so much more than this. WHY NOT ME?”
The prowler allowed the frustration to captivate his entire body to the point where his trembling couldn't be controlled. He needed some release but didn't know where to find it. He couldn't help but destroy what was left of his apartment. The frustration needed to escape because it had boiled to a point where Daniel just couldn't handle it.
“YOU WILL BE MINE. DO YOU HERE ME PIPER JACKSON!!!” YOU WILL BE MINE.”
At The Gallery
The long-time Jackson Inc. employee had slept for the better part of the week. It had been so long since he had slept and for whatever reason, when he woke up that late afternoon, he felt more refreshed than ever. The prowler was confused at first about what had happened thinking that he had just slept for the afternoon but when he checked his messages, his confusion cleared up. He pressed the play button on his answering machine.
“Daniel, where are you? You haven't been at work for a week. Mr. Jackson is furious because you haven't called. Please call the office as soon as possible.”
The ruffled haired man shook his head and glanced at the calendar on the wall. When he confirmed the date, he glanced at the clock and smirked.
“Guess I needed that.”
You've been out like a light for over a week man. You should be good to go now.
“I am. That felt good and now I'll be able to think clearly and figure this out.”
Talk about keeping it on the down low.
The refreshed man walked to his bathroom and took a needed shower. He hadn't slept like that in a long time and wondered how in the world he actually stayed asleep for that long. He was a tad angry that he had not kept a watchful eye on both Piper and Blake but that would all change once he was ready to go.
After drying himself off and picking out his best suit to blend in with the crowd he picked up his cell phone and dialled the number he knew by heart. Johnny couldn't say anything when Piper annoyingly picked up the line on her end. His heartbeat increased but the silence seemed to be too much for Piper.
After she hung up, the stalker dressed and made his way to Piper's art gallery for Lisa's first art showing. As he parked his old rusted up car, he leaned over to the passenger seat and pocketed a very small digital camera. The sun was starting to set and as he walked to the gallery entrance door, he couldn't help but feel invisible. He entered the art building and blended in very well with the rest of the patrons.
Johnny looked around and immediately spotted Piper's assistant. He smirked but the facial expression quickly left his face when he noticed Blake approaching her. He needed to keep his fury in check about the fact that Blake was at the gallery.
“What in the hell is she doing here?”
I knew it. That bitch is another one of those sick pigs.
“It can't be. They broke up.”
Oh, maybe they did. Look at that. What a slut.
The prowler glanced at the two women who were standing entirely too close to each other. The one woman of course looked like a man so it seemed natural that everyone around in the gallery didn't pay attention to the duo. This only made Daniel more upset about the situation. He watched as Blake hugged the brunette but when she was about to kiss the up and coming artist, Johnny started secretly snapping pictures of the two.
“I'll save these for later. Doesn't anyone see through that façade?”
As if. They're all idiots. You didn't know, would anyone else?
“This is absolutely crazy.”
When Daniel turned back to where the duo had been hugging, Blake was nowhere to be found. He looked around but didn't have to look for too long as he heard the voice of the ex-CFO for Jackson Inc.
“No wonder she dated that jerk off Robert. They're both control freaks.”
The prowler nearly spit out the warm liquor he had in his mouth when he heard what came out of Blake's mouth. He tried to keep control but he couldn't resist saying something in return. He couldn't figure out who Blake was talking about but knew it probably had something to do with Piper and Brandon. Brandon and Robert had similar characteristics.
“What was that?”
Daniel stared into the deep grey pools of confidence. There seemed to be a slight discolouration in her eyes that made him think that perhaps she was apprehensive towards him so he quickly tried to bring some warm emotions to his eyes. Although he was furious that the woman was here, this certainly wasn't the time to make it known that he absolutely detested her.
“Apparently I talk to myself.”
Daniel gave the woman he despised a little grin and continued the conversation.
“So it seems.”
The prowler watched the uneasiness crawl up the woman's arms and his disgust grew for the lesbian. Here this woman, who by God's words was living in sin, looked at him as though he were revolting. Ironically he took a small step back from the woman and cursed himself for stepping away from the one person who stood in the middle of him obtaining all that he had ever wanted.
“Enjoy the show Daniel.”
“Same to you.”
The battle of sorts ended the second Blake walked away from Daniel but the rage still simmered inside the prowler.
“How dare she look at me like I'm the sickest guy around? Who does she think she is?”
Oh, who cares man! You caved. You're the one who backed away. You're afraid of her aren't you?
“I'm not afraid of that sicko. She's like a disease.”
YEAH, THE PLAUGUE!
“Exactly. Let's see if we can get a little closer to that assistant. I'm sure she'll help us out in some way.”
Daniel once again spotted the pretty brunette who was standing alone in the corner sipping on a glass of Champaign. He didn't waste any time before introducing himself to the woman.
“Hi Lisa, my name is Daniel.”
“Yes of course Daniel. I've seen you around here a few times.”
“Yes. I've noticed you.”
At first the stalker was worried about the fact that she had noticed him but the twinkle in her eye made it apparent that she hadn't noticed what he was doing at the gallery but that she noticed him as a man. The prowler's confidence soared to a new level and he couldn't help but smile. He wondered if Lisa had, had blonde hair and was a little shorter if they might have made a good-looking couple. He smirked when he realized he could use this pretty woman to get to his beloved. She would be a pawn in his game but he could have a little bit of fun in the meantime.
“Well, I'm noticing you now. Your work is fabulous.”
The duo talked for another little while before Lisa was pulled to a few more potential buyers. Daniel enjoyed his time with the pretty assistant, now becoming artist, but ultimately she would lead him to his dream girl. As she talked to her potential clients, she periodically glanced over to the man who was still standing on his own. The prowler couldn't help himself imagining that Lisa could be Piper.
You'll be able to get her in the sack.
“It's not who I really want.”
Well at least have some fun with her for crying out loud. She's practically throwing herself at you.
“If only she was Piper.”
You'll never get her. Clearly she enjoys pussy more than dick.
“Shut up. Do you have to be so…curt?”
Well it's the truth isn't it?
“Of course not, she'll come back to me. Don't you worry! That pretty brunette over there will help.”
She was never yours to begin with.
The prowler was about to retort to his voice but a soft touch took him out of his reverie. When he turned around, he saw the woman of his dreams standing in front of him.
“Are you enjoying the show?”
He smiled and took a step towards her but as soon as the woman stopped speaking, he realized it wasn't Piper. It felt so good to get that kind of attention that he just continued to play along. He knew Piper wouldn't mind.
“I am. I'm also enjoying the view.”
The woman smirked and shied away but when she eyed the man in front of her, she smiled at how big Daniel's grin was.
Daniel and Lisa chatted for another little while. The prowler was engulfed in the conversation not really realizing how comfortable and happy he was while talking to her. The long-time Jackson Inc. employee's fantasy came crashing down when he caught a glimpse of Piper walking around with Blake. His world ripped apart and his delusions caught him off guard. Although he in part knew Lisa wasn't Piper, he somehow had convinced himself that she had been for a little while.
“Are you alright?”
“Did I say something wrong?”
“No. Please excuse me for a minute?”
Daniel made his way to the restroom and splashed some water on his face. He cursed the heavens for denying him his rights to Piper and for tricking him into believing Lisa was Piper. Nothing seemed right in his head and everything was confusing because he knew Lisa had always been herself. His mind must have been playing tricks on him.
“What the hell is wrong with me?”
You're a quack!
“I wasn't asking you.”
No? Who else are you talking to moron?
The prowler looked around not knowing what to say and mentally slapping himself for actually wanting to answer his “voice”. All he could do was stare into the mirror in disbelief. There, before him in front of the mirrors stood a man that was lost. It took him a while but eventually he returned to the reception area. He was glad that Lisa was talking to other customers because it gave him some time to come up with a few strategies and to re-focus his attention on the plan at hand.
A Few Hours Later
As the night went on, the stalker managed to get his thoughts under control but continued to talk to Lisa off and on. He knew that despite what had happened earlier, Lisa was a key player in this game and he couldn't afford to jeopardize that relationship.
“We will have to go out sometime.”
Daniel was about to answer Lisa when he saw Piper's father walk into the gallery. He temporarily forgot he was supposed to answer the pretty woman standing in front of him and chuckled out loud. He couldn't help but think what kind of trouble the Jackson Inc. CEO would get himself into tonight seeing as how Piper was still clearly attached to Blake.
Lisa's shoulders slumped the second she saw Daniel's response to her question. She briefly looked away and decided it might be a good idea to walk away from the embarrassment.
“I'm sorry I bothered you Daniel. Thanks for the chat.”
The prowler looked into the brunette's eyes and saw the disappointment. He needed to fix this and now.
“Gosh, I'm so sorry about that Lisa. I wasn't laughing at you, I promise.”
“Sure seemed like it.”
“You see when I get nervous, well, I….um, I chuckle. I'm sorry.”
It looked like Daniel was telling the truth so Lisa somewhat smiled, still obviously feeling apprehensive. Lisa had seen him a few times and was extremely attracted to him but now, she wondered if what she was feeling were the red flags she now knew never to overlook.
“I'd love to take you out Lisa.”
The artist smiled a little wider but her attention was drawn to the scene that was unfolding in the middle of the room. Daniel joined the rest of the patrons in the gallery and looked at Brandon who was almost yelling. His tone was aggressive, intimidating and unwanted.
“Please excuse me Daniel.”
“I'm not going anywhere.”
Lisa abruptly excused herself and walked towards the couple leaving Daniel to observe what was happening.
“I mean it this time; you stay away from my daughter.”
Lisa looked at Blake and then at Piper. When she noticed her boss's hold grew tighter around the hand of her lover's, she was happy and proud of her employer's personal growth. She knew without a doubt that the two were meant for each other but also knew that Piper struggled with her father's expectations. The fact that she had finally taken a stance against her father was a proud moment for her. She had spent countless of hours talking to her best friend and employer about what it was like to live with Brandon's ideas of how the world worked. Fortunately, Blake had helped Piper to see what true love was.
“I can't do that Sir.”
Daniel watched as the threesome stood close together. He could almost see the anger flush up into Brandon's face and wondered what he would do. He briefly watched Lisa but it didn't take him long to be captivated by the gorgeous blonde on Blake's side. His heart raced and his hands got sweaty. There was nothing he could do to control this outcome but he wouldn't change it for anything in the world because he loved Piper with every fibre of his being.
He slowly approached the group and made his way close enough to the two who were openly arguing. There would be a perfect opportunity for him to save the day and he wasn't going to miss out on it. Perhaps Piper would notice his efforts and grant him what he'd always wanted.
Are we playing “Night in Shinning Amour” now?
The prowler didn't answer his “voice” disliking his tone. He wanted to be Piper's saviour and he just hoped she would finally see him for what he was.
“Do you have any idea who I am?”
“I know exactly who you are.”
“Then you know what I'm capable of?”
“I'll be damned if I let you control my life Brandon.”
The Jackson Inc. CEO swiftly brought his hand up and motioned to slap the side of Blake's face while yelling out to her.
“You fucking bit…”
The long-time Jackson Inc. employee withheld his grin from what was happening and put his body in between his boss and Blake's. Blake stood a good three inches taller than Daniel and that also made an impression on him. Brandon was stunned beyond belief by his right hand man's action but in a moment of clarity, he understood why. He wouldn't thank him by any means but was thankful he hadn't made the mistake of slapping Blake in public.
“Why don't we take a walk outside Brandon?”
Piper's father said nothing but was nearly dragged out of his daughter's gallery.
“What the hell were you thinking Sir?”
“I don't have the slightest of clues. That woman just drives me crazy.”
“You'll have to try controlling your temper, especially in public.”
“I hear you loud and clear Daniel.”
“Good because you almost hit her.”
“I'll be right back.”
“Where are you going?”
“To take care of your problems.”
Daniel turned and was nearly back in the gallery when his “voice” magically re-appeared.
You're such a fuck up!
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
You should have let him hit her. What's your problem?
As the prowler walked to where Piper was watching Blake's back as she was heading towards the restrooms, he decided not to answer his “voice”. He cautiously loomed and when Piper looked into his eyes, he practically lost his balance. The emotions seeping from the beautiful woman's eyes that he was seeing were gut wrenching. He had never seen such sadness in her eyes and it was something he wanted to immediately fix. The woman could literally get him to do anything with a single look. It seemed unbelievable that just a few hours ago he felt like he could curse her and now wanted to save her. It pulled at his emotions but he reminded himself it was for a good cause.
“There is nothing to thank me for. Your father was out of line.”
“I'll talk to your father.”
Piper looked at Daniel and although she never disliked him before, she now respected him a little more for what he was trying to do. There was still something off about him but this human characteristic that her father's employee was showing warmed her heart.
“It doesn't matter what you say or what I do for that matter. He'll never be ok with my relationship with Blake.”
The prowler tried not to give himself away at the admission coming from the mouth of his so called bride to be. His anger flushed his cheeks but he remained casual as Piper's words continuously stabbed his heart over and over, crushing his beliefs of what was going to happen between him and the gorgeous artist.
“Thank you again for helping out Daniel.”
“My pleasure Ms. Jackson.”
He looked in those emerald eyes searching for the reaction but found nothing. It only frustrated him that much more which disappointed him. He needed to leave the gallery before he said anything to the artist. He walked out of the building, looked for Brandon but he was nowhere to be found so he got into his car and drove off.
“Not again Piper. You won't do this again.”
Looks like you don't even exist in her eyes .
“That's not true.”
Really? She didn't even flinch when you used her formal name. What do you call that?
“I don't know. Just shut up already.”
You're nothing to her.
The Following Saturday
The prowler had taken the last week to obsessively monitor both Piper and Blake's houses but nothing happened. Daniel was pleased with the fact that Blake and the artist weren't spending time together and wondered when he should make his move.
He parked the car in the designated Jackson Inc. parking lot and took a few deep breaths before
dialling the number he knew by heart. He waited for the velvety voice to answer the telephone. When it did, he slowly closed his eyes savouring every feeling and emotion that overtook his deprived body.
“Who the hell is this?”
Daniel smiled as he listened to the annoyed tone in Piper's voice.
“You need to stop calling me. I've had it.”
The prowler opened his eyes and smirked when he noticed the bulge in his pants threatening to escape.
“I can hear you breathing you jerk. You're sick you know that Robert. STOP CALLING ME.”
Daniel turned his cellphone off and made his way to the entrance doors of the office building. He thought about tormenting Piper like that a little more considering that at least he could hear the fire in her voice when she talked to him.
When he entered the offices of Jackson Inc. he could hear a few people talking in the back room but was anxious to get this meeting with Brandon over and done with. He needed to get back to seeing what Piper was up to. He knocked on the door.
Daniel walked to the leather bound chairs on the other side of the CEO's desk and sat down urging Brandon to get this meeting started.
“So, you wanted to see me?”
“Yes. I wanted to know how things are going.”
“I see. Well, things seem to be settling down and your daughter hasn't seen Blake since last week.”
Daniel thought that Brandon looked sceptical about what he was saying so he decided to divulge a little bit of what he had been doing.
“I've been at both their houses and they haven't seen each other. I haven't seen them step out together either.”
“That's excellent news. I knew my baby girl would listen to me.”
The old man was full of himself but this wasn't the time for Daniel to tell him all about what kind of man he thought the CEO was.
“Good work Johnny.”
The prowler smirked at the comment. When the CEO of Jackson Inc. was a happy camper he always went with his nickname. Daniel just hoped he could keep it up and show Brandon that he was suitable for Piper. Brandon got up and walked towards the long-time Jackson Inc. employee who had gotten up, ready to leave the office. Piper's father patted Daniel on the shoulder in sign of appreciation.
“Keep up the good work.”
Johnny was floored by the gesture. Occasionally the CEO rewarded him with this kind of affection but it seemed rare these days.
Oh yeah buddy, you've got him wrapped around your finger. It's just a matter of time before he hands over his business to you. I'm impressed Johnny!
He smiled up to his ears and shook Brandon's hand before leaving the office. Daniel still sported a grin when he nearly ran into Piper. He apologized even before knowing the woman in his arms was. When the emerald pools of gorgeousness looked into his soul, his lips quivered. It was still astonishing, how one woman could take him down to his knees.
“Good afternoon Ms. Jackson. I'm so sorry about that.”
“Please, how many times do I have to remind you to call me Piper?”
“Yes of course. My apologies Piper.”
“Thank you Daniel.”
The prowler made a funny face, which made Piper smile; showing her beautifully well-maintained teeth.
“Right, I meant Johnny.”
“Thank you Piper.”
“Now that we have that settled, how are you?”
“I'm well. I just finished at the gallery and am anxious to start the weekend. You?”
“Can I ask what you are doing here?”
Piper apprehensively looked away but when she looked back to Daniel, her stern look seemed serious and contempt.
“I'm changing my life today.”
The duo smiled at each other but Piper was the first one to look away not wanting to keep the eye contact going. Daniel was a decent guy, especially after what he had done for Blake and her at the gallery a week ago but he still wasn't her cup of tea so to speak. It seemed that he was kind-hearted but in all honesty, he was weird and for the most part she didn't want to be more than acquaintances with her father's right hand man.
Sounds promising especially with that pig out of the picture. You go Johnny!
“I'm glad you said that. Good for you.”
“It's been a long time coming.”
“Yes, it has.”
“I should go. See you soon.”
The prowler watched Piper enter her father's office and wondered what they would be talking about but if he read the artist's body language, tone of voice and message right, Piper changing her life would naturally involve him and their long overdue relationship. He left the building excited about the prospect of the future and felt that finally for the first time in a long time things were going his way.
“She'll fall in love with me in no time now that Blake is out of the picture. Brandon was right; she does do everything he wants her to.”
Good job man. Now we have to convince the old man.
“Leave that to me. Now we wait for Piper.”
At Blake's House
Daniel hadn't even gotten the chance to talk to Piper when she exited the Jackson Inc. business building. He waited for her but the minute he saw her opening the doors, it seemed she was already in her car and had started the engine. The prowler frowned but decided to follow her wherever she was going.
The long-time Jackson Inc. employee couldn't believe where Piper was heading. He recognized the pathway she was taking after only a few streets.
“How in the hell did she trick me again?”
That bitch is a tease!!!
“You think that's what she's doing?”
She's probably playing everyone. We're all fools!
He slowly parked his car on the street a few houses down from Blake's and watched Piper drive right into the driveway like she knew exactly what she was doing. He couldn't see her face as she stepped out of her BMW but was certain that she had gained a million ounces of confidence. She walked to the front door with purpose and that made Daniel so angry.
The next day after spending the entire night spying on the couple, he looked at the tree closest to Blake's house and by chance got a glimpse of another man standing in it.
The prowler didn't hesitate and by all accounts his brain unconsciously knew exactly what to do. He rifled through the folder on the passenger seat with all of the pictures he had taken over the months of Blake and picked out the perfect one to send a message. Only this time, the man in the tree, whom he presumed was Robert, was going to take the blame for it.
“Ha ha, this is perfect. Finally, I'm getting you back Robert.”
Ohhhh, now this is fun. Why can't we do more of this kind of stuff Johnny?
“Shut up and let's get this ready.”
With the picture in hand, he ventured to the trunk of his car, got a brick and tied the photo around it. This message was going to be loud and clear for the gorgeous blonde who lately was seriously starting to piss him off. He desperately made his way to an area that was close enough to Blake's window but far enough to not be seen. He recognized Robert's chant as he got a little closer to the window.
He held his breath in and tried not to make any noise. It was extremely risky to be doing this in the middle of the day in this neighbourhood but he had to try. He knew if he got away with it that the Heavens would grant him his wish of having a relationship with Piper. When it was time, Piper's stalker threw the brick into the window and dashed his away from the scene.
He wasn't really sure if he could make it unseen to his car and that wasn't something he was willing to risk. His body violently trembled with fear, anxiety and adrenaline. He was taking control and it felt so good but he needed to figure out where to hide so no one would see him.
The man stood there as still as he possibly could and watched the surroundings unfold. He had been able to get to another bush not far from where Robert had been hiding in. The prowler was glad that the police had arrived just in time to catch Robert snooping around the area. Daniel smiled into the sky and inhaled a lung full of fresh air. Up until now, his breaths had been shallow trying to calm his nerves to capture everything that was happening.
“I DIDN'T DO THIS PIPER.”
Robert was yelling at the top of his lungs when the police were dragging him to the police cruiser. Robert had been there at the right time and at the right place and now everyone would have the proof as to who was stalking Piper.
You're a freaking genius man.
“You shouldn't question me. Bobbi always did, you don't have to.”
I see that. Good job Johnny.
As the police continued to canvas the surrounding areas, Daniel played it safe and stayed out of harm's way but couldn't leave the area altogether because the love of his life was still there. He wanted to see what her reaction was like.
“I wonder if she's already questioning Blake's motives.”
You bet your ass she is. She's a woman for crying out loud. That picture didn't leave anything to the imagination Johnny. What you see is what you get.
For the most part he wasn't really sure what Piper saw in the other woman except when he was up close and able to see Blake's face, there was an overwhelming attraction. Daniel couldn't imagine being attracted to Blake because she in part was so much like a man but on those rare occasions he could see the purity in her eyes, which was appealing. It was confusing to say the least but in the end he always convinced himself that Piper was being controlled by a wicked lesbian and that was something he was going to rectify. No girlfriend of his was going to be under the spell of a freak.
Eventually when all of the commotion died down, the prowler was able to make his way back to his car undetected and left the area satisfied with what had happened. The act hadn't had the full effect Daniel was hoping for because Piper hadn't stormed out of the house but it was a start, especially with Robert getting arrested.
Two Days Ago
Hello Lisa :))
Daniel had stayed his dungy apartment not wanting to draw any kind of attention to himself. He missed seeing Piper but after his meeting with Brandon, he would finally see his love. Now it was time to start on the rest of his plan, which is why he was texting Piper's assistant.
She could make a good alibi man.
“Something like that. I'm hoping she'll be a little more useful than that.”
Gotcha. I know what you mean. She's pretty hot.
The prowler smiled and thought why could he not have a little fun with the pretty brunette. As long as he could maintain his focus, he couldn't see a problem with it. He just hoped she would message him back because if she didn't, he would have to work extra hard to get her attention again.
It won't be hard. She's into you.
Yes, it's me. I was thinking about you and wanted to tell you again that I had a great time the other night.
Me too. I was also thinking about you.
Ha ha, that was easy. She's putty in your hands man.
Don't sound so surprise.
Fair enough. I was wondering if you would like to go out sometime?
I would love that.
When are you free?
Well, how about this weekend?
Great. I'll come pick you up at the gallery?
Excellent. See you then.
“So what do you think now?”
Piper's stalker couldn't help but show off his confidence to his “voice”.
You know what I think.
“Come on, aren't you going to say it? Embarrassed are we?”
Not in the least Johnny. Check mate is fast approaching.
“You damn right. Piper will finally be mine.”
Seeing as how the prowler had already showered, dressed and talked to Brandon, he headed to the gallery. He knew he wouldn't get a glimpse of Piper He hoped he might get a glimpse of Piper before she left for the day because he had seen her at the office already. He quickly parked his old rusted car and walked to the entrance door. When he was about to enter the gallery he saw Piper. He puffed out his chest, walked with attitude and confidently pretended he was picking up his girlfriend to show Piper what kind of man he was.
“Twice in one day?”
“I forgot something and I'm running late but I'm out the door now. Bye.”
The art gallery owner waved and headed out the door with what seemed like a skip in her walk.
From the corner of his eye he watched Piper's brief confused look when she quickly looked back at him but she disappeared from his sight just as fast. He walked further into the shop and the minute he saw Lisa's smile, something stroked his attraction for the brunette. He couldn't help but smile in return.
Oh oh, keep your eyes on the prize. She's dangerous that one.
Daniel subconsciously agreed but there was something captivating about Lisa. Either way, it was about Piper so he re-focused on his plan and walked towards the artist, gave her a brief kiss on the cheek and said hello.
“You look gorgeous.”
“Why thank you. You're pretty handsome yourself.”
“Are you ready?”
The duo had a fantastic dinner together. Daniel almost thought that the intimate setting was as romantic as he had ever seen. Lisa was a great girl and although she was only a pawn in his game, he wondered if he could just let go of Piper. As he thought of the enchanting woman, his heart raced and he reminded himself that the heavens had confirmed that she would be his wife and mother of his children so any thoughts of pursuing Lisa on a personal level was unacceptable.
What? Are all the women after you now? I don't get it.
Daniel smirked and leaned into the table making it seem like he was interested in what Lisa was talking about. After looking at his watch a few times, he asked Lisa to call it a night with the promise of another night and she agreed. He brought her back to the gallery where she picked up her car and as soon as she was out of his sight, he headed for Blake's house.
It didn't take long for the prowler to see that Piper was there. He parked the car and slowly exited it. He made his way to the tree beside the master bedroom in hopes of catching the two in
the act. Not that he wanted to see them having sex but the urge of watching them seemed to take control of him. The minute he caught a glimpse of the two making love, Daniel was transfixed and he couldn't keep his eyes off of them.
He watched the couple the entire night, not batting one eyelash. He was overwhelmed by the intensity of their lovemaking and wished Piper would make love to him like that. His fury grew with every passing second.
Johnny, it's time to do something man. You can't let her continue hurting you.
“I know. Shut up.”
She's ruining your life and you're letting her.
“I told you to shut up. I'll fix this.”
The prowler climbed down the tree and intentionally made some noise hoping it would disturb or distract the couple from whatever it was they were doing again. He was able to get out of Blake's vision when she approached the window but soon everything would fall into place.
This is madness. Grow some balls will ya?
“Enough already. Here is my ticket.”
He smiled as he saw Brandon walked towards Blake's front door. He wondered what the Jackson Inc. CEO was doing at Blake's house but remembered the conversation they had about trying to pay her off to stay away from his daughter.
“Maybe that's what he is doing here.”
Something happened to catch his eye on the other side of the street and Daniel had to keep himself from laughing out loud. There lurking the bushes was Robert again. He wasn't doing a good job of staying hidden however and that's when everything clicked into place. The prowler wasn't necessarily ready to execute his plan this quickly but everything had fallen into place. It was the perfect opportunity and he wasn't going to miss out.
“I just might be able to kill two birds with one stone.”
Oh Johnny, that's fucking brilliant! HAHAHA
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