Sydney has adopted the perfectly clichéd life; barista by day, novelist by night. She has a cat, a fiancé, and a chic apartment in the city. She's a lover of routine and schedules but she doesn't understand how dangerous living that way can be. It allows anyone, who chooses to pay attention, access to her entire life.
If someone wanted to watch her, they would know when she was home visiting with her brother or out at McKane's grocery doing her food shopping. They could see her working on her latest novel or follow her to her luncheon with her best friend on Thursday afternoons. Anyone who chose to pay attention would see how easy it would be to insert themselves into her daily routine. It wouldn't take much to upset the delicate balance of her carefully constructed life. She would slowly start to lose control and feel her life crumble around her. Her habits allow one to hide in plain sight while giving her little clues to let her know they care.
Simple things like leaving her laptop open or rummaging through her expertly folded dresser drawers would give her pause. Leaving her small gifts like a bouquet of her favorite flower or putting wrinkles in her lavender scented, satin sheets would let her know you were there. Anyone could believe they control her because they know every move she'll make. They could watch her refold her intimates, smooth out her bed covers, and lovingly place her Irises in the vase, just as they have many times before.
Because she's so predictable, someone might know exactly where they need to be when her fiancé leaves her. It might even be their fault. Because someone has been watching her for years, they know if the situation doesn't work in their favor, they may need to cut their losses and retire their pawn for good.
Chapter 1- First scene
You looked so tired walking into work today. I really wish you wouldn't stay up so late. I know you have to work, I know you have a deadline coming up. But you really need to take better care of yourself. Most people wouldn't notice, but I do. I notice, Sydney, when you start feeling the pressure. You don't pay as much attention to yourself as you should. Your index finger still has chipped polish from when you slammed it in the kitchen drawer. That was two days ago. You haven't fixed it yet. And this morning...you walked out of your apartment with a smudge of eyeliner under your lower lashes. I had to check my own lenses to make sure it wasn't a streak on the glass. And where is the bounce in your step today? The one that makes your auburn spirals pulsate when you move. You need to slow down and focus some of your efforts on yourself. You're falling apart.
You know, if it was me, instead of that self-righteous, arrogant jerk that you've chosen as your soul-mate, I would take care of you. I would see to it that you got plenty of sleep. I would wake with you in the morning and put the coffee on, I would cook you dinner at night so you could keep writing. I never would have allowed you to fall behind on your deadline. If you would just let me into your life, instead of him, I could show you how you deserve to be treated. If you'd just let me...Damn! But it's okay. It's okay...because...you allow me to see the most intimate parts of you. I see what others never will, when you're by yourself and at your most vulnerable. Those are the moments you share with me. It warms my heart to know you think of me that way. But I still wish you would think of yourself more often.
I have to leave for a little while. Have a great day at work, sweetheart. I'll see you for lunch this afternoon. Remember to tell Tori I say "hello" and try to get some rest.