What the Heart Wants - Tiana Laveen

Letter To My Readers

Greetings to each and every person who has decided to pick up, download, and/or read this book. You are about to embark on a journey about love. This story is a voyage to redemption and all this entails. I’ve written over fifty novels, and this is by far one of those that has required much research, the need to speak to people from all walks of life, and even be honest with myself regarding various beliefs and outlooks on life. That withstanding, it is a romance that delves deep into who we are as a people and as a society, and how that ties into love of oneself and others.

We have here a tale about honesty, transformational love, and the realization that no metamorphosis of emotion occurs in a bubble. It takes a village to help each and every one of us reach our true potential. Whether this helps comes from supportive friends, educators, medical professionals, self-help books, inspirational videos, or articles on self-improvement, we are tasked to grow and find the sunlight and replenishment required to ensure that we manifest all that we can become. Growth is different for each individual. So it is that the characters in this book are forced to evolve and endure some painful truths, and then, make a hefty call to action. This is not a cuddly romance novel.

You won’t feel warm and fuzzy feelings all throughout this book. This story is not politically correct, nor was it meant to be. It’s an unapologetic look at actual beliefs woven inside fictitious individuals who very well could be your neighbor, close friend, or relative. Perhaps you. The goal is not to assign blame but to admit truth and trigger forgiveness. This includes forgiving ourselves so we may attract a love like we’ve never known.

What the Heart Wants is a book from the heart, about a heart, given in the most selfless act of love. Now, this book is in your hands.

Thank you in advance for reading and going along this trip with me, Cameron, and Emily.

Now, our journey together begins.

Chapter One

A Song and Dance for the Ancestors

“He’s gotta gun!” someone yelled. Pure pandemonium broke out as the crowd screamed and ran in all directions. Someone shot their weapon.

Brooke Coleman froze mid-song, clutching the mic, and looked frantically in all directions. The mood had definitely changed. She sang another line, but her voice broke as angry voices got louder. From her vantage point on the stage, all she saw was chaos. Her heart threatened to beat out of her chest. The music stopped as bright white flashlights lit up the area, showing a few police officers moving toward the scene of a fight.

“Hey, let’s not do this!” she screamed out into the microphone, her voice drowned out by the yelling, curses, and screams all around her. Opium, her trusty black and tan Rottweiler, stood at the edge of the stage, his fur raised, growling. Not normal behavior for the dog. Just moments earlier, he’d been resting peacefully out back. Something was wrong…very wrong. “We’re all here for a good time.”

More gunfire rang out and her heart practically jumped out of her chest. She took several steps back. People started to run all over the place, as fast as their legs could carry them.

Panic rose inside her and formed a lump in her throat as the fear of someone being hurt, trampled, or worse yet, killed, hit her. Opium barked, snarled, and growled some more, going berserk. He now stood by her side while the gunshots amplified, all over the place, turning everything into a living nightmare—a horror movie being played out right before her eyes. Some terrible, rotten seed had been planted, buried into the soil, and was growing some hideous monstrosity in a matter of seconds. Bloodcurdling screams rang out.

“Brooke,” Viktor, her close friend and right hand, yelled as he crawled across the stage toward her, his dark wash baggy jeans and black leather jacket gathering dust. She’d known Viktor for years, and his sharp skills at talent promoting had proved instrumental in launching her career as a jazz artist. His platinum-blond hair was the only thing in place, combed in an old-fashioned pompadour and gelled from roots to tips. The look of terror in his eyes broke her heart. “Brooke…get down.”

She dropped down onto her stomach and placed her hands over her head. Police car sirens blared as more of the vehicles approached, then she felt a tug around her waist as