When Eric Tanner, an assassin, is targeted to be murdered by his former employer, he seeks refuge in the house of a blind woman, Anne Mullen.
Eric knows how to live in silence. He’s done it all his life. So when he discovers Anne is blind and living on her own, he thinks this would be his perfect hideout.
But then he makes the mistake of his life. He forms an attachment to her. And for a man in his profession, such attachments are a weakness. Now, he must do everything he can to protect Anne from the world he’s come from.
The bus drifted back slowly on its route, leaving an odor of its exhaust fumes behind it.
“Well, I would say I’d see you again, but I can’t.” Anne smiled.
“Excuse me,” he stammered.
“I was teasing,” she explained. “You know, I’m blind if you hadn’t noticed.”
“Right… yeah,” he said awkwardly.
She played with the head of her cane, supposedly feeling just as awkward.
“Well, goodbye then,” she said and turned around to walk away.
He floundered back and forth. Who was he kidding? He wasn’t ready to just let her walk away. It surprised him that even after fifteen years, she continued to make his heart pound like she did the first time he had seen her. He had thought he was well over her. After all, he had indulged in several relationships after her, no longer the shy teen afraid to ask a girl out for a date. He became widely known as a Don Juan, and he savored the popularity and gifts the women showered upon him. That was until someone handed him a gun and challenged him to shoot an empty can placed fifty paces away. It was then that he found a new obsession and every other passion paled before it. At least, he had thought it had. He stared after Anne helplessly.
“Wait,” he called out to her.
A CHARACTER INTERVIEW WITH ERIC TANNER FROM A JAR OF DREAMS
I tugged the hood of my coat further down my eyes. I was to make certain I wasn’t recognised or followed, he had told me. Eric Tanner was a cautious man and he had every right to be. He played a dangerous game after all.
I turned around the corner to the desolate car park. Thin rays of sunlight streamed through, lighting up its poor state. A shiver ran up me but I needed this interview with him.
“I gave you my story.” His voice echoed through the vastness. “What more can I give you?”
“An interview,” I gulped. “Readers want to know more about you.”
“Tell them to read the book.” He turned to walk away.
“A few more questions is all I ask,” I said quickly. “A little of your time.”
He put his hands in his pockets and studied me for a brief while. “Very well. I trusted you with my story. I’ll trust you an inch more.”
“Right,” I hesitated. I pulled my questions out of my bag with anxious fingers and began, “When you saw Anne, was it love at first sight?”
He stared at me unsurely. “Is there such a thing?” he asked at last. “I didn’t believe in love at first sight then, but I knew I connected with her on a deep level.”
“What was it about Anne that attracted you to her first?
He sighed. “Her eyes.”
“But she was far across the basketball courts.”
He smiled. “Have you sometimes just known that someone is looking at you? Or that feeling you get when your skin prickles, your ears perk because your husband or your parent is home. It’s because you have some deeper spiritual connection with them. That’s how I felt it with Anne. She may not have been looking at me, but I knew instantly that she was mine.”
“You’re an assassin. You know how to use a gun. But how do you handle conflict in the normal world?”
“I’d like to think I handle it pretty well. Sure, I know how to use a gun, but I don’t use it recklessly. I’m calm; I’m patient, qualities that are integral to being a good assassin as a matter of fact.”
“What makes you angry then?” I ask him curiously.
“People like Kurt Lynch make me angry. They are parasites who latch onto the system and other weak people and exhaust them. These people are the ones who make it difficult for the rest of us to live peacefully.”
I noticed his eyes turning cold. The simple thought of corrupted individuals like Kurt Lynch was riling Eric and I needed to sway him back to calmer thoughts quickly. “What makes you happy?”
“My family- my brother Jamal, my adopted mother and sisters. Anne.” He looked down at his feet, trying to avoid looking at me because of the sadness seeping into his eyes.
“Do you miss them?”
“So why did you choose this profession if you were going to risk parting from your family?”
“I didn’t appreciate what I had when I did become a shooter. Yes, I do miss my brother, but then again would I have met Anne again if I still worked a day job back in Jersey? I can regret the choices I made or I can do something to fix it now. I choose the latter because as long as there is breath in me I have a chance of winning back what I had lost.”
“Would you classify yourself as honorable?”
“I’d like to think so. Even while I was hiding in Anne’s house, I respected her. I love her. I wouldn’t do anything to hurt her. As for my honor in my job, I didn’t just go after Kurt Lynch because I wanted my freedom. It was because he had destroyed that poor family. He destroyed innocent lives and he was going to do more. There was no stopping him. And the only reason I didn’t personally put a bullet through Juan Carlos is-”
“Juan?” I interrupted quickly. “We can’t talk about Juan, Eric.”
“Why not? Wasn’t he a bigger bastard than Lynch?”
“Of course, he was. But this is just about A Jar of Dreams. Readers have yet to read A Jar of Hearts.”
A creak caught our attention and we stilled. Eric’s ears perked as his eyes scanned through the shadows of the car park carefully.
“You better go,” he whispered. “There’s someone here and he wasn’t invited.”
“You have questions, I know. I’ll find you.”
“Get out of here,” he growled. “Now!”
He whisked back into the darkness, blending into the shadows. I grabbed my bag and raced towards my car. He’ll find me, I console myself. I dart one last look behind me to see if I can spot the intruder. There is no one after me.
I slide into my driver seat and turn the key. Of course there is no one after me. It was Eric Tanner they wanted.
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Clarissa Cartharn is the author of romance novels such as Captive, Red Collar and the romance thriller/ suspense Jar series.
Once an English teacher, she embarked on a law profession before finally realizing it was writing she really wanted to pursue. After almost eight romance novels, each with eclectic themes ranging from a Cinderella re-telling to the barren war torn lands of Afghanistan, Clarissa is currently on a journey with her next novel titled The Yearning.