He commands attention. Every time.
Nowadays this man would make quite the grand entrance, but in the 1840s, he was sometimes referred to as a giant. Standing 6’4″, or a little taller, Tracy walked out onto the stage or into a friend’s parlor with the same elegant and graceful posture.
Most men who came anywhere near his height, and there were very few back then who did, had the tendency of bending over that came from always having to lean down to look at or hear another person.
But not Tracy. He managed just fine from where he was, thank you, and he never bent down in order to meet another person at their level. Besides not liking the awkward stance that gave him, Tracy always felt it looked like the taller person was being a bit condescending.
He’s an expert poker player.
Beginning at the tender age of 10, Tracy’s uncle Cleetus taught him how to play the game both honestly and dishonestly. The fact was that his dad, the very righteous Jonas Allen, had tried to keep his brother from doing this but failed miserably.
Cleetus could play well enough without cheating, but preferred to try to pull the wool over the eyes of the other players nonetheless. He rarely managed to leave the table without someone seeing that he was a cheat. Yes. That led to his early demise. But back to Tracy.
Before taking a bullet for being a card cheat, Cleetus Allen saw that his nephew had a rare talent for playing poker, and that he just might be the one who could pull off cheating without getting caught, thus extending the boy’s life past the ripe old age of 35 – which is when Cleetus pulled the last ace out of his secret pocket. Which also turned out not to be as secret as he hoped.
Tracy was still a teenager when his father died suddenly, and his mother passed away shortly thereafter from a fever she caught while helping neighbors who had also been sick.
Camille Allen was always ready to help others and was in fact a very well respected woman in town, despite the fact that her family was dirt poor.
With both parents dead, and no siblings to show up and reveal the truth, Tracy Allen created a whole new image for himself after moving from their tiny farm in Kentucky to New York City, where he took a job as a waiter and took up residence with a nice-looking waitress from Brooklyn. She was the first to inform him that she was not alone in finding him attractive, that ladies love country boys in general, but in his case, it would very likely be an instant infatuation so he’d best prepare himself.
Besides waiting on patrons at an upscale restaurant, Tracy started singing songs he’d learned as a child, and added to that some modern songs he was learning in the city. The people loved it and started coming from miles around to hear this amazing giant of a waiter who could sing like an angel.
Enter Moses Martin.
One day Tracy waited on a man who told him to come see him about singing lessons and handed him an elegant card with his name, Moses Martin, and his address embossed on it.
Soon after that events led to Tracy’s debut as a classical singer and when people started waiting on line for standing room only tickets – he knew he had found his calling.
Tracy’s blast from the past.
Poker was still very much part of Tracy’s fabric and he couldn’t resist playing a game with well-to-do gents who threw around money like it was confetti. They were good players, all of them, and so the only way Tracy could be assured he didn’t lose too much of his own gold was to go back to the cheating techniques he’d masterd as a boy.
The plan worked very well. And Tracy, besides now adding card shark to his list of accomplishments, also knew that he was getting even with some of the men who had sneered at him and his family as a child, and who now did not recognize him or even associate him with Jonas and Camille Allen.
Good guy or bad.
Tracy’s a mix of both initially. And he does come to a fork in the road in the story that will require him to make a split-second decision about which way he will completely go – hero or villain.
Read about Tracy Douglas Allen when he makes his entrance into my CounterClockwise Paranormal Romance Series in book #3 “Race Against Time”