The Beach House – Chapter 16

I awoke to the smell of coffee wafting from the kitchen. Mia was already up and going. I grabbed my robe and headed to the kitchen. Mia was wearing a new white robe that was just sheer enough that you knew she was naked but not fully see-through. I couldn’t believe that I would be waking up to that vision from now on. Life was good.

“Good morning ,sleepy head!” She was extra cheerful. I thought she might be a morning person, God help me. She poured me a cup of joe and set it on the counter. “I hope I didn’t wake you. You looked pretty comfy in bed.”

“Nope. That robe looks really good on you.” I grabbed my cup and smiled. Mia twirled around.

“Why thank you Mr. Tomlinson.” She smiled back and grabbed her own cup of coffee.

I looked at the clock on the wall and saw it was after eight. I sat down and yanked my phone free of its charger. “No time like the present.” I said. Mia sat down next to me. I dialed up Bob Farring.

“Good morning Bob, it’s Dale Tomlinson. I got you on speaker with Mia Perez.” Mia smiled at me. She liked that I wasn’t excluding her.

“Is Monica not well, Mr. Tomlinson?” He was once again confused as to why I was talking with him directly. Mia covered her mouth, trying to hold back a chuckle.

“No, I am sure Monica is just fine. This doesn’t concern her.” I paused a moment to let that sink in. “I am considering an investment in a small chemical company called Gem Works. I was hoping I could get you to run point to see if they have any interest in new capital.” I knew they would beg, borrow or steal if they could.

“Of course. What kind of timeline are you looking at.” I wish I was there to see his face.

“Today.” I think I heard a cup hit the floor.

“That is not a lot of time for our due diligence Mr. Tomlinson.” I could hear the panic in his voice. He didn’t want to be a party to some failed venture of mine.

“Bob, I’ll be honest with you. I’m really not interested in the viability of the company although, on the surface, it does have strong possibilities. I want to purchase leverage over an employee of the firm.” I let that sink in. “He treated someone I love very badly, and I want to make sure he never does it again.”

“I don’t know if I can be involved in some blackmail scheme.” I have honest lawyers. Who knew?

“It’s my fiancé, Bob. It’s pretty personal.” I heard other things fall to the floor. Mia choked back another laugh.

“Mr. Tomlinson, this is kind of a surprise. A person of your stature should have contracts drawn up before considering a commitment like marriage.” I would never insult Mia with a pre-nup. I would rather she just kill me off if that was her will.

“Sorry Bob, I’m winging it on love alone.” Mia blew me a kiss. “Bob, meet my fiancé Mia Perez.” I heard more stuff falling to the floor.

“I’m sorry Ms. Perez. I didn’t want to insinuate you had any bad intentions.” He fumbled his way through the whole sentence. It was becoming a bad morning for him.

“I wouldn’t expect you to advise him any other way Bob.” Mia chimed in perfectly. “I for one appreciate your loyalty.” She paused for a moment. “This employee Dale was speaking about has a habit of tricking women on to his boat and forcing them to engage in sexual activity with numerous partners. I barely got away myself.”

“Ms. Perez, this sounds like a police matter. Possibly a lawsuit if he has any assets.” He was a good man and wasn’t interested in a roundabout route. I looked at Mia and shrugged my shoulders, informing her I didn’t care how much she told him. She sighed.

“Can I tell you something in confidence Bob?” She was looking intently at the phone.

“Yes. As your lawyer, you are entitled to my confidence.” I really wished I was in his office.

“A week ago, I was a prostitute addicted to heroin.” She didn’t even flinch. Our love was solid as a rock. There was silence on the other end. Not even breathing. “Bob?” Mia asked.

“Um… ah… I can see why involving the courts could be a bit problematic.” He started to recover. “May I ask what your intention is with respect to this employee?” He was trying to gage how deep he would have to go.

“I intend to hold his job over his head. He either stops these parties, or his family finds out why I fired him.” I took a breath. “He tricked me into purchasing the boat that Mia escaped in under the threat of grand theft. I will expect him donate an equivalent sum to a charity of our choice.”

“Legally, you can fire him for his illegal acts on or off the job. The forced donation is pushing into a darker realm of the law.” He paused, obviously thinking. “You say he has done this before?”

“He calls them ‘water bang parties.’ Frank Talbot researched it for us.” I thought adding Frank might ease his mind a bit.

“Well I never knew Frank to be incorrect. Is it possible for you to refer to the donation as a suggested repentance or some other similar phrasing?” Wow!, He’s good. Trying to stay just this side of the law.

“Now I know why Monica trusts you so much Bob. We will take your advice and make it a suggestion.” Mia was smiling. I think she liked Bob also. “Will you be able to run point?”

“I would be happy to.” He was satisfied we weren’t going to break the law.

“I don’t want any control, just a straight percentage interest in the company. I will speak to the CEO personally about the other issue. There is no need for you to get involved directly in the aspect. Just get me a phone call with him.” I was afraid Gem Works wouldn’t take me seriously if I cold-called them.

“I will call you back in an hour or two, Mr. Tomlinson.” He hung up and went to work. I took another sip of my coffee and looked at Mia.

“Having a lot of money is kind of exciting.” She smiled and sipped her own cup.

An hour and a half later Bob called back. “Brian Fitzgerald is waiting for you call, Mr. Tomlinson. He is looking for a five million dollar investment and he has agreed to a 30% ownership, which after a cursory look at the books seems to be proper.” He paused. “You will be the second largest holder. Mr. Fitzgerald will hold 42% after the sale.”

“Bob, you are the miracle worker we were looking for. I am going to close the deal, then you can finalize the paperwork.” I was very pleased with the results.

“Monica called this morning. She has gotten wind of you dealing directly with us. I suspect she is friends with the receptionist.” Bob seemed a bit strained by the change in protocol. “I haven’t called her back yet. Is she aware of what is happening?” Mia started giggling. I had to look away so I didn’t catch it.

 

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7 Women Who Caught Feelings For Their Best Friends Revealed What Happens When They Confessed

Are you ready for some majorly juicy stories? Well, seven women who caught feelings for their best friends just shared all of the details on Reddit AskWomen. From Harry and Sally to Jim and Pam, we’ve got plenty of examples of best friends falling in love to look to on TV and in movies. In fact, I’d go so far as to argue that it’s one of our favorite romantic narratives. But, obvi, TV and movies don’t always accurately reflect real life. IRL, developing feelings for your best friend can be way more complicated. What if they don’t feel the same way and your friendship is ruined forever? What if they do feel the same way but you just don’t vibe as a couple? What if they start dating someone else and it slowly crushes your soul piece by piece?! You get the picture. It’s daunting. You’re not guaranteed a happy ending like the characters in your favorite shows and movies.

But there is one universal truth that you can take comfort in if you’re in love with your best friend: You’re not alone. Plenty of people find themselves falling in love with their best friends. And, luckily, a few of them shared their stories on Reddit’s AskWomen thread. Read along below as seven ladies share what happened when they started developing feelings for their best friends.

 

Oh god, yes. I was desperately in love with my best friend for ages. I thought he felt the same and was also just too timid to say anything. Then one night we’re out and super drunk already and he pulls me away from the crowd and says he has to tell me something important. I was convinced that he’s about to tell me he loves me, but he was just beating around the bush for a while. I had it and decided to make the first step. I was just about to get up and kiss him when he finally says what he wanted to say and tells me that he’s gay. So that was that.

THEY WERE NEVER ABLE TO GET THE TIMING RIGHT.

Bustle on YouTube

I have and it didn’t turn out well. They actually admitted they had feelings for me first, but by the time I realized I felt the same things had changed between us. I told him, but I had screwed it up again and he didn’t feel the same way. We’re friends still, but he’s dating someone else which is nice since he seems happy with her.

More than anything though I regret taking so long to realize and so long to make a move. I wonder if things would be different if I did something sooner. So if you have feelings for your friend just go for it OP.

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Celebrity Sightings – Jacqueline London

I’ve known Jackie for a few years now. She’s  lovely woman and just as nice as she is beautiful.

Emmy-winning journalist Jacqueline London joined NBC10 in March of 2013. She can currently be seen co-anchoring NBC10 News at 5 PM and 11 PM weekdays.

Prior to joining NBC10, London was with WKMG in Orlando, Florida, where she spent 10 years as an anchor and reporter. While there she was named ‘Best News Anchor’ by The Orlando Business Journal. She also earned two Suncoast Emmys while at WKMG, one for the program “Primetime London” which she wrote, produced and hosted.

With over 15 years of experience in broadcasting, London is known for her exclusive one-on-one interviews, from local newsmakers and celebrities to President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. In late 2013, she interviewed Jimmy Fallon as he prepared for his new role as host of The Tonight Show, NBC’s iconic late-night program.

London got her start at ABC affiliate WQAD in Moline, Ill. During her two years there, she anchored the station’s weekend morning news and reported for the afternoon and evening newscasts.

Active in the community, London is involved in women’s issues and other causes close to her heart. She actively works to raise awareness for heart disease and diabetes. Since moving to Philadelphia she has emceed the American Diabetes Association’s Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes, Philadelphia’s 2013 Heart Walk, and the 2014 Annual Heart Ball.

London earned a B.A. in journalism & mass communication from The University of Iowa. A native of Chicago, she currently resides in Philadelphia and enjoys exploring her new hometown.

 

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What to do about Philadelphia’s buried colonial riverfront? Developer moves cautiously

The Durst Organization may be one of the largest developers in New York City, but when it comes to Philadelphia, they’re newbies.

At least that’s what principal and chief development officer Alexander Durst told about 30 residents gathered at the Cherry Street Pier to hear about what’s in store for one of the city’s most sensitive waterfront sites.

That would be a Columbus Boulevard parking lot north of Vine Street, an old Hertz rental facility. But going way, way back before it was a parking lot, this now-nondescript piece of real estate was one of the first shipbuilding yards in the city.

The West Shipyard dates to about 1688 and is so pregnant with archaeological potential that it was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 and the Philadelphia register in 1987.

The land is owned by the Delaware River Waterfront Corp. (DRWC), which invited bids for development. Durst is the last developer standing after a rigorous review, said Joe Forkin, DRWC president.

Residents were expecting to hear about building plans — but the plans are still tentative and evolving, Durst said.

So, instead of talking about towers and commercial buildings, Durst and his lead archaeologist, Douglas Mooney of AECOM, an international engineering firm, sketched out the history of the site, and how Durst plans to approach addressing what may lie underground.

Staff Photo ELISE WRABETZ

During a 2012 excavation, head project archaeologist Tim Mancl looks through a trench believed to be the old shoreline of the West Shipyard under a parking lot at Columbus Boulevard and Vine Street.

They are not making any of the design plans public until they have a sense of what is left of the shipyard. What is there may radically affect the what and where of any construction.

Toward that end, in about five weeks, Mooney said, a series of test excavations will be cut into the parking lot surface to provide small windows onto what may lie below. The design for any construction will be informed and in part driven by what is found during this testing phase.

The West Shipyard site potentially holds a wealth of information beneath its cracked asphalt and weeds. An archaeological probe conducted in the late 1980s uncovered a 17th century slipway — wooden tracks used for hauling ships out of the water for work on land. It’s thought to be the only such structure on the East Coast.

Archaeological excavations in 2012 uncovered great rounded timbers and other relics of early river commerce. The timbers were most likely used as fill in the marshy area along the riverfront, archaeologists said at the time. Mooney suggested they also may have been used to haul ships out of the water.

The Hertz lot and everything east to the current riverfront is built on fill piled into the river as the city grew over the centuries. Directly to the west of the site is a stretch of Water Street, which once was on the bank of the river.

Leading down from Front Street to Water Street and the West yard are early-18th century stone steps, the last remaining of the steps to the waterfront that William Penn directed to be built.

Forkin said one of the important aspects of any development would be tying those stone steps to the shipyard site “either visually or physically.”

He promised several public meetings as plans develop.

Residents seemed most concerned by the height of any buildings and the possibility for an enhanced connection to the waterfront. They also want something interesting.

“We need something that’s fun,” said Al Johnson, who lives on Water Street. “This is so boring, what you’re talking about.”

 

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The Beach House – Chapter 13

“I’m not going to like what you did, am I?” She was holding back tears. I could see pain forming in her face. I thought she was going to let it drop. She fooled me with her smiles during the climb back to the house.

“I’m really hoping you don’t hate me for it.” I was getting scared. Why did I have to hit that asshole?

“Are you going to tell me if I ask?” She was looking down at the floor. Her voice was becoming halting as she sensed the direction things were going.

“Yes. It will hurt us, though.” Maybe she will let it slide for awhile longer. I really thought it would come out better later. She was shaking a bit.

“Where were you?” Today was not going to be a good day. I just prayed that we would survive it.

“Your stuff from you old apartment is in my car.” I couldn’t say it directly. I figured if I spoke in generalities it would sound milder. I was wrong. She let go of me and covered her eyes. I could see her cheeks reddening as the tears began to flow. I reach out to her and she slapped my hand away. She didn’t leave, which surprised me.

“How much do you know?” She wanted everything right now. I wasn’t sure my heart could take her pain. I hesitated and pulled away from her a bit. “How much?” she repeated. I wasn’t going to lie.

“Just about everything.” I said it slowly with as much compassion as I could muster. I knew it wasn’t going to be enough. She dropped her hands from her face and stood up away from me. I looked into the most pained face in the world. Tears were pouring out of her eyes.

“I never wanted you to know me like that.” She was screaming at me. “That stupid boat was supposed to blow up.” She was pointing to the beach as she got louder. “Why didn’t the fucking thing just blow up?” She yelled as she started to back away. I reached out toward and she slapped my hand away again. “Don’t you fucking touch me!” It sounded evil and hurt my ears. “You’re just looking for you own private live-in whore, aren’t you?” I tried to answer, but she interrupted. “You couldn’t buy this whore for all your money.” She ran towards the back of the house. “All you fucking assholes are the same.” I heard the bedroom door slam. I had lost her.

It took everything I had not to run and hide on the beach. I knew that if I let her leave the house, she would be dead within a week. I called Dr. Williams and told him everything.

“Don’t let her leave. Tie her up if you have to. I should be there in thirty minutes.” He never said I told you so. I had to respect him for that. Luckily, Mia never left the bedroom.

“Where is she?” Bob didn’t even say hello.

“In the bedroom. I think she locked herself in.” He started running.

“Anything sharp in there?” He was clinical. I was horribly panicked. We reached the door and it was locked. Bob knocked on the door loudly. “Mia, it’s Dr. Williams.” There was no answer. He didn’t knock again. Wally took a few steps back and shouldered the door with all he had. I heard the frame split as the door flew open. Mia was on the bed in a fetal position. He grabbed her hands quickly and checked the wrists and felt her pulse. “Did you take anything Mia?” He was speaking forcible.

“The only things in this God-damned house are vitamins!” She yelled back at him. He stood up and walked back to me.

“She’s fine. Go outside and stay away for a while.” He gave me a compassionate smile and pushed me on my way. I went down to the beach. I couldn’t believe I had screwed everything up. I would never find anyone like her again.

The umbrella was only half shading the lounger. It needed to be moved again. I really hated that umbrella. I yanked it out of the sand and throw it toward the rock wall. It wasn’t enough. I leaned the shaft against one of the rocks and jumped on it. The wood snapped in half. I pulled the metal spines backward over the top and ripped the fabric. I found I was able to break each half of the shaft into smaller pieces. I tore the fabric completely off the spines and threw it into the water. I bent the metal spines into crooked ball and tossed in after the cloth. I still didn’t feel better.

I moved to the edge of the ocean and lay down half in, half out of the water. I let the late afternoon sun attack my skin as I waited for the tide to come in and wash me out to sea. It was an hour before I realized the tide was going out. I prayed for a school of jellyfish instead. It hit me then. My life before Mia. To never see her in my house again. To be alone again. I curled into a ball and wished for death. Not even the waves could sooth me anymore.

I felt and heard someone sit down next to me. I was afraid to roll over and look.

“I killed my family. I am a heroin addict. I am a prostitute. I tried to kill myself on your beach, and I screwed that up to.” She was speaking quietly, saner, although what she was saying sounded insane. “In the movies, the boat always blows up when it hits the rocks.” I rolled over and I knew there were tears in my eyes.

“You’re going to leave me, aren’t you?” I tried to sound like I was in control of myself. I am sure I failed.

“You killed the umbrella.” Why wasn’t she answering?

“I hated it. Are you leaving?” I asked again. I hadn’t received the “yes” I was expecting.

“Doc says you love me. How can you love what I am?” She hasn’t made her decision yet. At least there was still hope.

“You’re asking me to care about who you were. I only care about who you are.” I sat up in the sand. “I have no idea why I love you. I just do. The moment you curled into my chair on the beach, I was yours.” I threw a handful of sand into the water. “I liked that you were alone too. It’s sad, but I was attracted to that.”

“How did you hurt your hand?” She kept moving the subject around. She was trying to think.

“Your landlord said something rude and I swung without thinking.” I didn’t think she needed to know the whole conversation.

“What did he say?” She wasn’t going to let me hide anything.

“He told me that you didn’t pay with money and he didn’t want a blowjob from me.” It felt really bad telling her the truth. It sounded worse than when he said it. She looked away from me for a second. I think she was trying not to cry.

“Why didn’t he kill you?” She was under no illusion that I would win in a fair fight.

“His greed overtook his pride. He now has a completely different opinion of you.” I knew what the next question was and I didn’t make her ask. “Five grand.”

“I won’t let you go broke trying to fix my past.” She really had no concept of my net worth. “You don’t have enough money to buy off everyone I ever screwed.” Yes I did, but I kept it to myself.

“I just wanted you to have your stuff back. You must have pictures of Adrian which are worth more than a lousy five thousand.” I hoped I didn’t just buy back garbage. She wiped a tear that leaked out of her eye.

“Thank you. There are some things I didn’t want to lose.” I was glad it wasn’t a total wasted trip. We sat in silence for a while. There was one more thing I needed to know and I preferred for her to tell me.

“Why did you steal the boat?” I looked at her, and she didn’t even flinch. She looked out into the ocean where the fading sun meet the waves.

“Are you sure you want to know?” She didn’t really want to tell me anymore than I wanted to discuss the landlord.

“Someone is looking into it for me, but I would prefer if you told me.” She closed her eyes and let out a long breath.

 

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The Old, The New, The Frank, The Untrue: Changing Faces of Japan’s Sex Industry — OTAKU LOUNGE

Prostitution may be (technically) illegal in Japan – it has been since the 1950s – but the sex industry itself is very much alive and kicking. Want to be chatted to by beautiful women or pretty boys over some pricey drinks? The hostess and host clubs have you covered. Feel like being bathed by an […]

via The Old, The New, The Frank, The Untrue: Changing Faces of Japan’s Sex Industry — OTAKU LOUNGE

Sabrina – More Good News

When I last wrote about Sabrina she had just gotten a great new Marketing job with a company down on the waterfront.

She sent me some photos of her office and view. She has a really nice space and a clear view of the boats docked in the harbor. I’m really happy for her!

She asks if I’m doing my usual Monday routine. I tell her I’m over at Cavanaugh’s writing about when I lived in California n the early eighties with my band. So, yes just a regular Monday.

“I’m so proud of you, Sabrina! You really stepped up and made that new job happen. You’re office is amazing!”

“Thank you! I spoke it into reality with a little help from my friends.”

“You did it. Determination and drive. Proud of you! Now get divorced and get your alimony and freedom!”

“Yes that is next on my list!”

“This is your year, Sabrina! Rise up! Rise above!”

“Yes the last two years I lost everything! Now I’m coming back for everything that I lost and more.”

“Yea! Drop the bars of the cage you’ve been in and walk the heck out! You’re free!”

A week passes…

“Sunday brunch?”

“I work 11 to 4pm at the salon on Sunday, but would love to see you after 4.”

“Yea, then Sunday dinner. Would you be coming to my house in Havertown?”

(Could she mean sex?)

“No way to get there.”

“Oh right. I guess you can Uber? It’s $10-$11 bucks. Or I can meet you in the city if that’s better. I want to get my spray tan soon too. And give you a hug!”

(I like that last part)

“Can you come to the city?”

The next day…

“Hey are you at the tanning salon?”

“I am!”

“Ugh actually I gotta get back to work. I was gonna stop by real quick. I’ll see you Sunday.”

“Cool. See you Sunday.”

 

And it ends there. So Sunday we’ll meet up for some dinner. She doesn’t have to buy me dinner. I think she feels that because of the positive energy I provide and the snap to it assistance in trying to find her additional work, she feels she has to do something for me. I want nothing from her. I’m happy to help people. But if she wants to meet up for dinner, I could at least get the tip. (Remember how I used to always complain about the wallets never coming out? I need to seize her offer and enjoy her company!)

I know a place we can go that has reasonable priced food and is quiet. I was there recently with my friend Mary. (See: Mary – 2015 to Present – Unexpected Table for Two) I’ll figure out some options. But, in the end I’ll just be happy to see Sabrina.

 

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