The Beach House – Chapter 21 – Conclusion

“It went too far. She thought I was going to fire her.” I was pleading my case to deaf ears.

“Ahh, Monica, I’m so sorry it came to this. ” Mia wrapped Monica in her arms. Monica was still in shock, and I don’t think she even recognized Mia.

“I was about to tell her when you walked in…” I didn’t want Mia upset with me on our wedding day.

“Well you should have told her sooner.” She started rubbing Monica’s back. “You probably had her in tears all day.” She sat Monica on a nearby chair and looked back at the smiling Wally. “Wally, grab some water and a towel or something.” He left, chuckling. Monica’s mouth was still standing open. “Well, tell her, Dale. I won’t have any tears at our wedding.” Monica’s mouth opened wider. Mia’s hands were on her hips, waiting for me to comply. I softened my voice as I dropped to one knee in front of Monica.

“You remember Mia Perez, Monica.” I smiled trying to make sure she understood I had no ill will. “We kind of hit it off during the detox.” I grabbed one of Mia’s hands off her hip. “We’re getting married today, and I needed you here as a witness.” Monica mouth was still wide open, looking between Mia face and mine. I gently took hold of Monica’s hand. “Are you alright?” I heard Bob re-enter the chapel.

“You’ve known her for a week.” Monica looked back to me. “You don’t like anybody.” I laughed and patted her hand.

“I assure you, I love this woman more than life itself” I smiled at Mia who dropped her other hand off her hip and smiled back.

“I didn’t even know you could smile.” Monica was still in shock. Bob exchanged the water and towel for Mia’s bouquet. Mia sat down next to Monica.

“Your mascara is a bit askew.” Mia dipped the end of the towel in the water and began wiping the worst of it off her face.

“Making me take care of Mia was the best thing you could done for me.” I stood back up. “I needed her as much as she needed me.”

“I never met the Dale you know.” Mia kept cleaning Monica’s face as she talked. “I fell in love with a very tender man with a strange SpaghettiOs fixation.” Monica laughed at that. Leave it to Mia to move us past the tears. Wally leaned down near Monica.

“These two share a very compatible type of insanity.” He chuckled again.

“You see, Monica, I have no intention of firing you. You are my second favorite woman on this whole planet.” I smiled at her, figuring that should settle it. I saw tears welling up in her eyes. She jumped up and wrapped her arms around me and started bawling. I looked at Mia for help, and she was crying too. I looked at Wally.

“I knew this would be an insane wedding.” Wally started chuckling again. I was beginning to think he was a bit on the insane side.

Once the girls had fixed their makeup, the wedding went off without a hitch. Mia surprised me with a little poetic vow about me pulling her from a pit of darkness into “my heart full of light.” I had to think fast, and I could see in her eyes that this was payback for a handful of paint.

“Mia, before you entered my life, I thought love was only a word for poets.” I smiled into her eyes. “I now know poets are just souls who ache for what I have through you. You are my ocean, my waves. You are my SpaghettiOs.” I heard a whimper from Monica and I saw the water in Mia’s eyes. Wally was holding back another chuckle.

Mia and I took our witnesses out to dinner after the wedding to celebrate. We spent the entire dinner laughing and telling Monica all that had happened over the last week. We were into our fourth bottle wine when Mia decided to give her gift to Monica.

“Dale told me why you made him take care of me.” Mia was glowing. “I felt bad that my thoughtless husband would do such a thing.” I interrupted.

“Hey, I didn’t know you then!” Mia smacked me lightly in the shoulder.

“A tenth anniversary only comes around once. It deserves to be recognized.” Mia looked at me like I might forget some future event. “We wanted to buy you a second honeymoon to make amends.” Mia smiled handing an envelope over to Monica.

Monica opened the envelope with wide eyes. “Oh my God!” she said as she looked at the three-week cruise to the islands and South America.

“And everything is planned.” Mia was all jumpy. “I wanted to make sure you didn’t have to think about a thing, just like when you take care of Dale.” Mia was really proud of herself. “Dale cleared the time with Charlie’s boss, and I’ll make sure Dale doesn’t try and call during the trip.” Monica started tearing up again.

“Oh my gosh, guys! This is amazing!” Monica was wiping the tears from her eyes. Mia hugged her and started crying too. You would have thought we were poking them with burning sticks.

I was excited, because I saw the dessert tray heading our way. I slipped the pastry chef a hundred to make something special for me. The waiter went around, delivering the desert, leaving Wally for last. I was getting antsy. The waiter smiled at me and reached under the tray and pulled out a small top-hat-shaped cake. It was perfect. He placed it in front of Wally, who for once looked very confused.

“I don’t think this is what I ordered.” He looked up at the waiter who just smiled and nodded at me.

“I quote: ‘If you two are friends at the end if this I’ll eat my hat.’ ” My timing was perfect. Mia burst out laughing which infected all of us. To his credit, Wally ate the entire thing. I think he liked being the center of attention even if it was a joke at his expense.

Over coffee, Monica was whispering to Mia. Monica reached into her purse and removed what looked like an old envelope that had seen better days. Monica looked at me. “I made a promise a few years back that earlier today, I thought I would have to break.” Her eyes were getting watery. “I think I was planning to throw this at you Dale.” She was indicating the envelope, half smiling and half crying. Women were becoming confusing again. “Now, I get to keep that promise.” She handed the envelope to Mia, then wiped some tears from her eyes.

Mia seemed a little confused herself. The envelope didn’t have any markings and seemed to contain more than just paper. She broke the seal and looked inside, and I saw her eyes tear up. I tried to see what was inside as she pulled out a single folded piece of paper. Mia opened it and began to cry which was echoed by Monica. They hugged each other.

I reached over and looked into the envelope. My eyes began to water as I looked at my Grandma’s butterfly brooch. Mia handed me the letter and hugged me as I read:

To whomever has found my Dale’s heart,

Please take care of it. It is very precious to me.

Love Eleanor.

 

THE END

 

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Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 29

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The Beach House – Chapter 20

We better shower and pack.” Mia offered up the plan. I agreed and helped her to her feet. I closed up the paint and grabbed the brushes to wash them out. We only got about half the edging done on one wall. Naked painting isn’t productive at all. I smiled as I put both brushes in one hand and palmed the wet bristles with the other. “I’ll meet you in the shower,” she said, not really looking at me. I moved in close for quick kiss, and when our lips met, I grabbed her boob with my paint covered hand.

“You’re right, we always go for the breasts.” I smiled as I headed to the utility sink. Mia now had a lavender hand print that covered the majority of her boob.

“This is not over by a long shot Mister,” I heard as I proudly headed down the hall trying not to drip. I have been pretty happy with the punishment so far. Getting tortured with sex can be so cruel.

Monica’s itinerary was flawless as usual. We were in Vegas by 9 am and in our rooms by 10. I hustled Mia and Bob out to one of the fancy dress shops in the hotel before they could accidently run into Monica. The store had my card and instructions to make Mia beautiful. Bob was going to roam the strip and pick up Mia just before 3 and meet me in the chapel. I went back up to room. I just had to keep a straight face for a few more hours.

At exactly noon, there was a knock at my door. I tried my best to pull my mind away from my new happiness. I needed to hide everything for a bit longer. I rose from the chair on the second set of knocks and opened the door. It was, of course, Monica.

“Hello, Mr. Tomlinson. I just got in from the airport.” She seemed a bit flustered. She tried to nonchalantly look past me. I think she got wind that I did not fly up alone. I opened the door wider and stood aside. Monica walked in without instructions. I walked to the small sitting area and took a seat. She followed and took the other.

“I will admit that operating without you is fairly difficult Monica.” I was sounding stern. I was bit proud of my acting.

“I want to apologize for my actions, Sir. I was a bit overwrought at the time.” She was trying to find out how much damage she had caused. I am sure she feared a drop in her living standard. “I had no right to demand anything of you. You have never failed to reward me for my services.” I smiled inside. She was thinking I might be trying to replace her. I held up the palm of my hand.

“No. That woman saved my life. I owed her one of her own. I see that now.” I had to look away from Monica. I was afraid I would start laughing. “I’m not sure I appreciate your methods, but the results are as they should be.”

“Mr. Tomlinson, I fear I might have damaged our relationship.” She was sounding like business, but her eyes looked like pleading. “I never really thought it would go this far.” She was sweating on the inside.

“I do believe our relationship has changed Monica.” I paused for a moment. “Only time will tell by how much.” I had to look away again. I had forgotten how to look aloof.

“I regret that it has, Sir. Prior to this incident, I have never failed to work in your best interests.” She was really beginning to sweat. I was almost ready to cave, but I just didn’t want to spoil the surprise.

“As Bob ceaselessly reminded me when I was setting up this deal.” There, I kept my promise to Bob. “I am, however, concerned where his loyalty really lies.” Monica’s head dropped to the floor. I had to end this soon before she suffered too much.

“It’s to you, Sir.” Monica’s emotions were getting a bit too involved in her voice. “I got wind of your actions, and Bob ignored my queries. I’m sorry again, Mr. Tomlinson, I felt a little left out of it all.” Whoa, she was starting to take it personally. I had to end this. I stood up.

“Meet me downstairs at the front desk at 2:45.” I started walking toward the door. Monica realized she was being dismissed and followed. “We will discuss this again after the meeting.” I opened the door and she walked out. I closed the door and sighed. I may have taken it a bit far. I glanced through the peephole, and she was just standing there with her hand over her eyes. Yes, maybe a bit too far…

At 2:40 I was downstairs, dressed in my finest suit. It was actually my only suit. I had to wait exactly five minutes for Monica. She looked dressed for business, but I noticed her eyes were a bit red. Shit, I let it get a bit far. As soon as she walked up to me I turned and headed to the chapel. I figured if I walked faster, time might jump ahead with me. We turned down a couple of halls and passed a sign that said “Chapels” with an arrow pointing in the direction we were headed. Monica did a double-take but followed along.

We entered a lounge with a few doors to different chapels. I entered the chapel I had reserved, and Monica followed more slowly. “I don’t understand, Mr. Tomlinson. The meeting is in the Wedding Chapel?” Leading her on like this was frustrating. I snapped accidentally.

“Just wait here, Monica!” I indicated a chair by the door. I saw her eyes begin to water as she sat slowly in the chair. Time needed to speed up a bit faster. I walked to the front of the chapel and spoke quietly with the man who would perform the service. A moment later I heard Monica behind me. It was the first time I had ever heard her distraught in my life.

“If you’re going to fire me, you could have done it over the phone.” I turned to face her and was shocked to see mascara following tears down her face. I felt her pain in my chest.

“Monica, I’m not going—” My words caught in my throat. Mia walked, in and she was simply stunning. I didn’t think a woman could look so good. Her long hair was pulled back and to the right by a rich red ribbon. Two red roses were over her left ear highlighting the lacy white dress that flowed over her curves. The dress was bound by a red belt that tied in a bow on the left. She was holding a small bouquet of red roses. “Beautiful,” I said by instinct as I stared at my future wife. Mia smiled and the whole image glowed brighter.

Monica heard my word, saw my smile and followed my eyes. Mia’s expression changed immediately. “Dale!” She started hurrying forward to Monica. “What did you do to her?” Monica’s mouth was wide open; mascara was all over her cheeks. She kept looking back and forth between Mia and myself.

 

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The Beach House – Chapter 19

We woke the next morning with two goals: pack for our trip the next day and paint a room. We choose the smallest spare bedroom to start. Since neither of us had painted in a long time, it seemed prudent to start small. We removed all of the furniture and outlet covers then covered the carpeting with drop cloths and taped around a few fixtures. After we brought in all our implements and the ladder, we stripped.

Mia had agreed to do most of the edging, and I was going to handle most of the rolling. We both started edging first before I could fill it in with the roller. I had made sure that Mia was on the ladder doing the ceiling edging while I started on the baseboard. The view was spectacular. Mia was trying to keep me on task, but my eyes kept moving back to that tushy on the ladder.

When you are relearning to paint, you have a tendency to get paint all over yourself. When you’re horny and relearning, you get paint on your dick. Mia laughed when she saw what I had done. She climbed down from her perch and wiped me with a wet rag. My cock twitched a bit as she wiped off the rest of the paint. She chuckled.

“No sex till the room is done.” She gave my dick a little kiss and climbed back up the ladder. Well you can’t kiss a guys dick and then use the words “no sex. ” I was aroused, and I felt our naked painting agreement might need some renegotiation. I started using her can of paint to fill my brush. Every time I needed a refill, I would stand up to reach up to the ladder tray and dip. This would allow my free hand to roam over the back of her thighs and tweak her butt.

“Stop that! You’re going to make me screw this up.” Mia was smiling so I knew she wasn’t too serious. Every few moments, I would return for more paint and leave a small caress in my wake. She stopped complaining and just let me have my little feels. When I finished the current wall’s baseboard, I dipped my brush to begin moving up the corner. Just before I returned to the wall I very lightly scraped my fingertips along the inside of her knee. Her knee collapsed inward, and I saw her brush slip and slightly paint ceiling.

“I can’t believe you just did that.” Mia turned with what I could only describe as an evil smile. “You know what that does to me.” I saw the brush headed for me but didn’t react in time. She caught me on the shoulder and bicep, a big lavender blotch on my arm. I didn’t even think before I reacted. I slapped my brush on her left butt cheek. I had forgotten I had just dipped it back in the paint. I covered my mouth to hide my grin as I began moving backward. Mia’s lips formed a large ‘O’ as she watched the large splat of paint begin to run down her thigh.

Mia’s paintbrush went back into the bucket. When she withdrew it, half her hand was covered and it was dripping all over the ladder and drop cloth as she descended. I had no choice; I started for the door.

“If you want me to marry you, you had better stay right here in this room!” She was smiling as she inched toward me led by the heavily soaked brush. I knew she would still marry me if I ran, but I felt I had to prove my love. I stood my ground and raised my brush in the en-garde position. I circled around the room slowly trying to keep my distance from the loaded brush. She moved with me, cutting me off and allowing less and less space to move. I had no choice; I attacked. I went over her arm and straight for her breasts. The brush barely touched before her free hand grabbed the top half of the wooden handle and steered it away.

“Men always go for the breasts,” she laughed. Then she swiped. She started low on my stomach and dragged the brush up across my chest and finished at the base of my neck. It was seriously cold paint. I sucked in my breath and let go of my brush. She had them both now. I raised my hands.

“I surrender.” I could feel the paint beginning to drip. Mia just smirked. I think she was under the impression that we weren’t even yet. She pointed to the floor with one of the brushes.

“On your knees when you beg for forgiveness!” She indicated the floor again when I didn’t move quick enough. I dropped to my knees.

“I’m sorry for teasing you.” I didn’t really sound sorry because I wasn’t. Mia moved directly in front of me, her pussy inches from my face.

“For penance, you will now pleasure me.” I looked into her eyes and all I saw was love. My hands were full of paint so I knew it was tongue only. I reached up and pulled her forward by her buns forgetting that one was covered in fresh paint. I felt paint drip on the back of my arm from the soaked brush she still held. My tongue dragged across her dry slit as Mia spread her legs to give me more room. I forced my tongue to split her lips and open her flower. I tasted the beginning of wetness. More paint dripped on to my back as Mia shifted her weight to give me more access. I drove my tongue deeper and dragged my hands down her thighs, one pulling wet paint. I heard a quiet moan from above as my mouth moved a bit higher.

Mia dropped the brushes and moved her hands behind my neck. I felt paint dripping down my back as she pulled me in tighter. Her pussy was becoming wetter as I massaged the back of her knees with my hands. I moved my mouth higher and lightly licked both sides of her hood, trying to coax her clit out of hiding. Mia moaned again and slowly dropped to the floor. I followed her down, never losing contact with her moist opening. She grabbed my arms and pulled me up over her body. “I want you in me.” She was breathing harder. I pushed her hair out of her face with the wrong hand and left a trail to paint on her cheek.

I knew her body now. I knew every inch. I guided my cock to her opening and slowly inserted the head. I felt her hips shift to allow me a better angle. I held her head steady with both hands, accidentally painting one side. I locked onto her eyes, “I love you, Mrs. Tomlinson.” and I slowly inserted myself into her until our pelvises met. I remembered the feeling of her grinding into me in the pool. I knew what she liked. I lowered my hips a bit rubbed my groin into hers. It felt the same and Mia’s head fell back with a groan.

I withdrew and slowly re-entered. When we met again, I shifted my hips down and ground my way back up. “Oh God, Dale!” Mia’s neck was tightening up, and I felt tremors beginning to build. I felt like a king. I loved making her body react. I withdrew and returned again. The grind this time generated shaking in her legs. I knew she was close. I was waiting for her. I withdrew again, and when I returned, she grabbed my ass and pulled me in tight. She started grinding herself into me as spasms ripped through her body. Her breathing was a set of halting groans as I felt her muscles tighten. I exploded, my hips grinding of their own accord. Our pleasure took over our humanity as we struggled like wild animals. I came again, and Mia groaned louder as I felt her pussy clamp down. I realized I was also groaning as the last spasm ripped through my body. I wanted to collapse, but Mia was still grinding in a world of her own. My muscles wouldn’t cooperate so I just let her spend herself on my hips.

Mia collapsed onto the paint covered tarp. She looked at me and started laughing. I collapsed next to her, my dick reluctantly leaving its precious home. We were covered in paint. There was more on us than on the walls. Mia grabbed my face and kissed me hard. “No more naked painting.” She was still trying to catch her breath.

“Sorry Mia, you just looked too damn sexy on that ladder.” I knew I was the instigator. I also knew I would do it again. Mia dipped her finger into the wet bristles of the soaked brush and found an unpainted part of stomach. She finger painted “Mia’s” on to my body and kissed me again. I liked that she owned me. I caressed the side of her head with my clean hand.

I looked around the room and was hit with a thought. “Mia, what if we make this our yesterday room?” She looked at me kind of funny. “We can hang our pictures of Grandma, Adrian and Carlos. Then we can come in here to remember. The rest of the house will be for the now-us.” She was smiling when I was done.

“That’s a lovely idea.” She stroked my arm. “You have a good heart, Dale.” She cuddled in close, and I felt our paint start to mix. “Yes, that’s a perfect use for this room.” She kissed me on the ear which sounded a lot louder than it felt. We lay in the paint for a while longer enjoying the closeness.

 

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The Beach House – Chapter 18

At 3:10 we called Gem Works. I was put through to Brian Fitzgerald’s office. “Hello…” It was a very unsure greeting.

“Mr. Patterson, this is Dale Tomlinson along with Mia Perez.” I made it sound pretty snobby.

“I am not sure what is happening here, Mr. Tomlinson.” He sounded a bit scared. Brain must have shaken him up a bit.

“I assume that Mr. Fitzgerald explained the position you’re in?” I wanted to keep the pressure on.

“I have been informed, but I don’t understand. I don’t even know you, Mr. Tomlinson.” This guy must be a complete idiot.

“You should, I bought you a boat a week ago.” Let’s see if that jogs his memory.

“That was you. I thought the bitch that stole it paid for the new one.” He wasn’t very good at connecting the dots. Pompous ass was a very good description of him. Time to see how much of his foot he can fit into his mouth. Mia was fuming.

“Mr. Patterson, I am going to turn this over to my fiancé, and if you call her bitch one more time I will make it my mission to ruin your life.” God! I wish I was in the room. There was complete silence on the other side.

“Mr. Patterson, do you now have a better understanding about what is going on?” Mia’s face was quite serious as she brought him to reality.

“Yes.” Only one word. He was beginning to understand where he stood.

“I understand that you are married, and that it is your father’s boat that you use for your water bang parties?” Mia was keeping the pressure on, making sure he knew that we knew everything. She needed this retribution. There was silence on the other end. “Is that information correct, Mr. Patterson?” She wasn’t going to make it easy on him.

“Yes. Look things got a bit out—” Mia wasn’t interested in what he thought.

“I am sure you don’t want your family to become aware of your parties.” She continued in a terse tone. “Those parties and anything that even smells like them are over. We just spent five million to get this far. Imagine what we could do if we made it our life’s work to ruin you.” Mia was getting into it. There was more silence for his side. “Do we have an understanding, Mr. Patterson?”

“Yes.” He was back to one word answers.

“To make the ramifications fully clear: you lose your job, and your family finds out why. I accept a prostitution charge, and you fight attempted gang rape and kidnapping charges. Your perverted friends go down the tubes with you. I can be quite convincing when I’m sober Mr. Patterson.” I liked mean-Mia—as long as her ire isn’t directed at me.

“I understand.” He graduated to two words. He sounded like he wanted this to end.

“You lied to the police and forced my future husband to buy your dad a new boat.” She was smiling a bit now. “I would think you would feel really guilty about that. I think an act of contrition would ease your soul a bit. Maybe a donation in the amount of $33,781 to the East Side Clinic in the care of Dr. Williams would make you feel a bit better. Did you get that, Mr. Patterson.”

“$33,781, East Side Clinic, Dr. Williams” He didn’t sound too happy about it.

“If you do decide to make the donation by the end of the week, I know I would feel better about your soul.” Mia threw in a timeline on her own. She was a smart girl. I smiled at her forethought. I decided to jump back in.

“Mr. Fitzgerald and I will be discussing your status on a regular basis. I really hope you’re not one of those deadweight employees. I have a lot invested in Gem Works and I wouldn’t want it hindered by anyone I have taken a special interest in.” I tried to make it sound a bit menacing. I was just trying to throw a bone to Brian. I didn’t want him stuck with a useless asshole.

“I understand. You won’t have to talk with me again.” He sounded contrite. I know it was due to fear, but it was nice to hear it all the same. Mia ended the call.

“You have a nice day, Mr. Patterson.” I hit the disconnect. Mia jumped into my arms. “A week ago I was powerless against that jerk. Today he was cowering at our feet. I felt like I was punching him in the face for every girl he has done that to.” She smothered me with kisses. “We’re like superheroes. We need to buy capes or something.” She started bouncing around twirling in circles. Her happiness was worth way more than five million.

“We have one more call to make Mia.” I smiled as the final stage of our plans was about to unfold. “You have to be quiet for this one.” I dialed Monica number.

“Monica, It’s Dale Tomlinson.” I tried to sound like my pre-Mia self.

“Hello, Mr. Tomlinson.” She didn’t sound like her normal confident and efficient self.

“Ms. Perez is not on the street and is off heroin. I trust your husband hasn’t left you.” I was having a hard time trying to sound stern. Mia was smiling.

“No sir, I’m sorry about that. I was just a—” I interrupted.

“I have a rather large business deal to complete in Las Vegas in two days. It involves a significant portion of my assets. I want a private charter. There is a possibility of extra passengers.” I had to get Mia on the plane without her knowing.

“Meeting time.” Efficient Monica was back.

“3 pm.” I pulled the time out of my ass.

“Hotel preference.” I told her to choose one on the main strip.

“I will send the itinerary to your email as usual, Sir.” She was about to hang up.

“Monica, I am going to need you there.” I couldn’t imagine her saying no.

“Yes, Sir. I will meet you there.” She dropped the line.

Now all I had to do was find someone to marry Mia and me at 3 pm. I really should have taken care of that first, but what the hell, it’s Vegas.

Two hours later I had a full itinerary on my phone. Limo service to and from the airports and a suite of rooms at the Bellagio. I called up the Bellagio and they had no problem setting up the wedding. Turns out they have chapels on site. It’s Vegas, baby! Mia and I called Dr. Williams and talked him into joining us for the weekend. Once he heard that Monica was coming, still unaware of the situation, he was on board wholeheartedly.

 

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Another Life – Chapter 25

It’s not easy, trying to find someone to share an apartment with three other people, at short notice – especially over the Christmas holidays. But word of mouth travelled fast, and within a month of Ronnie leaving us in the lurch, we got a nibble.

Rina was a slim brunette with a very pretty face. She wore headbands and fitness gear, or workout clothes. I didn’t know if she was an exercise nut, or if she was just trying to imitate Olivia Newton John.

She was also Barbara’s best friend.

Rina had been over a couple of times, but only when we’d been having a party, or a large group. She took a tour of the apartment, and then asked most of the same shrewd questions that Laurie had asked the landlord before we signed the lease. Rina was especially pleased when she heard what her share of the rent would be.

– “I can move in February 1st.” she said.

– “Super!” said Laurie.

I have to admit that I was a little worried about Rina. It’s true that I barely knew Rose before we became roomies – but Rose was a sweetheart. And I hadn’t been dating her best friend.

It was a relief, then, when Rina set me straight right away.

– “We’re gonna be good friends, Joe. Barbara said you were a really nice guy. She still considers you a friend, too.”

That was nice to hear. We all quickly discovered that Rina was remarkably frank and open. She might not be in Eli’s class, when it came to telling the truth, but she was very, very close. We found that out even before she officially moved in.

Rina brought over a few boxes, and a few of her clothes.

– “I’ll need some help moving in, though.” she said.

– “I can help.” I told her that I could borrow Uncle Ray’s truck, and find a friend to help me carry her furniture.

– “That’s fantastic!” she said. “Oh, Joe, if you could do that, I’d really make it worth your while.” She batted her eyes at me.

I’m sure my mouth fell open. Rose spit a mouthful of soup across the table, spraying Laurie’s arm.

– “Geez!” snapped Laurie.

Rina though that Laurie was reacting to what she just said. Who knows? Maybe she was.

– “I didn’t mean that I’d fuck him.” said Rina. She smiled at me. “I just meant that I’d buy him a case of beer. That would be alright, wouldn’t it?”

– “You don’t have to buy me beer.” I said.

– “Then I’ll buy it for all of my roommates, and we can share.”

I got Eli to help me. I figured that a beer or two and an introduction to Rina would be well worth the price of admission.

We carried her bed and dresser up the stairs, and then load after load of clothes. I swear, this girl had 29 pairs of shoes – at the age of 21. Even Imelda Marcos took a few years to amass her collection.

– “You’re beautiful.” Eli told her. “I’d love to go out with you.”

– “Probably not going to happen.” said Rina. “Nice of you to say, though.”

We had ourselves a new roommate. Once again, we would be splitting the rent four ways, instead of three. Of course, Rina was not an unmitigated blessing.

The night after she moved in, she had her boyfriend over.

She must have bought her bed at the same store where Ronnie and Laurie got theirs. It was the serenade of the springs all over again.

The next morning, Rose couldn’t meet my eye. It was probably worse for Laurie, though; she was in the room next to Rina, trying to sleep through it.

– “Rose, you wouldn’t have any earplugs, would you?” she asked.

***

Tanya was a bit cold with me, over the phone, for a week or so. Then we just had trouble connecting. I did ask her out, but when Tanya found out that coming back to my apartment afterwards wasn’t on the agenda, she lost interest.

It was almost two weeks later when she called me, and invited me over.

– “My parents are going away for the weekend – and they’re taking my sisters.” she said.

– “You’re not going?”

– “Unfortunately, I’m going to be terribly sick.” she said. “Too sick to go with them. I’ll need my boyfriend to come over and make me chicken soup. And maybe rub my tummy …”

I did end up rubbing her tummy. She also fucked me on their couch, in her bed, and blew me against the wall in the hallway.

She also wanted me to fuck her in her sister’s room. I could just picture her gleefully telling Sam all about it afterwards. I drew the line there.

– “Why not?” she said. “I never say ‘no’ to you!”

– “Tanya, I’m not about to be some kind of weapon for you to one-up your sister. Don’t drag me into your … battles.” I had been about to say ‘squabbles’. I don’t think she would have appreciated that much.

She was angry enough as it was. I ended up leaving hours before I had to.

 

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/?p=433

 

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Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 26

– “Until the relationship ends?” asked Eliza. I had succeeded in catching her interest.

– “No. Longer.” I said. “Made that mistake ages ago. A buddy of mine broke up with his girlfriend. The way he described it, the relationship was over. He hated her guts. I waited a week or so, but I’d always been curious about her. So I asked her out. He was furious. It cost me a friendship. And he was right to be pissed off at me.”

– “Somehow I have the feeling that this lengthy explanation will eventually come around to me.” said Ee. “Are you trying to spare my feelings?”

– “I’m telling you the truth, Ee. When we started hanging out together, I would have had to be blind not to notice you. To be 100% honest, I noticed both of you. But …”

– “But?”

– “But Claire is Leo’s sister. I didn’t know how he would take it. Besides, as time went on, I began to realize that Claire wasn’t for me, anyway. She and I both know that. We wouldn’t last as a couple. You, on the other hand …”

– “What about me?” said Eliza.

– “Lovely. Kind and generous. Smart. All that I could ask for in a woman. Except that my best friend confided in me one night, over a couple of beers, that he was madly in love with you. I couldn’t go after you, Ee. Not after Leo told me how he felt.”

Eliza was a smart girl. On top of that, she had a heart as big as all outdoors. She understood all too well what I was telling her.

– “That’s so unfair.” she said. But her tone of voice suggested that she didn’t mean it.

– “Eliza, tell me this: if you were really interested in Craig, but Claire said something first, would you say something to him? Would you try to beat her to him?”

– “What if she tried with him, and it didn’t work out?” she asked.

I didn’t even answer. I just looked at her sympathetically.

– “Aww, fuck.” she said.

– “I would never say ‘no’ to you, Ee. But I couldn’t do that to Leo.”

– “Sometimes I wish that the two of us weren’t so noble.” she admitted.

– “I’m not particularly noble, Ee – as I’m sure Claire told you. But if it was to be you and me, I would want it to start out right.”

– “Alright. I got it.” She sighed. “Now, would you get me a drink?”

I did as she asked, and helped myself to another.

– “You’re not the Falcon, are you?” I asked her.

Eliza swatted me on the arm. “You dirty bugger! Trying to catch me in a moment of weakness, are you?”

– “You’re playing a deep game.” I said. “I can’t tell whose side you’re on. But there are at least two sides. And the time may soon come when you’ll need to choose one. I’m holding the door open. But I’m not sure how long I can do that.”

– “Who’s on your side?” she asked me.

– “I’m more certain about who’s on the other side.” I gave Eliza a brief, edited version of my run-in with Ben and Barbara earlier on.

– “Why is this Bible important?” she asked.

I did my best impression of a sphinx.

– “Fine.” she said. “But that means that Claire told them. I know she gave it to you. She tells me everything.”

– “She’s on their side – even if she doesn’t know it yet. I think Craig is, too. But I’m not sure if sharing the treasure is part of Ben and Barb’s plan. My team still has room for some charter members.”

– “You don’t have a team.” she observed.

– “Which is why full shares of the treasure are still available.” I told her. “Get in early, before all of the best seats are taken.”

That was when we heard four bells from upstairs.

Eliza reached up, slowly, and touched my cheek. “Thank you, Colin, for being honest with me. I’m still not happy – but this makes it easier to accept.”

We parted as friends. My next duty station made me nervous, in more ways than one. I knew who it was.

 

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/?p=312

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am & 12pm EST.

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