Author Topic: The Perfect Cherry  (Read 97361 times)

Karloff

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Re: The Perfect Cherry
« Reply #75 on: October 20, 2014, 07:51:10 PM »
Just got caught up.  Very funny.

Offline bodwen

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Re: The Perfect Cherry
« Reply #76 on: December 10, 2014, 04:42:52 PM »
  I grabbed my purse and ran to the other room where I milled around the tables into I finally found the waiter.  He was standing near a large party getting ready to light up a Flambé. Normally I wouldn’t dream of interrupting such pageantry but I had a sicken feeling Angel had already left the building.
  “Excuse me,” I said. “This is an emergency.”
  “Oh," the waiter said as the people at the table gave me copious amounts of side-eye.
  “You did not serve the salad my friend ordered.”
  “He said he had to leave. He had a flight to catch so he cancelled his order,” he said and raised his lighter stick.
  “Did he say anything else?”
  “No,” he said. And the cherries burst into flames. I ran to the stairwell.  I’d have rather taken the elevator, but given that Angel had a good ten minutes head start, there was no chance I’d be able to catch him unless he was in the elevator with some child whose mother thought it was adorable when he lit up all the elevator buttons. I ran down, and down, and down some more until I reached the lobby. I ran outside, just in time to see Angel Clare climb into a taxi about 100 feet ahead of me.
  “Angel!” I shouted. I knew he couldn’t hear me, but I had to try. “Angel! I called again and ran. The taxi was moving now, but if the driver saw me running, maybe he’d remark on it, and maybe Angel would turn around. No such luck. I chased after the cab like a fool until it vanished into the night.
Then I cried. Partly from defeat, and partly from pure humiliation.  People were staring. Men in Italian suits, women in fur coats. They saw me standing there crying and pulled their purses closer and hurried past me. None of them cared and why should they?  None of them knew me. They had no way of realizing Angel Clare was gone from my life forever, and all because of some psychotic billionaire they’d probably auction off their first born to sit with at a charity dinner. I didn’t have any of Angel’s contact information and he didn’t have any of mine.  I had no way to get in touch with him in Brazil and I’d have no way to get in touch with him when he got back.         
  Unless…
...he slipped a note into my purse when I wasn't looking. 
  I dumped out the contents of my purse on the sidewalk and dropped to my knees to sift through the contents.  There had to be a note here, a business card. Some way to find him.  I pawed through old receipts, and spare change, and candy wrappers, and a hundred other pieces of junk I had no idea I had hoarded and found nothing.  Then I realized if Angel really cared, even a little, he would have never abandoned me to dine at the mercy of some psycho.
  I wiped my eyes and started gathering up my trash.  Now I was mad at the both of them.
  “Fannie?”  Shari crouched next to me with her arm on my shoulder. “Are you alright?”
  “Angel is gone.  He went home. He has a flight to catch.” I started crying again and she held me close. 
  “We’ll find him,” Shari said with a smile and pulled out her smartphone. “After all, how many Angel Clares can there be on Facebook?”  She thumb-typed and her smile fell. “Quite a few it turns out. And most don’t have pictures.”  She put the phone back in her purse. “No problem.  We’ll take a cab to the airport.”
   “And do what exactly?” I asked.  “Find out every flight that connects with a flight going to Brazil tomorrow and camp out at the terminal?  Yeah, even in the extraordinarily unlikely event we manage to find and intercept him, that won’t look at all like clingy future-ex-girlfriend behavior.”
  She smirked.  “So you’d rather we did nothing?”
  “Yes!” I said and meant it.  Truth be told, I wasn’t sure of exactly what it was that scared him off. I wanted to think it was Christian Grey, but I could not discount the possibility that it was Ray/Charlie and his legal shenanigans.  If Angel was the type to reject a girl because of what her father did, I really didn’t want to know about that. I marched back to the hotel with Shari hot on my heels.
  “I can call up some of my friends. I might know someone who knows someone who knows where he lives.”
  “Let’s just forget Angel Clare ever existed,” I said and balled up my fist as I approached the hotel lobby.
  “What are you going to do?”
  “I’m going to give Christian Grey what he wants.  He’s into S&M?  I’m going to go up there and whip his ass to within an inch of his life.”
  “Don't let him do that to you,” Shari said. “Don’t give him that power. Don’t let him bring you down to his level.”
  I smiled at her over my shoulder. “You’re just saying that because you’re afraid it will screw up your job at the New York Times.”
  “Only a little,” she admitted.
  I stopped and let her catch up with me. “Fine,” I said with a smile as we walked arm in arm. “I’ll be unfailingly polite to him until you’re settled and entrenched at your new position. Then I’ll kick his ass.”
  “It’s a deal,” she said. “Unless you want to come with. You like New York. You can get a job as an editor or an agent.  We’ll buy shoes and drink Cosmos and live the dream.”
  “True,” I said as we entered the elevator. “And it would be pretty funny to move there right after Christian Grey went to all this trouble to relocate his publishing company just so he can stalk me here.”
  “Plus I’ll use all the journalist resources at my disposal to find Angel Clare and get this whole mess sorted out for you. I promise.”
  My mood was greatly improved as we rejoined the others at dinner. There was a large rectangular package gift-wrapped in silver paper in front of my untouched dinner.
  “What is this?” I asked.
  “It’s your graduation present,” Christian said. “Open it.”
  “Whatever it is, I don’t want it.”
  “No. You need it. You told me so yourself. Open it.”
  I sighed and unwrapped it.  An Apple notebook computer.
  “Oh wow,” Dava said. Opening the box and manhandling the laptop without asking. “I didn’t think these were available in stores yet.”
  “They are not,” Christian said. “But I know people, and nothing is too good for Grey Matters Press’s newest VP.”
  Newest VP?  Of what? Gettin’ freaky?
  I grabbed the laptop out of Dava’s hands and gave it back to Christian.  “I can’t accept this. And I can’t accept the job. I just graduated from college today and I’m barely old enough to drink, for crying out loud. Give me the corner office and people will snicker.”
  “They wouldn’t dare snicker. They know what I'm capable of,” Christian Grey said. “And don’t worry about your job at the New York Times. I’ve already called and gotten you fired.”
  I heard a loud thud as Shari’s chair tipped over and fell to the floor. With her in it, of course. Christian took no notice. I tried to get out of my chair but he pushed me back down, leaving Peter and Dava to deal with Shari.
  “I always get what I want, Miss Benson. The sooner you learn to submit, the better this will be for the both of us.”
  I tried to twist away. “I don’t want to submit and I don’t want your computer. You call up the New York Times right now. Wake everyone up and tell them to give me back my job or I will make you wish you were never born.”
  “Too late. I wish I was never born every day of my life. And as for the job, you’d better forget it. I burned every bridge that needed burning there.” He slid the computer over to me. “And as for the computer, you are keeping it. You need it.”
  “Says who?”
  “Said you.  You told Taylor you couldn’t email me because your computer was in the shop. Now you have no excuse.”
  “I was joking.  I don’t want a computer from you!” I said. “I want my job at the New York Times!”
  “She’s right, you know,” Shari in an oddly lucid voice. We turned and she was back in her chair, her strawberry-blond curls sticking up in places, her eyes looked like black pits with no color, and the grin on her face could only be described as diabolical. “We don’t have room for it. Our apartment is too small. And it is in too bad of a neighborhood. 
  “Oh?” Christian said with feigned indifference.
  “It’s for the best that Fannie-- I mean Cherry-- drives that deathtrap junker VW of hers. It tells all the thugs she isn’t worth robbing. Why just the other day a woman was brutally attacked by five hoodlums. If they saw a delicate little virgin like Cherry broken down by the side of the road and lugging around a three thousand dollar laptop, heaven only knows what they’d do to her.”
  Christian Grey’s brows rose like two caterpillars as he rapidly typed something into his smartphone.
  Shari picked up the steak knife and toyed with it in her hands. “Thank god Fannie couldn’t afford that brand new Audi she’s had her eye on.”
  “Audi?”  Christian Grey said, trying to act causal.
  “Audi R8 ABT GT S.  Black.”
  “Cherry Red,” he said.
  “Whatever.  It’s not like she can afford one. Anyway we have no place to park it. My mother keeps telling us we should move someplace safe, but what can we do?  We are two young women without jobs out on our own for the first time in our lives. I’d like for us to move to a private beach house but I can’t find one in our price range.  For the sort of house Cherry and I want you’re looking to spend at least one million.” She thought better of it. “No, two million.”
  His typing quickened.
  “And I hear the upkeep on that sort of place is outrageous.  Cherry Bentley would need at least $25,000 wired into her checking account just to pay for the upkeep. Even if someone else was handling the taxes and the utilities. ”
  “Only $25,000?”
  “For a start it should be fine. I just happen to have one of her checkstubs in my handbag if you need one for the bank and routing numbers.”
  “Now, now,” I said.  “I’m sure Christian Grey isn’t interested in hearing about our financial troubles.”  I could see what Shari was doing here.  She was determined to make Christian Grey pay for what he did to her. Literally.  Except, she’d lost sight of the fact that I was acting as collateral.
  So much for not stooping to his level.
  “Excuse me,” Christian said. “I have to make some calls.” He left the room with Taylor on his heels.
  After they left, Shari leaned back and smiled. “It begins.” 
  Peter and Dava just sat there eating their desserts, and swilling booze, and looking oblivious, which was nothing new.
  “This is a very dangerous game you are playing,” I told her.
  Shari whipped the knife about melodramatically. “Don’t worry.  If he lays a finger on you, I’ll cut his throat.”
  I couldn’t tell if she meant it or not. I didn’t know which possibility would be more frightening. I just knew I liked old Shari a lot more than Dark Shari.
  “Need I inform you that he’s going to figure this out eventually, and when he does, he can have us both arrested for fraud?”
  “Only if he wants this story in all the papers.  More likely, he’ll give us three times as much money as we manage to milk out of him just to keep our mouths shut.”  She twirled the knife between her fingers like a corncob, “Assuming we haven’t completely ruined him financially by then.”
  I hadn’t decided if I like this turn of events or not.  Largely because I still didn’t know where his money came from or what he had to do to get it.  But Shari was thoroughly enjoying herself, and I owed her that much at least.
  I moved the computer away, sighed, and cut into my halibut.  Unlike revenge, it’s not a dish best served cold.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 03:23:28 AM by bodwen »

Offline Missus Braidyhead

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Re: The Perfect Cherry
« Reply #77 on: December 10, 2014, 04:54:27 PM »
AWESOME punch line at the end!

Everything above the punch line is good, too. :)