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Chapter 14

The Calamity Girl – The Promotion

I woke up at nine am on Tuesday morning.  I had slept like a baby.  I had a quick shower and changed into my new blue jeans and a t-shirt.  I grabbed my new jean jacket.  I loved the little pink rhinestone flowers that were on my jean jacket.  I looked very feminine and cute.

Packing my things, my suitcase was running out of room.  I had to carry some of my parcels in bags.  I would want to go shopping while on vacation to rectify that problem.

I left everything in my room and headed down into the dining room.  Michael was there in jeans and a t-shirt.  I almost did not recognize him.

He smiled at me, “Hello little Miss Sparkles, nice outfit.”

I grinned and said, “I love shopping in New York, I wish I would have had more time.  I’ll probably come back next year and do some sight seeing.”

Michael said, “Good idea.”

We both looked at the menu and ordered some bacon, eggs, toast, home fries, and coffee.

I asked, “So where are we headed?”

Michael grinned, “Were going to Niner Way Ranch, it’s in Oro Valley, Tucson, Arizona, and it’s located at La Cholla Airpark.  I have my own hangar connected to a 4500-foot taxiway.  I just bought it for four million dollars about a month ago.  I wanted a quiet place to go and write and work on my new movie scripts.”

I said, “I just assumed you were a producer, I wasn’t aware that you’re a screen writer too.”

Michael said, “It will be my first movie.  Written, Directed, and Produced by Michael Ferraras.”

I asked, “What type of movie is it?”

He said, “A romantic comedy with a hint of drama and the absurd.  Kind of like a cross between Woody Allen and Monty Python movies.  At first, I was going to rewrite a classic.  Then I decided I’d rather do something new and fresh.”

I said, “That’s just what the movie industry needs right now – something unique and interesting.  I notice that most movies are from books already written.  Are you going to write it just as a screenplay?”

Michael thought for a moment, “Yeah, I’m used to script writing.  I would have to learn how to do it Novel style.  I find this more creative, writing out the scenes and plots.  A little more detailed writing.”

I said, “I’ve never actually seen a script unless it’s like Shakespeare?”

Michael smiled, “Yes it’s like Shakespeare only more detailed now with the computer graphics we do a sketch of each scene too.”

I said, “Did you take art lessons in school?”

Michael grinned, “That was my favorite part.  I even went to Paris and Italy to study the Masters techniques.  I wanted to know how the ancient artists did their works.  The layers of painting and the skills they used to make everything look so life like.”

I said, “I love art galleries and museums.  The best place I ever visited was the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit.  I stepped back in time, to the early 1900s when so many household inventions first came into being.  It was a fascinating trip.”

Michael was delighted with my enthusiasm he could see that I bounced back quickly from yesterday’s mishaps.  I could almost read his mind.

I said, “A good night’s sleep cures all woes to some degree.”

Michael’s phone rang and he answered it, “Yes we’ll meet you there.”

Michael looked at me, “Are you ready for another adventure?  My pilot friend is going to meet us at the John F Kennedy Airport in about an hour so it would be best to gather our things and pay for our rooms.  I’ll meet you downstairs in fifteen minutes.”

I had a smile on my face when ten minutes later I was carrying my suitcase and parcels downstairs.

Michael smiled and said, “I see you pack light.”

I said, “I plan to get another suitcase before I go home, to put all my purchases in.”

A Black Limo pulled up to the front door and we got in.  The driver put all of our parcels in the trunk for us.  I sat back in the soft plush black leather seats.

Michael flicked on the TV and we both watched the news.  He switched to the weather channel and was happy to see a forecast of warm, sunny weather for the week.

Then he switched it to the cartoons.

He said, “Bugs Bunny is a Classic.  I never get tired of.”

I said, “I never watch cartoons but these are funny.”

I was giggling at Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd’s antics.  I was feeling great.

We arrived at the airport and boarded a small private plane, after we loaded our gear we were soon flying above the fluffy white clouds.

Michael asked if I would like to watch a movie and I said, “Sure.  We have over five hours of time to kill.”

We ended up watching two movies.

The first one was; “He’s just not that into you.”  The second one was, “Fools Gold.”

I said to Michael, “Who bought the movies?”

Michael said, “I did this week; One for your, one for me.  I figured you’d enjoy boy of them.”

I said, “I loved the scenes in the Bahamas they were just gorgeous.  I would like to try scuba diving one day.  Lori would probably want to go too.  She is my best friend; we grew up together. Sometimes we go on vacations together if she can get time off.  She’s a doctor, so that is a rare occasion.”

I waited for Michael to share something about his personal life but he remained unusually quiet.  I wondered if he was having second thoughts about inviting me along.

He came out of his trance and apologized, “Sorry Rachel I was thinking about my movie script.  I am planning to work on the script while I am there.  I trust you won’t mind to go shopping while I work?”

I grinned, “I’m sure I can amuse myself for a whole week.”

Michael was apologetic, “I didn’t mean to say …Oh never mind.  I will spend lunchtime with you and the odd evenings we will go to some of the local bars.  Maybe go dancing or something.”

I said, “Don’t worry about entertaining me.  I think that while you work on your script, I will start working on some article ideas for the paper.  For now, Jim and Mac are running things for me.

I gave them a list of story ideas to work on.  Julie gave me lots of material and so did Colleen.  Of course Drew Cartland has so many secrets to tell I decided to open up a whole can of worms for him.”

Michael asked, “Are you sure your not being too vindictive?  What if he comes back with something against you?”

I said, “I’ve shared all my secrets.  I told Mac to have fun with my past life and my father.  I just felt reckless and wanted to divulge everything that way Julie has nothing to tell anyone about me.”

Michael said, “You forgot about Tom, he knows everything about you, including your weaknesses won’t he be after you?”

I laughed, “I doubt it.  Ray took care of him.  Tom is on a deserted island with no computer or phone.  He cannot contact anyone in the outside world.”

Michael looked pensive for a moment, “I wouldn’t get too relaxed.  Julie will find him.  Are you sure you have no skeletons in your closet?”

I was on my guard.  I almost had the feeling that Michael was trying to pry some information from me.

Suddenly I had a feeling of uneasiness.

I looked at him straight in the eye and quietly asked, “Michael will you be letting me down too?  I have lost most of my friends and family.  You are about the only person I trust here on earth.  I hope you don’t disappoint me.”

Michael looked at me without flinching he said, “I just don’t want to see you get hurt again.  For some reason my little problem child it bothers me when others let you down.  I promise I’ll never let you down.”

There was softness in his eyes and a hint of another emotion.  He quickly averted his eyes and broke our gaze.  I felt like he was hiding something from me.  Was Michael developing feelings for me?  Did he think he could hide them from me?

He had shown great care and concern for my welfare.  No man had ever come close in acting this way towards me.  Usually the men I went out on dates with only wanted to enjoy a small amount of my company.  They all just wanted a lover.  Nothing else, no emotions, no ties, and I had learned to adapt to what they wanted from me.

Michael was different.  He was dangerous showing me these raw emotions in bits and pieces.  It was as he was hiding behind this shell of a person and I caught a glimpse of his soul every now and then.  It was somewhat disconcerting at times.

The plane was landing and we pulled into a hangar.

We got out and stretched for a minute then Michael and the Pilot Jake Ferris grabbed our bags and carried them into this large Mediterranean Mansion.

I said, “My God I thought it would be a little log cabin.  This place is monstrous!”

Michael grinned, “Its 12,000 square feet of luxury with 8 rooms and 7 bathrooms, not too shabby.  I’ve got a one bedroom guest house out back and a caretaker’s house over there.”

We walked inside a courtyard full of lovely green grass, sculptures, intricate vegetation, and exotic flowers.  There was gaily-printed patio furniture and then I saw the two small oval pools and a hot tub.

I said, “Great I can go swimming every day.”

Then we walked inside.  I admired the glossy wooden floors with red printed tapestry rugs in each room.  The living room had a creamy leather couch set it was very modern décor.  Beautiful sculptures and works of art were all throughout the mansion.

My room was very elegant in pinks, blues and greens a nice mixture of decor.  It was very roomy place.  I was getting hungry for it was six pm and it was time for my supper.

I went down the long hall and followed the aroma of food in the air.

The table was set and a little Italian woman was placing platters of food on the table.

She smiled at me and looked surprised.

Michael smiled and said, “Rachel, I’d like you to meet my cook and housekeeper Maria Valentino.”

I grabbed her outstretch hand, and gave it a firm squeeze, “Nice to meet you Maria.”

We all sat down to eat. Maria and Jake joined us.

I could tell that Maria was very curious as to who I was.  Michael did not care to explain.  I realized again that Michael lived a very private life.  He must wonder at my plastering my life in the tabloids.

Was I hungry for fame or was I just an impulsive and foolish girl?  Now I was wondering what Michael thought of my recent behavior.  Would he think I was an irresponsible person?  I decided I was thinking too much and tiring myself out.

Maria had made a lovely meal of pork chops, roasted potatoes, green beans, applesauce, and a garden salad.  For dessert, we had homemade apple pie and French Vanilla Ice Cream – my favorite.  I was going to enjoy Maria’s home cooked meals.  I usually ate out all the time.  So tonight would be a real treat.

After dinner, we all sat around the table and played a few rounds of cards.  I noticed the time on the clock was two hours behind my watch.  I should buy myself a watch that has the different time zones on it.  I will if I intend to keep travelling.  My attention was turned back to the game. Michael was looking at me to help. He and I were partners, and Jake and Maria were beating us.

I said ruefully, “I’ve never been very good at playing cards.”

Michael was getting frustrated.  I kept trumping his cards during our Euchre game.

Next, we tried playing Texas Hold Em Poker.

I kept messing up and so did Maria.  Now the game was between Michael and Jake.  I sat and watched Michael.  He was being very competitive tonight.

Finally, he threw down his last hand and admitted defeat.  Jake was the winner.  It was nine o’clock and I felt the need for some fresh air.  I went outside and looked up at the starry sky.

Michael said, “I can start up the hot tub if you’d like?  It gets cooler at night time and hot in the day time here.”

I said, “Sure, I think I’ll go for a swim too.  I could use some exercise.”

When I came back outside the patio was lit up with little palm tree lanterns.  Michael had put some 50’s rock n roll songs on.  Maria and Jake were already in the pool tossing a beach ball around.  Michael and I joined in with the fun.  Being bonked on the head by the ball several times.

I was laughing so hard and having a great time.  Then we went to sit in the hot tub.  It felt wonderful as I laid my head back and looked up at the stars.

Michael whispered, “I used to love stargazing late at night with a telescope.  I still do when I come out here.”

I asked, “Do you know the different constellations?”

He said, “Only a few, I do have an Astrology book here in my library.”

I asked, “What kind of books do you like to read?”

He grinned, for a moment and said, “I hardly ever get to read anymore, but I enjoy Michael Crichton and Stephen King to name a few.”

I said, “I sometimes read chick lit like Sophie Kinsella, Barbara Cartland, JD Kobbs but I hardly ever read anymore.  I do enjoy going to Flea Markets and buying books though.  I have quite a library full of books.”

Michael said, “A dust collection, what kind of books do you buy?”

I said, “Spiritual, paranormal, meditation, self-help, art, music, theater.  I have developed a good reference section for myself.  Sometimes I have to do research for an article or something.  That reminds me I have not posted anything to my blogs lately.  Can I get wireless internet out here?”

Michael laughed, “Probably not on your laptop.  I have a few computers in my library.  You can use one of them.  I have satellite internet out here.”

I said, “That’s good.  Is it fairly fast?”

Michael said, “Yes it is better then the service I get in the city.  It’s only when there is a bad thunderstorm that I have problems, it interrupts my service for hours at a time.”

I said, “It’s a good thing you’re not a journalist then.”

He said, “When I was in University I wanted to be a journalist then I realized how boring it was and decided I wanted something that I could sink my creative teeth into.”

I said, “I really need to step into my creative shoes, maybe some of your creativity will rub off on me.”

Michael grinned, “Well I’m getting water logged, and it’s getting late.  I go to bed early and wake up early.  If I’m writing I find that five am is my best time for inspiration.”

I said, “I’m the same only I like working from twelve Midnight to five am.  It is so quiet when everyone is asleep.  I found it hard in New York City – too much noise there.  My sister supposedly lives in the quiet part of town.”

Michael said, “Do you plan to do some writing tonight?”

I said, “No, I’m tired, all this jet lag is catching up to me.  At this rate, I am going to need a holiday from my holiday.  I need some rest.  I think I’ll sleep in tomorrow.”

Michael said, “Usually for breakfast we just help ourselves to some cereal or toast.  Maria usually just cooks dinner here.  I like doing my own breakfast and lunch.  I will be working until twelve noon then I plan to go into town.

I will show you around.  There are several places to go shopping but their all in different towns.  My driver will take you wherever you want to go and do not worry about the time.  He goes to visit his brother and usually plays a few rounds of poker with the guys.  He will be happy if you are shopping for a few hours at a time.”

I said, “I’m not much of a shopper I only have a few things that I want to buy.  I was thinking of getting some cowboy boots first then visiting a few of the local shops to get a couple of t-shirts and maybe another jacket.  I probably won’t be visiting your ranch very often.”

Michael was quiet for a moment then asked, “Are you glad you came for a visit?”

I said, “Yes I am enjoying every minute of it.  I had so much fun today.  Thanks.”  I walked towards my room with a smile on my face.  I would enjoy a good nights rest and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed.

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