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Chapter 18

The Calamity Girl – The Promotion

I was feeling miserable.  I left a message for Lori on her answering service, letting her know that I was back in Toronto.  I unpacked my things and started doing laundry.  I refused to think about Michael.  Instead, I pulled out Clarice Tucker’s Resume from my fax machine and looked it over.

I called the number, “Hello this is Rachel Tornquist.  Can I please speak to Clarice Tucker?”

A young female voice answered, “This is she.”

I said, “Great Clarice will you be able to come for an interview tomorrow morning?”

Clarice paused for a moment then said, “I have an interview with Drew Cartland at nine fifteen am, I could probably swing around at eleven am.”

I drew in my breath and asked, “Have you spoken to Mr. Cartland yet?”

Clarice said, “No the employment agency arranged an interview for me, it’s a secretarial position.”

I said, “I thought you were a qualified Public Relations person?  Listen I am going to try you out for a week as my personal assistant.  If it does not work out, I will give you a job as my Public Relations person for Gossip Tabloids.  I will pay you more than what you’ve asked for on your cover letter in terms of income and benefits.”

Clarice sounded apprehensive, “Why are you hiring me without an interview?”

I said, “Your Mother Sandy Tucker gave you a high recommendation, and I trust her judgment. The interview will decide where to place you in the form of employment.”

Clarice sounded excited, “Okay, I’ll call the agency and cancel my interview with Mr. Drew Cartland.  I’ll tell them I’ve been hired.”

I said, “That’s a good idea.  I will see you tomorrow morning at eleven am.  Meet me at the Indigo book store down town.”

I hung up and my phone rang, it was Lori.

She said, “Girl I haven’t heard from you in ages.  Why didn’t you call me?”

I said, “I was busy travelling and didn’t have a moment to spare.  What’s the name of the new condo beside yours?”

Lori said, “Lakeview Terrace.  Are you going there tomorrow?”

I said, “Yes and I’m taking Clarice along too.  I am going to try her out for a week as my personal assistant.  Sandy told me she does not know anyone in Canada.  I will have to warn her about Julie Cartland.

She told me she had an interview arranged for nine am with Drew.  He is looking to hire a secretary.  I think I will put one of my own spies in his camp for once.  It’s time that Drew got a taste of his own medicine.”

Lori grinned, “Well I know someone we can use.  She is a friend of mine and trustworthy.  I have gotten to know her since you were gone.  I did a background check on her.  It’s Todd’s neighbor, Shannon.  You know the buxom brown-haired woman he has been chatting up.

Well we bumped into each other at the coffee shop around the corner.  It turns out she hates Drew Cartland.  Her sister was one of his lovers.  He’s never met her and they have different last names.”

I said, “Great tell her to go to Drew’s office for 8:30 am tomorrow morning.  I doubt he will be able to fill the interview time that quickly.  She has to look very professional and have a good solid resume.”

Lori said, “Okay I’ll call her.  What are you doing for dinner tonight?”

I said, “I haven’t decided yet.”

Lori said, “I’m in the mood for some Swiss Chalet, want to join me?”

I said, “I’ll meet you there.  Which one are you going to?”

Lori said, “The one on King St, downtown close to John St.”

I said, “Okay, I’ll meet you there in an hour and a half.”

I finished folding a load of laundry, changed into something comfortable and drove downtown.  It was hard trying to find a parking space.

I saw Lori pull up and park across the street from me.  I stood there and waited for her.

I said, “That was good timing. “

She said, “Yeah I usually make you wait for me.  I got a hold of Shannon she is excited about our plan.  I told her not to mention knowing me or Todd to anyone.”

I said, “What if Todd dates her?”

Lori laughed, “Shannon is a lesbian.  She is having fun teasing him.  He thinks she’s playing hard to get.”

I said, “Women can be so devilish at times.”

We walked into Swiss Chalet and sat down.  I was surprised at how crowded the place was.  We overheard people talking about the play they had just attended.  I assumed they had gone to see Mama Mia.

We ordered our quarter chicken dinner with a salad and water.

Lori turned to me and said, “There’ something different about you today Rachel.  I noticed you didn’t even bat an eye at that group of gorgeous bachelors over there.”

I glanced over and giggled, “They all look like models, their probably gay.  Listen Michael and I got really close during our trip.”

I told her about all the things we did and the places I visited.  I even told her how great the sex was.  How Michael had asked me to be his girlfriend, how I had accepted.

Then I told her, “On the last day in California, Michael said that he was in love with me, he didn’t want to lose me and that he wanted to marry me.”

Lori clapped her hands, “Finally a marriage proposal!  So when is the happy day?”

I looked at her and just sat there.  All of a sudden, I had a lump in my throat and a tear slid down my cheek.

I said, “I couldn’t commit, so I broke up with him.  It was all too fast for me.”

Lori’s jaw dropped.

She scolded, “How could you do something so stupid?  Men like Michael do not come around very often.  You obviously met your soul mate and let him go?  What did he say?”

I said, “It was very obvious he was crushed.  Michael hates rejection, not only did I bruise his ego.  He became quite bitter and cold towards me.  He went from hot lover to ice king within minutes.”

Lori said, “What were you thinking?  This is Michael Ferraras, movie producer, millionaire.  Women flock to be at his side, they dream of touching and being with him.  You make passionate love to the man for two weeks and then you treat him as if he is just a sex toy to you?  Are you nuts?

He will never forgive you.  You really burnt that bridge!  Michael holds grudges.  Remember that I warned you, he can be a nasty enemy!”

I looked at her and realized what I had done, “As far as I know we parted as friends.  But then again I said we would be friends.  Michael never answered me.

In fact, he did not say one word to me.  Usually we talk about our feelings and emotions.  Michael really opened up to me.  He revealed his soul and his vulnerability and I crushed him; just as Tom crushed me.”

I looked at Lori and said, “I am my own worst enemy.  I just did not want to commit to him.  I like being free and single.  I told him I only wanted a lover who could be monogamous.  I do not have time to be bogged down with a relationship.  Look at you Lori, you ended up divorced!”

Lori was quiet then she said, “Yeah but I can tell that with you and Michael it wasn’t just sex.  You have a spiritual connection.  Do you realize that it is rare to connect that deeply with a man?

Michael became very intimate with you.  He is an extremely private person.  He will probably worry about you selling you’re “affair” to the tabloids now.”

I groaned, “What if Julie finds out?  She’s sure to use it against me?”

Lori said, “I think she already has.”

Lori pulled out the Gossip tabloids paper.  On the front page, was a picture of Michael and me sitting naked in the hot tub at the ranch in Tucson, Arizona — The title said, – Millionaire Rachel Tornquist seduces Michael Ferraras then dumps him.

I said, “Who could have known?”

Then I thought about the airport where Michael and I had discussed it there, oblivious to the people around us.  Nevertheless, who took the pictures of us in Arizona, and why?

I got a text message from Michael, “You really know how to stab a guy in the back.”

I wrote back, “Believe it or not, I had nothing to do with this story.  I did not write it.  You can check my computer if you don’t believe me.”

Michael texted back, “You probably did a phone dictation, and you say you don’t trust me?”

I felt like my heart ripped out of me.  I had to leave the restaurant.  I said goodbye to Lori and cried all the way home.

I called Jim and asked, “Where did you get that story?”

Jim was surprised at my angry tone of voice.

He said, “You sent it to me in a manila envelope from Arizona?”

I said, “Since when do I send you anything in a manila envelope?  I always email you or call you.”

Jim said, “But you did call me.  I swear it was your voice!”

I said, “Where did I call you from?”

Jim said, “A place in Arizona, some Cactus bar, a line dancing place.”

I hung up the phone and called Sandy, “I need a favor.  Did my Sister Melissa book a flight to Arizona with you?”

Sandy said, “Why yes she did.  She called me saying she needed to get a hold of you.  I told her where you were staying with Michael.  Did she come and visit you?”

I said, “I’m sorry Sandy I don’t have time to discuss it.  Thanks.”

I called Melissa and left a voice mail, “Melissa I didn’t ruin your life but you’ve managed to get your revenge.  Michael asked me to marry him.  You are not only hurting me you have really hurt him bad.  I hope your karma comes back to haunt you.  When Pierre finds out what you’ve done, you can kiss your fashion boyfriend good bye.”

I called Jim back, “I want you to write a story about my Sister Melissa, – she is as black as Drew and Julie Cartland.  I want the world to know how she planned to ruin me.  I want you to write a public apology to Michael and let him know that it was my sister who took the pictures and sent you the articles by mail.”

Next, I called Frank my lawyer, “I want to sue my Sister Melissa Farnsworth, Julie and Drew Cartland for slander and defamation of character.  They went too far this time.  Melissa pretended to be me.”

Frank sighed, “Your problems are going to snowball Rachel.  I fear you are the one that is going to get hurt.”

I said, “Fine.  I also want to sue them for trespassing on private property and taking nude pictures of Michael and me.  We must get the film from them and if it hits the internet; I am going to sue Drew Cartland for Millions of dollars in damages.  Also, contact any websites that allow the pictures.  I’m suing them as well.”

I got off the phone and Googled the words “Michael Ferraras naked,” sure enough there were naked pictures of the two of us.

I looked up Pierre Cardone phone number in New York City.

I had trouble getting through to him at first then I told his secretary that it was a family matter concerning his girlfriend.  She passed me through.

A male voice answered.

I said, “Hi Pierre this is Rachel Tornquist.  My sister is Melissa Farnsworth, who is your girlfriend.  They will sue her for trespassing on private property, taking naked pictures and of Michael Ferraras, then posting them on the internet.

I am sure Michael will be suing her as well.  As for your welfare, I suggest that you distance yourself from her immediately.  It’s going to get very ugly in the tabloid wars.”

Pierre was shocked, “Mon dieu!  I knew she was angry but a la stupide — she has tarnished my name as well!  I shall never forgive her.”

I said, “Pierre, please tell that her vindictive way is what destroyed her career.  Maybe she will learn something from this. Her lawyer is her Father Drew Cartland, in case you have any legal issues concerning her with the designer’s contracts.”

Pierre laughed, “Melissa hasn’t signed any contracts?  She was only my intern with the hopes of going it alone in a few years.”

I said, “Do you mean to tell me she doesn’t have her own line of designs?”

Pierre said, “Not at all, she works with a design team.  She had much to learn in the industry.  Now she will have no career where I am concerned.  I have high standards in my company; I cannot stomach a person like her.”

I hung up feeling very spiteful and angry then I called Jim back, “Do a story on my Sister Melissa using Pierre Cardone to get into the fashion world.  Pierre has dumped her.

Pierre knew nothing about her activities.  He has assured me that her actions have tarnished his name.  He will forgive her for trying to help a stupid, vindictive woman start her career.  The fashion world in New York City will be closing its doors on her forever.”

I hung up the phone and called Lori.

I said, “I’m on the war path and I’m getting my revenge on every one.  I am suing Melissa for posting that article and pretending to be me.  Would you believe that she has posted naked pictures of Michael and me on the internet?

Frank will have them removed and no one will dare to put them anywhere else.  I will sue their ass if they do.  Poor Michael, he is going to hate me for this!  I can’t believe my sister could be so low.”

Lori sighed, “Well at least you still have me?”

I grinned, “Thanks you’re the only one that I can trust.”

Next, I went to Gossip Tabloids and told Jim and Mac that I have resigned from Global Data Services and instead I am going to travel and do some journal pieces for the paper instead.

I said, “I’ll be sending them as encrypted emails from now on.  I also have a story to tell about recovering lost money for the shareholders.  They will be receiving a dividend of one-thousand dollars each.

That should give Global Data Services some positive financial news and more investors will be attracted to the company.  I have written a list of new ideas for the company.  They are to contact David Radford for investment opportunities.”

I walked out the door with a smile on my face, I already felt better.

Later after checking my messages at home, I looked up the information on the new Lakeview condominiums in Toronto, “Good they have security.  I am going to move over there right away and I will give Clarice my apt until my lease expires.  I decided to go to the local pharmacy and grab boxes.  I stared packing and hours later, I fell exhausted into bed at five in the morning.

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