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Chapter 21

The Calamity Girl – The Promotion

It did not take us long to pack Lori’s things.  We had her moved in a few weeks later.  I had called David and we scheduled an emergency meeting for the next day.

I called my lawyer Frank and he said, “Rachel we’ve reached a settlement with Drew and Julie for several millions dollars.  Drew has taken care of Melissa’s case as well.  He has hired his daughter to be one of his secretaries.  He is letting his other one go.

It seems that she was having an affair with one of his office staff and she let it slip that she knew you.  Drew is calling a truce.  He said that all the bad publicity is bad for business and he’s planning to take Julie and Melissa to go live in Switzerland.”

I said, “Thanks for the info.”

I called Roy, “Drew Julie and Melissa are going to Switzerland.  How’s our detective doing?”

Roy laughed, “He got cozy with Julie, and we’ve got the information you requested.  I’ll get the money back for you.”

I said, “Thanks I owe you.”

Roy said, “Rachel you don’t owe me.  I am indebted to your father for life.  I am happy to watch over you and try to protect you as best as I can.  Your father would have wanted me to.

By the way, Michael found out who your father is, by chance.  I invested in one of his movie deals and I had a picture of you and your father on the desk behind me.  He knows that you own the movie production company that he works with.”

I asked, “How did he take it?”

Roy said, “He was shocked, and kept shaking his head.  I think he feels like a real ass now, knowing that you could have ended his career if you wanted to.  I believe the man is eating humble pie.”

I sighed, “I really wanted to keep my identity a secret.  Maybe it is time I came out of the closet; finally.  Even Drew Cartland doesn’t know the truth about my father.”

Roy said, “It will sell a lot of papers.”

I said, “True, I’ll have to think about it.”

I finally went to bed; Lori had fallen asleep hours ago on the couch.

It was the next day that I walked in with my brief case and sat down across from David.

He said, “You look refreshed Rachel how was your vacation?”

I smiled, “It was like purgatory, I’ve been to hell and back.”

David was surprised.

I said, “Listen David, the company is going to succeed and I’m putting you back in charge.  I have traced the missing funds for the shareholders and balanced the books just in time for our next tax reports.

The money will go to our shareholders, instead of one-hundred dollars each, they will be getting one-thousand dollars each, compliments of Julie and Colleen saving money up for them.

Both of them have been working together for the past two years.  It was all a front having Julie come in and take over.  Colleen did not want anyone to be suspicious about their relationship so she staged the fights and disagreements between them.

Colleen did not bargain on you putting me in charge.  You gave me the ammo I needed to finish the job.  Everything is going to be all right now.  I will be stepping down and taking over Gossip Tabloids instead.  I have enjoyed writing the truth and I have decided I like being a journalist more than a businessperson.  Call me a writing vigilante.  I plan to dig up the truth about people and write about it.  It will be a form of gossip with a twist of truth in it.

I will let Michael know what has happened.  You can call everyone back to work.  Julie dipping into the funds is what caused the short falls in your income.

With the books balanced, and the new ideas I gave you, I am sure you will succeed on your own.  I will however retain a ten percent commission from all sales.  Just sign here.”

David was relieved.  He even looked ten years younger.

He said, “Thank you so much for everything.  By the way I have a wedding to attend in a few weeks from now, could you be my date?”

I said, “No, but do you remember Dr. Lori Winters?  She took care of your father.”

David smiled, “Yes she’s a lovely girl.  I wanted to ask her out, but I was too shy too.  Then I found out she was married.”

I said, “Well it so happens that she’s single and divorced and she likes you.”

David’s eyes lit up.

I said, “Don’t disappoint me.  Here is her number.  She will be shocked that you called.  Just tell her I mentioned that she was divorced and you asked for her number.  She’ll believe that story!”

David shook my hand, “Rachel I can’t thank you enough!”

Well that is just about everything.  How do you feel now?”

David smiled, “Relief!  I don’t know how I could ever repay you for your kindness.”

We walked out of David’s office and went towards the employee lounge.  I needed a coffee and so did he.

I said, “Don’t worry about it.  I’m going on the road now to start a new project for the paper.”

David asked, “Where are you going?”

I said, “I’ve always wanted to see Hollywood.  I didn’t really get to explore California, so I’m heading there.”

David said, “Michael’s was staying at the Hilton Hotel, but he has informed me that he just purchased another ranch.  He’ll be working out there for the next few years on his latest Movie Project.”

I said, “Good for him.  I do not think he is too interested in seeing me now.  After everything that has happened.  Besides he was really nervous and jumpy when he came to my house-warming party.”

David said, “I don’t normally get involved in my brother’s affairs but can you blame him?  You threw him for a loop when he saw your memory paintings of his ranch and the places you had gone together on your walls.

Rachel my brother has never fallen in love before.  He is not just crazy about you; he has been obsessed with you for years.  I think he formed a picture of you in his mind over the years from reading your articles about relationships.

He fell in love with the girl in print.  He said in reality you were a heartless bitch to scoff at his marriage proposal.”

I said, “You’ve got to be kidding me?  I never scoffed at his proposal; it was just so quick and unexpected.  I mean, for God sake I have only known the man for a short period of time.  Did he expect me to jump at the chance to be Mrs. Ferraras?”

David grinned, “Do you have any idea how many women have tried?  Michael cannot understand why you turned him down.  His ego is very big and you brought it down several notches.  When he told me about it, I laughed.  I told him you were the best thing for him.  You gave him a reality check and a run for his money.

He has been licking his wounds like a lovesick pup.  He still wants you but he refuses to chase after you.  I told him, if it were me, I’d hound you until you gave in!”

I said, “Oh thanks when I first met your brother, I feared that he was stalking me.  It creeped me out; I told him that I had to get my personal affairs in order first.

I am in love with Michael, but I refuse to commit to him until I am sure that we are right for each other.

I cannot just jump into marriage with him.  He did not even give me the option to date him and I could not understand why.

I broke up with him probably because I am a proud, independent, and stubborn woman.  If he were here, I would tell him how much I love and adore him.  But if he wants me back, I need time to adjust to being in a relationship first before I consider anything deeper.”

David had a silly grin on his face when he said, “I believe my brother will be overjoyed at this confessions.  He has been depressed and miserable without you.  I have a confession of my own to make. I invited him here to patch things up with you.”

Suddenly I felt a warm presence beside me and turned around.

Michael looked terrible.  He had grown a beard; he looked weary and sad almost.

His eyes were watery when he said, “Did you really mean what you said to my brother?”

I walked over and hugged Michael then I kissed him, “Honey I meant every word.”

It was Michael’s turn to let the tears flow.

He said, “My God Rachel, it’s been hell without you.  I’ve grown so attached to you that I really didn’t know how to live without you.”

I said, “There, there my sweet.  I have cleared my schedule and organized my priorities.  I’m going to do some journalism now for my paper, so if you’d like I can come visit you in California while you work there.”

Michael, said, “I would love that.  Wait until you see my new ranch that I bought.  This one I will use while I am working on projects in California.  I need to get back though; can you come right away?”

I said, “Yes I’ve brought my luggage with me.  I will drive us to the airport.  Is Jake giving us a lift?”

Michael nodded, “Yes and Maria will have dinner ready for us.  I told her I planned to bring you home with me.”

I asked, “What did she say?”

Michael laughed, “She said it was about time that I swallowed my pride.  Maria said you were the best kind of woman for me.  She said not to pressure you and you would eventually come around.  I thought it was hopeless between us.  I guess you still intimidate me in some ways.”

I turned to David, “Thanks for bringing us together.  Were both a couple of stubborn mules, hopefully we’ll learn how to overcome this problem in time.”

We gathered our things and went downstairs.

The drive to the airport was a hectic one so we did not talk.  Jake was happy to see me again.

Jake said, “I don’t know what I would have done if you two hadn’t patched things up.  Michael’s been hell to deal with since you two parted ways.”

Michael said, “I’m sorry Jake, I didn’t mean to be such an Ogre.”

Jake said, “Well don’t let it happen again.”

We had settled into our seats on the small jet and I leaned over and gave Michael a kiss.

I said, “I wasn’t sure what a Movie Producer did, so I Googled it.  I was impressed, you have to be a good organizer, excellent with budgeting large amounts of money and know what you are doing managing a film project from start to finish so how is your Movie Production coming along?”

Michael grinned, “Well I secured my financial backers with your Friend Roy’s help.  Sandy also had a few connections and so did Clarice.  Where is she anyway?”

I said, “I left her to watch over Gossip Tabloids and to do some Public Relations work for several new clients.  She is also assisting Esther with her new business venture.  I decided I wanted to concentrate on re-building our relationship first.

I will fly back every now and then to make sure everything is going good at Gossip Tabloids.

I really plan to travel and write about my experiences.  I have Melissa to thank for that.

She is the one that suggested I start doing what I love to do instead of pleasing everyone else.

She is moving to Switzerland and is living with Drew and Julie in a villa there.  I wonder how long they will all last together.

I am assuming once things take their course, Melissa will try to resurrect her Fashion Designs again.

She will have to do it somewhere else thought.  New York City and Pierre have turned their backs on her.”

Michael said, “What about Colleen?”

I said, “She’ll probably serve a two year sentence in jail.  Julie made a deal to give out all the pertinent information and evidence needed to convict her boss.”

Michael said, “And you?”

I smiled, “I plan to see this new ranch of yours.  Where is it?

Michael pulled out his laptop and showed me the picture of his gorgeous French Equestrian Estate.  He’s named it Cote de Caza Ranch, and it’s in Orange County, California.

I said, “Michael it’s beautiful.”

We had just touched down at the John Wayne Airport in Anaheim, California.

My cell phone rang and Lori was all excited.

She said, “You’ll never guess who just called me!  I am going to attend a wedding.  I’m going on a date with David Radford.”

I said, “That’s wonderful!  I am with Michael, were back together and I am in Southern California as we speak.  I plan to visit here for awhile.”

Lori said, “Congratulations you two I am happy for you!  I have to get back to work.  Do not forget to send me a post card.  Bye!”

Jake and Michael finished loading up our luggage into a black Porsche.

I said, “Another car?”

Michael grinned, “Didn’t you know I collect sports cars?  I’ve got quite a few of them.”

I said, “I think I’ll be getting to know you a bit more every day Mr. Ferraras.”

Michael gave me a kiss and said, “Okay my dear; where is Google taking us tomorrow?”

I said, “I want to go to Lulu’s Creperie Café in Laguna Hills.  I am going to try the La Francaise Savory Chicken Crepe.  I believe you will want to try to La Salamon because you like seafood.

They also serve France’s best beer, Kronenbourg, and I am going to have something fruity so I am going to try the Champagne Cocktail.

For dessert, I will have the Fresh Fruit Special and I will order you the Irish Sweet Crepe.  This time it’s going to be my treat!”

Michael grinned and nodded looking mischievously at me he said, “My mouth is watering already.”

Then he whispered, “I cannot wait to have you for my second dessert.  Jake’s heading over to a friend’s so we can go skinny dipping in the hot tub.”

I looked at him and saucily said, “Is that before or after the sex?”

Michael started kissing me and his hands were roving all over my body.

Jake said, “Stop that you two you’re steaming up the windows!”

Then he laughed and said, “We’ll be home soon.  I’m going to call Maria and tell her that you two want to be alone for dinner.”

Michael looked up, smiled and winked at Jake and said, “Sounds like a plan.”

Then his warm, luscious lips found mine.

The End

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