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Chapter 10

The Calamity Girl – The Promotion

It was around 11 pm when Lori and I packed our bags.  We only had a few hours sleep and then we caught our plane at 5 am on Sunday morning.  Lori used Tom’s ticket to get on the flight.

When the flight attendant asked, what happened to Tom, I told her, “I ditched him for the girl, she was better in bed.”

I said it as a joke, but the girl took it serious.  All I could think of was; here is another dumb blonde-haired woman.  Where do they find these dim wits anyways?

Lori was smiling like a content little cat, she said, “I need some rest after last night.  I’d have to say Chip was better than Dale.”

I agreed with her.  Never before in my life did I have two men at the same time.  The guys said anytime we come to Hawaii to look them up.  They have a little cottage near Volcano Mountain.

“Just Two Guys Surfing” was the name of their business; I thought boy it is so original, both gorgeous men but they are both as Dum as mud.  They were a good screw though so I gave them brownie points.

Lori grinned, “If Michael asks how your trip was, what will you say?”

I joked, “I’m going to tell him that I went nuts and experienced a sexual odyssey.  I do not care anymore about what people think of me.  I need to have more fun.

I think my Father was trying to get me to lighten up and roll with the punches.  I do not want to take the fall for something I did not do.  I think if David makes his bed, he needs to lay in it.  For the past few years, I was Colleen and Julie’s doormat.  Now David expects me to continue as his doormat.

I will not do it anymore.  I have had enough!  Julie has tried to heap a big pile of shit all around me and I am not going to let her or anyone else walk all over me.  If they do not like it, they can fire me and find someone else to sail their sinking ship.

I will wait until after I spend a week or two on Michael’s ranch before I tell them that this captain is going to abandon ship before she drowns in it.  You know that might be a better idea.  If Julie has nothing to strike at, she will be tired of her little game and then I can walk away.

Maybe I should work on building my fathers business up instead into a fantastic tabloid.  Sales have been down for quite sometime now.  My father would tell me to expand and build it up, that way it will increase in value too.  Now I would not make too much of a profit from it.

I would just be cutting my losses.  Besides, I can manage my own ship.  I will not sink.  As for the contract I signed with David, I am sure there’s some sort of loophole there.  Someway, somehow, it might take some digging, but Jim and Mac are good at that. Besides, as the saying goes, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

Lori said, “You know what you need to do then.”

I said, “I’m going to let things rest for a bit, after I go to Michael’s ranch.  I’ll make all the necessary changes.”

Both of us drifted off and on until our plane landed in Toronto, Ontario around 2:30 pm Hawaii time. It was 9:30 am Toronto time. Hawaii is HAST time which is -5 hours from EST Time.  It took some getting used to. It was chilly outside and I was already missing Hawaii.  I hugged Lori goodbye and headed home. That is when it hit me.  I was really missing Tom.  I was so used to text messaging goofy little messages to him. Suddenly my phone beeped and unknown number popped up.

I opened the message and it said, “Welcome home, nice to see your back.  Michael.”

It rather gave me the creeps.  Was he stalking something or me?  Michael knew I was only gone for a few days, still why the message?

I texted back, “How did you know I was here?”

I waited, and then my phone beeped, it said, “I passed you on the highway.  I’m on my way to New York City after my meeting.”

That reminds me; I am supposed to visit my sister.

I text back, “Sorry if I didn’t say hi; I’ve got a lot on my mind.”

Michael texted back, “I saw you get into a cab, but I was too far away for you to see me; so no problem.”

I wrote back, “Well that’s good, enjoy your trip.”

Michael texted me back with, “I’ll talk to you later.  I have some paperwork to do.”

I did not feel so creeped out now.  Well not really; funny how Michael seemed to be able to hear my thoughts and answer my misgivings; he always had the perfect answer for every question, how weird was that?  I unpacked my things and started doing my laundry.

I called my Sister Melissa, “How did the Fashion Show go?”

Melissa laughed, “Well hello to you too stranger, how you been?  The Fashion Show was a success.  My stuff is going to be mass produced; I might be signing a contract to start my own line of clothing with one of the major retail stores here in New York City.”

I said, “Good for you.  Listen I have two months off, should I pop over for a visit?”

Melissa said, “I’ll be really busy so if you want to visit it will have to be sometime today or tomorrow.  I’m taking a breather.”

I said, “Okay I’ll call you back.”

I called my travel agent Sandy Tucker, “Is it possible to get a flight today to New York City?”

Sandy clicked around on her computer, “There’s a cancellation at six pm. I can give you that one?”

I said, “Okay, I’ll take it.  I will pick up my ticket at the airport.  I’m running short on time.”

Sandy said, “Not a problem, by the way how’s Tom, he usually books your flights?”

I paused for a moment and said, “Tom’s no longer my personal assistant.  He’s decided to live down in the United States, got a better job offer there.”

Sandy sounded mournful, “That’s too bad.  Are you looking for a new assistant?”

I paused and wondered how should I answer that question?

I said, “I am but I’m going through a very strict screening process this time and background check, why do you want to apply?”

Sandy said, “My sister just graduated from University and isn’t having much luck in finding a public relations job here in Toronto.  I just wondered if you have any ideas where she can apply.”

I said, “I’m out of town for the next few weeks.  Tell her to send a resume to my fax number.  I will see what I can do.  I need to know what her hobbies are and who she knows.”

Sandy said, “She’s been living down in California with our mother for several years now while attending University.  She does not know anyone in Canada.  She is quiet and keeps to herself.

She is a good kid.  She has had the same friends for years.

I asked, “How old is she?”

Sandy said, “She’s twenty-three.”

I asked, “Has she always been the responsible type?”

Sandy said, “Yes she’s very organized and knows how to deal with customers.  She worked for our father for a few years.  He’ll be sad to lose her, but he knows she wants to stand on her own two feet now that she’s growing up.”

I asked, “What did your father do?

Sandy said, “Our father was in Public Relations for various music groups.  He booked their tours, hotels and has used my services quite often.”

I smiled, “A family run business.  Has he done any movie work?”

Sandy said, “More than likely he has done some composing for a few movies by now.”

I asked, “Does he know Michael Ferraras?”

Sandy Said, “Who doesn’t?  The man is an icon, everyone knows Michael, including me.  I’m his travel agent.”

I said, “Oh well that’s good.”

Sandy said, “Thanks for helping my sister.”

I said, “No problem.  By the way what’s her name?”

Sandy said, “It’s Clarice Tucker.”

I got off the phone and quickly folded my wash, re-packed and headed out the door.

The cab was there waiting for me as I loaded up my two suitcases.  I decided I will give Melissa some of my cast-offs in exchange for some new designs.

I also needed to get some casual clothes for the ranch.  I hardly ever dressed in jeans.  I would need to buy a few outfits in New York City.

I reached the airport in record time.  I grabbed an egg salad sandwich and some milk at the cafeteria, looked at the time and headed over to the ticket line.

The attendant asked, “Name Please.”

I said, “Rachel Tornquist.  I ordered my ticket today from Sandy’s Travels.  It should be here.”

The woman said, “One moment please.”

She got on the phone, and I was getting antsy, she got off the phone and said, “I’m sorry Miss Tornquist but there’s been a glitch in the system.  Please go wait over there, I’ve asked someone to take care of you.”

I was panicking, my plane was due to leave in an hour, and they had a glitch?  I groaned as I went and sat down.  I was soon drumming my fingers impatiently and that is when I heard my phone beep.

Another text message from Michael, “Nice to see you again, where are you off to now?”

I grinned and texted back, “Going to New York City to visit my Sister Melissa.  Wait what do you mean see me again?”

Suspicious I looked up and there was Michael grinning like a silly schoolboy.  He got up from two rows over, brought his suitcase and briefcase, and sat down beside me.

He said, “Are you on the six pm glitch flight too?”

I smiled and felt relieved, I said, “I thought it was just me having some bad luck again.”

Michael said, “I was on the four pm glitch flight, somehow it overbooked, when I dialed Sandy she mentioned that you were booked for six pm.”

I asked, “What about your helicopter?”

Michael turned red, “Well that actually is a friends.  I know the pilot Jake Ferris, we grew up together.”

I said, “Oh really and you led me to believe it was your own?”

Michael grinned, “I never ever said I owned the helicopter.  We didn’t discuss it.”

I said, “Ah I see.”

Suddenly a young attendant came our way, “Mr. Ferraras I am so sorry that we have inconvenienced you!  I’ve booked a special flight for you.”

Michael nodded and said, “My friend here is also flying to New York City with me.”

The young girl said, “Certainly, please some this way.”

We walked silently through the airport and boarded a small passenger plane.

I asked, “Do you always get the Hollywood treatment, wherever you go?”

Michael grinned, “Sometimes it pays to be famous.  However, in your case, it did not make any difference and I liked that.  Finally, a woman I could talk to that was not fawning over me because I am rich and famous.  Rachel meeting you was the best thing in the world for me.  It brought me down to reality and made me feel human again.”

I giggled, “Took you off your pedestal, didn’t I?  It must be daunting to meet a woman that doesn’t know a thing about you.”

Michael laughed, “You could say that.  It was a strange experience for me.  At first, I thought you were playing games with me and pretending not to know me, and then I realized you were being truthful.

It felt strange to be treated like a normal every day guy.  It had been so long since I’d felt any kind of normal lifestyle for sometime now.”

I asked, “Is Hollywood that glitzy that you forget where you came from?  How long have you been famous?”

Michael thought for a moment then said, “I guess about ten years now without skipping a beat.  I started in the business when I was twenty years old.”

I asked, “Who was your mentor?”

Michael grinned, “I’d have to say my travel agent Sandy.  Her father introduced me to the world of the stars.  I ran with it, after graduating from University when I was twenty – years old. I was a school genius and graduate from high school when I was fifteen.  I do not think I ever took the time to be a kid. Maybe that’s why my friends complain that I am too serious.”

I said, “I’ve never found you too serious?  You seem to have a sense of humor around me?”

Michael’s eyes softened, “There’s just something about you Rachel that brings out my good side, you make me want to laugh and have fun.”

I grinned, “I seem to have that effect on most people.  They all say the same thing.  I like to bring out peoples fun side.  I think Lori helps me be that way.  I have known her since I was a little girl; we grew up in the same neighborhood.  She’s always been a solid and true friend.”

Michael asked, “How is Tom?”

I looked at him for a moment, “Funny you should ask my friend of several years turned out to be a traitor.  I banished him from my life as soon as I found out that he was Julie’s little puppet.”

Michael looked sad, “I’ll bet that one hurt, you value your friendships.  I noticed a look of sadness around your eyes.  It wasn’t there when you left.”

I looked at Michael, “You know that you’re extremely perceptive for a man.  You always know what to say to me, why is that?”

Michael softly said, “I spend time in meditation.  I’ve tuned into my inner most thoughts and at times I pick up the thoughts of people around me, both good and bad.”

I looked at him; he was being serious with me.

I said, “Then you are a good ally to have and a dangerous enemy.”

Michael grabbed my hand and looked at me, he said, “Rachel the eyes are the windows to the soul, look into mine, it will help you trust me.”

I mocked him, “You’re not trying to hypnotize me are you?”

Then I looked into his dreamy dark grey blue eyes.  I saw a light in them, love, honesty; I stared at him for several minutes.

I saw care and compassion, strength and reason; a kindred soul and one that I could believe in; I had not realized that I had been holding my breath.  I felt nothing but relief wash over me.

I whispered, “Thanks, I needed to know that.  My heart has been troubled about you these past few days.”

Michael said, “I know, I wanted to reach out to you but I waited till the time was right.  I figured that I had creeped you out enough as it was.  Sorry about that.”

I was shocked, “My God you really can read minds that is so cool.  I’ll just have to keep my thoughts clean won’t I?”

Michael smiled, “Not to worry.  I only tune into certain thoughts that pertain to me.  I center on emotions, feelings, and uneasy thoughts that question my character.  I ignore the rest.  I don’t like to intrude in one’s most private thoughts.”

I said, “Because you can pick up on people’s wave lengths, do you think this can be attributed to your success?  You can tell someone what they want to hear?”

Michael was surprised, “I actually never really thought about it.  When I am trying to make a deal I might tune in, but usually I have some grand ideas that come to mind.  I believe they are my own thoughts and not a collection of others.  Now I’ll doubt myself and that was a very good question.”

I looked at him, “Any thought that you act on, is yours.  I believe several people have the exact same thought or idea because all of our minds connect in this Universe.

Some will take the thoughts and ideas and do something great with them.  Others forget the thought of they say gee I wish I had done that when I had the idea!”

Michael grinned, “You are a very profound and intelligent woman, and I find you very stimulating in more ways than one.”

I smiled and said, “Ditto.”

Our plane had arrived in New York City.

Michael said, “I’ll see you in a few days.  Do you want to go to the ranch straight from New York after your visit with your sister?  It would save you some travel time?”

I asked, “How are we getting there?”

Michael smiled, “My Jake will fly us there in a few days.”

I said, “Sure, give me a few days.  I need to do some shopping.”

Michael said, “I understand.  We will meet up in a few days time.  I’ll be staying at the Plaza Hotel if you need me.”

I said, “Thanks, bye now.”

I grabbed my things, got into the cab and headed towards my sister’s place in Greenwich Village.

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