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Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter Twenty - Four

            Wearing dark glasses and a cashmere scarf over her tell-tale red hair, Rosarita met with a man in a coffee shop who'd been recommended by her dentist as a person who could take care of anything. Of course, her dentist had not known what she wanted taking care of, and neither did the man - a sorry specimen in a grubby raincoat, with coarse, flyway hair and a bad facial tic. She loathed him on sight.

            'What can you do for me?' she said, choosing her words carefully in case he turned out to be an undercover cop.

            'Anything you be want in,' Madison,' the creature said. 'Garbage disposal, pet clean-up, gutters, drains, roofs.'

            'What's pet clean-up?' she asked, thinking it sounded kind of promising.

            'If you got animals who done messed up your rug- that Kinda thing,' he said, facial tic going full force. 'I be your man t' take care of it.'

            'How about,' she said, speaking very slowly and precisely, trying to make sure he understood what she was getting at, 'if I had a .dead animal?'

            'We can be removing the body, Madison'am,' he said, oblivious to her hint.

            She laughed, trying to keep it light. 'And if it was..a dead..person?'

            His facial tic accelerated. 'Oh, no, no, wouldn't be dealing with that Kinda thin,' he said. 'That be work for an undertaker.'

            Rosarita slammed down some money for the coffee., got up and left. It was obvious that her dentist had had no idea what she was looking for. Damn! How did you go about hiring a hit man when your father refused to help? She was very mad at Chas. He could take care of her problem with no trouble at all. So why wouldn't he? Bastard!

            That afternoon she had an appointment with her gynaecologiest. Not her favourite way of spending the day, but a boring necessity.

            Dr Shipp was a distinguished-looking man with silvery sideburns and a gentle touch. Rosarita was sure that he found her extremely attractive. Well, why wouldn't he, when she was lying with her feet in the stripes and he was getting a bird's-eye view of Paradise?

            'How are you feeling today, Rosarita?' Dr Shipp inquired, entering the examing room, his prissy-faced nurse hovering discreetly by his side.

            'How would you feel, doc, if you were lying here with your feet up in stirrups exposed for all to see?'

            'I would be glad that I had such an understanding doctor,' he said, putting on a pair of thin rubber gloves.

            She wondered if he could tell by examining her that she'd been indulging in a flurry of activity. Husband every night, boyfriend every other day- although for the last week she hadn't heard from Joel and had been unable to reach him, which was pissing her off.

            'You look a touch inflamed down there,' Dr Shipp said, probing and poking with his rubber-covered fingers.

            'I have a very enthusiastic husband,' she replied, with a saucy wink.

            'I'll prescribe some cream,' he said, ignoring her comment. 'Make sure that whenever you have sex you're always fully lubricated. It's most important.'

            Oh, he should only know!

            After a few more minutes Dr Shipp was finished with his examination. 'Let's take a look at those breasts of yours,' he said. 'Any unusual lumps?'

            Yes, Joel's balls, she wanted to say. Two little lumps of sugar, which I love trying to cram into my mouth. And I miss them

            'No, Doctor, everything's fine,' she said, as he palpated her perky man-made breasts. 'Although I have been feeling tired. It's probably because my in-laws were in town driving me totally nuts. Extremely demanding people.'

            'That could be it,' Dr Shipp said. 'I'll take a urine sample anyway, check what's going on.' He left the room while she dressed. Outside his office, she used her cellphone to call Joel.

            'Not in,' snapped Jewel. 'won't be back today.'

            'have you given him my messages?' Rosarita demanded, wondering where the hell he was. 'Sure have,' Jewel replied.

            Rosarita didn't believe her. The girl was a bitch. That was obvious to anyone. She hurried out of the building, hailed a cab, and sulked all the way home.


            'That was your Mexicana honey again,' Jewel announced, hovering in the doorway of Joel's office, her corn-rowed hair newly blonde in the front. 'She doesn't give up, does she?'

            'Keep saying I'm out. She'll go away,' Joel said. 'I had to change my home phone number.'

            'I know,' Jewel said, tapping her lethal nails against the door jamb. 'You forgot to give it to me.'

            'Has Varoomba called?'

            'Varoomba?' Jewel shrieked, penciled eyebrows shooting up. 'What kind've a name is that?'

            'You heard,' Joel replied. 'Did she call?'

            'Not as far as I know.'

            'If she does, put her right through.'

            'Yes, sir,' Jewel said, returning to her post.

            As soon as she was gone, Joel opened his desk drawer and took out a small glassine envelope of coke. Emptying out the contents, he arranged the white powder neatly on his desk-top. Then he snorted it line by line.

            He couldn't believe that some dumb stripper was giving him a hard time. Varoomba had promised she'd call and come to his office. He'd offered her five hundred dollars to do so. So where was the bitch?

            Joel was unused to women letting him down. He picked up the phone and spoke to one of his super-model girlfriends. If they weren't away on some highly paid modeling gig, one or other of his harem of supermodels was usually available. They liked to be seen as much as he liked to be seen with them. It was a mutual let's get-our photo-in-the-gossip columns society. And they got off on the coke and champagne and all the other perks of going out with Joel Blaine. Frankly, he found most of them sexually unexciting -too stick thin and certainly not into public sex. Try fucking a supermodel in the back of your Rolls with an avid audience and you'd get exactly nowhere. Plus they never gave head- they considered themselves far too famous and pretty.

            There were exceptions. Joel knew most of them. He fixed up a date with an anorexic brunette for that evening, then decided to leave early.

            Jewel was sitting at her desk outside his office painting her alarming nails in intricate red and white stripes.

            'If anybody needs me, I've gone to a meeting,' he said, thinking that any guy who got his cock within two feet of those lethal nails needed serious therapy.

            'Sure, Joel,' Jewel said, thinking, who is he kidding? The last legitimate meeting he'd attended had been months ago.

            Joel pressed the elevator button and waited impatiently for it to arrive while trying to make up his mind how to spend the rest of the afternoon. He had choices. He could drop in on a weekly poker game with the guys, or he could go work out at the gym-not one of his main priorities. Then again he could drive straight home, settle down on his oversize couch in front of his oversize TV and watch sports; maybe place a few bets with his bookie.

            As these thoughts went through his head, the elevator doors opened and there stood his most unfavourite person in the world- Marika, his father's significant other.

            Marika was a very tall, very him Asian woman with ebony hair pulled back into a severe bun, deadly expression of a sphinx. She and Leon Blaine had lived together for several years, ever since Leon had dumped his wife of thirty-five years, giving her almost a billion dollars and the opportunity to start anew. Joel's mother had promptly hot-footed it to New Zealand where she'd shacked up with a farmer, and was currently living happily ever after.

            Joel had visited his mother once. Once had been more than enough.

            'Hello, Joel,' said Marika, barely cracking a smile.

            'Hello, Marika,' he replied, stepping into the elevator.

            'Going down?' she said.

            Oh, did he have an answer for her!

            He nodded.

            'Your father and I were discussing you this morning,' Marika said, snapdragon eyes boring right through him.

            'Really?' Joel answered. He hadn't run into Leon for a few weeks, and he certainly didn't miss him. 'What were you saying?'

            'Your father has decided to go to Vegas for the upcoming championship fight. He'd like you to accompany him.'

            Shit! Joel thought. What the hell was Leon going to Vegas for? Joel already had his ringside ticket for the fight, and plans to spend time with the guys- not to mentioned hitting all the casinos and strip clubs. Now, if Leon wanted company, he'd have to be there for him. what a goddamn waste!

            That was the problem with having a rich and powerful father: if he wished to inherit he had to jump -exactly like the girls he dated. Trouble was, he'd been jumping ever since he could remember, and he was getting tired of it.

            'Sounds good,' he mumbled, attempting to summon up a modicum of enthusiasm. 'We'll take the plane early,' Marika said, still staring. 'That way we can have dinner and see a show.' We, Joel thought. Was Leon dragging along the prison guard? Well, if that was the case - 'Should I bring someone?' he said.

            'Do you have someone suitable?'

            Boy, would he like to ram it to this cunt! She was so fucking rude he couldn't stand it. 'How about Carrie Hanlon?' he said, naming the top supermodel of the moment.

            'Are you dating Hanlon?' Marika asked, barely able to conceal her surprise that he could score such a prize.

            'No big deal,' Joel said casually. 'Carrie and me, we see each other on a fairly steady basis.'

            'Does Leon know?'


            'She's very pretty,' Marika allowed, her tone indicating that she was amazed that a successful supermodel like Carrie Hanlon would choose him.

            'Yeah, she is and, uh.nice, too.'

            The truth of the matter was that he had met Carrie Hanlon once at a party, and she was an utter bitch. She'd turned down his offer of a date, and a movie-actor friend of his who'd taken her out on two occasions had told him she gave 'balls -breaker' a whole new meaning. But, still, every woman had her price..and it shouldn't be too difficult to find out what Carrie Hanlon's was.

            'I'll tell your father it's all arranged,' Marika said, as the elevator reached ground level and she swept out. 'He'll be pleased.'

            Marika of course, had a chauffeured car waiting outside the building. Joel had not managed to score such a perk although he did drive a Maserati, which his mother had bought him for his last birthday.

            'Goodbye, Marika,' he muttered, as the elevator continued down to the parking level. 'Always a pleasure.'

            Now he had to work on getting Carrie Hanlon for the Vegas trip. Oh, well, at least it gave him something to do.


            Two days later Rosarita awoke with a feeling of deep gloom. She hated having Dex home all day, hated seeing his handsome face lying beside her in bed when she woke up, abhorred having to eat every meal with him.

            'I'm staying in bed today,' she announced. 'I'm not feeling well.'

            'What's the matter?' he asked.

            'I have a headache,' he asked.

            'I have a headache,' she said, 'and my stomach's queasy. It was that Chinese food last night.' She glared at him accusingly. 'You picked the restaurant. I told you it was shit.'

            'No, Rosarita,' he said patiently. 'You picked the restaurant.'

            'Well,' she said truculently, refusing to let him off the hook, 'you took me there.'

            'I'm sorry you're not feeling good,' he said. 'Is there anything I can get you?'

            'Some juice,' she said, pulling the sheet to her chin.

            'That's not good for your stomach. Too much acid.'

            'Then don't ask me if I want anything,' she said peevishly.

            'I'll have Conchita make you a cup of herbal tea and some toast,' he said, wishing she could be a little nicer to him. right now he needed love and support, not constant bitching.

            'Sounds very appetizing,' she sneered, stepping out of bed, grabbing her silk robe and marching into the bathroom before him.

            The reason she was in such a bad mood was because it had started to occur to her that Joel was never going to accept her calls again. He was being utterly unfair, although she knew why he was doing it. Joel was obviously furious that she was still married and hadn't dumped Dex. He'd had enough. And rightly so. If the situation were reversed she would feel exactly the same way.

            One thing she knew for sure, she was not letting Joel Blaine slip away: he was far too important a catch.

            She, Rosarita Vincent Falcon, was going to be the first Mrs Joel Blaine - even if it killed her


Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Chapter 56

Chapter 57

Chapter 58

Chapter 59

Chapter 60

Chapter 61

Chapter 62