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Old 09-20-2006, 06:23 AM
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Conceited Chapters 5 - 8


(C) 2006 Danielle Phillips Gilded Pen Publications



V




It had been a couple of months since the drama-filled weekend that included two former flames getting into a fight and another getting arrested. After the random ambush by the girls at the gym and the confrontation with one of Darren's friends at the mall, Renee decided that it would be best to avoid anything further by just sticking with one man for the time being. From the looks of things, that man was going to be Aldo; after her first night out with Aldo, Renee knew she would have to make some changes. Aldo was a true renaissance man and an intense intellectual; he was also fun-loving and easygoing and seemed to have a constant thirst for knowledge despite his own intelligence. On their first date he took Renee out on a yacht where they had a candlelight dinner on deck. Although he admitted the boat belonged to his uncle, the idea for the dinner was all his own. Renee admired him in every way; while they were dating he had been promoted at his job and Renee noticed that his accent was getting better as time progressed. But the romance did not stop there; Aldo sent Renee long stem roses everyday after their date, each day the roses were a different color.

"Aldo this is too much," Renee lied, trying to seem modest, "I can't keep accepting all of these gifts from you."

"I like doing nice things for you," Aldo said, "and I had a great time with you the other night, so just take that as a token of my appreciation."

"Well, I can't just accept this," Renee said, "you've been great to me and I don't want to seem like I'm just taking things from you, what can I do to return the favor?" Aldo paused for a moment and thought before answering.

"To be honest, and this may sound crazy to you, but I have been here for months now and I've yet to have a home cooked meal. If you could do that for me, that would mean a lot." Renee was shocked, this is when she usually heard some explicit request that was sexual in nature; but Aldo, always proving to be different from the norm, pleasantly surprised her once again.

"You're so adorable, ofcourse I will." said Renee, "What do you like to eat?"

"Chicken and rice is my favorite; all of the places I've gone to around here can't seem to get it right, either the chicken is too bland, or the rice is under-cooked."

"Say no more, just give me directions to your place and I'll have everything ready for tonight."

"I'm actually having some work done on my house right now and it's not really fit for company at the moment, can we have dinner at your place?" They made plans to meet later that night and Renee, realizing she had only given herself three hours to get ready and make dinner, rushed to get things started. As dinner cooked Renee got herself ready for Aldo, but was interrupted by her cell phone; she snatched it off of her vanity table and looked at the caller ID; seeing it was Cherie, she answered.

"Hey hot stuff, haven't heard much from you lately," Cherie said, "Aldo must be keeping you pretty occupied."

"Yeah, sorry I haven't been around; after that fight in my front yard and Darren getting arrested, I thought it would be best to lay low for a while."

"Don't even worry about it, I understand; that crazy chick from the gym managed to get my home number and harassed me for four straight hours last night. I had to change my number again this morning."

"That girl is crazy, why doesn't she just get a life?"

"You know, I asked her that and her response was that I ruined her life, so now she's all about ruining mine."

"She finds out her husband, who is supposed to love and take care of her, is cheating on her with you and she claims you ruined her life?" Renee said in disbelief. "If anything you did her a favor! She needs to move on with her life and take care of that baby she claims they have together."

"I agree, but she's obviously one of those females who chooses to direct her anger towards the woman even though it was her boyfriend who did the dirt; so there's little to no chance in getting her to comprehend how pointless it is to bother me."

"You're right, I'm sure she'll get bored and disappear eventually."

"Exactly, but enough about that psycho, what are you up to?"

"Getting ready for Aldo."

"That European stud is taking you out again, huh? Which 4-star restaurant are you two going to enjoy tonight?"

"Actually, we're going to be dining in tonight."

"Oh...I see," Cherie said in a slow, mischievous tone, "so you're heading to his place tonight? Has he put in enough work to get the goods already?"

"Nobody said anything about sex, Cherie, at this point it's just dinner at my place and that's it."

"Dinner at your place, you're going to let him come over for dinner?"

Cherie asked confusedly; Renee typically did not allow a man to come to her house or even know where she lived until at least 3 months into knowing him. The reason for this was, while the men she dated were usually always kind and generous to her, some became extremely possessive and jealous very early on; it was these men that Renee wanted to keep from knowing where she lived.

"Yes, I know it's breaking my rule, but this guy is harmless. I mean he's been nothing but a total gentleman and romantic. I don't want to screw this up, so it's okay to extend myself a little in this case I guess."

"Wow, I'm shocked," Cherie said, still in disbelief, "This guy sounds like he might be the one."

They continued to talk as Renee finished getting ready and afterwards she went downstairs to check on the food and get ready for her dinner with Aldo. As she prepared the table, Renee was startled at a pounding on her door. Beginning to regret inviting Aldo over already, she rushed to the front door and opened it to find not Aldo standing there, but Nick.

"Nick?!" Renee said, stunned by Nick's unexpected visit. "What are you doing here?"

"That's what you have to say to me after I get into that fight with your boy toy a few weeks ago?" Nick yelled as he looked at her in shock; his intense green eyes were surrounded with swollen bruises and his thick, curly down hair was disheveled.

"Nick, this really isn't a good time," Renee said quickly, she glanced at the clock on her living room wall and saw it was nearing the time that Aldo would arrive.

"Make it a good time damnit!" Nick yelled, scowling at Renee through his two black eyes. "I got in a fight with some classless, scumbag that you've been seeing behind my back and I want to know what's going on with you, who was that guy?!?"

"Nick, I understand your mad and I will explain everything to you, but I can't discuss this with you right now. I'm sorry you got into a fight, but that was weeks ago and there's nothing I can do to change that."

"You can explain yourself! That's what you can do!" Nick exclaimed as he spread out his arms in exasperation, "Explain who the that guy was and why he was over here; I mean look at me, don't you think you owe me an explanation?" Renee did not notice Aldo standing in back of Nick until he finished speaking. Nick must have felt someone behind him, because he spun around and glared at Aldo angrily.

"What the hell are you doing just standing behind me like that, man?" Nick yelled, "Who the hell are you supposed to be?"

"My name is Aldo and I have a date with Renee tonight," Aldo replied in a quiet voice.

"A what?!?" Nick exclaimed, then turned to Renee and glared at her too, "You sure don't waste any time do you Renee? I mean a guy that you've been lying to for almost 6 months gets in a fight in front of your house and your next move is to just find another one? You're a whore!" Renee had an angry retort ready for Nick, but Aldo stepped in before she could say a word.

"Excuse me," Aldo said, still maintaining his composure, "as I said before, Renee and I have a date; you're being rude and obviously this conversation is not going anywhere, so now I want you to leave."

"Oh really?!?" Nick said sarcastically, taking off his jacket, "Well why don't you make me leave Pierre, or whatever the hell your name is. I don't know where your funny-talkin' ass is from, but where I'm from, when bitches pull stupid stunts like this one here did, they have to explain themselves or they get disrespected."

"I don't care about your ridiculous philosophy," Aldo said sternly, this time with a hint of annoyance in his voice, "just leave her alone."

"Or else what?!?" Nick screamed, Aldo moved so quickly that at first, Renee did not even realize he had hit Nick. Nick fell to the ground and lay flat on his back; he was knocked out cold. Renee stared at Nick for a moment as he lay motionless on her front walkway. Nick was a nice guy and did not deserve any of this, but his temper was getting the best of him lately; for the second time within only a few week's time he had gotten into an altercation in front of Renee's apartment again because of it.

"So," Renee said, trying to think of what to say, "you...ready for dinner?" To her surprise, Aldo smiled and nodded his head as he stepped over Nick and entered Renee's apartment.





* * *





"I can't believe you stayed after what happened," Renee said to Aldo. They were laying in her bed completely naked after a heated session of what could only be described as pure marathon sex. Between the excitement from Nick's intrusion and Renee's good cooking, their emotions got the best of them and Cherie turned out to be right about what the outcome for the evening would be after all.

"Aren't you angry about Nick coming over here like that?"

"No," Aldo replied, "he is just angry because he has two black eyes. I am pretty sure you did not give them to him...did you?" Renee laughed.

"No, it wasn't me; but I guess it was kind of my fault..."

"It does not matter; it's no excuse for him to come over here and create a scene like that, he was wrong."

"Well, I'm just glad your not mad at me." Renee said, she moved closer to Aldo in the bed and laid her head on his chest.

"I'm not mad, but I am worried about you."

"Worried? Why?"

"Well, it does makes me uncomfortable that a man just came over here like that; but only because he was so angry. That guy had a pretty bad temper, what if he let his temper get the best of him and he turned his anger on you?"

"Who Nick? Oh, he would never...I mean, yeah he's loud and very passionate when he's angry, but..."

"You can never be too sure, Renee. Just please be careful, I care about you."





* * *





The next day it was beautiful outside and perfect for sailing, Aldo and Renee decided they would enjoy the nice weather on his uncle's boat again. Aldo was still embarrassed about the work being done on his house and insisted they meet at Renee's place again; but Renee was concerned that the fights taking place in front of her apartment might put her in danger of being evicted, so after some convincing, she finally convinced Aldo to let her meet him at his place. Renee got dressed and quickly made her way to Aldo's house across town. However, when she got there, there were two police cars in front of his house. Alarmed, Renee parked her car, got out and rushed towards his house. As she got closer, she saw two policemen handcuffing a pretty brunette; she was in total hysterics and violently thrashed her body to avoid the handcuffs.

"Get off of me!" The girl screamed at the police officers, "Get off me! Why are you doing this to me? Why?? It's him, not me! I'm not the one you want, it's him!!!" Renee stared at the girl as she continued to struggle to free herself from the cops; still unable to restrain her enough to put on the handcuffs, they wrestled her to the ground and placed cuffs on both her wrists and ankles. The girl continued to curse and scream as they lifted her and placed her in the back of the police car. Renee felt someone touch her shoulder; startled, she turned around and saw it was Aldo.

"What's going on," Renee asked quizzically, "who is that girl and why are the police here?" Before Aldo could answer, a police office walked up to Aldo and handed him sheets of paper.

"You're all set sir," the office said in drag voice, "here's the police report and if you want to press charges we just need you to come into the precinct for that." Aldo thanked the officer and watched as he got into the police car they had placed the girl in earlier and left.

"Aldo?" Renee said, still waiting on an answer; she knew a crazy ex-girlfriend when she saw one and until she heard differently, this would be no exception.

"Come on," Aldo said, still staring at the police car as it got smaller and smaller in the distance, "I'll tell you on the way to the docks." As they made their way tot he docks, Aldo explained all about the girl and who she was.

"Her name is Elena, she is my ex-girlfriend," Aldo explained, "I met her when I first came here. I fell in love with her and I thought she was in love with me until I came home one day and she was having sex with her ex-boyfriend on our living room floor. I knocked him out, just like Nick last night; and that same night I kicked her out of the house we had moved into together; destroyed many of her things out of anger too. I never paid her back for the things I broke or ever gave her an opportunity to explain herself."

"So, then she's bitter?" Renee asked, finally getting some clarification on what happened.

"Exactly," Aldo answered, "there is a lot of emotional involved and she just doesn't know how to handle herself now. I understand how she feels to a certain extent, but I had proposed to her just two months before I caught her, so I am set in my decision. Elena won't accept that, but she's going to have to; this is the third time I have had to call the police on her because she came to my house throwing a tantrum. It's the reason why I did not want you to come over just yet, I'm sorry I lied to you."

"Aldo," Renee began, "if anyone can understand what's going on with you right now it's me; just look at what happened at my place last night!"

"I know, but I am a man; I should have more control over my life and now allow a female to impact things so much."

"She could never change the way I feel about you." Aldo smiled that sexy smile of his and squeezed Renee's left thigh in the car as they continued to his uncle's yacht. When they got to the docks, they grabbed a quick bite to eat at a walk-up seafood restaurant and then set sail on the yacht where once they were far out enough, they stopped and went swimming. Once night had fallen, the two sailed back to the docks.

"Come home with me tonight," Renee said seductively as she began to massage Aldo's thigh in the car.

"Not tonight," Aldo said reluctantly, "it's not safe right now."

"Why not?" Renee asked, the rejection pained her heart strings and she demanded an explanation, "She doesn't know where I live, let's just go to my place."

"I don't know whether or not she knows where you live," Aldo replied, "I thought she was finally out of the picture until today; I haven't heard from her in months. But just as always she comes again out of nowhere."
"She can't possibly be out jail that quickly where she could come over my house and start trouble; and if she does so what? We'll just call the police like she did earlier."

"No Renee, it's not right to take the risk, especially since other things have happened in front of your apartment in the last few weeks." Renee was furious but decided to say nothing more. This was the first time she had heard the word no in a while and she was trying to figure out how to deal with it. Aldo saw the hurt in her face and the anger in her eyes. "I'm sorry, I'll understand if you don't want to see me anymore."

For a moment, Renee thought about doing just that. The sharp sting of rejection angered her as she realized that despite everything, the evening was ruined. But as she looked at Aldo, she saw the sincerity in his eyes and realized that he was only looking out for her. Most men would have kept the fact that they have a crazy ex-girlfriend after them a secret, but Aldo held nothing back and that was a good indication to Renee that he was genuine in what he was saying.

"It's okay Aldo," Renee said, returning her hand to his thigh, "I don't want to stop seeing you, I'm just disappointed that this girl managed to mess things up."

"I'm sorry," Aldo apologized again, "I would like nothing more than to come in; especially after last night. Trust me, this gives me no pleasure, but I can rest assure that you'll be okay until I know everything is straightened out with her and she will not bother me any longer."
They continued back to his house where Renee's car was parked. After a long kiss goodnight, Renee got into her car and went home; all the while with a feeling of uneasiness. Was it concern about the female who was arrested at his home? Not really? Renee had seen enough of her share of jealous and bitter females to know that they would stop at nothing to make someone miserable. So, what was it that was really bothering her? She spent the remainder of the drive home searching her mind for what it was that was eating away at her and by the time she walked through the front door of her apartment she had finally figured it out. Renee was falling for Aldo, she was consumed with him. Even though she started off wanting nothing more than what he could give to her, she now realized that she wanted far more than that. But it was not lavish gifts and dinner dates that she wanted, but things like his time and affection. It was the first time in years Renee had this feeling and she did not know how to deal with it. She laid down that night in her bed with thoughts of Aldo and their late night swim; she inhaled his sweet musky scent that still lingered around her and feel asleep.




VI




"You're actually going to keep seeing this guy?" Cherie exclaimed as they dined on grilled shrimp Caesar salads on their lunch break form work. Although Renee was quick to accept Aldo's account of what had happened the previous day, Cherie was not quite that forgiving.

"Yes," Renee replied, "I know it sounds crazy, but you have to take everything into consideration."

"I can't believe this," Cherie lamented, "you don't even sound like yourself anymore. How are you going to just watch some crazy bitch getting arrested from dropping by unexpectedly at his house causing trouble and continue to see him as if nothing happened?"

"Because its not his fault Cherie, he can't help what she does. All he can do is let her know it's over and make it a point not to lead her on. I don't want to hold him responsible for her actions."

"True, but Renee he really should have had that situation put to rest before he decided to start dating someone new; I mean, you shouldn't have to deal with this, it's his ex, it shouldn't be your problem!"

"It's not an issue Cherie, the girl knows nothing about me and poses no real threat to me in anyway. Besides, if she messes with me, by the time my father gets done with her in the courts system she'll be sorry she ever did."

"Well, just be careful Renee, crazy ex-girlfriends are just demons taken a human form."

"Uh oh, still having trouble with that ex-girlfriend we ran into at the gym?"

"Her name is Amaya, and 'trouble' is putting it mildly. The girl is a complete psycho, you noticed I'm driving a rental?"

"I was wondering where the BMW was hiding, I thought you were getting it detailed."

"No, I'm getting it fixed; body work to be exact. I don't know when she did it, but at some point during the night when I was occupied with my bus boy, this bitch takes a baseball bat to my car. My neighbor saw the whole thing and got the license plate number which is how I found out her name and everything. She's gonna be sorry, I have to take off from work tomorrow so I can go downtown and get everything situated because I'm pressing charges, that bitch is either going to pay for my car or go to jail."

"Sounds like she needs both if you ask me; damn, I'm sorry Cherie. I had no idea things had escalated so much. If you want, you can crash at my place for a while until things die down; you know my house is always open to you."

"Thanks sweetie, but I'm a big girl, I'll be fine." Cherie said flatly, sipping her grapefruit juice, " I know she expects me to lash out and fight her in the street, but that's not my style. I'm going to go the other route and take her money, freedom, or both."

"Sounds like a plan."

"And what about you?" Cherie asked curiously.

"What about me? Aldo isn't seeing that girl anymore, they're broke up."

"Okay, but that isn't stopping her from dropping by his house unannounced to terrorize him. You have to lookout for yourself."

"And I will, but I like this guy and I don't think I should keep him at arm's length because some girl won't let go of the past." Cherie stared at Renee for a moment in disbelief.

"Damn Renee, was he that good in bed?"

Facing defeat, and seeing that they would reach no resolution in the matter, Cherie shook her head in frustration and finished her salad. Renee picked at hers, her appetite wasn't what it had been when they first arrived; she had too many things on her mind. Should she really be concerned about Elena? Was she really an issue? Was Aldo being truthful with her or was he playing down his role in the situation? Renee did not know the answers to any of these questions, all she knew was that Aldo made her happy and that when they spent time together it felt as if she were the only female in the world. Ultimately, that was what Renee longed for and she decided that as long as he could maintain that aspect of their relationship, little else mattered. Renee wanted Cherie to be happy for her, but if she couldn't then that was just how things were going to be. Renee didn't quite understand what Cherie saw in a bus boy who didn't have the cash flow to take her out, but she saw Cherie was happy with him and accepted him all the same. With this revelation, Renee felt her appetite returning and eagerly finished her salad.





* * *






That evening when Renee returned home from work, there were 5 dozen long stem red and white roses with a big fluffy teddy bear waiting on her door steep. She was all smiles as she took the items into her house, taking note of the jealous neighbors nearby who were gawking at her from their windows. Just a few weeks earlier there was a fight in front of her house, and now here was getting gifts. Renee ate up the attention and excitedly took the rest of the gifts inside and then called Aldo. He answered on the first ring and Renee felt an intense heat sweep over her body as she listened to his warm greeting and the smile in his voice.

"Do you likes your gifts sweetheart?" Aldo asked in his sexy accent, "I know how much you like nice tings."

"Yes, I did sweetheart, and thank you. Everything is beautiful and that teddy bear is adorable, I live teddy bears."

"Yes, I know. I saw them when we were in your room at your apartment so I decided to break them all and get you the biggest one I could find. I also wanted to apologize again for allowing Elena to ruin our evening last night; I now wish I would have just went with you, I wanted you so bad last night."

"I want you too, baby, but you did what you thought was best."

"Yes, I know, but I don’t like telling you 'no', I want to give you what you want." Renee laughed.

"I love getting my way all the time too, but I realize that won't be the case al the time. It's okay sweetie, just get everything straightened out like I said earlier and then we can have all the time we want with each other."

"I love how patient you are sweetheart, that's why I didn't want you to have to wait for long. I have a restraining order against her now and if she comes near me, she will immediately go to jail with no questions asked. So, you can have your way with me now if you like." Renee smiled as she listened to him, she couldn't believe how much he went out of his way for her.

"Well," Renee said, "if you get a chance I would love to see you tonight..." Before Renee could finish her sentence, there was a knock at her door. She ran to the door and threw it open to find a smiling Aldo with a bottle of Chateau Andrea. Renee took the bottle from him and led him by his hand into her apartment. When he closed the door behind him she turned into a different woman, throwing the bottle onto the couch and backing him into the wall; their lips met in a series of hot, wet kisses. Renee felt her strapless dress fall around her ankles as she began to undress him; if Aldo had not picked her up to continue their heated session upstairs, they probably would have stayed at the foot of the stairs. Renee stretched herself out on her large king size bed as she totally immersed herself in Aldo's love making. Her body trembled at the touch of his hand as he caressed her inner thighs; she moaned when she felt his warm lips stroke her nipple, and cried out as his teeth lightly scathed the nape of her neck. There was no doubt that her neighbors heard Renee's screams of ecstasy as she abandoned herself to Aldo's sexual prowess; when the time came, she had a climax so intense it sent hot tears streaming down her face. Renee lay there, trying not to look at Aldo. Although she appeared motionless; mentally, Renee was in a frenzy. A flood of emotions overwhelmed her as she tried to register what had just happened.

"Why won't you look at me?" Aldo said as he slowly massaged Renee's back. "What's wrong?" Renee took a deep breath before answering.

"Nothing is wrong," Renee said, "everything couldn't be more right. I'm just a little overwhelmed, that's all."

"Please don't feel that way," Aldo pleaded as he turned her to face him, "I don't want you to feel overwhelmed by me; because I feel like I could never have enough of you. If you feel overwhelmed by me and can not be with me anymore, I would go crazy." Renee smiled and gave him a deep kiss, drinking in the sweet nectar of sensual euphoria. She now knew without a doubt that this was the man that would change her life.




VII




Renee knew that Cherie was not going to be at work the next day because she told her she would be going downtown and arranging to have a restraining order placed against Amaya; but she figured at the very least Cherie would call her when everything was settled. However, getting legal matters in order could always be time consuming, so Renee decided that she would just stopped by Cherie's apartment after work. However, once Renee arrived, she found an ambulance as well as two police cars in front of Cherie's apartment building. Panicked, Renee parked her car and ran to Cherie's apartment building in her heels; just short of reaching Cherie's walkway, a policeman stopped her.

"Ma'am, we're not permitting anyone in this area for the time being, " the officer said sternly and he extended an outstretched palm to stop her.

"We're going to need you to go back please."

"Cherie Lathun is my best friend," Renee said quickly, "please tell me, is she okay?"

"There was an assault, and that's all I can say for now," the officer said. Renee felt sharp pains race through her stomach with frustration and fear. She felt helpless as she looked around at all the commotion, not knowing what was going on.

"Look," the police officer said in a hushed voice, "she's going to St. Andrews Memorial Hospital if you want to check on her." Renee gave him a quick smile and nod before racing back to her; this time on the way back, she was stopped just short of reaching her car, this time she was stopped by Cherie's mother.

"Mrs. Lathun!" Renee exclaimed as she embraced the petite blond with a striking resemblance to her best friend, "What happened! Renee was supposed to go downtown to get a restraining order against this girl..."

"I know all about it," Cherie's mother responded, "I was concerned when Cherie never called me to let me know what was going on with the restraining order, so I came here and found all of this..." Cherie's mother managed to only get out part of the last sentence as she choked back tears. Renee managed to console her enough so she could drive and they followed the ambulance to the hospital. As they sat in the waiting room, Cherie's mother got on the phone to inform family members about what had happened; while she was on the phone, Renee saw Dawn heading towards the cafeteria.

"Dawn!" Renee cried out, Dawn stopped and looked at Renee awkwardly as she rushed up to her. "Dawn, Cherie was admitted here a little while ago, do you know what's going on with her?"

"What?" Dawn said; Renee was surprised at her expression as it went from one of discontent to actual concern. "Cherie's here?"

"Yes," Renee answered, "I was hoping you might have some news on her, we've been sitting here for almost an hour and her mother and I are going crazy."

"I have a friend who works as an ER Technician," Dawn said, her face still wrought with worry, "I'll see if I can find anything out from her."

"Thank you," Renee said, and returned to her seat next to a distraught Mrs. Lathun. Two hours later, the doctor came out to see them; however, only family were permitted to see Cherie at this time. Renee watched angrily as her mother walked back to the patient rooms. Dawn emerged from the patient wing as Mrs. Lathun went in and Renee sprang to her feet.

"Were you able to find out anything?" Renee asked eagerly.

"Yeah," Dawn said quietly, "let's step outside for a minute." They went outside to a small courtyard that held a few tables and chairs.

"Cherie was jumped by three girls this afternoon when she got home from running errands downtown." Dawn explained; Renee felt the same surge of horror she felt when she first saw the ambulance and police cars in from of Cherie's apartment. Terrified, she listened as Dawn continued.

"Evidently, the girl Cherie was attempting to take the restraining order out on was waiting for her when Cherie got home and they all beat her up pretty bad."

"Those bitches!" Renee yelled, "All of this over one lying, cheating, scumbag? I can't believe this!" Renee was outraged, but Dawn appeared to be indifferent. "And I suppose you think this is Cherie's fault, right?"

"Huh?" Dawn asked confusedly, thrown off by the sudden change in topic.

"You don't seem very concerned about Cherie; I'm guessing that's due to some theory that this is her fault, right!"

"Renee, calm down!" Dawn exclaimed, "Look, I'm sorry Cherie's in here; I'm not being insensitive, it's just that I work here and see these things everyday." Renee had not heard a word she said, she was already crying and fishing through her purse for some tissue. Dawn reached into the pocket of her scrubs and pulled out a small packet of tissues and handed then to Renee.

"I'm sorry, I snapped at you," Renee said, "I just can't believe this happened to Cherie. I mean she hasn't even seen this guy in three months and all of a sudden this girl comes out of nowhere and starts harassing her for no reason." They walked back inside of the waiting area and Dawn returned to work while Renee waited for news from Mrs. Lathun. Another hour passed before Mrs. Lathun emerged from the patient wing.

"Renee," Mrs. Lathun said, looking much better from when they had arrived earlier, "I convinced them to give you a few minutes with Cherie, come on." Renee once again sprang to her feet and followed Cherie's mother through the double doors into the patient wing of the ER where they passed several people that were having their needs administered too, some with closed curtains, others exposed; they eventually went to a bed behind a closed curtain where she was being kept. Renee felt the sting of tears in her eyes as she looked at her friend; the right side of Cherie's was covered in bruises and a thick bandage was taped over her right eye; her lip was busted, a small cut was a cut on her chin, and her left arm was in a sling. Renee rushed to her and hugged her gently so as not to hurt her.

"Cherie!" Renee exclaimed, "Are you okay? What happened?"

"I'll be back in a few minutes," Cherie's mother said quickly, and then disappeared behind the curtain.

"They were waiting for me when I got back from the court house today," Cherie said, "I parked my car and was walking up to my door when they came from around the corner of my building."

"What is her problem? Why is she really doing this to you."

"Remember when I told you she said I ruined her life, so she was all about ruining mine? Well, she was serious when she said that; evidently this guy Terry was the bread winner in the house and supported them completely, after our affair became exposed, he left her and has not paid one dime of child support since. Then, if that's not bad enough, she says this restraining order I took out on her is a violation of some probation she's on and now she's going to have to go to jail. I guess this is supposed to be all my fault, thus the beating."

"I can't believe this broad!" Renee exclaimed, seemingly losing her collective mind, " Where is she? I'm gonna kill that bitch!"

"In jail ofcourse," Cherie said matter-of-factly, "my neighbors called the police and they pulled up right in the middle of everything. I don't remember any of that though, I was unconscious by then."

"Oh my God," Renee said, still in shock, "I just can't believe this...are you okay? Are you going to be all right?"

"I'm fine, just cut and bruised; it will all heal. We used to scrape our knees on the pavement all the time when we fell off our bikes when we were little, remember?" Renee knew Cherie was just trying to make her laugh, but she couldn't even crack a smile; she couldn't laugh when her friend was lying in a hospital bed like this.

"When can you leave?" Renee asked, drying tears off of her face.

"I have to stay for the weekend," Cherie said, "they just want to make sure everything is fine before they release me so I don't have any complications when I get home."

They talked for a few more minutes and then Cherie's mother came back with the doctor to let them know visiting hours were over and Cherie had to rest. Renee drove home in silence; she was depressed, hurt, and wrought with worry; things had gone completely out of control. She had no idea how she would get through the next two days with her best friend, her rock, someone who was almost like a sister in the hospital. Renee slumped to her front steps and slowly began to unlock her front door.

"Renee," a voice said from behind her, Renee spun around on her heels to find Aldo standing behind her, "sweetheart where were you? I have been calling you all night."

"I'm so sorry, Aldo," Renee said, her voice tired, "I turned my cell phone off once we got to the hospital."

"Hospital?" Aldo asked confusedly, "What is wrong?" Renee sighed deeply and opened the front door.

"Come in, I'll tell you everything." They went inside and Aldo made coffee as Renee explained what had happened to Cherie earlier that evening. She told him about everything from the episode at the gym, to the incident at her apartment that day; Aldo was disgusted.

"They are trash," he said, "they can not take their frustrations out on their man, so they go after the girl. They are crazy, just like Elena. I'm sorry you and your friend have to go through this."

"I don't need any sympathy, it's Cherie that needs the support. I just hope that she can get through all of this."

"She will," Aldo assured her, "especially since she has you waiting for her on the outside."

"Some friend I am, I should have been there to help her."

"You had no idea any of this would happen. Listen," Aldo gently took hold of Renee's arms and turned her so she was facing him, "I know your friend is upset, but I hate to see you like this. Why don't we go away this weekend?"

"This weekend? Aldo, I won't be any fun; not with Cherie in the hospital like this."

"On the contrary, I think this is exactly what needs to happen, Renee, I think this is just what you need to get your spirits up,” Renee did not like the idea of going away for a weekend when her best friend was in the hospital. But Aldo was always honest and had always been right before, so Renee followed his lead.

"Okay Aldo," Renee said quietly, "I'm going to go along with you, but I have to be back on Monday to see Cherie when she gets out."
"Ofcourse we will, and you'll be refreshed and ready to give her all your undivided attention; I promise you." Renee smiled for the first time all day and hugged him fiercely; by the time they settled into bed for the evening, Renee could hardly sleep as she thought of the romantic weekend Aldo had planned. When they got up the next morning, they headed to a luxury hotel near the docks where Aldo's uncle kept his boat and checked in. Afterwards, they went for breakfast at a local café and did some shopping before enjoying an outdoor art gallery and live music. Then, they had lunch at an Italian Bistro and saw a movie before heading back to their hotel. Renee thought of Cherie often, but she saw what Aldo was talking about when he said the getaway would help her get her spirits up. As Renee lay back in the four-poster bed, exhausted from another bought of impassioned sex, Aldo pulled her close to him and wrapped his arms tightly around her; she did not know what he did to deserve such a great man in her life, but she was glad he was there for her in her time of need.

The next day, the two caught a late breakfast and went to an all-day carnival that was nearby in town. The two remained there until later in the afternoon when Aldo took Renee o his uncle's boat once again and sailed out a few miles to an empty island where the two went swimming off of the beach before having lunch on the beach. Renee polished off the bottle of Pinot Grigio almost completely on her own and when Aldo came back from a quick swim, she ravaged him just as he did to her the other night. Afterwards they decided to continue their escapade below deck on the boat; after Renee's body finished convulsing from her third orgasm, she passed out into a deep sleep.





* * *






Hours later, Renee woke up in the small bedroom below decks with a splitting headache; she realized that she must have past out from the wine. It was almost pitch black in the room and Renee felt for Aldo in the bed next to her. After a few moments, it was evident that Aldo was not there. Realizing that he was on deck, Renee slowly got out of bed and began to feel for her clothes in the darkness. She tried to get up to turn on the lights with the switch by the door, but she nearly slipped on another wine bottle they had brought inside and fell back on the bed. The fall on the bed made Renee's head begin to throb in pain and she called out for Aldo to at least turn on the lights for her so she could find her clothes. She was met with silence however, and called out for him again as she began to search for her clothes, this time louder. A moment later, she heard footsteps coming down the stairs and felt relieved that she would finally have some help.

"Thank goodness you came down babe," Renee said as the door began to crack open, "I have a horrible headache and I can't see a thing." The door slowly opened and revealed not Aldo in the doorway, but Elena. Renee's body went cold with dread as she saw the young lady glare at her with blue eyes so intense, they almost looked violet.

"Who the fuck are you and what are you doing on my boat?!?" The girl screamed with a loathsome glare.

"Excuse me?" Renee asked, "This boat belongs to Aldo's uncle, and I don't know how you got on here, but you better play it cool and calm yourself sweetie, don't do anything rash." Renee spoke quickly as she snatched her sundress off of the bedside table and quickly put it on.

"Aldo's uncle?" The girl yelled quizzically, "That's the lie he told you? Well, listen up sweetie, this isn't Aldo's uncle's boat and Aldo isn't some broker at a finance firm like I'm sure he told you! Aldo is a con artist; he's a lying, worthless, piece of shit con artist who sniffs out vulnerable females and uses them up until he's all done with them. Now I don't know what the hell it was you had that he wanted, but he must be done with you because he left your ass right here on this boat all by yourself knowing good and well I was going to be taking it out today like I always do on weekend late nights!"

"What?" Renee yelled in shock, "I don't believe you, where the hell is he, really? What did you do to him?" Elena's hateful glare turned form one of hatred to repulsion, as she looked Renee up and down.

"You’re on my fucking boat, sleeping in my bed, drinking up all of my wine and you have the audacity to call me a liar!?!"

"Yes, I am;" Renee yelled, "and I saw your crazy ass getting arrested in front of his house the other day!"

"That's because he ripped off everything I own and has been avoiding the police for questioning! Don't you get it? He played you! Everything about him is fake, from his fictitious job at a finance firm, to his phony accent! You’re so stupid! I was at that house because I finally found out where's he's been staying, but he managed to trick the cops and got me arrested instead!"

"I don't believe any of this! He told me what you did to him, you cheated on him right in your home together, you’re a whore and your just mad because you got caught!"

"You stupid bitch!"

Without so much as another word, Elena lunged at Renee and tackled her onto the bed, grabbing her hair and wildly pummeling Renee with her fists. The girl was out of control, and Renee could barely fend her off in the darkness; she gouged at the girl's face and eyes and was able to distract her temporarily. Renee reached back off of the bed and grabbed the wine bottle that she had slipped on earlier and whacked Elena over the head with it over and over until she was unconscious. Renee threw the bottle to the side, grabbed her purse and ran barefoot above deck and to the docks. Luckily she had some cash on her and was able to get a cab back to the hotel; when she got there however, Aldo was nowhere to be found. Only her things remained in the room and there was no answer on his cell phone when Renee repeatedly called.

What the hell was going on? Why did Aldo leave her? Renee did not want to entertain the idea that he abandoned her, but everything was adding up to just that. She waited for him to return all night and into the next morning until it was time to checkout. Renee had to use what cash she had left to take a taxi cab home and even then, because she did not bring that much money because Aldo usually covered everything, she had to walk the last six blocks to her apartment. Once she arrived home, Renee was not prepared for what she saw. Every piece of electronic equipment she owned was gone. The big screen plasma TV, the stereo and home theater system in the living room was gone. Even the toaster and coffee maker were missing from the kitchen. Renee ran upstairs and found that the computer, stereo, and TV in her bedroom were gone. Renee felt like she was slowly losing her mind as she looked at her once beautiful apartment with its expensive adornments, now ransacked and half empty. She half ran, half slid down the stairs and got in her car to go to Aldo's house. Once she arrived there, she saw his car in the driveway and rushed to the door to confront him. But when the door opened from her rapid pounding on the door, it was not Aldo who answered.

"Who the hell are you?" The young man asked, he was tall with shaggy blond hair and blue eyes; Renee had never seen him before. "Why are you pounding on my door like that?"

"Where's Aldo?" Renee asked quickly through tears.

"Who?" The man asked confusedly.

"Aldo! I know he's staying here, I just came here the other day."

"Oh," the young man said with a slight laugh, "you mean Victor." Renee was confused; this was definitely the house Aldo had been just a couple of days before when they left for the weekend.

"No!" Renee yelled, "I mean Aldo, he's from Portugal, he graduated from the University of Lisbon and works at a finance firm!" The young man laughed again, this time harder. "What's so goddamn funny? Where is he?!?!?" The young man looked at Renee's tear streamed face and stopped laughing.

"Okay, I'm sorry, but you have to understand this is very random. I just got back from being abroad for six months and you are the second woman who has come to my house asking for a Aldo."

"So wait, this isn't his place?" Renee asked, starting to calm down but still very confused.

"No, this is my house; my name is Chris. And Victor, or Aldo as he's been calling himself evidently has been taking you for a ride. Victor has been a friend of mine for years, he used to work as a male model and tried to break into acting, but it never panned out. So, I guess now he uses those attributes to con beautiful women such as yourself and the brunette who came here earlier today. He has been house sitting for me while I've been gone to try and get himself situated and see what his next move will be career wise, but I guess all he's been doing is screwing around and playing with people's heads. I'm sorry, but it looks like he lied to you."

"What...I can't.... where is he?" Renee couldn't even find the words to for a simple sentence; everything was happening so fast and there were still so many questions that needed to be answered.

"I have no idea. He left me a note thanking me for letting him use the house and saying that he saved up some money and got an agent; he's moving to Los Angeles or something to try to get into acting again."

"I can't believe this...” Renee was mortified; she had been played, lied to, taken for a fool. And evidently Aldo, or whatever his name was, was right in assuming so; Renee had no idea she was being had.

"I'm really sorry, I knew he was a ladies man, but I had no idea he was a straight out liar. The girl that came here earlier said he ripped her off for all of the electronics in her house and a lot of cash too. If I had any idea that was what he was up to, I would have never let him stay here. I'm going to tell you the same thing I told her; call the police. If he ripped you off, then he should be prosecuted." Renee apologized and thanked the young man, then returned to her car and went back home.




VIII




Renee could not call the police like the young man suggested because the electronic equipment Aldo stole from her had already been stolen by Darren when he got them for her. Renee tried Aldo one last time and found his phone number disconnected; this confirmed her worse fear, he had been playing her all along and had set her up to con her just as he had done to Elena. Aldo had committed the perfect crime and gotten away with it. As Renee began clean up her apartment, she realized that to some extent, she had this coming. For years she had used to looks and charm to get what she wanted from men, even if it involved lying about how she felt and leading someone on. She had virtually done the same thing to Darren, who although he went about pleasing her the wrong way, had been under the mistaken impression that Renee cared about him and wanted to be with him because she led him to believe so. Same thing with Brian and Nick, Renee had been seeing both of them and then ditched them when her indiscretions came to light; not even so much as apologizing to either one of them. And that was just in the last few months, there were countless other whose hearts had been broken and wallets had been emptied by Renee and her gold digging. Karma had finally come and had it way with Renee Eastmore. Eventually, Renee moved out of her apartment and back in with her parents. She worked for her father full time in addition to her own full time job to help build herself back up after Aldo had ripped off every electronic appliance she owned. Her self-confidence was ruined and she couldn't trust anyone. To a certain extent, Renee became the same bitter female that she had made fun of and talked about for so long. With that realization, Renee decided that it was time to make changes to herself and the way she lived her life. But before she did anything, she owed someone an apology.





* * *






When Dawn opened her door for Renee, she had the same skeptical look on her face that she had when she saw Renee at the hospital. Renee had contemplated turning around and going back home to her parent's house three different times before she finally decided to go through with this.

"Hi, Dawn," Renee said quietly.

"Hey,” Dawn said, "what's up, is Cherie okay?"

"Yeah," Renee answered, "she's fine. But, I didn't come here to talk about Cherie."

"Well, then what is it?"

"I came here....” Renee tried to find the words as best she could, but it was hard; she had been so difficult over the years and had ruined her relationship with her cousin for no other reason other than the fact that she was spoiled and selfish.

"You came here because what?"

"I came here to apologize," Renee blurted out, "you were right, you were right all along!" Renee couldn't hold back the tears and began crying. Dawn looked around nervously for a moment and then convinced her to come inside. There, on Dawn's living room couch, Renee told her everything Aldo had done to her; from the time he snagged her in the restaurant, to his leaving her on the boat on their weekend getaway.

"Wait a second, you say this guy paid your check in some expensive
restaurant and asked you for a date?" Dawn asked.

"Yeah," Renee said as she dried her tears with a tissue, "he knew he would be able to con me, he must have spotted me from a mile away."

"I can't believe, I just heard about this guy on the news this morning!" Dawn exclaimed.

"What?" Renee asked confusedly, "Aldo was on the news."

"The South Beach Bachelor; It's almost 5, it should be on any minute." Dawn grabbed the remote control for her TV and turned on the television, she flipped through the channels until they found the news.
"Victor Maldonado; better known as Aldo Correia, The South Beach Bachelor, was found dead today in a hotel room at the Hilton. Evidently, one of Maldonado's recent victims, Elena Trevino shot him after a bitter argument. Maldonado reportedly had her arrested when she confronted him about a theft at her home just three weeks before. Included in Maldonado's possession was a key to a storage locker which held hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen high grade electronics which he apparently stole from other women who were victims of his and sold these to illegal traders in the Miami area..."
Renee watched in shock as they showed Aldo's picture, his body being wheeled on a stretcher away from the Hilton, and Elena being led away from the hotel in handcuffs and out into a police car. This time, she would not be released the same day.

"I can't believe it." Renee said in a far away voice, "He's dead? Elena shot him?"

"Looks like it," said Dawn, "at least karma didn't come back around on your like that." Dawn turned off the TV and turned to Renee. "I'm sorry you had to go through this, even though we haven't got along for years it was always my worst fear that's some guy would eventually hurt you like no other, and unfortunately that's exactly what happened. I only hope that you've learned your lesson and just try to be more genuine from this point on."

"Trust me, I have; and so has Cherie. I got off easy compared to her too. I just feel so stupid; I've been stuck in my ways so long, I don't even know where to begin."

"Start with the way you look at yourself, there's a lot more to you than your looks. You’re intelligent and have a fiery personality; put that towards something you like to do besides men. You'll find there's so much more to life than that."

Renee and Dawn talked on the couch until late into the night. It was the first time they had a conversation like that since they were little girls. Dawn actually admired Renee for her beauty and fashion sense and Renee was able to help Dawn reach her full potential in that regard. Meanwhile, Renee worked on herself and found that Dawn couldn't have been more right. Renee forgot how much she loved to dance, and she loved children too. Eventually, she started taking dance classes as an outlet and became a mentor to an under privileged girl in her area; she found both experiences to be very rewarding. Renee stopped dating for a long time after what had happened, she wanted to invest her energies towards things that were positive and uplifting and stop putting so much emphasis on shallow pursuits. It would take hard work but she was determined to turn herself around; she wanted to be taken seriously as a real woman, and not that one word she still cringed at the sound of...Conceited.

*Chapters 1 - 4 in first posting, thank you


Last edited by DanielleDoll; 09-20-2006 at 10:48 AM..
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Old 09-20-2006, 08:26 AM
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I think you have a very good start here. My biggest beef with the story is that you need to space the paragraphs apart, so that it's easier to read, especially since it's so long.

My other issue with the story is the way you began it. You told that Aldo was this and that. Show, don't tell. When you show, people are more apt to believe you. When you tell, people question you that so-and-so is this or that. There was plenty of telling that could have been shown instead.

It was a pretty interesting read, though. Aldo/Victor is a scumbag, and here's hoping that he gets his just desserts further down the line.
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Old 09-20-2006, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ILoveKitties03
I think you have a very good start here. My biggest beef with the story is that you need to space the paragraphs apart, so that it's easier to read, especially since it's so long.

My other issue with the story is the way you began it. You told that Aldo was this and that. Show, don't tell. When you show, people are more apt to believe you. When you tell, people question you that so-and-so is this or that. There was plenty of telling that could have been shown instead.

It was a pretty interesting read, though. Aldo/Victor is a scumbag, and here's hoping that he gets his just desserts further down the line.
Thank you for your imput. I was concerned about the structure of the story too but I could not find a way to edit it after I posted it.
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