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Chon wasn’t sure how long she had been sitting on the floor, but her phone vibrating in her pocket kicked her back to reality.
Desolately, she answered, “Hello.”
“You aren’t where you are supposed to be,” Dorian said with disappointment.
“What do you care?”
“I don’t, but I just called Thaddeus, and he said you didn’t show up for lunch. I felt that was pretty damn rude seeing that they bought a plate for you in advanced.”
She checked the time. It was going on two o’clock. “I’ll send Mr. Newman an email message and let him know I won’t be attending his event this weekend. I don’t think I’ll be good company.”
“I’m not good company. You just don’t believe that you’re in a good mood to be around strangers, but you and I both know this is an excellent networking opportunity for you.”
“How do you know this?”
“You said you were trying to open up your own business, last night. You need to network. You need to be around other women who have opened up their own business. A lot of women will be there who have done this and could point clientele your way; Good clients that you know will get the word out about your business..”
Chon wondered if Dorian Zane had some mind reading device around him. “It’s not that I don’t know what I need to do, but something just happened.”
“So is the fact that I snore loud, but I just shared that with you. Now what happened that’s so pivotal you are willing to cancel your life about?”
Chon rolled her eyes heavenwards. “My brother just came over.”
“He… He called my idea to start a business silly and… He told me some horrible things about my mother that he did to her.” She took a deep breath because a sob was on the precipice of her voice. “I didn’t know he had done those things.”
“Was it things women on the street do, which your mother was?” Dorian questioned.
“I don’t know what women on the street do, Dorian,” she responded annoyed.
“Grow the fuck up, woman and answer the damn question.”
Chon closed her eyes in disgust. “I guess it is.”
“And you’re angry he told you or what your mother did?”
“I hate knowing she sunk to that level and I hate knowing he did that to her.” Talking about what had happened made her feel a little better.
“Does any of what just happened between you and your brother affect your decision to own your own business?’
“He said if I continue to pursue my idea to be in the wig making business he was going to prevent me from getting my money. He said I was only doing this to be like my mother and I would eventually become a whore just like her.”
Insulted, Chon exclaimed, “No!”
“Then why are you letting his words affect your mood?”
“You don’t understand.”
“You DON’T understand,” he contradicted. “Craig’s only trying to dissuade you from doing what you were meant to do. Most people who have no idea what real talent is, usually tear other people down who have raw talent. You need to get off your keister and get your priorities together. Fuck them.”
Dorian Zane made it sound so easy.
“You can’t just order me to go. I’m not your employee on the weekend.”
“Good, but I’m telling you to go because you need a kick in the ass.”
“Are you being kind to me, Dorian Zane?” she asked.
“Gawd no.” He hung up, and she had to laugh this time instead of getting annoyed.
After washing up and changing her clothes, Chon cleaned up the vomit and the torn up business plan. The ten dollars her brother threw on the ground went into the trash as well.
Dorian sent her a text to let her know Thaddeus Newman had been informed of her situation and expected to see her by five, which was closer to the dinner event. There was a new address listed, and she wondered what kind of anniversary celebration this weekend would encompass.
After dropping the package off to her client, she headed for the address listed on her phone wondering what was in store.
The directions took her to a large home in Indian Village, a very wealthy neighborhood in Detroit near the east side. These houses were mini-mansions and difficult to keep up, but instantly she noticed upgrades to the house as she pulled up in front, including eco-friendly solar panels on the roof and a solar garden with a pond on the side. The property had the luxury of having an empty semi-enclosed lot next to it, and she could see more technological advances to the home all around.
She rung the doorbell, and an African-American woman about Chon’s height opened the door with the most curious smile on her lips. “Well, hello,” she said pleasantly.
Chon was a little stunned as she noticed the woman had the most mesmerizing unique lavender eyes she had never seen.
“You are?” the woman inquired.
“M-My name is Chon Tolbert.”
“Oh, please come in.” The woman moved out the way so that Chon could step in the grand foyer. “You’re our late comer.”
“I feel silly because I just remembered this was an anniversary dinner, and I didn’t bring a gift. I hope I haven’t insulted Thaddeus and his wife.”
“You’re the gift,” the woman said with a wink.
The woman laughed. “I mean, from Dorian. The man hasn’t brought a date ever, and I was beginning to question if any woman would ever want to be seen with him. I think he told my husband to invite you just because I kept saying how I didn’t like Thaddeus hanging around single men. Most of Thaddeus friends are married, engaged or heavily involved if you know what I mean, but-”
“I’m just Dorian Zane’s assistant, ma’am,” Chon said defensively.
“Well, that explains a lot.” The woman outstretched her hand. “I’m Skye Newman, wife to Thaddeus.”
Chon shook her hand. “It’s nice to meet you. I admire your husband and all he’s done for Detroit revitalization.”
“Thank you; I’m pretty proud of himself,” she said with a wide grin. “Can you come with me, please, Ms. Tolbert?”
“Chon, I insist you call me. And yes, I can follow you.”
Skye led her out of the foyer, up the nearest set of spiral stairs to a third floor. “We’re installing an elevator from the second basement to the third floor. Thaddeus doesn’t like me trying to maneuver my way through the house from my first pregnancy, and now that I’m pregnant again, he wants to make my life a little bit easier.”
“Congratulations,” Chon said.
“Thank you.” Skye opened up a room near the end of the hall. “This is your room for the weekend.”
“Yes, you’re staying, aren’t you?”
Chon knew the invitation said the weekend, but she didn’t think they meant the whole weekend or that staying overnight was included. “I hadn’t planned on staying, but I live in the city, and I can go home and just come back in the morning.”
“But you’re Dorian’s special guest. He’s made arrangements for you to stay here.”
“I didn’t bring a thing to wear.”
“I have an exclusive boutique owner here who’s brought an inventory of clothes for all the female guests. She will fit you with clothes.”
“I can’t pay for something like that.”
“You won’t be paying for it. Oh please, only couples can stay, and Dorian wanted to stay the whole weekend, but he couldn’t without you.”
“He’s using me?” Chon rolled her eyes ridiculously. “Of course, he was. Why would I expect any less than?”
“So you’ll stay?” Skye asked almost with a plea in her voice.
“Yes,” Chon said, not wanting to cause distress for the woman. “I’ll stay.”
“Good,” she said looking relieved. “I’ll have Michelle come up here with your size in just a few moments. All sundries are available in the bathroom and I’ll special order anything you might need if you bring the list down to dinner when you come. The staff will have it in your room before you return.”
Chon had only brought her laptop, electronic sketch pad, and reading device, with all the charge cords to each device and an extra charge cable for her phone. She was alright and didn’t need to go home if her clothes were going to be provided.
“Alright,” Chon said reluctantly. “I’ll stay here until tomorrow, and I want to thank you in advance.”
“NO thanks needed. I want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible. Your being here means a lot to Thaddeus because to have Dorian stay finally for a family event means a lot to him. They like to play games all night, and it was always sad to see Dorian couldn’t enjoy himself thoroughly and then have to drive home at the end of the evening.”
“What games?” Chon asked suspiciously.
“Card games. The boys love to play all night their particular poker game that goes on all year long with various bets. I don’t get involved, and I let Thaddeus use our anniversary weekend as one of their play nights.”
“What do they bet?”
“That Chon is something I don’t know. Thaddeus works hard, loves hard and plays hard.” Skye winked mischievously. “He’s a great husband, father, and man. I have to afford him one luxury in life, and that is to play with his friends.”
Chon let this conversation go. “How long has he been good friends with Dorian?”
“Since college off and on. Dorian’s always been a loner but comes out for friendship every once in a while. I didn’t meet him until we were married. Dorian’s not like the friend you go to for help, but for the one you’d want in your corner for advice and who can keep a secret forever. Despite his annoying behavior to make one’s life miserable, he has a way to get information from people without you realizing you told him anything.”
“But you don’t like him?”
“As I said, he’s not the most sociable person.” Skye looked at her watch. “I have to make sure dinner is ready for everyone. Michelle will be up in a moment to help you with what to wear for dinner. Afterward, I’ll show you the house and the women folk will be having tea in the lower basement.”
Chon was left alone for a moment and decided to do inventory. Emptying out her bag, she separated electronics from all the other items in her purse. There were more than enough ways to do any work she needed. She wasn’t worried a weekend would be lost to no progress. Now that she’d accepted to stay on the project with Dorian Zane, she would be able to set up more tasks and become more involved in the project.
More than likely the company let her schedule any other engineers and architects that were on the project and be able to create a better workflow.
Deep down organizing did give her satisfaction, yet going from client to client was not her forte. If she could take on one client full time while building up her wig making business, Chon would gladly take the opportunity, but no situation like that had ever come up for her.
She had a small cosmetic bag for unexpecting business meetings with agreeable makeup and even a copy of her business plan in her work bag. The last thing she pulled out was the composition book she had picked up in the parking lot.
Chon realized the note book belonged to that mechanical engineer, who was now missing. With everything going on in her life, she had not remembered the book in her purse.
Walter Stoepel’s notebook was now in her hands, so what had happened to Walter Stoepel?
All Rights Reserved. 2016 (c) Sylvia Hubbard
Author’s Notes: I know you’re probably wondering what’s going to happen this weekend, or you already know. If you do then please share your thoughts with the other readers in the comments! I’d love to know.
BTW, I’ll be in Ohio this weekend. Check out my events! And if you’d like to come to your writers or readers group to speak, please let me know. I also Google hangout great workshops too!
Related books and characters from this story
(Thaddeus Newman) Dreams of Reality www.sylviahubbard.com/dreamsofreality Amazon Link
(Abigail McPherson Stone) Stone’s Revenge www.sylviahubbard.com/stonesrevenge Amazon Link
(Kinky club) Dark Facade www.sylviahubbard.com/darkfacade Amazon Link
Onyx Heart – (no book yet, but she appears in several books)
Salacious Heart (no book yet, but he appears in several books)