I was the writer of this story. A client came to me and stated that she had a story and knew of an investor friend who would fund a book writing and publishing project. We would all be partners. The deal was that I would only take half of the usual fee for a book this size, she would tell the story as the whistleblower, and he had the money to pay me and the publishing costs. The deal maker for me was that he supposedly had all these television and publishing contacts. It was a lot of fun writing the project, and we had a contract. He, unfortunately, died of a heart attack and the lady could barely pay for the publishing cost, and we were minus the great contacts. It is a little raunchy but I tried to make it humorous and added a mystery to it for a more compelling read . . . it is a fun easy read!
FICTION STORY – THE MATCHMAKERS – EXCERPT
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: TRAGEDY STRIKES
OLIVIA HAD A GREAT week at work. Her team brought in twenty new members, and she had also hired a new telemarketer that very Monday. After training the new girl for four hours, she left her with the script and went back to her office. Olivia planned to look back in on her in a few hours when she needed to pick up any appointment slips. That would give her a chance to see how the new girl was doing. Joan had called her earlier to find out if everything went okay in Miami, but Olivia pretended that she didn’t know what she was referring too.“Yes, Joan, everything is going extremely well. I am sitting here interviewing a possible new member. Is this important?” Olivia pretended. She had no one in her office at the time and thought it best to sweep any inference to that night under the rug.“Oh, I’m sorry to interrupt. I will call you tomorrow, okay?” Joan said but never called.
The following Monday, Olivia arrived at Bleeding Hearts to find her team already there waiting. Their meetings had become very enjoyable, always learning more about their unique roles. Olivia soon heard that everything was running smoothly. It almost seemed like the quiet before the storm. After Olivia had returned to her office, she spent over an hour interviewing a possible new member who was almost ready to sign up. Before going through the necessary paperwork, she heard a knock on the door. It was Savannah and Olivia invited her in. Olivia learned that she had a critical phone call that she should take privately over in Savannah’s office.
I immediately introduced Savannah to my client and suggested that she take over the paperwork. What is all this regarding? Olivia thought. Savannah was acting very strange and why would I be getting a phone call on her telephone? Anyone who wanted to speak to me would be put through. By the look on Savannah’s face, this was not some ordinary call. I quickly walked inside Savannah’s office and picked up the phone.
“Hello, this is Olivia only can I help you?”
“Is this the one and only, the blonde, Olivia look alike?” the male voice asked.
“Yes, I told you. What is this about?”
“You don’t recognize my voice? What if I was to call you, Alexis?”
“Excuse me, who is this, and what are you saying? I have no clue what you are talking about.” Olivia sounded convincing, but she was beginning to get very nervous.
“I believe that you know me . . . My name is Robert. Peter is my buddy. We certainly enjoyed your company last week. Unfortunately, you dropped your pocket book and spilled the contents,” he purred, “One of the items was a driver’s license. There was a different name on your Florida license, but funny, the woman looked like you, only she had blonde hair,” he sneered.
“I’m afraid that you have the wrong person. I haven’t been to Miami for months. What on earth makes you think that I was there?” Olivia questioned.
“My buddy, Peter, and I joined an exclusive dating service for twelve grand each and we went on our first introduction. Don’t you remember?” he insisted.
“Look here, I don’t know what you are referring too. You have made a mistake,” Olivia told him raising her voice.
Olivia’s heart was in her mouth. She wasn’t sure how to handle the situation. She could never have entertained that anything harmful would come of that night. She would admit to nothing. She had a good disguise, and there was no paper trail.
“Listen you bitch! I’m losing my patience. I was reading the newspaper the other day about Bleeding Hearts was cleared of certain allegations. Naturally, I read more, and sure enough, the article mentioned that the director of the West Palm Beach office, Olivia Felner, was doing an excellent job with her members.”
“Look, stop beating around the bush. What do you want?”
“I want to know why Olivia Felner was pretending to be someone called, Alexis Goldstein, and having a threesome in Miami. I thought it was illegal to have staff or friends fill for dates,” he questioned, sounding amused. “Peter and I hit the jackpot. We got the director, and she was fabulous. Couldn’t hold her liquor, though. She smoked weed and made out with two young men in the Hotel Delano in Miami,” he said, smugly.
“Did you say your name was Robert?” Olivia asked.
“Yes, madam, I did.”
“Well, you listen to me ROBERT,” she yelled. “I’m not whom you think. Go look for your friend, Alexis, and stop . . .” She was interrupted as Robert spoke very quickly.
“Pete and I have decided that we want our membership money refunded, or we will go to Pete’s newspaper and print the story. You didn’t know that Pete was a reporter, did you?”
“You are crazy,” Olivia made fun of him, and it pissed him off.
“Then best you talk to your Miami director who signed us up and took our money. You are liars! You took our money, and we want it back. Otherwise, we talk little lady, you hear? You’ve got two days. Tell that bitch, Joan Foster, we will be in her office and expect our money!” he abruptly said and hung up the phone.
Olivia paced back and forth talking over and over to herself.
Oh, my god! I’m trembling! Now, what do I do? Fuck! They saw my driver’s license. Damn! Why did I drink so much and smoke weed? I lost control and now look what I’ve brought on myself. Olivia, think! What are you going to do? They have no proof that I was with them. No one saw us, and if they did, my hair was a different color. Olivia, think! How are you going to get yourself out of this mess? Right now they are threatening, so, what if I go to Joan and get her to give back their money? Then, I would have to give back my $5,000, which I have already put down on a unit in the Towers Building.
Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! What do I do? C’mon Olivia THINK! You have got yourself out of worse messes than this. No, I won’t tell Joan. I will not even admit to being there. What is the worst thing that can happen? Joan gets confronted, but she doesn’t know anything about their blackmail threats to me. She calls me, and I know nothing. I know Joan won’t admit that I was the match because of the money she gave me. Joan will probably make up someone. She has done that before and then calls in one of her friends to pretend that they are that person. She has false memberships in her files, and I know that she used to do that when we got into trouble.
Savannah could see Olivia through the glass wall pacing in her office. She managed to keep her attention on the new member but had a terrible feeling that something had gone terribly wrong. Savannah wanted to help but couldn’t. She needed another thirty minutes with the member she was signing up.
What if I go to the police and tell them that this guy is blackmailing me? No, I can’t do that! I would not involve myself. What if I called the police and anonymously told them that the Miami director, Joan Foster, was using staff to fill member introductions and matches? Yes! That’s what she’s doing, all the same, I would not have to mention those guys . . . But, then again yes, I would . . . They are the proof! It’s their word against mine. Maybe I could find one person to swear that I spent the evening with them. Yes, maybe Rachael, Lorenzo, Mia or Savannah? You have to decide Olivia. Protect yourself, your name, the money and . . . Maybe it has come time to blow the whistle on this company and those two scheming jerk offs.
It wasn’t me who made them unhappy. It was because the guys felt the company was a scam, and they wanted their money back.
Olivia decided that it was time to go home for the day. She stopped by her office where Savannah was wrapping up with the new member. Olivia popped her head in, congratulated the new member and then gave Savannah a look that everything was fine, and told them her plans. By the time Olivia arrived home knowing what she was going to do, but before carrying out her plan, she decided on going to The Towers office, wanting to take another look at the new place she was moving into next month. She made an excuse of wanting to measure for some curtains.
Showing her I.D., the concierge gave her a key and even a tape measure. She took the elevator to the seventh floor and let herself into her unit. Closing the door behind her, she walked over to the window and admired the view. She was able to see the intercostal, winding around Flagler Drive and all the lovely condominiums that densely populated the surrounding area. Off in the distance, she saw the high buildings in luxurious Palm Beach, and over to the north, she caught a glimpse of the outdoor area of the City Place pavilion and square.
Yes, this is where I belong. Not in that hellhole I’ve been living. My new start – my new life! I know what to do. She picked up her cell phone, pressed in *67 so her number couldn’t get traced and then put in the number she had written on a piece of paper. She took her scarf off from around her neck and quickly placed it on the phone to muffle her voice.
“Hello, Miami police station?” The gruff voice answered.
“Hello sir, I want to report a fraud going on in your precinct.”
“What is your name?”
“You don’t need to know my name.”
“What is the fraud, madam?”
“The exclusive dating service know as Bleeding Hearts is using staff and friends too . . .” The police officer interrupted.
“You mean the dating service in the news?”
“Yes, that’s the one. Also, two newly enrolled members of two weeks discovered staff used as matches. A source told me that they are blackmailing Joan Foster to get their money back.”
“Do you know the names of these accused blackmailers?”
“Only their first name, Robert and Peter.”
“What is your name?” the police officer asked.
The line went quiet than she heard, “Goodbye!”
Olivia unwrapped the scarf and placed it back around her neck, picked up her pocketbook and happily strolled around her lovely apartment. She felt good and knew she had done the right thing. She would act like nothing happened. Resume working tomorrow and wait for the shit to hit the fan . . .
To be continued