Y’all, I’ve been tearing Paying For It up! Editing is a beast, but I’m pushing on. I’m looking forward to a long weekend to spend some quality time with my baby (WIP). Meantime, here’s another unedited snippet for you to taste. This is what happened right after Tunie accepts Charlie’s proposal to be his mistress. Lemme know what you think. – SS
The call came conveniently while Tunie was on her break at work the next day.
“Yes, this is Tunie.”
“My name is Charlotte, I’m Mr. Douglas’ executive assistant. I’m about to text you some information for an appointment he would like you to keep tomorrow afternoon.”
Tunie heard the beep before the woman finished her sentence. “Got it.”
“Please take a moment to review the information and let me know if there are any problems.”
Tunie looked. Serendipitously tomorrow was her off day. She’d agreed to cover for someone for a few hours in the morning, but she could make it in time no problem. “No, ma’am. I can make it.”
There was a pause. “Please call me Charlotte.” Tunie thought her voice sounded a shade warmer. Perhaps she wasn’t used to her boss’ mistresses calling her ma’am? “Do you require any other assistance?”
“No, Charlotte. Thank you for calling.”
“Thank you, Ms. Douglas.”
“Tunie,” the woman agreed and rang off.
And so it begins, she thought, then put a smile on her face and went back out to make coffee.
Time flew. She sailed through the medical exam, which was a mild relief. She hadn’t thought she had anything – you had to have sex for that to be a possibility – but she hadn’t been able to afford a doctor for anything outside what was necessary – like splints for broken fingers and medicine for a lung infection – in awhile, and as a part-time employee she had no insurance.
On the day of the move at a prearranged time, a sleek black town car appeared at her apartment, and a uniformed chauffer loaded up her suitcase and boxes. She dropped her old key in an envelope down the rent shoot, let the driver usher her into the back, and metaphorically waved goodbye to her old life.
She’d had a bit of a crisis last night, thinking she couldn’t go through with it, that she’d have to apologize for the expense with the doctor and everything and try to make arrangements to pay Charles back. But then her landlord stopped by. He knocked but she didn’t let him in, and he didn’t leave. He stood there for the next few minutes whispering dirty shit until she banged on the door as loud as she could and told him to fuck off or she’d call the police.
“Stuck up bitch,” he snarled. “Just make sure your black ass is out of here by tomorrow, or it’ll be me who calls the police.”
“Don’t you fuckin’ worry, you fat, greasy piece of shit,” she yelled back. “I got better places to be than this flea pit listening to your impotent, disgusting, stalker ass.”
So that was that. Tunie prayed she was doing the right thing. She didn’t know if she could bear being subjected to anything else. She was tired, mentally and physically. And while this was the absolute last thing she wanted to do, any shelter or temporary housing was almost certainly going to feature more sorry ass men like her landlord thinking they could get something from her for nothing. At least Charles was offering something in return. It wasn’t care, but it wasn’t hurt, and it wasn’t a little.
Hell, she snorted. For all she knew in a month’s time she’d be right back in this neighborhood or somewhere worse looking for a new place to live, but Tunie was determined to be optimistic. This was ostensibly her new job, and she believed in work ethic, even if this work was not a job she’d ever imagined she’d take.
They drove past downtown and got on Lakeshore Drive, and after they passed Montrose Tunie knocked on the divider between her and the front of the car.
“Where are we going?”
“Right off Bryn Mawr to the pink building, ma’am.”
She looked where he was pointing and her mouth fell open.
“Thank you.” She’d heard about the pink building. It was historic, the site of the old Edgewater Beach Hotel. It was extremely tough to get into, and it cost the Earth.
When they stopped the driver handed her a key ring with her new address and apartment number on it and said he’d have her things brought up shortly.
Tunie turned, surprised to hear her name, and found a short, immaculately dressed older white man smiling at her.
“Welcome! I’m Oliver Coffey, the concierge. I would like to take you up to your new home and show you around, if I may.”
“Thank you,” Tunie said, relaxing a little. “I would appreciate a tour, and please call me Tunie.”