Rue et Cassidy
Cassidy looked at the cheque. It was written in the amount of ten million euros. The recipient’s name was Asparagus Saints, LLC. She looked at Rue with her mouth open. With a puzzled laugh and flutter of her eyelids, she asked, “Why are you giving this to me?”
“I think you mean to ask why I am not offering it to you through a representative,” said Rue. Her calm voice disguised her irritation. Cassidy’s tone was informal and they were not close friends.
“Well …” Cassidy said, while rolling her eyes.
“Let’s get some things sorted. You could take that cheque to a journalist and repeat everything we spoke about here,” said Rue. “However, as soon as someone rings my attorney for a comment, you will be thrown in jail for extortion, blackmail and money laundering.”
“The person who wrote that cheque runs the Kiev underworld. I asked him for ten million euros, and he gave it to me no questions asked. Do you have any friends like that?” It was a rhetorical question, but the princess waited for a response.
“No, Ma’am,” responded Cassidy, feeling put in her place.
“I also asked him to register that business in your name and open an account for you at a bank in Niue.”
“I didn’t ask for this,” said Cassidy.
“Your endgame was to spend the Count’s money,” responded the princess, referring to her first ex-husband. “House, car, boat, plane, diamonds, clothes, bags, shoes, skin, hair, nails, boob job, lip fillers, vitamin drips. This is more than you would get in a divorce. Doesn’t refusing this cheque make you a liar?”
“Really? Do you love him?”
“Yes? I handed you a cheque for ten million euros, threatened to have you locked up, and there you are, still holding it.”
“I’m trying to understand what this is all about.”
“I believe you’re hesitating because you think you can cash that cheque and keep sleeping with my ex-husband,” said Rue. “You are an entry-level backstabber. If you had any real gold-digging skills, Karl would have married you already.”
“I’m not a gold-digger, or a grifter, if this is what you’re trying to prove,” said the woman.
“Did you earn that money?” Rue looked at the cheque, looked at Cassidy’s face and leaned her head to one side. She felt she was exercising a great deal of self-restraint.
“Of course not,” replied Cassidy.
“You’re holding a piece of paper representing an amount you haven’t earned. If you loved that man, you would have torn it up and stomped out of here.”
Cassidy calmly put the cheque on the table, hooked her arm through the handle of her purse and stood up. With a curtsy, she said, “Your Royal Highness, if I may be excused.” Her voice was trembling.
“You may not,” said the princess, smiling. She leaned back in the sofa and looked up at the Cassidy. “Sit down.”
Cassidy obeyed. Tears were welling up in her eyes. She asked, “What do you want from me?”
“I believe that in spite of your low aspirations, and uncouth behaviour, you think that you’re ambitious. However, you have misunderstood people’s opinions of you. You think they respect you for spending Karl’s money. But they think you are a sex worker. You would know how not to act like one if you had a good mentor.”
“Ma’am? Are you offering to mentor me?”
“That would be inappropriate, not to mention unpleasant, given how thick you are. Put the cheque in your purse. Accept it as a generous payout from a concerned third party. Consider that you would get nothing after the inevitable demise of your opportunistic coupling.” Rue inhaled deeply and glared at Cassidy with a glacial glare.
Cassidy picked up the cheque and neatly tucked it into her wallet, which she had retrieved from her purse. Rue continued, “Now, I’m going to introduce you to a stylist.” She turned her head towards the doorway behind her and called out. “Harlowe?”
A petite, curvy woman with ankle-length, rose pink dreadlocks entered the living room from an adjoining room. She was wearing a white dress that looked like an apron over a blue silk jumpsuit. There were thong sandals on her feet. The straps were bejewelled.
Picking up a pen and notepad from the table, Rue scribbled something on a page, tore it off, and handed it to Cassidy. “When Miss Harlowe is finished with you, arrive at that address, on that date, at nineteen o’clock, sharp. No plus ones, thank you.”
“Ma’am,” said Cassidy. Now intrigued as well as confused, she curtsied to Rue again and followed Harlowe into the adjoining room. She didn’t hear when the princess exited the suite.
Hello everyone and thank you for reading. This is a rough draft of a scene in my novel, The Quarter Percent. Context is everything, I suppose.