TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK
Ready to gamble? Are you holding a full house? Better call Saul…
He’s drop-dead gorgeous, exuding magnetic charisma.
His reputation precedes him.
No problem. Because I’m a badass myself and can match whatever he throws down… sufficiently capable of taming this womanizer.
My name is Juliet, and I’ve been around. I’m well educated and financially secure. As a renowned interior decorator, I’ve traveled on assignment to nations far and near.
I know a thing or two about living.
At 35, I’ve dated a range of good, bad, and ugly men from all walks of life. This is my story of when I tried to domesticate a Casanova.
Spot the red-flag telltale signs you’re getting played.
Here is Part I
It started when my boss, Larry, strolled into my office. “I have another assignment for you.”
“Oh, no, Larry, I’m too busy. Give it to Kelly.”
“I realize how busy you are, but I promised my friend the best. And you, my lady, are the best. This project is for Stu Malone, owner of the Malone Auto Dealership. He has just bought a mansion in Montrose and wants it decorated in a unique blend of African relics and memorabilia.”
“He wants it to exude subtle power and elegance with a definite African flair. He’s got style and money and wants the best. Besides, I already promised him you.”
“Larry,” she frowned with hands on hips, “How could you? Without asking. I’m only one person, you know.”
Larry said nothing as he watched her pace back and forth angrily. “Ok Juliet, I owe you one.”
“All right, but let this be the last time you pull this on me. I won’t bail you out the next time,” she said, frowning at him.
An hour later, the phone rang. Julie picked it up, and a rich baritone voice crooned over the other end of the line. “Juliet Jones, this is Stu Malone. Larry Ellis says you’re the lady who will transform my home into a warrior haven.”
“I aim to please,” I responded in a sensuous flirtatious tone. Not like me at all talking to a client. But his mesmerizing voice begged for that kind of response. “I wonder what he looks like,” I thought throughout the rest of the day.
We set a consultation for 11 a.m. the following morning at his house.
It was a beautiful spring morning in early June when Julie drove up and spotted a sleek midnight blue Lexus LX 400 that stood guard in the circular driveway. The house was situated among prolific shrubbery and flowers. Beautifully landscaped, it was a hidden hide-a-way. I rang the doorbell.
My heart skipped a beat when Stu Malone, dressed in jeans and a royal blue silk shirt, opened halfway down his chest, and opened the door. He was beautiful. What an odd term to use, she thought, to describe a man.
“Glad to meet you,” he smiled as he reached for my hand. As his fingers closed over mine, I felt powerful sexual electricity. Quickly I withdrew my hand and, averting his eyes, walked in.
“I was just having brunch on the patio. Thought we could relax awhile and talk so you can get a feel for who I am and what I am trying to accomplish here. Please join me,” he gestured toward the patio.
She followed him. He was built like a Greek god, boasting broad shoulders and narrow hips. His hair was neatly cut in waves that framed his striking face and accentuated a strong jawline.
The magic, though, was in his eyes. Piercing black. They were almost commanding, demanding his will. He was one of the most attractive men she had ever met.
When they reached the sliding glass doors leading onto the patio, Stu beckoned me ahead. As I passed, I could feel his penetrating gaze. His eyes followed my slinky walk and scanned my slender body in close assessment.
I wore an off-white silk blouse and matching slacks topped with a red blazer. “Nice, very nice,” he smiled in recognition of understated chic.
“I fancy myself quite a cook,” he said, setting a serving tray on the table. “At least with bacon and eggs,” he teased. Julie felt rather uncomfortable. Not because he was bi-racial. She had other black clients.
But because she was alone with a bi-racial black man, she found him extremely attractive. It was quite unsettling. As this thought raced through her head outwardly, she hoped she appeared very calm and businesslike.
After brunch, they toured the house and discussed decorating ideas. He was very certain of what he wanted — the quintessential bachelor pad this side of the East Coast.
He chuckled deep in his throat and continued gesturing with a clenched fist. “I want it to personify strength while reflecting a subtle African flavor. Understated yet defiant.” Cocking his head to the side, he raised one eyebrow, “Are you up for this?” he challenged.
“Don’t sell me short.”
I agreed to draft some designs and get back for further consultation.
In the ensuing weeks, I met Stu regularly. The ideas and layouts were coming along nicely. The African artefacts I acquired were stunning, depicting manly strength and character.
And his personal appeal grew even greater the more I got to know him. He was intelligent, decisive, witty, and easygoing in a laid-back magnetic manner. His presence made her feel excited and alive. I eagerly looked forward to our meetings.
Yes, I had to admit to feeling a strong attraction to him. The idea of interracial dating, though, had never entered my mind. I felt apprehensive but knew deep inside that I would see him personally.
One artefact he desired most was a processed tiger-head rug that would be the centre of interest in the den. Then one day, a curator called and offered the tiger head for a handsome price. No problem. It was exactly what Stu wanted.
“Stu, you won’t believe what I’m holding,” I said, stroking the soft fur.
“A million-dollar check from The Publisher’s Clearinghouse,” he teased.
Juliet laughed, “You’re nuts. But it is something just as exciting. It’s the tiger-head rug!”
“No kidding. When can I see it?”
“I’ll drop by the house after work.”
“I won’t be home until about 8 p.m. or so,” he paused, tell you what, “I’ll stop and pick up some wine and cheese. This calls for a celebration — the dedication of the Malone den!”
Bold prints and golden hues boasted richness. Prolific wild plants exuded lushness. The tiger-head rug shouted power. Altogether the room radiated a subtle yet powerful, warrior-like atmosphere. Stu was very pleased.
“A toast to the decorator,” he said, lifting his glass to hers. We talked, laughed, nibbled snacks, and slowly sipped wine as Miles Davis blew mellow jazz in the background.
The atmosphere was magically hypnotic.
“More wine,” he said, filling their glasses. Their eyes met. Yes, more wine. Yes, more music. Yes, oh, yes. Gently he touched me, gathering me into his strong arms… I melted.
Dating Stu was the entrance into a different mindset. Looking at the world from an African-American viewpoint. Stu was a leader in his community and was invited to chair and speak at many social events and functions.
I felt celebrity-like as I shared with him the music, dancing, laughter, soul food, and rich heritage of his life. It was a heady experience.
Stu knew how to woo a woman. He made me feel celebrated. “I need a beautiful woman on my arm at all times,” he smiled.
Stu was shrewd and manipulative in business, and soon she learned these characteristics spilt over into his social life. People, especially women, always the centre of attention, catered to his every whim, and he thrived on it.
I loved the attention too, and got caught up in a whirlwind of good times.
“So much to do and only one lifetime to do it in,” he laughed one evening after a hectic social affair.
The first couple of months of the relationship were exhilarating. The chemistry between them was hot, the sex electrifying. But by the third month, Stu began cancelling weekend dates in favor of weekdays. Sometimes he simply didn’t even show up. No call. Nothing.
When asked what happened, he snapped, “No one checks up on Stu Malone. Just be glad I’m here now.” Stunned, I backed off. On another occasion, I called his home, and a woman answered. I hung up. Frightful feelings of jealousy and insecurities overwhelmed me.
Thoughts of him filled my every hour. Shocked by the intensity of my emotions, I felt emotionally trapped, unable to function without him in my life.
What have I allowed to happen? I’m losing control. My emotions are wild. My hands trembled like a panicking rejected woman.
Red-Flag — He had other women and refused any discussion.
Part II discusses what she does to confront Stu and his response.
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