*ina’s Mom Has Got it Going On…

Carmelo didn’t waste any time getting in contact with Katrina. The first couple of days were just texts between the two. Katrina enjoyed talking about herself and her kids. She was a widowed woman of two daughters; twins Nina and Dina, who were about Carmelo’s age. From her many texts bragging about her girls, he could tell, that while she enjoyed complaining about them; she loved them very much. While not the kind of conversations he was expecting when he originally planned to talk to her, he was by no means disappointed. He found her motherly rambles very charming and was almost envious of the Caliente twins.

 

Early on, Katrina sent a picture of the Nina and Dina to him.  He had recognized them from the night he met Katrina at the club. The twins didn’t look hardly like their mother. Out of the two of them, Nina, the redhead looked the closest but her head was huge and her cheeks looked like they got stung and swollen by a bunch of bees. She had a great ass, though.  Dina, on the other hand had a nice face but she was built like a twig and wasn’t really Carmelo’s type. Apparently the three of them were close, but often fought a lot. Katrina would rant about her daughter Nina, especially .

 

Eventually, Katrina began to talk about the asshole from the previous night, Don Lothario. Apparently Lothario was her former fitness coach turned at home-lover boy with free food and housing. Katrina told him that the two of them weren’t officially a committed thing; they started their relationship with just “free sexy fun open relationship, no strings attached” and were SUPPOSED to be just that. But apparently Don doesn’t like to share and found it hard seeing other people with him hounding her neck. But of course, since he relied on her for free rent/food, he would never push things TOO hard but was “a pain in the ass.”

 

When Carmelo asked her why she didn’t just kick him out, Katrina merely said “he can be charming some days, plus he gives great massages.”

 

Eventually, the two started doing late night phone calls, and it wasn’t just for him to listen to her complaining about Don or the twins. FUN phone calls. One night, Carmelo finally gathered the courage to ask her on a date. With no hesitation, she said yes. Carmelo was over the moon.

 

Carmelo wasn’t the type to like popular, overcrowded dating spots. Sure they were fun/convenient at times, but often they were distracting from his plans for the day. He had heard about the Bluffs from a coworker of his at The Company, apparently it was a nice spot back in the day for shady dealings, but now a days was just a good place for fisherman, rebellious teenagers, exhibitionists, and…intimate rendezvous. Sounded like a good fit.

 

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“You know, in all of my visits to Windenburg, I’ve never been to a place like this,” Katrina said, the two of them just emerging from the entrance to the hidden retreat spot. “Very exciting. Brownie points for you, kid. But you aren’t even from around here, how did you know about this place?”

 

Carmelo winced at the “kid” mention. Nothing was more unattractive then being treated and viewed like a child. Given the age difference, it wasn’t surprising, but…if this date was going to work out that needed to change, asap.

 

“Oh you know, a friend…told me crazy stuff used to go down here,” he said, his eyes looking down as his mind began to race. “But I gotta ask Katrina…”

 

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Before he could finish or she could interject, he quickly placed his lips onto her I a brief, but firm kiss. He was by no means an amateur at kissing, but it had been some time and he never really had much experience with older women. But nonetheless, a kiss was a kiss and Carmelo could feel it further the sparks between them. Caught by surprise, Katrina was frozen stiff and didn’t do much except make a “mffph” noise upon contact.

 

Quickly stepping back to give her space and a moment to register it in, he quickly flashed her a cocky smirk and asked, “…am I still a ‘kid’ now?” For the first few seconds Katrina just stared at him, arched an eyebrow and then smiled.

 

“Oh most definitely,” she said, her hands falling to her hip. “But a good kisser with a cute face and certainly eager to please, all which I certainly like to see. I’d like to see where this goes if you’re willing.”

 

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Initially disappointed, Carmelo could feel his confidence surging up once more. “I can most certain work with that.” He said, taking her hands into his. The tension between the two was starting to thicken and he could feel the two were going to have a lovely date. “Which is a good thing too…”

 

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“Since I’d hate to have bought this for nothing.” He said, whipping out a single red rose he had stashed away before she had arrived. Katrina’s eyes light up and her lips stretched out into a lovely smile. She was genuinely surprised and excited and Carmelo couldn’t help but feel proud of himself.

 

“Oh, you shouldn’t have!” she said, but her eyes said otherwise. “Damn, it’s been FOREVER since anyone’s gotten me flowers. You are certainly racking up all of the brownie points today, handsome.  Good tastes too; I just love roses.” She said, twirling the rose in her hands. Carmelo stood there briefly for a moment, thriving in her delight. It was a good thing their getaway car last night accidentally ran into a flower store. While the mistake certainly decked him from some pay; he managed to snag a few flowers in the car and was able to make use of it. What luck.

 

“Ah yes, I certainly know how to please a lovely woman such as yourself,” he boasted, looking around briefly suddenly reminded him what he had invited her for.

 

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“Now, beautiful, shall we head to the main event? Did you bring everything I told you to bring?” Gazing up at her, he waited for her response. This was going to be great.

 

“Yes, yes. Of course, now lead the way and let’s get this show on the way!” She said, her voice revealing a little impatience. She wasn’t the only impatient one, however…

 

Ten minutes later, strange noises could be hear coming from the Bluffs. Only the two of them were there, with the crashing of the ocean on the rocks of the cliffs below them to drown out any other sound.

 

“Ahh…Harder!” she cried out.

 

“Got it, got it. You sure I’m in the right spot?” He said, followed by a low grunt.

 

“Yes, yes! You just gotta go do it harder than tha-ahhh!”

 

“Damn, you are tight.” He panted with heavy breaths.

 

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“Yeah, well my daughters bring me great joy, but also great knots. Also, you know… This old gal ain’t what she used to be…. Oooh, ooh right there. Yeah. Ahhhh.” She moaned, her head hanging low as she could feel him massage out the knot in the base of her shoulders.

 

“Well, while I can’t help you with the age thing,” he said, a brief pause in between the massages. “Maybe you should consider it’s time for the baby birds to leave the nest? Might need a little push or three.”

 

Katrina chuckled. “Oh, that’d be nice. But believe me, the girls wouldn’t last a day without me. They’d make a bigger mess for me if they just ran around and didn’t have me to stop them from doing something REALLY stupid.” Carmelo just smiled and continued with the massage. He had a feeling Dina and Nina weren’t the ones who wouldn’t last without their mother.

 

“But enough talk about them,” she murmured.

 

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She quickly shifted her shoulders around, turning towards Carmelo and leaning into kiss him. Not skipping a beat, he quickly returned the affection and the two were in sync. Carmelo always did enjoy a woman with experience. So much less hassle.

 

Katrina pulled back and the two stopped briefly, but the space between them remained ever so close. Carmelo slinked his arm around her and Katrina seemed to like the embrace.

 

“Mhm. I gotta say I really enjoyed the massage, cutie. You definitely know how to use your hands. And the scenery here is just darling. Only thing missing is a nice bottle of champagne.” Her hand began to wander and trace side of his cheek. Using his free hand, Carmelo took her hand into his and began to roll his thumb alongside it gently.

 

“Duly noted. But you know,” he said, his eyes narrowing in a mischievous manner. “I’m not just ONLY good with my hands. I’m good with a lot of things…which, I can show you, if you’d like. It’d be fun.”

 

“Lead the way, handsome.”

 

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With that, the two lovebirds ran to the nearest bush, and began to canoodle to their hearts content. It was awkward at first, trying to find a good position and not get poked with a branch. Only major downside was that his crotch was itchy as hell the next few hours, but all in all it was a good time. Something about sex out in the open like that just made it ALL the more fun.

 

The date itself didn’t last very long after that. Katrina got an emergency call from one of the twins and had to leave early, but both she and Carmelo were quite satisfied for the duration they had. She gave him a kiss goodbye and told him they should do this again sometime, for which he agreed.

 

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Later that evening, was his first meeting with The Good Neighbor club. Just as he was told, it was a group mainly full of women, ranging from all sorts of ages. Most of the conversations during the group session ranged from various struggles each member was having/going through, gossip, and sharing recipes. Initially, the women took his presence to be very off putting and they seemed rather nervous, but Aanya took the lead of things and after a while, they began to be more comfortable around them.

 

“And I said, Charlie, ‘don’t you touch that raccoon. He’s gonna bite your ass.’ And you know what he did?”

 

“What, what did he do?!” asked Clara Bjergsen, the head leader of the Good Neighbors club. Her eyes glittered with excitement as she waited for him to finish the story.

 

“He fuc-I mean freaking touched it and got his middle finger bit right off.” He said, watching her face twist into a big shocked reaction. “Was a real mess too; I had to chase after the critter to get the finger back.”

 

“Did he turn out okay?!” she asked. “Gosh I just can’t imagine losing my own finger…”

 

“Oh yeah, he ended up fine. I got the finger and we put it on some ice and took him to the hospital. Docs fixed him right up. Cried like a baby, that he did.”

 

And with that, the evening continued on with Carmelo telling some wild, albeit the tamer, adventure stories of his; some a bit more exaggerated than others. The other women were greatly entertained, especially since they lived much more…ordinary lives in comparison.

 

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Eventually, the time comes for the club to come to a close, and most of the other members are already gone, leaving a few of the more core key members left.

 

“We just wanted to say that we really enjoyed having you today in our group.” Clara said, looking towards the club’s event organizer, Candy Behr. A cute, friendly, perky girl with a lot of social connections and a lot of energy to spare. She looked familiar, but Carmelo couldn’t put his finger one where.

 

“Yeah, it was lots of fun!” Candy said. “You should totally come to our next meeting!”

 

“I would love to,” he said smiling, happy to have gained their favor. This was going to be interesting.

 

“Great!” Clara exclaimed. “Here are Candy’s phone number and mine. Text either of us if you can’t make a meeting or something’s come up.” Looking just beyond Carmelo’s direction, she waved to Aanya, signaling to her that it was time to go.

 

Aanya had been a few paces away, on her phone talking to someone for the past ten minutes. Her expression was serious and she didn’t seem too happy; disheartened, even.

 

“Bye Carmie!” Candy called out, waving goodbye to him. “Good luck with the camping. This place looks like a mess!” Clara turned to her and began to scold her, to which Candy just laughed it off.

 

As Aanya began to follow them as the ladies were leaving, Carmelo ran up to her and lightly tapped her on the arm. “Hey, Aanya, do you mind if I talk to you for a sec?”

 

“Sure,” she said, a little caught off guard. The two hadn’t talked too much that evening, but Aanya had made many attempts to allow Carmelo in the conversation and transition easily. For which, Carmelo did not fail to notice.

 

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“I just wanted to give you, this.” Carmelo said, handing her a single red rose, much alike the one he gave Katrina that afternoon.

 

“Oh my,” she said, her face lighting up. “What brought THIS on?”

 

“Ah, well I just wanted to thank you for today; you helping me out in the club and all that.” He said, watching her as she began to twirl the rose in her hand, admiring it. “Plus, a beautiful lady as yourself deserves a beautiful flower such as this?”

 

Suddenly Aanya’s face fell flat real quick and agitation was spread across her face. “Did you…just join this club to hit on me?”

 

Carmelo could suddenly feel the back of his neck begin to sweat. “W-well I’d be lying if I said that getting to know you wasn’t my primary objective, initially. But I do like the club and would like to stay, unless you object…? I didn’t mean to make things weird, just wanted to see if the feeling was mutual and all that.” Carmelo could feel a sense of panic building up inside him. Not good, not good.

 

Aanya continued to glare him down for a few moments, but eventually just closed her eyes and took a deep breath and side. Rubbing her temples she quickly gazed back down to the rose in her hand and looked back up directly into his gaze. Without so much of a word or warning, she quickly reached for his pocket and took out his phone and began typing something into his phone.

 

“You text me when you are free or interested, but I give no promises. Do NOT call me. Also, anything between us has to stay just that; between us. No telling anyone, not even the girls in the club. Hell, especially the girls in the club.” With a few more button pressing and clicks, she handed the phone back to Carmelo and he could see that she had made herself as a contact in his phone.

 

“I’m not looking for anything serious, okay? Just some casual fun. Things have been hard on me lately and I need a distraction. Maybe one time or a regular thing. That just depends on how much fun you can get us into.” She said, her hands sliding over his shirt as she began to play with the pendant around him. Carmelo took her gently by the end and began to trace around her fingers affectionately.

 

“Oh believe me; we’ll have loads of fun.”

Chapter 1: A Whole Lotta Nothin’

01-05-17_3-27-23-amIt was a beautiful day in Willow Creek. While the season was unsure, the grass was green, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping away, and in the distance you could hear the jingle of the bell of a hungry cowplant nearby. Nothing out of the ordinary, and almost peaceful.

 

Almost peaceful.

 

“The h-hell is this?” A young Carmelo Noriega stammered. His expression and composure neutral, but his voice starting to crank up in volume. “THE HELL IS THIS?!” He yelled, with no one to hear his string of profanities that soon followed after. With a quick dial on his phone, he would soon find the very person he wanted to release his fury on.

 

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The line began to ring on the other end, but it didn’t take long. There was a bit moment of silence and heavy breathing, but Carmelo knew the person was there.

 

“…Hello?”

 

“Don’t ‘hello’ me, you dingus. Tell me Benny; what the hell happened? There’s nothing here. NOTHING.”  Carmelo turned around, facing the open area and confirming that yes; nothing was there. “We had a deal Benny and this is most certainly not IT.”

 

Carmelo Noriega was in fact, not a familiar face around these parts. He had come to Willow Creek because he had arranged a deal with his newest employer; the shady and all too mysterious establishment simply known as “The Company.” Carmelo wasn’t the brightest crayon in the Crayola box, but even he could put two and two together to figure out that The Company was a no-good criminal organization. They weren’t super famous or anything, but word on the street was that they had their hands in all sorts of cookie jars, and the fact they managed to remain relatively off the radar was rather impressive.

 

It was Benny, Carmelo’s childhood acquaintance and fellow opportunity seeker that arranged him with a job offer from The Company. Higher ups needed more “jack-of-all-trades” kind of guys in the area to help a local operation they were setting up take flight. Some get away drivers, a few risky drop offs, the occasional thug to start off a bar fight as a distraction; the small stuff. It was all sketchy as hell; but would pay well.

 

The only problem with all of this is that the place of operation was going to be out in the middle of some plain-jane suburban area and Carmelo was too broke to afford to move; let alone find a place anywhere close in his payroll. The Company said that wasn’t an issue and they’d set him up some place and they would work out an arrangement for him to pay them back. Carmelo agreed to the deal, and a few days later made his way out to the address that he was given.

 

Carmelo didn’t expect much; maybe a shit-shack with a broken roof, cheap toilet, and some rats. Nothing fun or remotely sanitary; but livable. However, instead he got absolutely nothing. Not a house, no walls, no door; just grass. Grass for miles.

 

Surreal, that’s what the whole thing. Sur-freaking-real.

 

“O-oh, Carmelo. Man, look I’m really sorr–”

 

“I don’t need you to be sorry, Benny. Just tell me what the fuck is going on?!” he yelled, directly into the phone this time. He could hear the other man’s voice on the end crack as he continued to speak.

 

“It-t was just a small misunderstanding; that’s all,” Benny said. Carmelo had to bite his tongue, as it all didn’t seem so “small” on his end. This was colossal.

 

“The Company just underestimated the housing prices in Willow Creek, and you’re obviously too broke to pay for it yourself, it was going to be up to The Company to pay for you a place to stay and well…

 

“The Company likes you Carmelo, really they do, but they aren’t going to pay big bucks on a piss ass broke no-good nobody like ya’. And that’s what you are, Noriega; a nobody. But The Company, well, they’re very giving people. They ordered some supplies for you to last the next couple of weeks or so, and as you work hard and do good, or well, no good; they can set you up with something real nice.

 

Carmelo remained silent for quite some time, taking in the information his “friend” had given him but also ingesting some of the biting comments Benny had said as well, which he knew weren’t wrong. He was a nobody; just scum on the back of some bigwig’s shoe praying they throw him a bone. Doing whatever he could to get by, and making shit decisions one after another.

 

“Listen, Carmelo, I know this whole thing may seem really shitty and cheap right now; but just give The Company a chance. Look at me; I was scum before but now I’m making more than the average damn salaryman and living the good life. Just give it a chance. You know you won’t get another.”

 

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And with that Carmelo quickly hung up the call and tucked his phone in his pocket. What a mess. Benny was a douche, but he was right. If Carmelo could play his cards right, he could strike a golden opportunity with The Company. On the other side, he could get himself in the deepest of shit if he messed up. But considering he wasn’t doing any better than what he was doing this long, he figured it was worth a shot.

 

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Out in the corner of his eye, Carmelo suddenly saw a beautiful woman donned in orange. She was walking towards his direction and the two suddenly shared a moment of eye contact, in which Carmelo took upon the opportunity.

 

“Well hello, neighbor. What a beautiful sight indeed.” He said, his eyes glittering with interest. Her clothes screamed “city gal” but San Myshuno was the closest city around; and that was a good hour drive or so. Surely she lived much closer than that…

 

“Not today, pal.” She said calmly, avoiding eye contact with him and kept walking. Eager to get her attention, Carmelo picked up his pace and stopped right in front of her.

 

“My apologies ma’am. Seems we got on the wrong foot, so let me start over.” He took a quick breath and met her at eye level. “The name is Carmelo Noriega. I’m new around these parts, and well…long story short I’m having a rough start into the neighbor. Was wondering if we could get to know each other, as neighbors and whatnot. Could use a friendly chat right about now.”

 

The woman paused for a moment, and gazed at Carmelo in a cautious manner. For a moment Carmelo that his last attempt at getting her attention would fall short, but then she began to talk.

 

“Aanya Jang.” She said, her expression beginning to lighten, but still reserved. “And I am sorry, I don’t live around here. Just here for a club meeting and visiting some friends. I live in San Myshuno.”

 

Carmelo tried to hide his amusement of him being right about the woman being a city babe after all. But despite his attention starting to waver as she began to talk, he didn’t miss the part about her mentioning why she was in the neighborhood in the first place.

 

“Clubs, you say? Man, I haven’t been to a club in ages.” He said, lying through his teeth. “Say, I don’t suppose I could join this club, could I? What do you guys…do, in this club? Golf? Swimming? Gardening?”

 

“Ahhh, no nothing like that. It’s just a support group for folks to help out one another and support each other. It’s called ‘Good Neighbors’ and you know, it might just be the kind of thing you’re looking for. However…”

 

“Yes?”

 

“One problem; the club happens to be full of women. It’s not intentional and you don’t have to be a woman to join; but I don’t want you to feel …awkward or anything.” She stated, rubbing the back of her neck ever so slightly.

 

“Oh, no Aanya; that is no problem whatsoever!” he assured her. “To be completely honest with you, I much prefer the company of classy women such as yourself, over the presence of brash knuckleheaded kind of dudes I’ve always known. If you will take me, I’d be delighted to join the Good Neighbors.”

 

Aanya paused for a moment, considering the propositioned, and finally smiled. “Alright, alright. I’ll call Clara, our leader, first thing tomorrow. We might on Sundays, every week. You don’t have to go to every meeting but don’t go skippin’ out on all of them, now.”

 

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world, he said.” Waving her off with a soft smile, quietly admiring the view of her backside as she left.

 

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“Excuse me sir, if I may have a mome–” a voice suddenly murmured right behind him.

 

“BY THE WATCHER’S TITS, WHAT THE HELL, LADY?!” he yelled, jumping back a few inches, trying to restrain any self-defense reflex that was ready to go off. If it wasn’t for the sudden close up that scared the shit out of him; it was how the lady looked herself. Dressed in all gothic garb and got all sorts of garbage painted on her face. Or was that tattooed? That had to be just paint.

 

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“My apologies, I didn’t mean to–” she tried to say. But Carmelo wasn’t having it.

 

“Sorry, I ain’t got no donations to give ya for sick llamas or whatever you’re trying to save. So just scram.” Carmelo had no time for eccentric freaks, especially ones giving him the willies.

 

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“This is not going as planned…” Creepy Lady sighed, rubbing the top of her temple. She took a few moments to collect her thoughts while Carmelo started making rude and offensive gestures towards her.

 

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“Carmelo Noriega; what is it that you desire most in life?” she said.

 

“What the hell, how do you know my name? Who are you? Who do you wor–” he started to say, when the Creepy Lady cut him off.

 

“That is irrelevant. I am no enemy of you, Mr. Noriega. Just answer the question. What is it that you desire most in life?”

 

“Power and status.” He said, his eyes starting to drift away. “If I could just get there. Just get to the top with all of the other important people; I could make a name for myself.  Live the good life. Money, women, and a nice house…it would be great. I would be great. No more Carmelo the Loser. I’d be Carmelo the winner.”

 

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“Sounds like a big dream” she said, observing him ever so diligently. “If I may, a word of advice, for that dream; mind your vices, for they will be the end of you.” Before Carmelo could say anything in respond to her ominous warning, she said something else.

 

“Also, if you desire financial success; might I suggest frogs? Truly nature’s most abundant gift is the frog. Quite popular, too. Frog breeding very tenuous, but provides ample rewards…

 

“Speaking of which, take this.” She said, handing him a peculiar red pendant. “A gift. Think of it as a physical embodiment of your dreams. May it guide you during the most troubling times.

 

“Ah, but it seems my time is up. Until we meet again, Mr. Noriega. May you achieve all of which you desire.” And with that, the Creepy Lady walked away, leaving a very confused, and stupefied Carmelo behind.

 

“What the fuck was that about?! Frogs?!” Carmelo’s head was starting to hurt. He gazed upon the necklace the woman gave him, it was a peculiar red spider or insect of some kind. Looked expensive and valuable. Maybe he’d pawn it off somewhere. Someone rich has to be into this kind of shit.

 

Out of the corner of his eye, he heard the distant sound of “ribbit” in the distance. Frogs. Like the Creepy Lady was talking about. Looking around to make sure no one was watching him, he headed towards the log and gazed upon it.

 

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“Perhaps there is something to what that crazy bitch was going on about…” It sounded crazy, absolutely looney tunes. But he was a desperate man, looking forward some desperate cash. He heard the “ribbit” once more from within the log and decided to take action. Reaching quick and quiet, he stuck his arm in and snatched up the slimy creature.

 

“There, wasn’t so ha—AH!” he yelled, as the frog began to panic, he too began to panic and threw the poor creature into a nearby lake.

 

“Oh fuck that, nope. No more frogs. Ain’t dealing with that shit.” He said, quickly retreating from the scene and trying to suppress the newly made memory from his mind.

 

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Eager to move on from his froggy adventures, Carmelo headed into town for the evening, but the place was as dull as dishwater. Weird europop trash and pitiful DJs who didn’t know what they were doing. Carmelo stepped outside from the club and soon saw himself, drifting towards  an abandoned easel. He saw a few others scattered around town, apparently open to the public for anyone to use. Some hippie “get intertwined with your c” mumbo jumbo crap. But Carmelo was bored and it had been a while since he had painted something.

 

Picking up the easel and palette, nostalgia began to flood Carmelo like a river. He used to do a lot of artsy stuff growing up as a kid, it was a good distraction at the time. Art was one of the few classes at school he did well at. Suddenly, Carmelo could feel someone watching him.

 

Turning around to see who it was staring at him, expecting another weird freak like earlier today, he was surprised to see that it was, in fact not a weirdo. But a hottie. An older woman, but one with gorgeous red hair and a killer rack. A real MILF.

 

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“You like what you see?” He asked, quickly walking over to her direction and sitting on the bench next to her. No way was he going to miss THIS opportunity.

 

“Hm…I don’t know.” She said, her expression anything but exciting. “Seems a bit…lack luster to me. I’ve seen more impressive pieces of work.” Carmelo smiled, he liked a gal with bite. Carmelo took up the situation with stride and made sure not to miss a bit.

 

“I must say, it has been awhile since I’ve dabbled in these sort of things, so I am a bit rusty. But I’m a fast and eager learner. Why, you seem quite experienced in these sort of things yourself; I don’t suppose you’d be willing to spend some time and…assist me, would you?”

 

The red head woman busted out laughing at this, but Carmelo wasn’t fazed by this. She had a cute laugh.

 

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“Okay, you’re cute. I’ll admit that.” She said, eyeing him up and down with slight interest. “What’s your name? Never seen you around before, and I’d remember someone with a face like yours.”

 

“You mean a face such as mine that is so devilishly handsome? Yes, we haven’t met. The name is Carmelo. Carmelo Noriega.

 

“And you know, I gotta say, ma’am. I’ve had a real shitty day today. Shittiest it’s been in a while. But these past minutes hanging out with you has been down right fun and a real up lifter, so I gotta ask; can I have your name and number? A bit rushed and abrupt I know, but it’s getting quite late and I just gotta take you out someti–”

 

01-05-17_5-33-49-am

“Yo! Katrinaaa!” A loud, male voice boomed across a few feet, quickly gaining speed as he approached the two of them. “Katrina, we gotta go. Nina drank too much again and is upchucking her guts by the dumpster and Dina got caught trying to hit on ol’ Mort, and Bella’s mad as—wait who’s this?” He said, staring at Carmelo. He looked at Carmelo and then looked at Katrina and then looked back at Carmelo and managed to put two and two together.

 

“Katrina, what the hell? I thought we were through this. But again? Who is this guy?! He’s just a lame ass punk. Probably younger than me!” he said, glaring sat Carmelo.

 

“Watch yourself pal…” Carmelo murmured…glaring back down at the other dude. This was a shit sandwich of a day and he sure wasn’t going to take any more shit, especially from some roid-junkie loser like this.

 

“Don, stop. It’s not like that. We were just talking.” She said standing up to leave, but as she got up Carmelo felt something be put into his pocket.

 

“Katrina, baby. I know you. It’s never ‘just talking.’”

 

“Let’s go, Don. Now.” She said, and with a heavy sigh and a final glare towards Carmelo, Don quickly followed Katrina. With the two of them out of sight and finally gone, Carmelo reaches into his pocket and pulls out a folded note. Under the dim lamp streetlight he can read out a 10 digit phone number with the signature “Katrina~ <3” at the end.

 

Score!

 

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The next day, Carmelo finds himself standing outside eating a bowl of generic, lame cereal. Fortunately, The Company managed to send him a few things while he was gone on the town last night, and gave him a tent, a shower curtain and a battery-powered fridge. He slept awful last night, and woke up in ants this morning. The shower was pitiful and left him cold and irritated.

 

In the end, he decided to keep the red pendant from the Creepy Lady. Chances are, he wasn’t going to get nice things for a while, and while not normally his style, the red suited him and no doubt made him look cooler. Work wasn’t going to start until a few days, so he had to count his pennies and ration out the cereal until pay day.

 

“Damn, I hate cereal.”