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Journey to Fortune

By:Dixie Lynn Dywer

Journey to Fortune
Dixie Lynn Dywer

Prologue




"You're lying to me again. I know you are, Salvador. Just spit it out. I  want to know why you didn't show up last night. I want to know why  you're breaking things off with me. I can handle the truth. Stop  patronizing me, Goddamn it!" Tia Rose Richman raised her voice in  frustration. She couldn't take it any longer.

Salvador was avoiding her. She was tired of his mistreatment and lack of  respect. She felt like she was drowning in this relationship. No matter  what she did, he wasn't happy. She never should have stayed with him.  Slash that. She never should have gotten involved with him. It was just  like her relationship with her parents, except Salvador hadn't hit her.  Yet.

She paced her bedroom in her small apartment on the East Side of the  Village. New York City wasn't what it was cracked up to be. She was mega  pissed off. The fucker stood me up. Again.

"I don't think that you can. You're a child. You need to grow up," he  snapped at her, in that irritating English accent of his. The fucking  snob. Me, grow up? I've been working my ass off since I was twelve, and  had a damn paper route, for crying out loud. Now, after college, I'm  still doing odd jobs on the weekends to make money. What the fuck does  he mean, grow up?

"I am far from a child. Just because you have a fucking master's degree  in psychology does not make you a damn expert in knowing everyone's  personalities. You don't know me at all. I am working my way up at  Malone's Designs."

"Working your way up, my ass," he snapped at her. "They're using you.  You're their damn puppet. You never stand up for yourself. You never  speak your mind. You let people walk all over you and it makes me sick.  You're weak, Tia Rose, and your boss knows it. Why do you think you keep  getting passed up for promotions and that yearly trip to Paris?"

The bastard knew that statement would hurt me. He knows how hard I've worked.

"You know that my designs were stolen."

"Oh, give me a break. Little Miss Missouri is crying again about how  hard it is living in New York City, one of the toughest places around."

She felt the tears sting her eyes. He was such a heartless bastard, and he was too old for her.

"I've had it with you putting me down and saying that I'm not good enough. Not for you or for my profession."

"Well, you're not. I'm done with you. I was with another woman last night."

Her heart ached something terrible. It wasn't that she loved Salvador,  but he was so good looking, and so many women craved his attention. When  he had found her six months ago, standing in the Marquis hotel, unsure  of where the conference room was located, he escorted her and swept her  off her feet. She had been naive and stupid. Her parents were right. She  was a loser. Their hateful comments and the way they always put Tia  Rose down filtered through her mind, making her feel worthless.  Salvador's words just added to the facts.

"Did you hear me, Tia? I was with another woman last night."

"With Leza? You slept with Leza?" she asked, knowing that blonde Amazon  wanted Salvador so badly. She wanted his money, his reputation, and to  be escorted around town as his lover, or mistress. Was she considered a  mistress because Salvador was with Tia? She had fallen for his charms,  was impressed by his money and maturity, but never connected on that  deeper level she yearned for. She shook her head as Salvador released  his claws.

"She's a real woman. She's strong, sensual, and open to exploration. I  know that you have fears, but you're the coldest bitch I ever fucked."

She gasped and felt her blood pressure boiling.

"Are we back to this again, Salvador? Back to your sick fetishes? I  don't need a master's degree to see that you're sick in the head. I  won't allow you to tie me up and cut me, so that you can get off on your  power trip."

"Tia Rose. Don't push me. It was one time. One time I shared a secret  with you and how it made me feel empowered. I was thinking that allowing  me that control of you would make you feel empowered, too."

"Ha! As if. You want power and control? You have that in your freaking  businesses that you own. You always get what you want when you want it.  Not everyone is so spoiled. Leza is so great and so sensual? Then keep  her. I'll have you know that I'm a very sensual woman. In fact, I wasn't  the problem. You and your small penis were. Good-bye, Salvador, and go  to hell!"         

     



 

Tia Rose disconnected the call.

She stared around at her small, elegantly decorated apartment and  absorbed the silence. She glanced at the coffee table, and a small box  of ripped movie and Broadway show tickets from when she and Salvador  went on numerous dates. She was shaking with fury and some fear.  Salvador expected respect, and when he was questioned, she experienced  his wrath. It wasn't pretty. She had enough verbal abuse at home. It was  another reason why she left. She thought about her parents. The fact  that her mother allowed her husband to hit her still to this day  frightened Tia Rose. Was Salvador capable of hurting her like that?

I know the answer. I've been denying it for months. Of course he is.  Look how quickly he dumped me. Now I have no one again. Is being  completely alone, cut off from the world, better than withstanding the  pain of insults and abuse?

Suddenly the anger and the hatred for his words, his description of her  being a coldhearted bitch slowly began to disintegrate. She was single  again. Her very first real relationship went down the tubes because of  her feelings of inadequacies, her lack of sexual experience, and her  body.

She hated her body.

She hated the large breasts, her large ass, and that damn bit of belly  that would never flatten. She did crunches and abdominal workouts until  she pulled her back out. She wasn't overly fat, just husky, well-built  if she lived in the Renaissance Era. Back then, a woman with her  voluptuous, well-curved figure would be considered most beautiful, and  the kind of woman every man dreamed of. Women with large breasts and  large hips were considered goddesses. Why hadn't Salvador seen me as a  goddess?

The tears rolled down her cheeks as she grabbed the box, the reminder of  a man who hardly knew her at all, and who most definitely didn't love  her. She walked to the garbage and threw out the box. She needed to get  ready for work.

It was over. Salvador made his choice. If Leza was what he found to be  sexually stimulating, then so be it. Today, life changed for Tia Rose.  Today, she was once again alone in a world obsessed with emaciated  women, dominated by the big mouths with the deep pockets, and she was on  the bottom. Her mother was right. A rich handsome man wanted one thing  and one thing only. She remembered her mother's hateful words when she  called to tell her that she had found someone.

He won't stick around, Tia. He wants one thing from you, and I'm sure you gave it up. Why buy the cow when the milk's for free?

Tia Rose thought about that. The words sunk in immediately. Her mother's  intentions in insulting her weight and her lack of self-control were  enunciated with the words, "Why buy the cow"-me-"when you can get the  milk for free?" My virginity. My pussy. Well, that asshole never even  gave me an orgasm.

She would get through this. Just like she got through leaving Missouri,  her broken heart, and her abusive parents. She had to stop with the  self-destruction. She was alone in this world. That was the bottom line.  There was no sugar-coating it anymore. Alone, miserable, and unloved.  Something had to change. What worse could happen to her now?





Chapter 1




Tia Rose was in a hell of a mood. It seemed like her day could get a bit  worse after all. As she took the cab, she sat on melted chocolate. At  least she hoped that it was chocolate. Disgusted, she tossed the cab  driver his fare, told him about the dirty seat, and then proceeded to  the front of the office building. She wished she had worn her light  sweater. It was a bit chilly. Scratch that, she wished she had worn a  black skirt. That would have at least hid the chocolate. She always kept  a change of clothes in her office at work. Just in case. So all she  needed to do was get past the front desk and hopefully her bosses,  Bernadette and Cade Sinclair.

"Good morning, Tia Rose. You are punctual as usual. I hope you don't  mind that I arrived for our meeting thirty minutes early. I have a plane  to catch, and I want to stop by the store before I head out."

Tia Rose cringed with her head lowered, staring at the floor, and pausing in her tracks. Shit, fuck, shit.

Slowly she looked up. Not that she had to. She knew the sound of the  very wealthy, charismatic playboy. God, Dante Parrone was gorgeous. He  also hung out with only the hottest females around. He complimented her  about her green eyes on more than one occasion. But he was only being a  flirt, as most millionaires were.         

     



 

"Oh, Good morning, Mr. Perrone. Um, could you just give me a few moments to settle in?"

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