Dominic Manos

Page 77… in a fiction series

Dominic Manos took the last sip of his martini and handed the glass back to Hanna.  She was an excellent chef and an even better bar tender.  His yacht, the Atlantis, was brought up north ahead of schedule, with Hanna, four young deck hands, and Captain Daniel Bering at the helm.  The uniformed crew operated with seamless precision, the same performance he expected from everyone in his employ.  Manos was looking forward to another summer in Traverse City.  And he was looking forward to his date with Miranda.

He reached for his briefcase, pulled out a manila folder, and opened an envelope with her name on it.  Relaxing in the salon with a stack of newspapers,  he thought about re-lighting the fat cigar in the monogrammed ashtray, then changed his mind.  Manos smiled at the photograph of a girl in a red snow suit being hoisted up the mast in a bosun’s chair.  He liked her sense of adventure, wondered what she would be like in person.  He knew she drank too much, which suited him.

Keeping an eye on Miranda during her winter stay in Charlevoix was not just to satisfy his curiosity.  Living aboard can be dangerous any time of the year.  For a girl to be alone on the dock during a Michigan snow storm was unheard of.  Maybe that was part of the allure.  Of course, his intention was not motivated by personal gain, or a desire to invade her privacy.  His only concern was to provide help if she needed it–   a warm hotel room, someone to shovel the walk, and cash if necessary.  And also, for no wrong reason, to keep track of the people who spent time with her.  It was a lengthy but necessary part of the screening process.

Another photo, and another.  He liked the one of Miranda walking down the dock in her bare feet, carrying her good shoes so the heels wouldn’t get scuffed.  He was happy for her when she landed the job with James Tiller.  His interest in her only increased when he saw her desire to rise above the status of “arm candy.”  She was pretty enough, but she also had grit.  If things turned out as planned, she wouldn’t have to work another day in her life.

The surveillance reports arrived weekly at his winter home in Miami.  Joe Ramano promised him a thorough and professional job, and delivered on his word.  And while Manos had his doubts about Neil Lipman, Joe’s brother-in-law came through with flying colors once he figured out how to work the tiny camera.  Dominic checked his tie in the mirror, walked down the gangway, and headed for Petoskey.

By now, Miranda had dating down to a science.  She had little hope that #30 was going to be anything special.  For all she knew, D.W. Manos could be a dock hand, or just another guy she met at a bar.  And after finally being with Drew, her heart just wasn’t in it.

Miranda began what was, by now, her nightly routine, but with less enthusiasm than the nights before. She yawned, then went through the motions:  little black dress from her vast collection, tall black stilettos, and red lipstick… Revlon Cherries in the Snow, an inexpensive brand, her old winter favorite.  She finished with a light spritz of Chanel #5– she was tired of the same old thing, ready for something new.

She headed downstairs, spotted Drew’s University of Michigan ball cap on the sofa.  She missed him already.  Miranda would be glad when all this was over.  She was sick of going on dates, tired of making small talk with boring strangers.  Maybe it was a stupid way to find a husband.  Maybe she didn’t even need a husband.  Surely, she could get another job, make her mortgage payments, and hire a kid to mow the lawn.  How hard could it be?  She was feeling hopeful, thinking about her future in a different way when the doorbell rang.

She was speechless. Manos said, “Hello Miranda.”

To be Continued…

*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.

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18 Responses to Dominic Manos

  1. Larry Who says:

    “…She was speechless. Manos said, “Hello Miranda.”

    Everything was budda bing budda boom until this short paragraph. Then, it seems we have a mystery. Manos is … is … is…

    Great hook!

    Okay, I’m ready. Let’s turn the page.

    • Linda says:

      Manos is…

      … either a good guy or a bad guy. He’s appeared throughout the story as a walk- on, but now we’re going to learn some of the details.

  2. Tod Hennen says:

    About how old is Miranda at this stage of the book? Trying to see if I can connect some of these dots in my head. You know what I mean, right?

    • Linda says:

      I would say she is somewhere between 35 and 40. But the current photo was in April. : )

      • Tod says:

        Ok, that helps me put her into perspective in terms of today. Just trying to figure out where she was and where she is.

        And your April pic is very nice indeed.

        • Linda says:

          I think you’ll start to put the past with the present pretty soon– wildly fictionalized just like the rest of the story. Good to see ya! : )

  3. Jan says:

    Have we met Manos already, under a different guise?

  4. Theresa says:

    The blue blazer in the above photo……………wasn’t there an older man in a blue blazer that she ran into at an airport or something?…or even way way back in a pub or something…back towards the beginning? I have gotten mixed up. This is so intriguing, though! :)

    • Linda says:

      You have an AMAZING memory! The airport, the pub… yes, this man has been in the story almost from the very beginning. No, you are not mixed up. Manos is the guy you’re thinking of. And now we’re about to find out the role he will play in Maranda’s mixed up life. : )

  5. end.transmission says:

    So she goes from the arms of a jeans and sweatshirt kind of guy to a suit? She’s got a wide array of tastes, this girl. But the wallet wants what the wallet wants, I guess.

    • Linda says:

      The wallet is a liar and a fool. Has it ever made her happy in the past? Has money ever brought her joy and contentment, or has it simply lined her walk-in closet with fur coats and Gucci bags? Will she ever learn?

      • Tod Hennen says:

        Yeah, I think she’ll learn. I have a lot of faith in and admiration for that girl. A heart of gold lies beneath all the confusion, methinks.

  6. ann says:

    Oh man….

    I don’t want to say what I think so I’ll just stay here and bite my fingernails until you post again :-)

    The comments have added as much intrigue as your writing. Now all I can do is wait. (Rather impatiently, I may add. :-) )
    Blessings
    ann

    • Linda says:

      Hello Ann… The comments are the confession of what’s really going on here, and I almost can’t write about it. It’s taken days to write some of these posts because I’m too busy kicking myself to type it all out. Thanks for reading… story’s almost finished.

  7. Debbie says:

    I’m reading backwards, since I was gone for awhile! But I still don’t know what is going to happen with this guy, what it’s going to mean for Miranda, and am freaked out at all the lengths he went to, to find out about her and keep tabs on her! love and hugs!

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