Chapter 6- The Perfumery House of Magdalo

Magdalo was given to rages. He would accuse Stella of looking at other men and being jealous. But he himself was a womanizer who wounded Stella by having courting other women despite promising her a wedding band wound about her finger, soon. It was always soon and she believed him.

They met when she was applying to have her perfume branded by their company. He did not like the perfume so much, and not as much as he liked Stella so badly he hired her immediately. Stella, out of sheer gratitude and a skewered notion that he was kind, became attracted to him, blindly like a fool. She wanted to please him all the time. It wasn’t because Magdalo owned the company or that he was rich and owned other fashion merchandise and businesses. It was, just gratitude that he took a notice to her perfume and ofcourse, to her.

Magdalo belonged to an old Spanish family who were bootleggers when they arrived in America. They were a fiery, tempestuous family who stuck together and fought against each other but realized that in the end they had nobody but themselves to look after because, money belonged to the family and it was their job to commit to their money. Money brought in power and with power came girls, cars, houses, jewels and other things.

But he was something in Stella which he could not forget. Her face was exquisite with brown wisps of hair and green eyes. It held the promise of money for him. He introduced her to his family and they all thought she was merely after his money being from an unknown family with nothing but a talent for perfumery. She had the right nose for the right blends of scent. Her favorite brand was her Neroli scent which the team in his company renamed as Elixir to be more marketable. The team even went so far as to bottle them in ancient looking flasks. Some of them were sold as oil based in the Black Market which they also controlled. But upfront they sold them within the company’s name as Elixir. Stella didn’t know anything about marketing and so left this part to the team under Magdalo’s leadership role. After all, it was his company.

Magdalo had three other brothers. They were still young but they already knew the value of money and power. And so, like their brother they each owned companies of their own as well. But they were most deferential to their brother who had most shares in the family conglomerate of companies.

Only their father remained alive and he was given to golfing, leaving the work to his sons. He retired early not wanting to be involved in the dirty business he knew his sons were also in. They had a band of men trained to protect the company in ways which weren’t legal but allowed by the local government units to go around with their unruly business simply because they had to protect the conglomerate from people who blocked their rise to power. This band was a secret force who owned heavy artillery from Mexico and were engaged in illegal pursuits, protected by the government of New York State and the upper echelons of New York society. Protection meant they had a part of the money Magdalo’s family owned. And that was how it was in New York for them. Like a little town mafia who made it big in the Big Apple.

At first, he felt thoroughly inclined towards Stella. And then, he simply loved her for her face but this wasn’t enough for Magdalo. He was a member of some pageantry business going around and he was constantly surrounded by models from his fashion acquisitions that he was soon back to dating models and beauty queens, leaving Stella in the dark. He persuaded Stella to live with him or at least live in a condominium unit in one of the plush areas of New York. But she refused, continuing to live with her best friend in an apartment at the edge of New York. She went to work on weekdays. They would go out at nights and they would travel the city and find things to do at night such as clubbing in his own clubs scattered across New York City. He was almost a billionaire and this was what he worked hard at attaining at such a young age.

At first Stella had no idea, but her best friend, her roommate said she caught him with a model coming out one of his hotels near the Hudson River. At first, Stella would not believe this but soon felt there was something sinister about Magdalo. He would laugh out loud and be angry at a moment’s notice when provoked or even when not provoked.

One time, the parking attendant drove in a different car from the one they used and Magdalo started kicking him wildly and punching his nose. Magdalo could get away with such things by just paying them off. There were never any court hearings about his behavior because he was the law. He was cumbersome and wild especially when drunk from partying at clubs. Then, Stella, who grew up from a humble family in Michigan could not do anything about him. It startled her and soon she wanted her independence back even as she worked for him.

She had invited him to her family’s Thanksgiving Party and they found him fascinating with his glamorous looks and life as a millionaire. They all thought: what better catch for their daughter than to marry this man. But Stella was not so certain anymore, even when he promised engagement to her.

Finally, it was Stella who broke up with him. She had never seen him with another woman yet, but she had a strong certainty that he was cheating on her and this was the bottom line along with his temper which she felt alienated from for she was one of a calm nature. And ofcourse, they would have their fights. He always wanted to do what he wanted for both of them. One time, he reeked slovenly of liquor and wanted to kiss her but even as she pushed his away, he kept forcing himself on her. She jumped out of the car and ran into the streets barefoot and finally decided she was breaking up with him.

Magdalo agreed but pleaded that she remain working in his perfumery house. Stella agreed but could feel his eyes on her each time he came to inspect his perfumery. She felt that he still wanted her and that he still kept a close watch on her and that he preyed upon her just by working in his house.

Stella knew then that she would want to be independent from his perfumery as well. But for now, she worked for him and had to stay due to the salary she was being given.


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