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“United Airlines is pleased to announce we will now begin boarding for flight 2207 with service to Minneapolis at Gate 7. United flight 2207 leaving from Gate
is now boarding.”
He settled into the business-class lounge and flipped open his laptop and opened up a browser. Several clicks later he found what he was looking for, put in his earbuds in and sat back to enjoy the show.
As his show started he felt someone sit down behind him and guessed it was either a woman or a man with long hair after it briefly brushed against his neck. The scent of a very pleasant perfume confirmed it was a female, and he put the issue out of his mind. He pulled an earbud out when an older man asked what flight had just been called. He put the earbud back in but now sensed he was being watched. He cut his eyes to the right and saw blonde hair then turned his head slightly. As he did, he heard the woman say something. He pulled both earbuds out and said, “What was that?”
“I’m so sorry! I thought I heard a familiar voice through your headphones and I had to look and see.” She pointed to his laptop and said, “That’s my favorite show on television.”
“Flip or Flop?” he asked confirming what she meant.
“Yes. I love that show!”
He laughed and said, “Mine, too. I love the work they do, but I especially enjoy how they seem to get along so well compared to the other husband and wife team from Las Vegas.”
“I know!” she said turning further around. “What’s that called? Flipping Vegas, right?”
“Yep. That’s it. What’s with the loudmouth husband? I don’t know how his wife puts up with him. She’s so nice and she’s really smart and talented and he’s always berating her and putting down her choices.”
The woman tried to keep smiling as she asked, “You’re not married are you?” Actually, it was more of a statement than a question.
“No, you got me there,” he admitted.
She realized how it sounded before she spoke again. “I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just that, you know, couples argue and sometimes it gets a little heated. That doesn’t mean they don’t love each other.”
“I’ll take your word for it. My only example is my parents. They’ve been married for 30 years and my dad’s never even raised his voice to my mom. They don’t spend all day holding hands and kissing, but they treat each other…well, the way I want to treat my wife. Whenever I’m lucky enough to find her, that is.”
The woman said, “You’re still young…and if I may say…very handsome. You won’t have any problem finding a wife. Just don’t be in too big a hurry, okay?”
He laughed and said, “No worries there. I just got out of a year-long relationship and I’m not exactly looking. But I have to say if Ms. Right were to come along, I wouldn’t pass her up due to timing.”
It was uncomfortable trying to talk to her that way so he said, “Would you like to sit here and watch it with me? Or I could come around to your side.”
“Really? I’d love to. I guess I’ll move since I’m the one who distracted you.” She picked up her purse and coat, then drug her wheeled carry-on over to his side and parked it next to the seat adjacent to his.
“I’m Renee Johnson,” she said extending her hand while smiling.
“Scott…not Yancey,” he said using the last name of the jerk from Flipping Vegas. The woman laughed and sat down as he said, “It’s actually Scott Moore. Pleased to meet you, Renee.”
He guessed her to be in her mid-thirties and he immediately found himself attracted to her. She looked like a younger version of Meredith Monroe from Dawson’s Creek. Or maybe she looked now like Meredith Monroe did back then. She had soft, silky, very blonde hair, very blue eyes, a great smile, and a very fit body. He also loved the way she was dressed, and although that wasn’t a deal-breaker issue for him, that always earned a woman extra points with him. He took really good care of himself and valued that in any woman he might consider dating. Then again, she was mostly likely about 10 years older than him. He was 24 so she was probably somewhere around 35. So as much as the age difference would probably keep her from dating him, the bigger problem was the diamond ring on her left hand. She was off clearly limits. As far as looks went, he knew she wasn’t out of his league by any means, but married was married and that was that.
“Same here, Scott,” she said letting him it was a pleasure meeting him, too. She pointed to the screen again and asked, “Which episode is this?”
“I’m not sure, but this is season 4 and the house they bought is in Costa Mesa, California.”
“Oh! The cost of real estate out there is insane!”
“Tell me about it,” he replied. “This home is just over a thousand square feet and it’s a dump. The asking price for it was $475,000 and both Tarek and Christina (the hosts of the show) think it’s a good buy.”
“Oh, my Lord!” she exclaimed. “The house my husband and I just bought to flip here in Charlotte was 2,040 sqft and the asking price was $170,000 and it was in much better shape avrupa yakası escort than that cracker box.” She was pointing to the screen as they showed some ‘before’ pics of the interior and exterior.
“Oh, so you flip houses, too?” he asked.
“Too? You mean like the guys on these shows?” she asked in order to clarify what he meant.
“Well, that’s one part of it. But the other part is I’m a general contractor and I’ve worked for a couple of flippers in the past. One couple was great. The other…not so much.”
“That’s insane!” she said. “My husband and I are…” she stopped for a moment then said, “were…flipping our first house together.” He gave a ‘get out of here look’ and she said, “I swear! Tarek and Christina were my inspiration. And like you said, they just get along so well.”
“He really treats her well, doesn’t he?”
“I know and she always looks great. I hope they’re as happy in real life as they seem on the show.” She got quiet for a moment then said, “You just never know.”
“Things not going so great on your flip?” he asked.
“Well, unlike Tarek and Christina, my husband—Nick, and I don’t quite see eye to eye the way they do. In fact, I sometimes wonder if we’ll ever agree on anything.”
“When it comes to design choices?”
“I wish it was just that. He not only doesn’t care for my tastes in home design, he can be a little um…vocal in the way he lets me know he see things differently.”
“Scott Yancey differently?” he asked.
Her smile faded and she said rather solemnly, “Unfortunately, yes.”
“Do you ever stand your ground?” he asked. Quickly he said, “That’s none of my business. Please excuse me for asking.”
“That’s all right. I don’t mind. But no, I’m not very good at doing that so I don’t stand my ground very often.” She paused for a minute then said, “Make that…ever.” She sat there for a moment then told him, “I have no idea why, but it feels good just be able to talk to someone about it.”
“So you’re Amie to his Scott,” Moore said referring to Amie Yancey, who was Scott Yancey’s wife on that particular house flipping show filmed in Las Vegas. He looked over at her and said, “Scott Yancey. Not me. Please don’t confuse me with that ass.”
Renee laughed and told him, “Ass is the perfect word. Cheapskate is another. I mean, why bother flipping a house if you’re not going to produce a beautiful product? You’ll get top dollar for the home if you do it right, but if you cut corners you’re never going to get full-price offers.”
Scott smiled as he asked her, “Are we talking about Scott Yancey or your husband?”
“Touché,” she said. “So you said you’re a GC, right?”
“I am. I have a bachelor’s in construction management and got my license two years ago, but I basically grew up around construction sites. My dad owns a construction company and I could build a house before I had the credentials to legally do it.”
“Oh, wow! We could really use someone like you. It’s not just that my husband wants to buy the cheapest possible materials, he wants to do everything himself and I guess I’ll be nice and only say…it looks like it. Was that diplomatic enough?”
Moore smiled and said, “Very. Have you ever considered running for office?”
She laughed and said, “Lord no! Who wants to have their dirty laundry aired only to be hated by half the people?”
“Touché!” he said back to her. Changing the subject he said, “So where might you be flying off to in the middle of a flip?”
“I decided to take a few days and go see my parents.”
“Is everything okay?” he asked before immediately saying, “Sorry. That’s twice. I should know better than to ask.”
“Everything’s fine. With them, I mean.” She had a look that said there was more to say but she didn’t feel comfortable saying it. “How about you Scott—not Yancey? What brings you to Charlotte International Airport this fine day?”
“I’m meeting a client who has very little time. This was my one and only chance to meet with him face to face before he leaves town for two weeks. It’s a big enough project that it was well worth the trip across town for what will likely be a very short meeting.”
“Good luck. But if it doesn’t work out, maybe we could work something out. We don’t have a very large budget to work with…” That made her laugh as she thought about getting her husband to fork over one thin dime for a contractor. “We could really use the help,” she told him.
“I don’t know. It might not be a good fit if your husband likes to do the work himself. I’m pretty much a perfectionist, and I’m really good at standing my ground.”
Renee laughed and said, “Oh, okay. Yeah, you might not last too long the first time you tried to talk Nick into laminate flooring over cheap carpet.”
“Laminate? Oh, no. Engineered hardwood or the real thing. None of that fake wood in any house I work on unless it’s entry-level.”
“A man after my own heart,” she said wistfully but also in istanbul escort a good-natured way.
“Cheap is for the birds. Or would that be ‘cheeping’ or ‘chirping’ or…” He looked over at her and the face she was making and threw his hands up. “Okay, I’m done.”
Renee laughed again and said, “Speaking of cheapskates, I haven’t heard from Nick all day. He always lets me know when he’s done and that everything’s okay at the end of the day. We’ve had some kids break in once already and now I’ll be worried about it until I know.”
“Where’s your flip located?” he asked.
She told him the general area and he said, “My dad and I built those houses 15 years ago. Okay, I wasn’t quite 10 and probably didn’t do a whole of actual building, but still…”
“You were ten years old then?” she said with incredulity in her voice. “Please tell me you just did not say that.”
Scott shrugged and said, “It’s the God’s-honest truth.”
“I was graduating from college. Sheesh. I feel older than I look,” she said with a certain amount of genuine sadness.
“You remind me of a movie star,” he blurted out.
“I what?” she said doing a double take.
“You remind me of an actress from Dawson’s Creek.”
“I loved that show!” She looked at him and said, “Sorry, but I don’t look anything like Katie Holmes.”
“No, you’re a lot better looking than her.” Her eyes got wide but she didn’t speak. “You remind me of Meredith Monroe who played…”
“Andie McPhee. You think I look like her?”
“I do. Well, back when she was on the sow. Only you’re better looking,” he told her truthfully. “Every time I see Meredith, she’s more beautiful than the last. At that rate, I guess she might catch up to you one day.”
Renee raised an eyebrow and said, “I’m going to consider that a compliment in spite of the getting older part.”
Scott laughed as they both heard: “This is the last call for United flight 2207 with service to Minneapolis at Gate 7. Last call for United flight 2207 leaving from Gate
Renee sat up and said, “That’s me. It’s been a pleasure talking to you, Scott.”
“Would you like me to stop by your flip and see if everything’s buttoned up?”
She picked up her things and said, “That’s crazy. It’s already dark and it’s on the other side of town.”
“I know, remember? It’s less than five minutes from my house and it would only take a couple of minutes to check. I’ll do a quick walk around then text you.”
She wrinkled her nose and said, “Would you really do that for me?”
He held out cell phone and she quickly punched in her number. “Thank you SO much, Scott. This’s very thoughtful.” She handed it back and said, “I’ve really gotta scoot, but maybe we’ll run into one another again sometime.”
“I’d like that. Only you have to provide the laptop next time, okay?”
She smiled and waved goodbye as she headed for the lounge’s exit.
Scott saw his potential future client walk in and made his way toward him. He spent the next half hour going over the details of a possible job which entailed adding on a second story to the man’s existing home. He was pleased with Scott’s proposal but said, “I didn’t realize you were so young. What kind of experience do you have?”
Scott ticked off the list of credentials he’d shared with Renee. The older man laughed and slapped him on the arm and said, “I like you, Scott. Okay, you’ve got the job. When can you start?”
He let him know he could start the next day in necessary, but the man told him he was looking at the following Monday which worked perfectly for both of them. They shook hands and Scott was grateful to have another paying client. Building his business was tough even with his dad’s contacts . He was now carrying the load himself since he decided to make a go on of it on his own after spending a year working with his dad right after college.
It was very dark, cold, and windy outside when he got in his truck and headed back across town. Twenty minutes later, he was pulling into the neighborhood. He’d been there quite a few times before working with his dad. The houses were older, but many of them had recently been remodeled meaning there was a lot of potential here for a flipper to make some real money. He found the specific address and pulled to a stop in front of the house. It looked secure, but there was no way to tell without walking around it and making sure doors were locked and windows closed.
He grabbed a flashlight, pulled up his collar and headed up the sidewalk. The front was locked and both windows seemed to be tightly shut. He made a quick loop around the place and saw that someone had thrown a rock through one of the back windows. He flashed his light inside and saw a brick laying on the floor. “Shit,” he said out loud.
He knew he couldn’t leave it like this so he scrounged around and found a sheet of plywood large enough to nail over it. He ran back to his truck and grabbed a hammer and a handful of nails and tacked the plywood up. He mecidiyeköy escort took before and after pics with his phone then headed back to the warmth of his truck. He turned on the engine and let the heat run as he found Renee’s number. “Found this window broken so I covered it with plywood. No other damage. Everything else looks secure. Hope you have a great visit. Scott—not Yancey.”
She’d be on the plane for another few hours so he didn’t expect a reply but before he could put the truck in gear she responded. “Been sitting on the tarmac waiting. Thank you SO much for doing that, Scott! We owe you big time!! Renee.”
“Glad to help” was his sort reply. It was getting late and he still hadn’t had dinner. He put the truck in gear and headed home for the night.
Two months had passed since he and Renee had met at the airport and he was getting close to finishing up the addition to the older man’s home. He was looking forward to the final paycheck, but just as important was the quality of the work he and his guys had done. The second story looked like it had always been there and the owner had given him a free hand to do everything except for picking out paint colors for the rooms. On the last day of the job he took his final ‘after’ pics to put on his website along with the ‘befores’ he’d taken eight weeks earlier.
He had a couple of small jobs lined up, but needed work. He decided to send Renee a text and see how thins were coming along with her flip.
“Scott—not Yancey here. Just wondering how the flip is going. Any other security issues since ‘the night of the brick’?”
He got a reply back several minutes later. “Well…in a word, everything is pretty much a disaster. If you’d like to work hard for little or no pay, just stop by the house. Renee/Aime.
“You there now?” he texted back.
“I’m always here. I may DIE here! lol. Just not actually laughing out loud (or otherwise.)”
“Be right there.” He got changed into some work clothes and headed out. He pulled up to the curb less than ten minutes later and looked in the yard.
“What the hell happened here?” he thought as he got out.
There was a huge dumpster in the yard and crap was strewn all over the law and the large tree in the front had toilet paper streaming from it on every limb. There was plywood over the front windows where glass had been the last time he saw it and it only got worse when he went inside.
Renee had trash bags all over the room and she was still picking stuff up. “Need a hand?” he said as he stepped inside.
“Oh, hey! I didn’t actually think you’d come.”
“I told you I’d be right over.”
“Sorry, but I meant it when I said I can’t pay you very much.” She sat down a bag that was half full and said. “What happened? Oh, my. Where to start. I’d offer you a seat but um…there’s nowhere to sit so…”
“How many times have you been vandalized or broken into?” he asked her looking at the spray-painted graffiti on the walls and the missing windows plus the endless trash inside the house.
“Before or after my husband called it quits?” she asked.
“What do you mean ‘called it quits’?”
“At first, he just gave up on the house. Once I got back, we had one major disagreement after the other about everything from design choices to a sale price. He wanted to cut corners everywhere. I think the kitchen needs to be gutted. He wanted to reface the 15-year old cabinets and put linoleum on the floor. Linoleum! I wanted new cabinets and nice tile. That was just the tip of the iceberg. Every time we turned around he was getting angrier and more frustrated. Then we had another break in and they stole a bunch of his tools. He blamed me for that because he said I didn’t secure the place when I left. But they threw bricks through the front windows so how is that anyone’s fault?”
She stopped and took a deep breath. “He got so angry over that he started poking me in the chest when I said it wasn’t anyone’s fault.” She looked down for a moment then said, “It’s funny, but that’s when I remembered telling you I never stand my ground. I don’t know where it came from, but I told him if he did that again, he could pick up his stuff and leave. That just set him off and he shoved me up against a wall and did it several more times. It left quite a bruise.”
“Jesus, Renee! Did you call the police?”
She shook her head. “No. I just told him not to stop with his stuff at this house but to go home and pack whatever he needed and move out. I just hit the breaking point, you know? And the house has been broken into two more times since then and you can see how little’s been done.”
“Can I take a look around?” he asked.
“Sure. I’ll give you the grand tour.”
He made mental notes as they went. Structurally, the house was in great shape. The roof was fairly new and the foundation was perfect. The wiring and plumbing were all up to code so pretty much everything left to do was Flipping 101 type stuff. It did need a complete kitchen remodel, the master bath needing gutting, and the other bathroom needed a lot of work. Beyond that, the house needed replacement windows, and the hardwood floors needed sanding and staining. That with some new paint and it would be ready to put back on the market. He did some mental calculations and came up with a figure of $20,000—$25,000.
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