Author's note: This piece is somewhat based on the events in the song "Two Black Cadillacs" by Carrie Underwood. if you haven't heard the song, go listen to it. It's awesome.
Summary: AU. After discovering their shared lover's elaborate deception, two wronged women decide to work together to make him pay, despite never meeting one another in person.
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters presented in this work of fanfiction, nor do I profit monetarily from publishing it in any fashion. If I did, I wouldn't have student loans left to pay off.
Two Black Cadillacs
The dreary weather reflected the somber mood of the people driving from the funeral home to the cemetery that fateful Thursday morning in Gardenia. The procession looked like any other, with those wishing to pay one last tribute to the deceased man following slowly after the hearse hauling his casket. However, if one cared to pay attention, they would notice a peculiarity about this service: two identical black Cadillacs drove through the streets after the family limousines and the hearse, both with their headlights shining brightly to aid in visibility on such a cloudy day. The casual observer would have thought that the two women driving the cars had picked them out together, like best friends or sisters sometimes did. However, this was the first time that these two women would see each other face to face.
Two months ago…
Sky Eraklyon had always exuded a prince charming vibe, which was what had attracted Diaspro to him in the first place. They were high-school sweethearts that married soon after. Both came from wealthy families looking for a way to strengthen business ties with one another, so the relationship had been greatly encouraged. She was happily in love with him, and she had thought for the last four years of their marriage that he was as well. Why would he bother fathering a child by her if he didn't?
Sky worked at his family's law practice, and had since he was accepted into Harvard Law School a year ago. By his own hard work, he'd passed all of his classes, taking summer courses so he could get his degree and apply for the bar exam a year earlier than was usually common. She couldn't have been more proud of him when he was brought in as a partner last summer. Sure, he worked a lot of late nights, but Eraklyon Legal Advisers catered to a lot of wealthy and demanding clients so she'd never thought much about it until now.
Recently, Sky had treated her with a new car for her birthday: a sleek black Cadillac CTS sedan with burgundy leather interior. She wasn't wild about the color choice (she'd have preferred a red one with crème interior), but the gesture was greatly appreciated and she drove it often to show off to her peers how much her husband loved her. It wasn't until the bill showed up on their account records that she became suspicious. The dealer had billed her husband for not one, but two black CTS sedans, both with burgundy leather interior. When she'd asked Sky about it, he said it must have been a system error and that it would be taken care of right away.
But it wasn't. The charges were still applied to his account, and Diaspro began to wonder who that second black luxury car could possibly have been purchased for.
Brandon Sparks, Sky's best friend since high school, was clearly out of the running. He came from an affluent, but not quite as wealthy family here in Gardenia and wouldn't be caught dead driving a black Cadillac. He didn't much care for the color black and a luxury car of that caliber was out of his normal living means, so a gift like that would make him feel uncomfortable. Brandon would have left the car in their driveway by now, if it had been intended for him.
Riven, as well, would not be caught dead in that car. As Sky's adopted brother, Riven had been raised in privilege for the latter part of his teenage years, but had spent the early years of his life living in sub-par housing with his deadbeat father. His mother, who died when he was very young, had been a relative of Samara's, and when the state took custody of the boy, she insisted that she and Erendor adopt him. No matter how many luxury cars he rode in, however, Riven always displayed a predisposition to pickup trucks and motorcycles, and wouldn't have taken the sedan in question if you'd have paid him.
Sky's parents, Erendor and Samara Eraklyon, also had no use of the car. Erendor bought Samara a new one every three years like clockwork and had just recently let her select a beautiful blue Infiniti coupe. No, the car couldn't be theirs, or her parents' for that matter. So who did it belong to?
It was then that she noticed her husband had left his personal cell phone lying on the kitchen table that morning when he left for work. He had a designated work phone (which she had the number for), so there wasn't much need of the personal phone while he was at the firm. Still, her curiosity got the better of her. She picked it up, unlocked the screen, and began scrolling through the call history. Their three-month-old son was down for a nap; she had time to kill before he woke up demanding to be fed and changed again.
One number stuck out as it appeared several times in his recent call and text history. She didn't recognize it, but it was archived in Sky's phone under the name Bloom. Diaspro highly doubted it belonged to a flower shop. This Bloom person must be who that second car was for, she was sure of it. But there was only one way to find out.
She hit the redial button on Sky's phone, fully prepared to start tearing into the woman who was knowingly dating a married man.
"Brandon? Why are you calling me at this time of day?" A mildly-perky female voice answered. "I thought you said you wouldn't have time to talk until after 5."
"Brandon?" Diaspro repeated before she could stop herself. "No, darling, this phone belongs to Sky, my husband. I'm Diaspro; I'm sure he's told you all about me."
"Who's Sky?" The other woman answered. "The man who owns a phone with that number is named Brandon Sparks. My name is Bloom Peters. Ma'am, I'm sorry to hear that your husband's been fooling around but I think you have the wrong number."
"Brandon Sparks, huh?"Diaspro frowned. That was the name of Sky's best friend, but Brandon was head-over-heels in love with a hotel company heiress named Stella Solaria and wasn't stupid enough to cheat on the model-thin blonde. At least, she hoped he wasn't. "What does he look like? One of my husband's friends has the same name. Maybe that's how the numbers got mixed up."
"God, I hope this is just a mix-up, otherwise he's been lying to me for six months!" The woman on the other end fumed. "He's tall and handsome with blond hair and blue eyes. Said he works at the Eraklyon law firm. I met him when he came into my mom's flower shop in search of a plant to put in his new office."
"He bought a tree." Diaspro had seen that plant before. "The kind you set in the corner to make a room feel a bit more inviting."
"A ficus tree, to be exact." Diaspro suspected that Bloom was frowning. "I'm guessing his name isn't really Brandon Sparks, then?"
"No, my dear. His name is Sky Eraklyon, a shame to his family name right at the moment." Diaspro snarled, though not at the woman on the phone. He'd cheated on her! The bastard had cheated on her for six months...while she'd been pregnant, no less! "Tell me, did he recently give you any expensive gifts?"
There was a brief pause. "He gave me a car." Bloom's voice was barely audible. "I have a moped, but its engine clocked out last month. It's not that I don't have a driver's license; I just never needed a car. But Brandon, er, Sky gave me a Cadillac after I told him about the moped-dying-thing."
"So, it seems he has been lying to the both of us for the last six months." Diaspro remarked, venom in her voice.
"I can't tell you how sorry I am about this, Miss Diaspro." For what it was worth, Bloom sounded genuinely apologetic. Then again, she had been genuinely lied to. "If I'd known who he was or that he was in a committed relationship, I never would have flirted back with him in the first place. He shouldn't be allowed to get away with this!"
Diaspro smiled. She liked Bloom's attitude of 'don't get mad; get even'. "He won't. Not if we play this right, but it may take a while to put all the pieces of our little chess game in play."
"I don't care how long it takes or what I have to do to help you; Sky Eraklyon will rue the day he decided to play the both of us for fools." Bloom swore.
The graveside service commenced with the preacher offering his final bit on the importance of salvation and stating what a good man the late Sky Eraklyon had been. This was only briefly interrupted by Riven, who felt the need to remind everyone gathered what a good friend Sky had been to everyone. It brought nearly everyone to tears.
Everyone, that is, except the women in the two black veiled hats.
It was a plan of theirs, to wear those particular hats so that they would be able to identify each other. Diaspro Eraklyon and Bloom Peters wore similar yet different black dresses, nearly identical hats, and the same shade of red lipstick for the funeral. Each of the two women held a red rose in their hands, but neither shed a tear for Sky despite how much they had both loved him at one point in time.
After the final prayer was offered, Diaspro rose from her seat, laid a rose on top of the casket, and threw a handful of dirt from a nearby jar into the hole where her husband's body would soon be lowered. Family members and close friends followed suit, but she stood next to the casket, clearly waiting for a signal from someone.
At last, toward the end of the procession of people passing to wish the young widow their condolences, Diaspro saw who she was looking for. Bloom was definitely not the kind of person she'd expected to find Sky with. She was shorter than Diaspro, with fiery red hair and bright blue-green eyes, yet her complexion was oddly devoid of the freckles that tended to plague other redheads. She looked, for all appearances, wide-eyed and innocent.
She played the part well, though. She whispered a hushed "Sorry for your loss; I didn't know him well, but the times he visited the flower shop he seemed nice enough." To Samara and Erendor before placing her rose on the casket, gathering a handful of dirt, and coming to stand in front of Diaspro.
Diaspro was every bit the woman Bloom expected her to be. Her creamy blonde tresses were immaculately tousled despite the oppressive humidity, and her skin was clean and clear with just a hint of spray-on tan. Golden brown eyes stared back into her own cyan ones, critically memorizing every detail. Diaspro Eraklyon was the perfect lady, a stark contrast to the lowly working girl that Bloom was.
Still, when they locked eyes and Bloom threw her fistful of dirt into the freshly excavated hole, the pair shared a quick but truly devious crimson smile. No words were said, but none were needed. As quickly as the break in their facades appeared, it was gone and they were back to being mourners again. Bloom walked away, making an excuse to the family about having to go back and work at the flower shop (which, ironically, had provided a vast number of the arrangements seen at the funeral service) and Diaspro let her go. They had no more business with one another unless somebody else in her close circle of friends and family fell ill or died; Fleur de Lis Flowers, the shop owned by Bloom's mother Vanessa, had top-notch blooms and exquisite arrangements for such a conservative price.
And the real cause of Sky's demise? It wasn't really a car accident, although the crash did serve to cover up the real culprit. Some plant toxins burn through the human metabolism too fast to be detected in a toxicology screening, so by the time Sky's car hit swerved into the median and ran into a tree, no trace of the poisoned wine he'd had that evening could be noticed. But you wouldn't catch either of them admitting to that fact. No, that secret would stay with Sky's body at the grave.
After all, Sky wasn't the only one in this story with a secret to hide.