Here’s a backstory of Cassandra and Dominick Hopkins, supporting character’s from The Body Hunters.
Cassandra Hopkins walked to her door in the sweltering hot Phoenix sun, fresh from a day at the salon, She had the works, nails, hair, massage. Feeling refreshed she bounded into her spacious home she shared with her plastic surgeon husband Dominick. He is a short somewhat partially balding 38 year old black man and she genuinely loved him. Dropping off her bags in a nearby chair, she flitted to his home office to see him sitting behind his sparse desk looking over paperwork. Her long blond hair cascaded down her cheeks as she bent over to lean in for a kiss from him. His breathe smelled of alcohol. It was four pm. He’s been drinking for probably at least two hours now. She held her tongue about it knowing to say even the slightest thing about his drinking would at this point spark another fight that would end with him leaving in a fit of rage and disappearing for an all night bender.
“Would you like dinner honey?” she tried to hide her outward disgust at his inebriated state.
Dominick stood up from the desk and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close to him burying his nose into her neck.”No, I want you.” he slurred into her ear.
‘Great’ she thought to herself , ‘at least it’s a horny drunk and not angry drunk’ she knew if she acquiesced to his demand for sex he’d fall asleep soon enough and at least he wouldn’t be roaming the streets of Phoenix. He’d missed a lot work lately and she knew it would be a matter of time before he would be fired from the Beautiful Image Spa and Surgical Center. She also knew if it wasn’t for Dr. Gerard Wolfe looking out for Dominick, he’d already been fired. She led Dominick down the hall and into their bedroom.
Staring into her vanity mirror wearing just her robe, she wondered why she even bothered getting her hair done, It was in complete disarray from his drunk sloppy lovemaking. ‘It wasn’t always this way’ she thought to herself as she dabbed the corners of her misty eyes. She left a sleeping Dominick softly snoring face down on the bed. ‘Good, at least he’ll sleep it off at home.’
Wandering into her vast kitchen, she made herself a light snack. Ever since her stomach bypass surgery years before, with her loose skin hanging, she sought out a plastic surgeon to have it removed. She had found a fresh new doctor Dominick Hopkins. she stuck with the several small meals a day routine careful not to over stuff her now tiny stomach. She reminisced about meeting young Dr. Hopkins for the first time, she herself a young woman with low self esteem. He too had his own self esteem issues, feeling like an outcast at the hospital he worked at, they, over the course of time became friends and when her surgery was over, he purposely transferred her case to another doctor so he could ask her out. Theirs was a deep love and genuine caring for each other.
They struggled financially first seven years of their marriage. His student loans alone would take decades to pay off and were higher than even their mortgage on their small home. Sitting on the bar stool at the kitchen island, she was picking at her salad with her fork when her mind raced back to when their lives changed practically overnight.
Dr. Gerard Wolfe entered into their lives like a whirlwind. He was a cranio facial specialist and had a passion for helping children with facial deformities overseas. He visited the hospital Dominick worked at, giving a seminar on the latest facial reconstructive procedures. Dominick had an immediate man crush and apparently Dr. Wolfe saw potential in Dominick as well. Dr. Wolfe offered him a chance of a lifetime, two years of donated service to Angel Faces organization that Dr. Wolfe headed up in exchange for real world experience and international travel, plus the payoff of all his student loans, Cassandra and Dominick could hardly believe their ears. Dr. Wolfe was one of the foremost cranio facial/plastic surgeons in the U.S and had a stellar reputation to boot. He was also a monied east coast blue blood. It took all of five minutes for both of them to say yes to the good doctor at a very upscale dinner in New York. Thus began her transformation from plain Jane to high society. While Dominick was away for his two year stint in the backwaters of the world. Cassandra was given a generous living stipend from Gerard while she acquainted herself with the arm candy society wives and girlfriends of the other doctors from the organization. She soon found herself planning charity banquets and events for Angel Faces and becoming well known around the country club set in both New York and Phoenix.
It was a good life. One of promise and hope, maybe even children some day, Dominick even talked about adopting some of the poor unfortunates he worked on when he was home for a small break from his travels. When he was home he could talk of nothing else but his work and how much he’d learned from his experiences overseas. His confidence was growing immensely and Cassandra couldn’t have been prouder of him.
‘Where did it go wrong?’ she wondered as she put her dish in the sink and sat on the blue plaid family room sofa, ‘Huh, family room’ she mused. two years after his overseas stint and still no family, no adoptions, not even a hint from him he wanted children anymore, not even a dog. Gerard though was as good as his word. He paid all of Dominick’s loans off and eventually moved them out to Phoenix. A new spa was opening up that would cater to the wealthy for vanity plastic surgery and also continue on their good works by flying in the children and their families from impoverished areas to their state of the art surgical center. Dominick would spend his days removing laugh lines and crows feet as well as fix cleft palates and other deformities.
Mindlessly flipping through channels, she couldn’t concentrate long enough to even care about a program long enough to watch it. Her self narration and remembrances haunting her. Dominick hoped that with the move he would be made partner in the spa. He wasn’t and this was eating away at him. Hadn’t he shown Gerard his utmost loyalty? She also tried to go above and beyond with the charity work. The fact that Dominick was pushed aside for partner and consigned to the sidelines dealt a serious blow to his confidence, Gerard had told him he needed him on the front lines and the face of the spa, not in the boring closed door meetings. Dominick submitted to this role not wanting to bite the hand that kept he and Cassandra in their new lifestyle.
What a lifestyle it was. New cars, clothes, money, the house, all the trappings that were feeling like a prison to her. The only smart thing Dominick did was invest in some rental properties in Phoenix for an alternate income at her insistence. They had a property management company running the properties until very recently. She curled her legs underneath her and brought a lightweight blanket up to her chest as she laid on her side on the couch as she remembered the day after her infamous fight with Danielle Labouleaux, Gerard’s fiancee, she had said some very awful things and deep down new that using the ‘n’ word on the girl was way over the edge but she couldn’t stop the tirade. She felt like a demon had taken over her body and mind and she knew she deserved the beat down and ass kicking she received from the girl. Dominick was beyond hurt and couldn’t believe that of all people, his wife would stoop so low. She knew she used it out of an insecure place. Danielle Labouleaux was a threat. Not only was she Gerard’s fiancee, she was everything Cassandra felt she wasn’t. Smart, confident and naturally good looking with her beautiful light brown skin, golden eyes, and perfect figure. Even Dominick in a drunken stupor prior to the fight told her how Danielle could make any man horny at just the sight of her and that he’d do her in a heartbeat if she wasn’t engaged to Gerard.. Something no wife wants to hear.
After much apologizing and tearful begging of forgiveness to Dominick, he punished her by taking away her credit cards and selling her prized two seater 1960 Austin-Healy BT7. He also put her to work by firing the property management company, making her do the paperwork and collect the rents if she wanted any spending money at all. She agreed to his terms with all the submissiveness she could muster hopefully avoiding any talk of a divorce. Her society friends had already abandoned her once the story got around.
It was getting dark and Dominick was still sleeping it off in their bedroom. She decided to get up and try to do something constructive. The ex-management company had sent over all the leases and paperwork for the rentals. She figured now was as good time as any to go through it and acquaint herself with her new world of rents and leases. Sitting back at the bar stool she thumbed through several leases coming across the leases of the storefront building with the four apartments above it just inside the city proper. She sat back reading the documents out loud to herself. Apartment 1a. Primary renter Angel Mendes, other occupants Julia Mendes (spouse). Apartment 2b Primary renter, George Harrady, other occupants none. Apartment 3c. Primary renter, Lucius Johnson, other occupants Danielle Labouleaux.
“What the fuck? ” she screamed out loud then putting her hand to her mouth she peered down the hall hoping she hadn’t awakened her dead to the world husband. She held the lease in her shaking hands. It was dated around the time Danielle had moved from New York to Phoenix after Gerard had proposed. ‘Now what would a newly engaged girl need an apartment for and who in the hell is this Lucius Johnson?’ Cassandra thought as she grinned evilly to herself.
“Caught you know bitch!” Cassandra said as she picked up her IPhone.