Man Tricks Wealthy Woman into Falling for Him and Steals From Her
A man marries a wealthy woman to steal several expensive pieces from her art collection but then he gets what he deserves.
George Ryan wasn't what anyone would call a nice man, but he was undoubtedly charming. It was George's charm that allowed him to live well above his means, and without doing a stitch of work.
But still, George was a bit tired of exercising his charm constantly, of wearing that smiling compliant mask. He wanted to retire and to do that he'd have to sacrifice his treasured freedom. He'd have to marry and marry rich.
George met Melissa Fairbanks quite by accident. He'd been to an art show, something he did when 'off duty,' and he'd noticed a drab-looking 30-something woman staring raptly at the same painting that had fascinated him, and had been overlooked by the other guests.
"What do you think?" asked George casually. "A poser or the real thing?"
The woman answered without turning her head. "Real, very real. Anything that makes you feel, whether you like it or not, is very real."
"Exactly!" exclaimed George, and the woman turned to smile at him. She was a plain little thing with huge, mild blue eyes and no dress-sense, George thought, but she had a sweet, warm smile.
George smiled back, not his charming lying smile, his real smile, the one his mother had called the 'sunshine smile.' The woman's smile widened. "I'm Melissa," she said stretching out her hand.
"George," he replied, carefully shaking her hand.
"So George," Melissa said playfully, "should I buy this?"
"Certainly," George said in a serious tone, "If you have the wall space you certainly should."
Melissa nodded equally seriously. "I have a little space between a Cezanne and a Miró, do you think it would fit in?"
"Definitely," said George. "I think it would look perfect. It would provide a visual bridge, don't you think, between two such disparate styles!"
"Exactly!" cried Melissa. "Come on, let's go get it!"
And Melissa put her arm through George's and led him through the crowd to where the merchant was holding court. "Frank!" she cried, "I want #32, please!"
Frank immediately ignored the crowd around him and focused his attention on Melissa. "Meli darling," he cried, "exquisite taste as always! Shall I have the bill sent as usual?"
"Please, Frank," Melissa smiled. "And when the show is over have it shipped to the house in the Hamptons, would you?"
Geoge gasped. Melissa was RICH! He'd inadvertently stumbled across the woman he'd been looking for, and he hadn't even been wearing his charming mask. George smiled at Melissa. "Let's go have an ice cream to celebrate!" he said.
Melissa looked delighted. "How did you know I love ice cream? Yes, let's!" That turned out to be their first date, but not their last. George courted Melissa over the next six months the old-fashioned way, and he was gratified to see she was falling head-over-heels in love with him.
When George proposed, Melissa accepted joyfully and the two were married in a little Maryland courthouse with two of the bride's closest friends as witnesses. George was surprised to discover that life as Melissa's husband was very pleasant.
Love is a mystery that can transform our lives.
For a seriously rich woman, Melissa was very unconventional. She didn't attend society events and preferred to do her charity work at homeless shelters rather than at charity balls. She was funny and sweet, and quite pretty once George took her wardrobe in hand.
Her great passion was art, and she and George spent a lot of their time visiting tiny out-of-the-way galleries, looking for young unknown artists, and buying paintings that caught their eye. Life with Melissa was fun, and George almost forgot why he'd married her. Almost...
A year after their wedding, George got the opportunity he'd been hoping for. Melissa had to go to London for a few days to visit her half-brother who was going through a messy divorce, leaving George alone for the first time.
George took Melissa to the airport and kissed her goodbye, then he drove back to their palatial New York apartment and quickly packed four of her best Impressionist paintings in a suitcase he'd ordered for that effect.
George looked longingly at one or two of the Old Masters Melissa's father had collected and sighed. He'd have to content himself with the Impressionists. They represented a very cozy multi-million dollar retirement, once sold to the right people.
That afternoon, George took a flight to the Bahamas to meet a cany but unscrupulous art dealer who'd sell the paintings to customers who weren't fussy about provenance. He was going to be rich!
The meeting with the dealer was the next evening, so George took a stroll through Nassau's old quarter, and ended up loitering in a tiny art gallery. George found himself standing in front of an explosion of color that hypnotized him.
"Melissa," he heard himself cry. "Look, just look..." But of course, Melissa wasn't there. She'd never be there again. George was stunned to feel a deep pain clutch at his heart. "Melissa..." he whispered. "What have I done?"
George realized that he'd been so busy conning Melissa that he hadn't realized he was falling in love with his own wife. He loved Melissa, and by now her staff would have contacted her, told her about his absence, and the missing paintings. If he went back, he'd go to jail...
Three days later, George presented himself to the police, accompanied by a lawyer and the paintings. He pleaded guilty to stealing the Impressionists. All he wanted was to talk to his wife. The judge accepted a plea that condemned George to two years in prison.
Unfortunately, the judge told the distraught George, no one, not even the District Attorney could force Melissa Fairbanks to see him if she didn't want to. So George wrote her a letter. He poured out his heart, explained his initial plan, and the revelation that had struck him in Nassau.
"I love you, Meli, for the first time in my life I love someone, and for you, I gave up my freedom. Please, please forgive me." he wrote. There was no reply. George's lawyer had tried to contact Melissa too, but she wouldn't take his calls.
George was in the yard when a guard called him. "Ryan! Visitor!"
A visitor? George had no friends, it must be his lawyer. But to his astonishment, the person sitting in the visitor's lounge was Melissa! She looked thinner and sadder than he remembered, but she was there.
"Meli!" George cried, tears filling his eyes. "Oh Meli, I've missed you so much!"
Melissa was crying too. "Why, George? I would have given you the paintings, money, anything!"
"I know," whispered George. "I know that now, and I also know that I'd rather live in prison than be away from you...Please forgive me!"
Melissa did, and for the next 18 months she visited George every week, and when his prison term ended, she was there waiting for him. George considered himself a very lucky man to have discovered love in the most unusual way.
What can we learn from this story?
1. Love is a mystery that can transform our lives.
2. Love forgives when the transgressor is truly repentant.
Share this story with your friends. It might inspire people to share their own stories or to help someone else.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a bride who humiliated a girl with a speech impediment and regretted it bitterly.
This account is inspired by a subscriber's story. All names have been changed to protect identities and ensure privacy. If you would like to share your story with us, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org