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The Road To Ruin

Release date: Wednesday 1st November 2017

 

CHAPTER TWO

Three Years Earlier

17:45 Morgan Industries: R&D Lab

“Garett, have you finished with those samples yet?” Professor Simon Carlton calls to him from across the lab.

“Sure, just locking them back up,” his assistant Dr Garett Mitchel replies looking up for just a moment to nod his confirmation before peering back down the lens of the microscope.

“Right. I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow then,” Carlton finishes, reaching for his raincoat. “Hopefully, the weather won’t be quite so inclement,” he says shivering as he looks out through the wide lab windows to the greyness beyond and the wind-blown rain sleeting diagonally against the huge, winter-bare elm.

“Hah! That’s some hope,” Garett smiles, looking up again at his colleague and … and what? Mentor? Enemy?

“What are you doing for dinner tomorrow?” Carlton turns back to the room with a concerned frown.

“Me? Oh, the usual—takeaway in front of the TV,” Garett answers with a wry smile. He’ll get what’s coming.

“Sarah was right then. Listen, she’s worried about you. Will you come to ours for a proper feed?”

“Sure,” Garett replies forcing a smile. You really shouldn’t have claimed all the glory. “I never could resist her cooking.”

“Seven o’clock tomorrow then. I’ll let her know. Night.”

“Night.” Yeah, night, you lying old git. You won’t be smiling when I’ve finished with you.

Garett watches Carlton’s disappearing figure as the door swings shut then locks with a clunk. Go back to your perfect wife in your perfect home with your perfect kids. Enjoy it while you can. He pulls out his mobile from his trouser pocket, swipes to unlock and presses ‘Call’ on the unnamed number that makes his heart thud harder in his chest each time he looks at it. Well, it was about time he had some of the good life too.

“Do you have it?” the voice asks without any effort at obligatory politeness.

“Yes,” Garett replies monosyllabic, his mouth dry.

“You know what to do.”

“Ye-”

Click!

The mobile cuts off. Garett looks at the screen, the red ‘call ended’ symbol flashing and a pain runs across his chest as his breath catches. My turn to have the good life. My turn. He steps to the locked storeroom door of the lab and swipes his security card through the sensor. Green for go. He steps in and walks over to the tall, locked chiller, punches in the professor’s security code and reaches for the glass vials, his heart palpitating hard now. His hand trembles. The chink of glass as his hand knocks the upright cylinders makes him jump, twist his head, and take a furtive glance over his shoulder as a vial leans into its neighbours. Spooked, he takes a breath, checks the handwritten labels, then picks out two vials and slips them into a cushioned, thermal case. Still edgy, he rights the knocked cylinders, closes the glass door of the chiller and steps back out into the main office, the vials safe, protected in their metal box. He grips the handle of the case tight.

 

***

 

20:30 Penthouse, Morgan Tower

Cassie Morgan nee Scuttle slips her perfectly pedicured feet into her strappy gold stilettoes and teeters across to the mirror to take a final look at her reflection. Perfectly tousled hair sits thick across her expertly tanned shoulders, the bright blonde curls swirling over her bare breasts. The white-blonde really makes the blue of her eyes pop this time. She turns. The relentless hours at the gym have paid off. Her belly is taut, flat across her hip bones and she’s even managed to keep her curves. Hands on hips she turns from side to side, checking each inch of professionally scrubbed, pummelled and polished skin for imperfections. Nothing. Dan had better be home soon!

She walks naked into the kitchen, the tack, tack of her glimmering heels sharp on the marble tiles, takes a large bottle of champagne from the chiller and pours the evening’s second glass. The cold surface of the door brushes against her breast sending a chill across the skin. A tingle of excitement runs through her at the thought of Dan walking through the door and finding her there, stark naked, hair shining bright and curling seductively after hours in the salon, nails perfectly painted, body scrubbed, polished, plucked, waxed and toned to perfection. He just won’t be able to get to me quick enough! She strokes the top of her tanned and streak-free thighs and takes another sip of the dry champagne. So good! Walking around the black granite top of the kitchen island, she looks through the doorway and along the hall to the front door of their apartment. She thinks she hears footsteps so walks to the side of the sparkling granite slab, and leans over, resting her elbow at the corner, positioning herself for best effect, champagne flute in hand, breasts pushed out, long legs slightly parted, arse cocked seductively, and waits for the sound of his key in the lock. Perhaps I should have put on the panties he brought me back from his last trip? Less is more after all. She giggles, takes another sip of champagne and waits for the clink of metal in the door. Nothing. No footsteps, no key in lock. She listens again. Silence. She sighs, downs the champagne from the flute, takes a swig from the bottle then strides into the bedroom.

“Where is he?” she mutters aloud to the vast emptiness of over ten thousand square feet of lonely penthouse and picks up her mobile from the mirrored bedside table. The display reads 20:35. “Huh!” she mutters throwing the phone down onto the snow-white cotton duvet It disappears into its plump folds. She sits down heavy on the bed and looks from the joyous newly-weds gazing at each other in the photo on her table, oblivious to the rest of the world, to the woman reflected back at her from the huge mirror opposite. Tanned to perfection, she sits with legs long and slender, breasts high without any sign of sag, waist slim and free of flabby folds, and a pretty-nearly-beautiful face. Yes, pretty. Not beautiful like some of the wives, but prettier than many of them, especially the ones ravaged by time and surgery. She looks again in the mirror. The blue of her eyes seems dimmer in here and a moment of recognition makes her breath catch. Her mother’s sad, empty eyes stare back at her. She shivers and tries to push away the memory of that life-worn face.  She’d escaped the grey life she was on track to inhabit—her mother had seen to that, but she doesn’t look any happier for it and still seems a prisoner of its grimness. She takes a deep breath and sighs again, feeling the grating loneliness lift for a second, then reaches back across the bed to fumble in its softness for the phone.

“Dan?” she says when it answers to an echo and the sound of—what? Someone out of breath? “Are you running?”

 

***

 

20:37 Morgan Industries – Office of Daniel Morgan, President

“Dan!” Mel gasps as his hand slides up her inner thigh, rucking up her skirt, as he pushes her back against the huge desk.

Dan slides his hand higher up her thigh as she leans back, her breasts push against the thin lace of the bra, visible beneath the open silk shirt. Her skin is smooth and soft and she smells of vanilla. The ache inside him grows as the tips of his fingers touch the lace edge of her panties. She gasps. The ache throbs hard as he slips his fingers beneath the fabric. He always loves the first time.

“Oh, Dan!” she groans as his fingers find soft edges and he strokes her there, taunting her with the thrill he knows she’ll feel at his expert touch.

“If my husband …”

He leans over and pulls at the lace of her bra, exposes her to the warmed air. His fingers slip inside just a little more. She groans again as he takes her breast in his mouth and his fingers push a little deeper.

The phone rings.

He ignores it.

It rings again.

“Don’t answer,” she sighs.

He lifts his mouth from her breast and looks over at his phone.

‘Cassie’ it reads.

Ignoring the call, he bends again to the woman and smiles as the ringing stops.

Mel reaches for his belt and quickly releases him. Now it’s his turn to groan.

The phone rings.

‘Cassie’

“Bloody wives!” he mutters and grabs the mobile. His trousers slide down his legs to the floor as he accepts the call.

“Yeah?” he murmurs, almost unable to contain his pleasure as Mel reaches for him.